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Mysteries. How do you run them? Is there another way?

Started by Eric Provost, October 10, 2004, 12:23:17 PM

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Tim Alexander

Hey Folks,

I've been toying with using Trollbabe for this sort of thing (I know, it's blasphemy in Ron's mind.) Basically the Magic ability becomes an 'investigation' ability. In setting up the mystery you present the players with an initial setup (you wake up in bed with a dead woman, your head hurts) and then go ahead and let them and investigate. Whenever they come to the point where you need a clue, you have them test Investigate. If they succeed they've found a clue, and the GM generates it. If they fail, they're able to complicate themselves with the failure and describe their own dead-end, red herring, etc. It's somewhat like Inspectres, but because the success/failure descriptions are reversed it gives the GM a bit more directorial power in terms of the overall story.

While my one and only test of this so far was cut short and not fully explored it was remarkably elegant in the short time we used it. It cuts out a lot of the floundering that normally goes on in these sorts of stories and puts quite a bit of power back in the hands of the players. Moreover the rest of the game maps pretty strongly to noir mystery and it's reliance on relationships as a driving factor. I'm considering the idea that the end result of the mystery in question somewhat replaces the Stakes/Consequences, but have yet to really work out the details.

Just another variation,