We're Geeks. We Play Games.

I'll put something more exciting here later.


In the meantime, have a beverage and relax. It could be awhile.


What beverage would I suggest?

  • A nice sangria.
  • An old fashioned.
  • A Long Island Iced Tea.
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Connecticon Panels!

Heading to Connecticon? 

We're running two panels this year-
More than Mechanics: Story Based Roleplaying on Friday
 Beginners Guide to Tabletop Gaming on Sunday

Come say hi!





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Lacuna RPG GM Notes: Session 2


This a GM ONLY Post! If you'd like to play Lacuna Part 1: The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City, please do not read. 

This post contains:
Lacuna Session 2 Outline
Lacuna Session 2 HP Agent Briefing 
Lacuna Session 2 HP Briefing for GM & Mission Notes
Lacuna Session 2 Static List

Lacuna Session 2
(3 Hours)

Mission Brief & Dive
Meet "Control", Team Leader, HP Assignment, Slab, Use Target Phrases
Blue City Mission 2
HP: Edward Clyde Slaw   Dive Location: Hotel  Complication: Decoy Team
Debrief
New Technique after successful mission, Satisfaction and Improvement Survey: Do you feel Control provided adequate support during your mission?  Can you share any opinions on the leadership qualities of your lead agent? If at any time you were told to describe something that did or did not happen, how did you respond if you responded by describing something that happened if it did not or did happen?

Lacuna Session 2 HP Briefing
Case: # Blackout
Subject: Edward Clyde Slaw
Gender: Male
Occupation: Factory Worker
Age: 28
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing Features: Walks with limp

History: No priors or suspicious activity noted until the day he committed armed robbery. While escaping from the market, he shot one of the two officers chasing him. The other officer shot Slaw in the left leg but was unable to catch him. Slaw carjacked a vehicle from an agent (redact that), abducted him, and abandoned the car and the agent in the parking lot of The Nasrudin Institute. Slaw was later apprehended in his hotel room, his blood soaked linens prompting hotel staff to call the authorities. Says he did it "on a lark."

Crimes: Armed Robbery, Attempted Murder, Motor Vehicle Theft, Kidnapping

Misc: Avid Gambler








This document property of The Nasrudin Institute. Unauthorized copying, distribution, or removal from premises will be prosecuted.


Lacuna Session 2 HP Briefing for GM & Mission Notes


Case: # Blackout
Subject: Edward Clyde Slaw
Gender: Male
Occupation: Factory Worker
Age: 28
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing Features: Walks with limp

History: No priors or suspicious activity noted until the day he committed armed robbery. While escaping from the market, he shot one of the two officers chasing him. The other officer shot Slaw in the left leg but was unable to catch him. Slaw carjacked a vehicle from an agent (redact that), abducted him, and abandoned the car and the agent (redact that) in the parking lot of The Nasrudin Institute (redact that). Slaw was later apprehended in his hotel room, his blood soaked linens prompting hotel staff to call the authorities. Says he did it "on a lark."

Crimes: Armed Robbery, Attempted Murder, Motor Vehicle Theft, Kidnapping

Misc: Avid gambler

This document property of The Nasrudin Institute. Unauthorized copying, distribution, or removal from premises will be prosecuted.


Control Info

For Agents: Lead Agent will act as anchor once again. Mythography would like you to take note of your emotional and mental state during this mission, as you return to the hunt.

If asked, the officer was shot in the stomach and seriously wounded. He lived.

Control Notes: 

Dive Drop- In various section of The Hotel.
1- In laundry of hotel. (The first thing you notice is the heat. A damp heat envelopes you, even the air is sweaty. A swish swish sound is drowned out by loud voices. You push yourself up off the hard linoleum floor and find yourself standing in front of three women. Linens are piled on a table in front of them, large machines behind them rock and spin as they wash or dry the hotel laundry. The women pause mid sentence and mid fold to stare at you.)
2- In lobby of hotel. (The fronds of a plastic palm tree tickle your cheek. Your wedged into a corner. When you peek around the large planter, you discover that you're in a hotel lobby. The smell of smoke and perfume permeates everything, including the couches arranged near the planter. Just past the seating, a man stands behind a long desk. By his dress, you guess him to be the concierge. The lobby appears to be empty, save you and the man.)
3- In hotel room. (The chair swivels beneath you. You grab the nearby desk to steady yourself. Chair. Desk. Bed with a nightstand on either side boasting hideous lamps. Nondescript art on the walls. Drapes that smell of dust and sex. You're in a hotel room.)
4- In hotel shower. (Hot water beats against your back. Soap stings your eyes. You're in a shower, naked as the day you were born.) Suit hangs on back of bathroom door.
5-In hotel elevator. (Tinny music. Bing! The doors in front of you slide open, revealing a long corridor with pale pink carpet. Doors line either side, plastic gold placards identifying the room number- for the guests who can read. You're alone in the elevator. The doors start to close.)

This one will be all about misdirection. They are the decoy team. There's more going on below the surface. Mythography has sent up two teams for some bit of research and this HP is being used by someone else to get dirt on The Company. His crime actually occurred in a Nasrudin Institute facility disguised as a grocery store. Bring in Miner in his Blue City cover identity? Did Mythography send in two teams to keep them from completing mission? To make SURE the mission was completed? Or is it really just "research"?
(Do provide the opportunity to complete their mission.)

Slaw is a hard working factory man who can't resist a bet. He spends a fair time out at The Racetrack but really prefers more personal bets. He can often be found at The Park in a secluded corner where the words "King me" in checkers means more than it seems. Favors are gained and lost through bets of all kind and Slaw just can't say no. He's been seen playing with a man dressed similarly to the agents…

At some point, Banker Michael Digger will pass Warner an envelope with The Company structure (Collier and Snyder highlighted) as well as much of the information given in the Blue section of the book. There will be a ripped sheet with the quote about Agent Gardiner from the book on page 14. (Warner was sick, or the player was, so it was passed to Hunter with instructions to pass to Warner. As they had the same mentor, this worked. She never asked his name though, so all she knows is that a man dressed in a fine suit handed her an envelope.)

“Rival” Agents:
P’s ask, “...with the others?”
Agents feel like they’re being followed
Rivals may get somewhere first and leave evidence that someone else has found whatever clue before Agents could
Static will provide hints from Control and timing for sighting them
If Rivals questioned, “Our mission is to dispatch the HP before your team. We know nothing more. Just following orders. Who is my mentor? Snyder.” (If one of “Decoy Team” agents has Snyder, have Snyder give that agent a heads up with strict instructions not to inform his team. Ooo, conflict.)  Gave Shepard a note from Snyder, left in her file.

HP Monster- Slaw stumbles backward. His chest splits open from top to bottom. A giant mass of greenish black crawls out of him. What was Slaw drops to the ground. The monster pulls away from Slaw's flesh with a wet slurping noise. It pulls its thick, furry body up, balancing on some of the innumerable thin appendages that sprout from the front of its body. A putrid mucus clings to them. Acid stings the air, makes you blink hard. Garish yellow circles cover much of its side and back, staring at you like sightless eyes. It has no face and yet, it seems to know where you are. And it's faster than it should be...

Based on: http://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/msm-clyde-edward-laws-1967/

Lacuna Session 2 Static
(some of these are from the book, some are ideas found online)

Potential Causes:
+1 Agent fails their first roll when attempting an action
+1 Agent uses a Technique (other than Seniority, which is used to reduce Static)
+1 Agent is insubordinate to Lead Agent or fails to perform an order
+1 Agent speaks to a Personality
+1 Agents make contact with “ Rival Team”
+1 Agents question Control re: “Rival Team”
+1 Agents questions Mission Brief’s version of crime committed
+1 Agent makes bet
+1 Agent mentions spiders
+1 Agent plays game
+1 Any use of electronic devices. (Interference!)
+1 Referring to other players by the player name, rather than the Agent pseudonym
+1 Side conversations
+2 Agents come into conflict with each other (+2 Static when Agent vs. Agent roll is made, +1 per additional Agent that joins conflict)
+2 Agents encounter 1 or more Spidermen (+1 Static per Spidermen)

Events:
0 Insertion into Blue City
3 All the birds in the City take flight at the same time
5 Control refers to the agents, once, as “Decoy Team”
7 Contact with Recurring Personality- The Dog Walker (dog (or dogs) always different and often behave oddly)
9 The agents see another team of Mystery Agents
11 Control’s attitude begins to change/Agent’s overhear another “Slab Jock” talking about Rival team “Mythography’s always wanting the Agents to do stupid shit for research. Don’t know if it’s mythography or Control that set this up but SHIT this is an open transmission. Disregard Agents, this does not concern you.”
13 Ground rolls backward beneath Agents feet. Whatever scene they’re in “rewinds” a few seconds (ex: if talking to Personality, P repeats whatever was last said)
15 Control becomes contrary (faulty information, purposely misinterprets requests)
18 Contact with HP and/or the city drains of all color other than a deep blood red
20  Spidermen Appear
21+ Agent Miner appears



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Lacuna RPG: Mission 2 Report (Lacuna Matata'd?)


Session 2 found us down one player and a new one added. I used Agent Warner's excitement over his "flash bang" puppet from Session 1 to explain his absence. A little retraining may have been in order.

The players spent quite awhile finding each other, as they had fun with the setting. Once they did reconnect, there were a number of phrases and actions carried over from Session 1. It was a fun thing to see from this GM's view. Own those characters and make the story yours. Love it.
Toward the end of the mission, one agent did something unexpected. I had to go with it to maintain consistency from Session 1, but it's sparked ideas for later sessions that I think will prove exciting. It's like a covert collaborative story building and I think that's part of why I'm still obsessed.

Original Review: Lacuna Part 1


Blue City Team # 25
Post Mission Summary: 02


Lead Agent: Fisher
Mythography: Note emotional and mental state during mission, as you return to the hunt.
HP: Edward Clyde Slaw
HP Crimes: Armed Robbery, Attempted Murder, Motor Vehicle Theft, Kidnapping


Agent Warner was unavailable for this mission. His predilection for puppets and self recrimination post mission indicated the need for a time of <r redact the crap out . Agent Hunter was recruited <r due to decoy team /r> her first dive.


As lead agent, Fisher entered first and found himself in the laundry room of The Hotel. Questioning the women working there proved fruitless, but they did direct him to the elevators. Shepard arrived wedged behind a planter in the lobby of The Hotel. She climbed out and took a seat on the couch, grabbing a newspaper as cover. The concierge wasn’t fooled. Stringer dropped into a chair in a room of The Hotel.  A quick look around the room revealed the bed wasn’t made properly. Rather than investigate further, she left the room after memorizing the strange number on the door. Hunter found herself without the required suit, or any clothes at all, when she dropped into the shower of another room in The Hotel. The proper attire, including her Lacuna Device, was found hanging in the room. She dressed and went in search of her team. Mason dropped in an elevator in The Hotel. He stopped the door from closing as Stringer and Hunter entered the hall and then the elevator. They pushed the button they hoped was the lobby. It was.


They joined Shepard in the lobby, in time to hear her berate the concierge over the hotel being named The Hotel. Distraction arrived in the form of Team Leader Fisher. Shepard and Fisher greeted each other with “Field Goal” and what appeared to be an elaborate hand signal. Concern is warranted. T  Fisher contacted Control and then questioned the concierge, who asked if they were the “decoy team”. bad boy.


The team exited The Hotel to search for the HP. A flock of pigeons flew toward them and then straight into the sky. Shepard yelled “Hitchcock”, followed by “John Wu moment”. Concern over memory recall. The search continued. A man with dogs approached them. He remembered the team. hwat? This Personality, Clarence,  provided them with intel on gambling areas- The Racetrack for greyhound racing and The Park for more personal bets. Mentioned the term, “King Me.” Mason’s assumptions were alarming. During this conversation, Clarence revealed that the “Other Team” had spoken with him previously and he had given them the same information.


Fisher decided to split the team after requesting items from Control. Requested and Received: 5 Walkie Talkies, Currency, 1 set Brass Knuckles, 4 Tranquilizer Guns (1 dart ea.). Fisher and Shepard (watch that) went to Racetrack. Stringer, Mason, and Hunter went to Park.


The Racetrack: Shepard and Fisher saw team of agents they referred to as “Rival Team”. Alerted Park team to watch for “copycats”. They went to betting area, then track. Shepard confronted a “Rival Agent” who professed to recognize her from training with Snyder as his mentor. He claimed that she should have received the same instructions from Snyder- takedown the HP first. Fisher overheard some of the conversation, used his tranq gun on the other agent, dragged him into the nearest restroom, and made him use his Lacuna Device on himself while unconscious. We are unsure the ramifications of this as we have yet to be notified of the agent’s reaction on the slab. The other agent fled. Shepard and Fisher found no sign of the HP at The Racetrack and headed to the Park.


The Park: The other three agents scoured The Park until they found the secluded tree lined alcove where Personalities sat at small tables playing checkers and chess. They entered the area and joined open games. Questioning the players, they discovered that Slaw frequented the area and was well liked. He may have been in debt to a man dressed like the agents, with a deeper blue tie. Note: Miner? All color drained from The City. Stringer and Shepard entered The Park. The “Rival Agents” appeared at one side of the alcove. The HP, Slaw, entered on the other side. Stringer told Slaw, “Come with me if you want to live.” Slaw ran toward Hunter. She told him to trust her and asked if he knew Collier. What? He denied it but pulled her behind the hedges and demanded to know what she knew. Shepard yelled, “He has a gun!” No one responded but the Rival Team, who drew their guns. Mason, Shepard, and Fisher attacked Rival Team. A man in a business suit stepped out from behind a hedge and tranqed Mason. [Intel indicates he may have spoken with Hunter. She denies contact.]


Hunter used her tranq gun on the HP and attached device. “His chest split open from top to bottom. A giant mass of greenish black crawled out of him.”  Hunter remained calm as Stringer tranqed the monster with Shepard’s gun, then Hunter dispatched the HP to the Lacuna. Agents carried Mason to a cafe, where they called Control to eject.

Notes: Control denies any knowledge of a so-called “Rival Team”, as does Senior Instructor Agent Snyder.



Control: Agent psychological profiles during debrief indicate possible hostile confusion, especially with Agents Stringer, Mason, and Shepard. However, Shepard questioned guilt of HP but did not hesitate to follow through with mission.

Agent Hunter’s and Fisher’s profiles were inconclusive but hopeful. Accomplishment appeared to be their strongest emotion. Fisher's use of the Lacuna Device on a fellow agent is questionable. Whether this is progression or regression has yet to be determined. He will be watched closely.

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Lacuna RPG GM Notes: Session 1




This a GM ONLY Post! If you'd like to play Lacuna Part 1: The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City, please do not read. 

This post contains:
Lacuna Session 1 Outline
Lacuna Session 1 HP Agent Briefing 
Lacuna Session 1 HP Briefing for GM & Mission Notes
Lacuna Session 1 Static List


Lacuna Session 1
(4 hours)


CharGen: Clear table- character sheet, dice, #2 pencil
The Company overview, essential system info, Blue City, Mystery Agent uniform, Lacuna Devices, Hostile Personalities, Contacting Control
"Meet & Greet"
Agents left in room while Agent Me gathers Missions Brief. Players describe their appearance. Agents may interact in character.
Mission Brief & Dive
Target Phrases, Team Leader, HP assignment, Slab description, Meet "Control"
Blue City Mission 1
HP:  Lindsay Dair  Dive Location: Cafe Station (tram)  
Debrief
New Technique after successful mission, Satisfaction and Improvement Survey: Do you feel Control provided adequate support during your mission? Can you share any opinions on the leadership qualities of your lead agent? Were you comfortable with the mission parameters as they were presented to you? Do you have any recommendations for future improvements? (Turn that last question into an opportunity to launch into psych analysis of the character/player)


Lacuna Session 1 HP Briefing
(I printed in black and white for players. They each had a blue file folder containing their Agent Personnel Record, mentor list, and a mechanics cheat sheet I found online. When the briefing began, I dropped another file folder in the middle of the table. It contained the HP briefing sheets, one for each agent to add to their file.)



Case: # Blackout
Subject: Lindsay Dair
Gender: Female
Occupation: Actress
Age: 32
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Distinguishing Features: Small hourglass tattoo on back of neck


History: Dair, an actress of some ability, has been widowed four times. All four deaths were of questionable circumstances. Four months into her fifth marriage, she walked into a cafe and shot a man dining with his wife and six children. Arrest reports indicate he was her lover for the past seven years. No motive was given, nor were there confessions of past crimes. (Redact some words toward the end.)


Crimes: Murder


Misc: Personality traits indicate Amorous Narcissistic Personality disorder.  

(I added space here, so the warning below was at the bottom of the page.)

This document property of The Nasrudin Institute. Unauthorized copying, distribution, or removal from premises will be prosecuted.

Lacuna Session 1 HP Briefing for GM & Mission Notes

Case: # Blackout
Subject: Lindsay Dair
Gender: Female
Occupation: Actress
Age: 32
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Distinguishing Features: Small hourglass tattoo on back of neck

History: Dair, an actress of some ability, has been widowed four times. All four deaths were of questionable circumstances. Four months into her fifth marriage, she walked into a cafe and shot a man dining with his wife and six children. Arrest reports indicate he was her lover for the past seven years. No motive was given, nor were there confessions of past crimes.

Crimes: Murder

Misc: Personality traits indicate Amorous Narcissistic Personality disorder.  

Control Info

For Agents: Lead Agent will dive first and serve as anchor to the rest of the team. Your first objective will be to find each other and then contact Control. Also, Mythography would like you to take note of where various locations reside during your Dive, as they tend to shift frequently. (Regularly? Irregularly? That is the question.)

Control Notes: Make sure they know they arrive with only their suit, shoes, and Lacuna Device. Also, if they succeed on roll they can narrate what happens but I have veto power, especially over backstory and set up. Players cannot control Control (as well as certain other characters). Collaborative within a framework but nature of setting may often skew the agents’ actions. Players have authority over what their characters do, which will directly impact story development- more than they know.

Dive Drop- In and around Cafe Station tram. (Read the descriptions before telling them where they are.)

1- leaning against hotel kiosk in Cafe Station. (Small tram station. Nostalgic feel. Building looks and feels gray. No bright colors, everything's subdued. Smells like old leather, fresh dirt, and the salt of the sea. Or maybe just BO. It looks like something you'd see in the real world, maybe another time, but yet, not. There's a 1950's vibe here. Maybe 1950's in Prague. Not that you've ever been to Prague. Have you ever been to Prague? Focus, Agent. One ticket booth. No one visible behind the glass. Personalities walk to and fro. Low roar of multiple conversations. Have to focus to see details. No one pays you any mind. Magazine & newspaper stand, snacks. Someone manning the stand. Focus. Old man, balding. He picks his nose and wipes it on the back of his pants. Looks around to see if anyone's watching.)

2- standing on platform as tram doors close in front of him/her.
(A burst of stale air in your face. You blink as gray doors snap shut in front of you. A hiss and a squeal and the tram pulls away. You wobble a bit. Catch yourself. Step back. Get your bearings. You know you're in the Blue City. Tram just pulled away. Tram station. That must be the building in front of you, the one the tram was blocking. It's non-descript. Gray brick and stone. In fact, all the buildings are rather gray and non-descript. You stare at the building across from you. Blink. How could you think it was non-descript? The architecture is beautiful, the brickwork in the windows masterful. A dog barks. You notice the streets are filled with people walking to and fro, going about their business. Just a normal day. But there's nothing normal about this.)

3- sitting on park bench overlooking canal, back to the tram station
(Something hard and cold against your back and thighs. The soft lap of water against cement. The squeak of metal against metal. You sit on a wooden park bench overlooking a canal. The water is fairly calm. Peaceful. You breathe in. Smell sparks. Turn around to see a bustling city scene. Wires run overhead, up and down the street. A few automobiles but mostly foot traffic. And obviously, trams. The tram is nearly out of sight now. But there's Agent [2], standing near the platform).

4- On the floor of Cafe Station, behind the old man and his magazine stand
(The ground is cold and something digs into your side. You push a twine tied stack of newspapers away from you. Then you pull it back so you can read it. Or not read it. The words look similar to Arabic but you know it's not Arabic. You squint. Nothing. It's gibberish. The photos though, you have no trouble seeing the photos. A woman holds a bloody shirt in her hands, offering it to the sky as if in sacrifice. Her face is full of anguish and despair. That's the center photo. On the side is a photo of a smiling child clutching a bedraggled puppy in her grubby hands. You push the papers away again and look up in time to see an old man wipe his hand across his rear end. He doesn't notice you.)

5- on the tram.
(A screech. A lurch. The floor moves beneath your feet. You're standing in the aisle of a tram, holding a cool metal pole. It is fairly crowded, people engaged in conversation, staring straight ahead or hidden behind newspapers. The gray cityscape scrolls past as the tram rolls down the street. There's an electronic sign at the front of the tram that probably tells you where you're heading. Problem is, you can't read it.)

Mission Notes- Dair could be found in Cafe, movie house, street festival, performance at "The Zoo", Glasswork Districts, etc. Wherever she is, she will be manipulating personalities to receive admiration. She's seductive and charismatic. Her words seem to have more power than they should. She's unstable. Work in biting glass if possible. Current husband's name is Eduardo Beltram. Owns gallery in Glassworks Districts.

HP Monster- A long, spindly black leg pushes it's way out of her left eye. Dair's skin shatters as if it were made of porcelain and in her place looms a large insectoid creature. A sickly sweet smell assaults your nostrils- floral and death, like someone sprayed air freshener on decaying corpse. The creature is an odd lavender orchid color which only emphasizes its grotesqueness. Antennae grow from the narrow head. The protruding jaw trembles in anticipation. It stands on four of the spindly legs, two others reaching toward you.
(Roll Instinct to not freak out 1st HP monster run in. If make roll, they notice Lacuna Device is now pinned to monster.)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder Crime based on- http://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/the-sensational-murder-of-alexander-crittenden-by-his-mistress-laura-d-fair-1870/


Lacuna Session 1 Static
(some of these are from the book, some are ideas found online)

Mission 1

Potential Causes:
+1 Agent fails their first roll when attempting an action
+1 Agent uses a Technique (other than Seniority, which is used to reduce Static)
+1 Agent is insubordinate to Lead Agent or fails to perform an order
+1 Agent mentions Subject’s name to a Personality
+1 Agent uses Force against Personality other than HP
+1 Agent speaks to Eduardo Beltram
+1 Agent mentions spiders
+1 Use of Access to acquire items for personal use
+1 Any use of electronic devices. (Interference!)
+1 Referring to other players by the player name, rather than the Agent pseudonym
+1 Side conversations
+1 Player rolls black dice (I gave them blue d6's but threw in one black d6 per player as well.)
+2 Agents come into conflict with each other (+2 Static when Agent vs. Agent roll is made, +1 per additional Agent that joins conflict)
+2 Agents encounter 1 or more Spidermen (+1 Static per Spidermen)

Events:
0 Insertion into Blue City
3 Contact with Recurring Personality- The Dog Walker (dog (or dogs) always different and often behave oddly)
5 All the citizens look up at the sky, find nothing, and return to their routines
8 Control’s attitude begins to change
10 The storefront suddenly shimmers and is no longer a bakery (or whatever). It is now a women's boutique (or whatever)
13 Control becomes contrary (faulty information, purposely misinterprets requests)
15 All P’s stop what they’re doing and head one direction. Agewnts don’t notice until P points it out. [could be toward subject]
18 All glass violently shatters as if there was an explosion (no explosion heard) [and/or Contact with HP]
20 All phones near Agents are covered in sticky spiderweb and won’t stop ringing, when answered, Agents hear only Static
21+ Spidermen appear
Crazy Shit, Man


Let me know if you ever decide to use or adapt this session. I'm having a great time with Lacuna and would love to hear how it worked (or didn't) for you!

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