You are in a large room.
The far wall is made of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, and outside the sky is blood red. Silhouetted against the dusk is a man behind a desk. You can’t see him clearly.
“Thank you all for answering my Craigslist ad,” he says, in a raspy voice. “Please, be seated.”
He picks up a remote control and presses a button. A projector screen unfurls from the ceiling, humming loudly.
“Welcome to the headquarters of the Northern Limit,” the man says, talk-yelling over the hum. “My name is Clive Gumm. I am the administrator.”
“How did we get here?” somebody asks.
Clive starts to answer, but is drowned out by a loud screech as the screen motor jams. He curses, walks over to it, and tries to yank it down the rest of the way. The bottom of the screen pops out of his hands and zips back up into the ceiling like a window blind.
“You know what,” he says, “I’ll just give you the talk:
“The Northern Limit is a government agency established in the 1950s to study the lands north of the 60th parallel. Much of our research has been paranormal in nature, but we consider ourselves scientists. The vast majority of the phenomena we’ve looked into can be explained by the northern lights, cabin fever, or human error.
“Occasionally, we encounter something less easily explained.
“In the spring of 2015, something happened at a cryolite mine in a remote part of Alaska. Remoter than usual. The mine was being operated by a company called IdaDyne, and on May 10, 2015, headquarters experienced total loss of contact. The team they flew in to assess the situation disappeared. The team they sent to look for that team also disappeared. Then they called us.
“Although it is not public knowledge, the Northern Limit understands that the environment around the mine underwent an abrupt and drastic change. That area is now known as Zone Z.”
The phone on his desk rings. He picks up the receiver and snaps it back down without looking at it.
“Since then, we’ve sent in 55 of our own teams to assess the situation. We sent the best – PhDs, spec ops, the guys you see on the Discovery Channel eating trees to survive. None of them returned. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2018, our budget was drastically reduced by Congress. Now we’re sponsored by Little Caesars and hiring people off Craigslist. It’s been rough.”
The crowd perks up. “So there is free pizza here?” someone asks. The ad had promised you that in bold italics.
“Friend, no pizza is ever truly free,” says Clive. He rummages around in his desk. “On mission 56, one of you is going to have to wear this mascot costume and only say the word ‘pizza,’ preferably twice at a time.” He thunks a toga and laurel wreath down on the desk. “The other ninteen mission roles are science-related.”
The doors in the back of the room open up, and an aide pushes in a cart stacked with boxes of Little Caesars pizza. Everyone’s heads swivel around, and Clive speaks up to recapture your attention.
“I’ve read your resumes, for those of you who had resumes, and I’ll assign you based on what I think you’ll be best at. Each assignment comes with certain parameters. You’ll be briefed on them before leaving. It’s better if you keep what you learn to yourselves.”
“Why would we agree to do this?” asks someone else.
“It pays $16 an hour, plus overtime. Everyone who wants to join can stay for pizza. Everyone else, please stop by our gift shop on the way out. We have Northern Limit merchandise for the whole family.” He emits a sigh that seems to come from the very bottom of his soul.
You gather around the cart, chatting nervously. Next to the stack of pizza boxes is a piece of paper, which reads:
- LITTLE CAESARS MASCOT
The paper is torn off below that.
1 Serial Killer
- This is an advanced difficulty game. Expect the unexpected. If you saw Annihilation or read any Phillip K. Dick, you may find that helpful, but it isn’t necessary.
- Everybody has a role. Roles can change. Except for the Little Caesars mascot, all roles will initially be secret.
- The count will not be updated as the game goes on.
- Death in this game is not necessarily permanent. Check your QTs daily.
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killer are defeated.
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left.
- Serial killer wins when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- Additional win conditions may become available as the game progresses.
- A tie at the end of day results in No Lynch. A majority of living players voting for any one person (or No Lynch) ends the day early.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
- Last, and most importantly: Anything I (as moderator) say, from Day 1 onward, could be a lie. Also, I’m the guy who ran the Snowman game, so factor that in. Use your best judgments to find the truths of Zone Z.
- Tobias Morpheus (reserved, but he may opt out)
- Capt. Lindsay Funke
- Doctor Nick
- Flubba Gunto
- Smapti Jones
- Spiny Creature
- Happiest Man
- Forget It Jake
- April Ludgate-Dwyer
- Robert Post’s Child
- Mello Yello Enthusiast
- Banner Thief
Day 1 will start sometime on Monday. (I’ll try for earlier in the day, but no promises.)