Round the Campfire (OOC)   Posted by Keeper of the Dark Woods.Group: 0
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 356 posts
 Think of me as a Friend.
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Tue 3 Nov 2020
at 19:04
On Crazy Locals and messing With Canon
A bit distracted today.

Not just the US elections, but we'very been fostering a little cat and we're delivering her to what we hope will be her forever home.

Back tomorrow.
George Mogrey
 player, 256 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Tue 3 Nov 2020
at 21:30
On Crazy Locals and messing With Canon
May your votes be counted and your day include good eats. I know little helps with the empty box feeling, but I don't know that I have heard of a kinder thing than looking after a little cat you know you will not get to keep.

Here are some more on-topic things I found on the internet that are not mould colonies, or seeds: https://twitter.com/nidhi_vija.../1323320882249506818 (they are babies)
James Theaker, Ph.D.
 player, 169 posts
 Archaeology Professor
 Miskatonic University
Tue 3 Nov 2020
at 23:31
On Crazy Locals and messing With Canon
In reply to Keeper of the Dark Woods (msg # 198):

Great job! Saving a kitten and getting it a forever home. Damn fine! Best Wishes
George Mogrey
 player, 265 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Wed 11 Nov 2020
at 22:11
On Asking The Important Questions

Right, so George has been fading out and may not get to keep that leg if he survives given what he's put it through, plus he's released a feral archaeologist into the wilds of Blackwater and blown up the local moonshiners' rig, so might be in Trouble...

...Beegle's OK, though, right?
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 367 posts
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Wed 11 Nov 2020
at 22:28
On Asking The Important Questions
George's last certain memory as the car starts up is of Beegle anxiously licking his face and pushing her head under his hand.
Beegle
 dog, 30 posts
 A Good Girl
Wed 11 Nov 2020
at 22:43
On Asking The Important Questions

She's Helping!
George Mogrey
 player, 267 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Thu 12 Nov 2020
at 22:32
On Asking The Important Questions
I am really keen to hear the other Investigators' report on this, actually, as in what they censor or leave in in the telling. Still interested even if I don't get to find out what one sees when under the influence of Wobbly Mother. I hope Theaker can still recognise his real mother, too.

Meanwhile, George is too sick and confused (or just overexcited by potato soup made with real old-timey boiled bone & barley stock) not to court a conviction for arson...
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 370 posts
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Fri 13 Nov 2020
at 13:15
On Asking The Important Questions
With Henry Roades still missing and James Theaker incapacitated, Professor McTavish will be looking for Thomas to tell him what the expedition found about Abigail and Henry. He'll want Christine's account as well.

Be interesting to know what Christine tells James's mother as well. That lady will want to know how her son came to such a sorry state.

I can see that their players are still checking in and hope you will contribute to our denouement.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:16, Fri 13 Nov 2020.

George Mogrey
 player, 270 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 09:20
On Asking The Important Questions
George assumes the others told a similarly clipped story about the cave and reported him dead, by the way. They can still say he went in further than they did to explain their report of finding nothing and him not being there at the accident; he's not intending to undermine their explanations any.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:22, Mon 16 Nov 2020.

George Mogrey
 player, 271 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 18:49
On Asking The Important Questions

Hahahahaha, I'm not sure if Marks doesn't believe the Roades were murdered by moonshiners or just dosen't believe that George managed to dig his way out of a cave collapse, temporarily bind up his own leg, climb down a cliff with it then walk a couple of miles...

All right, all laid out like that it doesn't exactly sound probable. Still, not being believed after all that is going to make him exceedingly curmudgeonly on the subject: if anyone who knows full well he did find Abbie in an unmentionable state up there and was left squashed up a cliff under a heap of rubble asks how he survived they are going to get answers like "tied two partridges together with a rope made a human hair" or "sasquatch." So long as creepy Dr. Marks isn't listening in, of course.

Gosh, I hope they don't bring him a plate of jelly afterwards.
James Theaker, Ph.D.
 player, 170 posts
 Archaeology Professor
 Miskatonic University
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 16:55
On Asking The Important Questions
Many thanks for running this adventure! I loved playing Theaker, his character seems to fit my play well.  Thomas was a lot more difficult to play for me. Best Wishes to all!
George Mogrey
 player, 273 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 18:19
On Mooring a Tale

Picking up where someone left off if they were never very talky is always a challenge - it looks like you did very well with what was to hand. I think the thread's left open so that you could post a little epilogue with Theaker & Christine if you (plural) wanted to. Chief?
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 375 posts
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Tue 24 Nov 2020
at 03:39
On Mooring a Tale
I'm a bit under the weather today or I'd have posted something here as a wrap up once everyone had a chance to see my last IC post. Certainly, a final post  from any of your character's is welcome.

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed each of your characters and all of your posts. I am heartily grateful you stuck with me.

I think of all the published scenarios I've run here, this one ran most smoothly, which is to say I avoided putting myself in any corners.

You folks did manage to totally evade what the scenario writer, Scott Dorward, clearly expected of the investigators. As laid out, the party would arrive in the village, visit the Jarveys, proceed to the camp, go to the Cartwright farm, find Henry, and end at the cave. So, you basically turned it inside out. You kept me on my toes.

I welcome any comments, questions, and criticisms you might want to share. Again, my thanks.
George Mogrey
 player, 274 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Wed 25 Nov 2020
at 01:39
On Mooring a Tale
I hope you're feeling better today (assuming my 3am was your yesterday). See what Christine thinks - I think I'd like to do a small bit as a wind-down if you're content with that.

It was a lot of fun! I did notice the big-P Plot seemed to be happening somewhere else but that's rather nice - gives a real sense of the place as possessing its own life and that kind of desperate "fumbling blindly through the cutlery drawer with the big knife in it" feel of not knowing at all what you're dealing with.

I'm also glad we all survived, though it would also have been simultaneously the worst and the best thing (to my morbid sense of humour) if those that escaped the worst of the Mother Incident died in a perectly mundane traffic accident and George died of a recalcitrant waist-high wall. I can picture the former situation as being attributed to sinister cult influence in a Lovecraft story, though.

Comments...I still have the random NPC love for Larry for no known reason, and am honestly impressed by your talent for voice & transcibing it to text; though Keeper text being blue means I "hear" NPCs within the same vocal range I could still tell people apart easily (except when the Jarveys were sharing a colour and talking near each other, but then old married couples do blend their quirks of speech somewhat). I hope there wasn't a way we could've actually saved the Roadeses. I liked the scabby urchins, too, and Brewer's oddly honest attitude. I am still worried about whether Gerwig's mother exists or not.


Questions:

- I don't need to know details, but was the church/Reverend catching fire automatic somehow when the Mother's avatar was destroyed, or did that happen afterwards via human action?

- In the right circumstances and possibly with a passing knowledge of Algonquin grammar, would it have been possible to talk to the creepy fungus, or was that bit in the legend about eternal elders stuck in a cave just a Sleeping King myth?

- Who was in the burial mound said to be near the site, or was it a mass excarnation site/shoddy heap of dead people that got grassed over? Or just a stone foundation or dead beacon Henry didn't want to find out about just in case it was a mass grave and they had to spend the entire summer playing the "untangle the skellies" game rather than get a range of practice in?

- It doesn't matter at all, but which Cartwright did we meet?


Criticisms...hm. The pacing was good, atmosphere always interesting, and for a Keeper trying to tell a story laid out in an entirely different manner to that in which it was experienced, an admirable smoothness/lack of scrambling. I would pull up that one time George suceeded in an improbable Skill check (his...what, 7% in Archaeology?) and got an entirely negative result, though - might be a playstyle thing, but I find that if one of my players decides to, say, Spot Hidden a room where nothing of plot relevance is hidden to Spot, then they're far less disguntled if I describe the nothing. If there's something that might plausibly be there you could maybe tie back to the plot should the character continue to pay attention to it, or a neat red herring to offer a player getting too far ahead of the pack, it makes you look smart. If that'd be excessive work or potentially confusing at the time, a blatantly irrelevant but hard-to-spot result will get the player on the same page whilst still feeling the roll was worth something, e.g. finding dropped coins, a cool spider, someone's stash of naughty pictures. So if George had randomly remembered some unrelated archaeological fact I'd have been more content there, but probably only I'd remember that.

Oh, and where are the Theakers' cats? We need to see their cats, or at least note that Theaker sometimes reads things like 'nmhjgfbvmj' from his typescripts and then mutters 'Horus' under his breath.
James Theaker, Ph.D.
 player, 171 posts
 Archaeology Professor
 Miskatonic University
Thu 26 Nov 2020
at 19:30
On Mooring a Tale
The Theaker character (in several different adventures with different Keepers)  has been "alive" at least five years. Sometimes a bit dormant and at least twice re-imagined. He has always been an Archaeology teacher at Miskatonic.
He first started in an England scenario with Miss Scarlet as the Keeper. He had two completed adventures and had started a third, when the Keeper disappeared.

Miss Scarlet CoC: Mystery in Middle Harling
Miss Scarlet CoC: Mystery in Arkham
Miss Scarlet CoC: The Mysterious House

By that time he, his house and lifestyle were fairly well fleshed out.  He always had cats at his  house.  This player did bring his love for cats into his characters.  The Egyptian cats seemed very fitting to "this" Theaker.

When our Keeper needed an Archaeology Professor, I asked if I could resurrect him with some new stats, and our Keeper allowed me to.  So, a lot of Theaker's previous possessions came along with him. And a new addition his wife, Christine.  She was a complete change to a rather "liberal" minded Theaker. The player who played Christine did an excellent job! I did not know how it was going to work out, but it did!

I do want to thank our Keeper for letting Theaker "live" again! In a previous adventure Gaffer: Pelfrey's X-2427, I was able to play a version of Nick Charles, from the "Thin Man" series, which is one of this players favorite series.  Again, many thanks to all of you!

P.S. Mrs. Monford eventually quit the Theaker's and started her own company, "Mrs. Monfords Crab Cake Company"!
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 376 posts
 Think of me as a Friend.
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Thu 26 Nov 2020
at 19:49
On Mooring a Tale
I was in those Miss Scarlet adventures.
George Mogrey
 player, 276 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Fri 27 Nov 2020
at 13:30
Re: On Mooring a Tale
James Theaker, Ph.D.:
By that time he, his house and lifestyle were fairly well fleshed out.  He always had cats at his  house.  This player did bring his love for cats into his characters.  The Egyptian cats seemed very fitting to "this" Theaker.


I like the implication here that alternate universe Theakers can be told apart by having different cats.
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 377 posts
 Think of me as a Friend.
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Fri 27 Nov 2020
at 14:00
Re: On Mooring a Tale
I've closed the Back to Arkham thread, but I'm not averse to reopening if anyone has anything more to add to the story.

I want to give Christine another day or so to add comments here and then I'll answer the ones already posted as best I can.
James Theaker, Ph.D.
 player, 172 posts
 Archaeology Professor
 Miskatonic University
Fri 27 Nov 2020
at 14:20
Re: On Mooring a Tale
In reply to George Mogrey (msg # 214):

Alternate Theaker universes, wow that is hard for me to get my head around, but a wonderful thought. It would explain a lot!

As for the cats, I hope I won't turn into a "crazy cat man". I have so far succeeded being kept the cats that own me to two.  Both are rescue cats, one a fairly recent addition after the litter mate of the other developed FIP and I had to have him put down.  Truly a major downer to lose a cat that was so full of life for a little less that two years.  I wanted to get another companion for the other litter mate and found one at a shelter.  Did not work out like I planned, they tolerate each other.  But my new addition really is a jewel! Alive, interested in anything that moves and is affectionate to me. Sometimes the universe gives us what we need, not want we want.
George Mogrey
 player, 277 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Sat 28 Nov 2020
at 10:58
Re: On Mooring a Tale
In reply to Keeper of the Dark Woods (msg # 215):

Thank you for putting up with my weird semi-literary sweeping up, it's appreciated. Congratulations on landing another game, by the way - the RPoL vanish got half the players, but we got here!

@Theaker - Now you can refer to each Theaker specifically! Mau!Theaker, OneCat!Theaker, Black&Tortie!Theaker etc. etc.

Maybe the remaining sibling will warm to New Cat once they realise NC isn't a direct replacement and you still love them, too. It's the one view of Lovecraft's that really has something to it, his observation that you have to friend a cat, not master one. Living in a garage-sized end-of-terrace is the first time I have not shared my living space with a cat, being practically raised by one (I miss my "sister" to this day) and writing for Bee was quite the challenge for me as dogs need a dynamic of dominance and hierarchy to feel safe and part of a pack/family, a setup very alien to my nature. It is unfortunate that I seem to have the natural power of dog magnetism.
Christine Blake Theaker
 player, 178 posts
Sat 28 Nov 2020
at 14:53
Re: On Mooring a Tale
I'm keeping an eye on the threads, but I don't think I have anything additional to add. The cats were James' idea. Christine is more invested in smoking, drinking and ordering in restaurants.
George Mogrey
 player, 278 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Sat 28 Nov 2020
at 18:53
Re: On Mooring a Tale
Heheh, now I feel a little bit churlish for helping interrupt her routine. I'm sure she got plenty of fine food, smoking and drinking in afterwards, though, right? If a little bit more careful where she sources her moonshine.

I wonder what would've happened had George not blown the remnant Mother-tainted stuff up - whether it'd be better or worse for lacking whatever the "Gift" was, in the end. I doubt the Misc. got any clear results from the flecks brought back to study.
James Theaker, Ph.D.
 player, 173 posts
 Archaeology Professor
 Miskatonic University
Sun 29 Nov 2020
at 18:25
Re: On Mooring a Tale
I think I have ended the story also for James. I’d like to leave his future open ended, maybe he can “come” back again in some multiverse.
Best Wishes to you all.
Keeper of the Dark Woods
 GM, 378 posts
 Think of me as a Friend.
 Please ask.
Sun 29 Nov 2020
at 21:28
Re: On Mooring a Tale
Thanks for the nice comments. I've been doing this for quite a while on Rpol and a lot longer offline (though not so much lately), having started back in the mid-70s with OD&D. I find running published scenarios quite challenging at times because I'll diverge from the written text (or mis-read) and find myself cornered. This one ran pretty smoothly from my perspective.

I'll start by explaining my concept of the ending. When the Mother was 'silenced' those most affected by her gift went off the rails. In town Rev. Windom burned his own church and died in the flames in an act of repentence. At the Cartwright's Eric, who was most altered by the Mother into the Lurker in the Corn, something huge and barely human with a psychic connection to the bugs and rats and snakes in the cornfield, went on a rampage until he was cut down by Joey's Tommygun as hundreds of vermin attacked him, leaving him a suppurating mass of bites and stings. Adam, who George had met, was apparently gone on some errand, maybe to town to consult with Stoughton (who was self-appointed as Sheriff) about how to deal with the outsiders.

You guys were where the plot was, though you went at it a bit sideways. The dice added their randomness to what occurred in the cave, but I thought your responses were real and arose from your characters. Well done.

There was no way to "save" the Abigail and Henry. They were too corrupted by the Mother to have any hope except a clean end. I believe Henry finds his way to the cave and to the Mother Chamber where he lays down and dies. Maybe his remains are found in later decades by some spelunkers.

I don't know what the MU biologists would make of the samples from the creek. Maybe it would prompt a field survey next summer that finds no living specimens in the dried up creek bed. Then they get stored on slides in a forgotten cabinet in the cellars.

Walter Gerwig's mother died last year, but he was so touched by the Mother that his loss trandformed into a need to care for her. I was surprised how much you all invested in finding her, though no one asked him anything about Blackwater Creek as a result and he could have added a bit to your knowledge.

There was nothing provided in the scenario for non-psychic communication with the Mother/Abigail, but fungoid conversation would certainly have challenged my creativity.

The history of Cade and the Sciatuck tribe is somewhat sketchy, but basically involves his son being injured and restored by the "immortal elders" in the cave. When Cade realizes the form his son's salvation has taken, he recruits a band of men back in Boston and wipes them out, blowing up the cave and sealing the creek. They massacre his group as well in case they are tainted. That's who's buried in the mound.

What makes the least sense in the whole thing to me is why the village is called Blackwater Creek, since the creek had stopped flowing before the village was settled. Oh, well.

I generally do well with characters and voices because I spent 35 years acting and directing in community theater. That's some of my best fun in RPGs. It helps with improvising/ad libbing too, though that's less a scramble in PbP than at the table.


"I would pull up that one time George suceeded in an improbable Skill check (his...what, 7% in Archaeology?) and got an entirely negative result, though - might be a playstyle thing, but I find that if one of my players decides to, say, Spot Hidden a room where nothing of plot relevance is hidden to Spot, then they're far less disguntled if I describe the nothing. If there's something that might plausibly be there you could maybe tie back to the plot should the character continue to pay attention to it, or a neat red herring to offer a player getting too far ahead of the pack, it makes you look smart. If that'd be excessive work or potentially confusing at the time, a blatantly irrelevant but hard-to-spot result will get the player on the same page whilst still feeling the roll was worth something, e.g. finding dropped coins, a cool spider, someone's stash of naughty pictures. So if George had randomly remembered some unrelated archaeological fact I'd have been more content there, but probably only I'd remember that."
I had to go back and look this up to reconstruct. Your criticism is valid, I think. I'd have had more leeway if the roll was in terms of examining a site, but it was about remembering something Henry might have said while reading his journal. Still, I should have figured out something to reward the roll. Apologies.

I'm grateful you three stuck with me. Not sure why the others left, except for Bliant who seemed to take offense that I narrated an inconsequential interaction instead of letting him play it out. My regret.

I'll look forward to playing with you again in the future.

I'll leave this up for another week or so in case there's anything you want to salvage.

Best wishes.
George Mogrey
 player, 279 posts
 Huntin' Shootin'
 Fishin'
Sun 29 Nov 2020
at 22:15
Re: On Mooring a Tale
I enjoy the implication that Adam Cartwright "vanished" because he went down to the village to get some sundries and yell at the Sheriff and came back to find everyone dead, his crops deflated and the barn on fire...he must've turned on his heel and lit out with nothing more than the cornflakes in his shopping bag. I feel like we're some gangster's origin story now.

Alas for the Roadses. I am pretty sure Cade was a witch now, that's one heck of an un-Quakerlike sacrifice. As for tophonyms, probably the scenario writer just didn't think it through, but placenames often persist long after the relevant object is gone from the landscape, which is why they're useful to archaeologists. Professionally, I'd assume Cade's Rest was only called such by later scholars, and the Bostonians - source of folk memory in a largely illiterate population - related that they'd gone to Blackwater Creek and murdered everyone, naming the area and so the village built on it.

's all right, I only mentioned 'cause you asked.

I think the others got et by Real Life - got the impression Bliant was the easily-discouraged type and just felt he couldn't keep up rather than being offended, but then I generally don't pick up that I've offended someone before they're actually yelling at me, so. Grain of salt.

Will do, and thank you for running this, running it really well and sideways, and thanks to the others for the entertainment, this was fun.