Promptober Day 20: Myths.

Sometimes parents actually believe their children.

Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.

Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.

The government is not interested in every paranormal event.

Investigator myths dispelled:
  • They’re not all crazy conspiracy theorists.
  • They’re not all professors wearing jackets with patches on the sleeves.
  • They’re not all wide-eyed college kids bound to get lost in the woods.
  • Just because one believes in ghosts, it doesn’t mean they believe in “aliens.”
  • They actually spend vast amount of time observing nothing until they find something. The “something” may just be a dot or blob, but still evidence.
  • Not all people are stupid enough to go down in the dark basement to check the electrical box.
  • No professional investigator likes a hoax. Hoaxing is not allowed!
  • Not every spiritually-oriented investigator collects crystals.
  • Sometimes freaky footage does end up on the nightly news, and still gets ignored by and large.
  • Priests are not immune to everything just by holding up a cross.
  • Other religions have people capable of performing an exorcism.
  • Not every professor can read Ancient Babylonian or Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
  • Not every spiritual person is educated in every religion.
  • Sometimes parents actually believe their children.
  • Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.
  • Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.
  • The government is not interested in every paranormal event.
  • There really are psychics. Some are quite powerful.
  • The Men in Black are real.
  • The Men in Black are not the kooky guys from the movies.
  • The Men in Black do not visit every experiencer or UFO witness.
  • There really is an Illuminati. They do not approach people on social media.
  • Astral travelers and remote viewers see a lot of things or beings not of this Earth.

Dispelling myths about modern paranormal investigations.

Phenomenon myths dispelled:
  • Not every properly conducted Ouija board session ends in tragedy.
  • Not every alleged haunted house is packed full of scary stuff.
  • Sometimes investigators have nights where nothing happens.
  • Not every EVP session ends in mysterious voices. Many don’t.
  • Not everything is a demon.
  • Not every ghost is evil.
  • Yes, there really are vampires, werewolves, and giant spiders.
  • Not everything is covered in an ancient tome or scroll.
  • If a book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood, leave it alone.
  • Not every cult follows an Elder god or wants human sacrifices.
  • Gunfire does not solve everything, or anything sometimes.
  • Not every artifact is cursed.
  • Sometimes are dolls are just toys.
  • Not all magic is evil.
  • Not all religion is good.
  • Not everything is evil or out to get you.
  • The ethereal plane (spirit world) is a wonderfully weird place.
  • Some beings are truly evil. We don’t know why.
  • There is always a way to banish or destroy a phenomenon.
  • Killing something is not always the answer.
  • Legitimate footage of phenomenon appearing on the internet will be taken down or debunked as a hoax almost immediately regardless of evidence.
  • The Dark Web is real. Most people would be advised to steer clear of it.
  • The aliens are not here to conquer the planet.
  • The term “alien” is no longer preferred. We use ET or being now.
  • ETs do not always abduct people. Sometimes it’s just a sighting.
  • Vampires and werewolves are nothing like the ones in the movies.
  • Stay away from the Reptilians. We don’t mention the Reptilians.
  • There are Reptilian Hybrids. We don’t talk about them, either.

These lists is (mostly) fictional (I guess.) Some of us are conspiracy theorists. More investigations to come with the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society for Monster of the Week RPG.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you. Have fun. More to come.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Promptober Day 29: Abandoned Locations.

In my game, Des Moines Remote Viewing society used Randonautica to find remote viewing targets for Brenda Hart, the group’s resident psychic and most gifted remote viewer. It was a good source of interesting new cases as well as leads on the ones the group was working on.

This is prime Monster of the Week fodder.

How to use an app like Randonautica without ever installing in real life: Create a series of tables describing how far one has to travel from current location, in which direction, and what they find when they get there.

In my game, Des Moines Remote Viewing society used Randonautica to find remote viewing targets for Brenda Hart, the group’s resident psychic and most gifted remote viewer. It was a good source of interesting new cases as well as leads on the ones the group was working on. The potential for spooky encounters in abandoned locations has always fascinated me.

DsMRVS also used Ouija boards a few times in an effort to locate specific spirits, but such attempts almost always inevitably backfired. Ouija boards are often employed in abandoned places to get a better sense of history of the sites. Of course, in MotW that usually involves a demon, angry witch, ghost, cryptid, or interdimensional being of some kind. Des Moines is legit chock full of abandoned locations in real life, so converting them to fiction for the setting is all kinds of fun.

For the record: I know of several abandoned locations in the real world. I do not go in them. I would also never throw down a Ouija board near them. You just never know what’s on the other side. That’s my opinion as a paranormal researcher and Extraterrestrial enthusiast. Do not F around and find out in some of these abandoned locations. You might get surprised.

Disclaimer: Please DO NOT ENTER an abandoned location in the real world unless you have the owner’s permission! No owner = No permission. Too many investigators get hurt, arrested, or go missing entirely while on abandoned properties. If you find an abandoned house, car, sewer entrance, or mine entrance in the real world- DO NOT GO IN THERE! The physical dangers alone should be discouragement.

This was one of the best prompts all month. I could go on for hours on this subject. Thank you for stopping by. As always I appreciate you being here with us. #ttrpgfamily Much love.

Promptober Day 26: Lost

Key members of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society are lost as of 2022. The data gathered by the trio is also missing in places. Some may have been confiscated by the government or black budget interests. The group went their separate ways in 2020 under mysterious circumstances. (*Then again, it was 2020.)

This one is a subplot running through my Monster of the Week series, Des Moines After Dark.

Key members of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society are lost as of 2022. The data gathered by the trio is also missing in places. Some may have been confiscated by the government or black budget interests. The group went their separate ways in 2020 under mysterious circumstances. (*Then again, it was 2020.)

  • Dan Miller is missing key chunks of his physical files and Internet archives.
  • Brenda Hart moved to Champaign, IL and effectively disappeared. Dan has not heard from her via text, email, or chat in over two years. The two were very close prior to December 2020.
  • Tom Miller is flat-out lost. His mysterious disappearance became apparent when copies of his journal were emailed to Dan and Brenda along with some copies of physical journals arriving at known and undisclosed street addresses.
  • Tom’s last case was his independent study of the (alleged) Reptilian tunnels under Des Moines. His last journal entry indicated he found a tunnel entrance near a bridge and was going to enter it.
  • Lewis (Big Lou) has been reassigned to a different section within the FBI, but his personnel file has gone missing. Dan has been unable to contact him through any of their various channels.

2020 is the year best forgotten. Unfortunately for our heroes, members of the DsMRVS were among those not heard-from again. Even some of their meticulously kept records and videos have gone missing. One of their most notorious case files, loosely dubbed the “Backyard UFO Incident” involved several hours of missing time and blank audio/video footage interspersed with cryptic and bizarre voice lines.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Monstober Day 15: Kitchen

Flash forward to present. Dan, the group’s mentor and primary source of case information is not necessarily the best housekeeper. He’s a consummate bachelor and doesn’t necessarily clean the leftovers out of his fridge as often as he should. One day the group gets a call.

Remember whatever was living in the “mystery foil” in the back of the fridge?

A bizarre creature stalks the Earth in this lighthearted Monster of the Week encounter.

An old case file of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society recently reveals the existence of what Brenda Hart called “The Mushroom Man.” This man was living not far from the river and had huge amounts of mushrooms, molds and fungi growing throughout his house. The DMRVS exposed Mushroom Man after learning he had murdered his wife in order to feed his monstrous collection and further his own experiments.

When the police went to arrest him, however, they discovered he had fled, probably on foot and was likely living off the grid. Further investigation uncovered additional human remains on the Mushroom Man’s property. Police were unable to determine where they came from or how old they were due to the presence of a toxic, invasive species of mold on the bodies. To hamper efforts further, the house burned down, apparently as a result of an arson fire.

Before everything fell apart, Dan, Tom, and Brenda learned The Mushroom Man was performing a wide variety of ancient hedge magic rituals from the book of shadows passed down through his family for several centuries. All of his spells revolved around the growth and consumption of mushrooms. Mushroom Man had apparently been making a living by selling the medicinal kind in order to make a living. Police found several strains of relatively non-lethal hallucinogenic and edible mushrooms at the scene before the fire.

Unfortunately, one of the species of mushrooms The Mushroom Man was growing fed best on beds of decomposing flesh. His experiments falsely concluded (unnecessarily) that they grew best on human flesh. DMRVS investigator Dan Miller made this discovery while looking for what happened to The Mushroom Man’s wife in 2016.

Flash forward to present. Dan, the group’s mentor and primary source of case information is not necessarily the best housekeeper. He’s a consummate bachelor and doesn’t necessarily clean the leftovers out of his fridge as often as he should. One day the group gets a call.

Dan’s refrigerator has been overrun by mold. Stranger yet, something seems to have pushed the door open and slithered off. Could this be the revenge of The Mushroom Man, or something far more sinister and arcane?

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

*Editor’s note: I know this wasn’t a monster per se, but MotW lends itself to storytelling. The actual monster statistics are a bit less relevant sometimes. It’s up to the Keeper as to whether or not this is just something freaky from Dan’s fridge or The Mushroom Man’s spells coming back to haunt Dan. Or possibly both.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you.

Promptober Day 9: Found Footage

You’ve been asked by the paranormal research department of Miskatonic University to trek into the woods near Burkittsville, MD. You’re looking for an old 19th Century farmhouse that is allegedly a hotbed of paranormal activity. Your group has all of the investigative gear they can carry and 5 days worth camping supplies. Good luck. (Can you survive?)

I’m super excited about today’s prompt!

Slasher Flick by Spectrum Games.
Here’s the Pitch: You’ve been asked by the paranormal research department of Miskatonic University to trek into the woods near Burkittsville, MD. You’re looking for an old 19th Century farmhouse that is allegedly a hotbed of paranormal activity. Your group has all of the investigative gear they can carry and 5 days worth camping supplies. Good luck. (Can you survive?)

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
RPGs- Ouija is fine.
Real world? DO NOT!

I could literally do an entire Monster of the Week game based on this premise. The only catch is, it would mean the group would get to survive from one week to the next which would mean it’s not “Found” Footage. That said, my Des Moines Remote Viewing Society campaign is loosely based on the Found Footage idea. The original team was lost/scattered to the four winds following an undisclosed event to be revealed in later episodes.

I think what would make Found Footage playable as an RPG beyond a Slasher Flick one shot would be to have a team that investigates the footage that has been found around the world from these various mysterious incidents. That’s kind of the premise for Des Moines After Dark/Tales of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. We know the team investigated a lot of stuff. What we don’t know is what happened to the team three years ago that made them stop or where some of them went.

This genre is one of my absolute favorites of all time. I’ve been in love with the concept ever since watching In Search of… as a kid. When I went to The Blair Witch Project on a date I was blown away. I went on to see it nine more times in the theatre and several times since on video. (*Yes, of those nine some of them were dates. Long story there for another time.)

I’m also itching to do more Found Footage RPG stuff with Phoenix Lights, Area 51, and Missing 411: The Hunted as inspiration. A lot of freaky stuff happens in the Pacific Northwest of the US and in the Nevada desert in the real world to be sure. I’m into Ufology, ETs, and paranormal experiences in the real world, too. It’s one of the interests that bleeds over into gaming quite nicely.

The kicker with Found Footage in #ttrpgs is that the players know their characters are probably going to die. If they survive, they’re probably going to drop of the grid and never be heard from again. Otherwise, it’s not Found Footage, it’s just footage. Player choices really matter in a survival horror game.

The premise of most Found Footage movies is that you know the characters aren’t going to survive.

Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate you! Hope you’re enjoying #Promptober so far.

Promptober Number One: Mystery

The Des Moines Remote Viewing Society has caught onto a string of mysterious disappearances around town.

Day 1: Mystery for Monster of the Week.

The adventure in short:
The Des Moines Remote Viewing Society has caught onto a string of mysterious disappearances around town. Soon signs will all begin to lead back to a mysterious Freemasons lodge built in the 1800’s. Their task is to prevent more kidnappings/murders before the ritual can be completed on the blood moon.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Tales of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society.

This is night number two of the fairgrounds case with the missing chainsaw carver statues. We’re going back today to see if we can set up trap cams after they shut the booth down for the night. The footage from last night is pretty compelling stuff. Dan and I believe Tom may have gotten distracted while on duty.

Case 2. Dead Wood in Des Moines.

From the Journal of Brenda Hart, Secretary/Treasurer of the DsMRMVS.

Wanted to jot down some findings on our first two “cases.” I had to remind the boys that we’re not detectives and we’re not getting paid for any of this yet. I don’t think any of us are doing this for profit. More for truth, justice and disclosure.

This is night number two of the fairgrounds case with the missing chainsaw carver statues. We’re going back today to see if we can set up trap cams after they shut the booth down for the night. The footage from last night is pretty compelling stuff. Dan and I believe Tom may have gotten distracted while on duty.

Dan is replacing Tom on the fairgrounds stake out. We’re also rearranging some of the cams from the cemetery to the fairgrounds and vice versa. The cemetery has been a huge bust so far with some minor electromagnetic phenomena and a few notable EVPs. It will be exciting watching both locations from the van as long as Dan doesn’t get arrested.

Additional note from Dan about night number two:

Re: Cemetery next to the fairgrounds- we’ve gotten a few significant EVPs and a few electromagnetic hits, but no sightings or other activities. It’s Tuesday of the Fair and we’re hoping activity will pick up soon.

I’m swapping out with Tom on the stake out of the Chainsaw Carver’s booth. We got permission to put up trap cams under the guise of trying to catch the thieves. Noticed Sutton’s sales assistant, Julie, is big into Wicca. Could there be a connection?

Additional note: Someone removed all of the locks from the mausoleums in the cemetery today. Not sure who it is. His back was to the cameras in every shot. It’s kinda creepy and strange, but so far no other activity to report. Tom and Brenda are going to have their hands full tonight in the van with both sets of cameras reporting in constantly. Doubt we’re getting a lot of sleep.

The next morning, Dan returned to his van, the monitoring center for the operation. Both the driver’s and passenger’s side windows had been smashed with considerable force. There were fist sized dents down the passenger’s side. Brenda and Tom were huddled in the back with rear doors bound tight. Somehow the equipment kept recording.

Tom and Brenda were pretty shaken by what had transpired during the night. It was if two entities wanted into the van. Tom described a wooden fist going through the driver’s side window. Brenda went into shock and needed medical attention, claiming some force wanted her to leave. Tom’s Gopro didn’t capture anything beyond the van shaking violently and windows being smashed. It really did look like a wooden fist with black feathers went through the window.

From Tom’s Journal:
Brenda and I were nearly taken out last night. At about 3:00 AM Brenda suddenly went into deep trance and began bleeding from the nose. A short time later the van started rocking and the windows up front were smashed. Had Brenda been functional, I would have stepped out to confront whoever it was. At least the cameras in the fairgrounds and the cemetery kept going. Hopefully something productive will come from this.

Dead Wood in Des Moines for Monster of the Week RPG.

That night’s stakeout of the cemetery was manned by Dan and Brenda while Tom somewhat illegally wrangled his way back into the Fair with some surveillance gear and provisions. (The cemetery investigation is detailed elsewhere.) The next morning, the entire team reviewed Tom’s bizarre, inexplicable footage

The Des Moines Remote Viewing Society picked up their second “case” much sooner than expected.

It was a dark and stormy night at the Iowa State Fair on the Monday after the fair opened. The Des Moines Remote Viewing Society snagged their second unofficial case. They were walking around the fairgrounds together discussing the cemetery case, eating funnel cakes, and not taking anything too seriously. They stumbled upon an unusual flyer on their way by the Frontier Village.

The Strange Case of AJ Sutton, Wood Carver.

The Case of the Missing Chainsaw Carvings.

The crew wandered down to the Chainsaw Artist’s booth and took in the 1:30 show. The crowd peered on as a man turned a fairly ordinary hunk of log into a statue of an old farmer wearing a straw hat and holding a corn cob pipe. The artist’s only tools were five sizes of chainsaws and his imagination.

He buzzed and grinded away for over an hour and a half, taking a few breaks for water and to talk to the crowd. The artist, AJ Sutton, said the statues just appeared to him in the wood. It was almost as if the statues wanted to make an appearance on their own. Most statues were polished and stained after the show, then given to whomever commissioned them or sold at the Woodcutter’s Tent.

Birds, wolves, cats, as well as school mascots like Cy the Cyclone and Herky the Hawkeye were popular. The statues usually sold for around $65.00 or more.

After the show, Dan and Brenda talked to AJ backstage while Tom poked around the scene of the crime under the pretense of buying a statue. The empty bases of where the Cy and Herky statues were on display remained intact, almost as if the statues had walked off on their own.

“It happens almost every year.” AJ explained.

“Usually it’s just some college kids playing a prank,” he continued. “Watch. They’ll turn up trying to milk the Butter Cow in a photo later or magically show up at a concert on the last night of the Fair. Happens almost every year.”

Tom discovered one anomaly that didn’t make a lot of sense. Usually the statues were stolen with their bases. The statues weren’t balanced well enough by themselves to stand on their own. Yet there was no sawdust on the grassy ground near the scene. Tina, the girl in charge of selling the statues said there had never been an incident where the bases were left behind before. There was bare wood under where the mascots had been posed.

Further investigation revealed one of the Fair sanitation workers had seen two “young kids in what looked like mascot costumes” running away from the scene.

Dan’s “command center,” a 2012 Dodge Caravan loaded up with cameras and electronics for the cemetery stake out was pressed into service as soon as the group rounded out their day. A quick Internet search revealed several pranks from years past as AJ had described them. In every photo, the statues were still on bases and many appeared to be heavy enough to require two or more people to move them.

That night’s stakeout of the cemetery was manned by Dan and Brenda while Tom somewhat illegally wrangled his way back into the Fair with some surveillance gear and provisions. (The cemetery investigation is detailed elsewhere.) The next morning, the entire team reviewed Tom’s bizarre, inexplicable footage.

No obvious signs of tampering. The camera aimed into the statuary sales area turned itself off and on three times during the night.

It got freakier from there. A lawn gnome and the farmer in the straw hat appeared to move around the area random during the night. Each time they moved, they reappeared in different poses. Each time they moved, they were still on their bases in a different pose!

Tom said he didn’t see anything strange at the time. No EVPs. Thermal was normal. He also did not notice the camera shutting down for half an hour at a time. The next morning he observed the statues back in their original places as if nothing had happened.

Closer to morning two “kids in mascot costumes” were seen climbing the fence on the University Ave side. A state trooper followed up on the report, but did not find anyone matching that description. There was some damage to the fence where someone heavy had climbed over and apparently used a piece of wood to get around the razor wire at the top of the fence. No blood or serious damage, however.

Donut Hut across the street on University from the fairgrounds also reported a break-in and vandalization during the night. The only anomaly was the presence of wood splinters in the broken glass of their front window, but no bat or other piece of wood found at the scene.

To be continued…

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Legal Stuff: For use with with Monster of the Week by Michael Sands. Monster of the Week is copyrighted by Evil Hat Productions, LLC and Generic Games.

Tales of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society (MotW TPG)

This is some of the backstory for my MotW RPG campaign. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is unintentional. This is a work of fiction.

Disclaimer: This is a fictional organization.

From the notes of Brenda Hart, Secretary of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society:

Aug 3, 2016: Making it official tonight. Dan, Tom and I are going to start looking into the odd phenomena occurring here in Des Moines. I’m new here, only having moved from Colorado a few short years ago after my husband died. Ironic that I’m the one with the most experience in the field and the only trained remote viewer of the bunch.

Dan is our resident parapsychologist and tech guru. We wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for him and his website, The Midwest Monitor. He lives here in Des Moines and has seen a lot of strange things, more as of late. Most of his journals are on video in one form or another going back to the early 1990’s. He’s done a lot of investigations of local haunted houses.

If Dan is our parapsych and tech guy, Tom Ross is the exact opposite. He’s our resident spiritually conscious conspiracy guy. His intuition has led us to the tunnel network. (More on that later.) He’s also convinced Des Moines, IA is a popular stop on the extraterrestrial superhighway and a visitors center for the Reptiloid population. He also things a lot of the local happenings are eyeballs deep in the Illuminati, Freemasons, Nosferatu, shadow government, demons, Men in Black and so on. Tom’s notes are regularly mailed to my address as additional proof along with copies sent to friends, relatives and a random PO Box.

We have an unofficial fourth member named Lewis. He’s strictly on the Internet and goes by Big Lou 42 on most things. He’s a nice guy, but a lot secretive. I think he might be former government or a shadow corp employee turned whistleblower. He doesn’t live here, but he sure knows a lot about DsM. We have other internet friends, most live in BFN Iowa, MO, or MN. The local MUFON folks know we’re around, too. Dan used to be a member.

Tonight’s meeting was very informal. We met at Dan Miller’s house for pizza. It was our way of getting to know each other. Dan recently caught onto some sketchy activity in the cemetery over by the State Fairgrounds. It happens every year when the Fair crowd starts coming around.

Some teenagers were out partying near the cemetery when they saw some strange lights and bizarre fireworks coming from within the graveyard. They may have been drunk. They might not be credible. But I did manage to dig up some old newspaper files from the 1970’s and early 80’s of similar sightings.

In 1993 four college kids attempted to hold a seance in the middle of the night with a Ouija board. A week later, one of the teens died of an apparent suicide, two in a car accident, and the fourth went missing a few short years after college having been hospitalized in a mental institution suffering from multiple delusions and a nervous breakdown.

This year we’re going to do a very passive stakeout with cameras, trail cams and night vision gear mostly off the premises. If things look promising, we might move closer in toward the last nights of the Fair or after it’s all over. I’m going to do a reading three nights into the stakeout to see if I can determine where the disturbance might be coming from.

Tom says he has a lead on a bunch of activity near the cemetery in Pleasant Hill. That’s probably going to be the next destination just because of the close proximity and similar reports. Should be creepy fun.

-End of Entry.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great week. See ya soon!

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