Dice of Doom Podcast 022: Vampire: The Masquerade Review and Running an Investigative RPG

Dice of Doom PodcastIn this episode we review Vampire: The Masquerade which we have just finished playing as part of our Grand Gaming Experiment and we look at running investigative style roleplaying games.

After the completion of our Vampire: The Masquerade game we started discussing how often we had run games where the PC’s were put in positions of having to investigate mysteries, crimes, conspiracies and the like. An investigative game suits any setting you may be playing from high fantasy through to a gritty Call of Cthulhu game. If you have ever thought that you might like to cast your players in the roles of detectives, sleuths, or hapless bystanders who get caught up in a conspiracy, we have a look at how to run these games along with tips to giving hints to your players to avoid the awful “I don’t know what to do next…” problem that often plagues games of this sort.

Running Sheet

  • 01:05 – Vampire: The Masquerade Review
  • 19:40 – Running an Investigative Roleplaying Game
Play

Music provided by Rupert Goes Shopping.

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About RupertG

RupertG has been playing roleplaying games ever since he discovered Dragon Warriors at the age of 12. Since those days he has played many different RPG's, collected not insignificant Dwarf and Tomb Kings armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and even worked as a games designer in the heady days of the late 90's building a CCG. Now he runs a gaming blog and is a participant in the Grand Gaming Experiment
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  • Disemvowel

     Just completed the ‘cast.  Last weekend I ran The Haunting (yes, that Haunting) for a group of RPG newbies.  They gathered at the realtor’s office and he asked them to clear the house of any ill effects, to include the paranormal.  He even made mention that the former tenants had issues, with at least one of them ending up in the asylum.  The players took the keys and headed straight for the House.  I was a bit mortified that they completely forewent any and all investigative work, but also very giddy at what was about to happen.  At the House, I made many creepy events occur, yet they headed directly for the kitchen to clear it for molds.  Skipped all of the lower level rooms, and the detective headed upstairs alone (and promptly left the house via the window).  With that, the remaining PCs headed to the basement to check for anything toxic there…the knife attacked them, one found the Chapel of Contemplation text on the false wall, and then they fled the House.  The party signed the House off as clean and carried on.  In terms of CoC, a catastrophe.  In terms of player vs. system, I think they won.

    That is how an investigation game, with all clues and events evident, can go wrong.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Your story has had us all in stitches. We remember that module very well from running through that campaign, and your player’s response to it is just hilarious. This is, without doubt, one of the funniest comments we have ever had on just about anything…

    • Disemvowel

      Thank you for the compliment.  I would share with my players, but…I did go over the scenario in the ‘as intended’ format with them, to show them sort of what coc is about.  They want more, and I will run the scenario from the next story on them.

      I’ll give you all one more.  Years ago I ran the scenario “Paradise Lost” from the d20 COC.  It is by far one of my favorite scenarios with, as my players said, “lots of unsettling shit in there”.  Now, this group was a highly experienced group with hundreds of years of gaming behind them.  As the scenario wrapped up, the group had come to realize what was happening and what was about to unfold at the theater and they were, as players not PCs, so un-nerved by their knowledge and what had transpired in the scenario, they sat in the car to “just see what unfolds”.   I remember them arguing, some vehemently, about what to do or not to do.  Grown ass men.  We talk about that one still today.  I suppose they won too.