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Daïna
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A Wicked Secret

Sun 30 Aug 2020, 18:44

Hi!
I just ran my first session of the "Wicked Secret" scenario, the one with the Church Grim.
It was intense, very interesting, but not, at all, what I had expected. :lol: They're about halfway through the mystery, and they didn't do at all what was planned in the scenario.
They didn't meet Dorotea Skytt yet, they didn't visit the sawmill, they didn't talk to any villager except for Martha and the Priest...
They went straight to the church, talked to the Priest, then they decided they wanted to visit the cemetery. They found the corpse (one of them has a hunting dog...) and succeeded very well in obtaining information from it. They decided to use the body to lure the priest out of the church while 2 of them searched the church for clues. Again, they succeeded very well. They found the secret passage to go underground, where the Free Ones meet usually. Except it was morning, and nobody was there. They realized the Priest was framed by someone and he didn't write the note, by comparing writing samples (I had made props, and the writings were very, very similar, but they saw through it!) They decided to explore the underground caves. They stumbled accidentally on the Grim's statue, then they obtained a shovel and other tools by helping the priest to dug a grave for poor Gottfried. They returned underground with only the first of the Sacred texts, and dug the skeleton out... and took it with them... so, they were attacked by the Grim in the caves. And they were battered, but they survived, and managed to "break" the Grim. Now, they put the bones back in place, but the Grim's angry at them, and they have absolutely no clue as to how they can make it go for good. :lol:
Honestly I was afraid they would die, because they acted really dumb at first. But they managed to find a cool way out, and now I have to wait for next session to know what they will do... :o They have suffered multiple mental and physical conditions.
Fellow GMs, be careful, this mystery can certainly go awry! :P
 
Oathbloom
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Fri 04 Sep 2020, 11:39

Yes, I've also experienced this one going in strange directions.

I've run 3 sessions and we're getting close to the night of the priests demise. My biggest "issue" is they heard the grim moving and roaring in the woods outside Martha's house on the first night and they became convinced that they are the next target nd that the grim kills everone working for Meiyer du to the threat that the iron ore poses to the church. So they are in full panic survival mode, doing confessions to the priest in hopes of being forgiven and begging Martha (who they are onto as they broke into the sawmill) to spare their life. They want to try and save the church now, to avoid conflict with the grim.

I need to remind them of their charge and duty as members of the Society and it needs to become apparent soon that the grim is not necessarily working for the well-being the church. Killing the priest and making it obvious that someone is using it for ill deeds might set them back on path of solving the Väsen issue, rather than trying to dodge it. Doesn't help that one character broke (rolled 65 on critical injury table) when finding the corpse and survived by a member's 5 dice inspiration roll that had to be pressed to get 1 success. They are now absolutely terrified and are pretty upset with Meijer for sending them into this while withholding information about the ore/church situation.
 
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aramis
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sun 13 Sep 2020, 21:52

Hi!
I just ran my first session of the "Wicked Secret" scenario, the one with the Church Grim.
It was intense, very interesting, but not, at all, what I had expected. :lol: They're about halfway through the mystery, and they didn't do at all what was planned in the scenario.
My players get that next...
but Silver of the Sea? They went very Wild West on things. And made certain the vaesen in question was dead... with catastrophic events to follow.
Some times, players just go in wild directions.
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Daïna
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Location: France

Re: A Wicked Secret

Mon 14 Sep 2020, 07:37

We played the last part of the mystery yesterday. It went well! Since they already knew how deadly was the Grim, they took every precaution. They prevented steps 2 and 3 of the countdown from happening, because when they heard the bells ringing at midnight, they were with Ingvar Nyström, so they knew something was awry. They feared that the Skytt girl had rung the bells as a joke, so, at midnight, they came to her house and introduced themselves to Dorotea. :lol: She wasn’t too pleased, but Wilhelmina insisted they were friends of hers, so they obtained the right to come back next morning to explain.

In fine, they searched Marta’s room in the morning, successfully opened the safe without the combination because of a craaaaazy roll from the Private Detective, spotted a sample of Marta’s handwriting that helped them guess that she could have been the one to forge Ingvar’s handwriting on the note (plus she had mentioned her suspicions to them during dinner, but they had managed understand that she wasn’t telling the whole truth), then they headed to Skytt Residence and talked Dorotea to give them the last piece of the manuscript (with her daughter’s help), and during this whole time they never let Ingvar out of their sight. They even hid him in the bedroom at Marta’s for the night. :lol:

They knew where they had left the bones of the Grim, they made a really big fire in the Chimney at Ingvar’s place, cautiously took the bones while distracting the Grim, burnt the bones, and when the Grim was out, blazing with flames, trying to kill them, they cleverly tricked it while the Priest character used his holy symbol to hurt it during the long time it took for the bones to burn. Ingvar tried to ring the church bells in alarm because the church was burning, but he got stuck inside the burning building, and they (quite heroically, I must say) saved him again. The Free Ones were trying to extinguish the fire, and a very angry Marta was telling everyone that “the strangers had burnt the sacred church”, so they grabbed Ingvar, ran to Skytt’s, who understood instantly the situation, and persuaded her to run off this place quick. She had 2 horses and knew how to find 2 more, so, with 2 character on each horse but 1, the whole group escaped the place: my 4 players, Ingvar Nyström, Dorotea Skytt and her daughter. Quite a ride! They went to Härnösand were Skytt sold her land and became filthy rich, and they were very generously paid by Von Meijer. :D

They never went to the sawmill nor the townhall in all the mystery, and never talked to anyone besides the 3 they saved and Marta. :lol: They now have very grateful contacts who will tell everyone around about the people who cleansed Färnsta from evil.
 
Oathbloom
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sat 26 Sep 2020, 11:00

Thanks for sharing Daïna! It is fascinating how different our sessions played out. Here how it ended for us (It took us 5 sessions in total, including character creation, a few scenes in Uppsala, 1-2 scenes during travel to Härnösand and Färnsta). It should also be noted that I play with only 2 players at the moment.

As I said previously, my characters were convinced that the Grim was coming for them, when I rang the bell to setup for killing the Priest. They had picked up on (from talking to locals at community house/byastugan) that bell meant death the following night so they surmised that they had ~20h to figure this thing out or get out of town.

They found the second clue (I was planning to deliver the 3rd on the Priests body or somewhere around that event) and immediately went looking for the place described, which they found fairly easily. We played the (mid-day) decent into the caves as a slow decent into horror - they knew something was down there, they were terrified of making too much noise and they thought they could hear heavy breathing all the way down. They found the location of the remains easily enough and while they started quietly trying to pry loose the stone, I up-played the sounds and the impending doom so they chanced it and forced their way in to extract the bones while heavy paw-sounds were rushing towards them. We played a chase scene where the players rolled impossibly well and the Grim horribly bad so I had to let them get away with the bones, with the Grim stalking them all the way back to Martha's house. They panicked, realized it was coming for the bones and tossed them into the fireplace. They had no clue this was the solution, it was just sheer "How do we get rid of the evidence"-panic and luck. The Grim went screaming back to the church and took it and the Priest with it in the flames.

The players went to watch the inferno with the rest of the village, talking to some people. They went back to Doroteas house to discuss events and discovered that she was also was part of the Cult. Things got heated and they got thrown out. When they got back to Martha's house (where they were housed), thugs waited for them in hooded robes and told them, "It is time for you to go back now.". Already terrified of the cult and the village, they gathered their things and left peacefully. One character is a writer and was pretty upset they didn't get to figure out what the cult was up to, so she used her "automated writing"-talent (not sure what it is called in English) in the woods just beyond the village to get a clue on the cultist's plans. She let a spirit guide her hand and all the note said was, "They're planning something monstrous tonight and need you gone first." which was enough for the players to stick around to figure out what was going on.

They waited until dusk and watched Martha's movements from the woods. They followed the cultists to the caves, subdued the guards, stole their robes and infiltrated the "meeting".
Martha held her speech, brought forward the sacrificial lamb (Vilhelmina - who one young PC had a minor crush on) and offered the dagger to Dorotea to make the first cut. I played it like Dorotea was going along, albeit a bit shakily, only she was going to turn and cut Vilhelmina free at the last second, initiating a brawl and hoping to get her daughter out in the melee.
However, as I described Dorotea raising her knife - one player intervened, pulled their revolver and fired at Martha. And missed. Pushed the roll and still missed.
We ended the 4th session here, with everyone stunned by the deafening sound of the revolver in the cave. Best cliffhanger I've ever had.

A major brawl ensued with cultists fighting each other, Martha and a couple of cultists going for the PCs and Dorotea getting Vilhelmina out. Shots were fired, cultists died, Martha ended up locked in a knife fight with Dorotea. It ended after 5-6 turns of absolute chaos by a PC finally hitting Martha with the revolver while Dorotea sank her blade deep in her neck. The fighting died down, people filtered out and the PCs took Dorotea (who was deeply wounded) back home to link up with Vilhelmina who had fled during the second round of fighting.
The PCs wanted to take D&V and leave right away but D was too badly hurt to travel (and the PCs were battered as well) so they setup a perimeter while she convalesced for a few days. When it turned out no one was coming for them, they setup a town meeting where they explained what had happened and offered everyone to get out now, by selling their land. Some good inspiration rolls made sure land owners sold their land to van Meijer.

We skipped a couple of scenes going home, getting paid etc. since it was already getting late that night. D&V accepted the player's invite to come to Uppsala with their newly found wealth so they will be reoccurring NPCs. Players used their Exp to raise their wealth (which I took your suggestion to let them do in this specific case, due to the reward/important contact they made) and some talents. All was well and Färnsta thrived under the progressive touch of van Meijer.

Overall i rate this mystery 5/5, a great story and super start to our Väsen campaign.
 
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Daïna
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sat 26 Sep 2020, 12:15

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! It's amazing, indeed, how different it went for your players and mine! :D The main point of concurrence is: both groups seem to have had great fun playing this mystery.
 
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aramis
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sun 27 Sep 2020, 03:01

My players are midway through AWS. (We took this week off, tho'. Semi-grrr.)

The Prep phase runs longish... as they debate.
Ida the hunter uses the shop to "well maintained" her rifle.
Abraham, the other hunter, studies the area.
Carin, she's late to session due to player's work. But she had to replace her medical kit thanks to losing it at sea.
Stig Carinsson preps with "Bringing a book on Vaesen"
Bodi, the servant, has prepped, but I don't recall what at the moment.

I allow Bodi to retain his 1 point of resources from paying the hell¹ on a couple boats last mystery.

They meet with Märta, have dinner, and ask to see the property of the prior team. Märta lets them, cautiously. There has been a lot of in-character dialogue.

Stig falls asleep... (magic of the grim)
They manage to force him awake.

They very quickly latched onto the idea that the monster was the problem. And when the bells ring, they ask Märta, and coerce a truthful-ish answer with a Manipulate roll (opposed.) "When the bell rings mid-night, someone disappears."

The players bolt for the church.

So, they try to treat the grim as a large housecat... it bashes the extended hand.

They made some stupidly hard rolls (3 successes needed) and got to both ID the church grim, and upon reading the card, Immediately used an extra success to recall how to end it. (In fairness, it was built on an advantage of "brought the book with", a 5 attribute, a 3 Learning, so 10d, and pushing. they got 5 successes.)

A brief fight - with Carin (pc, doctor) ordering Stig Carinsson (pc, pi) to retreat, Stig mentally breaks pushing to not retreat. «Okey-fine», think I. Bodi (pc, Servant) bolts for the church, and Stig's player hands me a note: "Can I do a hug and pet it as my broken?" «Sure, you betcha» think I. "Yes... but realize, it's going to be hurting you first..."

So Stig holds on to and immobilizes the thing, all the while cooing, "Good kitty... nice kitty... pretty kitty..." And manages to hold it as the hunters, Abraham and Ida, render it harmless. Even Carin helps - administering some drugs to still it. (She had prepped for that.)

So, they have it, broken, firmly in a delusional Stig's arms. Bodi is searching the chapel for where it might be, and beats a difficulty 3. For failure to retain, I mislocated the body of the grim... in the base of the full-immersion baptismal font. Taking his cast iron pan, Bodi bashes into the stones...

... the grim turns to fur... and it's screams are heard from the fire as Bodi, with the pastor's help, burn its skeleton... and that's where we cut for the evening.

I've not decided if the roof is ignited already. They now have to survive the village's ire... with Stig and Abraham both suffering long term from crits.
⸻⸻⸻
¹ Paying the Hell: anglophile naval argot for caulking the keel/sideboard joins. Hot, messy, sticky work. Used as an excuse to ask questions of the locals in Ch. 1
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Oathbloom
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sun 27 Sep 2020, 13:07

Wow aramis, they really went balls to the walls fighting the Väsen! That is a very different way of playing it from my group. Exciting!
 
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aramis
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Re: A Wicked Secret

Sun 27 Sep 2020, 21:48

Wow aramis, they really went balls to the walls fighting the Väsen! That is a very different way of playing it from my group. Exciting!
They didn't set out to fight it, just banish it. They didn't count on it being a mind-bending teep.
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Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...
 
Byrax
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Location: Mythic North

Re: A Wicked Secret

Mon 28 Sep 2020, 16:01

Really like the non-Egerkrans illustrations as well, especially the pictures of the NPC:s in the book. Keep this style in future supplements please!

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