The Inconvenience of Death

Headline ripped from the front of the San Francisco Public Press, January 20th, 1951:

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCES STILL ON RISE

The number of people that have been reported missing across the city of San Francisco continues to rise into the new year.  More than five hundred people have been reported lost or missing in the past six months according to reports filed with the police department's missing persons unit.  

When asked for comment about the ongoing crisis police commissioner David Jackson replied that, "(the department and I) are doing everything in our power to get to the bottom of this spate of missing persons.  At this time we have no reason to suspect that all of these missing persons are related but we aren't ruling anything out at this time."

Police are asking people living in the city to exercise caution when walking to and from locations alone, especially at night, by not traveling alone, telling friends where you are heading, and reporting any suspicious activity to the police immediately using the nearest police call box.

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The following is a transcript from a recording of San Francisco police detective G. Ellis and one Jeanette Gurney, private detective. dated February 29th, 1951:

G. Ellis: Cigarette, Ms. Gurney? (note: likely Det. Ellis offers Ms. Gurney a cigarette here)

J. Gurney: No thanks.  I prefer a more expensive brand of coffin nail.

G. Ellis: Suit yourself.  Do you know why you were called in here today?

J. Gurney: Educate me.

G. Ellis: Let me clue you in, then.  January the third, you're meeting with some punk named Goose back at your office…

J. Gurney: I remember him.  He was lookin' to have me and my crew look into his missing girlfriend.

G. Ellis: Yeah, and then next week he ends up in a gutter on 50th street with his neck cut from ear to ear.

J. Gurney: That would explain why he hasn't called me back.

G. Ellis: You're getting a real big tickle from that, huh?

J. Gurney: I barely knew the guy.  He couldn't pay much so he wasn't exactly high on my list of priorities.

G. Ellis: You have any idea why he might be dead right now?

J. Gurney: Not a clue.

G. Ellis: I find that hard to believe, you claiming to be a detective an' all.

J. Gurney: It's not a claim.  I got the paperwork on my wall to prove it, same as you.

G. Ellis: Yeah, except I don't go chasin' ghosts around pretending to be a real cop like you do.   The hell is a "paranormal detective" anyway?

J. Gurney: That supposed to get me all riled up, is it?  You should read a dictionary sometime.

G. Ellis: The truth can be upsetting sometimes, dolly.  Paranormal detective ain't a real detective.

J. Gurney: Compliments won't get you anywhere either, Ellis.

G. Ellis: Let's can the small talk then.  You're lightin' up the tilt sign here.  You know more than you're lettin' on.

J. Gurney: I take the privacy of my clients very seriously.  Nothing I know would help you in your investigation.

G. Ellis: I'd like to be the one to decide that if you don't mind.

J. Gurney: Then get a judge to subpoena me, Ellis.  You know I'm not just going to roll over 'cause you asked.

G. Ellis: Damn it, Gurney!  Why do you gotta be stubborn about this?  I got a promotion riding on this.

J. Gurney: It's always nice to know that the pursuit of justice is your major motivation.

G. Ellis: You wouldn't know justice if it bit you in the (unintelligible string of words).

J. Gurney: Get bent, Ellis.  I've half a mind to cut out if this is how you're going to act.

G. Ellis: I could have you arrested, you know! (unintelligble) breach of the peace, interferin' with a police investigation…

J. Gurney: You won't.

G. Ellis: You think so?  

(sound of knocking)

G. Ellis: Get Bradley in here, I'm done with her.

(end of recording)

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This scenario sees the characters in 1950's San Francisco during a missing persons crisis.  All but one of the characters will be part of Jeanette Gurney's paranormal private detective business called Eyes in the Night – Paranormal Detective.  The only character not a member of the detective agency will be a special client seeking the services of the detective agency.

Major Themes: Mystery, Suspense, Discovery, Tough Choices, Occult

Minor Themes: Combat, Subterfuge, Humor, Sorcery

This game will focus mostly on skills and some basic sorcery and ritual use.  Advanced spell casting, such as summoning and high level sorcery or rituals are not the focus, and dynamic paths are not within the scope of the game setting.

Characters that are part of Eyes in the Night will be expected to have skills and knowledge that would be useful to a detective and/or a paranormal enthusiast, including esoteric knowledge, magical knowledge or aptitude, general investigation and research skills, or other skills related to performing gritty detective work in the 1950's.  The character playing the role of the client will be given a unique introduction to the scenario that will set the scene for the rest of the scenario to play out – as a result this character has fewer restrictions on what they can or cannot do but must still fit within a 1950's character mindset.

Characters in this setting may be Human, Elf, Jotun, or Eldru.

The game will take place primarily within San Francisco itself, though it will eventually range outside of the city into the surrounding countryside as the game progresses.  Different decisions will lead the characters down different paths, but the end goal will always remain the same.  The path the characters take to get there will be entirely up to you. 

There is a gritty, film noir style to this setting that makes it somewhat darker than your traditional adventure.  Hard decisions will occasionally need to be made, and the lives your characters lived up to this point can be as well- or mal-adjusted as you see fit.  Any kind of character is fine to play as long as the character is competent, capable, and able to work with the other members of Eyes in the Night.

In the interest of keeping the game relatively chill and without major discomfort we will assume that this version of 1950's San Francisco is less racist, sexist, and sexually abusive, though undertones of such may still be present.

For more information on 1950's slang and lingo, check out this page on era-appropriate chatter.

The Inconvenience of Death

Tides of Time - The Inconvenience of Death ChameleonKail