Author(s): Penelope Love
Appears in: Fearful Passages
"A straight narrative with automotive flecks embedded, wherein the investigators learn that blood is thicker than oil, but no less combustible."
Investigators are called to track down a missing man, and discover a web of deceit, madness and self-destruction.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
Investigators encounter Rupert Putney when he nearly kills them in a driving accident. Shortly afterwards, he contacts them with a request to help find his missing brother, Rodney. They are invited to the Putney estate and encounter his remaining family.
In truth, the photograph he offers is not of his brother. His real twin brother is a twisted thing that nests in the attic. Putney's sanity is too fragile to deal with the real situation. Instead, he sends them on the trail of his old friend and ex-mechanic, Flynn, deluding himself that Flynn really is his brother and that somehow things will return to the way they were. The Putney family will all strive to conceal Rodney's existence, for their own reasons.
Old Putney is a deeply evil man responsible for most of the family misfortunes, driving his relatives to self-destruction. If he learns of the investigation, he will try to hamper them with a mixture of truths and lies, and ask them to simply pretend they are looking for Rodney. The Investigators must decide whether to help Rupert or comply with the old man. Neglecting the investigation will eventually lead to the family's deaths. If they openly decline to investigate, Rupert contacts them regularly, in deteriorating condition, until his death.
Tracking down the mechanic is difficult, as he is a petty criminal and suspects the Investigators of trying to arrest him. A chase or some detective work is needed to get hold of him and persuade him to cooperate.
Investigators may get a chance to learn Rodney's true nature - a deeply misshapen Siamese twin of Rupert, somehow kept alive by old Putney. On return to the Putney house, Investigators are asked to stay and watch "the show", which turns out to be a car mysteriously driving itself. The driver, of course, is the diminutive Rodney, who chooses that night to try and kill his family and claim the inheritance his father and his own madness convinced him he has been cheated of.
Player Handouts: None.
Locations: Putney estate, New York's Gasoline Alley
Creatures: Rodney Putney
Tomes and Artifacts: None
Campaigns / Scenarios: None
- Information on 1920s cars
- Image of car accident
- Technical diagram of Bugatti type 30
- Map of Putney estate and house
- NPC portraits
- Image of car being driven into a French window
The scenario opens with a likely vehicle accident that inflicts 1d6 or 2d6 damage on Investigators; enough to significantly hamper any subsequent investigation, and potentially kill unlucky Investigators. Since the accident itself is the crucial element, Keepers may want to play down the injuries. Additionally, if the Investigators do pass their halved Drive roll and escape the crash, they might bypass the scenario entirely.
"The police resignedly write up the damage [from the crash], knowing the matter will never reach court." - Investigators, particularly influential ones, may have other ideas.
Putney hiring the Investigators relies on the group being known semi-publicly for some previous exploits, and being the sort of group who will accept commissions of a fairly mundane sort. New groups, secretive ones, or those focused on the occult may need alternative hooks to draw them into the investigation proper.