Recentemente ho scritto a Graham Walmsley per fargli due domande sul gioco inerenti due problemi che ho incontrato nel corso delle mie partite. Come sempre, mi ha risposto molto gentilmente. Fate attenzione perché, in entrambe le domande, ci sono degli spoiler sul mio scenario Sonata purpurea (lo dico per quelli che volessero giocarlo in futuro come investigatori).
Question: In case there are several discoverable clues in a scene, is one investigation roll enough to discover them all or do you normally make people roll several times?
I’ll give you the example of my mystery Sonata purpurea. If the Investigators go to their missing friend’s house, they can discover several things:
- that the lock has been forced;
- that someone has been going through her musical scores;
- that she was due to give a lecture at the conservatory in the afternoon.
How do I work out how many clues I should reveal for each successful roll? I mean, how do you handle this sort of thing in your games?
Answer: On your first question, there isn’t a strict answer. From what you’ve said, I’d probably give them out one by one: when they investigate the lock, they find out it’s been forced, then when they look through her music sheets, they find someone has been going through them. But do what makes sense in the moment. Maybe, when they investigate her papers, they find both that people had been going through her music sheets and that she was due to give a lecture. Ultimately, what matters is that the clues get out.
Question: When you explain how to create a mystery, you talk about the fact that every mystery must have a threat (page 52 and following). Now, all the examples you give are, in fact, dangerous supernatural creatures, with one exception: Erich Zann. Erich is not, in and of himself, a threat. In fact, the threat is the entity from which Erich defends the world. Erich is more of a guardian, a positive character.
I noticed this because, again in my mystery Sonata purpurea, the missing person is a violinist named Violetta, based on Erich Zann’s model. Actually, though, the real threat of the mystery are alien entities who are fleeing to Earth to leave their dying star.
Answer: On your second question, yes, Erich Zann isn’t the threat! I remember thinking about this when I was writing the book. I wanted to put the name people were familiar with. I could have written “The things outside Erich Zann’s window” but the heading would have been too big!