Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Kolchak Files: OSR

Kolchak stats (Yes I'm going to do a short revision, mostly clarifications and slight mod of skills/abilities listed, of the OSR Survival Horror Rules soon) here:

 In the first episode of The Kolchak: the Nightstalker series (1974) Kolchak encounters Jack the Ripper, an immortal serial killer and the most famous un-named serial killing fiend in Western history. In Chicago women are being killed and mutilated, including victims in a go go dance club, a massage parlor, and a woman in an alley, in a manner eerily similar to the original 19th century Ripper killings in London.He also leaves writing in blood on the massage parlor mirror.  Glimpses of the Ripper before he kills show Victorian attire, including a red lined opera cape, and cane with a gold devil-faced handle.

 Cornered by police in a violent rooftop shootout the Ripper shrugs off bullets, leaps off of a four-story building to the street, throws cops around like rag-dolls, leaps over a car, gets hit by a car going 30 mph,  and flees into the darkness to escape. This happens again later in the episode at a construction site, with the Ripper leaping from girder to girder, after the cops try a sting with an undercover female masseur. This time the Ripper leaps up onto an electric fence and is rendered immobile. He is taken into police custody and put in a concrete and steel maximum security cell. However he recovers, knocks the door off the cell and escapes.

A colleague of Kolchak's, reporter Jane Plumm is interviewing potential Rippers as the usual quacks and crazies are coming out of the woodwork to claim responsibility. She gets a hit as she is sent a ripper letter describing things done to a victim the police withheld from the public and news. Added as a PS on the letter is a poem:  Now a pretty girl will die, so Jack will have his kidney pie. This is in reference to the mutilation that the police hid; the kidneys were cut out.

Jane  is getting closer than she thinks as the Ripper is sending her poems, setting her up as a victim. The latest is: Jack is resting be reborn, to finish up on Wednesday morn. Kolchak recognizes this as the same poem as was written on the massage parlor mirror by the real Ripper. Jane however doesn't believe she is in danger and is eager to get the story. This leads her to her doom as she meets with the Ripper in Wilton Park.

As Jane is missing Kolchak contacts her mother and finds a number of locations she was meeting her fake Rippers at. At the mention of Wilton Park Kolchak remembers a letter to the newspaper's advice column from  an elderly lady complaining about her strange neighbor prowling around at night in a 'foolish costume' and 'x-ray eyes' in Wilton Park. This leads Kolchak to an interview with the elderly neighbor and the dilapidated  house at the south end of the park and a confrontation with the Ripper.

Remembering the incident with the electric fence Kochak rigs a trap with power cables from a water hole to the utility box on the Ripper's house. Kolchak breaks in and finds a number of antique items from the Ripper's decades. The Ripper returns and Kolchak hides in a closet. His nerve soon breaks and he flees downstairs, discovering Jane's body. Fleeing outside he connects the cable as the Ripper wades through the water hole after Kolchak. The Ripper is electrocuted and his fried body disintegrates in the water. The utility box overloads and catches fire and the house burns down with almost all of the evidence of the Ripper's existence. The only piece of evidence left to Kolchak is one of the Ripper's shoes salvaged from the fire: a shoe Kolchak has traced to a shoemaker in London who had discontinued the shoe type almost seventy years ago.

Facing charges of arson and malicious mischief Kolchak rips up his story as he laughs knowing no one would believe it.

The Ripper
HD: 5
Hp: 33
AC: 7/12
Attacks: by weapon +1d6 Strength bonus
Save: F5/11
1d6 to unarmed and weapon damage from inhuman Strength. Two attacks per round.
0 damage from normal weapons. He takes full damage from  electricity, fire, or magic.
Immortal: The Ripper can only be permanently killed by electricity.
Regenerate 2 hp per round.
Springheel: The Ripper can leap over objects 10' high and up to 30' distant. Can make a controlled drop from up to 50' and take no damage. If it is an uncontrolled fall he can make a Saving Throw to take half damage from a fall.

Devil-headed sword cane (1d4+1d6)

The Ripper never goes out of his house except at night as noted by Ms. Aginwiley, the nosy neighbor of the Ripper. With the aid of her telescope she also keeps a log of his comings and goings with dates and times coinciding with the new Ripper killings.

He always appears in period Victorian dress and carries his devil-headed cane.
He kills in a pattern. Five women, three individuals leading up to a final night of two victiims and then the Ripper moves on.

What is the origin of the Ripper's condition?
 It is never explained although Kolchak, in conversations with Jane Plumm and a tirade to Police Captain Warren, gives details of his investigations of the Ripper's past. Kolchak believes that each ripper described is the same man, Jack the Ripper, the current Chicago Ripper.
Many instances of rippers have cropped up worldwide over the decades.
Jane describes a ripper that killed five flower girls in Italy.
In 1908 a rIpper identified as Eugene Lang was caught  in New York but escaped in a frenzy. Kolchak believes his frenzied escape was due to the use of the electric chair. He feared itnand knew it would end him.
Five women were killed in Paris in the summer of 1888.
The RIpper was hanged in Germany but survived (Kolchak has a pic of the Ripper he took at the first rooftop police fight showing what is probably a rope burn on the neck.)
On August 14, 1904 a crack Athenian firing squad tried to execute the RIpper three times and failed.

Perhaps the RIpper is cursed, partakes in the ritual murders of five women to attain immortality, has made a deal with the Devil, or some other explanation to gain his abilities.