Threshold: The Descent (Room X)

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Costs: 0
Email: [ bouncing email address ]
Frequency: every 2 days preferably
URL: [ dead link ]
Type: Horror
Last-Update: 2007Sep18
Keywords: free-moderation, closed-ended, email, human, historical, rpg


The year is 1865. The physicians who work within the drab corridors and tiled wards of Greycleave are troubled. For, in recent months they have seen an increase in cases of extreme lunacy. The wards are crammed to capacity, every gurney in the hospital is in use as a temporary bed and dealing with this influx of madness has placed an enormous strain upon the hard-working physicians. But they are dedicated and tireless; determined to find the root cause behind what seems to be an epidemic of insanity.

Of all the doctors at Greycleave, none have worked so tirelessly as head physician, Avesham Sheckles. But even Avesham, usually an oasis of sanity at the heart of the asylum, is troubled. For he has uncovered a common denominator in the lunacy of those under his charge. The inmates of Greycleave share a mutual and mortal terror; an incongruous fear of a simple door in the basement of the asylum. A rusty metal door, bearing a plaque inscribed 'Room X'.

Describing the door with wide eyes and trembling lips, Sheckles' patients identify a dark corridor, the door almost hidden in shadow at its extremity. Even those inmates who have never strayed beyond the security of the upper wards seem to know of the door's exact location, of its rusted metal and wrought iron hinges, and of the dark plaque upon its face. To them, the door is the cause of an unbearable phobia. To Sheckles it has become a subject of diverting curiosity.

Thus Sheckles decided to ride the hospital's single, wrought iron elevator down into the bowels of the asylum to examine the door, to open it and to debunk the irrational horrors of his wretched patients by returning with first hand knowledge of what lay beyond.

But he never returned. and now the illness afflicting the inmates has worsened. A meeting is held and the nervous, yet dependable doctors left in Sheckles absence are in agreement. Having studied Sheckles' case notes, the doctors concede that something must be done. To them and to them alone falls the unenviable task of finding the missing physician, and getting to the bottom of this root insanity. In order to do so, they must ride the elevator down into the cellar and investigate the door marked X.

Threshold: The Descent, Room X, is a blood-curdling horror of the Silent Hill variety which sees players step into the shoes of a group of Georgian doctors about to embark on a search for their missing colleague. Their search will take them to the cellar of the asylum, to the door marked X, and across the threshold, to what lies beyond.

This is a free PBEM played using a commercial module written by David Sharrock. We'll be using two systems: first is the free rpg system Key-RP which is freely available to download to Your Games Now

Second is the email scripting system, Quest, so players will need to get a copy of that in order to play. The snazzy full version is available at Your Games Now for $2.50, or you can download the free 'Cheap Seats' version from Forever People Digital Press website.

Downloads: Key-RP (free)

Quest ($2.50 version)

Quest (free Cheap Seats Quest, Notepad file)

Knowledge of the above systems is not necessary as they are easy to pick up as you play. This is a close-ended game of indeterminate length. It's never been playtested as a pbem, so I don't know how long it will run, but it's sure to be lots of fun as I've already moderated it once as a pen and paper game. This isn't an adult game persay, but it does contain adult themes and horror, so I'm setting a gamer age limit of 18.


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Greg Lindahl