kumir_k9: (Halloween)
[personal profile] kumir_k9
Hi there.  I've been pretty much out of touch for a couple days in preparation for my high unholy day of the year, Halloween.  As most of you know I put on a pretty lavish haunted house.  While things conspired against me doing it in NH to raise money for 2020 VisionQuest, nothing stopped me from doing it at my work.  Tuesday after work we brought everything from storage over to work and then Wednesday night after work I was here until 1:30 in the morning doing setup with a really awesome crew of people.  They started trickling off after about 8:00, but I'm grateful to every last one that stayed however long they did.  I got a quick 2 1/2 hours sleep in and was back at 7:00 to do the last of the setup.

We ran for about 2 1/2 hours, 3 or 4 people at a time.  The script got changed along to way to tweak things, since you never get practice runs on our schedule.  Fortunately I had sent out the script for the storyline a couple days before and people had been thinking about how they wanted to do it, which I was fine with.  My script had samples only.  A couple people ran with it, a few put their own spin on it and a few just did whatever the heck they felt like.  All in all it was totally awesome.  The video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw9XdU1LvT0

Yes, we did in fact have a plant in each group that the werewolf grabbed and ripped her head off in front of the PCs... uh, guests.  Sorry, the 10 hours sleep I got last night has only restored me to partial functionality.  The bloody head went all the way through in the hands of the guide and was replaced on the altar at the end with a real head which screamed as it was sacrificed in the demon summoning.  Those of you who know Jack Voss, (Richard Horton/7V or Grimwold/Mirror, Mirror) will recognize the voice of the demon at the end.

The wizard actually appeared to be skinned right in front of them too as the brave volunteer who played the role was wearing not one, but two costumes.  She had on the skin tight anatomically correct musculature costume () and then was wearing a cloak over that and the mask of a wizard over the skin mask.  The lost the outer mask and the cloak when the demon kills her.  it was really quite effective.

So that was my Halloween.  I hope you enjoy it too.  :-)

The original cut of the script if you care to compare it to the final product:

Haunted House story
Edie, you will be among the guests.  Get in the back of each group.  You’ll only be with them until the werewolf gets you.
The guests will be greeted at the entrance by their guide, a servant (Michael D) of “the master”.  “Welcome.  My master is expecting you.  I have been instructed to bring you safely to her.  Stay together for you own safety.  Many unwanted visitors have perished to the dangers of this place.  My master needs her victims, I mean guests to be fresh… and well rested.  Move along down the path.  I’ll be right behind you all the way.”  Improvise freely.  Lead them into the forest.
Werewolf (Deb Moody) will be in among the trees, howling occasionally, waiting until Edie is past.  The werewolf will “grab” Edie and drag her into the woods.  At this point, the guide needs to yell to the werewolf to throw the head back, no sense wasting a perfectly good sacrifice.  We’ll have a head prop prepared which the guide will catch and throw in a sack to bring to the master.  If you want to have one of the guests carry it, go for it.  “I warned you to stay together.  Now we’ve lost one.  The master will be most upset.”
Right before the end of the forest we’ll have either a tree or a tree spirit (Melissa) along the path.  “Turn back, you are not welcome in my forest.  Begone before I have my trees take you.”  (or whatever)  If the mood is right or the action is needed, the guide can step in and wave it back with his scythe. “Leave them be.  The master wants the rest alive.”
At this point they should be going under the bay at C9 (see the maps for locations). While they’re under the bay, warn them that they’re going to be entering the swamp and that they’re footing will be treacherous and to make sure to stay on the path.  Beware of things that might attack from the water.
The swamp creature (Rick) will jump out at them shortly after they come out.  This isn’t intended to be a speaking role but if the mood strikes me and things have been going too smoothly you never know what I’ll do.  The guide should move the guests along past it quickly if they’re not moving on their own.  There will likely be animatronic items along the path as well, like jumping spiders, skeletal remains, etc.
As they come out of the swamp at the end of E5, warn them that the remains of previous unwanted guests… “rest”… ahead.  There will be lots of tombstones and various other animatronic items to keep their attention.  Just keep them moving through it.  There may be an animated tombstone that will get up and sneak up on them from behind if we can get the costume working (Terry); otherwise it will likely be a wraith with blinking eyes.  In either case, they don’t get to interact with it and the guide should force whatever it is back with clever dialog (e.g. Get back.  You’ve had your chance at life.  Only the master gets theirs.)
There will be a ghost (Patty) in the graveyard before they go down into the crypt.  She can talk to them  or not as she sees fit, maybe try to coax them to stay with her.  She looks like a Victorian bride lady ghost.  “I was the bride of the original master until he sacrificed me.  Stay with me.  Take his place here at my side.  Come back.” Etc)  If the guests need coaxing to move past, the guide can give it to them.  Tell them to move on down into the crypt.  The master awaits and any who stay in this place too long share that ones fate (pointing at Patty).
Warn them to watch their steps and watch their heads.  The way down can be treacherous.  (This is important for safety reasons as they will be stepping down and to set the feeling in their heads that they are going down into a crypt.  We can’t really bring them down, but we can make them feel like they are.  This happens at H and I)
As they’re going under the bays tell them to keep going and that the tunnel opens back up when they reach the bottom.
There will of course be various animatronic items down here as well along the way.
There will be a wall of skeletons in cages as they come out of the tunnel.  The final one will be the skeleton in the cage (Sandy).  Wait until they are close to reach out toward them.  I always picture skeletons with dry, raspy voices.  “Let me out.  Let me out”  (or whatever)  Since you’re in a cage they shouldn’t have to worry about getting past you.  Guide, keep them moving.
There will be a mummy (Diane) in area K.  This can be a moan or just a threatening shambling toward the guests or say something like, “Who disturbs my rest?  This is sacred ground.  I will destroy you.” etc).  The guide should move the guests along past it or else hold it back with threats of the master.
There will be a vampire (Maythe) in a coffin at area L or M.  The vampire should push off the lid and sit up.  “Ah, fresh blood.  Come feed me.  If you go on the master will sacrifice you.  With me you can “live” forever” (or whatever)  Make a menacing move toward them if they don’t keep going.  The guide should be assisting in this endeavor and lead the way into area N. “Follow me.  We mustn’t keep the master waiting.  I need to get him this (indicate the head in the bag) while it’s still fresh.”  Lead the way in.
As the guide brings the head over to the table and puts it on there, the fake head should be put behind the table and Edie’s head should come up through the table, eyes closed, looking dead.  There should be a brief exchange between the guide and the master (Jody), an aged wizard preparing to summon a big demon (Jack). 
Wizard: Fool!  There’s one missing.
Guide: I’m sorry master, one of the werewolves got one that strayed too far.  I managed to save her head.
Wizard: Perhaps it will be fresh enough to finish the ritual without costing me one of these others.  (Start the ritual.  Wave your arms dramatically.)  Hear my words.  Take this sacrifice.  Answer my summons.  Come to me NOW! (or whatever floats your boat) 

Visual effects will go off.  Jack’s demon will appear in flames.

Wizard: Welcome to our plane.  You are here to serve me.  I have brought these witless fools for you to feast on and gain power.  For your first order…
Demon: Puny mortal!  Golgothan (Grimwold, whatever name you want) serves no one.  For your impudence you will have the honor of dying before them.  (Wave hands toward puny wizard who will hopefully have had just enough time to make the transformation to skinless.  She then dies screaming.  The door should be open by now.  Turn on the guests if they haven’t already run screaming and threaten them.  Advance if you want.  They should run out.  The guide should give them the final push to “Run!  Run!”

THE END

You rock.

Date: 2013-11-01 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sans-peur.livejournal.com
As always.

Date: 2013-11-02 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryxander.livejournal.com
That's pretty spectacular! Wow!!!

It seems like it goes on forever! Do they give you some kind of crazy huge space for that, or are you just a master of making every square foot of the space you have count?

SO AWESOME. I wish my mods looked half that cool.

Date: 2013-11-02 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kumir-k9.livejournal.com
Thanks. :-)

Put me in charge of your mod setups, give me about 150 person hours and your mods can look like that. Heck, I'll even let you use my props, lights and costumes. Such a deal, huh?

They gave me two aisles in the warehouse, each about 60 feet long. Between those and having people go under the bays between them a couple of times, it looks like a whole lot more than it is.

In fact the appearance of going down into a crypt when in fact the whole thing is on one flat level is good space management in conjunction with psychological manipulation.

The guests essentially go down one aisle and up the next, but because of the way I split up the aisles with props and tarp and make them zig zag in ways they don't expect, they end totally lost. I have been accused of being a master of space usage because people who know the space well swear there is no way for everything that's there.

Date: 2013-11-02 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryxander.livejournal.com
That's pretty awesome! I felt disoriented just watching the video, and could really tell by the looks on people's faces that they were totally lost. I would never have guessed that the whole thing was in warehouse aisles. Fantastic!

150 person hours, huh...? Yeah, I doubt that's likely to happen anytime in the usual mod setup bracket of "7 PM to 10 PM on Friday," somehow. ;)

Date: 2013-11-02 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kumir-k9.livejournal.com
That 150 hours contains all my planning time, so maybe I could get the onsite time down to 100 person hours. That means that if you give me 35 people I could get it done before game on. Does that work for you? ;-)

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