1980s roleplaying night redux, and a wet Saturday

Friday night I ran my 1980s kids adventure roleplaying adventure again, for my second subgroup of friends. It was the same adventure, but it proceeded very differently! Here’s a summary, courtesy of one of my friends who described what the second group (made of five players) did, for the benefit of those in the first group (to compare notes):

The B team went to gawk at whatever was happening at the lighthouse. We saw the dead body of the lighthouse keeper, who appeared to have been drowned for some time and then partially eaten. Mutterings in the crowd talked about this being similar to events 25 years ago. The lighthouse keeper’s dog came and befriended one of us.

We went to the back of the lighthouse, observing that it appeared to have been struck by lightning. We opened a window and took a look around inside. We didn’t see much at that time, but later when the police had left and closed the door we re-entered through the window and looked around the house itself. We read the logbooks and discovered that bad things happened to the lighthouse keepers every 25 years after a storm on June 1.

Back in town, we found out (I forget how, might have been from the fortune teller) that there was a shipwreck 100 years ago. We held a seance with the fortune teller and found out that the captain of that ship blamed the lighthouse keeper for the wreck and deaths of everyone, and somehow this translated into killing the lighthouse keeper every 25 years.

We were then transported to the past (one possible explanation, anyway), and managed to keep the light lit and avert the shipwreck. We were returned back to the present and found that the lighthouse keeper was alive and well after all. We returned his dog to him and got ice cream.

After he posted this on our group chat I mentioned that the first team’s adventure started the same way, but diverged at the word “opened”. Instead, the first group smashed the window with a slingshot(!), and then proceeded to climb through the broken window.

Both groups found a wet patch on the floor of the lighthouse tower (presumably where the lighthouse keeper’s body was found), but no clues as to how he died or who did it. The A team left and decided to check out the library to find out what happened 25 years ago. They found news stories from 1957 (25 years before the current date in 1982) saying the lighthouse keeper then was found dead under mysterious circumstances after a storm on the same date – and that 2 days later his dog was found dead. They continued looking back every 25 years, finding similar occurrences in 1932 and 1907. But in 1882, on the same date, was a storm that resulted in the wreck of the Warona, a cargo clipper. All hands were lost, except the cabin boy, one James Winchester. They used a phone book to look up any Winchesters in town, and discovered only one, living in the local nursing home.

The A team went to visit Mr Thomas Winchester, and discovered that he was the son of James Winchester. He told them the story of the wreck of the Warona, and that his father had told him how the lighthouse light had gone out as the ship was trying to reach safe harbour during the storm. They expected it to be relit, but it wasn’t, and without guidance the ship was wrecked on the headland. James suspected the lighthouse keeper was cowardly and didn’t bother to relight the lamp, thus causing the wreck.

The A team decided the logical thing to do was to go to Shipwreck Cove and try diving to take a look at the wreck. There they encountered a creepy ghost/kelp/thing that scared them. As they fled the scene, a storm whipped up and in a flash of lightning they were transported to the lighthouse in 1882.

From here the stories converged again. Both teams found the light out – and also that the lighthouse keeper had fallen down the stairs and was lying with a broken leg, unable to climb up to relight the lamp. (So it wasn’t his fault after all!) They relit the light and saved the ship.

The A team concluded their version of the adventure by going back to the nursing home to tell Thomas Winchester what happened, only to find that they had no records of a Winchester ever having lived there.

So, it was very interesting running this adventure twice with two different groups, and seeing the different choices they took through it!

Today, Saturday, the weather closed in. We have rain forecast every day for the next week again. Not too much here in Sydney, but further north parts of the state are getting hammered with hundreds of millimetres of rain again. These are the regions that have already suffered three major flooding events this year, and the ground there is still saturated, so even moderate rainfall is likely to trigger flooding again.

My wife and I took Scully for a lunchtime walk during a break in the rain, but it started up again halfway home and we got pretty wet, even with umbrellas. Scully was soaking, so we gave her a bath straight away.

We’ve also been planning a short trip. We’re going to take a drive out to Orange to stay for a few days in a couple of weeks. We found a hotel that has dog-friendly rooms so we can take Scully. We’re really looking forward to it! But today I spent some time going through all my Outschool classes and notifying parents and students that I’ll be taking a week off from teaching the classes.

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