Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Murder on t' winding, windy moors

As we ended up playing Relic last week, which didn't end up being very quotable, here's something we played earlier. At a ChimeraCon in fact. This session was the Blogkeeper's first ever go as a tabletop GM.

To recap: A group of fictional characters, agents of Jurisfiction, are policing the BookWorld, namely:
  • Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Arthur Hastings from random Agatha Christie Poirot novel
  • Frankenstein's Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, nicknamed "George"
  • Gabriel Betteredge from Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone
  • Hari Seldon from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (although he was mostly asleep)
  • "Outlander", i.e. one of the players playing himself, from the Outland

At this stage of the session, the characters have been briefed about some gruesome murders taking place within the world of fiction - murders that shouldn't have happened in the characters' usual narrative - and after much ado, they set off into Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.

They got to Trushcross Grange (try saying that quickly three times in a row!) only to discover the Lintons' fancy manor house was on fire, which is very out of character for it. But with their parents away, can the Canasta-playing Edgar and Isabella actually be saved or will the murderer have claimed two more lives?

Courtesy of 4 December 2011's 1st Edition Jurisfiction adventure at Chimera.


GM: “Thrushcross Grange is also a little bit more lit up than it should be. It’s on fire.”
Outlander: “GOOD!”

“I jump through the window! Because it looks more impressive and I also forgot there was a door.”

“I start jogging so I probably run out of breath by the time I reach the door.”

Frankenstein's Monster: “I suppose I better go and get all of them out.”

Hastings: “Tall bloke with funny skin! Stand outside the window and catch them!”
Frankenstein’s Monster: “Apparently my name is George.”

Alice: “Do you think perhaps we should be looking in through the window? Someone should be looking in through the window, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone else to do it.”
Betteredge: “That’s a good idea, let’s look in through the window.”
GM: “Look for clues!”
Alice: “No, I’m just looking in through the window because someone should do it. It’s what’s done at this stage.”

GM: “They are cowering in a corner, because they are cowards.”

“We’re in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, there isn’t a nearby, man!”

“Tell them your name is Darth Vader and that you’re from the future.”

George: “I should warn you my face is not comforting!”

Hastings: “Children, come on, we have to get you out of here.”
Edgar Linton: “Who are you calling a child, sir?”
Hastings: “YOU, BOY!”
Edgar Linton (meekly): “Okay, sir!”
Outlander: “Apparently that works!”

Hastings: “Don’t worry, there’s something down there to catch you.”
Isabella Linton (sees George): “AAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

George: “Do I roll anything to catch them?”
GM: “For the lulz.”

“Talky man says the building may explode.”

“I appear to be in some fiery rubble!”

Player 1: “I like the fact you’ve got a hitlist of people that are gonna get killed.”
GM: “Oh yeah, I forgot to ask: who else wanted offing?”
Player 2: “Harry Potter?”
GM: “… No.”
Player 1: “Don’t be greedy, I’ve already got my request.”

GM: “Isabella is still moaning because … she does that.”

GM: “She’ll look at you and faint.”
Hastings: “I didn’t think your beard was that scary.”
Outlander: “Neither did I.”

“The term ‘safe’ is really depending on your viewpoint.”

“At least now it’s exploded we won’t have to worry about it exploding again.”

George: “Their parents will come looking because that fireball was less than subtle.”
Outlander: “A bit like you and me, isn’t it, George?”

GM: “She’ll pass out if you pick her up.”
George: “That will keep her quiet.”
Alice: “I’m not sure she should be so floppy. It’s not healthy to be so floppy.”

George: “I will carry the children to their parents, but someone should come with me, because if someone sees me carrying children …”

“Why don’t you three go do some detecting?”

“I knock on the door. (Knock. Knock. Knock.) Because that’s how you knock on the door at Wuthering Heights.”

GM: “An old man comes to the door.”
Betteredge: “Good evening, kind sir.”
Joseph: (mumbles incoherently)
George: “These children are in need of comfort.”
Joseph: (mumbles) … Satan! … (mumbles)
Betteredge: “Yes. Quite. So …”

Nellie Dean: “Are they the Lintons?”
Outlander: “Yeah. Their house exploded.”

Nellie Dean: “You can put them here in front of t’ fire.”
Outlander: “ ‘T’ fire’? George, close t’ door! Put wood in when you get in laddie, eh?”

Alice: “They should have been at the manor house, but they weren’t there, and when people aren’t one place they’re very often another.”
Player: “Woah, that’s DEEP.”

GM: “Do you have the hindrance Stupidity?”
Hastings: “I have Perception of 16 and Intelligence of 20. They aren’t my two lowest stats.”
Player: “Are you dump-stat’ing Intelligence again?”

Alice: “Pardon me but did he have peculiar boots?”

Hastings: “Did you see the colour of his eyes?”
Edgar Linton: “They weren’t blue.”
Hastings: “His eyes ‘weren’t blue’?”
Outlander: “As a description goes, that was absolutely and abjectly useless.”
Hastings: “Did he also not have a big nose?”
Outlander: “Hastings, do not continue along this line of enquiry or we’ll end up with a lot of useless information.”

“I’ve just had a brainwave.”
“Oh no.”

Outlander: “When you say strange clothing, what do you mean?”
Edgar Linton: “Well, they were like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
Outlander: “An actual description of the articles of clothing would work wonders right now.”

George: “I would suggest that this child isn’t a brilliant witness. And is in fact probably making stuff up.”
Alice: “I shouldn’t take it to heart, he doesn’t think ANY child is a good witness. And sometimes, I believe he eats them.”
George: “I do not eat children!”
Outlander: “...Very often.”
George: “In fact, it was only twice.”

“I’m a large pygmy, I admit.”
“Were you given the abnormal brain?”

“Did you see anything abnormal on the moors? Any strange person? Not us.”

Outlander: “Hastings, you’re acting really strange waving that magnifying glass in front of people’s faces. Put it down.”
Hastings: “I’m sure it’s a useful tool.”
Outlander: “It is, but not for looking at someone.”

Alice: “Like a pantry?”
Outlander: “Exactly like a pantry!”
George: “Except without dead things in it.”

“So what we’re saying is that Hastings passed his Drawing check but T TOTALLY FAILED his?”

“I can’t draw! Yet I somehow drew something that’s real! That’s impressive.”

George: “My money’s on Heathcliff. He’s out on the moors alone and the werewolf will get him.”
Heathcliff: “No, I’m not. I’ve got people looking after me, you know.”
George: “When did you come in?!”
Heathcliff: “I came in with Cathy.”
George: “I didn’t notice you.”
Outlander: “Unfortunately, Heathcliff, I have been on your protection detail, despite the fact that I really do want to smash your face in with a tin of beans.”

Heathcliff: “I’m a popular guy.”
Outlander: “Genuinely, you’re about as popular as cancer.”

“The person we are ACTUALLY supposed to be protecting.”
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
“I missed that part of the briefing. I was busy getting a magnifying glass.”

“Can you do a bellow of Hindley, please?”
“I will stride out into the darkness yelling and gesturing, because that’s what I do.”

Hastings: “Oh there’s not a burning building here. One second, I’ll go back in and get a lantern.”
Outlander: “Yes, you have to admit, burning houses do provide great illumination.”
George: “Let’s illuminate this place by throwing a lantern into the barn!”
Outlander: “Can we throw it at Heathcliff?”

“Me and my friends in the Outland, we use a term called ‘d4’ whenever we decide we want to swear around young children.”
“Heathcliff is quite a d4.”

“I believe we’re looking for a heartbroken lady who wishes the novel ended differently.”

“We’re all from a generation where we can sit around having tea without it seeming clichéd at all. Although I’m not sure Frankenstein’s Monster was ever invited in for tea.”

“I’m not sure this is the sort of place that have proper high tea.”
“This is Yorkshire. They MAKE tea.”

“Jesus, even in a book … signal difficulties. Put up a bloody mast!”
“If they built a mast in Wuthering Heights, readers would notice.”
“It’s a crap book anyway!”

“Who were the other murderees again?”
“It was … two couples from Women in Love.”
“Thank god. I would’ve just killed ALL of D.H. Lawrence. Bloody Lady bloody Chatterley and that sodding randy gamekeeper guy.”

“You said the murders were committed by a small person?”
“No, I made that up.”

“So there’s only actually been three murders.”
“Five.”

Player 1: “He’s channelling Hastings well at the minute.”
Player 2: “He is indeed, yes.”
Hastings: “I really should have followed Poirot’s advice and written this all down to begin with. At least I’ve done it before there was another murder! Oh yeah, there was, wasn’t there.”

Hastings: “Can you actually talk to the horses?”
Alice: “Well of course, anyone can talk to the horses.”
Hastings: “Do they talk back?”
Alice: “Not always.”
Hastings: “But sometimes?”
Outlander: “And what substances have you ingested just before they do?”
Alice: “Well, when I’m in my narrative they almost always talk back.”
Outlander: “That’s because you’re stoned off your tits.”
Alice: “I’ve never met any bluetits, or any great tits. Very few birds, in fact. Except for a rather friendly dodo.”

Alice: “The flamingos aren’t very nice, but then they are forced to play croquet all day.”

“I shouldn’t like to pump a horse.”
“I don’t think you’re thinking what I’m thinking.”

GM: “The horse just looks at you, silently wondering if you perhaps have a carrot or something for it.”
George: “It’s going to be surprised when I punch it.”
Outlander: “Gentlemen, gentlemen, it is after all only a horse. We’re not in Alice’s narrative, and none of us have taken psychoactive drugs, so the horse will not be responding to us.”

Alice: “I don’t think Wuthering Heights would miss a horse or two. Why, they’re hardly mentioned.”
Hastings: “Okay, let’s take the horse with us, then.”
Alice: “Besides, they do have a dead body here and I think that would be most distracting. A horse or two missing will hardly matter.”
Hastings: “AHH! Maybe we could alter the story to make it more interesting? Maybe it was actually a horse thief who stole the horse and murdered Heathcliff? Oh no, the other one.”
Outlander: “Hindley.”
Hastings: “That one.”

“If you don’t mind, could you keep him out of my narrative?”

“I’m just saying … it happened in Narnia.”
“We’re not going to Narnia, it’s a very silly place.”

“So having decided that the plan by a drugged-up seven-year-old girl isn’t going to work …”

“As plans go, it’s better than cutting off your arm.”

What the characters got up to when they got back to HQ will be revealed next time we need a filler post. ;)

Bonus picture of Hastings, looking characteristically
puzzled. Magnifying glass not included.

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