[ETU] Scary Texas

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lordrahvin
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[ETU] Scary Texas

#1 Postby lordrahvin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:18 pm

A couple things I changed in the setup for my recently-started Degrees of Horror campaign.

1. I really don't want the PCs running to Professor Maclanahan every time they have a problem. So I've introduced the character of Linda Darson (the angry woman complaining about the graffiti in Sweat Lodge) to be a sort of foil for him during Freshman year. His whole department is under review. His stuff is being confiscated. If he steps out of line in any way, that's it.

2. GlenMac is having a semi-secret relationship with the guidance counselor, Helen Lane. This probably won't be noticed right away and should be introduced subtly, or take the fore-front in Beautiful Smile.

3. I created a whole soap-opera backstory for Nina Castle and her friends, including how several of them mysteriously disappeared and how they turned on each other shortly after sealing away some supernatural evil "forever" and destroying all evidence. Helen's true name has been changed to Annette LaCroix (instead of Helen LaCroix, because I felt that was too obvious.)

4. I ran the English Patient as the first mid-term and introduced several NPC students in his class including Dan Freeman, Missy Jordon, Benito Ramirez, Timothy Diamond, Eddie Ruiz, Grant Harroway, Keyva Bordeaux (of course), and a couple more custom characters. Introducing them all is a bit difficult, but not as hard as I thought -- especially if every PC has one or two relationships or encounters. Right these names down. They are important. Drop them in as "window dressing" whenever you can. Don't be afraid to play a lot with Dan Freeman because he's going to be around awhile. In my campaign, he's the charismatic football player who's a bit of a jerk but respectful of authority. (Some of these NPCs are also roommates of the PCs. Before this session started, I made sure everyone was clear on who their roommate was and in which dorm they lived in.)

5. I've found that many of the Savage Tales and even Plot Points have to be "spiced up" a little, not just ran as-is. Every single one. Usually I'll throw a "plot twist" in and mess with the background a little bit. For example, in English Patient it wasn't Keyva responsible for what happened to Cutter. She planned to do it, she has the means and opportunity, but her conscience couldn't let her go through with it. In the end, it was her boyfriend whom she had told about her plans, and the magic consumed him driving him to lash out, So after a session of trying to take down "a crazy voodo witch", the group realized they had to work with her to stop her boyfriend. Rumor has it they broke up afterwards. Keyva has become an interesting resource/rival for some members of the group.

6. Don't forget about the Needler. It's a cultural phenomenon. Do something with it. People should mention him from time to time. If the PCs get in contests of wills, some kind of taunts regarding mothers and the Needler might be appropriately inappropriate. In my campaign, the Needler is the name the police use for a serial killer that's on the loose in Pinebox had seriously set a dark tone during the holidays.

7. I jacked up the events in Sweat Lodge to make them more "supernatural". The two guards that August took to the back were killed as "the first sacrifices" and used to create a Talisman that gives him a magic power. (I chose Pummel.) He incorrectly believes that the mass sacrifice using the fire sigils will grant him even more power. Now this is the PCs first introduction to ghosts AND magic AND talismans.

8. Timothy Diamond was shot and killed in the events of A Bite To Eat. Since I had introduced him and his roommates as art students and the very next session is going to be Beautiful Smile, I decided that Timothy Diamond should be the subject for the artwork. Consequently, the painting has been renamed to Diamond In The Rough. Also, I've decided to make the love-reactions more delayed and with a longer time=limit so as not to make things immediately obvious -- however, upon being effected, every person will find some reason to use the word "diamond" when professing their love. There will be a way to break someone from the love spell, but I haven't decided what that is yet.
Last edited by lordrahvin on Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:40 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#2 Postby lordrahvin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:30 pm

9. I created a schedule of gaming sessions based on advice given by DMbobby. I call it the Academic Calendar. The original advice (and additional advice on pacing a Degrees of Horror game) can be found here: viewtopic.php?p=447949#p447949

Here's my freshman year:

Late August: Sweat Lodge
Early September: Return To The Roost
Mid-September: English Patient (Mid-term Exams afterward)
Mid-October: A Bite To Eat
Mid-November: Beautiful Smile
Mid-December: The Show Must Go On (Final Exams afterward)

WINTER BREAK

Mid-February: Bugs (Happy Valentines Day!)
Early March: Unknown yet. Rodeo? (mid-terms afterward)
Late March: Ghost Hunt
Early April: Unknown yet. Spring break?
Late April: Unknown yet. Monster trucks? Literally?
Mid-May: The Needler (finals afterward)

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#3 Postby DMbobby » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:13 am

Love hearing about other ETU games and this one sounds like it's already off to an awesome start. I've had similar problems with Glen Mac right to the point that my first group never once trusted him, granted in this game a player also ended up being haunted by Nina thanks to the grave-speak table and ended up creating a full relationship with her. In my most recent play through I've tweak him to be more of an Egon type character using a handful weird science devices that will definitely go awry allowing him to have the interest in the supernatural but no actual skill in magic. I've also removed Jackson Green. I love the character, but he's not around enough and honestly serves as a crutch when he's there then disappears for plot convenience. Instead I plan on Glen Mac going missing at the end of year one.

I've also removed Helen completely replacing her with Mr Manz from Last Rites of the blackguard, having a resurrected unkillable Nazi Mummy the characters are responsible in part for making just feels more like a big bad threat and with Mac gone there's no one to believe them something like that even exists let alone is responsible for thing going on. Plus ready made cult that I can fuse with the East Texas Militia as they gain power and just move into the abandoned Base X rather than hidden possibly government funded cooperation.
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#4 Postby lordrahvin » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:50 am

I'm not happy with Beautiful Smile as its written and am looking for ways to "spice it up".

I don't have any ideas yet, but I've thought of something else in the meantime. As a subplot, I'm considering adding a "luminescent blue fluid" as a recurring clue behind some of the Savage Tales. So far, I'm considering adding this to Samantha's paints in "Beautiful Smile" as the explanation for the Strangeness instead of the paint brushes. I'm also considering it as an ingredient to the chemical formula used in Bugs to give Johnny his special powers.

Not sure where else I'll use it. I just thought of it tonight. I figure I'll be able to use it partially as an explanation for some of the stuff that happened and also as a sign that there's something behind the scenes linking these things together. (I don't know what that is yet...)

This could be something like "ectoplasm, a result of the convergence, or a substance brought in and controlled by someone else. It could also have a completely scientific (or para-scientific) origin. This may work out well since later stories lean more toward a science-fiction angle with secret bases and special projects and such, and so far it's all been ghost stories.

Alternatively, I'm considering the paint brushes to be something that Samantha found -- an artifact hidden away by the Class Protectors in the '60s and forgotten about. Nightmares about Nina could even come back and give some kind of cryptic warning about what's going on, steering them in the direction of the art department, perhaps by researching a name provided to them about last time this happened on campus. I'm actually kind of liking that idea, too. The only problem is that Nina's supposed to be at rest... maybe it's Halen Lane who suggests to Maclanahan something like this has happened before?

More and more, I'm kind of liking that idea of linking the brushes to the '60s storyline. It allows the subplot from the '60s to come back, ties the Savtage Tale into the main plotline, and ties into the season finale without being too overt about it. It also adds more interaction and investigation to the beginning.

Yeah, I like that.

Thank you for listening.

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#5 Postby DMbobby » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:17 am

The blue fluid could be a component in the creation of the enhanced chupacabras later in the plot point once the party finds the lab making them in base x
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#6 Postby lordrahvin » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:52 pm

DMbobby wrote:The blue fluid could be a component in the creation of the enhanced chupacabras later in the plot point once the party finds the lab making them in base x


That sounds perfect!

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#7 Postby DMbobby » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:42 pm

Also the ghost machine in Sophomore year could use tubes full of it being electrified or something, a mystery liquid can be used all over.
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#8 Postby lordrahvin » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:23 am

"Beautiful Smile" took some odd twists. I ended up making the painting about Timothy Diamond, a recently deceased student who was killed in the events of A Bite To Eat last session. He didn't know it, but he had an admirer in the form of Samantha Wilkes. When he died, she felt so bad that she put aside her art gallery project and made a new one from scratch dedicated to Timothy, using the old paint-brushes and special paint she found locked in a small chest hidden in the air ducts of one of the art rooms. The painting was called Beautiful Smile, and she put all her love and anguish into it. That's all background material that, almost, kind of fits with the book.

At the start of the session, one of the PCs (the loner, paranoid type) notices someone has left a bouquet of roses by his door. The card's addressed to him and signed "from a secret admirer". This is already starting to seem weird, but of course not yet creepy. However, another player is getting lunch from the dining hall (cafeteria) when one of his band-mates comes up to him screaming that he has to hide, someone is after him, she's driving him crazy, etc. It turns out that a senior student, the head cheerleader, is suddenly obsessed with finding him. That wouldn't be so bad, except he himself seems obsessed with finding another girl (Keyva, from The English Patient). As the duo tries to perform mundane errands, they quickly realize weird things are happening all over school. Lots of people seem to be obsessed with finding other people and expressing their love. Some people seem really obsessed with it, to the point of psychopathy. Some of these people seem completely obsessed with finding people they don't even know that well, know nothing about, or don't even know the names of. At one point, one of the PCs has to talk another character off a roof. Whatever's going on, it's getting worse, as the players realize when Dan Freeman asked one of the player character's for his opinion on a poem for Trystie Moon. "Roses are red, violence is too / Come to my bed, it will be safer for you"

They go to Professor Maclanahan for help, barging into his office accidentally interrupting him in a passionate embrace with a school guidance counselor. The two regain their composure and try to act professional as she leaves. This is their first introduction to Helen Lane. One of them notices the professor's admiring gaze as Helen leaves. They players conclude that whatever wacky mind-control stuff is going on, it's got the Professor too and he's not going to be any help.

Another spooky event that has been going on during this time is that they've been seeing the spectral form of the late Timothy Diamond around campus. No one else seems to see him, but often times he's seeing someone whispering to someone and fading away, and that person's demeaner changes. At one point, one of the player's is talking to someone (about arranging a tutoring session) and the spectral form of Timothy comes up to her and says, "Isn't there something you need to be doing right now? Someone you need to find?" Timothy vanishes, but the person suddenly seems obsessed over finding another student.

At this point, the party has split up. While one does research, the others are with a group of NPCs in the dorm shared kitchens trying to keep violence from breaking about among love-sick students. It doesn't help that some of them seem clearly insane. One of the PC's band members, for example, decides to make "love muffins" with Drain-O as the secret ingredient. In his euphoric but obsessed state, this seems like a perfectly rational idea.

Meanwhile, something has gone wrong. One of the player character's roommates is calling them for help. When they arrive, they discover that the bouquet of flowers left on the table has grown into a giant plant-monster and has entrapped the roommate while he was asleep. They kill the giant plant and hack the rooommate free. Other problems are happening around campus. A love-letter being passed around seems to inspire anger in everyone who reads it. A photography student snaps people's pictures and some of them disappear in a flash of light. One girl dips her hand into a box of candy and has a hard time getting her hand back out. I was hoping the PCs would make the connection that all these gifts seem to be back-firing, but it seems like they were too busy running around putting out fires (figuratively) and keeping their band-mates from doing anything stupid (and of course this was a great opportunity to have them do the stupidest things).

I was pretty sure someone -- one of the NPC's at least -- was going to die this session. It was like the Valentines Day -themed edition of the movie, "Final Destination" but with everyone high on some kind of drug. Half the students at least. Maybe not even half. But it was spreading. And it was clearly caused by this specter of Timothy Diamond.

Meanwhile, one of the player characters did some research on-line to find out that something similar happened to the school about fifty years ago. There was some major controversy around an unusual number of strange romantic couplings around the time of the harvest dance in the '60s. He finds a photo of two people on the front-page of the newspaper that apparently involved "a scandalous kiss" by two people, Nina Castle and Jack Little. Further research didn't yield much, although there was a strange little comment by Jack Little when he answered a reporters question with an off-hand comment about how he "enjoyed the dance much more once they got rid of the Greek influence". Their research didn't yield anymore information, so the player's got together again.

Once they had rescued all the band-mates and everyone was together, their dialogue revealed one other strange clue. The performance hall where they practice each night had been locked up "for the gallery". Further inquiry informed the group that one of the band-mates had helped setup for room for some art gallery they were having on display tonight. There were half a dozen paintings in there. They were making it a big deal because one was dedicated to some student who died recently.

Of course, that clue caught their attention. They decided to continue making sure everyone was okay and generally killing time before the gallery opened. "The art show is officially at 8pm, but they open the doors at 7pm so people can walk around and admire the art." They decided to find Sam Wilkes, found her dorm, and persuaded her to let them in. It seems the spectral form of Timothy Diamond had been with her the most, and she seemed subject to his every command although she didn't seem to see or hear him. He was mostly concerned with making her finish her next painting ("Lonesome Fields").

At this point, something happened that I did not expect. As the party had done with Professor Maclanahan, they dismissed Samantha completely. There wasn't an attempt to get her to stop painting, or to examine her art supplies, or even to try to free Samantha of the ghostly influence. Their sole purpose was to take the painting and break its spell, as they were convinced that painting of Timothy Diamond was at the heart of everything.

The players decided to steal the painting. They waited until security opened the doors and let people in. This was... well, it was wacky fun. Basically, they staged an elaborate heist using a staged fire. As far as security knows, the painting they stole was lost in the fire, though some members of the group got recognition for saving as many of the paintings as they could. Anyway, they got the painting and got away clean. There were complications (they broke the fire alarm, they aroused the attention of a security guard, etc.) but they dealt with those issues. The spectral form of Timothy Diamond tried to stop them, but they managed to burn the painting and Timothy suffers an agonizing spectral death. ("That's the second time you guys have killed this guy!")

Once the painting burned, it left behind some residue in the form of a luminescent blue fluid. They soaked up the strange geleton with a shirt and saved it in a duffel bag for later analysis. This is the first artifact they've ever turned over to Professor Maclanahan mostly because they didn't have the resources to analyze it themselves. In the background, the Professor will likely consult with Helen Lane about it. I haven't decided yet what the results of that conversation will be.

Once the players destroy the painting and kill the spectral form of Timothy Diamond, everything seems to revert to normal -- for the most part. The killer plant has turned back into roses. The pictures of it that they took are gone. Some people have fuzzy memory of the last several hours. The band-mates don't know why they are walking around with cupcakes, but thoroughly enjoy them. The players are reluctant to try any, though. Many people seem to forget about their strange behavior or dismiss it in some way. (In the background, Keyva Bordeaux is suddenly wondering why she is driving all the way to Arizona to hand-pick some flowers.)

The next morning, the Professor leaves a message asking the group to come and see him after his morning class. They do, and he formally introduces them to Helen Lane. (The two of them seem a lot more professional now.) Helen Lane doesn't admit to knowing about anything occult going on, but she does answer some of their questions about what happened 50 years ago based on stories she heard. There was a harvest dance around that time that turned bloody. That night, a body was found in the basketball court completely burned alive. It's the very girl in that photo they were asking about. That year was a tragic year -- many students died or disappeared. So the school stopped having harvest dances after that. That's really all she knows, but she's concerned as to why the students are looking into this. They basically lie to her and she lets it go for now, shaking the Professor's hand and leaving with a "I'll see you around" which unknown to the players probably means they have plans later than night. The players have dismissed their romance as part of the strange romantic weirdness going on all over campus that day.

The players share all they know with the Professor. They share their research, their recent encounters, the strange fluid. all of it. The Professor is fascinated, but confused by much of this. He doesn't know anything about Samantha Wilkes or Timothy Diamond. When the players ask about a "Greek influence" he explains an ancient Greek myth about spirits who whisper inspiration into artists. The Greeks called them "muses". "And it wasn't just art. The muses were said to visit Generals in their sleep and inspire them to make profound battle strategies. In occult lore, there are some references to 'dark muses' - spirits of evil inspiration that drive artists mad." He suggests they could be dealing with something like that, but are at a loss as to what could have awoken or summoned it.

It being the next day, some of the player characters decide to visit Samantha and "make sure she's okay". The room is locked, but they get in and discover the whole place empty. The cupboards are bare, the beds are missing sheets, there's nothing but furniture in the room. No books, no papers, nothing in the fridge. They ask some of the other students in the hallway and discover that no one lives there -- that form wasn't rented this year. No one has ever heard of Samantha Wiles. They ask about the art gallery where they learn that the 1st place ribbon was given to David White for his painting, "Dreams on the Sea".

The players are still pretty confused as to exactly what happened, but at least they managed to save the school.. The school is safe... right?

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#9 Postby Jackson » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:35 pm

Nicely done!!! Love how ya'll are running these!!!

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#10 Postby lordrahvin » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:07 pm

So far, we're halfway through Freshmen year and there are a number of "open mysteries" presented as seasonal story arcs:

What happened to Tyson August?
In the very first episode, Tyson August was cornered by the players as he was trying to escape. Some unknown entity -- described later as a Predator-like creature - dragged Tyson out the emergency exit and disappeared into the forest. What was that creature? What did it want with Tyson? What ever happened to him?

What happened to the Class Protectors?
A group of students apparently fought the supernatural and sealed it away over 50 years ago. They collected many strange artifacts and sealed away several supernatural threats. Eventually, they turned on each other and all of them have since either died or disappeared. Who were these people? What happened to them? Why does their story keep coming up, and why is supernatural activity on the rise again?

Where are the vampires?
The spirit of Timothy Diamond admitted that he was attacked by two vampires and that his roommate's body was drained of blood by one of them. Presumably, they are part of a nest of vampires nearby. Where is this nest, and how many vampires are out there?

Who or what is the Needler?
The police are after a serial killer they are calling the Needler. So far, he has been known to kill a city councilman, a judge, and a fry cook. Is he still on the loose? Is he a person or some supernatural creature, and why does the GM keep bringing him up? Was Timothy Diamond the Needler? Was it the vampires?

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#11 Postby lordrahvin » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:25 am

I'm designed my first "NPC card" for the "Scary Texas" ETU campaign. In light of Savage World's emphasis on props and making things visual, I'm considering making a whole deck of these. I don't use miniatures and don't have many maps, so I'm thinking these will give me something visual to lay out on the table and may help people remember who key NPCs are.

Image

This card is for Grant Harroway. In Degrees of Horror, he's the son of a district attorney who is "falling in with a bad crowd" during Quid Pro Quo. In the Scary Texas campaign, Grant is an unreliable band member in the student rock-band of one of the PC's. Grant's always got some scheme going on to "make some easy money" or something similar.

If cards like this were laid out on the table whenever the NPC was present, would you find that helpful?
Do you think it would be helpful for a player to have a small collection of these NPC cards for their close friends and personal connections? What about things like their annoying roommates and nosy parents?

Should threats like Tyson August get NPC cards too, or is that just going overboard?

Do you think there's any relevant information missing from the card that would make them more helpful to players?

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#12 Postby Prest0 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:10 pm

It's definitely a cool idea. As a GM aid, I'd be tempted to turn them into table tents. You'd have the public info on the front and on the back facing you would be his name, attributes, and so on. That way everything is easily in sight if you need to roll for the character.
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#13 Postby DHRDawg » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:21 pm

lordrahvin wrote:I'm designed my first "NPC card" for the "Scary Texas" ETU campaign. In light of Savage World's emphasis on props and making things visual, I'm considering making a whole deck of these. I don't use miniatures and don't have many maps, so I'm thinking these will give me something visual to lay out on the table and may help people remember who key NPCs are.

Image

This card is for Grant Harroway. In Degrees of Horror, he's the son of a district attorney who is "falling in with a bad crowd" during Quid Pro Quo. In the Scary Texas campaign, Grant is an unreliable band member in the student rock-band of one of the PC's. Grant's always got some scheme going on to "make some easy money" or something similar.

If cards like this were laid out on the table whenever the NPC was present, would you find that helpful?
Do you think it would be helpful for a player to have a small collection of these NPC cards for their close friends and personal connections? What about things like their annoying roommates and nosy parents?

Should threats like Tyson August get NPC cards too, or is that just going overboard?

Do you think there's any relevant information missing from the card that would make them more helpful to players?


Brilliant! I love the collectable card look too. Very useful. I did a similar thing with NPC cards and yes I did them for pretty much everybody, especially most of the NPCs. I would lay them out on the table when they were interacting with them. It helped out a lot when distinguishing all the NPC ETU can have. I ended up with a huge stack of them after the game ended but hey...those are the cool artifacts you get to keep after the game.

Here is another question for you. You have all that personal info on them on the front, do you think when you show the players the cards that they will automatically think, oh that's how this NPC is and might hamper the roleplay? Do you think maybe seeing that, for instance on Grant Harroway's card are the words "Professional Slacker, Lazy, Sneaky" that they might treat him differently rather than role play that out and let the players come up with their own conclusions on Grant Harroway?

What I did was put info like that on the back. Away from the players eyes. But I do love the call out boxes of the info. If I did my cards differently for my ETU game I would do it this way on one side and the other side would just have his picture and his name for the player's eyes.

Good job all around though!!!

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#14 Postby lordrahvin » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:10 am

lordrahvin wrote:
DHRDawg wrote:Here is another question for you. You have all that personal info on them on the front, do you think when you show the players the cards that they will automatically think, oh that's how this NPC is and might hamper the roleplay? Do you think maybe seeing that, for instance on Grant Harroway's card are the words "Professional Slacker, Lazy, Sneaky" that they might treat him differently rather than role play that out and let the players come up with their own conclusions on Grant Harroway?


I hope so.

That was kind of the point - to bridge the gap between player knowledge and character knowledge. I figure most of this is general information that their characters should know or could easily find out. Also... it may not be 100% accurate but could represent the gossip prevalent about a character.

I like the idea that it may encourage the players to interact differently with different NPCs right off the bat. That's how most interactions work in real life and its how I'd like to see interactions happen in game. It would be great if they started out not trusting Grant, or were nervous around Dan, or just assumed Missy would be uninterested in helping... and made decisions accordingly. I think that's an awesome side-effect and a better result than I could hope for.

---

Putting less information on the back is a really good, useful idea since it gives me the option to do it one way or the other as needed during play... except the card sleeves that I'm using have a really awesome werewolf image on the back and so I'm not changing. :)

Image

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#15 Postby JamesG » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:16 pm

Sorry I'm late to the party, but really cool thread. I'd love to see more detailed write ups like the one for "Beautiful Smile".

In terms of the NPC cards and having personal info on the front that players can view, I see both sides of the argument for and against. But for a setting like ETU, which is rather small scale and insular, I think having the info player facing makes sense. Gives off an everybody knows everybody kind of vibe. I would make sure the players know those things are the surface impressions the NPC gives off and/or the campus gossip about the NPC. So they may not be totally accurate and the NPCs may have other, deeper traits not as readily apparent. Sort of like the Cordelia Chase character on early Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. While superficially a stuck-up bitch, she did evolve into a member of the "Scooby gang", though she retained some of her edginess.

For a more far flung campaign like 50 Fathoms I probably wouldn't those list identifiers on the front of the NPC card except for the most "world famous" NPCs.

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#16 Postby lordrahvin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:35 pm

I'll try and psst more detailed updates next week. In the meantime, here's what's been going in "Scary Texas": (Many, many spoilers!)

- In "The Roost", the players stopped Tyson August from burning down the place and they are credited as heroes among the freshmen class for getting the exits open and managing the crowd. Tyson was beefep up in this encounter with magical powers due to a slightly altered background, and the playeres recovered his magical talisman before he was kidnapped by The Needler.

- In "Return to the Roost" the players attempt their first ritual as they go around town collecting the weird ingredients they need for communicating with the dead. They explore the roost, evade security, and perform their ritual. They learn a little about The Class Protectors, and the grisly murder of Nina Castle that centered around the protection of a cursed artifact. The players recovered the artifact and have managed to find a secure place to hide it, putting Nina's soul to rest. Perhaps most importantly of all, three students come together to form a rock band.

- In the English Patient, Keyva Bordeaux hatches a plan to use her family's voodoo magic to teach her English instructor a lesson. She can't go through with it and backs out, but morality is no problem for Scott, Keyva's temper-prone boyfriend. Using her family's magic, he becomes obsessed with magic and is overwhelmed by the murderous power of the Loa. While on a plot to secretly stop Keyva, the players get blind sighted by Possessed Scott at the pre-finals party. The players confront Scott on stage and take him down, then destroy the totem with Keyva's help. They then stole all of Keyva's magical stuff. n the aftermath of the encounter, they saved their teacher, and made an enemy of two students who now also hate each other.

- In A Bite To Eat, the players intercept and confront Timothy Diamond, who has been assaulted by vampires. Convinced he is now a vampire himself, he attempts to feed off innocent victims in the parking lot behind Pizza Barn, which is the players' favorite hangout (and a place of employment for some). They take down Timothy and eventually kill him, brutally, citing self-defense to the police. The victims and other Pizza Barn employees confirm their story, but this attracts the attention of a District Attorney (who will come into play later). Using their magical ritual to talk to the dead, the party learns that Timothy was not a vampire, but was attacked by two vampires. His roommate distracted the vampires so Timothy can get away, and he fled while his roommate was killed. He was heavily traumatized by the experience, even after his death, which he saw as a release.

- In Beautiful Smile, student artist Samantha Wilkes wins first place in an art show for her portrait of the late Timothy Diamond, whom she secretly had a crush on. It turns out this is partially the cause for a wide variety of supernatural phenomenon, magical pranks, and suicidally strange behavior around campus. To add to the general weirdness and wacky love-spell-gone-wrong essence of it all, the spirit of Timothy Diamond is seen placing strange enchantments on the various members of the student body. Eventually these events get traced back to the portrait drawn by Samantha. They confront Samantha to find that she is under the charm of a Dark Muse taking the form of Timothy, and to stop him the party steals and destroys the prize painting, evading security, while also trying to maintain order among the school. Upon destroying the painting the spell is lifted and people revert to normal. However, no trace of Samantha is ever seen, and no one's ever heard of her. That dorm wasn't rented this year, and the first prize art show was a painting called Dreams By The Sea.

In Three For The Show, the faculty administration becomes desperate to put on a big fund raising theater show that's gotten all kinds of complications. A mysterious supernatural prankster introducing himself only as The Showmaster takes control of the production, and starts handing out snippets of the script to everyone. As the Showmaster becomes more brutal and terrifying, some of the players confront him only to find themselves whisked away into another world -- the fictional world of the macabre play. They try to use violence to get themselves out, only to discover that the characters they injure and up hurting their real-world actor counterparts! The players split up to keep anyone from dying in the real world while also exploring the fictional world. They discover that the fictional world is the prison for the play's original author, who know serves the Showmaster against his will. Upon killing the original author, the fictional world fades away and the players find themselves on stage at the end of the play two days later in front of a live audience, with the author dead on the floor. After an awkward silence, the players get a standing ovation and the curtains close. In the back, they see the Showmaster who gives them a thumbs up and then fades away. He has not been seen since.

In Quid Pro Quo, the strange murder of an author who has not been seen for 50 years and dies during a school production of his own play by a student who wasn't even part of the play brings in the attention of District Attorney David Harroway, who has been collecting evidence of mysterious circumstances regarding this group for some time now. However, this particular case is a nightmare case, and he doesn't really want to prosecute. He does, however, need a favor. One of the group is in a band with his son, who has fallen in with a bad crowd. The group agrees to find Grant and talk some sense into him, but that quest is somewhat side-tracked by a family emergency where the PCs have to go and deal with horse-thieves in the area. Of course, when the party ambushes the thieves, they discover that Grant is among them. However, upon stopping the thieves from their mission, they discover these aren't just thieves, but radical cultists who attempt to kill themselves rather than be captured. The group manages to take the cultists alive, take Grant away, and turn over the rest to local ranchers. They return Grant to his father, but he is now comatose and occasionally whispering something about "The Transcended One". The band is in jeopardy now and may need a new bass guitarist.

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#17 Postby DMbobby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:46 am

Man I completely forgot about this thread. I've been posting in "suggestions for Degrees of Horror, but at that's more of a rules and tips thread I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw a recap of my newest ETU campaign here. I made a couple small but key changes to Degrees of Horror so fair warning SPOILERS AHEAD

Session 1: Sweat Lodge - Everything ran as normal, characters were introduced to life in ETU along with the insufferable roommate Chad who promptly kicked one character out of his room as he needed the extra space for his "dojo" and the annoying but sweet roommate Archie who carries a large stuffed Pikachu wherever he goes. Character that didn't meet in the dorms later met at orientation where a mysterious girl in white lured one character to a back storage room before lighting it on fire. GlenMac along with his assistant JAckson Green where met and helped save the student from the burning room. Fire runs and a plan to burn down the Roost with everyone inside for a magical sacrifice was also uncovered, but easily foiled due to character pretending to be janitors and last minute use of the sprinkler system.

Session 2: Missing Mascot - This week the player's successfully tracked down the stolen mascot Poe the Fighting Raven who was stole by rival school Blackburn Tech (BB Tech). Turns out a member of the BB Tech booster club was going to sacrifice the bird to try and curse the ETU Football team before the big homecoming game. What was even more of a surprise though is when Poe began psychically talking with our psychically sensitive character and it was revealed that the bird is the former familiar to a now gone student. In the midst of the mascot investigations (and as part of a job asked by GlenMac) the team also picked up strange records both of a group of sorority girls that turned out to have possibly died in 2001 but also of bloody footprints that appear and disappear in the nearby quad. This lead to the discovery that in 2001 not only did those girls disappear but a record number of young women "dropped out" of ETU that year.

As building side stories one player is now searching for a lot note of information (aka ritual) left somewhere in the library by Poe's former owner that will help free Poe from being caged in the president's office. Another character was invited to join a secret frat and controls all the other frats. The only problem is he's only been let in because he's a legacy and one of the rules of THIS frat is you must be a member of one of the more public frats as well but all the frats currently have a secret frat member. His decision is to instead rebuild a frat that apparently went against the secret so society and then mysterious burned down last year. Another student looked into the normal frat to pledge but nothing caught his eye so he has just dedicated himself to partying as hard as possible instead while the final character is busy tutors a rather creepy student named Fred in french.

Session 3: Return to the Roost - Characters successfully pulled off Return to the Roost. GlenMac joined with the group to further investigate the hauntings that were first witnessed in Sweat Lodge against the will of President Nelson. Using a back entrance that was used for their escape two sessions earlier the team along with GlenMac and Jackson snuck back into the Roost. Jackson stayed on the ground floor as lookout while everyone one else set up a seance in the room that caught fire weeks before. GlenMac lead the ritual with was knocked unconscious by a flying box just as the ghost Nina arrived. The characters learned of a hidden item in the gym, but also could hear coming security. Waking GlenMac he grogily distracts security as the item is hunted for and found within a locked trophy case, everyone slips out of the Roost. Later at GlenMacs office (sans GlenMac) the party oens the box and finds a golden cross that seems to wisk them all away to a dark jungle for a moment before being worn and sending everyone back.President Nelson arrives with GlenMac mid argument pulling all funding for GlenMac to be ghost hunting and warned if he continues his pursuits that he will be out of a job. Afterwards the characters uncovered a ritual called "The Binding of Poe", a mysterious black book that promises great power, and the history of the golden cross now know as the Cross of De la Garza. Finally wrapping things up a character while researching runes of luck might have jsut released a leprechaun to kick off next week's adventure.
New blog up and running, http://gmtable.blogspot.com/ Reviews, adventures, tips and tricks for GMs

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DHRDawg
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#18 Postby DHRDawg » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:04 am

DMbobby wrote: Session 2: Missing Mascot - This week the player's successfully tracked down the stolen mascot Poe the Fighting Raven who was stole by rival school Blackburn Tech (BB Tech). Turns out a member of the BB Tech booster club was going to sacrifice the bird to try and curse the ETU Football team before the big homecoming game. What was even more of a surprise though is when Poe began psychically talking with our psychically sensitive character and it was revealed that the bird is the former familiar to a now gone student.


This is pretty cool. I love the idea of a rival school stealing ETU's mascot and wanting to sacrifice it in a ritual. Great name for the raven too...Poe... :)

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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#19 Postby DMbobby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:41 am

Was the name of a former player's familiar who was also a smart assed raven that became everyone's favorite NPC. This Poe is starting to get some love too after repeatedly calling the player that can talk to him an idiot as he tried to open his magically enchanted cage and was repeatedly getting electrocuted. Quote of the night, "It's magic you moron, do you see a car battery hooked up to this thing?"
New blog up and running, http://gmtable.blogspot.com/ Reviews, adventures, tips and tricks for GMs

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Jackson
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Re: [ETU] Scary Texas

#20 Postby Jackson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:10 am

Poe...I like that! Consider it official from the author's mouth with all credit going to DmBobby! Great stuff...hell, I wanna play in your campaign!

Keep it Savage!

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