Summary

Jimmy 'Hard' Cheese, retired gangster and convicted murderer, is dying. Before he goes he wants to deal with a problem that has dogged him all his life.

Jimmy always saw crime as a job. He worked hard each day and built up an empire employing hundreds of people. His work also gave the police something to do. After all, without crime what would policemen do all day? Criminals and policemen were all part of the rich tapestry of life.

But then there were 'the Sleuths'. Interfering do-gooders who stuck their noses into business that did not concern them. They were in it for the sheer pleasure of solving a puzzle. They didn't care what happen to the people involved in their cases, the livelihoods destroyed and the families broken up by their meddling. Answerable to no one, these sleuths were hated by the police as much as the criminals. Jimmy realised that something must be done. The sleuths must be shown as the destructive force they are.

As a man of action, when he finds a problem he solves it fast - normally with violence - but Jimmy is no fool. He respects the sleuths' abilities and knows that the only way to take them down is through careful planning. For the last few years he has slowly been building up the perfect gang of associates to do the dirty work for him.

Each of the servants in the house (except Henry Smith the groundsman / driver) has a reason to kill one of the detectives. Jimmy's role is the decoy, a way of getting the detectives into the house and distracting them from the real killers. After murdering the guests the killers plan to flee leaving Jimmy tied up and alone in a house full of dead detectives. By the time the police turn up and unravel the situation, the killers will be long gone. Jimmy himself, even if the police manage to pin it on him, will be dead before the the trial ever takes place.

The Sleuths

Unashamedly ripped off from the works of various detective and adventure books, each sleuth is based on a well-known fictional character. However, players do not need to know the fictional character and can play the sleuths completely differently from their literary origins.

To help the players make the characters their own, they do not have names, just nicknames. Instead, players should name their own character at the start of the game. No gender has been specifically given to the sleuths but, with the exception of The Old One, all are male in their original fiction. Players should be free to flip their characters' genders as desired.

Eastern Wisdom
Overweight American-Chinese police officer based in Hawaii.
The Aristocrat
Second son of a Lord, educated at Eton and Oxford
The Old One
Genteel English person in their sixties or seventies who enjoys gardening and solving murders in quaint English villages.
Private Eye
Hard-nosed American Private Eye based in New York.
Kid Reporter
Not old enough to drink but already famous around the world for his exploits, and always accompanied by his little white dog.
The European
The famous detective with a waxed moustache and an outrageous accent, and always perfectly dressed.

Each character has a connection to one member of the staff but critically no sleuth has ever met any of the staff.

The Staff (and Would-Be Murderers)

All the staff see themselves as victims of the sleuths. They have all suffered or lost loved ones because of the actions of the detectives. As a consequence each harbours a pathological grudge against one of the sleuths and is more than willing to commit murder.

Newgate the Butler
AKA James Snodworth, brother to Malcolm Snodworth who was butler to Lady Margoyle. Malcolm was tricked into killing Sir Margoyle out of love for Lady Margoyle. Lady Margoyle was never punished and went on to marry someone twenty years her junior.
Mary the Maid
Mary Flynn, a pretty Irish girl whose sister Anne went to America where she got caught up with the mob. The Private Eye charmed her and promised to get her back to Ireland if she revealed some information. The mob found out and killed her.
Sally the Maid
Sally King was widowed by a murderer The European could not, or would not, catch. Left penniless and reduced to working as a maid, her once-perfect life has been destroyed.
Johnny the Footman
Poor Jonathan Armstrong, the victim of a miscarriage of justice. His promising career was ruined by a prison sentence and a judge determined to set an example. All because Eastern Wisdom's involvement placed the case on the front page of the newspapers.
Mrs Baxter the Cook
aka Jenny Doyle, her mother was an adulterer and murderer caught by The Old One. The scandal and national publicity ruined the life of the teenaged "Mrs Baxter" and her father.
Tim the Hall Boy
Timothy Hunt grew up in the base of an opium smuggling ring. It was not a normal childhood but to Tim it was a home. Seeing it raided by the police was hard enough for the young man to take, but what really made Tim angry was The Kid Reporter posing for photographs and being called a hero.

Timeline

The adventure takes places between dusk on the 24th December and lunchtime on the 25th.

Dusk, 24th December
Arrival. Introduction to the scenario. Players have the chance to meet Henry and most of the rest of the staff, plus an opportunity to investigate the Drawing Room and their own rooms.
8pm, 24th December
Christmas Eve. First meeting with Jimmy Cheese. Chance to investigate the Dining Room.
Midnight, 24th December
As the characters sleep, Henry is murdered.
8am, 25th December
Christmas Morning (The Scream). Characters' initial investigation of the murder scene. This should continue until players either identify the murder weapon, want to start questioning all the staff, or become stuck.
9am, 25th December
Breakfast. Characters have a chance to see all the staff together. They may now question Jimmy and the staff and search the house.
10am, 25th December
Whilst the searching and questioning take place, the staff will attempt to murder the guests. Sally with her snake and Newgate with an 'accident' are normally the first, followed by Tim and Mary taking pot shots from hidden positions, and then Johnny. Mrs Baxter generally waits until the Mince Pies & Sherry scene.
11am, 25th December
Mince Pies & Sherry. Mrs Baxter attempts to kill The Old One with a poisoned mince pie. Anyone who has not had an attempt to kill yet should have their go at this point.

Once Jimmy and the staff's plan becomes obvious, the adventure should be swiftly wrapped up. The villains can be killed, knocked out or captured easily.

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open/oneshots/ultralite/mincepiesmurder/real_story.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/10 12:00 by darth_tigger
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