”Pardon me,” the tall man said.
It was the third day of summer and the sun was still as gorgeous as it had been the day before and the day before that, and the green grass felt good under bare toes. They hadn’t even noticed the two men approach, so wrapped up were they in their post-school year attempts to unlearn everything they’d learned the nine months before.
But there they were, two adults, standing on the other side of the white-picket gate. The tall one had dark hair and beady eyes like a shark; the short one was bald. Both men were wearing immaculate black suits.
”Hello, there children. My name is Mr. Byrne and my companion is the inestimable Mr. Downs. You’ll have to pardon us for interrupting your halcyon frivolities, but would you be so kind as to let us know if this is 1458 Roundtop Lane?”
They shared a glance. This felt all too much like everything they’d be warned about regarding strangers so many times, but the number was on the mailbox… it would be silly to lie. They all nodded.
The man who called himself Mr. Byrne smiled a rather wide smile and clapped his hands together. ”You see, Mr. Downs, I told you this was the right street.”
”Don’t know what I was thinking,” the short one, Mr. Downs, responded in a distracted voice, checking his watch disinterestedly.
Mr. Byrne nodded and bowed his head at them. ”Thank you very much, young lords and ladies. Your assistance has been invaluable.”
With that the two men turned on their toes and began walking back down the street. As the pair turned the corner and walked out of sight behind Mrs. Vega’s hedge, the one called Downs turned and waved. ”Have a good summer, kids.”
In the distance thunder crashed. The first rain of summer.
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Summer Dreams is a game based on a rule book called World of Darkness – Innocents
. The idea of Innocents is to play as children in the World of Darkness. The protagonists in this game will be children aged 8-12 who will be encountering and facing down supernatural terrors not to mention the occasional family road trip, interactions with the opposite sex, and, of course, the neighborhood bullies.
The World of Darkness is a scary place for adults, not to mention children. The other games in the setting tend to focus on a theme and mood of Modern Horror
. I’m not going for that, not with this game. Instead, I’m going for Adventure Terror
. The player characters will face scary things, things that even adults are ill-equipped to come up against. They will be terrified, they will face their worst fears and perhaps bump against adult-hood in dramatic and unexpected ways. They will have to come to rely on their friends to get them out of situations they cannot escape alone, and they will have to find the courage in themselves to do things they never thought they could.
Look to books and movies like Coraline, the Goonies, Stand By Me, the Graveyard Book, Monster House,
for what I’m talking about. It’s not going to be about axe murderers killing your parents or werewolves forcing you to watch them eat your sister… it’s a story about fear and terror but not about horror. That’s not to say that there isn’t danger, mind, and that there aren’t lessons to be learned, growth to experience, and innocence to be lost…. But I doubt I’ll be dusting off my copy of Slashers for any sort of inspiration in this particular chronicle.
So, who will the characters be? Let’s stick to the form:
- All player characters will be ages 8-12
- All player characters will know each other, have SOME sort of relationship to each other that would require them to spend time together, and, at least, live within a one mile radius of each other
- All player characters will live in the same fairly standard American suburban landscape. Details to be worked out later.
- All player characters will be normal kids. That is to say, there will not be any werewolf-blood, sleepwalking, unseen sense having, Guardian Angel carrying characters – that the players know of at the time of character creation. That sort of thing? That’s in my hands, kiddies.
- All player characters will be fun!
- No player characters will be GI-Johnny. Combat skills will be limited.
- While I don’t mind some complexity in these characters, I really don’t feel like delving into super dark territory here. Rape, murder, extreme child abuse, childhood depression/alcoholism/sexuality in character backgrounds… they’re not outright banned, but they do threaten to derail this game into something that I don’t really want it to be. Use care and try and consider the source material and the game before making your characters.
I’ll have a list of suggestions and things I’d like to see in an application. History is not going to be as important in the application process as making me feel like you know your character. Gimme his dreams, three things that make him laugh, three things that he’s afraid of….
I, honestly, can’t imagine too many questions you’ll have regarding what sort of character to make, but I’m sure you’ll surprise me.
It is now officially 1:30am and I have work in 4 hours… There will be more info to come.
Note: I WILL BE GONE FROM THURSDAY JUNE 18-MONDAY JUNE 22! I WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONING DURING THIS PERIOD.