Author Topic: Technical Difficulties Gaming Podcast: Red Markets Beta Campaign: The Reformers  (Read 50496 times)

trinite

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Re: He Calls Me By The Thunder  v3

Chekhov's Cannon! ;D

The nurse screaming at the character with echolalia = screaming in stereo

I love how Yithian Steve can't even read English yet still acts like a superior being.

That echolalia bit was truly inspired.

And yeah, Yithian Steve is such a tool. :)

Hope you liked all the new developments since the original RPPR version!
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The Lost Carol

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I have to say, the Mega Playground was the sort of twisted genius I wish I could pull off when I write stuff.



twisted genius



Is... is this what Caleb feels like when people complement him on the viciousness and moral choices of God's Teeth or A Very Through Murder?



Sweet, thanks!
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Twisting H

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Re: He Calls Me By The Thunder  v3

Chekhov's Cannon! ;D

The nurse screaming at the character with echolalia = screaming in stereo

I love how Yithian Steve can't even read English yet still acts like a superior being.

That echolalia bit was truly inspired.

And yeah, Yithian Steve is such a tool. :)

Hope you liked all the new developments since the original RPPR version!


Some suggestions! Refinement is an endless process:

-I may have mentioned this before but I have totally forgotten. I like giving the characters an injury with a mechanical disadvantage. It is logical and thematic with the Civil War. Secondly, it give the players an immediate sense of vulnerability, which is perfect for setting the mood of a horror game. Third the vulnerability creates an impetus for the characters to rely on each other (ie I only have one hand, you have two hands and we need two hands to use a shovel).  Overall the random injury table strengthens the adventure significantly.


- Chekhov's cannon.  If it is important that the cannon be investigated before the players make it to the plantation, I suggest moving the cannon adjacent to the road for easy access but clearly state the cannon is very stuck in the mud.

- Players in a rut. If the players start to feel frustrated or that they are running into arbitrary walls when initially trying to get the not-Evelyn to speak (or if the players get stuck in general) I suggest writing a minor side bar where you discuss using the african american spirituals to draw the players outside to the other clue locations, or have voices sound upstairs to draw the players to the gold clue location or have the mad union soldier start making noise by shooting randomly outside. You already did this in the podcast, but you might want to explicitly define these techniques when you write up the adventure.

- A plot hole? Correct me if I'm wrong on the following.

1.Yithians attempting to contact Evelyn in a dream.
2.Evelyn repeatedly draws varients of a SYMBOL trying to get it correct. This paper is found in Evelyn's room.
3.Yithians (in dream) tell Evelyn that writing the SYMBOL will complete the mind transference procedure. Evelyn notes this in her journal (found in room).
4.Late Evelyn's husband makes sonic wards on several wooden stakes by carving SYMBOL into the stakes and surrounding the plantation with them.

Is this correct? Or are there two different symbols, one that completes the Yithian mind transference, the other than creates a sonic ward.

If players get a hold of the sonic ward, creative investigators will try to replicate it so you should include stats for a sonic ward spell.

According to your narrative Evelyn's husband made SEVERAL of these sonic wards. Without totally losing his mind.  So this to me suggests that the sonic ward does not cost Sanity (or costs a very limited amount to make several wards at once) but probably costs magic points per ward. 

In general Call of Cthulhu spells that are broadly effective (flesh ward, Elder Sign) cost a decent amount of Sanity per use (iirc).  So if the sonic ward is a spell that only costs magic points, it's effectiveness must be VERY limited. Alternately you could say that the first use of the sonic ward costs a set san loss (4 or something) and creation of subsequent wards by someone who knows the spell (lost the required san) only costs magic points.


These are all minor points. The adventure is very tight as it is!

trinite

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Thanks, Twisting H! Those are some good ideas.

I do think I need to work on the cannon a little bit. TD was the first group that didn't bother to examine it right off the bat. I am a bit concerned about how realistic it is for them to be able to extract it from the swamp without horses, so I may indicate that it's easier to move than it might appear.

Yes, the sounds are an excellent way for the GM to prompt the PCs to move around. And it makes sense; after all, the Thing wants them to find it. That would definitely be a good point to emphasize in the written version.

The symbol is actually not directly involved in the mind transfer at all. The Yithian taught Evelyn the symbol so that she could use it to start making wards, but it executed the mind transfer simply by gaining her permission to do so (she was too intellectually strong for him to be able to force it like they usually do). That might be slightly confusing to players, I don't know.

My concept for the symbol is that it's really just a piece of technology, not exactly a mythos spell. It might make sense to have it cost Sanity to inscribe the first time, though, as it becomes obvious that its effects are real.
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Twisting H

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The symbol is actually not directly involved in the mind transfer at all. The Yithian taught Evelyn the symbol so that she could use it to start making wards, but it executed the mind transfer simply by gaining her permission to do so (she was too intellectually strong for him to be able to force it like they usually do). That might be slightly confusing to players, I don't know.

Ah that's right. Now I remember. The podcast was clear, just blame my listener memory for screwing up that point.

Cheers!

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trinite

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Gorkamorka

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #97 on: June 01, 2016, 12:27:36 PM »
MARKET FIAT CONTRACT FOUR: THE CANDYMAN (STORYLINE MISSION TWO) / MARKET FIAT CONTRACT FIVE: ANHEUSER–BUSCH, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

With their goods and evidence in tow, the Reformers returned to the Tasty Treet, hoping to avoid seeing the Candyman and taking all sorts of precautions, but in the end they had to go visit him to get the plastic. The Candyman, as they suspected, turned out to be an Aberrant that was boiled alive in melted sugar, making a horribly burned Aberrant with a thick, rotten caramel coating. Barely keeping it together, the heroes apologized, and were led to the plastic... which was in front of 9 dead Candymen. They grabbed the plastic and left without incident. After speaking with the leader of the Cult, Millie, they found that all 10 were former cultists, except for the original, and all willing. Their plans at documenting the horror now questionable, they kept the film but left for Jeff's City, where they turned in the plastic... and found they had more fake Bounty. After fulfilling their promises to their sources, they returned home.

They called the Cases to negotiate for the for the bottles. After some careful negotiation, they sold them and a bunch of the gear from the bottling plant, for an absurd 264 Bounty. That easily put all three Reformers past all their Retirement levels and ready for Mr. JOLS...

MARKET TICKER

Whoops.

I realized afterwards that I should used score mechanics for the sale of the bottles, not standard negotiation. That, along with the tricked out gear owned by the DCA members allowed for way too much Bounty for the Reformers. However, at the same time they did have to combine two contracts into one, and a few failed rolls and they're all dead. I'm a little disappointed the campaign will end early, but it's my fault not theirs.

I was also terrified because the main storyline... uh... still needs dealt with. I've sown enough seeds to not let it come to pass. However, I came up with a way to finish it, and even in a way that will fit their play style. We'll see after Mr. JOLS...

At times I feel like I have trouble keeping everything together, whether mixing up names or stuff like this, but more often than not that's my fault as the GM. I'm still getting used to the GM seat, but with the help of a good system and my players I'm glad that we're still having fun and I haven't ruined their time and/or Caleb's system.

OK.  I NEED TO KNOW THIS.  I will pay in bounty for the information.
What was on the USB drive they got from the candy man cult and gave to the archivist?  It feels like it would be the reason for the cult. 

If not, then as a separate question why is the cult there?  What is driving them?
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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@Gorkamorka

The USB drive held the CCTV footage of the Tasty Treet Candy Company during the crash, which included the death of the 'Patient Zero' Candyman.

The cultists were originally Archivists, and the sane ones still are. They went to the factory to obtain documents and recipes from the factory. As Archivists the cult were already on the edge when they encountered the Aberrant. Millie and the sane ones were stayed to protect their remaining friends and study both the Candyman and the transformation process as valuable Intel to give to the Archivists. They don't have much information as the crazy cultists won't let them dissect the dead Candymen, but the CCTV footage and what study they could make were in the USB drive.
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Gorkamorka

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@Gorkamorka

The USB drive held the CCTV footage of the Tasty Treet Candy Company during the crash, which included the death of the 'Patient Zero' Candyman.

The cultists were originally Archivists, and the sane ones still are. They went to the factory to obtain documents and recipes from the factory. As Archivists the cult were already on the edge when they encountered the Aberrant. Millie and the sane ones were stayed to protect their remaining friends and study both the Candyman and the transformation process as valuable Intel to give to the Archivists. They don't have much information as the crazy cultists won't let them dissect the dead Candymen, but the CCTV footage and what study they could make were in the USB drive.

Thanks for the answer.

You managed to use the Candyman cult really well to scare your players, but from the comfort of my far away seat the whole thing makes no sense.  OK it is a cult of crazies and maybe should not make sense, but bear with me. :-)

1. Why are all the cultist latents ?  Because 15 latents in one group is a lot of latents. That's by my calculations 1500 bitten peoples worth.  Given that no suppressant was used.
1b. Where they all latents to begin with? 
1c. If not did they make themselves latent to serve/become the candyman?

2. Why are they revering the Candyman?  Since he is mostly a living statue and not much else.

3. Why do they want to become the next candyman when the old one burnes out. (This is the big one)
3b. Is it a suicide cult that's just taking really long to burn of ?
3c. Are the cultist killing them self this way because they are latent and have given up on life?

4. What is the goal of the cult.  Because it's an interesting cult, but seems rather aimless.

Sorry if I come of as negative, this is not meant that way.  The cult worked really well in your game and I enjoyed listening to them.  But from the comfort of my far away seat and hindsight they feel incomplete.

On a side note, it's good that the group did not end up in a firefight with the candyman cult.  Because if you fight latents you have to kill them twice and the second time is harder then the first.  I think that the group might TPKd themselves if that stand off in the factory had gone badly.

Thanks for the podcast.  I am enjoying it.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 12:04:26 PM by Gorkamorka »
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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I'm not the GM, but I have some good guesses for some of these.

 1) They could have deliberately taken Suppressin to become Latents....to become the Candyman.

 3 and 4) Cults by their nature are usually full of ill-defined goals and apocalyptic. Look at the Branch Davidians as a prime example. Or the people in Jonestown.

Gorkamorka

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I'm not the GM, but I have some good guesses for some of these.

 1) They could have deliberately taken Suppressin to become Latents....to become the Candyman.
12 bounty per dose * 15 cultists = 180 bounty.  That's a lot of money for crazies to dig up.

3 and 4) Cults by their nature are usually full of ill-defined goals and apocalyptic. Look at the Branch Davidians as a prime example. Or the people in Jonestown.
Yes, but their self-destruction method is just so slow.  It takes determination or a leader that makes his followers suicide one by one but not all in go and still keep control.  It works, but that leader was not represented strongly in the recoding I was listening to.   It makes for a nasty, nasty cult though. 
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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@Gorkamorka

No worries! For the Abberents and Cults I had to fill in a lot of gaps for what's been written thus far, and I know I took a leap of logic or two. i envisioned that some of the old Candymen were victims of Patient Zero prior to the Archivists, with half or less being Arvhivists. The insane Archvists worship the Candyman and seek to become it when close to death, and the same ones keep the insane ones complacent and not 'let's go spread His will! And by will I mean molten caramel!'

I'll fully admit that I'm still working out the bugs in my GM style. I'm still pleased with how the cult and Abberent turned out, and hopefully will do better in the future.
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trinite

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@Gorkamorka

No worries! For the Abberents and Cults I had to fill in a lot of gaps for what's been written thus far, and I know I took a leap of logic or two. i envisioned that some of the old Candymen were victims of Patient Zero prior to the Archivists, with half or less being Arvhivists. The insane Archvists worship the Candyman and seek to become it when close to death, and the same ones keep the insane ones complacent and not 'let's go spread His will! And by will I mean molten caramel!'

I'll fully admit that I'm still working out the bugs in my GM style. I'm still pleased with how the cult and Abberent turned out, and hopefully will do better in the future.

As a player, the specific motivations and origins of the cultists didn't really really matter much to me. Freebird sure as heck didn't want to stick around long enough to try to understand them. I found them to be a very effective little horror scene; if we were going to use them as more central elements in the story -- for example, if our contract were to extract and deprogram a particular member -- then they would probably need a more thorough development. I can understand how the vaguer parts of their story could be more noticeable for a listener.
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Gorkamorka

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@Gorkamorka

No worries! For the Abberents and Cults I had to fill in a lot of gaps for what's been written thus far, and I know I took a leap of logic or two. i envisioned that some of the old Candymen were victims of Patient Zero prior to the Archivists, with half or less being Arvhivists. The insane Archvists worship the Candyman and seek to become it when close to death, and the same ones keep the insane ones complacent and not 'let's go spread His will! And by will I mean molten caramel!'

I'll fully admit that I'm still working out the bugs in my GM style. I'm still pleased with how the cult and Abberent turned out, and hopefully will do better in the future.

As a player, the specific motivations and origins of the cultists didn't really really matter much to me. Freebird sure as heck didn't want to stick around long enough to try to understand them. I found them to be a very effective little horror scene; if we were going to use them as more central elements in the story -- for example, if our contract were to extract and deprogram a particular member -- then they would probably need a more thorough development. I can understand how the vaguer parts of their story could be more noticeable for a listener.

The candyman cult did without a doubt work in play.  One could hear how the players didn't want to dig deeper.  They were afraid, both of the knowledge and the mechanical trauma.

I think that if I was to use the candyman cult in play I would do the following.

There is a charismatic leader.   He or she is crazy and feels that there needs to be a candyman for crasy reasons.  But the leader is not willing to become the candyman. So the leader finds followers.  The goal that gets imprinted into the followers is that to become the candyman is to reach nirvana.  The idea of the candyman is sold to the followers as an omniscience aberant.  But it's actually just a casualty stuck in caramel. 

The followers are both norms and latents, but the latents are considered more holy as they can become the next candyman.  So the goal of the latents is to live high on the toil of the normals until the leader says that they are ready for the next step in their journey and it's time for the latent to become the candyman.   The goal of the norms is to toil for the cult and to find or earn enough to for a suppressant.  Because that allows you to move up in the ranks of the faith.  Truly desperate norms would be allowed to consume the caramelised flesh of one of the old candymen and infect themselves that way.  If they become latent they rise in the ranks.  If they become a vector they are killed (I assume the test would take place in a cage) and if they become immune they are "excommunicated".  But the excommunicated are actually sold to the Crusaders for bounty and more suppressant.

So it's a really a slow burn suicide cult that has to constantly recruit new members to stop itself from burning out. 

Frontal assault on the cult is extremely dangerous as latents have to be killed twice and the second time is even harder then the first time.  Further more if things start to look desperate the leader will tell some normals to consume the flesh of the candyman with the goal of letting the attackers get stormed by the vectors that get created.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 05:48:30 AM by Gorkamorka »
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)