Copyright 1999 By Scott Gray.
GRAPE Nuts is an adventure for GRAPE: Generic Roleplaying All Purpose Engine,
though it can be played with other game systems. See the main page, to learn
GRAPE rules. This adventure, like GRAPE, is distributed free of charge. You may give out copies, so long
as the text is not modified and no fees are charged for the copies distributed.
GRAPE Nuts takes place primarily inside the
minds of the characters -- who are themselves subject to serious delusions.
The genre has elements of mystery, in which the characters and players seek
to find out who and where they really are. For an excellent example of the
genre, please see the game Psychosis.
What characters think:
Each character starts the game in a different reality. One may be a
pirate (thinking of the others as his/her crew), one may be a lion tamer
(thinking the others are circus performers or lions), one may be a fireman
(thinking the others are also firemen or innocents to be rescued), one may
be an astronaut (thinking others are also astronauts or ground crew), one
may be flying a WWII fighter plane (others may be crew or enemies), one
may be at a tea party (thinking others are also at the tea party), one may
be part of a giant robot army smashing other giant robots.
After a while getting people into the swing of the game, the characters'
realities slowly shift and meld. At any point that one player is having
fun interacting with another, one will join the reality of the other.
At some point, someone will get hurt. Even if they are all at a tea
party, someone can start choking on tea. This will snap the players into
the reality in which they are siblings who were playing a game together
and one of them just got hurt. (For example, as soon as Cap'n Scuttle
walks the plank he plummets not with a "splash" but with a
"thud" -- and suddenly the characters all realize that little
Paige actually hurt herself falling on the floor.)
The children have been alone in the house all day. They should start to
hear creepy noises coming from non-distinct places in the house. Maybe,
at some point, the sound of the cat being eaten. If they decide to search
the house, then upon finding the attic they should be reminded that Mom
and Dad have told them expressly that they are never allowed in the attic.
In this reality, the children have an evil animal-like sibling that their
parents have hidden from them. The deformed sibling has been left chained
up in the attic, where it eats raw meat that the parents leave for it, and
occasional squirrels or birds that make their way into its attic. The
sibling normally is chained, with a cage over its head and a bit in its
mouth. But now it's free and has escaped the attic. It is afraid of the
light, and of the other children -- though it likes to watch them.
What's Really Going On
The characters are not children. They are a band of mad scientists, who
have been working on an experimental machine designed to influence the
minds of nearby beings and produce waking dreams. The chimpanzee that they
have been experimenting on (chained up in the top-floor lab) managed to
wriggle out of its chains, and to turn the machine on the scientists. It
is the angry chimp, who they have been abusing with nightmares, that does
not want the scientists in the attic.
With each passing minute that the characters haven't switched off the
machine, their state becomes more permanent. If the characters haven't
switched off the machine after a few hours of game play, it is too late
and they will be eternally in that reality. The lab is in the middle of a
deep woods (in order to avoid animal rights groups) -- if the characters
leave the lab/house they should be encouraged to return by making the
outside really boring and not helpful.
The GM will have to help translate what the players do/say to each other
into what each other character sees and/or hears -- at least at any point
in which the characters do not share the same vision of reality. The GM
is best off encouraging players to do that themselves.