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Roleplay / What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf?

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"What time is it, Mr. Wolf?"
"Dinner time."

What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? is a completed play-by-post game found on The Fear Mythos forum here.

You start as Russell Edgley, who has just been hired as a school teacher at a boarding school. However, the place is rundown, in the middle of nowhere, and it seems strangely devoid of children.

When Russell finally starts encountering the children, he wishes he hadn’t. They seem to alter the reality around them, creating the types of childish monsters one might expect – a witch, Bloody Mary, something lurking in the dark, a ghost, and other Things That Go "Bump" in the Night.

The children aren’t much better.

Russell has to round up the remaining children, eliminate the monsters trapping them there, and get them all past Mr. Wolf... if he can survive that long.

The spiritual successor, Black Winding Road, can be found here. A more direct sequel/retelling by the name of Red Rover is found here.

Please note there are trigger warnings on both works, that are listed at the first post.

Warning: All spoilers are unmarked.

What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Russell is a good example. Even though he is a physically weak teacher, he still manages to rescue the majority of the children (even going so far as to let one of them chop off his own finger) and even defeat two monsters before being killed via an Eye Scream method by one of the kids.
  • Adults Are Useless: It certainly seemed to be the case before Russell arrived, given that nearly everyone is dead at the very beginning of the game.
  • All There in the Manual: This post in the discussion thread reveals some background on the children that isn't otherwise apparent in the game.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After a player character gets killed, starting when Russell gets his heart cut out by Francis, the audience gets to choose the next player character from the children.
  • Ankle Drag: Happens to Russell when the boogeyman tries to pull him under the bed. He's saved when Noemi points out that there's nothing there.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Extasis loses his arm against the boogeyman.
  • Bedlam House: Technically a school, but considering the level of psychosis exhibited by the students, it might as well be one.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Extasis, Masoquista, and Sádico renamed themselves to the Spanish words for Ecstasy, Masochism, and Sadism.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The monsters are bad. The children are worse. Russell is the only 'good' character - and even then, he crosses a line once or twice.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Overlaps with Orphanage of Fear; it's unclear whether the children are actually orphans, but given the complete lack of parental influence (except for what is mentioned in the discussion thread) and the fact that the 'school' is actually called "The Orphanage Company Children's Asylum" means it's applicable.
  • Body Horror: Francis's experiments with dead animals. The player - at the time, Russell - wonders if Francis will treat him the same way, when Francis wants to cut out his damaged eye.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: 11 children with varying forms of psychosis, 6 monsters who have mostly lost any sanity they once had, and a hapless teacher who thinks the latter are more dangerous than the former.
  • Cat Scare: At one point, Russell is startled... by some bats flying out of the attic.
  • Child Eater: The witch...maybe. At the very least, she bakes delicious child-pies.
  • Collector of the Strange: Nicholas collects fingers. Francis collects dissection specimens.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Noemi sings an Ironic Nursery Tune that helps you locate her.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Nicholas collects the fingers and nails of his victims.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Or at least, it means the boogeyman is coming.
  • The Dreaded: The boogeyman. He's notably the only monster that Nicholas and Extasis actually fear.
  • Downer Ending: Due to the players' actions, only two of the children get out alive...and are taken to Hell by Raleigh's unleashed Master.
  • Easter Egg: Some of these are revealed in the discussion thread - such as there being eleven children, Russell bringing the total of characters up to twelve. One per hour.
  • Enemy Mine: Raleigh teams up with Traci to kill Sonnie for the requisite human sacrifice. When the latter figures out their scheme and tries to take them out first, Raleigh tries to team up with him against Traci, driving her to kill Sonnie out of anger.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Glowing eyes is the only way to tell where the boogeyman is.
  • God of Evil: The Master, who may be Satan. Or a demon. Or any number of things.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Joseph only stays with the group until Russell is killed. Afterwards, he returns to the office and stays there for the rest of the game.
  • Hero Killer The boogeyman has the highest killcount of any monster, knocking off the Durcet brothers and Nicholas.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The witch and the sack man are both defeated in this matter. The former is shoved in her own stove, and the latter is stuffed in one of his own sacks.
  • Hollywood Satanism: Raleigh; this is possibly justified by the fact that he's a thirteen year old boy with probably no idea how Satanism works, while he has what may be the Devil in his head.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The pies the witch bakes are made from the children collected by the Sack Man. The children have been living off them since the adults were killed...and Russell can't resist sharing one with Noemi. Before he knows what they're made from, of course.
  • Improvised Weapon: Sonnie wields a frying pan; Joseph has a curtain rod; Extasis has a metal pointer and can do a lot of damage with it. At several points, the best thing to arm yourself with is a shard of glass or a broom.
  • The Ingenue: Noemi is childlike, even for her age. She has her hair in pigtails, is the Foil to Traci, and is the sweetest of the eleven children you meet. Subverted to hell and back when you realize that she treats knives like teddy bears, her wish is to meet the Grim Reaper, and she murdered her own sister, creating Bloody Mary in the process.
  • Justified Extra Lives: The children essentially function as this. If the player-controlled character dies, you have to choose a successor from the children you've recruited. Running out of children means you lose the game.
  • Kill It with Water: One of the alternate ways of getting rid of the witch is to douse her with water a la The Wizard of Oz.
  • Mirror Monster: Bloody Mary, who lives in the mirrors in the girls' bathroom.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Every boss 'fight' has a dash of this. They're monsters from children's tales: you can only defeat them using logic you'd find in children's stories.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The Durcet siblings. Russell recruits them by describing what sort of horrors they can find if they leave the house.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Russell loses sight in one of his eyes while trying to stop the Durcet siblings' 'playtime', and loses a finger to Nicholas and his other eye and heart to Francis because he insists on rescuing all of the children, even the ones who are more than happy to hurt him.
  • Optional Party Member: All of the children are optional, though getting the Golden Ending requires you to recruit all of them. Francis and Joseph are notably 'not' recruited in the course of the game.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The ghosts only exist because the children believe in them.
  • Pistol Whip: How Nicholas uses the gun since it doesn't have any bullets.
  • Shout-Out: One of the trivia questions refers to a specific one:
    Who is the namesake for the Durcet brothers?
    The Marquis de Sade, Donatien Alphonse Françios, infamously wrote The 120 Days of Sodom and was the 'father of sadism' - the computer tells you that the three brothers, before changing their names, were Donatien, Alphonse, and Françios, respectively. The 120 Days of Sodom also featured a character by the name of Durcet.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: It's unclear what happened to these children's parents, but we do know they were undergoing therapy. It didn't take.
  • The Speechless: Hadassah is psychologically unable to speak or vocalize, though she does shriek early on in the story. This notably causes issues when she becomes the viewpoint character, as she can't give verbal commands or ask questions to the other children. Additionally, it means that she can't beat the wolf on her own, since you need to speak to play his game.
  • Squishy Wizard: Raleigh is heavily implied to have magical powers. He's also particularly small for his age, to the point that he's easily overpowered by Sonnie later in the story.
  • Stone Wall: Masoquista was intended to be this, as his predilection towards pain makes him a willing human shield. He also serves as this in the fight against Bag Man
  • Take a Third Option: The players opt for this when gaining Raleigh's favor, while simultaneously taking a third option with defeating Bloody Mary.
  • Title Drop: The game the story is named after is what serves as the final puzzle.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The kids would prefer that killing all of their staff stayed a secret.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: All of the children, but the Durcet brothers and Traci are notable because of how sexualized their troubling behavior is.
  • Twin Telepathy: The Durcet siblings can communicate to each other mentally.
  • Villainous Incest: The Incest Subtext between the Durcet brothers falls under this (though it's not so much 'subtext'...). Add the fact that their ages range from fourteen to eleven.
  • Villain Protagonist: Two of the player characters after Russell are the incestuous voyeuristic Extasis and the demon-worshipping Raleigh.
  • Was Once a Man: All the monsters were once inhabitants of the school who were twisted into what they are now.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Nicholas pulls this on Russell. The gun might be real, but it's not loaded.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Russell refuses to attack any of the kids in the school, even though half of them are just as dangerous as the monsters.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The boogeyman. One of the alternate ways to kill it is to convince yourself that it doesn't exist.