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Comments: 14
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.8077
Condition: Normal
ID: 4322


September 19, 2007, 4:16 am

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The Spirit Never Dies


Parties have a habit of getting out of hand, especially when it’s the young and wild generation.  Sometimes, parties get a little more than out of hand, if the spirit moves the guests.

Plot Description

The Meyer family is looking to hire someone.  Their nine year old son Czeslaw has gone missing.  The last time he was seen was when he was going to a party an older cousin had invited him to, a haunted house party.  He had gone to other parties with the same cousin before, and had sometimes stayed with his cousin’s family for a few days to a week after, but something is different this time.

Not only Czeslaw, but his cousin, and several of his cousin’s friends failed to return from their party.  Details about the location of the party were sketchy, but there is only one house generally thought to be haunted, and was the likely location of the party.  Servants were sent to check out the house, of course.  But they didn’t come back, and when one of them was found later, dead, the Meyer family decided to send in someone tougher.

The haunted house isn’t hard to find.  It’s an old mansion on the edge of town, which has been abandoned for years.  The story is that it was the home of the wealthy Isaac family, who all perished in some unexplained disasterous manner.  Information gathered from various sources indicates that the party guests were planning to hold a seance, which was the reason they decided to hold the party at this house.

The objective is to return Czeslaw Meyer to his very worried parents.  The households of the other missing party guests are also adding to the reward offered.  While they would like to know what happened, they’re more worried about getting their friends and family back safely.

Upon reaching the house, it becomes obvious that someone is here: the house is full of lights. 

The Entrance Hall

The easiest way to get in is the front door.  If one knocks, it is opened by a surly butler who will rudely tell the party to leave, and then slam the door in their faces.  If they decide to just open the door and go in, the butler will attack them.  He’s a clumsy fighter, but has a certain ferocity that makes him very dangerous.  He will earnestly try to kill any intruders.  (Indeed, he is the one who killed the previous people sent to investigate.)  If the fight goes on for more than five or ten minutes or if he is overwhelmed, he will summon another crazed servant to assist him.

If the PCs break in elsewhere, there’s a chance that the butler will be in the area when they do.  If he isn’t, he or the other servant will arrive within a couple of minutes to discipline the intruders.  They cannot be reasoned with in this state. 

The Sitting Room

Here the PCs will find a semi-well known medium, who was apparently performing the seance.  However, something is wrong.  She seems quite dazed and frightened, and thinks she is someone else.  (If the PCs ever met her before in different circumstances, she does not recognize them.)  She will introduce herself as Miria Isaac, and ask that they leave "her family" in peace.  If threatened, she will flee upstairs.

Miria was the name of the lady of the house, when the Isaac family still lived there.  However, the Isaacs have been dead for at least fifty years.  Anyone with any knowledge of the occult or ghosts can guess that she’s possessed by the ghost of the unfortunate woman.

Miria knows what’s really going on and will admit as much if approached properly.  She knows that she and the rest of her family are ghosts, and will tell the PCs that "Ennis" found a way to bring the family back.  During the seance, each family member possessed a different party guest.  While the medium was necessary to for this to happen, Miria (in the medium’s body) either can’t or won’t undo what’s been done.  However, if convinced, she will agree to take them to Ennis.

Upstairs Bedroom

Miria will lead them upstairs to a small bedroom on the second floor.  (If they go upstairs by themselves, they are likely to be attacked, either by the crazed servants if they weren’t disabled earlier, or by other family members.  If they are with Miria, they can go up unmolested.)  She tells them that Ennis is inside, and that they will have to deal with him.

If the party researched the Isaacs before actually coming to the house, they would have found mention that Ennis Isaac was the name of the man who owned the house.  However, the available records omit one very important fact.

The only person in the room is the boy Czeslaw Meyer, whom they were hired to rescue.  He seems reletively unharmed, but the problem is that he’s also possessed, by the ghost of Ennis Isaac, Jr.  He is the one who arranged the whole mess, as an attempt to bring his family back to life, and he doesn’t have any intention of relinquishing his second life.  Of course, the difficulty is, the PCs can’t kill him.

Upstairs Parlor

Ennis/Czeslaw is small and fast, and has no problem with fighting dirty.  At the earliest opportunity, he will run out of the room, into a larger parlor nearby.  (Easier to fight, more weapons at hand, and easier access to the rest of the family.) 

If the PCs decide on a physical approach, they’ll have to subdue him without killing him (preferably without injuring him).  The other possessed party guests (all but Miria) will arrive to help Ennis out.  (Depending on power levels, they might also have poltergeist-type powers as well.)  However, once the boy is subdued, the other "Isaacs" will stop attacking.  If he is knocked out, all of the others will either collapse or look very confused. 

If the PCs decide to try to talk to Ennis, he’ll essentially throw a tantrum, yelling, screaming, and possibly attacking.  Eventually, however, assuming that they say the right things, Ennis will eventually just give up and start crying about how he just wanted things to go back to the way they were.  When this happens, Miria will enter and say that something to the effect of "It’s time to stop."


Either way, once Ennis has been subdued one way or another, ghostly images will emerge from each of the party guests and vanish.  A few minutes after, the party guests will wake up, back in their right minds and with very little memory of the past few days for the most part.  (If the PCs did not kill the servants who attacked them earlier, the same will happen with them.)  If the PCs elected to handle the situation diplomatically, the guests will be found in various rooms in the house.

Czeslaw remembers most of what happened, and if asked, can tell the whole story.  A few weeks before the party, he’d been exploring the haunted house, as young boys are wont to do.  He’d tripped on the stairs and fallen, knocking himself out temporarily.  The ghost of Ennis had leaped at the opportunity it presented, possessing Czeslaw.  Then he’d set about arranging for it to be possible for the rest of his family to do the same. 

He’d suggested the seance party to his cousin, and hinted that the house was the perfect place to have it.  The older people had thought it a splendid idea, and one thing had led to another.  During the seance, his plan had worked perfectly.  The rest of the ghosts in the house managed to possess various people; when the servants were sent to investigate, two of them were possesed as well (either by family members who hadn’t been fast enough to get one of the party guests, or by the ghosts of actual servants who also haunted the place, as the case may be).

Once everything is straightend out, all that is left is to ensure that all the befuddled guests get home and return Czeslaw Meyer to his grateful parents, and collecting their (undoubtably substantial) reward.  If the PCs ended up hurting the boy, the reward will be less, and if they killed him, they won’t be given much, if any at all (and may actually find themselves wanted by the law).

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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Dragon Lord
September 19, 2007, 6:11
I must say, I like this one quite a lot.

I do have some minor doubts about parents allowing their children to hold a party in a huanted house (unless of course noboby really believes the place is haunted) but apart from that this is a really good idea.

Since the PCs' opponents are not really villains they cannot actually kill anybody here, nor indeed harm them for that matter. Even if they kill the butler in who attacked them in the entrance hall there are going to be some questions later on.

Swords and fireballs are not going to help with this onr, the PCs will have to negotiate their way out of this one.

Nice one Ria Hawk - a fun idea that the traditional PC "hack 'n' slash" tactics are not going to solve - 4/5
Voted dark_dragon
September 19, 2007, 6:53
I like it, the plot is nice and simple, and can be expanded to be as atmospheric as you like. The possessed child is pretty classic, but it works really well here, and should prove to be difficult to handle for the PCs if the don't want to harm him.

I'm not sure that the ghosts would simply leave, though, and I might have had some other way of stopping the haunting, say, figuring out what killed them and promising that the world will be informed of the injustice. For me that seems a bit weird, which is why i'm going to vote 3.5 instead of the 4.0 I would have given it otherwise.
Voted Cheka Man
September 19, 2007, 11:14
Only voted
Voted Scrasamax
September 19, 2007, 13:25
I think there might be a bit of misunderstanding involved, as this dungeon is completely unsuited for the usual swords and sorcery groups, however it is splendid for modern based or CoC games; the sort of game where when the PCs arm themselves their weapons list reads more like the murder weapons in the Clue game. There seems to be little combat, aside from crazed butlers and the scarcely mentioned other possessed teens, with a very strong emphasis on role playing.
Voted Ancient Gamer
September 19, 2007, 21:04
Yep, it bears all the hallmarks of a CoC game, 'cept for the Mythos. As already mentioned it is strong on roleplaying and fairly straightforward. It is well written and seems like a fun game, but I feel it is missing that key element to make it stand out from the crowd.

Voted Dozus
September 19, 2007, 23:18
I like it. A very "intellectual" dungeon. Like AG, I do feel like there is something missing - another twist, perhaps? But it does have a very charming atmosphere that makes me want to play it.
Voted Murometz
September 19, 2007, 23:49
what Dozus said! I was trying to think what attracts me to this piece. Its the atmosphere! I get a slight Bradbury vibe (dont ask, i'm crazy)

It goes without saying, that the family members have much potential for further mayhem.

Definitely 'different' from the other quest submisisons.
Voted Wulfhere
September 20, 2007, 9:19
I like that this is a situation that can't be readily solved by resorting to violence, with potential for engaging roleplaying.

In order to facilitate the roleplaying and players' "outside the box" problem-solving, I would put together more history of the house and its inhabitants before I ran this. The mysterious demise of the entire family needs to be understood so that clues can emerge during the roleplaying, clues that may help resolve the Issacs' unresolved deaths.

Perhaps they died in a disastrous accident, rather than by foul play: A carriage accident or toxic chemical foolishly tossed into the hearth. It's common in ghost tales for the spirit to reenact its final hours: Perhaps these spirits are moving toward some final catastrophe, with their possessed bodies along for the ride. In such a case, the challenge may become one of preventing history from repeating itself, rather than laying the spirits to rest.
September 20, 2007, 9:53
Thank you for explaining what I mean far more eloquently than I did.
Voted manfred
September 20, 2007, 13:02
Yes, there is a little bit missing, but some solid suggestions were provided already. As another angle on Wulf's take, maybe they turned into a more active presence through an unrelated event, but important to the campaign or game world - maybe there is great unrest among the spirits, a powerful necromancer is quietly active nearby, or the (insert special event) is coming up.

By the way, a very proper way to enter a ghost story is to be related to the victim of the possession - and that should hinder the murderous tendencies nicely. Of course, you can't always have this, but I am hinting at the possibility of using the plot for a one shot adventure (a little combat, quite some roleplaying, and a happy end... maybe), introducing a game system, or a gentle entry into the world of CoC.

Anyway... the plot is fine. :)
Voted valadaar
September 20, 2007, 13:07
On a related note, this one seems like it could be well used in a LARP as well.

Well Done!
Voted Stomphoof
September 20, 2007, 18:28
I love haunted houses! I originally was going to do my cult as a haunted house, but decided on the cult idea as I thought it would be more fun.

I would love to run a horror based game one of these days... and this may help me do just that. Love it good job
Voted Dossta
September 11, 2010, 1:24
A fun, ready-made adventure with minimal hack n' slash. I like plots which force characters to use diplomacy at times and flex their role-playing muscles. If they don't kill Ennis, this could also be used as a starting point for a side-quest ("We'll agree to to leave these bodies if you bring our murderer to justice", etc).
Voted axlerowes
December 21, 2016, 16:00
This a pretty complete little encounter. Depending on the group this could offer a lot of RPIng oppertuntities.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Michael Jotne Slayer

The PCs find a small green glass bottle, something can be seen writhing within the smoked glass. If the PCs open the bottle a repulsing form of life will pour forth and grow in size. A genderless beings of soft pliable purple flesh towers before the PCs, it has no detail, no distinguishing characteristics except for a narrow slit for a mouth that holds rows of inwardly curving teeth.

Encounter  ( Any ) | February 15, 2011 | View | UpVote 6xp

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