Aug 032016
 

For today’s RPGaDay, the question is what was my favourite game session since August 2015? I had some great campaigns, but this is all about the single session. The one that comes to mind is the Call of Cthulhu adventure Dead Light, a survival horror adventure that is truly terrifying. I’ve run it for pretty much all of my gaming groups and, most recently, at a convention – which is my pick for best game session since August 2015.

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Every time I run it, it’s always a bit different, but this time, for the convention, I changed things up to suit the audience. Instead of two to four investigators, I needed to adjust it to suit six player characters. 

I created pre-gens based upon the idea that the investigators were bus passengers along with the bus driver. This simple change in set up led to some fascinating conflicts that never occurred in any of the previous sessions. 

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First off, the driver’s player was intent on keeping his schedule, which was not unreasonable. Meanwhile, the other characters, intent on solving the mystery, went so far as to sabotage the bus (puncturing all four tires!) to ensure that their ride didn’t leave without them and the reluctant driver was a thorn in their side for the rest of the adventure.

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Another pre-gen was an escaped convict, so any suggestions of calling the police were strongly objected to, and another pre-gen, a retired cop, made for some internal conflict as the two circled each other with suspicions, but no overt actions.
IMG_1023What made this so much fun was knowing the adventure so well, having run it so many times before, there were still so many surprises for me by changing the dynamic of the players. The group split into groups who all had their own motivations, some from the pre-gen backgrounds, some from the dynamics of the table. 
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Even when they reached the house and discovered the horrible secret, the group was divided on how to deal with the situation and this led to some hilarious chase scenes on rain-drenched forest roads, an armed confrontation on the bus and finally a noble sacrifice.

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It just goes to show, you can run the same adventure multiple times and still be amazed at what happens.

More awesomeness...

Justin Schmid

Justin started tabletop gaming in 1983 with Basic D&D (red box) and never looked back. He runs and plays in a wide variety of games, including Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, Trail of Cthulhu and many, many more. He also writes professionally for role-playing games, including writing and creating Night's Edge an Alternate Reality Universe for Cyberpunk 2020. He went on to write eight more adventures and sourcebooks in the Night's Edge line, adding vampires and other supernatural perils to the already dangerous world of Cyberpunk. As a freelance writer, he wrote The Bermuda Triangle for Call of Cthulhu, Shadows of the Mind, and Psi Wars for Conspiracy X and contributed to Last Unicorn's Star Trek RPG, as well as to Cybergeneration sourcebooks, and many other games. When he's not creating imaginary worlds for his daughter, he's running games for his friends and writing new adventures or designing new game systems. He currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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