Duskwood Bay (Concept/Interest Check)


#1

Howdy everyone! :grin: I’m sure a few of you might remember me asking a few questions a few months back, so I figured I’d finally get my idea squared out to see if anyone might be interested now that I’m in the drafting stage since summer’s closing in. Please note: this is going to be a bit of a supernatural horror/survival game with loads of potential for things to go awry.


The Premise

You play as a runaway or a drifter following a gut instinct that leads you right to where you shouldn’t be: Duskwood Bay. Unbeknownst to you, your bloodline is cursed. Somewhere along the line, your ancestors stopped warning future generations of the dangers of returning. History has a habit of repeating its bloody ways - the second you step past the town borders, the wheels of fate have already been set into motion.

Centuries of dormancy have weakened the curse, but for every night that passes, the physical manifestation of the curse grows stronger and bolder, trailing after you in the shadows. It has one intent: to kill. If it has to slaughter all of the town’s inhabitants to get to you, it will. Delve into a world of magic and spirituality to try and combat the curse or remain resolutely skeptic and carve your own way out of this mess. Make allies in the battle to survive or choose to face your demons alone.

Whether you choose to uncover the truth behind the curse is up to you.

Planned Features

  • A focus on the main stat of Skepticism / Belief. Along the lines of the movie, The Skeleton Key, if you don’t believe in the supernatural and occult, it won’t work/can’t affect you. Your choice to remain resolutely skeptic or a firm believer will either close or open certain paths and endings. Paranoia will also be a tracked stat.

  • A touch of magic. Two of the ROs/companions are part of the occult world. Following their paths drags you deeper into the world of the supernatural. The remaining two are normal folks like your MC whom you may unwittingly drag into your struggle(s).

  • Choose your motives. How did your MC get here, and why? The runaway route features an MC meant to be on the cusp of adulthood, so ~17/18. The drifter route assumes your MC is a fully grown adult. These two routes affect how some of the ROs see you.

  • Potential character deaths - including your own. Your choices, along with a combination of stats
    and how strong your relationship is with other characters, play a big role in
    determining who lives and who dies.

  • Four planned ROs. Two of them are inherently bisexual, the remaining two are straight… ish. The latter two can be convinced to experiment if the right choices are made. The wrong choices can irreparably damage your relationship with them so tread lightly.

The Crew

  1. Daxton “Dax” Briggs, an enigmatic mechanic in the town of Duskwood. He’s known locally for his short temper and penchant for drinking on the job, but no one can contest his skill under the hood of a car. Blunt and short-spoken, many find his abrasiveness to be off-putting.
  2. Evelyn “Evie” Liu, TBE.
  3. Jacob “JJ” Jones, TBE.
  4. Sheila “Shay” Hernandez, TBE.
  5. The Shadow, the physical manifestation of the curse. For every night that passes, it grows larger, its limbs seemingly distending. It sticks to the shadows, watching and observing like a predator assessing it’s prey while it recovers its lost strength. Even when you can’t see it, it’s there. You’re in it’s playground now. It sets the rules. Trust your instincts. They might just save you.


#2

Sounds pretty interesting.


#3

This could be interesting. Is there any chance of the MC developing supernatural powers of their own and getting rid of the curse that way? And will there be save points? Having to start over from the very beginning every time the MC dies could be pretty annoying, depending on how frequent it happens and how far along you are in the story.


#4

Yup! I’ve currently got two ideas for the MC to go about discovering (or maybe awakening is a better word) their potential magic. One way to go about achieving that is to have the % of Belief be greater than the % of Skepticism and have a high enough relationship with one of the magic-wielding ROs. They’ll be willing to teach the MC what they know if both of those conditions are met. I’ll edit the first post later to have a brief summary of the 4 ROs but I don’t know if I want to give away which are the normal folks and which aren’t, heh. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

One of my favorite ideas I’ve got drafted out is with an MC who’s learned some runic magic. They were taught how to create protective sigils to carve along any door/window frames where they might be staying as an added safety measure. There’s nothing quite as terrifying as waking up in the middle of the night to spot a shadowy arm snaking through the opening and clawing the sigils one by one.

The second means for the MC developing magic of their own is to focus on discovering the truth of what happened to your ancestors centuries ago and unraveling the origin of the curse. Let’s just say that there wass a reason it was created. There’s one major potential downfall of having your MC delve into the occult and supernatural - the more you acknowledge the metaphysical, the more you open the window to allow them to interact and/or harm you. In trying to empower yourself, you might just ultimately end up empowering it.

This was actually one of the things that I’d asked about before and there was a resounding response of people wanting either save points or the option to roll back a few choices. Given as I’m not sure if the latter option is even possible, yeah, it would have save points. I personally love being punished for making wrong choices, but I know most people don’t. :joy:


#5

The skepticism/belief mechanic sounds awesome.


#6

Yes. Just “yes” to all of it. I can feel the atmosphere already. I’m in. I even actually saw “Skeleton Key.” I’ll second what someone else said the belief/skepticism focus sounds really interesting. (It was definitely the best part of that movie.)

I will be (im)patiently waiting for more of this game.


#7

Oooo, this seems great! I’m a big fan of the horror/supernatural genre. I also LOVE the skeleton key and I’m excited to see where belief/skepticism can take our MC.


#8

I haven’t seen many horror genres(other than Monsters), and from what you’re describing, this sounds pretty badass.

Could you explain a little about the MC’s eventual supernatural powers?


#9

Sounds interesting can’t wait for Demo mate


#10

When I read the title “Duskwood Bay” I instantly thought, “Edgy horror survival with a Twin Peaks sort of flair? That would be so freaking awesome. …Nah, wishful thinking.”

But you really are making it. :scream:

Do not change a thing. Seconding @Camille622, every little detail you came up with is magic.


#11

An interesting concept. Although I’ve annoyed myself I read your post and had a few questions regarding the curse and it weakening then I realised I’d misread the post completely so my question was pointless to ask lol.

So I thought of a new question. If by not believing in him the supernatural can’t harm you does this mean the shadow can’t attack non believers directly so has to get humans to do it for it?


#12

This seems like it has the potential to become an amazing game:grinning:
Well, i’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the story!


#13

Woops, sorry guys, I conked out last night hardcore. /groans/ Finals…

Oh, it’ll take your MC to places both good and bad. As it stands, the “True Skeptic” route is, by far, the most difficult one to maintain/achieve.

No problem! Assuming the MC has maintained a high enough percentage of belief > skepticism, two means of magic may become available to them. Respectively, these two means of magic would be runic/sigil magic powered by blood or the more traditional incantation/spellcasting magic. As of now, I’ve got no plans for mixing and matching magic types. Time is short in the game - your MC doesn’t have the time or liberty to try that. A third option that I’m considering, particularly for MCs who choose to focus on discovering the truth behind the curse, is the original magic of your ancestors.

In order to successfully harness their magical potential, your MC must remain Willful. Without a strong sense of will, your MC’s magic would just flounder and cause more harm than good, honestly. Considering the origin(s) of the MC, the Willful stat will start off at 100%. Certain choices will start to lower the stat and after dropping past a certain point, your MC will be recognized as being Meek.

Ahh, I’m glad the name is actually managing to convey some of the intent! :sweat_smile: Not gonna lie, I was originally considering “Rosewood Bay” but that just gives off a completely different vibe. Duskwood is meant to be this… eerie, end-of-the-line town surrounded by pine trees and occasionally plagued with some pretty heavy fog. It’s the perfect setting for a beast that can meld with the shadows. There’s more than one occasion where the MC can choose to acknowledge or ignore certain… movements from the shadows.

Exactly. It’s got no power over those who don’t believe in it. Let’s say, for example, that The Shadow finds a civilian who believes in the supernatural and can actually see it. If it wanted to (or perhaps if it was desperate enough), it could possess that individual and wreak havoc from its mortal shell. The thing is, it wouldn’t be able to do much with a… mundane individual. The body they hijacked would likely start developing a dangerous fever that would bring on organ failure and eventual death within a short amount of time. Only a magic-wielder could potentially survive being possessed by it.

Alternatively, even though it wouldn’t be able to touch the MC directly, it could still affect the area around the MC. All it has to is manage to make the MC question the possibility of the supernatural enough for the MC to be able to see it for things to go from bad to worse.


#14

Not sure what to think of that… Sounds like my last name got stuck in your subconsciousness or something.


#15

Dude, I hadn’t even noticed that. :joy: I just remember thinking about different kinds of trees and asking myself “Wait, isn’t rosewood a kind of tree/wood? That sounds nifty.”


#16

Well, it’s not the wood from one specific tree, more a collective term for several types of wood with various similar characteristics.


#17

Very interesting, I enjoy a good story involving the occult/supernatural. Looking forward to what comes of this!


#18

/dusts off topic/ I was going to start a new topic to ask a question, but considering it’s relevant to this idea of mine, I figured I’d just ask here. :yum:

Do we have any folks here that grew up in a relatively rural town? Duskwood Bay is meant to be one of those end-of-the-line towns that formed around a train station. I ask because I need some ideas as to what kind of riffraff teenagers and young adults could get into when they’re bored in a little town. I grew up in a city, so a lot of my time was spent sneaking into bars and casinos. :sweat_smile:

I need mostly rural party ideas. I need a scene that I can use to both allow the players to interact with the ROs (though obviously not all of them are the biggest partygoers) and hijack with some paranormal phenomena to not let the player get too cozy. :wink: I’ve currently got drafted the idea for an old abandoned warehouse where the real parties happen but I’m still taking ideas.

Also, I’m totally not writing this from my phone at a work event. Totally. I’m also running on three hours of sleep, so please don’t mind my grammar.


#19

My best friend in high school grew up in such a place in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas … I’ll try to give you an idea of what he said it was like there.

It really depends on what is in town and what bigger cities are close- when he was there, they’d drive to the nearest “city” to party as far as clubbing and such goes.

Drinking and such for smaller get togethers would be hunting parties (they went duck hunting a lot there) where sometimes drinking was more important than dunk hunting and visa-versa… football games was a town caravan event where the entire town would caravan to wherever they were playing.

During summer most of the high school kids or above were volunteer fire fighters, so naturally the fire station was a gathering spot for most every activity you can think of… and the fire towers and roads were used during the summer .

I mean there was a motel/inn in town but like most small towns what went on in town was known by everyone right away.

I hope this helps - the boringness of it all is one reason he ended up moving to his Dad’s place in the city.


#20

raises hand

A lot of the birthday parties I went to as a kid were at farms. In general the more bales of hay were stacked up in a shed, the more fun we had. Those places are awesome for playing hide-and-seek in and building fortresses. It sounds like your characters are a bit older than that, but if I’d ever find myself and a group of friends in a shed with bales of hay I’d probably do exactly the same. Those things are awesome.

Other mischief involved breaking into my aunt and uncle’s farm (Probably a few centuries old. Wasn’t exactly built with burglars in mind.) through the attic (also mainly used as storage for things like bales of hay and farm equipment.), catching chickens, goats, calves, donkeys and other livestock, running away from geese (very territorial), climbing trees, getting stuck in trees, building rafts, going out camping and joyriding with various types of farming equipment and/or horse drawn carts.

… My childhood suddenly sounds kinda awesome now.

For the teenagers and young adults… Well, some’ve got a shack on their property where they drink until they fall over and then die because trees don’t really care when you run your car into them. Good thing I skipped that phase altogether.