Approved by LPS
It’s a beautiful day in paradise. Lanai Island in Hawaii at the Manele Bay resort on Hulopo’E Beach The resort is having a rare party today with a far lower fee than would usually be required to use their facilities, drawing in a larger and more diverse crowd than usual. Many people are coming over from their homes, hotels, or cruise ships on the other islands for the day.[/COLOR]
The weather is perfect and the locals and staff you’ve met have been so friendly, what could spoil such a night?
Nightmarchers is a survival horror game based on Polynesian myths. The survival part comes in because many players won’t. Still, if your character suffers a horrible demise there will be…other options. In any case it’ll be interesting to see who survives until the end and what players can discover of the mysteries and treasures of the island (and perhaps some of the copious back story).
The setting is Lanai island, but it is definitely a highly fictionalized version of the location and I haven’t been there. It does look nice, though, so maybe sometime.
Player characters are fairly regular people. They may or may not have some exceptional traits, but they aren’t werewolves or anything like that.
Play will start with everyone in or around the party at the Manele Bay resort, which will be covered in more detail in the game thread when that starts. You could be there on vacation, you could live in the small city on the island and just have walked down, you could work there etc etc. This is simply a chance to mingle and have some fun while other players join. While you choose to sit alone at the bar, go for a private walk in the woods behind the resort or on the beach, or go swimming alone in the bay, it could be a good thing to make some acquaintances. Being alone is, for obvious reasons…not safe.
From a design point of view, this game is meant to be fun, challenging, and to serve as a test bed for a few gaming concepts I’ve wanted to tinker around with. Most notably: players in risky situations, players having to deal with negative consequences, and the Karma system which I’ll describe in a bit.
Also my time is more limited and unreliable than when I was running my last game here. While I still emphasis interactions between players, hopefully the more direct GM/player interface will make this flow smoothly even if I can’t be adding content multiple times a day every day. In any case you need not worry about me ditching this game. I saw my last game through and I’ll see this one through to the end.
The game has a dice based mechanic hiding behind the scenes. I’d rather not disclose the system fully, as this isn’t meant to be wargame.
You can generally describe what your characters are doing, especially with NPCs, even monster types. However dice may determine how much damage you actually did with the attack you described, and especially how well your character fends off their attacks, or if you noticed the one behind you in time etc.
Note that I will try to not saddle you with negative consequences for things you put on yourself for dramatic or narrative effect. For example if you describe yourself as twisting your ankle while running away from something or fainting, I’d be inclined to be much more merciful when someone picks you up and tries to flee with you in their arms.
Along those lines is the Karma system I would like to try out here. Players often have "plans" or want to affect the narrative in various ways. They also often don't want to die. Karma helps with those. Essentially Karma can be used to shift what will happen more to your liking. Things that can be done with karma include having a friend have their shirt catch on a branch instead of plunging to their death, having the slavering beast bearing down on you hear someone else and run after them instead, or finding something you really wanted. It can actually do a lot; feel free to negotiate with me on this. However doing such things permanently uses up Karma. You get ten points to start with, and most of the examples above would use up 5-10 points depending on the details and the situation.
I’ll also be awarding points in this game for staying active and for good role-playing. Points can be used to buy more advantages during gameplay.
Sample Character Sheet (Blank)
Background (at least why you came to the island)
Advantages (2) see below for examples
While tempted to provide an extra advantage if you take a flaw, I’ll avoid that as it often results in annoying circumvention of a flaw one never intended to role play. Instead you are encouraged to take a flaw of your own choosing if it’s relevant and interesting, you’ll get an advantage down the road, and probably some extra points on the way.
Flaws that make you reject other people can be interesting, but are less likely to be rewarded. Flaws like being a screamer, weak, or terrified of being alone are more likely to get rewarded earlier.
[COLOR=yellow]NPC(s) you already know. Note that unless you negotiate with me on it, NPCs shouldn’t have advantages and should just be “regular” people.
Sample Character (just an example, I don’t have a character in the game)
Name: James Dohan
Background: James is here to have fun and gamble. The rest of his family is on vacation at the big island visiting relatives for months over the summer. But instead of being stuck with them, James got permission to go off on his own for a while, and caught a boat to Lanai. While they don't have a room at the hotel he and a friend are going to the party there.
Personality: James is fun loving but easily bored. Probably could be diagnosed with ADHD. However he doesn't tend to stay bored or in a single spot for too long, as he is quick to shift to something else more interesting. Having grown up in an environment where everyone on every team gets a trophy and so on, he hasn't had to deal with a great deal of pressure, and doesn't really know how to react to it.
Flaw: Panics in stressful situations.
NPCs he knows: His friend Jack. Who looks about like James, but is a little taller and slower.
Advantages: The following list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give you some examples.
If you don’t know what else to go with, I’d suggest taking this.
Mana. It is believed that some people are born with more Mana, which is a bit like the stuff magic is made of. Reflecting this, starting players can begin play with some mana as an advantage. However initially they have no idea what it could be used for, or even that they have it. This might not come up for your character in game play, or it could be very important.
Faith/spiritualism/charms/talismans/wards- that trinket from home or what have you may suddenly become more useful, though perhaps not quite the way you’d expect.
Intuition/good instincts- you just get a feeling when things are bad/hairs rise on your neck etc.
"Common sense"- taking this advantage means that I may occasionally give you a tap on the shoulder via PM if you’re about to do something dangerous because you missed or forgot about something etc.
“Martial Art”- This is in quotes because it should also include things like training at the school of hard knocks, experience hunting pheasants, or maybe even medieval combat reenactment clubs. In any case you have skill with some sort of fighting style or group of weapons.
Weapon- You get to start play with access to a proper weapon, either by having it on your or by chancing finding it at the beginning of play. Yes, it takes two advantages to have both the skill and the weapon. Obviously hand to hand skills don’t need a weapon, and someone skilled with a sword will still be dangerous with improvised weapons you might be able to easily find in play like a fire poker or nine iron. For firearms only “reasonable” weapons that might be used for personal self defense or sport on the island should be taken. I.e. internal tube magazine type shotguns and hunting rifles, and most types of handguns.
Free Running (parkour)
Pilot plane/pilot boat/good driver (car)/good rider (motorcycle) - with each of these you know where one is that you'd been renting. Planes would be small prop planes at the airport. Boats could be up to small houseboats at the dock. Cars and motorcycles would be parked at the resort and could be sporty varieties, or, more likely for this island, off road 4x4 varieties.
Speak the native language
Perceptive - you pay a lot of attention to the details of your surroundings
Exceptional sense. Separate advantages for 20/10 vision, good hearing, naturally better low light vision, or a keen sense of smell. While not superhuman, all these things can prove useful.
Tough as nails - You can push through the pain where others would falter if not succumb to shock. Running on a broken ankle, keeping fighting after major damage, and pushing yourself further during extreme physical exertion.