Monday, December 12, 2005

Call of Chtoonhu

Ever feel like playing a good, scary roleplaying game, but feel it may be just a little too dark? Well, step right up for a clever solution what get you jumping out of your fur with fright! Yes, fur.

"Call of Chtoonhu" is a cartoonish Lovecraftian setting where the players take the roles of 'toons in a devilishly twisted, terrifying world. Death and horror await with a twisted sense of humor... if you dare!

Dedicated to Pyat and his good advice!

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life,

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin.
Give the audience a grin.
Enjoy it. It's your last chance, anyhow.
So...

Always look on the bright side of death,
Just before you draw your terminal breath.

©1979 Monty Python

Funny Animals vs Lovecraftian Horrors

This game is loosely based upon the works of HP Lovecraft. His stories of cosmic horror, terror and madness now have an even more twisted look to them.

Inhuman Lovecraftian powers roam the Earth, waiting for the moment for the stars to be right. Insane, loathsome, bubbly and disgusting, they plot for the fall of... humanity? Not at all, because even if they're as evil as the usual Lovecraft menace, the characters aren't human. The characters in this setting are cartoons. They are combinations of cartoon extremes; this is not anime in which characters would be normal people with some special skills and still be affected by Lovecraftian horrors and die in the same way, nor this is like Saturday-morning cartoons where the characters would fend off monsters by dropping anvils on them.

No, the characters are still funny animals but they can be killed and exposure to indescribable beings will reduce them to near madness. However, they can flee from deaths that would be inescapable for Lovecraft's characters, escaping even being struck with serious, permanent mental maladies.

Characters can be almost anything you can think of (preferably funny animals, as said earlier), who for one reason or another have caught a glimpse of the real world behind the curtain of ignorance. After that, they can't stay quiet and warm in their cozy beds and find that they have to do something about it.

Let's use an example:

Fox Molder is an FBI agent from today who always thought weird things went bump in the night. One fateful night, he met some of them. Some kind of flying cockroaches were trying to abduct teenagers from a park. Gathering his courage, he made them run (fly) with a hail of bullets. He managed to retain knowledge of the terrible experience, and later checked his newly learnt knowledge with similar minds.

In a later investigation, while he was tracking drug dealers, he was ambushed by sea monsters known as sardine men and his boat was forcibly sunk to the depths of the sea. However, he managed to flee from the face of death by invoking his cartoonish nature. Will be able to do that the next time?

Then, accompanied by people with paranormal experiences like his own, he found himself searching for a terrible tree-like creature in the depths of a nameless forest. Sadly, things went awry and a few of Molder's companions met an untimely end. The rest, hurt, and with their little egos hurt as well, ran like chickens to fight another day.

With this example a few common concepts in this crossover can be glimpsed. First, we can notice madness doesn't play as important a part in the story as it did in Lovecraft's stories. People do get as scared as a bunch of rabbits when confronted by supernatural terrors, but besides babbling and drooling a little they usually aren't affected by permanent mental disabilities. Most wise people just run away (if they can't keep their nerve) but aren't affected by serious mental disorders.

Second, we can see that even when facing terrors so despicable, characters can sometimes survive even when everything is lost. As if inserting a new coin, they come back later (blinking), sweating and scared, but alive. How many of Lovecraft's characters would have payed all their savings to get that chance!

Finally, I must add the horror in this game is "light." This is not a bloody game. For example, people do in fact die, but they just die die abstractly, not specifically and bloodily like in modern horror movies.

Now we can wonder what can cartoon characters do that standard characters can't, and vice-versa. We've already seen a few things they can do which are beyond the usual stories. Besides that, they're as functional as any Lovecraftian's John Doe. Characters can investigate, look for clues, read old books or newspapers; they can investigate crime scenes (happy like CSIs with new magnifying glasses), talk with the locals, tracks strange marks in the countryside, and plot how to defeat the monsters.

And as a cartoonish twist, much in the same style as Army of Darkness and other cult movies that have helped create the cartoonish-terror style, characters can (try to) make fun of monstrosities, fill them with lead, smash them with weird looking machines and wield chainsaws -- florentine-style.

However, even cartoon characters can't always hope to defeat otherwordly monsters by sheer firepower. They also have to use their little "bwains."

Character Traits

Characters have the following Attributes:

  • Biceps: that measures how well a character handles heavy weights and how much damage is dealt bare handed or with large objects.
  • Stamina: measures how tough is a character against physical damage, disease and fatigue.
  • Nimbleness: is a measure of dexterity and quickness.
  • Thinking Cap: roughly measures IQ.
  • Mnemocraftia: is the weird ability to retain the memories about encounters with the supernatural. Characters with low levels will quickly forget the horrors they saw and will attribute those experiences to bad dreams or over use of not-too-lawful substances, though hazy memories of those events can remain. On the other hand, characters with high levels will barely forget the worst details. It can also be used sometimes to understand the weird logic of the mythos. Monsters don't have this attribute, they feel at home when surrounded by others of their kind!
  • Whistle In the Dark: is used to try to stay brave and forget one's fear in front of the supernatural. It's also used to represent willpower.
a cartoon

All Attributes start at Fair and we can add three free levels to them. Alternatively, some of them can be lowered to get extra free levels, as usual.

If you want to use Appearance or Comeliness I'd suggest to use it as a Gift. And viceversa, use specific Faults to produce ugly characters.

If a character wants to work magic, he first needs exposure to the mythos. He must then buy the Gift "Weird Magic" and the spells he will learn. However, as soon as he buys Wierd Magic, his Whistle In the Dark will go down a level. You can't learn the very fabric of the universe and sleep well at night!

There are around fifty skills available. A character must now choose his or her signature skills from amongst them; one at Great and nine more at Good. During gameplay (on the fly) you can choose your secondary skills; six at Fair, and ten more at Mediocre.

Most unspecified skills will have a default value of Poor, but not all, so check it before adding it to your sheet. Skills listed as Not Available are just that -- not available to be used unless you bought them as Mediocre at least.

Your secondary skills (the skills at Mediocre and Fair) can be changed between stories. That is, you can "forget" your Fair "Pinpoint stars" and add "Avoid getting lost" at the same level.

Through experience, as usual, you'll be able to raise your score on both signature and secondary skills. However, as soon as a secondary skill gets a Good level or better, it ceases to be secondary and becomes a fixed, signature skill.

Each character will have one special skill, usually only available to him/her, which the player gets to make up. See the sample characters at the end of the article for examples. You can rate this skill as high or as low as you want, as long as it is at least a Mediocre level.

The Skills

  • Amateur Naturalist: use this skill as a Natural History mix.
  • Auditing and Forging Financial Records: used to check the accounts of companies and/or to forge them. i.e. Accounting.
  • Avoid Getting Lost: a very useful skill used to navigate around and arrive at where you intended.
  • Behaviours and Cultures: in a nutshell, Anthropology. Base default: Not Available.
  • Catch Images On Photosensitive Surfaces: used to catch people, supernatural stuff (invisible to normal film) and very quick things on film. Think about Photography.
  • Creative Impulses: anytime you want to create aesthetic things use this. i.e. Art.
  • Chtoonhu Mythos: this is a knowledge skill that covers the world of supernatural. Use it to identify creatures, guess or remember weak spots and develop ways to defeat them (if there are some). You can't have a higher level on it than your level of Mnemocraftia. Base default: Not Available.
  • Creep Up On: skill used to crawl quietly towards a place or somebody. Use it anytime you want to Sneak around.
  • Cut Items Off from Sight: use it to Conceal items.
  • Drive Hard Bargains: use it to negotiate services or sales, and to get the best of such Bargains.
  • Endure Blue Screens: in modern games, use it to meddle with computers and get the best of them (if possible). Base default: Terrible. i.e. Computer Use
  • Fiddle Locks Away: use it to open and close locks without the appropriate key. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Locksmithing.
  • Fight Tooth and Nail: use it whenever you're called to fight bare handed, no matter if you bite, kick, hit or use your head.
  • Find Needles In a Haystack: characters with high levels in this skill always find hidden things. Base default: Mediocre.
  • Foreign Vernacular Skill: use it to speak languages from other countries. The higher the level, the better you speak that language. Base default: Not Available.
  • Reurbish Electrical Things: use this whenever you have to fix electrical stuff. i.e. Electrical Repair.
  • Get Wind of Things: very useful to hear monsters getting near or listen to important bits of info. Base default: Mediocre.
  • Go Postal with X: use this skill with the specific firearm X (guns, shotguns, machineguns, rifles, etc).
  • Guess Freudian Slips: use this to fix people's minds. Repeated exposures to the supernatural tend to leave people with weird syndromes. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Psychoanalysis.
  • Hippocratic Arts: use these arts to heal people from serious problems. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Medicine.
  • Hit the Road: used to drive cars (or carriages if in the appropriate time period). i.e. Drive Auto.
  • Knowledge of Dead People: most people call this History but there is rarely any difference at all.
  • Knowledge of Mysterious Stuff: knowledge of good/bad luck charms and similar paraphernalia. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Occult.
  • Knowledge of People Long Dead: unlike with History nobody doubts these people are very, very dead. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Archaeology.
  • Kung Fu: the ability to beat people down efficiently. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Martial Arts.
  • Lie Low: use it to stay quietly out of sight, and try not to attract attention. i.e. Hide.
  • Litigation, Jurisprudence and Cynicism: useful skill to keep you out of jail and/or send people there. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Law.
  • Masquerade: use this to Disguise yourself effectively as someone else. Base default: Terrible.
  • Mixing Substances: knowledge about how to mix substances and get many different effects. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Chemistry.
  • Move On Liquid Surfaces: when done well, you can win Olympic medals. When done poorly, you usually drown. Base default: Mediocre. i.e. Swim.
  • Move Upward or Along: used to move over surfaces not meant for people to move on. If you try to Climb silently you'll have to roll against both this skill and Creep Up On. If you succeed in the first but fail in the later, you'll climb but make a lot of noise doing so; if you fail in the first but succeed in the later, you fail to climb and fall in absolute silence -- until you smash yourself into the ground and start yelling, that is. Base default: Fair.
  • Patch People Up: used to bind people and treat wounds right on the spot. Can't be used in many serious situations. Base default: Mediocre. i.e. First Aid.
  • Pick Up Trails: used to follow people (or mosters) by the footprints and broken branches they leave behind. i.e. Track.
  • Pinpoint Stars: you can use this to navigate using the positions of the stars, and guess which star is which. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Astronomy.
  • Pull Fast Ones: used to cheat and deceive people into anything you want for them to believe. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Fast Talk.
  • Rake In the Money: whenever the need for lots of money arise, use this skill. This skill will also be used to evaluate your income, fudged according to your signature skills. If you have a high Rake In the Money, and a high Hippocratic Arts, you might be a famous doctor. However, with a lower level on your professional skills and high levels on this credit skill, you might have been lucky and gotten a good job or a severe case of nepotism! i.e. Credit Rating.
  • Rough People Up with X: use the item X (choose amongst sticks, knives, clubs, etc) to beat people and monsters with probable harming intentions.
  • Save One's Neck: a must! Use it to Dodge blows and sometimes projectiles (by increasing their difficulty). Base default: Nimbleness-1.
  • Sciences of Living Things: use it like Biology but only for normal, natural beings. Base default: Not Available.
  • Sciences of Matter, Energy and the Like: most people call this Physics. Base default: Not Available.
  • Sciences of Rocks Big and Small: though most people call it Geology, it's just knowledge of rocks at small and large scale. Base default: Not Available.
  • Scrounge Around the Library: use it whenever you search a library for valuable information. Base default: Mediocre. i.e. Library Use.
  • Second-Guess People: with this you can guess the motives behind people's words. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Psychology.
  • Send Stuff Through the Air: with this you can Throw things to harm people, activate switches, etc. Thrown weapons are covered by their respective skills. Base default: Mediocre.
  • Shake a Leg: use this anytime you need to run like mad to avoid a terrible fate. Use this scaled by the respective speeds of the people (or monsters) involved. Base default: Mediocre. i.e.Run.
  • Spring Off the Ground: very useful when you have to cross chasms without bridges, or Jump from one building to another. Base default: Mediocre.
  • Steer Flying Machines: like driving cars but with flying machines. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Pilot.
  • Steer Floating Machines: like piloting flying machines but with floating ones. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Pilot Boat.
  • Steer Horses: like driving cars but in this case the "vehicle" is alive. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Ride.
  • Steer Large Machines: use it to handle large machines, usually construction ones, but also tanks and such vehicles. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Operate Heavy Machine.
  • Stuff People with Medicines: use it to heal people from wounds and diseases with the help of medicines. Also useful to nullify the effects of poisoning. Base default: Not Available. i.e. Pharmacy.
  • Tell Sob Stories: you're able to tell stories that makes others feel pity or sorrow and thus motivate them to help you. i.e. Persuade.
  • Tinkering with Electronics: use it to fix or create electronic stuff. Base default: Not Available. Electronics.
  • Tinkering with Stuff: use it to build non-electronic things from scratch. Base default: Terrible. i.e. Craft.
  • Vernacular Skill: used to speak your Own Language. Base default: your Thinking Cap skill.
  • Wind Machine Up: use it to repair machines or mechanisms, i.e. Mechanical Repair.

The Horror

a cartoon

Whenever a character finds herself in a supernatural scenario, she must make a successful Whistle In the Dark check against a difficulty set by the gamemaster. This factor will either be a level fudged by the GM, or it will depend on the specific Horror Rating of the place or creature(s) met.

Most creatures will have a Horror Rating score which will be measured with the standard Fudge adjectives. Some powerful monsters, however, also will have Scale on this rating. This scale will always be positive and will make resisting fear much more difficult! In this article, however, only low level monsters will be shown, which, even when huge and very powerful, still have workable values on this Attribute.

If she passed the check, the character is able to act without problems. She may be shaken but able to clench her teeth and go on. She can choose to stay or flee, but panic doesn't steer the boat.

On the other hand, if she failed, check the amount by which she failed and apply consequences. If failed by little, she may just be badly scared (-1 to all skills except Shake a Leg). With more you can choose between the Dirty Diapers Syndrome and a hasty retreat, or earning a phobia and also applying the -1 penalty to skills while the scene lasts. Other alternatives to earning a phobia (which can be even more dangerous) are panic attacks, fits of hysteria, laughing outbursts, catatonia, babbling incoherently, etc.

Phobias earned can be removed with successful use of Guess Freudian Slips, and are permanent until that time.

Example of phobias:

  • Acrophobia: fear of heights.
  • Ailurophobia: fear of cats (great if one of the PCs is a cat!).
  • Aquaphobia: fear of water.
  • Claustrophobia: fear of being confined.
  • Dendrophobia: fear of trees.
  • Doraphobia: fear of fur (also great with funny animals!).
  • Entomophobia: fear of insects.
  • Ergophobia: fear to work (so popular nowadays!).
  • Hematophobia: fear of blood.
  • Ichthyofobia: fear of fish.
  • Monophobia: fear of being alone.
  • Necrophobia: fear of the dead.
  • Noctophobia: fear of the night.
  • Nyctophobia: fear of darkness.
  • Squidphobia: fear of squid and other seafood.
  • etc

Death and Narrow Escapes

What happens when a character falls in the maws of a Goog? Or if a gang of sardine men drown him under the cold, dark sea? In Lovecraftian stories those characters would be quickly dead and gone but in this setting, this is not the case. If the character can make a situational roll of +1 or better, she'll somehow survive and come back soon afterwards, with dirty, wet clothes, shocked, maybe hurt, but alive -- which is what matters. Being a cartoon ought to have some advantages!

Even then, obviously you don't want to put your character in situations where you'll be forced to make this roll often, because some day you'll fail... and you'll have to make a new character from scratch.

House Rules

In this setting we'll always check damage in the same way. We'll compare Biceps + weapon damage + Scale + degree of success versus Stamina + armor + Scale.

Many monsters will have bonuses to soak damage, if they can be hurt at all.

This way, people will become harder to harm if they have good Stamina. Also note that armor isn't often seen in an scenarios of this Lovecraftian style.

For magic, a character with the Weird Magic Gift will have to roll Whistle In the Dark against a difficulty which will depend on the specific spell. If she fails, she'll be affected as if she had failed a panic roll against a Horror Rating equal to the spell's level.

Doomed Books

A good cliche of this game is the use of unholy books filled with dark knowledge. Used mainly as a less lethal source of Chtoonhu Mythos, it helps to develop that skill -- though most are coded and very hard to read.

Many books are also sources of spells.

Lots of psychotic cultists have those books as light bedtime reading. They're usually the best source of books for characters.

a cartoon

Many universities have also books of this kind, kept as curiosities of history and anthropology. Sadly (or fortunately) they aren't prone to lend them to anyone!

Example books: the Necrocomicon, Learn Dark Arts in 21 days, Doom for Dummies, Vermin Mysteries, etc.

Spells

Here are some spells that you can find in dusty, terrible tomes of forbidden knowledge:

  • Arcane Graffiti: used to repel Chtoonhu-related creatures. It has a Fair difficulty to cast and forces monsters to roll Superb+ results with their Horror Rating scores to come near this sign (is it a star or a tree?).
  • Create Undead: this spell is more suitable for evil sorcerers who are well known for their bad taste and poor sense of smell. There is a version which creates skeletons and another one for creating zombies. Use a difficulty of Fair for both.
  • Healing: this spell cures the target 4+4dF points of damage but it takes a random time of 10-60 seconds to act. Difficulty: Fair.
  • Itching Powder of Hermes Jr: made with very hard to find substances, a dose of this powder harms greatly supernatural creatures as if it were acid. Armor doesn't protect them against it and it causes a base damage (plus rolled degree as it has to be thrown at them) of +4. The main problem here is gathering the chemical components and making a Great or better Mixing Substances roll to create it. Difficulty: Fair.
  • Imbue Weapon with Magical Properties: this is actually a whole set of different spells whose only purpose is make a weapon harm creatures which otherwise are immune or resistant to it. Difficulty: Mediocre -- but it takes time.
  • Kill From Afar: this very evil spell lets you kill someone unless they make a Superb or better Stamina roll. Supernaturals are less affected by this spell so they must roll only Great or better (Scale applies).
  • Magic Armor: choose a difficulty from Good through Legendary and roll Whistle In the Dark against it. If you succeed, gain an armor bonus equal to the difficulty level (+1 to +4). It lasts only one scene and doesn't stack with other armor bonuses.
  • Regeneration: this spell allows someone to heal their wounds twice as fast as normal, even if properly treated by doctors. Difficulty: Mediocre.
  • Revealing Dust: this magic powder can be used to reveal invisible things, but only for a little while (4dF+5 rounds). It's easy to use as it is very light and can be blown easily to cover a few square yards (where you do suspect there are invisible creatures, above all). Difficulty: Mediocre.
  • Summon Critter: spell used to invoke foul creatures to your presence. It has a variant for each supernatural being possible so there are a lot of spells of this kind. Its difficulty is equal to the Horror Factor of the being to be summoned, because weirder beings are harder to summon to the world. As soon as the creature arrives you must face its Horror Rating (as usual). If you succeed you can demand one action of the creature, but if you fail it will probably attack you and anyone else around!
  • Summon Outer God: like the previous spell, it is used to invoke creatures, but in this case to summon the most powerful ones. Thus it is rarely useful for characters except when spelled backwards, when they can be used to banish those "gods" to their places of origin. They're expensive to cast and very difficult. They often can't be cast except in the appropriate places, when the stars are right. It really depends a lot on the specific being to summon. The Gods can roll their own Horror Factor to resist being banished and if they roll better than the rolled result to invoke them they can stay if they so choose.
  • Toughen: this spell gives a +1 to Stamina for a whole scene. Difficulty: Fair. It can be cast only on the sorcerer herself.
  • Wound From Afar: choose a difficulty from Good through Legendary and roll Whistle In the Dark against it. If you succeed, do damage to a target equal to the difficulty level (+1 to +4). The target must be visible and within 100 paces. Non-magical armor doesn't protect against this damage.

Law & Order

The life of an investigator isn't easy. Besides facing otherworldy horrors and working to earn a salary, they often have to persuade the law agencies to not throw them into a mental institution or prison.

Usually if the characters arrive in a town, act funny, blame citizens for supernatural crimes and start firefights, most authorities will think ill of them unless they can show proof of the supernatural. And even then, sometimes they'll prefer to believe in the happy, trouble-free world in which they had always believed.

So characters, even in a cartoon level, ought to be careful with what they do. Fighting monsters is one thing, but fighting cops (who also have guns!) is entirely different!

Arsenal

In the course of the many adventures a character can live through in this setting, they can sometimes learn enough to develop ways to erase the presence of the tentacular minions of the outer Gods. Many low level monsters can be defeated by standard ways like lots of lead, fire, electricity, driving over them and holy dynamite.

Those monsters though, are easy pickings. Most of them have limited resistance to damage, but with a bit of perseverance they can be killed. Huge monsters are often the harder ones to kill.

Certain monsters, however, are much harder. For them, characters can try different approaches until a way can be seen as tried and true. Silver or wood bullets, stakes, cold iron, bullets with Arcane Graffiti spells engraved in them, phospor coated bullets, hollow bullets filled with acid, etc. Many devious ways can be tried, though at best you can hope they'll hurt the monsters and at worst they'll laugh in your face -- so never forget a pair of fast sneakers!

Try to always have ranged weapons, because most monsters are lethal in melee. If you have to fight them hand to hand, bring a chainsaw. Or a lawn mower!

a cartoon

Monsters

If I were a Deep One
Blub-blub blub-blub blub-blub-blub blub blub-blub blub-blub blub-blub-blub
All day long I'd swim beneath the sea
If I were a De-eep One

©1979-99 Shoggoth on the Roof

Note: though some monsters are very, very intelligent, you can apply it just as very cunning because of their alien nature.

Also, keep in mind relative scales when considering movement. A slow monster with a large scale may be able to kick you to kingdom come even when you've already run 100 yards away!

Bikerhees

These ant-crow-corpse-mole things are often used as steeds. They'll never be seen without some kind of black leather jackets (don't ask me why do they wear them).

  • Great Biceps, Good Nimbleness, all others Fair
  • Scale +1
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Claws: Fair -- OF +1 per claw
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +1
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Flight
  • Walks slower than a human but flies almost three times faster

Cheethonians

These huge worm-like creatures move much faster than their size and form would suggest... hence the name.

  • Great Thinking Cap, Mediocre Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Scale: +9
  • Horror Rating: Superb
  • Tentacles: Good -- OF +0
  • Crush: Good -- OF +2
  • Armored skin: DF +3
  • Regenerates 2 points of damage per round
  • Able to burrow through solid rock
  • Moves half as fast as a human, if that human were Scale +9!

Clayggoths

Those fetid monsters look like the result of a stew left in the sun for a whole week. Yuck.

  • Mediocre Thinking Cap, Poor Nimbleness, all others Fair
  • Scale: +15
  • Horror Rating: Superb
  • Crush: Fair -- OF +0
  • Physical weapons only do 1 point of damage to them (fire and electricity do half damage only)
  • Regenerates 1 point of damage per round
  • Moves (rolls) slightly faster than a human

Dark Young of Bushniggurath

These monsters are too terrible to describe!

  • Great Stamina, Good Thinking Cap, Great Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Scale: +6
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Tentacle: Good -- OF +0 (usually four)
  • Trample: Fair -- OF +2
  • Projectile weapons deal, at best, 1 point of damage to them.
  • Melee weapons do normal damage.
  • Most other sources of damage have no effect on these monsters (fire, electricity, acid, etc).
  • Walks as fast as a human

Dimensional shamblers

These ugly monstrosities stink of cheap liquor and dirt.

  • Superb Biceps, Great Stamina, Mediocre Thinking Cap
  • Scale: +1
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Claws: Mediocre -- OF +1 per claw
  • Tough skin: DF +2
  • Dimensional movement
  • Walks slightly slowler than a human

Dogs of Tindaloose

  • Superb Stamina, Great Biceps, Great Thinking Cap, all other Fair
  • Scale: +1
  • Horror Rating: Superb
  • Paw attack: Great -- OF +2
  • Tongue attack (eew): Fair -- OF +1, plus acid damage
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Regenerate 1 point of damage per round
  • Mundane weapons don't harm them
  • Dimensional & time movement
  • Flight
  • Walks slower than a human but flies almost five times faster

Energy dragons

These weird creatures are immaterial most of time, though sometimes they materialize large draconian bodies.

  • Superb Thinking Cap
  • Scale: +9
  • Horror Rating: Good
  • Claw: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +2
  • Armored skin: DF +4
  • Immune to all physical weapons when immaterial
  • Invisible when immaterial
  • Walks slightly slower than a human and very slowly through matter (when immaterial only)

Firey Vampires

Like the song, they're living (but not great) balls of fire.

  • No Biceps, Mediocre Stamina, Great Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Horror Rating: Terrible (kinda cute, aren't they?)
  • Immune to most physical attacks except those capable of extinguishing them
  • Flight
  • Flies almost twice as fast than a human
  • Touch attack: Good -- OF +4 by fire

Flying Cockroaches (A-Mi-Gos)

  • Good Thinking Cap, Good Nimbleness
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Nippers: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Weird weapons: Mediocre -- Damage varies
  • Impaling weapons do minimum damage to them
  • Flight
  • Walks slower than a human but flies faster

Flying Polypoids

These horrible beings have hollow cylindrical bodies with the only opening being a central mouth at one end of the body, surrounded by tentacles armed with nematocysts. Ugly.

  • Good Thinking Cap, Good Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Scale: +8
  • Horror Rating: Superb
  • Tentacle: Good -- OF +0
  • Windblast attack: Fair -- OF +5 (up to 2 yards), +4 (up to 4 yards), +3 (up to 6 yards), etc
  • Tough hide: DF +2
  • Invisibility
  • Physical weapons do minimum damage to them.
  • Spells, magical weapons, heat, fire and electricity (maybe others as well) do normal damage.
  • Flight
  • Walks as fast as a human but flies 1 1/2 times faster

Ghouls

These losers are proud of their wisdom but ought to change their diet.

  • Great Biceps, all others Good
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Claw: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Bite: Mediocre -- OF +1 (and locks)
  • Projectile weapons do half damage to them
  • Walks slightly faster than a human

Goog

These large beings have more arms than they should and someone put them in an state of perpetual (if weird) smiling.

  • Good Thinking Cap, all other Fair
  • Scale: +9
  • Horror Rating: Good
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +2
  • Claw: Fair -- OF +1 each
  • Stomp: Mediocre -- OF +2
  • Armored skin: DF +4
  • Walks faster than a human

Hunting Horrors

  • Great Thinking Cap, Good Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Scale: +6
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +1
  • Tail: Great -- Damage ( as grapple )
  • Armored skin: DF +4
  • Critical hits don't harm them
  • Flight
  • Walks slightly slower than a human but flies almost 1 1/2 times faster

Majordomo of the Outer Gods

These frog-squid monsters play their sickly flutes to amuse the outer gods. Sometimes they also tell dirty jokes.

  • Good Biceps, Great Stamina, Great Nimbleness, Great Thinking Cap, all others Fair
  • Scale: +1
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Tentacle: Fair -- OF +1 (can use 2dF+3 tentacles per round)
  • Immune to mundane weapons
  • Regenerates 2 points of damage per round
  • Usually knows lots of summoning spells
  • Walks slightly slower than a human

Mannerless Spawn

These formless monsters are little else than slithering hulks of dirt.

  • Fair to Superb Biceps, Good Thinking Caps, Superb Nimbleness, all others Fair
  • Scale: +0 to +4
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Body whip: Great -- OF +0
  • Tentacle: Fair -- OF +0
  • Bludgeon: Mediocre -- OF +0
  • Bite: Mediocre Damage ( swallows whole )
  • Immune to physical weapons (maybe spells, fire or chemicals can harm them)
  • Malleable
  • Walks around 1 1/2 faster than a human

Mummies

The classic shambling and dirty undead. Whoever bandaged them wasn't a great doctor as they died anyway.

  • Great Stamina
  • Scale: +2
  • Horror Rating: Good
  • Fist: Fair -- OF +0
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Extra resistance to damage (must be hacked apart to be destroyed)
  • Vulnerable to fire
  • Walks slower than a human

Nightgaunts

Faceless, gargoyle-like beings.

  • Terrible Thinking Cap, Good Nimbleness
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Grapple: Mediocre
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Tickling attack (though it's not funny)
  • Flight
  • Walks slower than a human but flies around 1 1/2 times faster

Sand Men

Unlike the popular Sandman, these beings use their fist to put you to sleep... permanently.

  • Good Stamina, Good Nimbleness, all other Fair
  • Scale: +1
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Claws: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Tough hide: DF +2
  • Walks as fast as a human

Sardine Men

Those fish-looking amphibious anthropoids worship Cthoonhu and are almost exclusively seen on solitary beaches.

  • Good Biceps, Good Thinking Cap, all other Fair
  • Scale: +1
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Claw: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Spear: Mediocre -- OF +3
  • Tough Hide: DF +1
  • Walks as fast as a human but swims even quicker

Serpent Men

These weird beings were once great sorcerers and builders but nowadays they've lost all their former glory. Thus it's not surprising that they're often quite upset.

  • Great Thinking Cap, Good Nimbleness
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +1, plus poison
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Usually know lots of spells
  • Walks as fast as a human

Shantaks

Some kind of flying elephants more often seen when you're drunk.

  • Good Stamina, Terrible Thinking Cap, all others Fair
  • Scale: +9
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Bite: Fair -- OF +1
  • Armored skin: OF +4
  • Flight
  • Walks slower than a human but flies almost four times faster

Skeletons

These guys can't help but smile all the time.

  • No Stamina, all others Fair
  • Horror Rating: Fair
  • Melee weapon: Fair
  • Hard to destroy (damage of 4 points or greater destroy them; less damage doesn't usually affect them)
  • Impaling weapons do minimum damage to them due to lack of flesh
  • Walks slightly slower than a human

Squidfaces

Those are "miniature" copies of the great Chtoonhu, who are far easier to kill. That doesn't mean they're easy to kill, at all (unless you nuke them, that is).

  • Fair Nimbleness, Legendary Thinking Cap, all other Fair
  • Scale: +15
  • Horror Rating: Superb
  • Tentacle: Good -- OF +0
  • Armored skin: DF +5
  • Regenerates 2 points of damage per round
  • Walks almost thee times faster than a human and swims at the same speed

Star Vampires

They don't dress to kill, mainly because their body is composed entirely with tentacles and claws, but they like bleeding people to death anyway. Not very charismatic, either.

  • Good Stamina, all others Fair
  • Scale: +4
  • Horror Rating: Great
  • Talons: Fair -- OF +1
  • Bite: Good -- OF +1
  • Tough hide: DF +2
  • Projectile weapons do half damage to them
  • Invisibility
  • Flight
  • Walks slightly slower than a human but flies slightly faster

Werewolves

Classic monsters of the full moon.

  • Super Biceps, Good Stamina, Poor Thinking Cap, all others Fair
  • Scale: +2
  • Horror Rating: Good
  • Bite: Mediocre -- OF +1
  • Tough hide: DF +1
  • Regenerates 1 point of damage per round (not from silver or fire; silver is very poisonous for them - they must make a Superb Stamina roll or die -- even if they succeed, they receive 4 points of damage and can't reduce this amount by Scale or Stamina)
  • Walks almost 1 1/2 times faster than a human

Zombies

Slow, dumb as rocks, and stinky. Bad temper as they're forced to work even after death!

  • No Thinking Cap, Great Biceps, Great Stamina, Mediocre Nimbleness, all others Fair
  • Horror Rating: Good
  • Melee or Brawl: Mediocre
  • Half damage from mundane weapons
  • Impaling weapons do minimum damage to them
  • Walks as fast as a human (what a surprise!)

Sample Characters

Fox Molder

He's a fox working in the FBI who's had a few encounters with the supernatural (and a bad reputation as well!) As a result he's getting more and more involved and tries to find weird conspiracies everywhere.

Attributes:

  • Good Thinking Cap
  • Good Mnemocraftia
  • Good Whistle In the Dark
  • all others Fair

Great skill:

  • Save One's Neck

Good skills:

  • Find Needles In a Haystack
  • Get Wind of Things
  • Knowledge of Mysterious Stuff
  • Lie Low
  • Litigation, Jurisprudence and Cynicism
  • Pull Fast Ones
  • Go Postal with Guns
  • Second-Guess People
  • Special ("Build weird theories on the spot with a lot of truth on them")

Fair & Mediocre skills: will be chosen on the fly (though we'll probably add Cthoonhu Mythos as Fair as soon as we can).

Gifts:

  • Law Authority
  • Luck

Faults:

  • Duty to the FBI
  • Bad Reputation (spooky)

Michael Mouse

A journalist-like mouse who is specialized in denouncing the abuses of the mighty. Lately he's found many of them are involved with otherwordly powers!

Attributes:

  • Great Whistle In the Dark
  • Good Thinking Cap
  • all others Fair

Great skill:

  • Litigation, Jurisprudence and Cynicism

Good skills:

  • Auditing and Forging Financial Records
  • Drive Hard Bargains
  • Find Needles In a Haystack
  • Get Wind of Things
  • Pull Fast Ones
  • Rake In the Money
  • Second-Guess People
  • Special ("Unmask Powerful People")
  • Tell Sob Stories

Fair & Mediocre skills: will be chosen on the fly.

Gifts:

  • Strong Will

Faults:

  • Enemies