Saturday, July 19, 2014

[Let's Make A Cryptworld Module] Part 4 - Act 1 Addendum: Get A Clue!

[[This is the next in a series of blog posts where I plan to take The Covetous Poet's Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook for a spin. Over the coming weeks, I'll be generating an adventure module for the Pacesetter horror RPG Cryptworld using the book's Adventure Creator. And you can follow along with the creation process...]]

In our previous outings, we established our plotlinesfleshed out our primary antagonist, and constructed our Act 1 Event Scenes. Those of you reading this post"out of the blue" may want to go back and read up on the "story thus far" just to get some context. Now then, I was preparing to hammer out Act 2's Action Scenes (and lots of action is about to happen!) when I discovered the Adventure Creator's "Clues Chart" in the General Tables section. Intrigued, I read on...

When you use the Adventure Creator (as we're doing in this exercise), the Clues Chart isn't really implemented. A bit of reading showed me that the Clues Chart is primarily used with the Solo GM portion of the book. I read through the entries on the chart and determined that this would come in REAL handy for an adventure like this! After all, a monster-hunter scenario requires a bit of research and investigation, so having some evidence and information presented to the PCs in various scenes would be both helpful and intriguing.

So, I've decided that my Cryptworld scenario really needs some clues scattered about for the players to follow. (We need to get those Investigation and Research Skills involved!) As with everything else, whether or not an entry comes into play is solely at my discretion. In Act 2, I'll have the Clues listed with all other random elements, but for now, let's double-back to our Act 1 Event Scenes and see what interesting tidbits and threads may be laying about for the players to follow...

Clue: Strange Jewelry or Item

Scene 1: (I won't reiterate what transpired in each scene in this follow-up, so please refer back to the previous post for background info.) This clue is a good one to have right off the bat, as it gives me a great idea to "plant a seed" in the PCs' minds. As we've determined, The Mystical Order of the All-Seeing Eye is our villain's unofficial base of operations. His first few "converts" are all members. Therefore, when the PCs first arrive, I'll have one of them notice that some of the townfolk wear a ring or pendant with an All-Seeing Eye icon on it. Subtle, and it clues them in that this place could be important down the road.

Clue: Hidden Passageway

Scene 2:  Although this is a "red herring" scene, it'd be fun to give the PCs something to investigate. Since we're dealing with an old decrepit house, let's say that they find a hidden passageway. But since nothing of interest is truly here, it will end up being innocuous. In the kitchen, there will be an obvious false wall, easily found. This hidden passageway leads to a stairwell to a basement fruit cellar. There is nothing of interest, as it was never used for this purpose after the advent of refrigeration. Also, there is a storm cellar door on the outside of the house that leads to the same location (in case of tornado), so it's not really "hidden". But while they're poking around in the dark cellar, perhaps that's when our "angry townfolk" decides to confront them. (He heard them in the cellar and used the storm cellar door to follow them.)

Clue: Things Left At Crime Scene

Scene 3: The PCs meet Sheriff Pratt for the first time when he shows up at the house. (His excuse was he was on patrol and he noticed the cars at the old abandoned house. He actually "sensed" that one of his minions was up to something and, using the Eye of Anubis, came out to see what was going on.) Since the house was established to be a dead end (all of the action followed our PCs here!), there's not really any good way to shoehorn any other clues into this scene. And having Pratt or our ruffian "drop" something would be too obvious this early in the scenario. So we're going to ignore this clue and leave Scene 3 as written.

Clue: Personal Effects Left Behind

Scene 4: The PCs return to the hotel to find the room tossed and Louise missing. We already have an All-Seeing Eye pendant left at the scene, so the social club is the next place. Howls in the distance and the multiple "dog attacks" should have pointed them toward a lycanthrope in town. However, as I've mulled over the plot thus far, I realize that having several werewolves (OK, "werejackals") in action might be too much of a challenge for the PCs. Rather than having them go toe-to-toe with (at last count) 7 or 8 werejackals, I decided to give them a bit of help. In this scenario, I'm inserting the classic "kill the werewolf who sired its minions and you break the curse, restoring all underlings to their human selves." That way, the PCs have a bit of a chance to "win" without slaughtering a whole bunch of townfolk. Since Louise is a monster hunter herself, I'm going to say that her notes and research are here in the tossed room. Her personal journal is filled with werewolf data and has this scrap of information within. The PCs may not know the extent of the infestation (yet), but they now will know that IDing and killing the Werewolf Master (whomever that might be) is one way to end the crisis.

(Also, and it's a bit of a cheat, but I wanted the PCs to have an "out" if anyone does get bitten. After all, werewolves are deadly even without passing along the lycan curse.)

Clue: Witness to Odd Behavior

Scene 5: Another clue that ties in nicely to the scene as written. During the rescue, the PCs will see multiple lycan transformations! No need to insert another clue, as it's all coming together at this point. Louise will make it clear that rushing in is suicide, and they should try to find out who is the Lycan Leader of this horrific mob!

And we now have some interesting new threads to insert into our Act 1 scenes. I think the Clues Chart gives the creator a few more options to play around with, as well as giving investigatory scenarios some much-needed evidence to pursue. As I hammer together Act 2 (and with any future mystery scenarios), I'll be implementing the Clues Chart for some necessary inspiration.

Stay tuned for Act 2...

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