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Author Topic: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth  (Read 6501 times)

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: Weirdness in the Woods
« Reply #75 on: June 14, 2022, 01:49:49 PM »
The Grumblers were a kind of informal club of local men, mainly middle-aged, who met irregularly to moan about the state of the world and how it could be improved. The movers and shakers of Fawcett Magna were the core of the group; the vicar, the doctor, the bank manager, Roger Gently the reporter and Colonel Savage, retired from the 3rd Battalion The Honourable Regiment of Felpersham Peculiars. Most of them had contacts in the outside world that covered a surprising range of expertises.

The Grumblers – from the left: Colonel Savage; Dr Ping; Roger Gently; The Reverend Mother; Seldom Penitent (bank manager)




It was the vicar who suggested that he contact an old friend who he had known from Cambridge days. They were both studying Divinity but whereas the vicar had followed a predictable path into the church, his friend had immersed himself in a study of the paranormal. After a long and enjoyably disputatious meeting of The Grumblers in the Rampant Sparrow, it was eventually agreed that the vicar contact his old friend for advice. The hope was that he would make a visit to Fawcett Magna to lend on-the-spot assistance. Rather than reply by letter, the vicar’s friend appeared in person the day after the vicar sent his letter. Even better, he’d brought a colleague.

The vicar’s friend was called Professor Magnus although on his card he simply had Magnus P.I. He explained to Colonel Savage that the initials stood for Paranormal Investigator and not Private Investigator. His colleague, also an academic, was Dr Sigurd Nocraties, Academiehoogleraar, Department of the Occult at the University of Utrecht.

Sigurd Nocraties (left) and Magnus P.I. (with lamp)






With these two experts on hand, able and willing to indulge in direct action, The Grumblers proposed an immediate start on a serious night time search, starting with the grounds of The Old Manor, located just outside the village. It’s derelict and the grounds have run wild. A lot of the foliage looks distinctly foreign, a result of seed hunters sending all sorts of stuff back from oversea in the 19th century.

Apart from the two experts, the search group consisted of the vicar, the Reverend Mother (the unfortunate combination of his title and surname caused the vicar much embarrassment – to his friends, he was known as AE. Why? It’s a long story for another time), Roger the reporter, Dr Ping, Seldom Penitent, the bank manager and Colonel Savage. Once the decision for action was made, they were desperate to get started with the result that they met outside the gates to the Manor park at midnight with a motley assortment of equipment – preparations had been haphazard. Most of the participants had improvised a weapon of some sort, there was even a couple of revolvers (although their reliability was in doubt) . On the advice of Magnus P.I., there were various items thought to be useful against paranormal adversaries – silver knives, crucifixes and, bizarrely, bags of salt. On the other hand, only Magnus and Reverend Mother had thought to bring a lantern on this moonless night.

The Manor Park at midnight with the sinister form of the derelict manor in the background




Before setting off, the vicar reminded his companions that they were acting completely unofficially and that whatever they encountered may be no more than pranksters so resorting to violence, especially involving firearms, must be a last resort. Everyone nodded wisely.



Offline Andy in Germany

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #76 on: June 14, 2022, 08:28:46 PM »
Just catching up with the thread: if it's not one thing it's another in Fawcett Magna...

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #77 on: June 15, 2022, 07:12:24 AM »
Brilliant, old horse and spooky!   :o

Quote
The Grumblers were a kind of informal club of local men, mainly middle-aged, who met irregularly to moan about the state of the world and how it could be improved.

Somehow, this sounds familiar?


Offline 2010sunburst

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #78 on: June 15, 2022, 08:17:47 AM »
I absolutely and utterly love the vicar’s name.  Worthy of P G Woodhouse is that  :D

Offline Elk101

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #79 on: June 15, 2022, 03:46:06 PM »
Nice installment!

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #80 on: June 17, 2022, 12:31:21 PM »
Just catching up with the thread: if it's not one thing it's another in Fawcett Magna...
Yep - it’s a jungle out there (almost literally in the Manor Park)


Somehow, this sounds familiar?
Except that The Grumblers are "middle-aged" whilst The Piddlers……aren’t😊.


I absolutely and utterly love the vicar’s name.  Worthy of P G Woodhouse is that  :D
Thanks for that - naming characters is a big part of the fun.


Nice installment!
Glad you’re enjoying it.


Now, then……

A table is now set up for The Grumblers game. The scenario and scenery were somewhat dependent on what I have to hand - most of my stuff is in storage prior to a house move. All I’ve got to hand is one building (Sir Rufus’ country house which, when facing the other way, becomes a derelict Manor House) and a variety of trees, many of which are sort of tropical. Hence, the park surrounding the Manor is the setting - it has foliage brought from all over the world by the original owners.

The game pits The Grumblers against a variety of potential Encounters. The game is at night so visibility is limited - 2" unaided; 4" with a torch/lantern. The idea is that I have a list of the possible encounters, the likelihood of them appearing depending on a dice roll at the beginning of each turn. There’s only one "side" (The Grumblers") and they are faced not only by these encounters but also by the fear engendered by having to plunge into this spooky foliage, in the dark, with an equally spooky derelict house somewhere ahead and the knowledge that odd people or things are at large in the neighbourhood. So each turn, every character has to pass a courage test to get them to move. If an Encounter occurs, the courage test is modified to take this into account (in other words, it’s harder to pass the test).

They start of quite gung-ho in two groups ("we’ll search the west side of the woods and your group can take the east") which means they are split up from the word go. They may get split more as character’s courage fails them. They may even encounter each other but not realise who or what the other person is. So there’s a possibility of friendly-fire incidents. Also, the use of torches/lanterns increases the likelihood of an encounter because whatever lurks in the dark is more aware of The Grumblers if they’re flashing lights about. The use of firearms increases the likelihood of Encounters drastically.

The scenery looks very open and easy going (see photo below) but I’ll make movement a bit random the further they get to replicate blundering round in the dark

Any input or comments most welcome.

Here’s the table. I’ll be doing photos in normal light even though it’s midnight on a moonless night for the characters. I’ll probably do some lo-light b/w shots for atmosphere.

Remember, the game is set on a moonless night so the characters have very limited vision and the Park is much more overgrown that this - this is all the scenery I have to hand so the bits of foliage are representative of a very clogged and overgrown area.

Doug

Offline Andy in Germany

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #81 on: June 18, 2022, 06:38:08 AM »
I have a question; can you show the two sides of the Manor house/derelict house?

Looking forward to the game report...

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #82 on: June 18, 2022, 09:11:28 AM »
Looking good, keep it coming!   :-*

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #83 on: June 20, 2022, 02:42:56 PM »
I have a question; can you show the two sides of the Manor house/derelict house?

Looking forward to the game report...

Thanks, Andy. You can see the front of the house on this LAF topic:
https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=134431.0


Looking good, keep it coming!   :-*

I’ve started the game and it has to be said, it’s not going too well for The Grumblers. Being out in the dark after midnight in an overgrown park has somewhat sapped the courage of a few of the group.

Details to follow.

Doug


Offline mikedemana

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #84 on: June 20, 2022, 05:35:16 PM »
Sounds like a blast! Great idea for a night game…

Mike Demana

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #85 on: June 21, 2022, 09:35:09 AM »
Sounds like a blast! Great idea for a night game…

Mike Demana

Thanks, Mike, I’ve enjoyed your latest topic as well. Like everyone else, I love the comic strip presentation. I wonder if there’s a template for 1950s style British comics….hmmm

Doug

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #86 on: June 22, 2022, 04:49:37 PM »
I started The Grumblers game a few nights ago and right from the off I had to start tweaking the rules. The first 3 Turns had no encounters but one group lost its bearings and headed off-course. In theother group, Seldom Penitent, the bank manager decided that the dark is quite frightening and paused for thought.

Rather bizarrely, The Grumblers opted to act in two groups so lost touch with each other right from the start




Turn 1 and Magnus P.I. leads Colonel Savage and Roger Gently. Maximum visibility is 4" using Magnus’ torch.




The Reverend Mother (the only other one with a light - in his case a lantern), sets off with Sigurd Nocraties, Dr Ping and Seldom Penitent following. The head scratching is appropriate.





This gives a slightly more accurate representation of what things look like to the characters:




Turn 4 has arrived and we have an encounter. I’ll have to return to this later - I’ve just been summoned to dinner

Doug
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 05:51:49 PM by Doug ex-em4 »

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #87 on: June 22, 2022, 06:13:54 PM »
Quote
Turn 4 has arrived and we have an encounter. I’ll have to return to this later - I’ve just been summoned to dinner

Liquid lunch is it? Spot of the old G&T in the deckchair, newspaper folded over face, after lunch snooze!

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #88 on: June 22, 2022, 08:03:05 PM »
Liquid lunch is it? Spot of the old G&T in the deckchair, newspaper folded over face, after lunch snooze!

It was dinner, m’lud - keeping metropolitan hours here. G&T and Prosecco (we know how to live). A birthday.

Just sorting out some more moves and photos (of the game - not the birthday.

Doug

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Borsetshire Diaries: The Grumblers Go Forth
« Reply #89 on: June 23, 2022, 11:37:15 AM »
Turn 4 and Magnum P.I. with Colonel Savage and Roger Gently move cautiously into the undergrowth, or at least that’s the plan. Roger has other ideas. To be honest, he’s too scared to move he’s failed his courage test.






One of The Reverend Mother’s group has also had an attack of nerves - Seldom Penitent, the bank manger, realises that hunting possible supernatural creatures at midnight on a moonless night in an overgrown park, can be scaryalso failed Courage test. The others move on although they’re not too sure of what may happen as can be seen from the formation head scratching.





Next Turn and Reverend Mother’s group have encountered someone with a fish’s head…! Lit by the yellow light of the Reverend’s lantern, this is a disturbing sight.

But is it a sinister denizen of the who-knows-what or just a bloody student having a laugh? The vicar, Dr Ping and Sigurd Nocraties all stand firm <pass their Courage Test>. "Dear Lord, what is it?" cries the vicar. "Some fool in costume" replies Nocraties. "I know you" says Dr Ping to the apparition, "you’re the Snapcase boy, staying with the Raunchy-Bolivars over at Charleton-cum-Heston. What the devil d’you think you’re doing at this time of night. You could be in great danger."after passing their Courage Tests, these three took a Recognition Test. The vicar had no idea what the apparition was; Nocraties was certain it was just someone dressed up; Dr Ping, with his local knowledge immediately recognised who it was>
Peregrine Snapcase, for indeed it is he, responds with a honking, upper-class laugh:
"Haw, haw - I certainly gave the sky-pilot a fright, what, what?’
"Just get out of this park right now, before I lose my temper" says Dr Ping. Snapcase considers arguing but sizing up Dr Ping’s burly, ex-rugby playing frame decides against it and slopes off, muttering about just having a bit of fun, damned tradesmen, how dare they talk like that to their betters…..





 As he makes his way out of the park, he encounters Seldom Penitent, the bank manager who has been left behind and is alone, lost and frightened. Seeing Peregrine’s fish-head appearing from the dark is too much.

He turns and runs, trips over a root, falls heavily, hits his head and loses consciousness. Peregrine, preoccupied with trying to find the park gates, is unaware of Seldom and his predicament.<this incident was resolved by the usual rolls-a-die method - I hadn’t made rules in advance to cover it. I thought that someone who’d failed to move for "X" turns because his courage failed him, was now alone with no torch or lantern, in a spooky place where supernatural beings may be lurking was very likely to panic. But I gave him a chance not to. However, he failed his dice roll (he got "1" on a d10) so he ran. Another dice roll had him tripping up and a third roll had him knocked unconscious. Then it occurred to that he may have yelled in terror on seeing Peregrine or just ran in silence. If he yelled or screamed, it may effect the rest of his group, now out of sight. More dice rolls. I reckoned it was more than evens that he’d cry out, given his character and circumstances. Result - he screams; this may affect what Rev Mother and his two followers do next Turn. In an ordinary game, all these impromptu dice rolls would be tedious but in a solo game, it doesn’t matter. The game will probably take weeks to resolve so no rush>.
Peregrine, a distant relative of the eccentric (some say certifiable) Earl of Snapcase, is staying at the family home of Crispin Raunchy-Bolivar, a fellow boarder at Winchester. He manages to find his way back to the house and sneak in but of Crispin, there is no sign.




Meanwhile, while the vicar’s group have bravely stood firm and unmasked an idiot (Snapcase), Magnus P.I. and his companions have had an attack of nerves and failed to move.




Things have not gone that well for The Grumblers. I don’t know what’s going to happen and they certainly don’t.

Doug
« Last Edit: June 23, 2022, 03:18:43 PM by Doug ex-em4 »

 

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