Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Triple Threat: Animated Scarecrow

Animated Scarecrow


There is nothing so iconic, innocuous, or fear inspiring as the scarecrow. Sometimes called a “hay-man,” which doesn’t really do anything to assuage the fear of onlookers, it is one of the words oldest symbols. There are dozens of types from all around the world, and most cultures have tales of the creatures that come to life. Some protect the fields. Some help the farmers. Some animate and kill everyone in the nearby village. The following statistics assume the latter.

For Any Game…
ST: 14             HP: 16            Speed: 7.00
DX: 11            Will: 10           Move: 8
IQ: 8              Per: 12            Weight: 50 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: N/A          SM: 0
Dodge: 10       Parry: 11        DR: 2 (Tough Skin)

Claw (13): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Throttle (13): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 19. Treat this as a two-handed grapple.
Strangle Hold (13): As above, but damage to neck is x1.5.

Traits: Acute Vision 4; Appearance (Monstrous); Bloodlust (12); Bully (9); Cannot Speak; Combustible; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Immunity to Mind Control; Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Not against Fire attacks); Injury Tolerance (Independent Body Parts; Detachable Head; Instant Reattachment; Not against Fire attacks); Intolerance (Living Beings); Invisibility (Fields or Tall grass only; Switchable); Lifebane; Low Empathy; Magic Resistance 1; Regeneration (Fast; Not Against Fire attacks); Sadism (12); Social Stigma (Monster); Supernatural Durability (Fire); Temperature Tolerance 10; Terrain Adaptation (Tall Grass); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Notes: Sterile. Created from dark magic. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139) Animated Scarecrow have a modifier of -1.

For Dungeon Fantasy…
ST: 14             HP: 16            Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 8
IQ: 8              Per: 12            Weight: 50 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: N/A          SM: 0
Dodge: 10       Parry: 11        DR: 2 (Tough Skin)

Claw (15): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Throttle (15): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 19. Treat this as a two-handed grapple.
Strangle Hold (15): As above, but damage to neck is x1.5.

Traits: Acute Vision 4; Appearance (Monstrous); Bloodlust (12); Bully (9); Cannot Speak; Combustible; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Immunity to Mind Control; Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Not against Fire attacks); Injury Tolerance (Independent Body Parts; Detachable Head; Instant Reattachment; Not against Fire attacks); Intolerance (Living Beings); Invisibility (Fields or Tall grass only; Switchable); Lifebane; Low Empathy; Magic Resistance 2; Regeneration (Fast; Not Against Fire attacks); Sadism (12); Social Stigma (Monster); Supernatural Durability (Fire); Temperature Tolerance 10; Terrain Adaptation (Tall Grass); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-15; Stealth-15; Wrestling-15.
Classification: Construct.
Notes: Sterile. Created from dark magic. Unwilling to negotiate.

For Monster Hunters…
ST: 19             HP: 20            Speed: 7.00
DX: 14            Will: 12           Move: 8
IQ: 10            Per: 14            Weight: 50 lbs.
HT: 14            FP: N/A          SM: 0
Dodge: 10       Parry: 11        DR: 2 (Tough Skin)

Claw (16): 1d cutting; Reach C.
Throttle (16): No damage, but on further turns can squeeze (Choke or Strangle, p. B370) as ST 24. Treat this as a two-handed grapple.
Strangle Hold (16): As above, but damage to neck is x1.5.

Traits: Acute Vision 4; Appearance (Monstrous); Bloodlust (12); Bully (9); Cannot Speak; Combustible; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; Frightens Animals; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Immunity to Mind Control; Injury Tolerance (Diffuse; Not against Fire attacks); Injury Tolerance (Independent Body Parts; Detachable Head; Instant Reattachment; Not against Fire attacks); Intolerance (Living Beings); Invisibility (Fields or Tall grass only; Switchable); Lifebane; Low Empathy; Magic Resistance 4; Regeneration (Fast; Not Against Fire attacks); Sadism (12); Social Stigma (Monster); Supernatural Durability (Fire); Temperature Tolerance 10; Terrain Adaptation (Tall Grass); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-16; Stealth-16; Wrestling-16.
Notes: Sterile. Affected by Path of Spirit. Created from dark magic. Use the skills listed under Free-Willed Spirits in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One scarecrow is a fair fight for one or two champions.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Triple Threat: Fluttermouth

 [The following creature is  from a nightmare I had. Enjoy.]

Fluttermouth


A strange creature the fluttermouth begins life as a large fungal bloom the size of a basketball and continue this way until encountering a living being at which point they eject huge numbers of spores. Once they’ve infested a living being they grow until they reach the size of small maggot-like grabs. After eating a hundred times their weight in the hosts flesh they borrow out of the skin and leave the host crawling off to form a chrysalis. Emerging from the cocoon, they look like a strange cross between an ambulatory mushroom and a psychedelic colored butterfly. They posses no eyes or ears, though a large mouth filled with needle-like teeth that seems to cover their whole face. Specimens range from the size of actual butterfly to the size of a large dog! When the fluttermouth dies their body rapidly decomposes and eventually becomes a fungal bloom. This can also happen if they suffer a massive amount of damage from a source of heat or fire that is enough to kill them. Their bite (or touching their skin) can cause severe hallucinations that can last for hours in addition to injecting spores (which become grubs as above) into their target. Fluttermouths subsist almost entirely on bone marrow, which they suck out of their target, but also like to eat internal organs.

For Any Game…

ST: 6               HP: 6              Speed: 5.00
DX: 11            Will: 10           Move: 3 (12 Air)
IQ: 2               Per: 11            Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 10            FP: 10             SM: -3
Dodge: 8         Parry: N/A     DR: 0

Bite (11): 1d impaling. If a target takes more than 1/3 their HP in damage from a fluttermouth bite they immediately begin hallucinating (suffering all the effects list on p. B429) until they are fully healed of the damage. In addition to the hallucinations those bitten by a fluttermouth must make a HT (-1 per 2 HP suffered) roll, failure means he is infected by the spores carried in the creature’s salvia. The effects of the spores do not appear till 24 hours later, at which point the victim suffers 1 point of toxic damage with a one-hour cycle for the next 24 hours. At the end of the last cycle the now fully grown grubs seek to exit their host via the skin inflicting 2d of injury and prompting a Fright Check!

Traits:  3D Spatial Sense; Appearance (Ugly); Easy to Kill 1; Extra Legs (Six Legs; Cannot Kick); Flight (Winged); Fragile (Explosive; Flammable)*; Horizontal; Immunity to Telepathy; Immunity to Poison; No Legs (Aerial); No Physical Attack (Arms)†; Restricted Diet (Bone Marrow; Substitution); Striking ST 5 (Bite only); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Stealth-10.
Notes: Technically a mobile form of fungus. Always fights to the death. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139) fluttermouths have a modifier of +0.
* On any critical failure on a major wound or if you fail your HT roll by 2 or more to avoid death, the creature explodes. This roll is at -3 for a burning or explosive attack or if an attack struck the vitals, -6 if both. This inflicts 3d+2 crushing damage with the explosion modifier. Use the rules under the bite entry to determine if further infection is possible from the damage sustained by this attack.
† See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).

For Dungeon Fantasy…
ST: 6               HP: 6              Speed: 5.00
DX: 11            Will: 10           Move: 3 (12 Air)
IQ: 2               Per: 11            Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 10            FP: 10             SM: -3
Dodge: 8         Parry: N/A     DR: 0

Bite (11): 1d impaling. If a target takes more than 1/3 their HP in damage from a fluttermouth bite they immediately begin hallucinating (suffering all the effects list on p. B429) until they are fully healed of the damage. In addition to the hallucinations those bitten by a fluttermouth must make a HT (-1 per 2 HP suffered) roll, failure means he is infected by the spores carried in the creature’s salvia. The effects of the spores do not appear till 24 hours later, at which point the victim suffers 1 point of toxic damage with a one-hour cycle for the next 24 hours. At the end of the last cycle the now fully grown grubs seek to exit their host via the skin inflicting 2d of injury and prompting a Fright Check!

Traits:  3D Spatial Sense; Appearance (Ugly); Easy to Kill 1; Extra Legs (Six Legs; Cannot Kick); Flight (Winged); Fragile (Explosive; Flammable)*; Horizontal; Immunity to Telepathy; Immunity to Poison; No Legs (Aerial); No Physical Attack (Arms)†; Restricted Diet (Bone Marrow; Substitution); Striking ST 5 (Bite only); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Stealth-10.
Classification: Plant.
Notes: Technically a mobile form of fungus. Always fights to the death.
* On any critical failure on a major wound or if you fail your HT roll by 2 or more to avoid death, the creature explodes. This roll is at -3 for a burning or explosive attack or if an attack struck the vitals, -6 if both. This inflicts 3d+2 crushing damage with the explosion modifier. Use the rules under the bite entry to determine if further infection is possible from the damage sustained by this attack.
† See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).

For Monster Hunters…
ST: 6               HP: 6              Speed: 5.00
DX: 11            Will: 10           Move: 3 (12 Air)
IQ: 2               Per: 11            Weight: 25 lbs.
HT: 10            FP: 10             SM: -3
Dodge: 8         Parry: N/A     DR: 0

Fright Check: 0

Bite (14): 2d impaling. If a target takes more than 1/3 their HP in damage from a fluttermouth bite they immediately begin hallucinating (suffering all the effects list on p. B429) until they are fully healed of the damage. In addition to the hallucinations those bitten by a fluttermouth must make a HT (-1 per 2 HP suffered) roll, failure means he is infected by the spores carried in the creature’s salvia. The effects of the spores do not appear till 24 hours later, at which point the victim suffers 1 point of toxic damage with a one-hour cycle for the next 24 hours. At the end of the last cycle the now fully grown grubs seek to exit their host via the skin inflicting 2d of injury and prompting a Fright Check!

Traits:  3D Spatial Sense; Appearance (Ugly); Easy to Kill 1; Extra Legs (Six Legs; Cannot Kick); Flight (Winged); Fragile (Explosive; Flammable)*; Horizontal; Immunity to Telepathy; Immunity to Poison; No Legs (Aerial); No Physical Attack (Arms)†; Restricted Diet (Bone Marrow; Substitution); Striking ST 15 (Bite only); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Brawling-14; Flight-14; Stealth-16.
Notes: Technically a mobile form of fungus. Always fights to the death. Use the skills listed under Parasites in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One champion should be able to handle a three to four fluttermouths.
* On any critical failure on a major wound or if you fail your HT roll by 2 or more to avoid death, the creature explodes. This roll is at -3 for a burning or explosive attack or if an attack struck the vitals, -6 if both. This inflicts 7d+1 crushing damage with the explosion modifier. Use the rules under the bite entry to determine if further infection is possible from the damage sustained by this attack. The fluttermouth has +6 HP, but only for the purposes of determining how much damage it does when it explodes
† See Modifying Beings With One or Two Arms under Extra Arms (p. B53).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Night-Dimmed Day – Part II – Game Session 6

July 3rd 2000, Monday
2:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

Despite the increasing difficulty of the mathematics involved to plot a course using the XDG, and the PCs involvement with solving them, the next gateway opens a mere four hours later. Once open  they can see that it leads to a swampy, desolate place that both Jon and Angel immediately recognize: the Desoul. At first, Jon refuses to go and when Angel tries to force him through, fights against it. Eventually, Jessie whispers something in to Jon’s ear and resigned, he crosses over.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
Unknown
Dreamlands, the Desoul

Once on the other side he leads the team through endless swamp-covered land. They ultimately make their way to “dry” land just as the sky grows dim. Unlike most of the Dreamlands, the Desoul actually has a nocturnal cycle, though it is skewed. There is a 4-hour window of light, followed by a 2-hour window of dark, then 8-hours of light followed by 10-hours of dark. They come across the Den1 and bunker down for the night there as Jon tells them part of how he came to be Dream-Stuck2 and how he escaped. Sergei, not needing to sleep, keeps watch all night. Many times, he feels that he is being watched, but cannot locate the watcher. When the PCs start off again, Jon takes a few things from his old home, but seals it back up with Angel’s help, leaving it there as a testament to his struggle as well as a place for others who may one day become trapped in the swampish hell. The PCs take advantage of the light and Jon leads them all the way to the edge of the swamp where the Lethe river serves as an impenetrable barrier. There, on the banks of the river, is what looks like a shrine made of bone, driftwood, shells, mud, and stone with the piece of the skull. The PCs quickly rush over to get their prize, but before they can a shape comes out of the woody swamp and grabs Noah trying to drag him off. While most of the PCs are surprised, Gelar fires a shot (and misses) at the creature distracting it enough so that Angel can use her TK to wrest Noah away from it. Hachiko and Far run forward to drag their injured teammate back into protection while the rest are still finding their feet. Far stops the bleeding, ignoring Noah’s screams. Through the look on Far’s face, Hachiko can tell that Noah isn’t going to make it. Before they can do anything else a dozen animated skeletal human remains pop up out of the ground and begin to attack the PCs. One even appears underneath Hachiko, though he summarily chops it in half with a hastily drawn blade. Jon begins to sing Alice In Chains “Dem Bones” and curses the undead beings. Angel moves towards her downed teammate and with an impressive show of power sets all but one of the undead creatures on fire, as well as a nearby tree as she tries to smoke out whatever it was that attacked them. Unfortunately, she hits a gas pocket and causes a methane explosion that levels the nearby area setting everything on fire and sending debris flying. The PCs manage to make it behind various areas with cover, but the explosion deafens them. Angel then puts out the fire in another impressive display of pyrokinetic prowess just as Alex cools down the area enough to cause frost and rime to form on every surface (he did this in hopes that he’d be able to at least hear whatever was attacking them before it actually attacked them). Only a few of the undead remain and are quickly dispatched by the others; that’s when the monster comes out to finish them off. The PCs can tell it’s some sort of werewolf3 and it moves so fast that they can barely see. Jon begins singing Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of Long” and curses it as well. In the span of a second, it grabs Far, disembowels him, and runs off into the charred swamp with him. Seconds later they hear their teammate scream and then it’s utterly silent. When it comes back again it tries to pounce Hachiko to the ground but fails, tries to attack Jon and Angel (though Angel sticks a boot-blade in its eye), but is blocked by the Russian and even attacks Gelar who has been watching it move the whole time, not firing his arrow once as he lined up his shot. Both Jon and Angel run after the creature, taking the fight to it. Angel then locates the creature’s mind with her own and shares that information with the others who act on it. Serge, using a ninja trick get’s up close to the monster and lodges several shuriken in its right eye (the same one that Angel stuck her bladed boot into). Before anyone can do anything else, Alex’s eyes turn completely white and the air begins to get so cold that the PCs can see their breath. The werewolf begins to freeze as Alex brings its body temperature down to absolute zero, freezing it solid. Gelar then launches an arrow at its hand and shattered the body. Inside is the pale blue corpse of a young boy with black hair: Linden Peters. When Jon sees who it is, he immediately breaks down and starts crying while Angel holds him. BFG and Alex follow the bloody trail of Far’s intestines into the swamp, but are unable to find a body, only viscera, an arm, and a leg. Alex eventually notices that the monster ripped their medic apart and then threw him into the Lethe. Angel uses a spell to heal Noah, aligning his chakras with a charm she made. They’ll never recover the body, though BFG brings back what they can bury. Angel, unable to take Jon’s tears draws deep from within her and does something forbidden: she brings the dead back to life. While Angel passes out, Linden gasps awake, but without a body they are unsure if Far was affected as well. Hachiko tries to perform a spell to bring Far back to them, even if its only his body. While the spell succeeds…it doesn’t produce the results Hachiko wants. They spend a time looking for him, but eventually head back to the Den, wait out the Little Dark and then head back to the spot where they came through. Angel, Noah, and Linden are all carried back by their teammates. Angel being carried by the Russian, Linden by BFG, and Ecks and Hachiko carrying Linden back in a stretcher. When the gateway opens up Jessie pops through to the other side, sensing Angel’s unconscious state.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
2:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

The wounded are taken back to medical and Jessie chastises Angel for doing something she knows could have killed her. She wakes up an hour later and learns that only a half of a minute had passed while they were in the Desoul. Angel tries to help Jessie with the final equations, but he waves her off wanting her to rest. Instead she visits with the little boy and takes him to see Jon, who she knows is feeling guilty and depressed. Though Linden is not yet awake Jon is holding a vigil over his bedside; Hachiko is spending time with his family, trying to reconcile the death of one of his own; the rest of the PCs go about their own little tasks as they wait for the final equation to be finished so they can retrieve the last piece of the skull and end this nightmare.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
11:10 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

1 The Den is a huge baobab tree that Jon and his fellow dream-stuck allies lived for many years. It’s been further hollowed out, had its cracks sealed up, and made otherwise both defensible and livable.
2 Being Dream-Stuck means that a person’s spirit has been separated from its body and become lost in the Dreamlands. It’s a form of dream projection but is usually a permanent state because the spirit has no way to reintegrate with his or her body. As long as their body is alive (which resembles a coma) the person can try to find a way back, but when their body dies they either become a wraith, die, or are reborn as a Dreamlander (a rare outcome).
3 There are many sorts of werewolves and origins for them in the Awakening. This particular werewolf was created by contact with a cursed article that turned Linden into a ravening monster. The curse was originally designed to deter grave robbers but has since become something else. When Linden died his curse ended so that when he came back to life he was no longer afflicted.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Carpe Blogiem: My Writing Process



On the forums, Kalzazz asked about a comment I made on another thread:



Recently, I did an interview with a bunch of other authors about Steve Jackson Games' Pyramid Magazine. Although one was late to the party (Matt Riggsby). I had a fantastic time. Even though one of the questions that Doug sent my way before the interview was one I was never able to answer. So this entry is for all of you out there who are curious. First, I need to preface this with a few personal details:
  • I have night terrors. I’ve had them since I was a little kid (about age 4) – they used to terrify me so bad that I would not sleep for days on end. I’ve mostly mastered that fear – I know when I’m asleep, and even though I still wake up soaked in sweat or screaming – that fear does not rule me. When my mother finally found a doctor who could help me, the doctor asked me to write or draw everything I dreamed about. That was the start of a habit that has stayed with me well into adulthood (I have over 25 years of dreams and nightmares bound into ink and paper).  Writing became cathartic for me. A way to exercise the demons that tormented me throughout the night. A lot of my ideas about writing come from these dreams (I even dream about GURPS rules, though mostly in the context of a third-person view dream).
  • My personal grammar is not up to par with either the standards I set myself, or what one would expect from a typical writer. While I learn mostly everything I do by teaching myself (I am an autodidact in every sense of that word) or watching others, there are some things that escape me. Improving my grammar is one of them. I don’t know why, and it's a truly frustrating issue to me. I picked up how to create a circuit board from start to finished product by watching someone do it once, and then reading a couple books. But I’ll be damned if I can learn the 21 bloody rules of comma placement with such ease. Though I am getting better, it is just not fast enough for me.
That said my process usually starts out with an idea I’ve gleaned from a dream, something someone has said to me, a movie I’ve watched, a book I've read, from one of my personal GURPS campaigns, or something suggested to me by muse. She exists, her name is L.A. and she’s my other half. You should follow her on Twitter. She pretty much came up with my Worldsinging article during a conversation we had one night. On a related note, everyone should have a muse. Anyways, once I have the idea the first thing I do is go through my GURPS library and pick out which books I’ll think I need. I either skim the book (if I know the material well) or reread it. After that I stare at the wall for an hour or two or do something physically involving, but distracting. A personal favorite is to cook or bake. I let the idea take form and once it’s at a mostly formed state I write it all down. This first part usually takes less than a day, but I’ve had ideas sit in the back of my mind for longer than that. Writing the actual idea down takes between 2 and 5 days depending on word count and if I write at an even pace (a 7-hour day is typical for me). If I stay up late, drink lots of coffee, and write write write, I can quarter this rate. Keep in mind that GURPS writing (or any role-playing game really) is technical writing. You don’t usually just give word to page and go from there. You have to reference other books, create power builds, or make characters, etc. – all that takes time. Even if you know the material backward and forward, you don’t want to make any sort of mistakes so you’re going to go back at look to make sure. I do that at least. I find that on a good day I can do about 500 words an hour of technical writing and about 2,000 for fiction. Once I have the first draft I send it to my alpha testers (Antoni “Kuroshima” Ten Monrós and members of my gaming group). I then make revisions on their comments and do at least one playtest with the material to see if I can shake loose any bugs during game play. This takes between 1 and 3 days and then I’m on to my beta draft. I’ve got a wonderful group of beta-testers who are just awesome, fun, and knowledgeable people. Among them are Douglas Cole and Emily “Bruno” Smirle, along with a few others who’ve helped me in the past with various issues (I always call out the names of those who really help me with a particular article in my About The Author blurb).

I make more revisions as necessary, until I have something that jives with the GURPS rules and then I edit it. I edit the hell out it. I usually do two grammar/spelling edits, a rules edit, and a format edit. Even after all that, I send it off to my final checker (ElizabethArchangelMcCoy – my mentor in the ways of Sith-Editing). She then proceeds to bash into my brain all the things I missed with my own edit. And she does it in a truly brilliant way: she termed it “edit snark.” For example, as the King of Comma Splices, she has almost broken that habit with her “Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleonnnnnn. Highlighted with red, gold, and green. RED, GOLD, and GREEENNN.”  I then fix the draft of whatever egregious sins I’ve committed against the English language, which takes about 1 to 3 days. After that I go through a final playtest. From there I poke at it a bit more if I have time otherwise I send it in to Steven Marsh and hope for the best. So an average article (about 5,000 words) takes between 4 and 11 days. The longest I’ve ever taken with an article has been a full month (lots of revisions) and the shortest was a mere two days.

So I hope I’ve enlightened some of you on how my process works and thanks for stopping by and reading.

If you have any further questions you'd like me to answer - leave a comment or question either here or in the forums on my blog thread and I'll get to them when I've the time.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Triple Threat: Ghouls

Ghoul

Ghouls look exactly human beings, except their faces, which are vaguely jackal-like. Their skin has an odd rubbery look to it, and their feet are half-hooved in the front. Their teeth and fingernails are pointed and obviously made for tearing flesh. Additionally, their eyes glow a reddish hue in the dark (much like a snakes). Ghouls are first and foremost meat eaters and while they are not picky about its freshness they prefer human flesh though they can eat an animals (though most of the time it makes them physically ill). They also possess the capability to dig through soil (albeit at a slow pace) and even travel to the Dreamlands (or similar dimension) by doing so. While their natural appearance makes it hard for them to blend in, they can appear as someone else by consuming at least a pound of their flesh. This takes at least one minute, but has no specific duration unless they wish to change back.
Ghouls are an odd species, mostly due to the fact that they can come into existence a multitude of ways. First, ghouls can be born, typically by tearing their way of their mother who can be human or a ghoul herself. Second, ghouls can be the result of a curse (or even a voluntary transformation!) in which case the afflicted eventually succumb to their new cannibalistic desires. Third, sometimes, human cannibals spontaneously become ghouls (though this is a rare occurrence). Fourth, sometimes a human is born of ghoul lineage but isn’t born a ghoul, when this happens they sometimes realize their heritage later in life (Richard Pickman is a famous case of this). Ghouls are incredibly difficult to kill and are dangerous in combat, owing to their ability to paralyze opponents.
For Any Game…
ST: 14                         HP: 17                        Speed: 6.50
DX: 12                        Will: 11                      Move: 7
IQ: 10                         Per: 14                        Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12                        FP: 12                         SM: 0
Dodge: 9                     Parry: 10                    DR: 4 (Tough Skin)
Bite (15): 1d cutting. Reach C.
Claw (15): 1d cutting. Reach C, 1. The ghoul may optionally choose to paralyze their target (see below) if they so desire.
Paralyzing Touch (15): The victim must roll against HT-1 if touched; DR gives a bonus to this roll equal to its level. If the target fails this roll, he is paralyzed for 3 minutes times his margin of failure. The ghoul may also optionally touch a specific hit location to paralyze just that body part.
Traits:  Appearance (Ugly); Bad Smell*; Brotherhood of the Dead†; Doesn’t Breathe (Oxygen Storage, x25); Discriminatory Smell; Disturbing Voice; Flexible; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Infravision; Injury Tolerance (Unliving); Jumper (World; Accessibility, only in graveyards; Limited, Dreamlands; Special Portal, through own dug tunnels; Tunnel); Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms; Needs sample, Must consume a piece of the subject; Onset, 1 minute); Odious Racial Habit (Eats sapient beings); Pestilent; Reduced Consumption 4 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Restricted Diet (Human Flesh; Substitution, Animal Flesh, Retching); Silence 2; Temperature Tolerance 4; Tunneling‡ (Slow; 4 yards per minute of progress).
Skills:  Brawling-15; Climbing-15; Stealth-16; Tracking-17.
Notes: Affected by Path of Undead magic; Can interbreed with normal human beings; Half-hoofed feet; Night Vision 5. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check GURPS Horror, (p. 139) ghouls have a modifier of +0.
* This can be covered up with lots of perfume or disinfectant. The reaction penalty remains the source of it simply changes.
† Unintelligent undead ignore ghouls as if they were not there. They’ll only attack him if he takes an offensive action against them.
‡ This rate of movement is halved through hard packed soil and doubled through soft or freshly disturbed soil.
For Dungeon Fantasy
ST: 14                         HP: 17                        Speed: 6.50
DX: 12                        Will: 11                      Move: 7
IQ: 10                         Per: 14                        Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12                        FP: 12                         SM: 0
Dodge: 9                     Parry: 10                    DR: 4 (Tough Skin)
Bite (15): 1d cutting. Reach C.
Claw (15): 1d cutting. Reach C, 1. The ghoul may optionally choose to paralyze their target (see below) if they so desire.
Paralyzing Touch (15): The victim must roll against HT-3 if touched; DR gives a bonus to this roll equal to its level. If the target fails this roll, he is paralyzed for 3 minutes times his margin of failure. The ghoul may also optionally touch a specific hit location to paralyze just that body part.
Traits:  Appearance (Ugly); Bad Smell*; Brotherhood of the Dead†; Doesn’t Breathe (Oxygen Storage, x25); Discriminatory Smell; Disturbing Voice; Flexible; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Infravision; Injury Tolerance (Unliving); Jumper (World; Accessibility, only in graveyards; Limited, Dreamlands; Special Portal, through own dug tunnels; Tunnel); Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms; Needs sample, Must consume a piece of the subject; Onset, 1 minute); Odious Racial Habit (Eats sapient beings); Pestilent; Reduced Consumption 4 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Restricted Diet (Human Flesh; Substitution, Animal Flesh, Retching); Silence 2; Temperature Tolerance 4; Tunneling‡ (Slow; 4 yards per minute of progress).
Skills:  Brawling-15; Climbing-15; Stealth-16; Tracking-17.
Classification: Undead.
Notes: Can interbreed with normal human beings; Half-hoofed feet; Night Vision 5. Ghouls are “more evolved” corpse-eaters (Dungeon Fantasy 3, p. 3).
* This can be covered up with lots of perfume or disinfectant. The reaction penalty remains the source of it simply changes.
† Unintelligent undead ignore ghouls as if they were not there. They’ll only attack him if he takes an offensive action against them.
‡ This rate of movement is halved through hard packed soil and doubled through soft or freshly disturbed soil.
For Monster Hunters
ST: 21                         HP: 26                        Speed: 6.50
DX: 14                        Will: 11                      Move: 7
IQ: 10                         Per: 14                        Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12                        FP: 12                         SM: 0
Dodge: 9                     Parry: 10                    DR: 4 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: +0
Bite (16): 2d+2 cutting. Reach C.
Claw (16): 2d+2 cutting. Reach C, 1. The ghoul may optionally choose to paralyze their target (see below) if they so desire.
Paralyzing Touch (16): The victim must roll against HT-5 if touched; DR gives a bonus to this roll equal to its level. If the target fails this roll, he is paralyzed for 3 minutes times his margin of failure. The ghoul may also optionally touch a specific hit location to paralyze just that body part.
Traits:  Appearance (Ugly); Bad Smell*; Brotherhood of the Dead†; Doesn’t Breathe (Oxygen Storage, x25); Discriminatory Smell; Disturbing Voice; Flexible; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Infravision; Injury Tolerance (Unliving); Jumper (World; Accessibility, only in graveyards; Limited, Dreamlands; Special Portal, through own dug tunnels; Tunnel); Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms; Needs sample, Must consume a piece of the subject; Onset, 1 minute); Odious Racial Habit (Eats sapient beings); Pestilent; Reduced Consumption 4 (Cast-Iron Stomach); Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Restricted Diet (Human Flesh; Substitution, Animal Flesh, Retching); Silence 2; Temperature Tolerance 4; Tunneling‡ (Slow; 4 yards per minute of progress).
Skills:  Brawling-16; Climbing-15; Stealth-16; Tracking-17.
Notes: Affected by Path of Undead magic; Can interbreed with normal human beings; Half-hoofed feet; Night Vision 5.
* This can be covered up with lots of perfume or disinfectant. The reaction penalty remains the source of it simply changes.
† Unintelligent undead ignore ghouls as if they were not there. They’ll only attack him if he takes an offensive action against them.
‡ This rate of movement is halved through hard packed soil and doubled through soft or freshly disturbed soil.
Ghoul Inhuman Racial Template
200 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST+2 [20]; DX+1 [20]; HT+1 [10].
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: HP+3 [6]; Will+1 [5]; Per+1 [5]; Basic Move+1 [5].
Advantages: Acute Taste and Smell 2 [4]; Claws (Hooves) [3]; Claws (Sharp) [5]; Doesn’t Breathe (Oxygen Storage, x25, -50%) [10]; Flexible [5]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Infravision [10]; Injury Tolerance (Unliving) [20]; Morph (Cannot Memorize Forms, -50%; Needs sample, Must consume a piece of the subject, -20%; Onset, 1 minute, -10%) [20]; Paralyzing Touch* [57]; Reduced Consumption 4 (Cast-Iron Stomach, -50%) [4]; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8) [20]; Silence 2 [10]; Teeth (Sharp) [1]; Temperature Tolerance 4 [4]; Tunneling (Slow; 4 yards per minute of progress) [7].
Perks: Brotherhood of the Dead† [1]; Pestilent [1].
Disadvantages: Appearance (Ugly) [-8]; Bad Smell [-10]‡; Disturbing Voice [-10]; Increased Consumption 1 [-10]; Odious Racial Habit (Eats sapient beings) [-15]; Restricted Diet (Human Flesh; Substitution, Animal Flesh, Retching, -50%) [-10];
Features: Affected by Path of Undead magic; Can interbreed with normal human beings; Half-hoofed feet; Night Vision 5. Use the skills listed under Undeadin the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One champion should be able to handle a one ghoul.
* This is Affliction 2 (Extended Duration, 3x, +20%; Follow-Up, Claws, +0%; Melee-capable, Reach C, Cannot Parry, +5%; Paralysis, +150%; Selective Effect, +20%; Selectivity, +10%, Touch Based, Reversed, -20%) [57].
† Unintelligent undead ignore ghouls as if they were not there. They’ll only attack him if he takes an offensive action against them.
‡ This can be covered up with lots of perfume or disinfectant. The reaction penalty remains the source of it simply changes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Night-Dimmed Day – Part II – Game Session 5

July 3rd 2000, Monday
6:00 pm
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

The PCs get to rest for a couple of hours while the scientists work out the next series of equations, but once they’re finished they get marshaled back up to the Saucer (the main room of the XDG) to find the next piece of the skull.

 

July 3rd 2000, Monday
Unknown
Somewhere in the Mirrorwall

Angelique quickly realizes that they’ve not crossed into the Dreamlands, but into the Mirrorwall (the Astral Plane) a place that is incredibly dangerous to go on purpose, much less end up there on accident. The landscape around them is desolate, being nearly featureless except for a scraggy tree here and there and a dusty cobblestone road cutting through the dustier hills. Angel sends Sergei out to scout on foot and Alex to scout on horseback. While Sergei finds nothing in the wasteland they’ve found themselves, Alex finds an unconscious old man on the cobble stone road. Checking to make sure he’s stabilized, he then takes him back to the others. Far (the medic for the SEAL team), checks on the unconscious man and other than low blood pressure and malnutrition he seems fine. Hachiko tells the others of a building he spotted in the distance and Alex confirms it is not a mirage. The team then make their way to the building with BFG carrying the old man the entire way there.


 

July 3rd 2000, Monday
Unknown
The Hasgimbal Institute Somewhere in the Mirrorwall

When they get close enough to the structure, they realize it is an old sanitarium. At the gates of the massive building they are stopped by guards wearing extremely old Napoleonic uniforms. Eventually a nun and a couple of orderlies come to the gates to take the old man Alex found back inside. The nun, Sister Gretchen, has Angel, Alex, BFG, and Jonathan come with her to see the Mother Superior, but forces them to disarm themselves. Hachiko, Gelar, and the remainder of the SEALs stay outside. She tells them that they may only leave with what they bring and then invites them within. Sergei sneaks in the building by himself at Angel’s orders, but quickly get’s lost as he realizes the building is semi-sentient and actively working against him. Angel and the rest meet Mother Superior Applewood who then offers her the piece of crystal skull shard telling them to take it and go, but Angel mysterious asks for a tour instead (she’d had a vision). Mother Superior agrees and has Gretchen show them around. The rooms of the sanitarium are filled with screaming lunatics, but Alex notices that in one room he sees what appears to be his girlfriend, Sam. Angel then talks Sister Gretchen into letting her go free with them, since she is a doctor and they returned a patient so they should be able to take a patient with them. Sister Gretchen returns them to the entrance way of the building and to a waiting room there while she consults with the leader of her order. Eventually, Sam is brought to them, but Mother Superior brings another woman as well: Abigail Winterbourne, Alex’s aunt and the one who raised him. Realizing Mother Superior has put him into an impossible position he does the only thing he can: he doesn’t make a choice. He gives his Aunt, his Uncles pocketwatch and watches as she disappears, using the eldritch device. This enrages Mother Superior, but Angel and he team push their way out of the building as the walls begin to shake and unearthly screaming can be heard. Sergei tries to kill the nun, but is thrown through a window as a supernatural force protects her. Once outside the team falls back to about halfway as the SEALS rush through the gate and to their aid. Bellowing out of the building like animated smoke is being with hundreds of faces, lmbs, and voices. Angel immediately recognizes it as a Whisperer in the Dark1 and performs a spell to sap some of its spiritual energy. The rest of the team fire into the creature with little to no effect until Hachiko realizes that damaging the building damages it. The majority of the team then distracts it as Sergei, Ecks, and Jon plant bombs on the building itself. Once they go off the creature transforms into a little soot-covered boy clutching a lantern. Mother Superior runs forward screaming for them not to hurt her son. Apparently, the child, Reggie, died after he accidently set the sanitrauim on fire, killing everyone inside. But instead of passing on he drew in the souls of all those who died in the blaze, becoming a Whisperer in the Dark. Far then gives both the boy and his mother last rites and the building and its occupants fade away as they finally cross over to the afterlife. The PCs make their way back to where they started from and Angel telepathically contacts Jessie, who then opens a gateway back to Undisclosed.

 


July 3rd 2000, Monday
11:00 pm
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

Once back into the base the PCs are given enough time to reload their gear and ammo, bath, eat, and are then sent back out. But before they can go to the next location, a portal rips a hole into the space above the Saucer and something is thrown through. A marine screams grenade and jumps atop it before anyone can react, though nothing explodes. Instead it is an old metal flask with a photo of Marie and a ransom note within it. Director Halusko and Colonel Islington fight about handing Marie over to whomever has the crystal, with Marie deciding to do it. Jon comes up with a plan to get the crystal and keep Marie as well and the PCs set off through the gateway, they are joined by both Director Halsuko and Jessie who intend to negotiate.

 

July 3rd 2000, Monday
Unknown
Ulthar, The Dreamlands

Once through the portal they realize they are in Ulthar where no man may harm a cat.  The PCs make their way to the square where a large group of men await them.  Jon and Sergei sneak above the rooftops of Ulthar as they make their way to where the shard lay on the third floor of the Cat’s Grin Inn. Below them a  nameless man with some form of mystical obscurement deals with the PCs, but when he trades the shard for Marie he learns that Angelique had been impersonating the girl all along and a combat breaks out. Above the fight, Sergei and Jon find the shard, but both realize it’s a trap before the chest which contains the fake shard. They flee the room, but are blown off the building thanks to an explosion. Angel uses her telepathy to force one of the Nameless man’s allies to her side (the Russian), telling him to “kill the mage” (Nameless’s mercenary caster). Alex summons a small ice storm creating a frozen slick beneath the feet of the mercenaries, Hachiko then uses a ofuda charm to summon hundreds of chains binding the now prone mercs to the ground. The sorcerer then creates a magic-dampening field. He then begins flinging magical spells left and right, hurting both Jessie and Director Halusko. Jessie quickly dispels the field allowing Angel, Jon, and Sergei attack the mercenary sorcerer despite his large assortment of battle spells. Although they severally hurt him he remains mostly undamaged as his wounds seal back up near instantly. When Jessie dispels the magic on the mage, a conditional spells activates and he disappears. Realizing he won’t get what he wants the Nameless man throws down a smoke bomb and disappears. Realizing they have the shard they go back through the portal. Angel offers the Russian a job, who quickly accepts.

 

July 3rd 2000, Monday
1:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

Once back on the other side, the PCs get to rest before going after the next piece as only two now remain.

 

July 3rd 2000, Monday
2:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake


1 A Whisperer in the Dark is a being composed of multiple spirits that are trapped or working together. These spirits can only be separated forcibly. Created from intense pain on death or other dark emotions and/or trauma they are incredibly difficult to banish or exorcise. The more souls within the creature, the more powerful it is. The one at the Hasgimbal Institute manifested the hospital that was destroyed in creating it and this became a part of its body.