Sample Cinematics [They Came From Beneath The Sea!]


They Came From Beneath the Sea! art by Aaron Riley

Hi all! Matthew here, with some sample Cinematics from They Came from Beneath the Sea! to whet your appetites in anticipation of the full list. I hope you enjoy!

Bad Dubbing

The doctor peered over the lip of the railing surrounding the balcony. He could make out several shapes below, conversing openly. They chittered and barked in that bizarre language of theirs.

“Do you understand any of it?” asked Pete.

Doctor Spiegler waved his hands, motioning for silence. And that was what did it. The gestures. He might not be able to hear every word, but if he watched closely. That wave of the hand. The nod of the head. The look on those bizarre faces. It almost started to make sense to him. As if some hidden voice translated it all for him in the back of his mind. Put those grunts and gurgles together into something more substantial.

It was almost like they were subtitled or dubbed.

Smiling, the Doctor turned back towards the others, who looked at him expectantly. He was pleased not to disappoint.

“Well they keep pointing over there; I think that’s where the prisoners are being held. And they gesture over there with the keystones for their ships; that must be the hangar. Which means that the third corridor leads to the command center. And that’s where we need to go if we want to get a hold of the plans to their super weapon.”

“You’re a genius, doc!” hissed Pete through his pearly white teeth.

“Tell me that again after we all get out of here alive.” replied Doctor Spiegler.

With an exchange of grim nods of assent, the group knew what it had to do. Those plans were coming back to the surface with them, no matter what.”

Cost: 1 Rewrite

The languages of the aliens are the first line of defense against discovery by the humans. If their words can’t be deciphered, it’s impossible to know their plans. Of course, that doesn’t bode well for our audience, does it? That’s why we’ve hired a team of the finest voice actors small amounts of money can buy to dub over the click, clack, cluck of the alien speech with something a little closer to home.

Players with this Cinematic can activate it at an opportune time and the Director will then dub over the alien conversation in English for their benefit.

Important Exposition

The player triggering this Cinematic can rest assured that whenever they utilize it, they will only be getting top-quality exposition of the plot, expounded upon for the benefit of the audience. I mean, why on Earth would we waste good money on this production just to bring the aliens discussing how many humans they had for breakfast this morning? Those VAs don’t come as cheaply as we would like, and Directors should only use them to explore vital areas of the plot.

Playing Along

You know your character can’t hear what was said, I know your character can’t hear what was said and you can be damn sure the Director knows your character can’t hear what was said. And that means you need to play along. Sure, feel free to use the knowledge you gained, but you have to find a way to explain it off, just like Doc Spiegler in “Lair of the Crab Men.” Convincing and hilarious explanations should be rewarded with 1 Experience point.

Alternative Use: Post-Cut Dubs

Alternatively, players can choose to alter a line of dialogue in a scene. Of course, if all of the extras we have playing aliens (or sometimes the stars themselves) could remember their damned lines that wouldn’t be a problem. Of course, he was supposed to tell you the hidden door was behind the statue of the Ninth Prelate. Oh, and I’m sure you meant to say the right answer to the question in scene four. Don’t worry, we’ll get it dubbed out in edits.

Alternative Use: Redo With Better Actors!

If the supporting characters are lacking in a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to delivering their lines, why not let the stars take over and deliver those lines for them? The players take control of the dialogue between two or more supporting characters of their choosing and dub in what was supposed to have been said during one scene.

Call the Understudy!

“Here they come,” whispered Cindy. She didn’t have to whisper, of course. Aquatepillars didn’t really hear. It just felt like the right thing to do. She touched the Professor on the shoulder. “You ready?”

The Professor didn’t turn around. “I was born ready.” His voice had an uncharacteristically gravelly tone.

The aquatepillars slithered out of the pipe, their horrific writhing bodies moving hellishly quickly for all their bulk. Cindy glanced behind her. Gable was still unconscious, and Chris was trying to get the car started. It didn’t look good.

The Professor stood up. “Hand me Gable’s gun,” he said, still not turning. Cindy grabbed the pistol from Gable’s belt and passed it up. “When I start shooting, head for the car.”

“What about Gable?”

The Professor took aim. “I’ll carry him. Go. Now!” He started firing, and Cindy ran. She glanced back, but only saw the Professor in profile, firing at the creatures, each bullet finding its mark.

Cost: 2 Rewrites

This Cinematic lets a player call an understudy to step in for her character for a scene. Understudies, of course, have their own training and proclivities, but the only thing that’s required of them is that they look like the actor in question and can mouth the lines (we’ll edit the real actor’s voice in during post). As such, understudies are capable in different ways than their actors, and sometimes that shows.

A player can use Call the Understudy at any point during the scene, but once she does, the understudy portrays her character until the scene ends (the player should feel free to explain why exactly the actor is unavailable to shoot the scene; popular reasons include day drinking, contract disputes, and romantic entanglement). The player can then rearrange the character’s Skills as she sees fit.

The player can rearrange the character’s Skills differently every time she uses Call the Understudy, but cannot rearrange the Skills within a given scene (that is, once they’re arranged, they’re set for that scene). The players and the Director should give some consideration during the scene for how the camera never quite shows the character straight on, or how the character’s shots are always from a distance (unless of course the actor has a twin sibling who’s willing to act as an Understudy).

Understudies can enter combat, but they aren’t paid enough to do anything really dangerous. Any time an Understudy suffers damage, she is incapacitated and removed from the scene. The actual actor shows up for the next scene unharmed, of course, but probably sporting a bandage.

Cheap Set

“We’re trapped!” Gable was starting to panic. He hated close spaces.

“Calm down, Gable.” The Professor spoke sharply, but he knew that was the best way to get Gable focused. “We can get out of this. We just need to find—”

A fresh round of thuds from the door startled him. The doctor’s men were having another go.

“That door won’t hold up forever,” whispered Cindy.

“Well, we can’t fight them,” said Gable. “They’re armed, and I’m out of bullets.”

“Here!” Chris waved them over. He pointed to a grate covering a vent. “We can fit through that.”

Gable’s eyes widened. Cindy put a hand on his shoulder. “Even if we could, we don’t have any tools. We’ll never—”

Chris kicked the vent. It bowed inward. He reached down and pulled it away.

Cindy nodded. “All right, then.”

Cost: 1 Rewrite

A player with this Cinematic can, once per chapter, call upon some object or set piece to break or fail. A character might crash through a wall, pull a door off the hinges, shatter a car window with a single punch, or bend a metal (cardboard) bar with ease. Alternately, the character can target a device or prop in the hands of another character — a gun misfires, an evil device malfunctions, or a heavy extra falls through the floor.

The player can only use this Cinematic when his character is present for the scene, but that player’s character doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to break the cheap object. Once it’s declared to be cheap, anyone can break it or make use of its cheapness as an Enhancement. The Director can add a Rewrite to the Writers Pool to declare an object or set piece not to be cheap, rendering it immune to this Cinematic. If the Director does this in response to the player using Cheap Set, she must add two Rewrites to the Pool (this means if the Director wants to establish up front that an object is significant to the plot and call the players’ attention to it, she might immediately add a Rewrite to the Pool and identify the object in question).