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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Help/Review a oneshot idea

    Ok, so with the holidays on the way, and the chances of getting the whole gaming group together declining I'm starting to get a couple of oneshot ready. I was planning on running a call of cthulhu game, and while I've run the system before this is my first time writing a senario, so I wanted to get some pointers, criticisms, and a couple of ideas for the things I haven't quite figured out yet.
    The basic idea behind the senario is a groundhog day loop taking place over a holiday work party. The game will start with all the players getting into an elevator together, being last minute arrivals or employees who stepped out for a smoke they'll get off together and join the party. For the first twenty minutes to half an hour they'll have do deal with a normal holiday party trying to impress an out of touch boss, rubbing elbows with the coworkers they hate, etc. i still have to write it out but I'm more concerned with the mythos mechanics right now. So at the end of the party part the boss will get everyone attention and give a speech (thanks, for the hard work, record year, etc, etc) he'll be intupted half way through by a door being broken down and the monsters of the senario breaking in and killing everyone then the game will restart with the elevator reaching the floor and the players rejoining the party but be the only ones who remember what happened then the rest of the game will be them trying to break the time loop or go crazy trying.
    The party will become a demi plane the elevators won't work the stairwells will just open to an endless pit and if the players manage to see or make it the cityscape there won't be any people and the city will end into nothingness anywhere that cant be seen from the windows of the office party
    I wasn't planning to use any known mythos monsters what breaks down the door where going to be abominations outside time slick pitch black humanoids without any features that feel and have the consistency of tar
    Then the thing I'm still working on is how they got stuck in and eventually get out of the time loop. My first thought was of an outside creature trapping the party goers in order to trap something else. Maybe a new hire is some sort of abominations from outside time that managed to escape and now the powers that be are trying to recapture them, maybe somebody got some kind of artifact that came from outside time and everything is acting funny until its returned, or maybe somebody thought it would be funny to spike the punch with space mead and messed up the spell
    Anyway anyone ever run something like this any tips or ideas does this sound like it would be fun from the players side?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Help/Review a oneshot idea

    This is a pretty creative idea, few things though. In a groundhog day setting combat and skill checks become useless. The players could just try again in a different loop. Second, you won't be able to build the actual feeling of being trapped without this game taking forever. What I recommend is put in place some sort of penalty for trying again, such as slow loss of life. That way the players have more of an incentive to get out.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help/Review a oneshot idea

    I would think about getting some kind of limit on, something that tells them that they don't have unlimited try's (that also doesn't make combat irrelevant.) If they always start in the elevator you could do something like "Number of persons allowed: 20" and in the next loop "Number of persons allowed: 19" and keep counting down...

    For them getting out I guess killing the tar monsters could work. The monsters could feed from the terror that ensues when they kill people and the party is so lucrative that they have some kind of queen or a hive mind effect that let them make the loop. So the Investigators should somehow get the possibility too make weapons, find the queen to kill it, etc...

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Help/Review a oneshot idea

    Quote Originally Posted by username1 View Post
    This is a pretty creative idea, few things though. In a groundhog day setting combat and skill checks become useless. The players could just try again in a different loop. Second, you won't be able to build the actual feeling of being trapped without this game taking forever. What I recommend is put in place some sort of penalty for trying again, such as slow loss of life. That way the players have more of an incentive to get out.
    First thanks for responding

    So one of the ideas I've had since posting this is that some of the NPCs have woken up to the time loop before the players how I'm justifying that is by saying eventually everyone is going to wake up but everyone is subconsciously creating a shield to protect their sanity and larger groups like the main body of the party are unknowingly working together to make the shield stronger so as a result a couple of people on their own (like a intern in the bathroom, and the boss in his office reflecting on his business) woke up long before the PCs then the PCs being in a smaller group than the party woke up together before the party but after a handful of people have already been awake

    To the first point I think there will be more than just the players who have woken up there will be two or three NPCs as well which is where most of the combat and skill challenges will come from and cause the variation in loops
    Second I think I'm fine with they're health resetting but they're sanity won't one of the NPCs that is also open to the loop will have been reduced to a crying mess by the time the PCs realize what's happening

    Overall I do want this to be mosty a social/puzzle salving game

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Help/Review a oneshot idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhallor View Post
    I would think about getting some kind of limit on, something that tells them that they don't have unlimited try's (that also doesn't make combat irrelevant.) If they always start in the elevator you could do something like "Number of persons allowed: 20" and in the next loop "Number of persons allowed: 19" and keep counting down...

    For them getting out I guess killing the tar monsters could work. The monsters could feed from the terror that ensues when they kill people and the party is so lucrative that they have some kind of queen or a hive mind effect that let them make the loop. So the Investigators should somehow get the possibility too make weapons, find the queen to kill it, etc...
    Thanks for responding
    I gave some answers in the other reply I made so I'll try to go over those fast but you can read it for more detail

    First I think there will be a couple of time limits first is sanity the second times into the billain who I'll get into in a second I probably won't have a hard number of loops but play it by ear at the table

    I think I figured out the villain I'm going to use sid as a placeholder name so sid is an ancient sorcerer who has discovered spells to have a minor effect on time (stop time for a second, rewind 2 seconds etc) but after exploiting those spells sid attracted the attention of "the thing that sleeps between seconds" and it sends the tar monsters to stop sid's timeline and become one of them like countless sorcerers and unlucky fools before him. So did trying to avoid this fate has come up with a plan to us a mind transfer spell hand have someone else take his place but with the time ( or lake there of) hes spent between seconds his physiology has changed slowly become closer to one of the tar creatures so the mind transfer spell doesn't work on just anyone any he creatures can tell the difference, so he starts these time loops to create an individual just enough like him he can take their body but far enough away the " thing that sleeps between seconds" no longer sees it him as sid or something that needs to be consumed and did gets a couple of decades to use time magic without consequences.

    So others then the players there will be a handful of npcs awake to the time loop who will cause most the actual conflict and the players will have to divide who becomes a sacrifice to sid or try and brake the loop or even help the "thing that sleeps between seconds" get sid and hope they land alright.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mordar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Help/Review a oneshot idea

    I think SAN will be a sufficient mechanism for handling the "repeat-ad-naseum" risk. Physical damage resets with the time reset, but the fact that the "investigators" retain their memory means they retain their SAN losses. This is pure investigation (the Investigators are all corporate employees, not a group of combat-ready Mythos fighters), so don't sweat the combat side of things.

    To determine the exit strategy (nope, don't make it "kill the monsters") you need to determine a plausible rationale for the entire situation.

    Were it me, taking a quick stab at this, I'd go with corporate power struggle. Sid is a senior VP (but no reason for him to be an ancient sorcerer...just a power-hungry smart guy who unearthed an ancient text [this makes it way more C'thulhuy] and learned the time-dance from its pages) who is on the way up the ladder. He's used the grimoire to power his ascent through the ranks and thought he did so unnoticed. However, TTTSBS did notice and wants Sid to stop...and decides the party is the time to stop/assimilate Sid. Sid, as a smart cookie, quickly recognizes what is going on and fortunately read in the same grimoire about a magic that will transfer his essence/retarget TTTSBS/reset his time-meddling counter.

    What Sid doesn't know is that the grimoire has been lost by each successive owner because that trick is nearly impossible to pull off. TTTSBS is able to reset time better than the spell-caster, and it is TTTSBS that keeps resetting the cycle as soon as it realizes it can no longer sense Sid. Thus the investigators have to stop Sid from saving himself in order to break the "loop".

    I'd have the "monsters" very vaguely shaped - mostly humanoid but featureless, maybe with some strange appendages or growths that show even in silhouette they are not human. They should move "between the seconds" so they seem to suddenly appear places as opposed to move places (like the effect used in The Ring, etc) so that it provides a hint to the investigators that they are time linked as well. These creatures wouldn't even be independent entities, but more just extensions of TTTSBS. That would allow for the potential escalation of the "creatures" in successive iterations of the loop if necessary.

    Additionally, while I like the idea of the isolated demiplane, I don't think it fits the time theme. Let them run away, only to be sucked back into the party when Sid "wins". Let them have access to outside resources that just won't matter. They can't get far in the 30 minutes and they'll probably quickly understand that its a waste of time to try.

    The way out is to stop Sid from successfully making the transfer. His office will hold clues to his Mythos dabbling. Shaking up the order of party-goer deaths but keeping Sid as the last to die before the reset will also provide a clue to his importance. If the investigators get too close to him he'll use one of them as the transfer target (so the creatures preferentially target that investigator) so in the next iteration they may realize that Sid knows things and isn't just an occult-murder victim.

    So the solution is getting the drop on Sid and preventing/interrupting his spell in time for TTTSBS to latch on and assimilate him.

    Oh, and make Sid a nice enough guy. Not super-pally or anything, but a reasonably amenable fella that gets along with pretty much everyone. It'll be better that way.

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