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Heretics - Welcome to the Asylum

Copyright 1996 - 2003 Eoin Connolly, Rob Brennan and Eric Nolan. All rights
reserved.
Published by Wasteland Games
Design & Writing: Eoin Connolly
Special thanks to: Steve Blair for the NPCs and baground and everyone else who
chipped in.
First Edition - Version 1.2
Dedicated to Phillip K. Dick, who was out there before all the others.
Playtesters and Trainee Nutters: Steve 'Cannibal freak' Blair, Alan 'Are you starting?'
Dunbar, George 'Elephants are pretty damm scary' Mc Connon, Chris 'If only I could
make people do what I want. Wait! I can!' McCormick, Rob 'Flim flim badoong
kawawah' Brennan, Eric 'Ratchet screwdriver' Nolan, Chris F. 'I have a rational
explaination as to why I am running naked through the graveyard officer', Paul 'Pretend
you didn't hear that' Kavanagh, Conor 'Chicks with dicks' Browne, Padraig 'You can't
beat a good bottling' Bracken, Tony 'methodical madness' Maguire, Garvin' I call
it...Womb' Campbell, Gary 'suck their barins out and piss in their eyesockets' Bingham,
Mike 'Somebody tell me whats going on or I start shooting' Blair, wee 'Release the
hounds' Ivor and anybody else who suffered through the lengthy labour, difficult birth
and more difficult naming of this bouncing baby.. thing. Yeuch.

Introduction
The world that we can see is not the only world. Some can see into that other world, can
touch and be touched by the creatures that live within its walls. We call them insane,
visionaries, individuals considered touched by the hand of God. These people end up in
our psychiatric institutions or roam the streets, driven mad by what they see and cannot
understand - the place called the Shadows.

The Shadows
The Shadows is a world parallel to our own, more a state of being than a physical place.
Its inhabitants are trapped there, moving through the Real world but incapable of

interacting with it. All items in our world; cars, people, doors, even pieces of paper
cannot be affected by those in the Shadows. It is as if they move through a world
populated by mobile statues, every item an immovable weight. In the Shadows, a simple
rainstorm can bruise and break flesh and hailstones drops bullets of ice that rip flesh
without mercy.
It is perpetually cold there, the sun never warming the streets, while all around walk in
the sunshine, not feeling the eyes that watch with inhuman longing. The world invisible
to the Sane is populated by the Hidden; evil creatures, sinful humans and lost souls
looking for redemption, all prisoners jealous of those who inhabit the real world. The
only way out for them is to become Real and the easiest way to become Real is to kill.

The Hidden
The inhabitants of the Shadows have many forms. Some are grotesque creatures with
chitinous skin and spiders legs, with eyes and teeth in greater numbers than is normal.
Some fly through the air over our heads, others live in the sewers below our feet. The
most dangerous ones are those that walk amongst us.
All these creatures desire to enter our world and become Real. The more Real they
become, the more human they are in appearance. Most of the Hidden are a long way
from true Reality. They might possess the right number of limbs but details such as inchlong razor sharp teeth, or spider-like fingers, limbs that bend the wrong way or a lack of
skin will always give them away. These remain in the Shadows, hiding from the gaze of
normal humans, only revealing themselves to their intended victims.
Those close to becoming Real are indistinguishable from those who walk in the sun.
They move with impunity through normal society, choosing their victims with care and
love. They gather needy humans to their hearts; the dispossessed, the lost - those people
in need of something to believe in. Some are drawn by a desire to belong, others come in
search of power and end up their puppets.
The majority of humanity is blind to the Hidden in the Shadows. They move through
their everyday life unaware of their presence. They cannot see the thing which sits on
their dinner table looking at them with nothing but hatred in its eyes. Humans are
separated into Believers and Unbelievers. The Believers are people sensitive to the
possibility of the unreal while Unbelievers exist only for the material world.

The Heretics
These are the men and women that can see the world as it really is. Able to alter their
flesh and directly affect the minds of those around them, each believe in a truth which
makes the world consider them mad. Most end up committed by their family or by the
legal system and spend months, or even years, undergoing drug therapy. Those
eventually released find themselves pariahs, unable to get a job and struggling to make
sense of a reborn world. Some end up living on the streets, homeless alcoholics or drugtakers, alone and hunted. Others, those with a supportive family or of independent
means, begin to search for knowledge and eventually seek out others like themselves.

The Real World


Heretics is set in the modern day UK. The players play the part of the Heretics, both
feed-prey and mortal enemy of the Hidden. They must stop the Hidden in their attempts
to become Real and learn to live with an Insanity which grows in power with each
passing day. They live in a world that normal people cannot know exists, a world where
killers walk the streets at night looking for their victims and cults obtain victims to
satisfy the hungers of their Hidden masters. In the sewers, rat-things scurry through the
filth while in the shiny office blocks, spiders the size of plates move leisurely across the
ceilings spinning webs large enough to catch a man. They discover that it can mean
death to look anyone in the eye and the man that shouts at you from across the street
might be a killer looking for a Believer.
In this world, serial killers roam the streets and the police can never find them. The dead
go missing from the morgue and turn up incinerated behind the wheels of crashed
automobiles. Graveyard desecrations happen every week and no-one cares that the flesh
of their ancestors is being corrupted. Things that can run as fast as dogs with the
chitinous skin of insects hunt in the streets and parks, chasing their prey in packs.
Hideous bargains are struck between lovers and the dead have no secrets.
Welcome to Asylum Earth.

Creating the Heretic


In this game, the characters generated by the players are assumed to be Heretics. To
generate a Heretic PC using STOCS lite follow these steps:

Decide on an Insanity for the character.


Whenever a Heretic's eyes are opened to the world that really exists around them, they
become unstable. The Insanity is their way of coping with the world without going
completely psychotic. Some of the characters will have been released into the
community, while an unlucky few might be fugitives from Bethlehem Asylum.
Despite this Insanity, the characters are not really insane. What they see is Real and not
just a figment of their imagination. Because of the blurring of what is real and imagined,
it should be noted that it is possible for the imagined Insanity of a character to manifest
itself in the Real world, brought here by the character. For example, if a character thinks
there is somebody out to kill them. They are followed everywhere and nowhere is safe.
This is a psychosis. There is not necessarily anyone following the character.
However, the Heretic's ability to use Reality makes these insanities become Real. There
would be someone constantly following the character. It would even be possible for that
person to kill the character and other Heretics would be able to see their stalker. The
character might kill their pursuer but you cannot kill an Insanity with a physical act and
although that person is dead, another will return and the hunt will continue. Insanities
are explained in more detail in the next section, The Trials of Insanity.
Generate a STOCS lite character as stated in the basic rules.
Heretics player characters are similar to STOCS lite characters as far as stats, skill points
and derived characteristics. Due to the more overtly violent nature of the game, a
character's DL should be calculated as their STR+CON divided by 4.
A new characteristic, Reality, is introduced. Each character starts off with 20 points of
Reality. Reality can be lost and gained during play but it can never be increased past 20.
A character uses their Reality to power their Heretical Abilities. The abilities listed
below are treated as general skills, their specialisations are listed and described more
fully in the Heretical Abilities section:
Hidden Sight: Sensing the presence of others
Alter Flesh: Healing wounds or altering your physical form.
SkinWalking: Possessing or dominating people.
Purification: Purification allows the character to regain their Reality.
ShadowWalking: Slipping from the perceptions of the Unbelievers.

Purchasing Heretical Abilities


Players can only spend their EDU in Skill Points on their Heretical Abilities. In the
context of the game, EDU also represents the amount of time you have spent honing
your abilities. To counterbalance this limiting factor, the player may choose one
Heretical Ability (Hidden Sight, Alter Flesh etc.) to be their character's speciality. The
character gets a +5 bonus to any use of this general skill.
Quirks
As Heretics is technically a horror game, the referee should allow a stranger type of
Quirk than would usually be allowed in the usual STOCS lite game.
Several examples are given below. It should be noted that most of these quirks will
require at least 1 point of Reality to be burned. Some might require a skill or
characteristic roll. The referee and the players should discuss, during character
generation, exactly how the quirk will be used in play.
Memory Touch This allows the character to use their Skinwalking or Alter Flesh ability
on people they have previously touched.
Metal Lover Mechanical devices respond to the character's touch (cash machines
mysteriously dispense cash etc.).
Doppleganger The character can create a double of themselves by filling a bath with
offal, fat and a personal contagion. An Alter Flesh roll (and 2d10 hours) is needed to
form the replica. They can then possess this doppleganger using their Skinwalk ability.
Pitch Shifter The character can move through solid objects when ShadowWalking.
Stretcher The duration of all Heretical Abilities is doubled.
GlassEyed The character is invisible to Hidden Sight.
Combustor The character can cause naturally flammable objects to burst into flame,
causing 1d10 points of damage every round until it is extinguished.
Photogenic Character does not show up on film or video. This is not possible in the
presence of the Sane.
Healer When the character heals a normal human's wounds, the effects are permanent,
not duration-based.
Vampire Can steal Unbelievers' Reality by touching for 1d10 rounds and successfully

passing an opposed WIL vs. WIL roll. The amount the roll is made by is the amount of
Reality the vampire gains and the damage (in AAM) the target gains.

Reality
Reality is the fabric of the Universe, the substance which forms our world. It permeates
and controls all Real things. The Hidden desire Reality more than anything else. For
them, Reality is the only escape from the Shadows. What sets Heretics apart from
normal people is their ability to use their own Reality to affect the world around them.
This ability to use Reality allows them to cheat death, alter their physical form and
control the actions of others. In the past, these powers have been labelled demonic and
the open use of these abilities has caused the death of many fledgeling Heretics.
I remember the dream perfectly. The last man wanders through a dead world. Stopping
before the remains of the Palace, he kneels down and starts to laugh. I am standing
there ten feet away from him, an invisible observer - the witness of Fate. As the fit
shakes him, he takes a pistol out and aims it at his temple. "I win! I win!" he screams
and looks directly at me as he pulls the trigger. I stand there unable to move, watching
the blood pool around his dead body.
Then it happens, as it always does. The buildings around me vanish revealing the
planet's dead skin. One by one the stars blink out and our sun dies and ceases to exist. I
am left in nothingness. None of it was Real. We were figments of the dead man's mind.
And when he died, so did everything else. I have this dream every night. And that is why
I fear nothing.
Jack Faraday, 1996 London
Items and people in our world have Reality of 20. The Hidden have varying degrees of
Reality from 0 to 20. Normal people cannot use the Reality they possess; it remains
fixed for all of their natural lives. Remove all the Reality from a person and they become
a creature of the Shadows. A Heretic can use part of their Reality and still remain in our
world, only when they have used all of their Reality do they enter the Void.
Heretics who have entered the Void cease to be. Their lifeless flesh remains in our world
but all that they could ever be enters the Shadows and departs the body as a gush of
Hidden creatures, most no bigger than maggots. The character's personality is encased in
each of these creatures and must begin the centuries long struggle to become Real. By
the time this has happened, their personality will be blended with hundreds of others.

They will be irrevocably insane in its truest sense, viewing humanity as their feed-prey.
As a final insult, a tiny fragment of the personality remains locked inside the cadaver,
endlessly trapped until consumed by one of the Hidden.

The Trial of Insanity


One of the side-effects to the Heretics' ability to see the Hidden and what the call 'the
Real world' is that all Heretics are irrevocably insane. This is not your typical mental
disorder however. Heretics are no more likely to suffer from phobias or from the usual
deviations in psychological well being. Heretics are as prone to psychotic or sociopathic
tendencies, as well as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive episodes, as the rest of
humanity. The Insanity which all Heretics suffer from is subtly different...

Birth of a Heretic
All Heretics are Believers from birth. At some point in that Believer's life, a trauma
occurred. It might have been the death of a loved one, a life-threatening situation or,
very rarely, having surviving a direct attack from one of the Hidden. For most Believers,
the trauma would result in a minor breakdown and, eventually, the mind would heal and
the person would get on with their life. With the Heretic, the situation is very different.
The trauma opens their eyes to the world as it really is. They see the presence of the
Hidden, the patterns in the news and the one shining truth which is unique to each
Heretic and when this truth becomes clear they go completely insane.
For days, they are in a catatonic state, incapable of interaction with the Real world, with
their belief in the accepted reality shattered. The Insanity gets refined during this time
and when they emerge, they are fully reborn, completely sane in their own beliefs but
considered mad by society's overly rigorous standards. After this rebirth, the Heretic is
concerned with letting others know what is out there. Scepticism is met with anger and a
desire to protect loved ones from the Hidden generally results in hospitalisation. Most of
the Heretics in London have been hospitalised after the madness started. Some were kept
for six weeks in a hospital; others, such as James Bishop, were locked in secure wards
for years.
They bound me in a strait jacket and jammed a rubber bite-guard in my mouth. I was
put in a nine by five padded cell with a six inch wide observation slit. Every six hours,
day and night, the doctors came in to administer the drugs; the orderlies holding me

down to stop me killing the bastards. I dislocated my jaw screaming the first night. The
cell was covered in grubs they could not see. During the night they fell onto me and
crawled over my face, crawling into my eyes and nose. I was reduced to rolling around
the cell, trying to smash them to death against the soft canvas walls.
By the third day, I had calmed down. The doctors assumed the drugs had taken hold. But
the real reason was simple - the grubs were gone. I had worked out how to get the bung
out of my mouth and I had eaten them. Every last one.
James Bishop, London 1987

The Insane Truth


The Insanity formed by each Heretic at their rebirth is a very real part of their lives.
Insanities are the Real world to other Heretics and the Hidden. In the beginning, and for
many years, Insanities come into effect briefly, sometimes once a week, at other times
lasting for many days at a time. Sample Insanities and Fugues are described below.
"I am being watched all the time."
The Heretic believes that they are constantly monitored by a mysterious organisation.
They believe that there are recording devices in their food and under their floorboards.
They suspect that their neighbours have been placed there to spy on them and that the
close circuit cameras in the street are there to watch them and them alone. The Heretic
spends the entire time destroying the bugs, trying to find out who is doing the watching.
In appearance, this is a simple paranoia case but in actual fact they are being watched by
person or persons unknown. They do find strange devices in their apartments.
Mysterious men and women do photograph them in the street, driving off before they
can be caught.
As only other Heretics can see the Insanity, the recording equipment they find will be
unrecognisable as such to the public. What they believe to be a microphone disguised
(badly) as a cigarette lighter will just be a cigarette lighter, nothing more. Other 'bugs'
that are found will be similarly nonsensical and insane. The people photographing them
in the street are either nowhere to be seen or are simply tourists taking pictures of the
town.
The dual nature of Reality with relation to this insanity is described below.
Michael Hatcher is waiting in the park. He's there to meet a woman to discuss getting

some false papers and a new identity. As the woman arrives, Hatcher spots a man taking
photographs of the two of them from across the duck pond.
Hatcher runs across the pond straight for the man, who immediately starts to run for it.
Hatcher catches him outside the gates and proceeds to beat him, all the time screaming,
"Who are you? Why are you watching me?" The man collapses and out of the corner of
his eye Hatcher sees the door to a windowless van close quickly. Discarding the
unconscious cameraman and runs to the van, throwing the door open.
Inside the van is a man wearing overalls, surrounded by television monitors and reel-toreel recording equipment. Hatcher is in a full-blown rage and starts smashing the inside
of the van to pieces, throwing the occupant from one side of the van to the other. After
less than a minute, the man is a bleeding wreck and every piece of equipment in the van
is smashed beyond repair. Hatcher gets out of the van, sees people staring at him and
does the sensible thing. He flees the scene.
To Hatcher, and to any other Heretics present, the scene happened exactly as described
above. But to normal, sane people it could have been completely different. Hatcher is
under surveillance in his Insanity, not in the Real world. The options to the referee are as
follows:
The innocent man in the park did actually have a camera and that was enough to
spark off Hatcher's Insanity. The van was real but was empty. The equipment only
ever belonged to Hatcher's Insanity. Martine Beckworth, forger and small-time
criminal will be exceedingly wary of dealing with Hatcher in future.
There was no man and there was no van. Hatcher harassed thin air and then
proceeded to throw a fit in the middle of the street.
A Fugue (see next section) comes into being around Hatcher. The cameraman,
van and monitoring equipment temporarily become Real. Hatcher has just
murdered somebody and the authorities are going to try very hard to catch him.
In the game, the first option is usually the best one to go for if circumstances allow it.
Ground them in a slightly altered reality and ensure that their actions still have an effect
in the Real world. The second option can also work in certain circumstances (if a Heretic
has a conversation with a creation of an Insanity - who are they talking to?) but can
mean that the players will begin to think that everything they see is just a dream (a
dangerous assumption as these dreams can kill). The third option, the Fugue, is the
strangest of the three and needs to be discussed in more detail.

Fugues
A Fugue is a manifestation of the Insanity for all those present, be they Heretic, Hidden
or Sane. Inside the Fugue, everybody experiences the Insanity as if it were Real, but for
the duration of the Fugue, all normal people within it are actually part of the Insanity.
In the example above, the people watching Hatcher smash the van to pieces might try to
stop him, calling for the police or ducking the glass fragments spraying from the back of
the van. To these people, there is recording equipment in the van and the people in the
van were monitoring Hatcher for some unknown reason. They react to Hatcher's violent
actions; calling the police, screaming for him to stop etc. But they do this only inside the
Fugue. In the Real World, they go about their business as normal. In the Real World,
there is no van, no madman - just another ordinary day.
The fact that the people inside the Fugue become part of Hatcher's Insanity does not
mean that Hatcher has any control over their actions. A Heretic has no control over their
Insanity and it is possible for elements of an Insanity to harm or kill any Heretic that
gets in its way.
If the Heretic breaks free of the Fugue, life returns to normal and the people in the Fugue
cease to be fragments of the Insanity. Although the event happened to all Heretics
present, it did not happen in the Real world and no repercussions will occur from the
event.
In the example above, if Hatcher manages to get away without being captured by the
police, the Fugue will cease to be. If he gets arrested he will remain within the Fugue
until he escapes. After all, the police that arrested him for the crime of smashing up the
monitoring van could hardly be real. If Martine was a witness to the van incident and
was also caught up in the Fugue, what she remembers about the incident could be
different to Hatcher's memories. She might remember Hatcher running off shouting,
perhaps even remember him beating some man to a bloody pulp. She will not remember
incidents within the Fugue because it has ended and the Martine within the Fugue was
not the real Martine.
Because the only Real creatures in a Fugue are Heretics and Hidden, if any are killed or
injured within the Fugue, they suffer these effects in the Real world also. If Hatcher had
been injured during the Fugue, he would remain wounded even when the Fugue ended.
Heretics must also be wary of trying to take items from Fugues as this means that the
Fugue will continue as long as they have the item, although items taken will simply

cease to exist once their existence is no longer verified by a Heretic or Hidden. For its
existence to be verified, it must be being carried or be visible. If Hatcher was to take a
camera from the Fugue above, the Fugue would not end until he threw the camera away.
If he brings the camera home and puts it to one side as he leaves the room, it will not be
there when he comes back for it. The Fugue will have ended and Reality will have
repaired itself.
"I belong to a powerful secret society."
The character believes that they work for an organisation such as the Bavarian
Illuminati. Whether or not that organisation actually exists should not concern the
referee as it is the character's Insanity and, as such, definitely doesn't exist. As with any
Insanity, the referee asks the player for more information. During this discussion, the
referee is free to alter the player's interpretation of their Insanity to suit the game. In this
example, the referee and player decide that the character believes that the Society
controls many facets of everyday life and are fighting a secret war with another society.
The character is of no real importance within the organisation and is occasionally asked
to do 'jobs' for them.
Joe Green, member of the Society, and Ricky 'The Bullet' McMann, another Heretic and
bare-knuckle fighter, are having a meal in a plush restaurant. A man wearing an
expensive suit and carrying a paper bag comes up to the table and sits down, sliding the
bag under the table. He looks at Joe and says, "The instructions are in the bag." He gets
up and leaves without saying another word.
In the bag is a silenced 9mm automatic and a piece of paper with an address and the
words, "KILL THEM ALL" typed on it. Ricky drives to the address under duress and
waits in the car while Joe does the business. They later throw the bag and gun off a
bridge and drive to a hotel where McMann sits Joe in a chair and tells him that he'll kill
him if he ever gets put in a spot like that again. Joe is too stressed out by the night's
events to care. His work for the Society is beginning to get stranger...
This encounter might not strike other players as odd (but they might wonder why the
murders do not get reported). This situation is an excellent example of the mind games
that can be played with players. If the Society isn't real, then the man in the restaurant
wasn't real and if he wasn't real, the gun can't have been real. And if the gun wasn't real,
the family can't have been real (you can't kill anybody with an imaginary gun).
So what would happened if they had kept the pistol? They would still be inside the

Fugue, a family would have been murdered and the characters would be being hunted by
the police. This would continue until the characters severed all links to the events of the
night before.
What if one of the characters visited the house the next day? If there is a completely
different family living in the house, acting as if they have lived there or years, Joe Green
will merely assume that they have been planted there by the Society. Of course, you
could mess with their heads further by having the house filled with corpses...
Other example Insanities are listed below:
"I am being followed by a man."
What if the person following the character wanted them dead? Obviously the person
following the character can not be permanently killed and could easily change their
appearance if the character does kill them. Why does the person want the character
dead?
"I am a ghost-hunter in Victorian London."
This character will slip into Fugues in which the twentieth century never happened.
They ignore modern technology and it might not be a good idea to try and force it on
them...
"Demons come from fire if you look at it."
This character will avoid all naked flames and will panic if any are around. The other
characters will mock until fires start to explode and the demons come...
"Machines are alive."
This character gets messages from ATM machines, telephone switchboards and other
machinery and they will be careful with all automatic machinery. Of course, some
machines is benign, others are hateful and jealous. But what if machines began to look
like people?
"I collect souls to save my own."
This character collects signatures in blood on contracts, the text of which is an anagram
of its true meaning. They will also bring with them an implicit belief in God and the
Devil and all the baggage that goes with it.
"I talk to the dead on the telephone."
Very occasionally the dead have something useful to say, but mainly they scream a lot
and can eventually disrupt all telephone conversations for other Heretics. It is only a

matter of time before they start messing with the television and you haven't been able to
listen to the radio for years...

Insanities in Play
It is important for the players to consider the manifestations of their insanities to be as
real as the world around them, they should never consider them to be a dream or an
unreal happening. In this game, an Insanity can kill you as easily as a runaway car. The
Insanities of the player characters and NPC's offer an amazing amount of scope in play,
as well as providing the referee with numerous sub-plots which will involve the
characters directly. While an Insanity can never be cured without the Heretic dying, the
characters can always investigate the delusions and try to find out more about them.
Do not feel that a character's Insanity must be visible and apparent all the time. The
player characters are assumed to be relatively young Heretics (reborn within the last ten
years) and their Insanities only come into effect intermittently. Introduce the delusions
subtly and ensure that they never know what is the true Reality (as they used to know it).
As the characters' delusions are still weak, they will not instantly be apparent to the
other characters. Take the example of a Heretic who hears the voices of the dead on the
telephone and radio. At first the other characters will mock, not fully believing that the
voices are present. But as they spend more time with that Heretic, they will begin to hear
the voices of the dead also. The Insanities of the more powerful Heretics are stronger
and more instantly apparent and Insanities grow in power as the Heretic grows older and
more powerful until eventually they become that Heretic's world. They then cease to
exist in the real world. This is why there are no old Heretics, despite their apparent
immortality.
Be wary of making the world too fantastic and unbelievable. The essence of Heretics is
that these events always happen without anyone really seeing or understanding them. By
avoiding overt and spectacular weirdness (such as the dead of the world rising from the
grave, or the destruction of towns by monstrous forces) you will heighten the weirdness
(and realism) of the world the characters live in. By integrating Insanities and Fugues
with everyday life, the characters will be more willing to accept them if they fail to
realise that they aren't Real. Then when you hit them with the really twisted versions of
Reality, they will accept them as they would any other.
It is also best to let the characters find out about each other's Insanities the hard way - by
experiencing them. Heretics rarely talk about their Insanities as, to them, they're simply

part of everyday life.


The last thing to be careful of is players that assume that just because their characters are
mad, they have to kill people for no reason and act irrationally all the time. This should
be discouraged. The characters are only considered mad because of their different belief
system. There's a subtle difference between insanity and stupidity. If players insist on
taking serial killers, the death of innocents is always regarded badly by the other
Heretics in London as it draws unwanted attention to them.

Heretical Abilities
Using Heretical Abilities
To use their abilities, Heretics roll against the appropriate skill and decrease their Reality
by the required amount. In general, they must be touching the person that they intend to
effect.
Decreasing Reality to use a Heretical Ability is known as burning Reality. Reality burnt
is only temporarily lost and is regained by performing the Purification ritual. Reality is
always burned before the roll is made and, if the the roll is unsuccessful, the Reality is
still lost. Reality is burned at three intensities; minor, major andsuperior. Minor uses of
abilities will take the longest to come into effect or will only last for a short amount of
time. The costs in Reality of burning at the three intensities are as follows:
Intensity
Minor (MIN)
Major (MAJ)
Superior (SUP)

Cost
1 Reality
3 Reality
7 Reality

The effects of Heretical Abilities are either duration-based and/or time-based.


Duration-based Heretical Abilities last a certain amount of time depending on the
intensity (min, maj, sup) and the amount the skill roll is made by. Time-based Abilities
take a certain amount of time to come into effect, depending on the intensity and the
result of an open-ended d10 roll. The table below shows the possible variations in
Duration and Time for Heretical Abilities.
Level
Minor (MIN)
Major (MAJ)
Superior (SUP)

Duration
1 round per.
1 minute per.
1 hour per.

Time
1d10 hours
1d10 minutes
1d10 rounds

Duration-based abilities last for 1 round/minute/hour for each point the skill roll is made
with a minimum of one time unit for a bare success. A Time-based ability comes into
effect 1d10 rounds, minutes or hours after a character burns the appropriate amount of
Reality. To successfully use a time-based ability, the character must concentrate for the
time determined by the roll. If they lose concentration, the attempt fails but the Reality is
still burned.
General Skills
Hidden Sight
Alter Flesh
SkinWalking
Purification
ShadowWalking

Specialisations
Viewing, Directing, Cleansing, Masking, Channelling
Healing, Manipulation, Returning
Instructing, Possessing
Purification
ShadowWalking

Feel no Pain
Heretical Abilities are not affected by a character's normal AAM (all other skills and
stats are still affected). These abilities are affected by AAMs inflicted by cold iron
weapons (see The Taboo of Iron).
Permanence
If a character uses a duration-based ability which is effective for 24 hours or more, the
effect is permanent. This will only be negated when the Heretic uses the Heretical
Ability again to permanently reverse the effects. For example, one who permanently
removes their Aura (using Hidden Sight) can only regain it if they perform another
Hidden Sight and make it last 24 hours or more. It is important to note that the 24 hour
duration must come from one ability use and not the combination of many, with the
durations being added together.
Verification
It is impossible to leave or enter the Real world if your existence is verified by others.
The verification does not have to be in person, close circuit cameras will do the same
job. The presence of Heretics of Hidden does not apply in this case as they are well
aware of the existence of ShadowWalking and people's inability to see things which
aren't there. It is also impossible to use a Heretical Ability listed as Visible in front of the
Sane. Only those abilities listed as being Concealed can be used with normal people
watching.

Rituals
It is possible to increase the efficiency of a Heretical ability by turning it into a ritual.

The form the ritual takes will be different for every Heretic but, like purification, all
rituals require almost complete concentration to perform (other Heretics can be present
at a ritual). A ritual gives a +5 bonus to the skill. Purification is the exception as it is
already a ritual.
A ritual takes three hours and requires the initiant to sacrifice some flesh (2d10 points of
damage with a cold iron weapon). The only common elements to all rituals are that
water must be present in one form or another. It must be enclosed in some way and
cannot be flowing. Salt must also be present and is used to draw symbols on the ground.
It is also rubbed into the wound made by the cold iron weapon. The last element is the
drawing of appropriate words and symbols on the Heretic's flesh. Some, such as the
Crossword Man, have tattooed these on their bodies so as to permanently carry them
around with them.

Criticals
Critical successes and failures occur on natural rolls of 1's or 20's. A critical success on a
duration-based roll doubles the duration. A critical success on a time or effect-based
ability either halves the time or doubles the effect. For example a critical Alter Flesh
might heal 12 AAM instead of 6 or allow a person to return from death in 4 minutes
instead of eight.
If duration-based rolls are critically failed, the Heretic cannot perform that ability for the
amount of time they have failed the roll by. When altering their flesh, they could cause
themselves damage equal to the amount they failed the roll by or might distort their
body into a grotesque shape. Critically failing a skinwalk will trap the Heretic inside
their own head (an undoubtedly dark, unpleasant place) for the amount of time they
failed the roll by. A Hidden Sight attempt could signpost the Heretic for all to see.
Purification cannot be critically failed or succeeded.

To Kill a Heretic
Heretics are notoriously hard to kill if you don't know what you're doing. As Heretics
can regenerate sufficiently to Return when they are dead, you must ensure that the
damage you cause cannot be healed. This involves the three main organs; the brain, the
heart and the liver. Remove any one of these from the body and the Heretic cannot
Return.
If a Heretic returns from death while buried alive or sealed in concrete; they will live for

as long as it takes their new environment to kill them. If their head, heart or liver are not
returned to the body, the Heretic will never come back but will still be alive - forever.
The head of Carl Bayer was removed from his body in 1673 and kept as a relic by a cult.
For twenty years Carl looked out through eyes which refused to decay. In 1693, the head
was recaptured and placed on top of his body. It took three days for the head to rejoin
with his body (1d10 days for player characters to rejoin with a severed limb or essential
organ) and for his flesh to be completely healed. Ten years later, Bayer's heart was cut
out and burned by a witch-hunter. His body was buried at a crossroads with an iron
spike through the heart. A friend of Bayer's eventually exhumed his corpse and
consumed Bayer's brain and liver to end his torment. Bayer looked out of the friend's
eyes and lived in his dreams until the friend died over a century later.
The bodies of Heretics do not decay (and the Heretic is not truly dead) until the Soul is
gone. The Soul is transferred to another creature if the three essential organs are
consumed. The Hidden know this and will quickly crack through the ribcage of any
downed Heretics to get at their fleshy souls, taking 10+2d10 combat rounds to break
bones, rip the organs out and eat the organs. If they are successful, the Heretic's soul
belongs to the Hidden and the Heretic ceases to exist as a human being.

The Taboo of Iron


Since the discovery of iron, mankind has used the metal as a defence against demons.
This race belief created a weapon that can be used against both Hidden and Heretic
alike. However, the refinement of the belief over the centuries has meant that only cold
iron can affect the Hidden, steel is of no use. The forging of cold-iron weapons and
implements involves a ritual, without which the metal is useless against the Hidden or
Heretics. The ritual, once known, can even be performed by normal people. Most of the
cold iron weapons to be found have been forged by older Heretics to fight the Hidden
and some have been forged by cults to fight Heretic and Hidden alike.
The main danger to the Hidden from cold iron is that damage done by the metal is not
regenerated without Sleeping (see later). If a Hidden touches cold iron, it must pass a
WIL check or become panicked (-5 for 1d10 rounds). Any Hidden that carry iron
weapons wear cloth wrappings over their hands and keep the weapons in bound
scabbards to prevent accidental contact. Many Hidden, for these reasons, do not carry
iron weapons.
If a Heretic is injured by an iron weapon, they must Alter Flesh at one level higher than

normal to heal the injury. For example, a Heretic trying to heal a wound in minutes
would have to spend 7 points of Reality. If they wanted to heal the wound in hours, it
would cost 3 points of Reality. It is not possible to heal the wound using only 1 point of
Reality.
If a Heretic is bound in cold iron they are unable to use any of their Heretical Abilities.
To qualify as being bound, a Heretic has to be restricted in some way. It can vary from
having a loop of iron chain locked around their hands to being sealed within an iron box.
In addition, Hidden Sight cannot 'see' through iron using Hidden Sight.
In September, 1994, Jack Faraday was captured by the Cult of the Bleeding Rose. They
took his body to a small room in a cult-house and nailed it to the floor. Then they
hammered four-inch iron nails at three inch intervals into the floor, walls and ceiling.
Faraday could not return from the dead, purify, alter his flesh or channel a message to
the other Heretics in London. He was there for two days while the cult slowly
dismembered him, watching his body being destroyed through eyes that were sewn
open. On the dawn of the third day, eighteen hours before his heart was to be eaten by
Ferenzi himself, Faraday was rescued by Phillip Richards and James Bishop. The deaths
of the twelve cultists killed during the rescue were covered up by the cult elders.
It is possible to mould bullets from cold iron. However the brittle metal tends to
fragment when exposed to the stresses common in a weapon breech. This results in the
gun exploding and the person firing it getting a faceful of cold iron and steel fragments.
To simulate this, firearms firing cold iron bullets explode if an 18, 19 or 20 is rolled and
the person firing will take full damage from the weapon in two different locations,
including roll-ups.

Hidden Sight
This ability allows Heretics to sense those around them, tell a Hidden from a human or
send messages to other people with Heretical Abilities. It can be used without touching
the target.
Viewing (Duration-based, Concealed)
This is the most basic use of Hidden Sight, when a character uses this ability they can
'see' the auras of those around them. The view is like staring into a badly tuned black
and white television set, where the people in the picture glow as though lit from inside
and the dialogue can be heard but not understood. The image is indistinct and makes it
difficult to concentrate (all tasks at -5 due to the disorientating nature of the vision).

The aura of the Hidden are indistinct and flickering, that of the weaker Hidden can be
hard to spot among the background noise. It gets stronger and more distinct the closer
the Hidden gets to becoming Real. The aura of other Heretics is in proportion to their
remaining Reality, the more they possess, the stronger their aura appears. Normal
people's auras burn with the greatest vigour, that of anything with less than full Reality
is weak in comparison.
The range and area of Hidden Sight is unlimited. It can cover a single room, a building,
a city, a country or the entire world. Hidden Sight can also tell you if the people within
this field are Heretics (-5 if Heretic has Reality 20), Hidden or normal mortals. The
relative location of every individual in the area of effect is also known. It is not possible
to tell the difference between Believers and Unbelievers using Hidden Sight.
Hidden Sight used over an area is undirected and is instantly detectable by any creatures
or Heretics in its field. The Hidden can work their way back to the source of a Hidden
Sight as fast as they can run on all fours. In addition, the Hidden Sight can be reversed
(Hidden Sight - 5) and everyone will know where you are. This is a directed roll which
requires no contagion and is directed against the person making the initial search.
Because of this danger, it is normal to either direct a Hidden Sight attempt or focus it on
a small area.
Directing Hidden Sight (Duration-based, Concealed)
To direct a Hidden Sight, a character must use a contagion, which is an intimate piece of
the intended target's body. This usually means blood, sweat, hair clippings or other body
parts. To direct the Hidden Sight, the contagion must be eaten just before the attempt is
made. A directed Hidden Sight is only detected if the target makes a successful -10
Hidden Sight roll.
Cleansing (Duration-based, Concealed)
Once a Hidden Sight is directed using a contagion, the body of the target has been
'cleansed' and only fresh contagion will suffice. Even if you possessed a bottle of your
target's blood and used only the tiniest amount, the remainder is of no further use.
Because of this, it is important to cleanse your body to nullify all previous contagion.
This is done by performing a Directed Hidden Sight on your own flesh. All past
contagion is then useless to pursuers.
It is not possible to perform a directed Hidden Sight using only a possession of the
target, such as a favourite watch or clean handkerchief. However, one Heretic in

London, known as The Finder (Phillip Richards), can perform Hidden Sight on these
items. He helps the police locate missing persons and find the bodies of murder victims.
Masking your Aura (Duration-based, Concealed)
Hidden Sight can also be used to mask your own aura, making it look like that of a
normal human or removing it altogether. It is not possible for a Heretic to project the
aura of a Hidden and vice versa. When the aura is masked completely, a directed Hidden
Sight attempt will only give the location of the target accurate to 10% of the distance
involved. If the masking attempt fails, you can repeat it until it is successful. If the
duration of the search is greater than that of the mask, it can be reapplied without the
attempt being noticeable.
Channelling (Duration-based, Concealed)
Hidden Sight can be used to send messages to other Heretics and Hidden. These can be
directed and are detected in a similar manner to Viewing or a directed Hidden Sight.

Alter Flesh
The flesh and bones of a Heretic's body can be manipulated and altered to heal wounds
or bring the Heretic back from death.
Healing Wounds (Time-based, Visible)
To heal wounds, roll Alter Flesh and for every point under the number required, 1 AAM
is healed (minimum of 1 AAM). The wounds are only healed if the character is
undisturbed for the preparation time. No AAM penalty is lost until the time has elapsed.
It takes 1d10 weeks to regrow a body part (irrespective of its size) and 1d10 days to
reattach a severed limb or removed organ.
Body Manipulation (Time-based, Visible)
When altering your body form, you cannot lose or gain weight and the length and width
of any part of the body cannot be altered by more than 50%. This means that while
squeezing through a letter-box is impossible, getting through a cat-flap should not prove
too difficult, although during this procedure, all actions are at -5. It would be bad if it
wore off half-way through a small place (4d10-6d10 points of damage).
While it is possible to alter your flesh in such a way as to grow teeth or claws, Heretics
who continually do so are called ferals and are ostracised even among society's
outsiders.
Altering your facial features to look like another person is a hard or very hard (-5 or -10)

skill roll, depending on whether or not you want to fool someone who has never seen the
person or fool a friend of the person. Obviously there is more to impersonating
somebody than just looking vaguely like them, it can also take some difficult InterPersonal rolls and a certain amount of stupidity on the part of the mark.
Returning (Time-based, Concealed)
A Heretic can never be killed without their soul being taken (see To Kill A Heretic).
They can still look out through their eyes, if they still have them, perhaps even scream a
little (even if no-one can hear them). To come back from the dead is a straight, timebased Alter Flesh roll (Superior to come back in 1d10 rounds). It is not necessary for the
fatal wounds to be healed for them to come back; they will be alive, if still badly injured.
When a Heretic is dead, the only Heretical Ability they can use is to Return. It is not
possible to use any of the other Heretical Abilities. If a Heretic is dead and cannot burn
any more Reality, they are at the mercy of those around them.
One Heretic can bring another one back from the dead but cannot alter the flesh of
another Heretic if that Heretic (or Hidden) does not want them to. It is possible to alter
the flesh of mortals or bring them back from the dead, but unlike Heretics, the effects are
temporary (both time and duration based).

SkinWalking
This ability is the one that helped damn the Heretics in the eyes of the Church in the
16th century (more so than Alter Flesh surprisingly). There are two parts to
SkinWalking; either entering the body of another fully or treating it like your own or
merely giving instructions to that person. It is not possible to use contagion to SkinWalk.
A SkinWalk attempt takes one combat round to perform and requires physical contact
between the two parties. It is impossible to SkinWalk another Heretic or Hidden.
Instructing (Duration-based, Concealed)
To give someone an instruction which they must carry out is an opposed roll, the
Instructing specialisation opposed against the target's WIL. A successful roll means that
they will cater for your every whim for the duration (rounds, minutes or hours), even if
that instruction means harming themselves or others. A person under instruction will not
appear to be acting normally, their faces will twitch and their eyes will look about them
in a manner totally unconnected with their behaviour. The more extreme the instruction,
the more apparent it will be that the person is being controlled by an outside entity. If a
person is instructed to forget an encounter, they will do so, but only for as long as the

Instruction holds.
Possessing (Duration-based, Concealed)
The other part to SkinWalking is to climb inside the person's head and move their body
around as if it were your own. Acclimatising yourself with the new body takes 1d10
rounds, during which time the limbs will jerk uncontrollably and movements will be
difficult and spasmodic. During the possession, the original body of the Heretic lies
motionless, drooling and barely alive. The Heretic can leave the possessed body at any
time, it does not need to be touching its original body to return to it.
When the effect of the SkinWalk is about to wear off, another SkinWalk attempt can be
made which will renew the time inside the other body. When the Heretic leaves the
possessed body, the previous owner is stunned and incapable of movement for 1d10
rounds. Because of the time needed to acclimatise to the new body, total possession is
rarely done with a minor roll unless it is being used to incapacitate the intended victim.
If a Heretic is in another body and someone finds their original body and hammers a sixinch cold iron spike through its head, they will be unable to return to that body. When
the SkinWalk wears off they will have to remain in possession of the new body or cease
to exist. This will involve more Possessing rolls and a desperate search for their original
body.
I met her in a place of her choosing. She was a man then, and he came in person
surrounded by his puppets. He and wanted me to find his body and handed me a charred
cigarette lighter. Someone had done a neat job on his original body, but he was
convinced it was still alive. He was scared and desperate but knew I never turned down
a job. I handed him back the lighter and walked away. The Walker had become like the
Hidden, using and casting aside those around him as he desperately held onto his
existence. As I turned my back on his threats, I hoped that if it ever happened to me I
would still be human enough to die.
Phillip Richards, 1991 London
When possessing another person, all skills remain the same, as do non-physical stats.
The only things that change are the physical stats (STR, CON and DEX). The Heretic
can also perform all of their Heretical Abilities as if they were in their original bodies.
One exception is the Returning specialisation of Alter Flesh. If the possessed body dies,
the Heretic returns to their original body immediately. If the Heretic has no original
body the essence of the Heretic is in limbo until its original body can be re-entered.

Purification
Purification is the ritual by which the Heretic regains Reality. It requires an environment
free from outside distractions and, like all rituals, takes three hours to perform. The
Purification ritual takes a different form for every Heretic. Some go into a trance-like
state, others merely sleep, the stranger ones perform acts of minor self-mutilation or
flagellation, beating out prayers to a god that only they can hear.
Purification (Ritual, Visible)
If the Purification roll is successful, the amount of Reality regained after a successful
Purification attempt ishalf the amount of Reality missing (rounding up). For example, if
you have 4 points of Reality, a successful Purification will give you 8 back (4 Reality
means you are down 16, half of this is 8). If you have 12 points of Reality, you would
gain four back.
The act of Purification costs no Reality to perform.

ShadowWalking
When the Hidden are in the Shadows, they are outside normal people's perceptions and
cannot be seen by the Sane. Unable to touch or interact with the Real world, they lurk in
the dark and wait for their feed-prey, the mortal who will validate their existence long
enough to make them that little bit more Real.
ShadowWalking (Duration-based, Visible)
When a Heretic ShadowWalks, they cannot move so much as a piece of paper, open
doors or windows. People in the Real world become moving statues which cannot be
physically harmed in any way. When in the Shadows the sun is cold and all colours
appear muted and pale. The Shadows has its advantages. Believers might sense your
presence but they are too tightly constricted by their sanity to truly see what is in front of
them. The Unbelievers remain ignorant, unseeing, always incapable of belief. Of course,
other Heretics and the Hidden are not restricted by the notion of sanity and can see you
perfectly.
Pain
The main disadvantage of ShadowWalking is the inability to interact with the Real
world. Heretics in the Shadows are trapped in a room if the door is shut, they could not
break the window if they hit it with a sledgehammer.
When interacting with the Real world while ShadowWalking, a Heretic's DL is halved.

Damage from unarmed attacks are not halved as normal and accidental contacts are
treated as normal unarmed damage. In this way, a normal unarmed attack could do 7 or 8
points of damage (-2 or -3 AAM). Even staying out in heavy rain will do -1 AAM every
minute.
Perceptions
Understanding the effects of Shadowwalking comes down to understanding the various
perceptions of the people or things watching. Take a Heretic walking through leaves
blowing in the wind. Another Heretic will see a man or woman walking through leaves
(their face a grimace of pain as the leaves smack against bone). A Believer will see a
vague shape within the leaves, only visible when not looking directly at it. An
Unbeliever will see nothing but leaves blowing in the street. Reality is in the eyes of the
beholder. If there is nothing there then most people will see nothing.
The Lie of Perception
Everyone sees their own reality, but not everybody sees the same Reality. When a
Heretic sees a Hidden in a room, their version of Reality is different to that of the other
normal people in the room. The Heretic makes room in his mind for the presence of the
Hidden and reacts accordingly. If the Hidden were to leap onto a person's back in the
room (while still ShadowWalking), that person would feel nothing. If that person were to
lean back against a wall, the view perceived by the Heretic would begin to differ from
that of the others in the room. Everyone else would see the person lean flush against the
wall but the Heretic would see the Hidden in some pain, crushed partially by the
person's immovable weight. The person would not be resting against the wall but would
instead be resting on the struggling Hidden. Two completely different views of the same
event.
If a Heretic was Shadowwalking and, while following a person through a door, had it
swing shut on them. The Heretic fails an Athletics check to get out of the way and is
trapped by the door. To the Blind the door is fully shut - after all there was nothing in its
way. But the Heretic is between the door and the jamb so the door cannot close, which is
what other Heretics will see. To the trapped Heretic, the door would feel like a heavy
marble slab closing on their body. They would take 1d10 points of damage every round
until they managed to get free. The pressure comes from the door needing to be where it
obviously is (shut, not open) and it will remorselessly exert that pressure until it reaches
that state.

Creating Spaces
It is possible to bring items with you when Shadowwalking - if it were not Heretics
would go through naked and defenceless. Anything the Heretic is carrying without
inconvenience can be taken through for the usual cost (1,3 or 7 for rounds, minutes or
hours). Any items made of cold iron such as knives, swords, meat cleavers or
sledgehammers cost an additional point of Reality (regardless of the time spent
Shadowwalking). Items such as jerrycans of petrol or rucksacks of food cost 3 additional
points of Reality and larger items (up to the weight of the Heretic) cost an additional 7
points of Reality.
Items which are brought through are there for good unless the Heretic is touching them
when they leave. They do not automatically return to the Real world. For example,
James has a body he wants rid of and the police are knocking on the door. He does a
minor Shadowwalk taking the body with him. The minor Shadowwalk costs 1 point of
reality, the body costs another 7 Reality, making a total of 8. James lets go of the body
and bounces back after a few combat rounds but the body remains where it is, in the
open but invisible to the Sane.
If a living person is brought through and left, they do not automatically return. A Heretic
or Hidden can simply ShadowWalk them back to the Real world but if the person gains
any Reality when in the Shadows, they become one of the Shadows' inhabitants and
must regain the Reality lost when they were brought into the Shadows. This means
acquiring Reality from the other Hidden by killing them. They will have to struggle over
centuries to become Real and in doing so they will lose their humanity and become as
twisted and sadistic as the things they once thought to be hideous creatures.
Coming Back
The last thing to mention is that, once ShadowWalking, you are there for the duration of
the roll. If you leave using another shadowwalking roll, you return to the Real world
only for the duration of that roll.

The Hidden
The Hidden is a general term used to describe the creatures which lurk on the edges on
humanity's subconscious imaginings, constantly seeking ways to enter the Real world
and become Real themselves. Life for them is a constant struggle - both to survive the

purges of their own kind and the actions of those the church call Heretics. The Hidden
adopt many forms; occasionally through choice, mostly because they know no other.
To become Real, the Hidden have to gain Reality and adopt a human form. They become
more Real through killing other Hidden and interacting with humanity (which usually
means killing them). In the act of murder, they validate their own existence. After all,
people aren't killed by a non-existent creature, are they? Somethinghad to have killed
them.
After they have killed, the Hidden always cover their tracks. They have no intention of
letting humanity know of their existence. Any who transgress this ruling are killed by
the Hidden masters, the ones at the top of the Hidden power structure. This law means
that the weaker Hidden prey on the loners in society; vagrants, hitchhikers and
criminals. The law was passed after attempts to bring hundreds of Hidden through ended
in a massacre by humans instructed in killing them by Heretics working openly for the
first time in written history (although the records were concealed by the church in the
eleventh century).

Hidden Abilities
The Hidden have all of the abilities of the Heretics such as Hidden Sight and
SkinWalking. A Hidden's maximum Reality is its skill in using these abilities. The
Hidden also have the following special abilities:
They regenerate to half their current AAM at the end of every round.
The Hidden do not go unconscious and can never be eventually fatal. They are
either alive and trying to fight or flee, or they're dead. When they die, they
decompose quickly into thousands of Hidden maggots and worms, and begin the
struggle all over again.
The Hidden do not instantly regenerate damage inflicted by iron weapons. They
also do not regain Reality through Purification. To regenerate iron damage and
regain Reality, the Hidden have to Sleep for three hours. During the Sleep they are
completely unaware of their surroundings and cannot wake up for any reason.
Obviously most Hidden make sure that they are in a location which is inaccessible
to humans while they sleep.
The Hidden can alter their flesh at no Reality cost, growing extra teeth, or
lengthening their limbs. They cannot alter their features to look like different
people unless they look reasonably human too begin with (they find this difficult

at the best of times). When the Hidden are stressed or angry, roll their Willpower
(Mental stat). A failure means that they begin to look more inhuman as they ready
themselves for fight or flight.
The Hidden can move incredibly quickly although they tend to go on all fours to
get up to speed. In one combat round, from a standing start, the Hidden can move
ten metres but they keep moving, they can move their Physical stat in metres each
combat round.
Each Hidden does 1d10 + DB points of damage with their hands, feet or teeth.
Unlike normal Unarmed Combat damage, this is not halved when applied.
The Hidden can ShadowWalk to come from the Shadows into the Real world but
they can also come through for 1d10 rounds for no Reality cost. Between periods
of Sleep, the Hidden can come through an amount of times equal to their
maximum Reality. For example, a Hidden with Reality 8 can come through eight
times between Sleeps.

Becoming Real
To forever leave the Shadows and join humanity, the Hidden must have a full covering
of human skin and hair as well as a Reality of 10 or higher. In addition, none of their
stats can be higher than 20. This usually means that certain Hidden are prevented from
becoming Real as they are unwilling to lose their enormous physical characteristics. The
world is full of Hidden with a STR, CON and DEX of 30 who will not become Real
until they voluntarily make themselves weaker to fit into humanity's perception of
'normal'.
For game purposes, each Hidden has a relative numeric rating, from 1 to 60, with 1
being the weakest and 60 being the highest rating possibly attainable. As each Hidden
goes through the years gathering strength, their rating increases. With each increase the
Hidden subconsciously decides where the point will be added; to Physical stats and
skills, to Mental stats and skills or to their Reality. A Hidden's Reality cannot be higher
than his Mental level. It is possible for a Hidden to become Real long before he has
reached his prime, although the lack of willingness to abandon their physical abilities
means that many are close to their prime when they do come through.
A Hidden's Physical stat is their skill level for the Physical skill
category, Unarmed combat and Melee combat. A Hidden's DL is half their Physical stat.
Their Mental stat gives their skill level for all other skills. A referee can deny a Hidden

any base in certain skills if they have not acquired enough formal instruction to learn the
skill. A Hidden's Firearms skill uses their Mental stat and their Reality is their Heretical
Abilities' skill level.
For example, a Hidden with Physical 26 and Mental 7 would use a cleaver (or its teeth)
at a skill level of 26 but would drive a car, shoot a gun and debate at a skill level of 7. It
would also have a DL of 13 and would only die if 130 points of damage were inflicted in
one blow.
When a Hidden does become Real, it loses all of the natural abilities of the Hidden, the
regeneration, the free flesh alteration and the ability to increase their stats through
killing. In many respects they become like the Heretics that hunt them, except that they
are perfectly sane and hate all humans with an almost religious zeal.
The various and many forms of the Hidden are described on the following pages.

Grubs
Stats Physical 1, Mental 0, Reality 0
These are the smallest and puniest of all of the Hidden. They look like maggots, ninelegged spiders and other parasites of filth and mess. Grubs can be found in the dark
places in the world, under beds, between walls and moving carefully through mankind's
refuse. At night they emerge and are drawn close to sleeping creatures. They run over
their faces, lingering over the mouth and nose, trying to insinuate themselves into their
dreams. Mankind's resistance to rational thinking is weakened during sleep and the
grubs use this fact.
Grubs are rarely harmful, some have a stinging bite but one on its own will never prove
deadly, although the wounds can sometimes fester. In game terms, grubs are only
dangerous when a large group of them has been disturbed. They will then swarm over
the intruder, dropping on their heads and trying to get inside their clothing to feed on the
victim's Reality. Treat a swarm of these grubs as a creature with a DL of 1, doing a 1d10
points of damage every other round. Reduce the damage by 1 for every -1 AAM the
group has sustained. It takes 1d10 rounds to sweep grubs from clothing (any inside your
clothing will remain there until you return to the Real world and can no longer harm
you).
The Grubs' inability to ShadowWalk to the Real world means that they are only of the
most minimal danger when a Heretic is Shadowwalking. They are not solitary creatures

as their life is an endless cycle of consumption and rebirth, the weak being devoured by
the strong in the struggle to become Real.

Nestlings
Stats Physical 2 to 8, Mental 1, Reality 0
Nestlings are the next stage and can be as large as rats or small dogs. In this stage the
first glimmers of intelligence begin to show. Nestlings group together in nests to prey on
other Nestlings, those within each nest do not attack each other. They resemble rats with
larger heads than normal, complete with a full set of overgrown teeth. Some have insectlike armour over their bodies, their legs segmented and stick-like. The eyes of Nestlings
reflect the light, shining like pinpricks from the dark places in cities.
Each Nest is led by the King, a group of Nestlings whose bodies are intertwined and are
beginning to meld. The immobile King sits over the Nest, new limbs gradually extruding
from the bloated bodies, issuing its silent commands to the other Nestlings. The Nest
brings food to the King; feeding it, preparing it for the change. Eventually one part of
the King turns and eats the other parts. Over the night, the King changes form, its new
limb taking shape, its entire body changing. The Nest then disintegrates and flees to
avoid being consumed by the newly formed creature.

Kanid (Dog things)


Stats Physical 9 to 15, Mental 2 to 6, Reality 1 to 3
They came around the corner ahead of me, a large pack, around ten in size, their
oversize heads close to ground, communicating with high-pitched yips. They looked like
greyhounds but in the yellow light, their backs shone black and the muscles and exposed
bones moved disturbingly under the slime. Two moved behind me and began to growl
darting forward and back, their razor-sharp claws scraping like metal on the concrete.
I ignored their attempts to attract my attention and kept walking, staring straight ahead,
all the time expecting the attack from behind. This was the most dangerous time. If they
sensed my fear, they would assume that I was a Believer and to a young pack, a Believer
was always worth the risk. They have only moments in the Real world but a pack this
size could reduce a man to gristle and broken bone fragments in less than twenty
seconds. Then, as suddenly as they arrived, the Kanid turned as one and raced past me
up the street. They were gone, like they had never been. Not daring to look behind me in
case one remained to watch, I quickened my step and left the warehouse area, swearing

to myself for being stupid enough to go down there in the first place.
Phillip Richards, 1994 London
The Kanid are among the more dangerous of the Hidden. They look like skinned dogs,
with huge gaping holes where normal dogs have their intestines. Their oversized heads
hang low, black ropes of drool trailing off the ground. They travel in packs, the average
size is six kanid and the leader, the largest animal, the one closest to moving to the next
stage.
The Kanid, like all primitive Hidden, stay away from the busy areas preferring the dark
back streets, preying on lone pedestrians or vagrants. They get close to their victims,
growling and snapping their teeth together. If the person shows any discomfort, either
quickening their step or looking behind them, the pack become Real. They knock their
victim to the ground where the pack attack them with savage ferocity. As Kanid can only
become Real for 1d10 rounds (including roll-ups), they must consume as much as
possible as quickly as possible. In the frenzy, Kanid can have limbs bitten off by the
other pack members.
As the Kanid become more real, their bodies begin to elongate and their claws become
capable of primitive grasping motions. They begin to look more human than animal, and
as their intelligence increases, the pack reject them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Mockers (Man Things)


Stats Physical 16 to 49, Mental 7 to 20, Reality 4 to 20
The resemblence to humanity of these Hidden varies. Most can barely pass for human,
but as they become more Real, they become virtually indistinguishable from normal
humans.
The Mockers main concern is to look human. They wrap themselves with clothes,
covering the inhuman parts of themselves. The head and hands are the first to reach a
semblance of normality. For a Hidden to fool a person into thinking they were human is
an Easy Reality roll. The Mockers rarely use firearms, preferring melee weapons such as
meat cleavers, garden shears, machetes and hatchets. They are territorial in nature, but a
powerful Mocker can enter the Ground of a lesser one without warning or permission. A
fight for territory will end with one Mocker dead or a lapdog to its new Master. All
Mockers are honour bound to keep their word when given. If a Heretic gives his word to
a Hidden and then breaks it, the Hidden must kill the Heretic or renounce his Ground for

one year. A Mocker without territory is either powerful and uncaring, or a lapdog who
lives at a Master's mercy.

Example Hidden NPCs


Fetch
Please help. My leg, I think its broken. Mister, can you hear me? Miaow... Damn"

Stats Physical 20, Mental 6, Reality 6


Fetch is adopting the form of an adult male although his limbs float freely in their
sockets, making him look like a moving rag doll. His eyes are dark weeping sores in the
pale flesh of his face and the top of his head is white bone dappled with patches of
greasy fur. He wears a woollen cap and a vomit-stained scarf to hide these marks.
Underneath his tramps coat, his chest is a mess of mouths, all endlessly grinding their
teeth together.
He lives in a deserted warehouse near the river staying in the rafters, his long fingers and
prehensile feet making him an excellent climber. Although Fetch has limited speech, he
is an excellent mimic. His favourite means of attracting prey into the warehouse is to
repeat phrases he has heard, such as a small child with a broken leg or a woman sobbing.
When the person enters the warehouse, Fetch drops on them from above, the seventeen
mouths on his chest snapping open and shut in anticipation of the feed.
He is still relatively weak and survives by running errands for the more powerful
Hidden. This has given him a good knowledge of the other Hidden in the city but he has
no intention of leaving his warehouse to claim a hunting ground of his own. He is
content to wait until his knowledge of the outside world increases. Sometimes when he
has caught someone but isn't hungry, he binds them and uses his limited Reality to
question them about the world. However if they tell him something he does not believe,
he squeals like a cat caught in a mangle and pounds their flesh into the concrete floor.
When his time is up, he throws the remains into a deep, rat infested hole in one corner of
the building.
Canaan & McGaldi
Very nosy for a human, Mr. Canaan. Indeed he is, Mr McGaldi."

Stats Physical 24, Mental 14, Reality 12


Canaan and McGaldi are a relative rarity among the Hidden in that they act as a team.

They look out for each other's interests and share their kills equally. They have a
particular hatred of Heretics and they like to make examples of those that enter their
territory. The last one they killed, Jonathon Chapman, was skinned and partially eaten.
His mutilated corpse was brought into the Shadows and hung by the feet from a lamppost. Canaan and McGaldi lingered around the area to stop other Heretics from cutting
the decomposing body down but were eventually driven off by a group led by the
renegade priest, Joshua Martens.
Of the two, Canaan is the more thoughtful and cautious. McGaldi is considered reckless
by some of the other Hidden and, were it not for Canaans intercession on several
occasions, he would now be dead. The two are close to becoming Real, their faces and
hands are almost perfect but their features are still too exaggerated and sharp, and their
expressions are too predatory to look completely
normal. At this stage in their
development, it is not their physical appearance which gives them away. They have just
not learned to act human. They move with unnatural speed and when they smile, their
mouths are filled with bone spikes rather than teeth. The hidden parts of their bodies are
bone and exposed muscle tissue. The Hidden find skin and hair to be the most difficult
things to reproduce. Canaan and McGaldis hair is natural looking, but their faces are
covered in what looks like a pasty white, greasy leather with overly large pores. Canaan
wears his hair long, matting it down with human fat, while McGaldi keeps his cut short
as he is proud of the shape of his head.
They wear a selection of clothing taken from corpses and although they kill a better
dressed people than Fetch, their clothes are still torn and bloodstained. The rips and tears
are to be expected as they move in a manner unexpected by the clothes designers (such
as running on all fours when they want to make a quick getaway). McGaldi wears a
battered leather motorbike jacket which is his pride and joy. Every time it rips, Canaan
stitches it back together, while McGaldi covers up the bulletholes and stab cuts with
black insulating tape. Canaan is currently making a skin bodysuit for his partner so that
he can go to nightclubs and score. To McGaldi's annoyance Canaan wont let him see it
until it is finished.
The pair live in an abandoned church in a quiet suburban area. The grounds and building
were deconsecrated by the church ten years ago after attendance fell to single figures
and the old parish priest died of a stroke. The furnishings were removed from the
interior, leaving only the old pews while the bodies in the graveyard were exhumed. As
no new graves had been dug in over two hundred years, most of the tombstones were

left in place when the bodies were removed. The church was then put on the market.
The houses around the church are occupied but the pair do not have the same problem as
Fetch has. When they kill, they always take the cadaver into the Shadows with them.
The walls of the church are entirely covered with the decomposing bodies of their
victims. If the church is viewed from within the Real world, there is nothing visibly
amiss. Sensitive souls, the Believers, might feel uncomfortable and unwilling to stay for
longer than is completely necessary. But in the Shadows, the stench is beyond belief, the
floor of the church is littered with pieces of decaying flesh and pools of blackened,
drying blood. The bodies hang everywhere, swaying slowly as if caught in a breeze and
the skin-ropes creak as they tighten and dry out. On the main wall of the church, behind
where the crucifix used to hang, Canaan has created a bizarre and grotesque mural out of
body parts stuck to wall by their own juices. When in the Real world, they both stink of
the abattoir they live in.
In 1984 a businessman, Nicholas Baron, was determined to turn the church into a
nightclub. Canaan and McGaldi watched the tour of the building from the rafters. The
two Hidden did not want to lose their comfortable and well decorated home so they
waited until the estate agent left and Baron was going about the church on his own. They
left the Shadows and showed Baron what his life was worth. What happened to Baron
that night drove him insane. He bought the church for the pair and occasionally provides
entertainment for them from his other clubs.
In Baron, they have the beginnings of a cult. At the moment they only use him only
when they want a plaything or to get batteries for McGaldis stereo, but with other
puppets, the pair could become very powerful. Fortunately, theyre having too much fun
to organise themselves: a trap that many fall into and is why some Hidden never become
Real.
In 1993, Joshua Martens had enough of their blasphemy. He gathered together three
other Heretics; James Bishop, Jack Faraday and the vagrant, Raincoat. At midnight, the
four Heretics and Martens disciple, John Baker, went to the church to
kill the
blaspheming dog-lovers. McGaldi got word of the attack from the traitor, Peterson and
went to Ferenzi for help. Ferenzi gave them seven heavily armed puppets and when the
Heretics arrived that night they assumed the seven were hostages and went to rescue
them. Baker lost a hand and broke both legs when McGaldi lifted him to the rafters and
dropped him onto the flagstones. Martens was hit by five shotgun blasts at close range

and died instantly. James Bishop killed five of the seven puppets and carried Martens
from the building while Faraday dragged the screaming Baker through the wall. They
never saw Raincoat again and some suspect that he was part of the price that the pair had
to pay Ferenzi. Since that night no-one has attempted direct action against the church
and Ferenzi has become the Master of the two Hidden.
Ferenzi
Survival of the fittest is the strong ruling the weak. And you humans are pitifully weak."

Stats Physical 25, Mental 18, Reality 16


Quirk Master manipulator of human emotions (skill-23)
Ferenzi is easily the most powerful (in terms of influence and maturity) Hidden in
London, all the more impressive as he is not yet Real. He has taken the form of an
attractive woman in her early thirties. His physical appearance is clinically perfect, not
only for a human but also for a Hidden mocking human standards of beauty. He has long
blond hair and a passion for expensive clothes and antiques. His country house is
opulently furnished and tastefully decorated with art from the last three centuries
although there are no doors inside the house.
Despite his age (he has looked human for two hundred years), Ferenzi has no intention
of becoming Real until he has reached his peak and has kept his Physical attributes
above normal. Ferenzis self-control is more extreme than most other Hidden who have
become Real and he has as much power in Hidden society as those that have been Real
for decades.
In person, he is polite but distant. He always pays close attention to any human as they
talk to him and his attractive outward appearance brings him many male admirers. Some
of these suitors get turned into puppets, finding their lives crumbling around them.
Others find the debauchery to be a welcome release from social responsibility and
become an active partner in Ferenzis plots. When Ferenzi needs outside work to be be
done, puppets are sent controlled by either a twisted human or one of his lapdog Hidden.
In 1972, Ferenzi befriended the heiress Madeleine Parker. Over the next two years, he
manipulated Madeleine into alienating all of her friends, reducing her to living the life of
a recluse, the clothes on her back turning rancid. She spent her days in an alcoholic
stupor, taking prescription medicines to combat her depression. Throughout this, her
only friend was Ferenzi, known to her as Juliet Ashette. When Madeleine eventually

hanged herself in the bathroom, a slow lingering death, suffocating on a curtain cord,
Juliet entered the room and, before her dying eyes, changed into a mirror image of the
heiress. The old Madeleine was buried in the woods and the new Madeleine set about
rejoining society.
Ferenzi has used Madeleines significant resources to buy other properties in London.
These are used to house his cults. The grounds of the country house are protected by
armed guards and a pack of Kanid. Ferenzi keeps them keen by bringing people into the
Shadows and giving them a three minute head-start inside the grounds.
The Heretics of London are a curiosity to Ferenzi, who finds them an endlessly
fascinating group of individuals and will sometimes help Heretics to kill Hidden which
are getting too powerful. He delights in turning the Heretics against each other. The
traitor Peterson was corrupted by Ferenzi and now she keeps Ferenzi updated on the
activities of the Heretics.
No-Nose aka 'Francis'
"Top of the world ma! Top of the world!"
Stats Physical 18, Mental 8, Reality 7
Called No-Nose for his complete inability to grow anything resembling a nose in the
centre of his face, Francis loves going to seedy cinemas to watch old gangster films. He
has many criminal contacts through his association with Frankie Fletcher (Aptitude 16),
a ruthless, violent criminal who owns a string of nightclubs and strip joints. No-Nose
lives in the roof-space of Frankie's club, The Skin Shop and has a table permanently
reserved for him near the girls. He talks like a 1940's gangster and goes completely
berserk if anybody calls him No-Nose. Very few of Fletcher's criminal friends have seen
No-Nose but all have heard of him. In many ways, Fletcher's success is down to the fear
generated by No-Nose but he has no idea that there are other things like No-Nose out
there.
Samuel Sanderson
"I'm not like the others, you can trust me."
Stats Physical 14, Mental 15, Reality 17
Quirk Good with the dead and an expert silversmith (skill-19)
Two hundred years ago, Sanderson made a deal with a Hidden named Eve Cloquet

(Physical 30, Mental 15, Reality 10) giving him everything he possessed in return for
immortality. Sanderson was brought into the Shadows, removing his Reality and
stopping him from aging normally. His physical and mental stats are fixed and he cannot
Alter Flesh for free. He can regenerate wounds but must Sleep to regain Reality and heal
damage from iron weapons.
For the last two hundred years, Sanderson has survived among the Hidden, living and
killing like them to regain his Reality. Over this time he has become twisted and is no
longer fully human. He lives in a cul-de-sac in a derelict part of town, protected by his
watchers; old people and dead tramps, all long dead and mentally linked to Sanderson.
All of his watchdogs have a silver band around their right ankle. If the band is cut off,
the long-dead person crumbles like wet sand, their old bones disconnecting and
separating.
He has become fixated on a silver locket containing a picture of his long-dead daughter.
The locket was fashioned when he was still human and is the one thing that he withheld
from Cloquet. He is convinced that should Cloquet be given the locket, he will cease to
exist and does not dare bring the locket into the Shadows keeping it locked in a safe in
his house. Cloquet cannot come for the locket himself as he has been forbidden to
physically or mentally harm Sanderson (or force others to do likewise) as part of their
agreement.

The Heretics of London


James Bishop
"I am the Flesh Eater and the Pain Giver."
Insanity James is recrating his family from metal and flesh.
Stats Physical 16, Mental 14, Heretical Abilities 15 (Alter Flesh 20)
Quirk James regains AAM when he injures others with his hands or with melee
weapons. This is what makes him the Pain Giver.
Flaw He must consume human flesh once a week or temporarily lose his Abilities.
Image A heavy-set man in his early thirties whose clothes are rough but always in good
repair, James is confident and arrogant with a menacing personality. He always carries a
pistol and his iron skinning knife (2d10 points of damage).
James Bishop is possibly the most dangerous man among the Heretics of London. He

escaped from a maximum security institution in the mid-eighties and has permanently
changed his appearance to avoid recapture by the authorities. He lives a hand to mouth
existence, living in rented accommodation and constantly in danger from cults and the
Hidden. He has many criminal contacts in London and Europe and uses them to obtain
his firearms and narcotics. James' stubborn nature and physical toughness have made
him a sought-after odd-job man but his arrogance has also won him many enemies.
James is vindictive and unforgiving, although he is loyal to those that have earned his
respect. His only friend is the priest Joshua Martens, who believes that James can
redeem his life. James respects Martens' beliefs but cares only about regaining his
family.
James' wife and two daughters were killed in mysterious circumstances in 1981. Their
deaths pushed him into insanity and he was reborn as a Heretic. He was arrested for the
multiple murders and declared insane on 3 September, 1982. He has always denied
killing his family, believing that they were killed by a cult as a sacrifice to their
controlling Hidden. He believes that his family's souls are still contained within himself
and that should he join the meat, coat-hangers and machinery together correctly, his
family will come back to life. To date, his attempts have all been failures and he has had
to kill several of his creations.
Bishop is a believer in direct action against the Hidden and the cults they control and has
survived numerous attempt by the Hidden to eliminate him. He detests Canaan and
McGaldi but has agreed to leave them alone for eighteen months after they gave him the
location of a cult house and the names of the top three members. McGaldi admires
Bishop's style and will try to lengthen the truce by helping James to wipe out their
enemies among the Hidden.
He is currently searching for the simulacrum of his daughter which came to life and
escaped while he was lying on the morgue slab, dead from a dozen gunshot wounds. The
creation (Physical-20, Mental-5, no regeneration) looks like a 10 year old girl with
pennies for eyes and wire spikes for teeth. She answers to the name of Julie.

Phillip Richards
"Let me help you. Wherever they are, I will find them."
Insanity Richards believes that the only part of the world which exists is that which he
can see. Nothing in the world is real except for him.

Stats Physical 12, Mental 17, Heretical Abilities 13 (Hidden Sight 18)
Quirks He can perform Hidden Sight on possessions, treating them like Contagions.
Flaw Richards will always help if a person needs him.
Image Phillip is a physically unimposing man who walks with a limp and carries a cane
with a sharpened iron tip (1d10 damage). Richards has no eyebrows (a fact which
greatly amuses the Hidden that Richards has contact with).
Phillip Richards lives on his own in a small terraced house. The inside of the house is
unfurnished with bare wooden boards and wooden crates for chairs, tables and beds.
There is a telephone answering machine in the hall and an electric kettle in the kitchen.
Richards' only other possessions are three suits of reasonable quality and a .45 calibre
Colt Automatic. Richards does not eat any food other than dry bread and he drinks only
boiling hot water.
Richards believes that his house is excellently furnished with antiques and plush, thick
pile carpets. Other Heretics visiting his house usually begin to see the furniture on their
second visit. From then on, they see the house as Richards sees it and can make
themselves very comfortable there. Other than his house, Richards has no control over
his Insanity and often wonders what flaw there is in his psychological make-up that
made him create the Hidden and the cults that worship them.
To supplement his meagre disability allowance, he works as a Finder for private
individuals and the police. They come to him and bring both money and a personal item
of the person they want to find. He liaises with the police through Sergeant Robert
Noone, a violent man who uses Richards to further his own police career. Richards
dislikes Noone, who enjoys abusing Richards physically and mentally, constantly
threatening to return him to care.
Richards avoids contact with the other Heretics of London and only deals with the
Hidden when locating people kidnapped or murdered by the cults. If they are dead, he
finds the bodies so that they can be buried and if they still live, he locates them and
passes the word to James Bishop who has the best chance of getting them out in one
piece.
Currently Richards is involved with the House of Sumer, a cult led by one of the
European Hidden which has moved into London. The House of Sumer is in the middle
of a secret war with the Brotherhood of Adam and the Bleeding Rose, two other London
cults. The Hidden have been forbidden to get involved as it is a power struggle between

Valoche and Mariat. If the House of Sumer win the war, Mariat will have to take
Valoche's territory in France and Valoche will gain the prime hunting grounds he has
desired for decades.

Joshua Martens
"I am a conduit for the Eternal. Behold the word of God made flesh."
Insanity Martens receives messages from God in the form of visions.
Stats Physical 14, Mental 18, Heretical Abilities 15 (Purification 20)
Quirk People feel that they can always trust Fr. Martens.
Flaw To bring himself closer to his God, Martens constantly mutilates himself.
Image Martens is of average height with black hair and piercing blue eyes. He wears a
black suit and coat, complete with off-white dog collar.
In 1987, Martens was a doubting priest in a declining parish when lightning struck the
church in the middle of the Saturday service. Martens caught the full force of the blast as
he stood in the pulpit screaming to God for a sign to deny faith. He was thrown the
length of the church, the hair burnt off his head and the fillings in his mouth fused
together. He was later sent to a rest home as his ravings were beginning to alarm the
congregation. After two weeks in the rest home, he vanished and has been on the
missing persons' register ever since.
Martens uses self-mutilation to keep his spirit pure. Underneath his black shirt, six
knitting needles have been forced under his skin, the wounds twisting Martens' face into
a grimace when he moves. In his coat pocket, he keeps a leather pouch with a selection
of rusty razor and scalpel blades which he uses to flay the flesh from his bones at night.
Despite Martens' strange habits, he is a trustworthy character who will never allow
innocents to come to harm. He is a good friend of James Bishop and constantly tries to
cure Bishop's cannibalistic tendencies. In the past he has had a disciple, John Baker, a
man already tormented by his own personal demons. Baker lost the thread completely
after the attack on the church in 1993 and has left Martens to follow his own path.
Martens regrets Baker's passing and hopes that Baker will regain his sanity before he
dies on the streets.
Joshua Martens acts as a mediator between the other Heretics in London, discouraging
them from killing each other and keeping them focussed on the true enemy, the Hidden.
Martens has been trying to open contact with the Church to remove the centuries old

charge of heresy and gain the Church's acceptance of their fight against the Hidden.
Currently Martens is searching for a book, The Crypt of Reys, written in the late
sixteenth century by the madman Claude Barrow. It is a book of cryptic prophecies
written in Latin which tells of a war in Heaven and the death of mankind. Barrow
vanished in 1583 and seven of the eight copies of the book were burned by the local
clergy. The last copy was rumoured to have been stolen by Barrow's lover and
apprentice, Giles Strathan. In 1585 Giles was hanged for theft but the book was no
longer in his possession. In 1924, a page from the book turned up in New York and was
bought by the millionaire, Henry John Carter. Carter died one year later and his widow
burned the page before killing herself.

Jack Faraday
"I'm sorry, but you must understand, I have to do this."
Stats Physical 13, Mental 11, Heretical Abilities 9 (SkinWalking 14)
Insanity Jack is a tool of fate and has lived his entire life before. He remembers every
thing which has ever, and will ever, happen to him. He knows it all, even the time and
circumstances of his own death.
Jack Faraday lives a life where every action is a certainty, where he cannot deviate from
the script that has been written for him. This has made Jack the most unpredictable
Heretic in London, even the Hidden tend to stay away in case they get drawn into his
Insanity. He does not normally carry a weapon unless Fate tells him to.
Two years ago, James Bishop had had enough of Jack's bullshit craziness and went to
kill him to end the random acts for which Faraday denied all responsibility. He caught
Faraday, crippled him with a baseball bat and prepared to remove Faraday's soul with his
skinning knife. Two hours later, Bishop was drinking heavily and Faraday was still alive.
When Martens asked Bishop why he didn't do it, he said, "He laughed in my face and
told me that it wasn't time yet. And I believed him and let him go. I still don't know
why."

Iris Kane
"What a lovely jacket, I really must get one like it. It really goes with your eyes"
Stats Physical 10, Mental 20, Heretical Abilities 13 (SkinWalking - 18)
Insanity When a person is killed, the come back to hunt their killer.

Quirk Iris is GlassEyed to all, including Richards.


Image She looks exactly like Louise Brooks, the silent movie star and is always
immaculately well dressed. She carries a stiletto and a sharpened silver spoon.
Iris Kane was always a dangerous killer. When she was reborn in 1992, she escaped
from the asylum and continued her old life. She always eats the eyes of those she kills
which means that they come back incapable of sight. The Heretics of London have been
hunting Iris for years, but her GlassEyes and intelligence have kept her one step ahead.
The police have kept the detail about the eyes secret to discourage copycats.
Anyone chasing Iris has to be careful not to kill anyone. Within one day, that person start
following them, waiting until they are alone before killing them. The returned dead look
as they did at the moment of death and can only repeat the last phrase they said before
they died. They are physically stronger in death than they were in life (Physical 20, no
regeneration) and will not stop until they have killed their murderer.
Alice was interrupted at her last kill and was chased away by the police before she could
finish the blinding of her victim. She is now on the run from the victim who is always
only one step behind. Only Alice's practice as a fugitive has kept her alive for this long.

Alice Cook
"I'm the firestarter, wondrous firestarter."
Stats Physical 12, Mental 8, Heretical Abilities 10 (FireStarting 15)
Insanity The fires always burn. Everywhere.
Quirk Alice cannot be harmed by fire.
Image Alice is dishevelled, wearing cast-off clothing and is missing several teeth.
Alice Cook always had a fascination with fires. When her parents were killed in a fire
she had started, she was institutionalized until her release in 1995. She fled her halfway
house and now lives under an overpass eating dirt scooped up from the muddy ground.
If she is frightened or angry, fires begin to spontaneously appear. This is the
subconscious use of her FireStarting ability. The damage from the flames is applied each
round until they are doused with water or earth. Left to their own devices, nothing will
be left but a fine ash. If the fires are started in a building, it will turn the interior into a
furnace with a temperature in excess of 2000C.
Alice has no conception of the Hidden (who stay well away after some curious ones

were completely incinerated). Ferenzi has begun to befriend Alice, teaching her how to
control her power, intending to use her as a weapon against his enemies, Heretic and
Hidden alike.

Edward Kelley
"We don't use that word."
Stats Physical 17, Mental 15
Quirk Kelley is left alone by the Hidden.
Image A large, powerful man with spiky red hair, Kelley has no ears, just scarred
stumps on both sides of his head.
Edward Kelley is an oddity as he fights against the Hidden and considers himself a
Heretic despite the fact that he simply insane. He will never acknowledge this fact and
has kept many Heretics fooled for years. A violent man with no social responsibility,
Kelley considers himself to be completely above the law, going nowhere without two
Desert Eagle .44 automatics and a large iron knife. Despite this, Kelley is a likeable chap
with a strong sense of humour, his eternal optimism always shining through. Bishop
quite likes Kelley but feels that he is a violence attractor who never sees the results of
his actions.
He loves to act mysterious, many Heretics have encountered Kelley perched on a wall or
other impossibly narrow surface, doing his best to look like a creature from another
world. The Hidden leave Kelley alone for reasons known only to themselves. Kelley
himself is unaware of his blessed existence and sees their unwillingness to harm him as
a display of his own invincible might.

Playing the Game


When running Heretics, it is important not to treat the Hidden as mindless creatures
whose only function is to be killed at the end of the scenario. The Mockers themselves
have no real interest in killing Heretics. To them, the Heretics are the ultimate
vindication of their own Reality, humans who think of them as being utterly Real. If the
Mockers were interested in killing Heretics, it would only take a single night to
eliminate all of the Heretics in London.
The Heretics of London are careful never to indiscriminately attack the Hidden, mainly

limiting their attacks to the cults of puppets which the Hidden control. There is nothing
to be gained by indiscriminately killing any Hidden which crosses your path. A Hidden
such as Fetch could be easily killed by a group of Heretics, yet he continues to survive
despite the fact that Bishop and Richards both know his location. They both use Fetch as
a courier, getting him to take messages to the other Hidden in London. He also gives
them information on the Hidden and cults inside London. In this way, Fetch is worth
more dead than alive, and the two Heretics are free to concentrate on the cults and those
Hidden about to become Real.
In many ways, the Heretics of London live at the sufferance of the Hidden, but they all
know that the Hidden are only too happy when another Hidden is killed. The Hidden
might have a carefully structured caste system but they are not all allies - despite their
common purpose.
Not all Heretics have a homicidal hatred of the Hidden. Some are normal people trying
to come to terms with a world changed by their Insanity. They might abhor the Hidden's
actions but they are unwilling to get involved. Most Heretics spend as much time
fighting with their Insanities as they do fighting the Hidden. The ones that do get
involved do so because they know that they alone can stop the suffering of normal
people.
Most games of Heretics should concentrate on the characters' struggle with their
Insanities alongside their attempts to fight the Hidden. Allow natural vendettas to spring
up between the characters and individual Hidden. Ally the characters with other Hidden
and bring in scenario sub-plots involving certain characters' Insanities and those of
Heretic NPC's. Have them approached by normal people asking for help - to these
people the characters are a last ditch attempt to find their loved ones or prevent their
partner's death.
Forthcoming releases for Heretics, such as The One True London, will deal with the
cults, Hidden and Heretics of London in greater detail, complete with scenarios and
locations of interest in the strangest city you are ever likely to see.

Scenario Ideas
You could start the characters off as normal people investigating a mysterious
occurrence (they could be police investigating an Iris Kane killing, or friends of
one of the victims who have got a lead to the killer and want personal vengeance).
Then, drive them mad one by one by letting their view of Reality slip away from

them. They start to see flashes of the Hidden, and force Insanities on players by
showing them their effects. The game can work very well when the characters
know as little as the players and the exploration of their new world can hold a lot
of surprises. What will the characters think if they unknowingly use their Hidden
Sight and Alter Flesh? (if only I could get out of this strait jacket - snkcrunchcit oh shit! look at my arm! oaahhohh!) You could continue the game in an asylum,
where the orderlies beat them with rubber hoses and there is something stalking
through the halls at night looking for suitable victims...
Another way of introducing characters is to have them all attend the same group
therapy session. Watch them drive the psychiatrist to distraction as she realises
that their experiences are all almost identical.
Nicholas Baron dies suddenly in an auto accident. His estate gets left to his only
surviving relative, his daughter. She is going through her fathers effects when she
sees the purchase of the church. Intrigued as to why nothing has been done to the
church, she begins to dig deeper. Perhaps she digs too deep and Canaan and
McGaldi come for her, intending to do to her what they did to her father.
A child screams and complains of the things under the bed. He says they want to
take him away. Then, one day, he vanishes. If the characters see it on the news,
they can see they boy looking out the window of the house, screaming at
everybody... Will it be as simple as Shadowwalking the boy back to the real world
or will the bogeyman try to keep its new friend?
The characters are approached by a woman who wants her brother kidnapped
from the cult he has joined. She believes that the cult has brainwashed him and
that he will be left destitute. Getting a contagion will help the characters find the
man but what if he is a skinwalked disciple who believes that the characters are
"devils! devils! devils!" In playtest, the characters reasoned that physical violence
(always an acceptable option in their eyes) would bring the man around and spent
a week beating him senseless before they even thought to Skinwalk him. Skinwalk
attempts will be opposed by Ferenzi's Skinwalk of 16 and they will have to make
it last for 24 hours to completely break Ferenzi's hold over him. Ferenzi will of
course try to get his disciple back so the characters might have a fight on their
hands.