John_Rainbird
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon 01 May 2017, 01:47

Mystery Landscapes..?

Mon 01 May 2017, 01:59

Hi there,
I'm not sure if this should be in here or in rules but here goes; I'm a little unclear on how to play a Mystery Landscape. The rulebook says 
"The Mystery Story is not the only way to playTales from the Loop. Another way is to use a Mystery Landscape – a sandbox environment with strange locations, exciting creatures and constructions, and people with dubious agendas.
In this method, the Kids are allowed to move about freely without a pre-written plot, and they seek out Mysteries to explore. A Mystery Landscape can be used in combination with regular Mysteries, and several Mysteries could even be played simultaneously. If the Mysteries described at the end of this book are used in a Mystery Landscape, the season indicated may have to be changed to fit the game. 

Someone on another forum suggested the chapter simply contains background info for a GM to create a Mystery around but the above sounds like it's something more than that and a little more free-form, I'm having trouble getting my head around this. Would a GM be expected to, say create maps for the School Library?
Anyone played an ML as described in the rules?
 
AlexanderTF
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun 14 Oct 2018, 15:24

Re: Mystery Landscapes..?

Sun 14 Oct 2018, 15:45

I think the landscape is different from a simple mystery game cause with a simple one you only have one, while in the landscape you provide a world to explore and the players lean into witch one they want.

Hey ya, I know it is a bit confusing but I ran my first GM game in that setting and apparently it can work rather well, all ya need is some interest in detective stories, some mystery hook ideas and present the players with a start of average day. I allowed my players to interact with their family and then sent them off to school and just dropped little hooks and traces of 3 mysteries that I took premade from the book. I allowed one player to encounter the wildlife clubs former members complaining about that Lisa girl and another to hear some screaming howls from the woods while jogging, then I let one of the others notice something bobbing out of the lake and one to meet Karen Richards the police woman crying in a car, as well as have them encounter weird rumors about Peter from the dreamlab mystery and another to meet Neil the teacher on their way to school, after that you just let them go through their own things and make them choose what to investigate, though before that I still got them quickly through classes where they can learn some details like who's Peter, what happened to Neil, talk about the police woman and the lake even the meet Lisa so they can develop investments before choosing. I did make their game a bit convoluted because I left the other mysteries still open and running while they worked on the wildlife club I just wanted to keep the world active while they do something, I just detached the threads by telling them that Neils in a coma, they didn't catch up to the agents looking for Peters lab, that Karen is off duty and out of reach for them, so that their game wouldn't be a mess. Then you just keep running the game.

I guess it worked out for me because I kept throwing some mundane stuff at them as well to keep the life aspect running, giving a history report about the Victorian London dock works to the player that built the kid as a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, Keeping the family life frantic for the others and even using their own developments or made up details, like 2 of them created older brothers, so i forced one into joining the club to get the players speculating. I think it worked because every answer was vague enough to make them guess and deduce problems, they broke into the club building so I made one side panic in fear of being discovered and forced them to have a conflict.

Basically the best way to put it is create a world and give them clues that something is going on, then just let them pick what to do, but the game really lends itself to making the players flesh out their world, let them show what they have like if they lend something to an npc like in my case a player gave a napkin to the crying Karen and later I made them describe the napkin as how was it special and why they'd want it back. the hooks are just supposed to compel them to show interest the players decide who they want to approach. at least I think thats how its supposed to work, I suggest never using more then 3 mysteries and 2 hooks can be way too much stuff to hand out to the players.
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