Monday, July 30, 2018

Random Dragon Generator

For further reading, see here and here.  Also here is the Dragon statblock I use.  Now, on with the show.

There are only three types of Dragons, babies, full grown and Epic.

Babies are young dragons.  They are between the size of a large dog and a horse, brightly colored, and childlike.  You should be able to fight one of these at first level, and a pack of these by level three.  You might still die though.  Intelligent, cruel, yet immature in both intelligence and cruelty.  These are usually protected by their parents and have no hoards of their own.

Full Grown Dragons are the rank-and-file.  They are between the size of a two story house and a small church.  Bullets ricochet off them like rain off a tin roof, and most swords are utterly useless unless stabbed into a soft spot like an eye or underside.  Intelligent, greedy, arrogant and insane.  You know the drill, they breathe fire or something equally hideous, hide in caves, etc.  These are tough to kill, but not impossible.  They can be overcome. 

Epic Dragons are the ones that populate Myth and Legend.  These are the Dragons of Chaos, the King of all Reptiles, things like that.  You're unlikely to fight one of these unless you're seeking one out or already level 20.  Even if you do fight one, you'll probably lose.

First, all Dragons have a name.  Dragons name themselves after the greatest treasure in their hoard.  For example, Dawnbreaker, the Dragon of Quills and Queens is named after the magical Mace of the same name, as when he discovered its existence, he stole it from The Radiant Emperor 270 years ago. 

Secondly, all Dragons have a title.  This title is two parts, phrased like this: I am X, the Dragon of Y and Z.  See above for a good example of this.

Thirdly, All Dragons have a Breath Weapon.  They are usually immune to whatever they spew out of their mouths.

Fourthly, all Dragons hoard things.  Most hoard something valuable, or at least, possibly valuable, but it can be almost anything.  Two Dragons that live near each other will not hoard the same thing, as that would lead to conflict. 

Fifthly, All Dragons have a Drakencult, a tribe of Humans or other short-lived beings that the Dragon rules over as a vengeful and merciful God.  The Drakencult are usually as insane as their Dragon master, and loyal to a fault.  In some cases, perhaps you could turn them against their God, but this is unlikely to work, due to the years of indoctrination and the subtle rotting effect caused in mortals when they're around a Dragon for two long.

Sixth, all Dragons are insane, and have a Delusion.  This Delusion is something they believe, and will not go against.  The only way to speak to a Dragon is to agree with their madness, and play along. To go against their delusion is the fastest way to get yourself killed.

And finally, all Dragon treasure is cursed.  Anyone who steals Dragon treasure or takes it without explicit permission will be cursed.  These curses count as normal, and can be broken.  However, even if they were not cursed, the Dragon will go in pursuit of its treasure, either going on a rampage or sending teams of assassins after you, to slay or capture you and recover the treasure for the Dragon.     

"Behold!  You stand before the Great One..."

"The Dragon of..."

This Dragon's breath Weapon is...

1- Fire.
2- Burning, sticky Tar.
3- Clouds of poison gas.
4- Freezing Wind.  Ice damage. 
5- Life.  Heals you past the point of helpfulness, then a bit more.  Gives you cancer, mutations, and worse.
6- Death.  The cold chill of the grave.  Saps your Strength, leaving you a husk of your former self. 
7- Acid.
8- Dessication.  Its breath is the hot wind of the Desert, which sucks the moisture out of you and mummifies you on the spot.
9- Toxic sludge.  Poisonous and sticky.
10- Hallucinogenic Smoke.  Like fighting the ghost of your long lost zebra father in the middle of a Bob Marley concert.
11- Radioactive Dust.  Save vs cancer. 
12- Shards of glass or sharp crystals.  Does slashing damage.  Strips the flesh off bone like a sandblaster.
13- Ultraviolet Radiation.  Invisible and enormously lethal.
14- Insanity.
15- Green Gamma Beams.  Does radiation damage, and causes you to save or mutate.
16- Anti-Fire from the Antiverse.   
17- It spits giant balls of stone or iron from its gullet.
18- Snakes.
19- Swords.
20- It doesn't have one, but is instead a level 1d6+2 Spellcaster.

This Dragon hoards

1- Gold
2- Jewelry
3- Clocks
4- Taxidermed Animals
5- Books
6- Religious Relics
7- Figurines
8- People of some variety
9- Cats
10- Toys
11- Weapons
12- Skulls
13- Alcohol
14- Clothes
15- Paintings
16- Armor
17- Animals of some variety
18- Pictures
19- Secrets
20- Prophecies

This Dragon's Drakencult is made up of...

1- Horrible old men.
2- Beautiful women in sparkly dresses.
3- Identical Twins.
4- Dozens of clones of the same person.
5- Kobolds.
6- Draconi/Dragonborn.
7- Some sort of Beastman.
8- Clockwork automatons or Golems.
9- Tough street urchins who regard the Dragon as a sort of parental figure.
10- Warriors, berserkers, former knights, ronin or dudes with tattoos and axes.
11- Actors.  They wear masks and wander around, putting on plays and performing improv with anyone nearby. 
12- Musicians.  They play music.  Some of them may be able to weave magic into their songs.
13- Thieves.  They will pretend to be normal servants, but expect to be missing your pocketbook and most of your jewelry by the time you leave.
14- Ancient people displaced from their time of origin.  They could be cavemen or squatting primitives, or people from long-fallen empires, kept in the dark about how much time has passed.
15- Undead.  They are bound to the Dragon with magic.  They know no pain, fear, or hesitation.  They burn in the sunlight, and flee from holy symbols. 
16- Lepers or those with the Plague
17- Lycanthropes.  Fairly normal except for when they get angry, then they transform into animals. 
18- Young Vampires.  They need blood, but have few Vampiric powers.  Some have drank the Dragon's blood, and may have even survived the process.
19- Philosophers.  They will challenge you to rhetorical debates and entrap you in chains of logic.  You can just kill them, but if you do, aren't you proving them right?
20- Lesser Wizards (Magelings).  No, not that kind. This kind. 

This Dragon, like all of them, is actually insane.  This Dragon believes...

1- One piece of its hoard is actually a forgery, and the Dragon is desperately searching for it
2- That it knows you, and you were hired to a job for it.  The Dragon will mis-remember the job every few minutes.  It expects results.
3- That their are rats in the walls, who are spying on it.  It wants you to find the one controlling the rats, and kill them.
4- That it is actually a human, hiding in a cave from a Dragon.  It will ignore the fact that it is actually a massive lizard.
5- That it is being hunted by the Shadow of a Tiger it once killed.  The Shadow is stalking the Dragon, waiting for it to weaken.  The Dragon is hallucinating, and sees the Tiger's Shadow everywhere.
6- That the Sun is actually a great, glowing jewel.  The Dragon desires to possess the Sun, and is currently using its Drakencult to build some sort of fantastically elaborate and doomed device to reach the Sun, so it might claim the treasure for itself. 
7- That the Stars are spying on the Dragon.  It refuses to fly at night, except for in the most desperate circumstances, and tries to only go out during the day.
8- That its minions are incompetent.  It will demand your help, then when you fail to meet its high and ever-changing standards, it will turn on you
9- It is having strange, prophetic dreams.  Interpret them for the Dragon, and you will receive a boon.  But if you interpret them in some way that the Dragon does not like, the Dragon will eat you.
10- The Dragon believes it is actually a destined child of prophecy, and one day it will receive the summons that dictate it to finally bring about the end
11- The Dragon believes and acts like it fills some important position of power, such as a King, Chancellor, etc.  It issues useless dictats and has decorated its lair like a Palace worthy of the position it believes it fills.  If the Dragon was ever sufficiently motivated to go actually check, it would find an usurper in its place, and that its totally sensible and useful declarations were not being followed.  This would make it quite mad.
12- The Dragon believes that you are here to kill it.  It will plead with you and make a few requests of you, and try and talk you out of fighting it.  It doesn't expect you to accept though.   

This Dragon's treasure is cursed.  Anyone who steals it will suffer...

1- "A terrible, debilitating fear of the dark."  The Cursed will be terrified of the Dark, and will avoid all Dark places, such as outside at night, caves, etc.  This curse is broken by descending into the Veins of the Earth and returning alive.
2- "A ravenous desire to consume human flesh."  The Cursed will develop a compulsion to eat human flesh.  Eventually, they will dine exclusively on it.  They will then eventually become a Wendigo or some other sort of once-human supernatural cannibal.  This curse is broken by cutting off a limb and feeding it to someone else.
3- "An early, hideous death."  The Cursed will die soon, and automatically fails all saves against death.  Additionally, if they are reduced to zero HP for any reason, they die, no save.  This curse is broken by someone sacrificing themselves for the cursed. 
4- "By having the ghosts of those they kill haunt them."  Anyone the Cursed kills now will pursue them as a Hungry Ghost, seeking to slay them and drag them down to Hell.
5- "By being pursued by a shadowy, implacable predator."  The Cursed is now being relentlessly pursued by a cold, invisible intelligence that only they can see.  The Predator cannot use tools or vehicles, but it never, ever stops.  This curse is broken by passing the Predator off on someone else, by getting someone to steal one of your possessions. 
6- "By being fated to perish in flames."  You take double damage from fire.  This curse is broken by killing a Dragon, or serving one for a year.
7- "By being rejected by their friends."  All friends of the Cursed now begin to subtly resent them, and after some time, will cast them out and reject them.  People who do not know the Cursed are not affected by this, but as soon as they start to know the Cursed, they will become affected by this.  This curse is broken by performing a selfless act toward someone you don't know. 
8- "For they will never be seen again."  The Cursed's body becomes invisible.  None of their equipment does.  They also become blind, because sunlight passes right through their retinas.  This curse is broken by giving away all your possessions, and not retrieving any of them.
9- "For they will lanquish in darkness, forever."  The Cursed becomes unable to see natural light.  To them, the sun and stars vanish, leaving the world lit only be fires and other, artificial lights.  This curse is broken by speaking to a powerful Fire Elemental, and making a pact with them.
10- "For they will burn in the sunshine, as it reveals their sin."  The Cursed takes damage from sunlight, as if they were a Vampire.  This curse is broken by being set on fire.
11- "By being forever aware that I am in pursuit, and will never allow them to escape."  The Cursed comes under the Delusion that the Dragon is right behind them.  They will see signs of the Dragon's pursuit, hear its servants spying on them, see its shadow in the night, etc.  They will develop an incurable and crippling paranoia.  And the Dragon is pursuing them, but now they develop a nervous compulsion and paranoid delusions.  This curse is broken by the Cursed changing their name and identity.
12- "By being unable to control to control their rage."  The Cursed now cannot control their wrath, and flies into a rage whenever appropriate.  I would recommend using something like this.  This curse is broken by forgiving someone who doesn't deserve it that has wronged the Cursed, and giving them a chance at redemption.
13- "For their sword will fail them when they need it most."  The Cursed, when they most need to strike a fatal blow (Referee's discretion) will miss.  This curse is broken by sparing the next person the Cursed would have killed.
14- "By being transformed into a deformed freak."  The Cursed is transformed into a piteous caricature of themselves, with a CHA/EGO of 3.  They are pitiful, ugly, and strange, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  This curse is broken by cutting off your face and having a new one attached.  
15- "For under the light of [A celestial body significant to the Dragon], they will transform into a monster and rampage through the town, hunting their own kinsmen for food."  As it says on the tin.  The monster will have a malevolent intellect and personality separate from the Cursed, but will be as strong as them, and have their abilities.  This curse is broken by being annointed by a Priest, Angel or Spirit.
16- "For they will forget everything, except for their crime."  The Cursed immediately suffers total amnesia, with the exception of the fact that they stole Dragon treasure. 
17- "By being branded with my seal."  Any who bring their bones to me will be rewarded handsomely.  The Cursed is branded with the Dragon's seal.  Evil beings near them will know they can kill the Cursed and deliver their bones to the Dragon for a reward.  This curse is broken by selling yourself into slavery. 
18- By becoming immortal.  This based on Death becomes Her logic.  The Cursed is immortal as long any part of their body remains intact, and their soul cannot depart from it until not a scrap of them remains.  Their body cannot heal except based on its usual properties, and the curse does nothing to dull pain or fear.
19- "By transforming into a child once more."  The Cursed is de-aged until they are a child again.  Their mind will follow the body, and within a few months, they will have forgotten everything about their life from before they returned to their youth.  This curse is broken by getting married.
20- "By being pursued by storms."  The Cursed is pursued by storms wherever they go.  These storms bring constant rain, hail, lightning, and other terrible weather phenomena.  This curse is broken by making a pact with a Lord of the Earth.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

GvM: Fleshcarvers

These are people, either proper Wizards, Toxic with Vectors or merely surgeons with a drop of magical talent.  They make art using living flesh.  They combine surgery, magic and other techniques to create unique, one of a kind creations for many purposes, to fight, to attend them, to sell, or merely for the glory of the act, to revel in the creation of something new. 

This will be how most Fleshcarvers are seen, as somewhat disturbed artists, working for coin, at the behest of others.  But most Fleshcarvers easily get bored with the mundane requests they receive.  Lobotomizing a girl your client once loved, implanting horns into her and dying her skin permanently red is easy, and barely worth the effort.  As such, most of them spend all their free-time stitching together hideous freaks, the more grotesque the better.  These creations are created firstly for the Fleshcarvers own amusement, but also to prove their skill to others, especially other Fleshcarvers.  Their is fierce competition among their ranks, with rival cliques trying to out-do each other with the most strange, unique or beautiful creature.

There are many schools of thought about the Fleshcarvers, but most of them are too esoteric for any non-initiated to parse out the differences between them.  What is the difference between Artificialists and Suturists, anyway?  So to the ignorant, it can seem like all Fleshcarvers hate each other.  In truth, they do not, but rivalries and feuds are endemic to these passionate artists. 

But you're not here to read about the Fleshcarvers.  You're here to see their work.  Well, fear not my friends, for they have outdone themselves today.

What type of creature is this?

- A Modified Humanoid: Stats as a low-level member of its race, either 1 or 2 HD, usually.  If their modifications were not merely cosmetic however, see Statblock below.

Modified Humanoids are mostly status symbols.  They can be used as attendants and retainers, but mostly they are eye-candy, walking pieces of art to display their owner's wealth.  A few of them are free.  Even fewer of them chose to become this.  The modifications they receive are usually cosmetic, and do not affect the base structure much.  Most of them hate the Fleshcarver who created them, but are also terrified of them.  Modified Humanoids live in fear of their bodies rejecting the transplanted parts, a constant risk that is kept minimal by the Fleshcarver's powers.  The Fleshcarver is the source of their problem, and their succor from it.     

- A Lesser Horror: See statblock below.  This one is strange enough that the original base on which the creature was built is not immediately obvious, but you can usually tell with a little investigation.

These are strange creatures, oddities created with sharp scalpels and razor will.  Some are actively supernatural, others merely odd.  If they are intelligent, they regard their creator with superstitious awe, and would never lift a hand against them.  These creatures are sometimes created merely for the Fleshcarver to exercise their creative talent, but most other times, they have a purpose.  The most common purposes are as a warrior, hunter, or consort.

- A Greater Horror: See Statblock below.  It looks alien, eerie.  Perhaps it is beautiful, but more often it is vicious and terrible. 

The true sign of status among Fleshcarver is not the number of creations, but the scale of their greatest creation.  A greater horror is a magnum opus, a project infrequently attempted and rarely successful.  Most of the time, it ends with a pile of flayed flesh and useless organs, but other times, it gives birth to strange, alien forms.  Each Greater Horror is different in terms of appearance and temperament.  Most also have some kind of supernatural ability, some form of Magic they can use instinctively.  And as a rule, they are almost always intelligent, usually far more then their creator guesses.  If any creation is likely to rebel, it will be this kind.  Though this is rare, but stereotypes exist for a reason. 

Modified Humanoid/Lesser Horror
HD 1d4+1  AC 8+1d6   Atk 1d8
Mor 11   Saves 11+

- Swarm the weakest
- Once you have incapacitated someone, drag them away
- Have no coordination with your comrades

A selection of Lesser Horrors
1- Handymen: A living wall of hands.  It grapples and strangles while it fondles and tickles.  Like crowdsurfing but lethal.
2- Stiff Upper Lip: The lips cover half the face, the tongue is barbed.  It paralyzes you with poison kisses.
3- Iron Lung: Like a refridgerator with skin and limbs.  A semi-organic cyborg thing that stuffs you inside it
4- Glass Jaw: Most of its skull has been replaced with transparent glass.  Can shoot teeth out of its mouth like bullets.
5- Ankle Biter(s): A pack of childlike monsters with cruel jaws and missing eyes.
Heart on your sleeve
6- Simon Longtooth: A wolfish man with yellow eyes and terrible, artificial fangs.  Can steal the calcium from someone's bones, making them soft and rubbery. 
7- Thorn Manson: A great mass of quills and hooks that punches, then slowly pulls back.  A sadist who enjoys torturing people.
8- Gregory Peck: A seemingly normal man that can stretch out his neck to bite someone.
9- Lacy Garter: A woman who can detach her skin and unwind herself into various lacy cloths.
10- Midas: Has organs made of precious metals and a heart of gold.  Constantly in pain, and paranoid about murderers.  Sets off metal detectors. 
11- Smiler: He's very happy to see you.
12- Nova Achilles: A nigh-indestructible man with armor sutured into his skin. 
13- Bigger than his Stomach: They say the first bite is with the eyes.  For him, it's the first, the second and the third.  
14- Sea Legs: A grey-skinned man with bulging eyes and nimble hands and feet.  His touch unbalances you, making running impossible without falling onto your face.
15- Homestyle: A corn-fed dame, crisscrossed with surgical scars, her face hacked open then stuck back together in a way more pleasing to her current master.  She sprays pheromones.  All who smell them must resist the urge to swoop in and rescue her. Men are especially vulnerable to her charms.  
16- Kidney Thief: An insectlike humanoid with paralyzing stingers and claws that it uses to hack people open and steal their organs.
17- Skinfang: A massive, skinless freak with an extended muzzle.  Has thousands of razor shapr, needle teeth that pierce, injecting venom that soothes and comforts as it kills.
18- Artificial Angel: A woman made into an Angel.  Has wings made of meat and a halo made of glass set above her head.
19- Hatchman: There is a translucent hatch built into his oversized chest.  Opening it releases a high-pressure flood of water. 
20- Gore Eyes: Can pop out your eyes without killing you.  This gives you a penalty to see or do anything requiring precision.

Greater Horror
HD 1d6+3  AC 6+1d6  Atk 1d8/1d8
Mor 12   Saves 8+

A Grand Exhibition of my finest work
1- Mother Murder Master: Three heads, each with one united agenda.  She seeks to nuture.  He seeks to kill.  It seeks to give birth.  It slaughtered the first person sent in to greet her.  Then she cuddled his body for two days, dribbling breast milk over his shattered form.  The next day, at midnight, one of security guards swears he saw the corpse move.  But by the time I arrived, the corpse was already gone, with no trace it had been ever there.   
2- Meat Mannequin: A mockery of life, and of time.  This thing, it should not be alive.  It died on my operating table.  My mistake, I was clumsy.  Yet here it is, stubbornly hanging on.  I'm tempted to shoot it, finally put it out of its misery.  My only fear is what might happen after that.
3- He who Seeks: A beautiful creation.  Every inch of its body seems to be full of new and interesting ways to kill people.  Stingers, claws, pincers, and look, it even has little hands.  It could choke you, if it wanted to.  It's also quite obedient, as well.  Just don't look it in the eyes, it doesn't tolerate disrespect. 
4- Clad in Spidersilk: Is it actual spidersilk?  God, I wish that were true.  No, but it is some kind of organic compound that is stupidly strong.  The thing produces it near constantly, and covers everything with it.  It also takes off its covering when we come in to bathe it, then puts them back on later.  Interestingly, it refuses to do so if there are male attendants washing it.  Why?  I have no clue, maybe it's modest? 
5- Crow-Man: I know he's a bit smaller, but this guy, he can do things most creations can't dream of.  No, he doesn't talk, have you seen his beak?  But he's really smart, try playing chess with him.  Just don't expect to win.  Oh, and if you hear any strange noises at night, don't bother investigating.  Just stay in your room, with the doors locked. 
6- Child of Mourning: This one seems to sad all the time.  It's quite depressing, in truth.  That's why we leave it so lightly guarded, firstly because its never once tried to escape, but also because my guards keep trying to enter its enclosure to try and cheer it up.  I know, it's strange.  Anyway, it'll go up for bidding tom-, hey!  I thought I told you, don't look into its eyes.

- Operate according to your own strange, twisted logic
- Be much smarter then anyone else around you
- Set traps and fight from the shadows, don't stand up to a well armed mob
- Live to fight another day

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Symphony of Blood and Bone: An Adventure for Those who Know

This is a complete adventure based around investigation, to show what type of thing players running in the Those who Know universe are likely to encounter.  This can either be undertaken as a group  who are playing as Those who Know, or a group playing as a squad of Agents from API.

                                              (Artist's Interpretation of the Sun-People/Starfolk)

Setting: A small city in America, somewhere off the beaten path, but not quite in the country.  I set it in a small city in Illinois, but wherever you're more familiar with will work.  Edits may be required if you wish to transplant it to some other country.


Previously, there were a race of incredibly powerful beings whose name has been lost to time.  They were individually very powerful, each one many times stronger then a man, letting them outrun deer and wrestle bears into submission.  As such, they had no need, as humans do, to modify their environment, so they left no tools behind.  But when Man came, at first they pitied him.  But when he began to encroach on their territories, there was much debate on what to do. However, it was eventually decided that since these Sun-people did not need the Earth to live, they would let Man have it, and ascended into the Heavens, where they have dwelt until this day.  But then one day, less than two years ago, one of these Sun-people was struck by a communication satellite, and knocked down to earth.  She fell down through the atmosphere, and crash-landed in central Illinois.  She was almost dead from re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, but her incredible body served to protect her, even though she was little more than a charred husk at this point.  Ordinarily she likely would have stayed there until her body regenerated, and then she would have left.  But she was discovered by a woman named Abigail Keyes, a Fleshcarver.  Seeing the incredible power in this Sun-Sisters body, Keyes captured her and imprisoned her in a device of her own creation, the Dread Machine.  Using the Dread Machine, Keyes was able to create all sorts of wondrous creations.

But before the Sun-Sister fell and Keyes discovered her, there was a man named Isaac Calder.  Calder was a strong capable man when he was young, a fact he proved through his staggering number of achievements.  He began his life as farmboy in Kansas, then enlisted in the United States army to fight in Vietnam.  He served several tours of duty with distinction, and proved himself valiant and capable.  From there he wandered America, fighting in martial arts tournaments and performing various manly odd jobs.  But as he grew older and frailer, he began to despair, and sought a way to extend his life.  He found it in Dr. Keyes.

Dr. Keyes grew him a new heart using the Dread Machine to mix his DNA with tissue from the Sun-Sister, to create a new organ charged with life.  This new heart strengthened Calder, and is slowly restoring his youth.  Dr. Keyes was overjoyed by this unbridled success, and is now continuing her research, in an effort to replicate her results and make herself as strong as the Sun-Sister.  But unbeknowest to her, or anyone else, the Sun-Sister is still conscious inside the Dread Machine, and is seeking to regain her freedom...

Hook: An attempted robbery by one Robbie Shu ended unexpectedly when the victim turned the tables on him, giving him a broken arm and a dozen fractured ribs.  That would-be victim was Isaac Calder.  Since Calder is quite old, this is very fishy.  Investigate it, and see if there is any truth to these rumors.

                                                         (Isaac Calder)

The Would-Be Victim:

Isaac Calder

White, male, balding.  Yet he has the body of a man fifty years younger.  How old is he?
Calder is full of folksy wisdom and is endlessly cheerful- but this is an act.  If you act against his goals, he will take any action to see you silenced.  He has no scruples and will do anything to escape and live.

If attacked, Calder will reveal his supernatural abilities by viciously attacking the one responsible.  The hybrid Heart he received from Dr. Keyes has given his body supernatural strength and speed, as well as the ability to regenerate a limited amount.  Calder prefers to fight with his 12 gauge shotgun and his dogs, but if pushed into a corner, he will use the concealed pistol he almost always carries, and his enormous strength to break bones like they are made of taffy.

<DM Note>
The Adventure itself is an investigation, and uses Zack Smith's investigation as Dungeon Model.  You can read more about it here.  Essentially, the players start in the Crime room, and they can move throughout the rooms vertically or horizontally, until they reach the Center.  The diagonal rooms with nothing in them, those are secret rooms.  If the adventure is getting slow and the players are stuck, one of the secret rooms open and enemies come out.  These attacks represent attempts by the villain of the adventure, in this case Dr. Keyes, to destroy the players before they can find out the truth.
</DM note>

Tier 1:

                                                                 (Robbie Shu)

The would-be attacker turned Victim:

Robbie Shu

White, male, on the shorter side.  Missing a couple teeth, has bleached dreadlocks. 

Shu is a strung out meth-head.  When he's not on meth he is morose and useless.  When he is on meth, he is overflowing with energy, confidence and mostly terrible ideas.  He's still useless then, and an active danger to himself.  He doesn't tell you why he attacked Calder, but if you talk to him, you will find he speaks about the man in the most vile terms. 

Calder's Medical Records:

His records are normal until relatively recently.  Then two years ago he suffered near-complete heart failure and received a transplant.  Then from there, he begins improving rapidly, super-humanly even.  His physician is a woman named Abigail Keyes.
He also has a physical therapist named Bindy McCloud that he visits once a week.

                                                                (John Hammer)
Questioning Calder/The Lawyer:

Calder isn't lying about defending himself.  Robbie Shu did attack him with a box cutter.  But unless you corner him or break into his house, he'll be protected by his lawyer.  He isn't lying when he said he defended himself.

John Hammer- a big shot lawyer from Chicago.  A cunning and ruthless defender.  He could be making fistfuls of money in some big city, but instead he works for Calder right now.  He seems like a good man, but he will defend his client from any legal attack.  Why he is here is a mystery.

                                                                    (The Lot Lizards)
The Lot Lizards:

Isaac Calder seems to have no enemies and many friends.  He gets a puff piece written about him in the Marsh County Herald, a newspaper based in Croshaw.  But he also has many disreputable friends.  For example, he seems to visit the Truck Stop at the edge of town most nights, at least once a week.  Calder has many friends at the Love's Truck stop on the edge of Croshaw.  He is well liked there.

The Truck Stop also has a basement that is members only.  The manager, who goes by the name of Ted Johnson, claims its just full of showers and resting areas, and he is right.  But it also is where the Lizards live. 

The Lot Lizards live down here.  They are three horribly traumatized young girls who were forced into prostitution by Doctor Keyes.  They will smile and be polite, but they are actually horribly distressed.  They have been ridiculously modified to be beautiful and always look like they're wearing make-up.  There are three of them- named Star, Pumpkin and Dumpling.  Those aren't their real names, but they don't want to use their real names around you.

Pumpkin is the oldest one.  She has very tanned skin and warm brown hair.  She affects a constant air of false cheer and always smiles.  She will insist everything is fine, no matter what.

Star is the most passive one.  She never speaks unless you ask her to, and suffers from horrible stage-fright.  She's kind of icy looking, with her blond hair and eerie blue eyes, but she's a nice lay, if you ignore her star-fish like response.  She never responds to anything except direct orders.  She always seems in her own world.
Dumpling is the youngest and the cutest.  She is the most adorable, and the one most prone to breaking down into tears at the sign of something distressing.   

The Lot Lizards are modified humans, but they have no special powers, and will die like anyone else if killed.  They also have magical devices called slave-bands sewn into their skin, which force them to obey the Doctor's orders.  Currently she has ordered them to service any man who wishes for it, be polite and respectful to her clients and subordinates, never use violence against her or her subordinates, never tell anyone anything that might be important, and report all useful information back to me.  

Tier 2:

                                                                 (Bindy McCloud and Client)

The Physical Therapist:

Her name is Bindy McCloud.  She pretends to be innocent and that she is merely running a small physical therapy practice.  But secretly, she is running a prostitution ring for the wealthiest men in town.  The Lot Lizards are rejects from her business.  Used goods, according to McCloud.  If she feels threatened, she will possess one of her employees and have them shoot at the players or kill herself (she can control her staff, which are meat-puppets slaved to her will).  Then she will call the police and threaten to bring them up on charges. 

Or she will try and get one of her employees to sleep with you, to incriminate you.  If things get really bad, she will retreat into the basement, where the Perversions live.  

Not the First Time:

18 months ago, a woman named Mia Callon invaded Calder's house, along with Robbie Shu.  He attacked them both and killed her, while he escaped.  Shu will not speak of this event.  Calder reported the break-in, but he claims they both escaped.  Robbie Shu was quickly captured thereafter, but Mia Callon was never caught.  No one knows where she went.  Most people assume she skipped town.

                                                             (Uncertain- send help immediately)

The Birthing Chamber:

The Lot Lizards' biology has been modified to create soldiers for Dr. Keyes.  Every time they engage in sexual activity with a man, over the next 12 hours they become pregnant and give birth to a half-human child called an Unblemished.  The Unblemished age at a rate of one year per day, and when they are grown resemble beautiful, perfect human beings.  The newborn Unblemished are not raised by these girls however, but instead taken from them the day after by a man named John Smith, and taken to a farm on the edge of town, where they are raised and indoctrinated into serving Dr. Keyes.

                                                    (Michael "Mickey" Dennis at work)

Back Alley Meetings:

John Hammer has a meeting planned with a certain known individual, a Warlock and Fleshcarver known as Mickey Dennis.  Agents of API will be able to access his file.  Micky is complete unaware of what is happening here, and will not fight an Agent of API, if they reveal themselves to him.  He also says he is only here for the enormous sum Hammer promised him, as he knows this area is someone else's territory.  He knows that Keyes works here and that this is her territory, but he will lie and say he does not.

Mickey Dennis is a genius Fleshcarver, but possessed by the eccentricity of the auteur.  He was the one who created the Theorem of the Quadrilateral Man- the process that transformed Ted Johnson into Four nigh-Immortal beings.  He has returned to Croshaw to get his revenge on Dr. Keyes and steal back his research.  John Hammer was just a convenient excuse to come back.

Tier 3:

                                                                     (Rebekah Sharpe)
The Perversions:

A group of three "Sisters" that were once human, but are now so modified that they have utterly surpassed Human needs and behaviors.  Their only loves in life are in sex, food, and violence, in that order.  They are not unreasonable, but they only want those three things.  The only thing they really want is to continue their debauchery.  They are thankful to the Doctor for freeing them from their meaningless, petty lives, but they are not willing to die for her.

There are three of them, as with the Lot Lizards. 

They are Rebekah Pierce, Sylvana and Genital Mutilator.

Rebekah is the only one of the Perversions still largely sane.  She is also still the most human, though not the most attractive.  She acts as their leader and keeps Sylvana from raping everything in sight and Genital Mutilator from challenging people to fights.  Without her, the two of them tend to misbehave, but they're perfect angels when she is there.

Rebekah is about 6' 11", with rippling muscles and breasts the size of beach balls.  She also has two extra arms that she usually keeps folded up behind her back, but they work just fine.  She can bend her neck back far further than any human can, and when she needs to go fast, she can sprint faster than a charging horse.

Sylvana is incredibly sexually promiscuous, and will attempt to seduce any man she is left alone with, or any men that are round and Rebekah isn't.  She has no shame and no limit to what she will attempt. She is utterly degenerate.  However, if you won't sleep with her, and Rebekah isn't there, she will try and rape you.  She is not very strong though, and can warded off with a few good hits.

Sylvana is covered in soft, blue fur.  She has teeth around her labia and stingers underneath her fingernails that can inject deadly poison, endorphins or aphrodisiacs.  She can also inject these through the glassy fangs in her mouth.  Her eyes are solid black, with no pupils or irises.

Genital Mutilator
is an absolute horror.  She considers herself the oldest one, and watches over her little sisters with zeal.  Any insult to them is an insult to her, and insults demand a duel on the field of honor.  Genital Mutilator is a perfectly capable fighter, and her enormous strength is visible at all times in her arms and tentacles.  She will accept an apology if someone kisses the heads of one of her penises or licks the dirt off the bottom of her bare foot.  But if Rebekah is not there and you are not willing to make up for your insult, then she will try and fight and kill you.  Genital Mutilator respects strength and martial pride.  She will honor a good opponent by sparing their life and dignity, but for a weak opponent she won't kill them, and usually just sodomizes them on the spot.  Cheating opponents or those who attempt to kill her sisters are torn apart on the spot, with no forgiveness.     

She has about five heads emerging from the top of her body, with about seven breasts between the two of them.  Many arms emerge from the more fully formed torsos, giving her six to work with.  Smaller half-formed torsos and faces adorn her waist and abdomen.  From her crotch, she has a cluster of five dicks, all almost constantly erect and dripping multi-colored jism.  Then she has four stocky legs, which she uses to run like she's a horse.  She also has her tentacles that lash around behind her.           

                                       (How your players should feel if they break into Calder's home)

Calder's Home:

Where Calder lives.  Mia Callon lives here with him, in a way.  Her body lies in a comatose state, but her soul's connection to that body has been severed.  Essentially, she is a ghost, but she is still bound to her body.  If it is killed, she will leave the mortal plane behind.  Mia Callon hates Calder for killing her, but she cannot kill him, as he has booby-trapped her body with magical wards.  All he need do is say the right word, and the wards will detonate, destroying her body.

Callon's spirit is trapped here in the house.  She is incredibly bored, so anyone who invades Calder's home will be tormented by an invisible spirit like a poltergeist.  She won't kill anyone, unless they try and break into the room where her body is being kept or try and hurt her.  Then she will use lethal force. 

                                  (John Smith is tougher than this guy, though he cannot regenerate)

The Immortal Courier:

The Lot Lizards have no idea who or what he is.  He goes by John Smith- but they don't trust him.  He comes to pick up the children they give birth to every morning.  He looks like a white man in a hoodie and sweatpants. 

Smith is all but invincible, and cannot be killed except through magical means.  Shooting him won't do any good.  Smith himself is little more than a Golem, a meat automaton with no real mind of his own.  Only magical damage or burning him to ash could kill him.     

Strange Research:

Mickey Dennis sold John Hammer some books on magical healing and spiritual medicine, all of it useless in the hands of someone without a scrap of magical talent.  Mickey could maybe fix Mia Callon/Hammer, but he has no intention of doing so.

Tier 4:

                                                               (Dr. Abigail Keyes' clinic)

The Clinic:

Where Bindy McCloud is employed, but she works off-site at her own facility.  Home of horrible monstrosities below grounds, but during the day or above ground, perfectly normal.  Dr. Keyes works here.

                                                               (Mia Callon `1993-2016)

Mia Callon:

Mia Callon lives here with him.  She's not actually dead, and her comatose body lies in a vegetative state on Life Support in one of Calder's upper rooms.  Her soul counts as a ghost.  If you smash her body into paste, she dies. If her body is killed, she will leave the mortal plane behind. 

Mia Callon hates Calder for killing her, but she cannot kill him, as he has booby-trapped her body with magical wards.  All he need do is say the right word, and the wards will detonate, destroying her body.  If you would be willing to help her, though, she would certainly be all for helping you. 

The Shallow Grave:

Hammer will then take what he got from Mickey, if not disturbed, and go to an unmarked grave a short distance from the highway, at the edge of a cornfield.  He will find his "sister's" remains and attempt to bring her back with the magic he has.  His sister is named Mia Hammer (Mia Callon now)- she went to this town a few years ago before changing her name and disappearing off the face of the earth.  He thinks she is dead.  He has no idea.     

                                                  (You get the idea)

The Black Feast:

John Smith brings the children to an undisclosed location.  There they are graded and selected.  Those who fail their tests are sent to processing.  Those who pass are taken to John Smith's farm, to be raised.  Those that fail are instead taken to a defunct restaurant that seems to have been closed for years, but at night you can still hear the sound of cooking, and mysterious deliveries show up every so often, but normal people ignore it.  The workers here are monsters wearing human skin, with no regard for what they are doing.  They are led by a henchmen of  Dr. Keyes and a cohort of Calder and McCloud named Lisa Goode.There will be a dinner later.  Isaac Calder, Bindy McCloud, and Abigail Keyes will show up here for the dinner.  Those children that are sent for processing are sliced up and prepared as food for the concerning palates of those here.  Keyes will run if she sees anyone coming, but Calder and McCloud will stand and fight.  But if Goode is interrupted before she can serve dinner, she will try and kill you.

Lisa Goode is an immensely fat, megalomaniacal woman.  She cannot stand to be insulted, and flies into a rage at the mere mention of an insult or her weight.  Despite the many treatments Keyes has put her through, her age and portliness cannot entirely be disguised, and she will react with great violence if they are mentioned.

Tier 5:

                                                   (Dr. Abigail Keyes, office halloween party, 2014)

The Doctor:

Her name is Abigail Keyes.  She is a small, Asian woman.  She has no bedside manner, and is very low in agreeableness.  She wants power, and is willing to do any number of despicable things.  She is also paranoid beyond belief.  Isaac Calder is her employee, but she is his puppet.  He does her bidding, but while he moves things around, she is working hard on something.

Abigail Keyes wants to obtain the power of the Sun-Sister for herself.  She is absolutely ruthless and would do anything to achieve victory.  She will bargain, but do not expect her to keep her word.  She will expect you to betray her at any time, as this is what she is planning to do to you.  If she has no option but to fight, she will retreat into the basement of her clinic and unleash the power of the Dread Machine on you.

Tier 6: 

                                                               (The Dread Machine)

The Machine:

Behold the Dread Machine!

It looks like a great pipe organ, connected to countless pipes, cables and wires.  Tubes carry blood and fluids in and out, and low moans of pain can be seen coming from it.  Instead of a control panel, there is a piano built into the front.  Dr. Keyes controls it by playing certain songs out on the keyboard.  If she retreats into this room, she will use the Machine to conjure up the horrifying Meat Menagarie, a skinless, bleeding thing that spews blood from every orifice.  Destroying the machine will kill the Meat Menagarie, but will free the Sun-Sister inside.

                                                        (The Meat Menagarie)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

GvM: The Toxic: Fighting the Half-Dead

This is a post about the Toxic, the living, intelligent half-dead.  I wrote about them here, but they are borrowed from the absolutely fabulous I am Zombie, which you can and should buy.  I haven't played it based on their rules, as I'm married to the d20 system, but the fluff alone makes it worth the modest price.

Know your Enemy

It has long been debated whether life produces consciousness, or consciousness produces life.  Irregardless, they seem to go hand in hand.  All living beings have a SOUL, though they vary in type, nature and magnitude.  And I do mean everything.  Bacteria have souls as well.  As such, one can think of a bacterial or viral infection as an invasion, with the offending cells being the invaders storming the beaches of the Human body.  But because of their simple nature, most bacteria have collective souls, where the individual souls merge together to form an over-consciousness, in a way that some would suggest that is very similar to what humans do.  Though such an opinion is strictly heretical, I'm afraid.

However, if two over-souls from the same type of bacteria but infecting two different people were to be shown to each other, they would recognize each other as different entities. 

This is the difference between a disease and a plague.  Each person infected with a plague does not have an individual over-soul inhabiting their body, instead they all have a connection the the Plague Spirit, the personification of the whole Plague.  Most of these Plague spirits live once, enjoying a single, shining moment of grandeur before being curb-stomped by the whole of Humanity.  These Plagues can do enormous amounts of damage, but they can be beaten back. 

However, there is a nightmare scenario that keeps much of the Company's leadership up at night.  If a Plague Spirit were to encounter Magick and be given true sentience, given the ability to defy the natural limits placed upon it, it could ravage the world, and bring about an end to Humanity and the current World Order.  We know this is possible, because it already happened.

That disease is the Plague of Amirani, and its carriers are still with us, even thousands of years later.  Most people infected with it die within 2 hours, and reanimate, driven by the Plague Spirit's power, rising to consume and feed.  Their souls are gone, only the meat remains, a crude puppet for the Plague to perpetuate itself.  But some survive.  Their souls are molded, flayed, but they somehow endure, and when those two hours have passed, they wake up.  A living, half-dead corpse, but one with a soul, with the ability to think, to plan, and to reason.     

To us, they're all Zombies.  But they don't use the name, to them it is a slur.  To them the faceless, shambling soulless ones are called Skags.  As for themselves, they prefer the name Toxic.

Toxic are the lepers of the Downworld, those poor victims of Amirani, the butt of every joke in the book.  But the Toxic are  no joke, not if you want to stay alive.

Toxic look a lot like us.  They were once Human, after all.  They range in appearance, from being just above a rotting corpse to young, beautiful people without blemishes or oddly-placed moles.  The former are cold, or malign, and the latter are warm, or benign.  You likely won't be able to tell a Toxic that is Warm is anything but a Human unless they tell you, or do something significantly out of character for a Human.  Cold Toxic, on the other hand, find their faculties degrade until they degenerate into something little more than a Skag.  Most that make it that far lose their consciousness and become indistinguishable from common Skags.  For most that find themselves in such a position, they never make it back to consciousness. 

But, despite how they look, they are not like us.  Toxic, first of all, Toxic are toxic.  Their blood, sweat, tears and other fluids will infect you with the Amirani virus if you're not careful.  And being infected is almost always a death sentence.  At best, you'll end up like them.  At worst, you'll end up a mindless Skag.  So don't share a toothbrush or a cup with one, don't kiss one, and don't sleep with one, for God's sake.  Secondly, Toxic can regenerate from almost anything.  Bullets only slow them down, and unless they've been burnt to ash, they're coming back.  The only sure-fire way to put them down is with Magic.  A Semblance will do the trick, but so will a magical weapon or bullet.  They know this, and they're very careful around anyone they think has Magic, and very arrogant around those who they think don't.  Thirdly, Toxic can hear the Plague Spirit of Amirani, it speaks to them through visions, dreams and warnings.  Some Toxic also report hearing audible warnings or being awoken from sleep even when no one is there to wake them.  There are some other abilities that Toxic are famous for, the most notable of these being that Skags, mindless zombies, reanimated by the Plague Spirit will seek them out and want to serve them like loyal hounds. 

But Toxic aren't undead.  Treating them as such is a very easy way to get killed, a magic designed to affect and repel the undead does nothing to them.  The Toxic are somewhere in the middle between life and death, half-dead if you will.  For example, Toxic still need to eat.  They need to survive, but they also need it to fuel their regeneration.  This is because regeneration takes calories, and lots of them.  I hear this is the same reason why Trolls are always so hungry, but I've never been unlucky enough to tangle with one.  But as you will find, any Toxic worth their salt will eat anything they can get their hands on.  They can and do eat human food, but they also have more eccentric tastes.  For example, Toxic can and do eat strange things such as motor oil, broken glass, embalming fluid and napalm.  And while it is illegal to eat Humans under Toxic law, and Company law, of course, some still do it.  This is called gorging to Toxic, and is one of the quickest ways for a Toxic to get themselves killed, with the fastest way being starting an outbreak, of course.

Other things Toxic can do is that they need to breathe, though less than you need to, sleep, again less than you do, and they do get tired.  But they can go out in sunlight without burning, and other things that would affect the Undead do not affect them.

In terms of personality and opinions, Toxic are just like Humans, in that they are as varied as anyone else.  But Toxic culture is not as varied as Human cultures are, tending toward a sort of bizarre hybrid of survivalist, pseudo-criminal and leper/outcast culture.  Toxic culture probably requires its own post to fully explain it, but since I'm mostly ripping off I am Zombie, just go read what they wrote, as they invented the idea, and explain it far better than I ever could.  And while I do not understand how the attached system works, the fluff built around it is divine.

But for our purposes, Toxic culture is weird and strange and closed off to Humans, and if their culture is strange and baroque, their politics are incomprehensible.  But here is what you need to know.

They'll call you a Breather.  Pointing out that they breathe too is a good way to get your ass kicked, so don't.  Most of them will probably dislike you on some level, either because you have what they have lost (a normal life, a place in the world, etc) or they will hate you because you represent the system, and they hate the system.  What the system is varies from Toxic to Toxic, but it generally includes the Company, most Human Governments, the International Order, and occassionally, the Military-Industrial Complex, Capitalism, and most large Technology firms.  Either way, they will probably dislike you.

Additionally, a note about the Company.  The Toxic hate the Company with every fiber of their being, which is a bit unusual. While most Xenos fear the Company, Toxic loathe it with a fury that puts most others to shame.  They accuse the Company of many loathsome things, some of which must be true, but many also have the reek of falsehood or paranoia.  Sure the Company could be covertly harassing them, but it has its hands full keeping the Masquerade under wraps and preventing the paranatural from spilling out onto the front page of every newspaper in the World.  Odds are the abuses the Toxic blame on the Company are actually the work of Those who Know, other Xeno tribes, or the Toxic themselves.  That final category is the most likely, as like almost all Xeno tribes, the Toxic find it much more entertaining to brawl and squabble rather then cooperate with each other.  Vicious intercine conflict between Toxic factions is commonplace, and the likely source of much of the trouble that the Toxic find themselves in.  But like I said, Toxic politics is far too complicated to delve into here.  So for our purposes, everyone in the Toxic world hates everyone else, and their arguments are a constant, ever-fluctuating list of grudges, blood-oaths and vendettas.

Finally, one last thing.  The Toxic have always been with us, for a long, long time, dating back at least to the time of Justinian.  You remember how the Plague of Justinian wiped out a quarter of Constantinople, but the Emperor survived?  Well he did, in a way.  If you call becoming Toxic living, then he did.  But odds are, they've been around much longer then that.  And for as long as their have been Toxic in any amount, there have been outbreaks of the Amirani virus.  Most of these outbreaks are small, and easily contained.  But some are not.  Remember the Plague of Justinian I just mentioned?  That is one of the notable ones.  What about the Spanish Flu?  What about the Black Death?  These were all among the Eight Plagues, the biggest outbreaks in history, the ones that changed the fate of the world and brought about drastic, irreversible change. But that's not the bad news.  The bad news is this.  It's going to happen again.  the Ninth Plague they call it, the Nine Extinction, the Final Outbreak.  It's a massive, world-ending outbreak that will finally wipe Humanity off the face of the Earth and usher in something else, or so they say.  Whatever comes next, nobody knows yet.  Some say the Final Outbreak is inevitable, that Humanity's end is tragic, but cannot be prevented.  I don't what the Company believes about this fact, but I do know this, this is one thing every prophet worth their salt agrees on, especially the Toxic one.  The Ninth Plague is coming.  However, whether or not this is the actual Final Outbreak is still up for debate, in my opinion.  As any good prophet will tell you, the future isn't set in stone. 

As for myself, I have no intention of laying down and letting a bunch of lepers take my planet from me.  Mankind was given this world by God, and it's going to take more then some half-dead, rotting corpses to take it from us.  So let them come.  I'd like to see them try and kill us.

Babylon Prevails,

Gary Charles   

Generating a Toxic Crew

When you encounter the Toxic, you'll either encounter them alone or in small groups.  Feel free to generate groups as you choose, but here are few guidelines in case you care.

Toe-Tag Friend Group: A group of luckless Toxic who were likely just born.  May not even know what they are. 

1d8 2 HD Toxic

Toxic Clique: A group of young Toxic.  Bitter, zealous, full of passion and drive.
1d6 1d3+2 HD Toxic

The Leader (one with the highest HD) is the only one who rolls for Vectors.

Veteran Tox-Squad: Criminals, hoodlums, and smooth operators.  Handle with caution if you must, but preferrably not at all.

1 7 HD Toxic +
1d4 1d6 HD Toxic with 1d4 2 HD Skags
The Leader has at least 1 Vector, roll to see if he has another, 1 of the other Toxic also rolls for Vectors.

Profaner Retinue: A Tox-Lord and his entourage.  Shooting at him would be unwise, even if it also didn't mean possibly starting a war.

1 8 HD Toxic +
1d6 3 HD Toxic +
1d8 2 HD Skags
The Leader has at least 2 Vectors, roll for more.  1d4 of the other Toxic also have Vectors.

The Enemy: Quantified

HD 1  AC 10  Fists 1d6
Mor 12  Saves 14+

Blow his Mind: The only way to kill a Skag for real is to destroy the brain.  Any attack that is a natural '20' automatically does this.  But for everything else, reducing a Skag to zero HP just disables it.  You still need to splatter its brains to kill it for real/again.

Simple-Minded: Skags have only one goal, to feed.  They will pursue food at the slightest hint of success.

Toxic's best Friend: If there is no food visible, and there are Toxic, the Skags will approach them and try to obey them.  Unbound Skags are rather dumb and hard to control, but they can do simple things.

Muscle Memory: Skags that have no food to pursue or Toxic to please will do whatever they normal did in life.  They may repeat stuff they said frequently, or carry out tasks they did frequently.  But they are not still Human, and any inspection will clearly show this.

- Pursue food with no regard for your safety
- Have no fear or self-awareness
- Find and please Toxic

HD Varies  AC as armor  Atk as Weapon
Mor 7    Saves Varies

Eldritch: Can only be killed by magic or magic weapons.  Damage that would have killed them from non-magic sources instead just stuns them.  They can make a save to recover from being stunned.

Bullet Sponge: Subtract -1d6 from all Firearm damage.

Regeneration: Toxic can regenerate 1 HD a round. 

Berzerk: If you push a Toxic too hard, wound them too badly, or drive them into a hole deep enough, they'll come back swinging, and hard.  All Toxic have a 1-in-6 chance of going Berzerk each round, with a +1 bonus to the roll (boosting it to 2-in-6, 3-in-6, etc) if there are any of the following affecting them:
- They are in a very intense situation that they feel they have no chance of getting out of
- They are under a lot of emotional stress
- They just ate human flesh
Do not roll for a Toxic to go Berzerk unless one or more of these factors is present.

- Attack the strongest enemy
- Fight intelligently
- Fear only Magic and Fire

How many HD does this Toxic have?

2: Toetag.  The new meat.  Wouldn't be surprised if they croaked tomorrow.
3-5: Toxic.  The rank and file.  Might make something of themselves, given a few years and some luck.
6-7: Veteran.  This Toxic knows what they're doing.  A smooth operator, a few notches on his pistol.
8: Profane.  This Toxic is considered one of the Elite.  They've been around, they have connections, power and money.
9: Influential.  When this Toxic talks, people listen.

What armor are they wearing?

1- Nothing.  AC 10.
2- Bulletproof vest.  AC 10, but can reduce damage from any firearm attack by 1d12.
3- Stabproof vest.  AC 13.
4- Improvised Steel armor.  AC 14. 
5- Tactical Gear.  AC 15.
6- Riot Gear + plastic shield.  AC 16, and can reduce damage from the first firearm attack that damages them by 12 damage, but after that the shield breaks.

What weapons do they have?

1- A big knife, machete, or sword.  Does 1d6 damage.
2- A pistol.  Does 2d6 damage.
3- A shotgun.  Does 3d6 damage at close range, 2d6 at medium, and 1d6 at far.
4- A rifle.  Does 2d8 damage.
5- A chainsaw.  Does 2d6+2 damage.
6- Roll again, and whatever it is, it is enchanted to have a special magical effect.

Do they have any Vectors?

1-n-6 chance they do, with a +1 bonus for each HD over 2.  For more powerful Toxic, they have more than 1.

Additionally, if the abilities below do not please you, you can also give the Toxic the following abilities:

Vector: The Toxic can cast the following Vectors at will.  The Toxic has a number of power dice equal to their HD.  These power dice burn out on a '5' or '6'.

To determine which Vectors the Toxic can use, roll here.

Or, roll below if you don't have time to futz about with specific spells.     

Well, what Vector(s) do they have?
1- Scry.  Can't stop remembering what I must forget.  This Toxic has visions of what is to come.

Future Sight: This Toxic can surprise you on a 5-in-6 chance, and has a 75% of knowing where you are before the combat starts.  They also have an equal chance of knowing if you are planning on starting a fight, and will take proper precautions.

2- Biofix.  Nothing is fixed.  My form is my will.  This Toxic can change their shape, for cosmetic or combat purposes.

Roll 1d6 to see what this Toxic has.

What specific Vector do they have?
1- Enhance Senses
2- Bone Grafter
3- Acid Blast
4- Mucus Master
5- Life Finds a Way
6- Liquefy Self

Enhance Senses: This Toxic can enhance their senses to a ludicrous degree, and has +4 to any checks made to find anything.  They can track as well as a dog, see like a cat in the dark, and hear like a bat.

Bone Grafter: This Toxic can create new bony protrusions such as claws, spurs, fins, etc, but also things like keys, lock picks, screwdrivers, hammers, etc.  Any weapons created by this do 1d8 damage on a hit.

Acid Blast: Usable every 1d4 rounds.  The Toxic can, as a full action, spew acid from their mouth in a 15' cone, with a 30' range.  This acid does 1d6, save for half.  Additionally, it does 1d6 additional damage for every round after that, until you take an action to wash it off.

Mucus Master: This Toxic can secrete mucus that is slippery, sticky, gelatinous, pliable or hard.  This Mucus can be used to make rope, webs, glue, or molded into objects.

Life Finds a Way: This Toxic can modify its body so you can survive in almost any environment, from extreme heat to cold to vacuum to underwater.  These changes are slow, and take about a minute to carry out.

Liquefy Self: This Toxic can liquefy its body and flow down a drain or through a tiny space, only to reconstitute later.

3- Velox.  If you go fast enough, the Thrill overcomes the Fear.  This Toxic can move incredibly fast.

How fast are they?
1- Faster then a Human sprinter.
2- Faster then a Cheetah.
3- Faster then a car on the highway.
4- Faster then an arrow in Flight.
5- Faster then a Airsoft beebee.
6- Faster then a bullet.

Speed: This Toxic is fast.  Roll 1d6 and consult the table above.  This is how fast that they can go.  Add this number to initiative rolls, melee attack rolls, and to any saving throw based on speed.

Dodge this: A Toxic with the Velox Vector is hard to hit with a bullet.  For them, if they are not surprised by the bullet, all firearm atttacks made against them from close or medium range count as medium range, and all firearm attacks from far range automatically miss.    

4- Leprox.  Everything is infection, even Consciousness.  This Toxic can manipulate disease, filth and the virus manipulating them.  This Toxic represents an extreme risk of contamination.

Roll 1d6 to see what this Toxic has.

What specific Vector do they have?
1- Infection
2- Expel Worms
3- Animate Virus
4- Toxic Gas
5- Induce Necrosis
6- Body Politics

Infection: This Toxic can, as a full action, force you to make a Saving throw.  On a failure, you are infected with a common disease.  The Toxic must be touching you to use this Vector.   

Expel Worms: This Toxic can vomit a swarm of worms that obey its commands.  These worms, if they touch you, can inflict the same effects the Toxic's touch does.  They can also easily spread the Amirani virus by burrowing through your skin, slipping through your tear duct, or passing in through an open wound.

Animate Virus: This Toxic can, as a full action take their own Odium out and animate it into tiny little organisms, which obey its commands.  These tiny Odium Imps spread the Amirani virus as easily as breathing.  If they enter an open wound, touch the surface of your eye, or enter your body through any other means, you immediately contract the Amirani virus.

Toxic Gas: This Vector is usuable every 1d4 rounds.  This Toxic can expel a cloud of gas from their mouth that fills a 30' space.  Anyone within the cloud of gas must save or begin projectile vomiting uncontrollably.  This effect persists for as long as they are within the cloud.

Induce Necrosis: This Toxic can, as a full action touch another creature.  This touch does 1d6 Con damage and causes the affected body part to begin rotting from the outside in.  This disables the area affected.  If the amount of Con damage taken ever equals or exceeds your Constitution score, you die.

Body Politics: This Toxic can control their body parts and make them move, even if they are separated from its body.

5- Necro.  Flesh made bionic, the Body a Machine.  This Toxic can change their flesh into artificial things, for combat or utility purposes.

Roll 1d6 to see what this Toxic has.

What specific Vector do they have?
1- Strength of Ten Men
2- Scab-Skin
3- Primal Yell
4- Flesh Grenade
5- Flame On
6- Detonation Me

Strength of Ten Men: This Toxic can, as a free action, increase their STR to superhuman levels.  This causes them to get +4 to any checks requiring STR, and do +4 damage when they roll for damage for a melee attack.

Scab-Skin: The Toxic can, as a full action, harden their skin.  Until they deactivate this power as a free action, they subtract 2 from all damage taken.

Primal Yell: Thix Toxic can, as a full action, create a screaming, wailing sound that forces everyone near it to save.  On a failure, those who hear it get -1 to all attack rolls against the Toxic, and are filled with the urge to flee.

Flesh Grenade: Thix Toxic can, as a full action, grow explosives from their body.  These explosives do 1d8 damage, for 10', save for half and can be detonated with a thought.  They can still damage the Toxic. 

Flame On: This Toxic can, as a free action, light itself on fire.  They can extinguish the flames at will.  Anyone touching them takes 1d6 damage.  Their melee attacks also do +1d6 fire damage.  The flames do not damage the Toxic.

Detonation Me: This Toxic can, as a full action, blow themselves up.  This explosion does damage equal to Xd6s, where X is the number of HD the Toxic has.  A saving throw is allowed to halve the damage.  The Toxic will then reconstitute itself in 1d6 rounds.

6- Toxo.  Mind control is Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.  This Toxic can control other Toxic and Skags.  The annointed of Amirani.  Not dangerous because of the Vector itself, but because of how those around them will act under its control.  As with all Zombies, destroy the brain. 

Teamwork: Because of this Toxic's control, all Toxic and Skags with them get +2 to attack if two or more of them are attacking the same target, and get +2 to AC and saving throws.  These bonuses disappear if the Toxic with these vectors die.

7- Dox.  From Suffering, Strength.  This Toxic can heal other Toxic and Skags.

Dox Touch: As a full action, this Toxic can restore 1d6 HD to any Toxic or Skag they touch.  This cannot bring the one being healed over their maximum HD.

8- Gizmo.  Life is an inefficient machine that reproduces efficiently.  This Toxic can infect machines and electrocute people who come near them. 

Lightning Fist: This Toxic can, as a full action, touch someone and release an electrical shock.  This does 1d6 nonlethal damage and forces the target to make a save.  On a failure, they are paralyzed and cannot move because of their muscle spasms.  They can repeat this save every turn.

The Company's Perspective

I cannot say for sure, and I am not one of the Company's Men, so I will instead let their own words speak for them.

"The Sons of Amirani, that is the Toxic and the Skags who attend them, are perhaps the greatest threat to Humanity today.  In this age of instant communication and global travel, outbreaks bloom faster and faster, and spread farther then they ever have been able to.  This problem itself is bad enough, but the fact that the Toxic population has been exploding since 1955 should worry all sane men.  Furthermore, the ones who once protected us, the Order and the Company, they are both stretched to their breaking point, full of opportunists and narcissists, lacking real conviction.  If an outbreak on par with one of the Great Plagues started today, I fear our only chance would be to crush it in its infancy.  If it grew to say, half the size of the Black Death or a quarter of the size of the Spanish Flu, the Masquerade would be rent, and as soon as it was, the Peace would follow, and War will engulf the whole world."

- Joshua Norton Esq. III, White King 1965-2010

"We should have killed them all when we had the chance.  Those twisted Horrors they worship may have been able to resist the bomb, but that doesn't mean that lead and cold steel wouldn't.  Let their Gods wallow in their pools of filth, if we hunted down their worshipers and put them all to the torch, wouldn't that solve our problem?"

- Brian A. Armstrong, Lord Director of the United States, 1977-

"Make no mistake my brothers, the Ninth Plague is coming.  The Zombies grow impatient.  They hate us, loathe us, for we are all they aspire to be.  Living, pure, the holy ones, chosen by God to rule over the World, but more importantly, to rule over them.  They will try and destroy us, that is the truth.  But notice what I said: the Ninth Plague is coming.  Not the Final Outbreak, not the Ninth Extinction, the Ninth Plague.  The Toxic, they want us to accept our ends as tragic yet inevitable, to roll over and die.  They want this because they know what will happen, if Humanity fights, they will lose!"

- Tyler West, Agent of the Chicago Office, 1986-1999

"I am sorry, my friends.  All omens point toward your end.  Whose end, specifically?  No, you misunderstand.  Yes.  They all end.  Everything ends.  But you, Mr. West, you'll never have to live with the shame of knowing you could have stopped it.  Though in truth, those hear will likely only feel that.  In truth, it was inevitable, and no action on your part could have changed it.  The game was rigged from the Start."

- Julia Estafan, Prophet, speaking to Team SWRD, 1998