I facilitated two games of A Weekend in the Country (Second Edition) by Lari Assmuth at the 2023 RinCon Gaming Convention. This second game uses the victim and suspects we previously developed with the help of the Mythic GM Emulator for the session I dubbed Early Retirement. The action is set in the present day.
Spend a weekend relaxing at a corporate retreat on a remote tropical island as everyone learns to embrace recent major changes at Crypto Consolidated. Until… a murderer strikes!
Yves Smith, senior board member of Crypto Consolidated
Taki (K♦), Crypto Consolidated shareholder; his father used to be a board member
Millie (Q♥), former CEO of a company recent bought out by Crypto Consolidated
Gene (J♠), fellow Crypto Consolidated board member
Regina (Q♣), longtime Crypto Consolidated employee; worked her way up the ranks
Private Investigator Sally Forth, a native of Connecticut, is enjoying a vacation at a resort on the Isle of Saint-Jermaine in the Caribbean. As per her usual luck, she stumbles upon a murder there. She has a straight-forward personality, though some consider her aloof or tomboyish. She also has a black belt in karate. Physically, she has one blue eye and one green eye, her hair is long and black, and she speaks with a lisp.
Conference Room, Bedroom Suites, Jungle, Pool Yard, Cantina
1. Bedrooms/A♣: With no police on hand, Sally volunteers her services to the resort staff. As she is kneeling over the body, somebody strikes her from behind. When she wakes up, there is no sign of who attacked her.
If you’re playing with a tumbling block tower for your threat counter, you remove 1d6 blocks each time you pull a clue card. This clue comes with a cost of an additional 1d6 blocks. We don’t have such a tower, so we use clue # + 2d6 < 18 for our threat counter. To ratchet up the tension due to this clue, we decided to add an extra 1d4 to the threat rolls from this point onwards. It really worked. Every roll from this point on had the players on the edge of their seats.
2. Bedrooms/5♦: After recovering her senses, Sally continues her exploration of the murder scene. She realizes there’s a painting missing from one of the walls. Yves maintained a permanently-reserved suite at the resort, and he had decorated it with a self-portrait by recluse painter Rando Artisto. (threat: 13+2=15)
3. Conference Rooms/A♦: In the meeting room, Sally comes across Taki, who confesses he’s glad that Yves is dead. Taki’s dad used to be on the board until he was drummed out for corporate misconduct, but Taki insists he was innocent. The matter was settled out of court and hushed up, but Taki has always blamed Yves for being involved in the framing. Sally believes Taki’s version of events. (threat: 13+3=16)
4. Cantina/3♠: At the cantina, Sally learns from staff there that some hallway light bulbs were out. She observes them being replaced in the corridor leading to the pool yard. Suspicious, she heads there next. (threat: 12+4=16)
5. Pool Yard/A♠: Gene warns Sally to let the murder drop, saying they could make her life very difficult if she doesn’t drop the case. Sally’s ire is up. She replies that the murderer should not have hit her on the head, then, because now it’s personal. She’s not going to let this go.
Three of a kind is not a very strong hand. However, the players are very scared of the threat roll at this point, so they decide to take the chance and make an accusation.
With a set of aces, we present our case. Gene killed Yves over the painting. They had financial trouble in the past and had to put it up for auction. They always resented Yves for buying it since they knew how corrupt he was, given that he ousted Taki’s father from the board years ago. Yves refused to sell the painting back once Gene’s fortunes turned around. Gene attacked Yves in the darkened hallway and then dragged the body back to his room. They had returned to get the painting when they found Sally investigating, so they struck her from behind, grabbed the painting, and fled.
Gene has a pair of 6s. They try to get the company to come to their defense, citing the excellent profits experienced during their board tenure. Why, they were even awarded a “world’s best” mug at the start of this conference! (6♠, 6♦). Gene points the finger instead at Regina, who he claims was having an affair with Yves, as evidenced by the pendant he gave her (9♠). They say they overheard Yves and Regina arguing when Yves broke it off (7♥).
I was really surprised to see an accusation on just 5 cards, but it still told a satisfying story. This game fortunately had only four players and me as facilitator, so everyone still got at least one turn. It took less than an hour from start to finish, since I conveniently already had the Yves Smith set-up to deploy.