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Murder! Be Thy Name

Murder! Be Thy Name
Rob Justice
Role-Playing Game 2018


I began writing Murder! Be Thy Name on July 4th, 2018 and gave myself the challenging deadline of producing this, in print, in time to bring a copy of American Murder Song on September 16th, 2018 at their show in Kansas City.

Creating this game was a real challenge for me but it is one of the most meaningful and enjoyable pieces I’ve ever written. I’m exceptionally proud of this book. It’s my first self-published game that I’ve had physically printed. The first game I’ve ever done graphic design and layout for. The first game I wrote completely by myself.

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Arkham Files Script – Episode 001: Martin “Mad Dog” Hawkins

Personae Dramatis

“Providence” aka Dennis Howard Irving: A twenty-something hacker who has come into possession of various Arkham Asylum case files and is working to undermine the institution by exposing its barbaric practices, grim history, and infamous residents. A conspiracy theorist who’s actually on the right track, Providence still comes across as a bit… ranty. He makes every attempt to appear as an intellectual despite having no formal post-high school education.

Grant McKean: History Professor at Gotham University in his late fifties who’s spent most of his life working to uncover the secret history of Gotham City. Over the years Grant has developed a keen interest in Arkham Asylum and has become a conspiracy theorist surrounding the Hospital’s past. Unlike Providence, Grant is an educated man and is far less prone to tirades. Professor McKean eagerly became an ally of Providence in hopes of uncovering more of Gotham’s past. His disdain for the inmates of Arkham is poorly masked and he shows very little respect for the staff.

Sergeant Christina Kane: A newcomer to the Gotham City Police Department Internal Affairs, having transferred from Keystone City Police Department. Commissioner James Gordon created her position in the department to dig into the history of the GCPD to better understand the legacy of corruption. Being a fish out of water specifically tasked with GCPD’s history, and her status of being hand-picked by Commissioner Gordon made her a prime candidate for Providence to work with. He is certain she’s not been paid off yet and has access to information your average GCPD officer simply doesn’t. For her part, Christina is still pretty flabbergasted by the blatant corruption of Gotham City and isn’t excited about her role in helping clean out the GCPD.Continue reading

Ἑρμῆς

Ἑρμῆς (Hermes)

“You have to get to know the meaning not just of joy but also of grief, before being allowed in the spacecraft cabin.”
Yuri Gagarin, the first person in Space

Story Circle

  • The Blackwell crew is on rotation; when they are redeployed to an emergency on Titan.
  • They pack their bags for the journey to Saturn; and quell some problems with the passengers.
  • The crew begins investigating the Titan facility; except things are more complex than expected.
  • The crew begins their return to Mars; when the network goes down.

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Five Minutes Left

Originally Published at Rob.BearSwarm.com on 2004-08-13.

Minute 5: Jenna cried in the corner. She could hear the muffled moans on the other side of the bathroom door. The rhythmic yet random sound of hands scraping against the cheap wood door. She held the gun in her trembling hands. The last bullet loaded into the chamber. She cried more.

Minute 4: Jenna remembered watching her boyfriend, Todd, being ripped apart by creatures. She cried harder. She remembered Todd shooting himself in the face so he wouldn’t become one of them. The clawing outside grew louder. So did Jenna’s sobbing.

Minute 3: Jenna shoved the gun in her mouth. Her time for fighting was over. Any minute now those creatures were going to burst into the bathroom. Trying to eat her flesh. The thought of killing herself frightened her so much. She couldn’t pull the trigger, not yet. She cried.

Minute 2: BANG! A decaying hand breaks through the plywood door. The hand claws wildly at the air. Jenna screams in terror. Clutching the gun in her mouth. She can’t kill herself until she KNOWS. Until she is sure there is no way to escape. The hand continues to wave for an eternity.  The door cracks open wider. A bloody torso pushes into the room.

Minute 1: The first corpse pushes into the room. The face is torn apart, beyond recognition. The chest is ripped open, organs dragging across the floor. More guts fall with each movement it makes. Jenna cries harder. She can recognize the clothing. The nearly fatal gunshot wound. It didn’t kill him. Jenna doesn’t’ want to make the same mistake. She pushes the barrel into her mouth.

Minute 0: The horror is over.

Knightfall: First Nights

Originally Published at Rob.BearSwarm.com on 2012-05-22.

Gotham Nights was a Smallville campaign I ran  from February 18th, 2011 until January 13th, 2012 spanning four seasons and a Christmas special. Twenty episodes were produced over the nearly year long run. It’s even spun off into a sequel campaign called Gotham Days. Over the course of the game my writing and preparation style changed drastically and I learned so much from the experience. Now, I’m sharing some of the notes I’ve collected from Gotham Nights. I don’t take notes during or after a game, this is only my session prep work so I can’t show you how these notes survived contact with the players. Still, I’m amused by how much my prep has changed.


#TitleAirdate
001“Knightfall: First Nights”February 18th, 2011
Adam Arthur, Darren Spektor, Dominique Dane, Steven Kyle & Virgil Black don’t seem to have much in common but after this unlikely group of vigilantes start looking into a series of gruesome murders they find that they’ll need to band together if they don’t want to become targets of this mysterious killer!

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Fall of Magic: Ravenhall to The Sightless Sea

Music: “Blood Red Head on Fire” by Big Dumb Face
Players: Rob, Chris, & Eichlos
Characters: Harp the Giant of Mistwood, Kabu the Fugitive of Stormguard, & Vago the Crab Singer of Istallia

Magic is dying, and the Magus is dying with it. We travel together to the realm of Umbra where magic was born.

Fall of Magic is a collaborative story game in the tradition of the fantasy journey where the landscape, hospitality, and exploration of our character’s relationships take center stage.

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Murder! Character Sheet [PDF]

The Children of Mother Columbia, more commonly known as the Americans, are the main cast of this story. The focus of Murder! Be Thy Name is to tell the tale of how these Americans find themselves pushed to the brink and willing to commit a most heinous crime: Murder.

Murder! Be Thy Name [PDF]

Murder! Be Thy Name is a tabletop role-playing game for 2-7 players inspired by the musical experience of American Murder Song. This game uses tales of murder to explore America’s history during the Westward Expansion era.

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