Here in sunny Milton Keynes today we had our first ever Sci-Fi Con, and +MK RPG were invited to run a few games, help spread the word that is tabletop roleplaying. I was asked to run a Lamentations game and I was only too happy to get stuck in. The only rub was that we had to keep our sessions to two hour slots, so I was looking for something to run that could really emphasise the simple rules coupled with the great themes. I ended up going for Tales of the Scarecrow with my Bulging Baby Filled Beauty mashed in (thanks to +Rich August for the suggestion!).
I ended up with three players new to LotFP (though two of the three were active roleplayers). The hook was simple: local eccentric had gone to London for the auctions several weeks previously and not yet returned with his group. The players were sent to investigate, and had found this suspicious farmhouse surrounded by a corn field in full growth despite the time of year.
Ambling up to the door, they did some casual checks round the house before investigating inside, finding the barely alive form of Richard Fox (missing eccentric). They were briefly curious about the very expensive harpsichord that dominated the front room but the dead bodies in the other rooms got their attention more – the half eaten man in one of the bedrooms, and the severely chopped up man slumped across a trap door in the other. After tending to Mr Fox, who wasn’t feeling too fantastic, they learnt from him that his group had stopped to rest there for the night when the farmer insisted they sleep with his three daughters. Things had turned ugly quickly, and they had managed to force the family down into the basement (at great cost, evidently) but when they had tried to leave the house something attacked them from amidst all the corn.
At that point, a thumping came from the trapdoor. It was the farmer, and through the door he begged to be let out. He claimed that Fox and his friends and come into his home and tried to rape his daughters. The players weren’t sure who to believe; despite the farmers side of the story sounding a bit more realistic, they couldn’t deny that something strange was going on here and the farmer wouldn’t give them a straight answer on the corn field surrounding the house.
They searched the house and found the goods Mr Fox had bought, with the mage claiming the dusty old looking tome, and the specialist taking the extra-special looking sword. Mr Fox was understandably upset but the party reassured him he’d get it back when they got to safety. The specialist agreed with the farmer to let one of his daughters free as he was insisting they needed help. The daughter burst out and tried to run for the door, tackled instead to the ground. She tried desperately to scramble free though a failed attempt to magically calm her caused her to break down and hug herself in the corner. She had been clutching a book, The Tales of the Scarecrow – cue a mini writing game where I had the players write what tale of the scarecrow would exist in such a book.
The specialist won with a lovely tale about how the scarecrow hunted people in the fields, captured them then impaled them on the spike so that their blood would flow down and feed the corn. The specialist then became acutely aware that the scarecrow was watching him carefully outside. They decided to let the farmer out, try and get to the bottom of this quickly.
The farmer of course came out the trap door with a crazed desperate cry, swinging a meat cleaver. The specialist swung his new found sword at the farmer, but the party got a surprise when the damage fell upon the magic-user. The damage pushed the magic user right past the 0 hp – using +Daniel Sell‘s lovely How to Die Properly rules this resulted in the magic user losing a leg in the general confusion of it all but surviving at least (for now). The combat was quickly however when the fighter stepped in and decapitated the farmer.
During the commotion, the daughter gathered her wits and managed to flee out the door. The group rushed to the window in time to see her disappear into the corn field. A moment later a tentacle erupted from the ground and destroyed the girl in an explosion of blood. They now understood their predicament a bit more.
While the magic-user tried to staunch her bloody stump, the rest of the party moved slowly downstairs into the basement. There they found a daughter on the stairs, it looked like she had had a c-section performed with a cleaver and was sobbing quietly in pain. The other daughter had a similar wound and was clearly dead in a pool of her own blood.
On a table in the middle of the room however lay the body of the mother. She was sliced open from neck to nether regions, and in the dim lantern light they could see she had been stuffed with something. Things were moving and shifting slowly under her skin and as they approached the things began to cry out. The party realised she had been stuffed with babies and as they stared in horror, the mother’s eyes opened. The fighter and specialist looked at each other, sharing a mutual “Fuck this” expression before throwing their lantern at the base of the table and legging it up the stairs, slamming the door behind them.
They knew now that they had limited time to figure out how to get out safely, if possible before the house caught fire. They turned to the harpsichord, the one thing they hadn’t interfered with yet. The fighter hit a few keys to try and get a tune out of it – this caused the field around the house to erupt tentacles in anger that flailed around in rage. The magic user had previously established her background as being a governess so it was decided she could probably have a chance at coxing a decent tune out of the contraption. This had a positive effect, causing the tentacles to retreat and the field to calm down.
A quick plan was developed. They would carry the harpsichord outside along with the table, turn the table upside down, place the harpsichord on top of it along with the magic user and push her through the corn as she played. It had merit, but sadly they broke the harpsichord as they tried to lower it on top of the table.
The magic user, with a sigh, agreed to play while the rest of the party and Richard Fox escaped. The game ended with the party fleeing the scene while she played a sad tune, left for dead (and missing a leg no less).
Managed to complete just shy of two hours, and the players looked to be delighted with the game. The player who was new to role playing as well as LotFP was asking me if I was running another session, which I consider a bonus! All in all, another delightful romp in the land of much lamentation from ginger nobility.
If you are in or around the Milton Keynes area next week (10th of September), the next +Concrete Cow RPG convention is happening at York House in Wolverton, doors open 9am, goes on all day till late. You’ll want to get there at opening however to get a spot in the morning games, 1pm-ish for a spot in the afternoon games. For more info check here.