10 track album
MY FRIEND MADE AN ALBUM. LISTEN.
Film noir in a vaguely ageless setting; the Metropolis is just as much Los Angeles or New York as she is Paris or Moscow. She’s just as much a Prohibition-era sprawl in the pockets of the mob as she is a a portrait of modern decay. Skyscrapers and cathedrals and an infinite number of increasingly-shitty apartments all claw their way up to the heavens, trying to escape the apathy and vice that consumes everyone who spends every day with their heads down. It’s always just before midnight, with the rain starting to pick up. Nobody seems to sleep much, and the only light seems to come from dingy street lamps and glowing neon.
Everyone has something they want to hide; there isn’t an innocent soul in this city. It’s easiest to hurry where you’re headed and ignore the burnouts that line the streets, shaking with cold or withdrawal. Most folks want to hide and ignore how wretched the world around them is, finding their peace at the bottom of a bottle or in the arms of someone they don’t really love. The rare few who have any life left in them will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Life in this town is unfortunate and short; if you’re not jaded, your eyes aren’t open.
A handful of folks remember when things used to be better, or hope that things won’t get any worse. They talk about human good or faith in God and how it’s all gonna change someday. It’s best to pat them on the head and wish them good luck with all that. Change isn’t gonna come without a lot of pain and hard work that most of us don’t feel like doing. If you’re stupid enough to know all that and still press on ahead, then you’re one of the few angels this city needs.
(Does it have vampires? I don’t fucking know. They certainly fit.)
Vampires? Not necessary. Only greed, desperation, and the human heart in conflict with itself, as ol’ GRRM would say.
Some of the critters I’ve homebrewed for specific Call of Cthulhu games. One day I’ll finally get the full texts of the adventures posted for your delight, but this’ll do for now.
Semi-real, invisible alien hatchlings, whose many long limbs make their visits seem like hauntings, and whose red-hot killing-arms cause mysterious fires wherever they go. They drink the blood of living things, and have a compulsion to investigate and dismantle their environment.
As adults, the are huge beyond anything known, and can travel across space for millions of years at sub-light speeds.
Sanity loss: is 0/1d3 for unexplained hauntings, 1/1d6 for major hauntings, or sight of the killing-arm. d3/d10 for sight of the creature itself.
STR 14 CON 10 Dex 14 POW 15
Killing-arm 60% d6+d4 fire
Tentacles 40% d3+grapple
Blood drain d4 CON/round
Armour: While not fully solid, they can be hurt, though they while take half damage from physical attacks. At 1 HP they dissipate entirely and return to their nest to recuperate.
The killing-arm is used for dealing with threats to itself- prey is normally blood-drained after being grappled.
Though almost invisible, it can be momentarily revealed by passing a Spot Hidden Check and failing a Sanity Check (d3/d10). They can be made solid- and thus possible to kill or capture- for a few hours at most, using the Salt of Abdul Al-Hazred.
Scenario: The Morning After
When the mad artist Jean Gerard sacrificed his party guests to fuel his dimensional travel spell, most were destroyed outright- but others were horribly altered. The sorcerer’s disgust at his guests’ rudeness and greed has transformed them to ugly, dwarfish manatee-men, capable of nothing but seeking and consuming their next meal.
SAN Loss: 0/d3 on sighting a Grazer.
STR 10 DEX 6 CON 12 SIZ 8 POW 7 INT 4
Weapons: Paw 30%(d3) or grapple 30% and bite (d4)
Skills: Spot 25% Listen 35% Smell food 70% Swim 60%
More of an annoyance than a threat, these sad creatures will only bother the PCs if attacked, or if they refuse to surrender any food or alcohol they are carrying. They attack with their clumsy fists, trying to grab and bite, but they will back off if injured.
Scenario: The Morning After
Jean Gerard secretly fears his elderly butler, Davis, and avoids him wherever possible. The mad artist’s spell transformed him into a fearsome creature out of a storybook, who will tear any intruders in the house to pieces if not tricked or pacified.
SAN Loss: 1/d6 on sighting the Dragon Butler
STR 18 DEX 9 CON 15 SIZ 18 POW 7 INT 6
Weapons: Bite 40% (d3+d6, d6 bite damage in subsequent rounds if the hold is maintained) and tail 30% (d3+d6)
Armour: 2-point scales
Skills: Spot 35% Listen 35% Climb 55%
The old butler’s mind wars with that of the reptilian monstrosity he has become. When calm, the creature can be lied to or reasoned with, and will try its best to serve its master’s wishes. When angered, it is violent beyond reason, and incredibly dangerous. It will eat anything it kills, unless under attack.
Scenario: Childhood’s End
Psychically-sensitive university student Jamie Dyer always feared the dark- and when his town falls under an otherworldly curse, his fear is made horribly real. These ethereal wisps lurk in the gutters and forests, whispering enticements to lost travelers, and leading them to their doom.
HP 6, or 1 for their real body.
SAN Loss: 0/d3 SAN to see one, a further 0/d4 if attacked, and 1/d6 to spend the night with one talking.
STR 1- DEX 10 CON - SIZ 6 POW 5 INT 2
Weapons: Draining claw attack. A character within range takes d4 damage/round unless they can pass a CON x5 check.
Armour: the projected body is immune to physical attacks, but is harmed by light: car headlight/interior light 2d6, fire/torch d6 damage, pen light/match 1 damage
Skills: Mimic speech 80%
The creature moves its worm-like true body very slowly, but can project its shadow-form up to thirty feet away, stretching itself grotesquely. Escaping out of its reach is a DEX x5 check in open ground.
An attacked character can make an idea check at half to notice that the creature’s smoky tail leads somewhere.
its real body has a single hit point, but is usually hidden. a successful Spot Hidden is usually required to find the body, halved in darkness.
The Acid Man
Scenario: Childhood’s End
Jamie Dyer’s fears of death and violence are made flesh in his nemesis, the Acid Man. Once nothing more than a childish nightmare, this stinking, smoking, ruined creature seeks nothing more than to put its deadly hands around the young man’s throat- or that of anyone foolish enough to get in its way.
SAN Loss: 1/d6 for anyone close enough to tell it’s not human. 0/d3 for anyone suffering acid burns from its hands.
STR 15 DEX 6 CON 16 SIZ 16 POW 10 INT 4
Weapons: punch 40%(d3+d4+2 acid) or grapple 35%(d4+2 damage/round)
Armour: None, but firearms to minimum damage to the sodden, dead body. Melee weapons take d4 acid damage for each blow struck. Being submerged in water- or better still, a chemical base- will dissolve him in a few rounds.
Skills: Spot 55% Listen 35% Track victim 50% Track Jamie 100%
The Dark Patron- Nutcracker Form
Scenario: Childhood’s End
The fertile psyche of Jamie Dyer has allowed this minor deity to manifest in fleshly form- as the young psychic’s favourite childhood toy.
SAN loss: d3/d8 to see the Patron in this form.
STR 16 DEX 8 CON 20 SIZ 18 POW 18 INT 14
Weapons: Wooden limb 50% (d4+d6) or Great Mouth 60% (grapple plus d10 SAN, then swallowed next round)
Armour: None, but physical attacks do minimum damage to the solid wooden body. Fire, acids and magic all do normal damage
Skills: Spot 75% Listen 35% Entertain children 01%
SOMEONE JUST CALLED PLANESCAPE A SHITTY SETTING
I’M QUIVERING WITH RAGE
Sounds like they’re a real addle-cove, cutter. Nick them and steal all their jink.
I’ll get round to drawing some of these at some point, but I’m just posting them up to remind myself for later.
The Azer that live and work in this towering island fortress can make tools and weapons for an army in a day, their hammers rising and falling as one under the eyes of the reptilian forge-master. Customers must, however, send elemental agents to do their haggling, as no breathing creature could survive the blistering heat and choking ash-clouds. Even the superheated air is rationed, siphoned off sparingly to oxidise certain alloys.
From horizon to horizon, the landscape is bare, dead ash, lifting into fantastic shapes with every hot breath of wind. Above, monstrous storm clouds brood, dark as sin. When the storm breaks, the skies rain down black oil and tar. Ignited by lightning, these fire-storms scour the valley of all life, and burn for weeks until all fuel is expended. The only sanctuaries are the tall, imperishable stone pyramids, built by unknown hands. They dot the valley at regular intervals, but any space within is hotly contested by fierce native wildlife, elementals and terrified adventurers.
This glimmering vista is the plane’s gateway to a number of good-aligned planes, such as Celestia, Elysium and Ysgard. Here the skeins of floating fruits and flowers twine around the clouds, and the Birds of Paradise circle above in an unceasing dance of joy. These enticing prospects are sectioned off by squadrons of unsmiling angels and archons, seeking always to forbid interlopers into their domain.
Built by dwarves in times long past, it was the greatest city on the plane until it was swallowed up in a massive earthquake. The dwarves would give anything they had to know of its whereabouts. This far down, though, the Plane is never stable- and the ancestors of Karin’s folk may find themselves sinking yet further from help, and into legend.
The bones of a thousand greedy treasure hunters lie here, amid the millions of sparking stones that they prized above life itself. The tremendous heat and pressure in this area have created a perfect storm, where diamonds, rubies and Amethysts stud the walls and floor like seashells. Ancient dragons have claimed it as their home, dominion and battleground, and only in death will they permit any thief to lay hands on their property.
The pulsing waves of nourishing warmth from the Plane Of Life have cultivated rings and rings of dense forest. The ground here is so rich and so fertile that plants grow here like nowhere else, springing up anywhere there is light. Worms and moles and other tunnelling creatures grow enormous here, consuming decaying plant matter and unwary travellers alike.
A peaceful and beautiful island, sculpted and tended by the Leviathan. Some good-hearted sailors are permitted to come here when they die at sea, dwelling on the island as the crabs on the shore, the monkeys in the trees, the spirits of the wind and waves. Other inhabitants have been lost in the trackless Planes, and settled here.
It comprises many small towns and villages, and a deep, hilly forest with plentiful fruit and game. The seas around swarm with life and abundance, but a man could sail for half a year and find nothing but open water.
The rulers of the land, if any but the Leviathan itself may be so called, are its priests, wise and ancient. They greet newcomers, and otherwise interfere only to quell violence and settle disputes.
Every few generations, The leviathan will appear and extend the size of the island, or remodel part of the landscape to make it more pleasing to the being’s unfathomable tastes.