Friday, August 24, 2018

The Kolchak Files OSR: They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...

Continuing the Kolchak files found:

In the third episode of The Kolchak: the Nightstalker series (1974) Kolchak encounters a creature from possibly beyond space or an even further realm............

From the Night Stalker wiki...
I knew this one was more than the biggest story of my life; it was the biggest story in the lives of everyone on this planet. I fought hard for the story – fought harder than ever before, because I knew it was more than news. Much more. I felt people should know about it so they could be prepared when it happened again. If it's possible to be prepared for something like this…

It began fairly quietly. Lincoln Park Zoo, September 2nd, 5:30am. Shanka, the zoo's prize cheetah, was expecting her morning feeding. It never came.

Amidst a whirl of windblown straw, Shanka the cheetah races crazily about her cage. But that does not save her.

It started for me on a day which is supposed to be one of my happiest - the day of the first game of the first World Series for the Cubs in twenty-nine years. The day began badly.

Ron Updyke is the temporary sports editor. He has prodigious store of baseball lore, but has forgotten something very important to Carl: World Series tickets. It seems two weeks ago Ron had the misfortune of offending Stuffy Padachenko of the Atlanta Amazons, a rollerblading team. Carl reveals that he intervened, discouraging her from further mayhem. Ron immediately promised Carl a World Series ticket, but Carl isn't pleased to discover Ron's has forgotten. A threat to take up where Stuffy left off convinces Ron to part with a ticket.

As Carl prepares to leave, Vincenzo arrives with a story he'll have to give to someone else: the death of a cheetah from the zoo. Carl is convinced Tony has the facts wrong; that story was yesterday, and it was a panther. But Tony says, no, two animals are dead in two days. Carl is hooked and Tony knows it – snatching the wire report, Carl heads for the zoo.

En route, Carl's scratchy ballgame is interrupted by his police scanner: a "Code 5 – Priority – 201 in progress, Raydyne Electronics, Commerce and 24th Street." Detouring, Carl finds police at the scene – someone inside tripped the alarm. Abruptly, some silent explosive force bursts the wall outward and scatters onlookers in all directions. As the stunned witnesses close in, four pallets of lead bars vanish into thin air.

Police Captain Quill tells Carl to disappear and has two officers show him how; as Carl is escorted to his car, he passes a group of officials – important people, for Quill salutes them.

Carl resumes his trip and this time, his poor radio loses the ball game signal to a talk show. A caller is complaining about the Street Department, which has "screwed up" his street, Mariposa Way, by leaving tarry sludge all over his lawn.

At the zoo, Carl gets a picture of the cage, the bars bent inward. On the floor of the cage is some black sludge. The zoo's veterinarian, Dr. Bess Weinstock, tells him this is a "viscid mass", basically, sticky goo, containing a lot of acetone. She believes vandals intended to foul the entire zoo with this but were scared off. Moving on to the topic of recent animal deaths, Carl learns that they all died of heart attacks First a panda, then a leopard, a panther, and finally a cheetah.

Calling the radio show, Carl has no luck learning the location of the irate caller. They claim he never called. And the vet seems disinterested in the sludgy mess from the cheetah's cage. City Hall is no more forthcoming – they claim no record of roadwork on Mariposa Way.

The ballgame continues as Carl pulls into Mariposa Way. There, Carl finds the caller, Alfred Brindle, and learns that an hour after the call, four trucks from the Street Department pulled up. They tried shovels, chemicals, and finally flamethrowers to remove the stuff. Brindle also shows Carl a broken window belonging to his neighbor, Henry Anskeroni. It seems that last night an intruder kicked in the window and snatched a stereo away while Anskeroni was listening to it, but he never saw who it was. The police found the cabinet and chassis in a culvert back of the house but no trace of the electronics. Carl manages to retrieve a small fragment of sludge the Street Department missed.

Elsewhere, Peter Hudson, out on parole and out of money, endangers the first to improve the second: he snatches a woman's purse and races around the corner into an abandoned building. The basement he picks is full of appliances and electronics; Hudson thinks he has hit the jackpot. However, it turns out that entering this particular building was the last mistake Hudson will ever make as the whirlwind force sweeps over him.

Meanwhile, Carl returns to the zoo and the vet with his sample. She is uninterested in comparing the two samples but eventually Carl's cajolery wins her over. She reveals that they are identical. The stuff is a mix of hydrochloric acid, acetone, and bone marrow. All the animals killed at the zoo had puncture marks at the major bone joints and all the marrow had been extracted from their bones. Weinstock believes someone ate the bone marrow, then threw up.

Back at the INS office, Monique helps Carl develop his pictures but they don't show much. Convinced they're trash, she tears up the prints, and Carl orders her to reprint them, then heads to the morgue for a visit with Gordy the Ghoul. Carl wants the autopsy report on the guard who died at Raydyne Electronics. He's about to get it (after some cash changes hands) when in walks Stanley Wedemeyer, the head coroner, forcing Gordy to backpedal. But the coroner seems happy to give Carl the results: subject, Lloyd Relm, male Caucasian, sixty years of age, prior history of myocardial infarction, immediate cause of death, cardiac arrest, other autopsy findings unremarkable. But Gordy is shaking a silent "no", and showing Carl a cassette. Carl wants to look at the body, but Gordy cuts him off – reminding him that's not permitted while secretly passing him the cassette.

Sneaking into a nearby room, Carl slips the cassette into his machine – it's the dictated autopsy, with the real results. Although the history of cardiac problems was real enough, the cause of death – heart attack – was bogus. And of particular interest: marrow was extracted from at least some of the guard's bones.

September 2nd, 10:00pm, Leon VanHeusen, single, ambitious, slightly paranoid. By day a television repairman, by night an observer, a man with a purpose. The author of Mathematico, a universal language that Leon has refined for use in unconventional communication. Unfortunately, on September 2nd at 10:00pm, Leon learned the oldest word in the universal language…

Carl bursts into Captain Quill's press conference and makes himself loved by asking difficult questions about the rumors of puncture marks on the body of the Raydyne guard. Quill dismisses the rumors. And then there are the lead ingots – were they simply misplaced? Quill has no reason to believe otherwise, and when Carl reminds him what they both saw, Quill adroitly maneuvers the conversation so that if Carl recounts his tale, he will seem foolish. Quill reminds the assembled reporters of the importance of responsible journalism, and how one must take care not to unduly alarm the public – or erode one's own credibility. Carl next probes for a link to other thefts of electronic gear; Quill denies knowledge of any connection in a way that again makes Kolchak look foolish. When Quill consults his watch to predict the time of some upcoming arrests, he discovers it has stopped. Carl notices and checks his watch, which has also stopped – at the same time, the time they were at Raydyne Electronics.

Quill and I weren't the only ones with watches that didn't work. Everyone that had been at Raydyne Electronics had the same problem. Question: What would stop seventeen wristwatches at exactly the same time? Answer: An electromagnetic field so strong it might swing a compass needle off true north, to the final truth.

Tony is eating an elaborate dinner (a bet payoff from the editor of the Times), when Carl finds him and begins recounting his fantastic tale. It's a toss up which one kills Tony's appetite: the gruesome deaths or Carl's fantastic assertions. Carl leaves in search of his pictures as some nondescript visitors enter Tony's office. In the records room, Carl discovers that "suits" have intimidated Monique into surrendering his photos. As a disappointed Carl returns to Tony's office, the "suits" are leaving. Tony then mentions that he "doesn't need a UFO story", and Carl leaps on that - he'd never mentioned UFOs to Tony, which tells him the suits must have. Tony's evening meal is now a glass of antacid.

Carl attempts to find out how one might report a UFO sighting to the government and quickly learns there are no longer any agencies for that purpose. They will, however, refer insistent people to a private group. Leon VanHeusen was a member of this group, which consists of private individuals convinced they have encountered alien visitors. VanHeusen called in an "OPUS" – One Person, Unverified Sighting – near Snake Rock. As two members are arguing over the implications of the destructive star Wormwood, Carl eases away.

Carl soon locates VanHeusen's equipment – and the dead VanHeusen. He also finds a recording of VanHeusen's last few seconds, during which he is attempting to talk to something. And Carl's theory about the compass seems to be correct: the needle is errantly swinging. As Carl follows the needle, something that seems to be mostly wind and noise passes him. He follows…

At a planetarium, the projector moves; a guard lies dead nearby, and Reilly, his partner, summons the police. The dials that control the projector turn without anyone visible touching them. Carl's compass has led him to this spot. Entering the observatory, he tries to strike up a conversation with the guard, whom be believes is asleep. Then he realizes the truth and that no one is operating the still-moving projector. Something rises from the console, something that is and isn't there, and yet casts a shadow. The thing moves towards Carl, stirring up a wind, and Carl tries for a picture. As it looms over him, he snaps a shot – and it backs away.

The police arrive and Captain Quill dispatches men to the console to turn on the lights – a disastrous move for the policemen. Carl tries to tell Quill that the light from his camera drove…it…away. He also shares a theory that it is here looking at maps. Carl believes the reason it can't be seen is that it radiates light in a different spectrum – one that human eyes can't perceive. And he further believes that's why his camera stopped it – the light drove it off. Quill begins to buy into this and takes the theory to the government men.

Emerging, Kolchak finds the police in disarray. The lights just irritated the thing, and the light truck is now in flames. But if not the light, what? Quill threatens Carl's career, but the police are regrouping and Carl sneaks away in the confusion.

Returning to the planetarium, Carl takes a few more photos, and realizes that when it recharges, his camera emits a high-pitched whine. He shares the theory with Quill who isn't interested any more. And Quill warns him: he'll be dealt with "at a higher level". Leaving Carl, Quill drives off.

Carl continues to follow his compass. Soon enough, the instrument begins to spin madly, eventually shattering its glass. Wandering nearby, he stumbles upon an alien vehicle, like a metal hut with a hatch, resting on the ground. It's real; he can touch it. But the door does not yield to his strength. Then the owner returns, whirling the leaves and swirling the air. It advances on Carl, but the whine of his camera seems to drive it off. It enters the vehicle, which noiselessly disappears.

They tried to make a little park out of the woods near Snake Rock: daffodils, tulips. But they couldn't get anything to grow. There was an area shaped like a saucer at the bottom. If you want to see it, you'll have to hurry. Our park commission decided overnight to do extensive reclamation work in that particular spot. They're filling it in with concrete.

What happened? It's all a point of view, really. A traveler has a breakdown, stops to fix it, get a bite to eat… it's happened to all of us. This traveler happened to be light-years off his course, instead of miles. As for me? Well, I haven't heard from the boys in the sedan. Yet.

The Suits
Throughout the episode a group of operatives above the authority of the police are shown. They are first seen after the mess at Raydyne Electronics, a group of grey and black suited men in a nondescript sedan. Captain Quill talks to them briefly and salutes them.

Later at the witness Alfred Brindle's place four trucks supposedly from the Street Department showed up merely an hour after Brindle called and complained to the radio talk show. The cleanup trucks tried shovels, chemicals, and finally flamethrowers to remove the tarry substance. Flamethrowers. That's a well prepared FOUR 'Street Department' trucks.

The 'Suits' as Kolchak calls them, show up at the INS offices and confiscate the photos Carl has taken of the lead ingots, the zoo photos, and Brindle's lawn. Carl heads to Tony's office as the 'suits' are leaving and Tony let's slip the term UFO causing Kolchak to realize the Suits must have talked to Tony as Carl never mentioned UFO. This shows how much this government entity is aware of Kolchak. Perhaps they keep regular tabs on him? Possible spies at INS?

Finally, after the planetarium debacle, Quill warns him: he'll be dealt with "at a higher level." After the departing of the ship Carl notes the Suits haven’t contacted him yet. If they learn about the last set of photos he took, they probably will sooner or later.

This won't be the first time a cover up is mentioned in the series, both government and corporate. The Suits could be a fantastic foil in game.

The Traveler
The creature, the Traveler, remains a mystery. Is it from another planet? Another dimension?
What we do know is that it is either material or can become material at times.. Its presence can cause strong winds and it physically feeds on the bone marrow of animals and men and exudes a tarry waste substance. It is invisible to the human eye. Its movement appears to be a form of levitation or low flight. It seems capable of causing a silent explosion that affects objects and beings in its vicinity (cage bars at the zoo, the wall at the radio store, etc. Its presence or the use of the silent explosion also seems to mess with smaller electronics as well as compasses, perhaps an electromagnetic interference.  Its presence  seems capable of causing a form of confusion and potential panic in creatures, due again to possible electromagnetic interference in their brains. It seems to be able to teleport objects (two tons of lead) and probably itself. It apparently has a vulnerability or fear of certain sound frequencies such as the whine of Kolchak's battery recharge in his camera. It is technologically advanced as it travels in a small UFO and steals electronics and lead from all across Chicago to apparently repair and possibly fuel the ship.

The Traveler
Hd 5
Hp 40
Ac 6/13
Save F5/11
Move: 150'/50'
The creature is a dimensional traveler who has been trapped in our dimension due to a malfunctioning ship. Hungry and in need of parts and fuel it entered the city and began to gather what it needed to survive and escape back to its home dimension.

The Traveler is immaterial and invisible to the naked human eye in its normal state as it mostly exists outside of our realm. Although invisible to us it does cast a shadow and certain filters may allow it to be fully seen. It is a floating mass of cape-like proto-flesh with dozens of small ropy tentacles tipped with barbs emerging from beneath the 'cape.' It floats along no more than 10' above the ground and is capable of floating up solid walls to rooftops and hovering near a ceiling.

It can become material to interact with our world and feed but doing so creates high winds and causes those who are within 30' of it to make a Saving throw or feel panic or fear. NPC's must roll a 1d6 if they fail the Saving throw.
1-3 results in the NPC capable of staying within the vicinity of the Traveler  but with a -4/20% to all actions.
4-5 results in the NPC fleeing from the Traveler as fast as they can.
6 results in the NPC incapable of any action or flight until the Traveler leaves.

The Traveler's tentacle barbs are capable of piercing larger bones and sucking bone marrow out. This leaves tell tale piercing wounds at the larger bone joints. The Traveler then swiftly breaks down the marrow and extrudes a black tarry mass of hydrochloric acid, acetone, and digested marrow. The Traveler must feed on the marrow of one living mammal per night or starve. The animal must be at least the size of a mid-size dog to fill it. If it does not feed it will lose one hit dice per day without. It can regain these hit dice by feeding on extra victims. One extra regains one hit dice until it is full again.

The Traveler is also capable of causing a small inter-dimensional anomaly around itself resulting in what appears to be a silent explosion of invisible force. The Traveler and anything within a 20' diameter zone centered on the Traveler are protected but anything else from 20'+ to 50' from the Traveler are caught in the anomaly and violently thrown outward and bursting apart if anchored to place such as a brick wall or cage bars. Men and objects not anchored will go flying. Everything in this zone takes 2d6 damage from the silent blast. It can use this ability twice per day.

It also has the ability to teleport itself and anything it chooses in within a 20' diameter zone of its location three times per day. The range of this teleportion is to any location the Traveler has been to previously.

The Traveler cannot be physically harmed in it's immaterial state. When it is material it is not vulnerable to attacks such as bullets or other physical trauma. It may be vulnerable to electrical or sonic damage in this state. Certain frequencies of sound such as the whine of Kolchak's battery recharge in his camera will force it to retreat from the source of the sound. Other vulnerabilities may exist.

The Traveler is far, far beyond us in technological It is capable of using our technology and electronics to repair its dimensional ship and who knows what other devices.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dave's OSR/Classic D&D Adventures, Mini-Settings, etc

I've collected all of the adventures, mini-adventures, sandboxes, etc and placed their links on a page for convenience.  Right HERE.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dr. Theophilus' Traveling Show. A Classic/OSR Murder Circus

I had an urge a while back to build a circus. A shady circus. A murder circus.
This is that attempt.

I think I've left it generic enough to be included without trouble into a variety of genres; fantasy, horror, western, 1920's, etc.

Dr. Theophilus' Traveling Show
The Traveling Show pulls up near a town or village. The head of the circus/ringmaster Dr. Theophilus and the strongman Brunaldi enters town to find the local authority. They will ask permission to camp and put on their shows, sweetening the deal for the local authority by offering bribes and a possible cut of profits.

Once the proper amount is negotiated (or enforced with charm magics) the bright yet shabby tents go up, banners fly, animals are groomed, food stands are fired up, the freaks and performers are prepared, and fliers are handed out by clowns and acrobats. Tickets are available at the booth and the show begins!

While this is happening agents of the Circus will enter the town and find prime locations to rob. They will quietly do so.  If seen committing a crime they will ruthlessly kill any witnesess. If anyone in authority challenges the Circus after this, or demands more bribe money,  they will be killed with impunity and the Circus will travel on, gating to another place far, far away thanks to the dimensional device in Dr. Theophilus' wagon. Sometimes the performers and freaks give into their dark nature, desires, and frustrations and atendees will turn up missing, mutilated, or dead in the wake of the Traveling Show.

Dr. Alphonsus Theophilus, 48, LE
Conman, magician, and all around shady character. Theophilus is a traveler from another dimension lost in reality. Stranded in his current universe he is obsessed with gathering wealth and magics to find his way back to his home dimension. He heads the Traveling Show and uses its potential for profit, information gathering, and robbery to finance and aid in his dream. He will sacrifice anyone or anything not useful to his quest. He retains the broken dimensional gate device which brought him to this realm. It still functions to open a temporary gate from location to location in this reality, with restrictions. He retains strict control over the behavior of his 'employees' but has to occasionally let their darker natures out or risk rebellion and loss of valuable attractions. He has also grown concerned with the presence of the frighteningly unnatural Boppo the King Clown but has so far kept his composure and avoided confrontations.
Magic User- 5
Hp 15
Ac 7/12 (+2 Ring of Protection)
Save Mu 5/11
Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 15
Spells: Dr. Theophilus favors the following spells.
1st: Charm Person, Detect Magic, Protection from Evil,  Read Languages,  Read Magic, Sleep
2nd: ESP, Invisibility, Locate Object, Phantasmal Force
3rd: Hold Person, Lightening Bolt
Potions: Extra healing, Gaseus form
Ring of protection +2
Wand of Detecting Magic, 20', 11 charges
Pistol (1d8), whip (1d2, 10' reach)
Ringmaster hat, clothing

The Gate Device
This collection of whirring gears, smoked mirrors, and cracked crystals fits in a 4'x4' cube. It can be used to open a gate from its current location to a point up to 555 miles distant. The device will allow anyone with spell-casting abilities (spells) scry a safe location and open the gate. It will stay open for one full turn and is large enough to drive a loaded circus wagon through. It can be used once every 24 hours.

Brunaldi the Stongman, 36, NE
Brunaldi is large, bald, mustachioed, and tattooed. He spends his time performing feats of strength and boxing challengers after hours. He is the second in command of Dr Theophilus. Brunaldi is always looking for a way to make himself more valuable to his master and will betray other members of the Circus to put himself in a better position with Theophilus. He is watching Magda the knife-thrower carefully as she has become squeamish with killings.
Hd 5
Hp 34
Ac 8/12 (leather)
Save F5/10
Str 18, Con 18
Unarmed: +2 extra bonus to hit, 1d3 + 3 damage, two attacks per round
Axe (1d8+3 dmg)
knife (1d4+3 dmg)
Thick leather vest, bracers, wide belt

Sabre-Fist, 30's, LE
Sabre-Fist falls into the category of both performer and freak. The son of a famous mercenary he lost his hands in an accident as a child. His father strapped blades on his stumps instead of prosthetic hands and continued to train him. Sabre grew up to be a lethal mercenary and assassin with his trademark blades, now implanted into his arms. His ego allows him enjoys the lifestyle of the Circus; performing tricks for the crowds and defeating challengers to show his skill, but his true passion in life is the perfection of his fighting skills. Women, drink, money, none holds his interest.  He has entertained the idea of fighting Boppo the King Clown; he's seen what the sinister clown can do with his maul, but to his shame is afraid of the King of Clowns. He loathes this cowardice and loathes to take orders from those he considers his lessers and  is vying for Brunaldi's position as second in command and this can cause friction between the two. He is attended by a young mute named Minerva (Hd 1) who attends to his personal cares due to his lack of hands.
Hd 5
Hp 37
Ac  3/16
Save F5/10
Str 16, Dex 18, Int 13
Dual weapon attack (no penalty) or parry with one for a +2 Ac bonus.
Implanted forearm blades (1d6+2), +1 bonus to Initiative: the implanted blades give him a quickness advantage.
Chainmail armor, clothing, boots, leather hood and mask

Magda Cordalena the Mistress of the Knives, 31, N
Magda is of Gypsy (Vistani, etc) blood and is an exotic beauty with black hair and eyes. She is a skilled knife thrower and performer and has found a place for her skills performing. She stays with the Circus for a cut of the profits but she is bothered by killings and disappearances caused by the others. She remains out of fear of Dr. Theophilus' magics and of Brunaldi's watching eyes. She is terrified of Boppo the King Clown and avoids him and his clowns when possible, often hissing at his clown's to get out of her way. If the Circus is destroyed she will run far and fast from the remains.
Hd 3
Hp 18
Ac 4/15 (leather armor)
Save Th3/12
Dex 18, Int 13, Cha 16
+2 extra bonus to hit with throwing bladed weapons.
Can attack four times per round with throwing bladed weapons (no penalty).
Pick Pockets/Sleight of Hand (70%)
Knives (1d4), darts/razor cards/razor blades (1d2)
Leather armor, clothing, boots

Aluwiscious Doyle the "Magnificent Flame Tongue", 27, NE
A mean, skinny, burn-scarred man dressed in bright yellow and red tones with hair dyed a shocking red. Doyle is a pyromaniac and will burn anything around him that he can get away with. His favorite tactic of attack is to approach a victim from behind and spit a stream of fire on him. Evil little bastard. He is held on a tight leash by Dr. Theophilus and Brunaldi but will be turned loose for maximum carnage when required.
Hd 4
Hp 18
Ac 7/12
Save F4/11
Dex 16, Wis 13
Firebreather: Ranged attack, stream of fire 15' long, 2d6 damage first round/ continues to burn for 1d6 in the 2nd round, Save for half damage. One an attack roll of one: 1 or 2 on a 1d6 chance to light self on fire for damage.
Burning brands (1d4 fire damage)
Fiery bottles: Ranged, 30' range, 15' splash area, 2d6 first round/1d6 2nd round, Save for half damage
Gaudy clothing

Jessup, the Archer, 38, LE
Jessup is a skilled bowman, a natural hunter, and showman. His past is a mystery to the rest of the circus. Jessup is an assumed name. He is wanted far away for the murder of his brother and sister-in-law in a fit of passionate jealousy and rage. His number one priority is his safety and separation from his former identity. If either is challenged he will attempt to kill the threatening person on the spot and preferably hide the body in the woods. He is paid well by Dr. Theophilus and doesn't mind using his skills to murder for his master. He holds himself above looting, rape, and other practices he considers barbaric. If a particularly lucky or skilled opponent gives him a good fight or chase he may let them escape as long as they do not know his secrets.
Hd 4
Hp 30
Ac 6/14 (leather)
Save F4/11
Str 16, Dex, 17, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 15
+2 extra bonus to hit with bow attacks
One extra bow attack per round
Ranged sneak attack, +4 hit/x2 damage if victim unaware
Move Silently/ Hide in Shadows (65% outdoors, 33% in non-natural settings)
Track and Survival (60%)
Bow and arrows.
Dagger (1d4+2)
Black leather armor, black clothing, boots, belts

The Amazing Vardowski, 45
Vardowski is a Psychic (see Mentalist HERE) of some skill and little self control. Dr. Theophilus keeps him as Vardowski's ESP abilities are of great value in finding marks for robbery and other secrets of value. He drinks heavily to calm his nerves and help prevent him from unleashing his powers when angered or frustrated. When this happens he often unleashes his Frightening Aura ability to force others to leave him alone. He does not have the will nor motivation to escape from Dr. Theophilus' influence. His nerves are fragile and he lives in constant fear of himself and the others. If given the opportunity to escape he will simply return to his wagon and get drunk. If he runs into Boppo the Clown he loses all composure, screaming and foaming at the mouth til he can escape to his wagon, bar the doors, and pacify himself with drink and drugs if he has any. He will never discuss Boppo if asked.
Hd 4
Hp 13
Ac 9/10
Save Mu4/12(Two bonus vs Magic and Mental)
Dex 17, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 15
Frightening Aura (2 per day, 30', Saving throw -1 penalty or leave his presence for four minutes)
Charm Person, Silence 15' (1 per day)
ESP ( 3 per day)
Lots of whiskey or other strong drink
A few doses of depressant drugs
Shabby suit, tarot cards, fake crystal ball

The Forever Man, 40's, CN
The Star of the Freak show. He was found by the Traveling Show on a blood-soaked battlefield, curled up naked and bathed in blood. His mind was gone. Jessup the Archer fired an arrow into his chest to put him out of his misery. When the Archer retrieved his arrow the Forever Man came back to life. He was immediately chained in a wagon. He is utilized as a geek, eating live chickens and rodents, much to the horror of the Circus attendees. At the after hours show, in a closed and guarded tent, patrons can pay a large amount of coin to torture and even kill him for their amusement. He never stays dead long. A filthy skinny hairless man dressed in rags and chained by the neck. If freed he will attack the nearest person (even the one who freed him) and attempt to strangle that person to death. He will then eat their corpse if allowed.
Hd 2
Hp 8
Ac  9/10
Save F2/14
Int 3, Wis 3, Chs 3
Regenerate: 3 hit points per round, even after death, all damage.
Strangle: if the Forever Man attacks and scores a hit he automatically strangles his victim for 1d6 damage per round unless the victim makes a Strength check with a four penalty to break free.

"The Merman"
Otto, 47, Deep One Hybrid, LE
Otto is a gangly tall mess with a pot belly, protruding eyes, fishy lips and skin, and lanky hair. His hands and feet are webbed. He is content to spend most of his time in his tank and talk shit to passerby's. He will occasionally sneak out at night, unable to stop the call of his lineage, to forcibly pass on his genes to some poor victim. When the Circus does devolve to chaos and murder he will happily join in to vent his evil nature.
Hd 3
Hp 18
Ac 7/12
Save F3/12
Str 17, Con 13, Chs 5
Darkvision 30'
Small claws (1d4+2)
Swim 150'/50'
Dirty fish tank, shabby clothes for his out of tank expeditions

Boppo the King Clown, ?, CE
Boppo is the head clown and a mystery to the others. Dr. Theophilus and the others truly cannot remember when he joined the Circus. They merely have a shadow of a feeling that he joined on at some point and something is dreadfully wrong. He is a silent, sinister force in the Traveling show, always in the background and directing the clowns until he makes his presence known on the mid-way or in the ring with tricks and pratfalls, appearing as a jolly if large clown. When his true nature is revealed, smile dropped and dead flat eyes staring, he becomes terrifying parody of himself to those who behold him.  The other performers avoid him when possible and theorize he is a Boogey-man and Theophilus remains silent on the issue. Boppo does as he is asked, accepts no pay, and has thus far not interfered with Theophilus' business.
Hd 6
Hp 40
Ac 5/14
Save Th6/10 (Two bonus vs Poisons)
Str 16, Dex 15, Int 17, Wis 15, Cha 14
Backstab, +4 hit/x3 damage
Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Pick Pockets/Sleight of Hand (75%)
Maniacal Fury (2 melee attacks per round)
Maniacal Rage (all melee and unarmed damage is one dice higher damage)
Panic (When Boppo drops his smile and shows his true nature those who see his face must make a Saving Throw or all attacks against Boppo are at a -2 to hit. Many will flee for their lives. This is in effect until the victims elude Boppo or honestly believe they have given him the slip.)
Tough (2 point AC and Save vs Poison bonuses)
Items (with Boppo's Maniacal Rage ability):
Clown clothes, makeup, trick items
Garrote (1d4+2)
Knife, Hammer, etc.  (1d6+2)
Two-handed maul (1d10+2)

Boppo's Clowns, N
Minions of Boppo the Clown they appear as ordinary clowns in makeup. They perform normal clown duties: entering town to pass out fliers, entertain at the mid-way, etc. They appear perfectly normal until called by Boppo to serve his bidding. Smiles fade, eyes glaze into a sinister stare, and they become cult-like in their docility towards the King Clown. They will obey orders from Dr. Theophilus (thus far) but if other performers give then orders they will look to Boppo for permission.
Hd 1
Hp 7
Ac 8/11
Save F1/14
Backstab, +4 hit/x2 damage
Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Pick Pockets/Sleight of Hand (60%)
Clown clothes, makeup, joke and trick items
Knife, hammer, etc.  (1d4)

The Incredible Grimwaldos, N
A small family of circus acrobats and thieves loyal to Dr. Theophilus. Members of the troupe sneak out during performances to rob prime locations or lead the way for others in the Show. If things turn bloody they will hide until the carnage passes. They have no stomach for blood but will defend themselves if attacked.
Hd 2
Hp 10
Ac 6/13
Save Th2/14
Backstab, +4 hit/x2 damage
Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Open Lock, Pick Pockets/Sleight of Hand (55%)
Climb Walls/Acrobatics (95%)
Performance clothes, lock picks, climb gear, rope, etc
Knife, club, etc.  (1d4)

A number of young roustabouts travel with the circus to aid in manual labor or act as assistants in shows. Dr. Theophilus will target troubled youths, runaways, etc with his personal charms and sometimes magic to fill the labor ranks. They mostly keep their mouths shut as they like the pay, food, shelter, and travel. Occasionally one will cause too much trouble or ask too many questions and disappear. They are written off by the others as breaking the Circus code of silence. They are usually 1 Hit Dice NPC's although some may have special abilities such as limited Thief skills, etc.

Feats of Skill
Tricks (Mundane, Magic, or Mental)
Animals ( a few thin monkeys, apes, a tiger, and many snakes and reptiles)
Elixirs and Poultices

After Hours
Bawdy Show (acrobats and performer assistants)
Boxing with Brunaldi
Sword fighting with Sabre Fist
Torture the Forever Man

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hell Camp: An OSR Survival Horror Scenario

This scenario was written using my OSR Survival Horror rules. It involves stranded travelers seeking shelter from an unnatural storm at a summer camp and trying to survive the night. It ran very smoothly and with the situation the PC's are in, packed in with a variety of NPC's, it wasn't hard to achieve a state of paranoia from the players.

If this interests you check out my other Survival Horror bits:
House of Darkness: An  Evil in a small town adventure
Run Piggy, Run: Backwoods horror mini-setting
Dawn of the Dead (1978): A mini-setting/funnel with movie characters and maps
The Thing (1982): The stats
The Thing: Outpost 31 and personnel

The forested hills near Red Lake Summer Camp
Late Fall, 198_

The players are travelers on a bus on the nearby back road.
The camp is closed for the fall and the old caretaker has begun winter preparations.
Nearby a group of young hikers have set up a party camp in the forest.

An early and massive blizzard hits the area. Snow and ice piles up as the roads are blowing closed.
The caretaker takes shelter in his cabin.
The hikers head towards the summer camp seeking cover.
Something crosses the snowy road and the bus wrecks into a ditch.

What's Going On
The blizzard is a complete anomaly coming out of nowhere on weather radar and blanketing an area of forty miles. Weathermen are going nuts trying to explain this one. They won't be able to, not really, because a Greater Wendigo has come down south. It's hungry, it's looking for fresh meat and fear  to feed on. Once it has sated its hunger it will retreat back up north.

The Bus
The adventure begins with the players on the wrecked bus.
Before the wreck several cars were seen off the road in the deepening snow but had no passengers.

The snow is falling heavy, the wind is rising, and the temperature is rapidly falling. A few of the passengers were injured in the wreck but have been attended to by Eli the paramedic and Sammy the firefighter (and possibly the PC's.)

The slide into the ditch broke several windows on the bus and killed the engine. Diesel and oil is draining into the ditch. There is no heat and with the temperature is falling fast if they stay here they will freeze. If the bus is equipped with a cb radio it will not be able to broadcast within the storm.

Bob the bus driver has driven this route many times and is aware that the summer camp is nearby. They passed the sign for its turnoff before the wreck.

What's on the Bus?
Passenger luggage and personal items.
2 tire irons
2 spare tires
12 road flares (15 minutes)
2 first aid kits
small tool repair kit
Cb Radio (the blizzard is blocking transmission and reception)

Night will be falling within a few hours. Their only chance of surviving the night is to move through the mile and a half of woods towards the summer camp for shelter.

Burning Stuff on the Bus
Very little is available. Seats, cushions, clothes, etc can be used as fuel but will burn up quickly. There's not enough diesel or oil in the bus to maintain warmth for long, too much has drained away into the drainage ditch..

NPC's Aboard the Bus
Bob Sanderson, 48, bus driver
Bob is a good guy. A devout Catholic and divorced father of two. He is responsible for his passengers and will not be willing to leave one behind if he can help it. His knee was sprained in the wreck and he can only move at a rate of 90'/30'.
Jackie Winslow, 36, used car salesman
Jackie is a bit of a sleaze who hits on all the women. He is out for himself and will do what it takes to see that he survives. He bashed his head on a window and lost a few hit points but is otherwise okay.
Eli Brooks, 31, paramedic
Eli is travelling the country on vacation from his native California. A professional paramedic he is level headed and cool in emergencies. He was uninjured.
Kaye Jones, 26, waitress
Kaye is in between jobs and heading back to her hometown to live with her sister. Having run away from home and on her own since she was 17 she doesn't frighten easily and can take care of herself in most situations. She was uninjured.
Sammy Morales, 27, fireman
Sammy is a professional firefighter in St. Louis. He is travelling to visit his parents. Like Eli he is good in an emergency and has nerves of steel. Sammy was thrown around and lost a few hit points but otherwise is fine.
William Prior, 18, punk
William is a punk rocker wannabe who likes to go by the name Nails. He has been in trouble a lot because of his mouth and attitude and a judge ordered him out of the state. He is on a road to nowhere. He broke his left hand falling out of his seat and cannot use it for anything.

Bob Sanderson, 48, bus driver
Hd 2
Hp 10 (currently 5)
Ac 10
Hit +2 melee, +1 ranged
Save 14
Special His knee was sprained in the wreck and he can only move at a rate of 90'/30'
Str 13, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 13
Drive +2
Drive, Heavy +3
Notice +2
Persuasion +1
Psychology +2
Repair +2
Club (1d4+1) Pocket knife (1d3+1)

Jackie Winslow, 36, used car salesman
Hd 2
Hp 8 (currently 6)
Ac 11
Hit +1 melee, +2 ranged
Save 14
Dex 13, Int 14, Wis 13, Chs 15
Accounting +1
Appraisal +2
Business +1
Notice +2
Persuasion +3
Psychology +3

Eli Brooks, 31, paramedic
Hd 2
Hp 10
Ac 10
Hit +2 melee, +1 ranged
Save 14
Str 13, Int 1, Wis 13, Chs 14
Driving +1
City Knowledge (choose) +2
Medicine +2
Notice +2
Persuasion +2
Pharmacology +1
Psychology +2

Kaye Jones, 26, waitress
Hd 2
Hp 8
Ac 11
Hit +1 melee, +2 ranged
Save 14
Dex 13, Int 13, Chs 15
Acting +3
Hear Noise (1-2/1d6)
Notice +2
Persuasion +3
Psychology +2
Sneak +1

Sammy Morales, 27, fireman
Hd 2
Hp 12 (currently 10)
Ac 11
Hit +3
Save 14
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 1, Int 13, Wis 13
+1 to Hit
Climb +2
Drive +1
Drive, Heavy +1
Medicine +1
Notice +2
Persuasion +1
Repair +2

William Prior, 18, punk
Hd 2
Hp 9 (currently 5)
Ac 12
Hit +3
Save 14
Special: Left hand is broken and useless
Str 15, Dex 13, Wis 12, Chs 13
+1 to AC
+1 to Hit
Drive +1
Notice +2
Security +1
Sleight +1
Sneak +2

The Woods
The road is a mile and a half through light woods to the edge of the summer camp.
The wind and snow have cut visibility down to a few feet at times. The group of survivors are far enough away from the Wendigo that they will only take cold damage of 1d6 hit points for each hour they are in the snow. If they are wrapped up in coats and other materials scavenged in the bus they can try a Constitution/Stamina or a Survival check for half damage each hour.

During the worst of the wind and visibility issues three of the NPC passengers will disappear. With the wind and snow they become separated and lost before anyone can notice. The wind is howling too loudly for the separated group to shout to find their locations.
The party stumbles onto a frozen corpse of a moose half hidden in the snow. It is frozen solid.  Anyone checking the corpse can roll a successful Intelligence check to realize, under the snow,  part of the moose is shattered as if dropped frozen from a great height.
Occasionally, barely through the wind, there is a faint noise as if someone is screaming above, from a great height.
A small pack of three feral dogs, mad from the cold and the hunger of a poor hunting week, will stalk and attack the party out of desperation. The mad dogs will target the wounded to drag off first and will fight to the death.

Survival rolls to determine location are impossible with the heavy snow and unfamiliar woods. The party will spend 2+1d2 hours in the storm before the stumble onto the camp trail near Ed the caretaker's cabin.

The Hikers
Two college dudes have dragged their high school girlfriends and one's cousin out into the woods for a weekend of campfires, beer, drugs, and sex. Like everyone else they were completely caught off guard by the violent storm. Brian and Jason spent time at the camp as kids and know where it is. They headed through the snow with the girls. Halfway to the camp they were attacked by a 'maniac' who ran out of the storm. They managed to beat him down with their walking sticks and flee into the storm. Bunny was badly bitten on her left forearm before they escaped. They arrived at the camp before the PC's party and Ed the caretaker has let them into his cabin.

Brian McMasters, 19
Brian is a loud-mouthed douche-bag. He will puff out his chest and try to take charge of any situation no matter how unqualified he is for the lead role. He's even worse when Bunny is around, jealously guarding her from all other guys. He is a coward at heart.
Jason Wilderson, 19
Brian's college bro and 2nd douche-bag extraordinaire. He's only along to get in Riley's pants and party. Always has a smart ass remark.
Bunny Liston, 18
Stereotype dumb blonde millennial. She can't live without a phone signal and was talked into the trip with the promise of a few mild party drugs. She was bitten by the 'wild man' roaming in the woods while lost in the snow.
Riley Olson, 17
Bunny's bestie and fellow airhead. She's slightly interested in Jason and way more interested in his beer and dope. Morgan is her cousin and she invited her along because she's insecure and wanted someone younger than her for the others to pick on.
Morgan Olson, 16
Morgan is Riley's brainy cousin. She is a fifth wheel that was invited by Riley and is often the target of Brian and Bunny's scorn and jokes. Her mother thought it would be a good idea to get off of her computer and gets some fresh air for the weekend.

Brian and Jason
Hd 1
Hp 8
Ac 11
Hit +2
Save 15
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 13, Chs 13
Boat +1
Climb +1
Drive +1
Notice +1
Persuasion +2
Repair +2
Sneak +1
Swim +1

Bunny and Riley
Hd 1
Hp 5
Ac 12
Hit +1 melee, +2 range
Save 15
Dex 15, Chs 15
+1 Ac
Acting +2
Notice +1
Pschology +1
Persuasion +3
Sneak +1
Swim +1

Hd 1
Hp 5
Ac 10
Hit +1
Save 15
Int 15, Wis 13, Chs 13
Computers +2
Notie +1
Persuasion +1
Psychology +2
Research +2
Sneak +1
Swim +1

Camp Red Lake
The camp is a small private summer camp for richer kids in the area.

Red Lake
The Lake is man-made and fairly shallow near the shore. It drops off quickly to a depth averaging twenty feet. The island rises like a pillar from the lake bottom.

The camp trails are of gravel covered dirt. There are water fountains set at the begining of each trail.
Several natural hiking trails lead into the surrounding forests.

Locked doors
Each building has a standard door lock for the summer season and is padlocked shut as an extra precaution against animals and trespassers in the off seasons.

Archery Range
The Archery range contains a short indoor range for young campers and targets that can be set up outside. It also has the camp's supply of bows and arrows.
Ten bows
44 arrows
Two first aid kits
Fire extinguisher

Two row boats, 8 oars, and four kayaks, 6 oars
12 life vests, rope, etc
Two first aid kits
Fire extinguisher

Two boating docks come off of the island in Red Lake and the Boathouse. A swimming dock lies on the shore not far from the Counselor's Cabin.

The Island
The small island has a boating dock and a large firepit area.

Storage Barn
Camping supplies (tents, canteens, etc)
Lawn care (lawn chemicals, tools, riding and push mowers, grass seed, etc)
Sports (kickballs, basketballs, baseball gear, nets, golf gear, tennis gear, lawn darts)
Other (blankets, t-shirts, spare clothing and shoes, pillows, etc)

Two offices and file storage
Matches, flares, etc all locked in a cabinet
Large first aid bag, smaller kits
Fire extinguisher

Dining Hall
Dishes, utensils, plates, bowls, cooking pots, etc
Benches, tables, chairs
Stoves, ranges, ventilation unuits, refrigerated Unit and generator (currently off with no gas), sink
Pantry (currently canned and dry goods only)
Three first aid kits
Two large fire extinguishers

Counselor's Cabin
This large cabin is split into two barracks. The men's barrack is on the north and the women's on the south. Being connected shenanigans often ensue.
Bunk beds, card tables, lounge chairs, folding chairs, dressers, etc
Each room also has a writing desk, typewriter, and file cabinet
Clipboards and whistles are everywhere.
Spare blankets, sheets, etc
Two first aid kits
A fire extinguisher in each barrack
A spy hole is drilled into the middle wall
A can of bug spray sits on the men's writing desk
A small bottle of whiske is hidden in the women's barrack

Outside the women's barrack is a small toilet and shower building. A drinking fountain stands near here.

Boys and Girls Cabins
These two cabins are identical in build.
Bunks, blankets, sheets, pillows, etc
Toilet paper, bug spray, and other items in cabinets
Two first aid kits
Fire extinguisher

The Caretaker's Cabin
Ed Barlow, 57, caretaker
Ed has been the caretaker at the camp for ten years now. He maintains it year round. He's a bit rough around the edges from living alone in the woods for years. He's quick with a flashlight and a shotgun.
He has a pickup truck but it is buried currentlly drifted in by snow.

He has never seen a storm this large and bitterly cold this early in the year. Something feels wrong on the wind and he swears he is seeing something large moving through the woods in the storm.

The half frozen kids took him off guard but he quickly brought them inside his cabin and helped tend their wounds. When the PC's party shows up he will question them thoroughly before letting them in.

At the first sign of supernatural trouble ( most likely a Lesser Wendigo ) Ed will call for the PC's and NPC's to help him board up the windows and doors.

Living room
black and white rabbit ear tv
couch, chair
music radio
books on shelf
crucifix on wall
knick nacks and assorted junk
double barrel shotgun with 26 buckshot shells
Bed room
single bed
dresser and drawers
nightstand with medicine and books
clothes strewn about
cleaning supplies
stand up shower
3 spare winter jackets and 2 sets of boots
fall clothing
summer clothing
spare blankets
box of pictures
closet junk
Dining room
dining room table
six chairs
junk cabinets
two way radio, headphones, stand (antenna runs to roof)
kitchen cabinets, dishes, food
knives, utensils, matches, etc.
Store room
several days of food, water, beer
barrels and boxes
chainsaw, two gallons gasoline
large freezer with meat and food
20 gallons gasoline
large tools
garden hoses, basement junk
large woodpile
rusty truck

Ed Barlow
Hd 2
Hp 9
Ac 12
Hit +3
Save 14
Str 13, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 13
Boat +1
Drive +1
Notice +1
Psychology +2
Repair +2
Survival +3
Track +2

Bunny's bite: Bunny may or may not be infected with the Wendigo virus if such a thing exists in the GM's version of this.
Frozen body bombs: Passengers who were snatched away and other travelers. Their frozen corpses explode as they are dropped from on high, destroying the engine of Ed's truck and possibly shattering a hole in the cabin roof.
Lesser Wendigo: Passengers from the bus or other traveler's changed and assaulting the cabin. There will be footsteps on the cabin roof, Ed's radio antenna and wires into the cabin will be ripped out, windows will be broken and survivor's will be grabbed, break through the stone cellar to attack from below, etc
Who's going to make a deal with the Wendigo? Pc's who do will change and attack. The GM can turn them into NPC's or let them play the monsters.

Greater Wendigo
Hd 15
Hp 66
Ac 5/14
Attacks: 2, bite or claw (2d6)
Save  5/ F15
Move 150(50) land, 360(120) flight
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

The  Greater Wendigo can tear a victim apart with its massive teeth and claws.  It can also regenerate 3 points of hp damage per round except for fire, magic, and wood from the ash tree.' It can see perfectly in the dark.

The creature generates a constant aura of fear with a radius equal to its current hit points in feet.
Those caught in the fear aura must make a Saving Spell (Magic) or suffer the effects of Fear found here.

A Greater Wendigo can summon and maintain a massive blizzard any time it wishes. The radius of the storm is a number of miles equal to half of the Wendigo's current hit points; as it loses life so does the storm. The Wendigo is nearly invisible inside of the storm surprising victims on a 1-4 on a 1d6. Those caught outside must make a Constitution check every full half hour exposed to the blizzard or suffer 1d6 hp damage from the arctic cold of the storm. Those making the Saving throw take half damage. The Wendigo will often snatch weakened victims into the sky where their screams can be heard by their companion. The fiend will then psychologically torture the living by hurling the frozen corpse from on high to shatter on the ground at the feet of the companions. Sometimes it will hurl the frozen corpse at individuals, vehicles, or even the rooftops of dwellings.

The Constitution check is modified by the following:
Light winter clothing: -2 bonus to the Saving throw..
Heavy winter clothing: -4 bonus plus automatically takes half damage, 0 damage if the Saving throw is made.

The Greater Wendigo preys on weakness and can deliver a curse upon susceptible victims within the confines of the storm. It can telepathically worm its way into the mind of one chosen victim per hour. The victim chosen will be weakened, wounded, sick, diseased, etc; consumed with fear, pain, and desperation and who believe they are doomed. It will promise to save them and end their pain if they surrender themselves to its will. Those who accept the offer take on the Wendigo Curse and become a Lesser Wendigo. The DM has heavy fiat here. The NPC can either choose or if the DM is unsure a Saving throw can be made to see if the bargain is made.

The most likely NPC's to accept the Wendigo's bargain are:
Jackie Winslow, the used car salesman
Kaye Jones, the waitress
Brian McMasters, hiker

Lesser Wendigo
Ac 7/12
Hd 3
Hd 15
Attacks: 2, bite or claw (1d4)
Save 15/ F3
Move: 120(40)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

When the Wendigo Curse is accepted the victim immediately transforms into a Lesser Wendigo. Unlike a Greater Wendigo it has the ability to appear as a normal human being. When enraged, hungry, or attacking it will lose control and its true hideous nature will emerge. It will often show its true form as a psychological tactic to shock and horrify its soon to be meal.

The Lesser Wendigo can bite or claw twice per round. It is a formidable opponent taking minimum damage from all damage except fire, magic, and wood from and ash tree. It is completely immune to cold damage. It cannot fly as a Greater Wendigo can but it  can spiderclimb as per the spell and sees up to 90 feet in absolute darkness.

A Lesser Wendigo does not regenerate or heal naturally. It can only heal by eating raw flesh, gaining one hp for every two hp damage caused by its bite as it swallows the meat and blood of its victim.

Unlike a Greater Wendigo the Lesser lack the telepathic ability to pass on the Wendigo Curse. They can only attempt to pass it on curse via biting. If they choose to do this and successfully bite the victim, the victim must make a Saving throw to avoid the curse. If infected they will transform over the course of 1d6 hours. The only way the curse can be broken is by killing the Lesser Wendigo that delivered the cursed bite.

Dave's Crappy Maps!

The Camp

Caretaker's Cabin

Counselor's Cabin

Boy's or Girl's Cabins

The Boat House

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Necromancer for Basic Games

Decided to post my more traditional Rules as Written friendly Necromancer as opposed to my gory version found here.

I've had players use this version several times over the years, once in Caste Amber, and it worked well enough the players enjoyed it.

The Necromancer is a Magic-user who focuses his arcane powers upon death and the dead. Necromancy is a taxing and challenging path to tread and is not undertaken lightly. Necromancy is generally studied only by humans; while Elves are able to tread the path of the dead, there are no recorded instances of an Elvish Necromancer.

Int 13+, Con 13+, non Lawful

Servitor Undead: 
Once per day Necromancers can raise servitor zombies or skeletons but the total HD of Servitor Undead cannot exceed the necromancer's level. He can replace lost servitors each day if he has the corpses to do so but, again, the total HD of all, yesterday's, today's, tommorrow's, etc cannot excede his level in HD. The actual ritual to raise the servitors takes one minute per HD raised.

Banish Undead:
Necromancers can banish undead as if they were a clerics. A "D" results in the undead ether being destroyed or, if the Necromancer chooses, falling under control of the Necromancer for a number of rounds equal to half the Necromancer's level before de-animating. This does not count against his HD total of Servitor Undead as these are extremely limited.

Spell Casting: 
Necromancers cast spells as per regular Magic-users, but because so much of the Necromancer's studying is devoted to death and the dead, Necromancers have a limited spell list compared to a normal Magic-User.

Necromancer Spell List: 
Level One
Cause Light Wounds
Charm Person
Detect Magic
Hold Portal
Magic Missile
Read Languages
Read Magic

Level Two
Continual Light
Darkness, 15' Radius
Detect Evil
Detect Invisibility
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Stinking Cloud
Wizard Lock

Level Three
Cause Disease
Dispel Magic
Hold Person
Invisibility 10' Radius
Lightning Bolt
Monster Summoning I
Protection from Evil 10' Radius
Speak with Dead

Level Four
Cause Serious Wounds
Charm Monster
Dimension Door
Extension I
Monster Summoning II
Remove Curse
Snake Charm
Wizard Eye

Level Five
Animate Dead
Contact Other Plane
Extension II
Finger of Death
Hold Monster
Magic Jar
Monster Summoning III
Transmute Rock to Mud

Level Six
Anti-Magic Shell
Death Spell
Invisible Stalker
Legend Lore
Monster Summoning IV
Project Image
Stone to Flesh

Level Seven
Delayed Blast Fireball
Extension III
Mass Invisibility
Monster Summoning V
Phase Door
Power Word Stun

Level Eight
Mass Charm
Mind Blank
Monster Summoning VI
Power Word Blind
Symbol Level Nine
Astral Spell
Meteor Swarm
Monster Summoning VII
Power World Kill
Time Stop

Infernal and Magic Options
Anyone Can Cast Rituals Options

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Hyena. OSR Victorian mini-Adventure

A Victorian/Gaslight Adventure originally presented on my lost original blog.
When I ran it with my player's a while back they did very well and had few casualties and many scares. 

This scenario was written for my OSR Victorian game but can be easily re-skinned for other time
periods or settings. The scenario is presented as generic as possible. No maps are included. Maps of London and old estates are easy enough to find online and re purpose.

London, 1890's

(The PC's in this game were created at 5th level using my OSR Victorian rules.)
The hook I used to get them into the adventure is as follows (others can be easily employed.)
They are friends and companions of Lord Talbot, a minor nobleman. He is a member of the
Explorer's Club and they are his frequent guests on hunts, safaries, and other adventures.

There have been a series of gruesome deaths in London's Richmond Park over the course of the last
three nights. The newspapers are tearing the police apart and they have managed to quell panic of
"The Ripper's Return!" only by the fact the wounds appeared to be the work of a 'wild dog which
probably wandered into the park.'

Small comfort for the family and friends of the victims.

The Victims thus far:
Night One: Two couples, walking in the evening.
Night Two: Two tramps, camping in the park at night.  (A third survived and can be tracked down as a witness to the deaths.
Night Three (Last night): One Parks Policemen on patrol, killed and mutilated on his patrol route. Growing desperate the police have asked the Explorer's Club for help, wishing to utilize professional trackers to find and destroy the beast from the Park. Lord Talbot has volunteered his and his companions skills to rid London of the menace.
A long time friend of Talbot's, and also member of the Explorer's Club, Lord Winston Godfrey has joined the hunt along with his Cameroonian servant M'Buku.
Accompanied by a heavily armed squad of policemen under the charge of Inspector Aaron Copeland, 35, the Player's party is part of a spread out net of hunters in the park, tracking and waiting for the beast to strike again.

The Park is being hunted by a Were-hyena.
Godfrey and M'Buku know what is going on and are trying to hide the truth and save the

Godfrey  was on a hunt near Lake Chad in Cameroon, in the land of the Kanuri's. M'Buku and
Godfrey became fast friends and Godfrey fell in love with M'Buku's sister, Malaika. They were
secretly married and she poses as his servant here in London. The problem is the youngest brother,
Sani. He was cursed by a witch-man in Cameroon and transforms each night into the Werehyena.
Godfrey and M'Buku kept him caged and safe during the transformations and brought him to
Godfrey's isolated estate on the edges of London. With the help of scientist Dr. Adolf Von Kreider
they seek a scientific cure to his condition.

Sani escaped his capture three days ago and has been hiding in the park, mad with grief and
tormented by his curse. Godfrey and M'Buku have been hunting for him each night trying to subdue
him with traps, nets, and even poison to bring him in alive.
                                     Victor Guerra Art
The Park:
After several hours the PC's will hear the approach of a strangely silent dog-pack.  Aware of the
many hunters in the park the Were-hyena has brought the stray pack  under his power and has them
attack the hunters and try to kill as many as possible. They will fight to the death under his control.

Immediately after the dogs the Were-hyena will appear and viciously attack the party.

He will use the cover of fog and darkness to his advantage as well as his ability to quickly climb and
launch himself from the trees.

He can be driven off by either losing half of his HP's or being struck by iron pellets from Godfrey or
M'Buku's guns.  He will attempt (and probably) escape over the outer wall of the park if chased. He
will then circle the park and head south.

It will be impossible to track him over the pavement and dogs will not willingly follow his scent.

The Next Morning:
Newspaper headlines flash with news of a first victim found outside of the park in nearby Sutton. A
prostitute was savagely torn apart. No witnesses. 

The Victims:
Each was killed by a massive bite to the throat and their bodies savaged. The bite marks are huge,
larger than any known species of dog in london with pronounced upper and lower canines.

One massive man-sized print was found near the corpes of the tramps. Research into such things
will allow the party to find that the bite pattern and track match that of a Hyena, although of
enormous size.

The surviving tramp witness did not see the attacker but he did hear 'giggling and laughter before
and during the attack.'

The Dog-Pack:
The dog-pack's uncanny silence approaching and willingness to fight to the death, not running even
facing gunfire.

Godfrey and M'Buku:
If questioned about the track or teeth they will feign ignorance. A little research into their past
shows they have dealt with hyenas before and would recognize such signs.

During the fight with the Were-hyena they both are reluctant to fire upon the beast, intentionally
missing as much as possible trying to drive it away.

The PC's will spot this on an awareness check. ( each PC has a chance to spot this: 1 on a 1d6 due to
the chaos of combat.)

If asked about Were-hyena legends they will lie and state that they are said to be harmed with silver
instead of iron.

Godfrey's estate lies to the south of Sutton.
The Were-hyena was fleeing in that direction when he left the park.
If the PC's visit the estate they will be greeted at the door by Malaika, posing as a maid. She will not let them in. Godfrey and M'buku are not at home.

Godfrey's Estate:
All roads lead to here.
The Werehyena is driven by his curse to attampt to kill his sister Malaika. She is currently under the
care of Dr. Von Kreider. They will be in her upstairs bedroom, waiting.

The house is riddled with traps designed to slow Sani down. Shotgun shells hidden under floor
boards, arrow traps, punji pits, explosives, spear traps, snares, etc. The two hunters will be waiting
upstairs for Sani to break in.

Sani will climb the walls and attack from a skylight above.

There is no cure for Sani. The only way to stop him permanently is death.
If the PC's can help the hunters destroy him, they have won and will gain new allies. Rich allies.

Lord  Jonathan William Talbot, 30
HD 5
AC 12 (Leather Jacket + Dex bonus)
HP 33
Dmg Rifle (2d8), Heavy Pistol (1d8), Ghurka knife (1d6)
Save  10/F5
Special  Awareness -1 to surprised, Sneak 65%, Survival 65%, Track 65%
Dex 15, Int 13, Cha 14

Detective Aaron David Copeland, 32
HD 4
AC 10
HP  25
Dmg Pistol (1d6), Nightstick (1d4)
Save  11/T4
Special  Assess (60%), Deduction (60%), Local Knowledge (60%)
Int 15, Wis 15 Cha 13

Lord Godfrey, 32
HD 4
AC 13 (Leather Jacket, Dex bonus, Class bonus)
HP 24
Dmg Rifle (2d8), Heavy Pistol (1d8), Saber(1d8+ 1 Str bonus)
Save  11/F4
Special  +1 hit with melee weapons, +1 to AC
Str 15, Dex 13, Wis 13, Cha 14

M'Buku, 29
HD 5
AC 12 (Dex bonus)
HP 34
Dmg Rifle (2d8), Heavy Pistol (1d8), Ghurka knife (1d6 +1 Str bonus)
Save  10
Special  Awareness -1 to surprised, Sneak 65%, Survival 65%, Track 65%
Str 15, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 13

Malaika, 25
AC 10
HD 1
HP 4
Att +1
Dmg Knife (1d4)
Save  16
Move 12
Int 13, Wis 14, Chs 15

Dr. Adolf Von Kreider, 52
HD 3
AC 10
HP 12
Dmg Heavy Pistol (1d8),Scalpel(1d3)
Save  12/T3
Special  Diagnose Illness (70%), Healing (70%) heal 1d6 per person after combat, Stabilize when below 0 hp (70%)
Int 15, Wis 3

The Explorer's Club
Richmond Park
The Police Station Dead Room  (The Morgue)
Godfrey Hall

The Were-hyena/Sani 
AC 16 (half damage from any weapon other than iron)
HD 6
HP 40
Att +6
Dmg 2 claws (1d4) or bite (1d10)
Save  11
Move 180/90 climbing 

2 points per round unless the damage is from iron.

With his powerful claws the Werehyena can climb wooden walls, trees, cobblestone walls, etc with
a move rate of 9.

If a victim is brought below 50 percent HP's by the bite they must make a Save or be cursed to turn
into a Were-hyena on the next month's dark of the moon. After that they will transform each night
at sundown.

The curse turns the Were-hyena into an incarnation of evil itself. They have no pity or regard for
anyone or anything in their path. They are often drawn to seeking out and killing those they love

AC 12
HD 1+1
HP 6
Dmg Bite (1d4)
Save  16