Horror mystery in action

On Sunday I managed to sit down and play a nice, long session for a change! I decided on a storyline to  follow up on my last post about running a mystery or mystery horror. The setting: mystery horror in a southeastern US university town.

I did a bunch of things differently for this story. First, I only wrote down the game mechanics, with a  storytelling summary at the end of each scene. I didn’t write down the odds for any of the rolls. I also didn’t use the Libre RPG ruleset, but instead hacked together an external d20 variant.

One other real important thing I didn’t record is the setup for each roll. Know what’s at stake – what yes or no mean, or what happens with success and with failure – before making the roll.

For each yes-no question, I had at least a general idea what yes and no meant before picking up the dice. That’s why in some cases you’ll see a line that says: “No. (Interpret as… )”. This is the alternative answer I had for “No” in advance of rolling. Sometimes I had more than one alternative answer so I’d ask a second yes-no question, and on another no invoked the “Rule of Three”. When the yes-no question result was “Yes”, I didn’t bother to write down what “No” could/would have meant. When a skill check returned success, I didn’t write down the possible consequence(s) for failure I had in mind.

I’ve only added content for the initial two scenes, but as time goes on, the document will have more and more of the story [update – the entire document is now available. It was a difficult story. My protagonist spun his wheels for five scenes looking for clues. He then decided to go to the farm itself and figure out its dark secrets — and got thrown into the deep end. I now have to play out scene 7, and try to figure out a way out of a horrible predicament. [Another update: I did (play out the scene), and I didn’t (figure out a way to escape the horrible predicament).]

Here’s the irony: I have the 3 meaningful successes that I set out to get for a positive outcome to this story. But I don’t see a way to keep Marvin alive and get him to escape in the mandatory follow-up scene.

Anyway, I love having some the time to play again, and hope gradually to add more and more, different formats of gameplay examples over here. If you have something to submit, contact me via the form on this site, send it on over or send me a link!