Now I’m going to do CATS. CATS is an acronym that stands for Concept, Aim, Tone, and Subject Matter. The purpose of CATS is to establish some basic expectations for what this game is about and what we’re going to be doing during this first session.
Concept: This game will be about a group of teens that have awoken as Rifts; conduits of myths, legends, and folklore, imbued with supernatural powers. The setting, simply known as ‘the City’ is much like our own, except beneath the veil of the mists exists a wonderful and terrifying world of myths and legends. It is inspired by Stranger Things, Fables (the video game), noir detective fiction, and supernatural comics. The game’s mechanics are based on Brindlewood Bay, Blades in the Dark, and Wicked Ones, cut down to make it fast and exciting for our one-shot.
Aim: The aim of the characters in this story is to discovered how and why children in the local neighbourhood have been mysteriously going missing in the lead up to Christmas. We will follow our group of teens on their journey to find the truth, and maybe even discover something more about them on the way.
Tone: The tone of this game is dark, mysterious, and a little heroic at times. The City is a dark, hard place to grow up in, but little sparks of humour and hope still shine through at times; and our session should feel the same.
Subject Matter: Violence, murder, cannibalism, foul language, blasphemy, witchcraft, defiling graves and corpses are all things that could occur in this game.
The Between is a tabletop roleplaying game about a group of mysterious monster hunters in Victorian-era London. These hunters learn about various monstrous threats in the city and conduct inves- tigations, or “hunts,” in order to neutralize them. Over time, they become aware of the plans of a criminal mastermind who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. The hunters will eventually be forced to confront this criminal mastermind in order to save queen and country. The Between is directly inspired by the TV show Penny Dreadful but also takes inspiration from British horror classics, the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, pulp-era media, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell. The game’s mechanics are based on Apocalypse World and Brindlewood Bay. You don’t need to know anything about those two games before we play.
Aim: The aim of the characters in the story is to keep London safe by investigating monstrous threats and learning how to stop them. Our aim as players is to learn more about these characters’ mysterious pasts, as well as to paint a vivid picture of our version of Victorian-era London, a responsibility we all share. The aims for today’s session are to create and introduce our characters, learn the basics of how the game works by playing it, and then having a debrief period at the end.
Tone: The tone of The Between is dark, mysterious, and sensual. A little bit of levity or humor from time to time is ok, but we will always strive to return to that dark, brooding place the characters exist in.
Subject Matter: Murder, cannibalism, body horror, dark sexual themes, erotic sensuality, threats to animals and children, foul language, blasphemy, witchcraft, and defling graves and corpses are all things that come up frequently in this game. We’ll talk about safety tools in just a moment, but in the interest of setting expectations right now, you should know that this game deals with dark and intense subject matter.
It's Christmas Eve, and several teens have gone missing from the neighbourhood. The players must investigate the disappearances and figure out who or what is behind them. As they dig deeper, they discover that the missing teens were all on the "naughty list" according to their parents and teachers. Could there be a connection between the teens’ misbehaviour and their disappearance? The players must use their powers and detective skills to uncover the truth and bring the missing teens home in time for Christmas.
An online username ‘YuleTide’
An invitation to the Witching Hour Challenge
A blurred image of something or someone
A black cat
A spilt eggnog
Droplets of dried blood in a strange place.
A Christmas wreath festooned with poison oak, night-shade, and holly.
A naughty list
The scent of various spices used in Christmas cooking
A note that calls out all the missing teens
A confession note
A collection of occult items
Photos, with one face burnt out
A tape of spooky Halloween sounds has a message from someone when played in reverse: “I know I’m going to die tonight.”
Candy that has been tampered with.
Snow that remains long after it should have melted
"It's Christmas Eve, and the city is covered in a thick blanket of snow. The streets are quiet, and the only sound is the gentle crunch of footsteps in the powdery white drifts. But despite the peaceful atmosphere, something is amiss. Several teens have gone missing from the neighbourhood. No one knows what happened to them, but their parents are worried sick. That's where you come in. You are a group of modern-day legends, imbued with supernatural powers. Together, you must use your abilities and detective skills to find out what happened to the missing children and bring them home in time for Christmas."
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