Saturday, March 31, 2018

API: Xenos: Humanity Lost


Wraps

Also known as: Mummies, Ghouls, Bandage-brows

In 1944, a group of Nazi Occultists left the Fatherland and traveled to the Valley of the Kings in Ancient Egypt, in the hopes of raising an army of the living dead to aid their side, as the Toxic had proven unreliable allies at best.  API and certain elements within the Order of Saint Philomena were alerted to this plot, and they raced to intercept the Nazi Occultists.  And while they were unsuccessful in actually stopping the ritual, they managed to interrupt the last part of the process, so when the Tombs in the Valley of the Kings opened, the Nazis found themselves not with a loyal army of undead killing machines, but a bunch of reanimated kings and nobles who only spoke ancient egyptian and had no idea what was going on.

So The Order and API worked together in an attempt to bring these newly born creatures up to speed.  These creatures, later known as Wraps, were very difficult to teach, but eventually progress was made when they finally found a way to communicate between the moderns and the ancients.  The Wraps had to be told about virtually everything that had happened in the last 5,000 years, and most were quite distraught at first to find out how the world had changed.

Wraps are true undead, unlike the Toxic.  They do not need to eat, sleep, drink or rest.  They do not reproduce or age, and when exposed to natural sunlight, their flesh bursts into spiritual flames.  However, despite the fact that Wraps no longer need to eat, many of them suffer from the Hunger.  This Hunger is similar to how Vamps describe their thirst for blood, but more pathological.  It's as if the Wraps remember they are supposed to be eating, or they have some desire for food, despite having no way to process it.  And when Wraps talk about these cravings, and they rarely do, they say they only want meat.  Fresh, bloody, raw meat.

In terms of mindset, most Wraps are, by modern standards, incredibly racist, sexist, and discriminatory.  Most of them hate Greeks, Italians or Muslims, and blame them for the destruction of Egypt.  A few of them even dream of restoring the pharaoh, though this is largely a pipe dream, even among their most politically active.  They largely consider the modern world bewildering, fast, decadent and completely degenerate.  They are as religious as fundamentalists, and most still worship the Egyptian Gods, though it is suspected that some of this might be posturing in an attempt to maintain a small piece of their former identity.  However, these common statements are by no means universal; there are Wraps who have converted to other religions or learned to live with the mores of the 21st century, even though most still frown upon them.

Most Wraps still live in North Africa or in the middle East, with a large minority coming to places like the United Kingdom or the United States.

Threat Level: 6. Most Wraps themselves are fairly law-abiding and mild-mannered, unless you get them talking politics or religion, of course.  But they do pose a danger in the fact that their are those who seek immortality for themselves are trying to hunt them down, to dissect them and see how they were resurrected, and if the process could be repeated. 

Law for Wraps:    
- Do not reveal yourself
- Do not go outside during the day
- Do not reveal the secrets of mummification
- Do not proselytize about your Gods
- Failure to do so will result in extermination



Draconi

Also known as: Dragon-kin, Scalies, Smokers

Dragons are pure magical power.  In the past, according to legend, those strong and brave enough to kill dragons bathed in their blood to become invincible.  Siegfried is the best example of this.  And to Wizards, Dragon body parts and dragonsblood is a priceless item, capable of fueling the most powerful magical rituals.

But Dragons today are few and far between.  They live in the most isolated corners of the world, taking great pains to hide themselves.  They learn magic or how to shapeshift, or live in places normally inaccessible to Normals- such as Neverland or in quarantine zones that The Company has set aside from them through their friends in Normal government, in the guise of "natural parks" or "Wildlife preserves" or "Contaminated Areas".

But this scarcity has only fueled the demand for dragonsblood and dragon body parts.  Would-be Dragonslayers scour the world, looking for any sign of these ancient, legendary beasts.  But there have been many attempts by power hungry humans to transcend their mortality by drinking dragonsblood or devouring the flesh of a fallen dragon, in the hope of becoming immortal.  Below we have included an overview of the Centralia incident, one of the most well known incidents of this nature.

Report: The Centralia Incident           

One day in April of 1962, when a group of coal miners in Centralia, Pennsylvania discovered a petrified Dragon in a vein of coal, they informed their bosses, who quickly suppressed the information.  The bosses Knew, and wanted to sell this Dragon for parts, and possibly use it to gain power themselves.  When they realized the Dragon was still alive, in suspended animation underneath a thin layer of stone, they were overjoyed.  So they tapped the Dragon's veins and drained some blood, and drank or injected it, in the hopes of transcending humanity.

However, all did not go as planned.  The luckiest of their number were mutated into hideous dragon-human hybrids, possessing only a small amount of the Dragon's original pussiance.  The rest died as their bodies rejected the foreign blood, or exploded into blasts of flame.  In the chaos that followed, the corporate offices caught fire.  This prompted the arrival of the authorities, and soon after, API.  And when they arrived, they quickly rounded up everyone who knew, condemned the town, and using a coal fire as a excuse, evacuated the town and placed the hibernating Dragon under permanent guard, in case it ever wakes up.

The survivors of the Centralia Incident and others like it became Draconi.  Some did gain a modicum of magical ability from their transfusions, but others gained nothing but a hideous, deformed body.  In addition, all lost their humanity.  As such, most Draconi seek to return to their original forms and to regain their humanity, through whatever means necessary.

But their are some who seek to finish what they started so long ago, to finish the process and become true Dragons.  These individuals are usually on the run from API, and looking for true dragons, either for their help or their blood.

Threat Level: 6.  Draconi usually know enough to keep a low profile, and most still consider themselves human, and thus do not seek to kill humans en masse.  Additionally, Most Draconi lack even minor magicks, thus making them easy to dispatch, even with minimal weaponry.  However, Draconi do have a habit for making huge messes and inciting conflicts, whether intentionally or unintentionally, or escalating existing conflicts.  As such, they are to be treated with caution.   
         
Law for Draconi:
- Do not seek out more Dragon blood
- Do not reveal yourself to the populace
- Report any reliable information on a Dragon or its whereabouts to the Company
- Failure to do so will result in Extermination



                                               (This is what Changelings look like)


Changelings

Also known as: Shyfters, Feytouched, Woodchild, Nobodies

In the old stories, Faeries were known to steal babies and replace them with monstrous versions of the child that grew into horrid louts.  However, this is a folk tale, much distorted by time.  While Faeries almost certainly stole children, they usually did this for revenge against a human or to eat.  The real reason why this story probably got propagated is because someone wanted an excuse to kill a Changeling, and claimed that they weren't human.

And it's not like they were wrong.  They weren't.  Changelings are not human, at least, not totally.  You see, when a Human encounters the Folk as a child, they are changed.  Magic worms itself into the bones and blood, the ancient power of root and stem and stone.  This seed germinates, until one day, usually around puberty, it blossoms in a spray of power.  This power grants the Changelings the ability to change their shape and face to resemble any other humanoid creature, or to change their coloration to blend into their background or become invisible to thermal imaging cameras.  However, they can only use one of these abilities at a time.

Changelings additionally possess the Folk allergy for iron, albeit in a much less concentrated form.  They are hurt more by iron weapons and it irritates their skin, but they can touch the metal without their flesh burning and bubbling.

Now since all Changelings are originally human, most consider themselves at least partially human.  Being branded a Xeno by API is a very sore point among most Changelings.  Most conceal their abilities and attempt to live among humans, and for the most part, they are allowed to, as long as they conceal their powers and altered nature.  However, some gleefully accept their newly received powers, and use them for personal benefit.  This can mean anything from pretending to be a celebrity, to making themselves more attractive so people will sleep with them, to other, more sinister behaviors.  There are many rumors of criminals who change their faces after every crime and thus are never identified, or criminals who will frame people for crimes.  Frustratingly few of these rumors have ever been confirmed.                

Changelings tend to be concentrated in areas near where the Folk live or are suspected to live.  Though this is hardly surprising since Changelings are created through contact with the Folk.  In such regions, Those who Know and Agents of API tend to wear iron jewelry to indicate that they are not a Changeling.  Some Changelings attempt to blend in by wearing matching jewelry of lead, aluminum or chromium.

The most common theory is that Changelings are created by accidental exposure, or by human women seduced by the Folk.  But there are some who claim a darker agenda, that the Changelings are unwitting pawns in the battle between the Folk and some other foe.  Their is little evidence for this belief.  Additionally, what foe could possibly challenge the Folk?

Threat Level: 6-4.  Changelings not only possess strong powers individually, but they also possess a great deal of organization.  Their little cells are capable of wreaking immense havoc, but they usually do not engage in open hostilies.  Rather, Changelings who violate the Peace or the Masquerade or the bylaws of the Company usually focus on infiltration, espionage, and assassination.  In areas near Folk sites, caution and proper vigilance should be exercised at all times, and Anti-Changelings measures should be implemented.

Law for Changelings:
- Do not impersonate public figures or Agents of the Company
- Do not reveal your powers to others
- Failure to do so will result in extermination
 
                                           (This is also what Changelings look like)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

GvM: Fear the Wizard!


All Humans have the potential to do magic, as magic comes from the soul (or perhaps through the soul?) and all Humans have souls.  However, just like a body will encourage you to eat tons of tasty, fattening foods because it doesn't realize you, if you are reading this, likely live in a nation where food is unlikely to run out anytime soon; the soul will likewise hoard its energy in event of a spiritual emergency, and thus most Humans cannot do magic.

Now there are ways to rectify this.  The Company forces its operatives to undergo the Rite of the Iron Maiden, a much rumored and poorly understood process.  However, what we do know indicates that the Rite of the Iron Maiden is a trial of strength.  It forces those who endure it to open the floodgates to their magic and use it, or else this Rite will be the last thing you ever attempt.  Those who survive this Rite gain power in the form of a Semblance, a single magic power unique to the user, that can be used at will.

But there are some who can naturally unlock their own magic.  These rare geniuses unlock their own Semblances through sheer determination and willpower.

But the manufactured Semblance users of API and the bold geniuses of mankind are nothing compared to the Wizards.

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards

Wizards are humans who have inherited such immense magical power that they dwarf all other mortal magicians.  The most powerful Wizards stand on near-even footing with Xeno Kings, Demon Lords, Faerie Queens, and the oldest living Dragons.  But while most Wizards are not nearly that powerful, all of them are not to be crossed lightly.

The Wizards are a separate supernatural nation, considered as a tribe of Xenos by the Company.  This is because Wizards are about as far from normal humans are from Xenos.  And this is not to say that Wizards, don't eat, shit or die.  Because they do.  But they largely inhabit their own shadow-culture beneath the Normals, and their lifestyles are so different from Those who Know that they have nothing in common with us.  Along with this, Wizards usually form together into large organizations such as the Merlinites, or form large households including their family, relatives, hang-er-ons, retainers, and slaves; so they do not lack in terms of organization and political power.  The Company treats Wizards with great respect, in the same way they treat large groups of the Folk or "civilized" Dragons.  As such, you should stay far, far away if you have any choice at all in the matter.

But even in spite of this, strip a Wizard of all their weapons, their defenses and bodyguards, and you still have a terrifying foe to face.  Firstly, all Wizards can use magic like Gandalf or Dumbeldore.  They can shoot fireballs and turn people into toads, and far, far worse.  Secondly, all Wizards can curse you.  If you're fighting one, do not listen to them, and make sure they're dead (if a Wizard is near death, they will curse you like this.)  The curse of the Wizard varies, but they are all generally horrible.  Thirdly, Wizards live for many, many years- they will die of old age one day if not killed, but if they aren't they can live for centuries.  So if you piss one off, expect to be looking over your shoulder for decades.  And if that wasn't enough they can also slowly heal almost any injury such as a badly scarred hand or a broken bone, though they can't usually regrow limbs or come back from being killed.  But some can, at least, if you trust rumors.  And I don't.

And finally, Wizards are still humans.  And like all Humans, they organize.  So when one Wizard goes missing, if their is any evidence that you killed them, and their probably will be, then you can expect retaliation.  If you kill an Apprentice Wizard, their Master will likely be after you.  If the Wizard has an Apprentice and you kill them, they will be gunning for you.  And even if the Wizard lives alone with their cat and a body-pillow, you can still expect some kind of response from their family.

So, how do I generate a Wizard to kill my players?

First, decide whether the Wizard is an Apprentice, a full Magus (plural Magi) or an Arch-Mage.

Then decide on their name.  If you have no ideas: look here.

Then roll on the following Tables.


                  
How hard will this Wizard to kill?
Apprentice
1d3
1- 1d3 HD
2- 1d4 HD
3- 1d6 HD
Magus
1d3
1- 2d4 HD
2- 1d3+1 HD
3- 1d4+2 HD
Arch-Mage
1d3
1- 1d6+2 HD
2- 1d8 HD
3- 1d8+2 HD

How strong is the Wizard?
1d6
1: This Wizard is very weak.  You can probably take them.  -1 HD, min: 1 HD   
2-3: This Wizard is middle to above average strength.  Fight them with extreme caution, or not at all.  +1 HD.
4-5: This Wizard is among the best and brightest.  If the Wizard starts attacking, run.  Run fast.  +1d4 HD.   
6: This Wizard is a living God.  Don't bother running, you'll only die tired.  +1d6 HD.

What is this Wizard's defenses?
1d6
1- Enchanted clothing that functions as armor.
2- Expensive bodyguards.
3- A guardian created via magic.
4- Wizard has a magical artifact or enchanted piece of equipment that heals them and helps them regenerate.
5- Wizard is very hard to hit.  Not just high AC, but can teleport to nearby places, create illusionary duplicates, etc.
6- The Wizard has a device that constantly damages everyone around them (their bodyguards or servants are somehow exempted from this.  Ex: The Wizard has a ring that constantly causes 1 damage to everyone within 30'.  Their bodyguards have subordinate rings that absorb the damage.

What is their primary magical weapon?
[Legend: Apprentice/Magus/Arch-Mage]
1d6
1- Blasts of fire.  1d8/1d10/1d12, save for half.
2- A magical sword or melee weapon.  Look down in the treasure table for ideas what they could have.
3- Telekinesis.  As the Great God Pan, detailed here.
4- A magical gun or a ranged weapons with enchanted projectiles.  See here for inspiration.
5- Their shadow or an invisible ally.
6- Illusions.  The Wizard creates holograms of themselves, but they aren't any of the clones, they are hiding under a shrub, then when more clones appear, they are actually over your friends, so you end up fighting your friends or killing random people.  Catch them if you can.   

What other spells can they cast?
Apprentice:
1d6 others

Magus:
1d10 other

Arch-Mage:
1d20 other

What stupidly overpowered spell does this Wizard have ready for a tricky situation?

The Wizard can cast this spell once per encounter, and then must rest for at least an hour before using it again.

Overpowered Spell Table

1d12
1- Big Whoosh.  Enough Wind to send you flying.  Can throw one person or object 50', no save.    
2- Hellfire.  Way too much fire.  2d20 fire damage- save for half.
3- Zap.  Summon lightning from the sky.  1d12 damage, and +1 damage for each piece of metal in your inventory. 
4- Belly of the Whale.  Suck you into their mouth and shrink you in the process. 
5- Blockbuster.  Magic explosive.  Makes big boom.  5d6 explosive damage.
6- Mass Reduce Person.  For a brief period of time, you are shrunken.
7- Strength of Ten Men.  The Wizard gains the Strength of Ten Men.
8- Polymorph.  Save or be turned into a beast.
9- Endless Night.  Steal all the light from someone.  One person has all light turn invisible to them.
10- Transmute Fluid.  Transmute any liquid into a strong acid.  Better hope its not raining.  1d6 damage per round exposed.
11- Heart of Winter.  Freeze anything.  1d10 damage + 1d6 damage per round until you get out of the spell's radius. 
12- Tyrant Sun.  Focus all the sunlight on one point.  3d6 damage, then 1 damage around until you get out of the light. 

What treasures will the Wizard give to you or use to bribe you?

For an apprentice, roll 1d6 to see what they can offer you.  For a Magus, roll 1d12.  For an Arch-Mage, 1d20.

Wizard Treasure Table
1d20
1- A magic sword or weapon.  Wizards make lots of these
2- A few potions.
3- Quick transportation to wherever you need to go.  This can be teleportation, through a portal, a route through the Underground, etc.  Is quick and will get you there if you follow the Wizard's directions.  No other guarantees. 
4- A freakish monster that (maybe) will obey you
5- A magic spell.  This spell, once stored in your head, can be cast once.  Use it well.
6- A piece of vital information.
7- The Wizard will tell your fortune.  Wizard fortunes are notoriously accurate.  This is common knowledge.  It is also common knowledge that many people who have their fortunes told by Wizards end up suffering horrible fates
8- The Wizard will summon up the soul of someone dead, so you may speak to them.
9- A method of magical healing.
10- Yourself.  The Wizard can summon a copy of you from a parallel universe.  The Wizard can also do this for someone who has already died, thus essentially bringing your friend back to life.
11- Immortality.  The Wizard can help you extend your life, maybe even forever?
12- Something you lost.  Wizards are very, very good at finding lost things.  Here is a brief list of lost things a Wizard could find for you: an arm or severed limb (restored to normal functionality), a friend, your car keys, the memories of something that happened in your past, your father's love, the book you "borrowed" from the library but then lost, Atlantis.  And remember, this list is not exhaustive, however, the Wizard can only find lost things, not hidden or forgotten things.
13- A magic circle.  This, if inscribed on the ground, will trap any powerful creature within, but only if you do exactly as the scroll the Wizard gave you told you to do.
14- Your ideal self.  The Wizard can increase or decrease your stats, alter your appearance, etc.  Though you should be very careful if someone offers you this, the best time to stab someone in the back is when you're wrist deep in their genome.
15- One phone call.  The Wizard can connect you to any number of important people, such as high-ranking members of the Company, other Wizards, and the inhabitants of other universes or planes.  This reward provides no protection against the actions such entities might take. 
16- One enemy destroyed.  The Wizard can crush your enemies like bugs, if they have the time to do so.
17- A suit of magical armor.  Enchanted plate mail, escorcelled Kevlar, a stab proof vest made of living fire, etc.
18- Kingship.  The Wizard has access to the crown of a kingdom, and whoever claims it will automatically be coronated as the King of that nation.  If you accept it, this will radically alter the game.  Roll 1d4 to see what the complication is: [1= The nation the Kingship is over does not publicly have a King; 2= The Kingship is for a nation that does not exist anymore, accepting that will mean recreating that nation and massive Geo-political disruptions leading to war, revolution and genocide, etc; 3= The Kingship is of a nation that does not yet exist, but soon will; 4= The Kingship is of a Xeno tribe or Kingdom in an alien land].  Also, even with all that, you will still have to be King. 
19- A favor.  One day, in the future, if you need something only a Wizard can offer, then you can call them up and they will give it to you. 
20- Nothing.  The Wizard gives you something that will make you happy, but is actually an illusion.  Once they get out of range, it transforms into sticks and mud or other worthless garbage.        
      
What is this Wizard's current plan?
Apprentice:
1d6
1- To recover a magical artifact of immense power
2- To drive away or kill a particular monster/tribe/enemy
3- To make a pact with a being far beyond them
4- To gather the ingredients for a powerful ritual
5- To perform a field test for a totally untested and highly dangerous piece of experimental magic
6- To distract a particularly bothersome person/organization so they will leave the Wizard alone
Magus:
1d12
1- To punish a troublesome polity (city, province, or small nation)
2- To punish a particular person and their family, or the descendants of that person
3- To become immortal
4- To trick or manipulate a person into fulfilling an ancient prophecy
5- To awaken an Elder God from their hibernation beneath the waves
6- To destroy an institution or an organization that the Wizard finds offensive (CERN, Walmart, National Geographic magazine)
7- To attempt or investigate time travel, with the intention of using it
8- To create life (the more dangerous and uncontrollable, the better)
9- To hand over immense power to a random Normal and see what they do with it (a social experiment)
10- To create an opponent worthy of fighting them
11- To make a fictional character(s) real
12- To clone/resurrect/revive someone they love
Arch-Mage:
1d6
1- To get into space in a rocket made of garbage and spells
2- To build a tower or structure that can reach Heaven so they can speak to God
3- Building a portal to Hell
4- Ripping a star out of the heavens
5- To learn their fate and the fate of everyone in the world
6- To gain access to another, parallel universe

How insane is the Wizard?
1d6
1: Very.  The Wizard is as mad as a hatter, highly unstable, and likely shunned by anyone sensible.
2-5: Somewhat.  The Wizard is odd, eccentric, and bizarre.  They seem to do things for no reason, and never justify themselves.  Some people tolerate them, but all are careful with them, in the same way you'd be careful near a live explosive or a hissing cobra.
6: Not at all.  The Wizard is entirely sane.  This is not a good thing.  A sane Wizard is ten times worse than an insane one.



Monday, March 26, 2018

GvM: Investigator

Ideas borrowed from here, here and here.



"Don't tell me why you're here, I know why.  Nobody comes to me with a normal problem, when I talk to a client, its always on the worst day of their lives.  Yeah, come on in.  Do you want coffee?  Of course you don't.  So what's the problem?  Tell me about your own personal apocalypse."

- Jared Ungaro, P.I.  

Some people just can't leave well enough.  They won't just accept what they're told, they have to consistently disregard the official narrative, and seek out what is really real.  After 9/11 they asked where Flight 93 was right after 9/11, and when the Iraq War was being pushed for, they asked where the WMDs were.  They are incorrigibly curious, with this being their greatest asset and fatal flaw.  Because some time when you go looking for the things that go bump in the night, you find them.

You are one of those people, someone driven to find the truth, no matter what the cost.  You may not find it, but you're going to look.  Unlike others who become invested in their opinions and seek to defend them, you are not interested in slinging mud, but in finding out what is real.

Additionally, you are also notable in the fact that you are not among your peers.  Most* of Those who Know are those people on the fringes of society, those who are looked down on or just ignored.  They're generally poorer, less educated, and likely possess no real status outside of their local community.  They also tend to be isolated individuals, but this is not a universal rule.  But not you.  Unlike your newly found comrades, you likely went to University, and have at least some higher education.  You are intelligent and generally knowledgable on most things a classically educated person would know.  You've read Shakespeare, you know about legal procedure, and you can do complicated mathematical equations.  You likely hold the official narrative in high suspicion, and are quite skeptical of the claims people make, unless they present proper evidence.  But this education can often be just as much of a weakness as a strength.  It is easy for a disillusioned, impoverished conspiracy theorist who already believes that Jews control the world and the U.S. government is killing black people to steal their melanin for sale on the "black" market that the supernatural exists.  But if you went to college and were accepted by society, such a pill is much harder to swallow.


 This is the Investigators, the thinker, learned class. They have two important roles to fulfill for the party.  Firstly, most of their abilities center around learning new information and helping to investigate mysteries.  This is fairly obvious from the name.  But their is a second, equally important role for the Investigator.  For unlike everyone else, they are a person with some gravitas.  They can help the party negotiate interactions with the elite of society, as well as with the authorities.  For Those who Know almost always draw the ire of the constabulary, either because someone powerful wants to harass them, or because they are genuinely taking suspicious or actively illegal actions.  In a situation like this, an Investigator can mean the difference between being taken down to the station and getting off with a warning.

So when someone is playing an Investigator, assume that the character is generally knowledgable on most things.  The player should not have to ask for valuable information or roll dice, you can just tell them.  Most of their knowledge should just work automatically.  Can the Investigator identify what language this letter is written in?  Do they know what this strange, acidic liquid is?  Can they remember what ancient culture used symbology like this?  Of course they can, they didn't spend a carload of money and years of their life hitting the books to be uninformed.  However, if the Investigator not knowing something could be dramatically interesting, then you may call for a die roll.  Additionally, when in a situation where such knowledge is critical, interrupt the Investigator and tell them what they learned in school, especially if they are about to trespass on some law or statute.  However, just because the Investigator knows a lot, doesn't mean they know everything.  Their education would not educate them on secret societies, shadow, mystery cults or anything that powerful people have gone to great lengths to conceal.   

Investigator
Starting HP: 1/3 of your Con Score
Fighting Spirit: none
Starting Equipment: n/a


Educated: You know a lot about all kinds of technology, politics, religion, legal procedure and so on. You can be assumed to automatically know any fact or piece of information which would be known by a generally well-educated, well-informed person. Whenever you come across a situation which calls for more specialised knowledge, roll 1d20: if the result is equal to or less than your Intelligence, you know the answer.  Note that this will not let you penetrate the Masquerade or learn about anything deliberately concealed.  But you probably know more than most of your peers.    

Paralegal: You have a broad amount of knowledge on the law. You could competently represent yourself in court, though you lack official license to practice law.  You automatically know not to write down illegal activities, when to ask for a warrant, and could defend yourself in a secular court, though you don't have a lawyer's official qualifications.

Literary Memory: You are so good at memorizing and quoting books, that you have a "mental bookshelf" that can hold one book per level.  You gain one book when you first get this ability, and then one more per Investigator level.  You can pick a book on a specific subject or a general field of study.  If it is the former, you know almost everything about that subject.  If it is the latter, you get +4 to any knowledge checks about it. 

Blather: If every questioned about your whereabouts or behavior, you can rattle off a long list of scientific terms or bureaucratic jargon, to try and convince whoever is questioning you that you possess some legitimate reason to be here.  An expert or person educated in that field will realize what you say is complete nonsense, but laypeople will have to make a knowledge check to recognize that's its nonsense.  If the person you're addressing comes from a radically different field or situation than you, they may get an additional penalty to their check. 

Theoretical Physician: You have a largely theoretical knowledge of physiology and biology.  Whenever you make a check to heal someone or tend to wounds, you are considered as having an intelligence of 16(+2).   

Well-Read: Once per session, you can declare something is to be true because you read it in a book. The base chance of the thing actually being true is 50%. There has to be a plausible way you could know about it from reading books (new discoveries, minor details, and personal secrets are unlikely). You don't know whether or not it is true right away; the GM will roll when it matters. You might only be partially correct, but you will never be catastrophically wrong. If you declare that a undercover cops have to answer you if you ask them if they're a cop, they will either have to or not have to. However, asking an undercover cop if he is actually a cop will not be a crime. If you have access to a library of 50 books, the base chance increases to 80%.

Don't need my spectacles: Once per day, you can make an attack with double your usual to hit bonus.

Just his Council: Enemies are less likely to judge you as a threat and will put less effort into guarding you, attacking you, and will generally overlook you as an unworthy threat, as you are "Just here to give my opinion on geo-thermal engineering, Sir."  This does not apply if you prove yourself competent and dangerous to them. 

Shatter Point: You can spend an action to look over an enemy and find out where they are most vulnerable.  The next time you deal damage to them, they take +1d12 damage.  If you use this ability outside of combat, then you can learn if someone is hiding a secret they feel guilty about, have an old injury, or learn their particular habits. 

Legal Expert: Your expertise has reached nearly supernatural levels. Any issue of religious, secular, or natural law you challenge is likely to be decided in your favour, no matter what the case is, although there may still be arguments (or attempts on your life). You can also argue directly against ancient courts, Angels, Demons, Gods, or Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. and, often, win.





*Yes, in Those who Know (the setting, the one Gary vs Monsters and Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. are both included in) it is canonical that most of the super rich, owners of multinational corporations, and political leaders do know about the Masquerade and the truth it conceals.  However, they are expected to know, and thus not one of Those who Know.  Those who Know is as much a label as it is a status, and does not apply to the elite classes of society, generally.              

Thursday, March 22, 2018

GvM: Problem

For the record, I borrowed this concept from here.


"Sweat, dripping down your chest
Thinking about your tattooed knuckles on my thighbone
Those aren't tribal, they were for a test
For something taken out on a loan"

- Author Unknown

Most people when told a book is evil, or an artifact is cursed, or a place is evil, reject it and try and either destroy it, or run as far away as possible.  They have the good sense to know that such things are best left untouched, and wisely steer clear.  You are clearly not one of those people, as when someone offered you power in exchange for your soul, you signed before they got halfway through the elevator pitch.

Problems are people who have attempted to take cosmic power when they were offered it.  They sold their soul, let the Vampire bite them, or drank liquid magic, in the hopes that they would become a God, or something of that nature.  However, the whole process was botched.  You got a bad deal, or you didn't understand the spell you cast.  So you gained a small amount of power, in exchange for a litany of side effects. 

The goal of every Problem is to develop their abilities, to rid themselves of human weakness and transcend their humanity.  But this is a long and difficult road to walk.  Additionally, Problems must take pains not to lose control, as with one substantial fuck-up the beast within could take over, and then everyone is in trouble.



The Problem is a class based around its sub-class or its archetype.  It's essentially a skinny version of the Wizard, with specific powers based on what kind of Monster the Problem is slowly turning into.  The difference between the Problem's spellcasting and the Wizard's is this.  Firstly, for the Problem all its spells are always prepared.  Secondly, their is no minimum threshold that must be rolled on the Power Dice.  However, the Power Dice do still burn out on a 5 or 6, and only come back after a long rest (8 hours).  This is the core of the Problem class, their magical abilities are utterly unique, and they will likely be the only spellcasting that the players have access to. 

However, the Problem also must be careful.  For when it rolls doubles or Triples on its Power Dice, it must roll on its Chaos or Corruption tables respectively.  Regardless of what result is rolled, the Problem will lose a certain number of Humanity Points.  The Problem starts with 30 Humanity points, and losing them is a majorly bad thing.  Firstly, if enough Humanity Points are lost, this inflicts a Doom on the Problem.  These Dooms work exactly like in my version of Eldritch Americana, but in reverse.  When you reach 20 Humanity Points, you suffer the First Doom.  At 10 Humanity Points, you suffer the Second Doom.  At 0 Humanity Points, you face the Final Doom.  And usually, the Final Doom is not survivable.  Those who suffer the Final Doom usually end up dead or worse, becoming a victim to the cancer growing in their souls. 

For its role in the party, the Problem is meant to do two things.  First, it grows fast but plateaus quickly, so in an early game it can function as a decent damage dealer and combatant, though it will be replaced by Shepherds, Alices and Everymen later on.  But past that, the Problem can provide unique magical powers that no one, not even the Alice can provide.  For while Alices do have magical powers as well, they only have one, unlike the Problem.  But the second way the Problem contributes is as a ticking time bomb for the Referee to lovingly arm and wait for the blast.  And this is a good way for the Referee to think of them, because the Problems are abominations.  They are incomplete, the darkness they newly infused into themselves struggling against their human vitality.  They are powerful beings, but flawed, dangerous in the same way a gun prone to misfiring is.   

Problem
Starting HP: 1/3 Con Score
FS: +1d4 per level
Starting Equipment: tattered clothes, an ancient, cursed treasure, a sacrificial dagger, a newly inflated sense of self-confidence



Abilities:

1:

First Taste: Roll 1d6 on the Magical Abilities table.  You can use that one as often as you like, as long as you have Power Dice.  Power Dice are d6s that burn out on a five or six, and fizzle if the sum of the roll is 1.  They return to you after an eight hour rest.  Additionally, each time you gain a Problem level, you may roll again on your Power List, rerolling duplicates. 

Starting Quirk: You gain a special feature based on what type of dark magic you defiled yourself with. 

2:

Natural Weapons: You develop appropriate natural weapons, see your Monster Profile for more details.   

3:

Bloodthirst: As a full action, you can demonstrate your status as partially inhuman.  All who can see you must save.  They may receive a penalty to this save if you demonstrate your unholy power, are dripping blood, or something else is off about you.  For example, if someone's fairly certain you killed and ate their dog when no one was looking (-1).  If you just tore it apart with your bare hands in front of them, (-4).  Those who fail their save take +1 damage from you until they get a chance to calm down and process what just happened.  They also will flee from you, though whether this amounts to quietly excusing themselves and walking quickly back to their cars or fleeing in terror depends on what you do.  Those who do not think you could actually hurt them (such as an Outsider, Dragon, or Magister) automatically pass their save.   

4:

Malign Form: You develop natural armor appropriate to your infection and your body may go through other changes as a result.  See your Monster Profile for more details.   

5:

Emblem Power: You learn the Emblem power detailed in your Monster Profile.  If you do not wish to gain this power, however, you may roll again on your Power List, rerolling duplicates and results you have gotten before. 

6:

Inhuman Soul: Your mind is altered to fit your slowly-chaning body.  See your Monster Profile for more details. 

7:

Second Attack: You gain a second attack. 

8:

Sight Beyond Sight: As True-sight/Wizard Vision.  Lets you see things as they truly are.  You can see magic, strong emotional feelings, and the like.  When you use it, you must make a save or be dazzled by the amount of activity around.  If you fail your save, you are about as reliable as someone on LSD, and may receive a penalty to focus and noticing stuff.  Additionally, if you see something particularly hideous with your Sight, then you must save or have a panic attack/spontaneous mental breakdown. 

9:

I reject my Humanity!: You lose all remaining human qualities.  See your Monster Profile for more details.  You also can no longer trigger Chaos or Corruption, or suffer DOOMs.


And here, just for completeness, is a Monster Profile for playing as a Deadite, or as Gary vs the Monsters calls them- Necroids.


 Monster Profile: Necroid

Starting Quirk: Zombies and unintelligent undead will not attack you if you do not attack them first.  Intelligent undead regard you as kin, if a bit of a black sheep.  They too will not attack you if you do not threaten their interests or attack them. 

Natural Weapons- You develop claws.  They do 1d6+STR damage.

Malign Form- Your flesh becomes cold and dead.  You don't feel pain, but you can feel positive things. 

Inhuman Soul: Anyone who sees you take a significant injury and not be slowed by it must save vs fear.

I reject my Humanity: You become fully undead.  No need to sleep, eat, drink or breathe.  You also start taking damage from sunlight.  1d10 damage a round.  Finally, if you are killed because of magic or a magic weapon, then you are permanently killed, and cannot return to life. 

Magical Powers:  Roll on the table below to see what you get.  If you get a result again, you may reroll.  Each power is a spell you always have prepared, and can cast implicitly, as long as you have Power dice.

Necroid Power List
1d12

1- Bloody Feast
2- Body Politics
3- Contamination
4- Corpse Gas
5- Death Mask
6- Death Scythe
7- Dimmer Punch
8- Disturb Thoughts
9- Expel Worms
10- Eye in the Sky
11- Speak with Dead
12- Titan Strength

13- Graft
14- Me and my Shadow
15- Spider Climb

Emblem Power(s): Choose one, Graft, Me and My Shadow or Spider Climb.

Graft
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: a wounded person    D: one action

If someone near you has lost a limb or suffered some sort of other catastrophic injury, you can use this spell to transplant one living limb, or one taken from a fresh corpse (less than 1 hour old) and graft it onto the person.  This immediately fixes the injury that the transplantation was expected to address, and restores +[dice] HP.  Then the person must make a save with a bonus equal to [dice].  On a success, the spell works and the organ is accepted as part of the body.  On a failure, the body part is rejected.


Spider Climb
------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] minutes

For the duration, [dice] creatures can stick to and climb walls.


Me and My Shadow


Chaos Table: When you roll doubles on your Power Dice.  Also lose 1d3 Humanity Points.  Power still works. 
1d6
1- You are filled with the desire to eat some long pig.  Until you get some, you can regain no HP from eating.
2- For the next 1d6 hours, you cannot say anything nice to anyone.  Mocking, insults, and degrading people is fine.  But not flattery or compliments. 
3- You suddenly are filled with the desire to mutilate yourself.  Unless someone stops you, you will attack yourself with your claws, or if you don't have claws yet, the nearest weapon for normal damage. 
4- You have the sudden desire to give one of your friends a scar.  You are not compelled to do this, but you lose 1 HP per day you do cut up one of your friends. 
5- For the next 1d20 hours, you will recklessly antagonize any enemies you come across.  If you have your Emblem power, you will use that to personalize your insults and threats. 
6- You develop a fear of one of the Necroid's abiding fears.  Roll 1d6 to find out what it is, rerolling duplicates.
1d6
1- Symbols of Faith, Churches, and Priests.
2- Chainsaws
3- Open Fires
4- One-armed Men
5- Open graves
6- Holy Water

Corruption Table: When you roll triples on your Power Dice.  Lose 1d4 Humanity Points.  Power automatically fails.
1d4
1- The next time you see someone who isn't a close ally, you fly into a rage and try and kill them.
2- A voice calls to you from out of the darkness.  It will command you to do something hideous.  Refuse at your peril.
3- All your friends suddenly forget who you are, and think a monster is in their midst.  For 1d6 rounds, no one will believe what you say. 
4- For the next 1d6 hours, you can only take actions that cause harm, either directly or indirectly.  You can help no one.  If you try to, you will end up doing something horrible against your will.  

DOOMs:
First Doom: You are shunted out of your body, and your body is stolen by an older Necroid for one day.  This Necroid can cast 1d6 Necroid powers, and is HD 8+1d6
Second Doom: As above, but for a week.
Final Doom: Your soul is devoured, and the older Necroid takes your body for themselves permanently.

Cure: Find the older Necroid and make sure they stay dead.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

API: They came from the Sky

Their are many creatures that both the Agents of the Company and Those who Know must tangle with that are utterly unique, strange beasts and freakish monsters that have never, nor will ever be seen again.  But some of them- they are not only intelligent, capable of reason, but also organized.  These monsters that organize themselves for collective goals are the only thing that can truly threaten Humanity's status as not only the dominant species of the Earth, but also their very survival.  As such, API constantly seeks to break apart these tribes, to pit them against each other.  And Those who Know do occasionally attempt the same thing, but they usually just try and stay out of the way.  Because a rational, organized foe armed with nothing more than the most primitive technologies is far better than the most well-armed of mobs.

This is one of those nightmare scenarios, a well organized, disciplined foe with advanced technology and magicks that can easily threaten the strongest of polities.

The Void-Men


They come from space, descending in the glowing beams of strange, unidentified flying vehicles of unknown origin.  Their technology may be of alien origin, or it may have been warped by their journey through the incomprehensible geometries of the Darkness-between-the-Stars.  Regardless, it is far more advanced then anything Earth has produced.

They have come from a world that does not exist, and will never exist.  It was once a possible future, but the choices made on our world doomed it to not even be a dead universe, but a theoretical universe.  They had no future, and no past.  The way forward was shut for them.  So they went sideways, traveling for untold aeons until they reached our world.  And now that they are here, they are prepared to take any measure to ensure the survival of their people, no matter how heinous.  The first objective they have is to seize control of the Earth, without arousing the suspicion of the natives and inviting significant resistance.

Soda and the Wicked Elixir


The first method to control the population is Faygo.  Faygo is a sugary soda produced by a front company on Earth, and sold in areas where the Void-Men seek to weaken the local authorities.  Faygo is slightly addictive, but not so much that people would immediately notice.  Everytime you drink a bottle of Faygo, you get 1d6 addiction points.  If you ever go a day without drinking some Faygo, you must make a Constitution and a Wisdom save vs your addiction points.  The Referee should not tell the players why they are saving.  These addiction points then go away at a rate of 1 per day.  For results- see below.

Passed Both: You suffer some shakes and dark thoughts, but your hardy body and invulnerable spirit help you weather the withdrawal.

Failed Con, passed Wis: You suffer from a series of shakes and tremors, giving you -4 to do anything physical.  If you manage to tough it out, you can make another save once a day.  Every successful save reduces the penalty by -1, until you reach +0.

Passed Con, failed Wis: You suffer a bout of temporary insanity.  For 1d20 minutes, you try to cause as much mayhem as possible.  You recover after this, but who knows how much damage you might cause in the meantime.

Failed both: You suffer from a series of shakes and tremors, giving you -4 to do anything physical.  Then 1d6 hours later this goes away, and you begin suffering from a bout of temporary insanity that lasts 1d20 days.  Until the time is up, you try and cause as much mayhem as possible. 


Drinking Faygo will immediately suppress all symptoms.

But Faygo, while useful, is not sufficient to actively usurp free will, though it can spread chaos and breed dependence in people.  For this, other, more ruthless methods are required.

Cerebral Implants


First, you drill a hole in the skull.  Then they insert this device into the hole.  It automatically plugs the hole, and its' wide base means it will not be able to go any deeper, and will remain largely outside the skull.  Once it has come into contact with the brain, it will begin sending electrical impulses through the organ, suppressing any movement that it does not approve of.  This allows the Void-Men to control the actions of anyone with one of these implants.  They use these to control humans.

In the developed world, they are usually limited to kidnapping a few key people and implanting these, or snatching those who they can trick into coming to a non-disclosed locations.  But their are persistent rumors of towns full of whackos, where everyone is part of a homicidal cult, or whole nations in the third world where the government is a puppet regime for monsters.

While an implant is being implanted, it can be removed safely with no damage.  But if it has reached the brain, it will cause its host to attack if the implant is being removed.  Additionally, unless removed by a trained surgeon, severe and irreparable damage is likely to result.

When playing as someone with a Cerebral implant, remember this: the implants suppress free will but they also limit those being controlled.  Someone being controlled cannot act independently, they must rely on essentially pre-programmed responses.  So for the Referee, assume the controlled people were given instructions into all actions, except ones that you did not foresee.  If someonething makes you go, "Are you sure?"  or "Wait, what?"  Then the Void-Men didn't think of it either.

Finally, Cerebral implants have to be partially outside the body, and are usually tied to a plastic disk on the outside.  This disk is usually on the forehead, and concealed beneath a cap or long-hair.

REplacements


But while all these are possible options, their is one final trick up the Void-Men's sleeves, the REplacement.

a REplacement is a robotic copy of someone with an artificial soul.  They look the same, and act largely the same.  They are sleeper agents, just waiting for their master to push the button to reawaken their original programming and turn them against the party.

Signs that you're friend is a REplacement:
- They can't drown
- They barely eat anything
- They drink lots of fluids
- If they suffer any form of mutilation, you will probably be able to see their metal interior

REplacements are covered in living skin and have organic hearts, lungs, stomachs and intestines.  But their interiors are largely robotic other then that.

However, the process that is used to create REplacements is not perfect.  They have roughly the same memories, but the process is not perfect.  So while REplacements can remember most important things such as who he or she was/are and what he or she are doing here, he or she might not remember certain details, such as where he or she lived, what his or her favorite food was, etc.  He or she are never aware of these gaps, and if confronted with them, will panic and possibly suffer an identity crisis.          

REplacements can have their free-will overridden by manual control, a device that all the Commanders carry.  But if a REplacement sells their soul, goes insane, or otherwise suffers some sort of psychic trauma, they can't be overriden anymore.

The Void-Men and their Servants

Enslaved Humans:
Normals (not one of Those who Know) but with a Cerebral Implant.  Stat as a commoner but with no fear.

Spell-slaves:
Normals that undergo a process where a lesser spirit of fire, ice, acid or something else unsavory is allowed to enter their body and feast on their life energy.  They can spew these various elements or cast primitive spells.  Very fragile but can easily hit very hard.   

Superior Spell-slaves:
As above, but these ones have syringes full of Occultum wired up against their skulls.  These syringes can be triggered by a Commander.  When these syringes are triggered, the spell-slave must save.  On a failure, they explode.  On a success, they vastly increase in power.

<diggression>Thank you, Skerples for this idea.</diggression>


Commander:
One of the original astronauts.  Wears an ancient, altered space-suit.  Each one covers their face with a helmet and decorates their suit differently.  Commanders do not speak directly, but speak through their subordinates.  They have ray-guns that do significant damage, and when those fail them, they carry rotary blades that can slice through almost anything.  If you kill one or force one to take off their helmet, you will see they are actually a human underneath all the alien iconography.       


Implanter, Commander:
A Commander who is dedicated to the control of slaves.  Can fire darts that paralyze, or cerebral implants that drill through someone's skull into their brain, then take control of them.  Have robotic tentacles coming off the back of their space-suits.

Time Thief, Commander:
A type of Commander that focuses on siphoning time from certain areas and bring it onbaord the Void-Men's ships, for storage.  Once in orbit, the time is liquified and pressurized for optimal storage. You might not notice your time is being siphoned off, as the surrounding time will flow inward to fill the gaps.  However, this makes time fly by.  You will go to work and find the work-day passes a little faster then usual, and when you go home, it will feel like your food cooks faster.  But this effect will increase over time, until the days are flying by and everyone is exhausted from not having enough night time to actually sleep.

On other, more rare occasions the Commanders may decide to pump more Time into an area, extending the day.  At first it merely feels like you have enough time to actually accomplish all you need to do, then as more is added you will find the hours drag on, your shift will take forever, you'll wake up at night, ready to start the day, only to find that it's only been five hours.  From the outside, this bubble of distorted time looks like its moving in slow motion, even though everyone inside will not see this.    

Hellion:
A genetically altered, or possibly borrowed, creature that the Commanders sometimes bring along.  Hellions are blunt instruments, they are usually employed for only one purpose, to plunder and destroy.  Hellions are usually dropped from orbit in drop pods or from overhead space-ships.  It takes them a little while to wake up, but once they do, they start killing everything in the vicinity.  They will keep doing this until they are killed or die of exhaustion.  They are an absolute whirlwind of death, every single tool they have is merely a device that is designed to do nothing but kill people. 

What Hellion has been deployed to kill the players today?
1d12
1- Thunder Slash.  Has steel wolverine claws and steel wool fur.  It's body also produces a natural electrical current that is constantly flowing through its fur and claws.
2- Dominatrix.  Has a thin, skinless body with odd proportion, looks like a flayed woman from a distance.  Has a whip made of natural fibers that is coated in acid that sprays onto anything near the site of impact.  Also shrieks in ecstasy everytime it is struck in combat.
3- Dovakhin.  A big, hulking brute.  Also has blood that ignites when it comes into contact with the air.  Is immune to fire damage, because of course it is.
4- Dr. Snow.  Has breath that freezes water and people solid.  Lowers the temperature wherever it is.
5- Kryptonian.  Can shoot lasers out of its eyes.  Some blind people, some melt flesh like tallow.
6- Facefist Hatemachine.  Has hands that end in toothy mouths, and a giant, muscular arm where its head should be.  Fights by biting.  Cutting off any limb or its head will just prompt the growth of two more toothy mouths on muscular tentacles.
7- Mantigon.  Covered in long, rattling spines that it can shoot at people like arrows.
8- 28 Days.  The Hellion exudes a pheremone that increases aggression and eventually makes people exposed to it go insane with bloodlust.  Wherever it is, people start fighting with whatever they happen to have on them.  This Hellion also fights fairly, bowing before each fight.  It seems more intelligent than others.
9- Magneto.  The Hellion's body magnetically repels all metal.  How did they get it onto a spaceship?  Beats the hell out of me.
10- Plastic Predator.  The Hellion has no bones and can fit through tiny holes like an octopus
11- Hellyfish.  Stinging tentacles that inflict horrendous pain + horrible poison
12- Hangman.  Naturally produces a spider-silk like substance that it uses to make nooses, restraints, and grappeling hooks. 


The Star-Children:
These creatures were encountered by the Commanders on their journey to our world.  No one knows what or who they are, and the Commanders refuse to answer.  Perhaps they do not know themselves?  Either way, the Commanders mention them in conversation occasionally, derive oaths from them, or swear on their names.  The Star Children are believed to be immensely powerful telepathic monsters who have manipulated the Commanders into bringing them along.  The Commanders deny this, and claim they are Gods, or Saints.  Right now they are small Gods, but in time, they will grow.

API classifies Star-Children as Lesser Demons.                    

               

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

API: Demons for the Modern Man + Gentle Beasts




Xeno is an umbrella term invented by the Company.  This is meant to represent any intelligent, humanoid species that lives here on Earth with us.  And while as distant from humans as they are from each other, Xenos share certain traits.  They are all mortal- they can be killed, they breathe, they shit, they breed and eat and get married and have conversations and want normal things, like food, sex and safety.

This is not an entry about them.

A Demon is any creature from outside of our universe, a being of immense power and unfathomable intellect, possessed by strange desires and odd quirks.  Demons are all powerful, intelligent, and inscrutable.  They are known for their malicious acts, generous gifts, and seeming insanity.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and their are very few similarities between them.  As with Xeno, Demon is an umbrella term, grouping together creatures that only really share a destination, as they all come from different places.

One of these varieties of Demon that is most common are the Gentle Beasts.

Gentle Beasts all have three characteristics in common.              

First, all Gentle Beasts manipulate reality in small, subtle ways.  These serve as signs to herald their arrival.

Secondly, all Gentle Beasts have strong, innate magical abilities that they use to manipulate and deceive, and when cornered, to fight.

Thirdly, all Gentle Beasts have an Aim, which they pursue with monomaniacal intensity.


Base Gentle Beast Statblock

HD X*  AC 15   Demonic Weapons(+2) 1d12
Mor 11         Saves 9+

Shapeshifter: The Gentle Beast can shapeshift into anything it can imagine, but its stats will stay the same, no matter what it becomes.

Possession: The Gentle Beast can possess someone.  To do this, the Demon must make a mental attack against a creature's AC.  On a hit, this does 1d6 Cha damage.  If the Cha damage taken equals or exceeds a creature's Charisma score, the Demon transforms itself into energy and possesses them.  While someone is possessed, they take damage before the Demon does.

If the person the Gentle Beast is attacking does not possess a Cha score, instead calculate their Charisma score equal to their Morale+1 per class level they have.

Finally, a Gentle Beast can automatically possess someone who does not resist.

Eldritch: A Gentle Beast can only be killed by magic.  Whenever non-magical damage would bring it below 1 HP, this creature is instead dazed for 1 round.  They cannot be stunned more than once every 2 rounds.

False Death: If the Gentle Beast is reduced to zero HP by a non-magical source, it can either survive as per 'Eldritch' or can allow its body to be destroyed.  If it does the latter it still lives, but is ejected from the universe for some time, and will probably need the help of others to enter it.

Tactics:
- Hide and ambush you
- Possess your friend and use them as a meatcar
- Shapeshift into things you wouldn't want to attack

*See "How strong is it?" Table
        
To customize/generate a Gentle Beast, roll on the following Tables:

What sign heralds the Gentle Beasts arrival?
1d6
1- Sight.  Those nearby start to hallucinate.  Silverware begins dancing, houses twist and melt, etc. 
2- Sound.  A persistent noise starts to sound.  It can be a repeating mantra, or a single flat note repeated ad nauseum.
3- Smell.  A foul or pungent aroma fills the air, despite having no particular smell. 
4- Taste.  All nearby suddenly taste something in particular. 
5- Touch.  All nearby feel the sudden breath of cold wind on their necks, someone tracing things onto their backs, etc/
6- Time.  The flow of time seems altered by the Gentle Beast's arrival.  You may spend a few moments waiting for something, only to find out that an hour passed when you weren't looking. 

How many HD does it have?
1d4
1- 1d10
2- 1d8+1
3- 1d6+2
4- 1d4+4

Does this Gentle Beast have any other powers?
1d20
1-8: No, it does not.
9- Can grant wishes, but only if you say "I wish..." in the Demon's presence.  Additionally, unless a wish is made by a genuinely good person or for a selfless reason, the Demon will engineer the wish to backfire.  The Demon cannot alter reality or change the fate of the world, but it could make you a celebrity overnight or wealthier than King Tut. 
10- Can steal the souls of sinners, but only if someone has committed murder.
11- Can eat people, but only if someone asks them to.  Ex: "I hate Mrs. White, I wish she was dead!"   
12- Can steal the name of anything named in its presence.
13- Can bestow intelligence and sapience onto anything it chooses too- from babies to animals to inanimate objects.
14- Can hide inside mirrors.
15- Can rewind time, but certain people will be able to remember it (include the party in this group).
16- Can turn itself invisible, but leaves footprints wherever it goes.
17- Can leap out of fires, but causes power outages whenever it does this.
18- Can make people despair and kill themselves, but loses power if confronted by genuine hope.
19- Can see out of the eyes of other living entities, but is blind without them.
20- Cannot be hurt by weapons, but can be hurt by things that are not weapons.


Role-playing as a Gentle Beast

Gentle Beast are not all evil, but they are all aggressively amoral and have a laser-focus on whatever their current aim is.  They will pursue it at the expense of all other things, as they know its only a matter of time before someone finds them and tries to send them back.  You can distract a Gentle Beast with something very interesting, but they can only be delayed, and will not stop in their current mission, unless you could offer them something even greater (and this is rather unlikely).

Another thing to note is that while Gentle Beasts are incredibly dangerous, they usually try to pretend to be something benign.  But this is an in-genuine disguise, the Gentle Beast isn't interested in an air-tight deception, just in having enough plausible deniability that they can play dead after you shoot at them.  However, one thing to note is that while a Gentle Beast can suppress the signs that it causes as long as its not using any of its abilities, so as long as its not trying to shapeshift or possess anyone, everything will seem normal.  But as I said earlier, the disguises the Gentle Beast wears are usually unconvincing.  The players should suspect something is up when a Gentle Beast comes to talk to them, but they should not know what it is- so when the Gentle Beast suddenly comes back to life and transforms into a six legged zebra with bat wings and fire-breath, they should still be shocked.          

What is this Gentle Beast's aim?
1d10
1- To bring misery to a specific person.  Why? 1d4 (1= Because their ancestor harmed the Gentle Beast; 2= Because they remind the Gentle Beast of an old enemy; 3= Because the Gentle Beast thinks they deserve it; 4= Because the Gentle Beast just feels like it).
2- For as many people as possible to kill themselves in its name. 
3- To instigate or escalate a conflict.
4- To engage in as much worldly pleasure as possible.  Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, but not necessarily in that order.  Will likely throw a party that will be the biggest shindig in the history of the Tri-State Area, with blackjack, hookers, and mountains of cocaine and other illict substances. 
5- To stir up controversy.
6- To go on a crime spree.
7- To "Accidentally" lead some suckers into a dangerous situation.
8- To finally initiate the last stage of a plot begun years/decades/centuries/millennia/thousands of years/millions of years.
9- To make one specific person do something completely arbitrary, for no real reason other then because the Gentle Beast wants them to.
10- To recover a certain item the Gentle Beast lost a long time ago in this world. 

Where does this Gentle Beast claim to come from?
1d6
1- Hell.
2- An Earth from an alternate universe.
3- Heaven.  The Demon usually takes the form of an Angel or Angelic figure.
4- A far-flung, distant star.  The Demon also claims to be an Alien.  It will deny it has any powers, and claim these are just alien technologies.
5- The future.  The Demon will pretend not to have any powers, and will be very angry if you force it to reveal its true nature.
6- Another universe.

How Insane is the Gentle Beast?

1d6
1- The Gentle Beast is barely coherent, it rambles about the People behind the Sun and the Room without Walls, and asks nonsense questions.  Anyone who humors the Demon will find it an eager conversation partner, though you have no idea what it is going on about.
2- The Gentle Beast is somewhat off-kilter, talking about things that don't quite make sense, but seems somewhat sane.
3- The Gentle Beast seems perfectly reasonable, but if you talk to it for any length of time, you will find that the Demon is terribly insane.  If you do not go along with the Demon's specific delusion, it will grow violent.
4- The Gentle Beast resembles a man out of time- mostly sane but badly out of touch.  The last time it was on Earth was a long time ago, so it may not understand the rules, so to speak.
5- The Gentle Beast is sane, but wrong on almost every issue.  It doesn't matter about what topic the Gentle Beast speaks, the Gentle Beast will not only know nothing useful about this, but will whole-heartedly believe what it says.
6- The Gentle Beast is fully sane, rational, and knows a lot about you.  It will be impossibly condescending and give you vague hints about what is going to happen to you in the future.

Finally, all Gentle Beasts know things.  Roll on the table on the  bottom of this post to determine how truthful what the Gentle Beast is saying is.     

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pater Pan


There was a story based off him, no doubt you've heard it, but the only man who ever saw him and lived was what we would today call mentally disturbed.  As such, the innocent tale of a boy who lived in Neverland is not quite accurate.  In fact, those who know the truth would describe it as completely wrong.

He comes in the darkness, floating down through the windows of the children.  He always kills the parents first- if they have them.  If they are orphans, they'll just disappear, the windows open and strange yellow dust piled up on the floor.  This dust is faerie dust, and evaporates in sunlight.

Pater Pan has stayed this young for this long because he made a deal with Tick Tock, the Dragon of Clouds and Time.  In exchange for the blood of children, Tick Tock maintains Pan's youth.

This is what the Lost Boys are for.  They are Pan's companions, his brothers-in-arms, and his part of the bargain.  Pan will bewitch children into coming to land in the sky where one never grows up, where adventure is eternal.  But this is a lie.  Anyone who comes to Neverland with Pan will continue to age normally.  So to preserve this secret, Pan isolates the older children, and then slays them when they get too old.  He then drains their blood, which he uses to make a delicious red jelly, which he feeds to Tick Tock.

After this is done, Pan then binds the corpse of the Lost Boy, and raises it with the same magicks Tick Tock used to extend his life.  Pan keeps these zombified creatures around as an ace-in-the-hole, one last card he can play if he exposed.  He has a secret dwelling full of zombified Lost Boys, where they cavort in endless play, their corpses endlessly repeating the same gestures over and over.  A group of dead Lost Boys play cards, and the hands are always the same.  The same one wins over and over, and still they continue.

Pan hates adults, and always kills the parents of his kidnapping victims.  He usually sends some Lost Boys to do this after he has spirited the children away, sometimes on the next night.  But sometimes he does the job himself.  In cases like this, Pan will sometimes raise the bodies of the parents as zombies as well, their blood wasted.  These are sometimes brought back with him to Neverland to guard the areas where the Lost Boys play, or other times told to hide in their homes and hunt anyone investigating the disappearance of the children.


The Lost Boy Queen

Pan usually kidnaps little boys, they are more pliable to his reckless charms, and more useful to his cause.  Some speculate that he has trouble killing little girls- though he doesn't seem to have trouble killing anyone else, so this is doubtful.  Either way, Pan will kidnap little girls, though he usually chooses little boys who have few or no siblings.  These targets selected are within the age range of 7 to 13, and usually no older.

However, their was one exception.  Once, Pan kidnapped a girl by the name of Wendy, who was 16.  And Pan, for his magically maintained age, has still undergone puberty.  As such, when he kidnapped Wendy, he became attracted to her.  But when Tick Tock warned him to be careful of her, and she tempted him with going back, he killed her, and gave her blood to Tick Tock, as she has never had sex or borne a child, and thus was still a girl in Tick Tock's estimation.

But afterward, when Pan reanimated Wendy's corpse, the body maintained a fair amount of power and autonomy.  The corpse is said to still be rotting today, and is Pan's closest ally.  It rules over the zombified corpses of the Lost Boys Pan has slain, and would rush to his aid if he was ever endangered.  The corpse of Wendy is said to possess many fearsome powers, but none have ever faced her in combat and lived.


Captain Hook

A man framed by history.  When his only daughter was taken by Pan, he spent his life trying to find her.  He chased rumors of Pan all over the world, eventually leading him to the boat of enchanted wood, the Simarillion, which then took him to Neverland.  Once their he spent decades trying to catch Pan and find out where his daughter was.  But Pan bested him at every turn, though Pan was never able to kill him.

But in the end, it proved a moot point, as Tick Tock finally became aggrieved enough to step in.  He slaughtered Hook and the majority of hook's crew, and wrecked the Simarillion.


Tick Tock, the Dragon of Clouds and Time

A massive, ancient beast.  Tick Tock speaks all known languages and many long dead ones, though he is loath to share any of his accumulated knowledge.  But if you could pick his brain, it's likely he could answer nearly any question you might pose.  Tick Tock hoards two things- first, soft things.  Blankets, thick carpets, pillows, goose down, feathers, and cotton candy.  The second thing he hoards is babies.  These babies are completely normal.  When they arrive, they are placed into suspended animation, and Tick Tock spends much time just watching them squirm in their eternal sleep, dreaming happy dreams.

Tick Tock refuses to speak with adults who are not a part of his drakencult.  If you want to talk to him, you must speak through an interpreter, who is a child, or dress up like babies and pretend to be children.  If that fails, he might have the Three Blind Maids turn you into children. 

Tick Tock's breath weapon is Liquid Time.  He blasts either a fine mist or a powerful jet sufficient to flatten someone and strip bark off of trees.

Tick Tock's Drakencult is made up of matronly women who take care of the many babies in Tick Tock's hoard.  They are lead by the Three Blind Maids, a trio of women in grey dresses with thick sunglasses.  They are all spellcasters, and maintain the suspended animation tanks that keep the babies young forever.

Effects of Liquid Time exposure: borrowed from here.

1d10 Liquid Time Effect (ingested, soaked, etc.)
1 Age 1d6 years
2 Age 2d10 years
3 Age 2d100 years
4 De-Age 1d6 years
5 De-Age 2d10 years
6 De-Age 2d100 years
7 Jittery and excitable for 1d10 hours
8 Languid and slow for 1d10 hours
9 No Effect
10 Time-Locked 2d100 years

Tick Tock is named as such because when he was younger, he swallowed a clock.  The clock continues to tick inside him, and is audible to anyone within 50'.  As such, Tick Tock automatically fails all attempts at stealth.

Additionally, Tick Tock is powerfully delusional, just like all Dragons.  He believes that the nature of the world is that all good things are perverted, corrupted or destroyed.  As such, he believes that he is destined for destruction, and fate is working against him.

Finally, Tick Tock's treasure is cursed.  Not that you're likely to steal his soft things, but somebody virtuous might try and rescue his babies.  If you take any of his treasure, you get cursed.  The curse is as follows: you age one year in a week, unless you kill someone and drink their blood.  The way you break this curse is by siring or adopting a child.      

Rumors

The Simarillion, Captain Hook's ship, was recovered by his surviving crew, who now use it to sail across the sky and between the stars.  They occasionally return to Earth to steal supplies and kidnap women to serve as brides.  Most of the crew is now the three to four generations removed from the original crew, but they still carry on the original mission of Captain Hook.  Though now instead if rescuing Wendy, they are instead trying to kill her, along with Pater Pan.  They all fear Tick Tock, who is supposedly trying to find them, to finish what he evidentally failed to do last time.

Captain Hook's sword, a cutlass named Redemption, fell to earth.  The sword is said to grant one bonuses when fighting either children or great, scaly beasts.  His hook is also said to be magical, though its powers vary.

Pater Pan casts no shadow.  This is because when Tick Tock granted his wish, the shadow was torn off of Pan.  The shadow wishes to return to Pan, and knows a great deal about what is happening on Neverland and in the world.  And if rumor is to be trusted, if the shadow were to be rebound to Pan, then he would become mortal once again.