View Full Version : DM Help Modern game with mysteries attempt

2014-08-12, 07:04 AM
A while ago, my table players asked to play a modern game for a change, and I got a rather long list of mysteries/urban legends etc they wanted to investigate. Their chars were not to be any special people, just part of an international group attempting to solve such things.

There are two different kinds of things on the list I got. First, there are those yet unexplained/unresolved things like the Roanoke island colony or recently Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, or even who the Zodiak killers was, and second there are already solved riddles, like the magnetic hill optical illusions or the Marie Celeste. I'm rather sure I can come up with some fantastic ideas of what could have happened, the issue I have with some of those ideas is that they are far in the past.

I would need a reasonable way to interact with a past time with sometimes little in the way of documents other than time travel. The group investigating shouldn't have any unusual abilities beyond their specialty. The idea is to create the wonder/mysterious feeling by letting more or less ordinary people discover the truth behind the unusual (which doesn't always have to be mystic).

I've come up with nothing much but weak plot devices like letting them find documentation after all after some long puzzling searches. I am not sure that makes for much of a fun game. Some action is required. In a few cases, I could maybe introduce some decendant of someone involved in the original happenings who wants to protect some sort of secret, but that gets lame in repetition.

Any ideas?

2014-08-12, 11:23 PM
Some sort of psychometry/mental time travel/other plot device that lets the PCs experience what the people involved in the mystery experienced? Hand them the NPC character sheets, remind them the ending is a foregone conclusion, and let them go to it.

2014-08-12, 11:25 PM
So what you're saying is you want to play Call of Cthulhu.

2014-08-13, 04:07 AM
I am having trouble coming up with a method of allowing them to investigate these mysteries without time travel. As such I suggest you Sam Beckett the PCs completely.

Each PC finds a pocket watch (or is given one by the organization).
At certain times it activates and drags the character back in time to another body that is involved in one of the mysteries. (Phsyical stat may or may not change, mntal ones always stay the same). The players get to run around as someone else but keep all the same skills and such. As they investigate.
Then all you need is some rival orgnization working to set wrong what once went right.
I would run with past events changing the present as well as thats always cool.

2014-08-13, 04:45 AM
Yeah seems the only way to go about it without giving the chars any powers of their own. Maybe they can find watches as part of their first adventure - no one said I can't make up additional events.

Probably not what they planned for.

2014-08-13, 05:25 AM
I like the idea of finding the watches as they become a mystery themselves. (or at least they can do). Of course are you finding the watch or is the watch finding you.

It also helps that it stops the choosen one thing, if a character dies a replacment can take the watch (dependng on playing style and your view on killing players characters)

2014-08-13, 05:33 AM
Player death is rare but still happens at least once in a campaign, so that, too, is a good point.