Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Musing on Masks: Episode 18

CAMPAIGN SUMMARY: James Paterson, Australian private investigator in New York, has been hired to investigate Sydney Silvers who went missing only a night or two ago but whose home was found ransacked by the receptionist. He's escaped Mogens home after discovering that the man had been doing some sort of chemical experiments on his enemies and that there would be both a ritual and a scarcely defended laboratory available to deal with at the same time.

EPISODE SUMMARY (Dilemmas): Wherein James Paterson, Australian private investigator in New York, must decide whether to assault Mogens head on or infiltrate his research facility instead.

CONSIDERATIONS: It always comes back to dynamite.  It was interesting watching this situation develop because the Half Moon Cult adventure really doesn't consider the possibility that players might choose to attack Mogens during (or before) the ritual rather than assaulting the laboratory.  It took a bit of gentle convincing to direct him toward the laboratory since a frontal assault on a ritual tends to be distinctly suicidal.

My player's mind, regrettably, isn't as geared toward Cthulhu genre conventions, however, and so he desperately sought out a way to be in two places at once.  I managed to push him in the right direction but I do believe that we would have had a Half Party Kill if this weren't a solo campaign as half the group would doubtless have tried their hand at the ritual.  Which wouldn't be so bad if there were some support for that in the adventure, which unfortunately there is not.

I still like the Half Moon Cult as an adventure but it does need to be thought through before being used.


  1. I think it's a bit of a risk with the game, especially where like many games you're still aiming for a relatively heroic sense that the protagonists can actually get the upper hand rather than just watch horror unfolding.

    On the other hand, leaping ahead is a risk with any scenario. In Los Diablos (which I do really want to revive some time, damnit) I dropped in a name for long-term plot purposes, and the players responded by turning all their attention to tracking down this person, despite having no other information, having been hired to find a missing guy, and having pretty clear evidence that the scientist whose office they were currently searching was immediately responsible. I had to basically just tell them they were barking up the wrong tree, in the end.

    Despite not being Trail, it seems like it's quite easy for players to default to a tickbox clue model, where you expect to progress through a chain, and once you've found the Clue you move on to anything that seems potentially higher up that chain.

    1. In this instance I think the fault lies in the scenario as both options make an equal amount of sense. Some people will use the cover of human sacrifice to steal into the laboratory but without any evidence that someone they care about is within that lab, some will default to attacking the cult and figure they can check out the lab later.

      Of course, wanting to be in two places at the same time is a solo player issue - which ended up being handier for me. If it were a party they likely would've split up.