Monday, May 29, 2006

A Hard Day's Knight

"A Hard Day's Knight" is the First Place Winner of the 2005 Iron Fudge Competition.

An adventure with vampires, magic swords, an amusement park and lots of action. What more could you ask for. Oh, yeah... the players play the vampires.

First Place Winner of the 2005 Iron Fudge Competition

Waiting -- Ashe hated it. The transport should have arrived two hours earlier.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

He also hated the docks. There was nothing to do around here at this time of night, especially on the Labor Day weekend.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

He should have been spending his time on something useful instead of waiting in this dive, but he couldn't leave. The Master had been very clear: he, Lil, and Doc were supposed to wait at the pier until Joshua arrived. They would have to wait here till either the elder showed up, or the sun rose and turned them to dust.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

All of this the powerful vampire could stand. He could just lean against his lamppost with his eyes closed being as patient as a saint. He had endless nights after all, so what was the harm of wasting one? But what he couldn't stand, the one thing that made all of this unbearable was...

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

"Lil, cut it. Now."

Ashe glared at the skater-girl dangerously. Lil gaped up at him from above her Gameboy, her foot frozen in the mid tap. Then an evil impish grin crossed her face and she drummed her foot on the pavement with blinding speed.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

"Lil... I'm warning you," Ashe growled. So help him, if she didn't stop, he'd bat his sister right into the bay. But right before he could do anything drastic, Doc hissed for quiet. His tone broached no disagreement. Both Ashe and Lil looked at the well-dressed man questioningly.

Doc wasn't paying attention to them. Instead he was staring down the road to the pier. "Hmm. I guess its a good thing Joshua is late."

"What do you..." but the squeal of tires answered Ashe's question. An armoured black car with a wooden ram on the front skidded around the corner. "Hunters." The large vampire bore a fanged smile. "Well I guess tonight won't be so boring after all."

Introduction

"A Long Day's Knight" is an action-oriented Fudge adventure for two to five players.

The PCs are a group of vampires who have been charged with escorting an elder by the name of Joshua Elm to their Master. The Master feels that Joshua needs an escort because he has been asleep for over 50 years and this will be his first time in a modern city. Mr Elm is extremely powerful, but the culture shock he may experience could leave him vulnerable. Also, there are rumours that vampire hunters know about his arrival.

The mission is supposed to be simple: Wait down by the docks until Joshua arrives, and then kindly escort him to Castle Towers. Unfortunately, the transport ends up two hours late. To make matters worse, an organized group of hunters arrive with the express intention of wiping out the characters. The PCs will have to first survive the attack and then find out what has happened to the elder.

It is currently nine o'clock. They have three hours to find Mr Elm before the hunters do.

The Player Characters

The characters work for a powerful vampire simply known as the Master. He will not be appearing in this picture -- at best he's a disembodied plot device over the phone. The characters should have something in their background that ties them into some sort of loyalty to the Master. The general rules he expects them to obey are as follows: The characters should always put their "vampire family" before anything else. They should try to be subtle and keep their vampiric nature a secret. Finally, they should enjoy their unlife and be content with being a creature of the night.

They city the characters live in is a fictional metropolis called Thess. GMs should feel free to change the location of the city as they wish. Any city will do as long as it has a harbor and is near a small chain of islands.

The following are some pregenerated vampire characters the players can choose from. GMs should feel free to modify them as necessary. If the players want to make their own characters, use these as examples, then follow standard Fudge rules.

Being a Vampire counts as a Supernatural Power and comes with the following strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

  • Heal one health level per round when feeding.
  • Bite (-2 penalty to hit) paralyses the victim as long as the vampire keeps biting.
  • Can be incapacitated but will never die unless the killing blow is done by magic, fire, sunlight, decapitation or a wooden stake through the heart.
  • +1 bonus to Agility, Brawn, Stamina and the Unarmed Combat skill.
  • +2 bonus to Perception.
  • Vampires can make more vampires by feeding on someone until they die, and then making a Will roll of Superb. Three nights later that person will rise as a vampire. Note: The new vampire will not be under the control of his creator.
  • Vampires don't need to breathe, and are immune to disease and poison.

Weaknesses

  • Vampires suffer one wound level per round while in direct sunlight.
  • Seeing a holy symbol that is held by someone with true faith will cause one wound level of damage.
  • The touch of garlic causes one wound level, possibly more if extracted into a venom and coated onto a weapon.
  • Vampires do not heal naturally, they must drink blood to do so.
  • Vampires can not enter a holy place
  • Close examination of a vampire's reflection will reveal him to look like a well preserved corpse.
  • Vampires can not eat normal food or drink. They will quickly throw it up if they try.
  • Vampires need a blood fix at least once every three days. Otherwise, they take a wound level.
  • When a vampire feeds, lower the victim's stamina by one level per wound level healed. Anyone brought to Terrible will need to be hospitalized. Anyone who loses all of her Stamina dies.

Ashe Roberts

Ashe was a young man who used to be a hunter. What spurred him to this lifestyle was the disappearance of his sister, whom he believed was killed by vampires. He was very good at his job and was personally responsible for the destruction of several powerful undead. One day he crossed swords with a vampire named Lil. Lil, it turned out, was his missing sister. Of course this was a trap and Ashe was captured and made into one of the creatures of the night.

Ashe has been a vampire for only five years but he's learned to adapt. In retrospect, he finds that his new "family" tends to look out for each other more than his old compatriots ever did. However, his new lot in unlife has made him cynical and quick to anger. This is probably due to his confusion over what is right and wrong. However, one thing's certain -- now that he's found Lil, he's sticking with her.

Ashe looks like a young man in his twenties. He's built like a linebacker but has softer features. He'd be handsome if it wasn't for his caustic personality.

  • Attributes (3 free levels, modified for being a vampire)
    • Agility: Great (+2) (Vampire Good),
    • Brawn: Superb (+3) (Vampire Great)
    • Perception: Good (+1) (Vampire Mediocre)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
    • Will: Fair (0)
  • Skills (21 levels balanced by fault, modified by being a vampire)
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Hide: Good (+1)
    • Intimidation: Great (+2)
    • Mechanic: Mediocre (-1)
    • Melee Combat: Great (+2)
    • Ranged Combat: Fair (0)
    • Sneak: Fair (0)
    • Streetwise: Fair (0)
    • Unarmed Combat: Fair (0) (Vampire Mediocre)
  • Gifts (2 Gifts)
    • Contacts (Ash has made a lot of friends in this city)
    • Tough (+1 DF)
  • Faults (1 Fault to pay off skills)
    • Short Tempered
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Superstrength: Ash is 5 times as strong and tough as your average mortal. He has a strength/mass scale of +4. This being a supernatural power, Ashe looks only as tall and broad as your average strong guy.
  • Equipment
    • Baseball Bat +6 (scaled for Ashe's strength)
    • Large Pistol +4
    • Light Body Armor +1 DF
    • Communicator (like what the FBI wear)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist and Fang Damage: +6
    • Baseball Bat Damage: +9
    • Total Defense Factor: +6
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Ashe extra Hurt and Very Hurt wound levels.

Lilith Roberts

Lil was caught in a crossfire between the Master and a group of determined hunters. The Master, almost dead, grabbed her, hid, and fed. Out of a twisted sense of honour he turned her into a vampire. It took a while for Lil to get used to the idea. She missed her family terribly but eventually she managed to cope. At one point Lil discovered that her brother Ashe had become a vampire hunter. He was on a quest to avenge her death. Lil and the Master concocted a plan and lured him into a trap. Now Ashe is part of her extended family and Lil finds her unlife a little bit more enjoyable.

Lil was never a goth but she loves being a vampire. She doesn't miss the sunrise, she doesn't miss being human, and she loves the mystique. Master says that she's just young and will "find her angst" soon enough. For now she's too busy enjoying the night life. Lil really cares about her older brother. They get along but deep down inside she feels guilty for dragging him into all of this.

Lil looks to be a 17 year old skater girl. Her clothes are somewhat outdated in modern trends but she pulls off her style well.

  • Attributes (3 Free levels, modified for being a vampire)
    • Agility: Superb (+3) (Vampire Great)
    • Brawn: Fair (0) (Vampire Mediocre)
    • Perception: Superb (+3) (Vampire Good)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Will: Good (+1)
  • Skills (21 levels balanced by fault, modified for being a vampire.)
    • Break and Enter: Fair (0)
    • Con Artist: Good (+1)
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Legerdemain: Mediocre (-1)
    • Melee Combat: Fair (0)
    • Persuasion: Fair (0)
    • Ranged Combat: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Good (+1)
    • Streetwise: Good (+1)
    • Unarmed Combat: Fair (0) (Vampire Mediocre)
  • Gifts (2 Gifts)
    • Fearless (+1 on all checks in dealing with fear)
    • Reflection Looks Normal
  • Faults (1 Fault to pay off skills)
    • Impulsive
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Superspeed: Lil is three times as fast as your average mortal. She has a speed scale value of +6. Apply this to any checks involving pure speed and all out defense. For any other rolls involving movement she (including attack and defense rolls) she gets a +2 bonus.
  • Equipment
    • Knife +2
    • Pistol +3
    • Throwing Knives +2
    • Skateboard Modified to work at her speed scale
    • Light Body Armor: +1 DF
    • Communicator (like what the FBI wear)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist and Fang Damage: -1
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Lil an extra Hurt wound level.

Doctor James King

In the early twentieth century James King travelled into deepest Africa to discover his roots. He found a lost village deep in the jungle and there plied his trade. He was a medical doctor in practice though not on the books. He used his knowledge to heal the sick. The "guardian spirit" of the village took kindly to this and brought Mr. King unto itself and made him immortal. A couple of years later he met up with the Master and they became fast friends. He now spends much of his time educating the Master's children on the finer points of being a monster.

Mr King is always calm and cool. He has a vast amount of patience and actually likes hanging out with the younger crowd. He has an easy time fitting in with humans, he even still practices his trade, though these days he's fully licenced.

James King is a friendly looking black man with a kind smile. He dresses well but not so much so as to be standoffish.

  • Attributes (5 levels balanced by fault, modified for being a vampire)
    • Agility: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Brawn: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
    • Perception: Superb (+3) (Vampire Good)
    • Intelligence: Good (+1)
    • Stamina: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
    • Will: Good (+1)
  • Skills (21 levels balanced by fault, modified for being a vampire)
    • Con Artist: Fair (0)
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Computer: Mediocre (-1)
    • Intimidation: Good (+1)
    • Medicine: Great (+2)
    • Persuasion: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Good (+1)
    • Unarmed Combat: Superb (+3) (Vampire Great)
  • Gifts (2 Gifts)
    • Patience (+1 on all checks that involve waiting)
    • Charisma (+1 on all checks involving gaining trust)
  • Faults (2 Faults one to pay off skills, the other to pay off attributes)
    • Enemies (Quite a Few Hunters know about him)
    • Responsibilities (Has a job)
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Beast Form: Mr King can shape his body to give him any or all of the following bestial traits:
      • Yellow Eyes and Pointed Ears: +2 to Perception.
      • Scaley Hide: +2 to DF
      • Claws: +2 to hand to hand damage.
      • Beast Strength: +2 to Brawn
      • Beast Speed: +2 to Agility
  • Equipment
    • Light Armor +1 DF
    • Communicators (like what the FBI wear)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist and Fang Damage: +1
    • With Claws and Beast Strength: +6
    • Total Defense Factor (With Beast Hide and light armour): +3
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Doc extra Hurt and Very Hurt wound levels.

Melissa Drake

In the 1920's Melissa was a lounge singer at a posh night club in Thess. She was very talented but also had her own slew of problems. Melissa's main squeeze was tied in with the mob and this caused her no end of grief. She used to confide in the barkeep at the club, a kind man whom she felt she could share her problems with. They didn't have any sort of relationship, but her boyfriend couldn't figure that out and in a jealous rage beat her nearly to death. The barkeep turned out to be the Master. He ended Melissa's boyfriend in a very messy and painful way. He then made her into one of his children. Melissa has always kept her dry sense of humour throughout her decades of unlife. She doesn't resent the Master for what she's become, though truth be told she misses her old friends and family terribly. In fact she still keeps tabs on them, or at least their kids. Ms. Drake often feels lonely and out of touch, though she hides this well.

Melissa is a beautiful woman with long raven black hair. Its hard to tell her age, she's definitely mature but doesn't look "over the hill." She dresses conservatively but with a sense of style that's hard to ignore.

  • Attributes (3 levels modified for being a vampire)
    • Agility: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
    • Brawn: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair )
    • Perception: Great (+2) (Vampire Fair )
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Will: Great (+2)
  • Skills (27 levels balanced by 1 fault and 1 gift, modified for being a vampire)
    • Break and Enter: Mediocre (-1)
    • Con Artist: Great (+2)
    • Drive: Fair (0)
    • Legerdemain: Fair (0)
    • Persuasion: Great (+2)
    • Perform: Great (+2)
    • Ranged Combat: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Good (+1)
    • Streetwise: Fair (0)
    • Unarmed: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
  • Gifts (2 Gifts)
    • Beautiful (+1 on all social checks where looks matter)
    • Extra Skills (6 Levels)
  • Faults (1 Fault to pay off skills)
    • Responsibilities (Melissa looks in on her friends and family's decedents from time to time)
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Control: When Melissa commands someone to do something, they'll usually do it, even if it's suicidal. To do this, have her make a Persuasion roll vs her opponent's Will. If she succeeds, he'll do one task for her no matter how crazy it sounds. If she fails, she can not attempt to control that person again for a full month. Melissa can control more than one person at a time by taking a -1 penalty to her roll for every extra person she's trying to affect. Her targets must be able to see and hear her and she must be able to see them. The GM can rule that any usage of this power against a major NPC will incur a -1 to -3 penalty. Each command takes a separate roll.
  • Equipment
    • Pistol +3
    • Light Armor +1 DF
    • Communicators (like what the FBI wear)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist and Fang Damage: 0
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Melissa an extra Hurt wound level.

Gregory Sand

Gregory was a British sniper during World War II. He was very good at what he did and even earned a rep amongst the enemy as "the Ghost." At one point he was deep in Nazi territory when he shot one of their leading generals. He was in for a shock. A few nights later the person he had killed was walking around as if nothing had happened. Gregory shot this man seven more times, such that each attempt should have killed him -- but as always, he'd hear that the general was not dead. One day the Master found him and made him into a creature of the night just for the sake of not having to make excuses why he was still alive. It turned out that the Master was watching Hitler and leaking vital information to the Allies. It seemed that World War II was good for vampires, to a point. Now they had decided it was time to end it.

Gregory doesn't talk much, it's as if he's keeping all the horror and hell he's been through to himself. Despite his apparent introspection he is a very good listener and rarely misses anything important. He's loyal to his new family and finds that he more easily relates with monsters than with "real people."

Gregory looks very unassuming. In fact, most people never even notice he's there. He doesn't look like he'd be much in a fight. This assumption is a deadly one since Gregory is one of the most dangerous people on the planet.

  • Attributes (3 levels modified for being a vampire)
    • Agility: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Brawn: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Perception: Legendary (+4) (Vampire Great)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Will: Good (+1)
  • Skills (27 levels balanced by 1 fault and 1 gift, modified for being a vampire)
    • Break and Enter: Good (+1)
    • Computer: Mediocre (-1)
    • Drive: Fair (0)
    • Legerdemain: Good (+1)
    • Melee Combat: Good (+1)
    • Medicine: Mediocre (-1)
    • Ranged Combat: Great (+2)
    • Sneak: Great (+2)
    • Streetwise: Fair (0)
    • Technician: Mediocre (-1)
    • Unarmed: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
  • Gifts (2 Gifts)
    • Extra Skills (12 Levels, Costs 2 Gifts)
  • Faults (1 Fault to pay off skills)
    • Shy and Detached (-1 on all social rolls when there are a lot of people around)
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Incorporeal: Gregory can make himself invisible and incorporeal. This power takes some time to "charge up." To use this the player announces that Greg is "going shadow" and starting that round Gregory gets a +1 bonus to all stealth and defense rolls. However, at the same time he also gets a -1 to any damage he does. Every round he keeps this power up he gets a further +1 bonus and -1 penalty. When he reaches +4/-4 he is completely invisible and insubstantial. He can walk through solid objects. He can't be detected by anyone, and all non-magical/spiritual attacks pass right through him. On the other hand he can't manipulate physical objects while he's ghosting. At any point he can will this power off and become completely solid again (No, he can not use this as an autokill by sticking his hand in someone's brain). Anything he's carrying on him is affected by this power as long as he holds on to it.
  • Equipment
    • Pistol +3
    • Collapsible Sniper Rifle +5
    • Knife +2
    • Hidden Body Armor +1 DF
    • Communicators (like what the FBI wear)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fang and Fist Damage: 0
    • Knife Damage: +3
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Gregory an extra Hurt wound level.

A Quick Note On Attributes

  • Agility: Handles all rolls for running, dodging, and acrobatics/tumbling.
  • Brawn: How much the character can lift and how much physical punishment he can dish out with his fists or a melee weapon.
  • Intelligence: Handles memory and rolls involving history, language, culture etc.
  • Perception: Handles any rolls involved with searching for something or determining someone's true intent.
  • Stamina: How sturdy the character is -- roll this for any tests of endurance. Also, a Good Stamina will add 1 Hurt box to the character's wound track. Great will add a Very Hurt box. And Superb will add another Hurt box in addition to the other two boxes already added.
  • Will: Determines how well the character can resist temptation, stress, pain and so forth.

A Quick Note on Skills

This game uses broad skill groups. Each skill starts at Poor. Each character should start with 15 levels to add to them.

The default skills for this game are: Break and Enter, Con Artist, Computer, Drive, Intimidation, Legerdemain, Melee Combat, Medicine, Mechanic, Perform, Persuasion, Ranged Combat, Sneak, Streetwise, Technician, Unarmed Combat

A Quick Note on Gifts and Faults

The GM should feel free to handle gifts and faults however she wants. The only constant is that everyone starts with 2 Gifts. They can use a fault to balance out over spending in other areas.

A Quick Note on Supernatural Powers

If creating a new character from scratch, feel free to grab any of the powers listed with the pregens. They are designed with the idea in mind that 1 Supernatural Power = 6 gifts. The vampire power is different only because every character in the game starts with it so it doesn't matter how many gifts it's worth. If one of the players wants to play a mortal, let him. Just use the standard rules but don't give him anything extra for lack of Supernatural Powers. Mortals are supposed to be weaker than vampires after all.

General Resources Available to the PCs

The characters have been living in this city for a while so they have a number of safe houses where they can rest and recuperate. There are also a few special night clubs where they can partake in blood donated

by willing victims. Also, each of the characters are considered wealthy enough that they could go to the most expensive hot spots in Thess and not worry about the cost.

Hidden in the safe houses the characters also have access to moderate levels of the following equipment. What is listed with the character are just what they're assumed to be carrying at the begining of the game. Be warned that some of these items should really only be used in emergences. For instance most folks would notice Ashe carrying a machine gun and probably call the cops.

It should take at least 1/2 hour to visit any of the safe houses.

If the GM thinks there is anything missing from this list, or of the PCs want something mundane (IE duct tape) then assume they can get these items easily enough.

  • Communicators (like what the FBI wear)
  • Cell Phones with unlimited minutes
  • Flashlights
  • Medical Kits (Useful only for mortals)
  • Rope
  • Hand cuffs
  • Cars/Bikes/Pick Up Trucks (expensive, moderate and junkers are available)
  • Pistols: +3 damage
  • Rifles/Shotguns: +4 damage
  • Machine Guns: +5 damage
  • Knives: +2 damage
  • Clubs/Chains/Baseball Bats: +2 damage
  • Swords/Axes: +3 damage
  • Large Blunt Weapons (Mauls and such): +3 damge
  • Huge Swords/Axes: +4 damage
  • Light Body Armor (Concealable): +1 DF
  • Moderate Body Armor (Needs a Good Streetwise Roll to conceal): +2 Defensive Factor
  • Riot Armor: (Not concealable at all and people will ask questions): +3 Defensive Factor

The Docks

It is currently 9:00 in the evening on the first night of the Labor Day weekend.The characters have been waiting for two hours for the arrival of Mr Elm. The docks are deserted, and for some reason not even the night's guardsmen are around. The sky is clear and more stars than usual can be seen in the city sky. The air is warm and nice. If it wasn't for the industrial smell this might be actually be sorta pleasant.

Then all Hell breaks loose.

A large group of vampire hunters suddenly descend upon the characters. Chances are the PCs will be ready for them. They may hear their vehicles approaching, they could notice that there are no guards anywhere and figure that means something's up, or they might just have a bad feeling. To find out if they know beforehand have them make a Good Perception rolls. Of course if the players already expect something's up then just give them pre-warning of the hunters.

The Hunters

  • Agility
    • Agility: Fair (0)
    • Brawn: Fair (0)
    • Intelligence: Mediocre (0)
    • Perception: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Fair (0)
    • Will: Fair (0)
  • Skills
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Melee Combat: Mediocre (-1)
    • Ranged Combat: Mediocre (-1)
    • Sneak: Mediocre (-1)
  • Equipment
    • Medium Body Armor +2 DF
    • Pistol with garlic rounds +2 (+5 vs vampires)
    • Wooden Stakes
    • Shot Gun with Garlic Rounds +3 (+6 vs vampires)
Scratch Hurt Dead
O O O

These hunters look and move like a militia. They are dressed in urban camo. They do not have any special insignia on them that indicates what group they are part of. There will be four of them (and 1 car) for every PC.

They are part of the Red Dawn Anti Blood Sucker Brigade. It is privately funded by a "philanthropic" billionaire who made his money off of selling arms. Of course these schmoes have no idea who's running the show. They are just here to kick some vampire @$$. This particular group of "soldiers" is doing this for the thrill. They've always wanted to kill someone and killing vampires is "legal." Their higher ups have already cleared the docks. They told this unit that their targets should be the only people there and therefore the hunters should not to hesitate to kill everyone in sight. Any "mistakes" can be cleaned up so they needn't worry about hurting innocents. However, if the police become involved they are to scratch the mission and run.

This group knows that while their mission is a major operation, there are even bigger fish to fry. Apparently their boss arranged a "misinterpreted communique" and an elder vampire's ship was instructed to dock at Strake Island. This is not information they should be privy too, but someone in the organization leaked it and they hope that after this they'll be called to Strake Island for some real action.

Action

The hunters send one of their cars squealing down the road to stop right before the docks. The wooden ram on its front will give it away as a hunter vehicle. The rest of their group will be scattered between the roofs of the warehouses, dockside trucks, and the dockside crates. They will wait for the vampires to approach the vehicle and then open fire. There is only one hunter in the car. He's considered by the rest of the group to be expendable. The car's stats are:

  • Attributes
    • Durability: Fair (0)
    • Size: 2
    • Road Speed: 12 (150 km/h or 90 mph)
    • Ground Speed: 6 (50 km/h or 30 mph)
    • Road Manoeuverability: Mediocre (-1)
    • Ground Manoeuverability: Terrible (-2)
  • Equipment
    • Wooden Cow Catcher (i.e. Ram): +5 damage + 1/2 the vehicles current speed scale round down.
    • Armor +2 DF
  • Combat Summary
    • Max Damage with Ram: +11
    • Total Defensive Factor: +4
Scratch Damaged Beyond Repair
O O O

Give the characters a chance to notice the hunters hiding before they approach the car. The difficulty to spot them will be Good. Of course if the PC's all immediately race for the vehicle then make separate rolls for each character. Each one that fails to notice the hunters gets caught in the crossfire that will be unleashed. Any that make it will be allowed an Agility roll to dodge.

For any PCs caught unawares the difficulty for the hunters to hit them will be Mediocre (Terrible if said character was not acting in a cautious manner in the least). Just make one attack roll for each PC who's caught flatfooted. For every 2 hunters shooting said PC, add +1 to the attack's roll. The hunters will split their shots between the PCs they can hit. If any of the characters drop due to the damage remember that the garlic rounds won't kill them. The PCs should only worry if the hunters Incap all of them, in which case the game is over.

If the characters notice the hunters and act accordingly then the hunters will try to out manoeuver them. The hunters know to try and avoid getting into hand to hand combat with the PCs if at all possible. They'll also try to stay under cover (and get a +1 to +2 to their defensive rolls for ranged combat).

One thing to note is that these particular hunters aren't super intellgent. Most of the clever tactics the PCs use should succeed. They are also not very loyal to each other, so chances are it should be easy to pick them off one at a time.

If the hunters loose two thirds of their group they'll run.

If enough noise is made the characters should hear police sirens within 5 minutes after the combat starts. If they decide to stick around and fight the police make the first wave easy to deal with. Afterwards things should get progressively harder until the swat team arrives. If this happens make the PC's wish they were still fighting the hunters. (I'm assuming that the PCs aren't stupid enough to take on the cops. If they are, just fudge it).

Cinematics

These are just some ideas for what can happen around the docks. Don't pigeon hole the PCs to make these things happen. Just use them if they come up. GMs should feel free to pre-prepare their own or just make stuff up on the fly.

  • One of the hunters (or one of the PCs) is hiding right beside a big fog horn. If someone manages to activate the horn that poor soul will need to make a Superb Will roll to avoid crashing down into the deck.
  • The hunter in the car decides to run down one of the characters. In this case its possible he might follow him all the way to the wharf and then drive off the end if the PC plays his cards right.
  • If a PC or a hunter is knocked off a warehouse roof, have him fall onto one or two of the hunters who are hiding below.

Aftermath

If the PCs decide that they want to question one of the hunters, a Fair Intimidation roll will get any one of them to spill their beans. If they don't let any of the hunters live long enough to question them, the characters can still find out about the redirection of Mr Elm's transport. They could check out the dock office. To do so would require a Fair Break and Enter roll, and then a Fair Computer or Great Intelligence roll to sift through the files to find out what happened. Or, if one of the characters has the contacts gift, he can ask around (Fair Persuasion roll). Otherwise, if the PCs come up with another feasible idea on how to find out what happened to the transport, then fudge it and let then have the info they need.

If the characters contact the Master he'll suggest they check the dock office or ask around. He has no idea what's going on but trusts the PCs can handle it. He will not be able to come himself.

If the PCs decide there is nothing out of the ordinary going on and trust that the transport is just late, then let them wait at around the docks for about half an hour (this is assuming that the docks aren't swarming with police). Eventually the Master will call them and ask what's up. He'll then suggest they look into this further.

At the end of this section make sure to note what the game time is. The characters may not know it but they're under the clock. They have until midnight before the hunters destroy Joshua. Figure out what time has passed by giving a rough estimate. For example: chances are the fight at the docks only lasted about 5 minutes. The time spent interrogating one of the hunters would depend on the Intimidation result the PCs got (anywhere from right away to way too long). Searching the dock office may take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Don't make the PCs feel rushed, just make them aware that time may be an issue. (Of course if they spend an hour doing nothing constructive, then you may want to give them a "gentle nudge" that something's up).

Strake Island

Strake Island is just a mile or two east of the city. It's an oddity in that it's small and wooded. A little cottage country wedged in the middle of an urban kingdom. What's even stranger is the next closest island, Avalon, is just half a mile north of it. Avalon is a famous amusement park and glows eerily in the distance. The Red Dawn has taken over the island. Their plan was to redirect Mr Elm's ship here and then swarm it with a large force that comprised of 30 soldiers and five very powerful hunters. Unfortunately, there were two minor snags. One, the family that owns the cottage was actually there for the Labour Day weekend. Two, the transport, for some inexplicable reason, sailed on right past the island and headed for the amusement park.

The first hitch was easily dealt with, they couldn't have witnesses so the hunters had some "fun" with the family and then dumped their bodies into the St. Lawrence. The second hitch was another story. All they could do was watch as the transport sailed on past and docked at Avalon. Of course they adapted. The lead hunters and most of their cronies switched from overt status to covert and then made their way to the amusement park. They hope to find Mr Elm there and quietly get rid of him. Five of the hunter cronies stayed on the island, just to secure their temporary base. The PCs can make their way here any way they can manage. From buying a speed boat, to stealing one of the ships at the dock. It shouldn't be too difficult. GMs may even want to just say the PCs find a way and make it to the island without them having to roll.

Action

The Island's pretty small. The transport is nowhere to be seen. There are lights shining from the cottage. The hunters (use the stats given above) stationed there are not expecting trouble in the least. This should be a cakewalk for the PCs.

Any rolls to sneak up on the hunters unawares will be around a Poor difficulty.

If the hunters catch wind that there is more than one vampire on the island they will try to call for backup. They won't get any. The lead hunters will thank them for the warning and then wish them luck. However, this will mean that these hunters will try to stay under cover and shoot at the characters until they go away. There are no boats on the island, other than what the PCs brought/stole.

Cinematics

Perhaps one of the family is still alive? Maybe the mother or one of the children. If so and if the PCs are feeling altruistic, they could save him or her. Either way the hunters might forget they are fighting vampires and threaten to kill the hostage if the PCs step any closer. If the characters manage to save the poor victim he or she won't be in much of a condition to thank them, being both physically and emotionally wounded, but time heals all...hopefully.

Aftermath

If any of the hunters are still alive the difficulty to make him crack will be Mediocre. If the one of the characters succeeds the hunter will tell them everything -- that Joshua Elm is on Avalon; that there are five lead hunters, and 25 militia doing a covert op to get rid of him... He'll even give the PC's a general description of the five lead hunters (see the next section).

If none of the hunters are left alive, finding Mr Elm may still prove to be easy. The hunters do have a radio to communicate with the rest of the team. A Superb Con Artist roll might convince them to tell the PCs where they are, even though "they should d@## well know." Otherwise, a Good Perception roll will allow one of the PCs to spot the transport off Avalon. Worse comes to worse, if the PC's saved one of the family he or she might tell them were the hunter's went.

Again, note the time to the PCs. Depending on what contacts they have and how they went about it finding a boat or helicopter, to get to Strake Island could have taken anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Fudge the travel time, say around 5-30 minutes depending on their mode of travel. At this point sound more urgent. It should be obvious to the characters that Mr Elm is in great danger. Even if the PCs are more traditional "evil" vampires they should know that their Master will be very angry if Mr Elm dies. If they contact the Master, he'll tell them that they should be able to handle it themselves.

Avalon

Avalon is a theme park that caters to fans of King Arthur and the Kights of the Round table. It was built with no real attention to what is actually in the myths, instead it is designed solely as a tourist trap. The knights walk around in tacky armour and carry weapons (such as the two bladed sword) that could never have existed in Arthur's time. The ladies wear dresses that appear to have come out of some shlock fantasy novel. There are also coloured lights and flashing advertisements everywhere.

The reason why Mr Elm is here is because he wanted to be. He had woken up as his transport was headed for Strake Island. When he saw the lights of Avalon he was completely taken away. Never in all of his unlife had he ever seen something like what was there. He ordered the transport to dock at Avalon instead. After a little "persuasion" the captain was happy to oblige.

Action

The hunters arrived after Mr Elm had managed to vanish into the crowd. While it should normally have been easy to locate him (seeing as he stepped out of a large transport and not a ferry) Joshua has a power that makes him very forgettable. The hunters split up in order to find him. They put five hunters at the docks and each Lead (except for one) has a squad of five under his or her command. The hunters are going to try to find Mr Elm and quietly take him out. However, if the PCs break cover then they won't mind doing the same to them. At least until the police arrive, in which case they'll scrap the mission.

At this point the PC's may have a very limited amount of time to find Mr Elm (depending on how they travel it could take anywhere from 5-20 minutes to get to Avalon). GMs should remind them what time it is in game and warn them that Joshua's unlife may be on the clock. Depending on how much in a rush they are in the characters may want to split up.

If the PC's move in quietly they might be able to take the hunters by surprise. If they make a disturbance then their enemies will try to co-ordinate to eliminate them as quickly as possible. Three lead hunters will go after the characters (whether they do it quietly or not depends on how stealthy the PCs have been) while the two remaining squads will look for Mr Elm. No matter how big of a disturbance the PCs or the hunters cause, Mr Elm won't show himself until found.

Of course if the characters fail to find Mr Elm by midnight, but get rid of all the hunters before then, then Joshua will eventually show up and ask them what's going on.

For the hunter goons use the same stats that have already been given except that their Melee and Ranged combat skills are Fair. Obviously they won't be wearing their armour. They will be using silenced pistols.

The following is a list of places the characters can search and who's there when they do so.

The Grounds

Between the main attractions Avalon is peppered with carnival games, small rides, street theatre, and concession stands. There is also a massive "Pendragon" roller coaster. Here families mingle with Kights, Lords and Ladies in a safe "family oriented" environment. Family oriented that is except for the sniper who is crouched on one of the towers of the roller coaster. His name is Frank Drummand. He's one of the head honchos of the Red Dawn. His squad is comprised of hand picked professionals who are combing the grounds for Mr Elm and any other vampires. He's staying in his perch because he knows that if things get messy he'll be able to see any vampire who runs out into the open and put some "holy lead" into his skull.

The hunters in Frank's squad will be walking around looking for trouble. They are expert at spotting vampires and will try to quietly take out any they detect.

Frank's Squad

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Good (+1)
    • Brawn: Good (+1)
    • Perception: Good (+1)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Good (+1)
    • Will: Fair (0)
  • Skills
    • Break and Enter: Fair (0)
    • Con Artist: Fair (0)
    • Computer: Mediocre (-1)
    • Drive: Fair (0)
    • Intimidation: Good (+1)
    • Melee Combat: Good (+1)
    • Medicine: Mediocre (-1)
    • Ranged Combat: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Good (+1)
    • Unarmed Combat: Good (+1)
  • Equipment
    • Hi-tech Light Armor +2 DF
    • Blessed Knife +2 (+5 against vampires)
    • Silenced Pistol with Blessed Rounds +3 (+6 against vampires)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: 0
    • Knife Damage: +3/+5
    • Total Defense Factor: +2
Scratch Hurt Killed
O O O O

Cinematics

Unless the characters want to hit Frank with a ranged weapon they'll have to climb the roller coaster to get to him. They can go up the stairs though Frank will take several shots at them as they run. If they want to climb the coaster, it'll take two or three Good Brawn checks (unless said character has super speed). If there is a coaster coming by, the character will also have to dodge it. Great Agility check or take 9 damage. Of course, if the PCs move into a position that Frank can't shoot them at, then he will be forced to climb down and try to engage.

The difficulty to spot Frank in the first place will be Superb. To do so after he starts shooting will be Great.

Frank Drummand

Frank was taken in by the church when his family was killed by vampires. He was raised to be a hunter. However, Frank found the Vatican's take on the matter to be far too soft. He felt that nothing else mattered as long as the job was done. Soon after he left he was taken in by the Red Dawn and hasn't looked back since.

Frank is a rough looking man who dresses in a paramilitary style. He hates vampires with a passion and this overrides everything else that could be in his life. Frank is a very violent, nasty man whose only redeeming quality is that he's very good at what he does.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Great (+2)
    • Brawn: Great (+2)
    • Perception: Superb (+3)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Superb (+3)
    • Will: Great (+2)
  • Skills
    • Break and Enter: Good (+1)
    • Con Artist: Good (+1)
    • Computer: Fair (0)
    • Drive: Great (+2)
    • Intimidation: Superb (+3)
    • Melee Combat: Great (+2)
    • Medicine: Fair (0)
    • Mechanic: Good (+1)
    • Ranged Combat: Legendary (+4)
    • Sneak: Great (+2)
    • Streetwise: Good (+1)
    • Technician: Fair (0)
    • Unarmed Combat: Great (+2)
  • Gifts
    • Tough (+1 DF)
    • Can not be commanded by Vampires
  • Faults
    • Extremely Violent
  • Equipment
    • Hi-tech Light Armor +2 DF
    • Sniper Rifle with Holy Rounds +5 (+8 against vampires)
    • Pistol with Holy Rounds +4 (+7 against vampires)
    • Blessed Knife +3 (+6 against vampires)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: +1
    • Knife Damage: +5/+8
    • Total Defense Factor: +3
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Frank extra Hurt and Very Hurt wound levels.

The Castle: Camelot

There is nothing authentic about this place. Its moulded out of concrete and looks just different enough from another theme park's castle so as not to get the owners sued. There is a large theatre here. Most of the time it hosts kids shows or rock concerts, though once every year it also holds a Shakespeare festival. In Camelot there is also King Arthur's Court where the "knights" gather around with all the "Lords and Ladies of the Land" (all the folks who shelled out good money for this) to have a "medieval feast" complete with magic tricks, fencing, theatrics, and stand up comedy. Other than the theatre and Arthur's court there's also some very expensive suites for guests who have paid for the "Knight's Week" package. The rooms are very nice, though a little gaudy. Each has their own "mystic" sauna, all channel cable "orb," dancing (vibrating) bed, and a full array of console games for the kids.

There is also a troll at the castle but he's real.. Stephan Uther is searching the Camelot for Mr Elm. He'll start in he basement and then work his way to the top. He won't find him and will spend most of the night grumbling murderously, unless one of the other hunter groups calls for help. He's very bored and may do something drastic to amuse himself.

Stephan's squad will just try to stay out of his way. They'll only step in if a fight breaks out.

Cinematics

Have Stephan play the Green Knight in Arthur's court. At one point he decides to join in the fun and stomp in through the front door to pester the poor actors. The audience will love it, thinking its part of the act. If one of the knights decides to challenge him though, things could get real messy. The PC's may want to figure out a way to intervene before chaos ensues. (Optionally the Shakespeare festival could also be going on. In which case, Stephen will try his hand at McBeth.)

Stephan Gunther

Stephan Gunther doesn't remember where he came from or who he really is, all he really knows is that he's a troll. For the past five years he's worked for the Red Dawn. This is all he remembers. He likes the work though because he finds killing things amusing.

Stephan looks like a huge man with overly pale skin and a blue beard. He wears any clothes he can find that will fit him, they are usually unkept and messy. The troll carries a massive axe on his back.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Mediocre (-1)
    • Brawn: Superb (+3)
    • Perception: Fair (+0)
    • Intelligence: Fair (0)
    • Stamina: Great (+2)
    • Will: Fair (0)
  • Skills
    • Con Artist: Fair (0)
    • Intimidation: Legendary (+4)
    • Melee Combat: Superb (+3)
    • Perform: Mediocre (-1)
    • Ranged Combat: Fair (0)
    • Sneak: Great (+2)
    • Unarmed Combat: Good (+1)
  • Gifts
    • Very Tough: +2 DF (Costs Two Gifts)
  • Faults
    • Odd Appearance
    • Gets Bored Easily
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Superstrength: Stephan is 5 times as strong and tough as your average mortal. He has a strength/mass scale of +4.
  • Equipment
    • Massive Axe +4 damage
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: +6
    • *Axe Damage: +11
    • *Total Defense Factor: +6
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Stephan extra Hurt and Very Hurt wound levels.

The Fun House: The Crystal Cave

The Crystal Cave is a fun house that sits just off of the dock. Inside there is a large underground maze that features many attractions such as: A hall of mirrors, numerous concession stands, a haunted house, a mini-rollercoster, a laser tag arena and a magic show done by "Merlin." There are plenty of phone booths where guests can call the staff who will lead them to each area if they get lost. Without help it takes a Mediocre Intelligence roll to get around.

Lucas Kent is here looking for Mr Elm. He doesn't mind the slow pace and will amuse himself by poking fun at this "attraction" with his fellow hunters. If the PC's arrive, he'll sense them and decide to play a little game. He'll try to lure the PCs somewhere and then hit them from behind. His squad will provide expert backup.

Cinematics

There aren't that many people in the hall of mirrors. Lucas will see if he can get lure PCs in there. If they fall for his trap, he'll use his powers to shatter the hallway and then create a storm of broken glass with the characters at the centre. This will take a Superb Intelligence roll on Lucas' part. Everyone in the hallway must make an Agility roll vs Lucas' result or take +5 damage.

Lucas Kar

Lucas is an independent hired out by the Red Dawn. He is a powerful psychic who has long gotten over any awkward feelings of of being "different" from normal people. In fact, he no longer believes he's human at all, but some higher being. Lucas sees no real value in sentient life except when its useful to him.

Lucas is very attractive and dresses to kill. He specializes in breaking hearts, both figuratively and literally.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Fair (0)
    • Brawn: Fair (0)
    • Perception: Great (+2)
    • Intelligence: Superb (+3)
    • Stamina: Fair (0)
    • Will: Great (+2)
  • Skills
    • Con Artist: Great (+2)
    • Computer: Good (+1)
    • Drive: Fair (0)
    • Intimidation: Fair (0)
    • Legerdemain: Fair (0)
    • Persuasion: Great (+2)
    • Sneak: Fair (0)
    • Streetwise: Good (+1)
    • Unarmed Combat: Mediocre (-1)
  • Gifts
    • Attractive
    • Wealthy
  • Faults
    • Psychopath
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Great Telekinesis: Mr Kar can move things with his mind. Anything within 50 metres is fair game. His Brawn for lifting things is his Will at Scale value +2. He uses his Intelligence for grabbing/attack rolls. He can pick up more than one object by taking a -1 penalty on his Intelligence roll for every extra object he picks up. He can hit people with invisible force for +4 damage. He can deflect attacks with his Telekinesis by using his Intelligence as his deflect roll. He can only stop attacks that do +8 damage or less. He can also instantly kill someone by making an opposed Will roll vs his victim's Stamina. If he wins by 3 or more his victim gets a vital organ crushed, if he fails Lucas can not try this stunt again on that person for a full 24 hours.
    • Limited ESP: Mr Kent can set his mind to detect something in his immediate vicinity. He has to name the object before hand (IE vampire). Whenever said object gets within 5 metres he make a Perception roll. If Lucas gets over a Fair result he instantly knows where the object he is looking for is located.
  • Equipment
    • Light Body Armor +1 DF
    • Pistol with garlic rounds +2 (+5 vs vampires)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: -1
    • Force Attack: +4
    • Smashing Someone With a Massive Object: +7
    • The Shattered Glass Storm: +5 (to everyone in it)
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O

The Jousting Ring

Every four hours or so Camelot hosts a jousting tournament in a massive arena. This is actually rather authentic, though some modern advancements have been added, but only with the safety of the knights in mind. The combat looks realistic and is very exciting. This is all done in a style where different knights have different rivalries and fight for the attention of certain ladies. Sometimes the ladies are members on the audience. This is perhaps Avalon's biggest attraction and usually the stadium is packed.

Father Joseph Stadiler is here looking for Mr Elm. He's left his squad behind, finding their methods distasteful. Despite his lack of back up, the PCs should approach him cautiously, for he is perhaps the most dangerous of the hunters.

Note: If the characters steal some of the jousting armour, they could walk around in it and no one would raise an eyebrow. The armour provides +2 DF.

Cinematics

Joseph will drop his defenses and call any vampires he meets out back to fight (in the empty lot behind the arena). He doesn't want to endanger the crowd. The PCs could just kill him at this point. If they take him up on the offer he'll be difficult to defeat (of course they don't know this). It is possible that they could convince him to back off. This would take a Great Persuasion roll and they only get one shot. If one of the PCs is endangering someone in the crowd, Joseph will spring into action, throwing caution to the wind.

Father Joseph Stadiler

Father Joseph was blessed with the sight to see the unnatural. When he was a child some of these forces (the Fae to be precise) invited him to join in their secret world. Joseph refused and the results were devastating for his family (they were driven mad). Later Mr. Stadiler would join the Catholic Church where the Vatican took note of his talents and trained him in being a hunter of the undead. He has been put on temporary assignment to the Red Dawn by his superiors. Truth be told, he despises the Red Dawn's methods and thinks they should all be locked up. But Joseph keeps reminding himself that they are both fighting a greater evil.

Father Joseph is a young man in a priest's collar. Normally he's very bright and cheerful but on this occasion he seems upset and brooding.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Good (+1)
    • Brawn: Fair (0)
    • Perception: Good (+1)
    • Intelligence: Good (+1)
    • Stamina: Fair (0)
    • Will: Superb (+3)
  • Skills
    • Computer: Mediocre (-1)
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Medicine: Fair (0)
    • Mechanic: Fair (0)
    • Perform: Good (+1)
    • Persuade: Great (+2)
    • Sneak: Fair (0)
  • Gifts
    • Contacts in the Vatican
    • Charismatic (Joseph gets +1 to rolls in getting people to trust him)
  • Faults
    • Uncertain about his place in being a hunter. He just wants to be a priest.
  • Supernatural Powers
    • The Sight: Joseph will automatically sense any unnatural creature that comes within 10 metres of him. Not only that he'll immediately sense where they are and spot them even if they are invisible.
    • Potent Faith: When Joseph holds the cross out against any vampire, said monster will take at least one level of damage. Also any vampires seeing the cross he's holding must make contested Will roll with him (Don't penalise Joseph for multiple targets). Every level Joseph beats his targets by they take 1 more level of damage. A vampire must win the contest by 2 or more to break his compulsion to flee and approach the priest (and even then Joseph can make another will roll next round to try to force him back again). Any vampire that touches Joseph will take one level of damage.
  • Equipment
    • Light armour +1 DF
    • Cross
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: -1
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O

The Arcade: Shimmering

This is perhaps one of the classiest places on the island but also the most overlooked. It is tucked quietly behind the Castle in a building that has been designed to resemble a giant stone cairn. Beyond the attractive "elf" gate keepers is a dark world filled with strobe lights, loud music and video games. There is a maze of people in here, so much so that the "nymphs" have a hard time walking around selling drinks and snack food. Tucked in a far corner somewhere is Mr Elm.

He wandered into this chaos in a complete awestruck daze, and found his way to a Tommy Pinball machine. After asking the kid playing on it how it worked, he gave it a try and quickly found himself addicted. There is no logical reason why an ancient creature of the night would fall for a game that involves knocking silver balls around, but nonetheless, it happened.

He's good at it, too. A small group of teens have clustered around him and are watching the game. They've even supplied the quarters. If anyone tries to disturb Mr Elm he'll be very cross and shoo the offender away (this could involve violence if the persuader fails his Persuasion check badly enough. The difficulty will be Legendary) . However, if someone were to sneak up quietly while Joshua was so occupied, he wouldn't be able to defend himself (Fair attack roll needed to deal him a fatal blow).

Cinematics

If there is very little time left and a few hunters are still alive the PCs could end up weaving through the crowd with the hunters. Both sides should make Perception rolls until one of them gets a Superb result. The hunters will try to remain covert, but once they find Mr. Elm they'll strike before he has a chance to defend himself. If there is a disturbance here, a fight could get "interesting" with a wave of young people running for the only exit.

Joshua Elm

Joshua is a mystery even to other vampires. All that is known about him is that he is very old and powerful. The rumours surrounding him are of no help. Some say Mr Elm was responsible for entire villages disappearing during the dark ages. Other's say that he used to walk around doing good deeds and performing "miracles" as some sort of sick joke. Whatever the real truth is, only Joshua would know.

Joshua looks like someone's grandfather. He's dressed in very simple attire that could be from any time period. He is soft spoken and has a kind smile, that is, unless he is angry. When in a rage, his personalty becomes twisted and black, and he reveals him to be a true full-blooded monster.

The PCs do have a picture of Mr Elm. So do the hunters. If he's spotted leaving the building, all of them will converge on him.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair)
    • Brawn: Good (+1) (Vampire Fair )
    • Perception: Legendary + 1 (+5) (Vampire Superb )
    • Intelligence: Superb (+3)
    • Stamina: Great (+2) (Vampire Good)
    • Will: Superb (+3)
  • Skills
    • Break and Enter: Good (+1)
    • Con Artist: Superb (+3)
    • Intimidation: Legendary (+4)
    • Legerdemain: Good (+1)
    • Melee Combat: Good (+1)
    • Perform: Fair (0)
    • Persuasion: Superb (+3)
    • Ranged Combat: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Superb (+3)
    • Streetwise: Mediocre (-1)
    • Unarmed Combat: Legendary (+4) (Vampire Superb)
  • Gifts
    • Charisma (Mr Elm gets +1 on any attempt to convince someone to trust him).
    • Unassuming (Mr Elm gets +1 on all rolls involving getting people to underestimate him).
  • Faults
    • Fear of Flying
    • Out of touch with modern times
    • Newly discovered obsession with pinball
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Vampire
    • Master Command: When Joshua commands someone to do something they'll do it. He could even tell a man to drop dead and he'd actually die. When Mr Elm does this have him make a Persuasion roll vs his opponent's Will. If he succeeds his target will do whatever he wants. If Joshua fails, he can not attempt to control that person again for the rest of the night. Mr Elm can control as many people as he can see with one roll. They must be able to hear him. (When he arrived in a private transport on the dock he simply commanded everyone to forget he was there.)
    • Beast Form: See PC chapter.
    • Superspeed: See PC Chapter.
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist and Fang Damage: +1
    • With Claws and Beast Strength: +5
    • Total Defense Factor (With Beast Hide): +2
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives MrElm extra Hurt and Very Hurt wound levels.

The Repair Shop

Tucked off to the side behind a clump of tall trees there is a small warehouse. Inside are mannequins, old "dragon cars," a broken tilt-a-whirl, old suits of "armour," and a large supply of tools. With the sound of the amusement park muted in the back ground, and a wispy light sifting through its windows, this place could seem rather creepy. This is where the staff do all their maintenance. Its also where they put attractions that no longer work

Rene Ildwell stalks here with her group of hunters. She knows Mr. Elm is not here but does not mind waiting. She knows the best chance to find the elder is to stay spread out and wait for him to come to them. Her squad isn't too keen on this but they'll follow her orders. If the PCs stumble in here they'll have quite an ambush on their hands.

Of course, if a large disturbance is caused in the park then Rene and her squad will move out to aid the others. If Rene believes that she can't win against the PC's she will call for backup.

Cinimatics

If it comes down to a brawl, during one point someone may accidentally activate the tilt-a-whirl. If this happens an unexpected noise fills the air, "You are My Sunshine" combined with the horrible screeching of stressed metal. If the tilt-a-whirl is not stopped within three rounds it will send its chariot shaped pods flying everywhere and cause a huge ruckus. Everyone close by will need to make a Good Agility check or get hit for +9 damage.

This will of course cause the staff's security to check out the disturbance. (The have all Mediocre stats and no equipment other than a radio to call the police).

Rene Ildwell

Rene comes form a family with deep roots in mystic England. Throughout the ages each eldest son was passed down a long sword which was said to be the symbol of their birthright. However, on the day her older brother was to receive the blade, strange men attacked their family retreat. Everyone was killed, except for Rene who had somehow managed to hide. The men however, could not take the sword for it had yet to be presented and there was only person left alive with knowledge of its hiding place, Rene. After they had left she found the blade and when she grasped its hilt it shone with an eerie blue light, a sign that it had accepted her as its owner. From that point on Rene has trained to become the true wielder of her family sword. Rene is an athletic woman who is much stronger than she looks. She has a slight English accent. She usually dresses in a plain unassuming manner. Rene believes she is some sort of hidden royalty and acts as such. She likes taking command and can sometimes be overbearing. She is currently with the Red Dawn because she believes that it may have been vampires that destroyed her family.

  • Attributes
    • Agility: Great (+2)
    • Brawn: Good (+1)
    • Perception: Good (+1)
    • Intelligence: Good (+1)
    • Stamina: Good (+1)
    • Will: Great (+2) Skills
    • Drive: Mediocre (-1)
    • Intimidation: Good (+1)
    • Melee Combat: Great (+2)
    • Persuasion: Good (+1)
    • Ranged Combat: Good (+1)
    • Sneak: Great (+2)
    • Streetwise: Fair (0)
    • Unarmed Combat: Good (+1)
  • Gifts
    • Wealthy
    • Language Talent
  • Faults
    • Arrogant
  • Supernatural Powers
    • Mystic Sword: First of all this blade does +7 damage. Its also magic, so if it kills a vampire, it does so for good. Rene gets a +2 bonus when wielding this weapon (This brings her skill with it up to Legendary). While she bears it she also gets a sense for when people are "unnatural." All she has to do is see them and she'll know what they truly are.
  • Equipment
    • Light Body Armor +1 DF
    • Pistol with Garlic Rounds +3 damage (+5 against vampires)
  • Combat Summary
    • Fist Damage: 0
    • Sword Damage: +8
    • Total Defense Factor: +1
Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incap Near Death
O O O O O O O O
High Stamina gives Rene an extra Hurt wound level.

Aftermath

If the characters manage to evade/kill the hunters and find Mr Elm, he will thank them and they can go and visit their Master. The Master will congratulate the PCs on an excellent job and then ask them if they're available to pick up another elder next week.

If Mr Elm died, the characters may want to find another city to live in.

Either way, this will be the end of the adventure. What will the back drop be? A group of peaceful families unaware of the secret battle that just took place, or an amusement park in flames -- it's really up to how the characters handled this.

Experience (Or Fudge Points if using the Fudge Point Advancement Method)

  • 3 Points: If the characters were ultimate stealth ninjas. Not only did they defeat the hunters but they managed to do so without creating a scene. They also managed to find Mr Elm before midnight.
  • 2 Points: The characters managed to find Mr Elm and ward off the hunters but they made a lot or ruckus in public. Their Master won't be happy, but at least they got the job done. Also award this much XP if they defeated the hunters but failed to find Mr Elm before midnight.
  • 1 Point: Mr Elm died but the PCs survived. Also if Mr Elm was killed and the characters caused a commotion they might not want to contact their Master after all.

Give the players 1 extra point if they showed exceptional roleplaying or cleverness during the game.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Psychic Arts in Fudge

The human mind is a remarkably complex and interconnected system. Given how reliant we are on our minds, it should come as no surprise that people have been trying to work the system. I'll use the term "psychic arts" to refer to techniques that attempt to manipulate the human psyche. In this article, we'll look at how these arts can be used in Fudge.

The human mind is a remarkably complex and interconnected system. Given how reliant we are on our minds, it should come as no surprise that people have been trying to work the system. I'll use the term "psychic arts" to refer to techniques that attempt to manipulate the human psyche. In this article, we'll look at how these arts can be used in Fudge.

Psyche Working

This section is brief overview of psyche working. The information is taken from one of my earlier articles, "A Gamer's Guide to Psychic Arts." Those more interested in system mechanics may want to skip to the next section.

At their core, psychic arts are about altering the subject's mental state and processes. The human mind is in a constant state of change. Each thought, perception, and emotion affects other parts of the mind in an incredibly complex and interconnected system. Psyche working attempts to manipulate this dynamic to trigger certain reactions within the psyche. Perhaps the most common reactions are thought and emotions. In fact, triggering certain thoughts and emotional reactions is often used to persuade others or change their perspective. However, there are other possible effects.

Instead of triggering a conscious reaction, psyche working can start a reaction within the subconscious. This can have some interesting effects, especially since the subconscious can affect the user's body and perceptions. Examples of these reactions include the placebo effect and the power of suggestion. Note that once a suggestion is implanted in the subconscious it can persist for some time.

Alternately, one could use these reactions to change how the subject's mind operates. Each set of changes can be referred to as an altered mental state or trance state. It's often difficult to directly trigger these states. Instead, subjects are often eased into the target state. Earlier reactions are meant to put the subject into a state that makes latter attempts easier. In short, many trancing techniques are designed to trigger a series of reactions that leads to an unusual mental state. These changes are usually temporary. Over time people will naturally revert to their normal mental state. If other psyche reactions are triggered they can also break a given trance state.

Many psyche working techniques target the user. However, some arts try triggering these reactions in others. One example is group trancing efforts. Each participant does something that contributes to the subject's trance state. In many cases, this is as simple as providing proper sensory cues. On a small scale, a practitioner might try to help a client achieve a certain effect. For example, a mentor might help a student enter a trance state or a hypnotist might guide their subject into a hypnotic trance. Alternately, one can use symbols and perceived authority to convince the subconscious. For example, a leader could inspire their followers. An enemy could create psychosomatic effects by cursing someone. On a similar note, a healer could remove these effects by simply convincing the subconscious that the curse has been nullified.

System Mechanics

This system emulates how psyche working seems to operate in our world. While the system is based on mundane effects like personality shifts, it can easily be extended to more supernatural effects.

First, let's imagine psyche working as a way of persuading the subject's mind and body to do certain things. While we could use normal speech to talk to the conscious mind, the subconscious seems to communicate in terms of symbols and emotions. As such, if we want to persuade the subconscious, we'll have to use a slightly different language. Note that anyone can try psyche working. However, this becomes much easier with training.

In game terms, treat each kind of psyche working as it's own skill. To use that skill, the character will have to do certain things. This can range from quiet mediation to elaborate rituals. Once the requirements have been met, roll that skill. The difficulty is based on what kind of effect the user is going for. This can be modified by many factors including the techniques used. For example, ecstatic dance would be a poor choice if the user wanted to slow their metabolism.

If the skill roll succeeds, the user gains a mental shift. As a rule of thumb, each shift is effectively a trait exchange. Guidelines for trading traits can be found in the main Fudge rules. Perhaps the most common trait sold is physical and environmental awareness. As users get deeper into trances, they often become increasing unaware of things outside their focus. A sample list of possible shift and difficulties is provided below. Note that if the user rolls Poor or lower, they may actually suffer from a mental backlash.

Mental Shift Difficulties

Difficulty Target Traits
Superb physical attributes, mental gifts
Great physical skills, mental attributes
Good mental skills, personality attributes
Fair strong emotions
Mediocre weak emotions
Poor confusion, emotional conflict
Terrible mental faults

Note that the character can make repeated use of psyche working to gain additional mental shifts. Each attempt takes a certain amount of time and a low roll can actually undo previous shifts. However, with luck and preparation a practitioner can build up an impressive set of mental shifts. Those wanting to limit the total number of shifts may raise the difficulty of trance rolls based on the current number of shifts the character has. Mundane skills usually increase by 1 step per shift while dedicated trancing skill increase by 1 step per 2 shifts. Alternately, the user's trance skill could be penalized as their physical awareness drops. This is particularly appropriate for those who use external symbols and ritual performances.

Mental shifts persist until the character changes their mind. Note that distractions can force the character to drop mental shifts. Physical threats can be very effective at snapping people from trances. However, the character must be aware of distraction before they react to it.

Effect Types

Psyche effects can be divided into two general categories: Interpersonal and Extrapersonal. Intrapersonal effects work within the bound of the user's mind and body. As such, they as well suited to no magic and low magic games. Interpersonal effects can be run very easily using the above system. The suject can simply swap in any needed attributes or gifts. While a few new traits may be needed (such as a body control skill or gift), most of these effects are already covered by normal character traits.

In contrast, extrapersonal effects are hard to describe without including some kind of external element. As such, this category may include a wide variety of paranormal and supernatural effects. These effects can be handled easily enough by the previous system. The main problem is figuring out what traits are needed to use these effects. If you already have a system for supernormal powers in place, this becomes fairly easy. The psyche worker simply knows how to temporarily unlock dormant abilities. Simply adjust the difficulty for power based traits as needed and your good to go.

For those who don't have a supernormal power system in place, I suggest the following approach. Let the user buy gifts with their mental shifts. Each gift allows the character to roll for certain types of effects. The broader the power group, the lower the default roll usually is. You may also want to let the character buy up appropriate skills with their mental shifts. Each skill may apply to a different factors of the target power. Receptive powers might have awareness and focus factors while projective powers might have energy and focus factors. More powerful skills may have more factors, thus increasing their overall cost.

Character Traits

Attributes: This system does not require any additional attributes. However, having a trait for physical awareness helps when trying to simulate deep trances. Attributes can also be used if a given kind of trance or ability is fairly common in a given game world. For example, a fantasy game might have a second sight attribute.

Skills: The most important skills in this system are trancing skills. Note that gifts can be used to change a normal skill into a trancing skill. For example, the character could pick up an Ecstatic Dancer gift to use their dance skill for mental shifts. Similarly, some mundane skill can be used for mental shifts. For example, a rousing song could be used to create certain mental shifts. However, the difficulty is usually higher than with more focused trancing skills. If supernormal powers are used, then the corresponding skills will also be important.

Gifts and Faults: Gifts provide a good way to portray unusual and talented individuals. For example, a character could have psychic sensitivity. This gift might raise their ESP skills but also make them vulnerable to psychic static and backlash. Others might have the ability to use supernormal power without entering a trance state. The exact set of gifts and faults available will vary widely between settings.

Examples

Battle Chant

Edward is a about to lead his troops on a daring raid into enemy territory. He doesn't know much about psyche working, but he wants to boost his mens morale. Edward rolls against his Good Oration skill and gets a Great result. The GM rules that even though Oration isn't a trance skill, the result was good enough to trigger a personality shift. The troop's morale raises from Fair to Great, but they gain the Impulsive fault. Edward could try for a further shift, but the GM rules that the difficulty is increased, so he'd have to roll Superb or better.

Ritual Magic

The castle Magda has been staying in has come under siege. While Magda has little power normally, she is a highly skilled ritualist. After some thought, she designs a ceremony which calls on the spirit of fire. Hopefully, this will give her enough power to scare off the intruders. The ritual is designed to will take an hour and will allow her four trancing attempts. Magda's ceremonial skill is Great and she rolls Legendary, Great, Legendary, and Good. She uses the two Legendary results to buy two levels of specialized magic potential in fire magic. She pays for these levels by taking the faults Obsessive and Burning Fever. She uses the Great result to boost her spellcasting skill to Mediocre at the expense of a point of perception. After all these shifts, the GM rules that the difficulty increase by one, so the remaining Good result can only be used to shift her emotions. Magda now has significant fire magic. However, she must avoid being hit or risks losing control of the shifts. Furthermore, the power is burning her up from the inside (through the fever fault). She'll want to use this power quickly to avoid any lasting damage.

Emergency Meditations

Sara got caught in a rock slide and is pinned beneath the rubble. Fortunately, she was trained at an esper monastery. She starts by trying to calm her mind and slow her metabolism. She rolls her mediation skill of Good at -1 due to the pain. Her first few rolls come out Mediocre and only soothe her thoughts slightly. After a few tries, she gets a lucky break and rolls a Great result. She uses this to increase her pain tolerance and remove the -1 penalty. In return, her physical awareness drops from Good to Fair. She uses a later success to buy the ability to enter a state of suspended animation. This drops her physical awareness down to Poor, but increases her chances of survival significantly. She then score a Legendary result. Even with the difficulty increase from previous effects, this is enough to buy the telepathy power. However, she pays for this by becoming temporarily blind and deaf. A final Great result lets her boost here telepathic range while dropping her physical awareness to terrible. She can now survive for some time and project a telepathic distress call. However, she is also nearly comatose while maintaining these effects.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Anime Battle Magic

Tired of the wizards always using their big guns first, even when the genre calls for a different approach? Here's a solution built for cinematic anime, but is easily adaptable to other genres as well.

The world exploded. It took all of Tristan's will to stay conscious as he was slammed up against a wall with bone crushing force. Despite numerous injuries, the golden haired warrior pulled himself to his feet.

Lord Manse regarded him quizzically. "You still live? Impressive. However, by now you must realize that it is foolish to stand against me. Your sword and magic are no match for my power. I will give you one more chance to walk away. Otherwise I will be forced to destroy you."

"Forget it Mansey, I haven't even broken a sweat. You're not even worth my time."

"Very well. Goodbye, boy." Lord Manse pointed at the warrior and a golden light surrounded his hand.

Tristan looked up, he had a cocky grin on his face. "Nice try, but it's to late. You should have paid more attention to my partner."

Tristan raise his voice, "Light of the Sun, the Moon, and of all Creation. Blood of the Gods that flows through the Universe. Gather to my will, hear my request and unmake that which would stand against us. Let your true power be shown and annihilate everything around. Armageddon Nexus!"

Manse's eyes went wide. "No, n-not that! Not that spell! Nooooooooo!"

The world filled with brilliance and Lord Manse, his palace and a good chunk of the surrounding area were no more.

As a GM, that is what you had hoped for. But with most RPGs all you ever get is this:

Lord Manse rose from his throne and glared down at the pitiful pair before him. "What's this? Why I see-"

"This the guy?" Lisa interrupted.

Tristan looked at his list. "Yep, that's the dude."

"Keen, I cast Armageddon Nexus!"

Boom. End of campaign.

Let's face it, one of the core rules of most PC behavior is that they'll always use their biggest guns first. Who can blame them? It makes sense. However, this does mean that it's difficult to play out an anime series with cinematic magic. In this type of story, the main characters will start with tiny spells and build up to a massive climax at the end of the battle. This creates tension, excitement, and general coolness. These rules are designed to allow for just this kind of play, without making the characters feel like they are being punished by the genre.

The Sorcery Skill

The Sorcery Skill is a measuring stick to determine what kind of spells any particular magic user can cast. Spells are rated from Fair to Legendary. In order to be able to cast a spell, a sorcerer's Sorcery skill must equal to or greater than the spell's rating.

The Sorcery skill has no default. A Sorcery rating of Mediocre or worse just means that you're a magical wannabe with no real power.

To get spells at character creation, the player spends one skill level and chooses one spell out of the GM's allowed starting spell list. The spell's rating isn't an issue cost-wise; all that matters is that its rating doesn't exceed the level of the character's Sorcery Skill.

For instance, if a character buys Sorcery at Great, then he can only buy spells that are Fair, Good, or Great. Superb spells are totally out of the question. However, any starting spells that he buys, whether Fair, Good or Great, can be bought at a cost of one level each.

Before the game starts, the GM should determine how rare Sorcery is. If it's very common, then he should allow the PCs to buy Sorcery like any other skill. If it's somewhat rare, then the gift Magic Affinity is required before the character is allowed put levels into Sorcery and Spells. If it's really rare, then Magic Affinity should be a Supernatural Power instead.

After the game starts, the PCs can raise Sorcery like any other skill. Learning a new spell only costs one experience point. However, the character should have a reasonable explanation as to how he learned it. Very powerful spells (i.e. Great, Superb, and Legendary) might require vast resources or a quest. You just don't learn Armageddon Nexus from the magic shop down the street.

If the GM wants to vary what spells different characters can cast, he may want to split the Sorcery skill up into a number of different disciplines. In the examples and the sample spell list, Sorcery is split into Light, Darkness, and Twilight magic.

Example:

Lisa Inverne is a new sorcerer. Since magic is somewhat rare in her setting, the first thing that her player buys is the Magic Affinity Gift. Next Lisa buys some Skills. The GM has limited all skills to Great, so Lisa purchases Great Light Magic and Good Twilight Magic. This costs her five skill levels. Later she can raise these and even purchase Dark Magic with experience points.

After this Lisa buys some spells. These are: Fist of Light (Fair, Light Magic), Mote of Illumination (Fair, Light Magic), Volga Imp (Fair, Twilight Magic), Healing Touch (Good, Light Magic), Blast Bolt (Good, Light Magic), Gray Wings (Good, Twilight Magic) and Ray Blast (Great, Light Magic). There are seven spells in total, so this will cost her seven skill levels.

In total, her magical abilities have cost one Gift and twelve Skill levels. Now she's ready to blow things to smithereens.

After the game starts, Lisa will be able to improve her sorcery skills and buy more spells with experience. All sorcery skills are raised just like any other. She can get new spells at the cost of one experience point each (no matter what level the spell is). The GM reminds Lisa's player that she may not be able to learn powerful spells right away if she can't find the proper research material in game.

How To Cast A Spell

In order to cast a spell, a sorcerer must first build up a certain amount of "magical power." Only when she has enough power to release a spell can she then unleash the desired magic.

The following is a list on how much MP each level of spell requires.

  • Fair: 1
  • Good: 2
  • Great: 4
  • Superb: 8
  • Legendary: 16

Magic Points (MP) is a counter that starts off at 0. Building up this counter takes no effort whatsoever, all the caster needs is time. She can perform any of her normal actions (attack, defense, reciting Shakespeare or whatever) and still gain MP. She gathers three MP at the end of each round. When she casts a spell, she must spend one to sixteen MP. One for spells like Feeble Slap of the Weakling, to sixteen for Death O' the World. When the caster relaxes (i.e. combat stops, or she ceases to need to cast spells) her MP score falls back to 0.

Preventing Abuse

It should be noted that the GM should not allow the PCs to gather magic points before a fight or major event. So going to the bar and waiting five hours to gather MP before fighting the Monster Lord of Doom is out of the question. A caster should only be able to gather MPs when she is in a life or death situation, or when she wants to cast a single spell in a non-stressful situation, then after that this spell is cast her MP falls back to zero.

If the character spends a Fudge Point, she automatically gains 3 MPs at the beginning of her current round.

Optional Rule: Chant. If a character does nothing for an entire round (this means no defense rolls) except chant a spell, she can generate 3 extra MP before casting it. This can come in handy if she wants to cast a really powerful spell really quickly. She can only do this if she's missing the MP cost for the spell she wants to cast by 3 or less. Doing this means she will act at the end of the round, no matter what her initiative roll actually was. All the sample spells have chants the player can use when her character is doing this for effect. Feel free to make up your own chants.

Casting a spell requires a normal action and the caster must be able to shout the name of the spell and point (or make some other sort of gesture). The roll required depends on the type of spell. For more information see the spell listings below.

Example:

Lisa Inverne and Black Leaf the elf want to show you how magic works.

Lisa: "Hi".

Blackleaf smiles and waves.

In order to do so they will have a magic duel.

Lisa: "Uh, in a word no."

Blackleaf looks like she's not going for this.

The winner will get 5 gold pieces.

Lisa: "You're on!"

Blackleaf sighs.

1st Round

Lisa gets initiative.

Lisa decides that she'll finish this fight right here and now. She spends a Fudge Point and immediately casts Blast Bolt. Blackleaf shrieks and goes on an all-out-defense to dodge. Rolls are made and at the end of the round Lisa has succeeded in destroying a tree.

MP at the End of the Round
Lisa 4 +3 for Fudge Point, -2 for Good spell, +3 at the end of the round.
Blackleaf 3 +3 at the end of the round.

2nd Round

Blackleaf gets initiative.

Blackleaf decides to call for backup. She casts Ghost Ally. The shade appears and asks her what it can do to help. Lisa throws a Ray Blast at them. Blackleaf barely gets out of the way. The Ghost she just summoned isn't so lucky and is destroyed.

"H-hey be careful, someone could get hurt!"

"Don't worry, after I hit you I'll recommend a good doctor."

MP at the End of the Round
Lisa 3 -4 for Great Spell.+3 at the end of the round.
Blackleaf 4 -2 for Good Spell.+3 at the end of the round.

3rd Round

Blackleaf gets initiative.

Blackleaf casts Bale Sword and attacks Lisa with it. Lisa would cast defensive magic, but she's never learned any. She tries to dodge but sadly she didn't take any defensive skills either. She gets whammed on the side of the head with the flat of Blackleaf's magical blade. She takes +5 damage and falls unconscious.

"And remember folks, the person who said that a best defense is a good offense was a dummy."

MP at the End of the Round
Lisa 0 End of combat all MP drops to zero.
Blackleaf 0 End of combat all MP drops to zero.

The Spell List

The following are sample spells and how they work. They are broken up into three different schools: Light Magic, Dark Magic, and Twilight Magic.

Note: Spells in this system can get very powerful really quick. I would recommend that a Fudge Point-based experience system be used in any setting that uses this magic rules set.

Fair Spells

Fist of Light (Light Magic)

This spell lashes out with a blue ball of kinetic force. The caster makes a Thrown Spell roll to hit, the target makes an Agility roll to dodge. This spell does +0 damage.

Chant: Energy, gather in my hand, FIST OF LIGHT!

Mote of Illumination (Light Magic)

This spell creates a floating ball of light that is under the caster's mental command. It has the approximate brightness of a torch. This ball can move anywhere within the caster's line of sight. This spell lasts for one hour.

Chant: Darkness begone MOTE OF ILLUMINATION!

Blessing (Light Magic)

Blessing gives the target a +1 bonus to one defense roll of the target's choice. This spell lasts until the bonus is used or an hour passes. This spell can not be cast on the same person more than once a day.

Chant: Grace of the gods be with thee BLESSING!

Shadow Puppets (Dark Magic)

This spell grants the caster the ability to make intricate shadow puppets by the force of his will alone. He can mould any shadows he can see into any shape he wants. The caster's creations are all obviously shadows and anyone with reasonable intelligence won't be fooled into believing they are anything more, that is unless the caster is clever. This spell lasts until the caster stops making shadow puppets.

Chant: Tricks of darkness come alive SHADOW PUPPETS!

Shadow Whip (Dark Magic)

This spell allows the caster to form a whip of shadow in his hand. He attacks with this like any other melee weapon and it does +0 damage. The whip is perfectly solid and an attack that does +4 damage or more is needed to break it. The magician can cast this spell and attack with it at the same time. This spell lasts until the caster lets go of the whip.

Chant: Darkness heed my command SHADOW WHIP!

Shadow Grab (Dark Magic)

This spell enables the caster to grab someone or something's shadow. He can use this to pull an object towards him (using his normal Strength), trip someone up, etc. If the victim is a living target, he can tear his shadow with a Strength roll versus the magician's Will. If victim succeeds his shadow vanishes for about five minutes with no ill effects. Grabbing someone's shadow in no way stops the him from fighting back. This spell lasts until the caster lets go of the shadow.

Chant: Darkness fall within my grasp SHADOW GRAB!

Volga Imp (Twilight Magic)

The caster can call forth an Imp from the spirit world to do his bidding. This creature's not much for combat, but can do some useful things like distract an enemy or fetch an object that is out of the caster's reach. The Volga Imp will stick around until the caster tells him to leave, is defeated, or a half an hour has passed.

Imp

Traits: Agility: Good, Awareness: Good, Strength: Mediocre, Cunning: Good, Melee Combat: Mediocre, Mysticism: Fair, Skulk: Good

Gifts: Claws (+2 damage), Keen Sight (+1 to Sight Based Awareness), Leathery Hide (+1 DF), Winged Flight

Flaws: Scale -4

Chant: Mists gather to my will VOLGA IMP!

Mind Speak (Twilight Magic)

This spell will let the caster send a mental message to any target who considers him a friend. The target cannot communicate back. He can shut the caster out with a Poor Will roll. This spell lasts until the caster stops concentrating on it. Range is not an issue for this spell.

Chant: Hear my words MIND SPEAK!

Jazmyr Leap (Twilight Magic)

When this spell is cast the sorcerer can leap vast distances. Specifically he can jump six meters up or twelve meters across. This spell lasts for five rounds.

Chant: Dance of the heavens be mine JAZMYR LEAP!

Good Spells

Balm of Light (Light Magic)

This spell heals physical injury with a touch. When casting this spell, treat it like an attack with the caster's Light Magic versus Fair. This "attack" does +5 "damage." Use this to determine what the maximum wound level this spell can heal. This magic will only work once per wound, after that the patient will have to heal naturally.

Chant: Suffering melt away BALM OF LIGHT!

Blast Bolt (Light Magic)

When the magician casts this magic, a searing bolt of light shoots from her closed fist. She makes a Thrown Spells roll to hit. The bolt does +5 damage.

Chant: Righteous anger be mine BLAST BOLT!

Valis Shield (Light Magic)

This spell creates a glowing shield of light on the caster's arm. She can block attacks with this shield by making a Fair Melee roll. This spell will not stop attacks that do more than +7 damage (if you try the shield shatters and the spell ends). This spell will last for five rounds.

Chant: Light of the Heavens come to my aid VALIS SHIELD!

Shadow Shroud (Dark Magic)

The caster gathers darkness around her to make it easier to sneak. It won't let her disappear from sight but it will grant a +1 bonus to all Sneak rolls and obscure her features in darkness. This spell lasts for five rounds. She will have to wait for the duration to completely run out before casting this spell again.

Chant: Gloom gather around and cloak me SHADOW SHROUD!

Bale Sword (Dark Magic)

This spell is like Shadow Whip except that it creates a sword of pure darkness. This blade does +3 damage. This spell will last until the caster lets go of the sword.

Chant: Blade of Darkness be mine BALE SWORD!

Curse of Darkness (Dark Magic)

This spell creates a field of pitch black around the victim's head, blinding her. To succeed with this spell the caster must make a Dark Magic roll versus the victim's Will. If the caster fails nothing happens. While under the effects of this spell, the target will be at a -2 penalty to do anything that involves sight. This spell will last for five rounds.

Chant: Blindness cover my enemy CURSE OF DARKNESS!

Ghost Ally (Twilight Magic)

This spell is like Volga Imp except that it summons a powerful ghost instead of an imp. The ghost can't interact much with the physical world but it can act as a distraction and has a numbing touch that can hurt living beings. It also can't be hurt by conventional weapons (though Magic will hurt it normally). The Ghost will stick around until the caster tells her to leave, it is "killed," or five rounds have passed

Ghost

Traits: Agility: Good, Awareness: Good, Strength: Poor, Melee Combat: Fair, Skulk: Good, Will: Fair

Gifts: Cold Touch +0 (Ignores Armor, Is not a Strength attack)

Supernatural Powers: Flight, Incorporeal

Flaws: Always Incorporeal, Any Light attack spell does +3 damage.

Note: Beings that are not using magic defenses (i.e. a Defensive Light Spell, or a Darkness Weapon) get -1 versus attack rolls from this creature because they can not parry.

Chant: Shade of the past come to me GHOST ALLY!

Gray Wings (Twilight Magic)

This spell creates a huge set of shadowy gray wings on the caster's back. She can use these wings to fly. She moves as fast as a bird of prey and uses her Agility to maneuver. This spell lasts for seven minutes, she can not recast it until the spell has expired and her feet are on solid ground.

Chant: Mists of dusk gather and carry me to the stars GRAY WINGS!

Banish (Twilight Magic)

This spell allows the caster to banish a summoned creature. She simply makes an opposed Twilight Magic roll versus the Summoner. If the caster wins, the summoned creature vanishes back to where it came.

Chant: Creature from another world begone BANISH!

Great Spells

Ray Blast (Light Magic)

This spell is like Blast Bolt except that the attack explodes outwards in a radius of a small room (the caster can lower the area of affect if he chooses). The caster gets +1 on his Thrown Spell roll to hit. This spell does +10 damage.

Chat: -Light of the heavens, brilliant stars of glory come to my aid and destroy my enemy. RAY BLAST!_

Illumination Mystic Shield (Light Magic)

This spell creates a dome of force around the caster and his friends. It covers an area equal to a small room. It's as solid as a stone wall and has a DF of 12 (any attack that penetrates this will destroy the shield). The dome is transparent. It stops damage both ways so it is not a good spell to cast when you want to hurt your enemies. This spell lasts as long as shield holds or until five minutes have passed.

Chant: Shadows vanish, sorrow fades, and all turn to the Lords of Light for succor. Great power lies within the hearts of the valiant. ILLUMINATION MYSTIC SHIELD!

Undead Horde Destruction (Light Magic)

This spell radiates brilliant light from the caster with an area equal to a small house. The caster must make a Fair Light Magic roll. Any undead within this area will take +5 damage that ignores armor. There is no defense roll for this attack.

Chant: You who are rotting corpses, the legion of the damned. Return to whence you came and bother us no more. UNDEAD HORDE DESTRUCTION!

Nether Scythe (Dark Magic)

This spell is like Bale Sword but it creates a Scythe, which does +8 damage. This spell lasts as long as the caster holds onto the Scythe.

Chant: "Cold darkness from beyond, bend to my will, form in my hand and become my might. NETHER SCYTHE!"

Corpse Rise (Dark Magic)

With this spell the caster can create an undead ally out of a fresh corpse. He makes a Dark Magic roll. His creation starts with a Fair Strength and Agility, he then splits the bonus he generated form his roll between the two (i.e. a Superb roll grants a +3 bonus). Stronger undead become zombies, quicker undead become Skeletons. Their attack skills are equal to their Strength and their defense skills are equal to their Agility. The creature created will last until destroyed, but it is also not very bright or socially acceptable.

Chant: Pitiful fool who has died, stand and serve for the glory of your true master. CORPSE RISE!

Cloak of Shadows (Dark Magic)

This spell makes the caster and whatever he is wearing/carrying nearly invisible. This gives him +2 in any contested rolls where sight matters (Even Combat Rolls). If his opponent has a keen sense of hearing, this bonus is reduced to +1. If his opponent has some other way to see him, or is blind but functional then there is no bonus to this spell. This spell will last for five rounds.

Chant: Blackest Night shroud me. Away from the prying eyes of the Just I will work my misdeeds. CLOAK OF SHADOWS!

Wind Door (Twilight Magic)

This spell allows the caster to teleport. He must be able to see his destination. To determine how far he can go make a Twilight Magic roll and the bonus he generates is the number of kilometers he can travel (i.e. a Great Roll = 2 Km). The caster can choose to travel a lesser distance. He can take whatever he's wearing and carrying with him. The caster can also use this spell for defense. If he does so he uses his Twilight Magic as the defense roll (but will still have to pay the MP for this spell when he casts it). Using the spell in this way will cancel out the attack bonus for area effect spells.

Chant: Breath of the earth, carry me on your silvery wings. WIND DOOR!

Solomon Call (Twilight Magic)

This spell summons a minor Djinni to serve the caster. He's a powerful being and comes ready to fight dressed in light armor and carrying a small weapon (determined by the GM). The Djinni will stick around until the caster tells him to leave, the Djinni is killed, or five minutes have passed. The caster can only summon one Djinni at a time.

Djinni

Traits: Agility: Fair, Awareness: Good, Strength: Great, Command: Fair, Cunning: Fair, Languages: Good, Melee Combat: Great, Mysticism: Good, Ranged Combat: Good, Sailing: Fair, Sorcery: Good, Stamina: Great, Will: Fair

Gifts: +1 Scale

Supernatural Powers: Magic (Restricted to Light Magic), Flight

Chant: Eternal breath, call to the Power from Beyond. Lend me your servant to grant me aid. SOLOMON CALL!

Twilight Break (Twilight Magic)

This spell allows the caster to attempt to cancel any spell whose duration has yet to run out. Usually this is any magic he can see, but in the case of the Cloak of Shadows Spell, the caster just needs to be aware of the general direction. To cancel out a spell the caster simply makes an opposed Twilight Magic roll versus the caster's (using whatever Magic he used to cast the spell). If he succeeds, the spell ends, if not, nothing happens. This spell will not cancel out summonings, use Banish instead. The caster can use this spell as a defensive roll against any spell (aside from Legendary) that is cast against him.

Chant: Magic of the world, harmonize with my power, shake with the thunder of the ancients and shatter this unreality before me. TWILIGHT BREAK!

Superb Spells

Brilliant Radiance of Destruction (Light Magic)

When this spell is cast, everything with in a large area (roughly the size of a house) is hit with a brilliant light that vaporizes everything under its effect. The caster gets +3 to hit with this spell. It does +15 damage that ignores armor.

Chant: Wrath of the gods, hidden anger that runs in the undercurrent of the world. You who have been held back by a mighty hand. I release you from your bondage so that you may shine for one brief glorious moment. BRILLIANT RADIANCE OF DESTRUCTION!

Aegis Call (Light Magic)

This spell surrounds the caster with a glowing nimbus of energy that grants her +17 DF (magical protection which blocks magical attacks). It will last for one hour, or until an attack penetrates it, whichever comes first.

Chant: Light of the heavens, shine down and embrace me. Great power of the Radiant Sun, show your true benevolence and wreath me in your protective warmth. AEGIS CALL!

Mercy Sky (Light Magic)

This spell completely rids the target of any permanent or temporary physical ailments she suffers. Diseases are cured, toxins are banished, missing limbs re-grow, it can even cure insanity. The only things this spell does not cure are curses from Legendary Spells, and conditions that the target has inflicted on herself (i.e. this spell can't get rid of Faults that are "character flaws"). It also can not bring people back from the dead.

Chant: Power of Creation flow through me. Aid me in ridding this disruption of the pattern. Heal those who are in pain and call out to you. MERCY SKY!

Demon Rip (Dark Magic)

This spell summons pitch black, spiky, shadow plate mail that covers the caster form head to foot. While under the effects of this spell, the caster's scale increases by +4, her unarmed attacks do an extra +3 damage and the armor itself adds +5 defense (all bonuses add to the scale bonuses). This amour does not hinder the caster's movement in the slightest. It lasts for 5 minutes.

Chant: Power of the Hells, wreath me in the fire that chills like ice. Black flame of Addadon, surround me, protect me, and grant me the claws of might. DEMON RIP!

Vile Curse (Dark Magic)

When the caster uses this spell, have her make a Dark Magic Roll versus her Target's Will. If she succeeds, one Trait that she chooses is immediately brought down to Terrible. This spell will last for five minutes.

Chant: Enemy before me, wither and rot. Feel the sting of the one true darkness. VILE CURSE!

Shadow Trap (Dark Magic)

This spell causes the victim to fall into her own shadow. The caster makes a Dark Magic roll versus her Target's Will. If she wins, the victim disappears into her own shadow just as if she had fallen through a trap door. The victim will be in a state of suspended animation, and nothing can harm her or the shadow she's trapped in. She will remain trapped for five hours or until the caster releases her from the spell. The caster can fold up the shadow like a blanket and take it with her. This also works on non-animate objects that are smaller than a house (the caster has to beat a difficulty of Fair for inanimate objects.).

Chant: Shadow before me show, your true nature and devour that which would own you. Enfold it in your blackness and show who the true master is. SHADOW TRAP!

Djinni Knight Invocation (Twilight Magic)

This spell summons a powerful Djinni to serve the caster. She's comes ready with the best armor and weapons money can buy (determined by the GM, and they disappear when she does). The Djinni will stick around until the caster tells her to leave, the Djinni is killed, or five minutes have passed. The summoner can only have one Djinni Knight serve her at a time. However,the Djinni Knight can summon up to 3 minor Djinni of her own (that stay around as long as she does).

Djinni Knight

Traits: Agility: Great, Awareness: Great, Strength: Great, Command: Superb, Cunning: Good, Languages: Great, Melee Combat: Superb, Mysticism: Great, Ranged Combat: Great, Sailing: Fair, Sorcery: Great, Stamina: Great, Will: Great

Gifts: +2 Scale

Supernatural Powers: Magic (Restricted to Dark Magic and Solomon's Call), Flight

Chant: Lord of Twilight, head my request and send one who is pure in the Between World. Green earth tremble, for here comes a true servant of the Grey Power. DJINNI KNIGHT INVOCATION!

Zord Rift (Twilight Magic)

This spell will create a gate into another dimension of the caster's choosing (the GM decides what dimensions are available). Fortunately, there are no dimensions that will cause the end of this one through mere contact, but some "interesting" things might walk through it. The gate must remain in the same location, but the caster can open it and close it at will as long as the spell lasts. This isn't really much of a combat spell but it does give the magician access to resources that are not available to many others. The gate will remain accessible for five hours.

Chant: Pathways of the Between World, be mine. Open your halls to my will, so that I can see what lies beyond. ZORD RIFT!

Mystic Seal (Twilight Magic)

This spell covers an area in a thin grey mist. No magic aside from Legendary spells will work within this fog. The area of the mist equals a large house. It will last until the caster wills it to drop or goes to sleep/falls unconscious.

Chant: Powers of the Beyond, seal the channels of magic. Close the doors and cut off your blessing from the world. MYSTIC SEAL!

Legendary Spells

Armageddon Nexus (Light Magic)

This spell destroys a huge area around the caster with a searing white light. The area it covers is equal to a large village. The caster rolls Light Magic versus Fair (unless one of the targets is teleporting away otherwise there is no roll to defend) and everything inside this spell will take +20 damage that ignores armor. Only the caster and his allies are unaffected

Chant: Light of the Sun, the Moon, and of all Creation. Blood of the Gods that flows through the Universe, gather to my will, hear my request and unmake that which would stand against us. Let your true power be shown and annihilate everything around. ARMAGEDDON NEXUS!

Shield of the Gods (Light Magic)

This creates a transparent dome of force that can be any size the caster wants, from small enough to protect only him, to large enough to cover an entire village (though once he chooses the size it stays that way until the spell ends). The globe travels around with the caster and provides a +22 defensive factor for anyone inside. This spell automatically lets anything in that will not harm the caster. The caster and his allies can used ranged attacks and spells to attack those outside the shield with impunity. Any attack that would penetrate the spell ends it, otherwise it lasts for five hours.

Chant: O Light of the Heavens, I call upon you. Hear my plea and shower down your blessings upon your servant. Grant me the strength to stand when everything else falls. Shield us in this time of need and show us that your true strength is everlasting. SHIELD OF THE GODS!

Glorious Resurrection (Light Magic)

This spell will bring someone who died back from the dead at full health and ready for anything. The physical condition of the body doesn't matter but there must be at least a trace of it left (even if its ashes) and the caster must have access to it. The target comes back armed and equipped as he was just before he died. This spell can not be used on someone who had it cast upon them already.

Chant: Radiant Sun, I whisper your true name. Hear my request and manifest your will. Destroy Darkness, end Shadow, and restore hope to our world. GLORIOUS RESURRECTION!

Dragon of Darkness (Dark Magic)

When this spell is cast, the sorcerer turns into a terrible dragon of darkness. His new form is about as large as a T-Rex and has a scale of +8. His claws will do +5 damage. He has +6 armor. The caster can also fly with black leathery wings at the speed of a falcon. He can also (for three magic points) breath a jet of negative energy that does +15 damage (roll Black Magic To hit). This spell last for for a full twelve hours.

Chant: Nightmare that was before the dawn of creation, everlasting field of black, I summon you to infuse me. Transform me with your might. Old horror come alive again. DRAGON OF DARKNESS!

Curse of Forever (Dark Magic)

This is like Vile Curse, but it affects all Traits and will last until the caster is slain, or he wills it to end.

Chant: O you who stand before me, pain is not enough, death is not enough, obliteration is not enough. You will feel the full wrath of the deepest cold, the blackest dark. Become a pitiful worm and beg for the end. CURSE OF FOREVER!.

Zomb Call (Dark Magic)

This spell affects everyone within the area equal to that of a large village. The caster makes a Dark Magic Roll -2. Everyone who has a Will Stat less than what the caster rolled in the area of effect will become the caster's mindless slave. Player Characters can roll their Will to resist rather than just taking it. This magic will last five hours.

Chant: Ancient Mind Spider that sits under the world weaving her web, I call upon you to heed my command. Pull your threads and tug at the wills of the weak, for they will grow strong and become my army. Slaves, follow my desire, for all will fall before me. ZOMB CALL!

Djinni Lord (Twilight Magic)

This spell summons Katharka, a duke of the Djinni to aid (not serve, aid) the caster. He is an extremely powerful being, his stats are outlined below. He will remain until "killed," dispelled (by the caster), or a full twelve hours have passed. There is only one Katharka. However, he in turn can summon twelve Djinni Knights who in turn can summon their own minor Djinn.

Katharka, Djinni Lord

Traits: Agility: Great, Awareness: Superb, Strength: Superb, Command: Legendary, Cunning: Superb, Languages: Legendary, Melee Combat: Superb, Mysticism: Superb, Ranged Combat: Superb, Sailing: Great, Sorcery: Superb, Will: Legendary

Gifts: +4 Scale

Supernatural Powers: Magic (All schools), Can shrink himself as small as a mouse and yet keep his scale value, Flight

Equipment: Massive Master Work Sword +5 damage, Master Work Armor +5

Chant: Lord of the Grey, I call upon you. King of the Between, Lord of the Nothingness that lies beyond creation, send me your aid. Katharka, heed the pact between I and your master. Appear on this world to shake mountains and make the unworthy quake. DJINNI LORD!

Twilight Shroud (Twilight Magic)

This spell removes the target's ability to cast spells. The caster rolls Twilight Magic versus the victim's Will. If the caster wins, his adversary will not be able to use magic and will have a grey fog hang around him wherever he goes. It lasts until the caster wills it to end or he is killed.

Chant: Flux of the Beyond, be still. Everlasting Change, be still. Flow of the Universe, be still. For the one who stands before me will no longer feel your hum. Banish him to the world of the mundane and let him weep. TWILIGHT SHROUD!

World Shift (Twilight Magic)

With this spell, the caster can teleport himself and as many willing subjects as he can see anywhere he has previously been (other dimensions count) or anywhere he can see. The caster should make a Twilight Magic Roll versus Fair. Failure does not indicate death, but it does mean that the caster and his friends are teleported to somewhere he has never been. When this kind of botch happens the caster can not cast this spell again for three days.

Chant: Winds of the void that twist in the Beyond, gather around and heed your servant. Pull us along your mysterious path. Grant us the ultimate freedom of unspace. Take us where we need to be. WORLD SHIFT!

Making Your Own Spells

GMs (or players if the GM's willing) can make up their own spells by using the spell list as an example. There are no hard and fast rules to do this. Just write out a spell and assign it a rating that feels right.

Examples:

  1. I want a spell that sends a bolt of numbing dark energy at my opponent. Looking at the spell list, I decide to use Blast Bolt as an example. In the description, I say that it fires dark energy instead of light energy and presto, I have the spell. I add it to the list of spells and any of my players can buy it for their characters.
  2. I write up a spell that causes a gust of wind to knock back my character's opponents. When he casts the spell, everyone within a cone shaped area roughly the size of a small hut must roll Strength versus my character's Twilight Magic roll. Anyone who fails is tossed three meters back and lands on their butt. The GM sees this write up and assigns a Great rating to the spell. I can now purchase it with experience for my character if I want him to cast it.
  3. I want a spell that conjures large heavy objects. Possibly over my opponent's head. My GM sighs and looks to the spell list. She decides that +10 damage would be the right amount unless I want to conjure a castle or something. She also decides that I can't conjure anything with moving parts and it can only be up to the size of a wagon. The object will last for about five minutes and this will be a Great Spell. I say I want to be able to conjure battleships that last forever. She says that she'll allow it but the rating will go up to Legendary.
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