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A jam submission

DOLLHOUSE - a FIST opView project page

A one-shot, one-room adventure.
Submitted by Arcane Atlas Games (@AtlasArcane), Peter Graham (@peter_graham_) — 2 days, 7 hours before the deadline
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DOLLHOUSE - a FIST op's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Rank#74.6674.667

Ranked from 6 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

Dollhouse is a FIST scenario with a distinctly SCP vibe, in that the players are attempting to neutralize an extremely weird and cursed object.

The PDF is 2 pages, designed for use as a trifold. The text is clear and tightly packed, and it's easy to read. The adventure map is weird and complicated, but it helps to make sense of a weird and complicated situation, and it's extremely creative in how it's organized and presented.

Contents-wise, in this scenario the players enter a normal living room that is in fact an extradimensional maze with a weird doll at the center. Interacting with different parts of the living room transports them to different versions of the living room, all with their own unique, creepy, and/or dangerous features.

There's a *strong* liminal vibe to the scenario and a great sense of pacing. One the PCs have found the object they're supposed to extract, the house turns extremely hostile, and there's a great sense of dread followed by terror as the module concludes.

Overall, I think this must be one of the most creative and compact scenarios I've seen---both for FIST and for other systems. In fact, I think you could use Dollhouse in just about any modern horror game and it would shine bright. Absolutely pick this up if you get the chance.

Minor Issues:

-Are the encounters meant to trigger when the FIST team picks up the doll? Or is it implying the doll might simply leave its place in 25:65? I think it might be the former, but I had to puzzle over this for a while.

Developer(+1)

Thank you so much for the feedback!

I meant for the encounters to trigger when the FIST team had picked up the doll & then left 25:65 (i.e. they don't trigger in 25:65 but do in all other rooms if FIST is carrying the doll).

I'll push an update post-jam to clarify & add a bit of player agency into how the house impacts the team!

Submitted(+1)

A very good way to make a non-linear mission in a limited environment. The oppressive feeling of being stuck in the "same" room no matter what exit you take works really well for a paranormal-heavy scenario.

The fact that every room variant is detailed and named appropriately and that a map is here to guide the GM to the progression is really nice.

Progression is costly as entering a new variant will invariably trigger a random encounter/event with various effects, some rather heavy. Thinking and noting details and clues is recommended to get to the end with minimal loss.

Overall, the mission fits on a 2 page PDF and it doesn't need more.

Developer

Thank you for the feedback!

Submitted(+1)

Great use of trifold to make a One Page Dungeon style scenario! Seems like it's both atmospherically and mechanically tense. I like the concept too - I expected something about brainwashing on account of the Dollhouse show, but was pleasantly surprised with the theme here.

On the other hand, it seems like it'd be a bit of an arbitrarily executed grindhouse once the doll is collected. I don't see any way for the players to 'play smart' and circumvent or prepare for dangers. 

Could be a good funnel session. It feels so close to being perfect to me, like it just needs some small tweak to make player agency matter more.

Hard to make 'scary doll' stories scary, but I think there's some real latent tension in this one. I got House Of Leaves / Minotaur vibes. Well done with the layout and atmospherics!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the feedback! I completely agree on the lack of agency after the doll is picked up. I wonder if there's something in the players choosing between the House OR the Hostiles table, or pre rolling for each of the 3 exits and then deciding.

Submitted(+1)

I've been mulling on this. I think if (when?) I run this Mother and Father will proactively navigate the map once the doll starts crying, setting difficulties up for the team. Move or set up a trap every time the PCs move or delay for a while. Roll on the random table for the trap, jot it down on the map, hint at it as PCs enter the room to give them a chance to be proactive.

Developer(+1)

Nice thoughts! Could foreshadow things a bit too - having mother/father roaming from the beginning but not hostile until the doll is retrieved.