The main story would deal with a strange suicide in a town such as San Francisco in the 30s. The latest case deals with the disappearance of a mother and her child.

Each time the bodies are severely damaged, leaving little information for identification and clues for the case.

The characters would pursue their investigation, which in the end reveals the presence of a monster in the town. The monster's presence is kept a secret by the chief of police who moves the body each time to a particular location.

Now the question, which location serves this purpose ?

I thought maybe a railway but drivers could be questioned even if they move town every day. By the seaside, which would feed the Cthulhu atmosphere, but it doesn't explain the mutilation.

Bonus point: if you can build a terrifying location known by all inhabitants of the town (bridge of despairs...)

The police chief is a member of the cult, he might prefer the most credible approach.

Any suggestions.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ (a) The help center states, "When asking questions keep in mind that the goal of the site is to help you build your world, not to tell your story." You're not asking us about a story-independent rule of your world, you're asking us for help writing your story. That's off-topic and a reason to close your question (see "too story-based" in the close reasons). (b) The help center also states, "To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers." $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Oct 20, 2021 at 9:01
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    $\begingroup$ "deal with strange suicide" did you mean homicide/murder? Because I can't see how a suicide can explain "Each time the bodies are severely damaged" $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2021 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ I am looking in a way to hide thoose murder, suicide would be a good approach but I need to make it violent to justify the mutilation. Jumping on a railway, from a cliff or on some heavy machinery... $\endgroup$
    – Paltoquet
    Oct 20, 2021 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ The chief of police might be a member of the criminal gang, but whenever a dead body is discovered there are a lot of people involved. The person or persons who discovered the body, the first responders, the first police agents on scene, the detectives to whom the case is assigned, the medical examiner who needs to sign the death certificate, the forensic examiners, the police photographer and so on. In fact, the chief of police would be very rarely involved, unless this is a small county; and in that case the entire community will begin asking questions. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Oct 20, 2021 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Paltoquet On Join JBH on Codidact's side and voted-to-close for being story based. It's a question about the choice of an individual (the cultist chief), about individual locations and specific individuals to hide. The most credible way to store bodies is therefore too much dependent of their point of view and situation : Places the body is discovered, how good the location looks like at time of discovery, and so on. Peck, even leaving the body where it is is a credible thing to do, given the right conditions 🦋! $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Oct 20, 2021 at 11:06

3 Answers 3


Hidden in the sea is the practical answer.

If you want to keep a murder private, you don't want people to know about it. Just dump them in the sea, weighted down by rocks. Simple answer.

But that's a bit boring for investigation.

In places where the cop has enemies.

A corrupt old cop would likely have friends who helped support them in their reign of terror. They'd also have enemies.

As such, businesses which refused to pay the cops protection money could get a mutilated corpse. The beach refuses to pay their protection fee? They get a corpse for all the tourists to see. The bakery decides there's no danger in the town worth protection money? There's the danger of a corpse shoved in their oven.

This lets them blame the murder on other things like criminals or a gang, and it works to help them get paid more protection money from businesses afraid to have a mutilated corpse dumped on them.

It also lets you vary the mutilations in interesting ways. The bakery might have someone stuffed to breaking point with cakes, the beach might have someone whose flesh was torn apart by fish.

  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea of the blackmail, i edited the question regarding the boss of police $\endgroup$
    – Paltoquet
    Oct 20, 2021 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it means you can make as spooky an atmosphere as you want. A spooky atmosphere is better for the chief of police, they make more money if their enemies are scared. $\endgroup$
    – Nepene Nep
    Oct 20, 2021 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ An introduction scene where the player interogate a criminal for the murder could be nice $\endgroup$
    – Paltoquet
    Oct 20, 2021 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. The cop could direct them to the criminal, and they could learn the details of the crime and the place. The cop would be eager for them to dislike the criminal and blame them. $\endgroup$
    – Nepene Nep
    Oct 20, 2021 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ The cops direct them to this criminal because he makes the perfect suspect, maybe he killed someone that night but not the corpse they inherited with. You left the players decide if they want him to fall for a crime he didn't commit. $\endgroup$
    – Paltoquet
    Oct 20, 2021 at 12:36

Steep, Flood Prone Ravine

You want somewhere that could be a realistic suicide location that a crooked cop could also use to dump bodies. And ideally, the bodies would end up mutilated, to mask damage done to the murder victims.

Go with a steep ravine. Ravines are often dry, and prone to flash floods when heavy rains occur. The rushing water is going to do a number on any body in the ravine, and if there's a location with a large drop that's near the road, that could conceivably be a local suicide spot.

The crooked cop would dump his bodies upstream of the suicide spot, and the water would push it downstream where it could be found later. The "spooky spot" could be a place where the bodies tend to accumulate, like a place where the walls of the ravine open up, and the water pressure drops.

Modern flood management has tries to eliminate this kind of feature in urban / suburban areas, since they are dangerous. But in the 1930s they'd be more common.


Lake Merced.

lake merced https://sfrecpark.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Lake-Merced-Trail-58

It is in San Francisco. That picture sure does not look like it is San Francisco. It would not take much to make it pretty creepy.


Two kayakers made a gruesome discovery while out on the waters of San Francisco's Lake Merced on Saturday: a decomposing body, face down in the north end of the lake. KPIX reports that it's believed that the body is male. However, the San Francisco Medical Examiner couldn't confirm gender, age, or any other details to SFist at publication time, saying the deceased had yet to be identified.

The cause of death also remains unclear, the Medical Examiner's office said today.

Lake Merced has long been known as a place where bodies tend to appear, as a 1910 San Francisco Call story illustrates. Most recently, a missing Daly City man was found in its waters, and kayakers found another body in the eastern reeds in 2009.

This recent body and the 1910 body were hard to identify. They had decomposed. I could imagine a Lovecraftian monster that accelerated decomposition. I could imagine something that lives in the lake.


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