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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 ...


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 ...


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

Trail of Cthulhu is an RPG using the GUMSHOE system based off the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It's similar to Call of Cthulhu, but emphasizes investigation and planning from the players. GUMSHOE is a system designed for more investigative play, making the game based on clues rather than discrete encounters. It can be catered to a lot of different playstyles, ...


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 ...


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

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

Fate Core / Dresden Files I can recommend from experience the Dresden Files RPG as a modern fantasy investigative game. You have hit the three points that the game is intended to cover in your question title: Modern Fantasy - The Dresden Files is a modern fantasy series of novels Investigative - Harry Dresden is a wizard and a private detective I have ...


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 ...


4

There's a huge Chekov's elephant gun you need to be aware of when playing a mystery game: The mystery is there to be solved! There's nothing interesting about not solving the mystery. So since the players are going to solve the mystery anyway, the big question in the game shouldn't be about -if they can-. They can and will. It should be about -how they do- ...


3

Making things interesting during an investigation should be much like most other situations. First off, stay in character and play your character. Too often I've run or played games where people will drop their character and just play the stats. At that point they're either looking for rules to help them out or rolls to take over. If you're in a good sync ...


3

The Settite's own scales aren't going to last. However, you can still leave a thematic snakeskin clue. Followers of Set are known to keep ghouled snakes. Even people who have little hard knowledge of FoS might be aware of that they have some kind of association, symbolic or real, with snakes. Your Settites might simply have arrived at the fight scene ...


3

I still have to find the page citation, but my understanding is that once a piece of a vampire is removed, it crumbles to indistinct ash at a rate of speed proportional to the age of the Kindred. Severed limbs, bits of hair, skin flakes…and probably your Setite's scale, too, unless he is very young.


1

The Delta Green supplements for Call of Cthluhu 6th edition are an excellent choice for mundane investigators tackling a world beyond their scope. If you're looking for a campaign in which your players will go mad after long exposure to these fantastical elements, Delta Green will be right for you. Playable on Roll20 Combat isn't tactical in this system, ...


1

The Investigation Hurdle Investigations are pretty hard to do well in RPGs. If you look at other media, like books, movies, TV, etc. which use investigations, you'll notice there's a lot of contrived ways the protagonists get information: They just happen to accidentally knock something over/stumble upon a clue They randomly run into, or overhear ...


1

Players forgetting to use their skills As I see it, there are a handful of ways to solve the problem you have here. The first one is to just talk with them. It might seem strange, but many a time pointing the problem to them, so they'll see it too, can solve it in and all by itself. "Oh, the GM said s/he has a problem with us forgetting our skills. Let's ...


1

While the question is about investigation at large, I think this issue comes up under a few very specific situations. A failure to account for the PC's failing investigations is present in campaigns that focus on solving a mystery. Indeed, even a single investigation-solved event is a tiny mystery. People get into the whole sleuthing, cop-show, Sherlock ...



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