Furnace XV Online - Short and Sweet...


Staff member

A Wicked Secret

So this weekend was the 15th Furnace, and probably the one which I've had the least need to prepare for than any other. No rush for badges, no furniture moving, no hunts for coffee, and the annual expedition to KFC was right out. Thank you, COVID-19.

I'd offered two games; "A Wicked Secret" from the eponymously named mystery collection for Vaesen and "ReEnlightenment" for Tripod (Wordplay 2). The latter used my 'Utopia' setting. I have to confess that my head was not in a good space as we prepared, thanks to Mum's death, so I found it harder than usual. In the end, the player's in my Tripod game graciously accepted Graham (First Age) substituting a game of Scheherazade to entertain them. Meanwhile, I drove my dad home to Portishead.

"A Wicked Secret" was the mystery in the collection which leapt out at me when I read it, and I took advantage of the fact that I am playing in Dr Mitch's Vaesen campaign at the moment to lift the four characters that we have in play; a doctor, a private detective, a hunter and a servant. I then added a young vagabond to the mix.

The players - Sue, Jag, Remi, Ant and Gareth - were a great bunch; they embraced their roles and we headed towards a climax that was rather too late (we wrapped at 00:40). They successfully solved the mystery and seemed to have fun. The end felt somewhat tense.

Roll20 fell over once; I had to reload the page, which was annoying as there's a bug on the NPC page of the Vaesen Character Sheet where the skills randomise. Discord was mostly solid. I need to allow more time when running on line, as it seems to be inherently slower.

All in all, a fun game; I wish I'd had the headspace to play and run more, but that's just how it was.

Thanks to the players, and to Graham and Elaine for all their support.

12 October 2020

Continue reading...
Last edited:
Sorry not to get chatting time with you this Furnace. Overall it went very well and was much appreciated.

I think many of us are exploring the subtleties of online, and I’m sure the lack of body language contributes to things stretching out and people going off on tangents - as well as dice rolling often taking longer.
I really wasn't sure we were all getting out of that one alive.

The characters were really well done, and with our relationships, traumas, dark secrets, etc. I think we could easily have got another hour of roleplay out of it if we'd had the time.