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Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters


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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Hi Both,

 

Here's some notes on where i was going. As usual all thoughts, suggestions and comments welcome!

 

Premise:

 

An as-of-yet Unnamed Adventure of childhood sweethearts, murder, betrayal and the love that blossoms from a shared connection with the dead…

 

Dramatis Personae:

 

No-Face Man: No one can ever remember his face. Gives the PCs commissions from time to time. Sometimes called “Nof” or “Facey” by hunters, but not to his … err ... face.

 

Hugo Glamour: a pretend fake-stage-medium now of YouTube infamy who performs truly awful shows in front of a live audience where he channels the spirits of audience relations, offering advice and fortunes. He is actually a very accomplished medium who deliberately cultivates the air of a shamster. Has seemingly disappeared after the Parker-fiasco.

 

Ailis McKenzie: Former singer of Scottish descent who manifested banshee powers five years ago on her twenty-fourth birthday. Intelligence suggests a connection with Hugo.

 

The Morrigan: a mysterious entity.

 

Mrs. Jane Parker (deceased): The lady who Hugo told he had a message from her deceased husband. At the time, Jane had no recollection of Steve Parker (her first husband) and was sat next to her second husband, Hank Reed (believing Hank to be her first and only husband). Later murdered by Hank for reasons unknown.

 

Mr. Steve Parker (deceased): Jane Parker’s deceased first husband, of whom she has no recollection.

 

Mr. Hank Reed (imprisoned): Former school friend and second husband of Jane Parker, in prison for murdering her. It’s not clear whether Hank was aware of Steve Parker or not.

 

A really famous and influential person (soon to be deceased)

 

A Murder of Crows.

 

The unquiet spirits of several pairs of tragically deceased lovers, now reunited by Hugo.

 

 

Locations:

 

The seedy, disreputable theatre where Hugo Glamour performs his shows.

 

A decommissioned nuclear bunker, now a museum-shrine to tragic lovers from history, myth and fiction.

 

An abandoned TV station.

 

 

The adventure has 3 parts:

 

A detective style adventure where the PCs must uncover clues to discover Hugo and Ailis’ whereabouts. Some clues will reveal interesting facts about the characters but won’t necessarily help the PCs.

 

Hugo’s “Den”: (decommissioned nuclear bunker)

 

A race through the abandoned TV station (where the PCs are harried by ghosts and all sorts of weird phenomena) to prevent Hugo accidentally broadcasting Ailis McKenzie’s Banshee song to thousands of viewers.

 

Thoughts on mediumship...

 

I was planning to build Hugo with the following powers, but I’m not sure how this ties in with how you view mediums working in HTbM:

 

Hugo’s main medium power built as a limited summon (rather than a type of clairvoyance) to represent summoning a spirit. Only Hugo is aware of the spirit and the spirit cannot do anything other than communicate to Hugo. Hugo must them persuade, cajole or just bully the info that he seeks out of the spirit. The power has a side effect: every time Hugo activates the power, there’s a chance that a nearby spirit may sense it and seek him out, usually out of loneliness or to beg Hugo to perform some action for it. The spirit will latch onto Hugo and follow him around until he helps it.

 

For whatever reason, Hugo is immune to Ailis’ song. This maybe something common to all mediums.

 

Normally, spirits are tied to certain locations. However, Hugo has the ability to ‘uproot’ and transport a spirit to another location. This is how he managed to reunite Jane and Steve Parker who are eternally (no pun intended) grateful to him.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

I wouldnt do mediums as a Summon. Summon is really more about combat usefulness.

 

It's either an informational ability, or the character is able to see and interact with things that are already there in which case its more of a detection and communication ability.

 

The later places a lot of design requirements on the GM to stock the world with not just the living but also a second "spirit world", and thus I would strongly avoid it unless that were a principle focus of the setting in general. It's just too much work and it "splits" the party.

 

Instead, I would give the character Supernatural Awareness so that when there is a spirit present because it serves the main plot the character can see it. I would give him a Language in his Psychic or Mystic pool, call it "Ghosttongue" for now, which allows him to "talk" to random ghosts. If that doesn't "feel" right, we could do a Telepathy vs Spirit class of minds.

 

That would be a real low-powered "medium" with no combat usefulness.

 

If we wanted him to be more aggressive or have a more combat-useful "spirit" based power set we could add further abilities, with "i control ghosts" as the SFX.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Hi Shrike,

 

Actually, good points about the use of summon – I hadn’t really thought about the points you raise: I was definitely thinking along the lines of an information-gathering type of ability that doesn’t just give you the info but requires some use of interaction/communication skills and role-playing to make it a little more interesting. However, I like the telepathy option as it’s not far removed from the commanding-type powers that would allow a medium to ‘command’ spirits to do their bidding.

 

I was also thinking that mediumship might extend to a helpful spirit actually being able to guide the medium through certain tasks, leading to an element of savant-type powers.

 

I think this would make mediums quite versatile characters who’d be good in rogue/expert/group speaker roles.

 

5.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

The rules address spirit guides as Contacts. There's a spirit multiplier of x3 to recognize that invisible friends that can go anywhere and hear anything and do anything the GM allows them to is pretty useful. Unfortunately, like all such arbitrary "balance adjustments" it depends heavily on how useful the GM actually allows the ability to be.

 

 

 

For Spiritualists, for whom no system is yet provided, I say this:

 

Spiritualist: some traditions of magic focus on talking to and manipulating the spirits such as Voodoo, Santeria, or even just so-called "Spirit Mediums". There are a number of ways to model such abilities in the HERO System from Spirit Contacts to a SFX for Telekinesis, to elaborate Powers. A player should consult with the GM to work out the specific details for a character using this kind of magic.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

No freaking out? Everyone is comfortable with this kind of threat level?

Heh. Er... Comfortable? I guess that depends on how many 'points' my character has got. I'm playing in a fantasy campaign right now where my starting character is a 600 point 'dead' god. I am comfortable with 'that' character in this context. ;-)

 

You already stated that this vignette is "a very tough upper end adventure, demonstrating the deep end of the pool", that after I freaked out about the lesser powered (before possession) Michael Blaise. I am fine with that. It is useful for a player to be able to look at such things so as to know what they should build towards. In most campaigns I generally will not spend experience to boost combat power and such unless the GM 'tells' me to or it is otherwise made extremely obvious that I need to. Having an adventure like this 'on the books', stipulating a suggested point level, simply tell me as a player that by the time I get to that point level, I should be able to deal with this. So the essential thing in the case of this adventure is to post a suggested point level.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Aurhabazu... I know at least Panpiper was interested in.

Yes, very, and thank you.

 

I really have to get my hands on the Advanced Players Guide, and actually read it. ;-)

 

I am confused about how this creature moves, how it is able to find and thereby 'possess' it's target. Is is a form of extra dimensional movement where it does not physically exist on this 'plane' unless it possesses it's target? (How then does it identify a target?) Is it related to 'formless', meaning is the ability of formless the thing that causes the creature to not need movement, as if it exists in all space at once?

 

Edit: By the way, I just sent you a possible rebuild of shotguns, suggesting defining them as multipowers rather than straight up single effects, due to the range of possible shot loads; buck shot, solid slug, rock salt, 'Dragon's Breath', etc. I am far from certain I have done a good job of it however.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Rough cut of Michael Blaise' date=' no bg or complications, is up.[/quote']

Heh. I just noticed that you previously used Michael Blaise in your example of exorcism failure; "Michael immediately suffers 3d6 Drain vs. Ego with a Fade Rate of 1 year, and the Possessor Spirit can opt to make Michael it's new host, if it wants to." ;-)

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

For comment and upgrading. Preliminary Hero Designer files sent by Email

 

Ghosts, Poltergeists, Apparitions and Whispering Demons

 

These supernatural threats have among them the commonality of being non-corporeal and not typically visible to ordinary senses. And the manner in which they manifest their impact upon the world can make it not immediately apparent just what one is dealing with. Identifying them properly is important, as often the manner of dealing with them can be quite different.

 

Ghosts - Poltergeist Spirit.hdc

 

There are many ghosts, lost souls who for reasons of trauma or deep emotional attachment either do not realize they are dead or cannot let go of their mortal attachments. Most often these pour souls have no impact upon the world and will simply linger until they are fortunate enough to be discovered by a sensitive who cares enough to help them make their transition.

 

There are other ghosts however who for reasons of anger, revenge or just plain insanity would seek to frighten or even do harm to people. Almost invariably these ghosts haunt a specific thing, be that a place, an object, or even occasionally a person. Rarely are they rational, they almost always are acting on a very strong compulsion. These ghosts often are the lost souls of individuals, in which case the key to eliminating them is typically the proper disposal of their remains. Doing that of course requires identifying the individual who has resulted in the haunting and then finding the remains. Unfortunately some hauntings are the result of constructs created by mass trauma or terror and ridding the world of such can be much more difficult.

 

Ghosts that attract the attention of hunters typically are the sorts that are powerful enough to have a telekinetic and/or environmental effect upon the world. Usually this is not a powerful effect, but it need not be to cause terror and destruction.

 

For some reason, most malevolent ghosts typically manifest not as simple poltergeist spirits, but rather as apparitions.

 

Poltergeists - Poltergeist_Human.hpk

 

Poltergeists are often simply ghosts, manifesting their hauntings in a manner that does not reveal the ghost itself. Much poltergeist activity however is actually rooted in living persons who are unconsciously manifesting a deep seated emotional turmoil. Obviously in such instances, salting and burning the bones is an inappropriate course of action. Such individuals can often arrest their poltergeist manifestations by getting psychological intervention or having the source of their emotional turmoil addressed. This is very often manifest in children and teenagers in abusive or otherwise troubled homes. Investigators are cautioned however to not automatically suspect the parents, as the emotional trauma can easily be caused by siblings, other relatives or persons of authority that the child is regularly in contact with.

 

Apparitions - Apparition.hdc

 

Apparitions are ghosts that visibly manifest in some manner beyond the effects they might have upon the world. Sometimes these apparitions, just like most ghosts, do not seek to cause any harm. Often they are not even sentient, merely lingering remnants of intense emotion. Sometimes however these spirits can be truly malevolent and can with the terror they inspire in those that see them, have a disproportionate effect upon the world, far beyond what their telekinetic abilities might otherwise cause.

 

Whispering Demons - WhisperingDemon.hdc

 

A whispering demon can in many ways be worse than a possessing demon. A person possessed by a demon usually evinces this in some way that makes it easy for hunters to identify the subject. A person haunted by a whispering demon may show no evidence of it whatsoever until they show up at a crowded place and open up with a shotgun.

 

While whispering demons share many similarities with non-corporeal spirits, they are not spirits at all, but are in fact demons. They can be summoned and banished as can demons. And while spirits are typically non-malevolent, just misguided, whispering demons are truly evil. They seek to corrupt humans into doing things that will cause the most destruction possible to themselves and those around them.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Yes, very, and thank you.

 

I really have to get my hands on the Advanced Players Guide, and actually read it. ;-)

 

I am confused about how this creature moves, how it is able to find and thereby 'possess' it's target. Is is a form of extra dimensional movement where it does not physically exist on this 'plane' unless it possesses it's target? (How then does it identify a target?) Is it related to 'formless', meaning is the ability of formless the thing that causes the creature to not need movement, as if it exists in all space at once?

 

Edit: By the way, I just sent you a possible rebuild of shotguns, suggesting defining them as multipowers rather than straight up single effects, due to the range of possible shot loads; buck shot, solid slug, rock salt, 'Dragon's Breath', etc. I am far from certain I have done a good job of it however.

 

The rules assume that a character activates a combination of Desolid with two new +0 Advantages (Projection and Merged) and Possession to merge with and take over a host temporarily, where as Possessor Daemons have no body at all ever and always possesses some other creature to interact w/ the world.

 

Possession is LOS and mental, so I'm asserting that when the Possessor Daemon switches hosts, it targets a victim and on success of a OMCV vs DMCV attack it "jumps" from their current host to the new host. If for some reason the Daemon ends up without a host, its stuck until it can jump to a new valid host.

 

Alternately, it could be No Range, and it would require touch to work if you prefer to interpret it that way.

 

There's a scene in the movie Fallen where the demon jumps from host to host singing "Time is on my side", which is a really really cool scene. Actually, the whole movie is awesome and very much a great movie to watch in the context of Here There Be Monsters.

 

 

 

If people don't agree with the basic assertion I can add some flight like on the Air Elemental Feng.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Heh. I just noticed that you previously used Michael Blaise in your example of exorcism failure; "Michael immediately suffers 3d6 Drain vs. Ego with a Fade Rate of 1 year' date=' and the Possessor Spirit can opt to make Michael it's new host, if it wants to." ;-)[/quote']

 

Yep; I played into that example text. ;)

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Ok, unless someone pokes holes in the build, this is a) Aurhabazu and B) the general guide for Possessor Daemons minus individual variances around the core build.

 

 

I'm going to circle back and do all the Venus Malefica character backgrounds in one pass to avoid having to do multiple editorial passes.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Alternately, it could be No Range, and it would require touch to work if you prefer to interpret it that way.

 

There's a scene in the movie Fallen where the demon jumps from host to host singing "Time is on my side", which is a really really cool scene. Actually, the whole movie is awesome and very much a great movie to watch in the context of Here There Be Monsters.

I like the skill selection you made for Aurhabazu, along with the hodge podge of languages and such. It's very thematic for a demon out for a joy ride, and a demon with some history.

 

I am thinking that the no range limitation on possession might make for an interesting mechanic. I am very familiar with the movie you reference, 'Fallen'; I own a DVD of it and have watched it a couple of times over the years. I agree that it is a great movie and offers clues as to a potentially very interesting game mechanic as well. There does not seem to be anything restricting a demon from jumping from body to body and being able to do that at line of sight could be quite problematic. The hunters show up with Father Max to do an exorcism and before they can initiate, the demon looks out the window and hops into the driver of a passing car... Next scenario...

 

What I might recommend is this; possessor demons have no movement ability in this dimension. In order to move they must hitch a ride. Usually that is done by possessing a human, however it can also be done by attaching themselves to an object. This permits them to be summoned into existence without being possibly permanently rooted to the spot where they were summoned, as they could reside on an object like a coin or amulet, until such a time as an appropriate victim was in close proximity to that coin or amulet. This ability to hitch a ride on an object can only be accomplished with some difficulty, taking time and concentration (so as to prevent a possessor demon from too easily hiding itself amongst a cluster of object when cornered). Also, and very importantly, possessor demons are utterly unable to jump hosts, either human or objects, if an exorcism attempt has been initiated against them. The exorcism must be resolved, for better or worse, before any host transfer may again occur. If the demon is exorcised, it is gone from this dimension, no more possessing possible.

 

An exception to the no range rule is that a person attempting an exorcism that fails may at that moment be possessed by the possessor demon regardless of the range the exorcist is from the demon.

 

B) the general guide for Possessor Daemons minus individual variances around the core build.

Link? :-)

 

Er... Doh. You mean maybe the general 'example' for possessor daemons...

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

A cellular network of demonologists/satanists that span the game, is not only a set up for some far flung future adventure, but a ready made plot device for any game session. I like very much.

 

And I remain quite freaked by the power level of the top brass of this cult, appropriately so no doubt. I'm wondering what you would think the appropriate power level of the players aught to be before they finally unlock the secrets to the inner circle? I have a 325 point immortal Tai Chi master I would be ok (though still worried) with handling this crew, as long as he was backed up with his own crew. ;-)

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Considering the power of Tudor by himself, and using the "Assumptions" / point levels defined in the Paradigm docs, I think that even the most salty crew would be challenged. I'm not done statting everything yet, but I wouldn't even start leading into the adventure unless the PC group was in the mid 300s.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Can one of you Canadians among us come up with a plausible Canadian equivalent for Americas FBI Section M and the UK's Mi-13? I have a bad guy from Montreal to write up and would like to drop some reference(s) to the Canadian fed equivalent, but got nothin.

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Re: Urban Fantasy Setting: Here There Be Monsters

 

Well, the equivalent of the FBI is the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), but I don't think there was ever a official or unofficial group inside who was supposed to check for supernatural events........ I think your best bet would be to create your own agency, or make it a part of either the RCMP or the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service, roughly speaking the equivalent of the CIA)

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