Using the mystery creation rules in the book, here's what I have... I think I need to stop here, following the instructions of the MotW game to not over-prepare. I took inspiration from The Curse of the Black Widow, and put my own spin on it. I keep wanting to make more and more connections, but I think I'm good here. I think the hardest part of running this for me will be NOT over-preparing. I think I have enough here for the players to put things together. The rest, I'll play by ear.
Any comments, questions, or suggestions?
Concept: Werespider (black widow) wants to breed.
Hook: A series of disappearances where the disappeared are all men. A man named Richard Baines was murdered and apparently stabbed twice in the chest with a large object. Police apparently know more but aren’t releasing additional information. A witness to the most recent murder refuses to talk to police.
Day: Lydia MacTavish kills another man.
Shadows: Lydia gets pregnant and kills her lover.
Sunset: Lydia begins hunting more often. Killing more men. One victim is Michael Haskins.
Dusk: Lydia begins “storing” men in her den.
Nightfall: Lydia begins preparing her egg sac.
Midnight: Thousands of werespiders hatch.
Name: Lydia MacTavish, the Werespider
Lydia MacTavish is the human name of a werespider (meaningful name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrodectus_mactans). She has been living secretly on the edges of society for decades, living off of deer and other large forest animals. A new urge has come up on her, however, an urge to mate and propagate her kind! She must become pregnant, and this draws her into human society once more. She is immortal, beautiful, and deadly.
She’s been frequenting dive bars, seedy motels, and other places where eager men are in good supply. If she succeeds, the city will be overrun with her spawn.
The mysterious disappearances in town are because of her. She was interrupted during her attack on Richard Baines and was unable to carry him off.
Motivation: To give birth to thousands of her kind.
Immense Strength: In spider form Lydia is monstrously strong. She can easily carry a paralyzed human victim and bash through doors and wooden walls.
Shrouded Face: In human form Lydia’s face is shrouded by a mystic veil that clouds memories. Vague details at best are all that one can recall of her features. Her face also appears smudged or otherwise obscured in photos and videos.
Wall-Crawling: In spider form Lydia can scale any wall and even walk along ceilings.
Webbing: In spider form Lydia can create webs and lines of spider silk. A paralyzed person wrapped in her silk cannot escape without outside aid. Someone who isn’t paralyzed can try to escape using Tough.
Paralytic Bite: If Lydia bites you with her powerful paralytic venom, roll Tough. On a fail, you are paralyzed. On a 7+, the paralytic venom courses through your veins. Take −2 ongoing. On a 10+, you fight off the worst of the venom and take −1 ongoing. This effect lasts until you can receive medical attention that heals any harm caused by the bite or removes the poison.
Feeding Bite: Lydia feeds as any spider does, draining the bodily fluids through her fangs. If she bites you to feed, it does 2 harm (ignoring armor) per round until you are able to get away from her or you are dead. (If Lydia feeds on a paralyzed victim, death is certain unless someone else rescues them).
Harm Capacity: OOOOO OOOOO OO
O’Toole’s is a bar in the seedy end of town. This is where the most recent murder took place.
Type: Dive bar/Hub
Motivation: To bring people together.
Notes: O’Toole’s bar is backed up against a tall cliff, and the most recent victim’s body was found between the bar and the cliff. There were people in the parking lot when he was killed, so the only escape route for the killer was straight up the cliff. The few witnesses report seeing “something” but it was too dark to make out any details. One witness, Michael Haskins, has gone into hiding and has to be tracked down using Investigate a Mystery (to find out information about Haskins on the street) or Manipulate Someone (to get his friends to talk about where he can be found).
Name: Town Library
The Hunters can investigate the history of the town at the local library.
Type: Town library/Hub
Motivation: To reveal information.
Notes: The Hunters can Investigate a Mystery to learn about the history of town. It was founded in 1718 as MacTavish Grove, a tobacco plantation. The last recorded owner was Layton MacTavish in 1866. After the Civil War the plantation failed and the house fell into disrepair. The grounds were soon swallowed up by the forest. Layton MacTavish and his wife died of mysterious causes, and they had a single child, Lydia MacTavish. On a 10+ to Investigate a Mystery, the Hunters discover that as a child Lydia was severely bitten by multiple black widow spiders and miraculously survived. History does not have any record of her death.
Name: Lydia’s House
Lydia MacTavish lives in an abandoned mansion deep in the woods several miles form town. The forests surrounding the manor are Wilds, dark and thick.
Type: Abandoned mansion/Den
Motivation: To harbor monsters.
Notes: The basement is where Lydia stores her meals and her egg sac. Moving through the web-strewn basement without alerting Lydia (if she is there) requires you to Act Under Pressure.
Name: Michael Haskins
Type: Bar patron/Witness
Motivation: To reveal information
Notes: Michael actually got a good look at the spider as it crested the cliff after killing Rich Baines. If coerced to talk with Manipulate Someone, he finally admits that he saw a giant spider, big as a car with long spindly legs. It was his reaction that alerted the others, but they didn’t manage to actually see what it was.
Name: Bar patrons
Type: Bar patron/Witness
Motivation: To reveal information
Notes: Various patrons at the bar can confirm that Rich Baines was hitting up a strange woman they’d never seen before. She was tall, dark-haired, and beautiful. Strangely, they cannot recall any other specific features; they can’t even sufficiently describe her to a police sketch artist. It’s almost as if her face is a blur in their memories.
Name: Detective Arthur Grasser
Type: Police Detective/Skeptic
Motivation: To rule out supernatural explanations
Notes: Det. Grasser is a no-nonsense cop who is in no way ready to hear stories of giant spiders killing men in his town. He can never be convinced without hard proof (such as actually seeing the spider), but can be talked into providing minimal assistance with Manipulate Someone.
What he can say is that all of the disappearances and murders have taken place near the forests. If tracked out on a map, all of them take place in a rough circle about 10 miles across. Once the Hunters learn of MacTavish Manor, they can easily find the location of the manner within this circle.
Name: Dr. Sheila Wills
Type: Medical examiner/Gossip
Motivation: To pass on rumors
Notes: Dr. Wills has theories about what is going on, but is keeping them to herself at the moment. She found some strange chemicals in Rich Baines’ blood that she is currently analyzing. She thinks the disappearances and murders are related to possible cult activity.
A few days into the investigation, she will call the Hunters to tell them the chemical was confirmed to be some kind of spider venom.