This was an interesting and fun adventure for our table. I wanted to share some of the challenges we faced and how we tried to overcome them. Some may be on us as players.
- The players were unclear about their motivations and relationships despite the handouts. It might have helped to have a chart that laid out the connections that I (as DM) could give to the different players that included very concise reasons for the way folks would interact. Also, some quotes that the characters might say. A number were used to doing those party mystery games and it may not hurt to have an "easy mode" that gave a bit more guidance to players.
- I had no idea how to deal with insight checks and deception checks when players were lying to each other. We ended up giving up on trying to insight check things and have the players do their best to lie and discern for themselves.
- We had skill checks to find clues but if the players failed their check, I knew I still had to give them clues or they would be stuck. My solution was to penalize failed checks by using up 10 minutes of in-game time. I'd recommend a longer amount of time, 20 minutes to really ratchet up the tension.
- the game ended in PvP combat which was dramatic but a little weird for our table.
- The players decided they had no real reason to go to the back cars and so they missed the encounter with Blue Shield and second class.
- We were forced to play this online (due to the pandemic of 2020- for those of you reading from the future), we did this over two two-hour sessions. The first session was kind of a mess with folks talking over each other and doing too much theorizing and less dialogue with each other. The second one I set up a loose initiative order which helped give players some structure so everyone could speak.
- All of us liked the story and the challenge of trying to get away with murder. We all left the table thinking the D&D rules actually made this harder than if we had run it without them.
- The wife was the murderer after a rolling on the table. As DM, if it had been anyone else, it seemed like the clues were fairly vague and everything would have still pointed to the wife.
I think we could have used a little more perscriptive directions- specifically on how to manage the progress of time, some more detail on how characters relate. It could be that much of the challenge would have been solved if we could have run it in person.
Hopefully this is constructive and useful as you run this adventure. It's a fantastic change of pace from the usual and would recommend it as something new and different.
[4 of 5 Stars!]