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View Full Version : Creating a horror one-shot... (Long read)



Jokerstyle
11-23-2008, 08:23 AM
Ahoy fellas, I'm designing a horror scenario for a group of probably 3 players.
It's a oneshotter, so there is no sweat if not everyone survives (read: Not everyone should survive).
I'm trying to come up with valid ideas right now. I thought I'd post what I've written down so far, and see if you can help me put it together.
I apologise beforehand on behalf of the long wall of text, but I believe you probably will want some of the background/basic info if you are to be able to give suggestions

First the basic info:

Ruleset,
Im probably going to go with Kult (Cult), simply because we all have the rules avaliable. I'm probably gonna toss the rules around a bit to fit the coming scenario better (I dont know if that is considered taboo).
Estimated playtime,
anywhere between 6-9 hours.
If the game was to stretch over 9 hours it would have to be hella-fun, since most of the PC's will probably be half asleep by that time.
Number of GM's: 1

Background:
We have played a few different types of scenarios and games, ranging from Action/Adventure to Horror. We all find horror without a doubt the most interesting, and now I'll give it a try to best the other scenarios and give the group a boneshaking experience with the help of you experts.
Here's what we've done so far in horror:
Abandoned research facility in a snow-landscape,
Abandoned City in the desert,
Abandoned Spaceship (in space, lol),
And Hotel á la The Shining. (Not abandoned, it was the NPC's who got more and more creepy. They were actually meant to leave the hotel after a few days but we never got that far)

and now on the would-be juicy part.

Some ideas:

I'm trying to come up with a good plot, but here is where the real crafting begins and I really need your help.
The first scenario was pretty much created on the go, but lately the scenarios have gotten more prepared, with drawn maps, fitting music and the likes.

Plot:
The basic plot will probably be the PC's exploring something, wether that is a Research Facility, abandoned house, hotel, village etc.

Thats it. It really is. I've came up with a shitload of things that could happen, but I have yet to weave them into a storyline.

Here are some things I have considered. (FYI: when i speak of the party, i often mean not the entire party, but the people in that room, or the only the people from the party affected)

The party encounters a creepy old man. He is sitting in a wheelchair by the window of the attic, eyes staring out with a distant look on his face. As you enter the attic, your nostrils are invaded by a stench of impending decay. His hands resting on his knees, shaking, drumming, to a beat you seem to be able not to hear. If a character has Shizophrenia, or some skills making them acceptable to ghostly activity, they will also faintly hear the music
When they approach the man, he will speak softly to himself in a language they do not understand (Spanish). If a character knows spanish, the will be able to communicate with him later on Even if the party manages to understand him, he will not say anything to them. He will simply glare at them distantly and speak to himself. If the party touches him, he will SCREAM something and grab ahold of one of them, drawing the PC closer to his face while screaming something in Spanish. If a character has the Empathy skill, they will feel the man is in considerable pain. Burning. The person the man is holding will see that the man is blind. If a person is receptable to ghostly activity, he will feel the old man radiating heat. (Or something)
That man would probably be important later (If the party does not freak out and kill him)

The party finds a cursed object (a pendant, ring, necklace of some kind).
Either I would portray it as extremely beautiful to the person who finds it, but as hideous to the rest. (E.g. a golden necklace with diamonds circling a ruby While the other people see a very shrunken baby skull, with a large crack running from the top left of the forehead down to the center of the mouth.)
Or I would portray it as extremely valuable to one person, and as the game progresses make the other people jealous of both the necklace and the wearer (Tell them how valuable it looks, tell them that they sometimes hear the wearer mocking them behind their back, etc)

The party would often pass by a certain thing that would gradually change.
E.g. if they killed the creepy old man (If i add him into play), and just leave him there, he will gradually be more and more mutilated/eaten on everytime they pass by him.
Or a painting haning on the wall featuring a woman, whom would gradually look more and more starved/angry/something.
I would roll Awareness-checks, to see if people starts noticicing the changes or not. The more the object are changed, the lower the DC to see it becomes. That way, I hope the more aware players will start creeping out the less aware players. (Is he going crazy or what?)
Something I would really like is a painting of the house the players are in, with some random guy painted as walking somewhere in the picture. Over time that man would grow darker, and get closer to the house. At last he would have reached the house and they would hear a knock on the door. (This could potentially get really cheesy, I'd have to see how the party reacts to the painting first).

The party finds scattered notes and writings across the house/hotel/mansion/village/whatever in some other language. It could be on plain paper, or written in blood, or written in the dust behind a Wardrobe. (Possibly Spanish to synergize with the old man, and Latin because it has a certain feel to it) They would range from simple poems, to maniatic monologues. This goes without saying, if the party has the appropriate language-skill, they are able to discern the written content

The party encounters a hound or child in the basement, which is not aggressive, only "sad" (Crying, or sloping). Some way or another (or perhaps they will never) they might find out that the child/dog is immortal (One way to find it out would be if the thing in question would be found impaled on something, which they party could free it from. Or, the thing would have a huge wound which should be fatal).
Whatever they do to it, it will keep moving to highest possible extent. (Lets say someone finds the dog/baby so freaky they decide to chop its head off, it would still keep moving both body and head together.)

To synergize with the notes, if it's a baby, I think it would be cool to have something written close to the baby in some language. If a PC is able to translate it, it will still be pretty cryptic. The text would tell something along the lines of two great entitys separating. With a successful INT-check, the PC would know that it was a separation between good and evil.
Now, while that information is being read, one of the players would se another child glaring at him from the shadows outside, possibly from a window or something. That would effectively be the "evil" one of the tho kids.

If I do this, I plan on having the child appear to the one who saw it at different times in the plot. The other players will not be able to see that child.
If a PC has a skill similiar to: Speak to dead, Receptable to Ghosts, Haunted, Or any other skill referring to the perception or linking with ghosts, they would feel a ghostly presence, a chill, heat, or something. They would also/or see some sort darkness or flicker in the light where the child would be. (Not so much that they could tell its something there, just a second-long flicker)
Over time I would make the PC not afraid of the child, but attached to it. If he's in a tight situation, the child might help him find his way out. If he's cornered, the child might point towards a previously unseen knife lying in the shadows.
Somewhere around the climax of the scenario, the child would probably drop its "Good cop"-act and try to make the PC kill his friends. I'm not yet sure what would happen if that would be the case, or exactly how the child would best persuade the PC into killing his friends.

____________________________________

Now, i know you indeed CAN try "too hard", These are just ideas, and while it would be nice to try to implement them all, I'll wait and see what you guys think of it.

Possible themes incorporating above thoughts:
The party ends up in a house, they find the old man. He was originally the watcher/guardian of the two abovementioned children, but over the years his mind grew weak and the evil kid got to him. (That makes for a pretty intense story on how he lost his sight)
or
The old man is infected with something (disease, ghostly, demon) and is trying to fight it. Maybe the phrases he so stubbornly speaks is protection-charms? Later on he'll snap and kill the party.
or
The old man is not important at all. If the party kills him or not doesnt matter. They might not even find him. The creature/child/dog in the basement might not be found either. Maybe its just another house in some village, with some entirely different plot?

Last note: Some things I will try to do.
I've been searching like crazy for tips on how to GM this.
Some things I'll try to do apart from the regular stuff IRL:


Turn off the light in the room for a while. Everyone who thought of getting a flashlight to their character at creation gets a flashlight.
Have a rubber spider in my pocket. When someone enters a cellar, I'll throw the spider at him. (Combine with flashlight above for greater effect)
Living the role, scream when something appears, whisper if they are hiding, try to make them get physical aswell


Short summary: What I'm looking for:
A basic storyline.
Critic on the above encounters.
Post your own encounters! I'd love to see them.
Tips on the notes scattered around the map?
They should have a certain air to them, and some sort of unhappy, miserable, crazy theme.
Example: The wild bunny - Sander Cohen, Bioshock.
Example - Above a door: For though of you who travel the path of life, only death awaits you.
Heres what I'm trying to incorporate into the plot:

Intrigue and distrust among the players.

Synergy between the encounters (not just a random bunch of scary things slapped together)

Un-cliché things. Even if you free that monster from the trap, it will still kill you.

NPC's interacting with the player. Preferably with a eerie feel about them. Some of them might come back to haunt later.

___________________________________________

Phew, this was a lengthy post.
I hope I haven't scared you away, and that you will hopefully take the time to send a reply. They can be long, short, positive or negative. Every little thing helps.
I'm looking forward to hearing from the horror forum.

Sincerely yours,
Jimmy

MortonStromgal
11-24-2008, 11:30 AM
The only problem I forsee is your set on abandoned abandoned abandoned...

Horror can happen anywhere

take for example something I've got buried in my notes for one day.

Downtown city on a busy night
PCs are sitting in a car at a stoplight. People are crossing when a woman dressed in all in black with a motor cycle helmet stops in front of the car and turns and points at their car. She raises the visor and you can see a scared face as if from burns and she says "I know thee, I have found thee, AND I WILL NOT LET THEE GO!" (line 27 "America a Prophecy" by William Blake) she pulls out a gun from under her trenchcoat and opens fire. If defeated it is reviled that her body is horribly burned from some previous encounter. Otherwise she will continue to hunt the PCs till they are dead.

This is a start of an idea I have of the stopping a cult from trying to destroy the US government where the plot is a very loose interpretation of "America a prophecy" The PCs will find clues that it is all based around this poem but notice that what Blake wrote is not entirely correct.


[edit] I personally find horror a lot creepier if you
1. Put it in a familiar setting with just hints of the weird/supernatural
2. Can play with the lighting (turning it up, down, changing colors etc)
3. Can play with the music and or sound FXs.

Jokerstyle
11-24-2008, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, when i scribbled the past scenarios down, i noticed the abandoned theme. The Hotel á la the Shining we played was full of people, and they added alot to the scaryness.

I've given it a bit of thought, and decided to go for a remote village. There's just something about villages that triggers the "Creepy"-factor for me.
I'll probably go for the fact that all the villagers are either part of some cult, or most of them is and the others are too scared to speak of it.
That way, I can incorporate all ideas above into different houses, while still having lots of NPC's around, and making things escalate from there.

Does anyone know of any valid cult motives? Just plain braineaters, or demonsummoners? or perhaps something more complicated than that.

MortonStromgal
11-24-2008, 04:07 PM
Just plain braineaters, or demonsummoners?

Personally I would not find that scary. Its too cliche' but my character might still freak out. You could make them scary by adding twists, eating brains gives them the memories of their victims or summoning the demon grants them 3 wishes. The cultist should be everyday people that gain something fantastic by being cultists. What would you sell your soul to the devil for?

[edit] Coal Creek Colorado... Grandpa always said that the coal got in peoples heads made them funny. One day the mine dried up, people moved away and it became nothing but a ghost town except the 9 families who stayed. Grandpa said the 9 were particularly queer. Now a fire has broken out and well silly me I joined the Colorado volunteer fire department. They have been fighting the blaze all week but no one has yet to see a fire, just thick black smoke coming down the mountain and the dead fish floating down the creek. Thomas said they sent a squad into Coal Creek and only one of them returned, his eyes were solid black like coal and his body looked as though he had healed third degree burns but his equipment was fine other than the soot.

[edit2] you could have your child in the basement of a house in the village. I would go watch Aliens again borrowing the dynamic of Newt and how she helps them. Persuading the PC to go after the other ones should not be difficult if you give the kid a sixth sense or some better understanding of whats going on and separate the party. To use Aliens, one of the PCs is separated then finds his way back to the group (having blacked out for part of the time) and the dogs are barking at him and the kid doesn't want to get near him. This should set the other PCs on him like wolves on sheep. The Thing is another one to watch to get the PCs don't trust each other vibe.

trechriron
11-25-2008, 02:00 PM
The main post feels like a classic haunting. For that you need a catalyst. Why are these ghosts here? Why are they hostile? What powers or manifestations are common amongst the haunting (builds theme)? You have a string of random encounters, so I would reverse engineer and decide what is happening.

Oh, use the child. WAY scarier.

Secondly, I agree that using a Cult That Eats People is cliche, if you're trying to avoid that, you should try something else on.

I am going to brainstorm and try my hat at a general plot outline. Be back in a few...

Jokerstyle
11-25-2008, 04:53 PM
I'm eagerly awaiting your general plot outline, trechriron, and I appreciate your help. I've started sketching a draft on the village from a bird perspective (http://img55.imageshack.us/img55/3621/byms1.png), but its all just random thoughts, I'll probably grab huge chunks (VERY huge chunks) of what you're throwing at me. The sketch is more or less only for me to try and place the encounters in the "real world", since im still struggling with the plot. (Struggling with capitalized letters)

MortonStromgal, I like the twists you mentioned, you've given me heaps of possible twisted cultist powers.
And I must add, your idea for creating conflict amongst the PC's was brilliant (The dogs barking and the child not wanting to go near him. Effective yet subtle in a way, if you could call it subtle.).
Have you by any chance more ways of turning PC's greatly or lesser suspicious of eachother?

trechriron
11-25-2008, 06:33 PM
May I ask, are you wanting something that fits the Kult setting worldview\ supernatural paradigm or are you just using that as the system because your group knows it?

Jokerstyle
11-26-2008, 12:00 PM
^
the latter is the most correct, you could more or less say we are only using it because the group knows about it and have the rules avaliable.
The only things associated with Kult on a gameplay level are the characters at creation, the pros, cons, dark secrets etc, and of course, the rules.

Ill try to throw in something minor relating to the Kult way of viewing things, but all such things can be considered as extras, especially since most of our players really dont know anything except the super-basic about the Kult world. (Including me, altough im trying to brush up on it, but as I said, its not that important at all)
The only reason I'm trying to add something Kult-isch at all is so that when the players are asking "What was up with THAT?" then I could simply refer them to a written fact.

Cheers,

trechriron
11-26-2008, 04:39 PM
Good deal!
I am about 50% done. Probably be able to finish up my ideas tonight and post it. :biggrin:

Jokerstyle
11-27-2008, 03:11 AM
I'm glad to hear that mate :)

trechriron
11-27-2008, 04:38 PM
More delays and Turkey Days will see it up by FRI (off work for a week and I am jazzed about this). :D

MortonStromgal
11-29-2008, 06:43 PM
Have you by any chance more ways of turning PC's greatly or lesser suspicious of eachother?

Well while I hate to do it (I think it breaks up the flow of the game), pulling PCs aside for a bit of one on one will build PC mistrust especially if you give them conflicting information and if they don't metagame and said the GM told me so. If they are the type who will stay in character they will assume the other PC is lying. Say you have 5 players you take each of them aside into another room and tell them partials of 2 different stories, one that the only way to stop the ghost is to destroy the clock in the kitchen and the other gets destroying the clock will make the ghost stronger. Your odd man out should get a 3rd story that has nothing to do with the clock at all.

Jokerstyle
12-02-2008, 07:59 AM
As it is right now, I need a reason for all of them to be there (and more importanly: stay there).
It would seem really strange if the villagers would want the PC's to snoop around, but on the other hand, if the PC's dont have a strong enough reason to be there, nothing is preventing them from simply walking away when the villagers turn hostile.
So I'm thinking about making them either Journalists or Private investigators with some kind of assignment/story to complete.

That way, I can make the villagers be ever so secretive and hostile without having the PC's simply go "This is to threathening. I think I'll leave the village"

Edit: By making them journalists, detectives etc, I can also give them some basic knowledge of both latin and spanish due to their professions. (along with some other languages, so it wont seem as planned out)

Soft Serve
12-02-2008, 02:17 PM
As it is right now, I need a reason for all of them to be there (and more importanly: stay there).
It would seem really strange if the villagers would want the PC's to snoop around, but on the other hand, if the PC's dont have a strong enough reason to be there, nothing is preventing them from simply walking away when the villagers turn hostile.
So I'm thinking about making them either Journalists or Private investigators with some kind of assignment/story to complete.

That way, I can make the villagers be ever so secretive and hostile without having the PC's simply go "This is to threathening. I think I'll leave the village"

Edit: By making them journalists, detectives etc, I can also give them some basic knowledge of both latin and spanish due to their professions. (along with some other languages, so it wont seem as planned out)



This also gives you the chance to make them competitive journalists/P.I.'s each one trying to get the best story for their own paper/client/news group, and solves your issue of turning the PC's against eachother without having to really drag them into the other rooms of your house.

Jokerstyle
12-02-2008, 02:49 PM
The group consists of three people. The year is 2008. A mix of journalists and private detectives. They all know eachother from way back.
The detectives have been hired, and brought their journalist friends with them, as they always work good together.
The person who hired the group was born in a village known as Lonesome Creek. At only a few years of age, he, his father, grandfather, relatives, along with most of the village, moved out of there. He never got told why, it was simply a fact.
He came of age, and got a wife and son.
His son, named Martin, is the reason the detectives have been called over.
One day, Martin recieved a letter from a certain "Ted Bundy", claiming to be the mayor of Lonesome Creek. The letter spoke of a relative to Martin who recently passed away, and mentioned Martin in his will.
Martins father - the one who hired the group - immidietely got suspicious. The village is in total isolation from what he can recall, so he has no idea how they got his adress, and more importanly, how they know about Martin.
Martin has always had a curious mind, and despite a direct banishment of the idea from his father, Martin sneaked away in the night, took his fathers car and drove away.
That was one week ago, and he has yet to hear from Martin. The only contact with him was a texted message from his cellphone, saying that he was at the path to Lonesome Creek, and would probably be there in a short while. After that he turned his cellphone off.
After calling the local police, he was shocked to hear that they can not help him. Lonesome creek is not in their operating area. After a night at the telephones, he was astounded to learn that the area of Lonesome Creek is not in any police district, meaning no station wants to take responsibility for it. He had the feeling most of them didnt even take him seriously, since Lonesome Creek isn't on the map.
You have worked with this person before, and he has came to appreciate your skills. Yours is the first name he called after learning the strange facts. He is willing to pay you a hefty amount of money to go bring his son back.
You gladly accept.
So, that is more or less what the Players will be told at the beginning of the scenario.Here is a longer story, that they will most likely be able to read after the entire scenario is over, if not, than atleast its good for me to know whats going on.

[ Background story - As told by Peter Young]

Lonesome Creek
A village is often built up with likeminded people, and the villagers eventually share a special bond with eachother, crafted through hardship and understanding. But not in Lonesome Creek.

Some of the families were inbred groups of lunatics. The other folks in the village stayed away from those demented inbreds.
Over time, the inbreds got more and more aggressive towards the other villagers. Folks started talking about strange noises and flickers of light coming from around their houses at night. Some even said, if you were brave enough to venture outside in the darkness, you'd see strange tracks outside the windows of the houses.

Now, the 'ol folks of Lonesome creek, or Jeremihas Dove as it was called back in the days, were not folks to be superstitious. Surely it was those inbred bastards that were up to some sort of joke. The tracks were due to some of their no-good children playing with sticks. But as time passed, even the hardiest of the villagers started doubting that explanation.
Surely children couldn't be able to make the noises that sometimes echoed trough the night..

One day, the mayor Jeremiha, a fine and fair mayor according to the townsfolk, gathered up the families said to be responsible for the troubles and scolded them. He told them all that Jeremihas Dove was no place for childrens tales and will'o'wisps. Good 'ol Jeremiha made it clear that if the ones responsible wouldnt come to their senses, he would hang them by their ankles until they had enough blood in the skull to think straight.

And then the killings started.
At first, it was just scattered deaths, altough they still brought an extreme amount of attention, considering the peaceful past of the village. The first one to meet his maker was Master Thomas, keeper of the villages smithy.
He was found in the woods. You could almost believe he had stumbled into a bear, they way he was trashed up, except for the fact that even though he was mutilated and partially eaten, there was no blood to be seen. Not on the ground, not in the vicinity - nowhere.

Well, we all met up and buried poor Thomas, it's always a shame when someone dies, but he was a particularly strongwilled man - even for a smith. We buried him up in the cemetary, row 32. I still remember it like yesterday. Then again, the condition he was in when we found him, it's not something to simply slip of your mind.
The following days life in Jeremihas Dove went on as usual, harvest had to be cropped, bread baked, and tools made. Everyone minded their own bussiness, even the inbred bastards kept to themselves. On that point, the townsfolk all agreed it was for the best.

As the months passed, three more people were strangely found dead. Some of the deaths were clean, as if the people simply went to sleep. But they were healthy young lads so we all suspected murder. Others were not so lucky, Adams boy turned up dead in the village square, and in much worse shape than Master Thomas to say the least. Adam took his own life that very evening. It may sound strange,
but it actually felt nice to see someone die in a pool of blood again. Except Adam, everyone shared the same strange fenomena - a complete lack of blood.

Now, this particular upcoming sunday was - according to tradition - the "Good luck harvestday", where all the townsfolk gathered up and had a nice evening of singing and dancing to bring good luck to the upcoming harvest. Well, atleast those of us neither dead nor inbred.
The weather is usually nice on that day, but this time it was all rain. After just a short while, we all gathered up in the village hall to dry ourselves. It was already dark outside, and thunder had started roaming the skies. Of course, we kept our mood high.

A crash of thunder so strong it made the hall shake suddenly made the band stop playing. As the music stopped, the dancing stopped. For a short while, everyone stood staring at eachother. Just as the fluiter started his melody again, we could all hear a loud thump on the great door. It was not the sound of a fist banging, more like the sound of a large piece of meat falling to the floor after getting cut with the butcherknife. I will never forget that sound.

When the door opened, Master Thomas was standing outside in the rain. His mutilated corpse moved jaggedly, as if hanging from invisible wires. But I could see his muscles flexing as he took a slow step into the light. Whatever made old Thomas move, it was no wires. A gasp echoed though the villagers as his full body entered the lantern-lights, now flickering from the wind outside. Where his arms once had been, there existed nothing but large spikes, one for each missing arm. The left spike had a curve at the end, more like a fishinghook then anything else. His eyes were sunken into his skull, but we could all see his them fixing on Jeremiha, even though the dark sockets of his face.
Slowly, he moved his maggotfestered legs closer to Jeremiha. We were all frozen to the ground, was this really Thomas? Jolly old Thomas who never hesitaded to crack a joke, or do your work for free if you were short on money. Well, he was Jolly old Thomas no more, and as he suddenly paced up towards Jeremiha, the whole hall erupted into chaos.

I myself never saw him closing up on poor Jeremiha. I never saw him impale Jeremihas body on his left arm, lift him into the air and run away into the darkness outside.
But I heard. By god, I heard every last choking gurgle from our mayor as the limp, mutilated body of Thomas the blacksmith carried him past me in the flickering lights. And I smelled. I smelled the moist dirt from the grave, his decay, and I smelled things I cant even craft a name to.

Filled with fear, dread and shock, we all ran around like decapitaded chickens in the great Village Hall, everyone too afraid to stand still, yet even more afraid to leave the building and run into the dark.
It was only a few hours left until morningtime, so the strongest of us barricaded the doors and windows and we all await dawn, armed with pitchforks, machetés and other things at hand.
As daylight shone through the barred windows of the Village hall, we slowly made our way out. Some of us wanted to find the inbreds and punish them. We all believed they were guilty but we had no proof, so we heeded Jeremihas memory. He had never shed blood that was potentially innocent, and neither would he want us to do it. Instead, we started packing our things.

We rounded up all our things, our horses, and our families. It took some time to make it all happen.
The inbreds stayed behind, we gave them no choice. But some of our own friends and neighbours stayed behind aswell, they refused to listen to arguments. I do not know what makes a man make a decision like that, I can only say that feel sorry for what is coming to them in the night..
There were a few reports of more dead people turning up like Thomas, but it was all unconfirmed. Always a short glimse by a single spectator of what looked like a familiar shape moving though the village at night. Even the bastard inbreds looked like they were on the brink of a mental breakdown. I guess even vultures fear ravens.


We are now walking the path away from the village. Yesterday the inbreds appointed a new mayor, I think his name was Ted Bundy or something. They can have the damn village. I just want to get out of here.

Peter Young
anno 1764

It's probably quite hard to fully understand the background due to all the spelling and grammatical errors, but I gave it a shot.
Anyway, the villagers will be hard to kill (if the PC's try), and as the story deepens, the PCs will start to encounter some of thoose "dead" villagers. As they spend time in the village, they might notice that if someone dies, the villagers cremate his body. They will always do it, and if they dont, they will notice that the body will come back to life. The Mayor Ted Bundy is a cultist, along with his relatives. He has lived for a good 200-300 years, and will most likely continue to do so. His followers believe that he will be able to grant them immortal life, as he has granted it to himself.
Ted Bundy has the con "Bloodlust", he must drink one litre of human blood each day.
Some of the villagers will start to realize that the eternal life that Ted Bundy gives them is not as his own. Ted Bundy only gives the kind of immortal life that the blacksmith Thomas got.
The PC's will be able to find those villagers that have been enlightened and stopped being cultists (mostly the crossovers whom stayed in the village) and they will fill the PC in on some details.

So the story will probably revolve around killing Ted Bundy.
I want to keep the kids in the storyline, perhaps make the "evil" child Ted Bundys son, whose main purpose in life is to serve as a demonic gateway, or to be sacrificed at the correct age to extend Teds life.
I dont really have a story for the good child unfortunately, any suggestions?
I'm thinking about making Ted inhabited by a demon or fiend of some sort, who will get out if ted is killed.
I'm also considering the possibility that Ted has cast a spell on the village, forbidding anyone to leave without his permission. (If someone tries to leave, they simply wander in circles and end up in the village again). That way, its a bit more emphasized that Ted has got to die.

Meh, long read, you are welcome to be naggy and point out apparent flaws.


Edit: @ Soft-serve - Good call, thats true. Didnt think of that.

Soft Serve
12-02-2008, 03:06 PM
Are you settled on the name Ted Bundy? I'd change it, it sounds too much like that guy Al Bundy from the old TV show Married With Children.

Also if a spell is placed on the village you could probably then play around with weather effects. Like heavy fog during the day imparing vision (which then lets you play with sounds around the PC's they can't see. Children laughing, bodies falling, glass breaking etc.) and even heavy storms at night. Or if you want too get even deeper into mysterious phenomenon unexplained ash, or hail without warning, from the skies potentially forcing the players into a building for shelter they woulden't normally accept without flashlights or other equipment.

Jokerstyle
12-02-2008, 04:08 PM
You might have a point, I shall consider changing it. All the names in the village comes from this list (http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=List_of_serial_killers) just for the lulz of it.
I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone ingame discovers where the names are from.

I like your hail-idea aswell, if I were to make "ted" (lets call him that for now) abit more powerful in his magic, then that would definately be a good way to force players to key areas if they are starting to doze off.

Soft Serve
12-02-2008, 04:59 PM
I was not expecting that when I clicked that link and seriously lol'd.

But I saw a name in there for you. John Straffen - Child Killer and Britans longest serving prisoner. To tie in with your evil/good children.

Jokerstyle
12-03-2008, 04:03 AM
I agree the name has a nice ring to it, theres something benevolent about it in English.
The problem is, in swedish it has a different ring to it, the surname "Straffen" literally translates to "The punishments", which would sound abit awkward when I'd keep repeating it.
I'll keep looking on the list though, trying to find something similiar

cheers

trechriron
12-03-2008, 05:07 AM
I tried picking this back up after the holiday, but no dice. My creative juice just sputtered. Sorry. I will come back if the creative muses touch me again. :redface:

Jokerstyle
12-03-2008, 05:22 AM
Sounds good trechriron :)
No sweat, it was a luxury that someone actually was going to create much of a story for me in the first place.
I'll keep pondering on what I've thought up so far, let me know if you have any comments

Bearfoot_Adam
12-03-2008, 10:34 AM
Are you settled on the name Ted Bundy? I'd change it, it sounds too much like that guy Al Bundy from the old TV show Married With Children.


See for me it sounds too much like Ted Bundy. The rapist necrophillist serial killer of the 70's. So I think that is a perfect name for a mayor of a creepy town. Especially if you can add a little dry humor along the lines of "Hi I'm Ted Bundy... no relation"

Soft Serve
12-03-2008, 03:12 PM
See for me it sounds too much like Ted Bundy. The rapist necrophillist serial killer of the 70's. So I think that is a perfect name for a mayor of a creepy town. Especially if you can add a little dry humor along the lines of "Hi I'm Ted Bundy... no relation"

Thats who he's named after...lol.

Bearfoot_Adam
12-03-2008, 03:56 PM
Thats who he's named after...lol.

Ah. I wasn't sure if that was intended. But I still feel like the the name Ted Bundy is strong enough of a pop culture reference that a certain shoe salesman from Chicago won't really be on the players mind.

Soft Serve
12-03-2008, 07:46 PM
Your probably right, actually. But then again from the players perspective what will they think? Like seriously what are the chances that a Ted Bundy happens to be doing what he's doing to this town and shares a name with the rapist, killer, Ted Bundy?

Also making that connection practically severs your chances for playing Ted Bundy as a misguided person at first. Like if he goes under a different moniker before the PC's discover who he is, he could be disguised, or even trusted slightly. If the PC runs into a "Ted Bundy" villager theres almost that aura of instant distrust just from the name connection. It's metagame thinking and it sucks for GM's but it could happen.

that's only if you want to play around with him and not straight introduce him as the "big baddie" right away. Your game man do your thing.

Bearfoot_Adam
12-03-2008, 09:17 PM
Very true, but then again if the npc is charming enough then maybe the players will be at ease. I mean that is one of the problems with these people, Ted Bundy was a good looking guy, people liked him. I guess Dahmer was the same way, my lit teacher in high school lived a couple blocks from him when he was at Marquette. He knew him, not socially, but saw him often enough and he said he seemed like a decent guy.

Jokerstyle
12-04-2008, 04:48 AM
Well, as a matter of fact, all the NPC's in the village will be named from that list. I am fairly certain (say 90-95 %) that noone in the group will recognize the name Ted Bundy, or at least not recognize where they've heard it from.

The best-case-scenario would be that the PC's feels "they have heard the names before somewhere". But then again, I'm almost counting on one of them recognizing some off all the names.

I didn't know Ted was one of the more "famous" of the killers, but it seems like it. Some of the NPC's will have resemblances with the killers, in characteristics.
(I'm featuring for example "Nannie Doss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nannie_Doss)", a.k.a the jolly black widow, a.k.a the giggling granny).

As I was saying, I wanted the mayor to be one of the worst. And considering the group I'm playing with, the names and characteristics are probably going to be like a "cool detail" according to them afterwards. They will probably recognize one or two names tops when playing.
Granted, they might be able to figure out that all the names are from killers, but it's still no harm done. If they went over-supicious, they would have a hard time since he's not the only one named after a serial killer.

(I mentioned that I might have NPC's that are no longer cultists appear and help the PCs. They will be like freedom-fighters in a way. I can't figure out a cool theme for their names, but it would be swell to have.)

Edit: Oh, and the cool thing about freedom-fighters helping the party is that I can make one of them extra friendly. Always helping the players and always coming up with sound advice. (A great way to push the players along the plot if they can't figure out what to do). I oughta make the players almost rely on him. Then I'll kill him off, lol. Perhaps even have him reappear later as some sort of abomination. That should make the players weary, and help build up the sense of "Immidiate danger"

Edit2: I'm also looking for something to call the entire group of ex-cultists. The cultist are known as The inbreds, the bastards, the demented. The people who simply stayed behind are the crossovers. So what could be a good name for the crossovers who was cultists for a while, but never got the feel for it, and are now fighting to survive and get out of there? (Meaning: Kill Ted Bundy) I'm thinking about something in latin, as many things in the village will be latin/spanish-influenced.

Soft Serve
12-04-2008, 05:23 PM
If the village is latin/spanish based you could give the freedom fighters some spanish civil names.

like the commanders on this page under the "Death of a loyalist soldier" picture.

Maybe name the group after the mayor, or some other town event or hero killed by the cultists...

Jokerstyle
12-05-2008, 04:16 AM
Maybe name the group after the mayor, or some other town event or hero killed by the cultists...

Awesome idea, thats what I'll probably go for. Thanks

Soft Serve
12-07-2008, 11:53 PM
Do you have trechriron writing the story or setting for you? Cause I would be more than willing to help with that too.

Jokerstyle
12-08-2008, 11:09 AM
actually, trechriron had it started but got interrupted in the holidays so he is no longer working on it.

I'd gladly accept your help,the problem with planning this out is that I've never been able to craft good stories myself, and the ones that are good to talk to are in the group who is going to play.
Altough be warned, I'll most likely edit and alter you story to a greater or lesser extent, to make it more suitable for the players - and of course so that they won't think I've "cheated" , not that it matters alot to anyone of us.


Note: The following quotes have mostly been translated from swedish to english using Google's language tools, because I'm short on time atm. Several grammatical errors can and will occur.
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________

The group consists of three people. The year is 2008. A mix of journalists and private detectives. They all know each other from way back.
The detectives has been hired, and brought their journalist friends with them, as they always work good together.

The person who hired the group was born in a village known as Lonesome Creek. At only a few years of age, he, his father, grand father, relatives, along with most of the village, moved out of there. He never got told why, it was simply a fact.
He came of age, and got a wife and son.
His son, named Martin, is the reason the detectives has been called over.

One day, Martin recieved a letter from a certain "Ted Bundy", claiming to be the mayor of Lonesome Creek.
The letter spoke of a relative to Martin who recently passed away, and Martin was mentioned in his will.
Martin's father - the one who hired the group - immidietely got suspicious. The village is in total isolation from what he can recall, so he has no idea how they got his address, and more importanly, how they know about Martin.
Martin has always had a Curious mind, and despite banishment of the idea from his father, Martin sneaked away into the night, took his fathers car and Drove away.

That was one week ago, and he has yet to hear from Martin. The only contact with him was a texted message from his cell phone, saying that he was at the Path to Lonesome Creek, and would probably be there in a short while. After that he turned his cellphone off.
After calling the local police, he was shocked to hear that they can not help him. Lonesome creek is not in their operating area. After a night at the telephones, he was astounded to learn that the area of Lonesome Creek is not in any police district, meaning no station wants to take responsibility for it. He had the feeling most of them didn't even take him seriously, since Lonesome Creek is not on the map.
You have worked with this person before, and he has came Thursday appreciate your skills. PC3 is vaguely related to him, Thats how they got Hooked up in the very beginning. PC3 was the first (wo)man he called after learning the strange facts. He is willing to pay you a Hefty amount of money to go bring his son back.
You gladly accepted.

_____________________________________________


The group coming to the village. they walk past an old woman who works in a field. She watching them. She speaks only Spanish, if someone tries to talk to her.
When the PC comes to the village, they are met by working farmers. Nobody looks at their sides. Everyone is talking Spanish.
After a while, they face mayor Ted Bundy. He offers them a room to sleep in.
If they mention that they're looking for Martin, he does no special facial expressions, but he offers them another place to sleep in. far away. He wondered a little about whether they have relatives in the village. Why they are here.

////////////
During the first night, PC3 wake up to whisperings of the night.

The group wakes up to noise. They are life and movement in village. A boy has fallen down in the well and drowned. (if a PC has the correct skill for it they may have dreamt about it during the night)
He is on the Plaza now.
Later in the day he's cremated.

A hail will come, the group forced into Mansion.

////////////
During the second night, the same person wakes up, his name whispered by the ghostly voice. the voice says something to PC3 (He will tell him the location of a handgun in a house they will end up in later) in exchange for something. (a strand from PC2s hair)

someone will talk to the group on the sly. Asking who they are and what they do here.
During the day find all the individual a note that says' Meet me at Dermonts house'.
Once in the dermonts house, they tell PC3 who wakes up at night to absolutely not go out when something is calling his name.
They also warn the group that the whole village is haunted.
(Meaning: tells them about the rip in the illusion, and the soulless)

//////////////////////
During the third night, the same person wakes up, something scratch at the door and whispering his name. Luring.

A hail will. The group must take cover in either the House or the piano-sized mansionet.


////////////
During the fourth night, the same person wakes of the same spirit voice. the voice says something about the group, which is shocking for the PC (The next night, PC1 will try to kill him) in exchange for something. (a glimmer of blood from PC1)
PC1 and PC2 will awake if PC3 is too loud, he will sit in the corner and mutter, holding a knife with blood on it. PC1 would then feel his cut.


When they go to the Dermonts this day, they can see the townsfolk raiding the house. (perhaps carrying off their leader) Or it is already raided and empty
PC1 are told from the evil child that PC3 will try to kill him that night.
That way, as the night falls, PC3 and PC1 will suspect eachother off killing intent. Just to see their reactions.


Mansion: A house inhabited by a man playing his piano. (When the group has just entered, I will start a piano theme in the speakers, and crank the volume up as they get closer.
The man will probably have some sort of mask on his face (But I suddenly realised how closely that resembles the Phantom of the Opera. In his Piano, the man will store a handgun, which the PC3 might find if he remembers what the voice told him


This was some attempt at scheming things together, outlining events. I thought I'd share it with you, since it might help you get inspiration as to what should / shouldn't happen.
You may or may not remember that what isn't cremated in the village, comes back undead.
Here's what I've came up with as that isnt in above plot:
The familys of inbreds in the village were cultists. (I have no idea how they got to being cultists unfortunately) and the soon-to-be-but-not-yet Mayor Ted Bundy was the leader in their cult.
He closed a deal with a demon, gaining power and eternal life for the price of the blood of the townsfolk in the village.
The demon would in return be allowed to enter their world.
(The demon projected its carcass into their summoning circle, but for the demon to enter its carcass in the living world, a ritual must be performed)
After closing the deal, Bundys wife gave birth to twins. She died during the birthing. One of the kids (the evil one) is linked with the demon. When some precondition is filled, the evil child is to be sacrificed by Bundy, and the blood of the evil child will be poured unto the demons carcass.
That would in turn allow the demon to enter the world of the living.

At this point, there should be some more ritual that the demon must undergo before gaining his power aswell. (perhaps sacrifing the good child in the same manner and eat him or something)
But If thats the case, I really would like to add something abit different. Remember I said Bundys wife died giving birth? Well, Ted still has a wife in my scenario. To the PC's, the description of her would be "A long, thin woman with a beautiful but rigid and pale face. She never speaks, and agrees to everything Ted says. Cold, distant eyes. Her walk is somewhat limp." (weapon: 6 dm long knife inside her dress)
So, she died but Ted waited until she ressurected and kept her. During letters that the PC's may find, they will understand just how much Ted really loved his wife and how devastated he was when she died.

Anyway, back to the point. I'm thinking about having Ted, after sacrificing the first child, get a change of hearts. Instead of ressurecting the demon, he will realise that the blood of the good child will be able to ressurect his wife from undeath, bring her back for him to really love.
(I'd actually rather prefer that Bundy had that planned from the moment his wife died, but I cant seem to fit it into the story anywhere.)
And as a result, Ted would fight the demon by some means, to try and revive his wife instead.
Of course, its a horror one-shot, so even if Bundy would somehow succeed in ressurecting his wife (Certainly not by killing the demon, the party are the ones who're going to fight that demon) his wife might still have a "dead" mind, and kill bundy.


Oh, I'm also thinking about making the people who got their blood drained go insane, which would make for some interesting encounters if the PC's decide to explore the different houses in the village.

This story is as full of holes as a swiss cheese.
I can fully understand if you wish to make a new cheese with me, instead of trying to fill the gaps of the existing one.

Soft Serve
12-08-2008, 02:23 PM
and he has came Thursday appreciate your skills

lol?


He is on the Plaza now.
Later in the day he's cremated.

A hail will come, the group forced into Mansion.

A funeral service right? You don't need anybody to be speaking for the boy, just let it time itself so perfectly that they get there during the moment of silence or something. (I like to write around my laziness :biggrin:)

After the cremation villagers start going inside which is unusual since the lot of them would usually be outside working in their fields. The hail comes and forces the PC's into that nearby mansion.

Do you have a layout for the mansion yet? Or a backdrop story for it or something important that should happen inside?


During the second night, the same person wakes up, his name whispered by the ghostly voice. the voice says something to PC3 (He will tell him the location of a handgun in a house they will end up in later) in exchange for something. (a strand from PC2s hair)

Do you want the ghostly voice to play an actual role, and have an identity, or keep it as just basically a figment of PC3's imagination? Also do you have a plan for the piece of hair, or is it meaningless? Because I know my group would at some point ask me "why?" which can sometimes be a dangerous question.


Once in the dermonts house, they tell PC3 who wakes up at night to absolutely not go out when something is calling his name.
They also warn the group that the whole village is haunted.
(Meaning: tells them about the rip in the illusion, and the soulless)

Dermont being of the rebelling faction right? Just making sure. You might get some questions for this guy from your players, about the ghosts, and the mayor. Here you can distribute as much information as you like. If you want a lot he can be very knowledgeable, but if you'd only expose a little he could know a few "rumors" see.


During the third night, the same person wakes up, something scratch at the door and whispering his name. Luring.

A hail will. The group must take cover in either the House or the piano-sized mansionet.

If PC3 answers the call, let him feel fevered, and ill for a good bit of the encounter, until someone recognizes he has become victim to a parasite demon. These being relatively common in the area, take very little to rid yourself of. A visit to the villages priest, some holy water, and a few hours of chanting. (assuming you have a priest somewhere in the village) Upon further study of the demon, the PC's discover it was Ted Bundy using magic to see through PC3's eyes and listen through his/her ears.

Also...Piano sized mansionet? Like a statue?


I have no idea how they got to being cultists unfortunately------------He closed a deal with a demon, gaining power and eternal life for the price of the blood of the townsfolk in the village.


Answer! The inbreds being the only ones Bundy trusted he let them witness power and ability the demon gave him. They view him as something otherworldly now having never experienced something like this before and POOF! You got your cult.


If you have any specific questions for me on how to fit something with something else I can do it.

Jokerstyle
12-09-2008, 09:13 AM
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Jokerstyle
12-09-2008, 04:42 PM
Dangit, i had a quick read through the translation, fixing all the grammatical errors i could find, but I missed some very obvious ones.

and he has came Thursday appreciate your skills
And he has come TO appreciate your skills. lol.
He is on the Plaza now.
Later in the day he's cremated.
A hail will come, the group forced into Mansion.
A Funeral service indeed.
That particular mansion is just a small house, I thought of it as a way to introduce the PC's to the crazy people in their houses, and to prove to PC3 that whatever is talking to him at night, actually knows things. (If he finds the handgun)
I mentioned that I was planning on making some of the villagers mad (Perhaps those too inbred?). I was thinking about stuffing most of them in a very great building, almost like a retirement home for villagers who's gone mad.
That building would get it's own drawing.

In Kult, it is said that all of mankind is living in a world so malevolent that our brains cannot compute what we are really seeing. As a way to guard ourselves from madness, we have created an illusion about the world we "think" we live in (which could be considered the regular world).
Certain events (or if your character is losing his grip on reality) can tear holes in the illusion, allowing things to gush into our world.

Well, I got to thinking, and giving the high amount of madness so closely distributed in the grand house it seems very logical that rips in the illusion will occur,making the place seem haunted.
That could very well be where the parasite demon came from, and also the reason why the villagers have been seeing more and more of them lately.
I actually had another thought for the voice at night, I was thinking that if the PC got around to opening the door the voice would call to him once again, but from around the next corner. If he were to follow,he would ultimately end up in the grand retirement home. The voice would call him into a room with mirrors along the walls, and a larger mirror in the center of the furthest wall. The PC would then be able to communicate with the entity by writing in the frosting of the glass. I thought it sounded quite cool - the only problem is that i really have no idea of where the interaction between the PC and the mirror would end up. He would probably start by writing his name (infirmus, meaning Not strong/Weak/Feeble) and ask the PC of his name.
Infirmus is an entity who wants to try and pass through the illusion aswell, but whom is to great to pass through the tiny holes that the parasite demons can enter by.
So Infirmus has targeted PC3 (The one who was a very, very distant relative too Martin) in hopes of tricking him into allowing Infiirmus to cross into the world. That would somehow include the strand of hair, and the trickle of blood (and/or perhaps other things).


A hail will. The group must take cover in either the House or the piano-sized mansionet.
A hail will occur. The group must cover in either the small mansion or the large retirement home Just for the record, strangest translation EVER I do not think you quite understand just how helpful this is too me, both the fact that I can toss ideas around, and the fact that you really have a nack for coming up with ideas and explanations. Thank you.


Some quick questions in no particular order, if you an idea on anyone of them, do tell.
How should Ted Bundy interact with them the first day?
As it is now, he will just come off as some regular, not-at-all strange mayor. He WILL however ask questions concerning their relation to the village. Do you think the players will be better off getting an eerier feeling from him at once?
Maybe he should even resent them being there, sending them home. But that would immidiately set the players off on him, for better or worse.
What do you think Infirmus needs to enter the world of the living?
Unless you believe the idea to be particularly cheesy, I'm going to go along with this one. I'm quite fond of this idea, so I'll probably try to adapt it as much as possible instead of discarding it.
The basic thought behind this is that I'm trying to give all the players some sort of unrelieable source of information. PC1 will get the evil child following him in the shadows who will help him in certain situations. PC3 will in his own turn get Infirmus -Willing to exchange useful information if it further his own cause. Both the evil kid and infirmus would really have no intention of really helping them,only lulling them into a false sense of security so that they can make the PC's dance to their strings.
I have no clue what PC2 should get though. I'm considered making one of the rebelling people grow very friendly towards her, and in one point in the plot that rebel would appear and save the party (or PC2) from a sticky situation, sacrificing himself in the proccess. But that exact thing happened in the very last scenario we played..so meh.
This might just be something extra, but do you have any idea as of how TED got into the pact in the first place?
I liked your conclusion on how the villagers got started in the cult-bussiness (almost worshipping Ted), it was really believable. But it would feel rather strange if he simply woke up one day and though "Hey, I really should initiate a pact with a demon, so I can be the ruler of this tiny village. He might break into our world and tear down some cities, but it would still be quite fun". If we can't come up with one, I'll simply stick with something random (e.g. he found a book in his basement, or the pact has been passed down in his family for generations - only that he was the first one with greater ambition)
What should happen to Martin?
They are all really there to save Martin in the first place, yet he has yet to make an appearance. Perhaps he could be fitted in as one of the rebels (he is trapped there aswell as the PC's, it's only likely that he would fight for his freedom).


Over and out,
Jimmy

Soft Serve
12-09-2008, 08:34 PM
I do not think you quite understand just how helpful this is too me, both the fact that I can toss ideas around, and the fact that you really have a nack for coming up with ideas and explanations. Thank you.

haha your welcome. I'm not sure what it is, stuff just comes to me.


How should Ted Bundy interact with them the first day?
As it is now, he will just come off as some regular, not-at-all strange mayor. He WILL however ask questions concerning their relation to the village. Do you think the players will be better off getting an eerier feeling from him at once?
Maybe he should even resent them being there, sending them home. But that would immidiately set the players off on him, for better or worse.

Give him a static energy. Don't let him be average, make him feel insane as hell. Fill him with random smiles. The villagers around him in pain with frowns, and dirt on their faces get a pat on the back and a smile from him. Give the players something strange to feel in his direction right away. Let him be their focus. Not only does this let you play a fun role in his name, but it gives the players something to distract them while you throw other silent little schemes at them. So he can be the opposite of the "get the hell outa my village" mayor, and go for the "way to comfortable with our presense to be natural" mayor.


What do you think Infirmus needs to enter the world of the living?
Unless you believe the idea to be particularly cheesy, I'm going to go along with this one. I'm quite fond of this idea, so I'll probably try to adapt it as much as possible instead of discarding it.
The basic thought behind this is that I'm trying to give all the players some sort of unrelieable source of information. PC1 will get the evil child following him in the shadows who will help him in certain situations. PC3 will in his own turn get Infirmus -Willing to exchange useful information if it further his own cause. Both the evil kid and infirmus would really have no intention of really helping them,only lulling them into a false sense of security so that they can make the PC's dance to their strings.
I have no clue what PC2 should get though. I'm considered making one of the rebelling people grow very friendly towards her, and in one point in the plot that rebel would appear and save the party (or PC2) from a sticky situation, sacrificing himself in the proccess. But that exact thing happened in the very last scenario we played..so meh.


Infirmus should need more than the PC's have. Not just the blood of one individual, and a few hairs or mundane items, because if that were the case the demon could have gone to anyone. Give him a reason to need someone from outside the village. Someone who woulden't be afraid to sneak into other villagers homes, and take things from them. With this you could go as far as you wanted, make a PC kill a child. Gouge the eyes from a cat. Rip the legs off a goat, or draw circles on all the doors in the blood of farm chickens. That might sound extreme, and it is, but if you make the requirements deeper, Infirmus can be that much stronger and important to the storyline. At the same time the arrival of these outsiders, and the strange things happening to your town makes for the trust level in the villagers to PC's drop steadily and you could play on that. Or the villagers could be wary of a prophecy from this demon. Whatever you wanted to do here you could. I call that wiggle room...lol.


This might just be something extra, but do you have any idea as of how TED got into the pact in the first place?
I liked your conclusion on how the villagers got started in the cult-bussiness (almost worshipping Ted), it was really believable. But it would feel rather strange if he simply woke up one day and though "Hey, I really should initiate a pact with a demon, so I can be the ruler of this tiny village. He might break into our world and tear down some cities, but it would still be quite fun". If we can't come up with one, I'll simply stick with something random (e.g. he found a book in his basement, or the pact has been passed down in his family for generations - only that he was the first one with greater ambition)


not sure why that's all blue...

this one is easy too, both of your ideas work in sync. The pact through the family, he discovers the book (as opposed to being told when he comes of age) because he discovers it early the delusions of power have more time to manifest into something evil.


What should happen to Martin?
They are all really there to save Martin in the first place, yet he has yet to make an appearance. Perhaps he could be fitted in as one of the rebels (he is trapped there aswell as the PC's, it's only likely that he would fight for his freedom).

Martin depends on how much involvement you actually want him to have in the story/game. Does he have a gun? Did he find what he was looking for or is there more purpose to it? Has something happened to him? Does he have a way out? Also his attitude. He could be soft spoken, scared shitless, a complete douchebag, greedy, or looking for some way to avenge the people who have been wronged and completely turn this village around. At the same time this could conflict the PC's plans, or he could even have been desperately injured during his visit here.

Jokerstyle
04-04-2009, 03:37 AM
One of my PC's are going to have a nightmare, in which some things are coming into his room (possible villagefolks acting really strange) He wont know its just a dream, I'll make it seem as if he succeeded in an Awareness check and woke up.

I'm thinking about distributing OOC notes during the day to the other two PC's, telling them to play along,
So that if he tries to wake them up, they will be all creepy aswell and the PC having the nightmares will not only be more convinced it ISNT a dream, but will also think twice before trusting the actions of the others PC's as the game goes along. (Atleast thats what I'm hoping)

Do you think this is a bad idea? I mean the OOC notes in particular, it might take them a step "away" from their characters and the spookiness since for a while they are on "my" side of the encounter.
Then again, it may not :) I dont know, I just feel like discussing it

Soft Serve
04-05-2009, 01:25 AM
No it's a good idea, but don't only target one Pc with that method. Do it to the other two as well at some point in different moments.

You could even go so far as to send notes that don't actually say anything valuable on them. Just list colors, or something that says "don't you think that move was strange? It's kinda like he knew something was about to happen..."

Don't just play on their insecurities. Dance on them. :D

and welcome back to P&PG.

Jokerstyle
04-05-2009, 04:05 AM
You could even go so far as to send notes that don't actually say anything valuable on them. Just list colors, or something that says "don't you think that move was strange? It's kinda like he knew something was about to happen..."


That was an awesome idea, thats bound to freak them out:)



and welcome back to P&PG.


Thanks alot! I opened up my files yesterday on a whim, and suddenly so many things fell into place.
When i read my old notes, I got that much needed self-critique on my own ideas, and got around to changing some things to make the game more intense for the players.
Oh, and I tried to simplify the main plot a wee bit.

Background (It's been a while)
The party gets to the village. Ted Bundy is mayor.
They start noticing strange phenomena, things are getting exponentially worse.
All the bad things going down in the village (mostly the people turning insane) will start ripping holes in the fabric of the illusion, making small "things" able to enter.

At the side of the village exists a large mansion, in which the villagers have started stuffing crazy people.
Crazy people also exists in most houses, some merely "acting strange", others needing to be locked in with chains.
The large mansion will serve as a starting point for most demonic entitys, as it is were the rips in the illusion is at its largest.

Ted Bundy closed a deal with a demon. The demon is near its awakening, it just needs something. Martin (the son) is somehow used in the proccess.
Ted Bundy has many other tricks up his sleeve: making people unable to leave the village, controlling the weather to some extent and invulnerability.
All granted by the pact.

The Children
In Cult, supernatural entitys can possess humans. Now, the problem for the supernatural entitys in this case is that they are nonetheless trapped in Abysmal (in the bad side of the illusion). However, these tiny rips that've started to appear lately has allowed them to "touch" the world.
While their small influence on the world is not nearly enough to alter events in itself, the children of Lonesome creek has proven to be much more susceptible to the possession (Note: Kids normally have much lower Mental Strength, and this being Lonesome creek and all...)

The demons now "become" the children, or the children become the demons, noone really knows. The possessed children at the very start are still just normal children, but they are linked to their puppeteer - giving them their traits as events unfold.
As all other similar events, this had a domino effect. Every thing that makes the world "crazier" will further gash the fabric.
The kids will "evolve" into the demon when their mental stability drops below -75. (The stability required to become a creature of the night as per the rules)

Here are two examples of possessed children and how they will appear in the game:
Disclaimer: The images are not made by me. If I knew the authors I'd love to credit them, but unfortunately I don't.

Esurito - Hunger
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3531/hunger.jpg
Quiet, Shy
Feeds off the dead. starting with rats and moving unto cats, dogs and eventually humans.
Often appears shortly after a battle, scavenging the dead.
Very shy and takes flight before fight.
Potent Form
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4743/hunger2.jpg
Slow, Devious
A large beast with an insatiable apetite. At this stage hunger might leave the stage of scavenging, and move on to live prey if it feels the dead are dwindling.
If he moves on to living prey he will often wait for them to unknowingly come to him rather than chase them around.

Caries - Corruption
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3237/corruptionp.jpg
Curious, Present, Passive
Caries feeds on emotions such as jealousy and suspicion.
He is very quick to reach places where these emotions take place, and will stand watching from afar.

At the beginning his presence does nothing, but when he has fed long enough he will start distorting the real world around him.

Potent Form
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/6732/corruption2.jpg
Omnipresent
Once Caries has gained his true form, his corrupting presence will vastly increase over time, perhaps at the end taking in almost the entire village. He will be extremely adept at finding even the faintest trickle of corrupt feelings, and will even be able to enhance them a little.

A note on the corruption: the presence of Caries will alter the world into a distorted replica found in Abysmal.
The power of the distortion is dependant on how long he has been allowed to feed. At the beginning of his child-form, the corruption might make a room seem abit darker, give a ghostly chill or after a while perhaps even distort a painting
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/5933/1238568638601.jpg

Yet as his power increase, Caries will start affecting other things. trees and nature might dwindle and die, people might start getting more suspicous and menacing, dogs barking for no reason.
At last, people might be corrupted by the presence as in the paintings, becoming flickering dark copies of themself.
___________________________________

I'm trying to balance both the child-forms to be scary and eerie, yet "realistic" (if that could be the word for it) and suiting for a possessed person.
I'm also trying to balance the potent evolved forms of the demons, making them powerful but still not superman-strong. I dont want my party to die as soon as they lay eyes on them, but I dont want to have to save them with cheesy luck-of-the-draw events all the time either. So they have to be somewhat balanced.


Oh, and another thing I'm gonna do while GM'ing is linking the computer to my TV. They will be sitting in my bed which is right next to it, and won't know it's powered on. Until i play a horrible sound from it, and show them an image from the scenario. After that, I will use the TV to illustrate certain things for them, show them maps of places etc.
When I'm not using it for anything particular, I'm thinking about either having a static image portraying a sinister village, or have it play back creepy images as a mood-setter.
Oh, and that is why I bothered finding images for the corrupt children, I will show them those while describing their physical appearance.

Soft Serve
04-10-2009, 11:22 AM
That all seems like a great idea! Be sure to come back and tell us how it goes.

Is this run on Call of Cthulhu rules or your own homebrew?

Jokerstyle
04-14-2009, 04:03 PM
Just random snippets of things, I mostly cook things up by watching images from strange imageboards. (Thats where I got the idea on the kids, does Cthulhu have something similiar?)
I'll be sure to get back to you, but im quite busy for the next two/three days, cheers until then ;D

Soft Serve
04-14-2009, 05:08 PM
Cthulhu doesn't have demon children that I know of no...But I've only homebrewd games based on the Necronomicon, haven't actually played any CoC.

Jokerstyle
06-04-2009, 04:44 AM
Phew, Exams are finally over
I'll try to play the scenario pretty soon, I think I've been stalling it so long because I really like planning for it.
I can almost dare say that the planning is more fun than the actual game will be - It's kinda like when you were a kid and had toy soldiers and Lego; It's a blast putting everything together, the aftermatch of it is just 'fun'.
I hope at least someone recognises that feelin so its just not me who's being crazy :D

Anyways, on to the game:
I guess the best way to do the actual playing would be for me to improvise most things, and have a few notes about key events and possible encounters that I can throw in as the opportunities present themselves. That would keep the flow and hopefully makes things seem less forced.
I think I'll have another paper next to me keeping score of their 'vitals' (HP, Awareness, Mental Strenght and Cons) so I dont have to ask them for it all the time, I read somewhere that it keeps the excitement from dropping.

So basically, thanks to this thread and your help, I've now got most of the story in my head. All thats left to do now would be to craft together a few encounters that I can whip out if things start getting slow.
Another thing im trying to come up with is nightmares for the PC's, you're very welcome to help with that if you think it'd be fun. Simply put: Nightmares that will just be eerie at first, but will later evolve into a frightfest.

The PC is running through the village at night, yet everything is dead quiet. Not a bird, not a cricket, not even the rustling of the wind in the trees. Suddenly, It begins -
A large beating rhytmic sound, almost as a giant heart slowly pulsating, or the sound a large hoof would make being repeatedly drummed into the floor. Everywhere the PC run the sound just keeps growing louder. The noise of the woods and the blowing wind will start to be heard aswell, along with the moaning of a thousand not too distant voices. They seem to be coming from around every corner.
(At this point I'll make the PC stand still, probably by making him run into a dead end or something) The moaning coming from what could be percieved as mutilated tongues increases in volyme, and the beating is so loud that the PC thinks his ears will burst. He can start smelling the scent of decay in the air, closing in more and more.
Suddenly, everything is quiet. Abruptly he feels a hand on his shoulder. "I've found you".

I'm thinking about having something like that as one of the first bad dreams, to set the mood and hopefully get questions working in their heads. I dont know if its any good. Except for this scenario I've never in my life written something thats supposed to be scary.

Do tell if you have some tips about how to proceed with the dream thingy :)
Cheers

Edit: Not all dreams have to be scary, some could be simply strange while other could be symbolic, like a message from the possessed children begging for help

Soft Serve
06-05-2009, 08:05 AM
I've been a bit inactive from the site thanks to loss of computer, internet, and lack of sleep (sports are fun.) But I will be thinking about this all day today and I'll get back to you on it as soon as possible.

Probably tomorrow. Just letting you know I'll have something. :)

Jokerstyle
06-05-2009, 03:34 PM
I'm glad you replied, i noticed you signature and thought 'Oh crap, does this mean i wont get a reply for a month?'.
But alas, you're as quick as ever Soft Serve :)