Please note: This is a write-up from an IC perspective from my character in a game that I playing.
“Me and Brockhurst were just finishing up a case when the call came through from two other Agents (codename “Ironside” and “Courtney”); they’d tracked a criminal (some crazy woman who’d attached razorblades to her fingers and had cut up Courtney pretty good) to an old house in the Maine town of Rockwell. I’d vaguely read some of the material on the case, it had started with a spate of household pets going missing, then the body of a pet owner had been found bludgeoned to death, but there was no sign of the animal; a further two bodies had been discovered later with the same MO. Following the deaths the crime had been flagged as a ‘serial crime’ and had been bought to the attention of the VASCU serial crimes unit.
The woman’s name was Claire Rantham, a local eccentric, she had attacked agent Courtney when they had approached her and, with unexpected strength had tipped agent Ironside out of his wheelchair; when we arrived the damn place as surrounded by cats, hundreds of the bloody things. The other two agents were waiting in their van outside the old battered house, after a brief discussion me and Brockhurst agreed to take the back whilst Courtney took the front and Ironside managed communications from inside the van. Moving through the house in a systematic fashion we eventually made our way down to the cellar where we discovered a number of strange red plants that I couldn’t identify; with a sinking feeling I directed Brockhurst to slit open the strangely bulbous grow bags and, sure enough, the desiccated hand of a corpse toppled out.
A sudden noise from upstairs caused us to rush to a ladder leading up the attic; Brockhurst went up first, followed by Courtney while I covered them, we did not have to wait long as the crazed Ms Rantham launched herself at Brockhurst. Swinging himself round agent Brockhurst grappled the struggling woman and forced her to the ground where I tazered the bitch and, when she didn’t go down, applied the butt of a weapon to her chin and she finally lost consciousness so we could restrain her. Brockhurst searched the attic, discovering some red seeds that we took as evidence and Ironside began contacting the CDC as we took Ms Rantham back to VASCU headquarters for interrogation and questioning.
It was then that we were informed by our superiors that the military under project VALKYRIE would be taking over the case and that we would soon be re-assigned; this was bull and stank of a cover-up, just like what happened when my partner Jake had disappeared before I joined VASCU and I had been ordered to forget about it (like I ever would). None of us were happy about it and we resolved to find out as much as we could before our re-assignment, although our attempt to talk to Ms Rantham yielded nothing but the following cryptic words
“She’ll gather the family, those who weren’t loved will return to their mother, and if they come to hurt you, i’ll hurt them first.”
Brockhurst hit pay-dirt, one of his contacts on the forces clued him in on a murder with a very similar MO in the small town of Greenvale, we made the decision to travel their and takeover the investigation whilst Courtney dug up details on a Sheriff George Woodman, the territorial small town sheriff of Greenvale who apparently had suffered some sort of facial injury in an agricultural accident. On the way their Brockhurst talked a little about his father had been involved in some shady types and had disappeared one evening when he was young, apparently old Brock has blown his family fortune on trying to track down his father, instead finding only charlatans and fakes; it was clear that the attempted cover up was as offensive to him as it was to me, I told him about the operation that me and my partner Jake had been on for the Bureau when I had got knocked out and woke up to find my partner vanished and that it had been swept under the carpet, I had sworn not to rest till I found him and that i’d never let a case like that be taken away from me again.
We were driving through the thick forested hills of Maine, it reminded me of some of the strange forest flashes that I had glimpsed whilst handling the red leafed plants in the Rantham house, I was so lost in my reverie that I almost crashed when a person in a bright red jacket ran infront of my car, I was able to bring it safely to a stop and leapt out of the car, running after the person with Brockhurst sprinting after me, damn that boy can run. We eventually found our way to a transformer and some sort of maintenance hut, probably belonging to a local logging company according to Courtney’s research, and as we searched around it a ghastly face appeared at the window; smashing open the door and going in weapons drawn, we were surprised to find it empty but eventually had to return to the car.
A few miles down the road we pulled into the lakeside Grand Deer Hotel where we were met by the owner Polly Oxford who seemed surprised to receive so many visitors out of season; we booked some rooms and talked to Ms Oxford who prided herself on being something of a local expert, at our mention of plants she suggested we speak to a local tree surgeon called Forest Cason. Courtney did a bit more research online, discovering that all of the local land belongs to the Stuart Estate and that there was a local point of interest called the Muses gallery and then we all retired to our rooms.”
- Organised crime.
- Racial tension.
- Milk/local cats going missing.
- Residents being evicted.
- Potential demolition/repurposing.
- Crime/racial tension.
- Eastern europenas.
- Tension between long time residents and influx of immigrants.
- Graffiti tagging, racial slurs.
- Conflict between new/old criminal elements.
- Flags hanging from balconies.
- Manager evicting housing association people to cram in the more profitable immigrants.
- Residents association pettitions.
- Missing milk/animals.
- Escalating problem.
- Has been reported- no action taken.
- Connected with crazy cat lady?
- Connected with chinese restaurant?
- Residents association.
- Door knocking Christians.
- Leaders of the local scout movement.
- Community events.
- Crazy cat lady.
- See the character from The Simpsons.
- The manager.
- Conservative MP.
- Similar to the fat hacker from Jurassic Park.
- Eastern European Immigrants.
- Wage slaves.
- 500 to a flat.
- Right wingers (organisation).
- Owner of the Red Lion, won’t serve them.
- Illegal immigrants.
- New criminal element.
- Youth criminals/new blood.
- Gangsta wannabees.
- “Attack the Block.”
- A stalker.
- Huge coat and hat.
- Scary male.
- Hangs around.
- “1 Hour Photo.”
- “The Watcher.”
- “Mine Hunters.”
- Old polish criminal element.
- Dying breed.
- Boris the Blade – “Snatch.”
- A man smuggling in immigrants.
- Bartek Prusees.
- Bringing in Polish Immigrants.
- New blood.
- Scarred, tattooed villain.
- Danny Trejo.
- Robert Kcvepper.
- Nasty piece of work.
- Newsagents/bargain booze.
- Asian man running shop.
- Illegal poker nights in back room.
- Dodgy cigs, bootlegged booze, misc cheap meat.
- Chip shop.
- Legitimate family business.
- Old patriarch.
- Always open.
- Once a week does free meals for homeless.
- Red Lion pub.
- Plastic, sticky floored pub.
- Known rough pub.
- Boarded up window.
- Cig machine with no cigarettes.
- Mesh over bar.
- Man who knows a man.
- Old man drunks.
- Chinese takeaway.
- Cat meat?
- Human meat?
- Sex trade cover.
- Young prostitute.
- Taken under wing of older prostitute.
- Likes older men.
- Older prostitute.
- Over 50.
- Doing it to put her daughter through ollege.
- Has a thing for old Polish men.
- An eccentric old shut-in with ties to the Polish mob.
- A multi-lingual hospital worker and self-confessed ‘Lambrini Girl.’
- A young female ex-chemist turned drug dealer.
- A jack-of-all-traders bar stool philosophising lorry driver.
- A wiry criminal problem solver.
- The criminal problem solver: Hired the truck driver to retrieve a shipment of drugs from Eastern Europe (via his contact the shut-in) in order to provide them to the dealer.
- The truck driver was approached by the problem solver to move some of the drug dealers supplies up north as a favour, he was injured whilst on the job and trying to effect a minor repair to his lorry and get chatting to the hospital worker whilst in the waiting room.
- The drug dealer was providing the criminal problem solver with a cut from her dealing, she knows the truck driver as the “pick up man; she frequents the same chip shop as the shut-in and has spoken to him a couple of times.
- The shut-in has chased away the stalker when he was following the hospital worker.
- The hospital worker was feeling sorry for a patient in pain and, knowing that there was a dealer living in the same block as her, bought some weed for the suffering patient; she bumped into the criminal problem solver (who was there to pick up his cut) whilst she was there.
- Dan Hall suggested the Cranes for a creepy, ethereal sound.
- Marcus Burggraf suggested a number of possible soundtracks:
- Requiem for a Dream
- Into the Black by Erdenstern
- Halloween by Two steps from Hell
- Vashnevskaya Ira provided a link to his blog post (http://ravenscourtabbey.blogspot.com.es/2013/05/ambientando-partidas-musica-perturbadora.html), although the post itself is in Spanish the links provide some interesting ideas.
First on my list was the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack, which had a good mix of eerie acoustic stuff and pounding drumbeats that would work well for the science fiction genre and also for the industrial modern era of the NWOD. I trawled through a number of other soundtracks (including the Final Fantasy Movie soundtrack, Terminator, Interview with a Vampire and others), creating a number of playlists:
- Drifting in space
- Generic industrial
- Posh/upper floor
- Space combat
I also picked a few random tracks because I thought they fight in well with the idea of the God Machine or a particular concept in WH40K.
Hopefully this will give me a fairly decent selection of tunes to use as background in my game.
Last night and during my lunch hour today i’ve been thinking about the best way to represent morality within my NWOD hack; since all of the games feature some sort of morality (generally represented by a Hierarchy of Sins that causes moral degeneration of the character when it is transgressed against) and a struggle to prevent it from sliding down to a point where the character becomes a monstrous NPC that dances at the whims of the GM, it doesn’t seem inappropriate to say that the descent of morality is a major theme within the entire gameline. The various Morality systems within the different game lines have been given different names, whether it’s the Humanity of Vampire: the Requiem, Wisdom in Mage: the Awakening or Clarity in Changeling: the Lost but broadly they function in the same way, building on the mortal system of morality provided in the core NWOD rulebook to track a characters decline or fall.
- Injury to another, theft – mild morality consequence.
- Arson, manslaughter – moderate morality consequence.
- Murder or other heinous acts – severe morality consequence.
- Mild consequences – clear at the end of the scene.
- Moderate consequences – clear at the end of the next session.
- Severe consequences – clear at the end of the scenario.
This is the first in a short series of blog posts detailing the thought processes behind the creation of my FAE World of Darkness hack.
- Establishing the Basics
First thing I needed to do when I began work on the FAE nWoD hack was to detail how much the hack rules were going to adhere to and deviate from the basic rules of the Fate Accelerate Edition.
- Stress Tracks
- Crumbling Integrity
- Spending Blood and Feeding
- Predators Taint
- Blood Bonding
- In Conclusion
- Drew Hamblin suggested using Humane and Bestial as the only two Approaches; I personally love this idea, but I think it would be a bit too vague for some.
- Todd Grotenhuis suggested using Conditions to represent the hunger of an ill-fed vampire, unfortunately Conditions are part of the FATE toolkit and I don’t have that yet; i’m definitely planning to have a look at it when the toolkit becomes available to the public.
- Paul Vencill mentioned that the Humane and Bestial Approaches may only really be suitable for Vampires and Werewolves and may not work as well for other supernaturals – this is definitely something that i’ll be putting more consideration into as I expand the hack to include other supernaturals. Paul also raised a very good point that perhaps I was cleaving a bit too closely to the rules of the World of Darkness when perhaps I should be looking less at the rules and more at keeping the themes of the games, this will definitely be kept in mind as I rework the hack.
Okay, so i’ve started work on my nWod FAE hack, i’ll put up some more of my thought processes behind it when I get chance.
Constructive comments/suggestions welcome.