Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

21

Back in the day, evidence was not as important as now. A lot of law was based on the person with the higher title being more honourable, so a landowner would win his case against a serf, for instance. Maybe your characters could try to get the support of a higher-ranking person if they want to convict, say, a knight? Consider the amount of corruption in the ...


16

Thanks for the clarification. basically, as much as i appreciate all the answers so far, it would really help me to get to the source of them, why is it how it is, what is the cause, what led that people to develop their system how they did? and how will that natural development be different in my world, when fantasy is involved. What it boils down to ...


16

Evidence was definitely not so important as today, but witnesses were. As Dakeyras noted, their status was important. Word of one noble was about as important as two or three townsmen and more important than any number of peasants (if someone of higher status didn't back them). Question is, whether you want to emphasize "medieval", "fantasy" or "crime ...


14

If there is key information the PCs simply must find in order to advance the story, then you have to ensure that they find it one way or another. Following on from this idea, a fail on a skill roll doesn't necessarily have to indicate that you do not find anything. Instead it could mean a complication such as: It takes longer than you thought it would You ...


12

At the end of the day, D&D is a very poor fit for these sorts of games, as it's model for everything except combat is either "roll that skill check" or "a wizard did it." In summary, witnesses are worthless, gather information, survival, and search are useful skills that either attack flat DCs or the opponent's bluff, Ebberon's Urban Tracking is ...


12

I personally allow use of Perception to find obvious things - like "Oh look he has a bunch of big slash wounds." But I require Heal, as the general doctoring skill in Pathfinder, to make any definitive medical sense out of them, like "those slash wounds are/are not what killed him" (DC 15) or "those slash wounds were postmortem" (DC 20). Generally I'd just ...


11

I'm no expert on this field, yet I have to recommend you to read Bernard Knight's Crowner John historical mystery novels whose protagonist is a medieval coroner. Though opinions about the books vary (some find them lacking in excitement, others love it), the author is a highly respected forensic pathologist and is "a founder member of The Medieval Murderers, ...


11

A few thoughts: unless your player characters are supposed to be on par with Sherlock Holmes, solving crimes based on nothing more than clues available at the scene, there should be quite a bit of legwork and talking involved in an investigation. It sounds like you're looking for a closed room murder ("all the windows and doors were locked from the ...


11

To answer your two questions in backwards order, but easier context: Scene Framing Splitting the party is easy and fun when you don't let scenes drag. Just as much as movies and TV cuts to relevant points, you should aim to start scenes as close to the important action as possible. Don't spend long on the set up, get to the interesting point of the scene ...


10

Few techniques I regularly use in my game. GM/spymaster techniques first: Recursion 2+ - thats what you already did. The wealthy rarely sent some of their men to make the crime, but they hired a spy or assassin. Even wealthier hired their spymaster, who hired spies or assassins for certain tasks. Since link between a lord and his spymaster is secret itself, ...


8

I suggest you read or watch some of Brother Cadfael's adventures, the character is a former crusader turned monk with a innate sense of justice and always has a eye out for a unlawful death trying to slip by in his parish/city. His main tools and what I think is most helpfull for your own character is: A keen sense of his surroundings. A logical mind, ...


8

The Gumshoe System from Pelgrane Press. http://www.pelgranepress.com/gumshoe/index.html It's light, flexible and targeted directly at investigation/mystery scenarios.


6

I'm not sure there is a single best answer for this situation but I'll try to give you some ideas. There is an RPG System called GUMSHOE that is entirely based around the idea of investigation. Don't let the PC choose their side. I can't really think of any real world context where someone could do this in an official capacity. They also have very ...


6

How can I design investigative challenges that use a wide variety of abilities and reward teamwork? Do not even bother. Even if you come up with twelve really smart things(TM) the players can do, they'll got with option thirteen! This is the no plan survives contact with the enemy. Instead, I would focus on what has happened: How did the traitor do his ...


5

Don't forget the forensic abilities of an alchemist. I think it is a given that an alchemist has some means to determine if a strand of hair comes from a high or a wood elf, or if a vial of blood is from a black or red dragon - before ruining a 50,000 gold piece potion and taking away a chunk of landscape along with it. This is as CSI as it gets. Also, many ...


5

Decide what constitutes an investigation. If you design an investigation to be purely socially interactive, you're going to be left with the party face on a solo mission. Interview The standard Q&A of investigations. You ask questions, you get answers. Either they tell you or they don't, either you believe them or you don't. This is The Face's job. ...


5

Are you worried that some players will be twiddling their thumbs? Keep their hands busy! Your plot seems to me perfect to make it simultaneous with another plot. So, if you have another in mind, start it and that way there will be work for anybody. Speaking of job, there's plenty to do in a pirate ship. If you don't have another plot to keep the ...


5

As the person who wrote the GM version of this question, I can tell you the things that I hope for from my players: Be Patient As a GM, the most stressful part of splitting the party is watching the players who aren't in the current scene drift off and lose interest. If your GM allows it, you should definitely stick around, pay close attention to the ...


5

That you mention Concorde places this scenario in 1976 or later, probably before 2003 when Concorde was retired from service, though your scenario may vary from this. You mention a hijacking, and while some trains can be quite luxurious (e.g. the Orient Express), they are literally railroaded and are practically impossible to hijack. This leaves only ...


4

Have a look at the (Chinese) movie Detective Dee and The Mistery of the Phantom Flame... it gives a nice idea of how investigation may proceed with low tech and the chance of magic to be involved. Here is a subtitled version from youtube if you are in a hurry. Basically think of Sherlock Holmes: an exceptional individual who is considered trusted by the ...


4

Remember, that medieval/renaissance Europe was not a completely lawless hellhole how a lot of people imagine it. It might also be worth considering, that the "generic" medieval-ish fantasy worlds usually depict a society more like the 17th century (with walled city-states, very influential guilds and merchants) instead of the middle ages (maybe except the ...


4

Simple answer: No, there are no official rules for this. But, I would recommend the following: Perception to notice clues, Healing to determine the nature of the wounds. Knowledge Arcana if a spell was used. Religion if he died from negative energy? (Thinking outloud). Even Survival or Arcana to know the difference between a natural lightning or a spell ...


4

For each mystery you want to tell, there has to be some sort of constraint the players could work with. As Problematic points out, a lot of the details of murder mysteries will work even in a high magic setting. But here are some examples that tie the prevalence of magic in to the mystery itself: The Winter King was killed in an area with powerful ...


4

While the answer Brian gave is amazing, it does not include any of the already present solutions. Here some classes that you should take a look at: Vigilante The vigilante combines magical and mundane investigative techniques to assess a crime scene. Points of Interest: Quick Search (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a vigilante can search a ...


3

Failing a skill roll shouldn't always mean that they totally and completely fail at whatever they're attempting. Skills in most RPGs are rarely Binary systems, and they work best if you have a sliding scale of potential success options. Think about a few real-world examples such as Driving (If you fail, it's not that you can't drive at all, just that you ...


3

This has been a problem since time immemorial - avoiding railroading and making skills useful while not letting investigative scenarios go off the rails. Robin Laws designed the GUMSHOE system specifically to empower investigation-based games - you get clues you must have to progress in the investigation automatically, but using skills gives you additional ...


3

they usually require Streetwise or Investigation to gather clues and such, however, I wonder what to do if they fail the roll... If they fail they're not supposed to find anything, so chances they never finish the adventure are well, high [..] Failure doesn't have to mean they don't find anything. No adventure should hinge on a single roll to ...


3

I've run a few murder-mystery style games and to me the following work fairly well: Do not be afraid to shamelessly rip off a movie or TV show. One of the best instances of a good murder mystery I had was when I stole the plot to the Ben Affleck movie "Gone Baby Gone" and adapted it to medieval fantasy. If it's a movie nobody else has seen, that's great, ...


3

I'm not sure if there's an official ruling on the matter, but I'd say that it's both Perception and Heal. Since Heal is described as being able to be used for Treating wounds, diseases, and the like, it also follows that being trained in heal means you know enough about conditions and medicine that you can make a proper diagnosis. So, Heal would be used to ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible