Archive for the ‘Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour’ Category

Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Turning Point

08 Dec

This is an explanation of the rules change that occurred midway through the recent Werewolves game, Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour. Even if you didn’t follow that game, this might provide an interesting insight into how dicey and complicated the politics of paranoia can get.

Just about every Werewolves game has a moment where the balance of power changes violently. In the case of my storied WW gambit, this moment came towards the very end, when I managed to persuade a crucial villager to side with me in the final vote. In the case of Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour, this moment came on the very first night round, in which the villagers (or aristocrats, to use this game’s particular flavor term) lost their ability to scry and their ability to bane simultaneously. This meant that as long as the assassins made sure to keep their profile low and their voting noncommittal, the aristocrats were completely boned.

For this reason, after a couple rounds in which the aristocrats floundered about lynching their own while the assassins calmly picked off priority targets, I concluded that the game needed to be shaken up.

I randomly selected one of the assassins—Abnaxis-and sent him the following message:

Read the rest of this entry »


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: The Narrative Conclusion

03 Dec

The penultimate assassin had undergone a tremendous and inspiring crisis of philosophy. Previously, he had been of the perspective that human life was inherently worthless, and that hedonistic behavior to the detriment of others was thus not only cosmically permissible but quite sensible.

This was a perspective that had served him well over the years, but it was with little sentimentality that he exchanged it for a new, more nuanced ethos: bugger all of this, I’m getting the hell out of here and joining a monastery.

It was a talk he was prepared, as it were, to walk. As sooView postn as the Count’s body hit the floor, he was already on his way out the double doors and onto the outer decks, although this could be more fairly described as a sprint than an actual walk.

He raced down the railed decks, wind and speed buffeting his cloak out behind him like a cowardly shadow. He could see the escape craft lodged in the nest of support cages and riggings up ahead, a yellow-black pinprick at the end of a labyrinth of walkways, and was already calculating how long it’d take to get on board and get it going. The numbers didn’t come as coldly and quickly as usual, but the answer rattled around his head anyway: not soon enough.

He wished he didn’t know how this mission had gone so wrong. Perhaps he’d have been able to escape the shame easier. This could have all been prevented if they’d been just a little more paranoid, if they’d kept a little better track of who was who, and if–when the terror set in–they’d pointed fingers a touch less often and a touch more scrupulously, or perhaps just a lot more often and damn scruples. But no, they’d entered into paranoia half-hearted and half-cocked, and that had served only to diminish their ranks even quicker.

He reached the plank connecting the escape craft to the civilian deck. One padlock, three seconds to inflate the ballasts, and a pull of the release lever, and he’d be making his way across the ocean before you could say–


His muscles went slack by degrees, turning his sprint into a jog, and then a full stop–and then, dizzily, a collapse.

He half-turned, then looked back away. “I should have guessed it was you.”

“You shouldn’t have,” said Sir Francis Wesleyan. “You really shouldn’t have.”

Though it was the sole fixture of his universe, Bjorn couldn’t bring himself to turn around and face the firearm. When he spoke, his voice was thin and tired.

“No, it was obvious, in retrospect. I saw you find that note in your waistcoat halfway through the night, and I saw you leave to read it. I should have guessed…”

“That the rules had been changed? I admit, it was something of a surprise to me as well. I’d say, ‘no hard feelings,’ but…”

“You’re about to shoot me in the goddamned neck.”

“Yes. So I can see how that’d come across as disingenuous.”

Francis fired.

Bjorn (Inyssius) was assassinated. He was the Trapper.

The captain arrived at the doorway of the ballroom just as the second phonograph, the one installed in the drinks bar, was alerted by some inscrutable trigger that the night had favored the aristocrats. In every corner of the room, speakers thrummed to life with a dark and familiar voice that cut through the commotion:

Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen. The evening’s contest has been satisfactorily concluded, and you have all proven to yourselves exactly what you wished to prove to the world: that you are worthy. I am sure many of you had dreaded the shame of having land and property thrust, unearned, upon your begging hands. Reduced to such indignity, perhaps you were even driven to question the worth of your own lineage, confronted with a world in which your aristocratic bearings were undeserved and meaningless scratchings in only the most scrupulous peerages.

Consider this nightmare averted, and yourself proven, for I can think of no surer test of blood than to attempt to spill it. Those of you whose lungs remain convex will no doubt wish to thank me, which is why I regret that this will not be possible–well, not in person, at any rate.

Yes, I’m afraid I lied. There was never a party in the first place. Oh, don’t riot, you will all be given your parcels of land–and I would guess that your cut will work out to be considerably larger than it would have been last night. I just have no interest in actually meeting any of you, for any reason. I hope you understand.

The deeds are located under the off-colored board beneath the buffet table. I hope you enjoy your prize, and will grow to forget, as time twists your body and memories, the terrible things you have done to acquire it. I hope the faces of the people you murdered tonight will someday fade from your dreams. I hope you can rationalize to your grandchildren how you stood aside as the elderly were trampled to death and harmless,  protesting men and women were gunned down. I hope your hand was not the one that murdered an innocent human being, or if it was, that you will find a way to bury the memory in sour hedonism and long, empty decades of leisure.

I would offer an elaborate farewell, but I’ve every confidence that you stopped listening as soon as I mentioned where the deeds were located, and that everything I have said since has been covered up by the sounds of tables and bodies being shifted. So instead, I will say only this: well played.

(A summary of what the hell happened in this game is coming soon)


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Eight

27 Nov

And then suspicion fell upon Count Morton Castlemere. What he did to inspire such accusations is uncertain; it could have been the way he refused to meet one’s gaze, or his callousness towards the bodies in their midst, or perhaps it was that frosty edge to his tone and mannerisms, even under the hot breath of peril. Perhaps honest men are merely able to sense the liars in their midst. More probably, he was just sort of starting to get on people’s nerves.

Whatever the case, the foreplay of a good lynching was hardly set into motion when the good Count did what none before him had. He rose up onto a chair, plunged his hand into his waistcoat, and whipped out the speech he written in the bathroom for just this sort of emergency:

(Dyrian Ryans wrote:)

“Yes, I am an assassin. The League is entirely correct in its mystically placed assumptions. Just know that, though you kill me, I am not the last of us. There are several more in your midst, whose blades will find your soft, overfed bellies with both ease and pleasure. Enjoy your quail-egg buffets and delectable mini truffle cheesecake slices. For they will be your last! You foppish, inbred thin-blooded fools. Do you not see the service we are doing the entire WORLD by removing from the breeding pool?

You condemn me as a murderer, as a fiend who will extinguish life for mere pecuniary imbursement. The League speaks of me as an enemy to the innocent. The innocent? THERE ARE NO INNOCENT HERE! You are all guilty of misdemeanours, felonies, conspiracies and schemes. You are all condemned to death for the mere crime of drawing breath!

And, though I may kill for money. You have all gladly killed for free! We are all murderers here! And I hope for nothing less than the inhumation of each and every one of you!

Good evening,gentlemen!”

It was a good speech. He got as far as that first bit before they beat him down with chair legs.

Count Morton “Sprockets” Castlemere (Dyrian Ryans) was lynched. He was an Assassin.

Night begins now and ends Monday. The game will quite possibly end soon, in which instance, I will post an explanation of what’s been going on these past couple of turns.

Yes I am an assassin. The League is entirely correct in its mystically placed assumptions. Just know that, though you kill me, I am not the last of us. There are several more in your midst, whose blades will find your soft, overfed bellies with both ease and pleasure. Enjoy your quail-egg buffets and delectable mini truffle cheesecake slices. For they will be your last! You foppish, inbred thin-blooded fools. Do you not see the service we are doing the entire WORLD by removing from the breeding pool?

You condemn me as a murderer, as a fiend who will extinguish life for mere pecuniary imbursement. The League speaks of me as an enemy to the innocent. The innocent? THERE ARE NO INNOCENT HERE! You are all guilty of misdemeanours, felonies, conspiracies and schemes. You are all condemned to death for the mere crime of drawing breath!

And, though I may kill for money. You have all gladly killed for free! We are all murderers here! And I hope for nothing less than the inhumation of each and every one of you!

Good evening,gentlemen!C


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Seven

15 Nov

It took a couple minutes for those present to actually work up the courage to attack Erik Gammelgod. What he lacked in credibility and honesty, he more than made up for in being too damn large for anyone’s good. Inevitably, through the power of friendship and teamwork, the guests worked together to lynch Erik without a trial.

A cheer went up when it was discovered he was an assassin. The amassed guests didn’t pretend to understand where these tips were coming from, or why their luck was changing, but they did know that the probability of their surviving to their next eclair had just gone up measurably. For their part, The League knew full well why their fortunes were improving.

The assassins didn’t know, but they were beginning to suspect. As the lights went out again–the Disruptor had a cooldown period of a few minutes between pulses–they convened, in pairs and small shifty-eyed groups, to discuss from where the leak might have sprung…

Erik Gammelgod (Rune) was lynched. He was an assassin.

Nights begins now and ends Tuesday.


Lord Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Incident Seven

08 Nov

This one’s a bit late for two reasons: first, I wanted to stagger ’em out and get this thing back on schedule-ish, and secondly, my computer’s been giving me eight bold flavors of Hell all goddamned week and this is the first time over the course of the week that I’ve had it working for a dozen straight hours.

The Halfling was a military man. None of that candy-pony-flower-ass “conducting oneself with dignity and honor” garbage, either–he was a solider of a classical kidney.  His idea of a properly carried out military engagement was one where he retained more of his fluids than his opponent. He held that the Geneva Convention was something you obeyed when you were winning, had the high ground, and were in a good mood; in his experience, there was generally no situation where “war crimes” didn’t constitute a solid Plan B.

This didn’t make him a good commander, it’s true; the causation was not there, but the correlation definitely was. He held the above convictions because he was a bastard, and he had the makings of a great officer because he was a bastard. And he was frightened, a little, for the first time since he was on the killing fields.

He’d taken it on faith that he could handle any kind of combat situation. He was growing less convinced of that by the minute, so he traded this delusion for another: that he was too short to attract any attention, and that besides, he had good enough reflexes to gut anyone who tried to pull a move on him.

What Halfling did not anticipate was that it was hard to spontaneously hack open someone shooting him from across the room.

Colonel James “The Halfling” Knight was assassinated. He was an aristocrat.

Day begins now and ends Friday.

Von Rutskarn’s Note: It seems Halfling’s role, and the role of the lynched man, are one and the same. Much ado over nothing at all! How quaint.


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Six

01 Nov

Sir Eustace Bellamy Birch had a theory, which went as follows: trust is affixed firmly upon the chin. He had seen countless men–liars, cheaters, swindlers all–who were able to secure the undying allegiances of their fellow men based solely upon the robust crag of flesh and bone that erupted from their jawlines. It was incontrovertibly so. And yet, regardless of how friendly and convivial and earnest Eustace strove to be, he was always met with contempt and distrust. Take this scenario, for example: he had been a rock of good nature and civility, and now he was assaulted by wrongful accusations and hateful, unfounded contempt. It was cruel and unjust, and did little credit to his fellows.

The fact that he actually was an assassin was besides the point.

Sir Eustace Bellamy Birch (Tuck) has been lynched. He was an assassin.

Night begins now and ends Wednesday.


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Incident Seven

28 Oct

EDIT: I’ve got the next Pig Girl half done, but I don’t want to post just 50% of it. I’ll update after class today (Friday).

When the lights went out again, Stopen van Hamertijd was over at the buffet table, prodding dejectedly at the potato delicacies and wishing for a pinch of salt and some oil. As the chaos welled up again, he remained there, hands spread out carefully and feet planted so as not to get swept up and crushed in the throng. It was a surprisingly shrewd survival tactic, and as it turns out, it was totally insufficient.

Three of the goggled guests approached Stopen. One stepped up to him and planted a hidden blade in his throat, killing him all but noiselessly. The other two glanced at one another behind the third’s back…until finally, one shook their head, and the two of them replaced their blades.

When the lights came back on, there was only one body facedown on the buffet table.

Stopen van Hamertijd (Manny) was assassinated. He was an Aristocrat.

Day begins now and ends Saturday.


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Six

25 Oct

One of Kurayami Chitose’s gifts was the ability to retrieve–at a moment’s notice–an amorphous platitude that sounded impressive to Westerners. The things had gotten him out of more scrapes than he could count. Usually, they didn’t even have to be particularly relevant to the situation; the things his Grandma said as an excuse for not doing her share of the housework, for example, had a knack for getting him out of much more serious predicaments. The trick was to say them in a slow, deliberate, overly formal register, whereupon Europeans would trip over themselves praising the hallowed wisdom of his ancestors. It was actually kind of funny.

When he couldn’t think of anything, he’d just make something up. Anything with a flower or an animal in it generally got a free pass.

And so, when the party rounded on him and demanded he remove his mask, he had Plan A all laid out.

“Do not be distrustful of he who draws away from you,” he declared, “for this is not the act of the wolf, but of the rabbit.”

He’d just come up with that one. It was pretty good, he’d thought, but the crowd didn’t look like they were having it. Perhaps they weren’t in an especially cultured mood.

He cleared his throat, then tried–as soon as the shouting died down-“As the darkness draws nigh, seek not the shadow. If there is work to be done, it must be done in the light.”

That was a real one. His Grandma used to yell, “Turn the damn light on, I’ve got things to do and I can’t see for crap.” It was not, however, especially relevant to his situation. Desperate, he turned to the one that had always saved his neck before:

“The stirring of the white lotus in the tiger’s breath causes a wind through the flags of the mind.”

That was his last resort. It was hand-crafted to carry the maximum payload of mysticism, exotic imagery, and unabashed, gobsmacking lunacy. It would keep the average man busy for ten minutes admiring its poetry before he realized he had no idea what it meant, and then for another twenty while he tried to figure out a plausible interpretation. It often bought him enough time to get away with murder.

And it probably would have done today, if the bullet weren’t already in the air before he reached the last syllable.

Kurayami Chitose (KBF) was lynched. He was an Assassin.

Night begins now and ends Wednesday night.


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Incident Six

19 Oct

(First things first–I wasn’t sure about Friday’s count, so I went through again and it looks like Val hit critical mass before Halfling. Keep in mind that it’s tricky to consider chronology with how the comments are laid out, and that I generally don’t have an abundance of time to do the tallying. Still, I apologize for the mistake, and formally correct it here: it was Valaqil that was lynched, not Halfling. This puts me in an awkward position as far as re-integrating Half goes, since, well, you guys already know what his role is, and it seems like messing with the framework of the game to shuffle it.

Consequentially, I’m taking Val out of the game and giving Halfling his role. Whatever Val used to be, Half is now. This seems like the most elegant solution; while there’s no perfect fix to this particular screw-up, this one at least preserves the current game balance and level of uncertainty. It helps that Halfling and Valaqil were mathematically considered equally suspicious–the only difference was the order people voted in, not the actual amount of supporters.

Most long-running WW games have at least one major narrator gaffe. This one is arguably less punishing than the one from my Wolf in the Playground series, which led to a half-dozen role reshuffles and one player dropping out, but it’s still significant, and I apologize profusely for it.

Fun fact: this is the second major tallying mistake I’ve made, and both of them directly involved the Qilling Machine. I am prepared to blame him for all of my mistakes.

Now that we’ve got this out of the way…)

Chaos returned like a bad rash, and inside of a few minutes, the mob had found its next victim. A resolution was reached to murder Emory Valentine, a decision that hung heavily on his prettiness and suspicious dress sense.  His protests went largely unheard, as did his offer to simply remove his mask and be done with it–the latter because, at some point, the rumor had spread that removing a mask while alive would cause a bomb on the ship to go off. It was probably untrue, and nobody could quite pin down the source, but there was little room on their plates for even so calculated a risk.

What there was room for, platewise, was cake. After carrying Emory to the ground and stomping him lifeless, there was a pronounced dip in spirits, which led someone–it is uncertain who–to suggest they ponder the situation over what was left of the buffet table. This turned out to be an impressively resilient cake, which, someone reasoned, was far too large to be completely poisoned. Besides, if everyone partook, what harm was there? If assassins were at large, and had poisoned the cake, they would surely refuse to tuck in–thus flushing out the assassin corps most handily!

Cake was generally agreed to be the lynchpin of a bold new investigative strategy. William Willoughby took it to heart, as it involved two of his favorite things: unchecked gluttony and partying under inadvisable circumstances. He made sure to get the first piece, which he carved personally–a massive, hefty chocolate slice that nearly buckled the silver plate he served it onto. His was a slice of legends, a wedge of black cocoa velvet thick enough to stop the fall of an anvil and rich enough to blacken a river. It bridged the gap between dessert and sovereign island; it was a cake one could, and would, plant a nation’s flag upon.

Of course, what it required was a glass of champagne. William placed the plate unattended on a table, then left to get himself a flute. It was a minute before he returned to the slice and tucked in.

The first few bites were delicious, but by the third, he was beginning to notice that the cake tasted funny. There was a reason for this: the chef had used mocha chips when the recipe called for semisweet.

Then someone shot William in the lung.

Emory Valentine (Valaqil) was lynched. He was a (redacted). Meanwhile, Halfling has been re-integrated and given Val’s role.

And then:

William Willoughby (Scott) was assassinated. He was a University Chum.

Day begins now and ends Friday.


Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Five

17 Oct

(Extra long Spoiler Warning recording session=don’t have time to do a full post right now. Expect an expansion on this tomorrow, but to keep things moving along):

(Edit 2: Actually, I’m just going to work this into Tuesday’s assassination notes. The narrative flows better that way.)

Colonel James Knight (Halfling) was lynched. He was an Aristocrat.

Night begins now and ends Tuesday.