Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[CofD corebook] How to run Investigations and Clues?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [CofD corebook] How to run Investigations and Clues?

    So, finally, we get the rules for making Investigation scenarios to run in Chronicles of Darkness corebook, getting the Clues and all. Only, I feel a bit confused by them. From mine reading it sounds like this:

    1. Character are doing some actions to get Clues.
    2. They get Clue with some Elements.
    3, They can spend Elements to get more Clues.
    4. When they are having enough Clues - voila, mystery solved! Characters get some epiphany and now have whole story. With one brillant light of understanding.

    The problem I have is in part of 2 and 3 I think - Where is "we get Facts A, and B - so we are going for Fact C" part of it?

    How to run, for example, Abyssal Intruder research by this system? How could this all look like in story?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-10-2016, 02:48 PM.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ in CoD games

  • #2
    I haven't gotten the book yet so I'm spitballing here but you rinse and repeat 2and 3 as necessary.

    Super ironically, it looks like OPP stole a march on FFG and made an RPG version of Arkham Horror. :-D

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds to me like a direct rip from GUMSHOE.

      Nothing wrong with that, of cours.


      Remi. she/her. game designer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        So, finally, we get the rules for making Investigation scenarios to run in Chronicles of Darkness corebook, getting the Clues and all. Only, I feel a bit confused by them. From mine reading it sounds like this:

        1. Character are doing some actions to get Clues.
        2. They get Clue with some elements.
        3, They can spend elements to get more Clues.
        4. When they are having enough Clues - voila, mystery solved! Characters get some epiphany and now have whole story. With one brillant light of understanding.

        The problem I have is in part of 2 and 3 I think - Where is "we get Facts A, and B - so we are going for Fact C" part of it?

        How to run, for example, Abyssal Intruder research by this system? How could this all look like in story?
        To be honest, I'm not sure I totally "get" this system yet either; I'm a "learn by doing" kind of gal, so I'll have to use it to fully understand it. But from reading it, it looks similar to systems I've seen in other games. Actually, it reminds me a bit of Skill Challenges from D&D 4e, but with better execution.

        Anyway, with your Abyssal Intruder example, you would first determine what exactly the players are trying to learn about Abyssal Intruders. Based on what they want to learn, you as ST set a number of clues that will be required to figure it out, with 1 being a relatively simple task, 5 being a very time-consuming task, and greater numbers being reserved for the kinds of mysteries that span whole chronicles.

        Once you've settled on how many clues are required, the players can begin trying to figure it out. You'll call for rolls based on how they are going about their research. So, if one of your players decides to hit the library, you might ask them to roll Intelligence + Academics and say it takes them a full day. If another character decides to tap their Occult contacts, that might be more like a Manipulation + Socialize (possibly benefiting from a relevant Contacts Merit) and take a couple hours at the most. Now, no matter the results of their rolls, they're each going to get a Clue. But that Clue might be incomplete, tainted, or come with an extra Element depending on the results.

        They can spend Elements for various dice bonuses related to their discoveries about Abyssal Intruders, and once they have accumulated the required number of Clues, they find the information they were looking for. However, if they have fewer Elements than the required number of Clues, there are additional complications.


        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Investigation system seems to be meant specifically for Very Meaningful Investigations, so you'd be hanging every Clue off a lot more than just a few random character actions. I think that the intent was to provide some explicit, but optional, rules for how to bring a previously significant tidbit back into play later on. So if you snip the discolored tail off a rat at one point because it's a Clue, you can later deduce that the machine in front of you is for producing poisonous gas. If you discovered some neat blackmail material, you can trot it out later on for a clear mechanical benefit when interacting with the target.

          It's not a system for plotting out your chronicle; it's a system for linking different scenes together to get equipment bonuses.

          I mean, it seems as simple as, "Let's learn about ghosts. Oh, we have learned things about Moaning Myrtle. We just encountered Moaning Myrtle. I get a bonus to doing this thing with Moaning Myrtle because I learned about her earlier."

          I do see how the system is very vaguely written, which discomforts me, but considering the vast scope that you can apply it to, I can understand why it's so vague.


          I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
          An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
          Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay, I have living example that is partially discovered by mine players to this day. Mine Yellow Sign Intruder is Abyssal entity that lives in corrupted Ley Lines network ( Mandalas ) or weird XIX century theater play. I make for him write up to use with Intruders system of Research rolls, so we have material to show in live how could this work. Here it is...

            Yellow Sign
            Corrupted Mandala, Carcosa, City from Stars

            Research of Yellow Sign
            Subject: Yellow Sign / Carcosa Intruder

            Capping Skill: Occult

            Action: Extended – 30 successes. Dramatic Failure can give character IlluminatedCondition.

            Research Times: 1 day, 6 hours

            Sources: Hallows & Ley Lines, City Planning, Astronomy, Niche Theatre Plays.

            Possible Modifiers: Researcher is Initiated of Prime (+1), Researcher saw Yellow Sign (+1), (Other ideas? )

            Successes1 Information

            0-2 Nothing

            3-5 In dense human settlements, Hallows and Ley Lines make complex patters known as Mandalas. Most of the time they start to look like overlaid High Speech Runes. Those images can evolve with time, reflecting Resonance of the settlement.

            6-9 There is known Mystery that makes shifts to the pattern of Mandala. It’s starts with springing more and more Hallows, making them looks like star cluster Hyades. Time of spread is various to each instance of this phenomena.

            10-14 Mystery in question is Abyssal Intruder that Guardians of Veil call the Yellow Sign or Corrupted Mandala. First name comes from the occult symbol that start to spread in the settlement where Intruder has shown. It is said to drive both Sleepers and Awakened mad with it, and more it’s show on the city, the more people are mad. The more people are mad, the more Yellow Sign comes to be spread in the city.

            15-19 In 1895 there was macabre and bizarre theatrical play written, called King in Yellow, from unknown author. It’s full of Yellow Sign imagery and connected to “Lost City of Carcosa”, located on the shores of Lake Hali in the Hyades. Those that read the original manuscript become totally obsessed with reenactment of the play – like the events in it were self-repeating history.

            20-24 The rumor states that City of London has been burned by extremist Guardians of the Veil in Great Fire of 1666 because development of city started in Elizabeth II times summoned Yellow Sign and Carcosa in to reality. Awakened and Sleepwalkers were in the grasp of madness. Surviving Guardians has cleared memories of those events in those that lived and burn or destroyed any left documents on the subject.

            25-29 If enough people were “Illuminated” and Hallows were Awakened, entity known as King in Yellow comes to the Abyss invaded city and start to prepare final ritual. He needs to put out larger part of Hallows and Ley Lines, to form giant Mandala of Yellow Sign over city. If he succeed, city moves beyond time and space, becoming Carcosa from the play.

            30+ Only way to destroy the entity is to forget it – the Sign, the Hallows Mandala meaning, the play. So the cursed Logophages Legacy from Guardians of Veil are the cure for the Intruder endemic. At least until King in Yellow entity himself does been summoned in to reality – cause he can spread it’s madness directly.

            1 – For each 5 successes collected by researchers, Storyteller rolls 1 dice and adds one dice on each next interaction. If ST gets success, Logophagens from Guardians of Veil know that she studies the Corrupted Mandala and will try as soon as possible to get character, every here associates and their associates – to consume their memories and destroy every of her notes.

            Illuminated [ Permanent ]
            Character has been “Illuminated” by the Yellow Sign. He wants to re-enact King in Yellow play ( even if she does not know about her ). She dreams about Carcosa and visages of King in Yellow. She unconsciously draw Yellow Sign.
            Resolution: Character completely forget about anything connected to Yellow Sign or Carcosa.
            Beat: Character is “playing her role” in the King in Yellow play. Character makes Yellow Sign in place where other people can find it.

            Use of Yellow Sign in play
            For example, I have London rules by the Visus Urbem cabal, from Hierarch and his Provost. They are connected to City Planning and their gone from the Logophagens memory feeding several times now – each time Logophagens have told them what they done and cabal chosen to forgot about Yellow Sign for the good of London City.

            How something like that can be used with new Investigation system? I'm most concerned with moment, in plot, of "I get the Clue - so what does this mean to character".
            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-26-2016, 03:07 PM.


            My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
            LGBT+ in CoD games

            Comment


            • #7
              ...I think the first thing you need to do is re-read "No Hard Answers"...


              I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
              An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
              Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                ...I think the first thing you need to do is re-read "No Hard Answers"...
                When I read it, it's sums up "do not preper anything, make something up at last roll". Which is totally contrary to make good mystery scenarios - as you need have villain, weapons, crime scene etc. Things that bind finally in to source of mystery, first event and motivations.

                Not to mention - you need to give SOMETHING for the players each time they get the Clue.

                /Irony:/ Or does me watching and reading for almost 30 years of mystery stories was wrong?

                From what I know about mysteries scenarios ( like Castle, Sherlock Holmes, large quantity of mine Mage games ) you need to give clues ( and mechanical Clues in this subsystem I assume ) that means something in the story. Some evidence, some rumor, some info.
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-13-2015, 04:47 AM.


                My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
                LGBT+ in CoD games

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                  When I read it, it's sums up "do not preper anything, make something up at last roll". Which is totally contrary to make good mystery secanrios - as you need have villian, weapons, etc. Things that bind finally in to source of mystery.

                  Not to mention - you need to give SOMETHING for the players each time they get the Clue.

                  /Irony:/ Or does me watching and reading for almost 30 years of mystery stories was wrong?

                  From what I know about mysteries scenarios ( like Castle, Sherlock Holmes, large quantity of mine Mage games ) you need to give clues ( and mechanical Clues in this subsystem ) that means something in the story. Some evidance, some rumor, some info.
                  So, maybe don't use the Investigation system if you have definitive answers for your mystery? Since it's pretty explicitly the opposite of what you want?


                  I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                  An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                  Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wait, so Investigation subsystem is not made to run mystery scenarios? For what is made then? To make random stories?


                    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
                    LGBT+ in CoD games

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wrong Elizabeth.

                      Actually, not Elizabeth at all, but Charles 2nd.


                      Simurgh, Mysterium Thyrsus in Mountains of Shadow (IC|OOC)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So having not run the system at all, here's my take on your question.

                        First of all, it's not about research rolls (like discovering information about your Yellow Sign). Instead, assume the Yellow Sign is acting in the city, and there are certain clues to it's whereabouts. From here, you run the investigation much as you would, except that when players make a roll and discover some new information (through contacts or w/e), you also give them a little token that they can spend to get bonuses. One player is poking around the library and finds references to the old play (1 Clue), another player finds a bunch of cultists performing rituals to summon him (1 clue), whatever.

                        They spend the clues, and you can present the information that the entity they're investigating is known as the Yellow Sign, and can be fought by making people forget it.

                        In a sense, it's a way of chaining together disparate rolls in the service of an investigation through these clue bonuses and gathering enough bonuses for the answer. Before, these rolls may have still happened but remained unconnected by the mechanics, while you connected them through the story. I don't think this needs to really change the way you run the mystery. The No Hard Answers, to me, is more about not depending on your players to put the clues to gether in the exact same sequence that you imagined, but rather adapt what they're doing and what they're finding to how they're approaching the problem. But it all builds towards the same mystery you had imagined.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Testing how Investigation mechanics could play on the session, I prepared the Clues from previous Research rolls results. They are written in logical extension of one another, but can be uncover “non-lineral”, like based on the rule No Hard Answers. Deeper understanding of Investigation system below.

                          Clues list:
                          • In dense human settlements, Hallows and Ley Lines make complex patters known as Mandalas. Most of the time they start to look like overlaid High Speech Runes. Those images can evolve with time, reflecting Resonance of the settlement.
                          • There is known Mystery that makes shifts to the pattern of Mandala.
                          • It’s starts with springing more and more Hallows, making them looks like star cluster Hyades. Time of spread is various to each instance of this phenomena.
                          • Mystery in question is Abyssal Intruder that Guardians of Veil call the Yellow Sign or Corrupted Mandala. First name comes from the occult symbol that start to spread in the settlement where Intruder has shown.
                          • It is said to drive both Sleepers and Awakened mad with it, and more it’s show on the city, the more people are mad. The more people are mad, the more Yellow Sign comes to be spread in the city.
                          • In 1895 there was macabre and bizarre theatrical play written, called King in Yellow, from unknown author. It’s full of Yellow Sign imagery and connected to “Lost City of Carcosa”, located on the shores of Lake Hali in the Hyades.
                          • Those that read the original manuscript become totally obsessed with reenactment of the play – like the events in it were self-repeating history.
                          • The rumor states that City of London has been burned by extremist Guardians of the Veil in Great Fire of 1666 because development of city started in Charles II Stuart times summoned Yellow Sign and Carcosa in to reality. Awakened and Sleepwalkers were in the grasp of madness.
                          • Surviving Guardians has cleared memories of those events in those that lived and burn or destroyed any left documents on the subject.
                          • If enough people were “Illuminated” and Hallows were Awakened, entity known as King in Yellow comes to the Abyss invaded city and start to prepare final ritual.
                          • King in Yellow needs to put out larger part of Hallows and Ley Lines, to form giant Mandala of Yellow Sign over city. If he succeed, city moves beyond time and space, becoming Carcosa from the play.
                          • Only way to destroy the entity is to forget it – the Sign, the Hallows Mandala meaning, the play. So the cursed Logophages Legacy from Guardians of Veil are the cure for the Intruder endemic.
                          • At least until King in Yellow entity himself does been summoned in to reality – cause he can spread it’s madness directly.
                          So we see at about 13 Clues in this Investigation. Mine players get to 5 of them to this day, as I see how story unfolds in our play.

                          Looking more in to subsystem rules, No Binary Rolls is interesting to dwell in to:

                          Originally posted by CoD No Binary Rolls
                          Play with stakes. Maybe failure at a given stage means the protagonists still find their Clue, but the antagonist realizes he’s being pursued. Maybe finding that Clue takes longer than expected, so the culprit can get away with another stage of his plan. A good investigation story needs to maintain momentum, lest it become frustrating.
                          In this system, Clues offer dice advantages for later rolls. Failure doesn’t inherently mean the Clue isn’t uncovered; it just means it can’t offer a dice benefit later. It’s up to you to determine just why that is. Is the evidence tainted? Is there a mitigating twist?
                          Antagonists showing up? Tainted evidance? This gives me some idea…

                          Let’s look how 5 Steps of Investigation would work with mine Yellow Sign Intruder mystery:

                          Step One: Decide the Scope of the Investigation
                          Counted 13 Clues and by the advices it would be about 7 chapters in mystery focus story. Truth be told mine players uncovered those 5 in two game sessions, half centered on this plot. But I help them with one at least, so maybe it was reflecting this 4 in two game sessions.

                          Step Two: Determine the Potential Clue
                          Clues itself we have written above. Maybe can change a bit wording with each, but sence more or less is covered.

                          Step Three: Establish Interval
                          Here we start implying the Mage setting. Chracters will need to find Clues in concrete circumstances, mostly by diving in Libraries of Orders or getting them from NPCs. Both will need to sweeten the pot for the other sides, so I think about make Clues as rewards in Social Maneuvering of those sources. As to how much time it will take – I say that each roll in correct Library will be about 2-6 hours, as I posted in previous version of this Investigation. Other takes on the Clues can take other time periods. The whole deal is to get to the sources that offer those Clues in the first place – it’s the “meat” of Yellow Sign story.

                          Step Four: Create Dice Pool
                          The Dice Pools itself are relatively simple. Most will be Intelligence+Occult.
                          I have only one problem with this – I have a hacker PC in our group that wants to solve everything by the Web Search. In-character is logical for this, but with this take I cannot show all those mage NPCs are committed to the mystery – those that have Libraries, secret knowledge, or could be witnesses to previous Yellow Sign intrusion. How to solve this with Investigation mechanics? In rules in this section are mentions some bonus and penalties – maybe make some harsher penalties for dwelling in to Web?

                          Step Five: Uncover the Clue
                          Here we make the roll itself and resolve the rolls. The rule of -1 penalty by using the same Skill means that Computers and Occult will quickly come outside of use. Maybe it good – maybe PCs will need Academics or Expression to understand the twisted truths encoded in the King in Yellow theater play itself?

                          Now to the roll results…
                          Dramatic Failure: Negative Condition is obvious – character becomes “Illuminated” as shown below.
                          Exceptional Success: This particular mystery is based on the being connected to madness. Beside Condition on benfit of search, character also get’s “Illuminated” one.

                          Illuminated [ Permanent ]
                          Character has been “Illuminated” by the Yellow Sign. He wants to re-enact King in Yellow play ( even if she does not know about her ). She dreams about Carcosa and visages of King in Yellow. She unconsciously draw Yellow Sign.
                          Resolution: Character completely forget about anything connected to Yellow Sign or Carcosa.
                          Beat: Character is “playing her role” in the King in Yellow play. Character makes Yellow Sign in place where other people can find it.

                          Special:
                          For this particular mystery, there is also one extra rule – as Logophagens activly look for people dwelling in to madness of Yellow Sign. After uncovering each Clue, Storyteller rolls number of uncovered to this time Clues as dicepool. If roll gets success, Logophagens from Guardians of Veil know that character studies the Corrupted Mandala and will try as soon as possible to get character, every here associates and their associates – to consume their memories and destroy every of her notes.

                          Finally, we should go to the Uncovering the Truth – but the rules are not clear here:

                          Originally posted by CoD
                          Uncovering the Truth
                          Once characters have the requisite Clues, they may Uncover the Truth. So long as they have the required number of Clues, this doesn’t require a roll; they have pieced togetherthe puzzle. However, for every Clue short of the required total, the Storyteller adds one significant complication to the investigation. Some example complications are:

                          • The culprit has plausible deniability.
                          • The culprit has a viable escape plan.
                          • The culprit has a hostage.
                          • The characters risk legal consequences if they pursue the culprit.
                          • The characters risk professional or personal consequences if they pursue the culprit.
                          • The crime in question was a smokescreen for a greater
                          conspiracy.

                          If possible, use input that came from the players during the investigation to determine the results. This doesn’t necessarily mean they get to determine the culprit, but they should be able to influence the finer details. After all, if they made hypotheses and assumptions during the investigation, and their efforts were successful, that should mean most of their theories rang true.
                          So if PCs collect all 13 Clues they just know the whole story. But what with all: “However, for every Clue short of the required total, the Storyteller adds one significant complication to the investigation.” So characters can roll somekind Investigation ( Skill ) roll and pice the Truth with less Clues? Does this roll get’s like -1 penalty for each Clue the PCs did not uncover? It’s written very obscurely…
                          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-13-2015, 02:59 PM.


                          My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
                          LGBT+ in CoD games

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                            Wait, so Investigation subsystem is not made to run mystery scenarios? For what is made then? To make random stories?
                            Like I said:

                            Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                            It's not a system for plotting out your chronicle; it's a system for linking different scenes together to get equipment bonuses.
                            This system is in the player section for a reason. It has the same emphasis as the combat section, or the equipment section.

                            If you want advice on how to plot, then read the ST section.

                            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                            So if PCs collect all 13 Clues they just know the whole story. But what with all: “However, for every Clue short of the required total, the Storyteller adds one significant complication to the investigation.” So characters can roll somekind Investigation ( Skill ) roll and pice the Truth with less Clues? Does this roll get’s like -1 penalty for each Clue the PCs did not uncover? It’s written very obscurely…
                            Would you just read the rules!?

                            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                            Some example complications are:

                            • The culprit has plausible deniability.
                            • The culprit has a viable escape plan.
                            • The culprit has a hostage.
                            • The characters risk legal consequences if they pursue the culprit.
                            • The characters risk professional or personal consequences if they pursue the culprit.
                            • The crime in question was a smokescreen for a greater conspiracy.


                            It's right there! You just quoted it. It's the very next sentence.


                            I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                            An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                            Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think what Hampster is getting at is that the Investigation rules only present one way to uncover the truth: by finding all the prerequisite clues. Ok, cool. But then there's a list of complications that can ensue if the players try to uncover the truth without all of the prerequisite clues... Ok... But how do they do that? By my reading, you need to have all of the clues to even attemp to uncover the truth. Unless I'm missing something.


                              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X