- You re-enter Dr Obadiah's laboratory and engage the young blonde assistant in conversation. You ask her about her relationship with the Doc, which puts her on the defensive – you also discover that Obadiah has had issues with this colleagues.
- Searching the rest of the lab, you find a tiny shred of metal on the bench which housed the device, and a condescending note to the Doc from one of his colleagues in CygNet Research, a man named Dr Morris.
- As you leave the building, you notice the blonde assistant has dropped a gold fountain pen from her bag. You place it in the building's mail slot – she'll find it later.
- You decide to follow up the Dr Morris lead, and head over to a run-down net-cafe to do some research on the scientist.
- You pay for the use of a console and for a rancid but energising cup of coffee. Your web search reveals that Morris is a young and gifted scientist, with no bad press to his name.
- A young man with a gun bursts into the cafe, shouting for everyone to give up their cash and belongings. You decide to take control of the situation, persuading the boy to give you the gun and run away – he doesn't have to get into trouble.
- The youth nervously hands over the weapon and dashes out of the door – hopefully he's learnt his lesson. The customers and the cafe's owner are very grateful – the owner lends you a hand with your search on Dr Morris, finding evidence that the young scientist has been criticised for his cut-throat strategies and willingness to trample those in his path.
- You make your way out of the net-cafe and start out towards the CygNet Research headquarters on the other side of town – but how will you get there?
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
The Time to Die Character Creation process is now underway! Make sure you get your vote in to shape the abilities of your protagonist.
Just a couple of things to note as we begin. To make it easier for me to collate your votes for the much-loved 'stats and achievements' at the end of the adventure, I'm going to 'favourite' every vote that comes in – it's the easiest way to save all the data. If you've got your notifications set to email you when this happens, I suggest you turn them off if it's going to annoy you!
Secondly, the shortlist of names for your character in Time to Die has now been decided. Here are my three favourites and the people who suggested them:
- Weldon Locke – suggested by @Hyfrydle32
- Jedd Falcon – suggested by @wyrind
- Roy Harvey – suggested by @greglmercer (the name of his great-grandfather, who was a Depression-era detective!)
Thanks to @Ghrinonon, @joe_the_drummer, @PaulFrankHarris, @historc, @joekawano and @EricMPaq for also submitting name suggestions! Everyone will get the opportunity to vote for their favourite of the three names above in the fourth Character Creation vote (8:00pm GMT, 19/11/11).
Keeping on voting!
Monday, 14 November 2011
It's almost time to buckle up your holster, load your trusty handgun and pull your overcoat onto your shoulders – the next Tweet RPG adventure, 'Time to Die', will commence very soon! Before the detective work begins, here's all the info you'll need to shape your protagonist and engage with some new gameplay elements.
The Time to Die Character Creation process will begin on Friday the 18th of November at 8:00am GMT. Here are the various elements of your character and his inventory that need to be sculpted by you, the player!
Voting Session no.1 (opens at 8:00am GMT, 18/11) – Extra Items
There are two extra items which you may add to your inventory. Both have useful effects during combat:
- Eldritch EagleI Laser-scope – “you never miss with Eldritch.” This item is combined with your Strayer Voight Deadshot pistol, increasing its accuracy – 1,2 = miss, 3,4 = hit (half HP), 5,6 = instant kill.
- NeoTec Cloak v.2.3 – an innovation in personal protection. Can deflect or absorb one attack, negating all damage, but needs time to recharge (one use per battle).
Voting Session no.2 (opens at 8:00pm GMT, 18/11) – Infiltration Skills
As an experienced private detective, you've picked up some useful skills over the years, allowing you to gain access to places and information in some slightly underhand ways. Both of the infiltration skills on offer operate through the same mechanic, but allow for different possibilities.
When offered the choice to use your infiltration skill, you'll be presented with an anagram – to successfully use your skill, at least one player must reply with the correct answer before the next voting session begins. If every reply is correct, expect extra rewards! You'll be given a skill rating regarding how hard the anagram will be to decipher when you are offered the choice to use your skill – the answer may be one word or a phrase. If you fail to provide the correct answer, you'll revert back to the previous set of story choices, and if there is only one alternate option, you'll be forced to go with it. Here are the infiltration skills on offer:
- Hacking Skill – you're an expert at infiltrating all things digital, knowing how to get inside systems and the best ways to sidestep passwords and security protocols.
- Lock-picking Skill – a locked door or safe isn't an obstacle; it's a challenge. All you need is a paper-clip or toothpick and you'll be inside in no time.
Voting Session no.3 (opens at 8:00am GMT, 19/11) – Perks
The perks available in Time to Die provide you with unique story options that would normally be unavailable. However, this doesn't always mean that an option made available by a perk is always the wisest choice – you'll still have to exercise some diligence and keep your wits about you. These are the three perks you may choose from:
- Communication (COM) – you are an excellent wordsmith, able to persuade, charm and ensnare with a few simple phrases. You also have an uncanny ability for reading people – you listen not just to their words, but their bodies and expressions, providing you with unique insights.
- Technology (TECH) – you have an affinity with mechanisms and machinery, being able to assess their qualities and workings almost intuitively. Whether in be a faulty computer terminal or a broken down vehicle, you'll know how to coax it back to life, or make it completely inoperable.
- Physicality (PHY) – you keep your body in perfect shape, exercising regularly and engaging in various types of physical training. As a result, you are nimble and agile, able to vault walls, climb buildings and squeeze through narrow gaps with ease.
Voting Session no.4 (opens at 8:00pm GMT, 19/11) – Stats
In the first two Tweet RPG adventures, you were given the option to vote on how your character's attributes were distributed. However, things are going to be slightly different with Time to Die!
There is going to be a special competition to decide which one player will get to choose the protagonist's stats. It was suggested by Tweet RPG player @landrasgembar that we should have a contest to determine the name of your character, and that's what's going to happen!
Send in your suggestions by commenting below or sending me a tweet (you can send as many as you want), for the name of the protagonist of Time to Die, and I'll pick my three favourites (competition closes when Character Creation begins). Everyone will vote on which of these three is the best, and the player who submitted the winning name gets to decide the protagonist's stats! Bear in mind; if your submission is deemed to be in bad taste or if it's plagiaristic, I won't consider it. Get thinking of an awesome neo-noir detective name!
There are just a few more things to inform you about your upcoming adventure:
- Your starting inventory will contain: your Strayer Voight Deadshot handgun, 8 bullets, 100 Data Chips (currency), x2 stim vials (combat healing) and x2 aid kits (story healing).
- Your starting HP is 16 – you will be presented with opportunities to increase this during the story.
The Time to Die adventure begins with Character Creation on Friday the 18th of November at 8:00am GMT – don’t forget to send us your suggestion for the name of the protagonist by commenting below or sending me a tweet!
Thursday, 3 November 2011
I take the steps two at a time, flying up the decayed staircase into the darkness above. Dirty vibrant colours seep in through the smudged windows of the building. A slamming thud resounds down the stairwell, a door flung shut. Neon flashing across my retinas, I draw my Strayer Voight Deadshot .45 from its holster within my coat, preparing to corner my prey.
I reach the top of the stairs, a solid metal door blocking my path.
End of the line.
I reach for the door handle, slowing my breath, readying myself to burst through. There's probably a cross-hair aimed at the other side of the door. Might get hit, might not. Best to be prepared for the worst, ready to act after that red-hot slug of lead has ripped into my body.
Kicking the door open, I advance onto the rooftop, my body taut, blood thundering through my veins. The cityscape looms above, towers of metal and glass leering down, blocking out the night sky beyond.
My quarry stands on the opposite side of the rooftop, a lithe person dressed in black all-in-one climber-suit. A skull-hugging mask covers their face – could be a man or a woman...
I level my pistol at the person, edging cautiously closer. They don't flinch or move, except for a slight tilt of their head, seeming to express mocking disdain. I move closer.
There's no loud blast of sound or muzzle flash proceeding the projectile. It rips into my body, sending me reeling back, sprawling onto the ground.
My breath rattles around my chest like a solitary data-chip in a beggar's tin. I look down, expecting to see blood spreading out from an entry wound – but there's something else...
The hilt of a dagger protrudes from my torso. I've seen this object before, touched it, held it.
Suddenly, the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle falls into place.
I've been played for a fool.
A few days earlier...
I toss the knife from hand to hand, the weight of it like the familiar hand shake of an old friend.
“Used one of these during the Middle East Nuclear Crisis – mine had a few more notches than this.” I place the weapon back on its ornamental stand.
“Dr Obadiah helped create the phase-technology inside that weapon,” the young woman utters sheepishly. Her white lab-coat is slightly oversized, her blonde hair bunched tightly against her scalp, her shoes clunky and functional. Quite unremarkable.
“That was some breakthrough,” I comment. “Guys used to tell stories of cutting into the armour of tanks with their blades. The gene-lock on mine played up a lot – wouldn't activate because it didn't recognise me. Just ended up using it like a normal knife.”
The girl doesn't reply.
I turn, casting my eyes over the small laboratory. Coils of wire and components of varying size and shape litter the surfaces, intricate tools scattered amongst the mayhem. The chaos of a genius.
“Will he be here soon?” I ask, breaking the silence.
As if in answer to my question, the door creaks open behind me, a small middle-aged man entering the room. His frizzy grey hair frustrates me – unkempt hair makes my skin crawl.
“The device was stolen at some point in the last twenty-four hours,” the short scientist states with no introduction as he bustles about the lab. “No security footage, no obvious signs of a break-in.”
“Can you elaborate on the function of the device?” I ask, repressing the revulsion and annoyance I instantly feel towards this man, unable to draw my eyes away from the flaky skin on his scalp.
“I'm sorry but I really think – ”
“It is a black cuboid box,” the scientist interrupts, “each side measuring about two feet across, with a black rubberised plate on top and an instrument panel on one side.”
I smile broadly at the man, then turn and head out of the door. I haven't got time for this kind of nonsense.
- x -
She catches up with me as I walk out into the grimy alleyway.
“Please, I'm sorry – he's under so much stress.”
I turn, looking at the young woman's earnest face. She could be quite pretty with a little effort.
“Why do you care so much?” I ask. “What's in it for you?”
“He's my doctorate advisor. I need him to sign off on my training, and if he has a meltdown before I get that signature...”
“I'll make sure you get half of the payment up front,” she pleads. “And I'll get you two thousand extra.”
“That's a lot of data,” I say. And I need it. Three month's rent to pay and there's always bullets, booze and food to buy.
“It won't be a problem.”
The door opens, Dr Obadiah stepping out. He shuffles over, watching me beadily.
“Is he going to do it?” he asks.
“Yes,” answers the girl, looking into my eyes imploringly. I say nothing, resigning to surrender. It's a well-paying job. I really don't have a choice.
“Good,” he replies, turning and heading off down the alleyway.
“Goodbye to you too,” I mutter under my breath.
“Thank you,” says the girl, smiling with relief.
“Don't worry about it,” I reply. “Let's go back in – I'll need to inspect the lab.”
She leads me back towards the stairs. I feel a twinge of unease but shake it off like an unwanted embrace. What could possibly happen that I haven't seen before? Only time will tell, I guess...
Did you enjoy this prologue? Do you think you can solve the mystery? Comment below and stay tuned for more updates on the next Tweet RPG adventure, 'Time to Die'!