Ideas for running City based and CSI style adventures

jedion357's picture
March 25, 2009 - 9:44pm
This is in response to a query elsewhere (montoya) concerning city based and CSI style adventures:

First off you can mine the treasure tables site, even though it has no new content what it already has is phenominal in breadth:
in particular this article was really good:
or you could try the associated forum at "You meet in a Tavern":

For running a CSI style game I would say watch CSI episodes and chart or outline the episode. since one episode has two murders, usually, you just drop one and use the other as an outline for developing an adventure. You'll need an NPC who hands out assignments and periodically talks to them about how their assignment is going. they could be a few other lab techs that they could consult of give evidence to to process especially if its outside their skill set. They'd play the field agents.

You could run a whole CSI: Port Loren campaign. I'd give them a cool ride like CSI:Miami but not have it a mobile lab give them a whole lab in the star law building where they could consult the other NPC over evidence collected before going back to the field to collect more based off what they learned. This would be great opportunity to reinforce science that they are learning in school. Personally I'd run the game as a formula: 1. respond to crime 2. collect then process evidence 3. interview suspects 4. look for holes in their stories by finding evidence that confirms or contradicts their stories, 5. re interview and re consult evidence or reconfirm what it said and finally wrap up and have the big reveal or arrest. throw in at least one shoot out or car chase for excitement. a really good job could result in a letter of commendation for them. a change of pace could involve travelling to remote location to solve a crime on limited resources to do that star law has commandeered an assualt scout from the militia and then there is the op for a bit of KHs action too.

You could locate the local boy scout "shop" in your area and buy a copy of the finger printing merit badge book, boy scouts was for ages 11-18 and the fingerprinting merit badge book taught finger printing on an 11 year old's level and had some projects. that material would help you add in fingerprinting to the adventure I would think. Maybe do some props: coat your finger in red marker and make a print on an index card  and when describing a crime scene tell them they see a bloody print and when the say the take a copy of the print hand them the card. Then as they interigate NPCs through the adventure have other prints form different fingers for and one from the same one that was down in red but all these copies are in black. they can compare the prints to the bloody print to see which NPC it matches. the NPC it matches doesn't even have be guilty but thats up to you to decide how much of a twist to throw at your daughters.

you could also put a little almond extract on a cotton ball in an old 35mm film canister and hand that to them during an investigation telling them that the substance they found smells like this.- cyanide smells like almonds.

Good luck and keep us posted

EDIT: there is a lot you could do with this that might "grab" your kids. a mystery involving invisible ink and revealing it by application of a heat source. the lab director NPC or another lab tech could explain the science behind it and say here try then you had materials and they get to try it be a little side track but i bet 20 years from now they'd still be talking about doing that with you even if they didn't remember the particulars of the adventure.
Or look into some chemistry kits for kids for some chemical experiments that you could incorporate into the adventure. again they'd probably love doing it and it be fun even if they're learning at the same time.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Will's picture
March 30, 2009 - 3:07pm
The 3d Musketeer wrote:
As for CSI... it's good TV. Consistently fantastic, in the sense of having tech beyond the reach of real CSI units... but well written, enjoyable, and surprisingly believable, despite the science fiction tech.

Good MTV perhaps, but each his own...I'm predjudiced in favor of Quincy M.E., and always will be. They dealt with contemporary issues using real forensic science. Add what we know about Luminol and DNA profiling, etc., the series could probably be done today(assuming one could find a cast which could take the place of Jack Klugman, Robert Ito, John Raglin, &c.).

Good non-fiction shows to watch for background in CSI techniques are TLC's Forensic Files and The New Detectives. Usually, if a new technique is showcased on either one of these shows, the CSI trilogy will incorporate a less substanial, but visually (and musically)slicker version of it in the shows coming out after the mid-season hiatus immediately following the TLC episodes in question.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."

—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

aramis's picture
March 30, 2009 - 3:18pm
Off Topic:
Yes, I'm an out-of-practice Fencer. (Been down for over a year now with a knee injury.)

Rapier Champion to Esperanza III of Oertha.
PVH as well. (Yes, a walking PA system...)