The following is a little thing I cooked up based on Lumpy Touch's Gorefield series. It would probably be best played as some kind of horror themed one-shot or as the start of a Those who Know campaign. I intended for the characters within to be level 0 characters, with only the starting abilities below.
Premise: You are one of the bright, shining lights amidst the fog of fools that is humanity. Your potential is being squandered here. This is why you are being hunted by Gottsmaw.
Gottsmaw is a Monster, a creature of terrible power, perfect violence and sublime terror. No one knows what he is, whether that be beast or Demon or God. It is known that he is cruel and highly intelligent, as well as being very, very hungry. He is the center-point of this adventure. Gottsmaw will stalk you, following until you prove yourself to be too difficult to kill or until he devours you. He is always acting, always planning and always watching.
The Starting Point: The Town of Gottsfield. It resembles the town of Hawkins, Indiana or any other small, midwestern town. It's population is homogenous and country-minded. It has several tiny, white-painted churches and an abandoned steel mill surrounded by a rusting, chainlink fence. Some of the fences are painted pristine white and surround manicured lawns, green grass heavy with dew, leading to shady verandas and rocking chairs. Other yards are unfenced, with patchy grass and gravel driveways leading to old, crumbling farmhouses, the edges of the lawns flanked by patches of woods and knee-high grass, the latter often surrounding heaps of rusting junk: old cars missing their wheels, rusting hulks of farm equipment and refrigerators that need to be brought to a landfill. People don't lock their doors at night, the cafes are full of retirees sitting around chatting and the best breakfast the diner serves is chicken fried steak with potato wedges and red cabbage.
Roll 1d12 to determine your place. Reroll any duplicates, so that no man has the same result. You will also get the six things below: a Special Item, a Place to Avoid, a Blessing, a Curse and a Scent Rating.
Your Special Item: One thing you start with that everyone else will need to acquire.
Your Lucky Number: At any point in the adventure, you may swap out anyone's d20 roll for your
Lucky Number. You can do this once.
Your Color: If you wear your color, that item of clothing functions as armor against Gottsmaw's attacks along as he has taken the form of your enemy.
Your Place to Avoid: You should not go here, or you will suffer terribly.
Your Blessing: What you can do that no one else can. Your Talent, your Gift.
Your Curse: What affects you and only you. What will destroy you, in the end.
Your Scent Rating: How likely it is that Gottsmaw knows where you are.
Who are you?
1- The Royal.
"I keep having this dream. I'm sitting in a cafe, discussing something with myself. The other version of me, he's very agitated, telling me something very important. I can never hear them though, as the air is full of music. The music is very loud, but it doesn't hurt me. It's almost soothing, actually. I always try to get up and follow the music, but the other version of myself usually tries to stop me. Sometimes they grab me or hurl themselves at my feet and silently plead with me. My therapist tells me this is probably just my anxiety. He also thinks it might be related to my insomnia, but I doubt it."
You are a well-to-do or beloved resident of your town. People regard you as special and defer to you. If you go missing, you will be remembered fondly and subject to many rumors. Your funeral is sure to be spectacular. Your color is Pink and your lucky number is 20.
Your Special Item: You start with a key to the Gardener's Residence at the Country Club. The key is old, stolen a generation ago, but it should still work.
Your Place to Avoid: The Theater
Your Blessing: The authorities and magistrates will look upon you favorably and will always show mercy on you, if it is your first offense.
Your Curse: You have kingsblood flowing through your veins, a most potent ingredient, as well as a delicious meal. The Foxhounds will pursue you will all haste. If given the choice between you or another, they will pick you.
Your Scent Rating: 7. There is a 70% chance that Gottsmaw is nearby, watching you.
2- The Noble.
"My boss is breathing down my neck, so I decided it was time to go find a place out of the way. Hopefully they'll find someone else to bother in the meantime. I decided here was as good as any place: I've got a pretense and money for coffee, so I'll be funny. Still, I can't help but feel there's something rotten here, like the whole town is under a shadow. It's like, everyone is just a bit too theatrical. It's a performance. But where is the audience? Maybe I'm just being paranoid. I must be spending too much time cooped up with my research. A little fresh air will do me some good."
You are a high-ranking person in your society. You do not have much in the way of money, but you have a profession that people respect on credentials alone. Maybe you work for someone powerful, or maybe you come from a field people associate good things with, such as a scientist or professor. At your wake, people will talk about your passion, about how you loved your work. They will bite back bitter tears about how little attention you paid them. Your lucky number is 18 and your color is light purple.
Your Special Item: You start with some badge of office or an item that proves you are who you say you are.
Your Place to Avoid: The Forest
Your Blessing: You may double your CHA bonus on any attempt to convince, intimidate, bluff or bully someone who doesn't know anything about your profession or respects that same profession if what you're attempting to persuade someone of something based on your position. Ex: If the professor tells an NPC that this substance is actually radioactive and that the NPC need to leave immediately, the NPC
Your Curse: There is someone in town who will hate you for his or her own reasons. Maybe they hate everyone of your race or profession, or maybe it's because of some unfinished business from when you were younger. He or she will do whatever he or she can to make your life harder. The longer you stay, the worse it will get.
Your Scent Rating: 5. There is a 50% chance that Gottsmaw knows where you are.
3- The Judge.
"People often ask you, is it hard? In the past, you might have said, 'Yes'. Not anymore. Now you don't even need the blood-suckers to talk. You just eyeball the subject and if he has the look, you know where he stands. You can smell them. The only problem with this skill is the jury. They are so much less clear-sighted then you. Sometimes, when you look over to the bench, they almost seem to be sleep-walking, moving and responding to queries, yet at the same time, there is a glazed look to their eyes. Maybe sleep-walking is the wrong way to put it. Now that you really think about it, hypnotized fits much better..."
You're a person with real authority, real power. You might be an actual magistrate, or perhaps you were appointed instead. Regardless, you have actual authority and can make commands. If things start going bad, people will expect you to step up. You won't let them down. Your obituary will mention how your loss was tragic. Your lucky number is 16 and your color is royal purple.
Your Special Item: You start with the privilege of rank. People will grant you a lot more leeway than some others and if you're frightening enough, they might buckle and do what you ask. You can also pull rank on most people.
Your Place to Avoid: The Wrong Side of the Tracks
Your Blessing: You start with a servant who will do whatever you ask of them, except tasks that are especially degrading or suicidal.
Your Curse: You will be scrutinized. If you break the law where people can see, you will get into huge trouble, much worse than any normal people.
Your Scent Rating: 8. There is an 80% chance that Gottsmaw is nearby, watching you.
4- The Knight.
"They call you an amoral killer, a borderline psychopath with no conscience. But you're only what they made you. You used to be just like anyone else. Then they got their claws into you and lured you away with promises of college and a good degree, along with the sense that you could do something 'real'. You're not bitter though- you agreed with them. Working a 9-to-5 desk job for the next fourty years, slowly digging out bits of your soul and smearing them on pieces of paper, that sounded like hell to you at 19. So you enlisted. Now you jump whenever you see a pile of trash because it might be an IED and you can disassemble your service weapon, clean it, then put it back together by candle-light. Not to mention the obvious fact that you were taught how to kill. But you doubt you'll need that skill anymore, right?"
You are a man skilled in the way of violence. Maybe you are a peace-keeper or a constable, tasked to use your violence for a righteous cause. Maybe you are a soldier, recently returned from a tour of duty, jumping at fire-crackers and piles of garbage that might contain IEDs. Or maybe you are a common thug, a brute who used your talents for personal gain. Depending on how you used your gifts will determine how many people come to see you lowered into the ground and whether or not your silver-haired mother is presented with a flag, or one of your old comrades comes along to curse you for dying and leaving him, or if your chewed corpse is left to rot in a muddy ditch. Your color is indigo and your lucky number is 9.
Your Special Item: You start with a weapon that would suit your background.
Your Place to Avoid: City Hall
Your Blessing: You start with training in weapon skills and the ways of violence. You may reroll any melee damage rolls you make.
Your Curse: The local authorities will be suspicious of you at first sight and they will seek you out to blame when trouble first starts occuring.
Your Scent Rating: 4. There is a 40% chance that Gottsmaw knows where you are.
5- The Thief.
"The greatest, that's what they'll call you. This is just a minor setback. If things had gone according to plan, you would be high and dry, soaking up the sun in Tahiti right now, pocketing your ill-gotten gains. Alas, things didn't go according to plan. But how? You were so careful. There was no one- oh. Right. No one except him. You can't believe you didn't think of it earlier! That bastard, he screwed you! Well, we'll see who gets the last laugh."
You are a thief, a smooth operator. Slick as they come and light on your feet, you're a born opportunist. You could be an actual cat-burgular, or you could be more abstract. Perhaps you work in mergers and acquisitions. Regardless, you're good at getting what you want. You've likely left a trail of broken hearts and shattered dreams behind you. Someone is definitely going to celebrate when they hear you died. Your color is dark blue and your lucky number is 19.
Your Special Item: You start with a key. This key can open any one lock you find. Once you declare what the key does, it will only open that lock.
Your Place to Avoid: The Bar
Your Blessing: If attempting to take something by stealth, you may add double the appropriate modifier. If no modifier is being called for, you may add a +2 bonus to the roll.
Your Curse: Every time you take something that isn't yours, steal something or do something crazy, there is a chance equal to your current Scent Rating that Gottsmaw takes notice of you.
Your Scent Rating: 3. There is a 30% chance that Gottsmaw knows of your existence.
6- The Councilor.
"I've heard of hopeless cases, but this one takes the cake. How am I supposed to argue against this? The fact that these arguments are absurd is irrelevant, neither my employer nor anyone else seems to care. The fact that the person you're attempting to refute doesn't seem to exist is also troubling. Everything about this situation, it reeks of danger. But at the same time, the payout is more then some people might make in a lifetime. Maybe I should check it out. Just poke my head in and if it's a dog's job, then I'll bail. I promise."
You are a servant of whoever you pays for. The service you offer is knowledge. You can do what others only see on TV and know enough that you also know that it's not nearly as glamorous. You might be a lawyer, or an archivist, or a historian, or a crime scene investigator. You know things and end up being paid handsomely for the deal. But this, has got to be the weirdest situation you find yourself in. Your death won't be noticed for a few weeks, until the college or your firm thinks to call you. The casket they bury will be empty, as your body was never found. Your color is cyan and your lucky number is 13.
Your Special Item: You start with a book that contains large amounts of obscure information. If something is a mystery, you may declare what it is based on what you read in your book (and cite your sources). This could only pertain to something that is likely to be written in a book and would not work on something such as forbidden, suppressed knowledge, personal secrets or that which is unspeakable. Additionally, after your declaration, your book will only ever reveal information about that subject.
Your Place to Avoid: Sports Fields
Your Blessing: You have a contact in town who you can call upon to perform a service for. Roll to determine what kind of service. Your contact is 1dX [1= A prostitute; 2= A police informant; 3= A police officer; 4= A rich man; 5= The nosy neighbor who sees everything; 6= The insane old lady who knows some dark secrets about the town.] Your contact will do one service for you, but any more then that requires quid pro quo.
Your Curse: You have a superior officer who you are accountable to you, who will occasionally contact you and order you to do something. Refuse at your peril.
Your Scent Rating: Scent 6. There is a 60% chance that Gottsmaw knows where you are.
7- The Custodian.
"I've looked anywhere for someone to help her, but nothing's worked. Doctors shrug their shoulders and therapists shake their heads. I've talked to priests but nothing they did ever helped me. So I was skeptical- I'm sure it's a scam. But they say he's the genuine article, a real miracle worker. And for the first time, I dared to hope. I just hope that it doesn't turn out to be the bait in a trap."
You are a caregiver, a protector, a nurturer. You are in charge of protecting someone else from danger, trouble or strife. You have devoted your life to self-sacrifice and bettering your charge. Your charge will usually obey you, though everyone, including him, has days where the flights of fancy seize them. You must keep your charge safe. If you were to die but he would live, you would count that a worthy trade. Your color is lime and your lucky number is 6.
Your Special Item: You start with a method of contacting your charge.
Your Place to Avoid: The School
Your Blessing: If your charge or another person you love is endangered, you can draw upon strength you didn't know you had, rising to the occasion, adding a +1d6 bonus to any roll or saving throw.
Your Curse: If your charge dies, your Scent Rating increases to 10.
Your Scent Rating: Scent 5. There is a 50% chance that Gottsmaw knows where you are.
8- The Hunter.
"I just spent the last four hours sitting in a tree, feeling my buttcheeks freeze together as frost spread across my jeans, waiting to see if I could see anything. I saw rabbits and squirrels and a coyote, luckily there was only one. But not a single deer! Then, just as I was about to call it quits, I heard all the birds go silent. Something huge moved down beneath me, maybe a bear, except it sounded much bigger than any bear I'd ever seen. I didn't dare look, because if I did, somehow I knew that it would see me. And even though it scared me shitless, I still kind of want to go back. Try my luck against that thing- whatever it was."
You are a person most comfortable in pursuit of game. You're an adrenaline junkie. You live for the thrill of outsmarting your opponent, of locking antlers and being the one left standing in the end. You could be a big game hunter or aa survivalist, pitting yourself against the forces of nature. Or you could be a man pursuing far different prey, such as a bounty hunter or a repo man. If you die, Gottsmaw will remember your passing fondly. Your color is dark green and your lucky number is 7.
Your Special Item: You start with a scope, binoculars or a pair of night vision goggles.
Your Place to Avoid: The Police Station.
Your Blessing: You are good at sneaking and tracking, adding a +4 bonus to do either.
Your Curse: Your abilities are impaired when you have to escort amateurs along with yourself. For every person who joins you in sneaking or tracking, you gain a -1 penalty.
Your Scent Rating: 3. There is a 30% chance that Gottsmaw is aware of your existence.
9- The Soothsayer.
"You can't believe he would try that. Does he think you're some kind of invalid? You saw his gambit coming from a hundred miles away. You admit, the first time you met, he played you like a game of poker. This time though, you're prepared. You know his tricks and this one reeks of the same. It's got his grubby fingerprints all over it. So we'll just see who has the last laugh this time."
You are a gifted thinker, one blessed with foresight. Not in the sense of being clairvoyant or telepathic, but simply that you are good at predicting how things will go. You might be a political analyst, writer, philosopher or a stock broker. You are wise and to those who know of your talents, your word carries great weight. Someone's going to lose a lot of money when he doesn't predict your early passing. Your color is yellow and your lucky number is 15.
Your Special Item: You start with a deck of tarot cards, a set of dice, some sheep knuckle bones, or a knife and the willingness to butcher a live animal. Using any of these methods, you can see omens of the future. These omens are likely to be vague, but they can warn you of where Gottsmaw is or what his plans are.
Your Place to Avoid: The Magic Shop
Your Blessing: You have the gift of foresight. Once per session, you may ask the Referee a question. If the Referee decides that you could guess the answer based on the information you currently have, then the Referee will answer you. The Referee must answer truthfully, if he chooses to answer you. If the Referee decides that you could not predict what was about to happen, he will not answer.
Your Curse: Other people will usually ignore your predictions and go ahead, confident in their own abilities.
Your Scent Rating: Scent 7. There is a 70% chance that Gottsmaw is nearby.
10- The Shepherd.
"It's a difficult thing, taking care of an animal, especially if it's not a pet. With a pet, you can devote all your energies to helping it, spend any amount of money and do whatever is necessary. But with something like a pig, it's different. You can come to recognize the animal's personality, his traits and mannerisms, even come to like it. But you know, at the back of your mind, that this can't last. It casts the whole thing into a melancholy light. But you'll get over it, I suppose. It's only a beast, after all."
You are a tender soul, one suited to the management of soft, fuzzy things. You work with animals and you're good at it. What animals those are can vary, as can your relationship to those beasts. Perhaps you are a trainer, or a keeper, employed to keep large or exotic beasts safe. Maybe you are wealthy and own a few of the most interesting beasts as pets. Or maybe you just work at the local shelter. Regardless of your occupation, you are good at it. As such, when you pass, a lot of your furry friends are going to be left wondering just where you went, and why you never said goodbye. Your color is brown and your lucky number is 2.
Your Special Item: You start with an animal companion. Your companion is a beast, but one that is smart and loyal enough to usually obey your commands. Call them your service animal and take them everywhere.
Your Place to Avoid: The Slaughterhouse
Your Blessing: You get a +4 bonus to attempt to calm or soothe any sort of animal. You also receive the same bonus when it comes to remembering things about an animal, that species, their behavior and etc.
Your Curse: Animals will seek you out, whether you want them too or not. Some of them will be helpful and might be able to do something for you. Most of them will be neutral, however, and depending on your actions will either become allies or enemies. Some of the animals will be spies for Gottsmaw. Regardless of what those animals do, none of them will help you if you are targeted by the apex predator.
Your Scent Rating: Scent 3. There is a 30% that Gottsmaw knows of your existence.
M. C. Escher
11- The Artist.
"I can't seem to actually produce anything good anymore. An idea pops into my head and I become obsessed with it for a while. But then, as soon as I self-reflect, I hate it. Have I lost my touch? Much of what I produced in the past was somewhat derivative. No, that's silly. I am an artist. I just need something to inspire me."
You are a sensitive soul, one not geared toward competition. You always saw the climbing of society's hierarchy and endless social games as unnecessary or bothersome. Instead you sat on the sidelines, watching others rise and fall, not troubling yourself with enemies or things like winning and losing. You only wanted to capture the moment you saw, the feel of that stretch of time, to make others see what you saw. This feeling is what lead you to art. It is your passion, your one ambition. You can be anything from a painter to a poet to a film-maker, but whatever you are, you are trying to make others see. You might think you would die for you art and now you'll get the chance to prove it. Luckily for you, if you die, your work will become all the more valuable. Your color is rust red and your lucky number is 11.
Your Special Item: You start with an antique camera that takes actual polaroids or uses film. Unlike a digital device, this one will actually be able to record the surreal things that are about to start happening to you.
Your Place to Avoid: The Gym.
Your Blessing: You may take an action to observe the world around you and try to notice the presence of the Master of the Hunt. If you see the Master of the Hunt, you can take an action to attempt to guess his powers, his weaknesses, etc. You have a chance equal to your Scent Rating of guessing correctly. You can increase this chance by painting pictures, taking photographs, making sculptures, or otherwise creating art about what you saw. Each time you do this, increase your chance of correctly guessing by 10%, to a maximum of 50%.
Your Curse: The glory of Gottsmaw draws you and if you are not careful, will consume you. Every time you correctly guess a fact about Gottsmaw or make a piece of art about him, your Scent Rating increases by 10%, to a maximum of 50%.
Your Scent Rating: Scent 1. There is a 10% chance Gottsmaw knows of your existence.
12- The Pariah.
"The stares are the worst part, you know. Some of them are just ugly, but I can deal with those. They're not exactly hateful, but they seem accusatory. They almost want to know why I exist, or why I chose here. Why couldn't I go trouble someone else, they seem to ask. Assholes. They just don't want their consciences pricking them, but they don't want to do anything about it. The ones that are really bad, are the pitiful ones. Up until recently, I would have described them as the worst. Thank you, I would have said, for making me feel worse. But there's something worse than being disliked or even pitied. It's someone looking at you like you're a bacteria under a microscope: or a corpse on an autopsy table, or a steak dinner."
You are someone that society dislikes. For some reason, people would rather you not be around. Maybe it's through no fault of your own. Maybe it's because of your race, your orientation, your place of origin, or events outside of your control. Or perhaps those are all normal, and it's your fault. Maybe you did something bad in the past that no one ever forgave you for. Or maybe you're just an asshole. Who knows? Your color is candy red and your lucky number is 1.
Your Special Item: You start with a concealable weapon.
Your Place to Avoid: The Public Square
Your Blessing: You can hurt him. You may ignore all resistances and immunities when rolling for damage against the Master of the Hunt.
Your Curse: Your blood sings to him. If you ever drop below max HP, you must save if the damage was non-sharp. On a failure, you bleed. Taking sharp damage counts as an automatic failure. If you ever fail a saving throw and bleed, your Scent Rating changes by 1d10..
Your Scent Rating: Scent 0. There is a 0% chance Gottsmaw knows of your existence. But every time you bleed, your Scent Rating does up by 1d10.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
TwK: Fresh Kill (part 1)
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