Nov 252015
Rag-NERD-rok Podcast Tree

This week, we re-visit the community of Skiatook, OK, where authorities are about to uncover a series of bloody, methodical murders. This time around, the Investigators who step up to solve the mystery are a small-town reporter for the local paper, a private eye from Chicago who happens to be related to one of the victims, and his plucky, tech-savvy nephew. Though they are faced with similar circumstances, this team’s investigation takes a much different path, one that may not lead them to the answers they seek. Can they uncover the sinister force behind the killings, or will they create more trouble for themselves than anyone thought possible?

  • crawlkill

    I was thinking it from way early on and then Ed said it: this was a Call of Fiasco. CoC scenarios usually depend on people sorta acting a bit like real people, not like Quentin Tarantino cameos who shoot someone in the head at the first opportunity. I think you’re 0 for 2 on this scenario! iirc the first one was an accidental TPK 90 minutes into the plot. some really great moments of nonsense in here, though. the POW-induced car crash, man.

    I’d also call this the absolute opposite of dogpunching, which was undramatic nothing happening for an hour, where this was more like several seasons of televion of drama stuffed into two and a half hours

    • After we stopped recording, Ed said to me, “Man, I really Meyer-ed this game, huh?” And my response was, “I don’t think *Meyer* has ever Meyer-ed a game so hard!”

      I really respect Alex a lot for this session, because he saw where it was going and he rode it all the way to the ground with his poker face intact. The first time through the game ended in anticlimax because we had uncovered the culprit and one of the two of us had our brains eaten, but this was just poor decision making all the way. I thought it was a testament to what a good GM Alex is, because he ran with the consequences of our actions even though they didn’t dovetail nicely with his plot.

      I feel like this kind of outcome is actually a bit more acceptable in CoC one-shots, because even if the players aren’t doing every stupid thing they possibly could, there’s always the chance that they find whatever Lovecraftian thing they’re supposed to investigate, collectively go “NOPE!” and run the fuck away. The game being what it is, hilarious nonsense will inevitably ensue. The d10 Temporary Insanity table takes care of that.

      • crawlkill

        it was certainly masterfully pokerfaced GMing and hardcore Meyerage by Ed (although can I just say that people arguing about Persuade vs Deception is one of my least favorite things but in this case I might for once have come down on the player’s side, I think if you’re trying to conceal information it’s always Deception)

        I also, paradoxically in terms of having a “complete” narrative, really enjoyed that the priest died in such a stupid way. there’s altogether too much “knocking people out” in RPGs. I think it’s important that fiction depict violence as being as dangerous as it really is, where just smacking someone in the head can readily kill them.

  • Alpha State

    I love this scenario – it reminds me of Pontypool in that people are being driven suddenly insane but the reason is mysterious, and the protagonists can’t investigate without falling into the same trap.

    I am confused about how the murders happened. It seemed like if you get to the choir and you die or go insane you are stuck there forever. So, do you come back periodically to try to sacrifice your loved ones so they will join you, or does the spirit of the choir take over your body while you’re there? I assume the victim is subdued by the song either through the rehearsals or during the murder so they don’t resist.

    • It’s something that we didn’t get a chance to get into this game or the last one (because they never actually make it to the bad guy). Basically, the choir director inherited some really old sheet music from his grandfather. One was from medieval times, the cover page of which Meyer found. It was the cover to a piece of music. The choir director knew the music AND the incantation, so when he was taken to the cathedral, he was sent back to perform a ritual. He taught one voice part each to six different people (the soloists). Once they learned their parts, they became servants of the creature and sang their part for their loved ones. It sapped them of their will and allowed them to have their lungs ritualistically cut out. Then they took the lungs to the choir director, and sat around in his basement waiting. Once all six had learned their parts and performed their part of the ritual, the director would join them and they’d sing together, and they’d all go join the choir.

      • crawlkill

        this is why I think the scenario as it’s been played doesn’t work! you can either have “big creepy background idea you expose the players to” or “no, this is hardcore cosmic horror, the players just don’t get to learn anything about what’s going on and fuck them.” [ie, Final Revelation] those are both valid, but if you’re looking behind Door #1, you wanna make sure you don’t design mechanics so lethal nobody gets to open it.

        • Chados

          I agree witch crawlkill, this mod is a TPK waiting to happen(and has happened!), and the Choir part is a death/madness spiral. It’s cool, Alex, but really lethal.

          Ed sure did fuck this AP(Meyered it, as it has been pointed out) with bad decision playing, and sticking to his Roleplaying. It was awful- Awful amazing!

          • You guys are right. I’m not sure it was ever supposed to be a “winnable” scenario, but it always seems to end awfully quick. Although if Ed didn’t start murdering everyone, it probably would have concluded more in the way I expected. Still, there’s no predicting what players will do.

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