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Cryptkeepers -- A Splat for Storytellers?

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  • Cryptkeepers -- A Splat for Storytellers?

    I've heard many people ask about any other potential splats which may be developed for the "Chronicles of Darkness" and one popped into my head while going over old horror anthology shows and films:

    “The Mortuary Collection” – 2021
    “Creepshow” – all iterations
    “Tales From the Hood” – 1995
    “Tales From the Crypt” tv series – 1990’s
    John Carpenter’s “Body Bags” – 1993
    “Tales From the Crypt” – 1972
    “Night Gallery” – 1969-1973
    “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors” – 1965


    Each one centered on a mysterious, apparently supernatural host relaying stories from a collection they possess; sometimes from objects from various people or, more often than not, from dead people they have access to. Also, they seem to tell stories which relay a sort of karmic theme for many of the characters. I started to wonder, could there be a splat for the storytellers themselves? Let the storytellers be a character in their own chronicles?

    A splat for "Cryptkeepers" as it were--strange supernatural beings who, for one reason or another, are cursed to collect and share stories from the Chronicles of Darkness--not able to interfere directly, but able to influence events to flow from a specific karmic theme.

  • #2
    The idea isn't half bad, but you would have to present something to make it interesting for protagonists. What this game would be about for the players? Or is it meant also literally for NPCs?


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    • #3
      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
      The idea isn't half bad, but you would have to present something to make it interesting for protagonists. What this game would be about for the players? Or is it meant also literally for NPCs?
      About making amends perhaps? I don't know, I'm just throwing an idea out here to see if it would have any merit--In "The Mortuary Collection" (2021) you have a funeral director relaying stories from the bodies in his morgue, only to find out in the end that he's a cursed individual who not only can't die but also can't leave the Mortuary.

      Perhaps these hosts are people who were terrible people in life and are now cursed in death to not only collect stories but also influence stories that ensure the wicked are punished for their crimes.

      Mechanically it would allow the storytellers to interact with their players in a more direct way, being a character in their own chronicle whom the other players can interact with whether they are playing Vampire, Werewolf, Deviant, etc. It could maybe include NPCs...

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      • #4
        I do think they have a lot of potential as an NPC oriented type of creature, I'm just not sure if it qualifies as a "splat". But it is surely a worthy idea that I'll at leas ruminate for use n my own chronicles, even if I can't find actual further ideas to throw here.

        The concept works well as a cross-splat phenomenon. Anyone could become a Crypt Keeper for a number of reasons, but the role is so archetypal that it carries a weight all its own to add to the character.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          I do think they have a lot of potential as an NPC oriented type of creature, I'm just not sure if it qualifies as a "splat". But it is surely a worthy idea that I'll at leas ruminate for use n my own chronicles, even if I can't find actual further ideas to throw here.

          The concept works well as a cross-splat phenomenon. Anyone could become a Crypt Keeper for a number of reasons, but the role is so archetypal that it carries a weight all its own to add to the character.
          Yeah, maybe they don't really work as an official splat, but maybe an alternate idea for how storytellers could work with players.

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          • #6
            A Cryptkeeper splat would be interesting, though it would take some altering and expanding of the base idea to make it a group of Cryptkeepers work.

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            • #7
              So wait, something like the Ryuujin from Ryuutama?


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              • #8
                I am joining in because this sounds like a gameline in the making *eyes with interest*

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                • #9
                  It's literally main idea about They Came From Beyond the Grave!, game having premiere in coming weeks.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Caedus View Post
                    I am joining in because this sounds like a gameline in the making *eyes with interest*
                    I'm not sure it's a gameline, per se, but the notion has functional space for a sourcebook, or at least part of one.

                    And I'm not going to be the one to shoot down the notion of playing the manifested superego of a psychic rabbit detective mutated into a gigantic beast by a toybox filled with powerful toys from another dimension.

                    EDIT: or the writer writing out their own departure and return, for that matter.
                    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 10-15-2021, 06:35 PM.


                    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                    Feminine pronouns, please.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                      So wait, something like the Ryuujin from Ryuutama?
                      Not sure, I'm not familiar with that.

                      Originally posted by TrueMrMultiverse View Post
                      A Cryptkeeper splat would be interesting, though it would take some altering and expanding of the base idea to make it a group of Cryptkeepers work.
                      True that -- it would be a splat, or just a character npc set which could work with all other splats, and support players in their chronicles. Not interfering directly, but rather influencing events.

                      Like perhaps they're beings who died and on the other side, instead of being banished to Hell, they were given a chance to help the world and learn from it in a way they didn't have a chance to in their own life. Maybe they relay a 'dream-vision' to a player(s) about an event that will happen in the future like in "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors," while another time they may show a story to a victim about the horrors done by someone they know (and plans to do to the victim next), and other times they just tell a story about someone else to confer a lesson about comeuppance like in "Tales From the Crypt" as a framing device for the chronicle.

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                      • #12
                        If we put the focus more on spooky items, then we would have a solid core gameplay loop. What if being the creepy host with a massive collection of items was the endgame and the Cryptkeeper's usual activities consisted of tracking down supernatural items to add to their collection. We could take a page from Deviant and have the Cryptkeeper's power stat only go to 5, with the power they've invested in any given item accounting for the rest.

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                        • #13
                          That could work very well! Would probably need maybe some expanded item creation rules though.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wrecksalot View Post
                            If we put the focus more on spooky items, then we would have a solid core gameplay loop. What if being the creepy host with a massive collection of items was the endgame and the Cryptkeeper's usual activities consisted of tracking down supernatural items to add to their collection. We could take a page from Deviant and have the Cryptkeeper's power stat only go to 5, with the power they've invested in any given item accounting for the rest.
                            Interesting idea, but to what purpose do they collect these items which could also be expressed in gameplay?

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                            • #15
                              Instead of collecting items, I think it could be that they collect stories, and maybe they create items from those stories. Like empowering a trinket that was tangentially involved with the energy of the entire story.

                              They could make it in several steps. They first investigate to piece the story together, then they build the narrative, and finally they pass the story along. Each step empowers the new item in some way.

                              About what to do with that, different Z-Splats may have different reasons/goals with the items and/or the stories.


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