Posts Tagged With: Lovecraft

Green Box – Storage Unit 13D

Sparked by the recent discussion – and an example of all sorts of things that can get a group into trouble, as well as an example of a “Green Box Gone Bad” – Originally Posted on Dec 14th, 2005 on the DGML. Personally, I tend to like to fill Green Boxes with all sorts of things that the players would love to use – but that will cause all sorts of trouble if they actually do.

Have Fun!

——

Typical in many ways, and highly untypical in another, this Green Box (Unit 13D) is found at Eagle Storage, in Aurora IL (Just off Rt. 88). It’s a 10×30 unit located on the ground level of a three-story, open-air structure. Padlocked, the key is kept in military surplus soapbox cached in the nearby Herrick Lake forest preserve in Naperville (also just off Rt. 88). Standard practice calls for the agents to be given the GPS coordinates of the key cache along with the name and location of the Storage Unit when requested. When done with the Green Box the key is to be cached in a new location (though often in a nearby location) and GPS coordinates to be communicated to A-Cell immediately.

To someone passing by the open door, the contents of the unit are innocuous. A number of boxes, some 55-Gallon drums in the back, a number of bags of various building materials. It looks rather like a building contractors storage unit (with some “personal stuff”). Everything is stacked somewhat neatly on itself, and there are number of empty wooden packing crates waiting to be filled by the investigators.

Contained in the Green Box in open sight are:

  • 3-1/2 50lb bags of Fast-set Quikrete
  • 6-1/4 80lb Bags of Salt (With a surprising amount of salt scattered around the floor of the unit.)
  • A gasoline powered, 16″ Chainsaw (stabiled and ready to start) in its case. There’s no other gas in the unit however. There are blood and bone traces in the teeth of the saw.
  • 8′ Fiberglass Ladder
  • 20′ Aluminum Extension Ladder
  • 2 Sledgehammers
  • 2 Shovels
  • 1 Pickaxe
  • 1 Woodsman Axe (with blood traces)
  • 1 Hatchet (with blood traces)
  • Folding Pruning Saw
  • 1 22″ Pruning Sheer (with blood traces)
  • 4-1/2 20lb bags of Charcoal Briquettes
  • Weber “Smoky Joe” charcoal grill (evidence of burned papers inside)
  • 4 cases of lighter fluid
  • 1 Full Bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black Label with a scrawled note attached – “Buy a new one before you leave.” There are 11 empty bottles scattered about the unit, including one that has been used as an ashtray.
  • A spare tire for a late model Ford Mercury
  • 3 Road flares
  • A Bundle of 30 stakes – examination reveals that they are made of White Ash
  • An unopened carton of Gauloises
  • 1 Prybar
  • A single man Battering Ram – well used.
  • 3 20′ lengths of Grade 80 Chain
  • Half-a-dozen padlocks with keys
  • 1.5 Ton Auto Jack
  • 3 30-lb Propane tanks (filled)
  • 2 5-lb bags of soda lye
  • 1 5-gallon Tub of Roofing tar

In the storage crates (Generally under the empty crates);

  • 2 Model 37 Ithaca Stakeout Shotguns (12-Gauge) – unloaded
  • .50 Desert Eagle Pistol with two clips – unloaded
  • .455 Webley Revolver (Not in great shape but still useable, obvious antique)
  • 4 Daewoo USAS-12 Selective Fire Shotguns – each with 2 clips and 1 drum – unloaded
  • 2 Ingram Mac-10’s, each with an extra clip. (These need to be cleaned before use or there is x4 the normal chance for an accident)
  • Reloading equipment for 12-Gauge Shotgun shells. Unfortunately there’s no powder or primers left. Otherwise enough gear to do about 20 shells or so.
  • 17 12-Gauge Shells – Loaded with Sea Salt, Silver, and Cold Iron.
  • 20 Boxes 12-Gauge Shotgun (lead shot) (25 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of 9mm Ammunition (50 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of .50 Caliber Ammunition (20 rounds each box)
  • 5 Cases of .45 Caliber Ammunition (500 rounds each case)
  • 2 empty clips for a Colt 1911A1 .45
  • 5 lb. bag of Sea Salt
  • A 1-lb Block of Semtex – but no other detonating hardware.
  • An old Latin Bible with a blessed Silver and Ivory Rosary marking the start of Revelations – as an antique worth over $200 – It’s also a Magic Point Storage device with 3 points (out of a possible 10) only usable by a baptized Catholic who is in good standing (e.g. Regular confession, penance, etc). The bible itself has numerous notes in the margins throughout with various sections underlined, crossed out, etc. The various annotations provides the reader with a (3 weeks, +0/+1 Unnatural, +1 Occult, 1d3 San cost – Mythos Rating: 3 – Must Read Latin, French, and German – No spells)
  • An old set of Tibetan Buddhist religious objects. A phurba (ritual knife, three bladed knife), mala (prayer beads) of miniature bone skulls (108 “carved” skulls, close examination suggests that these are actually skulls that have been shrunken somehow; 0/1 San), a kangling (bone trumpet made from a human thigh bone which has been tightly fitted with leather, and the metal encasing has been enhanced by a turquoise), and kapala (A cup made from the top of human skull and lined with silver, and fitted with a ruby in the base of the cup). Antique and worth thousands, these are piled in a bottom crate. No obvious special abilities, save perhaps in the hands of a Tibetan priest or servant of one of the Dharmapalas. As long as they remain unclaimed and remain here in storage they are safe and relatively innocuous, but if a player character takes them without the proper magical “credentials” then they will be plagued by bad dreams and worse luck until they are returned to the proper Tibetan caretakers.
  • A small canvas bank-bag filled with some number of soft and flat things that appear to be scraps of fabric. In the crate next to it is skinning knife/gut hook that has traces of blood on it. Scrawled in marker on the bag is “Don’t Fucking Look!!” (Inside are 39 scraps of human skin, each tattooed with the Yellow Sign – there is evidence that attempts have been made to burn them with no success. They are indestructible, and this fact will net an additional 1/1-2 San loss in addition to seeing any of the various Yellow Signs)
  • 2 6×6 “Bomb Blankets” – Level III-A in Black
  • 3 Class II Tactical Armor Vests (2 Medium, 1 Large) in Black – shot to hell, the large is scored by huge claw marks and blood stains.
  • 1 Class II Concealable Vest with Level IV Rifle Plates (Woman’s Medium) – shot to hell
  • 4 400 Ft. lengths of 2000lb test Nylon climbing rope.
  • 4 sets of rappelling gear, each with harness
  • 1 Roll of 60′ of Nylon Webbing, plus nylon thread and needle
  • 7 MREs, and a case of C-Rations (12) – the canned fruit has been removed from all the C-Rats.
  • 3 Garbage bags, each filled with a mostly shattered human skeleton
  • Collection of 37 dried human ears (all left) on a string necklace
  • Human skull with elongated canines – Red marker on the side says “Van Helsing was here” with a smiley face next to it.
  • 3 sets of cast iron manacles (ankle, wrist, and neck) – these are quite old and somewhat rusty. There are layers upon layers of blood and old skin on the inside of all of them.
  • 40 or so different adult magazines – all from September 2001. These have all been annotated in an unknown code (actually it’s Hyperborean Tsath-Yo) – the notes are all detailing out the suitability of the various models (male and female) as breeding and host material (0/1 San if understood)

Finally there are the 7 55-gallon drums up on pallets in the back. This when things go seriously wrong with a Green Box, perhaps not as bad as possible, but bad enough. The two front drums are empty, and easy to move around. The other five have been crudely sealed with duct tape and roofing tar, and a sheet of plywood laid across their top. Spray-painted across the sheet is “Human Waste Disposal – Don’t Open!!”

No it’s not that kind of waste – it’s the kind that you’ve chopped up (or chainsawed, pruned, etc) and then dumped in a drum with some lye. Is it perfect? No. Is it even a good idea? Probably not.

But somebody did it, actually a couple of different Cells have done it.

The big problem is that one of the bodies wasn’t really dead yet. The first one as a matter of fact – one that wasn’t actually chopped up, just stuck in a drum and forgotten about. Sure the heart had stopped beating, the brain activity was gone, but the spirit hadn’t quite left yet (those damn Mythos sorcerers – life and death aren’t quite the same for them). As each subsequent body has been “interred” here it’s gained strength (1 point of Power per body in case the Agents add a couple themselves – though that takes about 6 months – 5 points in CoC 7E) Since the last mission, the Spirit has been waiting for someone to open one of the drums in which its various remains have been stored. Then it will come roaring out of all five drums in all its gory glory, a mass of dissolved and rotting arms, heads and teeth stinking of lye and bile…

 

Delta Green RPG Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:12, CON:12, SIZ:30, INT:10, POW:9, DEX:15

HP:21 WP: 9

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a point of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 10 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.

 

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:60, CON:60, SIZ:150, INT:50, POW:45, DEX:75

Hit Points:21

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a 1d10 points of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 50 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.

 

Have fun!

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Categories: Scenario/Resource | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Delta Green the RPG

So, I took some time over the last couple of days to look over the new Delta Green RPG (as opposed to the old Delta Green setting for Call of Cthulhu). It is important to note that the rules are backwards compatible with the BRP engine of Call of Cthulhu 6E and previous and probably adaptable to 7E with a minimum of fuss.

(In other news, it looks like at least one of the old Pagan Pubishing campaigns, Coming Full Circle, is going to finally be coming to PDF and POD, good for them! I have my own dead tree copy, but it is a fantastic campaign and well worth picking up. It’s good that they finally convinced Crowe to relax about electronic media, and maybe wel” see some more back catalog content in the future.)

I’ve had the PDF for awhile now, but I have found that reading and digesting rules for me really requires a physical book for me to hold in my hands. I just find it easy to navigate and flip back and forth.

I like the lethality rating for powerful weapons, it seems like an elegant solution. I also like Breakpoints and Sanity rather than old BRP method of having to figure out 20% on a semi-regular basis. I like the idea of Bonds, and suspect that it will work well, but that is something I’ll have to see in practice during play. Similar to CoC 7E I really like the more abstracted method for handling money and equipment.

I really like the rules for experience. Fail a roll, make a check, then at the noted time increase the skill by one. Much, much less fiddly than the classic BRP method. I wonder if it doesn’t lead to inflated skill levels but I expect that it doesn’t – or that characters aren’t meant to survive long enough for it to matter. That particular attitude is one that I wince at, but I understand that the Paganistas have a definitive vision of how DG is supposed to be played.

Honestly, probably my biggest complaint is that the release schedule is such that I really have no idea when I can expect to see the Case Officer’s Handbook – the matching GM’s book to the current Agent’s (aka Investigator) Handbook. Yes, it’s kind of a whiny complaint, but currently I have no idea of how magic has changed, what sort of stats a creature should have (other than some extrapolation forward from 6E and some of that seems iffy), and well, I hate running games without the GM’s guide.

I really hope that this doesn’t hurt sales, but given that most people buying this are probably already DG fans, they can probably make it work. Since I’m running 7E right now it’s less of an issue, but I look forward to running it at some point in the future.

D.

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And, in a more modern vein…

IMAG0194

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Call of Cthulhu 7e has arrived!

So, this past Monday I was happy to find on my doorstep the box containing my long awaited Call of Cthulhu 7e rules – and I have to say that I find browsing and reading the rules much easier in physical form than on the PDF’s I’ve had for awhile. It also means that I’ll have to update a couple of my previous posts to be more in-line with 7e rules. (EDIT: Done and Done)

I’ve also been looking at the fact that I’ve been running my current 5e campaign for about a year-and-a-half now – and as the Age of Worms continues to threaten it would easily continue to run for many more years. That isn’t exactly a problem, but historically I’ve tend to run games/campaigns for between 1-2 years and then flipped to another game/genre to help rejuvenate myself creatively – and I’m certainly hitting that point now.

So I think that I have one solid chapter in me for the 5e campaign. The party has successfully plundered the Whispering Cairn, discovering treasures and lore of the Wind Dukes that have been long-hidden and is now preparing to investigate one of the local mines – suspecting the owner of being part of the Cult of the Ebion Triad and working towards bringing about the Age of Worms. The party can complete that and I’ll have an excellent place to leave things and even give the party some significant downtime before we pick up the campaign again.

That begs the question of what I could run next. I have a strong vote from at least one player for Call of Cthulhu though to be truthful I’d rather wait until I had Pulp Cthulhu on hand to use. I’m interested enough in what they’ve done with 7e that I think that Pulp Cthulhu might be a good substitute for my own pulp rules – or at least mesh with them well enough that they added significantly to the game (or add a better framework to manipulate).

My other two “stand-bys” are also possible – Cyberpunk 2020 and Traveller. Now I’ve run many games with a mash-up of the two, but I have been somewhat fond of the Mongoose 1e version of Traveller and have the entire SRD saved to hand out to players if need be. It is a simple game that hearkens back to Classic Traveller in many ways, and I’ve been tinkering with a non-OTU setting for a couple of years now (much of it, thankfully, not lost when my hard drive crashed). I’ve been really pondering the concept of Proto-Traveller a great deal, and somewhat consciously rejecting the OTU – while at the same time amused and amazed at how different the OTU seems to be from what everyone assumed after reading Agent of the Imperium by Mark Miller.

Cyberpunk 2020 is a very rich setting with a very easy engine. It’s theoretically hampered by the conceptual twitching provoked by the idea that it is actually set in the year 2020 – and that could be hard to sell a great many people. I think that it might work better as a “Cyberpunk 2200” set a couple of hundred years in the future, that changes the canon timeline but much of the flavor text of the game can remain the same. Perhaps a future where the solar system has been explored and settled but where there is no FTL travel so we remain stuck in orbit around Sol for all intents and purposes – though I suppose a bit of Bladerunner-inspired flavor means that the Tannhauser Gate could be a thing…

TTFN!

D.

 

Categories: Campaign, FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First ogres, now ghouls… – Session #5

So, we picked up where we had essentially left off – with the party getting ready to explore the rest of the barrow that the ogre’s had been using as a lair. They freed four other adventurers who had been captured by the ogres, a couple of fighters, a rogue, and a mage. They had been traveling to Seraph Keep as well, and agreed to travel with the party and act as guards (and potential replacements) for the party in thanks and payment for the rescue.

This brought up the other random encounter that I had rolled up using the wilderness charts – ghouls. Straight out of the Monster Manual, though I have to say that I have always seen ghouls in a more Lovecraftian manner than the “undead” vision of AD&D. But that said, I ran them pretty much straight out of the book for this vision – though I gave them a Lovecraftian description.

Now ghouls show up in numbers of 2-24 and again, I rolled up an amazingly high number – (redacted because players are reading). So I had really been trying to figure out how what the heck these ghouls were doing wandering around. I decided that the ghouls were actually associated with the ogre’s lair.

So, behind a half-sealed door the party could see stairways leading down and a flickering light, and a somewhat rank and charnel smell wafting upwards. After prying the door open they slowly worked their way down the long flight of stairs to discover a staff with a candle stuck into the floor (see the Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets Candlestaff). The party moved forward and paused at the small landing, mid-stairway, where the staff was positioned and examined it – somewhat disquieted by the animalistic sounds and shadowing sounds that came from bottom of the stairs and just beyond the light.

Based the magic item, I decided that the ghouls were averse enough to its effects that they wouldn’t willing enter its boundaries – but that once they were in it for some reason it wouldn’t deter them though it might force a morale check of some sort.

So what happened?

The gnome put out the candle.

Now, I am not an insanely killer DM, so I don’t see the whole mass of ghouls clustered at the bottom the stairs, waiting for such a thing to happen. Instead there is a group of five down there “handy” who as soon as the light goes out, come charging up the stairs towards the smell of fresh meat (not very Lovecraftian, I know, but this is AD&D not Call of Cthulhu or Delta Green – maybe they are Heretics?). I think my son was the first person to realize what they were fighting because we’d played CoC and his character had fought ghouls (and Tcho-Tcho) in the sewers of WWI Paris – so “baying dog-faced humanoids” had his eyes popped wide-open rather quickly…

Despite the light going back on quickly, despite a total of three waves of ghouls, despite about a third of the party ending up paralyzed, despite no successful turning attempts, nobody died. Again, the party managed to survive without any losses though a healthy dose of luck, a couple of Potions of Healing, and some very adroit positioning. It didn’t hurt that the were accidentally fighting the ghouls in a corridor rather than a more open area where they could have swarmed the group and it would likely have been over in a couple of rounds. Having two characters (the elves) who were immune to paralyzation didn’t hurt, and the party had put them both towards the front and they acted as a useful buffer.

After a few rounds of combat where the ghouls were slaughtered, plus a re-ignited Candlestaff, the remaining ghouls refused to enter the light and remained hiding in the darkness down at the chamber at the end of the stairs. The party retreated to the top of the stairs and regrouped, letting the paralyzed members recover. They sent the dwarf down to investigate who reported that there was a large room at the bottom with some sort of strange monolith or obelisk in the center and at least a couple of open doorways in the walls. After some further discussion the group decided that the idea of leaving a bunch of ghouls behind them was just bad on a whole host of levels.

So they’ll be picking up where they left off, but planning on buffing up a couple of the characters so that they can switch out for healing and sending the down to the bottom of the stairs and fighting it out there where the ghouls will hopefully be willing to engage with them.

I can’t wait for the party to find out what else is down there – it’s very Old School!

TTFN!

D.

Categories: Campaign | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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