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Looking for opinions on a noir-era setting

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  • #16
    I don't see a good replacement for computers, the contacts idea seems to close to streetwise, enigma is mostly covered by investigation, operate is a maybe as it's not realy something you can argue should be under drive alternatively finance would make sense as it would otherwise be under academics but splitting them makes sense to me.


    • #17
      If you tell them something feels off, then its easy to guess the trope. For example, in Bioshock we know by the end that Jack was deliberately placed in Rapture, but you only realize it by the end. But at first it looks like an unlucky break after surviving a plane crash.

      Another example can be found in Reign of Exarchs. The party is looking for artifacts of the Dethroned Queen. The chapter starts in media res, with the characters trapped in a dream in the cave containing the sceptre. They have average mortal lives, live in a suburd, do their jobs. The only thing they notice is off is that they are always hungry, no matter how much they eat. Why is that ? Because their real bodies are being starved in the cave. Worse still, they don't know the identities of the others, so they are in a race against time to figure out what is going on and break free. Even if they do, the scepter tries to send illusions to convince them that neutering a part of themselves is the only way to escape.

      I think you shouldn't just tell them "your spidey sense is tingling". Purgatory is not nice, it will cleanse their spirit, but will also force them to confront themselves. It will always claim a pound of flesh. Have things start normally and become weirder as things progress. Ask yourself why they are there, how is this world constructed and what it will make them face. Then inflict the side effects upon the players to make them take initiative in finding a "cure"

      For example, lets say there is a supernatural sonata. It has solos for piano, violin, flute and harp. Each player was exposed to a piece, which gave a boon and a much stronger curse. For example, one player gets super sensitive hearing (8 again in Perception rolls) but his appearance changed and no one they knew can recognize them (Appearance 0).

      They can go track the ghost of the composer, his descendants (maybe an immortal blood bather who uses the bodies of the victims to make partiture, ink, etc), the records of the sonatta, etc. Eventually they figure out he is in the lowest levels of the Underworld. So they go after him, as they go down they face 40s themed reinterpretations from Dante's Purgatorio. When they reach the bottom they arrive at the top, back in the normal world.

      If they try to go back to the entrance of the Underworld, they arrive at a clock tower in London. Except its a sunken London, inside a cave, in a half sunken world that blends the setting of Fallen London:

      With a 40s reinterpretation of the purgatory symbolism of Majora's Mask:

      Thus did they conclude the first layer of the journey, now they have a new mystery to solve and there is a lot of design room to construct your composer.

      How do I suggest creating him ? Like Joker from Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. The Joker is Batman's guide on his journey through the underworld. The writer's comments are very evocative stuff, I suggest giving it a read. Make him a guide and motivator to the party.

      That is how I would go about it, hopefully there are some ideas there that would suit your players
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-07-2019, 08:10 PM.

      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists