Method to Madness: Session 1
I ran a bad adventure last weekend. Everyone had fun. But, now I read the reviews at tenfootpole and I no longer appreciate adventures that make me work for six hours to make them playable; I have been spoiled. The adventure was from Terrors from beyond, and the adventure itself was Method to Madness. It is not well thought of.
Method to Madness started life as a tournament adventure and maybe it was a good tournament adventure because it demands huge buy-in and effort on the part of the players to make it worthwhile. This adventure makes it easy to differentiate between players who are there to be entertained and players who are dedicated to entertaining. I am going to hash out all the changes I made and why but my players haven’t finished it yet. I plan to write a full post mortem. What follows is a write up of the adventure so far.
As written the adventure starts with the players being awake alone in their rooms. They are unable to sleep. They hear the elevator. If they leave they are escorted back to their rooms before they can do anything. It is the worst start to an adventure I have ever seen. The players are all separated and it is impossible for their actions to matter. They are supposed to roleplay lying in be alone. Of course they could do something and you could improvise but nothing is supported by the adventure but lying still and doing nothing.
Colonel Butte Jamesler - Deranged veteran
Alina Dolinsky - Starlette with substance abuse issues
Waldo Hirsch - Stressed out contractor or warehouse owner or something
Mona di Frabrizio - Tortured artist
The adventure loosely follows the schedule of the asylum:
It is announced that the main therapist for the institution has gone on sabbatical
Alina Dolinksy intimates that she thinks he was murdered.
Butte Jamesler is asked to lead calisthenics, he gets too vigorous and pulls his groin badly.
He is removed and sedated
The rest of the players discover disturbed brush on the outskirts of the field they are in. They wander over and then get distracted by whatever issues landed them in the asylum in the first place
Butte Jamesler is back, in wheelchair, and still sedated
Another patient throws a tantrum about the lack of Tapioca; Mona joins in, rolling on the floor
Dolinsky leaves to check for fan mail
Another deranged patient assails her from behind in the hallway
This patient holds a knife to her throat and starts ranting about something out to get him
Mona throws plate and hits Alina in the face for 2hp of damage.
Butte Jamesler grabs a fork and wheels towards the assailant menacingly.
Waldo Hirsch grabs the back of the wheelchair
A Wheelchair cavalry charge commences
It is not very effective, but a good distraction.
Dolinsky says something, I can’t remember what but the effect is that the assailant collapses to the ground crying that there is no hope for him and he can’t escape.
He is dragged off to the nurse’s station (why the nurses station because there are no secure rooms on the ground floor for pacifying patients. Luckily my wife who is a nursed didn’t notice that that was weird).
Then we ended.