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Eternal Lies SPOILERS GMs ONLY


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#21 Lisa

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 06:09 PM

Like I said, it's a question of flavor. One of EL's strengths is that its flavor is very flexible. Also, I like noir, which is the default flavor.




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#22 Lisa

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:12 AM

Blog is now updated to session 15. Writing up session 16, which was the most recent.



#23 christian

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 12:03 PM

Read everything. Thank you. I see that your players managed Bangkok very well. Reading the scenario, it seems like a hellish trap, which they circumvented with flair


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#24 Lisa

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 03:23 PM

They did have certain advantages, and these were critical. Without them, the locale would have been trickier -- but, the other thing to bear in mind is that I'm new at running Gumshoe, and not at my best when running a combat. I have a player who is used to Gumshoe, both as a Keeper and as a player, and I'm honestly not sure how easy or difficult it would be to get any of the combat capable characters captured -- and all but one of them are quite combat capable.

 

That aside, remember, they came in knowing what "S.S." stood for. This was a huge advantage, and one they got because of the bizarre set of circumstances that led to Samson Trammel a) being imprisoned, rather than killed and b ) becoming one of the investigator's Sources of Stability. After the last session, with plenty of other things on his mind and plenty of other priorities, that investigator wrote to Trammel in what he knew was a futile attempt to convince Trammel that Nyarlathotep is not the Liar -- because he cares about Samson Trammel when at least half of the group would really like Trammel dead.

 

With the "S. S." information, doing research unlocks Ko Krok. Without that, all any group knows is likely to be Bangkok itself, an address where S. S. no longer lives, and the fights. As they find out more, it's not unlikely that S. S. will learn what they know.

 

But, in some ways, it's easier to run Bangkok the way I did. The challenge of running Bangkok's hellish trap is to make sure that the players enjoy their PCs' pain. Otherwise, it's going to vibe like very adversarial gming where one might as well give up now. It's a tricky tightrope to walk.


Edited by Lisa, 14 May 2014 - 03:23 PM.


#25 Lisa

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 03:37 AM

So, due to the stuff I added, one PC is looking for Mi-Go brain fluid. This makes me wonder what good Mi-Go scenarios, if any, I could plug in without derailing the larger plot too much.

 

Another PC is -- or her player is -- wishing she were approached for deals with devils. Mi-Go with brain fluid might fit that bill, the scale being both large and small enough to be interesting, although it may be academic depending on who does what.

 

I am vaguely pondering moving Kevin Ross's "Music of the Spheres" from The Stars Are Right to EL. If I were to attempt this, what's the state of radio telescope stuff in 1937? That is, can I handwave the technology or is there a serious anachronism factor?



#26 XsamiX

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:56 AM

Music of the spheres is a great scenario Lisa, so you should definitely add it to your campaign. Radio telescopes were still in their infancy so you would have to handwave it. It should work fine if your players aren´t too much into science and/or too picky about stuff like that.

As usual wikipedia has some good info.

 

http://en.wikipedia....adio_telescopes



#27 Lisa

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 01:23 AM

Music of the spheres is a great scenario Lisa, so you should definitely add it to your campaign. Radio telescopes were still in their infancy so you would have to handwave it. It should work fine if your players aren´t too much into science and/or too picky about stuff like that.

At least one of my players is very much into science, alas -- not a dealbreaker, but a tricky spot. What do I need to patch with "Yeah, it shouldn't work that way... and yet, it does."



#28 Lisa

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:18 PM

Still debating whether or not to use that scenario. Meanwhile, last session went well, and I'm finding more questions to ask I prep for next session.

 

So, last session was still Ethiopia. Another session will wrap it and possibly get into Malta.

 

Ethiopia broke everyone except one person at least a little, though not in theo way I expected. Nope, the PCs aren't having trouble taking the cultists down, physically. Mentally, though... the horror is coming from what they realize they're prepared to do to their enemies. The hardened mob boss was silently weeping, and wishing aloud that this were only over money, like a typical mob war -- where one doesn't shoot children. He's denying himself any false comfort, and is well aware they're wiping out a village of people who did not choose to be cultists so much as get twisted by the manipulations of the Agony on the Wind.

 

The Nectar addict's currently in protective custody. I don't know if the others will let him out when they go to find Ayers or keep him locked up in Massaua, as he's been having the worst trouble of any of them with the heat. He's the only one without Outdoorsman.

 

If they do keep him locked up, I can have him kidnapped to Malta, so either way, the player will have things to do. Rereading Malta again, I realized I have some questions.

 

Dr. Solazzio is drugging patients with Nectar.

 

1. What is this about trace amounts? The dosage of Nectar for a hit is very low. Is this even lower? How much lower?

 

2. What effect does it have? The same as a hit? Something else? If so, what? If the same, is there a lot of sex in the hospital or what? And, how does Nectar affect the prepubescent?

 

3. What does it mean to be a Nectar addict, mechanically, when there is no Nectar around? If the group rescues the kids, this will come up. One of my players got her PC addicted to Nectar, and he believes that, really, except for the Bangkok flavor, Nectar's lovely and no big deal. He never needs a bigger dose. It doesn't seem to him to have any nasty after effects or side effects, apart from wanting more Nectar, and hey, he's dealt with that, right? (The player is well aware the PC is wrong and plays this to the hilt. But, mechanically? As near as I can tell, mechanically, there's no penalty when there's no Nectar to be had.)



#29 lclaudius

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:58 PM

Folks, I'm starting to run EL with a very experienced group and I'd like to exchange a few ideas.

 

We're now on the Savannah chapter, and they will meet Joy Grove's inmates tonight. I don't believe we will go much further than that tonight.

 

But I'm already preparing the next steps, and what's bothering me so far is Savannah 15 (The Thugs). This is one encounter that I'd like to use, even if just to show the PCs how serious the situation is.

 

As written, the thugs spent some time on Siam and were sent to Savannah to watch Joy Grove, and they're very deep into their nectar addiction.

 

And there's the rub. Where do they find the nectar in Savannah? Does it make any sense to have a (however small) nectar operation in Savannah? It's a port city, after all. Or perhaps it would be more adequate to have them be mere common, local thugs; but then who would they be working for?

 

Please share your ideas on this. Thank you for your help.



#30 csmithadair

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:10 AM


 

Dr. Solazzio is drugging patients with Nectar.

 

1. What is this about trace amounts? The dosage of Nectar for a hit is very low. Is this even lower? How much lower?

 

2. What effect does it have? The same as a hit? Something else? If so, what? If the same, is there a lot of sex in the hospital or what? And, how does Nectar affect the prepubescent?

 

Well, anyone who looks at ingredient labels for things they want or need to avoid has probably run across a warning that there may be trace amounts of various things in the product. The idea being that it's not an actual ingredient, but as various foods share the same equipment, there's a chance that some miniscule amount could get in there, so caveat emptor. So that's the sort of thing I think of. Basically, it's something that is present in such small amounts that, even if it's detectable, it's not really quantifiable.

 

So I don't think it has the same effect as a hit, even though a fairly small hit is potent. Its presence is apparently important for the doctor's magickal workings, but that may be all. On the other hand, individual Keepers might like to have some level of debauchery or at least mania going on in the hospital.


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#31 Lisa

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:48 AM

Well, anyone who looks at ingredient labels for things they want or need to avoid has probably run across a warning that there may be trace amounts of various things in the product. The idea being that it's not an actual ingredient, but as various foods share the same equipment, there's a chance that some miniscule amount could get in there, so caveat emptor. So that's the sort of thing I think of. Basically, it's something that is present in such small amounts that, even if it's detectable, it's not really quantifiable.

 

So I don't think it has the same effect as a hit, even though a fairly small hit is potent. Its presence is apparently important for the doctor's magickal workings, but that may be all. On the other hand, individual Keepers might like to have some level of debauchery or at least mania going on in the hospital.

 

I like that idea -- some debauchery or mania, but mostly small amounts. That said, I am still trying to figure out answers to a couple of questions.

 

Just what does (Los Angeles / Malta) Nectar do to the pre-pubescent?

What does getting trace amounts of Nectar do to / for a Nectar addict? This one is really not an academic question, given one of the PCs is a Nectar addict and is the one most likely to wind up under Dr. Solazzio's care.



#32 Lisa

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:55 AM

As written, the thugs spent some time on Siam and were sent to Savannah to watch Joy Grove, and they're very deep into their nectar addiction.

 

And there's the rub. Where do they find the nectar in Savannah? Does it make any sense to have a (however small) nectar operation in Savannah? It's a port city, after all. Or perhaps it would be more adequate to have them be mere common, local thugs; but then who would they be working for?

 

Please share your ideas on this. Thank you for your help.

 

Okay, I used the thugs in NYC, for various reasons, but it's still a very good question. My default assumption:

 

These are long term agents. Savitree Sirikhan makes sure they get Nectar. Perhaps she has Lowman mail it to them. Perhaps Luc and his team drop by every now and then with some.

 

But, that said, at least one of my players is convinced that there's a major mouth under Joy Grove, because how else would the minor mouth get on the wall?

 

I don't think there should be a major mouth in Joy Grove -- I mean, yes, totally go ahead and put one there if you want it. I'm just going by practicalities, given the asylum's been around for decades, and it's not logical, but you can handwave that. But, what I'm thinking is that maybe there's somewhere in Savannah, either a decayed manor / farm / plantation / whatever or an apartment building or house in the city center, such as it is, where there's a major mouth, and where cultists live. Any thoughts on where to put it that ISN'T Joy Grove?

 

Alternatively, you can rule that minor mouths can make Nectar on their own, and that the Liar's using its link with the Focus to make that minor mouth. The Focus wouldn't know.



#33 lclaudius

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:41 AM

Okay, I used the thugs in NYC, for various reasons, but it's still a very good question. My default assumption:

 

These are long term agents. Savitree Sirikhan makes sure they get Nectar. Perhaps she has Lowman mail it to them. Perhaps Luc and his team drop by every now and then with some.

 

But, that said, at least one of my players is convinced that there's a major mouth under Joy Grove, because how else would the minor mouth get on the wall?

 

I don't think there should be a major mouth in Joy Grove -- I mean, yes, totally go ahead and put one there if you want it. I'm just going by practicalities, given the asylum's been around for decades, and it's not logical, but you can handwave that. But, what I'm thinking is that maybe there's somewhere in Savannah, either a decayed manor / farm / plantation / whatever or an apartment building or house in the city center, such as it is, where there's a major mouth, and where cultists live. Any thoughts on where to put it that ISN'T Joy Grove?

 

Alternatively, you can rule that minor mouths can make Nectar on their own, and that the Liar's using its link with the Focus to make that minor mouth. The Focus wouldn't know.

I'm not overly concerned about the minor mouth on the wall, because it can be easily thought of as a premonition. And I wouldn't put a major mouth under Joy Grove, either; as you say, it would be a little hard to explain.

 

Hm... If they're long-term agents, it would make sense to have them receive a supply of nectar. But, by the same token, they would need to be able to live in Savannah on their own. I'm not talking about expenses --- if they receive nectar, they can receive money as well --- but even the low life in Savannah would notice a handful of non-local thugs, especially if they don't speak any human language.

 

On the other hand, if they're local enforcers, who would have hired them? It certainly makes sense to have a long-term agent in Savannah, but perhaps someone a little more capable than mere riffraff? Of course, when the group tried to find this agent, he would have already left town. It seems to make more sense this way.

 

Let it be clear that I don't intend to give the PCs a trail here; on the contrary, I want to have them reach a dead end if they pursue this line of investigation. But I feel that there should be more of a backstory to account for the thugs.

 

Thanks for your reply. Lisa.


Edited by lclaudius, 02 June 2014 - 09:41 AM.


#34 Lisa

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 03:43 PM

Okay, yes, I like the idea of the premonition. It explains a lot. And, we know that these thingst appear in other locales without anything sinister buried underneath.

 

That said, in Malta, the various locations are at least near the Major Mouth, which is why I'm not utterly adverse to it showing up somewhere in Savannah, although I have another thought. Setting that thought aside for the moment, I think SS has spies in Joy Grove. These wouldn't be from Thailand, and they would speak English. So, they could be handling communications for imported thugs.

 

So, figure one, maybe two folks who work in or near Joy Grove or can otherwise get access there -- cook, food supplier, building inspector, whatever. These contact either SS or someone who gets in touch with SS. But, that said, the Thai thugs, if you play as written, are clearly in town. If they weren't, they couldn't attack the PCs before they left Savannah. So, yes, they're being managed by the long term, not round-the-bend plant.

 

I am thinking I saved myself more problems than I realized when I moved the Thug Attack to New York.

 

Now, about my weird idea. So, Martin's got Samson Trammel as a Source of Stability, and is actually worried about the guy. Samson Trammel is worried that Martin and his friends will destroy all the Nectar, and is probably begging and praying the Liar not to let that happen. I'm vaguely considering having the Liar grant that prayer by having Samson generate Nectar, like having it bubble up in his mouth or something. Whether Samson can get his high off that Nectar, that's another question. But, if one is thinking that far out of whack already, maybe one of the Thai cultists is a Nectar font.

 

Or maybe you want to keep it simple and have the folks in Savannah just get money and Nectar every few weeks.



#35 lclaudius

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:06 PM

Hmm... I like the idea of spies in Joy Grove. And this is nothing sinister, just a "If someone shows interest in Job, please tell me" kind of deal.

 

And then Sirikhan's agent gets the information that some out of town folks are snooping around Job, and sics them some local thugs, who don't have any idea of who he is, it was just a job, you know? In this case, they wouldn't want the case from Henslowe's farm, but just frighten the PCs off the trail.

 

Yes, I think this would work. At this stage of the campaign, I'd really like to keep things simpler.

 

Thanks, Lisa, this surely helps. 



#36 Lisa

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 03:07 AM

Sure thing!



#37 Lisa

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:46 PM

My blog's now updated with write ups and handouts from last two sessions.



#38 JustinAlexander

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:12 PM

I strongly recommend against having a Major Mouth in Savannah: You want the depth of approach both for pacing reasons and also for long-term thematic enforcement. You want to differentiate the cult centers; make it a challenge for the players to find those cult centers; and also show that the cult has global tendrils that reach far beyond the cult centers. If you put a Major Mouth there, you turn it into just another Malta-Bangkok-Mexico City. It flattens the campaign.

 

(The appearance of the Minor Mouth is not actually problematic: Page 35 describes Minor Mouths as arising "spontaneously from its worship, from the saturation of an area with its influence, or due to the call of his adherents in the ofrm of spells". The mystic link between Edgar Job and the Thing is sufficient to explain the connection, but Douglas Henslowe is also inadverently venerating it through his manic obsession.)

 

The Thai thugs aren't problematic, either: They're specifically rendered incapable of speech so that they can't be interrogated and create an inadvertent trail back to Bangkok. How are they operating locally? Well, they're easy to trace (being kind of absurdly notable), but it doesn't tell you much: People find it odd that they communicate only by written note, but their money is good and they have lots of it. If the PCs push, they can trace them back to where they live and discover that a crate gets shipped to them monthly (it contains their supply of nectar). It's easy enough for the crate to be a dead end.

 

Or you can get ambitious and allow this to be a legitimate trail to Bangkok: Daniel Lowman is the one shipping the crate and the return address is his townhouse. There's actually plenty of information in Bangkok to continue their investigation and it's not a bad introduction to the cult. (This is what I set up, although my players didn't follow the lead and still ended up in LA.)



#39 JustinAlexander

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:31 PM

Here's my question: Turns out Ko Krok Island is a real place, but it's actually about the size of two city blocks:

 

Ko_Krok_Island.jpg

 

(You can also check it out on Google Maps as "Ko Khrok".)

 

So now I'm trying to decide between:

 

(1) Altering the encounters there to match the real place;

(2) Fictionalizing the size of the island; or

(3) Switching it to a completely fictional island in the bay

 

Thoughts?


Edited by JustinAlexander, 30 June 2014 - 05:32 PM.


#40 Lisa

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 12:53 AM

I'd finesse the size of the island.