So, here’s what happened. Yesterday, you’ll recall, I said I’d write a ghostly scenario in celebration of cresting $6K, featuring the ghost of whoever put us over. Yesterday afternoon, a pledge put us over $6K. So far, so good, I updated the story and the various social networks I’m on…
…and then someone else cancelled a pledge, and we were back under. But not by much (and by the way, I in no way begrudge the backer who pulled the pledge their right to do so. Ain’t my money until 6/6, and I don’t pretend to know anyone’s circumstances. I’m just glad that the backer was willing to pledge to begin with).
So a short time later, someone else pledged and put us up over again! And now we’re sitting at a comfortable $6224, so I don’t think I have to worry about dipping below $6K again (he said with a cautious glance at the main page). But it does mean I have two backers, both of whom deserve the reward for pushing us over $6K.
Who really wins here? You do.
Scenario 1: Crestmont
- Where are you? We’re at a nursing home, or what’s left of one. Cresmont Nursing Home was an inner-city home for the elderly, not as horrible as some such places, but still pretty bleak. It was basically a place where lower-middle class folks put their parents and grandparents to die. The creatures from the Between rampaged through it shortly after He issued his rules, killing everyone therein – patients, staff, relatives. The structure of the building is intact, but the windows are smashed, some of the doors were torn from the hinges, and the whole place smells of death. It’s been looted, but the dead bodies made some of the supplies unusable.
- What just happened? A burst of light came from the nursing home, illuminating the area surrounding it.
- How are you following the rules? This scenario isn’t coupled to a particular group of people, just folks who are in the area. As such, it would be up to the players what in particular they are doing to follow the rules.
- How are you breaking the rules? Entering Cresmont is enough to get His attention, not that this is something the characters will really know (by the way, it’s entirely appropriate to have your answer to this question be something that the players decide, but that the characters have no way to know. Hey, He’s many things, but “fair” isn’t really among them).
- What is the goal? This is a pretty direct “put the ghost to rest” scenario, though a secondary but related goal might involved finding out what happened at Crestmont and why.
- Who is the first ghost? Mary Frank, a speech therapist who worked at the nursing home, died in the onslaught. She was there doing therapy, and the reason that They attacked was that 10 residents had died the week before and a minister was there doing grief counseling. He apparently decided to make an example of the place, but Mary, an opinionated person on the best of days, tried to tell the minister to knock it off, since praying would get people killed. Her spirit lingered on after her death, and recently she managed to summon the strength to cause the burst of light. She wants her badge removed from her body, swiped through the card reader (yes, the place doesn’t have power, but that’s not the point) and taken off the premises.
This is probably a one-shot, and if I were running it, I’d set the Between Number (the number of Between Points needed before the characters draw His notice) pretty low.
Scenario 2: Open Source
- Where are you? We’re at MIT in Cambridge. It’s spring, and the snow is melting off – it’s not bitterly cold but there are still piles of snow around and the ground is muddy. Like many universities, MIT had enough ideology going on that They took a lot of people in the first few years after the end of the world, but since then it’s become pretty inhabitable. Except for the Richard and Maria Stata Center, or rather, the Kirsch Auditorium. The auditorium is always cold, even the middle of summer, and although the power is intermittent to campus (maintained by a series of generators and other power sources – I can’t imagine that there aren’t still engineers around here!), lights in the auditorium tend to switch on a focus on where the podium was.
- What just happened? A sound system that hasn’t worked in years bursts to life, and through the crackle of static, the words “Control over the use of one’s ideas really constitutes control over other people’s lives; and it is usually used to make their lives more difficult” are broadcast across the campus (if I were running the game, I’d base how much of that a character understands on their Active Focus card when we start).
- How are you following the rules? Everyone on campus works to make the community function. This being MIT, a high number of Openers and engineers live here, and so there’s a lot of traffic and a lot of resources. Not only do people work to keep the stuff going where it needs to go, but someone has to make sure it gets distributed equitably.
- How are you breaking the rules? The more people you have, the more likely it is that you’ll see hierarchy and, therefore, ideology. The folks who distribute goods have, on occasion, allowed themselves to be convinced (either through argument or other, more venal blandishments) to show preferential treatment. This isn’t really equitable, and it’s dangerous, because it’s definitely in violation of the rules.
- What is the goal? Putting the ghost to rest is one concern, but the ghost isn’t really hurting anyone. Really, the goal here should be to find out who it is that is showing preferential practices in distributing resources and make them stop, before They come and wipe the whole place out.
- Who is the first ghost? Shortly after people started noticing that weird shit was happening but before the destruction of Jerusalem, a programmer named Damien Eversmann gave a talk at MIT, espousing free software and the open-source movement in general. During the talk, which was passionate and empathetic enough to draw attention from folks just passing by, Eversmann just vanished, falling into what seemed to be a trapdoor (but was, in fact, his own shadow). Why did They kill him? Open-source is close enough to ideology that, especially in the early days of the apocalypse, it drew His attention. But Eversmann did not rest following his death. He never finished giving the talk, and he’s stuck in that moment. He wants to finish what he started, even though most of his main points (since they were about software) have ceased to matter in the world of curse the darkness. If a small group of people stands and listens to him, he’ll depart. Of course, doing so might well attract His attention, but will it still matter enough to be dangerous?
This one, I think, could probably go four or five sessions, and I figure maybe three sections of Wick per player to make the essential choice to light a candle.