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Author Topic: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Horror) [Recruiting]  (Read 1783 times)

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Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Horror) [Recruiting]
« on: September 13, 2017, 07:56:24 AM »
The Descent into Madness


The Setting/Plot Summary

It's 1920, and peace has finally fallen across the world. The horrors of the great war are at an end, and the people of London are learning to enjoy life without fear once again. Shelters and bunkers were replaced with jazz clubs and cocktail bars. Soldiers returned home to their loved ones, trading their blood sweat and tears for well deserved rest. Inevitably along with this great national relaxation came those who would take advantage of others. Everyone from small time thieves to real crooks and criminals. And so two brothers chose to start a detective agency in central London. They'd returned from war and began to relax as they heard of family being burgled and even mugged. Not able to sit idly by they bought out a local restaurant with most of their savings and transformed it into a classy, respectable agency. Well stocked and disguised to appear as though it were still a restaurant the Agency could operate hidden from law enforcement, on their own terms. Both soldiers proved gifted at uncovering truths, and earned a good amount of money behind the scenes. Soon Evans and Peel was a growing operation with a small handful of staff members of all shapes and sizes.

Sadly for their new employees disaster struck just two short days ago. Overnight from their very own agency both brothers disappeared without a trace. After reporting them missing the agency must now begin their most personal case yet to find their former employers, while also keeping the agency funded. After the first two days had no success a strange letter arrived at the door of the agency. Nobody saw who delivered it, and now everyone is gathered to do their best to understand it.


Overview

The Descent into Madness is a psychological horror game with many lovecraftian themes. If you are unfamiliar with Lovecraft's work it is primarily a combination of psychological horror and cosmic horror. Humanity dealing with the unknown and frequently unknowable. Concepts which they cannot begin to comprehend or contend with. The idea that everything about humanity is almost entirely irrelevant compared to the beings that exist in the deep dark places of the universe. A huge aspect of this game will be all characters sanity and fragility being tested, and so all characters will have their flaws and weaknesses. This is not a gore-filled horror game, but there will likely be moments of it. Instead the horror is a slow realisation that the world is not as it seemed. Reality is not what the characters believed it to be and they are not a hundredth as in control of their lives as they wish they were. Most interactions with beings not of this world will be utterly hopeless, more akin to trying to survive a natural disaster than a fight.

This game will not particularly, if at all, feature smut. The 'Monsters' are not here to play, they are here to kill. Anyone who wishes to have a sexual encounter between two characters will be welcome to take it to a 1x1 thread.

Characters will be approved based on being the best fit for the agency. I'm probably looking for at least 3-4 and as many as 7-8 players to start off with one character each. I may open the game to more if it feels appropriate. Players will be allowed to play NPC's as well.

Warning: This game is going to feature content of a disturbing and dark nature. While it may be a slow burn there will be moments which include death, insanity, torture, abduction, mind control/warping, suicide and abuse. It will not include rape, but aside from that it will be going extremely dark. If you are personally affected by any of these topics it is unlikely to be the game for you. Unfortunately due to the theme it would be impossible to censor the game for someone's personal issues. In essence the game's very much not for the faint of heart.

Characters

Characters will primarily be the staff of the Evans and Peel detective agency. However there are a huge deal of different backgrounds that could've led a person into this line of work. Whether a former police officer who wanted to get things done by their own rules, a veteran of the great war who's sick of the crime rates at home or a scholarly type with a gift for solving mysteries. Despite the time period I want it to be absolutely clear this game is entirely LGBTQ+ friendly and characters of any sexuality, race or gender are welcome.

Character submissions should be done via PM so they can be discussed privately. All characters will have 'fears' that will need to be included in the PM but that wont be listed on the public CS. Characters will also need to replace the placeholder image with a face claim of a real person. It would be great if they had images that put them in time period-appropriate attire/looks. Perhaps try the casts of period dramas or shows like Peaky Blinders. However this isn't absolutely necessary as it's not always a realistic possibility.

Name: (Try to go for something mostly time appropriate.)
Gender: (Self Explanatory)
Birthdate:(Current date is September 13th, 1920. Game will run on the 2017 calendar for ease.)
Occupation: (Likely more 'role within Evans and Peel Agency'. Some characters may be close aids of them such as a helpful police officer or solitary investigators who join up for this case.)
Personality:(What they're like. How they see themselves and how most others see them.)
History:(General description of their past, likely including how they came to the agency.)
Skills:(Everything ranging from marksmanship to knitting can go in here. Don't make anyone too capable of everything, though.)

Code: [Select]
[floatright][img height=300]https://athlonecommunityradio.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/placeholder.png[/img][/floatright]
[b]Name:[/b] (Try to go for something mostly time appropriate.)
[b]Gender:[/b] (Self Explanatory)
[b]Birthdate:[/b](Current date is September 13th, 1920. Game will run on the 2017 calendar for ease.)
[b]Occupation:[/b] (Likely more 'role within Evans and Peel Agency'. Some characters may be close aids of them such as a helpful police officer or solitary investigators who join up for this case.)
[b]Personality:[/b](What they're like. How they see themselves and how most others see them.)
[b]History:[/b](General description of their past, likely including how they came to the agency.)
[b]Skills:[/b](Everything ranging from marksmanship to knitting can go in here. Don't make anyone too capable of everything, though.)


Inspiration

This section will include a few bits of media such as music/films/games and books that served as an inspiration for the game and characters.

Games: Bloodborne, Tabletop Call of Cthulhu, Alan Wake, Call of Cthulhu, Amnesia, Darkest Dungeon, Silent Hill
Movies: The Thing, The Shining, In the Mouth of Madness
Books: Everything written by H.P Lovecraft.  Many Steven King books.
Music: Soundtrack to Bloodborne and Darkest Dungeon.

Cthulhu Chanting

Darkest Dungeon Soundtrack

Bloodborne Soundtrack
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 10:33:00 AM by Sun Wukong »

Offline Remiel

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 09:22:35 AM »
Tentatively interested!

Offline Valerian


Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 10:13:23 AM »
Off to a good start, it seems. If anyone's got any questions feel free to ask here or via PM, I'm always happy to answer.

Online Imogen

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 01:24:00 PM »
Interested!

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Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 01:30:05 PM »
Color me intrigued....

Offline Anouk Daae

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 03:49:48 PM »
interested!
Building a character in my head.

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 04:36:29 PM »
Judging by the interest so far I'd say I'm open to seeing character concepts or full sheets. Feel free to run ideas by me first either here or via PM.

Since all the characters will have close ties I'd like to see people pitch ideas/discuss things so that the Agency feels alive and not like 5-6 different characters slapped together. Not that this means everyone needs to be best friends.

Of the 5-6 characters I'd like I think at least 3-4 will need to be from the Agency and 2-3 can be close relatives or specialists who help them out. Again if you need ideas or want to run one by me I'm always open to PM's.

Offline Valerian

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 05:02:39 PM »
I'm pondering some sort of researcher / librarian or possibly a medic who drove an ambulance during WWI.  Either could easily be an agency employee or someone who helps out as needed, whichever would fit better.  :)

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 05:33:19 PM »
I'm pondering some sort of researcher / librarian or possibly a medic who drove an ambulance during WWI.  Either could easily be an agency employee or someone who helps out as needed, whichever would fit better.  :)

Either one of those sounds great.

Generally agency employees are best just to keep people connected/cohesive from the start. However either is doable since I imagine they could have reasons to have close ties with a medic (Body inspection before alerting the police, interpreting medical evidence and things like that. Likewise a researcher would have all sorts of reasons to be involved closely with the agency employees.

Just so everyone knows individuality will be very important. As the game will be pretty small I want everyone to have their specialist areas and blind spots. This can mostly be emphasised by the skills section and the fears/flaws the characters have.

Offline Remiel

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 08:32:37 PM »
Character concepts:

1. American priest who is obsessed with cult lore
2. The "muscle" -- a large man who has some policing background but who is skilled at unarmed combat / bare-knuckle brawling

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 08:48:49 PM »
Character concepts:

1. American priest who is obsessed with cult lore
2. The "muscle" -- a large man who has some policing background but who is skilled at unarmed combat / bare-knuckle brawling

Both welcome concepts.

Someone with cult knowledge being in the group would be important to me but I'd say I'm only looking for 1-2 max with that kind of focus on it. After all they'll all be learning at least a little together as things go on.

Muscle'd be fun when it comes to situations you can't fight your way through. But also very useful when dealing with humans, which'll happen plenty.

Offline TheLaughingOne

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 01:35:18 AM »
My interest is piqued!! Will try and get something together shortly!

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2017, 03:43:57 AM »
Thanks to everyone for their interest.

Bear in mind I'll be taking the first 5-6 characters who are most fitting for the setting and other characters.

Best thing you can all do is mention concepts here so that everyone's working on something unique.

Online Imogen

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2017, 03:55:51 AM »
I was thinking of playing the secretary/phone operator for the company? One that has some extras and field skills as well so she can also double as field agent, but who also can fill the role of main contact and liaison/emergency hotline?

Offline TheLaughingOne

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 04:07:22 AM »
Im thinking slight criminal type... not thug, but more a contact type, breaks into businesses and such to copy important documents for his employers to get a leg up on competitors, maybe got pinched by evans and peel, but rather then turned in kept him on "retainer" as someone that can get into difficult places to grab info they want/need...

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 04:27:34 AM »
I was thinking of playing the secretary/phone operator for the company? One that has some extras and field skills as well so she can also double as field agent, but who also can fill the role of main contact and liaison/emergency hotline?

That'd make sense. She'd likely be the one who's gathered all of these people together for the first scene.

Im thinking slight criminal type... not thug, but more a contact type, breaks into businesses and such to copy important documents for his employers to get a leg up on competitors, maybe got pinched by evans and peel, but rather then turned in kept him on "retainer" as someone that can get into difficult places to grab info they want/need...

It'll depend a little on how strict some of the other PC's are about the law but as the agency do tend to hide from the law and try to work behind closed doors on their own terms they wouldn't be above working with a criminal. As long as he's got enough of a sense of right/wrong to bother to show up when the pair go missing and to try and help find them.

Offline TheLaughingOne

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 04:47:33 AM »
Yeah, im figuring criminal, but not bad guy. He will break in and do things like discrete industrial espionage (or for E&P, maybe copy the Real books rather then the ones they show people, or other incriminating evidence or what have you) and not shooting his way in and causing a fuss. MMAAYYBBEE snag a few good cigars from the guys collection, nice bottle of cognac, ect... but, well... petty theft is just a bit to petty...

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2017, 04:58:13 AM »
Yeah, im figuring criminal, but not bad guy. He will break in and do things like discrete industrial espionage (or for E&P, maybe copy the Real books rather then the ones they show people, or other incriminating evidence or what have you) and not shooting his way in and causing a fuss. MMAAYYBBEE snag a few good cigars from the guys collection, nice bottle of cognac, ect... but, well... petty theft is just a bit to petty...

I'd say Evans and Peel also would've paid pretty well and been laid back about him so long as he didn't hurt others.

I'm writing up their CS's but basically Evans is the 'Professional' of the two who's charming, polite and generally been the face of the agency. He'd know how to deal with criminals, or anyone really, because people are his thing.

Peel however is a little younger and more hot-headed and might disapprove of criminal activities a little more, despite the fact that he's not above roughing up suspects if it becomes necessary.

Either way he sounds like the kind of small-time criminal with the right morals that the boys would've worked with.

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 05:05:17 AM »
https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=275054.msg13518068#msg13518068

Here's Mr. Evans. It's a somewhat brief CS but that's around the lower-end of the detail/format I'd like from people. Of course if you want to write something longer anyone's welcome to. It's really just a personal thing of how long you need to get across their personality and history. Not everyone has to have led an incredibly complex life, after all.

For now, prior to sorting out an OOC thread (Which I'll handle when at least a couple of characters have been submitted) I'll be updating the worldbuilding thread I linked to with relevant NPC's/story notes for the start of the game. Mostly just at least the two brothers so that you can make references to how your characters see them.

I'd also like to make sure everyone's on the same page with the general genre. It's definitely going to be lovecraftian horror, but as a concept that's a slow burner. So for a little while it'll likely be somewhat more supernatural/dark almost Sherlock Holmes-esque investigation work. But with the underlying theme of building a darkness in the world. Just in case anyone's expecting extreme horror straight away, that's not the idea here. But we'll get there.

Edit: Also edited Mr. Peel into the first link, that'll now be where I put profiles for NPC contacts who're closely linked to the Agency. Hopefully those two give a bit of an idea of the employers, and the way Evans and Peel does the right thing but can often slip a little over the line of the law.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 07:13:08 AM by Sun Wukong »

Offline Kuroneko

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2017, 05:37:20 PM »
Interested :-)

You mentioned that you only want 2 characters with cult knowledge. Would a medium or Romany drabarni type character growing into their abilities be welcome?

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2017, 05:55:53 PM »
Interested :-)

You mentioned that you only want 2 characters with cult knowledge. Would a medium or Romany drabarni type character growing into their abilities be welcome?

Cult knowledge, yes. Any genuine supernatural abilities in this universe will be based in science, though. And often have an incredibly crippling detrimental effect on the sanity of the user. So someone function as a genuine effective medium would lose their mind in a few weeks at best.

Someone with perhaps a good knowledge of herbalism would be doable but as for a medium reaching 'The other side' in this universe there's no other side to reach.

So it depends what extent of medium/abilities you'd want the character to possess.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2017, 06:06:22 PM »
Cult knowledge, yes. Any genuine supernatural abilities in this universe will be based in science, though. And often have an incredibly crippling detrimental effect on the sanity of the user. So someone function as a genuine effective medium would lose their mind in a few weeks at best.

Someone with perhaps a good knowledge of herbalism would be doable but as for a medium reaching 'The other side' in this universe there's no other side to reach.

So it depends what extent of medium/abilities you'd want the character to possess.

Herbalism actually sounds fantastic. That could offer a lot of potential, both for a Romany background (grandmother's knowledge, etc. and superstition) and someone looking to ground it in science, as a medical doctor perhaps? Could even be someone with Traditional Chinese Medicine training instead. Maybe even offering hallucinogens for true supernatural encounters? Just thinking out loud on that last bit, but I do like the herbalism/medical/doctor angle, if that works for you. 

Offline Sun WukongTopic starter

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2017, 06:16:48 PM »
Herbalism actually sounds fantastic. That could offer a lot of potential, both for a Romany background (grandmother's knowledge, etc. and superstition) and someone looking to ground it in science, as a medical doctor perhaps? Could even be someone with Traditional Chinese Medicine training instead. Maybe even offering hallucinogens for true supernatural encounters? Just thinking out loud on that last bit, but I do like the herbalism/medical/doctor angle, if that works for you.

Yeah, Herbalism makes more sense for the setting and depending on how much the character's willing to kind of include 'fake' medicine with the real say providing a genuine cure as well as a hallucinogen for a placebo effect when the patient thinks they've had that kind of supernatural experience. Perhaps someone who misleads sometimes with the aim of doing good overall. Why they do it is totally up to you though, as long as one way or another they'd believably want to work with Evans and Peel. Sounds like they'd more likely be a contact than an employee but again, up to you.

Given a Romany background a Great War refugee might be an idea for a history/connection to the Agency. If you wanted they could've even met the two brothers while they were at war.

It's also up to you how spiritual the character is. We, as players, know there's nothing spiritually supernatural in this game world. But none of the characters do and many of them will likely believe certain events are closer to magic than science.

Down the line there may be opportunities for most characters to have moments of utilising the supernatural but nobody will ever be flinging 'Spells' around regularly by any means.

Offline Remiel

Re: The Descent into Madness (Lovecraftian Psychological Horror/Mystery)
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2017, 06:20:42 PM »
After seeing the others' ideas, I'm leaning toward a bruiser/the muscle at this point.  Perhaps someone who fought in the Great War, in the same unit as Peel and/or Evans.