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Let's Catch Jack the Ripper - 3

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by grotsnik, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    F seems pretty monocle. I like the idea of the old geezer outsmarting Jack, rather than action-heroing it in.
     
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  2. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    This. Potato vote faggotry should stay in eurovision where its fagginess belongs.
     
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  3. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    If potatoes need alts just to change votes on LPs, no wonder they're better off under Stalin.

    Problem, potatoes?

    :smug:
     
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  4. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
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    Well, remember, there's at least a chance that the Ripper was Polish. Who is SoupNazi protecting by trying to disrupt this Codex investigation? That's the real question here.

    [​IMG]

    The funny thing about the strippers at the Ten Bells is that apparently they actually perform in the early afternoon, then vanish in the evening so all the Ripperologists can troop in and stare at the memorabilia without getting distraught. Their quiz night's meant to be quite good, too.

    Yeah, the really annoying aspect was that a crime writer, of all people, became convinced that an artist was the killer largely on the grounds that many of his works were morbid, dark and dealt with crime.

    Anyway, bros and broettes, if you've got any filthy flip-flopping to do in order to try and influence the final vote, please do it now.
     
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  5. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I voted "C or I" earlier. I is the only option that really fascinates me, but it certainly doesn't look like it's going to win, so my vote goes to C.
     
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  6. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Since A is flagging in the polls eventhough I'd really like to play as Sickert:

    I am flopping to C. The Emperor is not bro, he's faggot.

    We want to be an actual bro, chaotic good rather than neutral evil.

    Anyway, grot-bro: Could you use some Sickert paintings and such in your updates to set scenes ? That would be incline. :>
     
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  7. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    The adjourned tally, the second choices have been removed.

    AA

    BBBBBB

    CCCCCCC

    DDDDD

    EEE

    F

    G
     
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  8. Archaeon Scholar

    Archaeon
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    You are all out of yer fuckin minds! :retarded:
    I have no idea why anyone in his right mind would vote anything other than D
    Quick, someone join me so that we can begin burying the "c" guys.
     
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  9. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
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    31st August


    “A murder of the foulest kind was committed in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel in the early hours of yesterday morning, but by whom and with what motive is at present a mystery.”
    The Times


    [​IMG]


    "Come look here – there’s a woman on the pavement."

    It can’t be any later than four in the morning; and the city has not yet woken up.

    Perhaps in an hour or two doors will begin to clatter open on either side of the road, and dockworkers and carmen will step out from lodging-houses and homes in their hundreds, then thousands, bumping against one another as each man hurries to his pre-dawn labour. Then the hawkers and traders will arrive, setting up shop or pushing their wheeled stalls down the length of the cobbled street to their chosen territory, and with them will come the con-artists, the child-performers, the lunatics and the beggars and the street-musicians. The prostitutes, weary of patrolling the night-streets, will discreetly vanish to the shadiest, quietest corners of the city’s warren to sleep off their drunkenness. Carriages and carts will fill the thoroughfare. And Whitechapel Road will become Whitechapel Road.

    But it’s hard to picture any of that now; the pitch darkness strips each home and shop of its individuality, transforming it into featureless, towering shadow. The city has become labyrinth, abstract and without form or recognition, where the only method of finding your way is the unconscious memory of a route that you’ve trodden too many times before.

    The two workmen make their way up Brady Street, the newcomer following with care – the pavement still being treacherously wet from the night’s rain – and the first man, a faint silhouette of movement in the night, is still talking, gesturing cheerfully at his new companion as he goes.

    "Up here, she is, by the Board School – dead or drunk, and I'm damned if I know which."

    The newcomer does not respond. He isn’t certain yet that he believes this story of a woman, not in Whitechapel in a dark street, but he’s strongly-built and has always kept a pocket-knife in his pocket for just such an occasion, so he nods and follows, all the same.

    This is the street that will be Buck’s Row, when dawn comes; a narrow alleyway on the edge of a high-walled stable-yard, tapering to the point where the Board School stands, where it merges and widens, joining with Winthrop Street, running parallel with the East London Railway. At this time, it resembles a simple gateway, impossibly high, with only misty darkness lying beyond it.

    The newcomer cannot see the expression on his companion’s face, slipping ahead of him over the cobbles like a betrayer’s lantern, shining in the marsh. Once, his nerve slipping, he almost turns and hurries back the same way he came. Instead, scolding himself privately for being such a damned coward in the face of nothing at all, he strides onwards more quickly, and all at once, not even noticing that the other man had stopped, he sees the slumped, irregular shape that’s lying a few yards away in the darkness of the stable-yard gate.

    He steps forward, stooping, to try and get a better look, idly half-expecting to feel a cosh against the back of his neck, but he’s greeted instead by the familiar stink of cheap beer, wafting up from the shadow at his feet. The woman’s legs, he sees, are exposed and bare; her skirt has been hitched up around her midriff.

    "I believe she’s dead," the other man says.

    The newcomer tries to get a sense of the woman’s face, a lump of misshapen pallor in the darkness, but can make out little other than pale flesh, a nose tilted upwards and straggling hair swept back. He raises his palm to her cheek, but finds it cold; after a few seconds, he places his hand across where he assumes her breast to be, and thinks he feels a low, trembling beat between the rough cloth of her dress.

    "I think she’s breathing," he says aloud, "but it’s very little if she is. Help me prop her up, will you?"

    "I’d as soon not touch her," the other man says, after a moment. "Diseased, most like, and reeking too. Tell you what – you’re Robbie Paul, works up at the railway, aren’t you?"

    Paul glances around.

    "I am," he answers, uncertain.

    "I’m Charlie Cross," the other man says all in a rush, looking apologetic. "Work up at Pickton’s. You won’t know me, but I’ve seen you drinking in the Crown with George Hutchinson. Didn’t recognise you at first – in the dark. Tell you what, I’m late already and if I’m not there when the first delivery comes, there’ll be hell to pay. Can I leave her with you?"

    Paul gazes down at the limp shape of the woman. She’ll be a nuisance, he tells himself, when she wakes up. Still drunk and sobbing, probably, moaning about the condition of her existence, begging for sixpence so the next night won’t have to be like this. And they’ll be waiting for me with the cart in Baker’s Row, too…

    "Well, I’ll be needing to get to work myself," he says, and gets quickly to his feet, stepping away from the fallen woman, as if disowning her.

    Cross gives him an encouraging nod.

    "What we’ll do," he suggests," is find a policeman. Bound to be one out on Whitechapel Road. He’ll be glad to take care of her, I’m sure."

    He’s already turning, impatient to be on his way.

    Paul asks him to wait a moment, and, reaching down, tries to tug the woman’s skirts discreetly back down across her legs. They’re caught beneath her, and he only manages to get them down as low as her knees, but it’ll have to do.

    The two carmen stroll on in silence, into wider, more brightly-lit streets; soon enough, they strike up a conversation about the Fenian demonstrations.

    Just a few minutes now, until PC John Neill, his lantern bringing dim definition to the black streets around him, discovers the rough, slobbering cut opening up Polly Nicholls’ throat from one side to the other; just over an hour until the mortuary staff in Old Montague Street, trying to remove the dead woman’s clothes, find the horrid wound slicing all the way up from the right-hand side of her breast-bone to the left-hand side of her pelvis, exposing her intestines.

    The city is not awake, not yet; but it won’t be long now.


    ____________________________________________________________________


    "So why does a man fight?" Sergeant Dunnard whispers, in the silence. "To find himself, Tom, to find meaning in a furious moment; that's the intent."

    Under the tiled veranda of the Crown’s filthy beer-garden, bedded down in straw and his tatty long coat, arms resting comfortably behind his head, Tom Wise dozes, half-awake and wishing only to sleep again, savouring the swell of the bruise he can feel forming across the left side of his forehead.

    The opponent had been big, bigger than Wise, a hefty, walrus-moustached Welsh collier one of Aarons’ sons had brought down for the summer to take part in the annual tournaments. As they’d set up the ring – pushing the benches to either side of the yard, kicking the litter and broken glass out of the makeshift arena, a couple of tipsy well-wishers had even shouted it out;

    "You’ll never match ‘im, Tommy!"

    "Go down quick, lad, it’ll be easiest for ya…"

    But even the great Mendoza was only five foot seven inches, one-hundred-and-sixty pounds, and Wise could see the collier, as he paced the yard, was keeping the weight off his left foot, and trying not to let it show. So he smiled as he stretched out his naked limbs, before the fight began, and if a few more of the spectators had been sober enough to catch the look on Wise's face, they might well have reconsidered betting against him.

    Your body becomes an army; in those furious moments when you find yourself. Your arm rocketing out, a charge across the tawny African plains, hitting at the enemy where he’s weakest, a light jab to make him think you're getting tired, followed by a sudden feint or a side-step to lead him out into dangerous territory – the one forgotten shard of glass, lying, dusty and invisible in the dusky dirt, just waiting to be trodden on.

    No-one saw the shard; not the collier, not the small crowd of low-lifes and whores and ragged children, standing and whooping from the benches and the high walls of the beer-garden.

    But Wise saw it, and when the collier took a foolish step forward, with his left foot, his bad foot, to try and catch him with an upper-cut, a spasm of surprise and pain streaked across the Welshman’s face as the glass drove itself into his heel.

    And then it was simple; Wise struck again, a blow against his chest, making the collier stagger back, forcing that sharp glass further into the panicking boxer’s heel, blocking the final, desperate counter-attack, coming forward again-

    -and he let the Welshman fall, stumbling back against the benches piled against the beer-garden walls, scattering the delighted spectators in every direction, as the toothless old man sitting on the roof hooted and yelled aloud, to the night air,

    "He's won it! He's won it!"

    Wise’s entire body aches; his arms from hitting, and the rest of him from being hit. And the pain in his head is worst of all, a wound sustained from the beers he was bought by the dockworkers who claimed they, too, had been fine boxers in their day, glasses of gin procured by working-girls who told anyone who’d listen that ‘here was a real man’…

    It was a short triumph for such a hard-won victory, and it disintegrated all too soon into the empty unconsciousness of the truly drunk.

    "Get up," someone says, sharply, from above him.

    Wise opens his eyes.

    "Time to go, Tommy," Joseph Aarons announces. The stout Jewish landlord of the Crown is standing in the back-doorway of the pub, arms folded across one another.

    "You haven’t paid me yet," says Wise, closing his eyes again.

    Aarons prods at his ribs, a little gingerly,with the toe of his boot.

    "You’ll get your money, Tommy," he snaps, "minus the drinks you took last night, just as soon as you get your arse up and out. My girls want to lay out the benches."

    He turns, and stalks back inside.

    Wise grins, to himself, and pushes himself up onto his feet.


    ________________________________________________________________



    The Crown bar-room is almost empty; a couple of the landlord’s daughters are scrubbing hard at the wooden floor.

    Wise waits at the bar as Aarons counts out the coins – sixpence, ninepence – and dreams of his next meal. A hot potato from one of the stalls on Mile End Road; perhaps a bite of mash-and-eel from Fell’s. His belly, taut and sore beneath his long-coat and military jacket, grumbles at him, as if on cue.

    He shifts, impatiently, and there’s a clap of iron as his rusted old sabre bangs off his knee.

    "I were you, Tommy," Aarons says, without looking up, "I’d sell that old thing on Petticoat Lane, or toss it in the river. Police are all out in Whitechapel today, and they won’t stop to ask questions if they find you swinging a bloody great cutlass around on the street."

    "That so?" Wise replies, uninterested. His sabre is a necessary prop in his street performances; as he whirls it, expertly, feeling its poise in his hand, he calls out the story of the Boer he’d won it from, a burly bastard who’d stolen it off a British officer at Majuba Hill, and who made the mistake of trying to ambush Wise’s column as they marched from fort to fort. It’s a good story, and he embellishes it every time he tells it, and whenever a constable halts him on the street, he only has to point to the bluntness of the blade, and the mounds of bayonets and razor-sharp knives on sale in grubby Petticoat market, perhaps letting his coat fall open to reveal the veteran's uniform beneath, to be let off without a charge.

    "Another lady murdered!" one of the daughters pipes up, enthusiastically, from the floor. She’s eight or nine; a skinny, yellowing thing in a dress several sizes too large for her. "Mistress Wickett says she was split all open, from side to side, and all ‘er guts dangling out."

    "Shut it," Aarons snaps back. He rolls his eyes at Wise. "Odds are Jack Pizer was collecting funds from one of Turnbull’s whores and got over-excited," he confides, "but they’re already saying it must’ve been the same man who did for that Tabram girl."

    "And Emma Smith," the girl continues, "what ‘ad a knife stuck up ‘er cunny back in April-"

    Aarons picks up a cloth rag from the bar and throws it weakly at her, not without affection.

    "You know how it is," he tells Wise." Excitement gets into the air and there ain’t nothing to be done, and people start makin’ coincidence into conspiracy. What was the name of this one that’s just been found dead, Luce?"

    "Polly Nicholls," says Luce. "An’ her throat was cut an’ her guts ripped out, an’ I ‘eard she was stripped naked, like she was to take a bath-"

    Wise frowns. The name’s familiar to him. And the more he thinks on it, the clearer his image of her becomes; Polly of Spitalfields, small and delicate, a mouse of a woman, with a babbling laugh that hadn’t seemed entirely false. He’d even shared a drink or two with her, once, on a cold night when she’d been working her fingers raw in the workhouse. She’d been married, he thinks – many of them were, once – and she’d talked about her husband with quiet regret.

    "She wasn’t one of Turnbull’s girls," he wonders, aloud. "She didn't have a penny on her to steal most nights, and everyone who asked would know as much. Why’d anyone have wanted to kill her?"

    Aarons shrugs, careless, and pushes his money over the bar to him.

    "Plenty of men in London like to go with whores," he chuckles, "and plenty of men in London like to carry knives in their pockets and like to use ‘em, too. Ain’t nothing to get worked-up about, Tom."

    Wise takes the coins. The face of little Polly Nicholls is occupying his thoughts, an unwelcome and plaintive intruder.

    "Give us a glass of gin, Joe," he says, nodding towards the bar-shelves, "before I’m on my way."

    Aarons glares at him, but half-fills a small glass all the same. Wise drains it in a single gulp, nods, and pushes out through the front doors of the pub, and into the bright chaos of Mile End Road.

    Halfway down the street, he spends threepence on a newspaper, and, loitering on the nearest corner, begins to read.

    A murder of the foulest kind was committed in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel in the early hours of yesterday morning, but by whom and with what motive is at present a complete mystery. At a quarter to 4 o'clock Police-constable Neill, 97J, when in Buck's-row, Whitechapel, came upon the body of a woman lying on a part of the footway, and on stooping to raise her up in the belief that she was drunk he discovered that her throat was cut almost from ear to ear. She was dead but still warm. He procured assistance and at once sent to the station and for a doctor. Dr. Llewellyn, of Whitechapel-road, whose surgery is not above 300 yards from the spot where the woman lay, was aroused, and, at the solicitation of a constable, dressed and went at once to the scene. He inspected the body at the place where it was found and pronounced the woman dead. He made a hasty examination and then discovered that, besides the gash across the throat, the woman had terrible wounds in the abdomen. A further examination showed the horrible nature of the crime, there being other fearful cuts and gashes, and one of which was sufficient to cause death apart from the wounds across the throat.

    The police have no theory with respect to the matter, except that a gang of ruffians exists in the neighbourhood, which, blackmailing women of the "unfortunate" class, takes vengeance on those who do not find money for them. They base that surmise on the fact that within 12 months two other women have been murdered in the district by almost similar means--one as recently as the 6th of August last--and left in the gutter of the street in the early hours of the morning. If the woman was murdered on the spot where the body was found, it is impossible to believe she would not have aroused the neighbourhood by her screams, Bucks-row being a street tenanted all down one side by a respectable class of people, superior to many of the surrounding streets, the other side having a blank wall bounding a warehouse. The weapon used would scarcely have been a sailor's jack knife, but a pointed weapon with a stout back--such as a cork-cutter's or shoemaker's knife. In Dr. Llewellyn’s opinion it was not an exceptionally long-bladed weapon. He does not believe that the woman was seized from behind and her throat cut, but thinks that a hand was held across her mouth and the knife then used, possibly by a left-handed man, as the bruising on the face of the deceased is such as would result from the mouth being covered with the right hand. The inquest is fixed for to-day.



    _____________________________________________________________________


    Wise has a Sustenance score of 2: i.e., in two updates’ time, he will have a score of 0.

    He also has two actions for this update; the two most popular actions will win.

    A) Attend the inquest. Wise will get a fuller picture of the murder as a whole, hearing from doctors, witnesses and policemen – however, he won’t be able to ask any questions himself.
    B) Visit Dr Llewellyn; it would be best to get a fuller view of what happened to the corpse.
    C) Track down Polly’s friends, fellow prostitutes, to ask them about her.
    D) Visit the scene of the crime.
    E) Visit Petticoat Lane, to examine the knives on view there.
    F) Try and find Jack Pizer.
    G) Try and get into the Police Mortuary, pretending to be a friend of Polly’s, to see the body itself.
    H) Hang around in the pubs; ‘informal’ rumours and suspicions about the death will likely be spread there, in exchange for a drink.
    I) Visit Turnbull himself.
    J) Find a policeman, and try to get more information out of him.
    K) Go to one of the newspapers and pretend to be a witness - there might be money in this.
    L) Gain additional Sustenance, through gambling, fighting, street-performing, etc.
     
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  10. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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  11. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
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  12. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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  13. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    I have no idea how to cast my vote yet. I need to think.
     
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  14. WetWorks Arcane Patron

    WetWorks
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    Some good writing there :salute:

    Anyway i say go for K, since we may be able to combine some money with some information,
    pumping journalists for possible undisclosed knowledge, names of witnesses etc.

    Edit (thanks Archeaon):

    Second choice: A
     
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  15. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Nice setup :)

    Are you counting the votes individually, or as a combination? The former makes more sense imho, but it's best to be explicit about it.

    Hm, without much thinking, I'd say... A + L

    A) Attend the inquest. Wise will get a fuller picture of the murder as a whole, hearing from doctors, witnesses and policemen – however, he won’t be able to ask any questions himself.

    The broadest (and the shallowest) of the available information-gathering options, which should do for a start. C) would be the next best option (or even better, but we can do that later and the inquest is a one-time opportunity, I think). Also, the inquest will be a public event, which unlike one-on-one encounters with authority figures (such as police and the doctor) won't get us in trouble (i.e. suspect or held up by the incompetent and the corrupt). There's no clear reason to go visiting the local bullies yet. The scene of the crime is also interesting, but we're not exactly fucking Poirot here. Gaining access to the corpse sounds like a tall order (for a bum rattling a saber), and while knives are on our weapon proficiency list, I don't really see what's to be gained from looking at random knives, going only by the info from the newspaper. Except as a chance to bump into possible suspects, which can also happen at the inquest for all we know...

    L) Gain additional Sustenance, through gambling, fighting, street-performing, etc.

    Defensive as fuck, but necessary. We can't afford too much idling about, and "wasting" 1 out of 2 actions is better than having to "waste" our only action in a future update because we're starving? Middle grounds suck, but a neutral start seems more appropriate than forgetting all about food and becoming a full-time detective. Dunno.
     
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  16. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
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    Yeah, it's individually. I'll specify in the update, cheers...
     
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  17. Archaeon Scholar

    Archaeon
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    G and H ! Seeing the body itself would grant us far more information than any other "body check" actions seeing as we are ex-military and know a thing or two about severe wounds.
    Then, seeing as our man is both respected and capable in the pub world, there would be our best bet to gather as many rumors, information and suspicions about the crime as possible, from people of all walks of life.


    also, wetworks, choose one more option.
     
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  18. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    what the fuck.

    He wasn't a military doctor, he might know how to bandage a rifle wound or a sabre wound but what the fuck does he know about forensics? Jesus Christ.

    Anyway, I'm voting:

    C - grotsnik wrote that we had shared a drink with Polly from time to time, that we weren't just a customer of hers. Her friends might know that and be willing to share information with us on who we saw her with.

    As a layman I doubt there's much we'll learn from forensics or even at the inquest.

    K - grotsnik already pointed out that our character is a good story teller. We might as well give some misinformation to the tabloids about what we saw in exchange for cash as well as pump them for information. It's slightly less neutral than L, might get us better rewards vis info and sustenance.
     
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  19. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    A - We should try to find as much information as possible, but we need to ask the right questions and to separate good info from bad. We need to have a clear picture of what happened to Polly.

    This is a first example of bad info, but without grotsnik's description we'd have no way of knowing that the body had not been stripped.

    C - After the inquest, we start collecting info.

    E would be interesting, too, if we could find out what kind of knife was used and what kind of people use it. Maybe the vendors remember some shady motherfucker staring at their wares.
     
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  20. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Gond, check the choice again. We don't get to ask any questions, just hear what the police and doctor have to say, which is that a woman was killed. They won't have any info, so A won't help a char like ours.

    I'd say C is a better choice if we want info that our character can use: ie: who saw Polly last night with whom, where, when and such. We're known in the streets, they might be less afraid to tell us what they saw if they did.

    E is unlikely to help either. Lots of cutthroats in this part of London: Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Fenchurch, Cheapside. Everyone will be carrying a knife or some such on the streets at night because of all the pickpockets and muggers.
     
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  21. Angelo85 Prophet

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  22. Azael Magister

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    Very nice start grotsnik. :salute:

    Agreeing with ironyuri here, his reasonings seems sound so I'm going to :M him for now.

    C + K
     
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  23. Archaeon Scholar

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    You are all making a big mistake here. At first I also thought about choosing the choices you guys did, but after a careful scrutiny of both all the choices and all the characters I realised that these choices i first made are meant to get as many fine details about the crime as possible in a style not dissimilar to Sherlock Holmes, and that character skillset is not what we chose, though the guy was in the list.
    My reasoning is that the choices I've made are the choices that he, Tom Wise would make. He felt a strong attachment to the girl, as indicated in the emotion descriptions littered throughout the dialogue, so he would likely want to see her himself, plus gaining useful info about the way she was murdered. And second, the bars are the most likely place -Tom Wise- would go for additional info.



    I may be wrong, but you are METAGAMING :M
     
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  24. Storyfag Arcane Patron

    Storyfag
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    6,244
    Location:
    A Dark Place
    H) Hang around in the pubs; ‘informal’ rumours and suspicions about the death will likely be spread there, in exchange for a drink.

    and

    L) Gain additional Sustenance, through gambling, fighting, street-performing, etc.
     
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