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  #1  
Old Jan 17th, 2021, 02:42 PM
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Brindlewood Bay - Murder Mavens (PbtA)

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Brindlewood Bay
A Dark and Cozy Mystery Game - Powered by the Apocalypse

(Applications through Monday AM, January 25th) CLOSED


< < < < < Theme Music > > > > >

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Synopsis

Brindlewood Bay is a small coastal community in Oregon. Originally a logging town in the 19th century and a whaling community in the early 20th, it is now largely a tourist spot along the coastal route 101. Many locals have turned their homes into bed & breakfasts, and the town has antique shops, comfy dining spots, and artists and artisans of all kinds. Guided fishing trips are common.

The Murder Mavens (you) are in a small mystery book club that has been meeting on the top floor of The Candlelight Booksellers every Saturday evening for the last ten years. The Murder Mavens are particularly fond of The Gold Crown Mysteries series by Robin Masterson, featuring the globe-trotting super-sleuth, Amanda Delacourt.

The Mavens themselves are all elderly women whose partners have passed away and whose children have long flown the nest. Now, they’re enjoying their golden years in the picturesque town of Brindlewood Bay, keeping their homes the way they like, pursuing their hobbies, and finding comfort and companionship in each other.

The Mavens are also amateur detectives, who have helped local police solve a handful of high profile crimes previously, often stumbling into them – much to the chagrin of the authorities, who almost always resent their meddling.

But as this game goes on, the Mavens will become increasingly aware that there are supernatural forces that connect the cases they are working on, and that something sinister weaves its tendrils through the society of Brindlewood Bay.



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Flavors
Warm Tea - Gingersnaps - Twilight - Blood - Brimstone.
Dark and Cozy.

Cozy Mystery

This game is designed to evoke the sense of Cozy Mysteries, and nostalgic Crime Dramas from the late 20th century (though cast in the modern 21st) – specifically the television show Murder, She Wrote or Miss Marple. It has a serial nature, set in a small town, with a tight-nit community of quirky characters, and somewhat campy murders that far exceed the average death rate. There will be scenes of cozy hobbies, small-town conversations, and slice-of-life.
Dark Supernatural
This game also blends all of the above with a taste of the mythos, reminiscent of Lovecraftian horror and supernatural touchstones like Stranger Things or Twin Peaks. It begins with occasional intrustions and subtle undertones, but builds as the ultimate mystery that binds all of the previous deals with a mysterious cult and supernatural forces the Maven will discover as play continues.[/SIZE]


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Setting/Quirks

Drivethrurpg Purchase $10

Purchasing the game is not required, as I can provide character sheets and explain unique rules as they come up. But really, you should! The game is brilliant and inexpensive, so I highly encourage you to support the creator -- maybe even after playing it a bit and seeing how incredible it is. Owning it will help me in explaining it as well.

Brindlewood Bay is a setting published by The Gauntlet, using PbtA mechanics (roll 2d6 and sum the results. 6 - is a miss, 7 – 9 is a partial success, 10 – 11 is a full success, 12 + is success with bonuses). Familiarity with PbtA is not necessary, but might be jarring at first.

The mechanics are simple and cater to a Narrative playstyle. This means that players will often have opportunities to develop both the setting and the direction the story takes, in addition to their own characters.

As a Mystery Game, this one is also quite unique in that there is no prescribed or predetermined “solution” to any of the mysteries. As the Mavens (Players) gather clues and help unravel the situation at hand, eventually it will be their responsibility to collectively formulate a plausible (though not necessarily reasonable) solution, using those clues uncovered. A roll then determines whether that theory is correct or not.

There may be some tricks utilized to streamline it for PbP gaming.

If you enjoy having a strong hand in creating the story, as well as the mystery itself, rather than trying to sort out what the GM is hiding, this is for you. You will likely still be shocked by what the group comes up with, even though you had a hand in creating it.


Applications/Expectations

 


For Character Creation, you can follow the Template in the spoiler above. If you have a creative idea outside of the prompts provided, go with it. Those are meant to inspire, not constrain.
Application
Name:
Style:
Cozy Activity:
Abilities: Vitality 0, Composure 1, Reason 1, Presence 0, Sensitivity -1 *(You can raise one of these by a single point)
I would also appreciate a paragraph (honestly, just a paragraph. I don't need a lot) that gives me an idea of your concept -- what is her personality like, what was her life like and what did she do vocationally or accomplish, or what is the big impression people get when they encounter her?


 


I'm not going to have this up for long, as I'm excited to get going, and character creation is quick. I just want to see if there's a few people interested. I'll select Mavens on Monday, January 25th if there's enough interest.


*Art in order it appears: (1)Unaltered illustration from Kelley McMorris, (2)Unaltered illustration from Laura Nagel, and (3)Edited illustration originally from Tara Lilly (whose work I altered to make it more creepy, which is admittedly tragic considering how blatantly beautiful her work his)
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Currently GMing: Bulldogs - Scavenging the Back Forty a Fate Core Space Opera, and Brindlewood Bay - Murder Mavens a PBTA Dark and Cozy Mystery

Last edited by kdtompos; Jan 26th, 2021 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Grammar, Font and Readability Issues, and Attribute Explanations
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  #2  
Old Jan 17th, 2021, 02:43 PM
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FAQ

What post frequency are you looking for?
I will be able to post likely once per weekday (less reliably on weekends/holidays). I would like players to be able to post 2-3 times per week (every other day-ish).
How old is "elderly" in this instance?
60 years old and up, as far as you deem reasonable. I could see as low as 55, as long as the character isn't beholden to a spouse, raising kids/adultolescents, or regular job expectations.
Applicants

Player Character Name Style Activity Link Complete/Interest?
Ysolde Rosemary Hippy Dippy Painting Here Complete
Anael Violet Speed Walking Gardening Here Complete
Undeadpuppy Evelyn Ida Apfel Knitting Here Complete
LostHerSheep Beryl All the Cardigans/Cat Lady Cats! Here Complete
lostcheerio Josephine Tucker Tough ol’ Broad/#CottageLife Spinning and Dyeing Yarn Here Complete
Fillyjonk Miss Pearl Brody High Lace Collars, Unflattering Mid-calf Gauze Skirts Restoring China Dolls and Collecting Victoriana Here Complete
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Currently GMing: Bulldogs - Scavenging the Back Forty a Fate Core Space Opera, and Brindlewood Bay - Murder Mavens a PBTA Dark and Cozy Mystery

Last edited by kdtompos; Jan 24th, 2021 at 11:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old Jan 17th, 2021, 03:53 PM
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Sounds fun! What are you looking for in terms of posts per week?
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Old Jan 17th, 2021, 03:59 PM
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Very intrigued and very interested. I'll brush up on my PBtA knowledge and see what I can come up with for a character.

When we say 'elderly' do we have an age range? Like from sixty up or something like that?
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Old Jan 17th, 2021, 04:25 PM
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Oh this looks fascinating and I want in.

Name: Rosemary
Style: Hippy Dippy
Cozy Activity: Painting
Abilities: Vitality 0, Composure 1, Reason 1, Presence 0, Sensitivity 0
Bio: Rosemary was the lifelong, live in "friend" of Jasmine St. Claire a wealthy NY Publishing maven who settled into town when she retired. Rosemary herself didn't have any vocation beyond seemingly being Jasmine's personal assistant. When Jasmine retired the two women opened a small gallery in town where Rosemary's paintings are shown along with other budding artists. When Jasmine passed Romsemary seemed to retreat into herself and wore more outrageous clothes and became more of what people considered to be an "odd duck". She can often be found around town with an easel or sketchbook.
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Last edited by Ysolde; Jan 17th, 2021 at 04:25 PM.
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  #6  
Old Jan 17th, 2021, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapstick View Post
Sounds fun! What are you looking for in terms of posts per week?
I can usually post at least once every weekday, but things settle into a more comfortable 2, maybe 3 times a week. If you can keep that pace, we’re all good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihinka View Post
Very intrigued and very interested. I'll brush up on my PBtA knowledge and see what I can come up with for a character.

When we say 'elderly' do we have an age range? Like from sixty up or something like that?
Sixty up is a good marker. The only stipulations are that you're entirely independent and un-depended on (husband/wife/significant other(s) deceased or gone, if you had any. Kids, if you had any, are out and grown, etc.) It also assumes that you’re either retired, or not dependent on any job you might have (so you’re free to spend whatever time you wish solving mysteries).

So I wouldn’t go younger than 55, but can stretch that out to whatever age sounds enticing to you.

——-

Also, I forgot to describe those attributes above. They’re mostly self-explanatory, but there is one twist.

I’m updating the top post to explain them. People are welcome to shift them around later too if desired.
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Currently GMing: Bulldogs - Scavenging the Back Forty a Fate Core Space Opera, and Brindlewood Bay - Murder Mavens a PBTA Dark and Cozy Mystery

Last edited by kdtompos; Jan 17th, 2021 at 06:42 PM.
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Old Jan 18th, 2021, 12:50 PM
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Name: Violet
Style: Speed Walking
Cozy Activity: Gardening
Abilities: Vitality 1, Composure 1, Reason 1, Presence 0, Sensitivity -1

Bio: Violet is one of those people who seems to have an endless supply of energy. In her youth she was a gymnast and even went so far as to make it to the Olympic tryouts. She met her husband during those years. He was an assistant coach. They opened up their own school in the nearby town and ran it until she sold it off 4 years ago after her husband passed away. The two never had children. In her retirement she tries to stay active and encourages her pals to do the same and she finds a constant regimen of gardening helps. Violet wasn't much for books but became hooked on a criminal mysteries series as they filled an adrenaline rush she missed.

Last edited by Anael; Jan 18th, 2021 at 12:50 PM.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 12:43 PM
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Oh, I love it! I'll be back with a dear ol' goin' fishin' lady sooner, rather than later!
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Old Jan 21st, 2021, 02:08 AM
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I'm thrilled that there's at least a couple people interested in this. Ecstatic. Let's rock it. They're both such fantastic characters so far too.

As a midweek bump, however, let me take a minute and explain what I find so wildly intriguing about this game, because enthusiasm is contagious and sometimes you need someone to point out what they find so wonderful in something to give you a launching point for finding your own fascination:

left-aligned image
French Fries and Frosties
Hot and cold. Salty and sweet. Crunch and smooth. It's the contrast between them that accentuates each other. I love how this game combines the cozy, the quirky, and colorful world of retired life in a scenic coastal town with the encroaching mystery of the supernatural and horrific. Both are such a fun experience separately, and I sometimes get an itch for each of them -- maybe I want an odd-ball game where we can bring vibrant characters together and do life in a fun setting -- or maybe I want a sinister game where I can toy with the supernatural and these horrors lurking just beyond the veil. But no need to choose, this game brings both.

And it's the mix that makes them both shine even more.
Collaborative Mysteries
Mysteries are tough to run... stressful for me. But even more stressful to play in, since I'm trying so hard to pay attention to clues, or make sure I'm reading things right, or worrying that I missed something crucial.

This is honestly the first game that treats mysteries in a way that I'm super excited about. Taking the PbtA Ethos with confidence, you all play to find out. As characters look around for clues, we get story and context all over the place, but official clues get called out -- given the narrative weight they deserve so you pay attention. They're sinister, they're peculiar, they're open to a lot of interpretation.

And by the end, we all get to create the solution, making sense out of the puzzle pieces we have; which may sound anticlimactic to some, but way more exciting to me because we all get to not only exercise our own creativity and insure that it makes sense with the context we've been uncovering, but also get to be shocked by the way other contributors take it in unexpected but fitting directions.

It's hard to explain, but it's brilliant.
*Chef's Kiss* Mechanics
I'll keep this short. I love PbtA mechanics. They keep action tight, make every move meaningful, and inject significance into all manner of creative options and wild ideas. This game builds on that and introduces Day and Night moves, which get you to consider the perils of moves before you even take them, adding to the ominous and calculating atmosphere of a mystery. Then at night, whatever you already come up with as the obvious peril, it amplifies it further -- a perfect example of using mechanics to build atmosphere.

This game wasn't just slapped together over a half-baked concept. It was meticulously engineered. Yet it runs so smooth.
Empowerment
I had a friend tell me once that his biggest struggle with growing old was that he could feel himself disappearing.

I love that Old Women take center stage. And they don't take center stage simply as fun stage-dress on a standard protagonist, but as unique and powerful because they're old women. At times the spotlight focuses in with loving intensity on who these woman still are, the lives they've lived, and the potent presence they carry in the world.

The irony, for me, is that the very fact that the fictional society around these women seems to discount them is what allows them such freedom in solving mysteries. They're unlikely heroes, but the game seems to highlight that their heroism shouldn't be unlikely at all... it's just overlooked.
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Currently GMing: Bulldogs - Scavenging the Back Forty a Fate Core Space Opera, and Brindlewood Bay - Murder Mavens a PBTA Dark and Cozy Mystery

Last edited by kdtompos; Jan 21st, 2021 at 02:17 AM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2021, 07:37 AM
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Name: Evelyn
Style: Iris Apfel
Cosy activity: Knitting
Abilities: Vitality 0, Composure 1, Reason 1, Presence 1, Sensitivity -1

Bio: Evelyn was something of a wild child in her youth, she travelled the world as a model, dancer and almost movie starlet. She lived in France for many years before meeting her husband and moving back to the states. She did a lot of work with charities and raised her and had two children who she loves dearly now though she mostly spoils her dogs(shes waiting on grandkids), knits and scandalises waiters by flirting with them. Caused some controversy in the book club by admitting that sometimes she uses audiobooks so that she can listen and knit rather than reading the books.

Last edited by Undeadpuppy; Jan 21st, 2021 at 07:38 AM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2021, 02:19 PM
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Awesome. Looking forward to this and how it plays out.

A former neighbor of mine was 91 and she was still climbing ladders and cutting her own tree branches!
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Old Jan 21st, 2021, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anael View Post
Awesome. Looking forward to this and how it plays out.

A former neighbor of mine was 91 and she was still climbing ladders and cutting her own tree branches!
Awesome! My wife's grandmother only lived into her late 60's, but she remains the coolest woman (other than my own wife) that I've ever met. She was powerful in every way one can imagine but can never fully quantify.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 01:00 PM
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This looks just wonderful. Going to have a read through the material and a think about a character.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtompos View Post
Awesome! My wife's grandmother only lived into her late 60's, but she remains the coolest woman (other than my own wife) that I've ever met. She was powerful in every way one can imagine but can never fully quantify.
My grandmother lived into her 80ís until cancer came around. She was at most 4í 4Ē, but that Italian woman was just so amazing. Somehow she could just seem so much bigger just by force of personality. Kind and warm until she saw an injustice and then...well you didnít want to be on the other side.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2021, 03:00 PM
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Ah this sounds so much fun!

I'll have my character in real soon!

Crazy cat lady okay for a style? Lol

Beryl Acorn.
Cat rescuer! Retired vet nurse! ALL THE CARDIGANS.

I'll update soon with proper sheet!
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