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 Post subject: Preserving the Mystery
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:16 pm
  

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I'm getting ready to run the investigation end of things for my upcoming BtS game this Friday and I'm running into a bit of a wall, and I was hoping that I could pick the forums' collective mind about it. If by some chance any of my players stumble across this thread, please stop reading now. You have been warned. :x

So a bit of context. My group and I have been playing together for many years now at this point. They know the vast majority of my tricks and how I go about things, which makes throwing twists at them fairly difficult. I don't mind them metagaming like this, and most of the time it proves to be a good time of the group trying to outsmart me, or vice versa. However, that makes it a bit tricky when I want to start laying out hints for the big twist in a game session.

As per my other thread (link: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156821) the group is getting ready to investigate the Balmoral Murder House located in Stillwater, Wisconsin. So far I've set it up as a possible vampire that is inhabiting the house, driving out or killing any lesser being who tries to live there. The vampire is ancient and crafty, and will not draw attention to itself or leave its lair while someone is meddling in the house for only a short time. Instead, it prefers to wait and drive the inhabitants to the brink of insanity so that if they die or if they spread stories, it won't be linked back to the creature itself.

So the twist on this is supposed to be two-fold. The first is that they most likely are not going to stumble across the vampire unless they get really lucky. But more importantly, they are being watched during their investigation by a group of UFOnauts who are studying and selecting people with high psionic potential for abduction and study. I want to drop hints as to the presence of these beings (who are going to be the ones causing the most disturbances in the house during the investigation) without giving it away to quickly. So far I've been trying to draw pretty hard on UFO and Alien lore with things like dreams of large eyed owls and electronic devices giving out completely and refusing to work for a short time.

So what I'm wondering is if any of you folks out there have suggestions on how I can drop hints to this twist without completely giving it away. Or if you have any suggestions towards what direction to take things in general, I'm always open to them as well.

Thanks in advance,
Captain_Nibbz

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:15 pm
  

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Your imagination is in overdrive here and I love it! I'm a bit envious of the fun you guys are having. Question about the dreams... Do the owls have a significance or do they tie in somehow with aliens? I'd never heard or that correlation. Are they just a random animal that could've been somethjng else? I'm asking out of pure curiosity, nothing more.

Perhaps the dreams can include a light shining down onto the characters, maybe from through a window. They could also suffer from lapses in time, like the time/space field around them is getting goofed up because of the aliens' presence or the presence of their spacecraft. As a result, their watches show that they've been in the house longer (or shorter) than what they really have been. Also, if they have any contact with the outside, they can get reports of townspeople reporting UFO sightings or something that can be construed as such (nearby crop circle? ), although that may be too obvious. I guess it depends on how you present it and/or the direction you want to take it. Maybe that can be used if after you try to spell it out, they're still not getting it and need a little help to figure out the UFO connection. They may also have visions while awake of symbols and/or mathmatical equations as a sort of connection with the aliens that may or may not be intentional. The group may also bump into UFOlogists tracking the aliens... although you could make it a mystery unto itself as to who the UFOlogists are and why they're there. Some subtle clues could even be given about their purpose in the area.

Wow... I'm having a good time just thinking of all the possibilities! Have fun! #sojealous

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:41 pm
  

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Jack Burton wrote:
Your imagination is in overdrive here and I love it! I'm a bit envious of the fun you guys are having. Question about the dreams... Do the owls have a significance or do they tie in somehow with aliens? I'd never heard or that correlation. Are they just a random animal that could've been something else? I'm asking out of pure curiosity, nothing more.


In most UFO lore and stories the owls serve as an implanted screen memory to cover up the true memories of the alien encounters. This seems to be a pretty well documented occurrence that is often tied in with abductee stories. A lot of time this imagery is a tell tale sign that something weird is going on, though most of the time the true memory will only come out during hypnosis or regressive psycho-therapy.

Jack Burton wrote:
They could also suffer from lapses in time, like the time/space field around them is getting goofed up because of the aliens' presence or the presence of their spacecraft. As a result, their watches show that they've been in the house longer (or shorter) than what they really have been.


This is a fantastic trope that I completely overlooked! I'm totally going to use this as one of the hints. I think that I can get away with just telling each of them what time it is at random times during the game without drawing suspicion to it. They're all smart enough that they will either figure out that something is fishy as I describe it a few times, or it will hit them all at once when the twist is revealed. This is genius.

Jack Burton wrote:
The group may also bump into UFOlogists tracking the aliens... although you could make it a mystery unto itself as to who the UFOlogists are and why they're there. Some subtle clues could even be given about their purpose in the area.


This just gave me a really good idea for an NPC that I think I could use. I'm going to steal this as well. The idea of someone watching them from the wooded areas around the house through binoculars without contacting them, who flees when they try to catch him will help to set a really creepy atmosphere for the game. Of course he's just watching and waiting to see if the UFOnauts make contact with the party, and if they do he wants to document their experiences. I'm thinking that its some kind of half crazed fanatic who is trying to prove that he's not totally crazy to the general populace. Most people write him off as a loon and a drug addict (which he probably will be), but in this case he might actually be on to something.

This is some good inspiration. I think that it might have just filled in some much needed gaps. Thanks a lot :D

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:29 pm
  

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If the group has gotten to the point that they are specifically hunting the UFO's, then dont make them show up at all.

Isn't it weird how you can never find something when you go looking for it?

Instead, they find UFOlogists, FBI agents, curious parties, rival member of the Court of Tarot, completely different Supernatural beings that could cause similar symptoms of UFO's, etc.

Point is, if they want to call your bluff, let them. While they look at your right hand, blind side them with your left.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:31 pm
  

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So I have a new evolution of this question. When introducing a plot hook, how do you go about doing it without giving away the mystery? I've never been very good at this, as I generally run games with little to no story outside of what the players create for themselves. However, I'm having a bit of a hard time with this method using BtS.

Any advice?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:39 pm
  

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Comment: "Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there... wondering, fearing, doubting" - Edgar Allen Poe
With BTS, you need to give them some of the mystery to get the reason why they'd be interested in the first place.

Watching the X-Files would be one of my best examples. Mulder gets a tidbit of something paranormal in a potential case and would go after it. But things rarely end up the way you'd think it would. It might have been a ghost/poltergeist/spirit/etc., but the real mystery becomes why its there in the first place. Or turns out it wasn't a ghost at all, but something paranormal all the same.

They do this a lot of the Supernatural TV show. Men in Black worked this way, Hellboy worked this way. Hell, even the Scooby gang on got involved when they're was a mystery to solve.

In short, if you're dealing with paranormal investigators, they've got to get a paranormal sample of why they'd bother investigating something.
Otherwise its "why are we looking into this? isn't this something for the cops? Or a regular private eye?"


Sidenote: you can get a group involved in something incidentally by the character's regular day job, but that's not always a feasible option.

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