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Medical mystery

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I need ideas for a medical mystery for use in a medieaval fantasy setting.

 

One of the players is a chirurgeon.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I need ideas for a medical mystery for use in a medieaval fantasy setting.

 

One of the players is a chirurgeon.

 

The Cadfael Mysteries might be one place to start.  The Devil's Novice and A Morbid Taste for Bones perhaps?

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Uhhhh...

 

Important person's humors are terminally out of balance, but the only cure can be procured by following hermetic riddles on the fabled emerald tablet? Of course, you need to find this emerald tablet, but that can only be done once Saturn's orbit has coincided with Jupiter's at the base of the Sphinx during the solstice whilst invoking the 3rd theurgic seal of Thoth?

 

I'm just winging it here, but you might want to start by looking into ancient hermeticism for inspiration. Good luck!

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A plague outbreak of boneitits during which all societal notions of decency begins to unravel and it thrust the country into chaos?

 

You know Pathologic: Chiropractor edition.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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A series of strange suicides start affecting the community, at first a rise in death of drunks and teenagers are observed - but chalked up as a random occurrence, until a popular highborn noble's son offs himself and the mother follows. Then hysteria sets in, as more seemingly random deaths follows, especially among young women - there seems to be no discernible pattern at first - and soon a full blown witch hunt sets in.

 

In an atmosphere of extreme prejudice, suspicion and fear - the player must try to peer through what is hysteria, what is simply murder (who wouldn't seize that opportunity in a medival setting?) and what is the actual cause.


Fortune favors the bald.

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Two old scenarios spring to mind: The first was a plague outbreak in a small country village that the PC's are passing, it is being combated by a weary Paladin with sad, tired eyes who seems overwhelmed by all the death and disease that he is totally immune to. The Twist is that the Paladin's shining armour is cursed with spirits of plague and disease, a counterstroke by an old, cunning diabolical foe, and the Holy Warrior is the cause of all the suffering he seeks to end. The armour is not afflicted by evil in and of itself, because how can a plague be evil? However an aura of disease and suffering wafts out from the Paladin, but he is always ministering to the sick so it is largely subsumed in the background.

 

Travelling, divination and investigation may eventually reveal the culprit of the plague, however the Paladin faced with survivors guilt and an increasing death toll is tested day by day. What becomes of him is in the GM's hands, but this is a severe test of faith. I suppose one could make him a player characters, if one has a Paladin, though this obviously requires some setting up.

 

The second scenario is an old classic, a city is gripped by a terrible plague, the death toll is huge and draconian measures are implemented against the afflicted. Curative magic from the gods is too rare to squander and the powerful commandeer it all. At its height a wizened ancient appears and demands three children in return for a cessation of the plague, he will prove his mastery of the plague by seemingly curing or afflicting at will. If threatened he will simply teleport away without error, a trait of his species, and he emenates massive diabolical evil.

 

I began with the plague being ambiguous in nature, whether it was natural and the Fiend was taking advantage of this to sow evil, or whether he had created it to punish the city. However upon the PC's investigations I changed this to him being summoned, and a line of investigation appearing, because they rightly enough stated that Fiends do not just appear, and there must be a summoner. If they had simply resisted the Fiends requests and spurned his offers then I might well have had a Heavenly power reward the city and wipe away the plague for this act of strength and righteousness, never deal with evil. Or if they had dealt with the Devil the gods would abandon the city and further hardships would strike the denizens, as they were judged and found wanting. 

 

As it was the children were given to the Fiend in the PC's absence, and he departed taking the plague with him, but the giver was revealed to be the desperate instigator of the disease. A beautiful, noble lady whom ran an orphanage in the heart of the slums, and was a complete sociopath trying to crawl her way up the ladder of power. Quite successfully until the end. She was saved/damned by her diabolical allies, dragged down to hell as a replacement when the childrens souls were snatched away by the Balance, that did not accept that she was allowed to offer up the innocent souls to her summoned ally.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Glad it's struck a chord. But I was hoping we might discuss the general memes and architecture of such a mystery. So anyone reading can make their own.

 

Thoughts?


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Glad it's struck a chord. But I was hoping we might discuss the general memes and architecture of such a mystery. So anyone reading can make their own.

 

Thoughts?

Mysterious plague, people going crazy, you are a doctor. What else is there to discuss?

 


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Mysterious afflictions that appear to be one thing but can be explained by natural (albeit uncommon) causes like poisoning from certain plants -

 

I believe there was an episode in the first season of Outlander where a boy was believed to be possessed by demons but the cause lay in some plant he had eaten - something similar in The Devil's Novice iirc

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Isolating and tracking down the source is almost always at the heart of any investigation i've GM'd, sowing hints, planting Red Herrings and if necessary ambushing the players upon the path i've set them upon is standard practise. However one thing i've found that is necessary is for the players to be invested, obviously striking them down with the disease is an obvious and blunt way of doing this, they have an all too simple personal stake in the matter then. However if one can get a player to care for an area, a people and their plight, that is a far more difficult but satisfying achievement as a GM, for me at least.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Buy a season of House and watch it?

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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