Murder of Crowes Actual Play
I ran the Murder of Crowes adventure with my regular group today (after an unsuccessful attempt to run it online yeasterday). The adventure was suitably creepy. It plays well though and even though in actual play the sequence of events ended up being quite different from the published scenario (which is to be expected) the basic logic of scenario held together well.
One curious thing is that the player characters played the entire adventure in their “civilian” identities, that is to say never switching into their superhero persona. It’s like Batman solved an entire mystery as Bruce Wayne. Powers were used, but it a subtle way. Again I guess this suited the mood of the adventure.
I did tweak the scenario before running to make it fit better. I've listed these changes below, they assume passing familiarity with the adventure. Naturally don’t read it if you think you might end up playing this.
The adventure hook in chapter 1, as written, is the discovery of the corpse of Jacob Crowe. His death, while somewhat mysterious, did not really seem enough to draw my group from their home city to investigate. But as one of the player character’s has Plant Control power I figured I could play that angle. So I added fourth bully (beyond Pete, Mike and Tommy) and had his body found next Jacob strangled by the cornstalks (making him Scarecrowes’ first victim).
In Chapter 2 Tommy is meant to arrange to meet the heroes at Bowes Field – the murder site. That did not make sense to me. Frankly that is the last place on Earth Tommy would go in my opinion. So in my version a terrorised Tommy hiding back at his house which is under siege a massive number of crows, sort of like in Hitchcock’s The Birds. His folks are out of town at a wedding and in desperation he calls the for help.
Finally, in Scarecrowes character write-up at the end of adventure it explains how Jacob’s hidden locker room video is what prompts the bullies to teach Jacob a lesson and triggers everything in the scenario. This seemed a bit weak to me. In my version Jacob was the editor of the school newspaper and he’d got pictures of the bullies scoring illegal steroids. To me that gave the premise a bit more punch. It also provides another set of clues (the autospy of the first bully found dead would reveal the steriods ).