I ran the first part of ‘the Murderer of Thomas Fell’ today. I’ve got two PCs; Captain Harry McAllen , Great War veteran (played by Sandra) and his friend the antiquarian George Wainwright (played by Michael). This is a pulp mode game. Michael sent me his notes of today’s session – we got up to the end of part one of the adventure. The PCs wanted to make up their own characters and invented some spontaneous connections to Thomas Fell. The scenario ran smoothly and I improvised connections between scenes and the characters where it was appropriate.
Keeper notes are in italics .
Calling upon Thomas Fell we discover a young, well dressed and not unattractive young women peering into Thomas’s house.
This was one of the pregenerated characters, Ms Joyce Makepeace-Cleveland. I muffed her name up but then decided to run with it.
A large, expensive car with no driver evident is pulled up in front of the House.
She has driven herself. That says a bit about her; it being the 1930’s.
We meet and introduce ourselves to Miss Joyce Makepeace-Cleveland (Miss MC).
She is the daughter of the well to do Makepeace-Cleveland family. A rich family, interested in collecting rare antiques among other things.
Miss MC tells us she is here to see Thomas Fell. She sent Thomas a unusual small Stele (obelisk) of South American Origin from one of the old British Colonies (???) to value and evaluate and has so far had no answer.
We decide to enter good Thomas’s house together. Fortunately Miss MC has obtained a key from the Estate agent (Money/position/a lie ?)
Inside we are all knocked for a jolly good sixer as we discover that the insides of the house have somehow been transformed into a section of outdoor wilderness. Boulder strewn and with a large tree at its centre. Various skills tell us that this is a portion of South America – what appears to be Peru that has somehow intruded into the English Countryside. Unsettling that, what.
I did a one point Stability test here, but both PCs failed. None of them wanted to risk Stability to make the roll.
Part of the kitchen – scattered with Meso-American artifacts still remains as do stout stairs leading up and down.
The stairs up lead to Thomas’s Den. Books and documents are everywhere also of note are a camera and fireplace.
Books – mostly on South America and its artifacts, particularly the Andes and Peru.
I told the PCs they had to proactively use their skills, but without sounding as though they were going through a shopping list. For example, they did stuff like: “I use Evidence Collection to examine the desk.” Overall, the ‘auto-clue’ thing seemed to work quite smoothly.
List of Clues
- Documents – Tickets and travel docs for five to Ecuador, Chile and Peru. The five are Franco Gruber (a German Incan expert), Jules Farquarson (a Canadian travel expert), Wu Han (a Chinese mountaineer), James Kellerman (a US Big Game Hunter and outdoorsman – He always carries a gun and is mustachioed).
- Banking records – Thomas was spending big (almost bankrupting himself) too equip a big expedition. A number of large deposits to his account from Miss MC. (When was she going to mention that?)
- Maps – Andes/Peru. Areas marked. (Taken)
- Camera – Photos- The five men with a large Obelisk (covered in Egyptian and Incan text – very odd) – much bigger than the stele.
- The same 5 men in the South American Inclusion downstairs. Other shots of South America. (Photos taken)
Fireplace – Good Harry determines that the fireplace has never used.
Harry’s player was immediately suspicious of the fireplace, as she got Harry to check for ashes, only to discover that there were none there. She asked about the architecture and I made her spend the two points on her Architecture pool to uncover the secret room.
He discovers a small hidden room. Inside a handful of books on the occult – rare tomes of a little value but no great significance. (What was Thomas doing with Occult books and why was he hiding them?)
Harry confronts Miss MC; he’s a bit miffed about her not telling us everything. She admits that her Stele was sent to England by her long lost Grandfather and that she was funding an expedition led by Thomas Fell in the hopes of locating where in Peru he went missing. George offers her a tot or whiskey afterwards to steady herself.
Down in the cellar we discover a door and interestingly a small (ostrich egg sized) Ovoid rock inside a suspended metal birdcage contrivance. Harry manages to cut it down with a pair of wire cutters he had thoughtfully brought with him, Harry is a good man to have around in a scrap.
A handy use of the Preparedness skills!
The rock has raised bands on its sides, is hollow and does not appear to be natural. I think we should take that with us Harry. Dashed odd thing that.
Beyond the door we locate Miss MC’s stele missing, still in its packing crate – the packing slip indicates that it has been hear for about a month. Looking closely at it it is not actually a stele but appears to be a fragment. Whipping out the photo of the five men and the large obelisk we quickly see where it has come from.
IT IS A PIECE OF THE HUGE OBELISK IN PERU!
The banking records ended a month ago.
None of us have had any contact from Thomas for about one month. Coincidence?
Before George can stop her Miss MC foolishly touches the stele and we suddenly find ourselves outdoors, on a cold mountainside.
Harry and I look straight at each other with the same thought. WE ARE IN PERU!
End of Michael’s Notes, Session 1
Unfortunately I’m going on leave for three weeks and won’t we able to finish this until I get back. (Yes, we play at lunch at work!) Let’s see; I didn’t get a chance to test any of the physical skills, but the investigation side works nicely – I do like making the players be proactive with their skill use, but I did give out some Anthropology information when it seemed logical. The players had fun playing ‘jolly good’ British characters. Hopefully the next chunk of the game won’t be too hard on the old lads.