Among Those who Know, there are two common threads. Faith in God (or gods), and madness. The reasons for this are self-evident. When you discover your preconceptions about reality were completely and utterly wrong, you go back to the drawing board and think about everything you thought you knew. You re-contextualize and examine yourself in light of this new series of events.
And that can be hard. Some people can't do it. They crumble under the strain.
Or perhaps that's the wrong way to think about- instead, think of it like this.
If reality is at least partially constructed by one's one perception, and then by the perception of other people, how much can your perception diverge from theirs? Are the insane really crazy, or are they sane in a world gone mad?
But let's get back on topic.
You might notice that someone is following you. Or maybe you find a tracking device in your car. Or the one waitress who usually brings you your coffee is gone, and replaced by a different one. And this new waitress, she is too perceptive. Too watchful. She's keeping an eye on you, you can't explain it, but you're certain something is up.
Then you notice the hand-signals. People on the street, on the bus, coordinating with each other, secretly sending messages through covert hand signals. They are working together, to film you, to sabotage your life in subtle ways, and most importantly, to keep you under surveillance.
Maybe you do something. You decide to run, or lock yourself in your house. If you do that, if you let them know, they might come after you. You might wake up to hear your door get kicked down and a small army pour in through your windows. Maybe you're prepared, and can drive them off. Maybe the police get called, asking why you fired fifty seven rounds at 3:00 am in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood. But also maybe nothing happens, and you have to dispose of an entire platoon of bodies.
But let's say you do nothing, and wait. You don't let them know that you know, and you continue observing. You start to notice how they don't seem quite real, how they're artificial. They don't seem to have names, if you ask, they ignore the question or leave. They seem to have a limited capability for violence, unless they're in a pack. You can now recognize them on sight.
Perpetrator - aka - "Perp".
HD 1 AC 13 Improvised Weapon 1d6
Mor 7 Saves 14+
Weak Soul: If a Perpetrator must save against some sort of effect that would influence their mental state [charm, fear, etc], they automatically fail it. This is unless they are ordered to go against their programming, in which case they have a seizure and collapse.
- Mimic human behavior
- Keep and eye on and follow you
- Attack if threatened or ordered too
But some of them seem smarter, shepherds among their flocks. They wear red caps or drive red vehicles, and when you look at them, they smile back at you. They seem impossibly smug. These ones, they know what they're doing, they're not marionettes. Or maybe they're just some elaborate type of puppet, so realistic you can't see the strings.
So you keep watching, and then you get a feeling that things are about to go down. So you run, only to get run off the road by a small convoy of civilian vehicles. The leader in the red cap demands you lay down your arms and surrender. You commit an act of road rage. Maybe you manage to beat them down and get away. Maybe you flatten them all, and carpet the area with bodies. Maybe they manage to grab you, and throw you into the back of their van. And maybe you're never seen again.
Or maybe you fight. You attack one of the leaders in the red caps and beat them half to death, then demand to know who he is working for. They tell you, maybe. Or maybe they choke down a cyanide pill, chuckling all the way down to Hell.
HD 3 AC 15 Taser 1d8 nonlethal or Truncheon 1d6/1d6
Mor 8 Saves 13+
Boss: Every Hounder is accompanied by 1d20 Accomplices.
- Use Accomplices to separate you from your friends
- Tase target, then beat them down
- Flee once target has been acquired
- Never fight fair
HD 1 AC 10 Unarmed Strike 1 damage
Mor 12 Saves 19+
Unsouled: Accomplices have barely any soul. If affected by a magical effect that would target the soul or force them to save, they instantly die.
Minion: Accomplices always count as having 1 HP.
- Stand around
- Ask ceaseless questions
- Do nothing without prompting
- Attack in swarms
But let's say they tell you. You go there, to a nondescript office building. Maybe it's in your city. Maybe its the next one over. Regardless of where it is, the name is impossibly obtuse, and difficult to remember. The whole place is very unmemorable, and feels completely artificial, like a movie set. You can push the trees over and reveal how they're just painted wood.
Then, you find the offices. Endless cubicles, full of thousands of the bloody things, typing and filing forms, stamping, stapling, an endless parade of paperwork. For what purpose? You haven't the foggiest idea. They certainly can't tell you. So you shoot or trick your way past the unceasing wall of bureaucracy, and you find the man at the top.
And it's just more of them. These ones have decent suits and weapons, but they're the same. Barely human, dancing on strings you can't see. They cite bullshit laws and non-existent ordinances, demanding you surrender. But you can see through them. And you didn't come here to surrender.
So you kill them. Then you kill the workers. Then you set the place on fire. Maybe you sit down in the midst of the spreading flames and let them consume you.
But let's say you don't.
HD 2 AC 14 Pistol 2d6
Mor 10 Saves 13+
Pistol: Save for half damage at close range, or no damage at medium to long range. They carry long caliber guns with high capacity magazines, so assume they have 1d12+3 bullets loaded into their gun at any given time.
- Cite imaginary laws
- Demand cooperation
- Fight fairly unless the enemy starts cheating
Before, you were confused. You fought them in ignorance. You couldn't see the coordination, how they worked together like a single machine, like a colony of ants. Not, not ants. Cockroaches that need to be squashed. But now, you can see. Your eyes have been opened. You've learned to think like them, and now you see them everywhere. And to your horror, it's not just your city, or the next one over. They're everywhere.
A policeman doesn't realize his partner is one of them. A famous lawyer employs a whole staff of them. Could they just be blind? Are they ignorant?
No, you decide. They know, they must. It's the only explanation. It's impossible that they wouldn't realize they are associating with insects in human clothing.
They are just as guilty, you decide.
And you will not suffer the guilty to pollute your streets, not anymore.
They'll catch you, eventually. But until then...
HD 5 AC 16 Rifle 2d8 or Machete(+3) 1d8/1d8
Mor 7 Saves 9+
- Kill Perpetrators
- Kill normal people
- Kill anyone who tries to stop them
The Gang-Stalking Conspiracy
How to enter it: hear about Gang-stalkers, Gang-stalking, or have the misfortune to encounter a Perpetrator (only caused by an unfortunate roll on the random encounter table)
1: Aware. You suspect that someone is following you, or that these Gang-Stalkers you have heard or might know about, are after you. And you correct. A group of Perpetrators are doing their best to follow you. You are constantly being watched. This makes you easier to follow, easier to track, and generally makes your life more complicated. Your car gets keyed, your house gets egged, you start getting so much more spam email, Perps ineffectually try and steal your credit card information with clumsy phishing E-mails or calls from official sounding bodies that don't actually exist.
This state of affairs will continue for 1d4 (1= 1d10 days; 2= 1d8 weeks; 3= 1d6 months; 4= 1d4 years) or until you take an action against the Perpetrators. If you do the former, then the Perpetrators will give up after that, and you will be taken off the watch-list. But if you act against them, you advance to the next level of the Gang-Stalking Conspiracy.
2: Involved. You know know that you are being followed. Before it was a vague suspicion, but now you're sure You see Perpetrators everywhere you go, watching you. The GM should roll on the Perpetrator Encounter Table at least once a session.
Additionally, if your companions or friends start helping you with your interactions with them, they can become "infected", and enter the Conspiracy as well.
3: Collaborating. The Perpetrators are now certain you are a VIP, and will go to great lengths to destroy you. As long as you are being watched by a Perpetrator (and you are constantly being watched, unless you take frequent and severe steps to not be) roll on the Perpetrator encounter table.
This state of affairs continues until you run far away or go after them.
Perpetrator Encounter Table
1- They call the police on you. If you haven't committed any crimes, they just lie.
2- They give you some sort of hazardous treasure. Stolen goods, marked bills, cursed loot, etc.
3- They strong-arm someone into trying to befriend or seduce the party. The person will probably try and make it obvious that they are being pushed into this without letting the Perps watching them know.
4- The Perpetrators try and endanger a critical resource the party had - slash the tyres on their car, steal their identity, burglarize a party member's home, etc.
5- They start living near you and making loud noises at all hours of the night, or putting annoying beeping devices in your house to prevent you from sleeping, they just try and keep you awake for as long as possible.
6- A group of Perpetrators start making it very obvious that they are following you. They are trying to bait you into a confrontation. If you do not attack them within 1d6 days, they will continue following you and attack when you are weakened, isolated, or divided.
7- You receive 1d10 * 1d100 threatening messages, phone calls, or ominous letters.
8- A Perpetrator sneaks into your house and starts hiding in their, living in your closet or crawlspace, eating your food, bathing when you're out, etc. This shouldn't affect the players obviously, but let them find hints of what is going on.
9- They send you an anonymous tip regarding a date and time. If you go there, you will find it's a trap, as the Perpetrators have also lured the most dangerous local thing in the area to the same place and time, with the hope that you will fight it. Too generate what that thing is, specifically craft some sort of hideous freak or just roll on your wandering monster table until you find something fearsome.
10- They try and drug you by putting chemicals in your water supply, filling the air in your building with aerosols, etc.
11- Your employer, your landlord, or anyone who could have leverage over you is suddenly on the business end of an organized campaign to get you fired, kicked out of your neighborhood, etc, via thousands of comments on social media, threatening phone calls, and other harassment tactics.
What is actually going on here?
These are Perpetrators, a group of barely human monsters that ape consciousness and civilization, but without any real understanding of what they're doing. They are designed to be a slow burn, a persistent danger that eventually boils over and completely derails what the players had planned.
Perpetrators, or just Perps, are the bread and butter. For a player that falls victim to them, Perps will begin follow them around. They will be largely non-violent unless the Perpetrator encounter table indicates so, or the players attack them.
Hounders are the next level. They are meant to represent the illusion of a hierarchy, of some greater scheme. Hounders will pretend like they are operating under a cogent plan, but they are just puppets, same as their weaker subordinates.
Accomplices are like Perps, but even weaker. While Perps are like poorly acted puppets, Accomplices are barely human, just mannequins made of meat.
Legalators are meant to be an ironic twist. They are supposed to be the wise men, the scribes, the learned class who is supposed to lead the Perpetrators. But they are just as foolish and artificial as the ones they rule over.
And Arch-Civilians? Well, they probably deserve their own post. But in short, they are what happens when a normal person spends too much time hunting Perpetrators. They start to think everyone, or at least people who clearly aren't, are Perpetrators. And unlike Perpetrators, they are not only fully intelligent, but also possess the murderous creativity only the truly wicked can.
Unlike those who hunt them, Perpetrators are not very intelligent, even the leadership caste, the Hounders and the Legalators, do not possess a clear understanding of why they are doing what they are doing. They know it is what they must do, but they do not consciously know why. The normal Perps do not know or care and the Perp leaders will mock you viciously, but do not know why either.
So why do they do it? The reason is simple, Perpetrators are driven by their own desire to survive, and want to occupy as much space and consume as many resources as possible. They spread out from their initial location and build bases, then attempt to drive away the other humans. They will try and use every passive-aggressive method they know of to do so. And if all that fails, they will use violence, but usually not without provocation.
When playing the Perpetrators, think of them like a memetic virus that only attacks people who know about them. Those who are ignorant to Perpetrators will never be threatened to them. The individual creatures sent to aggrieve the targets are somewhere between meme-transmitters and sacrificial pawns.
Perpetrators will keep taking action against you until you either leave the area they have chosen to colonize or by going into their local base (their colony, if you will) and destroying it, and killing as many as you can get your hands on. Usually wiping out all the Legalators and all the Hounders you can get your hands on will temporarily disarm them, and prompt a mass exodus from the destroyed colony, usually back to the Mother Colony that they originally came from.
And no matter how many you kill, there are always more.