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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 175 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Things to do in an investigative "Monster of the Week" game.  (Read 1821 times)
chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« on: October 30, 2009, 11:43:13 AM »

OK, so here's the basic premise of my game:

There is a monster on the loose (just one). The player characters have to find the monster, figure out its weakness, and destroy it.
I'm working on a diceless system to handle this based on board games like Battleship, Guess Who, and Mastermind where conflict is resolved through guesswork and deduction instead of luck.
There will be an element of resource management to it as well, but mostly dealing with time as the primary resource.
Players each get 24 hours. They can spend this time searching various locations to find the monster's lair or clues leading to it, they can spend the time doing research to figure out the monsters strengths and weaknesses, and they can interview NPCs to find information on the monster (or try to figure out which NPC is the monster, assuming the beast has a human form). When the 24 hours are up, the monster strikes again and claims another innocent victim.

So, again, things you do in the game:
Search locations
Search for Clues
Interview/Interrogate NPCs
Do research in a library or laboratory
Rest/recouperate
(ultimately) Fight the monster

If you were playing this, is there anything (within the scope of the game) that you would want to spend time doing in game that isn't already included on my list there?
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 02:33:31 PM »

what about proving your character isn't the perpetrator of the first crime? perhaps this doesn't have to apply to all players, just to one or two, in exchange for additional time or initial clues...
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chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 03:04:26 PM »

what about proving your character isn't the perpetrator of the first crime? perhaps this doesn't have to apply to all players, just to one or two, in exchange for additional time or initial clues...

That actually fits in with my influence from The God in the Bowl by R.E. Howard. If I do go with a class system of some sort, and assuming I decide to continue with the Swords & Noire theme I'm imagining right now, that could make a nice feature for the 'Barbarian' class.
As a Barbarian, you are fierce in battle and have good interrogation and perception abilities, but the drawback to being such a big scary foreign dude is that you are automatically the prime suspect in the brutal slayings.
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HeTeleports
Member

Posts: 66

The name's Youssef.


« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2009, 04:28:02 PM »

Chronoplasm,

I think you've got a pretty tightly built list right there. I'm actually impressed with how succinct it is: given the situation, my character would be in, there really are only those six things I'd want to do.

With Rest/Recuperate, I might include "Do battle plans with other PCs."

I'd keep that list tight. If our characters are official investigators (think: Mulder & Scully), I'd hope I didn't have to waste time clearing my name when I could wave around a badge or something. If I was just one of the townspeople, proving I didn't turn into a 7-foot tall wererabbit would prove pretty difficult -- and likely cost another townsperson's life.

Perhaps "clearing your name" is one of a number of distractions you could fall into. (Every resource management has to have some way to "bleed" or lose the resource.) That way you don't have to worry about adding a class system if you don't want to.
Cool idea. Keep on it.
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Toneblind
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 08:55:13 AM »

If there is a resource, can I suggest it be 'Credibility'. That is to say, the more you can prove you're not the Monster, and are working for the good of the town and so forth, the easier it is to work with the town. On the other hand, if you're credibility is low, people ae natural distrusting and suspicious of you and your intents.

Just a thought
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Mr. Mister
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 10:46:33 AM »

All I can really say is add rules to set traps, Scooby Doo style, which is more a subset of Fight the Monster I suppose.
Carry on! *salutes*
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Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 05:11:07 PM »

If it's gamist play to win, it sounds a good arena already.

Do you want gamist but with some interesting story like stuff in the background?

Perhaps PC's could have dark pasts (perhaps drawn from a deck of dark pasts, or invented by the player and written secretly). There could be a secondary game of trying to find the monster while hiding your own past...but usually anything that helps you find the monster usually also helps unearth your PC's past, making sucess a bittersweet thing. So you found the monster in time, but now everyone knows what you did last summer!!!

Which doesn't matter in a gamist context - if you've won, you've won. But as a side dish of angst it would be pretty tasty Smiley
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Philosopher Gamer
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chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 08:48:06 PM »

If it's gamist play to win, it sounds a good arena already.

Do you want gamist but with some interesting story like stuff in the background?
Very much so, but I love your idea.
Thanks for all the comments guys!
Traps are a great idea. I think I have an idea of how to incorporate that mechanically.
I like the idea for the 'Credibility' resource too. Ooh... I can see so many ways that monsters could bleed that resource. Dopplegangers could frame the player characters for murder (like The Dark Half by Steven King). Lovecraftian entities could inflict insanity; nobody believes you because you are crazy!
Nice!
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Toneblind
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2009, 07:39:27 AM »

If I may make another suggestion about the thematic, you may want to consider that the characters do this for a living, particularly they they are blossoming paranormal journalists, finding evidence of the supernatural and fixing what's gone wrong.

Just a suggestion. Been readign a lot of the Fortean Times recently Smiley
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chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2009, 10:51:16 AM »

Certainly.
Of course, the players should have the option to play as frightened teenagers who know nothing of the slender man picking them off one by one. However, paranormal investigators, monster hunters, and meddling kids with talking kids would certainly be appropriate to the sort of game I'm interested in making here.
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chronoplasm
Member

Posts: 286

Kevin Vito


« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2009, 12:20:48 PM »

^
I meant meddling kids with talking dogs. I need to proof-read better. Smiley

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