I had six players, which I think is my ideal DREAD group size, allowing a nice mix of characters to be played without having so many players that not everyone gets to contribute. Of the characters I wrote up, the ones in BOLD were played.
- The crew of the Eryine, an American whaling ship captained by the mad Captain Danby, obsessed with hunting down the legendary Kraken...
- Harpooner - Former Slave
- Crewman - Young Sailor with a Secret
- Cabin "Boy" - Runaway Youth
- Steward - Immigrant, former Italian Nationalist
- Third Mate - Haunted Whaler
- Oarsman - Indebted Yankee Intellectual
- The Crew and passengers of the Dachshund, a British scientific expedition led by Sir Alastair Finch, a noted British biologist studying the elusive giant squid...
- British Lady of Standing - Recent Widow
- British Naturalist - Former Duelist
- Irish Carpenter - Former Criminal
- Army Officer - Veteran of the Russian War
- Hydrographer - Drunken Widower
The second half kept the momentum up with the players realizing that the volcanic island was beginning to erupt and having to wade through waves of rats (brought by the Europeans, they had killed all the flora and fauna on the island). The Cabin "Boy" was nearly lost in a wave of rats after yet another tumble of the tower, but the other players risked their own players to snatch her from a rodent death. The group then found themselves on a beach where the natives worshiped a monstrous idol of an unnamed squid god and found Captain Lewis, lacking arms or legs, his skin also stained by Kraken ink, guarding a raft while the worshipers danced in a frenzy around a bonfire. Captain Lewis told them the Kraken would demand a sacrifice in exchange for their escape from the island, so the Cabin "Boy" attacked him with a machete, slicing open the skin of his face which let tentacles escape and began Captain Lewis' transformation into some a cephalopodic freak. The PCs commandeered the raft and managed to escape the island as the lava reached the shore, fleeing into the storm at sea. At sea, the Kraken re-appeared, as tentacles crashed against the waves around them and the Naturalist and Carpenter fought dark urges inside them, brought to the surface by the ink staining their skin. The Naturalist succumbed and leapt at her fellow boat-mates, but was quickly taken down. The game ended with the remaining PCs giving the Carpenter the choice of falling to their knives or taking his chance in the ocean and he chose to go overboard.
All in all, it was a blast to run, it felt like I kept the tension and action going strong (for the most part) and it definitely re-invigorated my love of running games. Unlike my Circus Freaks DREAD scenario, which I still plan to write up and publish (as discussed here). Afterwards, I gave @ironsolo, who is thinking he wants to write and run his own DREAD game, the character questionnaires and my notes, which were embarrassingly almost entirely notes on the music I had in my various playlists for the game (Character Creation, Storm, Island, Climax). For serious, here is the entirety of what I had written up for the "plot" of the game:
- Storm/Kraken - PCs covered in Kraken ink...
- Island - Lava flow looks like squid on the mountain, sulfurous cave, stockade that missionaries live in
- Escape - volcano threatens to erupt, need to find their way to Captain Lewis
Swans, "Eden Prison" (Live At Brooklyn Masonic Temple) from self-titled on Vimeo.