Howdy folks, some of you may remember me from my last Actual Play thread, The Post-Modern Masks of Nyarlathotep
. Although I have no plans for a long campaign in the immediate future, I did have an idea over the summer to try and run a little more dramatic game, mostly to test out the Cortex Plus Dramatic rules.
For my subject matter, I decided to look at Whitechapel during the events of the Autumn of Terror: August-November, 1888, when the Whitechapel murders attributed to "Jack the Ripper" occurred. Don't ask me why, beyond a latent antiquarianism and a morbid fascination with the subject. But I thought it might make an interesting setting for a game, where the PCs aren't investigators but are caught up in it against the backdrop of a terrorized population.
I got interested in using Cortex Plus Dramatic because I think it's a very subversive system and one that does a lot via its mechanics to push stories into a solid dramatic foundation--so I wanted to see how that might work in practice, and how to GM it. I also got to work on some of my "artisinal" GMing techniques, making custom character sheets and a title-sequence.
For various reasons, I decided to do the writeups in the form of a screenplay. The formatting here will get pretty bent, but you can see the Google doc in the original format
I'll use my standard writeup techniques here: [Italicized stuff in square brackets]
is my commentary. So far I haven't had to refer to the players in the writeup, but when I do I'll used [Initial of the PC]P to identify them. None of the players from my Masks game are in this one, but I have a feeling I'll run this scenario more than once, so you never know.
Here are the Leads, with links to their character sheets:Aubrey Matchington
: A member of the gentry, Matchington is a brilliant amateur criminologist. He still believes in phrenology, and has a working relationship with both the Met and a mental hospital. Aubrey is intelligent, long-winded, and does the wrong thing for the best of reasons.Daisy De Lancé, "Comtesse de Brienne"
: The daughter of an American steamship tycoon, Daisy married Finnegan Simon de Lancé, the Irish-Jewish descendant of an exiled French noble family; the title is purely a courtesy, as neither Napoleon bothered to renew it. Daisy has taken up a variety of causes including socialism and secretly works as an abortionist. She is breathless, outgoing, and slightly clueless about the realities of class division.Rivka Solomon
: Rivka is a Jewish immigrant to the East End, where she works as a prostitute. She lives in a boardinghouse on Hanbury Street that has an extremely flexible guest policy, allowing it to operate as a very low-end brothel. Rivka works hard to take care of her fellow boardinghouse inmates.Kathleen Ross
: Kathleen is an immigrant from County Kildare. Her father was unjustly imprisoned after the Trafalgar Square Riots of 1887, and she works tirelessly to try and get him freed. She lives in the same boardinghouse as Rivka, but works as a hatmaker in a factory.
Features:Leah Solomon de Lancé
: Rivka's daughter, adopted by Daisy.Finnegan Simon de Lancé
, Daisy's husband and a surgeon; may be Leah's father.Detective Chief Inspector Nelson Wellington Highgrass
: Head of H Division CID; he has worked with Aubrey, and uses Rivka as a reluctant informant.Thomas Ross
: Kathleen's father, currently imprisoned in Newgate Gaol.Johnny O'Connor
: From the same village as Kathleen and Thomas, a sometime revolutionary and criminal. Thomas was arrested because he was shielding Johnny from getting caught at the riot. In love with Kathleen, an affection she does not return.Dinah
: a former inmate of St. Thomas' Asylum. Rivka bribed the administration to release her, and she lives in the Hanbury street boardinghouse.Jonathon Featherston
: Industrial hatmaker, employer of Kathleen and rival of Aubrey.
You will notice that I tried to establish mood by making small differences to the wording of each character sheet :-)