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  • Reighnhell
    started a topic Strange Places

    Strange Places


    This is a set of rules I have been working on for location-based plot hooks. These mechanics are idealistic somewhere between a Horror and a Environmental Tilt and were inspired by how Beast's Lair is set in in Beast the Primordial. As is my fashion, i am aiming for plug in play mechanics that provide good plot hooks but leave enough unsaid so it can be further customized to taste. I am still sanding the rough edges off of the mechanics, but I think this is a good start. As always, feedback is welcome

    Without further ado, here are Strange Places!

    Die Pool: While (usually) not a capable of thought, the Strange Place is capable performing certain activities or tasks. The Place gains a die pool of 3+ (2x Potency) dice for any actions.

    Gauntlet: This is the rating for the locations Gauntlet Strength, included for entities capable of interacting with the Shadow.

    Potency: The Potency is the overall strength of the location, ranked between 1 and 5. Potency serves as its Supernatural Tolerance trait in a contested roll to resist a supernatural power. In addition, unless otherwise noted each Strange Place is considered a Mystery (as in Mage: The Awakening) with an Opacity Equal to 1+ (Potency).

    Willpower: Strange Places don’t have Willpower rating or Willpower points, instead it can spend a number of Willpower per scene equal to 1+ (Potency).

    Environments: Strange Places are almost by definition host to unusual phenomena and weird environments, ranging often wondrously benign to viciously inhospitable. Each location has three (or more) Environments that the location is capable of manifesting, often in the form of Environmental Tilts, Ephemeral Conditions or other similar effects. Unless otherwise noted, an Environment costs a point of Willpower to activate and only one instance of a particular Environment can be active at one time.

    Example Environments

    Awakened: The Place has a will and a mind of its own. A Place with this Environment has an Aspiration, and gains an additional 2 points of Willpower it may spend per scene. If it earns additional Willpower, as from fulfilling its Aspiration, it can spend those extra points. The Place also gains a +3 bonus to two or three “Specialty” actions that demonstrates a particular strength or aptitude it possesses. This Environment is always active.

    Cemetery Gate: If certain conditions are met, the location can return the dead to life (or reasonable facsimile thereof). There is always a catch or drawback to this resurrection, most commonly the revived individual is a soulless shadow of their former selves, but other catches and conditions may be imposed.

    Dilapidated: The Place contains structures that have decayed over time and are falling apart. All items and structures (even the walls) within the affected area have their Durability reduced by 2 to a minimum of 0. Characters that suffer a Dramatic Failure in the affected area suffer two points of bashing damage as they injure themselves on an element of the decaying structure (crumbling masonry, exposed rebar or jagged nails).

    Gateway: The location contains a portal to a different realm. Typically a location only has one such access point, but large or powerful locations can often connect through multiple points (or to multiple different Realms). The location as the Gateway Condition, which is linked to a specific otherworldly realm (Such as the Hedge, the Primordial Dream, the Shadow, the Underworld or other, more exotic places). Typically, opening a Gateway requires a specific action to be performed, which can be as elaborate as a ritual performed at a certain time, or as simple as stepping through a door.

    Hallucinations: Character within the Place experience intense hallucinations, perceiving things that are not actually there. By spending a point of Willpower, anyone within the Place begins to experience sensory hallucinations until the end of the scene. Characters affected suffer a –3 dice penalty to Perception rolls. These hallucinations may be pleasant, confusing, or even frightening. Successfully telling illusion from reality and avoiding the effects of the Environment requires a Wits + Composure roll with a -3 dice penalty, but removes the dice penalty for as many turns as successes, or for the scene on an exceptional success.

    Haunted: The Place is home to at least one Ephemeral Entity (and potentially many more), and has the Open Condition in relation to that entities Manifestations, Influences and Numina. This Environment is always active for as long as the entity resides at the location.

    Impose Ban: The Place has rules that those who enter it domain must obey or face dire consequences. Any character within the location temporarily gains a Ban Condition, as must abide by the terms of the Ban set down by the Place. Breaking the Ban imposes a -3 die penalty to all actions for as long as the offending character remains at the location, and such characters often become the target of the Place’s ire.

    Inhabited: Someone or Something considers the Place its home, and that familiarity grants it a distinct advantage against intruders. Any creature that lives within the Environment gains 3 dots of the Safe Place Merit and gains a +2 bonus to its rolls to resist supernatural effects. The creature that inhabits the location is also immune to the effects of any other Environments the Place might possess This Environment is always active for as long as the creature resides at the location.

    Innocent Façade: To casual observation, the location appears perfectly normal, with not even a hint of anything unusual happening. While this Environment is active, any attempts to Investigate or use abilities to detect supernatural activity suffer a -3 penalty until the end of the scene. The use of other Environments immediately ends the effect of Innocent Façade.

    Lure: The location has a feature or landmark that compels fascination. A Character that enters the location with this Environment must make a Resolve + Composure roll with a penalty equal to the Place’s Potency, or gain the Lured Condition. This condition compels those affected to wander away from companions or relative safety to investigate the object or place that compels them. Any attempts to dissuade a Lured character from their course of action suffer a -3 penalty.

    Maze: The terrain is a disorienting mass of pathways, alleys, or corridors that twist, turn, and loop back upon themselves. The Place might be a literal labyrinth, a deep forest, or other sufficiently maze-like location. Characters attempting to trace their steps or find a way out of the area must succeed at an Intelligence + Composure roll with a -3 dice penalty.

    Memory Loss: Characters who visit the location have a difficult time recalling the details of what happened while they were there. Rolls to accurately describe or recall any such events are made at a –3 modifier. Creatures that do not have an Integrity Trait are not immune to this effect, but only suffer a -1 penalty to remember the experience.

    Misfortune: The Place is capable of causing accidents, freak occurrences and other unfortunate events. Once per scene a character within the area suffers a -3 die penalty for a number of rolls equal to 1+ (Potency), and all failures on those actions become dramatic failures. The character gains a Beat for the first dramatic failure suffered in a scene as a consequence of this Environment. Alternatively, it may roll its Dice Pool with a +3bonus as a Weapon +0 attack against the character, representing a dangerous turn of bad luck.

    Obstruction: The location with this Environment is filled with obstacles that impede the movement of those within. This could be dense vegetation, sticky webs, piles of junk and debris or many other things besides. Regardless of form, characters attempting to move through the location must succeed at a Strength + Athletics roll with a -2 penalty. While destroying or cutting through such an obstruction is possible, they are considered to have a Durability 2.

    Remote: The location is far removed from civilization, and is at least several miles of difficult terrain from the nearest inhabited area. Characters attempting to find the location must make an extended action using Wits +Survival each roll representing an hour of hiking and orienteering. The number of successes required is (2x Potency).

    Sealed Exits: The Place can prevent someone from leaving the location. By spending a point of Willpower, doors, windows, and all others points of access are locked, sealed or otherwise impassible until the end of the scene. Anyone who attempts to exit the location must succeed at a Resolve + Composure roll with a -3 dice penalty. Attempts to physically destroy the barrier are also met with resistance; increase the durability of such barriers by 1+ (Potency).

    Specialty Feature: The location has a number of specialized features, rooms, and amenities equal to its Potency. Each one of these features grants a +2 Equipment Bonus to a specific task performed at that location. A Garage might grant a bonus to Craft (Automobile) or a Sacred Glade might grant a bonus to Meditation rolls. This Environment is always active, but a Place with the Awakened Environment may choose to deny a character the use of any Specialty Feature.

    Suppress Power: Supernatural abilities invoked within the location (whether inherent or learned) are suppressed. Each time such ability is used, it suffers -3 dice penalty. If the power isn’t rolled, the character must instead spend a point of Willpower to use the ability (in addition to any other costs).

    Tainted Area: There is a lingering, festering wrongness about the location. Most individuals are not capable of perceiving it, but for particularly sensitive individuals, being in the location can cause emotional or even physical discomfort. Any mortal individual who has any dots in a Supernatural Merit or who enter the location must make a Resolve + Composure roll with a penalty equal to the Place’s Potency, or suffer the Sick Tilt (Moderate). If they roll a dramatic failure they Sick Tilt (Grave) instead.

    Temporal Distortion: Time moves strangely at this location. The effects are not apparent while a Character is at the location, but when they leave the Characters will notice that they have spent far more (or less) time at the location then they had anticipated. Each time a Character leaves the location, the Place rolls its Dice Pool, each success increases the time spent at the location by 20%. Alternatively, the Place can reduce the time spent by the same rate, to a minimum of 15 minutes total.

    Thorns: The location is filled with objects capable of cutting and stabbing tender flesh. This may be literal plants with thorns, coils of barbed wire, of rusty nails sticking from the walls. Anyone moving through this Environment must make a Dexterity + Composure roll with a -3 penalty; failure means the character suffers 1 point of Lethal Damage.

    Toxic: Something in the location, be it the air, water, or soil, perhaps even in the plants and animals, is poisonous. Once per scene, when a character enters a location with this Environment, the Location can roll its Dice Pool, resisted by the characters Stamina + Supernatural Tolerance Trait. If successful, the character must resist the effects of a Toxicity 1+ (Potency) poison. If the character is engaged in combat, they gain the Poisoned (Grave) Tilt instead.

    Weirdness: The location has a host of minor details and effects that are strange, but generally harmless. Wallpaper that shifts patterns, paintings with eyes that follow, chimeric taxidermied animals, and other such strangeness are just examples of oddities that can be found. When a character enters a location with this Environment, the Location can roll its Dice Pool, resisted by the characters Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance Trait. If successful, the character gains the Spooked Condition until the end of the scene.
    Last edited by Reighnhell; 09-12-2017, 10:25 PM.

  • Reighnhell
    Re: Childhood Home and the Factory

    I played with these a little bit - hope you don't mind

    The Childhood Home
    Gauntlet: +1, Potency: 2, Willpower: 3

    This place feels familiar. The old house on the hill is gnarled and old, furniture and decor peeling away and rotting as the serious and rot starts to sweep in. Most of the house is unrecognizable since the roof caved in, but some of the smaller rooms on the second story still seem mostly intact, though it's hard to tell what became of its owner.

    The sense of nostalgia makes one feel like it was their own at one point in time... Even if such was not necessarily true. It feels like that, and if one spends too much time there, one can almost picture yourself in the home in its prime, enjoying a summer s day with your mother and father. It almost makes the place feel whole again.

    As one spends more time, the house changes as do you. Paints freshen, furniture and walls rebuild. Wistful nostalgia gives way to other emotions, more.... joyous and without a care.

    Environmental Traits: Emotional Resonance, Repair Structure, Sanctuary

    Emotional Resonance: The Childhood Home reminds one of their past, evoking memories of comfort and joy. Even those who had difficult upbringings will recall what few joys they had experienced.

    Repair Structure: The positive emotions the Childhood Home invokes in turn feed power back into it, granting the strength to reverse the years of neglect and abandonment.

    Sanctuary: The Childhood Home fills the soul with memories of comfort and innocent, allowing its visitors renewed resolve when standing against darker, stranger things.

    The Factory
    Gauntlet: +1, Potency: 3, Willpower: 4
    The sign says it's decommissioned..... 40 years from now, yet the building looks like it had been here for ages. It mostly resembles your average automobile factory... If most of the parts were looted for scrap. Some choice bits remain, but they look like they were brought here from somewhere else.

    The wiring is odd too.... and the lights are always on at a specific time of night. There were of course rumors of something living here, but it's been debunked on national tv..... 4 times now ever since remote cameras watched it over a month.

    Still, that doesn't make one feel any safer, especially with the constant nagging that something was watching. The building almost sounded like if was sighing, almost alive really.

    Environmental Traits: Awakened, Specialty Feature, Weirdness

    Awakened: The Factory sits at a focal point of supernatural power, which has granted it awareness. It is more lonely than hostile, but its actions can seem threatening due to its lack of social skills. It has an Aspiration to “Observe and Understand”. Its specialties are “Collecting Objects” and “Avoiding Notice”.

    Specialty Feature: The Factory has a variety of used and rusted tools that are still serviceable enough to provide a bonus to Crafts rolls involving vehicles or machinery. Its location is an important component of the local Infrastructure and grants a bonus to Occult rolls involving the God Machine.

    Weirdness: Among the strange happenings in the Factory, some of the more common include Lights that turn on and off at specific times, junked machines and scrap parts that appear from nowhere, and the ever-present sensation that one is being watched.

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  • Almarck
    No idea how to stat these but I've got some ideas for places.

    The Childhood Home
    This place feels familiar. The old house on the hill is gnarled and old, furniture and decor peeling away and rotting as the serious and rot starts to sweep in. Most of the house is unrecognizable since the roof caved in, but some of the smaller rooms on the second story still seems mostly intact, though it's hard go tell what became of its owner.

    The sense of nostalgia makes one feel like it was their own at one point in time... Even if such was not necessarily true. It feels like that, and if one spends too much time there, one can almost picture yourself in the home in it's prime, enjoying a summer s day with your mother and father. It almost makes the place feel whole again.

    As one spends more time, the house changes as do you. Paints freshen, furniture and walls rebuild. Wistful nostalgia gives way to other emotions, more.... joyous and without a care.

    The Factory
    The sign says it's decommissione..... 40 years from now, yet the building looks like it had been here for ages. It mostly resembles your average automobile fsctory... If most of the parts were looted for scrap. Some choice bit remain, but they look like they were brought here from somewhere else.

    The wiring is odd too.... and the lights are always on at a specific time of night. There were of course rumors of something living here, but it's been. Debunked on national tv..... 4 times now ever since remote cameras watched it over a month.

    Still, that doesn't make one feel any safer, especially with the constant nagging that something was watching. The building almost sounded like if was sighing, almost alive really
    Last edited by Almarck; 08-17-2017, 09:26 AM.

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  • nofather
    I really like this thread, but that's little surprise considering how awesome your creative threads turn out.

    Throwing something out there. I saw this movie, Abattoir. It's a lousy movie, but it had a really neat idea This man was buying up houses where murders took place. As soon as possible afterward he would take out the room or rooms where the murders specifically took place, and have them moved to the town he lived in, where they would be added to a building made of the rooms of other murder houses he'd bought and moved there. Effectively making a massive, if architecturally scattered, house of rooms where people had been murdered. The picture below is from the movie. It struck me as something that would happen in the Chronicles world, but I wasn't sure how it would appear, mechanically. Do you have an idea?

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  • Vent0
    What about an Environment that gives guests/inhabitants supernatural power? Either Supernatural Merits, Dread Powers, of some other effect (likely fixed to a single or small group of abilities, but it being randomized could also have a niche). It could even play with the other Environments that affect supernatural power, in that the Place's own gifts aren't affected (or maybe they are - power at a price and all).

    Awakened + [Place of Power] = A location offering gifts if you do what it wants, for another example. Or maybe you build a Fountain of Youth... for as long as you remain near the fountain.

    Also, you should add this one to your Sig as well.

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  • Reighnhell
    Thank You! This is very high praise. With these particular rules I very much wanted to make something somewhat "splat-agnostic". I have run a number of the CofD games (Mostly Vampire, but a good amount of Werewolf, Mage, and Mortals), and I look forward to running the rest at some point, so I try to make rules that I can plug in easily regardless of venue.

    Here are a few new locations.

    The Blackrose Garden
    Gauntlet: -1, Potency: 2, Willpower: 5

    The Garden sits behind a high wooden fence in a yard overgrown by years of neglect. A forlorn “For Sale” sign swings in the breeze. The home once belonged to a surly recluse who only left the house to buy groceries or tend his garden. Since his death several years ago, the house has sat dark and empty, frequented only by the occasional maintenance worker, desperate real estate agent or intrepid squatter.

    The Garden itself once contained array colorful flowers and other plants, even a small patch of pumpkin sand tomatoes. Now the only thing that seems to thrive are the roses; with petals so dark they seem black and thorns that cut like razors, and the ivy, which grow aggressively across the walls of the house and garden shed.

    Anyone daring enough to dig into the soil will find it moist (always moist) and filled with hard fragments of what could only be bone. The keeper of the house kept his garden well fed, with his absence the Garden has grown hungry enough to seek its own prey.

    Environmental Traits: Awakened, Obstruction, Thorns

    Awakened: The Garden possesses a rudimentary instinct to “Feed from Animals and Insects”, searching them out and draining them of blood and fluids. Its specialties are “Feed from Prey” and “Catch Unwary Victims”.

    Obstruction: The front and back lawns of the house are overgrown, but vital. Moving through the weeds, brambles, tall grass and ivy can prove difficult to even the most sure footed.

    Thorns: The roses have grown across both the front and back yards aggressively. It uses its sharp (and upon examination, hollow and barbed) thorns to puncture flesh and drain fluids. Its mobility is limited, but it can lash out with a vine or stem like a loaded spring to catch its prey.

    The Reinhold Chemical Plant
    Gauntlet: -1, Potency: 2, Willpower: 3

    In backwoods of the Deep South, miles away from the nearest community, stand the decaying remains of the Reinhold Chemical Plant. Established in the late 70’s, the fledgling company had intended for the plant to be the first of many, bringing jobs, education, and opportunity to an area plagued by generations of poverty. After several years of incident-free operation, the workers arrived one morning to find the facility closed and chained off. Each of the workers received a reasonable severance and a letter thanking them for their service in the mail several days later. The exact reason for the plants abrupt closure remains a mystery. With the plant closed, the opportunities dried up and the workers moved away, and the site was mostly forgotten. The plant and the few roads that lead to it are mostly reclaimed by nature, but hikers and urban spelunkers alike often seek the old Plant to see what of interest remains.

    The Plant was closed abruptly, and as such no formal cleanup was ever undertaken. Large tanks and retaining pools have leaked toxins into the surrounding environment and collect in pond sized pools of waste, some of which remain potent enough to burn flesh. Stranger still, a few that have visited the location report the plants and animals that show signs of severe mutation and uncanny behavior.

    Environmental Traits: Dilapidated, Inhabited, Toxic

    Dilapidated: The Plant has decayed in the decades since its abandonment, and is filled with hazards including (but not limited to) rusted catwalks, crumbling walls and ceilings, and pipes dripping still-potent chemicals.

    Inhabited: The Plant grounds and the surrounding area for nearly a mile is home to radically altered flora and fauna. Deer, Feral Cats, Opossum, Rats, and other wildlife have adapted to the poisonous environment, but suffer from horrific mutations and aggressive behavior – even the plants seem to behave in a predatory manner. Luckily for the surrounding region, the creatures are dependent on the toxic environment, and they rapidly sicken and die if removed from it.

    Toxic: Hazardous chemicals have leeched into nearly everything. Without proper protection (including breathing filters and chemical resistant clothing), a character exploring the location risks being poisoned.

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  • Arcanist
    This is a beautifully elegant way of handling locations with their own air of power and mystery in a way that allows you to make everything from Awakened Sancta, Uratha Dens, and Deathless Tombs to random pieces of Infrastructure, sections of the Hedge, and just generic weirdness that is out there in the world. Awakened Environments having "Feeding" Aspirations is a particularly nice touch that can make the environment itself something dangerous.

    In general, the things I love most about this is simplicity, elegance, and versatility. There's nothing you can't model with this.

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  • Reighnhell
    a few more places

    Grandma’s Cabin
    Gauntlet: +1, Potency: 3, Willpower: 4

    Located a one mile hike from a popular trail near the wooded border of a national park, is a 3-room log cabin that hikers have nick named “Grandma’s Cabin”. The Cabin is cozy and in great condition, furnished in a homey, rustic style with decorations and knickknacks that suggest the occupant is someone of a grandmotherly disposition. In addition to the main room, bedroom, and kitchen, the cabin also has a cellar, comfortable outhouse, and stone-lined well filled with cold water. Despite the well maintained nature of the Cabin, no one has ever reported meeting any one that has claimed ownership.
    While the front and back doors are locked, there is a brass key with a leather cord that dangles from a hook and a note nailed to the front door to “Make yourself at home and clean up before you leave”. The cabin does not have electricity, or running water, but propane lamps buckets for well water are easily located.
    Hikers that have spent the evening at the cabin often speak of the “weird noises” that come from outside the cabin in the dead of the night. Those who leave the cabin to investigate are often found hours later several miles away with no recollections of how they got there – others are never found at all.

    Environmental Traits: Gateway, Lure, Maze, Memory Loss

    Gateway: There are rungs along the walls in the well. Climbing down into the ice cold water after sunset and submerging themselves for one minute allows a character to enter the Hedge. This is a one-way access; anyone that crosses over will have to find another way out.

    Lure: The Cabin will use this Environment to compel its “guests” to investigate the well, trapping them within the Hedge.

    Maze: After sunset, the wooded terrain surrounding the Cabin for several acres seems to shift and alter itself, making most forms of mundane navigation impossible.

    Memory Loss: The Cabin punishes disrespectful guests. Those that vandalize, leave behind trash, or simply stay more than a night or two find their memories of the cabin fade, with the worst offenders suffering severe amnesia as entire days of their memory vanish.

    Pentagram Books
    Gauntlet: -1, Potency: 1, Willpower: 2

    Open for nearly twenty years and tucked away in a non-descript row of shops is a small bookstore that has become a go-to location for parapsychologists, occultists, and collectors of rare tomes. The store specializes in new and used books covering a wide variety of esoteric topics, including (but not limited to) conspiracies, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, and all manner of occult practices and secret histories. The true attraction is a section of the shop protected by a high-end vaulted door. The security extends into the realms of the supernatural; much to the surprise of more than a few would be mystic thieves. This “Special Collection” section houses meticulously preserved collection of writings and other artifacts that are expensive and vanishingly rare. All such items are for sale, but only while the proprietor is on the premises.
    The proprietor is one M. Hobbes, a reserved man in his early fifties who carries an air of extensive knowledge and exacting professionalism. He is frequently traveling the world looking for things to add to the Special Collection. The rest of the time his staff of novices and dabblers runs the shop.

    Environmental Traits: Innocent Façade, Specialty Feature, Suppress Power

    Innocent Façade: This Environment on applies to items kept within the “Special Collection”. Items located in any other section of the shop may be observed and scrutinized normally.

    Specialty Feature: The Pentagram has selves bulging with an exceptional collection of lore that provide a bonus for Academic or Occult research.

    Suppress Power: The mystic protections of the “Special Collection” only work against supernatural items. The penalties imposed by this Environment only apply to artifacts, grimoires, fetishes, relics, tokens and other such items.
    Last edited by Reighnhell; 08-14-2017, 10:13 PM.

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  • Reighnhell
    RE: Darkest Dungeon

    I was actually unfamiliar with Darkest Dungeon before seeing that clip - Now I need to play this, it looks gloriously dark!

    Here are some more places.
    The Neville House
    Gauntlet: +0, Potency: 2, Willpower: 3

    The house was built in 1929 by Jacob Neville, a well-respected Egyptologist who had unearthed several tombs in the Valley of the Kings belonging to several lesser known Pharaohs and High Priests. The House has hieroglyphics and Egyptian motifs carved into much of the woodwork and masonry. The construction of the house has several odd features, including a chamber in the basement with a large stone obelisk, a revolving bookcase with a hidden room in the library, and a room in the attic with a pyramid shaped skylight. The house has a main entryway, a library/study, a parlor, a dining room, a kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a basement, and an attic. The house also has a garage that was built later.

    Since the house was constructed, a high number of tragic accidents and occurrences have happened to those who have lived under its roof, with three deaths happening on the property itself. The house has sat empty since the death of the last member of the direct Neville line passed away in his sleep at the age of 85 nearly ten years ago. He bequeathed the house to an organization known as the “Orloch Historical Society”, who set aside a stipend to keep the property in good repair.

    In Occultist circles, the Neville House a famously haunted location, and have been the subject of several books, research papers, and one segment on the haunted house reality program “Mysterious Places”. The entity that resides within its walls is believed to be dangerous if not properly appeased, and a being forgotten for a decade is unlikely to have improved its disposition.

    Environmental Traits: Haunted, Misfortune, Weirdness

    Haunted: The Neville place is home to a sincerely ancient entity that followed Jacob Neville home from one of his trips to Egypt and has never left. The Neville family has long practiced the rites and sacrifices needed to keep the entity appeased, but now that the bloodline has been severed, it grows increasingly angry at its fate, and will lash out at available victims.

    Misfortune: The entity that resides in the estate can direct it’s malevolence through the property. This is enough to cause runs of bad luck for the target. Usually this is inconvenient or even painful, but every so often the accidents can prove deadly.

    Weirdness: The Egyptian theme of the household is strange enough, but a few of the household features (such as the obelisk in the basement) seem to be focal points even odder occurrences. Once per year, typically in the summer, the obelisk emits an ear splitting high-pitched tone for 1 minute, then goes silent. Similarly, once a year, typically in the winter, the pyramid skylight in the attic will project across the room a map of stars, with constellations that don’t correspond with anything known. The significance of these events remains unknown.

    Rural Route 6
    Gauntlet: -1, Potency: 3, Willpower: 6

    Rural Route 6 (known simply as “The Six” by locals) stretches a winding 5 mile path heading roughly northeast. The Six cuts through a rural section of town and is primarily use by farmers, ranchers, joy riders, and swimmers looking for the quickest path to a nearby lake. The road seems to have been forgotten by the state and county and hasn’t seen any proper maintenance in years if not decades. Despite this the road remains in good condition, with only a few potholes and suspiciously damaged guardrails. Superstitious locals warn travelers to find a different path after dark, and speak of bizarre accidents and strange encounters befalling those who travel down The Six after dark. Some even speak of people who drive onto the road and simply vanish.

    Environmental Traits: Awakened, Maze, Misfortune

    Awakened: The Six is guided by an alien mind. While not truly sapient as far as anyone can tell, it is incredibly territorial and operating off a set of instincts akin to a cat toying with its prey. Its Aspiration is to “Toy with Trespassers”. Its specialties are “Cause Accidents” and “Frighten Trespassers”.

    Maze: Despite Rural Route being a short 5 mile stretch, travelers frequently get lost. Such travelers finding themselves turned down remote back roads that they do not remember ever exiting onto.

    Misfortune: The Six specializes in causing opportune mechanical failures. Breaks do not respond when heading into sharp turns, or the engine will fail with a several mile walk in either direction to the nearest aid. Even attempting to call for help will yield no available cellular signal.

    The Timely Newsstand and Cafe
    Gauntlet: -2, Potency: 1, Willpower: 2

    The Timely Newsstand is the sort of small independent newsstand and coffee shop that can be found in bohemian neighborhoods in any city. The narrow building is lined with an assortment of magazines and newspapers, some of them from across the country and around the world. Behind the counter is a selection of tobacco products, which gives the place an earthy aroma. Attached to the newsstand is a small café that serves a variety of drinks and snacks.The staff are always men and women in their early twenties who are always fashionable in a presentably counter-culture sort of way. The manager is a woman who, despite being in her fifties is attractive and well preserved, still wearing the tattoos and some of the fashion sense of a person who was involved in the punk or goth scene in her youth.

    What makes the Timely Newsstand stand out is that it is home to a variety of small but disconcerting temporal anomalies. Some of the magazines and newspaper report current events that haven’t happened or couldn’t happen. One might have a headline about a speech from the president (with pictures), but shows the president as the candidate that lost the election. Another might be a recent music magazine reporting about the latest sold out concert from a performer that died years ago. A person might sit down for half an hour, but have lost nearly a full hour when they exit the shop. Stranger still, once a person leaves they shop, most will not recall if they witnessed or experienced anything unusual, regarding it as just a mundane stop at the Newsstand.

    If asked about any of this, the staff will advise you to talk to the manager. If the manager is asked, she will give you a phone number to leave a message for the owner, who is currently (and perpetually) on vacation.

    Environmental Traits: Memory Loss, Temporal Distortion, Weirdness

    Memory Loss: Spending time at Timely Newsstand plays tricks with the mind, especially when it comes to some of the odder things that one can observe. Within several minutes of leaving the newsstand, memories of anything strange will fade, leaving the Character with a sense that they saw something interesting, but they won’t remember exactly what it was.

    Temporal Distortion: Timely Newsstand is home to a minor temporal anomaly that causes time to follow inconsistently. As such, time within the location has settled into a pattern of falling out of sync at different rates, then jarringly re-aligning itself.

    Weirdness: As part of the temporal anomaly hosted at the location, information and items routinely filter in from other realities and alternate timelines. Some are only present for a few minutes, others might linger for days. In either case, attempting to remove such an item from the location will immediately change it back into a mundane and timeline-appropriate version of the item.

    Last edited by Reighnhell; 08-13-2017, 09:46 AM.

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  • Malus
    Bleakwood Manor much?

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  • Malus
    Yeah, modeling environments like this is far more easier than coming up with a whole spiritual ecosystem, and if you had to do that anyway, your job is alleviated by the places' draft - in essence guiding your hand like a storyboard. Kudos Reighnhell.

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  • Reighnhell
    1220 Shade Road
    Gauntlet: +0, Potency: 2, Willpower: 5

    The house at 1220 Shade Road is a mansion that sits at the end of a long road in the canyons of Malibu, California. The house was built in the 40’s by the now-defunct Solomon Film Studios as housing for their up and coming stars. The infamous Charles Manson was reputed to have stayed there in the 60’s as well. It features 3 bedrooms, 3 bath rooms, a large study/library, a spacious living room, attached garage, and swimming pool.

    On July 8 of 1999, landscapers hired to do yard work noticed the smell of carrion coming from the house and called the police to investigate. What they found in the house were bodies belonging to 4 young women. The women were nailed to the walls and had been decomposing for several weeks. Ritual markings were cut into the girls flesh. The murders were never solved (and were filed as a cold case 2004). In time the house was put back on the market.

    From the Shadow, the grisly history of the house stands revealed, with the ritual murder of the young women only being the latest in a long history of suicide, murder and madness. Every drop of blood spilled in the house continues to stain the floors and wall, as wet as the day it was shed. The Walls and thresholds are marked with bizarre marking that resemble writing, but don't correspond to any recognizable language. A persistent scratching noise comes from the walls, as if there were something trying to escape, and the entire place is hot as a California summer.

    Environments: Awakened, Hallucinations, Sealed Exits

    Awakened: The house at 1220 Shade Road is a malevolent entity with the Aspiration to “Revel in Murder and Madness”. Its specialties are “Terrorize Trespassers” and “Goad into committing Violent Acts”.

    Hallucinations: The house at 1220 Shade Road favors visual and auditory hallucinations that re-create scenes from its violent history, often with it current target in the role of perpetrator or victim.

    Sealed Exits: The house at 1220 Shade Road can use the Environment to prevent a target from escaping the property, and can extend its power to disabling nearby vehicles. This power can only be used after midnight and before sunrise. At any other time a character may enter and exit the location normally.

    Big Boppers
    Gauntlet: +0, Potency: 2, Willpower: 3

    “Big Boppers” is a bar and grill theme restaurant styled after a 1950’s diner. Independently owned and operated, it has been serving beer, burgers, and entrees since the early nineties. It is a popular place, home to birthday parties, after-game dinners, and more happy hours than can be counted. Great pains have been taken to make the location feel authentic rather than kitschy, and with the exception of the modern appliances in the kitchen and a few of the bathroom amenities, the restaurant is painstakingly period-accurate. The vintage jukebox plays the popular hits of the day and doesn’t contain a single song recorded after 1962. The owner takes a good deal of pride in the establishment, but has been considering retirement and is listening to offers from a large national chain to buy the property.

    Despite the friendly atmosphere and excellent food, some individuals report a sense of unease while within the location. Those with a degree of extra sensory awareness feel this even more acutely, and are often struck ill by the intensity of the negative energy that gathered behind the seemingly innocent façade.

    The truth of Big Boppers is that the owner of the location is a serial murderer. He keeps a dungeon behind a hidden door in the basement and has been disposing of the bodies of his victims by mixing them into the meat for decades. He is sincerely planning to retire, and has taken steps to ensure that the hidden room, if ever discovered, will appear as perfectly mundane storage space without a hint of its true purpose.

    From the Hisil, the walls are streaked with splatters of blood, the jukebox plays distorted music interspersed with screams and desperate pleas for mercy, and the entire place smells of fryer grease, seared flesh and stale beer. This corruption has soaked into the location itself, and will likely linger long after the restaurant has been sold to new owners.

    Environmental Traits: Inhabited, Innocent Façade, Tainted Area

    Inhabited: The owner of Big Boppers is a subtle, crafty Slasher, who will make every attempt to either discredit or dispose of anyone that threatens to expose his secrets.

    Innocent Façade: Big Boppers is a sparkling clean and well run establishment, and no one that works there has any idea of what has been going on (other than the owner). Unless an investigator can provide particularly damning evidence, the staff will not believe accusations of wrong doing. Characters that get belligerent can expect to have the police notified and be escorted off the property with legal action to follow.

    Tainted Area: To the supernaturally sensitive, the place reeks of corruption that is violently at odds to the family friendly establishment. Supernatural powers and abilities do not suffer the penalty imposed by Innocent Façade.

    Bleakwood Manor
    Gauntlet: +2(Locus), Potency: 4, Willpower: 5

    Bleakwood Manor is a sprawling family estate, located in upstate Rhode Island. The property is nestled in a wooded field and has a small lake on the far western side. The manor house was built in the mid 1800’s by a wealthy New England merchant family who can trace their roots back to several minor aristocratic bloodlines. It was given the name “Bleakwood” by the family matriarch, after seeing the property for the first time on a dreary late autumn day. Since that time, the house has stayed within the family line, passed from one generation to the next.

    The manor house itself is an enormous gothic homestead; with enough bathrooms, bedrooms, and other amenities to comfortable house two dozen individuals. Other features include a parlor, dining hall, ballroom, professional grade kitchen, game room, private offices, and expansive library. The grounds outside the manor include a stable, greenhouse, garage, gymnasium, a cozy guest house, a family cemetery and a boat house by the lake.

    The property is notable to Occultists in that it location places it at a juncture between several potent ley lines, and odd supernatural incidents have been reported since the land was occupied by pre-colonial natives. In the 1920’s, the master of the house became heavily involved in Occult practices (and was rumored to be something of a sorcerer), and spent large sums of the family wealth modifying the property to more mystic pursuits. The property become host to many unusual visitors, and gained a reputation as something of a retreat for practitioners of the occult. Since that time, each subsequent generation has maintained the family tradition of providing a haven Mystics, Psychics, Occults, and less definable folk. Recently the House has been inherited (along with a small fortune) by a distant relation that knows little of the houses history, but as part of the will has agreed to become the caretaker of the Manor.

    Environmental Traits: Gateway, Impose Ban, Specialty Feature, Weirdness

    Gateway: Bleakwood Manor has unusually potent connections to other Realms. Behind a black door in the basement is a room that between the hours of 12 and 1am opens into the Underworld. In the attic is a ritual space with a circle carved into the wooden floor; lighting 12 candles from north and going counter clockwise will open a gate into the Shadow. Lastly, breaking a window in the Greenhouse and crawling through it will transport a character into the Hedge.

    Impose Ban: Bleakwood Manor is protected by a mystic Ban of “No one may initiate violence against the master of the house or their invited guests”. Deliberately attempting to cause these individuals harm is considered a breach of the Ban. It was established so that even parties at odds could meet in a peaceful, diplomatic fashion.

    Specialty Feature: Bleakwood Manor has many rooms and facilities for different tasks. Most notable is the extensive Library that provides a bonus for Academic or Occult research, well-appointed kitchen that provides a bonus for preparing meals, a Garage that provides a bonus for repairing vehicles, and a Parlor that gives a bonus for polite conversation.

    Weirdness: The supernatural influences that surround Bleakwood Manor cause a number of strange phenomena. Among the more notable and reoccurring events include; the weather vane at the top on the house moving independently, regardless of actual wind currents; mirrored surfaces displaying a reflection delayed by precisely 2 seconds; and that the sound of trains can be heard in the guest house, despite the property being nowhere near an active rail line.

    Fun World
    Gauntlet: +2(Locus), Potency: 3, Willpower: 4

    Fun World was open in the late seventies and was a fixture in the region for decades. Over time, the owners paid less and less attention to the upkeep of the place, until a gruesome, fatal accident on one of the rides forced the authorities to shut it down for good. Yet for some reason, despite numerous, generous offers, the owners refuse to sell the land or any of the parks attractions. It now sits behind a high fence adorned with "no trespassing" signs, with no patrons except for rust and decay.

    From the Hisil, Fun World becomes a distorted refection of its physical location. Like a funhouse mirror (and it's recommended that you avoid the Funhouse), the streets twist back upon themselves, the decaying buildings loom taller than their material counterparts, and all the angles just seem wrong. The air smells like cotton candy, kettle corn and stale vomit while the dim echo of the calliope can still be heard if you listen closely (and ignore the occasional scream). The rides creep along under their own power, their rusted frames groaning under the strain. The entire place is bathed in the dim amber glow of the carnival lights.

    The Spirits of Decay have the run of the place, and have infected what lingering spirits of Joy and Excitement with their bleak essence. The spirits of the rides themselves stalk the park like apex predators, greedy for the essence that once flowed so freely. At the center of it all is the Spirit of Fun World itself, once it was a bright spirit that used its power to make sure the visitors enjoyed themselves. Now it sits in the darkness, brooding over its fate and becoming as rotten and sinister as its home.

    Environmental Traits: Dilapidated, Haunted, Maze

    Dilapidated: The Park is in a severe state of disrepair. Spending too much time in any of the structures or while walking across any of the numerous bridge ways might cause the structure to partially collapse and cause injury.

    Haunted: The Park houses the spirit named Bright Carnival Smile and its brood of twisted Joy, Excitement, and Decay spirits.

    Maze: The ramshackle layout of the Park was once intended to route park goers back to places where they could continue to buy food and play games. Now (especially after dark), it’s a dangerous maze of decaying buildings and attractions that lean at angles like a mouth full of crooked teeth.

    Last edited by Reighnhell; 08-12-2017, 05:54 PM.

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  • Malus
    Can't wait to use these in places of power.

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