Monday, June 17, 2013

Shudde M'ell Confidential; The Curious Collapse of Nathaniel Eisen

While calling on Nathaniel Eisen (See previous post)one evening, the characters will be surprised to find their friend lying on his back in the driveway next to his telescope. The investigators will be aware that Nathaniel is an avid amateur astronomer, who recently purchased a Carl Zeiss of which he is quite proud.

     Rushing to his aid, the characters will note that Nathaniel’s eyes are open, but that he appears to be dazed. A successful First Aid check will allow the investigator to bring Nathaniel back into a state of lucidity. A successful Medicine skill roll will reveal that Nathaniel lapsed into a brief catatonic state due to sudden shock.

     If the characters are curious as to the duration of Nathaniel Eisen’s incapacitation, there are two clues. The first is that a phonograph is playing and can be heard through an open living room window. The song in question, Annette Hanshaw’s “Under the Moon” (1932), will be a recurring element where Nathaniel is concerned. Furthermore, a lit cigarette is lying next to Nathaniel. If they cannot deduce it on their own, a successful Idea roll will reveal that Nathaniel could not have been unconscious for more than a few minutes as the cigarette would have burned out and/or the phonograph would no longer be playing.

Nathaniel’s astronomy notebook is nearby. His notes from tonight read as follows:

     Beautiful resolution of the Hadley Rille tonight. However, possible defect in lens or distortion in upper atmosphere causing the rille to look as if there is a dark cloud above it. Dust from meteor impact? What am I seeing?!  

     Looking through the telescope’s eyepiece will reveal a beautiful moonscape, although nothing out of the ordinary is visible at the moment. On a successful Astronomy check, a character will recall that the Hadley Rille is a winding lunar canyon whose origins are a hotly debated topic.

     Nathaniel will not be able to give an explanation for his collapse. Over the following weeks, Nathaniel will have feverish dreams and further harrowing sessions with his telescope that will lead him and the player characters to the terrifying realization that there is more to the moon than dust and rocks!

     Until then, let’s get acquainted with a heavenly body here on earth, who will soon grace Nathaniel and the characters with her presence as she arrives in a 1932 Model A Ford Leatherback.

Helen Halsted
     Helen Halsted Helen is a fine example of Hollywood beauty and talent. She is personable, gorgeous and gifted at singing and dancing. Of course, Helen is merely one of thousands of young starlets hoping to get a chance at great fame. Only in Hollywood is the extraordinary common.

     Helen met Nathaniel on the set of a Mascot Pictures film that he wrote. She was struck by his intelligence and affable nature, so they became fast friends. Since then Helen has signed a long term contract with Paramount Pictures. Helen has yet to be cast in a leading role, but her hopes are high.

     She has maintained her friendship with Nathaniel and loves his gatherings. The entertainment industry can be full of bores and lechers, so Helen appreciates the opportunity to relax and have fun. Provided no player characters are overly flirtatious, they will find Helen to be a good and decent friend.

Helen Halsted 
Age 25, Actress
Strength 8
Constitution 11
Power 11
Dexterity 11
Appearance 16
Size 10
Intelligence 11
Education 9
Sanity 55
Idea 55%
Luck 55%
Knowledge 45%
Damage Bonus none
Hit Points 11
Magic Points 11

Bargain 35%
Conceal 35%
Credit Rating 35%
Dance 55%
Dodge 42%
Fast Talk 35%
Other Language (French) 25%
O.L. (English) 75%
Persuade 55%
Psychology 35%
Sing 55%

Starlets do not fight. They have people for that.

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