the second session of The Case Gilbert Fensk took place yesterday. Seems like we’ll finish the entire campaign within the next 1-2 sessions btw.
Prep-wise, I used a similar prep method that I’ll post about separately in a couple of weeks. Short version: I prepared a couple of locations and NPCs (including “enemies”) as well as a set of possible events/escalations.
The course of action:
The third PC, Harvey MacGilleykalla, joined the party, while being mistrusted by the others. They untied the boat with dead Cyrus Lakefield after pickup up his revolver letter from one of his pockets. The letter calls Cyrus a “novice”, speaks about ley-lines and “the master’s soon awakening”. It states that Cyrus is supposed to bring Fensk “to the hall of the high priest”, so Fensk can become “the master’s vessel”. The letter closes with words the players (but not their characters) have already heard/read (due to dead/insane characters in the meantime).
Yog est infinitas, yog est portas. Sic mundus cadet est.
In the course of the next moments, the investigators discovered that something as mutilated another villager and the remaining villagers are scared. Once again they are confronted with Edward Hollister (who beat the living shit out of Billy) and after some arguing, he takes Fensk with him to “bring him to safety” (remember: he was missing since a couple of days and the investigators found him). Charles Olive tired to follow Hollister unseen but due to a failed DEX check, he was discovered by somebody and knocked unconscious. He awoke when Billy and Harvey found him; Hollister and Fensk were gone.
They decided to go for Hollister’s house (at 00:10am during a storm) but only Mrs. Hollister was at home and shoo them away, so they decided to got for the graveyard, because they heard Hollister is the village’s carpenter and gravedigger. At the graveyard they met Reverent Upton, who invited them to his near by chapel. After some information exchange and telling him the right things, he gave the investigators a newspaper article from 1754. It tells about a fatal accident in which the local Lord Andrew Leland MacFurgis fell of his castle’s battlemants and the MacFurgis clan abandoned the castle, moving back to Alesbury. Reverent Upton added, that rumors tell, this was caused “by a cult, somewhere in Welchbay”.
The investigators combined clues and decided, that there must be a temple (probably underground) in Welchbay, but at the time of 1am, they decided to split up and go home. Right before splitting, they discovered another dead villager (meanwhile No. 4) and they left afterwards quickly. Harvey has been living in Welchbay for a couple of months, so he went to his house, while the others went to their inn. On the way there, Harvey got ambushed. Time for some terrain! (we’re playing ToTM until and after that)
The creature, that Billy and Charles were able to repel earlier (where Billy nearly died), which silhouette Harvey has seen, attacked Harvey out of the shadows. Harvey dropped and the creature started to feast on him (mechnically speaking: lowering his dying timer an additional click). Thanks to Harvey’s yell for help, Billy and Charles arrived at the very last moment. Billy scared the creature away with his flashlight, while Charles used his military training to stabilize Harvey. After that, they went to Harvey’s place to sleep and take care of each other.
The next morning (more precisely 11:30am), one of the villagers knocked on Harvey’s door. The investigators found out, that the lighthouse burned down at sunrise and “those new people” (Billy and Charles) are suspected, since “everything started a couple days ago when they arrived”. So they went to the lighthouse and see half the villagers being there, full of shock. Billy went straight to the ruins but was stopped by two young man, both called Blythe (oh boy, rolling two 15s with d100s in a row…). They appeared to be badly named twins and had a fistfight with Billy (again, rolling lots of max damage - meanwhile this is a running gag at our table: “Everybody in that damn village is rolling max effort… something’s wrong here!”). The reverent deescalated the situation and we finished the session there (after roughly 4 hours).
Once again, the adventure wasn’t planned scenes-wise but can be structured into a 5-room-dungeon afterwards. I’m convinced that’s a good sign.
Guardian: Harvey entering the party, everybody being suspicious and the initial clue about the high priest.
Challenge: First dead body found and the RP that led to Mr. Hollister taking Fensk with him
Setback: Hollister is neither at home nor at the graveyard. But they gain information through the Reverent
Climax: Second dead body found and the ambush on Harvey
Revelation: Finding out the lighthouse burned down and the villagers are upset about the investigators’ presence.
I’d never be able to plan that session arc in advance… it’s just great to see things unfold. I can really encourage to try out a more flexible and less linear session prep method.