For no reason at all, I suddenly thought yesterday that it would be cool to write up 13 adventurelets (bigger than story seeds, but not full adventures) for anyone running an ICONS Hallowe'en game. And by last night, I had thought, "13 in four days? What am I, crazy?"
So here are the two I had hastily jotted down. Internal consistency not guaranteed; contents might have settled during shipping.
Caveat: I have grossly misrepresented
actual religion and mythology in order to fit both the superhero genre and the
adventure form, and to produce 13 of these in four days. In no way are these
meant to be representative of actual beliefs or people. I fear that some of
them will be gross caricatures—but I always fear that. Change as you like or
Coven Thy Neighbor
Dr. Victoria Masters was horribly hurt in an
explosion, ruled an accident. She had to move into a home for women, all hurt
in some way by men. When her friend came, that made 13 women, all neopagans of
a sort, and a coven was created.
Spontaneous human combustion happens to a
man right after a pretty maiden kisses him. One of the PCs is there, and can
save him with quick thinking…but the girl has disappeared.
There have been two deaths by spontaneous
human combustion, one per month, recently. Investigation shows that all were on
the board of a condo development company called New Skyline Development. The
deaths are not actually one per month: they're one per 28 days, on the lunar
cycle. Looking into the background of
New Skyline shows that they're open and above-board, but that's relatively new:
a few years ago, they were most notable for fast construction and cutting
corners, but that culminated in a gas explosion and a lawsuit by Victoria
Masters, a tenant who was horribly maimed in the explosion. Since then, Skyline
has tried to be above board but frankly, between the lawsuit and the costs of
legitimate development, they're in receivership.
Victoria Masters, a professor of the occult, now lives on the
ground floor of women's halfway home: women there are injured (as Victoria
was), or abused, or suffer psychological problems. There are twelve women
living in Hecate House. If the heroes go there, they're not allowed in unless
they all have public IDs ("how do we know you're not one of the men
hurting these women?") or are women. They find Victoria ("Call me
Vicky") in her wheelchair and in the company of her friend Claudia
Gramercy. Sure, Vicky hates New Skyline because of what happened to her, but she
can hardly be responsible. She can't walk. She does have the occult knowledge necessary, but she'd have to find twelve other like-minded women...
Any hero with a public presence (signs
autographs, sells locks of hair, puts handprints in cement, etc.) gets a
Challenge that is appropriate because the coven can get some personal
effect and work a ritual on it. The challenge will become apparent in the
morning of the next day, upon waking; it should be appropriate to the material
that creates the link for the magic. Some ideas below:
Link from Challenge ideas
Kiss (on paper or person) Mute; Saliva now poisonous and character has to keep spitting to get rid of it (-2 to Willpower/attractiveness or protracted tests); Attraction (-2 to Prowess, and -2 to Willpower to overcome it)
Autograph Hand tremors (especially good for archers; -2 to Coordination); Amnesia (self gone); Unable to lie;
Scrap of clothing (found at a crime scene or sold) Sex change; unable to change into civilian ID
Any of above and fetish doll When compelled, character performs action as if under Mind Control, though aware of action
Other heroes find themselves attacked by a
mob of seemingly unrelated individuals. (Investigation would show that all have
made deliveries or gone to Hecate House and are, well, emotion-controlled.)
In the meantime, there are five members of Skyline's seven-member Board of Directors to protect, and the attacks continue, but a middle-aged woman is responsible for these, rather than a young woman.
With the information that they have, and
with several members cursed by Challenges, the heroes head back to Hecate
House, where Claudia gets powered up into the appropriate form, probably the
Triptych (Claudia Gramercy)
three "members" of Triptych are embodiments granted by the coven to Claudia,
depending on what she's going to do. For revenge, the Maiden form is usually
Pro 2 Coord 3 Str 3 Int 3 Awr 3 Will 6 Alter Ego 6 (Maiden, Wife, or Crone)
Maiden Pro 3 Coord 5 Str 3 Int 3 Awr 5 Will 4
Affliction 6 (her kiss sets men on fire), Shapeshift 5 (women), Emotion Control (desire, area, Persons Appropriate Orientation Only), Alter Ego 5.
Challenge: As the Maiden, she frequently makes mistakes or shows mercy because someone's "cute".
Wife Pro 4 Coord 3 Str 4 Int 4 Awr 4 Will 5
Stretching 5, Invulnerability 6, telekinesis 4, fast attack 3, Alter Ego 4.
Challenge: As the Wife, she might show mercy to women.
Crone Pro 2 Coord 2 Str 2 Int 6 Awr 3 Will 6
Flight [broom] 4, Magic 4 (Animation, Invisibility, Mind Control [women, children]) 4, Alter Ego 3.
Challenge: As the Crone, she shows no mercy, but she does not have the physicalabilities of the others
Twist if needed: They
can build the circle around Vicky, so she can be the empowered one, not Claudia, but Claudia is a member of her coven, and her eyes and hands
out in the world. If you want to spin it
out, there are other accidents caused by the Maiden, the Wife, or the Crone,
depending on what needed to be done, but all are revenge for some wrong done to
the members of Hecate House. (An alternative storyline is to have the threat be
to developers who are threatening to take over Hecate House, and the other
accidents are in the background and can be discovered with investigation.)
The Furry Subculture
It's a nice plush doll, and it looks like a
harmless gift. But the amulet on it is based on a real one the designer though
was "neat" and the amulet turns the doll into a hunter: it hunts and transforms its owners into killers like
it; the doll disappears during this transformation.
A friend of the PCs presents them with a
plush doll that tries to kill them in the night. PCs being wonderful, the PCs will probably
win, but anyone who loses will say that he or she slept like the dead. The
stuffed plush doll is that of a manga or anime wolfman, about six inches high.
The gift giver bought them at a furry
convention; the artist/designer made 50 of them and the merchant sold them all.
if you want, this can be part of a bigger scheme but in the interests of a
one-night adventure, this is written as innocent. the designer copied the
design on the medallion from one in a museum. It's possible that there are
spare medallions at the artist's studio which could provide investigating
heroes with additional challenge.
The monsters have innocent folks hidden within
them, so they can't be just rounded up and killed. If you wait until daylight,
the real person reappears, but they are doomed to transform at each of the four
pagan festivals. Only the ritual to remove the amulet can cure them. That
ritual has to be enacted at midnight on the night of one of the pagan festivals.
The good news is, they'll all be together at midnight: they gather. The bad
news is they'll have hostages: they bring converts and food.
Midnight, the gathering place (Central Park
or similar). The chant has to be done within their hearing. So, all the heroes
have to do is keep them from killing the hostages, keep them within earshot of
the spell, keep the caster alive until the time to cast the spell. The problem
is that the werewolves have to be there and the chant has to be done at the
center of the park. If the heroes don't have an occult person in their group,
you can use an NPC.
Pro 4 Coord 4 Str 3 Int 2 Awr 3 Will –
Leaping 1; Shrinking 5 (+2 for attack and defense), Slashing 3; Supersenses 3 (tracking scent, +2 hearing)
Challenge: A stuffed doll; Helpless without amulet; Only "alive" at night
Quality: If part of a person, it "heals" when separate so that by next festival it's better.
Pro 5 Coord 4 Str 5 Int 3 Awr 3 Will 3
Invulnerability 4; Leaping 1; Slashing 5; Supersenses 3 (tracking scent, +2 hearing); Regeneration 10
Challenge: Changes at four pagan festivals (Samhain, etc.); Invulnerability doesn't work vs. Silver or blessed weapons; regeneration only works during transformations
John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)