Tuesday, November 15, 2011

People Team Up to Tell Me What to Release!

I was talking to Matt Johnsen about plans as I often do, and he suggested that I release something on a scroll.

Cool idea!

Except... referencing areas other than what you're reading that very moment would be kind of crap. Functionality, damn it...

So I tell my wife the scroll idea. She gets excited because she's thinking I should do an adventure based on a railroad (seriously), Murder on the Orient Express kind of thing (I'm partial to doing something paying homage to Horror Express, a movie I remember terrifying me as a child). "As the train travels to the next place, you just move down the scroll."

"But," I say smugly, "there needs to be elements of player choice in altering the outcome of events. If we came up with ways that players could really influence this train adventure, then it could work."

She answers: "They could decide whether to die sooner or die later!"

I was so proud. She's learning!


  1. Have you seen the movie Night Train to Terror? The 80s style dance sequence would be a terrifying thing to work into an adventure.

  2. Already doing the dance thing with Dancing Queen in Yellow.

  3. You probably already know about this, but Severin's putting out a DVD release of Horror Express.


  4. Release an adventure...anything to support Grindhouse for the harried DM would be appreciated

  5. We could print pdfs out on toilet roll.

  6. I like the train idea, especially if you work it into the more modern take that your firearms rules seem to be pushing the games direction.

    A scroll would be cool for that design, maybe restricting that players from exploring but always forcing them forward like a gauntlet. The rear of the train could cease to exist or maybe phase out to some other dimension or plane and force the PCs to move and never turn back.

    It would work very well as a convention type game too.

  7. This is exactly the kind of thing that screams out for a Zak S. style representational map where the map and the art are the same thing. The images/maps of the cars would run down the middle with adventure notes on either side, or even on a separate scroll.

    I like it. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

  8. Here's how you do it:

    The GM gets a (relatively short) book--the players get scrolls (or just a single scroll). The scrolls have clues and opportunities subtly worked into the pictures.

    You go "alright, it's morning the next day, everybody scroll forward to tuesday/car 7..."

    If you do multiple scrolls there could even be blank spaces so that the GM could write in information that player B has at a given time but player A doesn't.

    Essentially the same as the old "give 'em an incomplete map" trick--only time-sensitive instead of space-sensitive.

  9. Scrolls that indicate movement through time and space. Interesting! So cars are different depending on both the where and the when. That makes perfect sense within the context of a mystery.