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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Jeremiah Lahnum on April 16, 2006, 04:51:06 PM

Title: [DitV] East Absalom
Post by: Jeremiah Lahnum on April 16, 2006, 04:51:06 PM
This is my first attempt at creating a town.  I've just read the book and will be attempting to run this town at a gaming convention next week.  I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions on the town, NPC's, etc.   As this initial post is a bit long I'll make a follow up post where I post my observations and questions about the town and my process of making the town.

East Absalom

   East Absalom is a mining town situated along the railroad and at the base of the mountains from which they mine iron. Recently the Mountain Folk attacked the mine for no apparent reason.  No one was killed, but several of the miners were injured.  Knowing that the tribe of lived up above them in the mountains, the mine foreman brother Eli proposed that an expedition be put together to go speak with them.  In the past the Mountain Folk were peaceful and had even traded with the villagers.  This new behavior was strange for them.  Eli believed a small group could go up, make peaceful contact and find out what had started the trouble at the mine. 
   Steward Thaddeus agreed that something needed to be done.  Although he felt Eli's plan was a bit rash, he also didn't feel they could wait for Dogs or whoever to show up and help out with the situation.  Against his better judgement he agreed to let Eli go into the mountains with Eli's brother, Jonas and Jonas's son, Uzziah.  The three headed off expecting to be gone a week at most. 
   One month later, only Eli limped down from the mountains.  He was covered in blood and claimed they'd been ambushed by the Mountain Folk.  He told a chilling tale of weeks spent hiding in the mountains and running from the Mountain Folk who hunted them.  He claimed that both Jonas and Uzziah were lost to the Mountain Folk. 
   In actuality something far worse happened.  Early into the journey Eli began dreaming of the King of Life carving the flesh from the bones of Jonas and Uzziah.  He would offer it to Eli and tell him to partake of their flesh because they were weak and he deserved their strength.  At some point the visions became reality and Eli found himself carving chunks of flesh off his nephew and brother and devouring them raw.  His actual memories of his time on the mountain are spotty.  He never made contact with the Mountain Folk, but he knows he can't tell the townsfolk what really happened up there.  Not yet anyway.   
Pride:  Eli believes that he is the King of Life’s chosen and that he has gained Jonas and Uzziah's strength.  He believes that both Jonas and Uzziah were killed by the King of Life because they were weak.  He believes the weak are destined to die so the strong may prosper.  He also believes that the King of Life has chosen him to bring strength to East Absalom and to push this new doctrine of the faith.

Injustice:  Since he has returned to the town, and taken over his regular duties at the mine, Eli has been working his workers twice as hard.  He's trying to separate the weak from the strong and by driving them as hard as he can, he feels he'll be able to see those who falter and those who persevere. 

His workers are angry, upset and afraid.  They don't understand the changes that have come over Eli.  They don't like the way they're being treated and despite their loyalty to Eli they will eventually snap from this treatment.  The increasing accidents as detailed in Demonic attacks are not helping matters.

Sin:  Cannibalism of both Jonas and Uzziah.  Eli is also ear-marking others in the town he believes are weak and strong, eventually he will attempt to divide the population.  He’ll try and rally the strong to him and encourage them to rise up against the weak. 

Demonic Attacks:  Meat spoils, unless it is eaten raw and bloody.  The more it is cooked the more rancid it becomes.  A well cooked piece of meat erupts with maggots and is completely inedible. 

The mine has become more dangerous than usual, injuries are common, but no one has died yet.  This is slowing production and making the miners more reluctant to return to work each day. 

False Doctrines: 

The King of Life wants the weak to be culled so the strong of the congregation can prosper. 

Consumption of human flesh imparts strength to those who consume it.   

Corrupt Worship: 

Eli worships strength above all else.  He believes that the strong man rightfully rules the weak and that their flesh is his to take.  He believes that if one is strong enough they can become the embodiment of the King of Life.  Eli is living off of a diet consisting exclusively of raw meat.  He's been drinking the blood of the animals he kills and he believes that during these ritual killings that the King of Life enters his body and drives his actions. 

False Priesthood:
None yet, but he is courting a couple of converts to his new ideology.  Firstly, the sheriff who is a representative of the Territorial Authority.  The sheriff has been involved in more than a few bloody shoot-outs in his time and seems to have the sort of temperament that suits Eli's needs.  The other person he is courting for his cult is his eldest son, Malachi.  Malachi has always sought his father's approval, and is willing to do pretty much anything his father asks. 

The People:

-The Steward wants the dogs to help Eli.  He feels responsible for Eli's madness and isn't sure the best way to help him overcome it.  He also wants the town to continue to prosper and realizes that Eli might be a direct stumbling block to that.  If it comes down to choosing between the town and Eli, he will choose the town. 

- The Sheriff occupies a weird position in town.  He represents the territorial authority and is not of the faith.  His position was created to deal with the great number of people who pass through East Absalom on the railroad.  He can detain and prosecute anyone who is not of the faith.  He can detain members of the faith, but he has agreed to let the Steward meet out justice to them.  He is a petty, bloodthirsty man who frequently shoots first and asks questions later.  He simply wants power and he will follow the quickest way to it.  If that way is Eli, then he is likely to join him.  He will be happy if the dogs stay out of his way.  If they cause him too much trouble he may try to instigate a gun fight with one of them in order to prove that he is not a man to be crossed.

- Eli's son, Malachi wants his father's approval more than anything.  His father and him have always been at odds mainly because Malachi has no desire to work in the mines.  Malachi really wants to enter the faith and even though he's getting a bit old, he hopes to be called as a dog.  If not, he would not mind training as a steward.  He might follow his father to gain his approval, or simply because he feels that his father is sick and needs help.  He wants the Dogs to notice him and hopefully put in a good word for him at the Temple.  He also wants them to help his father who he believes is sick.  He will be cooperative, but won't betray his father outright.

- Eli wants the Dogs out of the way until he can rip the town apart.  He's hoping that he can instigate a fight that will kill the weak, and leave the strong behind.  From the ashes he will rebuild a new town based on a new faith of strength and cannibalism.  He will oppose the dogs as much as possible.  At first he will attempt to hinder them subtly, but as time wears on or as the dogs become more of a problem he will become more openly antagonistic to the point of violence.

The Demons:

- The Demons want East Absalom to tear itself apart.  They want the town to erupt in a violent riot and for murder and cannibalism to take place in the streets.  Right now the most obvious demonic presence is Eli's growing hunger.  He must consume more and more meat everyday.  Eventually he will need to kill and eat another human to satisfy it.  All other he converts will begin to experience this as well.

If the Dogs Don't Come:

Eventually Eli would convert both the Sheriff and Malachi.  The three would kill and devour one of the children of the town together and create a false priesthood.  They would then work to raise tempers in the town to a fever pitch.  Eli would continue to overwork his miners and safety would continue to deteriorate.  The Sheriff would begin making petty arrests and attempting to overstep his authority in regards to the faithful.  Malachi would act as his father's mouthpiece and begin spreading his father's heretical ideas.   Eventually a riot would occur in the town, the mine would collapse and blood would flow in the streets.  Those loyal to Eli and his group would openly consume the flesh of those who Eli had deemed weak and unfit to live.

Title: Re: [DitV] East Absalom
Post by: Jeremiah Lahnum on April 16, 2006, 05:02:22 PM
A few observations and questions here about this town and the process of making it.

I re-wrote the initial concept for why Eli entered the mountains several times.  At first I thought he might be looking for a new source of ore, but it seemed impractical to walk into the mountains for a week looking for a new source of ore.  I mean that would be a week away from town that the miners would have to hike to mine this new source of ore.  So, I scrapped it and went with the Mountain Folk attack. 

I'm not entirely happy with it, and I wonder if I should develop it a bit more.  Perhaps have it as something the Dogs could find out about if they investigated it.  I was thinking that the mine was beginning to destabilize the ground that the Mountain Folk bury their dead in further up the mountain.  Perhaps recent landslides have occurred due to deeper tunneling into the mine and it has damaged this burial site. 

I don't have a real reason for Eli's sudden madness on the mountain.  It could be due to the spiritual imbalance of the desecrated burial site, it could just be plain demonic influence, or Eli could just be a nut.  I'm not sure if it's important really, just thought I'd point it out.

I wasn't sure if the sheriff worked as a plausible character.  I wasn't sure if the Steward or the Faith as a whole would be comfortable with this sort of guy operating in one of their towns.  I like him as a character, and a potential member of Eli's cult.  However, I'm not sure if he jives with how the Faith operates.  Maybe East Absalom started as a small faithful community but with the mine and the railroad, corruption has begun to spread and the faithful amongst the town are dwindling.  This could be  problem in and of itself.  It could also allow someone like the Sheriff to come to power.

I have no female NPC's at this point.  It wasn't a conscious choice it just sort of happened that way. I'll think about how one might fit in, but so far I don't have any real ideas.  Again, this is not necessarily a problem more of an observation. 

Title: Re: [DitV] East Absalom
Post by: Shawn I. on April 17, 2006, 08:34:38 AM
Well, I'm no expert, but I've got to say that if I was a player in this town I'd _really_ be curious about the cause of the cannibalism and Mountain People attacks.

A possible alternate start:

Have Brother Eli and his companions be delivering a load of ore or some such.  Trap them somehow (rockslide, blizzard, etc.)  Eli decides that his survival is more important than theirs (Pride) and has a little Donner-themed party for himself(Sin).  Or, if you want to make it more morally ambiguous, have the victims hurt in some way and have ask Eli to both 1) kill them and then 2) eat them for his own sake.  When Eli gets out, he can't deal with the effects and lies about it - and then slowly goes insane.

The great thing about Dogs is that I can see a couple different Pride->Sin paths in the same events.

Pride: Eli thinks he deserves to live more than others
Sin: He eats the others

Pride: Eli thinks he deserves to be thought well of, despite his actions
Sin: He lies about what he has done

Pride: Jonah thinks his death should have significance beyond a simple accident
Sin: Jonah talks Eli into sinning by consuming Jonah's flesh


Title: Re: [DitV] East Absalom
Post by: Lagnath on April 18, 2006, 12:57:15 PM
If this town is an adaptation of the movie (http://Ravenous) then it's a sweet adaptation. If it isn't taken from that movie you should really try and rent it prior to running this scenario.

I'm going to agree with the above poster -also based on ideas from the movie- have the people go into the mountains for whatever reason and get snowed in or caved in. Snowed in is better because it provides it's own mechanic for how the person can then get out of their bad situation.

If your players have played DitV before I'm going to imagine they are going to wonder to themselves what sins this person committed (or what prides they have taken up) that might let such evil thoughts into the heart of the faithful. You may want to take the tack that he was perfectly ordinary before his ordeal so I would prepare to leave some indications for the players that he was "fine" before he left on his trip. I imagine you could have them uncover documents at his house (maybe a journal) that might detail his progression into madness. If you don't want the characters looking for the "explanation" to why he did this you might need to drop a clue that it doesn't really have one.

I hope my explanation makes sense. I'm having a hard time writing this comment, I'm running off very little sleep last night. Forgive me if my comment seems to be worded oddly.

Overall this could be a really interesting scenario I'll be interested to hear how play goes if you run it.