Arcadia Power

Author Topic: Chicken Riding Murder Hobos III+2  (Read 78 times)


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Re: Chicken Riding Murder Hobos III+2
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:55:50 am »
I just released a new newspaper to my players. This one is from another town (compared to the first one).

The Daily Breeze:

One thing that the players figured out from these is that the Bad Guys are using the articles "Students of Quin Lan Discussion" to pass coded messages to subordinates, etc. They were able to recover a code book from an NPC sub-boss that they defeated. It had 61 entries in it, each a random string of 55 numbers (from 1-55). They figured out that this corresponds to the word order in the Quin Lan articles posted in the papers. The months alternate between 30 and 31 days, so that gives 61 rotating codes. If you look up the number code list for the date of the news paper, you can decode the message in the article.

The first coded message gave them info on a supply drop, which they intercepted. They followed up on the airship that made the drop, learning that it was a contracted drop paid for by a local fixer that is known to work for the Shinra Corp (one of the major companies in the world). This same fixer has been behind a lot of the goings on that have personally effected the party. The middle man "Todd Binders" has become a personal love-to-hate NPC of the party. They haven't killed him yet, but he always turns up having paid someone off or done something to mess with the party.

They did not follow up on who placed the first article in the paper, but now that they have found a second one, they seem more interested in looking into that.

The second coded message they intercepted, which is in this newspaper, gave commands to kidnap the local mayor's kid, for which they are coincidentally on a rescue mission for. They also learned of orders for another operative but they are unsure of what it means (it relates to their next adventure).

On a side note, the first message was easy. I wrote the article and picked out the words I wanted for the message, and it became the cipher key. Well, after that (in order to be consistent, in case the PCs ask), I put together the full list of 61 cipher codes. This made the more recent message a little more difficult to encode. I ended up creating a spreadsheet that helps me define the message I want sent, and then fill in the missing words to make a Quin Lan article. I specifically made the backstory on the Quin Lan articles be hokey metaphysical jibberish to aid hiding messages in it. The basic story is that Quin Lan was an ancient scholar who published writings similar to the Tao de Ching & the I Ching, so publishing weird rambling articles in the local paper is not considered super strange to locals.