English Eerie Journal Solo: Partway - Getting out of the House
British RPGs Rolling Solo Solo RPGs

English Eerie Journal Solo: Partway - Getting out of the House

Duncan Thomson

Getting on with second part three part scenario for journalling solo game English Eeriehe Following on from the Starting Scenes.

English Eerie solo - intro | start | partway | finish

Disclosure - I'm a DriveThru RPG affiliate

Thoughts on English Eerie

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

English Eerie is hard for me to judge, as it's the first solo journalling game I've played.

I managed to get a printed version, so after the first two entries I was playing screenless, in theory adding to the atmosphere.

I saw more of the story deck this time, with more events.

The deck is 19 cards, consisting of

  • 4, 5, 6, 7 of Hearts
  • 4, 5, 6, 7 of Hearts, representing harm to secondary characters
  • 4, 5, 6, 7 of Clubs, representing obstruction by secondary characters (Obstacles)
  • 4, 5, 6, 7 of Diamonds, representing environmental Obstacles.
  • 4, 5, 6, 7 of Spaces, representing uncovering a minor clue
  • 3 x Queens, representing Grey Ladies, marking important events in the narrative.

The deck is split into three parts, with Grey Ladies revealed roughly after a third, two-thirds and as the final card.

This means all of the cards will be revealed, and there will be 19 scenes to resolve, although the order is uncertain.

This seems like quite a few to me, and I would like some kind of uncertainty over the final number.

On the plus side, it looks really easy to create your own scenarios for English Eerie. A starting premise, a short list of secondary characters, a few clues, character obstacles, environmental obstacles and the events for the Grey Ladies.

The structure for English Eerie as a game is sound, I'm just not sure it's my favourite.

Thoughts on Journalling

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

I think the key for journalling is choosing the right game for you. In other solo games, you have game mechanics and characters taking actions. Writing a record is optional.

But with journalling, writing up your story is the game, the interpretation of cluesa and prompts to create journal entries. So if you don't feel motivated or inspired, it makes the game much harder.

For most of the entries, it felt like I was just going through it because I needed to to finish it. Not that I hated it, just a lack of motivation.

This can be seen in the short later journal entries.

And I think like the premise and the setting, but Horror has never really been my thing. So if I did it again, I think I'd choose another premise. (Although strangely, I quite like the idea of One Thousand Year-Old Vampire)

This is all a learning process, so for the final part, I'm going to try to write one or two scenes at a time, at night with no screens and maybe a natural light.

It might also work better in an English Winter and not a Portuguese Summer!

Scenes of the Beast on the Moor

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

In the last entry of the starting scenes, Giles encountered a creature with burning eyes on the moor.

March 10th, 1907, Morning

There were burning eyes in my dreams.

I returning with Ms Enfield late last night, but this morning there's a lull. An unspoken peace. No-one has the energy to fight.

Mrs Bristle looks tired, Mr Douglas a bit more lively. Ms Enfield a little lost.

I can't say any of them want to stay much longer. But none of them want to venture out alone.

I'm looking after Felix. He seems brighter this morning, although strangely sad.

March 10th, 1907, Midday (5 of Spades, Resolve 2, Spirit 6)

Mrs Bristle sought me out, to show something at the back door. Four large scratch marks, which had not been there before.

I begged her not to tell the others.

It seems there is something out on the moors, that now wants to get into the house.

March 10th, 1907, Evening (6 of Diamonds, Resolve 2, Spirit 6)

There was a break in the fog today, so i headed out with a gun to escape the house. Felix wanted to come, but Mrs Bristle persuaded him otherwise. Mr Douglas and Ms Enfield aren't talking to anyone, avoiding each other.

There's an ancient grove of trees. maybe back to Roman times, on the edge of the estate. So I sat there a while. but then i hear a whisper. They whispered of a secret of the Cunninghams, hidden here.

It made no sense! trees can't talk. I don't know what's taken over me!

(d10 roll of 8 to overcome obstacle [7] - Success, Spirit 6)

I asked Felix about the grove and its history. At first he didn't want to tell me, but eventually he admitted it might be haunted. His grandfather had hanged himself from one of the trees.

And sometimes the moor play tricks on us.

Felix, limping all the way, took me up to the grove again. the whispers had gone.

March 11th, 1907, Midday (7 of Diamonds, Resolve 2, Spirit 6)

There were trees and a hanged man in my dreams.

Felix is restored, so we resolved to walk out to the nearest farm, one of the tenants of Cunningham House. Mr Douglas insisted on guarding the house with a loaded shotgun, calming no one.

It rained all of last night, and the way was wetter than expected. Felix was unusually quiet, and our way was blocked by an unexpected stream.

(d10 roll of 8 to overcome obstacle [8] - Success, Spirit 6)

It took me three attempts, but I managed to get through the mud, without slipping in. Seeing a way across and with me help, Felix crossed too.

He seems much restored, but still quiet.

We reached the farm, but there was only one fellow there, a tall chap by the name of James. His family have gone away, probably to get away from this cursed place. He agreed to take a message to the village for us.

March 11th, 1907, Evening (4 of Clubs, Resolve 2, Spirit 6)

On our way back, Felix lost his mind.

He started raving of a beast on the moors, and lights speaking to him in the trees.

I tried to calm him, even slapped him, but to no avail. He was scared all the way back to the house.

Fellow is no good to anyone now.

I hate this place.

Friday, March 12th, 1907, Morning (5 of Hearts, Resolve 2, Spirit 5)

Was it only Sunday I arrived here? Losing the will to write now.

Felix climbed on the roof just after dawn.

We left him there for now.

Ms Enfield won't leave her bed. she screams if we try to come near.

We left her there for now.

Maybe I should just go.

March 12th, 1907, Evening (7 of Clubs, Resolve 2, Spirit 5)

Felix came down from the roof.

Mr Douglas suggested we hunt the beast, as it was a clear day. I agreed, so we took our guns and headed toward Grim Tor.

We spent two hours on the miserable moor, and then Mr Douglas disappeared, and I know not where.

(d10 roll of 9 to overcome obstacle [8] - Success, Spirit 5)

I shouted for him, but got no reply, and a mist started rising. So I did my best to get back to Cunningham House, a little lost.

The moor all looks the same at times.

Luckily I heard the shouts of Mrs Bristle, and saw the lights of Cunningham House soon after.

To my surprise, Mr Douglas was sitting comfortably with a tea in the parlour. Said he thought I'd gone back on my own, and would say no more.

Most peculiar...

March 13th, 1907, Midday

It was grim this morning. No-one is doing any work that I can see.

March 13th, 1907, Evening (Grey Lady, Resolve 2, Spirit 5)

Felix is gone.

Mrs Bristle she saw him heading up to woods beyond the old grove. I went up this afternoon and searched for him, but go no answer. Rain and mist left no choice but to return.

We'll send out for help, go back and look tomorrow. We won't find him in this weather.

Next - Sunday, March 14th, 1907, Evening (Grey Lady, Resolve 1, Spirit 5)

Characters and Adventure Notes

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

The main character and secondary characters.

Main Character - Giles Chessaw

Resolve 3, Spirit 7

Giles drifts from place to place, investigating interesting heirlooms and antiques. Sometimes he visits his family at the village of Chesshaw before moving on.

Being fixed in one place isn't the life for him.

For the scenario Beast on the Moor, Giles is an antiquarian visiting a friend in an old manor house in Devonshire.

Secondary Characters

I took these straight from the scenario

  • Lord Cunningham (Felix), a solitary noble who lives alone, save for a few servants, in his Derbyshire manor. He is potentially becoming a danger to himself with all these tales of strange goings on.
  • Mrs Bristle, a middle-aged plump serving woman who dotes on Felix. She is worried about his state of mind and often sits with him while he sleeps.
  • Mr Douglas, a butler who looks like he’s built for a fight. He doesn’t seem to care much for his lord, and puts in the least effort. He is in love with Ms Enfield.
  • Ms Enfield, a serving girl of twenty years old. She is a superstitious type and encourages Felix when he spouts his lunacy about odd sounds and shapes in the night. Mrs Bristle isn’t fond of her ways and believes she’s got ‘the devil in her’.

Finishing Up

Let's see if we can find Felix out in the woods next time!