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 How the Game Works & Rules

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Join date : 2017-11-11
Age : 25
Location : Ann Arbor, Michigan

How the Game Works & Rules Empty
PostSubject: How the Game Works & Rules   How the Game Works & Rules EmptyFri Aug 17, 2018 5:04 pm


We work together collaboratively to tell a story of CREEPING HORROR building up to one final terrifying encounter called THE FINAL HORROR. We swap roles after each scene, with the roles being the narrator (much like your traditional GM), the witness (the sole protagonist and PC), and watchers (who embellish the story and work overtime to try to help build atmosphere as well as role play NPCs as necessary.

Rule of Creeping Horror

The rule of creeping horror basically just keeps us all on the same page with the tone and theme of the game. In this game, just like in Lovecraft's stories, the supernatural and horrific elements of the story won't really show themselves until the end of the game. In fact, for the early portions of the story, anything weird that happens can be rationally explained, even if its a far-fetched explanation.

So, until THE FINAL HORROR scene...

You can't introduce anything blatantly supernatural

You can't present any clear threat to the witness

You can't present any direct evidence of violence
- given the WW1 theme we're just going to ignore this rule. changing it to: "you can't present any direct evidence of violence that was committed by THE FINAL HORROR

Bear in mind that each of you will receive SPECIAL CARDS that allow these rules to be broken.

The game will take place over the course of 3 parts.

Breakdown of Parts and Scenes

Part 1
- 5 investigation scenes, the narrator must introduce one clue each scene (though he's welcome to re-use clues from past scenes).

Wait, what the hell is a clue?

I'm so glad you asked, dear reader. A clue is something unusual that hints at the greater mystery, the nature of THE FINAL HORROR. Clues must abide by the rules of CREEPING HORROR, so they can't be anything overtly supernatural (unless a special card lets you break that rule). They should be something strange and noteworthy, something that the witness would not forget. However, they must also be something that could somehow be explained rationally.

For example....Strange lights in the sky or noises? the Witness was just hallucinating. Slime on the street? must be some weird fungus. A man that looks half alien or half fish? Must just be some strange mutation or rare medical disorder. A monster shape in the darkness? the witness was drunk or sleepy, so...

Clues can also be accounts, stories, or tales from NPCs. it could be a story about a monster or strange phenomenon. in these cases, its best to cast the NPC as an unreliable witness - maybe theyre frequently drunk, maybe theyre known to be a little crazy, etc.

Narrators can re-use clues, but then that doesn't count as a NEW clue. so if you have slime in scene 1, it can show up again in scene 2, but the narrator must still introduce a new clue in scene 2. however, that new clue could be something like "the witness observes the slime has taken the shape of some strange sigil."

Part 2
- up to 3 investigation scenes, the narrator must introduce one clue each scene
- the witness may initiate the JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS at the end of any scene. if they do not by the end of the 3rd scene, the FORCE MAJEURE occurs at the start of part 3.
- Basically the main difference between part 1 and part 2 is that supernatural elements become a more viable part of the story. Many special cards can be used from part 2 onwards, so more overtly supernatural shit will start happening.

part 3
- FORCE MAJEURE scene if necessary, which is where the witness learns the location of THE FINAL HORROR and is forced to go in that direction (or is abducted to go there or whatever fits narratively). Worth noting that the location of the final horror doesn't have to be a physical location - it could be something that occurs in a dream or vision, or even a conversation taking place where the PC puts the pieces together from someone else's tale.
- THE JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS. one single extended scene where the witness goes from a place of relative safety to the location of THE FINAL HORROR. this scene is structured differently than all the rest...we don't really adhere to our roles. we take turns narrating a brief chunk of the scene (a few sentences) and you can do this as the narrator, as the witness, as a watcher, whatever. for your few sentences, you control where the story goes.
- THE FINAL HORROR - the scene where the protagonist encounters THE FINAL HORROR, which is typically either a monster or a horrifying, awful, dreadful, maddening realization/moment of gaining some sickening piece of knowledge. this one is structured more like an ordinary scene, but the thing is, the narrator is whoever is stoked and thinks they have a great idea for the big reveal and dramatic showdown with the final horror. Their narrative of the final horror must incorporate all (or most) of the clues presented by the players earlier. If a couple people want to do it, there's rules for adjudicating who gets to be the narrator etc.
- THE EPILOGUE. Title says it all, we just wrap up what happens to the witness, as well as some hints about what became of the final horror. Idr who gets to do what here, but we'll figure it out when we get there.

So in recap:

Part 1
- 5 investigation scenes, each scene must introduce clue

Part 2
- up to 3 investigation scenes. each scene must introduce clue
- witness may initiate journey into darkness at end of any scene

Part 3
- FORCE MARJEURE if necessary


Narrator: You're basically the GM. You are the one driving/controlling the scene and describing the environment around the witness. You still have to follow the rules of creeping horror, though (barring when SPECIAL CARDS let you break them).

You MUST make sure the requirements for each scene are met. For Part 1 and Part 2 scenes, that's introducing 1 clue. For the FORCE MARJEURE, thats helping the witness determine the location of THE FINAL HORROR (or somehow explicitly showing them) and forcefully nudging them in that direction, or outright abducting them and taking them there. The rest of the scenes work a little differently. Once you've met the requirements for the scene and satisfactorily concluded any action, you declare that the scene has ended and we switch roles.

Also, make sure to include the watchers. Ask them questions about the environment. Allow time and space in the narrative for them to fill in details. Ask them to RP an NPC when there's more than one around. Don't be afraid to steal ideas from the watchers to use as your clues...

Witness: You control our sole PC. Not much to note here other than RP as you usually would. Few pointers though:

- remember you're a hapless victim without a chance in hell of defeating the final horror. you wont beat an elder god with a well-placed shot and a bayonet charge. play the part accordingly - you're a puny, weak, insignificant human that can barely comprehend the horrors youre up against.
- let us into your inner monologue. with only 1 PC, there wont be as many chances for dialogue. show us lots about what the witness is feeling, thinking, etc. show us how theyre rationalizing the strange events they witness.
- feel free to fill in blank spots and expand upon the characters backstory, bio, personality traits, etc. as we go along, we can pepper in details about the character. build on what other players have noted about the witness to make a cohesive character.

Watchers: Embellish the story with details. Remember that the narrator is still "in control" of the scene - never try to take the scene in a different direction. It's not your job to introduce clues or anything. Help build as much atmosphere as you can.

- as a general rule of thumb, include SLIGHTLY MORE details than you think is appropriate. that helps make sure the watchers are richly detailing the scene.
- follow the narrators lead as best you can.

Other Important Rules & Concepts

LEAPING TO CONCLUSIONS: AFTER EVERY SCENE, you should privately write down what you think is "really happening." What's at the heart of the mystery? What is the true nature of THE FINAL HORROR? Don't show your notes to ANYONE ELSE! Make your conclusions as detailed and as complete as possible. The goal is to wildly extrapolate on the small bits of information given.

Feel free to change or modify your notes as new clues show up. In fact, if the clues take the story in a different direction, you should feel free to scrap your notes entirely and form a new hypothesis. Use your hypotheses and your conclusions to help you form new clues as narrator.

SPECIAL CARDS: Everyone will get a special card that they can use in-game. the card will tell you when you can use it. You can use it as a watcher or narrator, but not as a witness. It will let you do something unusual and break the rules of CREEPING HORROR. Most special cards become viable to play after Part 1.

Once you've played a special card with ONGOING EFFECTS, anyone can use the abilities on it.

Meta-discussions of the game (don't do it)

None of us really know the true nature of the horror until the end of the game. None of us really know what's happening with the mystery. As such, we shouldn't discuss our theories or understanding of what's happening or what the monster/final horror is. If you think it's an eight-tentacled monster with five eyes, don't tell anyone us. Don't ask anyone else what they hypothesize is behind the clues (though the witness is welcome to hypothesis in-character, of course).

So we can talk about the game OOC, but we have to be careful to preserve the mystery and mystique. The ending will be much cooler if another player reveals a FINAL HORROR that you were not expecting at all. Discussion like "that's creepy" or "i really that clue" or "wtf" is fine, discussion like "so clearly we have a monster on our hands that leaves slime everywhere and eats brains" is not.

Whew. Okay. I think thats most of it, and almost certainly all of the important stuff.

"Don't mess with me, lady. I've been drinking with skeletons."

Herschel Brahe - Q'Sal Magister Immaterial
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