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Saturday, February 28

First Two Chapters of Knight Terrors

Knight Terrors will be published this summer by Cyberwizard Productions. In the meantime, Abandoned Towers online magazine will be publishing a new chapter about once every three weeks. Illustrations are also in the works, and will soon be posting to the site. Please stay tuned--and feel free to leave comments on the chapters!

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Cthulhu Gets Loose

Octupus An octopus today managed to pry loose a water-control valve at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, flooding the facility with more than 200 gallons of saltwater. [MORE]

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See No Evil: Part 7c – Climax

Colm dragged the young woman towards the back exits.

“Put the gun down, Colm!” shouted Hammer. “We don’t have to do this!”

“You don’t understand!” Colm shouted back. “Whitcher told me everything!” He had a book in his free hand, his arm looped around the woman’s neck. “The Nazis are collaborating with the Islamists! And they can control ghosts!”

Hammer started to respond but stopped. A janitor was whistling tunelessly as he pushed a broom along. His head was down and his path was about to intersect with Colm’s.

Hammer fired his pistol.

Colm and the hostage flinched, but the janitor didn’t react. That’s when Hammer caught sight of the earbuds in his ears. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:21 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Chapter 48: Brothers of the Yellow Sign - Introduction

This is a Call of Cthulhu adventure from Tatters of the King, “Brothers of the Yellow Sign” by Time Wiseman, set in the Arcanis setting. You can read more about Arcanis at http://www.onaraonline.org. Please note: This adventure contains spoilers!

Our cast of characters includes:

• Dungeon Master: Michael Tresca (http://michael.tresca.net)
• Beldin Soulforge (dwarf fighter/dwarven defender) played by Joe Lalumia
• Sebastian Arnyal (dark-kin sorcerer) played by George Webster
• Vlad Martell (human fighter) played by Matt Hammer

This little side trek acts as a bridge between the larger campaign to stop the Unspeakable One and everything else going on in Coryan. It’s also the point in the campaign where the game catches up with the Arcanis timeline. We’re now somewhere in the murky depths of Year Three. However, we haven’t officially ended Year Two yet (that’s in a few adventures), so the timeline is a bit out of sync.

To bring you up to speed, our heroes recently sowed the seeds of rebellion in Canceri, with the hopes that the Nerothians will throw off the Nierite occupation. The Nierites also marched on Milandir but were defeated. A plague heightened the tension between Milandir and Canceri, and Sebastian and Vlad were caught in the middle. Ultimately, the plague was averted and Milandir stayed out of the brewing civil war.

During their journey, Ilmarė was poisoned. Her sister, Anulee, was part of a convoluted plot to protect her honor. She pinned the death of Vlad’s father, a humble guardsman, on Sebastian’s father, who was condemned to death. Anulee was banished for her crime and fled southwards to Sweet Savona.

The Unspeakable One’s minions, the k’n-yan, manage to weaken the rift between Arcanis and Carcosa. This bodes ill, for as Bijoux personally witnessed, it means that the world will soon come to an end as thousands of k’n-yan invade. The heroes stumble upon Hillary Carbo, Livius’ wife, in a power struggle to control yet another cult that eagerly awaits the Unspeakable One’s return. Armed with information that Livius was in Sweet Savona, they headed out…

But instead of reforming her ways, Anulee fell in with Silas Fedders, the former court wizard of Duke Adolphos val’Tensen, and they ultimately tried to summon a Spawn of Hastur at a premiere theatre in Savona. The heroes defeated her, barely. They’re hot on the trail of Livius. If they can catch him, perhaps they can save the world after all. [MORE]

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Friday, February 27

Writing Index

I write a lot, in a variety of places about a variety of things. My writing portfolio is always expanding. It includes everything from non-fiction articles about health, game reviews, fantasy fiction, and D20 gaming material. Below, all my published (and even some unpublished) material can be viewed and purchased by company.

Fiction
Non-Fiction
Reviews
Role-Playing Games
Satire

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:20 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Freebies Index

I'm a big fan of cult, "genre" movies. And it bugs me that sometimes the best licenses can't be released as role-playing games, games I would LOVE to play in. Which is why I spend so much time on these projects, because I will never get a contract to create them.

But hey man, it's cool...I'm a fan!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:11 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Character Index

I've played a lot of characters, on MUDs, MUSHes, and in RPGs. This is the collection of famous, infamous, and better off forgotten characters that I have created at one time or another. Because D20 seems to be the hot things these days, they're all converted to the D20 system. I may convert them to other systems if there's an interest.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:03 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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See No Evil: Part 7b – Climax

Archive pointed at the German for a third time. He was just a few yards away. “'Bthnk! Ftaghu! Fhtagn!”

The German froze. It wouldn’t last long.

Archive caught a glimpse of what was in the German’s other hand. It was a grenade.

He screwed up his courage and closed the distance. The German had already pulled the pin on the grenade. He was holding the lever tightly, a dead man’s switch.

Archive slowly put his fist around the German’s. His flesh was unnaturally cold.

He slipped the grenade out from the German’s grip, retaining the pressure on the handle. Great, now he had a live grenade in his hand.

Archive looked around. He couldn’t throw it outside with the crowd. He couldn’t leave it inside. And he had only a few seconds before the spell wore off.

The bathroom! Archive sprinted to the men’s room.

He kicked open a stall and dropped the grenade into the toilet.

“What the hell buddy?” shouted a man in the stall next to him. He had just finished zipping up his pants and was opening the stall when Archive grabbed him by the collar.

“Out!” shouted Archive. He hurled the man ahead of him out into the lobby of the meeting center. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:31 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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And Madness Followed: Conclusion

Kham threw back the mask of the King in Yellow. Blackened flesh blurred some of the actor’s features, but it was undeniably Silas Fedders.

“Damn it.” Kham shook his head. “Damn it all to hell.”

“What?” asked Sebastian.

“This is Silas Fedders,” said Kham, nudging the corpse with one foot. “Adolphos val’Tensen’s court wizard. When we were traveling through the Dreamheart to get rid of Fleshripper, we ended up in Kadath, the prison of the Unspeakable One. Silas told us he knew how to get us out, but I think…” Kham looked around at the devastation. “I think he tricked us into letting the King in Yellow out instead.”

Beldin put one hand on his shoulder. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. It could have been much, much worse.”

Sebastian was standing over the spot where Anulee’s body had once been. “The portal took Anulee’s corpse, but left her equipment. It’s almost as if it absorbed her soul.”

“Let’s hope not,” said Beldin. “The elorii believe souls are reincarnated in new bodies. Somewhere, Anulee is being born again.”

“Anulee was a good person. She just lost her way.” Sebastian made a Canceri sign with his hands. “May the light of wisdom shine brighter on your new path, child of Osalian.” It was the closest thing to a burial ceremony he could provide.

They stood in silence, staring at the corpses of the performers.

“I need a drink,” said Kham. “Anyone care to join me?”

For once, Beldin and Sebastian agreed. [MORE]

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Thursday, February 26

See No Evil: Part 7a – Climax

“What have we got?” asked Hammer, standing next to Archive in the crowd in front of the Merriweather Center.

“There was some blue dust in the vacant store,” said Archive. “I think it was …”

“What?”

“From a corpse,” said Archive.

“What does ‘Wer ruft mich an’ mean?”

Archive looked at Hammer curiously. “It means: Who calls me? The German said that?”

“No, the German was in the taxi. I heard it from within the room. I think it’s what set Colm off.”

“Someone speaking German?” asked Archive.

“A dead man speaking German,” added Hammer. He put one finger to his ear to turn on his comm. “Hot Pants? What you got?”

“There was a file labeled Sundries,” said Caprice. “It was encrypted using a fairly simple code that used a book, the Jeeves Omnibus. “

“And?”

“Oh you know, paranoid ranting. Talks a lot about Them and Others. Mentions he’s talking to somebody who supports his screwball theories. Then at some point he has suspicions that They are reading his file. From there it’s all flowers and light. The guy’s a nutjob.”

“But no hint as to where he might show up?”

“Nothing. Maybe if we had those letters …”

Hammer swore. “Then we go with the backup plan. Colm’s going to show up here.”

“What makes you say that?” asked Jim-Bean over the comm. He was dressed as one of the security guards holding the crowd back.

“It’s a public place,” said Hammer. “If Colm’s going to show up with evidence of his crazy theories, this is the place to do it.”

A roar went up from the crowd. Opposition activists and a band of protesters were gathering outside the conference building. Many of them were young, all of them rowdy, and what security was available was having some difficulty keeping them in line.

“They’re here,” reported Jim-Bean, somewhere in the crowd. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:22 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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And Madness Followed: Part 3b – Sweet Savona

The bulbous head of what might have been a jellyfish crested the waters. A huge sac, rippling and throbbing and flecked with light, moved squid-like, pulling itself through the air by long, groping tentacles that sawed on the wind.

“Run!” shouted Kham.

“But—“ Sebastian didn’t finish as Kham turned him and shoved hard.

“RUN!” [MORE]

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Wednesday, February 25

See No Evil: Part 6 – The Dead Speak

he door opened, though the person inside stayed out of sight. Colm was ushered in.

Hammer pulled his car over on the opposite side of the street and furtively pointed his parabolic microphone at the window.

There was a brief exchange of pleasantries that did not include any names.

“Let’s see it,” said Colm.

“Behold the power of the Reich!” A sing song chant began that took several minutes.

At the end of the chant, a chill settled in. People outside noticed that the sky became overcast, with a sudden, strong breeze. Silence.

Then a third voice spoke in German. “Wer ruft mich an?”

Colm screamed something. There was a short struggle. A moment later Colm dashed out into the street, clutching a book under his arm.

Colm sprinted to his car. Diving into the front seat, he took off.

Hammer dropped the parabolic microphone. “Hot Pants!” he shouted into his headset. “Meet at my location, I want a full sweep of the area, there’s been an incident—“ [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:22 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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And Madness Followed: Part 3a – Sweet Savona

On stage, four figures were visible. Their voices echoed throughout the hall, reverberating off the walls in a strangely hypnotic cadence. On the throne was seated the titular king in the play, a figured dressed in tattered yellow robes that concealed the actor’s face and body completely. He watched quietly as he gaze upon a figure seated before him, perhaps a prisoner.

“Silas,” whispered Kham. “That’s got to be him.”

The actor was an attractive young woman. She wore pigtails and a form-fitting suit of chainmail; in one hand was a long whip made of what looked like a braided length of blonde hair that ended in a cruel razor-edged hook. To either side of the throne stood the remaining two actors. One was a lean, muscled Altherian with an expression of contempt on his chiseled features. He wore a chain shirt and held a scimitar before him.

The fourth figure wore a yellow-green robe and revealing clothes. In her hands she wielded a long, gnarled quarterstaff. Her face was hidden behind a pallid mask. Although she wore a mask, her voice was clear, and the lips on the mask moved to match her words.

“Anulee,” Sebastian said with a hint of pity in his voice.

She turned to face them. They clearly didn’t belong on the stage.

“Strange is the night where black stars rise,
and strange moons circle through the skies,
but stranger still is Lost Carcosa!”

“Your mind tricks won’t work on me,” Sebastian said, raising his hands, “but I can put a stop—Beldin, what are you doing?” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:19 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, February 24

See No Evil: Part 5 – Day Five

“How’s our boy doing today?” asked Hammer, sounding bored. “Jim-Bean just reported that Hames got in.”

Archive couldn’t hear the other responses. “Not much,” he reported. “Drinkwater didn’t hit the bookstores today, just reading the paper and … hold up, he’s on the move.”

Archive followed Drinkwater to a public phone. He couldn’t hear the conversation.

Then Drinkwater headed for Greenwich Village. He met a personable young man at an apartment building there, and the two of them went out to a pub for a drink. They talked for several hours.

Archived reported back in. “I think …” Archive struggled with the words. “I think Drinkwater’s out on a date.” [MORE]

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And Madness Followed: Part 2b – Lamid

Once they entered the town commons, things took a turn for the worse. Within, buildings were vandalized, signs and doors torn down, lanterns smashed on the cobblestones, and litter strewn throughout. Worst was the bodies. Dozens lay dead in various states of wholeness. Body parts lay in gutters or hung from broken windows. Corpses festered in tangled heaps, in many cases bearing signs of cannibalism.

Beldin peered into a ruined building. The dark shadow of a tentacled thing was hunched over something red and wet.

The amphitheater itself was in ruins. Seats were torn apart and bodies lay strewn everywhere. The central stage was recessed into the ground and it was filled with brackish, bloody water in which more corpses floated. Here and there, the Yellow Sign glared from buildings and walls, applied with yellow paint in some cases, blood in others, and still others crudely carved into wooden walls by knives or fingernails.

Down in the amphitheater, standing in fouled water up to his knees, was the mayor. He ranted and raved, pacing violently around the flooded center of the amphitheater, waving his arms and frothing at the mouth.

“He chose some, they are his children now!” he shouted.

“Get ready.” Kham had his pistols out. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:26 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, February 23

Pac-Man Poetry

For some reason, somebody decided to put a poem in with the instructions of the old Atari 800 version of Pacman. For some other reason, I decided to write it down.

Much to my horror, this one piece of trivia has not been added to the Internet. Therefore, I have transcribed it here, lest it be forgotten. And with so much other crap on the Internet, we all know what a crying shame it would be if such fabulous poetry were to be forgotten.

Ahem. And without further ado...

These tasty bonus nuggets are valuable prizes.
Clear out the maze and their value rises.
Every half-minute they're yours for free,
But you've got just eight seconds to grab one and flee.

Two big lips smacking in the middle of your face,
Chomping on those dots to stay ahead in this race.
Stay ahead of those goblins, cause they're trouble no doubt.
Get yourself nabbed just three times and you're out.

But there's good news for you when you rack up the score!
Reach 10,000 points and you get one turn more!
Bite an energy dot and the goblins turn blue
And that means 50 more points for you.

It's also your chance to turn the table
So case those goblins and bite while you're able.
The more goblins you grab, the more points you score.
200, 400, 800, then more!

But when they start blinking, you better turn track,
'Cause that's when the goblins true colors come back.
The goblins are coming, they're on the attack, man.
You like to chomp dots, but they like chomping PAC-MAN.

Blinky is fastest, so watch where he goes.
Pinky is sneakier than anyone knows.
Inky has quite a few tricks up his cape.
Clyde cuts you off so there's just not escape.

There's plenty of dots in the goblin neighborhood!
And at 10 points each, they're lip-smacking good!

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Heroes Unlimited: Mystery Men

Time Frame: Early 21st Century

Much of the events of Mystery Men take place in Champion City. Champion City is a lot like Las Vegas. Lots of clubs, neon signs, and normal diners in the middle of it all. Even the suburbs are affected by tacky, garish colors. Mystery Men is part comedy, part reality. The villains are ridiculous, but they carry guns. Superheroes die.

Champion City's superheroes are treated like atheletes. They're in the public eye, and they know it. Product endorsements rule. It's not strange for a superhero to be approached by several high profile companies to wear their endorsements like a race car driver.

This makes for an interesting twist on the hero concept. The closest parallel is an episode of The Tick wherein seven superheroes face off against the Chainsaw Vigilante, and an equally disturbed Oddman realizes his power of just being odd is no match against a maniac with a chainsaw. You can play this sort of campaign as a one-shot, or as a stress reliever. It's not generally recommended to drop "normal" superheroes into this kind of setting, because they'll need to come up for air. However, there is great possibility for this sort of campaign to start out comical as the characters are predictably weak, and then become more serious as more powerful and dangerous villains face off against them. Mystery Men is about new heroes, not just the unknown ones, and as a result it can make for a fun setting for a new campaign. Note that in all cases, no character has more than one power at most, which requires some tweaking of the Heroes Unlimited system.1

You can use the Mystery Men (who still have not agreed on a name for their group) as foils, as opponents, or for a prolonged campaign as the main characters. In fact, the Mystery Men's powers could be a lot of fun to expand upon: Will Invisible Boy ever get over his need to not be seen? Will Mr. Furious ever manage to control his rage? Will The Spleen ever learn to fart without someone pulling his finger? This and other pressing questions could be played out in a superhero campaign. Just remember: not everybody can play the Bowler!

Statistics

GOOD GUYS

A Mystery Men campaign is decidedly underpowered. This is because these are new superheroes who don't know what they're doing, and more importantly, who aren't defined by their powers so much as themselves. To this end, they tend to refer to each other by first name, argue in public, and otherwise act much less like a superhero team that's got a reputation to think about. This is because, despite their freakiness, they're normal people. Note that the majority of their statistics are well within the average range. See the movie for better descriptions and insights into their powers.

Blue Raja (Stage Magician)

DESCRIPTION: Jeffrey (The Blue Raja) lives at home with his mother, where he spends his time locked in his room, burning incense and throwing forks and spoons at pretend attackers. The Blue Raja speaks with a British accent, and while very knowledgable about the history of Britain, is not British at all. He's fond of making terrible puns involving the words "fork" and "spoon." He (indeed, all of the Mystery Men) does not believe in guns, and refuses to use knives, because then "someone might get hurt."
STATS: IQ 9, ME 9, MA 12, PS 9, PP 15, PE 9 PB 11, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 30, #A: 5, LEVEL: 1
NORMAL SKILLS: pilot automobile, card sharp, concealment, palming, imitate voices
SPECIAL SKILLS: sleight of hand, juggling: 5 throwing attacks per melee at +1 to strike up to 30 feet inflicting 1 point of damage.

The Bowler (Enchanted Weapon)

DESCRIPTION: The Bowler is daughter of the late Carmine the Bowler, whose skill with a bowling ball leaves criminals shaking in her path. She regularly speaks to the skull of her father, which only she can hear, and who just happens to be encased in her crystal bowling ball. As a result, The Bowler should probably be thought of more as a duo, as her father apparently has a lot to say about everything. The Bowler's original deal with her father was vengeance which, once achieved, would then allow her to go back to graduate school. She isn't fully aware of Carmine's power (she figured he'd be destroyed in an explosion, which he wasn't). It seems they're stuck with each other.
STATS: IQ 9, ME 9, MA 9, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 42, #A: 2, LEVEL: 1
NORMAL SKILLS: w.p. targeting
WEAPON OF GOOD (Carmine): Carmine isn't the usual enchanted weapon. He has a mind of his own and once thrown, directs his own path. As a result, Carmine may pick targets The Bowler didn't have in mind. He does have the following abilities however:
  • Indestructible: The Bowler didn't know this, but she does now.
  • +1 to strike/parry
  • Base Damage: 3D6
  • Affects all being, including invulnerable superbeings.
  • +3 to save vs. magic
  • Returns to wielder when thrown: 100 foot range, this counts as two attacks (one to hit, one to return).

The Shoveler (Physical Training)

DESCRIPTION: Clad in his son’s baseball vest and roller-blading kneepads, Eddie (The Shoveler) is an expert at wielding a shovel. He desperately longs for support from his family, but instead is teased by his children and scolded by his wife. The Shoveler is the most even-minded and straightforward of the team, and a good friend to Mr. Furious. He has only recently begun using a smaller garden shovel as a parrying weapon in addition to his normal shovel.
STATS: IQ 9, ME 9, MA 9, PS 9, PP 11, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 28, HP 18, SDC 20, #A: 6, LEVEL: 1
NORMAL SKILLS: w.p. shovel
SPECIAL SKILLS: Defensive and Fast Combat: paired weapons, disarm, back flip, body flip/throw -- all these abilities are performed with his shovel, which inflicts 1D6 points of damage.

Invisible Boy (Mutant)

DESCRIPTION: Invisible Boy, after years of being overlooked, has developed the power to turn invisible—only when no one else is looking.
STATS: IQ 9, ME 9, MA 12, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 29, #A: 2, LEVEL: 1
SPECIAL POWERS: Intangibility: Although Invisible Boy thinks of this as invisibility, it really isn't -- his clothes fall of when he becomes intangible, which is definite proof of his intangibility. This means he's inevitably naked when he finishes using his power. INSANITY: Invisible Boy's power suffers from an insanity, Power by Association. If anyone is looking at him, his power doesn't work. This doesn't include security cameras or electrical devices, but people looking at him -- and he must believe they aren't looking at him (regardless of whether or not they actually are).

The Spleen (Mutant)

DESCRIPTION: The Spleen is the victim of an old Gypsy woman’s curse, who is now the purveyor of noxious fumes. As the story goes, he blamed the woman for his own odiferous flatulation, and in retaliation she cursed him to have the most foul-smelling gaseous expulsions. That means his farts are so vile as to knock people out. No, really.
STATS: IQ 9, ME 9, MA 9, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 6, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 20, #A: 2, LEVEL: 1
SPECIAL POWERS: Choke/Gag Opponent: Farting twice per round, The Spleen can do some serious damage. Anyone who suffers his wrath has the following penalties: -2 attacks per round, -10% to skills, -10% to SPD. If the victim's number of attacks reach zero, he must make a save vs. poison or be knocked unconscious. This lasts for one round. Using this power has a Horror Factor of 10.
INSANITY: Like Invisible Boy, the Spleen suffers from a peculiar insanity, Power by Association. In The Spleen's case, to trigger its effect, he asks someone to "pull my finger!" One finger per attack must be pulled. Whether or not the Spleen can pull his own fingers and trigger his attack is unknown.

Mr. Furious (Mutant)

DESCRIPTION: Roy (Mr. Furious) has a dead-end job at a junkyard. He has the boss from hell, whose hollering and constant put-down’s serve as a daily test for him to keep his powers in check—his violent temper, which he projects upon anyone who dares to cross his path. Mr. Furious wasn't even sure if he had a super power, as his one demonstration of it in the past (he threw a bus) has since proven untrue. Mr. Furious is very image conscious, and tries to act angry in everything he does to keep his image up.
STATS: IQ 9, ME 6, MA 9, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 20, #A: 2, LEVEL: 1
SPECIAL POWERS: Extraordinary Physical Strength: Mr. Furious' strength is affected by his emotions. So far, his powers have been enhanced once and gone wild once (against Cassanova Frankenstein). If he goes wild, he can't pull punches (he doesn't anyway). Being that his power actually activates, his PS increases to 26, and he can carry 2,600 lbs and lift 5,200 lbs. Maybe he DID throw that bus after all.

The Sphinx (Latent Psionic)

DESCRIPTION: The Sphinx is a mysterious crime-fighter from down South, who has the power to slice guns in half with his mind. He doesn't really speak in English, but instead spews a steady stream of platitudes and wise sayings. He is the most experienced of the team and isn't afraid to use weapons when it comes to fighting crime. He prefers to stand back and direct the action. STATS: IQ 9, ME 11, MA 11, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 30, ISP: 62, #A: 2, LEVEL: 2
PSYCHIC POWERS: Telekinetic Push: The Sphinx uses this power to slice up metal. It inflicts 4D6 SDC to objects.

Doc Heller (Hardware Weapons Expert)

DESCRIPTION: Doc Heller is a weapons specialist, who doesn't make weapons that hurt people. He specializes in weapons that disable people instead. Doc Holler lives in a run-down amusement park in Champion City, where he lives in peace with his chickens.
STATS: IQ 15, ME 9, MA 12, PS 9, PP 9, PE 9 PB 9, SPD 9, HP 12, SDC 20, #A: 2, LEVEL: 1
SPECIAL WEAPONS: Whirlwind In A Can: This whirlwind snatches anyone and anything within 20 feet and weighing less than 700 lbs. It will toss that person 20 feet and inflict 4D6 points of damage. It lasts for one round.
Blame Gun: As per the Empathic Transmission power, a shot from this gun causes targets to blame each other. It has a range of 60 feet. Victims are 60% likely to attack, kill, harm, or betray those they dislike, gain +1 to strike them, and -1 to parry and dodge.
Fabric Shrinker: With a range of 100 feet, the effects of this ray depend on the amount of clothing worn. Any being wearing underwear will be painfully squeezed and drop to the ground in agony for 2D4 rounds until the fabric breaks.
Resources

Books

  • Mystery Men: Based on the Dark Horse Comic Created by Bob Burden -- Lara Rice Bergen; Paperback

Music

Role-Playing Games

  1. Heroes Unlimited -- Kevin Siembieda; Paperback
Links

Labels:

posted by Michael Tresca at 9:51 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Call of Cthulhu: The Mummy

Time Frame: 1920s

Dashing legionnaire Rick O'Connell and Beni his weasel of a companion, stumble upon the hidden ruins of Hamunaptra while in midst of a battle in 1923-3,000 years after Irnhotep has suffered a fate worse than death.

The investigators can be British or American archaeologists, scholars, or adventurers. A female member is ideal.

Scene 1: Picking Sides

Since only two people know of the location of Hamunaptra, the investigators will need to either hire the services of Beni, or rescue O'Connell from an execution. If the adventurers are American, Beni is much more accessible. Or if they don't like the looks of Beni (and nobody does), then they might try to dig O'Connell up from prison in Cairo. Whichever side the group takes (British or American), they will have to deal with the rival adventuring party as well as the protectors of the Mummy's tomb. Beni just wants a share of the loot, O'Connell will be happy if anyone can fast talk (or bribe) him out of the execution. One way of bribing the warden, if the investigators don't have enough money, is to take him along on the trip for the buried treasure of Hamunaptra. The investigators do have one advantage: they start out with the key to Imhotep's tomb (if you can consider that an advantage) by unearthing it at a local museum.

Scene 2: Down the Nile

Upon securing transporation down the Nile, the investigators will find their rivals are on the very same boat. This unhappy reunion will be disrupted by Ardeth Bay, the leader of a group of mysterious warriors sworn to protect the sacred burial grounds from the rebirth of Imhotep into the modern day world. These fanatics will do their level best to kill everyone in both adventuring parties, if not scare them off.

Scene 3: The Mummy Unleashed

There is a seal on Imhotep's tomb, which cannot be released without the key. There are two books, one to keep Imhotep sealed, and one to release him (the Black and Gold books, respectively). To release Imhotep requires both the lock used on the tomb, as well as on the Black book. Even if the investigators have no intentions of opening the tomb and just want to take the mummy back to England or America, the rival party will, awakening Imhotep. All hell breaks loose as he begins using the rival party to regenerate his body. Anyone failing sanity checks is likely to have something torn out of them -- be it eyeballs, jaw, skin, or worse. The flesh eating beetles run rampant here as well. Inevitably, Imhotep's presence will probably send everyone screaming into the night.

Scene 4: The Ten Plagues

As foretold, Imhotep's awesome power is manifested in corporeal form as the Mummy. His strength is inhuman. He has the power to release the ten plagues of Egypt over all the land. And one by one, the explorers fall victim to the creature's horrifying curse. With his vanish spell, Imhotep can appear and reappear anywhere, and will first kill off everyone in the rival party first. This makes for plenty of sanity checks as the investigators discover just how vulnerable they are, and just what kind of gruesome fates are in store for them. Every three days, a new plague takes place. Sanity loss increases as people begin to realize this is the end of the world.
  1. Blood: The water turns to blood. Sanity Loss: 0/1D3.
  2. Frogs: Frogs swarming all over the place is disturbing. Sanity Loss: 0/1D4.
  3. Lice: Lice spread disease. If bitten, the investigator's symptoms appear in 1D3 days. The first day of illness causes a loss of 1D6 CON, then 1D4 CON per day thereafter. The investigator can be cured with a Medicine roll, and the investigator is immune to that particular plague (but not the next). Sanity Loss: 0/1D5
  4. Flies: The flies spread disease, and of course they're the type that bite. They attack for 2D6 combat rounds before halting pursuit. Unless the victims are completely covered, there is no protection against them. An investigator who is bitten extensively and fails a CON *5 roll on D100 contracts the plague. If bitten, the investigator's symptoms appear in 1D3 days. The first day of illness causes a loss of 1D6 CON, then 1D4 CON per day thereafter. The investigator can be cured with a Medicine roll, and the investigator is immune to that particular plague (but not the next). Flies swarming all over the place is disturbing. Sanity Loss: 0/1D6.
  5. Cattle Disease: People start to panic, as cows are a major source of food. Sanity Loss: --0/1D8.
  6. Boils: This diseases shows up in 1D10 rounds after Imhotep casts it. The target can resist the spell by matching his POW against Imhotep's. The boils cause a daily loss of 1D3 CON until the victim is cured or dead. Victims also suffer a daily cumulative 5-point loss from each skill. The victim may be cured with a successful Medicine roll, and they regenerate all lost CON in 2D6 hours. Anyone who dies from the disease rises as a zombie under Imhotep's control. Sanity Loss: 0/1D10
  7. Flaming Hailstorm: This flaming hail (more like meteors) explodes buildings and sets everything on fire. Damage is 3D6 from an incidental impact, reduced by 1D6 per 10 feet from the hit. The area is always set on fire. Sanity Loss: 0/1D20
  8. Locusts: This biting swarm of insects is spewed from Imhotep's mouth. They attack for 3D6 combat rounds before halting pursuit. Unless the victims are completely covered, there is no protection against them. An investigator receives 1D6 hit points of damage per round of biting.
  9. Haboob: This sandstorm makes it impossible to see, cloaking the entire area in pitch darkness. All skill thresholds are lowered to 01. Sanity Loss: 0/1D20+1
  10. Death of First Born: After 1D6 rounds, anyone who is a first born child suffers 1D3 hit points as his skin forms large blisters. The next round, he loses another 1D6 hit points. The third round and every round thereafter, the victim bursts into flames and loses 1D10 hit points. It is impossible to render aid as the victim burns from the inside out. Sanity Loss: 0/1D20+2

Scene 5: The Final Showdown

The Gold Book, discovered in Imhotep's tomb, is the key to destroying him. Imhotep will kidnap a female character (preferably an investigator, or alternately, Evelyn if she is in the rival party and still alive) and attempt to use her as a vessel to resurrect his lost love. For Imhotep, transporting to Hamunaptra is easy -- he just casts his special form of vanish. For the adventurers, it's not nearly as easy. They'll need to find Winston, an old RAF pilot, who is the only man with a airplane for miles around. Alternately, if one of the investigators knows how to fly a plane, he may be able to try his hand at it. Imhotep is well-guarded by guards and traps.

To bring Anck-Su-Namum to life, Imhotep must first summon her spirit with remortification. Then, he casts bind soul to remove Evelyn's spirit to make way for Anck-Su-Namum. With the spirit safely within her body, he then must cast resurrection to complete the reincarnation of his lost love.

During this time, Imhotep's priests will first defend him, then the warriors. Flesh beetles, having been awakended in an early scene, now patrol corridors in droves, eating everything in their path. If remortification is cast but not the other spells, Anck-Su-Namum will animate her own corpse to speed up the investigator or Evelyn's death.

If the gold book's spell is performed, Imhotep's curse is reversed and he becomes human. Then his ka containers must be found and destroyed. Then, it's just a matter of killing him. Imhotep's death causes Nodens arrival in his spectral steed, and he is swept off to his fate. All mummies collapse, and the entire pyramid begins to sink beneath the sands.

Statistics

GOOD GUYS

Rick O'Connell, legionnaire

DESCRIPTION: Seeking adventure in Egypt, American Rick O'Connell decided to join the Foreign Legion. While fighting an army of ferocious Tuareg Horsemen, O'Connell stumbled upon an undiscovered Egyptian burial site. Intrigued by the chance of a fantastic discovery, he and his fellow explorers, Evelyn and Jonathan uncover Egypt's most horrifying secret.
STATS: STR 15, CON 16, SIZ 12, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 14, APP 12, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 80, EDU 14, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: Rick is fond of pistols and carries at least six on him at all times. He also carries a rifle. Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db, .45 Auto: 65% 1D10+2, 15 yds
ARMOR: Rick doesn't wear much in the way of armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, Drive (Auto) 40%, Fast Talk 55%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (English) 55%, Ride 5%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 30%, Shotgun 25%

Evelyn Carnarvon, egyptologist

DESCRIPTION: Clever but clumsy Egyptologist Evelyn Carnarvon relives the glory of ancient Egypt in picture books and manuscripts at Cairo's Museum Of Antiquities. Life among her books was dull indeed. With the help of a certain dashing American, Evelyn's life is about to become a whirlwind of romance, danger and a chance to make the greatest archeological discovery, ever.
STATS: STR 10, CON 9, SIZ 10, INT 17, POW 16, DEX 7, APP 14, HP 10, MV 12, DB 0, SAN 75, EDU 23, IDEA 85%, LUCK 80%, KNOW 99%
WEAPON: Evelyn doesn't carry a weapon and doesn't know how to use one either.
ARMOR: Evelyn doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Anthropology 25%, Archaeology 50%, Conceal 25%, Dodge 14%, History 85%, Library Use 75%, Natural History 35%, Occult 55%, Own L. (English) 85%, Other L. (Ancient Egyptian) 55%, Ride 30%, Swim 25%, Handgun 20%

Jonathan Carnarvon, scholar

DESCRIPTION: Evelyn's mischievous older brother Jonathan, also a scholar, devotes more time exploring Cairo's local bars than to his studies.
STATS: STR 10, CON 9, SIZ 10, INT 17, POW 16, DEX 7, APP 10, HP 10, MV 12, DB 0, SAN 75, EDU 23, IDEA 85%, LUCK 80%, KNOW 99%
WEAPON: Jonathon carries .30 carbine: 40%, 2D6, 50 yds.
ARMOR: Jonathon doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Anthropology 25%, Archaeology 50%, Conceal 25%, Dodge 14%, History 85%, Library Use 75%, Natural History 35%, Occult 55%, Own L. (English) 85%, Other L. (Ancient Egyptian) 55%, Ride 30%, Swim 25%, Handgun 20%

Ardeth Bay

DESCRIPTION: Ardeth Bay is the leader of the mysterious group bent on protecting the Mummy's tomb from being revealed. He is committed, but he also recognizes that the investigators intentions are pure. If they prove to their commitment to prevent Imhotep from rising, he will help them.
STATS: STR 15, CON 16, SIZ 12, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 14, APP 12, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 80, EDU 12, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: Ardeth uses a rifle and sabre. Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db, .30-06 Bolt-Action Rifle: 65% 2D6+4 damage, 110 yds
ARMOR: Ardeth doesn't wear much in the way of armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (Egyptian) 80%, Other L. (English) 55%, Ride 40%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 65%

Mysterious Warriors

DESCRIPTION: These mysterious men dressed in all black are specialists at assassination. Their first attempts will be to warn the investigators off, but they will resort to murder if necessary to gain the key in the investigator's possession, and any other artifact tied to resurrecting Imhotep.
STATS: STR 15, CON 16, SIZ 12, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 14, APP 9, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 60, EDU 12, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: The mysterious warriors will use any archaic weapon, pistols, and rifles . They prefer to strike with suprrise first. Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db, .30-06 Bolt-Action Rifle: 65% 2D6+4 damage, 110 yds, Sabre: 50% 1D8+1+db
ARMOR: The mysterious warriors do not wear much in the way of armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (Egyptian) 80%, Other L. (English) 55%, Ride 40%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 65%

Henderson, Daniels, Burns

DESCRIPTION: This is the rival American team (if the investigators are British). They represent everything bad about Americans: boorish, loud, and all too eager to shoot things. They act a lot like cowboys, whooping it up and thoroughly enjoying any firefight they should get into. They are also woefully unprepared for any supernatural horror and their minds will snap like twigs when faced with the gruesome presence of Imhotep and his minions.
STATS: STR 13, CON 15, SIZ 15, INT 9, POW 9, DEX 13, HP 15, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 60
WEAPON: .38 Revolver 35%, damage 1D10, Fist/Punch 40%, damage 1D3+db; they are all fond of firing with two pistols at once (reducing their hit percentages by 1/5th).
ARMOR: None.
SKILLS: One of them, it doesn't matter who, has some knowledge of archaeology.

BAD GUYS

Imhotep, High priest of Osiris

DESCRIPTION: In 1,719 B.C. in the Egyptian city of Thebes, a forbidden love between the evil high priest Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namum, the Pharoah's mistress was exposed. When Anck-Su-Namum took her own life, Imhotep's subsequent act of desperation in Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead, defied the gods.

For his unholy acts, he was given the ultimate curse - his mummified body would remain undead for all eternity - a torturous existence, but one that would cease should his rotting corpse ever be released. As Imhotep's screams of pain from within the sarcophagus grew muffled while he was lowered into the earth, the curse was set in motion, and his evil, vengeful heart lay beating in the dark, growing stronger and stronger.

Imhotep's goals are threefold: he must first reintegrate his body. As the harbinger of Nyarlathotep, he is the bringer of the plagues and ultimately, the harbinger of armageddon. The only goal he feels passionately about is to reunite with Anck-Su-Namum.

  • To achieve reintegration, Imhotep uses the following spells on victims: graft flesh, transfer body part, transfer organ. He is quite happy to take these body parts from living beings.
  • As a harbinger of doom, he enacts the various plagues with the following spells: alter weather, bring haboob, bring pestilence, summon plague.
  • To reunite Anck-Su-Namum, Imhotep must first summon her spirit with remortification. Then, he casts bind soul to remove Evelyn's spirit to make way for Anck-Su-Namum. With the spirit safely within her body, he then must cast resurrection to complete the reincarnation of his lost love.
Imhotep is not without his weaknesses. He is terrified of cats, as the priests of Bastet were powerful enemies to his cause. The presence of any living cat acts as if it were an Elder Sign, and Imhotep will immediately cast vanish to leave its presence.

Imhotep cannot be killed unless his ka containers are found and destroyed. Then he becomes a normal human being and can be killed normally without benefits of armor or resistance to impaling weapons. Upon dying, Nodens arrives in a spectral chariot to collect his soul.

STATS: STR 22, CON 19, SIZ 13, INT 86, POW 100, DEX 19, APP 18 (1), HP 15, MV 6, DB +1D4
WEAPON: Fist 70%, 1D6+d6, Grapple 25%
ARMOR: 2 point skin; impaling weapons are useless unless severing a limb or head
SKILLS: Move Quietly 50%, Stalk 40%
SPELLS: alter weather, apportion ka, bind soul, bring haboob, bring pestilence, dominate, enchant flesh, enchant sacrifical dagger, enthrall victim, graft flesh, part sands, remortification, resurrection, summon plague, transfer body part, transfer organ, vanish (dissipates into a sandstorm - Imhotep requires no box for this spell, and can take up to two people with him)
SANITY LOSS: 1/1D8 Sanity points to see Imhotep

Mummy Priests

DESCRIPTION: Imhotep's loyal priests were horribly tortured upon his entombment. Their tongues were torn out and their limbs were broken. This has impaired their combat abilities in undeath, as most walk with limps and have gnarled limbs.
STATS: STR 15, CON 15, SIZ 13, INT 1, POW 1, DEX 7, HP 14, MV 6, DB +1D4
WEAPON: Fist 25%, 1D8+1+db, Grapple 25%
ARMOR: 2 point skin; impaling weapons are useless unless severing a limb or head
SKILLS: Obey Command 99%
SANITY LOSS: 1/1D8 Sanity points to see a mummy priest

Mummy Soldiers

DESCRIPTION: Unlike the mummy priests, these mummies were not tortured in death. They are terrifyingly fast and deadly warriors, even in undeath.
STATS: STR 20, CON 17, SIZ 13, INT 10, POW 15, DEX 12, HP 15, MV 6, DB +1D4
WEAPON: Falchion 70%, 1D8+1+db
ARMOR: 2 point skin; impaling weapons are useless unless severing a limb or head
SKILLS: Move Quietly 50%, Stalk 40%
SANITY LOSS: 1/1D8 Sanity points to see a mummy soldier

Flesh Beetles

DESCRIPTION: These beetles lay dormant in gem-like containers which were vacuumed sealed by the ancient Egyptians. They begin to hatch once a source of warmth comes near (like human flesh). These beetles travel in massive swarms and leave only the bones of their victims behind
STATS: STR 1, CON 2, SIZ 1, INT 1, POW 1, DEX 13, HP 1, MV 4, DB 0
WEAPON: Bite 35%, damage 1 - for purpose of inflicting damage, 35% of every 100 beetles inflict damage (thus a swarm numbering 300 beetles inflicts 105 damage)
ARMOR: Swarms of these beetles remain intact until at least 75% of the swarm has been destroyed. Any particular swarm consists of 1D4*500 of them.
SANITY LOSS: 0/1D4 Sanity points to see a flesh beetle swarm.

Beni

DESCRIPTION: Professional thief Beni has only two things on his mind: Treasure and more treasure. Images of Egyptian gold, rubies and amber dance like mirages in his head. Even the terrifying power of the Mummy's curse isn't enough for promise of uncovering the hidden riches of Hamunaptra. If the investigators choose to free Rick O'Connell, then Beni is their only lead to the city of Hamunaptra. Beni is a backstabbing, sneaky little weasel of a man and once Imhotep finds him (as he most assuredly will), he'll throw his lot in with Imhotep.
STATS: STR 11, CON 16, SIZ 11, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 16, APP 6, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 80, EDU 12, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db, .45 Auto: 65% 1D10+2, 15 yds
ARMOR: Beni doesn't wear much in the way of armor, but he does carry a holy symbol from every religion. The Star of David is what identifies Beni as Jewish and thus Imhotep believes he can be recruited to his cause.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, Drive (Auto) 40%, Fast Talk 55%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (English) 55%, Ride 5%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 30%, Shotgun 25%

Anck-Su-Namum

DESCRIPTION: Anck-Su-Namum will only animate if the first spell of Imhotep's is cast, but not the others. She will animate her corpse to speed up the process of reanimation by killing the female receptacle's body or whomever is defending it.
STATS: STR 20, CON 17, SIZ 13, INT 10, POW 15, DEX 12, HP 15, MV 6, DB +1D4
WEAPON: Falchion 70%, 1D8+1+db
ARMOR: 2 point skin; impaling weapons are useless unless severing a limb or head
SKILLS: Move Quietly 50%, Stalk 40%
SANITY LOSS: 1/1D8 Sanity points to see a Anck-Su-Namum
Resources

Books

Movies

  • The Mummy - Widescreen Collector's Edition (1999) -- Fraser, Weisz; DVD Keep Case
  • The Mummy -- Fraser, Weisz; VHS

Music

  • The Mummy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK] -- Jerry Goldsmith; Audio CD

Role-Playing Games

  1. Call of Cthulhu (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game) -- Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis (Editor); Paperback
  2. The 1920S Investigator's Companion: A Core Game Book for Players; Paperback
Links

Labels:

posted by Michael Tresca at 9:51 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Call of Cthulhu: Dark City

Time Frame: 1920s

This campaign is dark, literally. It's never daylight outside. Dark City's introduction to the campaign should be insidious. The Keeper is encouraged to run at least one if not three adventures prior to this one in the same city, and have the events happen between the hours of 8 PM to 5 AM.

Scene 1: Tracking a Murderer

Eventually, the investigators will be approached to track down John Murdoch, who is wanted for the brutal murders of several prostitutes. Detective Bumstead may or may not lead the investigation, depending on how successful the investigators are in pursuing John. John is not easy to catch, as he has powers beyond mortal ken.

Scene 2: Hot on the Trail

While John is free, more murders continue to happen. John seeks out his wife, Emma Murdoch. Investigators will catch up to him there, and during their pursuit, will cross the Strangers as they attempt to abduct John.

Scene 3: Madmen Tell No Tales

By now, the investigators should be suspicious. At this point, Detective Bumstead brings up another disturbing fact: a former police officer has gone bonkers. Finding him is easy. Detective Eddie Walenski babbles about circles and reality. He eventually throws himself in front of a train, ending his madness.

Scene 4: The Truth Revealed

The investigators finally catch up with Murdoch, and Murdoch begins to reveal the things that are wrong with reality. Does anyone remember actually leaving the city? Does anyone remember what they do during the day time? This forces everyone to make a sanity check when they realize reality is not what it seems at 0/1D10. In any case, having made or failed the sanity check, they can never go back to that innocence. Murdoch's powers reveal a whole host of illusions as he uses the "Tune" spell to open doorways. The investigators will no longer fall asleep at 12 AM, and will witness the buildings change and warp. This forces another sanity check at 10/1D100. Some people may just be pushed over the edge by this discovery. The Doctor comes out of hiding to explain the real story: John Murdoch is an anamoly, and through him the Strangers hope to understand humanity. They switch personalities, positions, and terrain at will, and seek to discover the nature of the human soul by trying to turn him into a murderer.

Scene 5: Shell Beach

The issue of reality is easy to test -- if there is indeed no way out of the city, leaving it should be impossible. This makes any beach a fable. The Doctor is terrified of going there, but Murdoch insists. And what's at Shell Beach? Nothing but a cement wall. Determined, Murdoch takes up a sledgehammer and begins to hammer his way through the wall. Investigators can help if they wish. Once they break through, they discover another mind-rending truth (sanity check 5/1d10): beyond the wall is...the pitch blackness of space! Mr. Hand and co. show up, and it is then that Mr. Hand explains he has injected himself with the same personality serum that they were attempting to inject into John Murdoch, to understand him. But it has instead turned Mr. Hand, who was a souless being to begin with, into a genuine murderer. The Strangers will do everything in their power to capture the investigators, the doctor, and John Murdoch.

Scene 6: Showdown

Mr. Book, outraged at the turn of events, now demands Murdoch be imprinted with the formula the professor was originally supposed to inject into John. But the Doctor has no intentions of doing so. He switches the injection with one he has specifically concocted that reveals everything about the Strangers and their tuning. It increases his knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos tremendously. John emerges as a super powerful sorcerer, and a battle ensues between he and Mr. Book. The investigators may resort to firearms or spells to help John win. The battle ends when Mr. Book dies.

Scene 7: The Aftermath

With the Strangers defeated, John Murdoch restores water to the edges of Dark City, and turns it to face a sun. The remaining Strangers hide in darkness as sunlight permeates much of the city. The machine used by the Strangers to perform tuning is unnecessary, as John Murdoch can do that himself. The investigators may want to return home, however. There are several spells that can return the characters to Earth: brew space mead, summon/bind byakhee, create gate. If the investigators don't have the means, John may be able to create a gate. The state of Earth however, is another story -- no one knows when the Travelers created Dark City and kidnapped the inhabitants. They may return to their own time, seconds after their abduction. Or to the 1990s. Or maybe there's no Earth to return to at all, and they must live in the ship known as Dark City.
Statistics

GOOD GUYS

Tuning works like the parting sands spell. It is used to open doorways and paths through any obstacle, and both John Murdoch and any stranger can use this power at will. For a better treament of psychic powers in Call of Cthulhu, see Delta Green: Countdown. All "spells" cast by John and the Strangers are at will, require no components, and are instantaneous in effect.

John Murdoch

DESCRIPTION: John wakes up in a bathtub with no memory of his past, only fragments of a place called Shell Beach. He soon finds out that he is wanted in a series of brutal murders of street walkers. Fleeing Detective Bumstead, he is confronted time and time again with a group of men in black overcoats known as The Strangers. John also discovers that he possesses an ability called Tuning that allows him to change things, to alter reality. John must stop the Strangers from completing their strange experiments.
STATS: STR 9, CON 16, SIZ 11, INT 12, POW 17 (100), DEX 13, APP 12, HP 13, MV 12, DB 0, SAN 685, EDU 19, IDEA 60%, LUCK 85%, KNOW 95%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db
ARMOR: John doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, Drive (Auto) 40%, Fast Talk 55%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (English) 55%, Ride 5%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 30%, Shotgun 25%
SPELLS: create barrier of Naach-tith, fist of Yog-sothoth, impeccable throw, tuning

Detective Frank Bumstead

DESCRIPTION: Detective Bumstead is the type of person who likes everything neat and tidy. He is a lonely man. With his new case, Bumstead is forced to face the unknown, and his neat and tidy world is shattered. He meets Murdoch, a seemingly mad man whom he somehow knows is not lying about killing those women, and is confronted with his old friend's newfound madness.
STATS: STR 15, CON 16, SIZ 12, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 14, APP 12, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 60, EDU 14, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db, .45 Auto: 65% 1D10+2, 15 yds
ARMOR: Frank doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, Drive (Auto) 40%, Fast Talk 55%, First Aid 30%, Hide 40%, History 20%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (English) 55%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 30%, Shotgun 25%

Doctor Daniel Poe Schreber

DESCRIPTION: Schreber is a doctor who specializes in the study of memories and works for the Strangers. He himself is a cowardly, frail man with a weak heart. Despite his weaknesses, he proves to both an asset and the downfall of the Strangers, who trust him entirely too much. Dressed in a white doctor's coat, he resembles the mice he experiments on in his spiral labyrinth. Schreber speaks in halting gasps, and he walks with a limp.
STATS: STR 11, CON 13, SIZ 10, INT 17, POW 13, DEX 16, APP 11, HP 12, MV 12, DB 0, SAN 65, EDU 24, IDEA 85%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 99%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db
ARMOR: Daniel doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Bargain 50%, Biology 60%, Conceal 25%, Chemistry 40%, Dodge 32%, Fast Talk 45%, First Aid 50%, History 30%, Jump 25%, Library Use 65%, Medicine 80%, Own L. (English) 85%, Persuade 25%, Pharmacy 35%, Psychology 60%, Sneak 10%

Emma Murdoch/Anna

DESCRIPTION: Emma meets up with Detective Bumstead and helps him track down John. She is then told to go back to her apartment where two strangers are already waiting for her, Mr. Wall and Mr. Sleep. She is imprinted before the final showdown into a woman named Anna.
STATS: STR 8, CON 14, SIZ 11, INT 10, POW 15, DEX 14, APP 17, HP 13, MV 12, DB 0, SAN 75, EDU 12, IDEA 50%, LUCK 75%, KNOW 60%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db
ARMOR: Emma doesn't wear any armor.
SKILLS: Art (singing) 75%, Drive (Auto) 20%, Persuade 75%, Spot Hidden 45%

Detective Eddie Walenski

DESCRIPTION:Walenski used to be a detective, until he figured out most of what was going on behind the scenes. Now he's a paranoid, wild man. He claims that there's no way out, and tells Murdoch that 'they'll' come looking for him.
STATS: STR 15, CON 16, SIZ 12, INT 11, POW 12, DEX 14, APP 12, HP 14, MV 12, DB +1D4, SAN 0, EDU 14, IDEA 55%, LUCK 60%, KNOW 70%
WEAPON: Fist/Punch: 60% 1D3+db
ARMOR: Eddie doesn't wear armor.
SKILLS: Dodge 28%, Drive (Auto) 40%, Fast Talk 55%, Hide 40%, Jump 25%, Listen 25%, Own L (English) 55%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 25%, Handgun 65%, Rifle 30%, Shotgun 25%

BAD GUYS

The Strangers are actually the race known as Travelers.3 They start out as wormlike slugs in their larval stage, and only during this time are they mobile. These particular Travelers are only capable of inhabiting dead bodies, not living ones. Once inside, they spread filaments of nerve endings throughout the corpse's body, animating it for their own dark purposes. They can speak English through these corpses, but when communicating with each other they use a bizarre chattering language, which mimicks the insect-like mandibles the Travelers normally communicate with. This particular form of Traveler has four levels of development. Mr. Sleep represents the first stage after larval development, Mr. Hand represents the second stage, and Mr. Book represents the third stage. While Mr. Book is the only one to have reached such a level of power, and Mr. Sleep appears to be a rarity, Mr. Hand's level of development is quite common. Invaded corpses lose all their body hair and the skin turns dead white. They do have one weakness: water burns their flesh as if it were a very strong acid (1D6 damage/round). They also dislike sunlight, but that's not a problem for them in Dark City.

Why are the Travelers doing all this? Because their world has died, and their race is dying. Mr. Sleep is the youngest of them, and there are no larval stages left. By tinkering with what makes humanity tick, they hope to discover the core essence of the human soul, and by doing so evolve into a higher stage of being and save their race.

Mr. Book

DESCRIPTION: Mr. Book, leader of the Strangers, is even colder and unfeeling than the rest of them. He's commanding, and willing to bring John back at all costs. He is, perhaps, the most powerful stranger.
STATS: STR 17, CON 25, SIZ 13, INT 48, POW 30, DEX 7, MV 12/Fly 6, HP 15, DB +1D4
SPELLS: cloud memory, create barrier of Naach-tith, dominate, enthrall victim, fist of Yog-sothoth, implant suggestion, impeccable throw, tuning
WEAPON: 70% Fighting knife, damage 1D4+2+db
ARMOR: 1 point from Leather trenchcoat
HP REGEN: 1D10
SAN LOSS: 0/1D6

Mr. Hand

DESCRIPTION: Mr. Hand starts out as cold and emotionless as the rest of his kind, but to be able to track John down better, he has the Doctor "imprint" him with John's memories. This act twists Mr. Hand's priorities, and he soon becomes the murderer that John was meant to be. Mr. Hand finally confesses to John that he had just wanted to know what it was like, being human.
STATS: STR 17, CON 22, SIZ 13, INT 42, POW 24, DEX 7, MV 12/Fly 6, HP 15, DB +1D4
SPELLS: cloud memory, dominate, enthrall victim, implant suggestion, tuning
WEAPON: 70% Fighting knife, damage 1D4+2+db
ARMOR: 1 point from Leather trenchcoat
HP REGEN: 1D8
SAN LOSS: 0/1D4

Mr. Wall

DESCRIPTION: Mr. Hand's right hand man, so to speak. Mr. Wall despises what Mr. Hand's done to himself, and is for the most part impatient with Mr. Hand's new instincts.
STATS: STR 17, CON 22, SIZ 13, INT 42, POW 24, DEX 7, MV 12/Fly 6, HP 15, DB +1D4
SPELLS: cloud memory, dominate, enthrall victim, implant suggestion, tuning
WEAPON: 70% Fighting knife, damage 1D4+2+db
ARMOR: 1 point from Leather trenchcoat
HP REGEN: 1D8
SAN LOSS: 0/1D4

Mr. Sleep

DESCRIPTION: The diminutive Stranger, and the only one who inhabits a child. Mr. Sleep is almost feral, and isn't above biting and giggling to himself.
STATS: STR 17, CON 20, SIZ 10, INT 36, POW 18, DEX 7, MV 12/Fly 6, HP 13, DB +1D4
WEAPON: 70% Fighting knife, damage 1D4+2+db
ARMOR: 1 point from Leather trenchcoat
HP REGEN: 1D6+2
SAN LOSS: 0/1D4
Resources

Books

  • Dark City: A Novel -- Frank Lauria; Mass Market Paperback

Movies

  • Dark City (1998) -- Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland; DVD Snap Case
  • Dark City (1998) -- Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland; VHS Widescreen
  • Dark City (1998) -- Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland; VHS

Music

  • Dark City: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture [SOUNDTRACK] -- Trevor Jones; Audio CD

Role-Playing Games

  1. Call of Cthulhu (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game) -- Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis (Editor); Paperback
  2. The Creature Companion (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game) -- Ken Hite; Paperback
  3. The 1920S Investigator's Companion: A Core Game Book for Players; Paperback
Links

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Krull

Download: T & M bazaar
Type: Role-Playing Game (D20 Fantasy Supplement)
Suggested Retail Price: FREE
Format: .pdf
Pages: 22
Discussion: Enworld Forum
Description:

The Beast's Black Fortress crosses the void of space, hopping from planet to planet. Once the Black Fortress lands, Slayers spill out of womb, burning villages and towns, torturing slaying everyone in their path. The Beast will accept nothing less than genocide in its conquest of every planet for its own, dark purposes. What it does with a planet once it takes over is unknown, but it's clear that the Beast and its Slayers have powers far outstripping the cultures they invade.

This D20 Fantasy campaign setting/adventure includes an adventure synposis and campaign setting with 10 scenes, a new race (cyclops), 10 new NPCs, 3 new magic items, and 4 new monsters.

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The Thing: Who Goes There?

Download: T & M Bazaar
Authors: Michael Tresca
Type: Role-Playing Game (D20 Modern Supplement)
Suggested Retail Price: FREE
Format: .pdf
Pages: 32
Description:

An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a husky, pursued by two Norwegians in a helicopter. The Norwegians fire indiscriminately at the dog. The team members defend themselves and shoot back, killing the Norwegians.

It doesn't take long before the Thing (in dog form) attacks the team. One by one, they are picked off and replaced by Thing duplicates.

As the expedition explores the Norwegian camp, the history of the Thing comes together. Centuries ago - an alien spaceship had crash-landed in the Antarctic. The pilot was thrown clear and eventually froze in the ice. But the Norwegians uncovered it. And then they thawed it out.

The Thing is a cellular colony that imitates other beings. It has the ability to alter its own cell structure to that of a consumed organism, and can thus imitate a victim almost perfectly.

If the Thing were to ever reach civilization, it could replicate so quickly that in a matter of days, it would duplicate every living being on Earth. It's up to the PCs to stop it...before the Thing stops them.

The Thing: Who Goes There? is a supplement for D20 Modern that contains five advanced classes, lots of equipment, rules for fear and trust, hazards, and seven Thing variants.

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