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🎨 Creative [necro][Pimp the Setting] The Mansion


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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The Mansion is an interesting setting for a complicated game. It is some combination of Castle Fiction, Endless Mansion, with a dab or two of lost, all with complex puzzles of Myst and an action scene or three.

So instead of working on the Argon ( http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=424444 ), I spent all my spare time a work designing this setting. It started as a story idea, but expanded much farther and is more playable than I first suspected. This one has some good bones to it. I have a few interesting tweaks, but not enough to make it special.

That is where all of you come in. Check out the outline below. Then.....

Let loose people, the rules of the place are fairly well defined. Brainstorm and put down some ideas. Get creative and put down some rooms, npcs, dramatic situations, and descriptive elements. What have I missed?
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

The Mansion

Intro and Setting, which are one and the same
The Mansion is a magical building, enchanted some how, that goes on forever as a rambling mansion.
**There are certain areas that are stable (part of the same set), between these areas or near them are unstable areas where things seem to be randomly shuffled.
**If you open most doors, it will take you to a random place. Thus you can get in the habit of opening the door multiple times until you see where you want to go.
The Front Door (and the mansion) appears in different times and places from time to time. You can never seem to get out, but others can get in.
***You can also get in here by climbing through a Wardrobe, but that is another story).

Windows in the building show either a trackless star field (and will not open) or a courtyard.
**Windows with stars are unbreakable. Or a Gargoyle flies to in front of it and waggles its finger at you telling you not to break it.

The Mansion’s Style is that of Victorian Magi-SteamPunk
*Thus you have anachronistic versions of modern luxuries.
**The house is created in a modern/ magical fusions world
***20th century-ish, with Victorian flair. Things powered by glowing stones. There are most conviences… nobody has yet to find the internet yet, but there are places on the wall to touch to control lights, temperature, and sometimes you can change the furniture around
***/// Things through our magic Victorian steampunkish tech is home automation or domotics in any notebooks found. is a field within building automation, specializing in the specific automation requirements of private homes and in the application of automation techniques for the comfort and security of its residents. Although many techniques used in building automation (such as light and climate control, control of doors and window shutters, security and surveillance systems, etc.) are also used in home automation, additional functions in home automation can include the control of multi-media home entertainment systems, automatic plant watering and pet feeding, automatic scenes for dinners and parties, and a more user-friendly control interface.

The only open spaces are Courtyards surrounded by Mansion on all four sides.
*Attempts to climb the roof or create hot air balloons will bring the ire of the gargoyles
**If you manage to touch the sky, it will flex like it is rubber… and as it stretches some, so will what is touching it.. showing that it is a flex in actual space.
*Not true, there are rooftop gardens, which shows you mass expanses of mansion rooftops or the trackless starfield or both. Don’t cross the wrought iron fences.

Wings/ Sections
*These are areas of the Mansion that have a strong association with each other and can easily be mapped or are always around each other.
**Wings will have their own associations, like room, to other wings/ sections. See Rooms for details
**Wings/ Sections will have their own themes and feels, as well as looks.
***Addam’s family area, the English Colonial, The Royal Court of Gryphonia, Ghost Zone, Magic Zone, etc.
****People there might know they are trapped in a section of The Mansion OR magically prevented from thinking about it.
**They will be where you set your campaign.
***You campaign might contact several wings or sections of the mansion.
****There will be a home section (usually near the front door), or do to something dangerous at the door.. they move farther into The Mansion.
****There will be other areas that the Campaign people can easily travel to that have their own look/ feel/ issues.
****The Fun part is, you can try out a Wing/ Section. If you don’t like it, the PCs can never find their way back there again (or the passageway is bricked off by Glimpses).

Places: Rooms/ Hallways
Rooms have a general function and usually some adjective to describe them. The Blue Library, the West Parlor, The Scottish/ Plaid Dinning Room, etc. Hallways are the same, with such titles as: Main, Long, Short, Portrait, Statues, Ugly Carpet, and so on.
*Rooms and Hallways are basically stable, it is when you leave them that life gets interesting
*Most major linked rooms have open archways, no doors to mess with.
*All doors are linked, so any room with French Doors could open into any other room or hallway with FrenchDoors
(Travel between rooms takes skill or will to achieve)
***Major ones are near automatic in success
***Minor associations are checked and doable
***Thread associations are either achieved by random acts or very successful rolls or very successful actions.
Rooms, hallways, and features that are nearly always together are part of a Region

List of Room - Examples

The Library
Association: Major Great Hallway
Association: Major: Foyer
Association: Minor: Not far from the Grand Stairs to go to the second floor
Door: Open

Association: Major Off the Great Hallway
Association: Major The Front Door
Association: Minor: The Grand Stairwell
Door: Open

Grand Stairs
Associations: Major Long Hallway Upstairs
Association: Minor The Solarium
Association: Major Off the Great Hallway
Door: -hallway-

Association: Major Long Hallway Upstairs
Association: Major Bathrooms
Association: Minor , Near XX
Door: Wooden Doors

Washrooms/ Water Closets
Association: Major Bed Rooms
Association Minor: Hallways
Association Minor: Never when you need one.
Door: Wooden Doors

Closets - Storage
Wooden Doors

Association: Major Great Hallway
Association: Major Pantry
Association: Major Dining Room
Door: Windows to Courtyard with two Wooden Doors.
20th century ish Gets restocked every night by Glimpses.

Silvers Shop:
Association: Major back stairwells going down.
Association: Major Servants quarters
Association: Major: Dank Basement Corridor
Association: Minor Secret Passage
Door: Thick wood and Metal Door

It is a fairly large sized room, made of wet brick walls. It has a number of steamlamps that can be lit by a switch at the door. It has an odd smell which should foreshadow what you see. It is quite the mad scientists laboratory with turning wheels, pumps, bubbling vats, and pipes, and the occasionally zapppp! of a Jacob’s Ladder. Yet it is not a laboratory, it only has one purpose: to make Silvers. Against the back wall, there are many blank silvers on levered ables. Pull a few levers and one will slide down and reach a conveyer belt. Here steam powered waldos will slip on clothing that is placed on a mannequin like mesh. From there it will enter a giant “easy bake oven” like arrangement. Full of turning gears, steam puffs, gurgling goo. The Silver will be bathed in unearthly green light. Eventually, it will pop out of the oven on to a layered table. It will move down a mini conveyer area, and eventually be dumped upright. In a moment or two it will walk away, heading to its work station, unless ordered to do otherwise. If it did not have clothing, or enough clothing to create a persona, it will not move. It will then be dumped by the layered table into a refuse pit full of water and malformed silvers.

You can stop the clothing process for a moment and change things a bit by a simple press of a lever. There are racks and racks of basic clothing down here, ready to be attached to the shaping mannequin. If you search in the way back of the shop, there are shelves and cabinets full of accessories you can add to silvers (including wigs, mustaches, glasses, eyebrows)

If you need to make more blanks, the bubbling vat can be maneuvered into position by moving some levers over a mold, in which it will pour goo. When it cools in a few minutes, a rubbery seeming blank Silver fall out of the mold onto a levered table. It will then be moved into line.

*There are other molds in here. Some are more pronouncedly male or female, others are animal like. They can be moved into position by messing with a few bolts and playing with the levers.

Rooms yet worked….
Billiards Room
Dining Room
Ballroom –
**Most of the time empty, sometimes in the evenings, there will be a servant quartet or a full orchastra.
***It can be entrancing… so people will want to join in.
Green House/ Conservatory
Children’s Room
Children’s Room II, everything is giant sized and you are seemingly doll sized.
Secret Passages
Laboratories (various sciences)
Steam Room
1880 Saloon (rustic and authentic with wood and brick)
Little Parlor, Big Barlor, West Parlor, color parlor
Exercise Room
Cubbyhole rooms
Brides Rooms
Seamstress room
Servant’s Quarters
Carriage House/ motor room
Studios for various arts.
Pool Room

Special Rooms and such
These are the places of Magic and Mystery.

The Hallway of Doors:
Each one takes you to a different place and tough situation. Usually, you don’t want to stay and can find a door out to home.. or after things calm down, you go through a door and find yourself back in (or if you keep walking, you find out that you are in a courtyard somewhere in the Mansion.

Doors of Change
You pass through them and you become something else on the other side. You are often stuck this way until you resolve some issue or manage to overcome some kind of danger to find your way back to where you were.
Gender Door, you can swing both ways (sorry bad door joke).
Age Door: Teen to old age, everyone to kids, etc.
The stages of life
A personal favorite, take the character sheet and hand it to the person on your left (or somesuch)

The TV Room
The Television Room is the most dangerous, it takes you into TV shows. If the show is running at that time. Who knows what is on TV right then. (of course, it could be a lot of fun after you figure it out).
Wanna play Space Trek War 3000?
Samurai Movies
Trapped in a GameShow with awful stakes.

At least the Media Room/ Movie Room is okay.


*Servants Choose a number and form
**None is always a fun option, yet there will be Glimpses – if nothing else to keep up with the dusting.

**Form: Glimpse
Every think you see something out of the corner of your eye, or just as you turn. You might of seen a Glimpse. They are quantum lifeforms if you need explanations, existing in one state or another if anyone is looking/ perceiving them. Everything is done off camera or while nobody is looking in flash by a Glimpse. Even if you have servants, they will be around often doing restocking, laundry, structural or big things while nobody is looking. (Glimpses may be related to Grue).

**Just One
Roland the Alteran (Elven+English) Butler. He is a perfect gentleman’s gentleman. He also knows more than he is letting on, but is always evasive .. using the phrase, “A servant can not speak of such things, sir/ madam”. He seems to have a bit of magic about him as well.

**If you have servants
**Butler/ Maid/ Cook/ Groundskeeper/ Handyman? are the servant roles, there may be more and may be different ones for different wings/ sections.

**Form: Shadowforms - These shadowy humanoids come and go as needed. They are nothing more than gloves, shoes, and shadowy outlines with hints of the clothing (and sometimes lighter areas of shadows or hints of aprons, tuxedos, and so on). In fact, the only thing you can touch is any accessory they have.. usually the gloves and shoes. However they and their accessories can teleport away in a blink. They don’t make a sound, but pantomime fairly well. They can also respond to telepathic/ empathic communication upon occasion (they can communicate the barest telepathic/ empathic communication back). Exposing them to intense light cause them to “go away”, and their gloves/ shoes/ accessories remain.

**Form: Mannequins (Plastic or plaster) – These literal mannequins have fixed features and stiff gestures and are dressed for their roles. Though not jointed in a doll sort of way (though this can be changed per taste), they still seem able to move normally. It does take a little getting used to, being served by plastic pseudo people, but if you don’t look at them too carefully, you can just deal with it. If you strike them, they break into their base pieces, one arm, torso, head, pelvis and one leg, the other leg, and hands. If you reassemble them, they go about their business.

**Form: Clockwork Automatons – These intricate machines are able to move about, sense, and seemingly hear and respond to commands. They come fully clothed, to assure the Victorian sensibilities. They are all brass carved faces with pleasant ones at that, under their clothing armatures there are intricate clockworks, so there is always a ticking, whirring, and clicking when they are around. They have large keys sticking out of their backs (about where the heart is) that turn as the move and stop when they “run down”. You can often find them wound down, in which if you wind them up, they will continue their duties or follow any new orders. There are stations around the house, where they can back up to, and have a section of chain driven wheels wind them up.
***Some of them can seemingly speak, though in a limited way.
***They are extremely tough and durable, being made of metal. Only if a hit gets lucky and pieces a soft spot and jams a cog or gear does damage seem to stop them.

**Form: Silvers – These are smooth featured humanoids made of gleaming silver. In some ways they seem like mannequins, but they move with greater grace. They take on the role of their garb. If dressed as a butler, they will serve, fetch, and clean. A chef (with poofy white hat and apron), will cook and occasionally chase people out of the kitchen. A maid with apron and duster will clean and straighten. And so on. (They are kind of androgenous in build, but will eventually shift their silver selves to fit any clothing given). Some will have additional accessories, like monocles, hats, dusters, etc. Some will even develop mustaches or hair. They will quietly and efficiently go through their duties. The more you interact with one, the more it will interact with you. It will change from a featureless silver to one with more features and seeming intelligence. They will respond to verbal commands and will pantomime much like shadows. They also seem to respond to limited telepathic and empathic communication or need.
***Silvers that develop mouths will be able to speak. They, like Roland, will not say much about the Mansion.
***Given more time and interaction, they will become more and more people like. They will eventually gain facial features and change to a shiny skintone. Eventually they will look just like people. They will “mostly” act as servants, especially if that is their costume.
***Experiment by giving a Silver in the Shop a slinky dress, heels, and some jewelry, and she will turn into a sexy humanoid companion. Eventually, certain things that happen behind drawn curtains, could occur. Eventually it will emerge as a person. She will continue to act as her companion role, in most cases.
***If you put an individuals garments (one they are attached to), the silver will first act as a mockery of that person. Eventually, if you keep interacting with it and treating it like that person (or enough time passes), it will appear to be that person.
***Sufficiently devious players and GMs can see all sorts of applications of Silvers.
***They are a little tougher than people, but not by much.
Aside: Silvers are a Designer Favorite

**People: This is a non recommended option, except in specialized areas. People will ask them too many questions and not get satisfactory answers. (Of course, are these people really people… see silvers and such)

*Other People
These first two might be around, just not interacting with the characters. The others are just some ideas I had.
**Owner of the House, just as much a victim here as you are, he is just better about getting around. He may of started the mansion with magic or science, but it has grown out of his control.

**Roland the Alteran (Elven/English) Butler. He is a perfect gentleman’s gentleman. He also knows more than he is letting on, but is always evasive .. using the phrase, “A servant can not speak of such things, sir/ madam”. He seems to have a bit of magic about him as well.

**Marlon The Wizard: typical absent minded wizard, with the pointy hat and funny robe. He teleports around, does odd things, and is always doing something either to capture the witch or get away from her. He does try to fix the things she breaks/ hurts (including people) along the way.

**The Witch – She takes on any female form. Mortal enemy of Marlon, they duel a cat and mouse game trying to capture/ stop the other. She is more than willing to use Mansion dwellers in her schemes to ensare Marlon.

**The Mad Scientist – In one or more of those labs, between the electricity, steam, and awful smells, he continues to push the frontiers of knowledge in a quest to know more. You can seldom get him out of a lab, but if something is interesting enough or you interact with him enough, he can come. He did not build The Silvers Shop, but he admires the man who did. In fact that Secret Inventor built many of the most excellent devices in the Mansion.

**Adam – Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, who is much more intelligent than people normally believe… and vastly more powerful.

*Other Things
**Things that go bump in the night – There always must be something that does. This monster is there to keep the PCs humble and cautious, lest they have to fight this thing (and die).

**Ratloids – small intelligent humanoid rats that live in The Small Places between. This is their home.

**Mansion Cats, black cats that have odd eyes, and Siamese bodies to them. Quite magical it seems. In fact, unless you have bonded to a cat (or a cat has chosen you), no magic can be worked in the Mansion.

**Dragons chained in the Basements. Lots of cool stuff down there, but you could get cooked.

**They guard the Boundaries of the House. They prevent those who would escape without doing what must be done. They might catch people who might hurt themselves falling out of windows.
**They are Gargoyles of the Patrol, those that protect the Multiverse from issues (such as something not balanced leaving this Mansion).
***They like to pearch in high places and be very still. They don’t want to talk to Mansion Dwellers, just in case they contaminate things.
***If things really hit the fan and the Mansion itself if in danger (they don’t really care about you), the Gargoyles – in Buck Rogers (the Serial) costumes using ray guns, will come in and deal with it.

It is a magical house created by a mad wizard
It is a house trapped in an experiment by a mad Victorian Scientist.
It is sometimes a fey place
Somewhere there is a thaumaturgic engine running/ mad experiment, the house is trapped in it.
It is a pocketstop dimension that occasionally opens up into reality.

Troupe of Characters
*Character creation is a general thing. Player should come from similar backgrounds, but you can take any world there.
**There will be a random chart around for fun.
*The Game is mostly about The Characters, so it needs rules that will be roleplay supportive.
**Each character will have one to five goals they are trying to reach. These goals could be concrete or personal.
**Each character will have key ideas that their world centers around.
**These become plot points that drive scenarios
**A Drama Point system that allows you to impact reality slightly and reroll things would be in place.
***Take a hit to your goal/ key concept, get drama points.
***Don’t act to resolve it, despite costs, lose a drama point.
***Drama points would then be the currency of the game.

GM Knobs, Levers, and Switches

Image: Changes you can make
*Castle Forever
*Winchester Mansion
*Greek Styled Location
*Sci-fi region…

*Servants and their form:

*Things that go bump in the night
**Every game needs one, which are yours
***Slavering Monster/ Eldrich Horror

Drama, what do PCs do.
**Try to Escape physically
**Encounter weird things and people
**The MacGuffin – It is important. It can be used to achieve some goal or must be kept away from someone who will use it for evil.
**Creature that goes bump
**Roleplay their own complex issues (resolve your issues, you can get out)
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

One more Random Idea for a Wing in the Mansion.

This is more comedic and gamish than the normal feel I am going for with this. However, it is perfectly legit given the setting. However, could you not see someone mad with bordom with access to a Silver Shop and some skills with The Mansion, doing this?

The Cluedo Wing
Association: Bordom (if you are bored and travelling)
Association: Major Hall of Rain.
This hall seems to be nearly outside, always raining, at night, with thunder and lightning. It leads you to a number of “classic places”

Rooms/ Hallways
Billards Room
Dining Room
There are bedrooms and water closets upstairs.
Two Hallways, one Stairway, and two secret passags.

People: Silvers or Humanized Silvers.

Colonel Mustard constantly challenges other guests to duels
Professor Plum often forgets things, even what he is doing or his own name,
Mr. Green is notoriously greedy
Mrs. Peacock is highly proper and will not stand for lack of manners,
The maid Mrs. White hates her employer and all the guests
Miss Scarlet is beautiful and seductive.
Mr Boddy is always dead or sleeping.
(You could be adapted to the environment...)

You could just improve them or adapt new characters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluedo_characters

Now it is a live action clue game. Mr Boddy is dead soon after you arrive and get comfortable. The Butler did not do it. The Murder is still on the loose, and willing to kill again (and again) to protect his/ her secrets.

And of course, the door out won't open until the murder is caught.


New member
Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

One of the virtual worlds in T. William's Otherland series was an infinite or world-spanning house, complete with its own native culture, if that helps


Critical Failure
Validated User
Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

Give the PCs an unbreakable and unopenable window and they'll spend a whole session trying to break or open it. :) I speak from experience. Bricking up the windows might add a level of spookiness.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

A set of options that is a bit more in tune with the game's desired feel.

Section - English Colonial
The important parts....

Rooms: The Hunting Lounge
Stuffed animals, mounted heads, celing fans, plush chairs, alcohol......

There you will be finding...
The Col. He is an old time Alteran (Elven+English) military man who retired to The Last Continient (British officer retired to Africa). He made his living hunting wild beasts and helping others do it. He somehow managed to get here while entering a door he saw in the jumgle. He is now a crazed hunter, as all he does is drink in the lounge and go out and shoot animals in the Jungle Courtyard. He needs to hunt, damm it. If he can't hunt animals, he might start hunting people. (He is such a characture, he might be a human-ized Silver... and if you check his bedroom he has a dusty old footlocker, like the kind The Mansion uses in his room.)

The Butler: Insert appropriate one.

Courtyard - Jungle
This courtyard is a large one with an overgrown jungle inside, complete with dangerous animals. (They could be real or silvers... remember, you can mold them into any shape).

The doorway to the courtyard is open and splashed with blood. Someone opened it without being careful and got jumped. The Door is now open. Some animals are now inside.

This can lead to both fun and dangerous situations. "Monkey! Bring back that key!" and "uummmmm. What was that roar?"

A large tiger is now the Bump in the Dark. In fact it could of been the Thing that goes bump in the night for a while now. Once the players put together a theory about this, the Col

We have a crazy man with an elephant gun hunting it, inside the house. He is not a great shot anymore, so everyone is in danger.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

This game is technically about escaping The Mansion. That is the end goal. However, The Mansion itself, as written, seems unescapable.

The Gargoyles will keep you inside The Mansion bounds if you try the normal escapes. Those darn killjoys.

You could try to dig your way out, if you start down in a basement. That will just lead your to more subterranian wings of the mansion. If you ever dig up, you will end up in a mansion wing. If you dig down, and down, and down, you will eventually come out into a wierd space, where some whirling energy vortex (ooohh pretty) will try to suck you from the dirt and into it. (If somehow manage to look around and not get sucked out, the mansion is on a floating island above the swirling energy vortex. (Oh an make sure they see a rock or a tool or something fall to the vortex and watch it explode vioently.

The Mansion controls the windows and doors (is it sentient or just instinctual?), so it could, theoretically, let someone out if it wanted.

So what does the house want?

It may want many things. (sO how do we scratch the back of a giant hyperdimensional house?)

It lets you in if you are incomplete, like The Mansion itself (it is incomplete, though massive by our scale). It will let you out when you are complete.

You need to complete all those five long term goals that we mentioned in character creation. These are things that should not be concrete (though they can be in part). Like a character in a story, there should be personal growth and development in the game character. (Since you the player are choosing these goals, you know how this might happen). (You would also need to be free of any short term goals as well).

When you complete those goal, you will probably be "at peace" with yourself. You might not want to leave. (After all, if you leave the house, you have to make a new character and start over again.. if the campaign continues. )

Mechanics note: If you manage to get a character out of the house, retiring it as you will, you should get a bonus equal to 10% of the xp you earned (or skill bonus points) for your next character. If you retire a character to live in the house in a nice stable section, you would get the same bonus. There has to be some additional incentive besides bragging rights for doing it.

There are other goals the house might want you to do.
**Fix something, so it is more in balance.
**Fashion some new section or wing. (As players you might do that, so you can have situations you want. However, this would be your characters doing it)
**Remove some threat to the house (Some bumps are bad. Maybe the Silvers are effectively a disease to the house, etc, etc)

Can anyone think of some more defined other goals?

Captain Deadpool

I'm an assassi... Horse Trainer
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

There just needs to be a People Under the Stairs-esque group of roamers in the walls.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

They would be a great "Thing that goes bump in the night".

And a great infection that the House might want to have cleaned.

A character with a key concepts of Abandonment or Children , they could have issues and work with it.

You need to plan the various things that will energize or interact with the key ideas that the players want to see for their characters.


Registered User
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Re: [Pimp the Setting] The Mansion

Except for the fact that you're supposed to escape it and can't, I love it!

It's creepy and it's kooky,
and altogether spooky,
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