Skip to main content

Paranormal Play by Play: Session Recap


Strange Beginnings
Session 1

Recap of session 1 with game design and module design notes in italics.

Bringing a party together is probably the biggest challenge in a present-day supernatural game. As a GM, you’re essentially introducing the supernatural element while at the same time dealing with the challenges of forming a party that would in reality form and stick together. The PCs did an excellent job with the individual pieces of the story they had from character creation and session zero, so that made the task much easier. This module needs a strong hook in order to get the buy-in necessary to serve as a session 1.

So, after receiving a text message from a missing co-worker asking for help, Riley (played by Erika) summoned two contacts and hit the road. In tow were Brian, a gun aficionado, and Dani, a paramedic. For his part, Brian, played by Austin, was happy to go along even if he didn’t quite understand what was at stake. Dani, on the other hand, looked a few times like she had had enough of this wild ride that threatened to progress late into the night, but her player (Victoria) stuck with it.

After discovering that the last ping on the phone from Laverne (Riley’s co-worker) came from a monument to a fallen deputy just off I-95, the party sprung into action. Checking the last known residence left the party with far more questions than answers. Where was Laverne? Why was her cellphone at the site of a deputy’s death? What was behind this death and a second deputy who had died in the county in the last five months?

The session ended with the party at a burger place, taking advantage of the wi-fi, and combing through coroner’s reports. On one hand, they’d discovered strange news: both deputies had apparently been strangled by someone with very small hands and little opportunity or inclination to fight back. On the other, they knew very little about Laverne except that she likely wasn’t who she had claimed to be.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ars Arcana Blog: Why No One Understands Alignment

Why No One Understands Alignment
Travis J. Rodgers
Alignment was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons as a character (NPC or PC) attribute. It wasn’t rolled for; it was typically selected, but sometimes a particular alignment was necessitated by the character’s race or class. But what is ostensibly a kind of “outlook” piece, cross-indexing a regard for law and chaos on one axis and good and evil on the other is at best a concept evolving across game versions. This fact would explain why long-time gamers, or at least gamers who have played multiple iterations of D&D, might view alignment differently from others. At worst, however, it’s essentially meaningless. There’s a middle path, which may be its original intent, one according to which alignment is both meaningful and quite objective – but then it’s extremely contentious. My considered view is that alignment is either meaningless or objective in a way that many players do not like (which is accurate is undertermined – the descript…

Ars Arcana Blog 2.7: Creating a Character SPARK

Ars Arcana Blog: Bringing Your Character to Life with SPARK
Travis J. Rodgers

The Challenge(s) For the grizzled vet of RPGs, creating a character is often a struggle of too many options rather than not knowing where to start. The character concept comes easily to mind, either because there is a character the vet has been wanting to play or because vets often have served as GM as well as player for so long, character concepts seem to spring from an endless font. The challenge becomes determining which of the system options is the best way to make use of your character concept. Let’s call this the “How? Question” of character design. On the other hand, for the relative novice to Roleplaying, the challenge is two-fold. In addition, to the struggles of navigating a system’s options, the novice may not have, and may struggle to create, the character concept. Let’s call this new question the “What? Question” of character design.
The SPARK In an episode of the Dungeon Chatter Podcast called “O…

Ars Arcana Blog: 2.8 - In Search of a Railroad

In Search of a Railroad (1 of 2 on Railroading) Travis Joseph Rodgers
Evidently, one of the worst things that can happen in an RPG is railroading. It sounds terrible, at least, to hear from many who discuss the topic on Twitter’s #rpg or #ttrpg tags. So, consider this brief essay an exercise in conceptual analysis. I’m simply attempting to understand what railroading is, such that it is objectionable.
The RPG Theory Review blog has the following to say: Railroading only takes place when player actions are prevented from having any effect on the flow of events.
Stack Exchange diagnoses the central wrong of Railroading: It's generally frowned upon, because it disrupts the free-will oriented nature of roleplaying.
The Angry GM agrees: Railroading used to refer to the GM forcing the players on a predetermined path through a story.
Even TV Tropes.Org chimes in: In short, the GM takes any measure necessary to ensure there is only one direction the campaign may proceed — his planned dire…