{Content note: The following episode contains non-comedic themes of child abuse}

The three imaginary friends of Kendra Walters are her helpers and her support in a world of grownups. Each representing an aspect of her personality, they help fight off all threats of childhood from an annoying brother to the monster under the bed. But what happens, when an event triggers an evil no child should ever have to face?

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17 comments on “Chronicles of Darkness: Shrouded Lullaby

  1. CallMeIshma3l says:

    Solid game. I’m sorry to hear that one of you was affected by that kind of thing. Takes guts to face it, and takes even more to put it on the internet. Well done, all around.

  2. Barsha Da Barsha says:

    Thank you for the comment. We really appreciate them on fandible. Really, the game couldn’t have been done without the creativity of the players. They are fantastic players, and more importantly, friends.

  3. Admiral Grim says:

    I have been listening to Fandible for a little while now, and I have to say this has become my favorite one shot game you guys have done. You present a difficult topic in a compelling way, while still giving us a wonderful story. Well done Fandible.

  4. Malkavianmadman says:

    Amazing game. It speaks to the abilities of you all to be able to portray a game like this as you did. I will admit I thought it was going to be alot darker and almost didn’t listen to it. Glad I did though.

  5. Pencil-Monkey says:

    [Edited previous post to remove naughty bits:]

    Haven’t listened through the whole episode yet (kinda worried after all the warnings about grimdark and child abuse), but so far – up until the swordfight on the rocket ship (Yeah, baby!) – this episode hasn’t merely been delightful, it was FandiLightful. If you had saved it for another 3 months, it could’ve been a sterling Christmas special – but since you didn’t, you’ve now set the bar even higher for yourself, come December time, to top these shenanigans. 😉

    Kudos on the sound effects, Billy, they were suitably creepy and atmospheric. Also, it was a nice touch that you had enough GM restraint to not overdo the SFX, since repeat exposure to something scary will dilute and diminish the effect.
    Did you use a sound board on a ‘phone or a tablet computer, or did you physically bring a talking dolly to the gaming table? That would be one H-E-Double-Hockeysticks of a handout.

    The whole group managed to stay (reasonably) consistent in using kid language, when appropriate, e.g. replacing the Politics skill with “Grown-Up Talk” etc., which was another of the many small details that added up to a highly enjoyable recording.

    (Fingers crossed, hoping that Picklebox becomes a recurring villain/NPC.)
    >:-) “Approawch!”

  6. Barsha Da Barsha says:

    Thanks everyone!

    And Pencil Monkey, we had debated keeping this until Christmas… but honestly, it was hard to keep in storage until then. We wanted to see how people reacted to it so we know if these serious subjects could be done in future games.

    Trust me… I have a Christmas idea stirring that will leave several lumps of coal in your stockings when you listen to it.

  7. Barsha Da Barsha says:

    Oh —

    I used an Ipad. I had a list of a few sound effects ready. Honestly, I’ve found having sound effects in your back pocket helps the story. It helped me come up with several of the more fantastical ideas (especially the doll when it sang “Ring around the Rosy” and me knowing Angela’s plan to play Rosie the Riv’der).

  8. Nate says:

    Wow, bravo guys!

    That was really gutsy, Billy, and I really appreciate a) that you did it at all, b) that you did it well (and respectfully, which is more important), and c) how you put yourself into it, too. I don’t think I’d have the guts to do that myself if I went through anything similar, so double-kudos.

    And the players all did really well, too, trusting the GM and getting into it, even if you may not have been sure how comfortable you’d be with where it was going. That really says a lot.

    You guys are a really great bunch, and it’s great to see (hear?), especially when a lot of other roleplaying podcasts (I’d even go so far as to say role-*players*) are so hung up on ultraviolence and mountain dew), it’s cool to see people who realise that the default “abuse=villain” formula is not really a good thing. I think that that (and the wacky hijinks) is why Fandible is my favourite podcast by a pretty wide margin.

    OK, enough back-pats and kumbayahs from me, now — I demand more God Machine already! :p

  9. Megan says:

    I’m glad (though not surprised for this group) to hear this subject handled with such consideration. I still, 15 years later, have nightmares about my childhood abuser and I think this was dealt with very well by this group. I’ll add this to my list of reasons you’re my favorite actual play podcast.

  10. Sam says:

    This episode was disappointing.
    It was good and creepy, but disappointing.
    Also I have a love hate thing for Angela. I think she either hits it out of the park with the game or its drowning a slow painful death. This episode was a big example of the latter. And I think its part of why I didn’t have as much enjoyment from this episode.

    You do good stuff Angela, I love your Hollow Earth Expedition(Please note I hate Hollow Earth so too actually like a game of it says something), and you can be the glue which keeps a session fun.

    Otherwise this was a meh, it wasn’t the best or the worst it really wasn’t memorable too me… And that probably says something bad about me

  11. crawlkill says:

    fuuuuck. that was intense. I’m glad I finally finished this one. 10/10, I was, like, tearing up and shit, and I don’t even have any kind of personal hook here. real powerful. this’d make a great “adult” animated movie, with the brave but simple and ultimately powerless friends fighting their own despair to fight hers and ughhh, so good.

  12. Barsha Da Barsha says:

    Thanks, Crawl. It’s a story I’m really proud of.

  13. Anthony says:

    I was pretty much brought to tears. I kinda had the thought you wouldn’t end it the way you did (I refuse to spoil because, outside of Buried Memories, this is definitely my favorite story on this site) because most of the previous games that don’t have a concrete ‘good’ ending such as Shattered Reflections and, to a point, Congealed Happiness, have rather…fatal endings like in Pure Wax and Buried Memories. I’ll spoil the ending doesn’t have a fatality, but still, I was honestly scared someone was gonna die. I had the thought that wouldn’t happen, but that ending sequence REALLY make me question if things would end well. And considering how obvious narratives are nowadays, where endings can be seen a mile away, the fact you can ALWAYS be expected to have things end in an unexpected fashion speaks well of your storytelling and the Billyverse as a whole.

    The Billyverse is a fucked up place with weird Reflections and Life Support plants and time holes and an Ink Monster, but it never ceases to be exciting.

  14. Rick Browder says:

    This is by far one of the best rp sessions I’ve ever listened to. I only discovered your podcast a few months ago, but I’ve been binge listening to these sessions like crazy. This one in particular though, was absolutely mind blowing.

    Without a doubt, the underlying theme is a mature and intense one, and you all handled it very well. It was very Hitchcock like in the presentation, which I think is probably the safest yet most effective way to present something like that.

    Additionally, the overall concept was amazing, and how you all pulled it off was nothing less than awe inspiring to me. I’ve been playing WOD for over twenty four years now (I started in 92), and over the years I like to think that I’ve become a decent player and a pretty good Storyteller, but I’ve got to say, I’m learning so many things about narrative and pacing from you all, and I’m picking up pointers on how to present themes (especially horror) to my players.

    Again, I can’t stress enough how amazing this concept was, and how much fun and emotion I experienced listening to it. Thank you all for the effort you put into entertaining us!

  15. Barsha Da Barsha says:

    Rick,

    Thank you so much for the kind words. Shrouded Lullaby will always been my favorite of my stories, and I am very happy to know that people are still enjoying it even though it’s a few years old now.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying our site – you have plenty of content to check out! Everyone here has their own flavor of storytelling and I’m sure you’ll find some great stories from them as well. I’m glad that you’re finding useful lessons from us beyond us making childish jokes and trying not to chew in front of the mic. If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to us. We love questions (and usually try to answer any that are sent our way during our Geeky Topics Round Table).

    Again, thank you for the kind words! They keep us going!

  16. Think- tank says:

    I’ve been listening for 2 weeks now, and just wanted to throw this out there:

    Every single episode so far has had one of those golden moments in it. Either something hilarious either said in (or out of) character that had me rolling, seriously good character development, or something that made me stop what I was doing because I couldn’t focus on anything but the tension. This episode was all of that and more the entire way through. This is the first podcast episode that made me cry.

  17. Billy says:

    I’m really glad you are catching up on all our library, Think-Tank. Shrouded Lullaby will always be a classic with Fandible. The players were everything I wanted and more.

    Keep listening, keep commenting, and keep sticking around!

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