Interactive Narrative Experience driven by conversational AI Characters
Hysteria in Howlsbend is an Interactive Narrative Experience driven by conversational AI Characters, created with the cutting-edge ChatGPT Language Model.
Our game is set in a colonial-era New England town driven to hysteria when a beloved member of the community is afflicted by a witch. You lead the witch hunt by having typed one-on-one conversations with a cast of characters powered by ChatGPT. Can you uncover the mystery and help decide the town’s fate?
The year is 1666, and you are the Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Your work is disturbed late one night by fervent knocking on your door. You open it, and come face-to-face with an out of breath rider who quickly hands you a letter.
The Reverend of Howlsbend, Francis Howe, is dead and the strange circumstances of his death have led the town to suspect witchcraft as the cause. Three members of my congregation stand accused and have been detained in the meeting house for further questioning and conviction.
Three days ago, we were assembling for services when we heard a scream from the Reverend’s home. The confused congregation rushed over and were met with quite a sight. The Reverend was on the floor in a fit, shaking and speaking incomprehensibly, with Hope Alcott kneeling over him repeating something that I could not make out. Meanwhile, Adam Curell stood nearby, cursing and yelling, and Elizabeth Wheeler remained frozen in the doorway, unresponsive to all of this.
The congregation piled in as the Reverend’s rambling and thrashing grew weaker and weaker, until he lay still, an expression of horror and pain painted on his face. His last words were the names of the three accused: Adam, Hope, and Elizabeth. With so swift and violent a death we were left with no choice but to suspect witchcraft.
The townspeople quickly took to burning the body in an attempt to purify it of any residual black magic. A heated town meeting followed shortly after, the result of which was the detaining of Hope, Adam, and Elizabeth. Even still, the town grows more demanding with each day that passes without answers.
People fear for their safety and wonder if the witch can strike again from within their confines. They call for the witch to be hanged and I shudder at the possibility that they will soon become an uncontrollable mob and take justice into their own hands.
I only managed to delay them by promising that your arrival would bring swift retribution, so I fear I did not buy us much time. There will certainly be violence if the dawn after next arrives without charges being brought.
We entreat you to make your way here as soon as possible and guide us through this ordeal,
Deacon Thomas Harrison
You arrive in town early in the morning after a sleepless night of riding. A massive agitated crowd is assembled outside the Meeting House. As you approach, the townspeople erupt into shouting and demands. You offer quick words of reassurance as you push past them to get inside.
Upon entering you see the Deacon. He thanks you for your hasty arrival before ushering you into the meeting house’s main room, where the accused are being held. The Deacon provides you a short description of each suspect before leaving you to your work.
Adam Curell used to be a well-respected farmer before the death of his wife years ago. Nowadays, he drinks a lot, picks fights, and causes the town much stress over his behavior. Despite having many kids and a house servant to help run the farm, the past few years have only yielded bad harvests.
(Portrait in 3rd level stress state)
Hope Alcott is the town folk magician and healer. Respected for her skill but feared for the strange nature of it, Hope lives on the fringes of Howlsbend society and she likes it that way. Unlike the other two suspects, she only arrived in Howlsbend a few years prior.
(Portrait in 2nd level stress state)
Elizabeth Wheeler is a respected member of the community. After her husband’s death, the woman gained independent possession of their land. She is getting by with the help of her son and will not let anyone take control of the family farm.
(Portrait in 4th level stress state)