Friday Game Notes: Goliard Nunnery of Saint Rebecca

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A small pleasant home for a bakers dozen of nuns. Together they practice good nun related virtues and venerate their Saint Rebecca. It is a small compound with a medium sized church and several buildings for storage, food, and sleeping quarters. A low wall surrounds it though there is no gate nor guards.


Information

There is a small farmhouse between Bouclans and the Nunnery where travellers can stay the night. The peasants there, Dany and Edwige and their quadruplets, Georgette, Lucile, Clotilde, and Joan, are very welcoming.

A wagon from Puyloubard Inn seeking exotic ingredients is happy to spread rumours. With him is the squire of the steward of the Lord de Lucy who is travelling to the Nunnery to inquire if the Lord’s daughter is there.

The squire is friendly, if a little clumsy. He is happy to join anyone going the rest of the way to the nunnery and will trust anyone.

Art History – The nunnery is famous for it’s tapestries, supposedly woven by Saint Rebecca herself.

Antiquary – The nunnery is built on the site of an old Roman temple. Maybe there are hidden tunnels underneath!

Camaraderie/Common Touch – The wagon driver mentions that all sorts of things are happening at the Puyloubard Inn.

  • The Lady Maxine de Gizac arrived on her way to the Royal Wedding and has decided to stay in the Inn terrorizing everyone.
  • A steward of the Lord de Lucy is staying at the Inn and will be travelling to the Nunnery to inquire after the Lord’s daughter.
  • The squire is travelling to the nunnery and wanted a ride. He will walk with anyone the rest of the way.

The Compound

The tapestries are kept inside the Mother Superior’s Office on the top floor of the dormitory building. During the day nuns are out and about and will see any skulkers. At night a sister keeps vigil during the night with a burning candle to make sure no young men sneak in to bother the postulants.

Architecture – The church building is built of large thick marble stones that are easy to climb and the other two buildings, the dining hall and dormitories are a jump away from the roof on either side.

Antiquary – The marble blocks of the church are repurposed blocks from the Roman Temple and the foundations look like they kept the same shape of the original. There is probably no way to access any secret tunnels under the church from inside anymore. Maybe there is an entrance in one of the other buildings.

Notice – A sister calls down to another who has been locked onto a tiny platform inside the well. She sounds miserable down there.

  • Reassurance – The nun at the bottom of the well will welcome anyone who can promise to help her off the ledge, her knees nearly giving way.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak into the nunnery or climb the buildings.


Mother Superior Hélène

The head of the nunnery is a warm and wide woman who could be described as bustling. However under her cheery personality she is cruel and demanding, threatening cruel and unusual tortures for her daughters.

Tortures:

Candle Torture – a misbehaving nun who can’t keep their hands still must hold their hands above a burning candle until the candle burns out.

Well Watch – A stone passage under the nunnery opens into the well shaft by a small wooden door. On the other side is a small overhang just a few feet above the water only a foot or so wide barely wide enough for a nun to stand.

Bullshit Detector – The Mother Superior has a short fuse under all that fat and cheer, it would be unwise to upset her.

Flattery – Hélène is very proud of her nunnery and is happy to show visitors the famous tapestries which she keeps locked in her study.

Performance – The Mother Superior is very keen on violent puppet shows and will be happily distracted clapping her hands like a child while watching one.

Normal (4) rolls to trick the Mother Superior.


Sister Carole

The accountant of the nunnery, Sister Carole takes care of all the monetary concerns. She has a small office off of the kitchens and dining room building.

Accounts – It is clear with a careful peek upside down at the book Sister Carole works at that the nunnery has very little money and is struggling. The nunnery relies solely on donations to survive.

Intimidation – It is clear that Sister Carole is terrified of the Mother Superior and wont tell her about the financial troubles of the nunnery for fear of punishment.

Negotiation – Sister Carole is willing to pinch and sell one of the tapestries if she thinks a rich enough seller will pay for it.

Forgery – By faking papers from the Templar Bank she will be convinced that the visitor can pay for a tapestry. However they will have to provide her with a good way to steal the tapestry from under the Mother Superior’s nose.

Easy (2) rolls to trick Sister Carole.


Dormitory

The tunnel inside the well is part of the old Roman foundations and run underneath the dormitories. There it opens into a cellar being used to store extra bedding. The nuns use this tunnel for a quicker way to get water from the well or as the Mother Superior’s extra punishment.

The stairs from the cellar lead into a back hall. To get to the staircase leading to the second floor where the Mother Superior’s rooms are a thief would have to cross through one of the nun’s sleeping dorms. The hall is up against the outer wall and so has no window to climb out.

Each night some nuns sneak out. The nuns can be snuck by but if any of them wake a Intimidation or Reassurance spend of 1 point will let them pass without a panic.

If they sneak through at night they may witness two nuns sneaking down the stairs from the second story dorm.

Sense Trouble – Someone is coming quick hide!

Notice – Those foot steps sounded irregular, perhaps there are squeaky steps that they were avoiding.

  • 1 point spend – By carefully counting steps you think you’ll be able to figure out which steps they were avoiding. At least with a little luck.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the dormitory.


Mother Superior’s Rooms

Upstairs is another dormitory for the postulants and the Mother Superior’s rooms. The Mother Superior keeps her rooms locked and an Infiltration roll is required.

Her suite is split into two rooms, an office and her bedroom. During the day she closes off her bed room but at night she sleeps with the door open.

The only window is in the bedroom and she keeps it open but any thief trying to sneak in this way finds they will have to climb over the sleeping Mother Superior to get to the door. The Mother Superior keeps the tapestries rolled inside a locked chest in her office besides her desk.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the Mother Superior’s Rooms.


Target

Tapestries of Saint Rebecca

Woven by the saint herself they show images of the Lord standing amongst rather sloppily woven flowers. They must have some value. Right?

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Saturday Session Prep: Flames Engulf 12

Saturday Session Prep are notes directly from my game sessions. They are completely unedited, sloppy, and unorganized, enjoy! They include both before and after session notes. 

SESSION 12

Benoit has a mania to make a hypnos statue or find the one in the forest again.

Patricia is making a Hypnos statue for Benoit.

Benoit wants to experiment with the Dark Forest.

  • Introduce pixies this way: the stones are still there but stacked on top of each other.

Leslie wants to make magical protection icons for Henry/Leslie/Ernest/Dr. Middleton

Leslie’s To do List:

  • Make spherical room
  • Take money from bank
  • Find Jane
  • Start killing people? Dr. Mason, Marilyn
  • Make Ernest a spherical tank

Leslie has agreed to destroy the scroll.


Things going on:

  1. Aldrich attacks the Downtown pump.
  2. The North Side voodoo and Espiritismo groups start forming a church to fight back against the dangers posed to Arkham.
  3. Lulu will go to the Hunter Tailor shop when only Selma is there (the other two out shopping) and mind control her. The unfortunate aunt will then observe whatever Sam is doing, rummage through his belongings every time he leaves and sends letters to Channel’s house each Tuesday.
  4. Dr. Mason and Marilyn try to interview Leslie to get them locked up in the asylum.
  5. The Madhouse Players move to Act 2 of their plan and try to kidnap one of the characters.
  6. One of Malcolm’s protection racket shops stops paying. They’re complaining that something is stealing their scraps and killed their pet dog. The neighbours young child have also gone missing. (It’s the Mother Slug eating them.)
  7. Silas is meeting with Aldrich every day to convey orders.
    1.  Silas is to use Donovan’s contacts to help them keep the government disinterested and Dr. Mason to help get rid of other annoying people.
    2. Aldrich goes to the park and Silas uses his invisibility to get to him without leading someone there.
  8. Aldrich visits Leslie with Lavinia and offers legal assistance if they agree to aid his plan to burn Arkham down.
    1. He uses Dr. Middleton’s name on the letters he sends to the judge to get them off. If Leslie threatens to betray him he threatens that it’ll be a shame if it turned out Leslie’s father had bribed a judge to get them out of the asylum. He says the bribes will be revealed if he dies also.
    2. Channel has cast a protection spell over Aldrich as well that will become visible if Leslie tries to hurt him with magical means. It appears as floating ribbons around him whenever it is hit. In the immortal words of Dune the slow blade enters the shield.
    3. Lavinia wont help Aldrich if Leslie attacks him, but does suggest that he has no magical power himself and that Channel put the protection spell around him. Lavinia offers to help Leslie stop the Hound from killing them.
    4. Aldrich knows that GPS has a spell that would dispel the Black Lord and he wants someone to destroy the scroll.
  9. The Homonculus strikes!

Bangs!

The Homonculus strikes

  • The Homonculus calls Malcolm and tells him that Justine is going to leverage Leslie’s confession about Deborah in order to get them to help with arresting Malcolm.
  • The Homonculus brakes into Sam’s office, pees on his Aldrich items and leaves Ben’s finger prints all over the windows.
  • The Homoculus sends a note to Sam that Benoit knows something important about Aldrich that he’s hiding from everyone. Meanwhile the Homonculus mails Benoit a cursed book with pages designed to murder him and Sam when they meet.
    • The Book: The book has sentient pages which crawl out it. They seek to cover the mouths of the offending readers and strangle them. They have a 70% chance to prevent people from noticing them moving without an extreme spot hidden roll. Once they cover someone’s mouth they must be ripped off with a Hard Strength roll, or cut with a sharp knife (Luck roll not to cut the victim). Removing the page causes 1D3 damage.
    • The book was from one of Benoit’s trips with Agatha. He grabbed it when Agatha wasn’t looking. (Play this as a flash back if they bring the book to Ben to find out where it came from. This can also be when he signs the Black Man’s book in the Great Library of Celaeno.)

Once Benoit has made the pamphlets:

  • Malcolm is called on by Radcliffe because of the pamphlets. He insists that Malcolm take care of the Danger Dogs NOW. They’re about to need that underground soon.
  • A masked man was seen walking through town in a cape with a box.
  • Play scene where Rastapoupolos gets the pamphlet’s for the first time.
  • Lulu’s article comes out at the end of the session.
  • (Make sure Malcolm does a scene gearing up with Papa Warrell, right when the cops show up. )The Police follow up clues that Papa Warrell might have been the owner of several guns used in crimes over the past six months.
    • The tommy gun thrown from the car was identified as one in a set sent to Arkham where ten guns went missing. The crate was signed for by Papa Warrell.
    • They request to check the serial numbers on the guns. (Papa may roll Brains to already have done this but Malcolm must make a half Law or extreme luck roll to know about the secret serial number under the stock.) Regardless the police take one Tommy gun and check to see if the bullets in the drive by and Pier 16 crime scenes match ones from these guns.
  • Channel visits the tailor shop and asks the Aunt’s about Sam’s stay in the asylum. Of course they already know so really it is to threaten Sam. (Isolate Investigator)
  • One of Malcolm’s rackets stops paying because of the Mother Slug.
  • North Side Puerto Ricans and Blacks start going on processions to a random house to the South. They fear the monsters that seem to be preying on them and start praying to a saint they claim lives in the house.
  • A large quantity of poor South Side people appear on Benoit’s lawn calling for him to be their oracle causing him to become possessed.
  • Aldrich and Lavinia find Leslie and promise to make Dr. Mason drop the whole matter, if Leslie helps them out. (Offer Protection)

Clue: Mother Slug ate Fink’s Dog

Fink’s Shoe

  • Third cobbler in New England and family run since it was founded.
  • Mob will send a guy around every now and then.
  • Fink’s Shoe Repair – a small brick shop in between two older townhouses. Covered in the smoke of the trains that pass a block south of here. Fink, the owner lives with his wife in a little upper floor temporarily built above the shop.
  • They’ve stopped paying their protection money. They claim their dog was killed and someone is digging through their trash.
  • Their rubbish bins have been picked clean of any food .
  • They kept their dog in a dog house in the alley.
  • The chain and collar are stretched out like the dog had been out as far as it could. The collar seems to have been undone normally and is not damaged at all.
  • From there dog hair is caught on several of the neighboring brick buildings and the rough pavement of the road.

Clue: the Mother Slug ate a child.

  • As they investigate the dog house a woman comes out from the neighbouring house with a frying pan. She thinks they might be a kidnapper returning to finish the job.
  • Her little son Bobby was stolen from his crib. He was just two last month. She put him down for a nap when she heard a crash yesterday afternoon. She ran into the room and he was gone. When she looked out the window she didn’t see anything.
  • Just below Bobby’s window is a space underneath the house, there’s an imprint in the wet dirt of something long and heavy. It doesn’t seem to be man shaped.

Saint of the House

A normal looking town house on the border between the poor North Side and the slightly better to do townhouses. The building is a two story brick building with small windows, a small white fence around a boring yard, and a plain yellow door. The paint is peeling of it, and when it rains the drains overflow. A young maple tree grows in the yard.

There is a back door, but both entrances are locked, all of the windows on the first floor are barred and the windows too grimy to see through. A smell of mustiness seems to waft from them despite being tightly shut. The processions of North Siders always stops at the door, they put candles and gifts on the steps (always gone by the next day, taken away by homeless and nameless city workers) and slip prayers into the mail box. Every now and again the prayer is interesting enough a note is thrown from an open upper window down to the crowd. They are very excited by this and try to figure out who it is for.

The worshipers claim that this house is a “Saint” who rules the city and who protects them from the dangers of the fires. They are very protective of the house and will try to prevent anyone from entering, with force if necessary. They keep the two Morales men posted as guards and they are surprisingly attentive since their brother has vanished.

In reality this is an element of Smelly Trevor’s avatar of the city. If an investigator does manage to get inside they find Smelly Trevor sleeping in the middle of the floor. His hands are covered in ink and he writes all the notes himself. The inside of the building seems to be a storehouse for city records, piles and piles of file boxes are rotting there and often the files are what are sacrificed to Trevor’s responses.

Friday Game Notes 12: Magic

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

A rehash of the magic system for combat:

Combat Magic works between free flowing magicians. Magicians like Sam or Malcolm can’t use this sort of magic and must rely on helping their more mundane combats with magic.

To magically overcome or harm someone you roll a Pow vs. Pow. Before you roll you must declare how many magic points you are spending on your attack. If you succeed you can do 1D6 damage per magic point to any stat you think is related to your magical attack.

Any time two magicians are fighting they take turns attempting to damage each other. If one wizard wants to flee and succeeds in defending themselves they may exit the fight and try to get away before they are attacked again.

Once damaged the target may concede the battle. The attacker may forgo doing damage to the target if they wish. Then the attacking magician can apply any magical effect on the target they wish except death.(Of course if the magical effect is that the target is frozen in place there are plenty of ways to still kill them.)

If the target doesn’t concede the attacker does 1D6 damage per magic point spent to whichever stat they want. Once any stat reaches zero the attacker may narrate their grizzly magical death.

This works on any living creature magical or not however targets with magic have other ways of power up to increase their attacks or prevent them:

The wizards may both describe their magical attacks and defenses. A third party must decide whose description is most interesting. The winner then receives a bonus dice on their Pow vs. Pow roll.

Other wizards may aid in attacking and defending describing how their magic mixes with their comrade’s. This adds a further bonus dice.

Any magical items or spells prepared before hand also add bonus dice. These are always rendered useless after use. (see notes)

Magical items and pre prepared spells work for non magicians too so giving out magical items to friendly NPCs can help them survive in the long run.

Non combat magic works in a similar way. This type can be done by anyone.

If doing a small working a short description of how the wizard is using magic to aid in their mundane skill gets them a bonus dice on that roll.

If they wish to do a greater and more magical working they can describe how they are achieving something entirely with magic and roll Pow instead. However this sort of magic is always flashy and noticeable to at least other magicians.

The level needed to succeed is determined by the GM based on how difficult the magical working seems. Levitating a box is easy, just a normal success, levitating the town hall will need an extreme.

MAGIC:

Every round the attacker and defender declare magic points simultaneously. When the roll is tied each attack dice is cancelled out by the quantity of magic points

spend on defense. The defenders magic points are only spent if there is a tie.

Defense can’t be aided, but any one wizard can decide to try to defend against it with the target’s permission.

When aiding an attacking magician the helper has two options:

  1. Bolstering the power of the attack by spending magic points to add to their damage.
  2. Or aiding their chances of hitting by spending 1/5 of the magic points the total spent in the attack to add a bonus dice.

Area of Effect attacks can target a quantity of people up to 1/5 of the magic points spent on the attack with 1 penalty dice and any further targets add +1 penalty dice.

Damage to each target is half the magic points spent in dice plus the rest of the magic points divided by the number of targets.

Stats can be increased magically by absorbing them from other human.

Going out with a bang: A magician desperate and close to death can achieve one last stand if they are willing to sacrifice their very life. They may do a massive AoE attack

on everyone around them with magic points equal to 1/5 of their POW split evenly between all targets, damage one target for a flat 70 damage to one of their stats, or achieve

a massive reality changing non lethal magical effect. The dying magician gets to describe what happens.

Saturday Session Prep: Flames Engulf 11

Saturday Session Prep are notes directly from my game sessions. They are completely unedited, sloppy, and unorganized, enjoy! They include both before and after session notes. 

SESSION 11

Ben failed to prevent the homunculus getting into his body.

Ben has asked Justine to help him look into Mitsuko.

Malcolm uses one of the drive by vans for the bank heist. The police are on the lookout for it.

Patricia has a portrait of Gryffydd.

Ben’s credit rating should decrease.


Things going on:

  1. Aldrich and the “presidents” will attack the Water office for the keys to the pumps. (They want to make sure no one else can fix the pumps without breaking in.)
  2. Donovan, scared jumps the gun and burns the apartment building and collects the insurance money.
    • Silas tries to stop Donovan leaving but is forced to back off when Donovan claims to have maps of the pumps that they plan to attack.
    • Silas then hunts Donovan down.
  3. Bumping into Silas while he’s clearing out his house/attacking a pump and Aldrich orders Silas to attack
    • Showing how powerful Silas’s magic is – hounds and invisibility
    • Defers to Aldrich – gives Aldrich power
  4. Silas is meeting with Aldrich every day to convey orders.
    •  Silas is to use Donovan’s contacts to help them keep the government disinterested and Dr. Mason to help get rid of other annoying people.
    • Aldrich goes to the park and Silas uses his invisibility to get to him without leading someone there.
  5. Silas now has to help isolate GPS to stop them getting in their way. He uses Donovan’s contacts.
    1. He goes in with Dr. Mason to the APA to complain about Ben’s file problem.
    2. Lavinia and Dr. Mason work to get Leslie on their side.
  6. Silas is also to use force to keep GPS from getting in the way of Aldrich’s attacks.
  7. Radcliffe lets Cohen off the hook to start hunting Daville.
  8. Lavinia will try to convince Leslie to experiment on the housekeeper’s children. This will lead to her murdering them with magic and letting Leslie take the blame. (Kill Enemy)
  9. Michaela whose cat Malcolm squished will turn into some horrible monster.
    1. Have her try to reconcile with Malcolm. Assuming he fails she then returns home, bumps into Silas (A refined and elderly man, his face handsome for all the grey) and offers to walk her home “it’s dangerous out here…”
  10. Nyarly starts using his influence to help the players.
  11. The Dark Force takes root in Benoit’s garden.

Bangs!

  • Sam notices smoke coming out of the apartment building across from the tailor shop.
  • Luna returns to Benoit’s house.
  • The Darkness roots in Benoit’s backyard.
  • Malcolm notices a police tail & figures out the Grotto is being monitored.
  • Alice Huff tells Malcolm that he really upset Michaela and that he should find out if she’s alright and probably apologize.
  • Lavinia finds a way to kill one of the O’Hares. (Only on second run around)
  • When Leslie time travels they get a glimpse of something moving quickly towards them in broad angular patterns.
  • A possible witness they visit opens the door without them knocking saying their newspaper boy warned them they were coming. If they ask the paper boy they discover he had been mugged one night after borrowing $50 from his boss but he walked into a weird shop one night and the guy inside said he’d spot them the cash if he warned the witness that the investigators were coming.
  • Dr. Mason lodges a complaint with the APA about Ben’s lack of files and his problems with his wife and son. An investigation begins.
  • The Madhouse Players use their taxi to kidnap one of the investigators.
  • In the Asylum the Steward spots Leslie and tries to communicate with them.
  • While talking to Dr. Mason Leslie has a vision of the hound.
  • Dr. Mason pays a visit to Leslie with Dr. Blue to try to see if Leslie is dangerous. (Channel has told Dr. Mason to skew the results.)
  • Bobby Young returns to GPS, complaining that he’s been having weird visions (or memories) ever since bumping into Leslie. He says he remembers getting some amulet from a black haired woman who had a younger boy with her. The amulet made something bad happen and then there are the gnashing jaws again. Further contact with Leslie strengthens the visions.
  • The hound starts to attack Bobby while he’s there and he runs chased by it.

The Dark Forest

In the back garden some shrubs have grown thick in the corner leaving a rounded hollow underneath. Every now and then Luna ducks into this space and vanishes within. A person can follow, but on all fours, thorns catching at hair and clothes. The tunnel never opens up, always cramped, completely surrounded by branches and never open to the sky, in fact once inside it seems like the sky above would be on some alien planet not on Earth. If you turn around in the tunnel you are suddenly back at the exit crawling out.

The tunnel leads to a variety of locations. Each fork gives a hint of each place, sounds or smells wafting to the explorer. The branches of the path are so thick that they can’t be pushed through. Each location can only be visited once.

The Dusty Knight

The sound of shuffling and a faint metal clanking drifts down the path.

Along the path trudges a knight in thick grey armour. It appears to be made of stone and he drags his sword along the ground. The knight never stops walking along the path, though he never seems to get anywhere. His shield has an upside-down torch on it.

The old knight talks… very… slowly. He explains that there is a dragon near by that he is going to kill.

The Witches Sabbat

The discordant bars of piping seem to slither down the path.

The path ends at the edge of the dark ravine which has grown thick with thorned shrubs. The distant notes of flute music seem to be coming from the opposite side up the hill some distance. In the clearing three women naked from the neck down cavort around the white stone. Each woman, two younger, one crone like with saggy breasts, wear headdresses made from fur and leaves with no facial features. A stone throne has appeared at the end of the ravine, the two bear corpses leaned against the back of it like guards, though both of their heads have been removed.

On the throne sits a man, clearly old from the grey hairs on his chest, he too is naked from the neck down. The man’s head is covered with the two bear heads, each sewn back to back. Two eye holes have been cut and his sharp piercing eyes stare down at the white stone. He never moves a muscle.

The women laugh and scream as they dance. One has a high pitched cackle, one sounds familiar, and the old chrone seems to chant numbers.

(San loss 1D4/1D6+2)

The Faerie Glade

This path smells of mushrooms.

The path opens on a grassy clearing sloping down to a stream glinting golden in the soft light pushing it’s way through the leaves. Wild mushrooms grow along the bank and in a ring on the opposite bank. It seems idyllic.

However the faerie ring is a nest and disturbing it will disgorge the tiny pests, humanoid in limbs but insectoid in configuration with no head but chomping human teeth. They swarm out and attack their botherer biting at toes, climbing pant legs to savage the face or pull the hair.

Fighting: 25%  Bite: 1D3

(San loss 1/1D3)

The mushrooms are all poisonous and cause the eater to become paralyzed. When this happens the faeries come and chop off locks of their hair and if they are particularly unlucky (luck roll) will bite off their finger.

The path continues across the stream. The stream itself leads to the Faerie Queen.

The Faerie Churner’s Path

A sound of buzzing sounds in the distance.

As the explorer walks along suddenly the buzzing and chopping sounds get much louder and a huge beast, wielding buzz saw hands bashes through the path, destroying the trees and bushes as it goes. It wears an apron and it’s arms are mechanical tools tipped with saws and powered claws. Occasionally a steam valve in one arm leads out a gout of steam with a whistle. It’s head is featureless but is split with a huge set of gnashing teeth.

It stops for nothing and any attempt to prevent it destroying trees is met either with no reaction or a savage flailing of one of it’s arms.

Bash: 35% 1D10+5

(San loss 1/1D6)

Following the swathe of destruction to its origin leads to the Faerie Queen.

The Faerie Queen

The golden stream and swathe of destruction leads to a beautiful meadow amidst the trees. The sky is still not visible as the trees arch over the meadow. Amongst the trees beautiful creatures, humanoid in shape seem to stand moving along as if they are sliding the very forest around to suit them. Some lie in the grass eating fruit, others play ghostly music on lyres. Occasionally one of the smaller pixies or a churner is spotted playing the part of a pet or guard.

One creature approaches the explorer hardly moving as the trees move to suit its whims. It seems too beautiful, its features perfectly symmetrical. A mix of human and insect it’s limbs are that of an insect, segmented and far too many tucked under its clothes. Its upper limbs hang in front of it as if it is always supplicating the explorer. Its head appears human, nose eyes and brow all normal, but its jaw is missing and instead has folded mandibles that click and whirr in greeting. Despite speaking in clicks it is perfectly understandable.

The faerie queen wants the explorer to give it their teeth. The faerie’s are obsessed with human teeth since they do not have any and they create their monsters with this in mind. The faerie will offer to lead the explorer out of the forest or to a certain spot in the forest if they agree to give them their teeth. If they do agree several unobserved faeries grab the explorer from behind and take them to a dentist chair like stump in the forest. Then the queen uses her insect hands to pull each tooth out one by one. (San loss 1D4/1D4+2) They then comply with the agreement.

The Naiad’s Stream

The sound of rushing water can be heard down this path.

A waterfall falls into a crystal clear stream. The thick bushes crowd around the trees making a nearly perfect round clearing. The path picks up above the waterfall up a steep scramble up the rocks.

In the pool are white egg sacks which disgorge the dragon fly/human naiad’s. They are very knowledgeable and may appear like alluring human women from behind before they reveal their dragon fly head or legs.

If the explorer can stomach their presence  they can answer any questions about the forest and what else is there. They refuse to talk about Nyarlathotep at all and only have a foggy understanding about Yog-Sothoth.

(San loss 1D4/1D6)

The Satyr’s Temptation

The sound of drums and pipes haunt down the path.

Coming the opposite direction is a parade of satyrs, appearing as shaggy wild faced men with goat legs and horns, they cavort down the path with pipes and drums, drinking from brimming goblets. Their music is alluring making the explorer want to dance along in the stamping fashion of the goat men. (San loss 1/1D4)

If they join the parade they soon lose all sense of time, dancing drinking and stamping along until they find themselves thrust out of the woods, legs bruised weak, feet bloody, nails missing and heels gashed. They suffer a massive hangover and fear the sound of pipe music ever more.

Centaur’s Den

The path seems to be widened and large footprints lead up this path.

The path ends at a glade where a massive tree has fallen leaving a dark cavern underneath its uprooted base and the hole in the ground. A deep growling breathing can be heard from within. The ground is dark with foot prints that seem to have bruised the very ground, and three dead stags have been dragged to the edge of the cave, blood seeping from horrible gashes. A human body is there too dressed like a 13th century monk his head ripped off.

In the cave is a centaur, a chimeric creature a horse rump with a human torso twisted on, the horse legs and human arms making its four limbs, and a lion’s head. Three penises snake out of its horse loins. The back of the human torso and horse body are lined with thick grey feathers, though there are no wings. The whole beast is curled up, arms hugging the horse legs, the lion head asleep, feathers bristling with each breath. (San loss 1D4/1D6)

The beast is dangerous, grabbing with its human arms as it stands upright on the horse hind legs or biting with the lions jaw.

Fighting: 75% 1D8+1D4

Hypnos’ Statue

A scent of sweet flowers, nearly sweat enough to be gagging, floats down the path. Little white flowers bloom along the path growing more common the further along they go.

A small clearing opens filled with the white flowers making it appear almost snowy if it wasn’t for the thick canopy above. One shaft of light falls on a pale white bust on a pillar in the center of the glade. The state is the bust of a classical looking style, young with blank eyes, a straight nose, small mouth and soft facial features, its gender completely indeterminate.

Upon examine the statue closely the person starts to fall in love with it, admiring the way the ears peak from the curly hair, the smooth outline of their neck slightly to the side, even the firm square base where the bust intersects with the pillar. The subtle flair of the nostrils, the pert, almost wet looking lips, the brows, kind but sharp, the hair, pleasingly curly and high on the head, the clear brow. (San loss 1/1D6)


Monitoring the Grotto

The next time everyone is in the grotto Malcolm notices a wire running behind one of the bookshelves. Hidden behind the books is a microphone with a wire running up into the ceiling.

In the apartment directly above the Grotto is a listening office with Officer Wade Montana. He’s been writing down all their conversations and sending it to Justine.

He wont fight back against any attacker, happy to list all the crimes they’ve admitted to the microphone and how killing a cop will hardly endear them to the new Commissioner.


Finding Donovan:

Clue: Donovan has information on the Alchemists and Silas wants it.

  • Silas and Donovan meet and Donovan uses his pump map to get away.
  • The owner sees the conversation and happily collects his insurance pay out.

Clue: Donovan burnt the building for the insurance money:

  • The building owner has collected his insurance check from Donovan.
  • The building was owned by Donovan and he insured it against fire a couple of months ago with the help of the Contley Lawyers Office, a man named Monty Anguis signed the forms.
  • Monty Anguis used to play poker with Donovan, Faron, and Dr. Mason and happily helped him sign the insurance papers and make sure he could collect the money straight away.

Mother Slug

Note: I stole the idea for this monster from the amazing The Book of Unremitting Horror from Pelgrane Press.

After the fight with Malcolm Michaela walked home and bumped into Silas. He offered to take her home, but stopped to get her drunk first so he could do a ritual on her.

Clue: Something bad happened in her apartment.

  • There’s glass on the street and her window is smashed out.
  • The blinds on the window next to hers twitches shut as if someone was watching.
  • All the food not in cans has been eaten. Flour bags, candy and other stuff has all been eaten and licked clean with the patience of the hungriest dog.

Clue: The killer did some sort of sex ceremony with Michaela. And it was probably Silas that did it.

  • Parchment with bloody witch symbols have been tacked to all four corners of the bed. Candles were lit around the apartment and a thick fog of incense can still be smelt.
  • A circle of blood has been painted around the bed. It looks like someone tried to clean it up somehow, though all the cleaning supplies in the closet seem clean. One spot near the door looks different.
  • The bed has been pushed away from the wall. The mattress and sheets are stained with “fluids.” No blood. The covers are all messed up and it’s clear that at least two heavy people were on the bed. The bed has been moved a little out of the circle towards the window, like someone in the bed grabbed the window sill before they threw themselves through it.

Clue: Opal disrupted the ceremony.

  • There are a few scratches on the bed post that look like an animal grabbed onto the bed.
  • There’s a blood splotch about six feet up the door opposite the bed. The wall is dented slightly and there’s some cat hair stuck to the wall. This is directly over the spot on the circle.
  • The spot looks cleaner than the rest of the circle. A little of blood managed to get in between the floor boards where there is also a lot of cat hair.

Clue: Michaela came home drunk with an older man.

  • The window that twitched belongs to Tom, a nosy neighbor who watches the street.

He says that Michaela came home drunk hanging off some older man, he suspects he was what some women might call handsome. Michaela was holding a bottle and complaining that “Malcolm never was this nice.”

He heard the two of them through the wall quite clearly. There was some scrapping like they were moving some furniture around, and then a funny singing sound, all rhythmic and out of tune. Must have been Michaela drunk.

Then it was some other kind of rhythmic sound, the bed springs quite squeaky. Course Tom didn’t like hearing that too much. Then the man must of yelled and there was a yowling sound, probably one of her cats. There was a thunk as if someone threw something across the room.

After that was the weirdest bit of all. He heard the man swearing but nothing out of Michaela. He heard the front door slam and when he looked out the window he saw the man leaving. Funny too he had two black dogs with him on leashes, though he was certain the man hadn’t had any dogs with him before that.

Then it sounded like Michaela was back on the bed, all squeaky but less rhythmic, she was alone this time so who knows what she was doing? There was some thumping for a long while after she had finished. If the man hadn’t left Tom would’ve though he was draggin her body around. A sound like licking too.

Then there was that scrapping sound again and then smash from the window.

  • Tom peaked but wasn’t sure what he saw and he sure as well wont tell without some rum.

It was slug like, but with arms, it stopped for a moment behind the garbage bins and looked like it gave birth to something that Tom couldn’t see.

  • By the rubbish bins around the back is a dead cat. Weirdly its hair doesn’t seem to move, even though its fairly windy. The hair is actually made of teeth enamel. The rest of the body seems to be made wrong in the same way, organs all made of the wrong stuff.
  • Malcolm would recognize the cat as Opal.
  • One of the bins has been knocked over and all the food scraps inside have been eaten. Several candy bar wrappers look like they’ve been licked open and cleaned.

Saturday Session Prep: Flames Engulf 10

Saturday Session Prep are notes directly from my game sessions. They are completely unedited, sloppy, and unorganized, enjoy! They include both before and after session notes. 

SESSION 10

  1. Alchemists move valuables out of town.

LPC:

The Wilson’s have carefully managed to get Dr. Mason on the hook to aid them and with Channel working at the paper they have a lot of pull. The Wilson’s are also good friends with the Ainsworths, Faron works at the Miskatonic Bank who keeps the accounts of Ben and the Middleton’s at least.

  • Deborah has told Faron to make sure none of Ben’s insurance claims go through.
  • Faron has also made sure that the Wilson’s and the others have great fire insurance for all their property.
  • Deborah has been getting dirt on Cedric Christie and will hire Sam to get photos on him cheating on his wife. She will get a flunky to go to the office pretending to be Cedric’s wife to hire him.
  • Dr. Mason is going to “accidently expose” Sam’s reason for being in the Asylum. In fact it’s going to come through Lulu Gossaph.

Introduction

  • It is soon to be Walpurgis Nacht (April 30) and a party is going to be held to send off the Arkham soldiers.
  • Let players describe scenes that involve preparation or otherwise are leading up to the gala.

Bangs!

  • Ben gets a letter informing him that his insurance claim on the office has been rejected. (Donovan’s influence) Furthermore the medical bills and other expenses have put his checking account to under $100 (About $1600). (Isolate investigator)
  • Donovan Dog is haunting Malcolm after the bank heist. He finds ways to get in his ways. Body is covered in frost etc. (Haunt investigator)
  • Ben is made to move all the furniture he owns.
  • Some of Malcolm’s guys mention that a rich lady was offering to hire them as bodyguards.
  • Booby Young bumps into Leslie and has a vision of his memories, bumping into Samantha and her brother and gnashing jaws.
  • The Catholics are having a Walpurgis Night Vigil watching for witches in the sky. They stare at Sam and try to stop him to “make sure he isn’t a witchmaster.”
  • Silas lets himself be seen standing watching Benoit holding the leads to two large dogs. (Threaten Safety)

Farewell to our Soldiers Gala

  • Com. Stanley returns for a farewell party. Dr. Middleton and other recruits given sendoff.
  • Everyone returns after a short training stint out of town. This will be the final thing before they are sent of to military bases.

ἀπόρρητα, not to be spoken of.


Ben’s Patricia

If he tries to “fix” Patricia several things happen:

  • First once he tries to reenact the method he’s used several times he finds that he still has no idea how to remove the grease.
  • Since Agatha has scared away the lloigor that were preying on her mind it seems free of all but the greasiness. But when he tries to get closer to it some of the creases split open revealing huge bloodshot eyes. From around the brain a beak spins around and the brain starts sprouting feathers. Something is very, very, wrong. (San loss 1D3/2+1D6)
  • Parasites have been drawn to Ben’s brain magic. One will seek his body. This will create a homunculus that begins absorbing his skin flakes, tears, etc. It starts to grow to look precisely like Ben.

Bank Heist Danger Dogs

They walk in shortly before the Bitter Servants do. Their plan is to threaten the tellers with their guns, keep hostages until they can get any money behind the counter and leave in a van out front driven by Green Hat.

If cops come in they plan to shoot shots over their heads and yell that they’ll kill the hostages. If the cops persist they’ll shoot the tellers first and then try to get the cops, they don’t want to kill any prisoners if they can.

If they can’t shoot and kill attackers they’ll try to grapple with them and bring them to the ground until Blue Coat can kill the attacker.

  1. Blue Coat

Attacks per round: 3

 

Fighting 50% (25/5), damage 1D6 + 1D4

Bite and hold (40%)

Brains: 65 Brawn: 50 Power: 50
San: 0 HP: 17-5=12 12-3=9  9-3=6  6-4=2 2 Db: 1D4

Dodge 40% (20/8)

Armor: Firearms and projectiles do half of rolled damage; round down any fraction.

 

  1. Red Hair
Brains: 35 Brawn: 50 Power: 50
San: 0 HP: 5 Db: 1D4

Pistol: 1D10+2

  1. Yellow Scarf
Brains: 35 Brawn: 50 Power: 50
San: 0 HP: 5-3=2-5 Db: 1D4

Pistol: 1D10+2

  1. Green Hat
Brains: 35 Brawn: 50 Power: 50
San: 0 HP: 5-6=-1 Db: 1D4

Pistol: 1D10+2

Friday Game Notes 10: Soldier’s Gala

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

Brainstorm

Rastapoupolos wants to get Justine nervous and pliable by implying how scared and lost most of Arkham is.

  • May-eve? Walpurgis Nacht? This could be an important witch night, and therefore an excellent place to have a supernatural attack.
  • Carmela and other society women introduced – perfect chance for Diana’s sacrifice

The witches will conspire to help Diana do the sacrifice. They will try to get Carmela or Ms. Barber alone for murder.

  • Cohen could attack
  • Florian Volker could try to burn the building down – maybe is killed dramatically by Cohen and is left splattered several stories down – strangely covered in worms – links to Radcliffe’s assassin

Florian will seek out Sam and claim to have important information but is killed by Cohen revealing just enough clues about the Arkham Ripper creating a new round of investigations.

  • Chance to get to Deborah or Donovan Wilson – reveal of Lavinia’s connection to them – confrontation of both Leslie and Sam.
  • Radcliffe could ask Malcolm to do something dangerous – steal something, etc.
  • Maybe this is Malcolm’s chance to get the dirt on the editor of the paper – or other society people –
  • maybe after this is when Radcliffe makes the deal with Henry

Several gangsters of the BS have been approached by Wilson’s people for bodyguard jobs. This will be Malcolm’s chance to get people close to Deborah and Donavan. Let’s see if he will grab the chance. Furthermore Radcliffe is up to some dirty dealing and will try to meet with Henry to cut the Danger Dogs from their Dreamlands escape route.

The editor Zach Cropper will be making a fool of himself at the party as well, a perfect time for Malcolm to get some dirt on him. He drunkenly tries to seduce Ms. Barber and takes her to a back room.


Introduction

  • It is soon to be Walpurgis Nacht (April 30) and a party is going to be held to send off the Arkham soldiers.
  • Let players describe scenes that involve preparation or otherwise are leading up to the gala.

Farewell to our Soldiers Gala

  • Com. Stanley returns for a farewell party. Dr. Middleton and other recruits given sendoff.
  • Everyone returns after a short training stint out of town. This will be the final thing before they are sent of to military bases.
  • Neo-Witchcult intervention could add some sparks to the party as well

Guests

Com. Stanley’s Party

  1. Justine Vogel
  2. Cedric Christie
  3. Com. Stanley
  4. Isiah Hallman
Activist Group

  1. Diana Anguis
  2. Camellia Addison
  3. Sloane Foster
Other

  1. Zach Cropper
  2. Mr. Radcliffe
  3. Huey McCabe

 

NeoWitch Cult

  1. Rastapoupolos
  2. Monty & Hestia Anguis
Witches

  1. Channel Delapore
Recruits

  1. Kyran O’Hare
  2. Vernay Anguis
  3. Dr. d’Poe
  4. Dr. Middleton
  5. Wallace
  6. Carl

 

Socialites

  1. Carmela Chadburry
  2. Ms. Barber
  3. Faron, Mikayla & Norm Ainsworth
  4. Deborah Wilson & Donovan Wilson & Lavinia
Madhouse Players

  1. Elizabet
  2. Carol
  3. Philip
Uninvited Guests

  1. Florian Volker
  2. Robert Cohen
  3. Esmeralda Ocana

Deborah’s Body Guards:

Brains: 35 Brawn: 50 Power: 50
San: 0 HP: 10 Db: 1D4

Pistol: 1D10+2

 


Timeline


 

Guests arrive at Train Station

  1. Com. Stanley, Justine and Cedric Christie are all there early to give a speech
  2. General people arrive
  3. Carmela and socialites arrive
  4. Activists arrive at the same time as NWC

Cedric Christie introduces Com. Stanley who says a few words

  1. Channel arrives and sails in
  2. Florian insists Sam meet him during the Farewell ceremony
  3. Zach Cropper tries to seduce Ms. Barber in a private room

Food begins to be served & Madhouse Players put on a dance in the hall room

  1. Diana follows Ms. Barber and Zach upstairs.

Rastapoupolus approaches Justine with threats about how scared the people are.

Diana murders Ms. Barber in a pentagram.

 

Recruits are packed on waiting train and people are invited to give their final farewells.

  1. Florian is murdered by Cohen

Train leaves

Police arrive for Florian’s body

Party ends


Conversation Topics

 

  1. The drive by at Church Street Park last month.
    • Zach Cropper asks around about the shooting early on.
  2. Who the crazy man at the party is.
    • He was asking around about a Sam?
  3. Zach Cropper is getting too drunk and harassing that poor Ms. Barber.
    • They say since Zach’s wife left him he’s been crazy after younger women. Imagine the scandal if someone caught them together!
  4. Deborah Wilson has come with a little girl. No one knew she had children.
    • Her husband the DA was always against kids, something about his clock collection.
  5. Carmela looks as lovely as always, it must be her Italian diet. And she was seen talking with Channel Delapore earlier, who works for the paper!
    • They say the two live next to each other and that Channel visits all the time. She gets all her fashion tips from Carmela they say!
  6. Poor Carmela must be shattered by Comm. Stanley being sent off the war.
    • They never married since Carmela was widowed but everyone knows what was really going on.
  7. Those musicians are pretty weird, whose idea was it to hire them anyways?
    • One of them was commenting to the other that they’re supposed to be actors not musicians!
  8. Didn’t that Mr. Radcliffe threaten to come? Haven’t seen him in person since the ACC went bankrupt, but people say he’s gone into less than legal professions.
    • He bought all the Bolton Steel Mills to save himself they say. And isn’t it convenient he had that mill when the war started? Almost like he knew what was coming!
  9. Those catholic witch people are pretty weird, they were handing out pamphlets about lighting bonfires for Walpurgis Night tonight. Some of the old Grandma’s used to do that around this time of year, but these days?
    • That Father Rastapoulous used to have a company in New York I hear, selling furniture or some such. Weird that he’s running a church now!
  10. So sad to see the soldiers leaving. But some of the men do look handsome in uniform.
    • Those two dashing young men, Kyran and Vernay I think, didn’t seem interested in the young ladies did they?
  11. The whole rumors about arsonists and that prank on Hangman’s Hill are all a bit too much don’t you think?
    • Those Catholics were saying it was witches causing it. Some of the South Side immigrants were claiming that burning the old oak would release evil spirits into the city.
  12. Glad those Arkham Ripper murders have stopped!
    • Either cop can mention that the Ripper murders were horrible murders on various people where organs disappeared. The murderer was never caught.
  13. The new Lady Commissioner is very odd don’t you think! A lady could never be strict enough for that job.
    • Carmela Chadburry will object on Justine’s behalf, saying that Stanley is standing up for her as the best damn cop he’s ever seen. She’s closer to stopping the mobs in town than any Stanley ever was.
  14. That coward Dr. Mason apparently bribed someone high up to let him out of service.
    • Cedric Christie admits that Donovan Wilson and Dr. Mason got him CO status despite his medical profession.

 

Free (Mini) Adventure:Camping

The players, campers or camp counselors on a school trip are up in the mountains. With a dozen kids can they survive bears, escaped convicts, and the aliens that are hunting them?

Suggested system: Fear Itself


Main Locations:

The Camp

  1. Camp ground – a flat area of mud and grass with three tents around a flag pole.
  2. Fire circle –  a bendy path through the woods keeps a secluded fire circle out of sight of the tents. Perfect for story time.
  3. Road – the camp site is down the hill from a dirt path that travels down the other side of the ridge to the road which fifteen miles along connects with a high way. The nearest town is an even further 30 miles either direction.
  4. The Cabin – The small cabin where the grounds keeper sleeps. He has an ancient computer and the only wired telephone around.
    1. The keys to the truck are kept on the hook inside.
    2. There are garbage cans behind the cabin where they dump all their trash.
  5. The truck – the only vehicle in camp parked behind the Cabin. It has a tool box filled with fishing hooks. There’s a shotgun hidden under the front seat.
  6. Hiking paths
    1. One path goes down to the lake
    2. Another goes up to the ridge and into the mountains

Bear

A massive pink quadrupedal creature with huge claws and a bear like maw. It has round wounds on its back and a limp. It smells of pain and piss. It roars angrily and its eyes are wide and mad.

Carl

A long haired camp counselor. Knows a lot about astronomy.

 

Gary

Bearded and fat groundskeeper. Smells of cloves constantly.

 

Other Campers

A variety of scaredy cats and troopers. They should be treated as a group and as targets whenever possible.


The Lake

  1. A large bean shaped lake. The path comes down on one the south side dimple.
  2. At the base of the path is a small jetty.
  3. There is a tiny shed for the camps two canoes.
  4. There is a large rock in between the two dimples of the lake. It hides a small inlet and many kids jump off it.
  5. A path meets the lake at the far north and goes up into the mountains.

The Mountain

  1. Path leading from the camp – heads up the ridge into the mountains
  2. Path from the lake leads up into the mountain
  3. Cross roads – meets path 1 and path 2 a third path leads up hill
  4. A path leads up to the peak
  5. The peak
  6. Downhill from the ridge is a series of caves
  7. At the entrance of one of the caves is a large tree. This is where the convicts have been hiding. The interior isn’t visible from the outside since the cavern bends to the left.
    1. Inside is a sack filled with filched supplies.
    2. The back of the cave has a thin crevasse that leads into the mines.

Conscripts

Fred, bald and tattooed, Bob,  tall and muscled , Flip, skinny and whelpish


The Mines

  1. The mines – Mi-go digging areas. They dig up precious stones using earthquake devices.
    1. Main mining area – a maze of tunnels leads into a large cavern inside the mountain the Mi-go have emptied out most of the mountain and are levitating shining rocks from inside the earth.
    2. A passage with strange lights lead to a room with talking machines and brain canisters there is a surgery room

Mi-Go

Large thin crab like bodies covered in cilia with two large nippers and giant sail like wings. It smells musty like a root cellar. It buzzes continually. Its round head is covered in nobules and flashes dark colors.

 


Timeline

Kids arrive by bus

  • Bus leaves dropping campers there
  • Radio on the way there plays announcement about recent run away convicts
  • Bus leaves
  • Groundskeeper shows kids rotting raccoons – weirdly the brain is missing

Game starts with recap of previous

  • Kids woozy from raccoons
  • After fire side stories:

Counselor Gets Kids to look at planets

  • Sees Pluto as pinprick
  • Something is obscuring the view of the planet
  • A shaved bear attacks
  • Bear has bullet marks and  tattered orange cloth in mouth was shaved

Injured kids taken to town by Groundskeeper in truck

  • Strange colored lights rise out of lake spin around
    • Storm hits camp blows over trees blocking the road
  • Criminals sneak in to steal supplies from camp

Criminal tracks go back to their cave

  • Bodies without brains
  • Strange machine in back trying to get them to leave him alone
  • Strange tracks outside

Mi-Go hunt

  • They will attack anyone alone by grabbing them and dropping them
  • They will use mist projectors to freeze people fleeing from them
  • They will use their spark projectors to attack people inside
  • If the cabin is left alone the mi-go will destroy it with their earth quake

Mi-Go Mines

  • PCs grabbed by the Mi-Go will be taken to the mines
  • Mining going on
  • Surgery to remove minds and put humans in shelves

Defeating Mi-Go

  • They are allergic to vinegar which makes them swell up slightly
    • There are bottles of vinegar kept inside the cabin – if there is a fire there may only be one or two left to use
  • They can be killed with a shotgun but it is harder

Dungeon Design: EAT3 Locked Dungeon

EAT Locked Dungeon.png

  1. Behind the locked iron door is a crossroads. To the left is a passage that ends in a corner up ahead, a corridor straight ahead is at an angle from the corridor, and to the right is another passage that ends in another cross passage.

This area was not originally locked off. However when thinking about what paths the players took through the dungeon the more I wanted a more challenging path to follow. The players could go straight ahead from the passages in the prior section but they will have to come up with a clever solution to the bent doors. Then they may get the drop on the looters inside the lower sections. If they take the open route they will face the looters head on.

2. This corridor is lined with small alcoves with jars filled with different types of leaves left by the Elves. About half way down there are two torch sconces facing each other. If they are not lit and someone walks between them dart shooters fire into the corridor from the far end. The passage ends in a corner and intersects with passage.

Somewhere along the way I decided that this dungeon was a tomb for elves. Part of the Epic Adventure Tour theme is that the fantasy land does not conform to the cliches, it has been forced to to satisfy the whims of the tourists traveling through it. 

At this point the traps have become real but avoidable threats. They are obvious in location, anywhere torch sconces are, and if the torches are lit the trap won’t go off. I describe them all as dart traps to keep it simple, but a meaner GM might improvise different effects. 

3. A broader passage at an angle with two parallel lines of candle holders. If they are not lit and the floor between them is walked on dart traps fire across the corridor.

4. A large chamber with an open entrance on the north side and closed with an iron door on the south side. Two pillars hold the ceiling up and a small stone chest is behind one of the pillar. Inside are three magical items.

13th Age is the system I was going to use with this dungeon. Part of the game is that all magical items have a personality of sorts, a cloak of stealth might sneeze every now and then, a magical great sword might have a superiority complex.

5. The passage continues down an angled path. It is intersected by the entrance to a larger vaulted chamber. At the end of the passage is another locked iron door.

The locked iron door is another part of challenging the players while giving them a good way to sneak up on the looters. It also is why the looters haven’t been able to get into the locked off area yet.

6. A large vaulted chamber with pillars down the middle. On the south side of the room a flight of stairs climbs up to a raised platform with a locked door. On the far end is a wide passage to a locked door with twin torch sconces on either side. If they are not lit and someone walks between them dart traps fire from behind towards the door.

Friday Game Notes 5: Arkham Fire Dept.

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

Hundreds of fires happen each year. In Boston 1975  417 fires occurred. In Arkham a smaller town in 1940 around 200 occur every year.

Fire dept. probably formed in late 1800s around when the mills were going up along the river.

1938 some of the wooden stations replaced with modern buildings. Better trucks used.

During the war the crews are mostly manned by volunteering women.

Station 1

Arkham’s main fire station is situated near the Boston-Arkham railway station. Trucks can easily reach the North Side and Downtown areas. The station houses three trucks and a car and twenty volunteer fire fighters.

Station 1 can get trucks to any place in the Downtown area in under five minutes. It can reach the North Side and North East in ten to fifteen minutes.

Chief: Bradwood

Secretary: Hollie Glover

Fire Chief

Dick Braidwood – a lanky and tall man he seems an atypical fire chief to many. But while the Fire Department of Arkham doesn’t have the funding of Arkham PD Braidwood takes his job very seriously and it is a testament to his work that the city has lost only twelve buildings over the last year.


Station 2

Underfunded the Fire Department only has a few stations in the nicer locations of Arkham. One is a small one truck office in the North East corner of town to serve the gaggle of townhouses.

Station 2 can reach the houses on the North East in five minutes, and the docks and down town in ten to fifteen minutes.

Chief: Tyrone Hope


Station 3

Actually the original Fire House in Arkham this two truck station services the University district of Arkham.

Station 3 reaches the middle of the University Hill neighborhood in five minutes including the M.U. and the Hangman’s Hill and French Hills in ten to fifteen minutes.

Chief: Matthew Welch


Station 4

The second station to the south of the Miskatonic river Station 4 services French Hill, an important responsibility. Most of French Hill’s houses are antique wooden edifices.

Trucks can get from Station 4 to anywhere on French Hill in five minutes, the Lower South Side and University Hill area in ten to fifteen minutes.

Chief: Matthew Welch (Same as above. Strange coincidence? Or clone?)


Water Supply

Arkham’s water supply is fed by the large Heath Reservoir to the South East of town. The reservoir was built in the late 1800s and doesn’t have the larger treatment plants of more modern water supplies. However a small plant uses chlorine to treat the water before pipes enter the ground on their way to Arkham. Arkham is an old town and the combination of sewers, cellars, and constantly moving foundations have created a network of tunnels under the city. Water pipes have been laid throughout these tunnels and reach the surface under houses and into a fire hydrant on each block.

It’s possible to cut off the city water, either by rupturing the pipes at the treatment plant or in four locations around the city. Each of these locations can be accessed from street level through locked doors.

North Side Pump

The upper most access point appears to be a small one room brick building in between two brownstone tenement buildings. Above the padlocked steel door is the date it was installed (1889) and a small lamp. Back when it was installed the lamp would be kept lit by workers who checked water pressure each week. Now the lamp is ignored. The small room has a steel table covered in cobwebbed clogged coke bottles in crates, an array of pressure gauges and a large steel hatch in the center of the floor. A nest of rats lives in the back corner and they have gnawed a hole in the back wall.

Below the hatch is a larger underground room with machinery that pumps water into the North Side. The sound of engines and rushing water blocks out all other sound. The Bitter Servants own the Tenement house on the right side of the pump since the engine sound hides any sounds from their basement. The Danger Dogs have also been looking for the cellar since it would make a good underground point to enter Bitter Servant territory. Their exploratory tunnel reaches Dr. d’Poe’s office nearby.

Hangman’s Hill Pump

Most of the University district is on flat ground in between the two hills. The pump here, the biggest of the four takes water directly from the Heath Reservoir and pumps it into the city mainlines. The pump itself takes up the above ground and underground rooms of the building, a wooden shed built in the early 1900s. This massive wooden warehouse has a large sliding door kept padlocked and long jammed with rust, and a smaller side door. High windows lets hundreds of the city’s pigeons nest in the rafters of the building. Someone could slip through the window if they had a ladder to climb up.

Inside the building are two large antique pumps that make a constant vibration running through the street outside. The tops of the pumps stick out of the floor and display a tentacle like web of gauges and pipes and wheels. A rickety wooden staircase takes workmen down to the main pump room if greater maintenance is required. Someone could turn the pumps off from the upper room, but the water system around Arkham would still run passively. They would also be quickly restored to work. They could be blown up with explosives from the lower room.

French Hill Pump

While there is no room at the top of French Hill a small electric pump midway up has been found sufficient to provide the large antique manor houses with water. The more modern pump is built above ground  and all the pipes up to the top of the hill run up to the surface and back into the hill. The building itself is set partly into the hill, one full wall facing down into the South Side and the top covered with dirt and grown over with a small garden. A bus stop has been propped above the pump room on the Northerly street.

The interior of the pump room are modernly metal furnished and have a large control panel beside the stacked pipes. The steel door is kept locked with a complex door lock.

Downtown Pump

Built amongst the now highest buildings of the Arkham downtown the  pump house has been integrated into the base of a large office building The Anzac. The Anzac, a masterpiece in Art Deco in white stone towers in between two shorter edifices. The pump can be accessed from the street or the building. A steel gate and a steel door block entrance from the street. Both have well rusted padlocks as if no one has entered the pump room from this way in a long time. Back corridors lead in a labyrinth from behind the store rooms of the building to a wooden door with a bolt locked from the outside, as if something will try to escape from the pump room.

Inside is a musty little room, damp from the water running through the pipes underneath. The pump itself is well buried but pipes have been drawn out of the ground with pressure gauges and lock wheels.

A lot of the Downtown buildings have their own cisterns at the top of their towers to provide pressurized water to the top floors, so turning off the downtown pump will slow water flow but not cut it off unless all four pumps have been disabled.


Downtown Water Office

A small office in the Oklahoma Building houses the small maintenance and repair office of the Arkham Water Bureau. There two gentlemen, Roger and Harry Towers sit listening to the radio and tinkering with their truck. Every Tuesday they set out and check all of the pumps. Any repairs on pipes around the city go through this office, though the greater city workers crew will be assembled to complete these. They hold the keys to all of these pumps.

Arkham, built around the Miskatonic River has plenty of ground water to draw on if the reservoir were cut off from the town. This would provide enough for drinking water but not for effective fire fighting or last more than a month or two.


The Reservoir

The Arkham reservoir built in the early 1900s serves the whole city and oddly is the home to colours out of space spawning and feeding quite happily. The colours feeding on the flora and fauna around the reservoir grow big enough and then swim through the pumps into town to grow bigger on the population.

There is a small dam built on the small stream that once flowed through this area. On it is a large pump house and the large pipes that take water to town. Arkham has been wet and the reservoir is well filled during most of the year.

Five men work at the dam keeping running. They are fed off by the colours like all the other life around. They sit lethargic in their offices hardly working, skin discolored. The decrepitude has crept to the dam itself and everything is rusted and flaking. Dust is in any of the buildings.

Aldrich’s Plan

Aldrich plans on blowing the whole dam letting the water out of the reservoir and cutting off any chance to put out the fires in Arkham. By using the papers at the Water Office he’s figured out good places to do it and he has the explosives ready. When he has turned all of the city pumps off he will set the bombs himself with Washington and Lincoln.

Of course the colours don’t want any of that. Once they feel humans nearby acting oddly they’ll appear to watch. If they feel threatened they’ll consider absorbing the trespassers acting like a magical attack absorbing 10 Pow each attack.

The seven colours start with 90 Pow each.

They may be destroyed if their powers are taken down to 0.

Friday Game Notes 3: Arkham History & Summanus High

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

A Brief Modern History of Arkham, Massachusetts

1920 until 1939

as published by the Arkham Historical Society in their newsletter vol. 104

December 1939

Arkham, Massachusetts flourished in the 1920s like many towns in America during the roaring twenties. Arkham, situated in Essex County on the Miskatonic river, was a prime location for international shipping, especially for lumber and steel from the Bolton Steel Mills further north up the river. While the lumber industry in the Miskatonic valley was in the decline many businessmen in the 20s made their fortunes in the later years. The Virginia and Wilson families are the most notable of these. In 1922 Mr. White an unknown businessman from the West Coast founded the Arkham Cattle Company. The company bought several farms near Arkham and in further locales and began shipping meat around the North-Eastern United States. The same year they began work on the ACC Office Building at 66 Main Street adjacent to the Miskatonic Bank replacing the old Arkham Theater building which burned down in 1918.

At the same time Arkham’s pride the Miskatonic University was flourishing. Dr. Henry Armitage assumed the position of Head Librarian and Chairman of the English Studies Department. Almost 6000 students were attending classes in October of 1921, and in 1929 the Women’s and Men’s collages were combined. In 1920 the Miskatonic Campus Green was famously the site of nearly 150 female students voting for the first time. The Miskatonic University also proudly saw the graduation of eleven veterans in 1921 in June. The same year The Archaeology Hall received a new roof.

In 1925 the Arkham Police earned a new Captain Detective, Oliver Stanley, who had attained the rank of Commissioner by 1930 after successfully stopping a series of murders in 1928. In 1928 it seemed several people were mauled by wild animals. Captain Detective Stanley with his team of dedicated Detectives discovered a network of tunnels underneath Arkham which were being used by the murderers. Entrances to the cave network on Hangman’s Hill and the Potter’s Ground were cemented closed by officers the same year. The Arkham Police has grown by a third under Commissioner Stanley’s watch and crime has dropped by half. Just as well since 1935 saw the beginning of an influx of poorer workers from Boston and New York taking up the Lower South Side.

In 1929 the Arkham Cattle Company had grown considerably. It owned land as far south as Virginia and was selling beef and pork around most of the nation. According to several accountants working there it also dealt with huge stock buying and selling. In September Mr. White, the owner, suddenly vanished leaving the company headless. His deputy Mr. Radcliffe struggled to keep afloat and declared the company bankrupt in October. Radcliffe in a surprise move liquidated half of the company and purchased the Bolton Steel Mills which had recently been put up for sale after its owner tragically died in an explosion on the premises. Radcliffe’s decision was extremely unpopular and he escaped an attack by a bitter accountant the same year. During the Depression of the 30s the ACC building was temporarily converted into cheap housing until the Mayor, Cedric Christie announced it would be demolished for new development. However by 1935 the construction had halted and has yet to begin again.


Summons High

Summanus High is the local school of Arkham, officially named Arkham High School in the traditional Boston manner, the locals still call it Summanus, though no one remembers why. The school has 1500 students and around 80 teachers. The building itself is fairly new since the old one was demolished in ’24. It’s in the classic brick portico-ed style with a large clock tower over it’s neo-classical façade. The clock has always been stuck at 3:33 since it was built.


 

Teachers


Errol Barnaby

A “dreamy” English professor who covers poetry. His favorite poet is Byron.

Harlow St John

Harlow is a history professor. Many of the students joke that Harlow lived in every period he talks about. Harlow enjoys the cane, and often hits students with chalk.

Adrian Simpkin

Adrian teaches Household Crafts to the girls at school. His cooking is not particularly good.

Courtney Carlisle

As well as being Adrian’s partner, he also teaches PE. The two often meet over lunch in the locker room.

Isaiah Hallman

Mr. Hallman teaches history. His main subject is the French Revolution, the Witch Trials, and the Spanish Inquisition. He often draws or shows picture slides (overheads were rare in the 1940s – he probably uses an Opaque projector) The pictures are graphic in nature.

Kiersten Sumner

Teaches art. She likes water colors and prefers light pastel colors.

Olyvia Cocks

Ms. Cocks, besides being the “butt” (ahem) of jokes, is the old hag of the school. Born in 1855, this 65 years old, Cocks is ancient in comparison to the students. She is the terror of the school, beating with a ruler the least of her punishments. She locks kids in her closet, makes them hold up text books for hours, or, the worst, makes kids cut her toe nails.

Sloane Foster

Harlow St John is obsessed with Ms. Foster. Despite rejecting him more than once, Harlow still bothers her. She teaches English to the Freshman.

Charlene Ward

Teaches sowing. She famously pricked Harlow with a needle in the teachers lounge once.


Students


Lucy & Evana Salesman

Lucy and Evana have been put in the same classes. However Lucy, who is Chinese gets punished by many of the teachers more often than Evana. She is also left handed and has been hit more than once for not using her right hand.

Bridget O’Hare

Bridget is the daughter of Dr. Gardener’s Housekeeper and niece of Edward O’Hare the war hero. She has a ruler of the roost mentality and bullies many of the other girls.

Angelica Christie

Brid’s closest friend and co-ruler of the school. Angelica’s favorite thing is to pull people’s hair and use her nails to pierce people’s skin.

Haruto Vogel

History is the least boring subject

Being bullied by Norm Ainsworth

Haruto is still in school in Arkham. He finds history to be his least boring subject, but finds himself drawn specifically to Japanese military history. He dreams of being a powerful samurai, unhindered by the undiagnosed disease that makes his life so difficult.

Haruto has stolen his mother’s katana, which was a gift from her father. Her father acquired it not from a Japanese supplier, but oddly enough, a Chinese businessperson by the name of Ho Fong.

Haruto has borrowed a number of library books on bushido in Edo period Japan in order to teach himself the way of the sword. He spends long hours reading in the library, and longer hours still practicing with his ill-gotten blade.

Norm Ainsworth

The son of the Arkham Ainsworth’s Norm is a prat and a pomp. He often scolds the teachers and threatens to have them fired. However the Ainsworth’s are not as rich as he makes them out to be, he is in a public school after all. He could probably become a lot nicer should the opportunity come up.

Milo Bradsley

Milo is quiet and keeps to himself, often with a book in a corner. However he is no kindly scholar (the word nerd appeared in 1950), instead he is a mean spirited child who practices his “surgeries” on local birds and the odd road kill cat.

Chadwick Bond

An athlete, Chadwick is handsome and strong. Rather sly he tries his best to knock his competition out before sporting events. His greatest triumph is when he managed to get Tucker, his best friend of the time, to break his leg before a running race, effectively knocking him out of any competition that year. Tucker graduated that year and has since become a minor clerk. Chadwick is Bridget’s “boyfriend” though he mostly forces this on her. One may speculate that this is why she takes out her frustrations on the other students.