Twin Peaks series as a Gumshoe game

I'm toying with the idea of turning my no.1 TV series of all times into a RPG campaign. Younger players seem to be oblivious to the phenomenon that is Twin Peaks, while the setting, story and characters are simply too compelling not to make it into a game. Since the murder mystery revolving around what happened to Laura Palmer is a investigation story I thought I'd have a chance to try out the Gumshoe system.

My first question is, then, what Gumshoe game would fit the bill best? I have never played or even read any Gumshoe game and am looking to get one, eventually. I do however think that I have a good general idea about the system, from podcasts, actual plays and so forth.

Furthermore, I wonder if other Gumshoe games have variant rules that would fit seamlessly into a Twin Peaks game? Like how refreshes of investigation points (or whatever) works. (I'm thinking that a visit to the RR diner is required.) This is also in reference to the fact that only one or two of the player characters would be FBI agents (Dale, and possibly Albert as his partner) or employees of the Twin Peaks sheriff's station. Other PCs might be high school kids (mainly Donna and Audrey) with a bent for investigation. The supernatural, dreams and intuition is of course at the hearth of any Twin Peaks game.

Comments

  • I have vague recollections of Twin Peaks but enough to think you have a great idea.  I think Trail of Cthulhu would work, just without the Mythos element.  Better, perhaps, is Fear Itself, which is designed as modern horror pitting ordinary people (especially high school students!) against the supernatural.  Fear Itself has some psychic powers that would be useful to replicate the dreams and intuitive hallmarks of the show.  
    Mel
  • I didn't realize FI was a Gumshoe game, but it should indeed fit the bill!
  • There is a little blurb in the Fear Itself book about it's origins in a d20 product _The Book of Unremitting Horror_ so that might explain any uncertainty.  
  • Since your aim seems to be a wide mix of characters (FBI agenst and high shool kids) I'd agree that Fear Itself is the game you are looking for. It has relatively few abilities that each cover a fairly wide area.

    If you wan't to turn it up a notch and only go for FBI agents, The Esoterrorists is probably a somewhat better choice, with slightly more abilites that are more specialized with a narrower focus.

    Also: The Book of Unremitting Horror, which have been ported to Gumshoe, is amazing, if perhaps not highly  usable for a Twin Peaks game.
  • Also, with regards to refreshes of skill pools, in standard Gumshoe, Investigative skills refresh between adventures.  The GM could designate "break-points" in an adventure where Investigative skills refresh.  In Night's Black Agents, General abilities do refresh in Havens--to a maximum of three General abilities but not Health and Stability--once per session.  So that could be the Diner or whatever.  Perhaps its different for each character.  And many GMs like to allow a refresh of all skills after the very first scene, especially, with players new to the system.  As a note, since Investigative skills still "work" even if the pool has been reduced to 0 points, the lack of Investigative skill refreshes is not a show-stopper.
    Mel
  • By the way, was Laura Palmer's murder ever solved?  Don't tell me who did it!  
  • OlderNick said:

    Since your aim seems to be a wide mix of characters (FBI agenst and high shool kids) I'd agree that Fear Itself is the game you are looking for. It has relatively few abilities that each cover a fairly wide area.

    If you wan't to turn it up a notch and only go for FBI agents, The Esoterrorists is probably a somewhat better choice, with slightly more abilites that are more specialized with a narrower focus.

    Also: The Book of Unremitting Horror, which have been ported to Gumshoe, is amazing, if perhaps not highly  usable for a Twin Peaks game.

    Yeah, I was thinking I'd probably be cherry picking rules variants from various games in order to get the right mix...
  • Mel_White said:

    By the way, was Laura Palmer's murder ever solved?  Don't tell me who did it!  

    The idea was originally that the murder mystery would go unsolved indefinataly, as the series was to be a surreal soup-opera of sorts. But the network (Fox?) decided at some point that it would be a boost to the ratings to reveal the murderer, so they went and advertised that. Lynch and Frost simply had to reveal the mystery, and that pretty much started the decline of the show.

    In a roleplaying game it would of course be up to the players to solve the mystery, and the campaign would last for as long as that would take. Of course you'd want the mystery to be solved, eventually.

    Regarding the diner as the pool refreshing point; since all or most PCs are doing their investigation alone or independently of the other PCs, there needs to be a way to touch bases and interact player to player. Making them all go to the diner (as they frequently do in the series) makes sense, I think.
  • Another thing, what about contacts in various Gumshoe games? I've heard about contacts in Night's Black Agents and was thinking about something similar. The FBI agent would only have contacts in the bureau and in law enforcement, while the murder victim's best friend knows just about all of the family members and other locals, like school mates and whatnot.

    My thinking is that any law enforcement characters will have high skill levels but less useful local contacts, while the high school kids have very few useful skills but many useful contacts. This also makes it worthwhile for the players to trade information and services, of course while maintaining consistent in-game character relationships.
  • That's a neat variant on contacts.  It reminds me of Circles in The Burning Wheel, where creating NPCs gets harder the further from one's social circle the NPC is.  
    It also is an interesting means of niche protection through the distribution of skill points.  And, narratively, it will make it necessary for the law enforcement PCs to work with high school PCs.  Great!
  • In the series, Laura's best friend Donna isn't really cooperating with law enforcement, but rather starts digging on her own. Another high-schooler, Audrey, offers her help to special agent Cooper and gets into serius  trubbel doing so. These would be choices made by the players in the game, however.

    Another interesting tid-bit is that the Audrey character gets infatuated with the FBI agent character, who also likes her. The show's original intent was there to be a romantic relationship of sorts between these characters, but Kyle McLachlan, playing special agent Dale Cooper, refused for his character to get involved with a high-school kid. So they remained dear friends in the show, but who knows what players in a roleplaying game would opt to do, right?
  • When I used to kick around a similar idea, I considered using the material established in Heaven & Earth (first edition, not the one linked here).

    I think there's a lot of material to plumb from H&E, and if I ran it today, it would absolutely be a GUMSHOE game.  Or FATE.  But probably GUMSHOE.
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