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Old 12-30-2019, 10:59 AM
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What Lies Beneath - a Gothic Horror Murder Mystery

Game NameWhat Lies Beneath - a Gothic Horror Murder Mystery
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeGothic Horror Murder Mystery
FlavourA Dark and Character-Driven Role-Play Extravaganza
Plot Summary


Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On by black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet,
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown

~~ William Shakespeare.


Welcome to the City of Shadows and Lost Souls. What will you find when you arrive here? What will you find when you tear away the mask and stare at what lies beneath you? Will you see the face of a monster staring back at you?

Will you realise that the monster is you.


Murder. What possible worse crime could the mind conceive? The sundering of a life -- to take away the most precious gift of all. What gives us the right to play god over the life and world of another -- to be that silent angel in the sky to deem that one's life is over.

Only the most darkest minds of all could conceive of such a terrible act.

And yet, amidst the fog-shrouded streets of Paridon, the silent watchers watch, and they wait. They wait for their time to strike. To come out of the shadows with the glint of steel. And before you know it, the mortal shell has been sundered, and life cast down. Frightened whispers tell of terrible legends. A cycle that begins once every thirteen years. For five consecutive nights, at the stroke of midnight, a terrible murder is committed.

The victim is found, drained of blood, their face twisted into a rictus of terror. Each time the killer targets someone with no family or friends. Loners, with no-one to care for them, no-one to notice that they are gone. Yet the terrified citizens of Paridon know. They know that the time arrives one more time. Thirteen years has almost passed, and soon the cycle will begin anew.

And the city of Paridon will turn once more into a city of fear and horror.

***

Who are you? Who are you really? Do you think you are brave adventurers, seeking to make your name and fortune in a realm of wonder and danger. Tell me, my friends, how deep are you willing to go to uncover a truth that wishes to remain hidden from prying eyes.

We will test your belief. We will take you on a journey unlike any that you have been on before. We will take you to the darkest places at the edge of your consciousness that you fear to tread. We will put your loyalty and friendship to the test in ways that you cannot possibly imagine.

And remember......this is just the beginning.


Welcome to Paridon, and welcome to Ravenloft, the Demiplane of Dread. This is, and will be, the story of a group of characters thrown into a desperate situation.

Brought into a strange fog-shrouded city by the mists of Ravenloft, you will witness a terrible murder. As witnesses of this murder, you are the only living people to see the face of the killer. As you flee, you know that surely you will be next on the killer's list. Trapped in this bizarre city as strangers, where you know nobody, and are not sure of who you can trust and who you can turn to, you can only trust each other to survive.

Or can you?

When reality is altered, and when you can never truly be sure whether the person you look at is nothing more than a mask hiding a terrible monster, you will soon learn that perhaps to survive, you will need to embrace the lesser of two evils.....

You must pierce the heart of this decadent city, to the terrors hiding inside the shadows of which people fear to speak. This hubris of social decay, and learn the terrible truth behind the curtain. Ultimately you will discover the truth of what lies beneath.


About Me and the GameHi all, I am Nade. I'm ready, willing and able to step back into the world of 5th Edition once more. I have one other game going on this site, and that game is going pretty well at the moment. I have the time and creativity to begin one more and -- well, the above is the result of what happens when I have too much spare time on my hands .

What Lies Beneath wears its heart on its sleeve. It is, at its core, a gothic horror murder mystery that occurs in a fantasy setting that is not entirely dissimilar to Victorian London. You will not start the game as residents of this city. As I have hinted above, at the onset of the game you are teleported into Paridon just in time to witness a murder. You are strangers, not only to each other, but to the city at large.

Unfortunately, you will soon find that in Paridon you can trust nobody -- everyone has an agenda and there is no telling who is friend, and who is enemy. Part of the game will involve unravelling that mystery in time to stop the killer before it is too late. Can you trust anyone else? Can you even trust each other? These are the questions you should be asking.

I should be straight from the outset - this game is predominantly story and role-play focussed. As a murder mystery it will be heavily favoured in that way, although there is some combat, combat encounters as such will be few and far between. The combat will be theater of the mind only.

If you love D&D for the combat and for using mechanically optimised characters you will likely find that this is not the game for you. Instead, I am looking for players that are willing and able to tell a story with me, and ones that are capable of carrying that narrative. I also strongly favour quality over quantity, I would much prefer fewer posts of higher quality than more posts with not very much to them.

I do have a tendency to apply the "rule of cool" when appropriate - if there are any rules lawyers who have a problem with this then again this is likely not the game for you.

For that reason I anticipate that the posting rate won't be particularly high for this, but enough to keep the game going at a respectable rate -- I think about two posts a week would be more than sufficient for what I am looking for.

Providing I haven't scared you off with all of the above, I'd like you to provide me with the below for a character:-

Name:
Age:
Race:
Class:
Alignment: Non-evil characters only please.
Personality:
Appearance:
Backstory:
RP Sample: During your adventuring career, you will have accomplished one notable act. That act can be anything you like, although it should be something particularly heroic and something that would have drawn attention to yourself. Be creative in this.

I'm not particularly interested in character sheets at this time, however for when the time comes and the chosen are selected the basic parameters for character creation are as follows:

 
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Last edited by Nade; 12-31-2019 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:31 PM
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PlayerCharacterRaceClassStatus
ihinkaLilyana DokovaHumanBlood HunterComplete
JohnStoneAlyssa AllbrightHumanClericComplete
SpinradHuxley GalanodelMoon ElfRogueComplete
GoombaJoshMary J'nishnaHumanBarbarianComplete
TheoreTheore LeDaerHumanFighter/WizardComplete
Noisome PossumBromley LucioleHumanWizardComplete
LordBran AnderfrithHumanClericComplete
gavins38SamuelHumanWizardComplete
Begon UgoGrace ElisenHumanSorcererComplete
BoomyWei LingDrowBardComplete
JenniferNinzixahra le'DaemoniumMountain DwarfPaladinComplete
triedtherestJohn WatersHumanWarlockComplete
VaileeQuintessaChangelingClericComplete
XianDarius DarkwoodHumanRogue/WizardComplete
GirlplayLerissaTieflingRangerComplete
ColorsOfTheHeartFelix AlerrionAasimarSorcererTBD
VaultDwellerRalf HerberholdHumanRangerComplete?
In the MixSherllin NerelHalf-ElfRogueComplete
tomplumRicimer LokkenHumanRogueComplete

FAQ:
  • Does this sort of thing (people getting teleported in) happen often in Paridon? Not really, no.
  • How do they react and would they know what we are? Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings are all present in Paridon, however the city itself is very insular and xenophobic. You would certainly be marked as outsiders.
  • Is there a deadline? None yet as I'm looking to gauge interest. It will likely be in the next 2-4 weeks.
  • What world would the characters be originally from? Feel free to use any you like. As long as the character itself is thematically appropriate for a gothic horror style game its all good with me.
  • Can the characters be from Ravenloft? Yes as long as they are unfamiliar with Paridon
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GM: What Lies Beneath - a Gothic Horror role-playing extravaganza

GM: Heroes of the Purple Waste: - an enchanted adventure in a faraway land of mystical promise

Last edited by Nade; 01-16-2020 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:42 PM
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Great! I've loved playing Ravenloft in previous Editions, so would love to get to grips with it in 5th.

I'm thinking something a little bit Lovecraftian for a character concept, possibly a Human Great Old One Tomelock, with my thoughts flitting amongst the Noble, Acolyte, and Dead backgrounds.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:27 PM
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Hi hi, this looks really interesting! I don't know a whole lot about ravenloft but as I understand we can be races that don't come from ravenloft because we're from different worlds. Does this happen often in Paridon? How do they react and would they know what we are?
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:32 PM
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Hi, thank you for the interest both.

@Vailee, no, this is not a common occurrence in paranoid, xenophobic Paridon. Paridon is predominantly made up of humans, demihuman races (dwarves, elves, halflings and gnomes) are uncommon and are very much treated as second-class citizens. Any other race would be unheard of and immediately mark you in the city.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:34 PM
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Lilyana Dokova
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Name: Lilyana Dokova
Age: 38
Race: Human V
Class: Blood Hunter (Mutant)
Alignment: CG
Background: The Haunted One

Personality: Lili is a quiet, sad, and haunted soul. She won't speak unless spoken to, or unless the situation utterly demands it of her, like in social situations. And even then is soft spoken and always careful with her words. She is kind and supportive even with her permanent sorrowful look.

Her personality changes drastically whenever she is met with evil. Something she is keen to recognize immediately as she lived with it for six years. Six years that will always seem like an eternity to her. When she finds herself in the presence of evil she becomes cold, almost cruel. And hungry! Hungry for the satisfaction of destroying evil creatures. She craves it like a madwoman. And even as her quiet, sad and haunted self seeks it out and endeavors to eradicate it. She will sacrifice herself if it would mean victory over evil. The one thing Lili is not ready to sacrifice for the sake of vanquishing evil, is innocence!

Lili can be seen constantly with a tome of poetry in hand, reading away. Sometimes even reciting it out loud. It is a piece of Brenna that she always carries with herself. And it is the only thing that keeps the persisting madness at bay.

Appearance: At 5'8'' Lilyana is not a short woman. Her years spent with Brenna have helped her recuperate her physical health and she is no longer the thin waif of a woman she'd been upon her rescue from the Russians. She is however still very pale and would appear sick to people because of her haunted look. She wears her jet-black hair short and her deep, blue eyes can either make you cry with their depth of empathy. Or tremble in fear of the insanity that lurks behind them.

Backstory:
 


 
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Last edited by ihinka; 01-03-2020 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:35 PM
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This sounds cool! I'd like to submit interest in playing a Human Necromancer (non-evil).
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:14 PM
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Lately I've become very much a fan of "theater of the mind, collective storytelling" games, and who doesn't love themselves some Gothic Horror?

I think I'll be applying with a College of Whispers Bard. It might take a day or two for me to put all the buttons and bows on the application; do you have a deadline in mind?
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:18 PM
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At the moment no deadline in mind while I see what level of interest there is for the game. Nominally I expect to keep applications open for the next 2-4 weeks at the very least unless I receive a deluge.
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GM: Heroes of the Purple Waste: - an enchanted adventure in a faraway land of mystical promise

Last edited by Nade; 12-30-2019 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:48 PM
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Interested as well. Just a quick question, what world would the characters be originally from?
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:15 PM
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You have my attention, Master Nade. The character I wish to play might benefit immensely from the more lax combat rules, as his set up is largely based off of being reactive - which I fear would be difficult to really nail down via pbp.

Fighter1/Abjurationist2 human variant character in consideration at the moment.

I saw you mention that people might be "ported" from different realms. Is it possible for a character to already have been on Ravenloft, or are you preferring outsiders being warped into the realm and being unfamiliar?
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Last edited by Theore; 12-30-2019 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:30 PM
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Re: worlds that the character has come from, I don’t mind what you do with this. As long as the character concept itself is thematically appropriate for the game you can have them come from any world you desire.

Yes, the characters can also begin as native to Ravenloft as long as they don’t come from Paridon itself.
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:32 AM
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Excellent. I am admittedly unfamiliar with Ravenloft atm, but I will do a little homework and be sure he isn't from Paridon.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:07 AM
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Introduction
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Alyssa Allbright
Race: Human (Variant)
Class: Cleric Of the Silver Flame (Life)
Alignment: Lawful Good
Background: Acolyte
Homeland: Eberron, Thrane

Synopsis: The Allbrights have existed in Thrane since the time of Tira Miron. Alyssa was born to be a priestess of The Silver Flame, it is all she knows.

Personality Trait: Nobility- I always speak with proper poise and etiquette, befitting a lady of the church.
Personality Trait:Optimism- I remain calm and keep a positive outlook in even the harshest of times, my faith always prevails.
Ideal: Charity- I always try to help those in need, no matter what the personal cost. (Good)
Bond: Family- I am loyal to my sovereign, I would never do anything to bring shame upon my name.
Flaw: Naivety- I've been sheltered most of my life. I am curious about the world and overly trusting of its people.


DescriptionAppearance: Lysa is an attractive young lady of average height and build in her early twenties. She has a classic beauty known to exist among the noble class. She wears the white and blue robes of the church, preferring the pious look over that of a warpriest. She carries a staff instead of a shield or sword the crystal atop is engraved into a symbol of the Silver Flame.

Personality: Lysa has a childlike ideology of the world. She believes that people are inherently good and evil exists in direct opposition to that purity. She has yet to experience anything that would require her to understand any grey area between the two. She is a giving, loving soul that takes pity on the poor and protects those that cannot protect themselves.
As a priestess of the silver flame she believes with confidence that she is always in the right. She is quick to judge others and patiently teach them the error of there ways.


HistoryBackstory: Alyssa and her twin brother Alexander were born into privilege. Though not officially a noble house the Allbrights have served the church for generations and have garnished respect and wealth as a result. It was never doubted that Alyssa would become a priestess, while Alexander was trained in more martial aspects of the faith. Childhood was fleeting for the two youths as war raged and time was of the essence. As she grew Alyssa and her mother tended to the refuges and veterans that flocked to Flamekeep in hopes of church aid. She practiced her healing skills and offered kind words of the faith to those that would listen.
Meanwhile her father and brother went off to war....
In the end only one returned, Alexander had fallen in battle...
Ever since Lysa has felt his presence, she hears his voice within the flame and sees his face in her sleep. In her eyes it is a sure sign that he has become one with the flame and that his soul seeks to empower his twin sister in her time of need.
This spiritual awakening has emboldened Lysa's faith. While content to be a mere acolyte in the past she now roams Eberron as a cleric. Fighting for justice in her brothers name.

Last edited by JohnStone; 12-31-2019 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:22 AM
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Ive ported my cleric of the silver flame over for perusal, She was made for another campaign so i may have to do some editing but i believe that her purity will contrast nicely to the setting. I expect that she will be quite shocked at the world of ravenloft.

Ive gone with the life domain, and although I doubt there will be alot of need for healing I can see Alyssa using her powers for the good of the land as well.
Another option would be the Arcana domain mostly for the Channel ability.
Ill have to consider it carefully as both have some nice roleplay opportunities. in the end it probably wont make much difference.
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