Monday, October 30, 2023

A/B/C (Shotgun Scenario)

A man is dead. Twice.

The police found body "Alpha" under an overpass, beaten and covered in garbage bags. No identification, no clothes, no importance; the police decided he was homeless and deprioritized the investigation.

At 8:04 AM the next day, "Beta" was shot in the throat from a third-story window. He looks identical to "Alpha", down to fingerprints and scars; 5'10", 130 pounds, black hair, thin face. By the time the police arrived, the shooter was gone.

The police have been delayed. Their investigation has been stopped, and Beta's possessions have been preserved.

This is now your problem. Catch the killer, and identify the copies, if any more exist.

 GM Information

The Doppelgangers

There are, or were, a total of 6 copies. Alpha and Beta are both dead; "Gamma", "Delta", "Epsilon", and "Zeta" still live. Only Zeta was meant to be released. He plans to kill the rest, and has persuaded Beta and Gamma to help him. The rest of the doppelgangers are going to ground, trying to build identities and relationships - making sure someone would notice if they disappeared, and hoping that will protect them from Zeta.

Alpha was desperate to find a cover as a human. He knew Zeta was after him and he was running out of time, so he tried to kill Epsilon and replace him. He got himself killed instead.

Beta was one of Zeta's agents. He avoided working - hoping that as long as there were others to kill, Zeta would leave him alone. He was wrong. Zeta got tired of his unreliability, and sent Gamma to put a bullet in him.

Gamma is Zeta's more active agent. He killed Beta with his own rifle, and now he's working down the rest of the list. He is unsubtle, and not above public violence. He always carries a pistol. He knows Zeta plans to betray him when the job is done.

Delta is a hermit - he's known someone's after him ever since Beta took a shot and missed, but he doesn't know who. His implanted memories are strong - he is entirely under the impression he is a real person, and has no idea there are any others.

Epsilon is hiding in plain sight. He lives in a perfectly normal house, with a perfectly normal girlfriend who thinks he's a perfectly normal human being. He killed Alpha in self-defense, and he'll kill again if he has to. He is also injured - nobody gets out of a knife fight clean.

Zeta is the first of the doppelgangers, the only one meant to exist. Everyone else is an error, not meant to be released. He's coerced Gamma (and, previously, Beta) to kill the rest. Then he'll kill Gamma himself, and vanish, secure in the knowledge he is the only one.

They were released in inverse order - Zeta first, then Epsilon, and so on, with Alpha the most recent. Except for Delta, all of their memories start with them waking up out in a forest. None of them know where this is. None of them know why.

Each and every one of them is a fake. Under layers of false skin and flesh, they are filled with wet gravel and foam insulation.


- "Day -1", Alpha is killed by Epsilon. Beta attempts to kill Delta, and fails.

- "Day 0", Beta is killed by Gamma. Gamma is reassigned onto Beta.

- "Day 1", October 12th, the players are brought onto the investigation.

- "Day 2", Gamma kills Delta.

- "Day 3", Gamma and Zeta meet at the diner.

- "Day 4", Gamma takes a shot at Epsilon while he's at home, and fails. The police are called. Gamma runs.

- "Day 5", Gamma tries again and succeeds. No survivors.

- "Day 6", Gamma and Zeta meet. Gamma is killed. Zeta vanishes.


Alpha's Murder Scene

Among the trash and ignored by the first round of crime scene investigators is a bloodied metal pipe, covered in wads of foam insulation. The fingerprints on it match any one of the doppelgangers. 

There are also Alpha's clothes and a journal - Alpha's information on Epsilon. Pictures of his house, pictures of his family, scripts recording the way he talks and the things he wants, all so Alpha can replace him.

There's also still a trail of blood leading away - the murderer must not have gotten away unharmed. It leads to a drug store where the workers will readily admit someone matching the description of a doppelganger came in, bleeding, and then took a taxi out east. This was Epsilon, returning to his house.

Beta's Body

Beta is shabbily dressed, and uninjured except for a bullet hole through the throat. His pockets contain the keys to his apartment, a pocket knife, and a wallet with $12.03, a driver's license under the name Johan Reading, and a picture of Delta's windowless basement apartment. On the back of the picture is "Amnesiac. By the the 28th. 610 East 35th St." - that date is two weeks ago. Beta was meant to kill Delta by now, but simply hasn't.

Beta's Apartment

Gamma shot Beta from their own apartment, after getting an extra key from Beta's landlord (who will say that "Johan" was in his apartment at the time Beta was shot). The day of the shooting, Gamma arrived in his van (bright yellow, license plate COE-3881 - tenants and the landlord can give a decent description).

The apartment itself is a wreck, trampled over by a crowd of tenants and cops. There are no signs of forced entry (Gamma used the key). A telescope tripod still stands by the single window.

On the desk is a letter. You didn't show last week. I'm tired of this. Do your fucking job.

Next to it is a map with three spots marked and dated - one last month, one last week, and a diner in two days.

At the bottom of a bathroom trash can are a set of notes on Beta, made by Gamma - his routines (home, then work at a local car wash, then home, shopping once a week), his acquaintances (none), his equipment (an AR-15 in .308 - the gun that killed him).

Gamma's Van

A boxy panel van in aggressive bright yellow. Through Day 1 and Day 2, it is parked with a clean line of sight to Delta's apartment, waiting. All the doors are locked.

There are a few holes in the walls for him to fire his new rifle through. He will take this opportunity.

Inside is a checklist: Latecomer (how?). Brother. Amnesiac. Family Man. Management. (this is every other doppelganger in alphabetical order - Gamma's kill list),  

- Beta's rifle

- another copy of the meeting-map in Beta's apartment, 

- a sleeping bag, and a few newspapers. And, of course, Gamma.

There's a camera pointing through one of the holes at Delta's apartment door. He will see the players if they go there.

On Day 3, it goes to the diner. Then, to Epsilon's house on Day 4, an alleyway after the attack fails, and back to Epsilon's house on Day 5. Finally, on Day 6, it sits in front of the diner, where it will stay. Permanently.

Delta's Bolthole 

A basement apartment, accessed from a staircase outside. The door is barred and locked. There are no windows. Delta hasn't left since Beta tried to kill him, but now he's starting to run out of food.

He has no idea what's going on. To his memory, he is David Gardner, who had a nice responsible banking job until someone tried to shoot him. These memories are false.

On Day 2 he runs out of food, and opens the door. Gamma is waiting for him. He'll see the players if they appear, too.

Epsilon's House

Epsilon (under the name Herb Olsen) lives in a one-story house in the suburbs with his girlfriend, Jane Danner. He will not react well to the PCs appearing and asking questions, assuming they've found out he killed Alpha. Jane knows absolutely nothing - she's been in a relationship with Epsilon for six months and hasn't noticed anything about killer doppelgangers.

On day 4, Gamma will park his van atop a nearby hill and then start shooting through the windows, wounding Jane. When the police are called, he flees. The next day Gamma returns and kills them both.

The Diner

Gamma and Zeta meet here twice. It is wide open, surrounded by windows, and brightly lit.

The first meeting is in the afternoon of Day 3, when the diner is crammed. They talk (about music, mourning Beta [who they each call "our brother"], about Delta [who they just call "him"]) for 14 minutes over coffee, then split up - Gamma returns to his van and drives out into an alley to wait, while Zeta ambles to a car and drives out to a completely empty hotel room. There isn't even any furniture. He just sits on the floor for a day.

The second meeting is late at night on day 6. Zeta arrives first, and when Gamma sits down, Zeta immediately shoots him, then runs. He doesn't stop driving until the sun rises.

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