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Road

Trip

A Summer Adventure for


Monsters and Other Childish Things
ROAD TRIP is an adventure campaign for the roleplaying game Monsters and
Other Childish Things. Monsters and Other Childish Things is available in

hardback and in PDF from Arc Dream Publishing and in a pocket-size paperback
edition from Cubicle 7 Entertainment.
Learn more about Monsters and Other Childish Things and find
pregenerated characters, monsters and other downloads at our website:
www.arcdream.com/monsters
Road Trip was written by Ross Payton, 2010. Illustrated by Rob Mansperger,

2010, with page design elements by Jessica Hopkins, 2010. Edited by


Shane Ivey. Copy editing by James Knevitt. Page design by Jessica Hopkins. The
One Roll Engine is Greg Stolze and is used by permission.
Special thanks to our playtesters: Jason Ariciu, Elliot Bicker, Aaron

Carsten, Tom Church, Alistair Dunbar and his players, Andrew Hill and his
players, Mike Kelley, Matt Leahy, Daniel McDowell, Truman Miller, Bryan Potter,
Marco Subias and his players, Bill Sundwall, Cody Walker, and Claire Ward.
Published by Arc Dream Publishing, 12215 Highway 11, Chelsea, AL 35043, USA
ISBN 978-0-9818826-9-7 Arc Dream Publishing stock code ARC3004

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Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Chapter 1: Prologue to a Travelogue . . . . . 22


Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Getting Started: Schools Out! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Chapter 1: Prologue to a Travelogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

The Red Terror. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Chapter 2: Pastoral Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Meet Jack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Chapter 3: Sunny Vale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Finding Basil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Chapter 4: Sucrose Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Armitage Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Chapter 5: Are You There, Witch? Its Me, a Monster. . . . 10

The Sumerian Exhibit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Chapter 6: Where the Eternal Glades Are. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Dagon Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Chapter 7: The Long Stairs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Option One: Basil is Already Banished . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Appendices: Roadside Encounters and Underworld

Option Two: Seeing Basil Banished. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Tremors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

The Curse of Banishment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

The Ur-Monsters Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Effects of the Curse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Game Masters Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Running the Campaign Without the Curse of

How To Introduce The Ur-Monster's Story. . . . . . . . . . 13

Banishment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Cosmology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Aftermath of the Curse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Player Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

The First Postcard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Setting the Campaign In Different Eras (1950s,

Jack Blackguard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

1960s, Etc.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

The Connection Between Jack and The Traveler. . . . . . 28

End-of-Chapter Rewards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Basil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Delivering the Rewards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Dagon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

What Is A Road Trip?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

What Dagon Knows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Roadside Encounters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

The Red Terror. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Underworld Tremors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Now What?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Unattached Monsters in Combat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Links Between the Chapters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Starting the Best Summer Vacation Ever. . . . . . . . . 31

Threat Dice Pools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Crossover Madness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Threat Actions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

What the Players Need to Start the Campaign . . . . . . . . . 33

Threat Qualities and Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Sample Campaign Models. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Hurting a Threat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Lets Hit The Road! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Homesickness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Fighting Homesickness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Lessons of the Road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Chapter 2: Pastoral Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


The Story So Far . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Estrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
The War Begins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
What The Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
The Magic of Pastoral Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Getting to Pastoral Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
The Town of Dunham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
The Manors Reputation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Whats Said About Pastoral Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Rumors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
The Police. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
At Pastoral Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
The Farmhouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
The Barn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Pastures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
The Garden. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
The Gift Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Richard the Mastiff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


Diego the Ferret. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Catherine the Mare. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
The Farmhands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Zach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Brandon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Jacob. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
General Blackbriars Revolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Blackbriar the Rabbit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
The Thorns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
The Fangs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Nest Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Red Claws (Destroyed). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
The Committee of Armaments (Self-Exiled). . . . . . . . . . . . 56
How the War is Waged. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Ending the War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Killing Blackbriar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Defeating Joseph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

The Book of Black Magic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

The Forest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

The Branch of the Great Tree. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

The Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Uniting Blackbriar and Joseph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

The Creek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

To Win Blackbriars Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

The Great Tree. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

To Win Josephs Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Crossing the Threshold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Reuniting the Two Friends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

The Tour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Big Finale: The Cult Attacks! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Investigating the Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Stygia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Talking to the Animals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

The Red Terror. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Exploring the Forest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

A Cultist Goon Squad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Sneaking Around. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Resolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Lets Smash Everything!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49


The Truth Uncovered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Chapter 3: Sunny Vale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Order of Battle: .

What the Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

The Army of the Manor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Sunny Vale, California. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Joseph Lawson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Back Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Josephs Familiar, Wormwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Crossing the Threshold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Animal Stats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Finding the Rangers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

The Nobility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Cortez the Badger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Accidents, Weird Events and Disasters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Sebastian the Crow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Zoltron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

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Pandoras Knick-Knacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Using the Crystal Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
The Secret Identities of the Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Crystal Ball Profiling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Meeting the Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Finding Zoltron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Tommy Two-Tones Storage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Cultist Goon Squad 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Cultist Goon Squad 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Somethings Amiss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Interrogating Dagon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
The Underworld Prison. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
The Real Reunion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
The Summoned Monsters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Learning the Secret of the Summoned Monsters. . . . . . . . 73
The Rangers Weapons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Resolving Things In Sunny Vale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Find the False Zoltron and Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Defeat the Rangers and Destroy Their Weapons. . . . . . . . 74
Get the Rangers to Fight Each Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Make the Rangers Lay Down Their Weapons . . . . . . . . . . 75
Rescue the Real Zoltron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
CHARACTERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Zoltron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Erebus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Dagon/The Fake Zoltron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
The Sentai Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Amber the Gold Ranger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Jeremy the Green Ranger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Latika the Pink Ranger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Melvin the Blue Ranger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Roger the Red Ranger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Chapter 4: Sucrose Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84


Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
The Brain Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Project Doppelganger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
How CoolRad Chooses His Targets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Sucrose Park Today. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
What the Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Resolving the Chapter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Welcome to Sucrose Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
The Main Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
The Abyss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Atomic Shockwave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
The Gift Shop and Daily Parade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Chaperone Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89
3D Battle Realm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Ferris Wheel and Light Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Cool-Cade the Ultimate Arcade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Other Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
The Employee Section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Warehouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Cafeteria and Rec Rooms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Makeup and Costuming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Operations Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Corporate Offices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Animatronics Workshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
The Secret Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
The Brain Trust Clean Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Brain Trust Lab. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Throne Room. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Barracks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
The Dark Corridors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Searching The Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Interviewing Employees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Getting CoolRads Attention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
The Kidnapping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Distraction Team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

]
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Grabbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Kidnapped!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
The Cliques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Astronauts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

The Secret of the Upgrade Movement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Cowboys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Golden Cap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Race Car Drivers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

What Next?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Ninjas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Wizards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Which Witch? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Princesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

The Wicked Witchs Castle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

Ballerinas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

The Ghost of King Crow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

Exploring the Secret Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Brewing the Witch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Talking to the Brain Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Whats In a Witch? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Escape!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Stories and Texts (core beliefs and ideology). . . . . . . 113

Deactivate the Security Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Music and Clothing (personality and appearance) . . . 114

Disable the Robots Ratchet and Higgins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Food (preferences and habits). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Find a Way Out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Weapons and Tools (preferences and habits). . . . . . . 114

Lockdown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Other Objects (superficial quirks and appearance). . . 114

Rebellion in Sucrose Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Emotionally Significant Objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Rescuing the Kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Mixing and Matching Objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Destroy Project Doppelganger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

Getting More Objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Example Witches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

CoolRad, aka Coolrat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Steampunk Witch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

The Brain Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Anime Witch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Robbie Drake, Psychic Boy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Tomboy Witch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Robot Duplicates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Trial and Error. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

The Ferals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Once the Witch Has Been Resurrected. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Grab Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Introducing the New Witch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Distraction Team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

The Debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116


The Scarecrow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Chapter 5: Are You There, Witch?


Its Me, a Monster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

The Cowardly Lion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Whats Going On. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Judging the Debate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

What the Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Resolving the Chapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

Getting to the Emerald City: The Tornado. . . . . . . 105

Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

The Road of Yellow Brick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

The Duke and Dauphin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

The Upgrade Movement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

The Average Citizen of the Kingdom of Oz. . . . . . . . . . . 120

Welcome to the Emerald City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

The Wicked Witch of the West. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

Guardian of the Gate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

The Rulers (Tin, Fur and Straw) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

The Winged Monkeys On Strike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Emperor Norton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

Exploring the Emerald City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

The Cheshire Cat (The Expat). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

The Emerald Palace and the Rulers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

The Crocodile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

Outsiders!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

The Tin Woodsman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

7
5

Chapter 6: Where the


Eternal Glades Are. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

Special Guest Stars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

How Do I Include a Guest Star?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

What the Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Potential Additional Cult Forces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

Finding the Eternal Glades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Potential Allies for the Player Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

The Everglades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Overview: Project Long Stairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Crossing the Threshold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Area 51 Right Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Welcome to the Eternal Glades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Crossing the Threshold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

The Welcome Wagon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Getting Around Area 51. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Dealing With the Monsters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Area 51 Random Encounters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

The Contest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Dr. Church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

Race Around the Glades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

The Ice Cave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

Capture the Flag. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Descending the Long Stairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

Dodgeball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Old Blessed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

Win or Lose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Ground Floor of the Apocalypse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

What Now?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Drawing the Attention of the Cult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Talk the Monsters Into Going Back. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Learning About the Ritual. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Fighting the Monsters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

The Three Talismans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

The Forbidden Tree. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Getting the Talismans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

Dark Canyon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Whispers Appears. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

Resolving the Chapter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Stopping the Ritual. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

The Final Confrontation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Megafauna. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Brawl!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Monsters and Spirits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Allies and Enemies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Minor Monsters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Option: The Ur-Monster Interferes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

The Head Monsters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Option: Dagon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Billy-Brash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Option: Bigger Bads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Sally-Slash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136

Roleplay! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Chris-Crash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136

Success Table. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Who Should I Use? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Resolution and Aftermath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

Chapter 7: Project Long Stairs. . . . . . . . . 138

Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

The Postcards Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Dr. Church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

What the Traveler Wants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Other Scientists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159

The Cults Order of Battle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Cultist Goon Squad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159

Core Cult Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

The Traveler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159

The Traveler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Whispers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159

]
6

Appendix A: Underworld Tremors . . . . . . 160

Appendix D: The Road-Kill Necromancer. . 177

In the Underworld. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

Scene 1: Night of the Living Road Kill . . . . . . . . . . 177

Five Underworld Tremors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

The Attack!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178


A Murder of Dead Crows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178

Appendix B: Roadside Encounters. . . . . . . 162

A Legion of Flat Cats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178

Mundane Encounters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

Unholy Regeneration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Five Encounter Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

Option: Using Bigger Bads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Roadside Oddities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

Escape - Or Is It?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Five Encounter Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

Threat: Escape Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Tourist Traps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

Threat: Zombie Siege . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Five Encounter Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

Zombie Pool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

Urban Legends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

Scene 2: The Trap Is Sprung . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

Five Encounter Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

The Dark Forest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

A Note on Adults in Roadside Encounters. . . . . . . . . . . . 165

What Happened To The Adults?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Mini-Adventures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165

Scene 3: The Moors of the Dreamlands. . . . . . . . . 181


The First Test: The Test of Mercy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

Appendix C: Mr. Keens Muse . . . . . . . . . . 166


Scene 1: The Art Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Enter New Idyll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Somethings Not Right. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Scene 2: Mr. Keen Has a Posse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Scene 3: Free Margret!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
The Cabin of Mr. Keen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Inside the Cabin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Freeing Margret. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Angry Clown Threat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Scene 4: The Talented Mr. Keen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Rescue the People. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Banish the Colour Out of Space. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Stop Mr. Keen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Rewards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Rooster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Endless Stream of Clowns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Celebrities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Tiger Ridden by Waifish Children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Mr. Keen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Margret, the Robo-Rainbow Unicorn Muse. . . . . . . . . . . 176

The Second Test: The Test of Cunning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182


The Tragic Tale of the Hoag Family. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
The Third Test: The Test of Strength. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
Hoag Family Stats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Scene 4: Abners House. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
One Roll Hijinks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
The One Roll Wacky Hijinks
Mystery-Solving Mini Game Tables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
The Finale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Battle! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Make Abner Surrender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Trap Abner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Resolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Important Characters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Abner Hoag. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Frankenfish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Roadkill Horde. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191

The Travellers Postcards. . . . . . . . . . . . Inserts

Introduction

Road trips. The quintessential American family vacation. Pile in the car with
mom, dad and siblings, sing songs and play I Spy as you travel to some regional
wonder, the park (theme or national), the lake, the beach, or distant family
members. You might remember these as times of pure happiness, shining
jewels of bliss in the treasure trove of your childhood memories. Or you might
remember being bricked by luggage up, a backseat Amontillado, the doldrums
of the vast lengths of highway you crossed, the tedium of being dragged to
historical monuments that you couldnt care less about and the irritation of your
parents who dont appreciate your lack of enthusiasm or the endless war of
attrition between your siblings, trading each precious bit of patience and sanity
in exchange for as much frustration and hurt feelings you could inflict on them.
Is it coming back to you now? Sleeping with your face pressed against the car
window? The hours of silence after everyones run out of things to say? The
lightheaded feeling when you first get out of the car?

]
8

This campaign is an homage to this most venerated of familial traditions. Only


instead of trying to accurately simulate the road trip, the most existential of all
vacation types, this will have monsters. Giddy, sanity rending monsters, eager to
cut you open from your seatbelt strait jacket and free you for a slightly different
kind of road trip. A long twisting odyssey through the murky subconscious of
childrens entertainment, both old and new. Talking animals plotting rebellion
and mass executions in a quaint New England farm. A trip to the land of Oz
to find a new ruler to unite the kingdom. Deluded heroes in matching spandex
uniforms who fight villains conjured by their own dark emotions. A perfectly
plastic theme park that offers everything except escape. Sprits that lure children
to a parentless paradise where the dark beasts lurk and no one ever goes home.
So, get packed and get some sleep. Were leaving at dawn.

Summary
Road Trip is an adventure campaign for Monsters and Other Childish
Things. You only need the main rule book to run this campaign. No other rules
are necessary, but the supplement Bigger Bads might be handy for the finale.

Chapter 1: Prologue
to a Travelogue

The prologue kicks everything off and provides lots of options and ideas for
running the campaign.

Chapter 2: Pastoral Manor


Location: New England.
The perfect rural retreat, a happy farm and pastoral paradise. Thousands of
children used to visit the Manor, as it was considered the most perfect farm
the country, not to mention the beautiful forest adjacent to it. But beneath this
shining exterior lies a seething underworld of scheming and malevolent talking
animals. Every animal that lives more than a year on the farms land becomes
intelligent. Many of the animals want to revolt against the cruel Lord of the
Manor while others seek to oppress their fellows.

Sources:

Animal Farm, Charlottes Web, Babe, The Secret of NIMH


and Watership Down.

Chapter 3: Sunny Vale


Location:

California

This small suburban town is a magnet for the uncanny. UFOs sightings happen
daily and seldom does a month go by without a building collapsing. In truth, the
Sentai Rangers, overzealous teen warriors empowered by enslaved monsters,
unwittingly summon otherworldy creatures to fight on a regular basis. The
monsters of the PCs are drawn to Sunny Vale whenever they draw near
California. The Sentai Rangers must be stopped!

Sources: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Dragonball Z, Faust, Elric


of Melnibon.

Chapter 4: Sucrose Park


Location:

Las Vegas.

Designed as the ultimate daycare center, Sucrose Park looks after thousands
of kids while their parents gamble away their college tuitions in casinos. A
wonderland of rides, ball pits, arcades and costumed mascots await. Too bad
the owner never wants anyone to leave. Ever. All the neon lights and laser tag
arenas cant hide the fact that Sucrose Park is a prison. Its time to break out.

Sources: Saturday morning cartoons, theme parks, Misery.

7
9

Chapter 5: Are You There,


Witch? Its Me, a Monster
Location:

Kansas.

A powerful tornado plucks the characters from the road but they find themselves
not in the Oz of yellow brick road and flying monkeys, but a bleak, rundown Oz
suffering from a split society and inept rulers, and activists who want to connect
to the real world and modernize. The characters need to find aruler who will
unite the kingdom and bring order to the land.

Sources:

The Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,

The Prince.

Chapter 6: Where the


Eternal Glades Are
Location:

Florida.

A tour of the Florida Everglades goes horribly awry when the party finds
themselves in the deepest wilderness, The Eternal Glades. A band of children and
their monsters have thrown off the shackles of civilization and live as savages in
a world of mystery and wonder. Theyve gone too wild, though, and their antics
are descending into barbarism. If the party cant re-educate the wild kids, then
the Eternal Glades will claim the souls of the kids forever.

Sources:

Where the Wild Things Are, Lost, Lord of the Flies, Land of

the Lost.

Chapter 7: The Long Stairs

]
10

Location:

Area 51.

The final battle with the Ur-Monster takes place in the depths of Area 51, the
top secret US military base. For decades, the US has experimented with transdimensional exploration with a project known as Long Stairs. However, the
Ur-Monster is nearly awake and the entire base has been overrun by its minions.

The party must get to the lowest level of the base to stop the Ur-Monster. Their
victories from previous chapters play an important role. They can call on allies
and information gained from those adventures to help them in the final battle.

Sources:

Stargate, Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Godzilla,

Tom Clancy.

Appendices: Roadside Encounters


and Underworld Tremors
Location:

Everywhere and Nowhere.

These chapters focus on encounters to break up the campaign. Roadside


Encounters take place between chapters and focus on the weirdness along the
highways of America. Underworld Tremors take place during the chapters and
reinforce the danger of the cult and Ur-Monster.

The Ur-Monsters Origins


You like bedtime stories? I got one. Youll like it. Its about monsters and
madness and the things that crawl just beyond our perception of time and space.
Once upon a time and a dark time it was, there was a monster, the first monster,
an Ur-Monster. It had slumbered for countless eons, ignoring the wars of the
Great Old Ones and Elder races as they obliterated each other with arcane
sciences and mystical weapons, rending galaxies apart. The Ur-Monster thought
such things as boring and beneath it. But a singular ray of light crept into its lair,
and lingered ever so slightly upon one of the Ur-Monsters many closed eyes.
This awoke and enraged the monster and so it sought out the source of the light.
When it arose, the earth itself cried out. Great nations sank into the oceans and
the earthquakes ravaged the world. When the dust settled, the Ur-Monster saw
the beginnings of humanity and while the beast had seen countless species and
empires rise and fall since the dawn of time, mankind possessed a unique light in
its collective spirit. In particular, the children of humanity held an innocence that
shone in a way that both pained and fascinated the Ur-Monster. A child could
care for a stray cat just as easily as it could pull the wings off a fly, smiling all the
time. They bullied and tortured the weakest among them yet gave unconditional
love to friends and family. It was a paradox that drew the Ur-Monster to
humanitys light.
In a way, the Ur-Monster was also innocent, as it had no idea of its own power.
It wanted to understand the children but its mere presence caused madness and
death in most of humanity, at least to the adults. The Ur-Monster never harmed
a child though. The shamans and priests of mankind saw the Ur-Monster as a
destroyer, a threat that must be banished. They took a child and sent it to the
Ur-Monster as a sacrifice. However, the priests had prepared the child and gave
him a weapon to be used against the Ur-Monster, an incredibly potent artifact
disguised as a simple toy.
The child, truly innocent and unafraid of the Ur-Monster was sent into the
creatures dark lair. At first confused, the Ur-Monster shifted the bulk of its body
into the shadows far from the childs view. The boy only saw a pair of curious
yellow eyes gazing back from the darkness. Thinking it to be a cat, the boy
knelt, said kind words and urged it to come closer. Utterly baffled at the childs

7
11

actions, the Ur-Monster sent forth a tentative tentacle but as soon as part of it
came into the light, the artifact was triggered.
A torrent of mystic energy tore into the Ur-Monster, carving off many thousands
of pieces of flesh from its body. Greatly weakened, the Ur-Monster collapsed,
sending the artifact, the boy and itself crashing deep into the earth. Moreover,
the three were eternally linked and imprisoned in the underworld. The boy
became immortal and unaging as well. The Ur-Monster and the boy have dwelt
in their prison a long time and they have nursed a great hatred for humanity. The
Ur-Monster has corrupted the boy utterly and they seek revenge, no matter how
long it takes.
Of course thats just how the story goes. And like every good bedtime story,
there are a dozen versions of it. In one, they say its the first time that a monster
ever bonded with a kid. In another, several other monsters tricked the UrMonster into entering the underworld, imprisoning it. In yet another version, the
priests and wizards of old Atlantis made the Ur-Monster and tried to control it by
bonding it with a child they could control. But it didnt take and the Ur-Monster
sank with Atlantis. And so on. You get the idea.
But its funny. This story is always clear on a few things. There is an Ur-Monster.
A great and terrible monster that is drawn to the innocence of children. It is
trapped, somewhere dark and deep. And it is angry, waiting for the day when it
can destroy humanity.

Game Masters Overview

]
12

This campaign is a quest to save the world from the Ur-Monster, a Godzilla
-sized monster with the power of a Great Old One, during a cross country
summer vacation road trip, following the Traveler, an agent of the Ur-Monster.
Currently, the Ur-Monster is imprisoned in a parallel dimension of endless
caverns and mazes called the Underworld. However, the U.S. military has
recently learned how to access this dimension after deciphering ancient Sumerian
texts uncovered in Iraq. By doing so, they have inadvertently awakened the
Ur-Monster. Fortunately, it is still too weak to re-enter our world. Instead, it has
sent forth the Traveler to create a dimensional gate large enough to allow the
Ur-Monster through.

The Traveler re-entered the world near Area 51, where the militarys dimensional
experiments are being held. After surveying the military, the Traveler realized he
could upgrade the militarys gate through his own knowledge of sorcery but he
doubted the army would allow him to tinker with it. So, the Traveler surveyed
the world around him and saw that some very special children had bonded with
powerful supernatural creatures, especially in America. At first, the Traveler
thought to build an army of them and invade Area 51. However, the children
were unmanageable, uncontrollable. They would have to be tricked into helping
the Traveler.
Virtually all of the monsters were bound to a certain location or pattern of
behavior, prisoners of their own design. They would not change their habits,
no matter what the Traveler did or said. His futile attempts to recruit them
failed miserably because the monsters had no reason to change their ways and
the Traveler lacked the power to press gang them to his cause. One group of
monsters stood out though. They and their kid friends embraced change and
chaos, going on adventures and stirring up trouble. The player characters.
The Travelers plan is to lead the players to as many other monsters as possible
and break them of their routines. Once these monsters are freed from their
habits and the players leave, the Traveler will pick up the pieces and recruit
whatevers left. When the Traveler has assembled a sizable army, he will lead the
players to Area 51 so they can soften the defenses before the Traveler marches
on Area 51, upgrades the gate and frees the Ur-Monster.

How To Introduc e Th e
Ur-Monst e r's Story
You have several options to
introduce the back story of the UrMonster in the campaign. Perhaps
every monster instinctively knows
the story and tells their kid friend
if asked about the history of
monsters. An adult knowledgeable
in the occult, such as the wizard
Zoltron will know the story and
will tell it to kids fighting the
cult. The story could even be on
a website found by searching for
Sumerian cults and monsters.
Wait to introduce the story until
the players are curious about the
Ur-Monster. If you give them too
much information in the first few
sessions, the players could lose
track of the plot.

The Traveler knows the players were the key to the success or failure of his plan.
In order to properly motivate them, he will give them a taste of the Underworld.
The Traveler disguises himself to the players as a boy who is looking for his
monster friend. After befriending the players, the Traveler leads them to a local
museum, where he claims his monster might be held.
At the museum, one of the Travelers minions taunts the players and banishes
the Traveler and his monster friend to the Underworld before their very eyes.
This is a ruse but it looks very real to the players. The minion lays a Curse of
Banishment on the remaining monsters, which is very real and will banish the
monsters to the Underworld in three months time. The minion hints at a plan to
summon a great and terrible creature and all other monsters must be banished to
make way for the Ur-Monster. The minion tries to flee after that but the players
can chase and defeat the minion.
Either way, the players soon find a postcard sent from the Traveler, providing a
clue to lead them to the first adventure hub site. More postcards follow. (You can
find these postcards in the back of this book, ready to be cut out or copied for
use in your game.)
The Traveler informs the players that the only way to stop the curse is to stop
the summoning of the Ur-Monster. They must travel to the site, save the other
monsters from being banished and keep the Ur-Monster in the Underworld. Of
course, after the players leave each site, the Traveler will visit and recruit any
surviving monsters and supernatural creatures into his army.
Fortunately for the players, the Traveler has made and will make more mistakes.
He has already visited each site and left clues as to his real plans. The postcards
he sends the characters will not fully add up, leaving an inconsistent story. More
importantly, the banishment curse has periodic tremors that temporarily shift
the monsters into the Underworld, where they can learn more about the truth.
Finally the Traveler is an ancient being and does not fully understand humanity
or civilization. His ignorance creates flaws in his plans that clever players can
exploit.

7
13

Cosmology
Monsters and Other Childish Things is very much a toolbox game, where the
setting and rules are created as tools for you to build a custom game for your
group. However, in order to create a consistent narrative, a few assumptions for
this campaign must be made. You can alter these assumptions of course, but you
will have to change each scenario if you do this.
The assumptions:
The supernatural and monsters are considered fiction by the public.
All supernatural creatures follow the same rules for hiding as monsters. See
page 46-47 of the main rule book. This includes talking animals (from Pastoral
Manor), the Sentai Rangers, Coolrat, the Brain Trust, all cult -summoned
monsters, and non-humanoid citizens of the Kingdom of Oz. Standard robots
and project doppelganger robots (from Sucrose Park) are not considered
supernatural though. That means monsters will be able to detect supernatural
creatures, just like a fellow monster.
In general, a person can only perceive the supernatural past puberty if they
are bonded to a monster, truly believe in the supernatural (such as a highly
superstitious person) or are knowledgeable about the occult, psychic, a true
believer in the supernatural and so on. The vast majority of adults dont see
the truth that lies in the shadows.
Monsters tend to avoid killing adults under normal circumstances. The same
magic that bonds them with kids also inhibits their murderous instincts. It also
makes a big mess and draws unwanted attention to the kid and monster. This
isnt to say they never kill, but you may want to establish some ground rules
for monsters in your campaign.

Player Characters
This campaign is built for groups of between two and four kid/monster pairs.
Monsters should be close to their starting strength. If they have bitten off more
than five dice of abilities from other monsters, you should increase the power of
enemy monsters by one to three dice.
While the Monsters and Other Childish Things book has each player create a
child and a monster, you may want players to run only as a kid or only as a
monster, especially if you have a large group of players. Monsters are powerful
and it is hard to balance encounters that will work with both small and large
numbers of monsters.
If you have more than four monsters in the group, raise the difficulty of all fight
scenes by adding additional fighters and place additional restrictions on the
characters to compensate for their numbers.

]
14

Setting the Campaign


In Different Eras
(1950s, 1960s, Etc.)
This campaign is meant to take place in the here and
now. However, you may consider running the campaign
in an earlier time. Planning for the US highway system
began in 1925 and by 1956 the government had already
started replacing the highways with the Interstate
Highway System. Route 66, a highway virtually
synonymous with the road trip, began in 1927 and was
only formally decommissioned in 1985. The idea of the
road trip became popular in the 1930s, so its possible to
set this campaign at any of those eras. Of course, some
conversion will be necessary to modify each chapter.
After all, while a modern road trip is fun, imagine the
possibilities of zipping down the highway in a 1950s
Cadillac with cheap gas, roadside attractions and great
rock and roll music on the radio or roaring along in the
1960s in your own take on Easy Rider.

In general:

Most of the chapters do not revolve


around contemporary technology but keep an eye out
for references to technology and societal norms that
may be different in the time period. Cell phones do not belong in the 1950s, for
example. Super-science still works though but will be stylized according to the
time period.

Pastoral Manor:

The easiest way to run this chapter in an earlier time is


to simply push back the history between Blackbriar and Joseph so that they are
both waging war against each other when the player characters arrive. Other
than that, the chapter should remain relatively unchanged.

Sunny Vale:

The Sentai Rangers will be an anachronism in earlier time


periods, at least to Americans. The Japanese began producing live action TV
shows featuring costumed superheroes in the 1950s but they were not popular
in America until the 1990s. Either leave the anachronism in place or re-skin the
rangers as superheroes appropriate to the time period. In the 1930s they can be
an assortment of teen pulp action heroes, in the 1940s they can be golden age
superheroes, and so on.

Sucrose Park:

The first casino in Las Vegas did not open until 1931 and
did not become a major tourist attraction until after the Second World War.
Furthermore, it wasnt considered a family friendly destination for most of its
history. Sucrose Park can be relocated to Coney Island for earlier time periods
without much adjustment. Note that the Brain Trust and the army of robots are
products of super-science and will resemble contemporary ideas of what robots
should look like.

The Kingdom of Oz: The influence of the real world on the citizens

of the kingdom will reflect current pop culture trends. The munchkin might be
greasers in the 1950s and the flying monkeys might affect the mannerisms of
hippie protestors in the 1960s.

7
15

What Is A Road Trip?


The continental United States
covers 3.1 million square miles,
stretching over 3,000 miles from
East to West and over 1,500 miles
from North to South. Because of
these vast distances, an extensive
highway system and a pop
culture love of Route 66 and car
ownership, the road trip became
an American institution by the
1950s. A road trip is simply a trip
by car for leisurely pursuits. It can
be a day trip to a nearby city or an
extended vacation lasting weeks,
crossing distances of hundreds or
even thousands of miles. They are
as popular with young adults as
they are with families and seniors.
Teenagers and college students go
on road trips to see concerts and
party. Families drive to vacation
hot spots such as the Grand
Canyon or Disney Land. Seniors
buy motorhomes and spend
months on the road, seeing the
natural beauty of the American
landscape. The road trip is part
of American culture and history
and has influenced many famous
stories. If you are not familiar with
the road trip, try to brush up on
pop culture depictions so you can
better run this campaign.
Depictions in film:












Road Trip
Cars
The Sure Thing
Easy Rider
Rain Man
The Muppet Movie
National Lampoons Vacation
Zombieland
Harold and Kumar Go to White
Castle
Thelma and Louise
Pee Wees Big Adventure
Dumb and Dumber
Little Miss Sunshine

]
16

The Eternal Glades:

The glades will not be changed because of the time

period.

Area 51:

Groom Lake did not become a government testing facility until


1955 when Lockheeds Skunk Works team set up there. It has been used by the
military ever since. Of course if you believe UFO conspiracy theorists, theres no
telling when the government began experimenting with alien technology there.
The Roswell alien event happened in 1947.

End-of-Chapter Rewards
Each chapter should end with a major reward. They are not tied to any particular
chapter, as there is no set order to running this campaign. Instead, once the
players resolve a chapter, reward them with one of the following. You can give
out the reward in any order except for reward 5. That reward must be the last
reward given as that will lead to the final chapter in the campaign.
Postcards also grant power in the finalesee Chapter 7 for more information.

1. The Cults Plan: The first reward. The characters learn of the cults

basic planto summon the Ur-Monster and destroy civilization and the leader of
the cult, a mystery figure known only as the Traveler.

2. Lore of the Ur-Monster:

The characters learn of the UrMonsters power and a way to fight itif need be. Other monsters can tap into
the power of the Underworld to become gigantic. However this is incredibly risky
to the monster, as it could permanently sever its connection to its human friend,
driving the monster mad and condemning it to the Underworld. Transforming
into a giant monster only comes into play if you wish to go the Bigger Bads
route. Otherwise the characters will know exactly what the Ur-Monster is
capable of in the finale fight. This depends on which type of finale you wish to
run. See Chapter 7 for more details.

3. Jack and the Traveler:

The revelation that there is a connection


between Jack and the mysterious Traveler, the leader of the cult. Characters can
use the postcards theyve gotten from Jack to fight the Traveler. Each postcard
has a psychic connection to the cult leader. By channeling positive feelings
through the postcard, the Traveler can be attacked or the character can activate
one of several powers with a postcard. See Chapter 7 for more details. However,
each postcard can only be used once in this way before the psychic connection is
severed. They are a weapon of last resort.

4. Secrets of the Underworld:

The characters learn the basic


dimensional properties of the Underworld, including how to navigate, fight
better and most importantly, how to escape it once they get stuck. Characters do
not suffer from disorientation in the Underworld.

5. Project Long Stairs: The final reward. This reveals where the cult will
strikeArea 51as well as an overview of the Project. Characters get an idea of
how the cult will approach and overtake the facility and how to overcome it.

Delivering the Rewards


Pastoral Manor: If alive, Blackbriar or Joseph can give the reward to the
player. Otherwise, the players will have a vision from the Great Tree.

Sunny Vale:

Zoltron can obviously deliver a reward. However, if the real


Zoltron is not rescued, the players can receive a reward from the crystal ball.
Dagon will not give the players a reward.

Sucrose Park:

The Brain Trust knows quite a bit and can give a reward
as a condition for letting it flee. Alternately, the players can find a reward in the
science lab.

The Kingdom of Oz:

The Wicked Witch of the West will grant a


reward to the players if they restore her to the throne, regardless of her new
personality.

The Eternal Glades:

The fruit of the forbidden tree grants great


knowledge to any who partake of it, thus a character who takes a bite can gain
a reward even if they dont beat the chapter.

Roadside Encounters

Unattac h e d Monst e rs
in Combat
Many monsters in this campaign
are not attached to a kid, so they
use slightly different rules for
determining in which order they
declare their actions. You can
either use a hit location connected
to speed or senses, such as legs
or eyes. Alternately, you can just
have NPC monsters declare first,
especially if they are huge.
NPC monsters will flee when it
is logical for them to do so. Few
monsters will stand and fight to
the death unless they are mindless
or crazed berserkers. At the GMs
discretion, players can figure out
when a NPC monster will flee or
what its abilities are through skill
rolls, such as BRAINS + NOTICE or
BRAINS + OUT-THINK.

While the adventure hubs are the primary focus of the campaign, a road trip
isnt complete without a few memorable encounters along the side of the road.
American pop culture is replete with potential encounter fodder, from small
town speed traps, Route 66 attractions such as the worlds largest ball of yarn,
to urban legends like the phantom hitchhiker. These encounters can also fill out
the clues and details your group missed in the campaign. They can either be
short distractions between chapters or they can significantly add to the length
of the campaign by expanding on these encounters and turning them into entire
scenarios.
Each chapter is a major adventure site that should take at least one full session
to complete and often more than one session to see through. Of course, what
road trip is complete without at least a few roadside diversions? In between
chapters, the characters should come across at least one roadside encounter.
Most should be optional, but every once in a while an encounter will be
unavoidable. Look at Appendix B for more information on running roadside
encounters in your campaign.

Underworld Tremors
During each chapter, you can interject brief scenes in the Underworld to
foreshadow the final adventure and reinforce the overall goal of the campaign:
to stop the cult from summoning the Ur-Monster. Appendix A details some
potential tremors and how to run them. Feel free to create your own encounters
if you have different ideas.

7
17

Threats
By Benjamin Baugh
Sometimes, kids and monsters find themselves tangling not with another
character but with a dynamic and dangerous situation. Its not just a single
obstacle to be overcome with a simple roll, but something requiring the added
complexities of a full-blown conflict. Anything that can inflict damage on kids
and monstersbe it a burning building, a hallway full of laughing peers, , a
swarm of angry bees, or a gnarly nightmare can be handled as a Threat.
Threats give the GM an easy way of managing complicated menaces and giving
them meaningful game effects.
Threats aint the same as characters, and in many ways are there to suggest to
players a course of action in the scene.

Threat Dice Pools

A Threat is represented by a dice pool, a few Qualities, and even some Extras. In
a way, its very much how monster powers are statted out.
The Threats dice pool is an abstraction of how dangerous it is, and how hard to
beat. It isnt intended to map directly to the numbers of actual giant snakes in a
giant snake swarm, but if you like, it can. One giant snake per die . . . two . . .
ten. And unlike kids and even monsters, Threats can have and roll more than 10
dice. Why? Just because!
In a conflict, Threats can damage characters, and can be damaged the same
way: by having their dice pool reduced. When reduced to 0, the Threat has been
completely dealt with.

Threat Actions

The GM always declares the intentions for any Threats in play before anyone
else, regardless of the BRAINS + OUT-THINK totals. Unlike most characters,
every set rolled for a Threat is used, so it can do the same Threatening thing
multiple times in a round without even trying hard.
If a Threat has more than one declared action (attacking and defending, for
example), then it drops a die from its pool as normal for multiple actions, but it
gets to use all the sets rolled for either or both of its declarations.

]
18

Threat Qualities
and Extras

All Threats have the Attacks quality. Without Attacks,


theyre not much in the way of threats. For some
Threats, thats all they do, but some situations are
trickier to deal with.
With Defends, the Threat can make defensive rolls and
gobble attacks, defending itself or others.
With Useful it can do other things, pretty much just
like a monster power (as described on page 43 of
Monsters and Other Childish Things).

The GM can add Extras to a Threat, just like a


monster power. They work pretty much the same
way here as they do for monsters. Gnarly makes the
threat more damaging, Tough makes it harder to
beat, Wicked Fast means it resolves quicker, etc.
Be careful with these: Since you keep all the rolled
sets for a Threat, a little bit of Gnarly goes a long
way. And since they dont have hit locations, a
little bit of Tough protects the whole Threat.

Hurting a Threat

Threats dont really have hit locations. Any successful attack reduces a Threats
dice pool by the damage done.
And on the subject of attacking threats, what would you use to do it?
Here, creativity is explicitly to be rewarded and encouraged. Threats can be
defeated in all kinds of ways. One kid might use his HANDS + PUNCHING to
deal with a crowd of mocking, crowing kids, laughing at how funny his mom
dresses him. Another might use FACE + PUTDOWN to smack-talk them back. Still
another might simply run away, using FEET + P.E. to escape their taunts. The end
result is the same: They inflict damage on the Threats dice pool, representing
how close they are to beating it, and how much its ability to hurt them has been
reduced.

7
19

Homesickness
Despite their special knowledge of the supernatural and powerful monster
friends, the player characters are still kids. They may easily become homesick
during the campaign. Separation from friends and family, stress from fighting
the Cult, and the isolation of being in weird and new places all take their toll. In
general, the longer the characters spend away and the more they take on, the
more they long to return home.
At the start of every chapter after the first one that they spend on the road,
each character must make a GUTS + COURAGE roll. Compare its width to a roll
according to the following:
Second Chapter On the Road: 2d
Third Chapter On the Road: 4d
Fourth Chapter On the Road: 6d
Fifth Chapter On the Road: 8d
Sixth Chapter On the Road (Finale): 10d
Please note that the numbering is based on what they have played through,
not how they are numbered in this book. So if the characters went to Sucrose
Park first and then went to Sunny Vale as their second chapter on the road, they
would be rolling against 2d.
If the character wins the opposed roll, the kid is fine. Otherwise, consult the
table below.
............................................................
Width Result

The character loses 1 point of a skill. The character can choose which
skill is affected.

The character loses 1 point from an attribute. The character can choose
which attribute is affected.

The character loses 1 point in a Relationship and the Relationship is


now shocked. The character can choose which Relationship is affected.

5+

The character loses 1 skill, 1 attribute and 1 Relationship point!

............................................................
Keep track of how many stat, skill or Relationship points are lost due to
homesickness versus how many are lost due to conflicts during the campaign.

]
20

Fighting Homesickness

Fortunately, characters can not only reverse the effects of homesickness, they
can actually learn from it and become stronger as a result! In order to recover
lost attributes, skills or relationships, the character can try one of the following
things to fight homesickness:

Call friends and family home: No dice rolling is necessary, but

the character can only call characters with Relationship points and the player
must role play well enough to justify the recovery. For example, a character
with a Relationship of 3 with his father can call him to find out whats going on
at home. A player character cant use the same relationship twice in a row to
recover from homesickness.

Take a day off from the quest and have fun:

While
saving the world from the cult is important, so is fun. Again, the scene is role
played and no dice rolling is necessary unless the character tries something that
should require rolling, such as playing baseball or tries to get the all-time high
score on an arcade game.

Write a letter or postcard:

The player actually writes a letter


home for the character. This can be as short or as long as the player needs it to
be. It must mention a few events in the campaign so far, even if obliquely
After doing one of those things, the character recovers a point lost due to
homesickness from a stat, skill or Relationship.

Lessons of the Road

Any time the character recovers a point of a stat, skill or Relationship lost due
to homesickness, the player can then roll to see if he has learned from the
experience. The player rolls a stat of his choice (no skill, just the stat), but can
only use each stat only once.
If the roll is successful, the character gets a new dice pool that starts at 1d. Call
the pool Lessons of the Road. The pool can be used once per chapter to grant
a bonus to any roll of the characters choice. Unlike Relationships, the character
cant loan this to his monster.
From the next chapter on, every time the character succeeds in the roll to recover
from homesickness, character gains one of the following benefits:
+1d to Lessons of the Road.
+1 use of Lessons of the Road per chapter.
So after the first recovery and successful stat roll, the character gains 1d in
Lessons of the Road and can use it once per chapter. After the second recovery
and successful roll, that can go to 2d, once per chapter, or to 1d, twice per
chapter. With a third recovery and successful roll, it can go to 2d, twice per
chapter; or 3d, once per chapter; or 1d, three times per chapter. And so on.

7
21

Chapter 1:

Prologue to a Travelogue
A strange boy, Jack Blackguard, visits the players on the first day of summer
vacation, looking for his monster friend Basil, who has disappeared.
Jack tells the characters that he and Basil had been fighting a strange group of
creatures who were planning something big, doing weird things all around the
country and messing with monsters who hadnt done anything. Jack and Basil
tracked them down to the players hometown but last night Basil went missing.
Jack thought the players were the next target so he went to warn them and ask
for help against, this group.
After befriending the characters, a clue about the missing monsters location
leads the party to the local museum. There, a strange creature named Endiku
banishes Basil and Jack to the Underworld and simultaneously placing all
other monsters in the vicinity with the same curse. Endiku tells them that they
only have until the end of summer before they too will be banished to the
Underworld. The players can fight Endiku but win or lose; the creature vanishes
without a trace.

]
22

As the players try to figure out how to stop the curse, they receive the first
postcard from Jack. Jack mentions he can briefly leave the underworld to point
them in the right direction but thats it. Its up to the players to go on a road trip.

Getting Started: Schools Out!


School has finally ended. The endless possibilities of summer fill the imaginations
of the characters. As the party members head out the doors the last time, have
each character roll a BRAINS + NOTICE check. Those who succeed see strange
graffiti scrawled across their lockers, in hallways outside their classroom doors,
as if its directed at the player characters. Weirdly, the graffiti is not noticed by
anyone other than the characters and their monsters. Its supernatural.
Some of the messages include:
WHERE ARE YOU BASIL?
MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM
THE CULT IS HERE
THE GATE IS OPENING!
STOP THE RITUAL

Once they have noticed the graffiti, Jack


attempts to make contact with the party
through one of two ways: either by showing
up at a local hangout where the party
frequently meets, or by calling one of the
characters parents and asking to come over.
Either way, Jack tries to meet with as many
members of the party as possible as soon as
school ends and summer begins.

The Red Terror

The Red Terror, a nasty supernatural


creature, appears to be on the hunt for Jack.
The party can either stumble on the Terror
while they are looking for the graffiti artist
or it can show up while Jack tells his story. In any case, it is a dumb, nasty brute
that only seeks to cause as much mayhem as possible.
Once the Red Terror is defeated, it will point to the PCs and scream out ominous
threats along the lines of You cant stop us! Our master shall succeed! and
so on before vanishing in a puff of red smoke. Or if you like, it can flee for the
Armitage Museum (see the next page) to lead the PCs toward his masters.
See the Terrors stats on page 30.

Meet Jack

Once Jack can meet with at least half the party, he tells his story.
Just so you know, first off, you arent the only kids out there with special
friends. Far from it. All over the country, you can find them. In fact, I have a
friend. Basil. Hes a minotaur warrior. Very cool. But we sniffed out this group.
Like a cult or a mafia. Up to no good. We found out that they wanted to summon
thisthing. I dont know what. But its big. And old, like ancient Sumerian

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old. And bad. Very, very bad. We tracked them down here. But last night we
overheard one of them talk about some other kids with monsters and wanting to
stop you. Basil said he was going to look for you guys. But he hasnt returned in
hours. I need your help.
Jack will answer questions but insists that time is of essence and they must find
Basil before its too late.

On Jacks background and family:

Jack at first claims to have


run away because his family was boring, but if pressed he says hes an orphan
and Basil helped him escape from the state institute. Hes wandered around with
Basil for a few years now and now loves to travel. With a monster friend, its
easy and exciting.

On the bad guys:

About six months ago, Jack and Basil met a few


other kids with monsters and hung out with them a while. Jack even considered
staying in the town as he had befriended them. However, one night a sorcerer
called Dagon appeared before Jacks new friends. Dagon said nothing but an
incantation, a curse that banished the monsters to the Underworld, whatever
that is. Jack and Basil caught the sorcerer afterwards and found out that a
group who referred to themselves as the Cult of the Underworld was planning
to summon their monster, an ancient demon. This required that every monster in
the country to join the cult or be banished. Since then, Jack and Basil sought the
cult out and tried to stop their plans.
Jack emphasizes that every kid with a monster friend is an enemy of the cult.
They actively search for them and it is only a matter of time before the cult
discovers the PCs. So even if the PCs dont want to take up the good fight, he
says they should at least check out the situation so they can prepare for the
inevitable confrontation.

Finding Basil

The players have three ways of finding Basil.

1. Sumerian mythology.

Jack knows theres some kind of connection


between the cult and ancient Sumerian mythology. A BRAINS + REMEMBER skill
check of height 5 or better reveals that the local history museum is currently
holding an exhibit on ancient myths.

2. Weird senses.

Monsters with perceptive powers can sweep the city


and find out that the local museum is emitting mystic energies that indicate
something unnatural is going on.

3. The Red Terror.

If they merely chase off the Red Terror, they may tail

it back to the museum.

If the characters cant figure it out themselves then Jack will provide hints to get
them to investigate the museum.

]
24

The Armitage Museum

The exact description of the museum should depend on the size of the town the
characters live in. Use a real museum if they live in a sufficiently large museum
but if they live in a mid sized city, use Armitage Museum as a template. If the
characters live in a town too small for a history museum of any kind, place one in
the next town over or have the exhibit at the local college or library.

A small but well regarded world history museum, Armitage is a stopping point
for many traveling exhibits with very few permanent installations. Last month,
they just received a shipment related to ancient mythology, the majority of which
are Sumerian, all sent from an anonymous donor. Not to look a gift horse in
the mouth, they immediately set forth preparing an exhibit. Its almost ready to
debut, with the artifacts in place in the museum but concealed under cloth until
the grand opening party set for this weekend.
The museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day. Jack urges the party to wait
until its closed before investigating but characters who visit during the day
wont find anything unusual the Sumerian exhibit is roped off for now. If the
party sneaks into the exhibit and pulls the cloth covers off run the encounter
as normal except now the police and innocent bystanders are threatened by the
sorcerer and the banishment curse.

The Sumerian Exhibit


The center of the Ancient Myths Exhibit is a large room dedicated to the stories
of old Sumer, particularly the epic of Gilgamesh. The center of the room is
a massive statue covered by cloth with a plaque that describes it as statue
depicting Gilgamesh in the underworld. It notes that sections of the Epic were
lost to history but several sections mention the heros visit to the underworld.
The rest of the walls are lined with smaller statues, also covered.

Dagon Attacks

When running this encounter, you have two options, both of which will have
ramifications for the rest of the campaign. You can either have Basil already
banished into the Underworld by Dagon, or have the PCs arrive in time to see
Basil be banished.
Either way, the players do not have a chance to rescue Basil. While seeing the
banishment is more dramatic, many players will become frustrated when they fail
to rescue him and may complain of railroading. If you are unsure how your group
would react, make sure they get there after Basil is gone.

Option One: Basil is


Already Banished
Once the players get inside the exhibit, Dagon will ambush them. Disguised as a
statue, Dagon waits until they are all inside then attacks the strongest looking
character. After an initial blast, Dagon will release the curse of banishment as
a burst dark magic expands outward like an explosion. It engulfs every kid and
monster in the room, tinting them an odd shade of dark blue. Jack shimmers and
then is banished to the Underworld.
Dagon grins and announces to the characters Behold! The Curse of
Banishment! And all of you shall suffer the same fate! MOO HOO HA HA! After
that, Dagon begins to fight the characters.

O p t i o n Tw o : S e e i n g B a s i l B a n i s h e d
If the players pull the cover off the main statue or if they visit the exhibit at
night, they will find Basil. The center statue shows Gilgamesh facing an imposing
demon with outstretched arms. Basil, a suitably stalwart looking minotaur, is
tied up and held between the demons arms, unconscious. Dagon, disguised as
another statue in the corner of the room, unleashes the curse whenever he can
get the most player characters as possible, preferably when they try to free Basil.

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Before the characters can free Basil, dark magic bursts outward like an explosion
from the statue and Basil. It engulfs every kid and monster in the room,
tinting them an odd shade of dark blue. A point of absolute darkness, like a
golfball sized black hole appears over the demons mouth. It pulls Basil inward,
stretching him apart at the event horizon. Jack immediately rushes over and tries
to free him but is caught.
Any player character (kid or monster) in the room when Dagon banishes Basil is
cursed. See the Curse of Banishment, below.
Dagon grins and announces to the characters Behold! The Curse of
Banishment! Soon, they will be flung into the Underworld never to return! And
all of you shall suffer the same fate! MOO HOO HA HA! After that, Dagon
begins to fight the characters. (If the players attack Dagon before he can finish
his taunt, he will try to get the same information across after he is defeated.)

The Curse of Banishment


Running th e Campaign
With out th e Curs e
of Banishm e nt
The curse is not necessary to run
the campaign if you think your
players will go on the road trip
willingly. The Underworld Tremors
sections are not essential to the
campaign. They are meant to
provide more flavor and context
to the cult and foreshadow the
final chapter. If you still want to
use them then simply have the
tremors take place as dreams or
visions.

The Curse of Banishment serves as a motivating force for your players to embark
on a cross-country road trip even if they dont care about saving Jack and Basil
or stopping an evil cult for its own sake. The threat of the curse means that
even selfish characters will want to stop the cult. This means the curse is not
necessary if your group wants to fight the cult on their own.

Effe cts of the Cur se


Some PCs are cursed:

It is entirely possible that only some of the


player characters are in the exhibit room when the curse is activated. In this
case, the campaign proceeds as normal except when an Underworld tremor
occurs. If the GM wants, he can state that tremors also pull in nearby kids
and monsters, so the entire party can participate in the encounter. Otherwise,
the uncursed have to wait a few minutes until their friends return from the
Underworld.

An NPC friend is cursed:

If the party has a NPC ally investigate the


museum, they can be cursed. Dagon lets the NPC escape so they can return to
the players and will secretly follow the NPC. Jack will explain the curse to the
players and point out that they must stop the Cult of the Underworld now or
their NPC friend is doomed. Dagon attacks after Jack explains the curse and
targets him first, blasting him to the underworld. Dagon then attacks the party
but will taunt them, saying that Basil is already in the underworld.

All monsters everywhere are cursed:

Finally, you can have the


curse affect every monster in the world. This gives the campaign a suitably epic
feel and the players wont feel singled out.

There is no curse:

]
26

Some players and Game Masters may not want to


be cursed. To players, it may feel like railroading and unfair to be hit by a curse
without any way to save against it. Some GMs may not want to put the players
on such a desperate note right at the start of the campaign. While this campaign
is structured around the idea that the players will be motivated to fight the cult
of the Underworld to lift the curse, the GM can easily change it to find a way to
bring Jack and Basil back from the Underworld and to save the world from the
Cults giant monster.
If you go this route, please note that several clues in the chapters ahead will
be irrelevant. In particular, the section on Underworld Tremors will be ignored.
The tremors are a side effect of the curse and will not happen to characters

not affected by it. This may make it more difficult to uncover the truth about
Jack, the Traveler and the Cult, however, but thats the cost of not dealing
with the Curse. Alternately, the GM can give the party the option to explore
the Underworld through dreams. Certain NPCs in the campaign are designated
as sorcerers or wizards. If the party befriends a sorcerer and tells them of the
Underworld, the sorcerer can help the party by sending them to the underworld
in their dreams via a mystic ritual. If the PCs agree to the ritual, have them fall
asleep and run one of the Underworld tremors encounters as normal. When they
wake up, the PCs will remember the knowledge but gain nothing else.

Aftermath of the Curse

Once Dagon is defeated and the characters realize they must stop the Cult of
the Underworld, they should recall Jacks story of traveling around the country,
fighting them where they went. Give the group some time to think and discuss
what to do next. However, America is a vast country and they only have a few
months to remove the curse. They should try to find a lead as to the Cults
whereabouts.
Some logical courses of action:

Look through media reports of weirdness/occult


activity. A successful BRAINS + NOTICE roll may reveal news stories related
to one of the adventure sites such as several missing kids near Sucrose Park or
buildings collapsing for no known reason near Sunny Vale.

Research the Cult of the Underworld. BRAINS + OUT-THINK.


Characters can only find references to various beliefs in ancient civilization
of a great demon that was kept imprisoned deep below the earth. For some
unknown reason, a cult formed in each ancient civilization that sought to free
the demon but these cults were always exterminated by the authorities when
discovered. The last known Cult of the Underworld perished shortly before the
Enlightenment began.

Look for clues at the museum.

Smart players can find shipping


manifests or incidental clues left behind by the Cult. These clues should point in
the direction of the first adventure hub, whichever you decide it to be.

The First Postcard

The players should come across the first of Jacks postcards while they are trying
to figure out where to go next. If they are looking in the library, the card should
be found as a bookmark in one of the books they look in. If they look through
the newspapers, it should be bundled with the morning news. If all else fails,
they find it in one of the characters mailboxes the morning after the museum
incident. You may have only one player receive the postcard or all of them,
although it will probably speed the game up if all of them receive an identical
postcard.
The postcard gives the players the lead they are looking for, so they can begin
their quest to save the world and remove the curse of banishment. Theres just
the small matter of getting there.

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Jack Blackguard

A quiet, serious boy, possibly 11 or 12, dressed in a worn green jacket and jeans,
no matter the weather. He pauses between each sentence, almost as if trying
to remember what he should say. He seldom actually looks at other people,
preferring to gaze off into the distance but when he does meet a characters
gaze, they see a great depth to Jack, unusual for a child so young.
Jack has a habit, almost an obsession, with drawing mazes. Hell doodle on a
piece of paper, his hand, carve a maze into a nearby tree if hes not occupied
with something else. He cant help it.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 3 (P.E. +1, Kicking +0, Dodge +2)
Guts 5 (Wind +1, Courage +5, Wrestling +2)
Hands 2 (Shop +0, Punching +2, Blocking +0)
Brains 4 (Out-Think +3, Remember +3, Notice +4)
Face 4 (Charm +3, Putdown +3, Connive +5)

Relationships
Mazes 5

]
28

The Connection Between


J a c k a n d T h e Tr a v e l e r
There is a powerful psychic connection between Jack and the Traveler. Its exact
nature should be a mystery and should take the players a while to figure out.
Some possible options are:

Jack and the Traveler are the same being:

The most
obvious connection. The Traveler pulled a Fight Club and has a split personality.
Perhaps the ancient being longed for some imagined innocence and invented
Jack or Jack created the persona of the Traveler after his mind was shattered
when he encountered the Ur-Monster.

The Traveler possessed Jacks body:

Jack is a real boy but the


Traveler is a parasitic spirit that needed a host body. It chose Jack and uses him
as a vehicle to see its plan through. However, Jack is able to wrest control every
once in a while and sends the postcards to help the characters.

The Traveler is Basil, Jacks monster:

to be best friends but Basil was always the Traveler and


Jack, just as he manipulates the characters. Jack
has realized this but knows that the Traveler is more
vulnerable to human emotion than he lets on.

Jack and Basil used


manipulated

Basil

Basil resembles Conan the Barbarianif he had a bulls


head. Basil speaks few words and prefers to rely on his
mighty battle axe and shield.

Bits and Pieces


Location 1: Horns 5d (Useful [knock down doors and

walls])
Locations 2-3: Mighty Steel Shield 8d (Defends, Tough

x2)
Location 4: Throaty Road 3d (Attacks, Awesome x2)
Locations 5-7: Strong Legs 6d (Defends, Useful [Run],

Awesome x2, Tough x3, Wicked Fast x3)


Locations 8-10: Battle Axe 8d (Attacks, Awesome

x2, Gnarly x4, Wicked Fast x1)

Dagon

A slimy fish-man sorcerer in the employ of the Traveler, Dagon is arrogant and
foolish, the perfect patsy for the Traveler. Dagon is easily cowed once defeated in
battle and will reveal whatever he knows but he doesnt know much. Characters
can learn one fact per successful Connive or Charm rolleach character can
only make one attempt and only if the monsters do not attack him after he
surrenders. Dagon will escape by teleporting to the Underworld after a few
moments.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Scaly Fish Legs 7d (Defends, Awesome x2, Tough x1)
Locations 3-5: Mythos Mojo 8d (Attacks, Useful [dark magic], Awesome x2,

Gnarly x3 Wicked Fast x1)

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Locations 6-8: Webbed Claws 7d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [sleight of hand],

Gnarly x1, Tough x2, Wicked Fast x3)


Locations 9-10: Fish Head 6d (Useful [magical sight], Awesome x2, Tough x2 )

What Dagon Knows


The leader of the Cult of the Underworld escaped from the Underworld
The Cult wants to open a gate large enough to bring an incredibly powerful
monster through.
The monster is described as the first of all monsters, The Ur-Monster
The leader reveals very little to his minions, preferring to do most of the work
himself.

The Red Terror

The Red Terror is a half spider/half giant dervish, a red whirlwind of weapons
with eight arms and three bloodshot eyes and one grotesque pair of mandibles.
It wields a veritable arsenal of swords, axes and other melee weapons. In
general, the Red Terror loves battle and bloodshed and wont retreat from a fight
once hes wounded a foe.
The Traveler actually employs an entire clan of these frenzied warriors, but can
only have up to five on Earth at any given time. They have identical stats to the
Red Terror. Their names follow a simple scheme of their personal color followed
by a synonym for fear.
Some names include:
The Black Horror
The Gray Nightmare
The Blue Phobia
The Green Fright
The Orange Panic

Bits and Pieces


Location 1: Whirlwind of Limbs 5d (Useful [skitter extremely fast]).
Location 2: Spinneret 3d (Useful [spin webs], Awesome x2).
Location 3-4: Webbing 6d (Defends, Tough x2, Awesome x2 Wicked Fast x1).
Location 5-6: Venom Spit 6d (Useful [paralyzing spit]; Attacks, Awesome x2,

Tough x1).
Location 7-9: Arsenal of Blades 6d (Attacks, Area x 2, Gnarly x2, Wicked Fast

x1, Burns, Awesome x2, Tough x1)


Location 10: Eyes 3d (Useful [detect hidden things], Awesome x2)

]
30

Now What?
This campaign is designed to be non-linear. The GM may choose to run the
chapters in whatever order he chooses as long. The only assumptions are
that the Prologue begins the campaign and Area 51 concludes the campaign.
Normally, once a chapter is completed, the GM provides the lead to the next
chapter in the form of one of Jacks postcards. However, after the museum
encounter a GM may provide the group with more than one or even all of the
postcards instead of simply handing one to the group.
While handing out the postcards all at once allows the players more control over
their destiny, as they can choose which adventure hub they would like to visit, it
also has several potential pitfalls.
Some groups may elect to leave a site before the main adventure is completed.
If the players do this, the cult will take advantage of their foolishness and pick
up the pieces where the players left off. Consider the chapter to have the worst
possible ending for determinations of the finale.
A group may elect to split up to cover more ground. While this is logical, the vast
distances involved between each hub will make the campaign extremely hard to
run, as each half of the group cant easily interact with the other. If you want to
run this campaign for two separate groups, splitting them up is a perfect option
to cover more of the campaign in fewer sessions.

Links Between the Chapters

Each chapter is designed to be self-contained so they can be run in any given


order. The Traveler has left his mark on each site and characters may find some
links between certain sites, such as the flying monkey spy at Pastoral Manor.
If you wish, feel free to elaborate on the links between the sites if you feel the
campaign needs them.

Starting the Best Summer


Vacation Ever
The player characters may have monster friends who can bend steel bars or
read minds, but theyre still kids. They cant legally drive, they dont have much
money, and if they run away, their parents will call the police and go looking for
them. So, they must get their parents or guardians to drive them to the first site
or arrange for a special road trip chaperoned by adults the parents trust. On the
other hand, some players may relish the additional challenge and freedom. As
each group is unique, there is no one right way to get them on the road.

Begging or mind-controlling parents to go on


vacation: Characters may just be able to beg or coerce their parents into

taking them on a vacation or perhaps their monster friend can persuade them
with a special power. The greatest limitation of this approach is the unreliable
nature of such persuasion. Parents can eventually grow numb to the constant
pleading and whining of their kids and even mind control powers have their
limits. Once the kids lose control over their parents, the trip may be canceled at
any moment.

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As a GM, having the parents around can provide a lot of interesting and
memorable scenes in the campaign. Having the kids try to explain why the hotel
was mysteriously flattened after a few monsters fought in the lobby or why
the family station wagon now stinks of brimstone can be quite entertaining.
However, these encounters should be sidelines to the main event and not
prematurely end the campaign. You must walk a fine line between giving the
players too little or too much control over their parents. Finally, it should be
interesting to see how the kids can convince the parents to visit multiple sites,
going from coast to coast.

Summer camp:

Many parents drop their kids off at summer camp


and dont see them until the end of summer. This is a perfect opportunity
for enterprising parties. First, they could simply fake going to summer camp,
leaving them free for the entire summer to finish the campaign. Any kid with a
monster friend is bound to be a master at deceiving parental authority figures, so
convincing them that they just won a free spot at NASA Space Camp should be
a piece of cake. This still leaves them without transportation or much money, but
that can be an adventure in and of itself. Alternately, they could actually go to
summer camp but sneak out, perhaps using some kind of teleportation power to
visit the adventure hubs. This is more problematic though, as traveling across the
country is part of the campaign.
A special school field trip: Some kids go on trips with their peers and a few
teachers during the summer, many times for an extracurricular activity like a
trivia championship. Again, the kids should be able to con their way out the door
of their homes without much a problem but keeping up the charade may be a
long standing challenge. Phone calls insisting that everything is normal and there
is no reason to be suspicious while fighting the forces of darkness can be quite
interesting. The biggest hurdle though is getting a teacher to go along with the
con or getting someone to impersonate a teacher.

Run away:

Some players might just want to hit the road without regards
to their family. If all of the characters have monsters with special transportation
powers, such as flying, they can certainly try. However, they may bypass many
of the side encounters. Hitchhiking is extremely unreliable and dangerous,
especially for minors. Kids will get homesick much more quickly when they are
alone and unable to contact their parents.

Ask for an adult to help:

If the group has any adult friends who are


aware of the supernatural, such as a parent who also grew up with a monster
friend or a neighbor who happens to be a wizard, the player characters could
simply ask for their help in stopping the Cult of the Underworld. This is the
ideal solution from the players perspective, as they will have the support of an
adult who can actually participate in the mission. Unfortunately, normal adults
not clued in the supernatural arent going to seriously listen to a bunch of kids
prattle about cults and monsters and any adult who does is probably ready for a
quiet padded room.

]
32

Crossover Madness

A related option, it is certainly possible to cross over with other One Roll Engine
games. Some possible ideas include:

Nemesis (Modern Horror):

A covert group secretly hunts evil


supernatural creatures and cults, including the Cult of the Underworld. One
of their agents runs across the players and instead of attacking the monsters
decides to help them stop the Cult.

Wild Talents (Supers): Superheroes would see the kids as budding

young heroes, albeit a bit weird for their tastes most likely. A team up to fight an
evil cult bent on destroying the world is up their alley!

What the Players Need to


Start the Campaign

They need a mode of transportation, preferably one or more cars. A motor home
is ideal.
They need basic supplies, food, water, etc.
They need either enough money to buy all of the above, or some other reliable
way to get them.
They need a measure of control over the trip, so they can go from one adventure
hub to the next.
But not too much control.
Trying to save the world from the Cult of the Underworld while dragging a
family ignorant of the supernatural around the country is a daunting task by any
measures. Many players will want to get to the cool action scenes, fighting other
monsters and investigating the mystery behind the Ur-Monster. That makes it
tempting to give the players carte blanche by giving them complete freedom of
movement and treating their characters as miniature adults with super powered
bodyguards. However, this campaign will not be as enjoyable if you make it too
easy for them. Heroesespecially the kids in Monsters and Other Childish
Things are defined by the challenges they overcome and the relationships they
have with their friends and family. You will reap greater rewards if you place the
player characters with oblivious but loving parents, bratty siblings and annoying
friends.
Furthermore, theres a practical advantage by giving the players such restrictions,
both for the game master and for the players. Veteran role players will
quickly get to business once they hear about the Cult, researching its history,
questioning people and digging up clues, not to mention using the incredible
power their monsters have readily available. A single kid with a monster friend
could do the work of an entire team of covert government agents or ragtag
group of scholars and dabblers of the occult. But government agents dont have
a strict bedtime nor will they be dragged away from the library so they can get
some fresh air and exercise. Adult authority figures force the players to be more
creative with their investigations.
To counterbalance these restrictions, players do get some benefit from having
a few adults around. Parents can make a kid feel better, healing emotional and

7
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physical damage (chaperones can also, but only to a limited extent). A kid with
his parents does not suffer from homesickness and a kid with a chaperone has
+2 dice to resist homesickness. Not to mention that adults have a lot more
money than kids and they tend to hand it out pretty frequently on vacation.

Sample Campaign Models


Family vacation: Every player is a member of the same family.

Characters can be siblings or cousins visiting for the summer. Perhaps one or
two close friends can come along. Once the Cult and the Curse of Banishment
is introduced, the players convince their parents to visit the first adventure hub.
Once they complete the first hub, its just a matter of begging, whining and mind
control magic to get them to visit the next one and so on. The trick is to keep
the rest of the family in the dark about sneaking out of the motel at night to
combat the forces of darkness not to mention protecting them from said forces
of darkness.

Carolines Cross-Country Tour:

Caroline Jolly-Kidd is pretty


cool for an adult. She lived through the 60s as a hippie and still has a VW
bus. More importantly, she even had a monster friend. Tragically, her monster
died to protect her. But she never forgot about the supernatural, unlike most
other adults, and to this day, she helps kids who have monster friends. In fact,
shes a mentor to the players. When they learn about the Cult and tell her, she
volunteers to take them where they need to go.
This gives the players a lot of control in where they go but they still have several
restrictions. First, the players need to convince their parents to let them go with
Caroline which will probably involve a pretty elaborate cover story that they will
need to maintain. Creating a suitable cover story that will convince all of the
parents to let their children go with an adult around the country for summer
vacation should be an adventure in of itself.
To establish a believable cover story, the characters will need the following
elements:
A very good reason to go on the trip. Competing in the nationals for

History Bowl or Little League would require the characters to travel around the
country. Another alternative is to lie about their destination. Hey mom and dad,
I just won a free stay at summer camp! All my friends are going! Can I? Huh?
Plllleaassee? or Hey can I bring my friends to Aunt Sallys farm this summer?
Corroboration from trusted authorities. To parents, these are teachers,

police officers, other pillars of the community and relatives. The characters must
figure out how to get some of these adults to back up their story. Monsters with
mind control powers can easily do this but conniving characters can blackmail
or trick adults if they dare. In general, the PCs should get at least three NPCs
to vouch the characters story. Another option is to let one or more parents
accompany the characters on their trip.

]
34

Caroline will be ready to help out in any way she can to establish a plausible
cover story but she can only do so much and she may or may not already know
the parents. Most parents arent willing to let a stranger take their kids away for
the summer so Caroline can only do so much on her own.
Alternatively, the characters can try to just explain why they need to go on a
cross country road trip, revealing the existence of monsters, the Cult, the curse
and the postcards. Of course, the parents might drag them to the local priest for
an exorcism, go mad, or simply fall into a catatonic state. So its not recommend,

at least at first. As the campaign progresses, the cover story will probably
develop a few holes in it and the kids might even need help from their parents.
This could be a good opportunity for role playing, as the kid tearfully admits why
they lied and what the stakes are when it comes to fighting the Cult. Hopefully,
the parents will decide to stand by their kids just in time for the big finale at
Area 51. Or they could go bonkers. Or they could even try to drag their kids away
from the trip. There are clearly risks to this approach.
Finally, Carolines only got one old beat-up VW bus to her name and her bank
accounts pretty low. Shes still a defiant ex-hippie and sooner or later some
authority figures are going to give her trouble. Lastly, because shes aware of
the supernatural, shell be even bigger target and may get herself kidnapped or
cursed. (See the Monsters and Other Childish Things adventure Curriculum
of Conspiracy for more information about Caroline.)

Lets Hit The Road!


The search for Basil concludes with the group hitting the road for the first time.
Despite whats at stake, the characters should be thrilled to have a chance to
see the country and experience the world outside their home town. The fact that
other monsters exist and great adventure to be had should be enough to get the
characters excited.
They should arrive at the first hub without incident or with only one roadside
encounter at the most. Let the weirdness build over the course of the campaign
rather than slamming them with magic and monsters right out of the gate.

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Chapter 2:
Pastoral Manor

The perfect rural retreat, a happy farm and pastoral paradise. But beneath this
shining exterior lies a seething underworld of scheming and malevolent talking
animals. General Blackbriar, leader of the Animal Revolution, wants to overthrow
the humans (and anyone allied to them) and impose a dictatorship.
Jacks postcard tells the characters that Blackbriar is a member of the Cult of the
Underworld and taking him out would deal a powerful blow against them.
Once the players set foot on Pastoral Manor they will be swept into the
revolution, like it or not. The lord of the manor has declared martial law and
will not let anyone leave until he or Blackbriar is dead. Of course, the lord is a
mad old man but the magic of the manor means that his word is law until he is
deposed. The farmhands and some of the animals back the lord.
Both sides see the players as agents of the enemy until proven otherwise. The
party can pick one side and fight it out, play one side against the other, or try to
learn the secrets of Pastoral Manor and Blackbriar.

Location: New England.

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Sources: Animal Farm, Battle for Algiers, Charlottes Web, Babe, The
Secret of NIMH, Watership Down.

The Story So Far


A long time ago on a happy farm, there lived a happy child named
Joseph Lawson who had a very special friend, a spirit of the land
that took on many forms, often as a simple animal like a bird or snake. It taught
Joseph how to speak with all of the animals who dwelled on the farm or in
the nearby forest. Joseph befriended a very brave and cunning rabbit named
Blackbriar and the three of them had many adventures.
But all good things must come to an end. Joseph grew to become a man.
Unlike his forefathers, Joseph wanted to leave the farm and see the world
and let his parents take care of the farm. But on the eve before his departure,
lightning caused a massive forest fire that threatened to engulf the farm. Joseph
and Blackbriar tried to evacuate all of the inhabitants, both human and animal,
but the fire spread too quickly. Joseph saw his parents collapse as the flames
engulfed them. In a selfless act of sacrifice, the spirit summoned a powerful
storm to quell the raging fire. But this act nearly destroyed the spirit.
When the rains settled and the smoke cleared, both of Josephs parents and
many of the animals had died. Joseph watched the coroner carry his family
away in numb horror. Blackbriar tried to console Joseph but a strange man in
an expensive suit appeared. He gave his condolences to Joseph and offered
to buy his land. Joseph nearly struck the man down but stayed his hand and
locked himself in his ash covered home. He did not emerge for a week, even as
Blackbriar pleaded nightly with him to come out.
Joseph spent the week studying his fathers papers and emptying the liquor
cabinet. He wept, he raged, he despaired. But the bottles ran out and the
numbers in the bank accounts did not change, no matter how many times he

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added them up. He simply did not have enough money to restart the farm, to
rebuild or even survive. When he emerged that fateful night, Joseph could no
longer bear to think of what would happen when he lost the farm. The man in
the suit had offered to buy the land earlier wanted to build a lumber mill on it to
harvest the forest. Joseph ran into the forest, screaming at the injustice of the
world, for letting his family die, letting his world die. Blackbriar followed.
Eventually Joseph came to a clearing deep in the forest, one he did not
recognize. A smoking pit stood in the center of the clearing. Baffled and half
drunk, Joseph moved forward to investigate it and stumbled. He fell far, far into
the earth but landed on a soft bed of moss. Blackbriar lept into the pit after
Joseph, without a moments hesitation. Both laughed for a moment at each
other, happy to survive. Then they saw the true form of the spirit.
In reality, the spirit had a physical form, a body. It was a monster and had
bonded with Joseph many years ago. Yet, it could not move. It told Joseph that it
was a shapeless, intangible spirit bound to the land, which was true in a sense.
Its true form was that of a titanic tangle of roots and plants, stretched out for
miles in each direction under the earth. Joseph saw its heart, a mossy, fibrous
heart that beat weakly. It was dying, because it had spent too much of its energy
to summon the storm and the fire had damaged too much of its roots for it to
recover. It explained this and that it had one last dying request for each of them.
To Joseph, it asked him to never sell the land, to always protect it from the rest
of humanity so it remained pristine. To Blackbriar, it asked that he overlook the
other animals of the land because the spirits presence had transform all of them
into intelligent, thinking beings and any animal that spent more than a year and
a day would similarly be transformed. They must keep their true nature hidden so
that civilization would not seek to exploit them.
The next thing Joseph or Blackbriar remembered was waking up the next
morning in their respective homes. Joseph and Blackbriar vowed to keep their
promises. Joseph kept the farm but moved to a large city in order to make
enough money to keep the land. Blackbriar became the guardian to all of the
animals and kept hunters and vandals away.

Estrangement

Years drifted by and Joseph became numb to the world. He had to work two
jobs to make ends meet. The time between his visits grew longer and longer.
Eventually, he fell in love with a woman and married her. By this time, Joseph no
longer had to spend any money on the farm. In fact, he had bought the forest as
well. When Josephs first son was born, a strange thing happened. Something
snapped in Josephs mind and all of his memories regarding the spirit and
Blackbriar were suppressed. Josephs family moved to the suburbs and had two
more children. When the youngest one was old enough to walk, they decided to
take a vacation at the old family farm, Josephs first visit in years.

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When Blackbriar saw a station wagon drive down the gravel road, he knew
that Joseph returned. When he saw that he had a family, he was overjoyed.
The rabbit rushed over to his old friend, grinning. But Joseph saw a large wild
rabbit screeching and bolting towards his family and moved to shoo the animal
way from his kids. After several more attempts to communicate with Joseph,
Blackbriar realized that his friend had forgotten about him. Blackbriar even tried
to reach out to Josephs children but somehow Joseph always knew and kept the
rabbit away from his family. He even set out traps to get rid of the weird rabbit.
The first seeds of hatred grew in Blackbriars heart.

More years passed. Josephs family returned to the farm many times but now
Blackbriar kept away. The other animals were curious and watched the family
from a distance. Everyone but Joseph was astounded by the sheer variety and
abundance of wildlife at the farm but it made Joseph uneasy. Something nagged
at him but he couldnt figure it out.
Joseph grew older as his children became adults and they had children of their
own. Blackbriar did not grow older, a byproduct of the spirits magic. One of
Josephs children went to college and studied political science and philosophy.
He left his old textbooks in storage at the farm, which Blackbriar read
voraciously. A grandchild left books on the occult there, acquired during a short
goth phase as a teenager. Blackbriar perused them but found them boring.
Eventually, Joseph retired. Instead of putting him in a nursing home, his family
decided to set up the farm as a local nature sanctuary and let Joseph run it,
so he would have something to do. All of his children had done well so they
renovated the farmhouse and hired several local farmhands to help out. They
even set up a program with the local schools so kids could visit the farm, now
called Pastoral Manor. Naturalists who visited the Manor were awed by the
diversity and sheer beauty of the land. It quickly became a popular destination
for school field trips and nature lovers.

The War Begins

A year and a day after Joseph moved into Pastoral Manor, he had a revelation.
His memories flooded back to him, but he refused to accept them; the idea of
talking animals and magic was insane. He stumbled out in the dark, panicked,
and ran into the forest. Blackbriar, by chance, saw him and followed. Joseph
soon found himself at the same clearing but found a massive tree growing there
instead of a pit. It was wider than any other tree he had ever seen in his life and
so tall he couldnt even see the top. Blackbriar was also astonished because he
had never seen the tree either. The rabbit crept forward and said
Joseph?
Joseph heard, for the first time in a very long time the voice of Blackbriar. But it
was not the voice of a friend to Joseph, it was an alien and disturbing voice. The
thing that looked like a rabbit but spoke like a devil continued to chatter on, like
nails on a chalkboard. Joseph remembered it harassing his family during their
vacations here, always staring at him, judging him. Joseph replied.
Get away from me, you little monster!

Blackbriar tried to reason with Joseph but to no avail. The animal spoke of
growing up with Joseph but Joseph had grown old and weak while the rabbit
had not aged a day in decades. Blackbriar reminded him of their oath to the
spirit. Josephs irritation turned to rage.

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I worked my whole life to protect this land. Look at me. Im old. Broken. And
for what? Im the damn owner and I get nothing from it? You and all of your
little freaks got everything you could want!
Blackbriar responded without thinking. You abandoned us! I never knew if the
next truck stopping close by was going to start tearing the forest down. I had to
protect everyone by myself. Ive been alone all this time. I have no friends!
Joseph raised his hand to strike the rabbit down.
And with that, the magic of the land reacted to Josephs rage and envy. A
thunderstorm brewed, and the next thing Joseph and Blackbriar knew they were
at their home the next morning. Blackbriar was the same, but Joseph had been
transformed. He felt aware of everything happening on Pastoral Manor, even the
books of black magic covered in dust under the bed of the guestroom. Joseph
grabbed them and began to devour their contents.
While the books were bought at chain stores and had no real magical powers,
for some reason, the real magic of Pastoral Manor reacted to Josephs desires.
It imbued a feral housecat with malevolent cunning who became Josephs
familiar. They set out to explore the forest so Joseph could test his new powers.
He soon learned that he could bend individual animals to his will but only by
concentrating on them. He could also sense virtually anything on Pastoral Manor
other than Blackbriar. Joseph declared himself lord of Pastoral Manor and set out
to make every animal obey his will.
With the familiar acting as a seneschal and enforcer, Joseph coerced all of the
animals in pledging their loyalty to him. Most of the animals didnt really care,
as they thought it wouldnt change their lives, and the few who did were cowed
into submission by the demonic familiar. Blackbriar remained in hiding, brooding.
Bored by the easy conquest of the Manor, Joseph turned to sadistic games,
taunting hungry animals with food but never giving it to them, or forcing animals
to fight each other for his entertainment. A small entourage of cruel and evil
animals gathered around the lord, praising him for his power and strength. They
became the first nobles of the kingdom. Joseph even made the animals build a
monument to his greatness, a crude stone tower. Many grew to resent the Lord
of Pastoral Manor and Blackbriar listened to them.
The rabbit plotted and decided to take the stone tower down. He tricked one of
the farmhands into doing most of the work by forging Josephs handwriting. The
youth tied chains around the tower and hitched them to his pickup truck. Joseph
discovered the farmhand just as he started the pickup truck. The lord waved and
hollered and the teenager began to apply the brakes so he could hear the boss.
Panicked, the rabbit threw a rock at the farmhands head, knocking him out. His
foot slammed down on the gas and the pickup truck tore the stone tower down
and kept going. The truck picked up some speed and hit a tree. The teen died
from his injuries.
The death of the farmhand made Joseph keenly aware of his own mortality.
Joseph asked the familiar how he could regain his youth. The familiar replied that
harmony to Pastoral Manor must be restored. Joseph interpreted that to mean
that Blackbriar (and anyone who supported him) must be sacrificed at the Great
Tree.

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The next day, Joseph declared war on Blackbriar. In response, Blackbriar called
for a revolution against the tyrant in the farmhouse.

What The Traveler Wants

The war began with tentative attacks on both sides, as neither really knew how
to wage war. In a years time though, the lines were drawn and both sides had
been bloodied. Blackbriars revolution had sabotaged many of the machines of
the Manor, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage and had embarrassed
or stymied Josephs plans at every turn. Joseph responded by building an army
of the most callous animals he could find and turned them loose. Many animals
on both sides had died and Joseph became a recluse. He only sees his family and
the three remaining farmhands.
A year after its start, the Traveler paid Pastoral Manor a visit. After surveying the
situation, he saw that both sides were hopelessly deadlocked. Blackbriar lacked
cold blooded brutality while Joseph lacked cunning. However the land was too
rich a prize for the Traveler to leave alone. The countless animals of the Manor
made for excellent spies and minions. Furthermore, the Traveler sensed a great
source of magic hidden somewhere on the land (the Great Tree) that would
fuel the ritual to summon the Ur-Monster. If the Cult could claim this land, they
would be much closer to seizing Area 51.
The Traveler approached both sides separately with a simple deal: victory for
loyalty to the Cult of the Underworld. Blackbriar saw through the Traveler and
laughed at him. Joseph refused the Traveler out of paranoia.
The Traveler believes it would be simple to recruit or replace either of the two
leaders if the other was dead. By sending the characters there, he is confident
that they will take sides and destroy the opposition. In fact, he is counting on it.

The Magic of Pastoral Manor


The spirit died when it sacrificed itself, but its essence remains and has imbued
the land of Pastoral manor with several mystical properties.

1. The Gift of Intelligence:

Any animal that lives on the Manor for


more than a year and a day awakens with human level intelligence. The animal
can read and speak contemporary English and has a very basic grasp of humans
and their tools. The animal retains their intelligence even if they leave the land
and never return. Furthermore, any descendents of the animal have this gift as
well.
(The population was kept in check by Blackbriar until the start of the war as he
feared discovery by the humans. Since the war began, many animals fled the
Manor and have begun to breed without considering the possibility of being
discovered. The long-term consequences of this remain to be seen.)
As a side effect, the animal is considered a minor supernatural creature and can
perceive monsters and similar creatures. Normal animals treat awakened animals
without perceiving any differences as do adult humans. However if forced to
recognize an awakened animal, the adult will be shocked and may go insane.

2. The Lord of the Manor: The essence of the spirit is mindless.

It reacts instinctively to Blackbriars and Josephs will and the volksgeist of the
animals. However, only Joseph can consciously manipulate the essence and even
then only directly. He believes that he has made a pact with the devil and is a
powerful warlock but in truth the essence simply tries to give Joseph what he
wants. As a result, Joseph has few powers, but they are very strong abilities.

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Josephs powers are:


T
he Familiar: The familiar is as strong as any monster and will obey
Josephs every order.
C
lairvoyance: Joseph can watch anyone on the Manor or monitor any
place except for the Great Tree and Blackbriar. Monsters with stealth powers
can hide from Joseph with an opposed role of their ability versus his BRAINS
+ NOTICE roll (9 dice).
M
ind Control: Joseph can mentally dominate any one animal within
his natural line of sight at any time, except Blackbriar. Characters with a
defensive power may attempt to stop the mind control but otherwise there is
no way for an animal to defend against it.
B
arrier: Joseph can raise a barrier over the border of the Manor barring
any supernatural creatures, including monsters and awakened animals, from
crossing. He can only maintain the barrier for a single day and must rest at
least one day before raising it again.
S
orcery: Joseph can attempt to do nearly anything else he can think of by
making a BRAINS + SORCERY check (10 dice with his books, 4 dice without
them).
Josephs complete stats are on page 50.

Getting to Pastoral Manor


Pastoral Manor is located in a quiet valley somewhere in New England,
somewhere near Dunham, a small farming town far from the madding crowds of
urban sprawl. The closer to the Manor the characters get, the smaller and worse
the road becomes. Asphalt becomes gravel becomes dirt.

The Town of Dunham


Dunham, population 1,300 is the only notable town in the region. The people of
Dunham are typical country folk, polite but reserved to strangers. Its on the way
to the Manor so characters may want to stop in first.
The local grocery and hardware store, Petes Goods, is usually bustling with
people most days. The gas station is located across the street. Characters
who stop to gas up and stretch their legs will find it easy to ask around about
Pastoral Manor.

The Manors Reputation

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Since the war began, visitors have dropped off dramatically. Animal sightings are
down and several visitors have been attacked by animals. Some residents living
near the Manor have occasionally happened upon the battles of the war, which
have led to many rumors about the Manor ranging from a dog-fighting ring to
animal sacrifices. To top it off, theft is rampant and the police have been called
twice to look for stolen property. Combined with the costs of the settlement
with the dead farmhands family, repairs and the war, Joseph has turned to other
ways to raise money, such as using his minions to rob stores in the next county.
All in all, the Manor has developed a dark reputation in the last year.

Whats Said About Pastoral Manor


In general, the common opinion regarding Pastoral Manor is the same: That its
a beautiful place but its becoming run down. The owner isnt maintaining it like
he should. Be careful of the animals; theyre really aggressive.

If asked about the history of the Manor, the average citizen of Dunham isnt too
clear on the details, but the basic story goes like this: The Lawson family has
lived on the land for as long as anyone can remember. Joseph inherited it when
his parents died but moved away to the city to get a job. He kept the farm, even
though it must have cost him plenty. When he retired, his family set up the land
as a nature sanctuary and it became Pastoral Manor. It started great but lately
its become a little run down.
Theres a lot of other gossip about the Manor of course, but it may take some
prodding and careful questioning to find out. Feel free to modify any of these
rumors, but the citizens of Dunham are practical and realistic. They will not
entertain thoughts of magic or superstition, nor will they tell negative gossip to
strangers unless they are persuaded.

Rumors
The farmhands are doing something shady dealing drugs or robbing or
both. Theyve got these panel vans and drive all over the county and never
tell the same story twice about what theyre doing.
The owner, Joseph Lawson, is senile. People have seen him talk to a
housecat like it could talk back to him.
Theres a dog-fighting ring being held somewhere on the farm. A hunter
came across a shallow grave with about a dozen dog corpses near the Manor
but when he came back with a deputy, the corpses were gone.
Theres a whole lot of gunfire coming from the Manor. Target practice is one
thing but this is another.
A kid got bit pretty bad, by a squirrel of all things. And it was a mean little
cuss that clamped down. Someone killed it with a shovel. They checked it for
rabies but it was clean. Who ever heard of a bloodthirsty squirrel?
Its a real shame that old Joseph is letting the farmhouse go to pieces. Every
time I go by to drop off materials, it looks worse and worse.
I think it was the accident that changed everything. About a year ago, one
of the men Joseph hired to help around the Manor died. Ran his truck right
into a tree. The mans family settled but things were never the same.
The cops are reporting a crime wave lots of stuff getting stolen and no
suspects. Some people think that the crooks are paying Joseph to hide the
loot for them. I mean, hardly no one goes to see the Manor anymore and hes
still paying the bills.

Research
Public records can be found at the town library archives. They reveal the publicly
available information, such as the great firestorm that killed Josephs parents, his
deed of ownership plus his purchase of adjacent land expanding the size of the
Manor in recent years , and the death of the farmhand one year ago. The real
dirt is only available at the sheriffs office, which is under lock and key.

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T h e Po l ic e
The county sheriffs department has been interested in Pastoral Manor for the
last year, since the accident. It has been unable to pin anything on Joseph or the
farmhands but they are highly suspicious. In fact, the sheriff wants to put Joseph
and the farmhands under 24/7 surveillance but lacks the money or manpower to
do so. What they do know:
Twenty-two reports of gunfire on the land. In some cases, the farmhands
were shooting tin cans but in many, there was no explanation or resolution.
A huge surge in theft and property damage in areas surrounding the Manor.
The closer an area is to the Manor, the more crime is reported. Despite police
efforts, not a single suspect has been found. Two farmhands have been
targeted for investigation but the authorities cannot pin anything on them.
T he report for the farmhands death last year raised some suspicions. In
particular, a strange bruise on the back of the farmhands head indicates that
he may have been knocked out before the crash. The report is inconclusive.

At Pastoral Manor
The magic of the Great Tree has infused the landscape, making it lush and
verdant. During the summer, the area practically hums with life and beauty.
Every plant is a perfect specimen and the animals are extremely hale and
healthy. Characters should be awed at the splendor of Pastoral Manor.

The Farmhouse

Headquarters of the Manor Army. It is a typical 19th century two story


farmhouse, but it has recently fallen into disrepair. Or at least thats what it looks
like. In reality, the farmhouse is constantly under attack by the Revolution. Birds
drop stones on the roof at all hours of the night. Daring squirrels and raccoons
throw rocks at the windows, trying to break them. Insects gnaw at the wood
and paint. Once a particularly brash mole set fire to the foundation but it was
quickly put out and the mole was torn to pieces by Richard the mastiff. Joseph
spends almost all of his time plotting Blackbriars demise.

The Barn

When Pastoral Manor was made a nature sanctuary, there was a plan to build an
example farm on the grounds, so that local school kids could learn what farming
is really like a living lab for the 4H club. Now the plan has been abandoned but
its become a fixed part of the tour. Two milk cows, Betsy and Veronica live here,
loyal citizens of the Kingdom and the unofficial watchdogs for the Manor. Many
other farm animals live in or near the barn, including some pigs, chickens, a few
geese and a rather polite goat. A small playground has been erected near the
barn to entertain kids before or after a tour.

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Pastures

Catherine the horse spends most of her time trotting around the pastures
near the farmhouse. The Manor used to have a stallion named Gabriel but the
Revolution broke his legs with a trap some months ago. Many rebel mice and
burrowing animals have dug tunnels under the pasture so they can watch the
farmhouse and report any news.

The Garden

A well maintained garden with many flowers and herbs. Pastoral Manor raises
them for sale to botanical societies around the country as they are inevitably
exemplary plants. In recent months, Joseph has taken to raising several odd
herbs in use for various rituals described in his books of magic. Several benches
are near the garden, for families who want to picnic on the Manor.

The Gift Shop

A small building adjacent to the farmhouse. Cheap souvenirs are sold here,
including postcards, t-shirts and calendars with photos of the Manor. Maps of
the grounds are also available.

The Forest

The forest has regrown since the great fire nearly 60 years
ago and one cannot but feel at peace under the leaves of its
many trees. There are several dirt paths that lead through
most of the forest.

The Hills

Several small hills ring the edge of the Manor. It is considered


to be unimportant territory by both sides. Many animals have
joined the Committee of Armaments in order to avoid choosing
either the Manor Army or the Revolution.

The Creek

A slow and crystal clear creek runs across the Manor. The fish
that live there are intelligent but are seldom bothered with by
either side, given their limited usefulness. Fishing is prohibited.
A powerful but reclusive snapping turtle, Luther, dwells here.
He hates both sides and refuses to fight for anyone but himself.
Luther secretly wishes someone would clean his shell of moss
and would help anyone who does so.

The Great Tree

The Great Tree is a secret place and only Blackbriar and Joseph know of its
existence. In general, the Great Tree is only revealed to characters that act to
protect the land and its inhabitants from harm or are otherwise connected to the
fate of the Manor. Otherwise, it is impossible to find the Great Tree.

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Crossing the Threshold


Once the characters cross the threshold of the farm, both Blackbriar and Joseph
feel a strange chill up their spines. They both know instinctively that the winds
have changed but neither can conclude what is going on. Both will send out
spies to keep an eye on the characters.
Assuming the characters arrive as simple tourists, a farmhand named Jacob
(page 50)greets them as the tour guide of the Manor. He introduces himself and
the Manor in a well-rehearsed speech.
The basic tour lasts an hour, showing the barn, pasture and a quick tour
through the forest.
T he extended tour takes four hours but goes deeper into the forest and has
several animal demonstrations.
There is a small gift shop and donations are accepted.
Jacob is a talented actor and plays the part of the happy tour guide quite well.
He does not let on about any possible strange activities on the Manor. The
other farmhands will help with the tour but do not talk unless spoken to. They
clearly do not like helping with tourists but they do follow orders. If asked about
Joseph, Jacob simply says the owner is old and needs his rest.
During this time, perceptive characters can notice that several animals seem
to be keeping an eye on them by making an opposed BRAINS + NOTICE check
against a roll of 6 dice (the average FEET + P.E. of the animal observers).
Only allow this roll if the characters are specifically watching the animals. If
successful, the characters see strange behavior, such as birds circling endlessly
over the characters, unusually still squirrels in the trees or insects that seem to
follow at a fixed distance.

The Tour

The Revolution does not attack tour groups, an order direct from Blackbriar.
Thus, the tour itself is rather uneventful. Jacob describes the natural flora and
fauna of the area, the numerous accolades the Manor has received, and so on.
Jacob keeps a close eye on the players and will not let them poke around on
their own if he can help it. If the characters want to investigate the farmhouse or
wander off the path in the forest, they must distract Jacob.
The exact plan should be left up to the players, but Jacob does not suspect
anything unusual about the characters. For example, a monster could sneak
off and cause a ruckus elsewhere or a kid could fake an allergy attack. If he is
presented with an emergency, he will escort the characters to the gift shop, tell
them to stay there and then deal with the emergency.
If the tour concludes normally, Jacob lets kids loiter at the barn or the nearby
playground for as long as they want. Typically, families will buy a few souvenirs
and leave soon or have a picnic lunch near the garden.

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Investigating the Manor


In order to find Blackbriar, the kids must learn more about the Manor. There are
several investigation routes, both subtle and direct.

Talking to the Animals

Most of the animals on Pastoral Manor are direct and somewhat nave, but they
are reluctant to talk to strangers. If a player talks to one, a successful WITS
+ CHARM or WITS + CONNIVE check will get the animal talking, provided
no adults are in the area. If an adult is in the area, the animal will panic and
run away, afraid of breaking the cardinal rule of the Manor: never reveal your
intelligence if a normal adult human is present. Characters can also capture or
corner an animal to make it talk.
Once the character makes contact with an animal, they can easily
learn the basics of the war. Virtually all of the animals near the
farmhouse are loyal to Joseph, so they will characterize the war as
a savage rebellion by a group of evil animals led by the diabolical
Blackbriar. No animal will criticize Joseph, but a cunning character
could trick or intimidate an animal.
Unless the characters are discreet, it is high likely that one of the
animal spies from one or both sides will observe the characters
talking to the animals. As no outsider is supposed to know the
secret of Pastoral Manor, this will set off major alarm bells in
both camps. See The Truth Uncovered, page 45.
If the characters reveal their supernatural nature and do
not choose sides too quickly, they may wander the Manor
freely. Animals will openly talk to them. Everyone wants to
get on the good side of the kids and their monsters, so the
characters can quickly learn the local rumors and gossip:
P art of the Revolution broke off and has remained in
seclusion for months now. Theyre called the Committee
of Armaments and are obsessed with human technology.
You can find them in the hills but no one cares about
them. They keep to themselves.
T he Manor is running out of moneyJoseph must be
getting desperate.
T heres some kind of history between Blackbriar and Joseph but neither will
say what it is.
J oseph has some kind of secret weapon but wont use it unless hes
desperate. Of course, he could be lying. But who knows?
T he Revolution has the forest trapped. Be careful unless you want to step on
a bear trap.
S ome weirdo paid Blackbriar and Joseph a visit months ago but left in a huff.
I guess he didnt get what he wanted.
B lackbriar is not connected to any occult group and has no use for rituals or
sorcery.
No one has heard of the Cult or the Ur-Monster.
Everyone is surprised that anyone is aware of Pastoral Manors true nature.

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Exploring the Forest

Characters may want to find Blackbriar directly by searching the forest. Once
the characters wander off the beaten path, they will be watched by many sets
of eyes, both loyalist and rebel. As long as the characters act like normal kids,
neither side will make a move on them. Unfortunately, the characters will not
learn much from exploring the forest, as the Great Tree cannot be found by
conventional means. The only danger comes from the many traps laid by the
Revolution.
All traps require a successful BRAINS + NOTICE skill check vs. the animals
BRAINS + OUT-THINK (6 dice for the typical trap) If a character fails the check,
the trap is sprung. The Revolution currently uses four main types of traps:

Rope trap:

Step on the trap and a rope wraps around the characters foot
and hoists them five feet off the ground. The character must
make a successful FEET +
P.E. against a Height
of 10 in order to free
himself by reaching up
and untying the rope.
Untrapped characters
can free a trapped
character without a roll.

Tripwire: The

character takes 2 shock


damage on a random
location and is stunned
for one round.

Pit trap:

The character
takes 3 shock damage, is
stunned for one round and
must make a successful
FEET + P.E. check to climb
out, with one attempt per
turn allowed.

Net trap:

A net falls on
the character, immobilizing
him. Getting out of the net
requires supernatural strength,
a cutting tool or a height 10
width 3 FEET + P.E. check.
If a character is caught by a trap and is not freed quickly, the Revolution gets
nervous. They know that the Manor Army will look for any lost tourists and will
raise hell to get them back. However, the animals do not want to reveal their
intelligence to the trapped characters so they cant free them directly. They may
try to lure other humans nearby to free the trapped character.

]
48

Ironically, this is one of the few ways to lure Blackbriar out of hiding. If a child
remains trapped for more than an hour and the Revolution is not aware of
the monsters in the party, Blackbriar will arrive to investigate the situation.
After spending a few moments to weigh his options, Blackbriar will simply free
the character while remaining concealed. Its not an optimal solution for the
Revolution, but Blackbriar fears massive retaliation if the tourist goes missing for
too long.

Sneaking Around

Despite the presence of so many animal guards and observers, it is possible to


sneak into sensitive areas of the Manor or to reconnoiter the entire area without
being detected. In general, bypassing the normal animal sentries is trivial if a
character uses a supernatural stealth power and makes a single FEET + P.E.
check.
If the character does not use magic to avoid detection, sooner or later an animal
will notice the characters. The Manor is literally crawling with awakened animals
and they are quite perceptive. These animals will report their presence to the
leaders of their respective faction.
Ironically, sensitive areas of the Manor are tightly guarded but the rank and file
animals are not allowed, thus player characters have a better chance of sneaking
around these areas. Still, the average animal guard has a 6 dice pool to detect
intruders. Roll when appropriate.
Characters who do sneak in can see the war for themselves. Skirmishes happen
nightly and the animals speak freely when they do not know they are being
observed. For example , they may stumble on a fight between a few rebels and
a patrol from the Manor, listen to two guards complain about guard duty or
overhear a noble or officer discuss plans to find Blackbriar.

Lets Smash Everything!

Characters who decide to openly flaunt the power of their monster friends will
be treated as a threat by both sides. Read the Truth Uncovered and keep in mind
that both Joseph and Blackbriar will view the players as intruders who need to
be stopped. While they will not ally with each other under any circumstances,
they will cease fire temporarily in order to deal with the new threat.

The Truth Uncovered


Unless the characters are incredibly discreet and stealthy, they will reveal their
knowledge of the supernatural and the existence of the monsters to Joseph and
Blackbriar. This is a major event. Both sides will react swiftly to the news and
this will become a pivotal point in the war.
If the player characters are hostile to both sides, they will find themselves
attacked by both sides. The average animals of the Manor pose little threat to
monsters, but Joseph can transform the nobles into demonic beings capable
of fighting the monsters. Furthermore, Joseph can set up a barrier around the
Manor preventing any supernatural beings from entering or leaving. If the
characters fight him openly, Joseph will do his best to make it a fight to the
finish.
If the player characters choose a side from the very onset, their new allies will be
very eager to use them to win the war. See Ending the War, page 53.
If the player characters do not choose a side and are not hostile, both sides will
attempt to recruit them. Joseph will try to hire them with promises of power and
help against the Cult while Blackbriar tries to appeal to their good nature with
tales of brutality and oppression.

7
49

Animal Stats
Talking animals have the same
stats as humans. Some have
supernatural skills capable of
affecting monsters, and a few
have demonic forms with weird
powers similar to a monster.
Unless otherwise noted, treat a
talking animal as a human, but
one with magical skills when it
comes to perceiving monsters and
so on. They are magical creatures,
after all.
In combat, talking animals are
treated as monsters but with one
weakness: normal humans can
hurt or even kill them. However,
they can resist monster attacks
just as other monsters do.

Neither side will risk antagonizing the monsters, so they will have quite a bit
of freedom to wander the Manor and talk to the animals. Both sides will watch
the players like hawks (and sometimes with hawks) and once the characters
attack one side or the other, the other will respond accordinglyJoseph by
transforming the nobles into powerful demons and Blackbriar with traps and
guerilla attacks.

Order of Battle:
The Army of the Manor
Josephs forces are much smaller but more battle hardened. He principally
uses scavengers and predators, although any animal power hungry, vicious or
desperate enough can join. Some animals join to ensure their familys safety.
Typical soldiers are cats, dogs, crows, insects, vultures, ferrets and opossums.

Joseph Lawson

Joseph has a skill called Sorcery. Its treated as a supernatural power that can
be used to do whatever Joseph wants to do. It is treated as a monster power
that can Attack, Defend and do any Useful ability within reason. See page 42 for
more on Josephs powers.
Feet 1 (P.E. +0, Kicking +0, Dodge +0)
Guts 3 (Wind +1, Courage +4, Wrestling +0)
Hands 2 (Shop +2, Punching +0, Blocking +1)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +5, Remember +5, Notice +5, Sorcery +5)
Face 3 (Charm +3, Putdown +3, Connive +3)

Relationships
Family 2, Pastoral Manor 3

Josephs Familiar, Wormwood

Wormwood is a black cat that transforms into a horribly demonic black cat if
anyone attacks Joseph. It is subtle and devoted solely to him.
Locations 1-2: Whip Tail 6d (Useful (trip foes), Useful (manipulate objects),

Awesome x2, Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 3-5: Vicious Claws 10d (Attacks , Gnarly x3, Wicked Fast x2)
Locations 6-7: Demonic Aura 6d (Attacks, Defends, Awesome x2, Tough x1)
Locations 8-9: Feline Fury 7d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [stealth], Wicked Fast

x1)
Location 10: Yellow Eyes 3d (Useful [magical senses], Awesome x2)

]
50

The Nobility

Five animals have won Josephs favor and carry out many
of his orders. They are feared almost as much as the
familiar. Each has a demonic form. If faced with powerful
opposition, Joseph can transform the nobles into demonic
beings capable of fighting monsters. However, this is a last
resort that will drive the nobles mad. The players will only
encounter the demonic forms if they fight the Manor Army
directly.

Cortez the Badger


A badger obsessed with eating his prey one bite at a time,
while they live and beg for mercy. A master of ambushing,
he will lay in a concealed burrow for hours or days waiting
for his prey to wander by.
Feet 2 (P.E. +4, Kicking +2, Dodge +2)
Guts 5 (Wind +3, Courage +2, Wrestling +5)
Hands 4 (Shop +2, Punching +4, Blocking +1)
Brains 2 (Out-Think +0, Remember +1, Notice +4)
Face 2 (Charm +0, Putdown +5, Connive +1)

Cortez Demonic Form


A massive scaled monster more wormlike than badger. Impossibly huge jaws
filled with row after row of sharp fangs glisten with drool. A whip like tongue
coated with a sticky ooze grabs things to drag into the jaws. If Cortez makes a
successful grab with the tongue against a foe, he gains an additional +3 bonus
to damage when attacking that target with his jaws. Breaking free of the tongue
requires destroying the tongue.
Locations 1-3: Burrowing Claws 8d (Attacks, Useful [burrow], Awesome x2,

Gnarly x2 Wicked Fast x2)


Location 4: Long Gripping Tongue 5d (Useful [grab things])
Locations 5-6: Armored Hide 8d (Defends, Tough x2)
Locations 7-9: Massive Jaws 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x3, Tough x2)
Location 10: Beady Eyes 3d (Useful [see in darkness], Awesome x2)

Sebastian the Crow


A self important crow who spreads rumor and propaganda tirelessly. Hated by
the Revolution for his endless taunts and insults, he takes a great pleasure in
being the object of their hate and often uses himself as the bait for an ambush
set by the other soldiers.
Feet 5 (P.E. +1, Kicking +0, Dodge +5)
Guts 2 (Wind +1, Courage +0, Wrestling +0)
Hands 1 (Shop +0, Punching +0, Blocking +2)
Brains 4 (Out-Think +3, Remember +5, Notice +4)
Face 5 (Charm +4, Putdown +4, Connive +4)

7
51

Sebastians Demonic Form


A massive crow that appears to be made out of the night sky, surrounded by a
swarm of lesser crows. Galaxies and nebulae shimmer, swirl and explode as the
character looks on. A character affected by hypnotism is paralyzed equal to a
number of rounds equal to the width of Sebastians hypnotism check.
Locations 1-2: Murder of Crows 7d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Gnarly x1)
Locations 3-4: Hypnotizing Stars 7d (Useful [hypnotism], Awesome x2, Wicked

Fast x1)
Location 5: Black Hole Gravitational Pull 3d (Useful [pull objects], Awesome

x2)
Locations 6-7: More Crows! 8d (Defends, Awesome x2)
Locations 8-9: Starfire Breath 7d (Attacks, Gnarly x1, Burn x1, Area x1)
Location 10: Red Dwarf Eyes 3d (Useful [Cosmic awareness], Awesome x2)

Richard the Mastiff


A powerful mastiff who acts like a cruel but honorable medieval knight. He
is ruthless and does not value the lives of commoners, i.e. everyone else. He
prefers to fight the rebels in open battle and desires to prove himself as the
strongest warrior on the Manor.
Feet 4 (P.E. +4, Kicking +2, Dodge +3)
Guts 5 (Wind +4, Courage +4, Wrestling +3)
Hands 2 (Shop +2, Punching +3, Blocking +4)
Brains 1 (Out-Think +0, Remember +0, Notice +4)
Face 3 (Charm +2, Putdown +4, Connive +2)

Richards Demonic Form


A war dog completed covered in baroque plate mail. Only his red eyes are visible
from slits in the helmet. Steam pours from the nostrils.
Locations 1-3: Rear Legs 9d (Useful [unnatural speed], Defends, Awesome x2,

Tough x3)
Locations 4-6: Vorpal Bite 10d (Attack, Gnarly x2, Tough x3)
Locations 7-8: Breastplate of Protection 7d (Defends, Tough x3)
Locations 9-10: Roar of Command 5d (Useful [stun], Area x2, Tough x3)

]
52

D i e g o t h e Fe r r e t
A decadent ferret who hoards luxuries like alcohol and candy and nominally
runs the bureaucracy of the Manor, minimal as that is. Openly disdained by the
other nobles, Diego secretly maintains a spy network of informers among the
Revolution. However, Diego only passes information to Joseph if it benefits him
personally. He loves his current position and fears what would happen if the war
ended.
Feet 2 (P.E. +1, Kicking +1, Dodge +3)
Guts 1 (Wind +0, Courage +2, Wrestling +0)
Hands 4 (Shop +4, Punching +1, Blocking +2)
Brains 3 (Out-Think +5, Remember +4, Notice +5)
Face 5 (Charm +5, Putdown +4, Connive +5)

Diegos Demonic Form


A vaguely ferret-like blob of animated slime. Tendrils form out of the greenish
slime when appropriate to move objects or attack enemies.
Locations 1-3: Slime! 8d (Useful [manipulate objects], Useful [squeeze through

small spaces], Useful [pick up heavy objects] Awesome x2, Tough x2)
Locations 4-7: Acidic Slime! 9d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x2,

Spray x1)
Locations 8-9: Dense Slime! 8d (Defends, Awesome x2)
Location 10: Brain 3d (Useful [detect luxury goods], Awesome x2)

Catherine the Mare


One of the few horses on the Manor, Catherine keeps the citizenry in line. She is
judge, jury and executioner, quick to dispatch the disloyal with her hooves. She is
cheerful as she wants everyone to have high morale for the war. This mask only
conceals her buried desire to runsince the war began, she cannot run as long
as she wants because half of the fields are in enemy hands.
Feet 5 (P.E. +5, Kicking +5, Dodge +5)
Guts 5 (Wind +5, Courage +4, Wrestling +2)
Hands 1 (Shop +0, Punching +0, Blocking +3)
Brains 2 (Out-Think +2, Remember +1, Notice +1)
Face 2 (Charm +1, Putdown +3, Connive +1)

Catherines Demonic Form


Catherine transforms into a nightmare: a black horse with hooves of fire, a
burning mane and glowing red eyes. The stench of brimstone follows her and
every step she takes causes the ground to tremble.
Location 1: Burning Mane 3d (Useful [terrify foes], Awesome x2)
Locations 2-5: Legs Of Ultimate Butt Kicking 10d (Attacks, Useful [run over

anything at insanely high speeds], Awesome x2, Burn, Gnarly x4, Wicked Fast
x1, Spray x1)
Locations 6-7: Hooves of Fire 7d (Useful [teleport], Attacks, Burn, Tough x1)
Locations 8-10: Demonic Gait 8d (Defends, Awesome x2, Tough x3, Wicked

Fast x2)

7
53

The Farmhands

In the last few months, Joseph has introduced each of his three farmhands to the
true nature of Pastoral Manor. Two of them, Zach and Brandon, jumped at the
opportunity to hunt and kill awakened animals. The third, Jacob, was horrified by
what he saw and refused to fight on Josephs behalf. But Jacob needs the money
and works as the public front of Pastoral Manor, dealing with the few visitors
who still come by to see the sights.
The farmhands are adults, and as such are not susceptible to emotional damage
except from people with whom they have Relationships.

Zach
Feet 3 (P.E. +3, Kicking +2, Dodge +3)
Guts 2 (Wind +4, Courage +0, Wrestling +3)
Hands 3 (Shop +4, Punching +3, Blocking +4)
Brains 2 (Out-Think +0, Remember +0, Notice +3)
Face 4 (Charm +3, Putdown +1, Connive +3)

Relationships
Wendy the waitress 1, Stacey the school teacher 1, Amy the accountant 1, Macy
the mall cop, Tammy the technical analyst 1

Brandon
Feet 2 (P.E. +1, Kicking +1, Dodge +1)
Guts 2 (Wind +2, Courage +2, Wrestling +3)
Hands 4 (Shop +4, Punching +5, Blocking +1)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +3, Remember +3, Notice +3)
Face 1 (Charm +1, Putdown +0, Connive +0)

Relationships
Antique Farm Machinery 3, Mother 1, Beer 1

Jacob
Feet 3 (P.E. +1, Kicking +1, Dodge +1)
Guts 4 (Wind +2, Courage +3, Wrestling +2)
Hands 3 (Shop +3, Punching +1, Blocking +0)
Brains 2 (Out-Think +2, Remember +2, Notice +2)
Face 4 (Charm +3, Putdown +0, Connive +1)

Relationships
His girlfriend Karen 2, His best friend Hank 2, His Ma and Pa 1

]
54

General Blackbriars Revolution


While Blackbriar has the popular support of the animals, his core revolutionary
army is small. Many animals do not join because they fear for their families
safety. The mare Catherine has executed several dissident families for having a
single member join the Revolution. However, as Joseph becomes crueler, more
animals join the Revolution.
Blackbriar divided the Revolution in five major groups, each led by a lieutenant.
Today, only three groups remain. One was destroyed in battle and one group
broke off as an independent splinter group.

Blackbriar the Rabbit

Feet 5 (P.E. +5, Kicking +5, Dodge +5)


Guts 5 (Wind +5, Courage +5, Wrestling +0)
Hands 2 (Shop +1, Punching +0, Blocking +5)
Brains 4 (Out-Think +5, Remember +3, Notice +5)
Face 5 (Charm +5, Putdown +2, Connive +5)

Relationships
Joseph 1, Boris the Bear 1, Pastoral Manor 3

7
55

The Thorns

Guerilla fighters led by Blackbriar and the vanguard of the Revolution. Many
of the reptiles of the Manor fight in this group. Surprisingly few cold-blooded
animals sided with Joseph. They saw his brutality to the other animals and
wondered what would happen to them while they hibernated.
The Thorns set up traps and lay ambushes for the Manors army. The Thorns are
loyal to Blackbriar and would die to protect him. Needless to say, they will help
him in any plan or scheme.
Threat 7d: Gnarly x2, Wicked Fast x2

The Fangs

The militia and border guards. Their greatest mission is to hold the line against
the constant expansion of the Manors Army, a highly dangerous task. When the
Manors army comes marching in, the Fangs push them back. This is the largest
arm of the Revolution, as many animals will fight to defend their homes. Their
greatest warrior is an old bear, Boris, who has sworn revenge against Richard for
killing Mishka, his son.
Threat 8d: Area x2, Gnarly x1, Tough x1

Nest Guards

Logistics and intelligence. Many of the herbivores and omnivores who dont want
to fight serve in the Guard. They gather and store food for the Revolution and
many of the smaller animals spy on the Manors Army.

Red Claws (Destroyed)

The main battle unit of the Revolution. Composed primarily of feral dogs, a few
other predators loyal to the cause and a young bear named Mishka, the Red
Claws stood their ground and fought open battles against the Manor Army.
Several months ago, one of Diegos spies led the Red Claws into an ambush led
by Richard and the Farmhands. The fight was brutal and brief. None of the Red
Claws survived. The Revolution still mourns their loss.

The Committee of
Armaments (Self-Exiled)

]
56

Blackbriar recognized that human technology was highly destructive and thought
it could be used to level the playing field. He took a studious mole named Victor
to form a research group that would learn the secrets of human weaponry. Victor
took every bookworm and scholar he could find and began to study human tools
and weapons. While they made some breakthroughs, such as figuring out how to
make phone calls and how to use lighters, they could not figure out how to build
firearms or bombs. Isolated from the fighting, the Committee began to debate
about politics and self-determination. They eventually decided that they would
have to form an independent nation, free from Blackbriar and Joseph. They keep
to themselves for the most part, but they steal frequently from the humans and
refuse to aid Blackbriar in any way.

How the War is Waged


The war for Pastoral Manor is unconventional to say the least. In general, war
consists of maneuver and slaughter. Blackbriar prefers the former and Joseph
the latter. Neither has total mastery of both elements and thus the war is at a
stalemate. This is compounded by the inherent unsuitability of both sides rank
and file.
Even the predatory animals of the Manor are not used to fighting battles against
other large groups, patrolling or obeying orders for long periods of time. In
short, both sides have only amateur soldiers in their ranks and nothing is more
dangerous or unpredictable than an amateur. Furthermore both sides are quick
to change tactics in response to changing conditions on the ground. Their goals
are simple though: the Manor Army seeks to kill Blackbriar while the Revolution
seeks to overthrow the Kingdom. If all of the animals unite against Joseph, he
will be unable to hold the kingdom.
Pastoral Manor is quite large and the war has spilled over the borders,
encompassing places like the nearby town. Finding a few animals in such a vast
area can be daunting. Josephs clairvoyance has its limitations and can only
view places or animals he is already aware of. The Revolution has learned how
to lure the Manor Army using Josephs clairvoyance by staging incidents that
are likely to attract his attention and then ambushing any soldiers who come to
investigate.
The average battle is fought by two small squads somewhere in the forest, each
side only fielding six to ten animals on a side. Typically, the animals fight only until
the other side retreats. Only the most sadistic animals run down fleeing enemies.
The farmhands always carry at least three weapons on them at all times.
Usually, they carry a rifle or shotgun, a pistol and a hunting knife. Despite their
massive advantage in firepower because of this, they are seldom able to bring
it to bear on the Revolution. While they are both decent shots, they only fire
when they can get a clear shot at an enemy, as they fear Josephs punishment if
there is another incident of friendly fire. Furthermore, the Revolutions traps are
becoming more insidious by the day. Also, the majority of animals do not fight
for either side and the farmhands are under strict orders not to kill the citizens of
Pastoral Manor unless they are sure they are on the side of the Revolution.
The traps of the Revolution have kept the Manor Army from victory but
they cant win on their own. Everything from simple trip lines to slow down
farmhands to elaborate pit traps have been used. They even have three working
bear traps in their arsenal.

Ending the War


Once the party gets involved in Pastoral Manor, they will be caught up in the war
between the Revolution and the Manor Army. Unless they end the war, many
innocent awakened animals will die and the Cult of the Underworld will be that
much closer to victory.
There are only three ways to end the war: defeat the Revolution by killing
Blackbriar, defeat the Manor Army by defeating Joseph, or uniting Blackbriar and
Joseph and peacefully end the war. The Cult of the Underworld wins if either
Blackbriar or Joseph is killed or defeated. If either of the two leaders is defeated,
the magic that cloaks the Great Tree is weakened enough that the Traveler can
find it. He will drain the tree of magic, dooming Pastoral Manor.

7
57

Th e Book of Black Magic


The wielder of the book can use
the book to augment any power
with Attacks, Useful or Defends
of a friendly monster by 3d for
one action or to temporarily gain
a power with Attacks or Defends
with a 6d pool. The book can
be used once per session in this
manner.
The other use of the book
is to enact a ritual that will
banish a hostile monster to the
Underworld. This ritual takes
an hour to complete but can be
used to banish a single hostile
monster already known to the
books wielder, no matter where
the monster is. In order to make
the ritual work, the wielder must
sacrifice 1 point of a Relationship
in order to power the ritual. The
monster is immediately banished
upon completion of the ritual but
can re-enter the world if it can
find a way back, which typically
takes at least a week or more.
This use drains the book of power,
making it useless.

Th e Branch of
th e Gr e at Tr e e
A magical item. It holds a pool of
10 points. Each point can 1 heal
point of shock damage and 2
points can heal one point of scar
damage. It takes a full month to
recharge the branch.

]
58

Killing Blackbriar

Blackbriar the rabbit is the equal to any monster in terms of raw power, but is
unsurpassed when it comes to stealth and trickery. As long as he stays on the
land of Pastoral Manor, it is impossible to find him if he does not wish to be
found. He can only be defeated if he is lured out and ambushed or willingly
comes out of hiding. Blackbriar is sworn to protect the land and the awakened
animals, and that can be used against him. Once the players fight him, Blackbriar
will use his cunning to trick and harass the player charactersluring the
monsters into deadly traps and swindling the kids out of everything they own.
Blackbriar is a master of guerilla warfare.
If the players capture one or more agents of the Revolution or threaten to burn
the entire forest down, Blackbriar will give himself up if he cant trick the
players first. In order to quell the Revolution, the players must use brutality and
extreme force. The rabbit is too cunning to be stopped by any other way.
Joseph will only be satisfied if Blackbriar is killed. If the characters refuse to slay
the rabbit, Joseph will send his army to finish the job and will turn on the players
if they protect Blackbriar. Once the rabbit is dead, the Revolution falls apart, and
Joseph thanks the characters. In return, he agrees to whatever the characters
want, including fighting the Cult. He turns over Richard the mastiff to aid them
in their fight and gives them his Book of Black Magic, which is charged with
latent energy from the Great Tree (see sidebar).
Once the players leave Pastoral Manor, the Traveler returns. After Blackbriars
death, the veil surrounding the Great Tree is weakened enough that the Traveler
can find it. He drains the Tree of magic entirely. The awakened animals will
gradually lose their intelligence (within a year they will be normal), and no
animals born from that day on will be awakened. Joseph becomes senile and the
land turns bad. The forest dies and the farm fails.

Defeating Joseph

The lord of Pastoral Manor will not abdicate his throne without a fight. The
players can simply fight their way through the Manor Army. At first, it should be
an easy fight, as the animal soldiers of the Army cant possibly stop a rampaging
monster. However, Joseph can transform each of the five nobles of the Manor
Army into powerful monsters. Of course, the nobles dont get along with each
other, so they wont fight as a group, but they will still defend their master. Some
of the nobles can be bribed or intimidated though.
Once the five nobles are defeated, Joseph and his familiar will attack the
characters. Once the familiar is slain, Joseph collapses, powerless. The characters
can deal with him as they see fit but Joseph sinks into a state of dementia. If
asked, Blackbriar counsels mercy. To reward the players for bringing an end to
the war, Blackbriar allows them to recruit a single awakened animal of their
choice to help them fight the Cult. Many animals will want to see the rest of
the world and will accept such a mission. Furthermore, Blackbriar gives them a
branch he took from the Great Tree (see sidebar). It soothes those who hold it.
After the players leave the Manor, the Traveler finds the Great Tree and drains it
of energy. Blackbriar tries to fight the Traveler, but the Cult of the Underworld
overwhelms the rabbit. Pastoral Manor is doomed. Several awakened animals
will try to find the characters to warn them but they will have a hard time.

Uniting Blackbriar and Joseph

Wise characters may see the futility of war and want to reconcile the two
warring factions. As both sides are led by a single leader, peace can only happen
if Blackbriar and Joseph agree to it. In order to do this, the characters must win
over the trust of both leaders without angering the other.
While the characters can simply pick one side and earn its trust by fighting the
other, they will find it impossible to bring peace by using violence. Instead, only
a few actions can both win the trust of one side without angering the other.
Some parties may wish to split up to gain the trust of each side at the same time.
Characters who arent sure how to proceed may figure out one of the actions
with a successful BRAINS + OUT-THINK check.

To W i n B l a c k b r i a r s Tr u s t
Protect innocent animals from harm.

Lead animals away from

Army patrols, give them food and treat their injuries.

Trick the Army with a prank.

Blackbriar admires fellow tricksters


and cunning characters that embarrass the enemy will be looked upon favorably.
The best targets are the nobles of the Manor.

Raise morale of the Revolution.

The animals are tired of war and


terror and want to relax. Characters who tell funny stories, teach them how to
play checkers or tag will make them quite popular in the Revolution.

Bring the exiles back into the fold.

The Committee of
Armaments, a group of smart animals dedicated to learning human technology
broke off from the Revolution months ago. They hide in the hills. If the
characters can peacefully persuade them to return to the Revolution, Blackbriar
will be impressed. The Committee is easy to persuade. They just want gadgets
and tools and instructions on how to use them. Fireworks and electronic gadgets
work best.

To W i n J o s e p h s Tr u s t
Raise money for the Manor.

The Manor needs new funding since


the visitors fell off. Characters can use their imagination to fill the coffers of
the Manor. They can put on circus style attractions for the Manor using the
awakened animals to perform tricks, rob banks, or get corporate funding.

Stop the police investigation. The cops are looking into the Manor
and the characters need to put a stop to the outside attention. They can find
a local crook to frame as the patsy or simply steal or destroy all the evidence
in the police station. The sheriff can be bribed with a large sum of money or
intimidated by supernatural means.

Reconcile Joseph with his family.

His children and grandchildren


try to contact Joseph on a regular basis but he ignores them. If the characters
can tactfully bring them back together, Josephs hard heart softens immensely.

Teach the nobles mercy.

Characters can influence Joseph through


the animal nobles. By telling them funny stories and entertaining them, the
nobles will relax and may even consider giving the enemy mercy.

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R e u n i t i n g t h e Tw o Fr i e n d s
Once the characters earn the trust of one of the two leaders, they can learn the
secret history between the two. As soon as the players earn Blackbriars trust,
the rabbit tells them a story about the history of the farm. See The Story So Far
for more details. Joseph does not volunteer the story, but will tell the characters
if asked once they have gained his trust.
After learning the story, the players should realize that the Great Tree is needed
to bring peace to the Manor. At this point, the players need to lure both
Blackbriar and Joseph into the forest at night. Doing so will lower the veil around
the Great Tree, allowing everyone on the Manor to see it, including the Cult of
the Underworld.
The entire population of Pastoral Manor gathers around the Great Tree in awe.
Enemies stand side by side as an aura of serenity and joy radiates from the tree.
Blackbriar and Joseph stand on opposite sides of the tree, overwhelmed with
emotion. But just as they seem to gather up the courage to forgive each other, a
deep roar interrupts.

Big Finale: The Cult Attacks!


A Cult raiding squad has found the Great Tree and attacks! Before Blackbriar or
Joseph can act, the leader of the squad, a monster named Stygia, blasts both of
them with a paralyzing ray.
The cultists try to stun or delay the players as long as possible while Stygia slams
a Mana Needle into the Great Tree. This magical device drains the energy out of
the Tree, causing an immediate shockwave throughout the land. The animals fall
to the ground, writhing in pain. The players must stop the Cult before the Tree is
completely drained.

Stygia

A horrible chimera stitched together from dozens of other monsters. Its form is
too chaotic to accurately describe as parts disappear into its gray-green flesh
and others pop out.

Bits and Pieces


Location 1: Monkey Paws 3d (Useful [manipulate objects], Awesome x2)
Locations 2-4: Spiked Tail 10d (Attacks, Area x5)
Locations 5-6: Turtle Shell 7d (Defends, Awesome x2, Tough x1)
Locations 7-9: Dragon Heads 8d (Attacks, Area x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x3, Spray

x1)
Location 10: Spider Eyes 3d (Useful [see invisible things], Awesome x2)

]
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The Red Terror


See page 30 for its stats.

A Cultist Goon Squad

A group of robed thugs with tommy guns, shotguns, dynamite, elder signs and
ritual daggers. Their skin is grey and covered with warts and scars. If struck, they
turn into dust and blow away in the wind. Theyve been in the Underworld too
long to even count as human anymore.
They carry the Mana Needle. It can take 7 points of damage and has Tough 2,
just like a monsters Tough body part.
Threat 6d: Area x1, Gnarly x1.

The cultists want to drain the tree of magical energy. This takes 5 full combat
rounds. They will focus on stunning and delaying the characters, using their
powers to target the monsters bits that have Attacks powers. Stygia protects
the Needle and will block powerful attacks with his defensive power. The Needle
is reinforced and very resistant to damage. Characters who attempt to grab the
needle are shocked and thrown backwards.

Resolution
A happy ending: If the characters destroy the Mana Needle by the end

of round 4, the Great Tree is saved and the Cult retreats by creating a temporary
portal to the Underworld. Blackbriar and Joseph rouse from their paralysis
and congratulate the characters and forgive each other. As an End-of-Chapter
Reward (see page 12), the characters receive a reward about the mystery of the
Underworld lore known only to the Great Tree.

A bittersweet ending:

Joseph and Blackbriar recover from the


paralysis ray at the start of round 5. They both realize that the Tree is moments
away from being completely drained by the Needle. Both run forward, grab the
needle and pull it out, resulting in a massive explosion. When the dust settles,
the needle is smashed, the Cult squad is gone but Joseph and Blackbriar are
dead. The magic previously stored in the needle spreads and saturates the entire
Manor and beyond. The remnants of the Revolution and Manor Army join forces
to protect the Manor and every awakened animal from harm. A new nation is
born. As an End-of-Chapter Reward (see page 12), the players find a clue buried
in the dirt nearby, left by the cultists. They also have a new network of allies
who will help them if asked.

An unhappy ending:

If Blackbriar and Joseph are stopped before they


can reach the needle on round 5, the Great Tree is reduced to a husk, dead.
The cultists leave through a temporary portal to the Underworld. The magic of
Pastoral Manor is gone forever and the awakened animals lose their intelligence.
Joseph becomes senile, falling into states of dementia. The characters receive
nothing but a postcard leading them to the next chapter.

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Chapter 3:
Sunny Vale

Nestled between two major theme parks and only a few hours from Los Angeles,
Sunny Vale is often overlooked by tourists heading for the major attractions.
However, the small city is a magnet for the uncanny. UFOs sightings happen daily
and seldom does a month go by without a building collapsing.
In truth, the Sentai Rangers, overzealous teen warriors empowered by enslaved
monsters, summon otherworldly creatures to fight on a regular basis. They dont
know this, though. When the Rangers were children, they were approached
by a monster who wanted to be their friend. Instead of welcoming them, the
future Rangers hated their monsters. A wizard named Zoltron found the kids and
showed them how to bind the monsters into powerful weapons. The wizard now
directs them to fight his enemies.

]
62

Once the Rangers hit puberty, they started unknowingly summoning enemy
monsters every time they ran into an emotional crisis. A fight with the parents, a
bad date or trying liquor for the first time meant another fight.

The wizard kept things under control for a while, but hes recently disappeared.
The monsters of the PCs are drawn to Sunny Vale as they draw near California.
The Sentai Rangers must be stopped!

Location:

California

Sources: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Dragonball Z, Faust, Elric


of Melnibon, Requiem for a Dream.

What the Traveler Wants


The Traveler would ideally like the Sentai Rangers as loyal minions. This could be
accomplished if the characters find Dagon the cult sorcerer, who is disguised as
the wizard Zoltron. If the players return the fake Zoltron to the Rangers, they will
be corrupted by the cult.
While the cult has kidnapped the real Zoltron, the Sentai Rangers know this
as well and are looking for Zoltron. The Traveler does not want to raise the
suspicions of the Rangers so he hopes the players will rescue the fake Zoltron
and leave, allowing Dagon time to corrupt the foolish teenagers.

Sunny Vale, California


The city of Sunny Vale is a relatively small city for southern California. Its an
amalgam of suburban sprawl spillover from larger cities, a few factories, and
light commercial parks. It has a number of cheap hotels and car rental services
so vacationing tourists can stay in Sunny Vale and simply drive to the nearby
amusement parks or the beach.
Every adult in the city is clueless about the Sentai Rangers or the regular
invasions of monsters. However, most children in Sunny Vale know about the
Sentai Rangers. See Researching the Rangers for more information.

Back Story
Some years ago, a group of five special children grew up in the suburban sprawl
of Sunny Vale. They were chosen by destiny to each have a monster for a friend.
Something went wrong though, as the children rejected their monsters, viewing
the creatures with horror and disgust. The monsters did not understand why and
were instinctively drawn to the children. They stalked their respective friends,
tormenting them night and day, trying to win over their trust.
One day, a self taught wizard named Zoltron living in the city came across Roger
McCormick, the most assertive of the five, being chased by a shadowy creature
from beyond time and space. Zoltron managed to drive off the creature and
questioned Roger about it. Roger knew that his friends were similarly hounded
by other strange creatures and told Zoltron about the situation. The wizard took
pity on the boy and decided to help them.
After months of research into the matter, Zoltron realized that each child had
a unique bond with the monster, whether they liked it or not. He feared that
simply killing or banishing the monsters would cause irreparable damage to the
children. But if the monsters continued to harass the children, they would go
mad. Eventually, he came upon a solution. Zoltron devised a ritual that would
bind a monster to an object, filling it with great power.

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While Zoltron worked to perform the rituals, a new monster appeared in Sunny
Vale. This creature did not share a bond with a child but instead destroyed
everything in its path. The adults, unable to perceive the monster correctly,
blamed the damage on a local tremor. Zoltron knew the truth. He knew he could
not fight the monster himself as it was too powerful for a single wizard. But he
knew of five people who would soon have great power at their disposal.
The night of the binding ritual remains burned deep into the memories of each
of the five Sentai Rangers. Each monster begged and pleaded to be let go,
that they only wanted to be friends and that they were in great pain. But with
Zoltrons guidance, the children found themselves in possession of five incredibly
powerful weapons, charged with nearly unlimited magical energy.
When they first wielded the weapons, each child transformed into a hero with a
colorful costume. Zoltron dubbed them the Sentai Rangers and ordered them to
stop the monster that rampaged through Sunny Vale. The Rangers waded into
battle eagerly, their powers overwhelming their senses. It was an unbeatable
adrenalin rush. The monster was soon defeated and Sunny Vale had a new team
of protectors.
All was well, but within a few months another monster appeared. And then
another. Each time, Zoltron guided the Rangers to victory. The kids did not care
where the monsters came from as they loved the thrill of combat too much.
Zoltron was troubled though and tried to learn where they came from.

]
64

The Rangers carried on for nearly four years, going from elementary to high
school. Zoltron never determined the original cause of the incursions but did
realize that every attack since the first had been triggered by one of the Rangers
having an emotional crisis. Dating for the first time, having a fight with parents,
being offered drugs, failing a test and any of a thousand different events could
summon a monster. And to top it off, the Rangers were now addicted to their
powers and fighting in general. Zoltron realized it was only a matter of time
before they would abuse their powers. He secretly began to research a way to
cut them off from their weapons.

At this time, the Traveler showed up in Sunny Vale. After witnessing the Rangers
prowess in combat, he realized that they alone could take care of Area 51s
defenders. He only needed to control them. The Traveler found Zoltron and
kidnapped him, banishing him to the Underworld. Unfortunately for the Traveler,
the Rangers learned of the kidnapping before Dagon could take Zoltrons place
He had Dagon, his loyal sorcerer henchman to assume Zoltons identity and
then placed him in an easily found warehouse. He hoped that the rangers would
search for Zoltron and find Dagon. It would be trivial to corrupt the Rangers with
Dagon guiding them. However, the Rangers arent too interested in rescuing
Zoltron. They are teenagers, after all. They loved their new found freedom too
much.
The Traveler hopes that the players will find Dagon and force the Rangers to
listen to him or that the characters will defeat the Rangers and disarm them. The
magical weapons are nearly impossible to destroy so the Traveler will steal them
if the Rangers are out of the way.

Crossing the Threshold


Once the characters cross the city limits of Sunny Vale, they immediately notice
that something is wrong with the whole city. No check is needed to figure
out that the entire city radiates a low level of magic. A successful BRAINS +
REMEMBER check at Height 9 or 10 will allow the character to realize that adults
are even less likely than usual to notice the supernatural in effect, theres a
powerful cloaking field for all supernatural creatures, hiding them from mundane
humans.

Finding the Rangers


The characters will want to find the Rangers sooner or later. While the party may
think up of a variety of ways to find them, three methods work best to locate the
Rangers:

1. Signal the Rangers in a public place (the Bat Signal


method). The Rangers will notice any prominent signal placed somewhere

in Sunny Vale that specifically calls out to them. The message can be anything
although calls for help or mentions of Zoltron will draw them the quickest. No
one has ever tried to contact them before and they believe their existence is a
secret from the public so they will be very interested in meeting whoever puts
up a signal. Their initial reaction will be cautious and cool to the party. They will
not start a fight but will readily defend themselves if attacked. See Meeting the
Rangers for more information.

2. Start wrecking stuff.

Any monster that starts trashing buildings


and trashing cars will lure the Rangers out of hiding within a matter of minutes,
eager for a brawl. The Rangers will be very hard to talk out of a fight but this is
the absolute quickest method to finding them.

3. Contact a Ranger in their secret identity.

Extremely
clever characters can learn the secret identities of the Rangers through research
and investigation. If the party contacts a Ranger in this way, they will be
flabbergasted and will quickly acknowledge the truth. However, they will be
extremely paranoid and wary of the party and it will take a lot of time to earn
their trust.

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Research

Digging up info on the Rangers is difficult and tedious. Hyperactive kids will
probably lose interest long before they can find valuable knowledge. However, a
persistent character will be rewarded handsomely.
No news story have ever mentioned or described the Rangers at all. Internet
searches pull up a couple of web sites that mention the Sentai Rangers. A
sociologist researched folk lore among urban youth and found a unique story
circulating in Southern California and wrote about it on an academic discussion
group, which a few blogs mentioned. This can be found with a successful
BRAINS + OUT-THINK check with a Height 5 or higher.
Apparently a few street kids have witnessed the Sentai Rangers defeat monsters
before. They have told stories about a band of brave heroes who protect
humanity from demons and only the kids know the truth. The demons are
summoned by bad feelings and thoughts. The heroes can only stop the evil by
consuming it, sucking it up with their magic weapons. Thus the children leave
tributes of bad feelings (in the shape of notes and drawings about bad things)
for the heroes to feast upon. Some graffiti artists tag sites where the Rangers
have fought demons.

Accidents, Weird Events


and Disasters

Sunny Vale has had way more weird events, accidents and disasters than any
town of its size should. Fires, floods, mudslides, localized earthquakes and a
mysterious gang of vandals that demolish cars overnight (and have never been
caught) plague the city. Yet, despite this, Sunny Vale is extremely prosperous and
reports the fewest number of suicides and homicides of any city in California.
Characters who dig through the archives and check back to see how far these
events lasted will find with a successful BRAINS + REMEMBER check that the
wave of accidents began approximately four years ago.
Characters who chart the accidents on a map of Sunny Vale may attempt to
predict where the next attack happens. This requires a Width 3 and Height 5
BRAINS + OUT-THINK check. Charting the accidents takes 12 hours.

Zoltron

A successful BRAINS + OUT THINK skill check discovers that there is a Zoltron
Zappata who owns an antique store, Pandoras Knick-Knacks along with its
address.
A background check of Zoltron requires access to police and government
databases. In general, this means that the characters have to sneak into a
secured building and use a protected computer. A monster with a stealth power
and a kid with some brains could do it. A BRAINS + OUT-THINK check of Height
7 or better reveals one fact for every point of Width beyond the first:

]
66

Z oltron changed his name ten years ago. He used to be Frank Heriowitz. He
is 65 years old and was born in Boston Massachusetts. He has a degree in
Philosophy from M.I.T.

Z oltron was arrested but never convicted for marijuana distribution. The
evidence disappeared in police custody. A detective claimed that Zoltron stole
the evidence from the station but couldnt prove it, claiming that Zoltron used
magic. The detective retired shortly afterwards.
Z oltron was sued by a woman claiming false advertising. He had published a
book of magic and said it was real but the woman couldnt replicate any of
the spells. The judge threw the case out.
Zoltron was the sole inheritor of the estate of an infamous occultist and
magician known only as Mister Nancy. The estate contained a library of
ancient books of magic said to be worth millions but no one knows what
Zoltron has done with them. He is barely above poverty.
Z oltron has received numerous noise citations for weird music being played in
his store at all hours of the night.
Z oltron was suspected as a fence for local thieves and gangs but no thief or
gang member would ever speak against him. One report specifically describes
a burglar go into hysterics at the mere mention of his name. The burglar was
hit by a car and killed a day after being released.
Z oltron was thrown out of a new age seminar for heckling every speaker who
came on the stage. The seminar host refused to press charges.

Pandoras Knick-Knacks
Zoltrons antiques store is locked and barred, in the only ghetto of Sunny Vale.
However, no hobo or criminal will come near it. It is perhaps the safest building
in the city. Zoltron was kidnapped while he was heading to a swap meet.
It appears as a simple one story brick building. A badly painted sign of an open
treasure chest, emblazoned with the stores name, hangs above the doorway.
Characters can simply force open the lock (trivial to any monster) or use the
secret password Open Seyz a Me, which unlocks the door.
The interior of the store is no different than any other cheap antique store.
Gewgaws from an earlier age surround the aisles, concealing the few good
finds. A rare Ruba Rhombic vase in one corner, a real Edgar Brandt lamp on top
of a pile of yellowed Archie comics. The backroom immediately beckons to the
characters, a purple wallpapered room hidden by strings of beads. A sign above
reads Cosmic Mystery Room.
The Cosmic Mystery Room is lined with aging horror and fantasy novels,
accented with plastic skulls, pewter wizard and dragon statues. A large crystal
ball rests atop a wrought iron stand in the center of the room. This is a real
crystal ball and glows with powerful magic. The only reason the Traveler did not
take the crystal ball is because its magic depends on it remaining exactly where
it is. If it is moved, it loses its powers until it is placed back on the pedestal.

Using the Crystal Ball

The crystal ball is incredibly powerful but only Zoltron can access its full
potential. The characters will only be able to use a fraction of its power. They
can only use it to answer a question one question per character. The Crystal
Ball can normally answer any trivial question automatically. When it comes to
the Rangers or Zoltron, it can only give hints it will mention that Zoltron is
being held in a dark place a prison shrouded in mystery. For the Rangers,
it will describe their weapons in detail if asked. It will also reveal their ages,
genders and some personal details, interests, personalities and so forth. It will

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not give their real names though. It refuses to answer any questions relating
to the Cult of the Underworld, the Ur-Monster, Jack or the Traveler. If pressed,
the characters will be shifted into the Underworld. See the appendix for more
details.
Characters who wish to ask more than one question must defeat the Crystal
Ball in a battle of willpower. A GUTS + COURAGE skill check is required for
each additional question versus a 6d pool. Failure results in (1 + the number of
questions asked) shock damage to the characters Guts. Players may repeat as
many times as they wish

The Secret Identities


of the Rangers
Characters can learn the secret identities of the Rangers before meeting
them. This can be done by using the Crystal Ball and profiling them with this
information or by tailing them after a fight.

Crystal Ball Profiling


The Crystal Ball can reveal virtually everything but their real names if asked
properly. Given this information, the players can simply investigate the Rangers
and dig up their true identities. Use the information in each Rangers description
as a guide and allow logical courses of investigation. For example, if a player
asks about the interests of the Rangers, they can learn that Melvin the blue
Ranger is obsessed with model trains. Given that he is a teenager, the players
can simply ask around at the local hobby store to get a lead.

Meeting the Rangers


If the players wait around long enough (usually one to four days), the Rangers
will fight a monster somewhere in Sunny Vale.
If the players watch the fight, they can tail the Rangers after they defeat the
monster. This is tricky because the Rangers are quite fast, jumping from rooftop
to rooftop. Tailing a Ranger should be an encounter in of itself, requiring several
skill checks and quick decision making teamwork helps. If the players succeed,
the Ranger will transform back into their secret identity in a secluded location.
If the players ever gain the trust of the Rangers, they will voluntarily reveal their
identities and summon the other Rangers.
Once the players meet the Rangers, they will tell this story:
Once, we were mere mortals but one day a group of monsters attacked us! The
wizard Zoltron gave us weapons and powers to defeat the evil creatures. Since
then we have sworn to protect Sunny Vale from the forces of darkness! So, what
side are you on?

]
68

The Rangers arent used to dealing with peaceful supernatural creatures so


theyll be wary and unsure on how to proceed. If the players are diplomatic
and promise to help them find Zoltron, the Rangers will tentatively agree. This
requires a WITS + CHARM check by the partys spokesperson. Once they agree

to help, they will tell the party about Zoltrons antique store, the password to
get inside and the Crystal Ball. They also mention the last time they saw Zoltron.
He was heading to a swap meet to pick up some more antiques for the store. If
asked why they havent looked for Zoltron, the Rangers simply shrug and make
up a lot of excuses about school and fighting monsters.
If the party isnt polite, the Rangers will dismiss the group as amateurs and
poseurs. They will ignore the characters until they find Zoltron.
If the party is hostile, the Rangers will attack the group.

Finding Zoltron
The Traveler has left clues around Sunny Vale to lure the Rangers to the fake
Zoltron. The real wizard is imprisoned within the Underworld. Players who first
find and unmask Dagon can figure out where the real Zoltron is being held.
The fake Zoltron is currently waiting at Tommy Two-Tones Storage an
abandoned warehouse at the edge of town. Zoltrons VW van is parked outside.
The players can easily find the warehouse with a little sleuthing:
T he Antique Store: Characters can find Zoltrons daily calendar pinned to a
wall with an BRAINS + NOTICE check. The last marked date indicates that he
was going to a swap meet at the local community college parking lot.
T he community college parking lot is currently empty except for some trash.
Players can find fliers about the swap meet that list Maria Stamford as a
contact person.
M
aria Stamford is a cheerful and happy person who will gladly explain that
she remembers Zoltron at the swap meet but two nice men with Tommy Two
Tones Storage uniforms met him there and they drove off in his van. She
thought it was a little odd because she thought Tommy Two Tones had been
out of business for a few months.
P layers can dig up the address for Tommy Two Tones Storage by checking the
phone book or looking it up on the net.
P layers can find out what type of car Zoltron owned by looking through police
records or by digging through the paperwork stacked in the antique store. Its
an old VW van with the license plate WOODSTK.
C
lever characters can put out anonymous tips about a drug shipment or a
hidden bomb to get the police to find the VW van. If the police look for the
van, they will find it within 24 hours. They will never enter the warehouse,
though.

Tommy Two-Tones Storage


A rather mundane two story building with several truck loading docks and a
small office at the front. Zoltrons VW van is parked outside. A group of cultist
goons guards the warehouse, each wearing a Tommy Two-Tones uniform.
Treat each group of goons as a single Threat in combat.

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Cultist Goon Squad 1

Stationed at the front office. Withered corpselike cultists in


utility suits clutching battered blades and rusted rifles.
Threat 7d: Area x2, Gnarly x1

Cultist Goon Squad 2

Stationed in the warehouse. Slimy goons with greased hair,


cheap suits, ugly hats and cheesy gangster accents.
Threat 6d: Area x1, Tough x1, Wicked Fast x2

Zoltron is tied up in a chair in the center of the warehouse.


Players can either kick the doors in and fight the two goon
squads or sneak him out. Distractions work wonders and the
goons know they need to let the players rescue Zoltron but to
make it look convincing.
Once the fake Zoltron is rescued, he will be eager to meet the
Rangers. He claims that the Cult drained him of his powers and
most of his memories. The players should either take him to
the antique store or contact the Rangers directly. Either way,
The fake Zoltron meets up with the Rangers.

Somethings Amiss

The reunion with Zoltron and the Rangers should set off some warning bells for
the players. Zoltron lavishly praises the Rangers for finding such stalwart allies
and does not criticize them for not looking for him. Instead, he praises them for
carrying on the fight without him and wants to know all the gory details about
fighting monsters. He encourages the players to leave posthaste and insists that
everything is fine, under control.
If the players dont realize something weird is going on and take Zoltron at his
word, they will receive one last warning. Right before they leave, one of the
players gets a mysterious phone call from Jack who says that the wizard is not
what he seems! and hangs up. As mentioned in chapter 1, the Traveler suffers
from a split personality the Jack personality wants to help the players. The
Traveler is not aware of this other personality. If the players still leave after the
last warning, Dagon corrupts the Rangers and the players will fight them at Area
51.

]
70

Should the players doubt Zoltrons authenticity, they can question him. He
actually knows very little about the Rangers not even their real names.
However, he explains that by saying he lost most of his memories when he was
hit on the head. If the players dont accept this explanation, Dagon will become
desperate and order the Rangers to attack the players. Confused, the Rangers
will not act at first, waiting to see how the players respond. A monster with
a perceptive ability or a kid who states that they will see if Zoltron is wearing
a disguise can find the truth: That the wizard they think is Zoltron is actually
wearing a rubber mask. Pulling the rubber mask off reveals Dagon, the sorcerer
from the museum incident in chapter 1!

Interrogating Dagon

Once the ruse has been found out, Dagon at first tries to flee, but can easily be
caught by the players or Rangers. Dagon is a coward who begs for mercy and
will gladly tell the players anything he knows:
The Cult wanted to recruit the Rangers but he doesnt know why
T he original plan was to kidnap Zoltron and let the Rangers find Dagon
disguised as Zoltron. He would then corrupt the Rangers and recruit them for
the Cult.
The real Zoltron is being held in the Underworld.
Dagon does not have the power to open a portal to the Underworld.
Zoltron is guarded by a powerful monster named Erebus.
T he leader of the Cult is a powerful being called the Traveler. Dagon is
terrified of him.
Dagon begs to be released after answering questions. The Rangers wont allow
the players to execute a prisoner either.
The Crystal Ball can explain how to open a temporary portal to the Underworld.
The Rangers must focus all of their energies and join their weapons together
while thinking of Zoltron. This opens a portal that will last one hour or until the
Rangers stop concentrating. The Rangers have to stay on Earth in order to keep
the portal open so only the players can rescue Zoltron.

The Underworld Prison


Once the players step through the portal, they find themselves in a silent winding
basalt corridor lit by dim torches that glow with a flickering blue light. It is
extremely cold, only a few degrees above freezing. Doors line the walls, each
with a small barred window. However, all of the jail cells are currently empty.
The corridor splits off in an intersection and the players should realize the entire
prison is a maze.
As the party explores the Underworld prison, have each character make an
BRAINS + NOTICE check. Success indicates that as they go farther down the
corridor, the blue torches behind them disappear, swallowed up by the darkness.
A success of Height 8 or higher reveals a hollow breathing sound from behind
them. The players are being stalked by Erebus.
Erebus starts the battle with his darkness aura power that temporarily blinds
everyone in the area. Players must make an opposed BRAINS + NOTICE check
versus the height of Erebus roll. If successful they remain where they are but if
they fail, the character wanders off from the rest of the party.
Erebus prefers to attack the relationships of the characters around him. Once
they are separated, he uses his insightful gaze to learn a characters secrets and
then speaks from the darkness. He points out their flaws and tries to make them
renounce their Relationships. In game terms, he uses his Dark Voice power to
attack Relationships directly. It can be opposed by GUTS + COURAGE or WITS
+ CONNIVE. Players can attack Erebus back with a WITS + PUTDOWN attack
(insulting him) or BRAINS + OUT-THINK (tricking him into revealing his own
flaws and doubts).

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As long as he remains in total darkness, he is nearly impossible to defeat


through force. He can automatically resist any attack with his darkness shroud
ability while still using his dark voice ability.
Erebus stops attacking characters if they cause more than 2 damage to him by
talking back to him or if their monster has an ability to create light.
If two or more players remain together, Erebus attacks with his shadow
pseudopods ability. While using this power, he is vulnerable to physical attacks
and can be defeated in a straight fight.
Once Erebus is driven off or defeated, every torch in the prison lights up,
dispelling all lingering shadows. The real Zoltron calls out from a nearby cell. Any
monster can rip open the cell door with a single attack. From there, it is trivial to
return to Earth.

The Real Reunion

Zoltron thanks the players for their help in rescuing them and admonishes the
Rangers for not searching for him on their own. See Rescue the Real Zoltron
under Resolving Sunny Vale for more information.

The Summoned Monsters


Each summoned monster is a hodgepodge of claws, tentacles, eyeballs, mouths
and scales. They seldom resemble any type of creature or animal, but are
usually humanoid in nature. They give the appearance of being assembled with
leftover parts by a drunken deity in a slapdash matter and then shoved out the
door. Each monster has a simple intelligence and desires only to cause as much
property damage as possible. Being rather dumb, the monster may spend all
of its time lashing out at a big rock or a bike rack instead of the nearby luxury
sedan. Summoned monsters never intentionally cause harm to normal people but
some have hurt and even killed a few innocent bystanders in the past. Adults
who see the battle rationalize it immediately. They are unable to perceive what is
happening so they dismiss it as hysteria or think of some excuse.
If the players attempt to talk to a summoned monster before the Rangers kill it,
they will find it honest but ignorant. They love to smash things but dont know
how or why they came to Sunny Vale or even how they came to exist at all. They
also love to taunt anyone who talks to them, but they are blissfully unaware
that insults are mean. They are in a word, childlike. Peaceful players may try
to get the summoned monster to stop but the monster will stick to its instincts
unless carefully watched and trained, a process that requires infinite patience
and weeks of effort. Of course, the Rangers will kill any summoned monster they
find.
The Rangers kill summoned monsters with an alarming efficiency. Its a rather
grim spectacle, as the summoned monster inevitably screams in agony and
bleeds a glowing green ichor before the Rangers exterminate it. The stats for
the generic summoned monster at the end of the chapter work for the average
summoned monster, but the GM may create their own variations.

]
72

Learning the Secret of the


Summoned Monsters

If the players want to figure out why monsters keep appearing to menace Sunny
Vale, they need to observe the Rangers. While it is logical to assume the Cult is
behind the monsters, in this case it is not true.
The summoned monsters are manifestations of the Rangers collective
angst. The summoned monsters first appeared after each Ranger
rejected the strange creatures who showed up to be their friends.
If asked about the summoned monsters that appear in Sunny Vale,
the Crystal Ball replies that the Rangers are the key to unraveling the
mystery. In order to figure out the truth, the players must keep an eye
on the Rangers.
If the players follow or keep up with the Rangers secret identities for
at least a day, they should observe at least one emotional crisis. See
their descriptions for possible ideas. Shortly after the crisis happens,
a summoned monster appears somewhere in Sunny Vale. The
Rangers quickly dispatch the summoned monster and return to their
normal lives. They have never caught the connection between their
personal lives and the appearance of summoned monsters.
Should the players catch on, they can test their hypothesis by
inducing another emotional crisis, with predictable results. If
the players reveal this knowledge to the Rangers, they will be
devastated. See Resolving the Chapter for more information on how
it will affect them.
The summoned monsters will stop appearing if the Rangers
weapons are destroyed.

The Rangers Weapons


Each weapon of the Rangers is a magical artifact powered by the soul of a
monster. They grant superhuman strength, speed and martial arts ability to its
wielder, but at a terrible price. The weapons must destroy an opponent in battle
at least once a week or the weapon inflicts tremendous pain on the wielder.
Furthermore, its powers are addictive. A character that uses the weapon more
than three times develops a strong psychological addiction and craves to use
them whenever possible.
The weapons can only be destroyed by two ways: A special ritual known only to
Zoltron that disintegrates the weapon or by releasing the soul contained within
the weapon. Zoltron needs the Crystal Ball to perform the ritual but he isnt sure
how effective it is and will only use it if the Rangers become mad with power.
He doesnt know how it will affect the Rangers personally. Unfortunately, the
ritual is only partially effective. If used, it will destroy all of the weapons except
Rogers katana. See Resolving the chapter for more information on how Roger
would react.
Players can release the soul contained within the weapon if they can first take
it from a Ranger and then defeat the weapon in a contest of wills. The Rangers
will only surrender their weapons if the players convince them that they are

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73

responsible for the appearance of the summoned monsters. Otherwise the


players must defeat the Rangers in battle to take their weapons.
Monsters cannot wield a Rangers weapon for any reason. The weapon refuses
to work with anyone other than a normal human, preferably a child or teenager.
If a kid picks up the weapon, he will feel an intense rush of energy. Characters
who fail a GUTS + COURAGE check are hooked on the weapons power and
immediately try to use it. Otherwise the character can act normally.
Once a human wields a weapon, they can communicate with it telepathically.
The weapons are all dark tortured beings that live only to spread suffering and
pain. Imagine the worlds most depressed goth eternally suffering from the worst
breakup possible. If the player asks about the weapons history, it will tell them
the true story that it was once a monster that tried to befriend a Ranger and
was imprisoned within the weapon by the wizard Zoltron. If the player asks how
to free it, it will initially decline saying that it enjoys addicting the Ranger to
violence and reveals its plan to lure the Ranger into a path of self-destruction.
It asks the character to kill the Ranger that wielded it. In exchange, the weapon
will serve the character. If the character refuses, the weapon begins a contest of
wills.
The weapon uses its 6d Awesome x1 mental attack pool against the characters
GUTS + COURAGE or BRAINS + OUT-THINK pool. All damage is subtracted from
their attack pool, regardless of the Height rolled. Continue to roll until one of
them loses all of their dice. Characters may use relationships to bolster their rolls.
If the player is defeated, he becomes addicted to the weapon and will not give
it up unless forced by the other players. If the player wins, he can release the
bound soul within the weapon, effectively destroying it.

Resolving Things
In Sunny Vale
The players travel to Sunny Vale to rescue the wizard Zoltron. Unless they are
extremely vigilant, they will find Dagon disguised as the wizard and return him to
the Rangers.
The players have several ways of ending this chapter:

Find the False Zoltron and Leave

The worst solution. If the players simply leave after returning the fake wizard to
the Rangers, they will not gain a clue about the Cult of the Underworld. Within
days, the Rangers will become loyal warriors of the Cult. The players will have to
face the Sentai Rangers at Area 51.

]
74

Defeat the Rangers and


Destroy Their Weapons

If the players defeat the Rangers and take their weapons, they can attempt to
destroy them. See the section The Rangers Weapons for more information.
This will cause irreparable damage to the Rangers crippling their minds and
souls. Furthermore, Zoltron will be lost forever in the Underworld. However, this
prevents the Cult from gaining the Rangers as new warriors.

Get the Rangers to


Fight Each Other

Manipulative characters who study the Rangers can get them to fight each
other quite easily. For example, Latika has a crush on Ambers boyfriend. All five
Rangers are tightly wound and will fight at the drop of a hat if provoked. Once
two Rangers start fighting each other, the other three will join in. The brawl will
demolish a large section of Sunny Vale. The fight ends with all of the Rangers
crippled, dead, or mad from betraying their friends. They will be useless to the
Cult, although their weapons may survive the battle. If so, the weapons will be
stolen and used by cultists at Area 51 unless the players specifically seek them
out first and destroy them.

Make the Rangers Lay


Down Their Weapons

The players can get the Rangers to give up fighting if they can learn what causes
the monsters to appear in Sunny Vale. See the Secret of the Summoning for more
information. Once the players confront the Rangers with the truth, they will be
forced to make a decision. While they are selfish, immature and arrogant, they
all think of themselves as the good guys. Empathic and caring characters can use
this to coax the Rangers into giving up their costumes and superpowers. This is
a delicate process which will need good roleplaying and several WITS + CHARM
checks to succeed. Once the Rangers give up their ways, the spirits bound within
their weapons are released and provide a vision to the players of a clue about
the Cult. Zoltron remains imprisoned.

Rescue the Real Zoltron

The players must first rescue the fake Zoltron and then realize that he is a fraud.
Once they uncover the deception, they can learn where the real Zoltron is being
held the Underworld. The Crystal Ball can explain how to rescue him. The
players and the Rangers must open a temporary gate to the Underworld and
fight Zoltrons jailor, a powerful monster called Erebus. If they can defeat Erebus,
the players can bring Zoltron back. Once Zoltron returns, he will admonish the
Rangers for their carelessness and disregard for his safety. The Rangers get angry
and leave.
If the players have learned why the monsters have been summoned and tell
Zoltron, he will confirm it and ask for help. The players must get the Rangers
and Zoltron to forgive each other. Zoltron should acknowledge their bravery and
daring while the Rangers must apologize for their selfishness. If this happens,
Zoltron will give the players a reward (see chapter 1) about the Cult of the
Underworld and the Rangers will give the players a Sentai Ranger badge. This
allows the players to summon the Rangers once to help them in a fight.
If the Rangers and Zoltron do not forgive each other, they will become enemies.
Zoltron unleashes his magic to stop the Rangers by destroying their weapons.
He succeeds, except for Roger the red Ranger. Enraged, Roger kills Zoltron with
his katana. The other rangers go mad from their guilt and loss of their weapons
while Roger becomes a violent sociopathic vigilante. Fortunately the Cult is
unable to recruit him.

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CHARACTERS
Zoltron

A graying long haired hippie still in 60s era clothing with John Lennon
sunglasses. Zoltron nearly always has a smile on his face and frequently gives
the peace sign. As a wizard, he is able to perceive monsters and can affect them
with his Sorcery skill. Sorcery is treated as a monster power in terms of who it
can affect. It can be used to attack, defend or activate any number of useful
abilities.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 2 (P.E +0, Kicking +0, Dodge +2)
Guts 3 (Wind +0, Courage +3, Wrestling +0)
Hands 2 (Shop +1, Punching +0, Blocking +1)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +4, Remember +5, Notice +5, Sorcery +5)
Face 4 (Charm +3, Putdown +4, Connive +5)

Relationships
Amber 1, Jeremy 1, Latika 1, Melvin 1, Roger 1

Pe r s o n ality
Zoltron began life as Frank Heriowitz, a precocious youth
interested in sleight of hand and science. After winning a
scholarship to MIT, he became obsessed with metaphysics
and the true nature of reality. One of his professors
showed him a book of real magic in the universitys
permanent collection and overnight Frank became Zoltron,
master wizard.
Zoltron drifted through the underground for decades,
sometimes as a new age guru, other times as an occult
expert who exorcised demons and found lost treasure
with divination magic. He even befriended a powerful
sorcerer and gain his magical library by tricking a dragon
into transforming itself into a fly (which Zoltron then
squashed).
Several years ago, he decided to retire and started up
an antique store in Sunny Vale. But adventure found him
and he was soon mixed up with the Sentai Rangers. He is
more or less a good guy, but by no means a saint.

]
76

Erebus

A gaunt man over eight feet tall, dressed in grey robes. Erebus is surrounded by
living shadows that flow over his body. He wears a talisman around his neck.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-3: Grey Robes 9d (Defends, Useful [conceal self], Awesome x2,

Tough x1, Wicked Fast x2)


Location 4: Talisman of the Underworld 3d (Useful [detect weakness],

Awesome x2)
Location 5-6: Living Shadows 6d (Attacks, Defends, Awesome x2, Wicked Fast

x1)
Location 7: Piercing Eyes 3d (Useful [read minds], Awesome x2)
Location 8-10: Soul of Doom 8d (Attacks, Defends, Area x2, Gnarly x2, Spray

x1, Tough x1)

Pe r s o n ality
Erebus has lived in the Underworld for thousands of years. He was born as a
normal human in ancient Greece but has forgotten everything else about his
previous life. He lives only to jail the enemies of the Cult and loves nothing more
than to judge them by pointing out their many flaws.

Dagon/The Fake Zoltron

See Chapter 1 for Dagons full entry. He is identical to Zoltron when he is


disguised but his rubber mask holds the disguise spell together.

The Sentai Rangers

All of the Rangers wear identical spandex costumes with helmets and utility
belts. The costumes feature subtle but disturbing occult motifs reflecting their
corrupted nature. Only the color of the costume and their choice of weapon
sets them apart from each other. Each Ranger has an emotional crisis trigger. If
the Ranger cant resolve the crisis within a day, the built up stress results in the
summoning of a monster somewhere in Sunny Vale. When the Rangers are in
costume, each is treated as a monster in terms of power.
A human activating a Sentai weapon effectively becomes a supernatural being,
equal to a monster. A form fitting costume covers the character, similar to
appearance to the Sentai Ranger costume. Each weapon has a unique power.
Check the characters individual section for the weapons power.

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Amber the Gold Ranger

Amber uses a pair of kama shaped like monstrous fangs. Normally, she appears
as a 17 year old preppie with above average looks and the finest apparel the
local mall can offer.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 4 (P.E +4, Kicking +4, Dodge +4)
Guts 2 (Wind +3, Courage +1, Wrestling +2)
Hands 2 (Shop +0, Punching +2, Blocking +2)
Brains 3 (Out-Think +4, Remember +2, Notice +0)
Face 3 (Charm +4, Putdown +4, Connive +4)

Relationships
Tiffany 1, Cory 1, Zoltron 1, Parents 2

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Karate Kicking Legs 6d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [leaping],

Awesome x2)
Locations 3-6: Kama 10d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn, Gnarly x2, Spray x1,

Tough x2, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 7-8: Hyper-Dimensional Blocking Technique 7d (Defends, Tough x2,

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 9-10: Sentai Helmet 6d (Useful [assess monster foe], Useful [blinding
beam], Awesome x2, Tough x1)

A mber s Kama
Wind Slash: The weapon bearers attacks can strike at any enemy they have a

line of sight to, regardless of distance.

Pe r s o n ality
Amber Carter is the classic Type A overachiever. She is the head cheerleader,
honor roll student and junior prom queen. In her mind, the Rangers are her
secret weapon against any possible setback in her life. She has used her powers
to sabotage rivals in the cheerleading squad, break into the school to get exam
answer keys and even stole clothing from the mall. She has no remorse over
her actions and will not tolerate any obstacles in her path to an Ivy League
education and beyond. She is not as addicted to battle as the other Rangers but
still enjoys it, as it allows her to feel superior and she think its great aerobic
exercise. Her boyfriend is Cory the quarterback of the football team but Amber
takes the relationship much more casually than he does.

E m o t i o n a l C r i s i s Tr i g g e r s

]
78

Amber is particularly high strung and suffers an emotional crisis whenever


she has a personal setback. A single bad grade or mild criticism from the
cheerleading coach can set her off.

Jeremy the Green Ranger

Jeremy carries an imposing scythe in battle, a skull affixed to the head of the
shaft. As a teen, Jeremy overdresses, preferring button up shirts with bowties.
He is well built, and is an amateur weight lifter.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 3 (P.E +3, Kicking +3, Dodge +3)
Guts 4 (Wind +3, Courage +2, Wrestling +5)
Hands 4 (Shop +3, Punching +5, Blocking +4)
Brains 2 (Out-Think +3, Remember +3, Notice +3)
Face 2 (Charm +1, Putdown +1, Connive +1)

Relationships
Weightlifting 2, Parents 2, Zoltron 1

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Karate Kicking Legs 6d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [leaping],

Awesome x2)
Locations 3-6: Scythe 10d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x2, Spray x1,

Tough x2, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 7-8: Hyper-Dimensional Blocking Technique 7d (Defends, Tough x2,

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 9-10: Sentai Helmet 6d (Useful [assess monster foe], Useful [blinding

beam], Awesome x2, Tough x1)

Jeremys Scythe
Soul Shield: The weapon bearer can raise the scythe up high and create a

shield that both protects the bearer and damages anyone who attacks the
wielder with a 5d attack.

Pe r s o n ality
Brought up by distant yet religious parents, Jeremy Wagner grew up with an
inferiority complex. He discovered weightlifting shortly after becoming a Sentai
Ranger and took it up as a way to deal with stress. Hes too self-conscious to
join any cliques and hes too big to be bullied. His parents buy all of his clothes
which he knows is a drag. Hes looking for a way out but cant find it. The only
release comes from working out and killing monsters. Hes getting to like it a bit
too much.

E m o t i o n a l C r i s i s Tr i g g e r s
Jeremy hates being told what to do, especially by arrogant authority figures. The
other Rangers have learned to leave him alone but if a teacher or parent gets in
Jeremys face, he will take it out on someone else later on. Fortunately, Zoltron
conditioned him to focus his rage only on monsters but without his guidance,
Jeremy will snap sooner or later.

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Latika the Pink Ranger

Latika uses a long whip sword, a sword built of many interlocking parts that can
used as a whip or as a sword. When she is in her secret identity, she appears as
a bookwormish Indian-American teen wallflower.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 2 (P.E +1, Kicking +1, Dodge +1)
Guts 2(Wind +1, Courage +4, Wrestling +1)
Hands 3(Shop +1, Punching +2, Blocking +1)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +5, Remember +5, Notice +3)
Face 2 (Charm +1, Putdown +2, Connive +4)

Relationships
Parents 3, Zoltron 1, Cory 1

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Karate Kicking Legs 6d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [Leaping],

Awesome x2)
Locations 3-6: Whipsword 10d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x2,

Spray x1, Tough x2, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 7-8: Hyper-Dimensional Blocking Technique 7d (Defends, Tough x2,

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 9-10: Sentai Helmet 6d (Useful [assess monster foe], Useful [blinding

beam], Awesome x2, Tough x1)

Latikas Whipsword
Entangling Strike: The weapon bearer can paralyze a foe for a number of

rounds equal to an attacks width instead of causing damage. The weapon cant
be used for attacks while it is paralyzing a foe but the weapon bearer can use
unarmed attacks in the meantime.

Pe r s o n ality

]
80

Latika Rao was a quiet child growing up, but she harbored intense feelings of
hatred towards animals or anything else weaker or smaller than her. She was
clever enough to keep these feelings hidden and her parents did not notice the
warning signs. They only encouraged her to excel at class and extracurricular
activities, so she would be a good candidate for the best universities. As a loner,
Latika spends her free time studying and exploring the city as a Ranger. She
likes being a vigilante because she thinks shes always right and has frequently
freelanced on her own. While Zoltron was around, she only scared the crooks
or led police to them, as she feared the wizards power. But now, shes crippled
over a dozen petty criminals since Zoltron disappeared and its only a matter
of time until she kills someone. At school, shes developed a crush on Cory, the
quarterback of the football team. Of course Cory is going out with Amber, but
Latika figures its only a matter of time before they break up, with her help.

E m o t i o n a l C r i s i s Tr i g g e r s
Latika is not good with boys and hates being wrong. Any romantic setback will
send her into a rage and merely losing an argument will set her blood boiling.

Melvin the Blue Ranger

As a Ranger, Melvin wields a massive warhammer, a brutal weapon of crude


iron. In his secret identity, he appears as a skinny teen, 17, with thick glasses. His
clothes are shabby but he always wears a button reading I (HEART) TRAINS.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 2 (P.E +2, Kicking +4, Dodge +1)
Guts 3 (Wind +2, Courage +2, Wrestling +4)
Hands 5 (Shop +5, Punching +3, Blocking +4)
Brains 3 (Out-Think +2, Remember +2, Notice +4)
Face 1 (Charm +0, Putdown +2, Connive +0)

Relationships
Mother 2, Trains, 2, Zoltron 1

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Karate Kicking Legs 6d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [leaping]

Awesome x2)
Locations 3-6: Warhammer 10d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn, Gnarly x2, Spray

x1, Tough x2, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 7-8: Hyper-Dimensional Blocking Technique 7d (Defends, Tough x2,

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 9-10: Sentai Helmet 6d (Useful [assess monster foe], Useful [blinding

beam], Awesome x2, Tough x1)

Melvins Warhammer
Earthquake Shock: The weapon bearer can strike the ground, causing a 7d

Awesome x1, Gnarly x1 attack that strikes every enemy in the battle. It can only
be used once per battle.

Pe r s o n ality
Melvin Newsome suffers from a moderate case of Aspergers Syndrome and
fails to understand most social etiquette and body language. He is obsessed
with trains, both real and model, and violence. He loves to slam enemies with
overpowered swings from his warhammer and revels in bloodshed. When not in
combat, he talks about trains and will ignore attempts to steer the conversation
away. Hes not above walking from a battle if it takes place at a trainyard so he
can scope out the trains.

E m o t i o n a l C r i s i s Tr i g g e r s
Being humiliated by the other Rangers. Having his model train set damaged or
threatened. His parents lecturing him for breaking a rule.

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Roger the Red Ranger

As a Ranger, Roger wields a two handed katana etched with occult sigils on the
side of the blade. As a normal teen, he is an ironic emo hipster with dyed hair,
army jacket, retro t-shirts and tight jeans.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 2 (P.E +1, Kicking +2, Dodge +2)
Guts 3 (Wind +2, Courage +2, Wrestling +2)
Hands 2 (Shop +2, Punching +2, Blocking +3)
Brains 3 (Out-Think +3, Remember +1, Notice +2)
Face 5 (Charm +5, Putdown +5, Connive +4)

Relationships
Emo Music 2, His Band 2, Zoltron 1

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Karate Kicking Legs 6d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [leaping],
Awesome x2, Tough x1)
Locations 3-6: Katana 10d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x2, Spray x1,
Tough x3, Wicked Fast x2)
Locations 7-8: Hyper-Dimensional Blocking Technique 7d (Defends, Tough x3,
Wicked Fast x1)
Locations 9-10: Sentai Helmet 6d (Useful [assess monster foe], Useful [blinding
beam], Awesome x2, Tough x2)

Ro ger s Katana
Strength of Steel: The weapon bearer has an additional level of Toughness on

all hit locations. This is already included in his stats.

Pe r s o n ality
Roger McCormick is the leader of the Rangers, the first into battle and the
Ranger most likely to draw attention to himself. Rogers family is white trash
trailer park material and Roger hates them for it. Hes rebelling by joining the
emo/hipster crowd. Hes even started his own band, Dollar Drugstore. Theyre
pretty bad, but to Roger its about popularity and attention. He sometimes
leaves fliers for his band after a battle. He dreams of getting a big record deal
but the other Rangers might mooch off of him. He is eager to get rid of the
dead weight already.

E m o t i o n a l C r i s i s Tr i g g e r s

]
82

Roger cant stand being ignored for long periods of time and if his stunts or
music wont get him noticed, hell sink into a depression or rage. He also flies
into a fit when he looks bad in front of the other kids in his clique.

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Chapter 4:
Sucrose Park

Designed as the ultimate daycare center, Las Vegas Sucrose Park looks after
thousands of kids while their parents gamble away their college tuition in nearby
casinos. A corporate wonderland of rides, ball pits, arcades and costumed
mascots from popular cartoons await.
Too bad the owner of the park never wants anyone to leave. Ever.
Instead, when the parents come to pick up their kids, a robot duplicate is given
to them and few parents notice the difference. After all, theyre too concerned
with how much money they just lost. The players discover that the owner is a
monster who decided that it couldnt be friends with just one kidit had to be
friends with all children.
All the neon lights and laser tag arenas cant hide the fact that Sucrose Park is a
prison. Its time to break out.

]
84

Location:
Sources:

Las Vegas.

Misery, West World, Saturday morning cartoons, theme parks,

Howard Hughes, Michael Jackson.

Background
Once upon a time, there was a very unhappy child. Partario Jones was the only
child of Arthur Jones, a divorced Las Vegas casino owner. The boy had all the
toys and candy he could ever want but he was still desperately lonely. One June
night, he wished upon the mushroom cloud of a distant nuclear bomb test for a
friend. The next day, his wish came true in the form of an atomic powered robot,
CoolRad! Of course CoolRad was really a monster, but what kid could turn down
a robot as a best friend? Partarios new friend showed him how to have fun
and was the best possible friend he could ever want. But summer ended and
Partario went back to elementary school. CoolRad followed him, disguised as a
motorcycle. When the robot saw hundreds of kid rush out for recess, CoolRad
realized he could even have more fun than with just one kid. Partario was thrilled
at first when CoolRad marched into the playground, bellowing
with his metallic laughter. But CoolRad soon forgot about
Partario and relished in the adulation of the other children.
Partario never saw his robot friend again, but even to this day
dreams of him.
For some unknown reason, CoolRad is unable to form a
permanent bond with a single child. Instead, he can form
shallow and temporary bonds with many children. He craves
attention and flits from kid to kid in order to get his fix. As
a major tourist resort, Las Vegas was the perfect habitat for
CoolRad. He entertained thousands of kids over the next few
years. As the atomic age came to an end, CoolRad became
less appealing to the kids who began to see him as a creepy
unnatural machine. This terrified CoolRad and he began a
frantic search for a solution.
Eventually, he realized he could just change himself. He
removed his face for the first time in a cheap motel while
watching repeats of Saturday morning cartoons at 3 AM. It
was strangely liberating. He transmuted himself to appear like
the poorly animated heroes on the TV and the titanium robot
became a plastic boy genius, Keith Royal.
Keith Royal eventually became Kicker Robo, a football playing
cyborg and then a plastic Japanese robot, Cool Raygun. Today,
he is Coolrat, the mascot of Sucrose Park. What no one knows
is that the park is Coolrats idea. Of course, he still thinks of
himself as CoolRad. At least most days. Hes getting a little

7
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disorganized. Some would call it schizophrenic. But regardless, we will refer to


this particular monster as CoolRad.
While CoolRad focused on the kids of Las Vegas, he still learned quite a bit
about the players running the casinos. Given his curiosity and supernatural
powers, he learned where the bodies were buried, both figuratively and literally.
CoolRad parleyed that knowledge into money and political power. He became
the driving force behind the campaign to transform the city from a den of
gamblers and mobsters to a family friendly vacation destination. His hard work
paid off with the creation of the ultimate amusement park, Sucrose Park.
The park is CoolRads key to unlimited power and immortality. His years of
constant self-transmutation has made his body unstable and he receives less and
less energy from entertaining children. He needed a captive audience and a way
to amplify their power. He realized he could build his own attraction to amplify
the adulation of the children but they would eventually leave, dragged away
by their parents. But what if the kids never left? The perfect audience, happy
thralls who would always look up to CoolRad with wide eyes and wider smiles. A
scheme formed in his mind and the strange creature began to work.

The Brain Trust


From his years of alchemic self-experimentation, CoolRad learned not only to
change himself but others as well. He perfected this art by kidnapping and
transmuting dozens of architects, scientists and engineers who visited Las
Vegas into a single entity called the Brain Trust. It takes up an entire sub level of
Sucrose Park, a warren of computers, robotic arms and gooey brain tissue but its
core is a single giant brain with various cybernetic attachments connecting it to
the systems of Sucrose Park.
It has three dominant personalities: Dieter, a German scientist with a Cold War
mentality; Aesnath, a far out Californian visionary architect who dreams of
geodesic domes and arcologies; and Toshi, a Japanese robotic engineer who was
a little too enamored of high stakes poker. The Mob was going to kill Toshi, but
CoolRad saved him so he could put Toshi in charge of the Brain Trust for Project
Doppelganger. This has made Aesnath and Dieter jealous.
All three personalities agree that CoolRad is becoming too unstable for their
liking. They dare not act now but they wait and watch for any signs of weakness.
Should the robot become vulnerable, the Brain Trust may rebel. It has control
over most of the security systems in the park and the robots will probably obey
the Brain Trust if push comes to shove. However, CoolRad created the Brain Trust
in the first place and undoubtedly knows how to reverse the process.

Project Doppelganger

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The key to CoolRads project is not Sucrose Park, but Project Doppelganger.
Its a simple idea: have parents drop kids off at Sucrose Park while they go to a
nearby casino to gamble, and then replace the children with robot duplicates,
leaving the parents none the wiser. The children stay behind in Sucrose Park,
hypnotized by the rides and candy of Sucrose Park. The kids worship CoolRad
as king of everything that is cool. Everything in Sucrose Park is designed to help
accomplish this goal in one way or another. Every animatronic attraction has
covert security functions. The food and drinks are all spiked with mild sedatives
and hallucinogens.

In order to keep parents from discovering the ruse, each robot duplicate is
programmed to rebel until it runs away or gets kicked out of the family. The
duplicate waits for several weeks to months in order to throw any suspicion
off Sucrose Park. Once the duplicate leaves the family, it makes its way back to
Sucrose Park where it can take on a new kids identity. The project has over 100
duplicates active scattered around the country and CoolRad plans to build even
more.

How CoolRad Chooses His Targets

CoolRad personally chooses each and every kid to be replaced. He constantly


monitors and interacts with visiting kids. CoolRad focuses on the extremes: kids
having the best or worst time of their lives. If the kid is having a blast, CoolRad
wants to keep them because they obviously want to spend the rest of their lives
here. But if the kid is having an absolutely miserable time then CoolRad wants to
turn their frowns upside down. Hes especially interested in saving kids who are
mistreated by their families.
Unfortunately for the players, CoolRad will be fascinated by them the instant he
sees them although he wont know why. Once he learns that the players already
have monster friends, he will be enraged beyond reason. He becomes obsessed
with destroying the rival monsters and kidnapping the player characters. If the
players prove too difficult to handle, the Brain Trust may make them a deal. See
Rebellion in Sucrose Park for more information.

Sucrose Park Today


The new amusement park is the toast of the town. It has boosted family
attendance by over 50% in its first year. Hundreds of thousands are expected to
visit. CoolRad manages it through a variety of disguises. Hes the owner, head
manager and mascot Coolrat. Hes kidnapped about a thousand kids so far and
no one is the wiser.
Not everything is perfect though. Running the park and keeping its many secrets,
well, secret is a nightmare and requires nearly all of the Brain Trusts attention.
CoolRad is slipping into states of dementia and some of the kids have mutated
as their life force is drained out, becoming horrid little beasts that stalk the
underground corridors. The three dominant minds of the Brain Trust contemplate
rebellion. The entire park is slowly reflecting CoolRads fractured state of mind
his past persona have become rides and attractions and these are the key to
stopping him. If someone figures out CoolRads real name, they can stop him.

What the Traveler Wants


The Traveler was very impressed with Sucrose Park with his first visit. He saw the
duplicates for what they were and quickly figured out the real purpose behind
the park. However, CoolRad was not impressed with the Cult of the Underworld
or the Traveler. He turned the Traveler down and doubled the parks security,
fearful of a Cult takeover. The Traveler foresaw that possibility and planted a
double agent, a psychic child, inside the park before he left. The agent, Robbie
Drake, poses as a typical brainwashed kid but uses his powers to learn the parks
secrets.
The Traveler covets Project Doppelganger, particularly the robot duplicates. They
would allow the Cult to take over Area 51 with minimal losses. Ideally, the Cult

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wants to recruit/enslave the Brain Trust and as many robot


duplicates as possible. If the Brain Trust is destroyed,
the Cult only needs the names of the robot duplicates
currently in the field. They can track down a few and
enslave them.
CoolRad is too unstable to make a good henchman and
too powerful to be ignored. The Traveler wants CoolRad
destroyed to ensure that the robot will never seek revenge
on the Cult.

Resolving the Chapter


Sucrose Park can be run as either a dungeon crawl or
as a prison escape scenario. If the players stay together
and avoid getting kidnapped, Sucrose Park is a relatively
straight forward adventure. The group just has to find a
way to the secret level, rescue the kids and destroy Project
Doppelganger. On the other hand, if the group splits up,
they may be captured, in which case they have to escape
from the secret level, rescue the other kids and hopefully
destroy Project Doppelganger.
When running the adventure, be aware that some players
may hate the idea of being captured and separated from
their monster. If you think that the kidnapping section will
not work with your group, dont run that section of the
adventure. Let the group explore and interact with the
park until they figure out how to get to the bottom of things. It is not necessary
for the PCs to be captured to resolve this adventure.
Alternately, some of the players may be captured while others stay free. In this
case, you can either run the scenario with the players split up or run each half of
the scenario in separate sessions. If you do this, allow players whose characters
are not involved to run temporary characters for each part. For example, players
who fought off the grab teams could run kidnapped children who befriend
captured player characters while players with captured characters could play
rogue robot duplicates who want to destroy Sucrose Park while the rest of the
team fights their way to the secret level. Do not railroad the players into being
captured. Let the chips fall where they may.
The adventure begins and ends within the parks boundaries. Once the players
enter, they will have to deal with CoolRad and the Brain Trust one way or the
other. If the players manage to escape without neutralizing CoolRad and/or the
Brain Trust, they will abandon many innocent children to a dark fate.

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Welcome to Sucrose Park


The park is a sprawling complex that takes up several acres. Only a small part
actually faces the main Vegas strip. Most of it extends behind the strip, including
its massive parking lot. However, the rollercoaster Atomic Shockwave is visible
from nearly anywhere in the city. The entire complex is surrounded by security
fences and well-patrolled by a private security firm to prevent anyone sneaking
in or escaping. The firm has orders to prevent any child from leaving unless
accompanied by an adult.
The Park is open every day, from 7 AM to 10 PM. The park staff are experts at
convincing parents and guardians to leave their children here while they check
out the nearby casinos. Characters can wander the open section of the park at
will. However, sooner or later, they will attract the attention of CoolRad.
Surcrose Park is divided into three major areas: the main park, the employee
section and the secret underground complex.

The Main Park

The public face of the park. Most of it is open air. The attractions include:

The Abyss
A haunted house ride and main entrance to the secret complex. Heavily guarded
by large robots disguised as animatronic monsters.

Atomic Shockwave
The crown jewel of Sucrose Park and one of the hottest rollercoasters in the
world. It covers nearly the entire length of the park and loops back. It also holds
CoolRads escape pod if things go too wrong. The carts are all equipped with
jets and CoolRad can bend the tracks so he can launch himself into orbit. Of
course, he has to build up speed before he escapes but he figures no one will
chase him on a rollercoaster. Where can he go?

Th e Gift Sh op an d D aily Par ade


CoolRad bought the licensing for a number of Saturday morning cartoons
and threw in all of his old personae to populate the park. Every day (actually,
every few hours, but Daily Parade sounded better to CoolRad), several dozen
employees in full body costumes march by the gift shop dancing and singing. The
few parents who actually visit Sucrose Park love it as much as the kids.
The Gift Shop is well stocked with branded merchandise. Practically every type
of cheap plastic tchotchke and gewgaw that you can manufacture overseas and
slap a logo on you could imagine is available for sale.

Chaperone Services
As a way to assuage the fears of parents who dont want to leave their kids in
a strange place, Sucrose Park maintains a large staff of chaperones who look
children. Parents can call the chaperone to find how their kids are doing and the
kids can have the chaperone call them. Of course, the chaperones are paid extra
to look the other way for certain kids. They are mercenaries who just want to get
paid.

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3D Battle Realm
A dark neon battlefield of twisty tunnels and rocky hills. Kids can put on special
laser reflector vests and magnetic boots to fight a 3D laser battle with their
friends! Every obstacle in Battle Realm is made of a soft foam with a special
magnetic metal underneath. Anyone wearing the boots can effortlessly climb
over the obstacles. They can even climb up sheer walls and the ceiling! What no
one has realized is that the secret underground levels are built with the same
metal, so the magnetic boots will work down there. If a player steals a pair, they
can walk on the walls or ceiling down there. However, the boots do not work on
normal metals.

Fe r r i s W h e e l a n d L i g h t S h o w
CoolRad updated the traditional Ferris wheel by placing an LED light grid directly
below the wheel. Visitors looking down see an amazing light show with special
3D surround sound. This display has mild hypnotic powers, weakening the
mental defenses of anyone who watches it.

Cool-Cade the Ultimate Arcade


Hundreds of arcade machines of all types, including next generation prototypes
that are being tested by Japanese video game companies for the first time. The
Cool-Cade is a maze of mirrors, blinking lights and electronic music. There are
many hidden doors for agents to grab a kid and drag them into the secret level.
Many of the machines can be triggered in order to induce a trance in anyone
who plays the game, making them helpless.

Other Rides
Sucrose Park has many other rides and attractions, but they change frequently.
CoolRad shamelessly follows trends and is quick to jump on bandwagons.
Thus, in one week the park could host a major Japanese trading card game
tournament and the next week have a new extreme Segway ride.

The Employee Section

Most of the employees have no idea of Sucrose Parks secret, nor would they
want to know. They are content to draw a large paycheck and be left alone. That
said, every employee is instilled with a Dont Ask, Dont Tell mentality. They
are rewarded for covering up incidents and not asking questions. Anyone who
doesnt get with the program is quickly removed from the company.
The areas of the park designed for employee use are rather bland and utilitarian.
Corridors run directly below the ground so employees in costume can move
around without drawing a crowd. Every entrance to the employee section is
concealed so visitors dont notice them. During business hours, the entrances are
unlocked because staffers use them so much but security guards and cameras
monitor the employee section.
Players who successfully sneak into the employee section can find the following
areas of note:

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Wareh o use
Supplies and gift shop merchandise are stored here. Players can loot all kinds of
goodies should they choose.

Cafeteria and Rec Rooms


The guards never visit these areas on duty unless its an emergency. Characters
can easily hide out in these locations, as the staff lets their guard down here. Its
also the best place to pick up on gossip and rumors. Characters who eavesdrop
on the employees can learn any or all of the following:
Theres another level underneath the service tunnels. I know because I had
to repair a pipe and when I pulled it up to fix, it was over 50 feet long. If
there wasnt another level below us, it would have only been 10 feet.
The animatronics workshop is way more advanced than they let on. Its
better than NASA or the Japanese have.
The robots have special security measures. I saw one of the monsters in
the Abyss reach out and taser some drunk guy who was hassling everyone.
Freaking amazing!
I think Coolrat and the head manager Keith Royal are related. They both
have this weird nervous tic when someone mentions one of the other cartoon
characters by name.
Did you hear that weird sound in corridor five? Like a cat being strangled?
Yeah, what the hell is that?

Makeup and Costuming


Many employees dress up in fanciful costumes to entertain the kids. Dozens
of costumes line the walls along with professional makeup mirrors and stands.
Clever characters can easily disguise themselves in any manner they wish.
Employees wont pay attention to a few weird monsters with kids in tow they
will just assume they are part of some new act.

Operations Center
Supposedly the heart of Sucrose Park, highly trained engineers slave over
numerous control panels and computers while security personnel watch the
entire park through banks of surveillance monitors. The staff runs the park like
clockwork. This is only a ruse though, as the Brain Trust has full control over the
parks systems and can override the Operations Center at any time.

Corporate Offices
A small but highly efficient cubicle farm of office workers tirelessly maintains the
records and paperwork of Sucrose Park. This section is almost never visited by
the other employees, as they view the office staff as cold and arrogant. The truth
is, the cubicle workers are first generation robot duplicates, developed before the
Brain Trust had figured out how to properly read and display emotions properly.
As a result, the office workers work away 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Characters who stumble into the offices will be ignored by the office drones
unless draw attention to themselves. Then the drones will contact the Brain Trust
and attempt to apprehend the characters themselves.

Animatronics Work shop


This is Project Doppelgangers robot duplicate creation station. All Sucrose Park
robots and advanced electronics are produced here. It is a relatively small facility
but has bleeding edge technology. It is at least ten years ahead of any other
robotics facility on the planet. During business hours, a dozen technicians and
engineers assemble and repair various Park robots while after hours, robots
construct the bodies of robotic duplicates. The human exteriors, robotic weapons
and CPUs are built in the Brain Trusts workshop in the secret level.

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The Secret Level

A dark maze of corridors, the walls covered with biomechanical machinery. Only
three highly trusted employees are even aware of this levels existence. They are
the general manager, Kimberly Robins, the head engineer Charles French and
the chief finance officer Richard Smith. They try to avoid going there whenever
possible. The secret level can only be accessed by three tunnels:
A
shed near the Atomic Shockwave rollercoaster. Its designed to be used as
an escape tunnel in case the secret level is attacked.
T he Animatronics Workshop in the employee section has a concealed freight
elevator leading to the Brain Trusts lab.
T he main entrance to the secret level is in an empty part of the employee
section labeled UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
There are also numerous drop tunnels throughout the park that go straight down
to the secret level. However, they are only opened so kidnappers can drop a kid
into a temporary holding cell. The Brain Trust opens and closes them just long
enough for the kidnappers to use it. They are otherwise undetectable.

T h e B r a i n Tr u s t C l e a n R o o m

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The quarters of the Brain Trust. It is a sterile white room, with numerous data
cables coming out of the wall to connect the Brain Trust to the rest of the
park. The walls are bulletproof windows and the only entrance is an airlock/
decontamination chamber. The Brain Trust is resistant to infection, but it prefers
being in an absolutely sterile environment.

B r a i n Tr u s t L a b
An archetypal mad scientist lab. Human exteriors crafted from synthetic human
skin and foam, full AI robot CPUs and high tech robotic weapons are created for
the robots of the park. Supercomputers

Throne Room
A vast, brightly painted spherical chamber with a floor is filled with plastic balls.
Murals of his other forms line the walls. Once a day, CoolRad orders all of the
kidnapped children to play in the Throne Room and adore him. He sits on the
throne, basking in their worship.

Barracks
Rows of bunk beds, with dirty stuffed animals and small televisions permanently
set to an endless loop of cartoons. The kidnapped children spend their downtime
here, sleeping, eating and telling stories. Lately, their stories have all been about
the things that stalk the abandoned sections of the park.

The Dark Corridors


Large sections of the secret level are all but abandoned. Lights flicker on and
off and few venture in this area. Even the Brain Trusts surveillance systems do
not work here. It was abandoned after a spill of toxic chemicals saturated the
corridors. The chemicals were cleaned off but the Brain Trust did not move back
in immediately and feral children quickly took over the dark corridors. CoolRad
did not want to hurt even the feral children, feeling they could be redeemed,
and the Brain Trust thought trying to capture them would cause them to flee the
Park entirely. So they let the dark corridors stay as they are, preferring to keep
the ferals close by. Lately the Brain Trust has experimented setting up traps to
cage the ferals but they are too paranoid to fall for that trick.

Searching the Park


Characters can find a concealed entrance to the employee section with a BRAINS
+ NOTICE check. Each attempt takes an hour. The doors are left unlocked during
business hours. Once inside, they can search the employee section.

Interviewing Employees

Clever characters can get employees to reveal some secrets about the park
by talking to them. None of the regular employees know about Project
Doppelganger, but they do know a few things. They know of the employee-only
section and that any underground areas of the park can only be accessed from
the employee section. They might know other secrets as well.

Getting CoolRads Attention

Once the players spend at least an hour inside the park, they will draw CoolRads
attention. He spends a lot of time disguised as the Coolrat mascot and will jump
in front of the characters screaming various idiotic catchphrases. Then, he will
perform skateboard tricks and juggle at the same time, while talking about how
homework is lame and parents are lamer. He is oblivious to insults but loves any
positive attention from the characters. He will pester the characters for several
minutes and then leave.

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CoolRad becomes obsessed with the characters as soon as he interacts with


them. He is convinced there is something unique about them and he must kidnap
them as soon as possible. He orders the Brain Trust to prepare robot duplicates
immediately and sets the players under surveillance.

The Kidnapping
CoolRad will try to grab the characters as soon as an opportunity presents
itself. The best chance comes if the characters split up. A grab team swarms the
isolated character. The team consists of the following robots, all disguised as
humans. Only monsters might be able to detect a grab team before it strikes,
but each grab team has an 8d Awesome x2 stealth power active whenever not
grabbing.

Distraction Team

Disguised as children, they cause a loud and visible distraction near the
kidnapping to keep people from noticing the kidnapping. Typically the distraction
is loud food fight or screaming match between siblings.

Grabbers

Disguised as a mix of typical park visitors, they walk together as a crowd,


surrounding the character. A character must make an BRAINS + NOTICE check
and beat the grabbers stealth power (8d, Awesome x2) Once the character is
isolated, the grabbers spray a knock out gas from concealed ports in their hands.
This gas automatically knocks out humans for 10 rounds minus the width of a
GUTS + WIND check.
If a kid is knocked out, their monster friend is temporarily paralyzed for twice the
number of rounds the character is affected. Paralyzed monsters stay with their
kids if they are hiding on the kid (in a backpack etc).
The grabbers then bundle up the kid and carry him off into a drop tunnel. This
usually takes 3 rounds unless the grab team is delayed. If a kid wakes up before
he is put in a drop tunnel, he can attempt to escape by making a FEET + P.E.
check of Height 9 or better. If successful the character is free and can try to
escape. The grab team will chase the character for three rounds before giving up.
If the characters stay together, CoolRad will strike when they try to leave the
park. In this case, there will be a grab team for each character present. As the
characters cross the gates, grabbers swarm around each character and knock
them out. A Distraction Team spills soda and throws Frisbees around, screaming
and whooping to distract the normal park goers. Once a character is knocked
out, the grab teams only need one round to drop them in a drop tunnel.
If the characters sneak into the employee section after CoolRad notices them, he
will be perplexed but will wait for them to go back into the park. If they try to
sneak into the secret level, he will initiate lockdown.

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The grab teams have never encountered monsters and do not know how to deal
with angry creatures ripping them apart with claws or acid spit. Distraction
teams selflessly throw themselves on the monsters using their powers to paralyze
them. CoolRad initiates lockdown whenever he learns that other monsters are in
the park.

Kidnapped!
CoolRad has developed an extensive brainwashing procedure to ensure
obedience from his subjects. Characters will first find themselves in a temporary
holding cell. A robot nurse with the name tag Ratchet walks in and calmly
explains that they have been chosen for a new life of perfect happiness. Ratchet
asks them what the character would like to be: A cowboy, astronaut, race car
driver, ninja or wizard. Girls will also be asked if they want to be a princess or
ballerina dancer. If the characters choose one, Ratchet produces a costume sized
for the character and asks them to change into it. Ratchet retrieves their old
clothes and burns them with an arm mounted flame thrower. She explains that
this symbolizes their old life now gone so it can be replaced with a better life.
She then escorts to the child to the barracks and introduces him to the other
children, all dressed in similar costumes.
CoolRad prefers to reward children who obey him rather than punish or drug kids
who disobey him. The secret level is escape-proof and every object is child proof
impossible to break or cause injury to normal to children so he lets them run
wild. Instead, he prefers to wear kids down until they accept him as a leader. As
a result, characters will have a great deal of personal freedom in the secret level
enough to plot an escape.
The other children will explain the basics of the situation CoolRad wants kids
to play, have fun and most importantly laugh at his jokes and praise him. Kids
who do that are rewarded but kids who make a fuss and cause problems are
shunned and not fed. Ratchet stops kids from hurting each other or themselves
and treats any boo-boos.
A strange social system has emerged as a result. The kids have banded together
in cliques based on what costume they chose. Wizards hang out with other
wizards, while ballerina dancers wont be caught dead with cowboys and so on.

The Cliques

Each clique has its own favorite ways to have fun, rivals and leader. Characters
who need help escaping will have to befriend one or more of the cliques. Of
course, getting dragged into the playground politics might distract them from
their real mission.

Astronauts
Leader: Burton Coswell
The science and math geeks who dream of going to space camp. They are the
only ones who spend any time talking to the Brain Trust, endlessly pestering
it with questions and requests for games of chess. The other cliques view the
astronauts as hapless nerds and either leave them alone or make fun of them as
a result. Ratchet intervenes if the teasing or bullying gets too bad. As a result,
the astronauts like being here more than the other cliques as they seem to be
better protected from bullies than back in their normal lives. Plus, the Brain Trust
is sooo much smarter than any science teacher.

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Cowboys
Leader: Sam Lawton
The rednecks and good old boys. Cowboys all have lassos and capguns they
use all the time on each other and whoever else is nearby. Theyre actually quite
good-hearted but overenthusiastic and fond of roughhousing. The only clique
they dislike are the princesses because of their arrogance. Most of them act out
to hide the fact that they miss their parents and the outdoors dearly.

Race Car Drivers


Leader:

Susan Williams

Daredevils and ADD thrill junkies. They have special electric go carts that they
race all over the secret level. They love to challenge the ninjas to contests of
crazy stunts to prove how brave they are. They dont care whether they stay here
and most would love the chance to escape if only for the challenge.

Ninjas
Leader:

Jose Manuel

Like the race car drivers, the ninjas love to run and fight. They have skateboards
and foam replicas of martial arts weapons, including throwing stars that stick to
clothing. Rivals to the race car drivers, the ninja clique will almost certainly take
the opposite position as them during an escape attempt as an excuse to fight.

Wizards
Leader:

Pat Erickson

Fans of Harry Potter, they are nerds who arent into science enough to want to
be astronauts. They control the library of comic books and sci-fi, fantasy and
adventure novels in the barracks exchanging them for protection from bullying
and teasing. The wizards mostly admire the power of CoolRad and the Brain
Trust but will quickly follow any kid who claims to have a monster as a personal
friend.

Princesses
Leader:

Amber Johnson

A small clique, as many of the girls decided to join the other cliques, but the
princesses make up for their numbers by bossing the other cliques around. Their
confidence has made the others treat them with some deference. However, they
are favorite targets of pranks. CoolRad always treats the princesses as royalty
and a special butler robot, Higgins, serves only them. They also have the best tea
parties out of all the cliques. They will support the status quo, no matter what.

Ballerinas

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Leader:

Emily Johnson

Emily is Amber Johnsons sister and the two girls are bitter rivals as a result.
The ballerina dancers practice and show off for CoolRad. They have a special
dance studio with an awesome sound system. Emily and Amber vie for CoolRads
attention and clever characters can exploit that for their own advantage.

Exploring the
Secret Level

Characters have access to most of the secret level. The


dark corridors and the Brain Trusts lab are off limits as
well as all exits, all blocked by blast doors. The character
can explore the throne/play room, the barracks and the
Brain Trusts clean room. Most kids avoid the Brain Trust,
thinking it is boring, but CoolRad leaves it accessible
so he can pull pranks on the Brain Trust using it as
a hapless straight man and comedic foil. His routine is
rather funny the first five times, but after that it gets
somewhat tedious. Still, the kids laugh like theyre
supposed to and then shuffle back to the throne room
or barracks.

Talking to the
Brain Trust

Characters who try to talk to the Brain Trust will find


that the entity is surprisingly open and honest. If
asked, it will reveal much of Project Doppelganger.
It does not view kidnapped children as a threat and
it thinks it will make the child cooperate better if
it rationally explains the project. Manipulative characters can
even get the Brain Trust to reveal secrets, such as its own history or CoolRads.
In general, a character can learn a number of secrets equal to the width of a
Wits + Connive check before the Brain Trust becomes suspicious and shuts up.
Some possible secrets:
CoolRads history.
CoolRads addiction to attention.
The basics of Project Doppelganger.
CoolRads power over Brain Trust.
The Brain Trust does not reveal its own history, no matter what.

Escape!
In order to escape the secret level, the characters have to accomplish the
following tasks:

Deactivate the Security Systems

Once deactivated, all blast doors on the level open. this can be done by
smashing the lab or using a secure terminal built into CoolRads throne. CoolRad
is only in the throne room a few hours each day as he must tend to the park the
rest of the time, but many of the kids would tattle on a character attempting to
mess with the throne so stealth is required. The Brain Trust must be destroyed or
driven away before it would allow anyone to damage the lab.

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Disable the Robots


Ratchet and Higgins

If either one is active when any child attempts to escape, it will radio a warning
to both CoolRad and the Brain Trust then try to stop the escape. The robots are
very hard to destroy as they are well built but they can be disabled. Higgins is
mounted on tracks and can be knocked over by a strong force, such as a go cart
slamming into it at full speed. This will knock the robot butler out.

Find a Way Out

The secret level is a warren of dark rooms and corridors. It could take hours or
even days to find one of the exits. Characters need to find or make a map, or get
the help of someone who knows the layout. Only Robbie Drake and the ferals
know the secret level well. Robbie will attempt to befriend characters who seem
to be unusual or have special powers and offers his help gladly. Alternately, once
the character learns of the ferals, he can to try befriend them and enlist their aid.

Lockdown

CoolRad has long been paranoid about other beings such as himself. Hes never
met one but has reasoned that its inevitable he will encounter one. As a result,
he has prepared by creating a lockdown protocol for the park. To the average
visitor, it seems rather mundane. The staff merely informs everyone that the park
is closing temporarily in order because several wild dogs snuck in and must be
caught before the park can re-open. In actuality, the park becomes a fortress.
The Brain Trust constantly modifies and updates the lockdown protocol. Feel
free to develop supervillain-esque traps and defense systems. Some suggested
elements:
A
nearly invisible high tensile strength net extends over every fence in the
park.
R obot sentries, disguised as security guards, patrol the park armed with
bear mace, high powered tasers and titanium batons.
Electrified floors and similar traps
Blast doors that lock automatically
L aser cannon turrets
Helicopter drones with advanced sensors
In any case, characters caught in a lockdown will be constantly harassed by
robot guards and traps unless they can take out the Brain Trust and CoolRad,
disable the lockdown by sabotaging the Brain Trusts lab or use stealth to avoid
the patrols.

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Rebellion in Sucrose Park


If the players manage to convince the Brain Trust to overthrow CoolRad, the park
will be partially destroyed in the ensuing battle. Unless the players interfere,
CoolRad will be severely damaged but will manage to escape via the Atomic
Shockwave escape pod. The Brain Trust will manage to put out the fires and
save some of Sucrose Park from destruction. It will send out robot duplicates to
deal with the police in order to keep a lid on things. The Brain Trust releases all
of the children as a peace offering to the characters but will not give up Project
Doppelganger. If left alone, the Brain Trust takes over the park and repurposes
Project Doppelganger to take over Las Vegas and given time, the entire world.
Of course, that will take years and how likely is it that a giant brain with a secret
robot factory can actually pull that off?

Rescuing the Kids

If the players make a deal with the Brain Trust, they can easily rescue the kids.
However, some characters might not want to negotiate with a giant brain
who owns a secret robot factory. In this case, the players have to defeat both
CoolRad and the Brain Trust in order to rescue the children.
If the players storm the secret level to rescue the kids without so much as a hint
of stealth, CoolRad and the Brain Trust will team up. The Brain Trust doesnt care
about the kids but if it realizes the players want to rescue them, it will callously
use them as a bargaining chip, threatening to lobotomize all of the children with
electric shocks if the characters dont surrender. The characters will be hard
pressed to defeat them if it gets to that point.
Robbie Drake will step forward to help the players but his real goal is to get
access to Project Doppelganger. He will try to manipulate the players into
fighting both CoolRad and the Brain Trust while he rescues the kids. Instead, he
will sneak off and attempt to open an Underworld portal in the Brain Trusts lab.
If successful, the Cult steals everything from the lab, which allows them to build
their own robot duplicates.
On the other hand, if the characters use stealth and cunning, they can try to
hustle the kids out of the park before either CoolRad or the Brain Trust realize
whats going on. In order to do this, the players must distract both of them at
the same time while someone leads the kids out of the secret level. CoolRad is
easy to distract. He loves positive attention and a single character who laughs
at all of his jokes will keep him occupied for a length of time equal to the width
of a WITS + CONNIVE check in hours. The Brain Trust needs a more complex
distraction. Riddles, games of chess and other brain teasers only occupy the
entity for a few minutes, at best. A character who rolls an BRAINS + OUT-THINK
check of at least Height 9 can distract the Brain Trust for a number of minutes
equal to the checks Width. However, clever characters can play each of its
dominant personalities against one another.
Dieter, Asenath, and Toshi can be lured into an argument if the characters bait
them properly. For example, if the characters praise Toshis robotic engineering
skills, Dieter will probably make a snide comment about it. Once the characters
see this, they can bait Toshi into insulting Dieter back and then insult geodesic
domes to enrage Aesnath.
The kids have to be led out by a character who knows the way and can open the
doors. No one other than CoolRad or the Brain Trust will stop them. The robots
act only on orders they do not have free will.

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Either way, once the kidnapped children are freed, CoolRad and the Brain Trust
will fight the characters. The party can try to flee the park or more likely face the
enraged park leaders. If the two villains win, they will take a chunk out of each
defeated monster and then flee the state in an unmarked trailer truck. Both fear
the consequences of having Project Doppelganger unraveled. Sucrose Park goes
into a shutdown mode. The secret level is destroyed by controlled demolitions.
All robots self-destruct and the rest of the park is abandoned.
No matter what, the authorities will never discover the truth of Project
Doppelganger. The kidnapped children are reunited with their families but the
robot duplicates simply disappear. Perhaps some of them developed a free will
on their own and disabled the self destruct mechanisms...

Destroy Project Doppelganger


Project Doppelganger is fiercely guarded by both CoolRad and the Brain Trust.
The players must defeat them in order to gain access to the Brain Trusts lab.
Once both creatures are defeated, the characters have access to the super
science lab in the secret level. All computers there are voice activated and will
respond to the characters after they get rid of the Brain Trust.
However, Robbie Drake, the undercover agent of the Cult of the Underworld, will
not let them destroy the lab without a fight. Robbie is no fool and will not tackle
the players until they have worn themselves down by defeating CoolRad and the
Brain Trust.
Robbie first psychically dominates every feral in the secret level and orders
them to attack the characters. Clever characters can either fight them or whip
up a super science solution in the lab, such as a knock out gas. This requires
an BRAINS + OUT-THINK check with at least Width 5 and Height 5. Multiple
characters can contribute to the check.
Robbie prefers hit and run tactics. He will stick to the dark corridors of the secret
level, destroying every light source he can. His main weapon is fear. He tries
to terrify his enemies into fleeing Sucrose Park altogether. Haunting voices in
the dark, moving objects to attack people, psychic projections of a characters
deepest fears are Robbies favorite tricks. His goal is to drive the characters
away from the science lab so he can acquire Project Doppelganger for the Cult.
While he can use pyrokinesis to start fires, he will not use this ability for fear of
damaging the lab.

]
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In order to beat Robbie, the players must destroy the science lab, capture him,
or force him to flee. He is not a fool and will not face two or more monsters in
battle unless cornered. If the party presents a unified front against Robbie and
do not fall for his tricks, he will give up and flee. But if the characters split up or
become afraid, he will pounce on the weakest members of the party in order to
drive them away from the lab. Capturing Robbie requires a coordinated group
effort. The party has to cordon off the secret level so Robbie cant escape and
then systematically sweep the level until he is trapped in a single room. While
Robbie is powerful, he cant destroy the steel security doors of the level nor can
he disable their locks. When hes trapped, he will surrender without a fight.
Robbie is a survivor above all else. Finally, particularly terrifying monsters can
out-scare Robbie in a psychic duel. A monster in the party has an ability that can
affect minds can challenge the boy to the duel. Simply run it as a one on one
fight, with each fighter targeting the others power source (monster hit location
versus Robbies Dark Dreaming hit location). The loser flees from Sucrose Park in
a panic.

Important Characters
CoolRad, aka Coolrat

As Coolrat, a hyper cartoon rat in rad skaters clothing thats obviously trying
too hard to impress the kids. He somehow wins kids over with his relentless
enthusiasm and energy.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Totally Radical Skateboard! 8d (Useful [sweet skateboarding!],

Awesome x2)
Locations 3-5: Tubular Ninja Moves! 9d (Attacks, Useful [ninja tricks],

Awesome x2, Gnarly x2, Spray x1)


Locations 6-7: Gnarly Vest 8d (Defends, Awesome x2)
Locations 8-9: Center of Attention 7d (Useful [summon special effects],

Defends, Awesome x2)


Location 10: Very Cool Sunglasses 3d (Useful [YYYEEAAAHHH!!!], Awesome

x2)

The Brain Trust

Each personality can perform an action without splitting its dice pool. Thus, the
Brain Trust can act 3 times a turn.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-3: Dieter Personality 10d (Attacks, Useful [engineering!], Area x4)
Locations 4-6: Aesnath Personality 10d (Defends, Useful [science!], Awesome

x2, Tough x2)


Locations 7-9: Toshi Personality 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [robotics!],

Awesome x2, Burn x1)


Location 10: Big Red Button 5d (Useful [self destruct or repair])

Robbie Drake, Psychic Boy

Robbie has always been a very quiet child. When he was six, he asked his
mother why daddy thought about someone elses mommy all the time. When he
was seven, he found the popular cheerleader that had gone missing. She was
dead (of course), but Robbie told everyone in a very calm voice that Mr. Miller
had choked all the breath out of her. When he was eight, his mother (divorced),
gave him to the military. Robbie spent the next two years, learning how to use
his powers. He could move objects without touching them, read minds and see
places far away in his minds eye.
One night, as he slept in his government issue pajamas, he dreamed of a vast
underground place with many special people in it. They werent people like you
or I, as they had claws instead of fingers, scales or hide instead of skin and

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fangs instead of teeth. But to Robbie they were all the same because they had
thoughts and their thoughts werent really any worse than the humans. Robbie
wanted to meet these people, as he was sure they would let him out of the
government lab and they wouldnt say no to him. He spoke out to them, but
his voice didnt seem to carry. Fortunately though, one of the residents of the
Underworld did hear: the Traveler.
Once the Traveler detected Robbies cry, he sent the Cult to help. Dagon and the
Red Terror broke into the lab and got Robbie out. They made it look like Robbie
simply went berserk so the government wouldnt learn about the Cult.
Robbie Drake does not register as a supernatural being until he uses an attack
power or his mind control power on someone. Then monsters will detect him as
a fellow monster.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Feet 6d (Useful, [telekinesis], Attacks, Awesome x2, Gnarly x1)
Locations 3-6: Guts 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [pyrokinesis], Area x2, Burn

x1, Gnarly x2, Spray x1, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 7-8: Hands 7d (Useful [cyrokinesis], Defends, Wicked Fast x2)
Locations 9: Brains 3d (Useful, [psychic Invisibility], Awesome x2)
Locations 10: Charm 3d (Useful [mind control], Awesome x2)

Robot Duplicates

Robot duplicates will have identical stats to any child they are built to imitate,
although the robot will not have any relationships, as they are cold unfeeling
machines not programmed to know how to love:
Threat 6d: Area x1, Tough x2

The Ferals

Mutated kids more beast than human, changed by the strange toxic pollutants
created through Project Doppelganger. A very tough crowd:
Threat 10d: Area x1, Gnarly x1, Tough x1

Grab Team

A team of disguised robots designed to grab kids quietly and efficiently:


Threat 6d: Useful [kidnap kid], Awesome x2, Wicked Fast x2

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Distraction Team

Robots disguised as noisy and obnoxious kids. They arent too useful in battle
but are great at making distractions:
Threat 6d: Useful [distract people], Area x3, Wicked Fast x1

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Chapter 5:

Are You There, Witch?


Its Me, a Monster

The Emerald City is facing its worst crisis ever. The Wizard and Dorothy have
long since gone away and no one can wisely guide the Kingdom. A group of
dissidents, the Upgrade Movement, want to open the Kingdom of Oz up to new
technology and even invite visitors from the outside world. The rulers (The Tin
Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow) disagree and want things
to stay the same. Anger is building between the factions. The majority of the
population is bored and restless but cant choose one side or the other. The kids
can either let the city burn as riots break out, or find a new ruler to unify the
people. But they may be surprised at who the best candidate might be

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Location: Kansas or anywhere in Tornado Alley. The twister can appear


anywhere in the Midwest.

Sources:

The Prince.

The Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,

Whats Going On
The residents of the Emerald City are at a quandary. Some want to modernize
the kingdom, bringing in the latest and greatest technology of the 21st century
cell phones, tract mansions, cheap immigrant labor and $5 lattes. Others are
convinced that remaining in the past forever is the only way to avoid chaos and
decadence.
The Tin Woodsman, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow (now known as Tin, Fur and
Straw by the residents) rule Emerald City and want things to stay the same but
the Duke and the Dauphin, two traveling hucksters, are building an upgrade
movement. The upgraders crave technology and a connection to the outside
world. Theyve already brought in some contraband and because of the agitation
between factions, Emerald City is falling apart at the seams. Things are coming
to a head when the players enter the picture.
There is a way to end the conflict peacefully. The Wicked Witch of the West can
be brought back to life. While she was melted, her gooey remains are still around
and she can be brewed back to life. She alone can unite the people of the
Emerald City and end the chaos. Of course, she is evil, but if the players make a
few changes to her while brewing her, she might come out completely different.

What the Traveler Wants


The Emerald City was a refuge of the supernatural that was founded in the
early 20th century, although many of its residents are older than that. Dozens
of monsters and other strange creatures made their home there when their kids
grew up or when they decided to withdraw from society. The creatures formed a
protective veil around the city, shielding it from the eyes of adults. Most of these
creatures are noble protectors of humanity or would oppose the Ur-Monster out
of self-interest. The Traveler wants the city destroyed or embroiled in civil war so
they cannot interfere with the Cults plans.
The city is a powder keg ready to explode. These creatures have been living
together for nearly a century but the Upgrade Movement has agitated the
populace. Most of the people havent picked either side but if a new force
enters the picture, like the players, then the entire city could descend into chaos.
The Traveler doesnt care if the Emerald City survives. It will be in no shape to
challenge the Ur-Monster or the Cult.

Getting to the Emerald


City: The Tornado
The postcard is simply labeled Kansas. However, characters who make an
BRAINS + REMEMBER check will recall how Dorothy got to Oz the first time
via tornado. The party must search for a tornado in the Midwest preferably in
Kansas. While particularly wise or clairvoyant monsters may be able to predict
when a tornado will happen, the characters should spend some time (at least a
day) trolling dusty country roads looking for a twister. This is an excellent time to
run a Roadside Encounter or Underworld Tremor.
Just as the characters abandon the idea, a twister swallows them up. The
characters will see winged monkeys, winkies with protest signs reading
UPGRADE NOW! and other strange characters as they are tossed helplessly

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by the tornado. Regardless of the characters powers, they will be knocked


unconscious by the tornado.
Alternately, the postcard can summon a tornado. Maybe the twister just appears,
or if the characters throw the postcard in a remote part of Kansas into the wind
it calls up a twister that engulfs the party. The postcard appears nearby when
they wake up in Oz.

The Road of Yellow Brick


The cyclone had set the house down very gently--for a cyclone--in
the midst of a country of marvelous beauty. There
were lovely patches of greensward all about, with
stately trees bearing rich and luscious fruits. Banks
of gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and birds
with rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered
in the trees and bushes. A little way off was a small
brook, rushing and sparkling along between green
banks

The party finds itself in Munchkin Country yet no one


is around to greet them. The Kingdom of Oz has been
abandoned for decades as virtually no one from the
outside visited and the native population has declined.
The rulers of the Kingdom of Oz, the Tin Woodsman,
Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion decided to consolidate some
years ago and ordered everyone to move to Emerald City,
which easily housed the shrinking numbers of citizens.
Munchkin Country is as beautiful as ever but now has an
emptiness to it, a feeling of isolation and loneliness. If the
characters shout out, they will only hear their echoes in
the distance. No one is around for miles around. It looks
an Eden waiting for inhabitants, an unfinished paradise.
The partys vehicle is damaged but could be repaired in
time. Perhaps there is a mechanic in the Emerald City.
Signs reading Emerald City Use Road of Yellow Brick
are posted throughout Munchkin Country.
The road is full of holes and the yellow bricks are faded
and covered with dirt. Obviously no one has maintained the road for a long time.
Characters may expect an ambush or the appearance of a monster to challenge
the characters, yet no one will appear to the party. Some player characters
may become paranoid, convinced that an attack is inevitable on the way to the
Emerald City. All characters who walk to the Emerald City must make an BRAINS
+ OUT-THINK check or they will become obsessed with finding an enemy before
the group gets to the Emerald City. The character takes 1 shock damage to a
random location that does not heal until the characters rest at Emerald City.

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As the party passes through the Kingdom of Oz, it will be as though they were
walking through a ghost world. They pass through the forest and never hear or
see one of the dreaded Kalidahs, the bear headed tigers. The river now has a
bridge over it and is easily passed.
The farms were not nearly so well cared for here as they were farther back. There
were fewer houses and fewer fruit trees, and the farther they went the more
dismal and lonesome the country became.

Eventually, the party will find signs of civilization. By the time they reach the
Poppy Fields, they will find discarded trash, such as Styrofoam cups, candy
wrappers and plastic bags whistling through the wind. Fortunately for the
characters, the trash has killed off the delicate poppies and pose no threat to the
group. A few pro and anti-Upgrade Movement propaganda posters can be found
among the clutter.

The Upgrade Movement


From the propaganda posters, the players can figure out what the Upgrade
Movement is about. Essentially, a group of residents want to bring in current
technology to the city and invite human visitors in. Some even want to announce
the Citys existence to the world. However, the anti-Upgrade Movement thinks
it will destroy the Kingdom and doom everyone. Most of the citizens have not
chosen sides yet.

Welcome to the Emerald City


The next morning, as soon as the sun was up, they started on their
way, and soon saw a beautiful green glow in the sky just before them.
As they walked on, the green glow became brighter and brighter, and
it seemed that at last they were nearing the end of their travels. Yet it
was afternoon before they came to the great wall that surrounded the
City. It was high and thick and of a bright green color.
In front of them, and at the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big
gate, all studded with emeralds that glittered so in the sun

At first, the City seems as brilliant and beautiful as it ever was, but as the
characters draw closer, they see chips in its faade. Cracks along the great wall.
Propaganda posters. Spray-painted yellow graffiti.

Guardian of the Gate


Before them stood a little man about the same size as the Munchkins.
He was clothed all in green, from his head to his feet, and even his skin
was of a greenish tint.

When the party presses the bell by the citys gate, the guardian dutifully
welcomes them inside. He no longer has green glasses to hand out and is a bit
surprised that theyre visiting. He explains that the Wizard is long gone and only
Tin, Fur and Straw can answer their questions. However, they should be careful
on the streets, as the Winged Monkeys are on strike, protesting the overuse of
the Golden Cap that controls them.
If a clever character remembers that the Golden Cap was given to the monkeys
to free them from control, the Guardian explains that the rulers of Emerald City
found it necessary to steal the Cap back because the residents of the city gave
up on manual labor a long time ago and someone needs to clean the garbage
and maintain the buildings. However, theyre not doing a very good job.

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The Winged Monkeys


On Strike

Countless winged monkeys fly above the streets of the


Emerald City, carrying protest signs that read GIVE US THE
CAP BACK! or FLYING MONKEYS DESERVE MORE THAN
BANANAS! Most people ignore them but the monkeys
harass the unwary. Unless the party takes great measure
to conceal themselves from the monkeys, by using stealth
powers or a FEET + P.E. check to run from hiding spot to
hiding spot, they will be noticed by the monkeys.
The flying monkeys fly around the party, shrieking and
waving protest signs in their faces. Character may either try
to calm the monkeys down by declaring their solidarity with
them or by fighting them. Talking requires a WITS + CHARM
check of Height 6 or better. The mob of winged monkeys is
treated as a single monster for the purposes of the game.

Exploring the
Emerald City

The streets of the city are lined with Victorian-era buildings with scattered forays
into modern vernacular architecture a strip mall with a beauty salon and karate
school here and a fast food joint called Totos there. The modern buildings are
technically illegal but the rulers dont want to risk a riot by tearing them down.
Characters will see the Munchkins (small people in blue clothing), the Winkies
(people in yellow clothing) and the original citizens of the Emerald City (in green
clothing). These three groups compose most of the populace of the Emerald
City but characters may see a few monsters and other unusual creatures while
strolling through town. See the NPC sections for potential encounters. The
characters will not find the Duke or Dauphin. If the characters see the Cheshire
Cat, they will not be able to talk to him before it disappears, leaving only a grin.
If the characters talk to the citizens of Emerald City, they will learn that the
Upgrade Movement is stirring up trouble and wont quit until theres some
kind of resolution. However, the agitators are paranoid about being infiltrated
by agents of the Emerald Palace so no one is able to see their leaders. Further
questions will be met with the answer Go to the Emerald Palace if you want to
know more.

The Emerald Palace and the Rulers

]
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The characters should proceed to the Palace to ask the rulers about the Upgrade
Movement and getting home. A single Emerald City soldier guards the Palace,
although several Gatling guns made of tin with interlocking fields of fire are
visible as well. The soldier is reluctant to let the characters in but a WITS +
CHARM or WITS + CONNIVE check of Height 5 or greater will persuade him
otherwise. Another option is to simply mention that the characters are outsiders
and the soldier will let them in immediately.

The Palace has been rearranged and the Wizards room is now a council
chamber. The three rulers sit behind a long table and spend most of their days
in committees and doing paperwork. Some bureaucrats shuffle around. The
atmosphere is dreary and banal.
The entrance of the party will startle the rulers. They do not know how to deal
with the outsiders, as their long years of bureaucratic rule has dulled their minds,
deadened their hearts and muted their courage. The players can talk to them at
length, but they can only learn the following:
N
o one knows how to return to the outside world. Peter Pan was the last
who knew and he forgot to teach anyone else the secret before he left many
years ago on a quest to find Neverland once again.
T he Upgrade Movement has contact with the outside world but only the
leaders, the Duke and the Dauphin know the secret. They are tricksters and
not to be trusted.
T he Emerald City government will help the party if they promise to stop the
foolishness of the Upgrade Movement once and for all.
T he winged monkeys are necessary to run things now since the normal
citizens wont perform manual labor. Its not nice but the citizens are lazy and
unmotivated to do anything.
After the characters talk to the rulers for a while, the Duke and Dauphin will
barge in. They have a spy among the bureaucrats who has informed them about
the outsiders. The entire council chamber bursts into shouting, arguing and
general chaos ensues. After a few moments, everyone turns to the characters
waiting to see how they respond

Outsiders!

Once the outsiders are discovered, both sides ask for their support. If the players
side with either faction, a riot will break out. Any character realizes this from
watching the two sides argue bitterly in the council chamber. An BRAINS +
NOTICE check determines that the Kingdom of Oz needs a single strong leader
to placate the Upgrade Movement and motivate the masses to take their old jobs
back.
If the characters refrain from choosing a side, they may solve the dilemma
without violence. However, they will need to figure out how to do this. Neither
the rulers nor the Upgrade Movement will try to force the characters into joining
them for fear of possibly driving them to the enemy. Observers from both sides
will keep tabs on the characters, watching them from a distance and writing
notes about their actions.
After the confrontation, news will spread of the outsiders. Everyone will be
interested in the characters now. The party will become the celebrities of Oz. The
average citizens will swarm around the party, asking them questions, ranging
from what happened to Dorothy to explaining what the tele-o-visions-cube really
is because the Upgrade Movement has told some tall tales about it.

The Secret of the


Upgrade Movement

The Duke and the Dauphin do not travel to the outside world but they know
that two residents of the Kingdom can: Emperor Norton and The Crocodile from

Gold e n Cap
There was, in her cupboard,
a Golden Cap, with a circle of
diamonds and rubies running round
it. This Golden Cap had a charm.
Whoever owned it could call three
times upon the Winged Monkeys,
who would obey any order they
were given. But no person could
command these strange creatures
more than three times.
After Dorothy and the Wizard of
Oz left the Kingdom in the care of
Tin, Fur and Straw, the citizens of
the Kingdom refused to perform
menial labor, especially dirty and
unpleasant tasks. To get the work
done, the rulers retrieved the
Golden Cap (which had been given
to the winged monkeys) and passed
it among themselves to make the
monkeys work for the City. Instead
of compelling them to do a single
task, the rulers ordered them to
sign on as janitors and workers for
the city, with pay and benefits.
Once the monkeys were hired, they
were unable to quit due to various
clauses in their contracts. They
tried to get out of their contract
but the rulers simply used the
Golden Cap to get them to re-sign.
Recently, a member of the Upgrade
Movement explained the concept of
unions and striking for better work
conditions. The rulers have each
used the Cap three times and are
unable to end the strike.
If the Golden Cap is given to a
person who has never used it
before, they can command the
monkeys three times. The monkeys
are cunning and obey only the
literal words of the commands.
They do not follow characters to
the real world unless commanded
to, and even then the character has
only three commands.

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Peter Pan. Both of them have agreed to become pack mules, smuggling in vast

amounts of supplies for the Upgrade Movement. Norton can simply shift himself
from Oz to San Francisco at will while The Crocodile can transport himself to any
natural habitat of crocodiles (he prefers Florida). With their help, the Duke has
positioned several agents throughout the country. They work crappy jobs or act
as petty thieves and use their meager earnings to send supplies back to Oz. They
focus on junk food, comics, consumer electronics, clothes and cheap pop culture
detritus. The black market is hungry for anything and everything from the real
world. Worn out paperbacks bought ten for a dollar are just as valuable as a new
portable DVD player.
The characters can learn the secret by either putting the Duke under surveillance
until he meets with Norton or The Crocodile (three opposed FEET + P.E. checks
versus the Dukes BRAINS + NOTICE results in success) or by simply conning him
into revealing the secret. The Duke is desperate for the characters help and will
reveal his secret if they convince him they are on his side A BRAINS + CONNIVE
check is necessary to convince the Duke. Once the Duke thinks the players are
on his side, he will explain how desperate the people are for contact with the
outside world and will do practically anything for it. Its then up to the players to
decide if they want to become smugglers or shut down the operation.

What Next?
The characters have several avenues in which to figure out their next move.

Research

If the characters spend time digging through the records of the Emerald Palace
or the Emerald City library (open to the public), they will find that Oz was always
peaceful when ruled by a single wise ruler. However, no one here is capable of
assuming the mantle of leadership. The Good Witch of the North and the Good
Witch of the South have both long since vanished from the Kingdom of Oz.
If the characters look for a candidate to take over Emerald City, they will come
up with nothing. A successful BRAINS + OUT-THINK check may hint that a
witch could lead the city but all the witches are gone. If asked about scholars or
knowledgeable citizens of the city, they will be pointed to the Expat, formerly
known as the Cheshire Cat. He is assumed by the people of Emerald City to be
the wisest resident of the Kingdom because he seldom speaks.

Which Witch?

If the characters look for the Cat, they will find him once they have met both
the rulers of Emerald City and the Duke and Dauphin. See the Cats NPC details,
page 123, for information on how to run him. At this point, the Cat is amused
by the partys actions and will mention that there is still a witch in the Kingdom
of Ozthe Wicked Witch of the West. While she is quite dead, her remains still
exist, a watery goo in the moat of her former castle. Her spellbook could be used
to bring a witch back to life.

]
110

The cat concludes the conversation by saying the following as it fades from the
sight, his grin the last visible part:
But which witch shall be brewed? A wicked witch? A worthy witch? A wise
witch? A witless witch? Perhaps the chefs conjuration is greater or less than the
sum of its ingredients, given some substandard deviations from the recipe

The Wicked
Witchs Castle
Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?
asked Dorothy.
There is no road, answered the Guardian of the Gates.
No one ever wishes to go that way.
How, then, are we to find her? inquired the girl.
That will be easy, replied the man, for when she
knows you are in the country of the Winkies she will
find you, and make you all her slaves.
Perhaps not, said the Scarecrow, for we mean to
destroy her.
Oh, that is different, said the Guardian of the Gates.
No one has ever destroyed her before, so I naturally
thought she would make slaves of you, as she has of the
rest. But take care; for she is wicked and fierce, and may
not allow you to destroy her. Keep to the West, where
the sun sets, and you cannot fail to find her.

The characters must journey on foot to the Witchs castle, which


is in Winkie Country. Like the rest of the Kingdom, it is abandoned and only a few
animals and insects still lurk there. The desolation of the countryside is unsettling
to say the least, especially to characters that are familiar with the Oz book.
If the players dont want to bring the witch back to life, then they can try to
install someone else as a ruler. This has its own consequences. See Resolving the
Chapter for more information.
The Witchs castle is easy to find as it is the only in Winkie Country. The gates are
open and the characters can let themselves in. As they explore the castle they will
find that a single holdout remains in Winkie Country: the ghost of King Crow.

The Ghost of King Crow

The King Crow flew at the Scarecrow, who caught it by the head and twisted
its neck until it died. And then another crow flew at him, and the Scarecrow
twisted its neck also. There were forty crows, and forty times the Scarecrow
twisted a neck, until at last all were lying dead beside him. Then he called to his
companions to rise, and again they went upon their journey.
The Scarecrow broke King Crows neck (along with all of the other crows) sent
by the Wicked Witch to kill Dorothy and her friends. Ever since then, the Ghost
of King Crow has haunted the castle. He used to want revenge against the
Scarecrow but now the poor ghost doesnt know what he wants. Hes gotten
very lonely. His curse is broken as soon as the witch is resurrected.
When the ghost detects the partys presence, he will react with his instincts,
which is to say he will fly at them, screaming and attempt to claws their eyes
out. Fortunately, despite being a ghost, King Crow is easily affected by other
supernatural creatures.

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Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Crow Feet 7d (Attacks, Gnarly x3)
Locations 3-5: Wings of the King 8d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [fly], Awesome

x2, Tough x2, Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 6-7: Elite Beak 6d (Attacks, Useful [swallow objects], Wicked Fast

x3)
Locations 8-9: Murder of Underling Crows 7d (Useful [swarm of crows],

Attacks, Defends, Tough x1)


Location 10: Kings Crown 3d (Useful [mind control], Awesome x2)

Once he is defeated, King Crow sits down and cries. If asked, he relates his
horrible fate and even more horrible loneliness since Winkie Country was
abandoned. The ghost knows of the Witchs spellbook but demands that the
party frees him from his curse. He explains that the curse lasts as long as the
witch is dead. If the characters convince King Crow that they will need the Witch
to help him either by role playing or with a WITS + CHARM or WITS + CONNIVE
check, he will show them the spellbook. He also knows that the witchs remains
are at the bottom of the moat.
If the party doesnt learn about the spellbook from King Crow, they can spend
a few hours searching the castle to uncover it. Useful monster powers can cut
down the search time tremendously, such as X-ray vision, intangibility and so
forth. Of course the longer the search takes, the more likely that the Cult might
attack them or some other complication may arise.

Brewing the Witch


The spellbook is hidden in a secret compartment deep within the castle. If the
characters do not get King Crows help, it will take much longer to find the
spellbook. This would be a good opportunity for a Cultist goon squad or three to
attack the group or for an underworld tremor.
The Witchs remains are a bit harder to acquire. Her remains dripped down to
the bottom of the castles moat. Finding them requires hours of hard work,
swimming through the moat and scraping the goo, which has the consistency of
tar. A clever character can drain the moat, making the work easier, by making
a channel to lead the water into a nearby creek. This requires a monsters brute
strength (any Attacks power will suffice to tear through the soft earth) and an
BRAINS + OUT-THINK check to direct the monsters channel.
Once the Witchs remains and the spellbook are found, the characters can begin
to brew her back to life. The spell is entitled The Witchs Brew to restore a
Witch brought low by dreaded water. A large cauldron can be found in the
kitchen of the castle and is quite usable, although it is covered in a thick layer of
dust.

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The spell calls for some minor magical ingredients which are easily found in
the castle eye of newt, wing of bat, that kind of thing. However, there is a
line in the spell calling for symbols of the witchs heart and mind which is
left undefined. King Crow can offer hints if the players dont understand. He
suggests that the Witch will be changed by different ingredients.

Whats In a Witch?

This is a relatively freeform encounter. There is no one set method, as the ideal
ruler is in the eye of the beholder. The Witchs stats remain the same regardless
of how she is brewed, but her personality and appearance will vary drastically
depending on what the characters throw into the brew. Use the following
guidelines to help determine her new form.
Please note that when the characters begin the process, the witch is quite evil
and unless the characters take measures to change her beliefs and personality,
she will remain so.

S t o r i e s a n d Te x t s
(c o r e b eliefs an d ide ol o gy)
Any object with a story or nonfiction text will affect the Witchs core beliefs and
skills. For example, a book of fables with wholesome morals will transform her
into a solid citizen albeit a bit boring. An education pamphlet telling kids to say
no to drugs turns the Witch into a strong prohibitionist banning anything that
might have negative consequences for children. A math textbook makes her a
mathematician who uses algebra to cast spells. A DVD of a film noir movie turns
her into either a grim private detective or a beautiful femme fatale. A video
game first person shooter turns her into a one witch army that thinks in terms of
mission objectives that must accomplished through gunplay.
This is the most important category of item and only stories or texts can change
her most important beliefs. These items affect her more than any other type of
object.

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Music and Clothing


( personality and appearance)
These change the Witchs personality, as she will take on the mannerisms
commonly associated with the items used. For example, a CD of depressing goth
music and she will appear as though she just got back from a concert featuring
the Cure. Throw in some childrens music and she becomes a cutesy friend to all
children like Barney but with vast magical powers and even more evil.

Fo o d
( preferen ces and habits)
These change her preferences and habits with traits associated with the food.
Ethnic cuisine does not give her stereotypical habits but she will become a fan
of that culture. For example, throwing some pasta in might make her appreciate
Italian culture, which probably wont be instantly apparent.

W e a p o n s a n d To o l s
( preferen ces and habits)
Mundane weapons do not alter the Witchs power as her magic is far more
effective but she may take on traits associated with them. A baseball bat makes
the Witch a fan of the sport who will constantly hit baseballs thrown by an
unseen force. A hammer might make her a carpenter who immediately decides to
renovate the castle.

Other Objects
(superficial quirk s and appearance)
Other objects only cause minor personality quirks in the Witch. A rock might give
her skin a rough texture while a marble might give her a glass eye. These have
the least overall effect on the Witch.

Emotionally Significant Objects


If a character sacrifices an important object, such as a treasured comic book,
the Witch gains a bit of that emotional significance. Usually, the Witch will take
on a trait associated with the object. For example, if a character throws in a
book a parent gave to the character before dying or disappearing, the Witch
will take on several traits associated with that parent. Objects with at least 1
Relationship point are particularly powerful in the brew. The player can describe,
within reason, how it will affect the Witch. Of course, the character loses that
Relationship as the object is totally destroyed by the spell.

Mixing and Matching Objects

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114

Characters will probably throw in more than one object while brewing the
Witch. Hopefully these objects shouldnt conflict with one another as different
categories of objects affect different aspects or are not mutually exclusive
concepts throwing in a superhero comic book and a pop music CD wont
conflict and will transform the witch into a light hearted costumed crusader. On
the other hand, an Ayn Rand novel and the Communist Manifesto could trigger
a schizophrenic breakdown or split personalities. In general, the more culturally
significant the item is, the more weight it will have in the Witchs new form.
Crime and Punishment will affect her more than a Joe Blow gum wrapper.

Getting More Objects


The characters will probably not have many suitable objects handy. Furthermore,
they cannot get back to the outside world until the dilemma is solved. However,
they do know that the Upgrade Movement is capable of smuggling some modern
goods in. The characters can either simply bargain for items from the members of
the movement or black market vendors or they can try to learn the secret of the
Upgrade Movement.

Example Witches
Steampunk Witch

Ingredients: Some clockwork machines or 19th century clothing plus a

steampunk themed comic, novel or video game or a mechanical engineering


textbook from the Victorian era.

Description:

The Witch builds clockwork winged monkeys, uses mad


science instead of casting spells, but this is merely a cosmetic change. If given
the chance, the Steampunk Witch transforms Emerald City into a massive factory
and forces everyone to work for her, building an army of clockwork soldiers...

Anime Witch
Ingredients:

Anime DVDs, manga, video games and toys.

Description: The witch is a school girl who transforms into a powerful

spandex clad superpowered heroine Wicked Cutey West Witcher to fight for
justice. She is good hearted but nave and easily misled. As a leader, she will
be very popular but the kingdom will be beset by countless problems that only
extended fight scenes can solve.

To m b o y W i t c h
Ingredients:

Baseball cards, fireworks, skateboard, action movie DVDs,

Mad magazine

Description:

A pre-teen witch with a black baseball cap, black t-shirt and


ripped jeans who would prefer to imitate stunts shes seen on Jackass rather
than rule or enslave the Kingdom. However, she loves a challenge; especially if
someone tells her she isnt capable of ruling or dares her to run the Kingdom.

Trial and Error

If the players dont like how the Witch turns out, they can throw water on her
and re-brew her, as many times as they want. The Witch will retain no memory
of this but its not very nice and the Witch will defend herself if the characters
turn on her. Thus, unless the characters have a bucket of water ready to go, they
may unwittingly unleash a very Wicked Witch upon the Kingdom of Oz.

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Once the Witch Has


Been Resurrected

The Witch of the Wests initial attitude to the players is grateful, even if she
is evil. She will feel a debt to the characters but this debt only extends to her
not attacking or enslaving the characters. If the Witch has a more pleasant
personality, she will try to befriend the characters, assuming they dont treat her
poorly.

Introducing the New Witch


Once the characters are satisfied with the new Witch, they will have to introduce
her to the Emerald City and convince the populace to accept her as a ruler. If
the players havent changed her evil ways then this step is easy. She enslaves
the populace with her magic and destroys any who oppose her. If the players try
to fight her, she will use her magic to banish them back to the outside world.
Should the party defeat her in battle, the populace will thank the characters and
the rulers and Upgrade Movement declare a truce. This solves the crisis but the
characters will not learn anything from the Witch or gain the Golden Cap.
On the other hand, if the characters have made the Witch a worthy ruler, then
they must peacefully convince the people of Emerald City to make her the ruler.
The normal citizens follow the word of the rulers for the most part as they are
too apathetic otherwise. The Upgrade Movement doesnt know what to make of
the Witch and will wait to see how the rulers react before making a move.
The rulers are of course, fairly terrified of the Wicked Witch and do not want her
to rule. When they see that she is rational and does not resort to using magic
to enslave the populace, they reconsider and decide that a public debate could
settle the issue.

The Debate
The Witch will debate all three of the rulers at once. Each ruler will try to prove
that the Witch is unworthy of ruling but focuses on a different subject area.

The Scarecrow

Straw asks the Witch her qualifications to rule. Her answers vary based on her
new personality but she is quite intelligent and an experienced ruler, although
her methods are (or were) quite autocratic.

The Cowardly Lion

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Fur focuses on the Witchs courage to admit her mistakes and ask for
forgiveness. If the Witch is now good, she will ask the people to forgive her a
gesture that overwhelms the audience with emotion. If she is not good, she will
dodge the question and intimidate the lion into bowing to her.

The Tin Woodsman

Tin questions the Witchs heart her motivation and


her true beliefs. At this time, the Witch reveals her true
personality, whatever it may be.

Judging the Debate

The debate is judged by none other than the Cheshire


Cat. The Cat will declare the Witch the winner if she is not
obviously unfit to rule or as evil as she once was. Or not.
He is quite mad. The Cat watches the debate, grinning and
may quip during the debate but will otherwise stay out of
the way.
As this encounter is set between NPCs, it would be boring
to not give the players something to do. There are two
ways to run the debate. The first is to assign a role for each
player. One as the Witch, the others as the three rulers
and one as the Cheshire Cat. The other option is to let the
players watch the debate and stop the Duke and Dauphin
from sabotaging the debate. The Duke fears that the Witch
will put an end to the Upgrade Movement and aims to
keep her from taking over.
At first, the Duke poses as a member of the audience and
shouts out comments aimed at disrupting the debate.
He brings up the Witchs evil past and tries to rally the audience against her.
The characters will have to beat him in an opposed WITS + CHARM or WITS +
CONNIVE to get the audience to their side or by chasing him out of the audience
by finding him with an BRAINS + NOTICE check and then a GUTS + COURAGE
check to intimidate him.
Once that fails, the Duke sends an agent to bribe the Cheshire Cat to declare the
Witch unfit to rule. The agent is a munchkin who slips a note to the Cat. The Cat
reads it, nods and then begins to heckle the Witch with rude comments. The Cat
will confess to being bribed if asked by a character and only asks for a better
bribe in order to judge the debate fairly once again. The original bribe was the
album Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese. The Cheshire Cat
will accept nearly anything that is unusual as a counter-bribe.
Finally, desperate to stop the debate, the Duke and Dauphin charge in with a
horde of Upgrade Movement members. The rank and file members overwhelm
the guards, leaving the characters to save the Witch.
Should the characters prevail in either case, the Witch will be crowned as the
new ruler of the Kingdom of Oz. In fact, as long as the Witch survives the
debate, she is pretty much a shoe-in as new leader. The citizens are tired of the
stodgy bureaucratic rule of Tin, Fur and Straw and crave a single strong willed
leader. Theyre also pretty stupid and they think that the Cheshire Cat is wise,
while he is in fact, as mad as a hatter.

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Resolving the Chapter


The best way to resolve the crisis is to introduce a new leader to unite the
Kingdom and the only way to do that is to resurrect the Wicked Witch of the
West. The players must decide how to influence the Witch when bringing her
back to life so that she will rule the Kingdom of Oz in a way they will approve
of. Only the Witch can end the conflict between the Upgrade Movement and
the traditionalists and only she can help the characters. Any other approach will
leave the Emerald City in chaos.
If the players are unwilling to bring the Witch back to life, they might try to
introduce another NPC to rule the kingdom. King Crow is an obvious candidate
but he cant leave the castle until his curse is lifted, which requires bringing the
Witch back to life.
The players might want to place a trustworthy adult to become the ruler of
the Emerald Kingdom, like a parent or friend like Carolyn Jolly-Kidd. Assuming
the adult even accepts the idea, the residents of the Kingdom will distrust an
outsider. It will take years of work for the adult to build a consensus in the
Kingdom. As a result, the Kingdom will be unable to help the players in the final
battle at Area 51.
When running this chapter, you should try to get to the resurrection of the Witch
in a reasonable manner of time to allow as much as time as necessary for the
players to decide how to resolve it in the manner they see fit. Unless the players
are exceptionally clever, there should be some trial and error involved as they
figure out what kind of leader they want to rule over the Kingdom of Oz.
Some groups may just decide to help the Upgrade Movement or the Emerald City
government. In order to do this, they must either defeat the rulers or the Duke
and Dauphin in combat. Tin, Fur and Straw are easy to find as they remain in the
Emerald Palace. However, they stick together most of the time
The Duke and Dauphin are easier to defeat than Tin, Fur and Straw but Emperor
Norton will take on the mantle of leadership over the Upgrade Movement if
necessary, ensuring the crisis continues for a long time. Norton is impossible to
catch, as he can teleport into San Francisco at will and is immune to any damage
the players can dish out. Stopping him requires a special quest that the players
will not have time to complete before the Ur-monster is summoned.
Once the Witch assumes leadership, the players may fear she will revert to her
evil ways. Fortunately, her weakness is now well-known so a coup only requires
a water gun. Furthermore, her spellbook is still around so the people can remake
her if necessary.
Only the Witch can provide a clue about the Cult and the Ur-Monster. She can
also transport the characters to and from the outside world. If the characters
do not get the Witch to help them, they must get either Emperor Norton or The
Crocodile to get back to the outside world.

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Important Characters
The Duke and Dauphin
Gentlemen, says the young man, very solemn, I will reveal it to you,
for I feel I may have confidence in you. By rights I am a duke! Yes.
My great-grandfather, eldest son of the Duke of Bridgewater, fled to
this country about the end of the last century, to breathe the pure
air of freedom; married here, and died, leaving a son, his own father
dying about the same time. The second son of the late duke seized the
titles and estatesthe infant real duke was ignored. I am the lineal
descendant of that infantI am the rightful Duke of Bridgewater; and
here am I, forlorn, torn from my high estate, hunted of men, despised
by the cold world, ragged, worn, heart-broken, and degraded to the
companionship of felons on a raft!

The Duke of Bridgewater now dresses in a hodgepodge of contemporary and


Victorian era clothing. A top hat, blue jeans, a formal shirt and sandals with
socks. The Dauphin is a monstrous humanoid dolphin dressed in a crude
imitation of the clothing of French royalty, complete with a cardboard crown.
The Duke of Bridgewater has changed quite a bit
since he was tarred and feathered in the Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn. He and his fellow con man, the
Dauphin, drifted for years until they stumbled across
Oz by accident. At first, the innocent and nave
citizens of the Kingdom simply gave them what they
wanted and the two grifters lived like the royalty
they pretended to be. Then they decided to steal
the Golden Cap of the Wicked Witch of the West in
an elaborate con. Unfortunately for them, she saw
through their lies and cursed them both. The Dauphin
was transformed into a monster that could not speak
and the Duke was cursed to only help others and
never himself.
The Duke at first spent his time caring for the
Dauphin, who terrified the local populace, which
satisfied the conditions of the curse but slowly drove
him mad. After Dorothy passed through Oz, the Duke
remembered the outside world and desired to see it
again. However, the curse had magically bound him
to the kingdom and he could not leave, let alone the
Dauphin. When he realized this, he decided to bring
the modern world to Oz, instead of the other way
around.
As contact with the outside world began to diminish
and the residents of the Kingdom withdrew to
the Emerald City, the Duke began the Upgrade
Movement. He panders to the crowd with open-air tent meetings, hawking it like
the expert snake oil salesman he is with all the fervor of a street preacher. With
Emperor Norton and The Crocodile smuggling goods from the outside world,
the Duke has created a powerful faction with many loyal members. Of course,
its still relatively small compared to the rest of the population but its members
actually believe in something, as opposed to the apathetic nature of the average
citizen of the Kingdom.

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Only the Witch can remove the curse and she will only do so if they promise to
end the current crisis. Once the curse is lifted, the Duke and Dauphin are exiled
from Oz forever, something they gladly accept. They become self-help gurus in
California, swindling rich and foolish celebrities with tales of a fantastic world
filled with magical creatures and how it can help YOU live a better life.
The Duke and Dauphin are bonded, similar to how kids are bonded with
monsters. The Duke can loan Relationships to the Dauphin.

Stats and Sk ills: The Duke


Feet 3 (P.E +1, Kicking +0, Dodge +0)
Guts 3 (Wind +1, Courage +1, Wrestling +2)
Hands 2 (Shop +2, Punching +2, Blocking +0)
Brains 4 (Out-Think +5, Remember +4, Notice +4)
Face 5 (Charm +5, Putdown +5, Connive +5)

Relationships
Upgrade Movement 2, The Real World 1, Money 2

Bits and Pieces: The Dauphin


Location 1: Snout 3d (Useful [detect tasty fish], Awesome x2)
Locations 2-3: Battle Flippers 10d (Attacks)
Locations 4-6: Crown of the Prince 8d (Attacks, Defends, Tough x1, Gnarly x2,

Wicked Fast x3)


Locations 7-8: Scepter of Command 8d (Useful [command others], Awesome

x2)
Locations 9-10: Blowhole of Majesty 6d (Defends, Useful [blow air], Awesome

x2, Wicked Fast x1)

The Average Citizen of


the Kingdom of Oz

The reason behind the Kingdoms dilemma lies within the malaise of its citizenry.
After the constant adventures and excitement Dorothy and her friends caused in
the early 20th century, the citizens were motivated and in high spirits. But as the
years dragged on, the excitement and energy just drained out of the people. The
average citizen of the Emerald City is like the average disinterested selfish adult
of the outside world, caring only about themselves and with no real hopes for
the future.

The Wicked Witch of the West

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Formerly the most evil Witch in all of Oz. Now a puddle of goo at the bottom of
her castles moat. If brought to life, she will use the following stats as a baseline.

Bits and Pieces


Location 1: Pointy Hat 5d (Defends)
Locations 2-3: Black Dress 8d (Defends, Awesome x2 , Tough x3, Wicked Fast

x2)
Locations 4-5: Mystical Mojo 10d (Useful [magic!])
Locations 6-7: Hands of Spellcasting 8d (Attacks, Useful [spells!], Awesome x1)
Locations 8-9: Aura of Power 7d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Gnarly x1)
Location 10: Evil Eye 3d (Useful [see into souls], Awesome x2)

The witch is automatically liquefied by water, unless she is made waterproof


through an appropriate ingredient introduced during the brewing ritual (such as
an Aqua Man, comic for example).

The Rulers (Tin, Fur and Straw)


Dorothy leaned her chin upon her hand and gazed thoughtfully at
the Scarecrow. Its head was a small sack stuffed with straw, with eyes,
nose, and mouth painted on it to represent a face. An old, pointed
blue hat, that had belonged to some Munchkin, was perched on his
head, and the rest of the figure was a blue suit of clothes, worn and
faded, which had also been stuffed with straw. On the feet were some
old boots with blue tops, such as every man wore in this country, and
the figure was raised above the stalks of corn by means of the pole
stuck up its back.

One of the big trees had been partly chopped through, and standing
beside it, with an uplifted axe in his hands, was a man made entirely
of tin. His head and arms and legs were jointed upon his body, but he
stood perfectly motionless, as if he could not stir at all.

What makes you a coward? asked Dorothy, looking at the great


beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.
Its a mystery, replied the Lion. I suppose I was born that way. All
the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the
Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if
I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of
my way. Whenever Ive met a man Ive been awfully scared; but I just
roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If
the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me,
I should have run myself--Im such a coward; but just as soon as they
hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them
go.

The three rulers have been overwhelmed by the ennui of managing the Emerald
City bureaucracy. They only retain only the tiniest shred of passion and emotion
from their days adventuring with Dorothy. The light has gone out of their lives.
They now manage the City as it slowly decays.

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B i t s a n d P i e c e s : Ti n
Locations 1-3: Axe 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x5)
Locations 4-6: Metal Skin 10d (Defends, Tough x5)
Locations 7-9: Metal Limbs 8d (Defends, Useful [logging], Awesome x2, Tough

x4)
Locations 10: Tin Hat (5d, useful [summon oil])

Bit s a n d Pie c e s : Fu r
Locations 1-2: Tail 8d (Useful [manipulate objects], Awesome x2)
Locations 3-4: Legs 8d (Useful [run real fast], Awesome x2)
Locations 5-7: Mane 7d (Defends, Useful [Regal presence], Awesome x2, Tough

x3, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 8-9: Jaws 10d (Attacks)
Locations 10: Eyes and Ears 5d (Useful [hunters senses])

Bits and Pieces: Straw


Location 1: Straw Hat 5d (Useful [terrify birds])
Locations 2-3: Straw Arms 6d (Attacks, Awesome x2, Gnarly x2, Wicked Fast

x2)
Locations 4-6: Straw Legs 6d (Defends, Useful [chase birds], Awesome x2,

Tough x1)
Locations 7-8: Straw Chest 10d (Defends)
Locations 8-10: Friendly Crows 10d (Attacks, Area x5)

Emperor Norton
At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the
citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa
Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months
past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.;
and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order
and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to
assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then
and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union
as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and
thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our
stability and integrity.

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NORTON I, Emperor of the United States

One of the few citizens of Oz born in the outside world, Norton is the exiled
Emperor of the United States. After ruling the United States for 21 years, he
collapsed on the streets of San Francisco on January 8, 1880. Pronounced dead,
he was buried and over 30,000 people attended his funeral. Little did they know

his coffin was empty. The Good Witch of the North had transported him to the
Kingdom of Oz, so that he might advise its leaders. Norton gladly accepted
his new position until the Wizard of Oz appeared some years later. The people
became enamored of the Wizard and gradually Norton fell to the wayside. Even
after the Wizard left the Kingdom, Norton remained unimportant.
Depressed, Norton wandered the length and breadth of the Kingdom. Feeling
homesick, he looked for a way back to San Francisco and one day he simply
found himself there. He couldnt explain it, as one moment he was in an alley of
the Emerald City and the next he was in an alley of San Francisco. He saw that
many years had passed and no one remembered him or even took notice of his
odd clothing or mannerisms. His charm still intact, Norton received a free meal
and a newspaper from a local caf before he returned to Oz, traveling in the
same mysterious way. The Duke and Dauphin learned of Nortons new ability and
soon formed the Upgrade Movement.

Stats and Sk ills


Feet 5 (P.E +5, Kicking +5, Dodge +5)
Guts 5 (Wind +5, Courage +5, Wrestling +5)
Hands 5 (Shop +5, Punching +5, Blocking +5)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +5, Remember +5, Notice +5)
Face 5 (Charm +5, Putdown +5, Connive +5)

Relationships
The American Empire 5

The Cheshire Cat (The Expat)


The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good- natured, she
thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt
that it ought to be treated with respect.
Cheshire Puss, she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know
whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little
wider. Come, its pleased so far, thought Alice, and she went on.
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.
I dont much care where-- said Alice.
Then it doesnt matter which way you go, said the Cat.
--so long as I get somewhere, Alice added as an explanation.
Oh, youre sure to do that, said the Cat, if you only walk long
enough.
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question.
What sort of people live about here?
In that direction, the Cat said, waving its right paw round, lives a
Hatter: and in that direction, waving the other paw, lives a March
Hare. Visit either you like: theyre both mad.
But I dont want to go among mad people, Alice remarked.

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Oh, you cant help that, said the Cat: were all mad here. Im mad.
Youre mad.
How do you know Im mad? said Alice.
You must be, said the Cat, or you wouldnt have come here.

The Cheshire Cat simply appeared one day in the Emerald City, grinning as
always. At first the residents were quite threatened and tried to capture or kill
the Cat as they thought he was the Wicked Witchs familiar, but he would vanish
no matter how cunning their plan was. Eventually most gave up and let him be
and the few who tried to hunt him down went mad.
The Cat started to converse with the citizens of the Emerald City and his
contrarian nature was mistaken for wisdom by the people. He soon became
regarded as the wisest creature in all of the Kingdom, something the Cat
doubtlessly appreciates. The Cat has never revealed his real name. His slight
British accent resulted in him being called The Expatriate, or The Expat for short.
The Cat has no game statistics because it chooses not to have them. Assume
that it can win or lose any opposed contests, as it desires.

The Crocodile

After eating Captain Hook, The Crocodile wandered Neverland for a very long
time until he found a spring of pure water with a slight blue tint. Beckoned by
a strange urge, The Crocodile dived into the spring, following a deep tunnel
leading far underground. Just as The Crocodile was about to run out of air,
he saw a light and found himself in Oz, near Munchkin Country. Although the
Munchkins were very filling, they were quite bland-tasting, and The Crocodile
began to explore this new land. Little did he know he was summoned by the
Wicked Witch of the East. However, before she could enslave The Crocodile,
she was slain by Dorothys house. The Crocodile gradually learned how to speak
and act as a civilized person after many years. He has found many underwater
portals to the outside world and uses them to smuggle items for the Upgrade
Movement. He does this because fast food, especially fried chicken, is delicious
and crocodiles cannot buy fast food on their own.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Tail 7d (Attacks, Useful [knock things down], Awesome x2)
Locations 3-4: Scaly Belly 10d (Defends)
Locations 5: Stubby Legs 3d (Useful [swim real good])
Locations 6-10: Jaws of Doom 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [swallow things

whole], Area x2, Awesome x2, Gnarly x5, Spray x1, Tough x2, Wicked Fast x2)

]
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Chapter 6:
Where the
Eternal Glades Are

A tour of the Florida Everglades goes horribly awry when the party finds
themselves in the deepest section of the wilderness, The Eternal Glades. A band
of children and their monsters have thrown off the shackles of civilization and live
as savages in a world of mystery and wonder. Theyve gotten too wild though and
their antics are descending into barbarism. If the party cant re-educate the wild
kids, then the Eternal Glades will take over the South, like kudzu.

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Location:
Sources:
Island.

Florida.

Where the Wild Things Are, Lost, Lord of the Flies, Treasure

Background
Countless years ago, when the Ur-Monster was banished to the Underworld, the
resulting shockwave created many pocket dimensions connected to both Earth
and the Underworld. Each of these pocket dimensions only had a few permanent
entrances and most have sealed over the centuries by zealous occultists. Only a
few remain. One such pocket dimension is the Eternal Glades.
First discovered by a Native American shaman whose tribe has been lost to the
sands of time, the Eternal Glades appeared to the abode of the great spirits. The
shaman kidnapped several children from other tribes and left them in the Glades
as a sacrifice. Hunters from the other tribes tracked the shaman down and
killed him in revenge so the Glades were forgotten. An adult would never again
discover the Glades.
The spirits of the Glades possessed the children and became powerful creatures
that roamed the vast wilderness of the Glades, hunting, fighting, racing and
terrorizing to their hearts content. After many years, the spirits had literally
consumed the children, leaving nothing left of them behind. The spirits gradually
became weaker and weaker until they were mere vermin, insect sized creatures
that hid under rocks and scavenged on the dead. However, children from another
tribe wandered into the Eternal Glades by mistake and were similarly possessed
by the spirits. As before, they too were used up by the spirits who again become
vermin, who awaited more children to use as vessels. This cycle has carried on
ever since. Now, a band of kids who escaped a boring summer camp serve as the
current hosts for the spirits of the Glades but they will need some convincing to
give up their current friends.

What the Traveler Wants


The Eternal Glades is the perfect base of operations for the cult of the
Underworld. As a pocket dimension connected to both Earth and the
Underworld, the Eternal Glades would make the summoning ritual of the
Ur-Monster easier to accomplish. Of course, the natives wont allow intruders
to take over so they must be dealt with. The monsters of the Glades are
symbiotically attached to the children they bond with and would wither away
into cockroach-sized vermin if the bond was severed. This traps the children in
the Eternal Glades forever and the Traveler is betting on the players freeing the
children and taking them away from the Glades.

Finding the Eternal Glades


The postcard indicates that the Eternal Glades is somewhere in the Florida
Everglades.
Of course thats a huge amount of territory to cover but characters can find the
Eternal Glades through several ways.

1. Research.

An internet search of missing kids plus Everglades turns


up a news story of 15 missing kids who escaped from a Florida summer camp
near the Everglades. Further research indicates that near the camp is a site
considered cursed by Native Americans. Bingo! Both facts require a BRAINS +
OUT-THINK check and a computer with internet to learn.

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2. Friends of the Characters.

If the characters have already


completed one of the chapters and befriended any sage mystical characters, such
as the Wicked Witch of the West or the farmer from Pastoral Manor, they may
ask them for help. Any wizard or monster with perceptive powers can pinpoint
the Eternal Glades location on a map.

3. Lets Go Exploring!

Adventurous characters can simply jump into


the swamps of Florida and start looking. Every day of exploration grants a single
check of BRAINS + NOTICE or the use of a monsters perceptive power. Success
grants the sense of where the character should go next. Finding the portal
should take at least a few days.

The Everglades
The portal to the Eternal Glades lies in a cypress swamp deep in the Everglades.
It appears as a loose ring of driftwood, debris, grass and bones, somehow
maintaining cohesion as it floats in the waters of the swamp, despite having a
diameter of over 10 feet. No animal goes near it, even ravenous gators chasing
after a tasty meal. Its exact location is impossible to pin down on a map as it
drifts from day to day. Even though it appears quite fragile, the ring is impossible
to destroy through conventional methods.
Characters wanting to travel in style should acquire an airboat in order to search
the swamps. It is possible to take the airboat into the Eternal Glades but it will
eventually run out of fuel.

Crossing the Threshold


A character enters the Eternal Glades whenever they cross over the threshold
of the portal. They can swim under it, fly over it, or jump right into it. Either
way, the character finds himself in a pool of water in the Eternal Glades with an
identical ring of driftwood floating nearby. Characters can pass back through to
the outside world through the portal but once the spirits learn that new visitors
have entered the Glades, they will post three minor spirits to guard the portal.

Welcome to the
Eternal Glades
At first, the Eternal Glades seem to be the same as the swamp the characters
just left. However, a giant python is prowling around the portal looking for an
easy meal, which should clear things up when it attacks the group.

]
128

Every character can take a BRAINS + NOTICE check and height 8 or greater
allows them to notice the 50 foot long, 8 foot diameter python crawling up
to the party. The python attacks the physically largest member of the party,
attempting to swallow them whole. If the party took an airboat with them, the
python attacks that first. Characters can chase the python off by dealing at
least 3 damage to any hit location or by rescuing a swallowed party member by
dealing 2 damage to the stomach (hit location 5-7). The snake is more interested
in easy food than a fight so it will flee after a strong show of force.

The Welcome Wagon

Once the python is driven off, the characters will find that the jungle has fallen
completely silent. No bird songs or even the buzz of insects can be heard. The
only sound is the wind whistling through the canopy of the jungle. After a few
moments, a great whooping war cry issues forth from the jungle followed by a
cacophony of similar cries all around the characters. The monsters have found
the party and they want to play.
The monsters will react based on how the party reacts to the war cries. If the
group is obviously scared or intimidated, they will continue to taunt and harass
the characters, throwing rocks and so on. If the characters flee into the jungle,
they will chase after them and try to capture them with nets. The characters
can escape by beating them in an opposed check of FEET + P.E. or monster
movement based ability versus the monsters Net ability (6d); the greatest Width
wins. Captured characters are hoisted up into the canopy and left dangling
while the monsters reveal themselves and laugh at hapless characters. The nets
only require a successful monster attack ability (any Attacks power will do and
success is automatic) or a successful FEET + P.E. check. If the characters manage
to escape, they can wander the Glades as long as they want but sooner or later
they will need to find the native monsters.
Brave parties that stand their ground will earn the respect of the monsters.
They will come out of the jungle, all 15 of them. The leader, Billy-Brash, a large
gorilla-eagle hybrid, speaks for the group. They are wild but still kids who
believe that any sissy civilized kids cant beat them in anything.

Dealing With the Monsters


The characters have a few options when dealing with the Monsters. They can try
to play with them to earn their trust and learn more about the Eternal Glades or
they can simply fight the Monsters. However, the entire pack will fight together,
making it quite difficult to defeat them in a straight up battle.
The monsters wont talk or share any information until they trust them. To this
end, Billy-Brash proposes a contest to see whos cooler the characters or the
monsters of the Glades.

The Contest

Billy-Brash is open to any kind of physical challenge or contest. If the players


dont think of a suitable contest, he will suggest one of three possible contests,
racing; capture the flag, or dodgeball. In any case, the monsters will only use
as many pack members as there are members of the party. All three leaders will
compete, along with a number of minor monsters in order to equal the player
characters. Kids are counted as well as monsters.

Race Around the Glades


Billy-Brash points out the three major landmarks of the Glades: the Portal, the
Forbidden Tree and the Dark Canyon. The portal is in the center of the Glades,
the Forbidden Tree is in the northwest corner and the Dark Canyon is in the
Southeast corner of the pocket dimension.
The race starts at the tree and the character has make two circuits of all three
landmarks. This is a team event though because there isnt much in the way of

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rules. Characters can do pretty much anything as long as they stay on the circuit
including fighting with the other enemies. Only one runner has to make it across
the finish line for their team to win.
The race is treated as five FEET + P.E. checks, with the victor being the one with
the most accumulated width at the edge of the 5th check. Each check represents
one leg of the race and the Width represents the total distance traveled.
Monsters piggyback with their kid or use a movement power. This is just to
focus on the race though. Characters may split their dice pool and perform an
additional action for each leg of the race.
They have three basic actions they can take during the race.

1. Attack another racer.

This is a normal attack. Note that the


attacker must have at least as much accumulated FEET + P.E. Width as the
defender or a ranged attack or they wont be able to actually reach them.
A successful attacks width is subtracted from the defenders accumulated
distance, as the attack knocks them back or slows them down.

2. Block another racer. A character can focus on blocking an enemy

racer by getting in front of them and otherwise getting in their way. This is a
HANDS + BLOCKING test or monster relevant ability opposed by the defenders
FEET + DODGING check or relevant monster ability. For every width the attacker
exceeds the defenders check, he reduces the dice pool of their next racing
check.

]
130

3. Trick another racer.

Characters are free to talk while they


race and a character could trick another racer through mere words. This is an
opposed WITS + CONNIVE vs. BRAINS + OUT-THINK check. If the attacker
succeeds, the defender believes the attacker and acts accordingly.

Capture the Flag


A single flag is placed near the Forbidden Tree and the other is placed near the
Dark Canyon. The players can choose which flag to defend. The object of the
game is to get the other teams flag. The only rules are these:
The flag must be carried by hand from the enemy base to your base.
The flag carrier must go on foot. No teleportation or flying allowed.
N
o mind control, duplicating flags, or attacks that destroy the landscape or
threaten the life of a player.
Pretty much anything else goes.

Dodgeball
The monsters of the Glades somehow have two normal dodgeballs and a court
ready for play. Characters can use HANDS + PUNCHING to throw a dodgeball
and HANDS + BLOCKING to catch one or FEET + DODGE to dodge an attack.
Grabbing a dodgeball before an enemy requires an opposed FEET + P.E. check.
Characters should always split their actions so they can dodge and try to hit
someone with a dodgeball every round.

Win or Lose

Regardless of who wins the contest, the monsters will treat the player characters
as new best friends if they play hard and do their best. The characters have the
perfect chance to let their hair down and have fun for once!
After a few hours of exploring, roughhousing and playing, night will fall upon
the Eternal Glades. Sally-Slash creates a fire with her dragon breath and the
minor monsters gather fruit from the nearby trees. Billy, Sally and Chris want
to hear ghost stories from the players. Good ones. The players should tell a
convincing scary story to the group. No rolls are required but the players should
actually role play this encounter out. If the players cant tell a scary story, ChrisCrash will laugh at them but nothing else will happen. Eventually everyone
should drift to sleep.

What Now?
At this point, the characters can freely ask Billy, Sally or Chris anything they want
to know. They will explain what happened to them and will also reveal that they
intend to stay forever. At this point, the direction of the chapter depends on how
the characters act. They can leave the Glades freely; learn about the Forbidden
Tree and Dark Canyon; talk the monsters into going back; or fight them in order
to exorcise the spirits that give them power.

Talk the Monsters


Into Going Back

Characters can try to reason with each of the three leaders to go back to the
outside world. If they can convince two of the three, the minor monsters will
follow suit. Players will need to use a different approach with each of the three
monsters, as they have different goals and desires. See their descriptions for
more information.

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Once the characters have convinced the kid to go, the spirit will resist and fight
for control of the hosts body. Fortunately, the spirit becomes visible during this
struggle, a misty shape that rises out of the monster. It can be harmed by other
supernatural beings during this time. See their entry for more information on
how to exorcise the spirits.

Fighting the Monsters

If the players fail to convince the monsters to leave, they will have to fight them
in order to exorcise the spirits. Once the fight starts, the entire pack joins in but
the characters can scare away the minor monsters by using an appropriate Useful
power or through a GUTS + COURAGE check to intimidate them. The Width of
the check indicates how many of the 12 minor monsters flee in terror.
If the players defeat the monsters of the Glades in combat, the spirits will flee
their hosts in terror. If the players lose, the monsters toss the players through the
portal and warn them to never return.

The Forbidden Tree


The only dead tree in the Glades, the Forbidden Tree is a massive and foreboding
hulk that stands in a clearing utterly devoid of life. As the monsters explain, the
spirits tell them that the Forbidden Trees roots extend both to the real world
and to a dark place they dare not go. A single apple grows on the tree but the
monsters instinctively fear it.
Should the characters explore the tree up close, they will find the word
ROANOKE. A BRAINS + REMEMBER check will recall the story of the lost colony
of Roanoke, who disappeared in North Carolina without a trace sometime
between 1588 and
1590. There is no other
explanation or evidence on
the tree for the characters
to learn its background
except the apple.

]
132

Unlike the rest of the tree,


the apple is in perfect
shape. It looks healthy
and quite delicious. A
character who takes a
bite of the apple has a
vision of the entire multiverse: the Underworld,
the Eternal Glades, Earth
and an infinite number
of other alternate
realities. This is quite
shocking, to say the
least. The character
takes no damage but
must make a BRAINS
+ OUT-THINK or GUTS
+ COURAGE check in
order to comprehend
the meaning of this
vision.

A Height 8 or greater check reveals that the character knows that the seed of the
apple can be planted near the portal in order to close it off from the real world.
Monsters who eat the apple take 1 point of damage to a random hit location for
each bite they take or are automatically knocked out if they consume the entire
apple. The seeds are indestructible until planted so they will turn up sooner or
later.
A character may also gain a chapter reward from such a vision in much the same
way as learning about how to close the portal.

Dark Canyon
A shortcut to the Underworld and a rocky barren scar cut into the earth. The
canyon is only 30 feet across at its widest, a mere foot across at its narrowest
and about 300 feet long. Characters who climb or fall down into the canyon fall
about 100 feet and then find themselves in an empty room of the Underworld.
Characters can climb or fly back up normally but if they leave the room, they will
find themselves lost in the Underworld, unable to return.
The monsters of the Glades explain that weird creatures occasionally crawl out
of the Dark Canyon but the pack beats them up no matter how many show up.
Theyve tried to explore the canyon but they lose power when they stray far from
the Eternal Glades.

Resolving the Chapter


The characters can complete this chapter in one of four ways:

1. Explore and then leave the Glades without


resolving anything. The worst solution, as the children will be

consumed by the spirits and the cycle will carry on forever. The cult wont be
able to take over the Glades as the spirits will fight them off.

2. Free the children from the spirits and escort them


to safety. The characters either have to defeat the spirits in battle or best
them in a contest of survival and wits. Either way, if successful, the children
will be freed and the spirits return to their natural vermin form. However, the
Cult will move in shortly after the party leaves and take over the Glades in
preparation for the Ur-Monster summoning ritual.

3. Banish the spirits to the Underworld after freeing


the children. The Eternal Glades are connected to the Underworld in the

form of the Dark Canyon. Once the characters defeat the spirits, they can catch
the vermin and throw them into the Underworld. This will break the cycle but
the Cult will still take over the Glades once the party leaves unless they seal the
Glades as well.

4. Seal the Eternal Glades for 100 years.

The portal to the


Glades can be sealed for a century by taking the apple from the Forbidden Tree
and placing it in front of the portal to the outside world. A tree quickly sprouts
in front of the portal and the characters must rush through to escape before the
tree completely covers the portal to the Glades. This causes the Dark Canyon to
collapse in an earthquake, sealing it from the Underworld. No one will be able
to access the Glades until the tree dies in 100 years. Hopefully, the players have
freed the children before doing this.

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Important Characters
Megafauna

Everything in the Eternal Glades tends to be huge. As in Jurassic huge. Eaglesized dragonflies and car-sized eagles. The following stats are for an average
Glades dinosaur, but can be used for any giant predatory monster from a megabear to a mega-monitor-lizard.

Bits and Pieces


Location 1-2: Big Tail 7d (Defends, Useful [trip people], Useful [knock things

down], Tough x1)


Location 3-4: Big Scaly Legs 8d (Attacks, Useful [Run and stomp], Wicked Fast

x1)
Location 5-6: Big Scaly Belly 10d (Defends)
Location 7-9: Massive Biting Jaws 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x5)
Location 10: Tiny Sized Brain 3d (Useful [think], Tough x2)

Monsters and Spirits

When a spirit of the Glades possesses someone, it transforms them into a


monstrous version of themselves. They grow larger, fur or scales, fangs and
claws. Their strength and speed become superhuman, and are as resilient as a
normal monster. They work together as a pack, fighting the megafauna of the
Glades and playing no holds barred games of hide and go seek, tag and other
similar childrens games.
The child host is nominally in control of the monster, but the spirit has ultimate
control over the hybrid creature. If the child and spirit fight for control over
the monster, then the spirit will become visible to the naked eye. At this point,
it is possible to exorcise the spirit and remove it from the childs body. This
transforms the monster back into a normal child.
There are three major spirits and a dozen minor spirits. Minor spirits are
animalistic, use the same stats, and human lack intelligence. Only the three
major spirits retain enough wits to talk or think. They lead the pack.
All spirits have two forms. The first form is its natural vermin state. It looks like
an oversized cockroach. Its only unique attribute in this form is its immortality
while in the Eternal Glades. The spirit can only possess humans who allow them
to, so the spirit uses telepathy to communicate with potential hosts.

]
134

The second form is how the spirit appears while it possesses someone. They are
intangible and translucent, appearing as a fine blue-gray mist superimposed over
the monster. Only monsters or characters with supernatural perceptive abilities
can see them in this state except when the spirit and child fight for control
over the monster. When the spirit becomes visible due to an internal power
struggle with the host child, a monster can pull the spirit out. The spirit has the
following stats and any supernatural creature can target it with an attack during
the struggle. If the spirit takes enough damage to drop it to 0 health in any hit
location, it reverts back to its vermin form and flees the area.

Minor Monsters

Each of the minor spirits possessed a kid and turned them into an animalistic
creature. Individually, they are quite weak, but when they fight as a pack they
are quite powerful, using sophisticated pack tactics to take down larger foes.
Each of them has a unique appearance but all use the same general template a
humanoid hybrid of two animals, usually with at least one of the animals being a
scary predator.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-3: First Animal Half 9d (Attacks, Useful [super strength], Awesome

x2, Gnarly x3)


Locations 4-5: Monstrous Limbs 7d (Defends, Useful [super speed], Wicked

Fast x2)
Locations 6-8: Second Animal Half 8d (Attack, Useful [sense danger], Spray x1,

Tough x2, Gnarly x3)


Locations 9-10: Sensory Organs 8d (Defends, Useful [super smell], Useful

[super vision])

The Head Monsters

Each of the head monstersBilly-Brash, Sally-Slash and Chris-Crashis


possessed by a major spirit, so they retain their human intelligence and the
ability to speak. All of the minor spirits follow the head monsters without
question.

Billy-Brash

A gorilla-eagle hybrid and the natural alpha male of the pack. He loves to fly
and throw giant rocks. As a normal kid, Billy loves being the center of attention
and naturally thinks that he deserves whatever he wants whenever he wants.
To say no to Billy is to genuinely hurt him emotionally, as he doesnt understand
that people arent there to give him what he wants. He makes friends easily
and is quite charming but has the attention span of a gnat and the boundless
energy of a gorilla. Characters who want to reason with Billy have to point out
that he wont ever become rich or famous, let alone a pro athlete or movie star.
Furthermore, his parents will praise him once they hear how brave and clever he
was in the Eternal Glades.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Left Arm 10d (Attacks)
Locations 3-4: Right Arm 10d (Defends)
Locations 5-7: Barrel Chest and Wings 7d (Attacks, Useful [fly], Awesome x2,

Gnarly x1, Tough x2 , Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 8-9: Legs 6d (Defends, Useful [run and climb], Awesome x2, Tough

x1)
Locations 10: Head 3d (Useful [think], Awesome x2)

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Sally-Slash

A dragon-frog humanoid hybrid. Sally loves setting things on fire with her
dragon breath and leaping high in the air. She will be the hardest kid to convince
to go back to the outside world as her parents are very distant and critical of her,
leaving her very lonely and insecure. Sally is loved and is quite confident about
her abilities here. Once the players ask her to go back, she will get angry and
threaten them, demanding that they leave her alone. Once the players convince
Billy and Chris to go, the minor monsters will go with them as well and Sally
will realize that she will be all alone here. She will become enraged and attack
the players for two rounds before breaking down in tears. She then explains
that her parents dont love her and she will be all alone if they go back to the
outside world. The players need to introduce her to some new friends. Perhaps
she lives in the same town as the players, making it easy for her to become a
friend. Or some of the people theyve befriended over their summer vacation, like
the talking animals of Pastoral Manor or a friendly robot duplicate from Sucrose
Park will be her new friend. Perhaps they can get a wizardly mentor like Zoltron
to summon her a new monster friend. This will require imagination on the part
of the players in order to solve. If they cant promise her at least one new friend,
Sally will refuse to go. If her spirit is exorcised, she will pout but she will go back
with the characters.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-3: Frog Legs 9d (Defends, Useful [jump real far], Awesome x2,

Wicked Fast x3)


Location 4: Sticky Tongue 5d (Useful [grab things])
Locations 5-6: Scaly Body 9d (Defends, Attacks)
Locations 7-9: Dragon Head 10d (Attacks, Area x2, Burn x1, Gnarly x2)
Location 10: Scaly Noggin 3d (Useful [dragon senses], Awesome x2)

Chris-Crash

A billy goat-cheetah humanoid hybrid. Chris loves ramming and headbutting


things with his indestructible horns and cheetah speed. Hes actually pretty shy
and prefers action to talking with others. Chris is content to follow the lead of
others but is unable to understand or come to grips with his emotions. If the
players can convince at least one of the others to go back, Chris will go along.

Bits and Pieces


Location 1: Cat Tail 5d (Useful [always land feet down])
Locations 2-4: Cheetah Legs 8d (Defends, Useful [run super-fast], Awesome

x2, Wicked Fast x4)


Locations 5-6: Cat Claws 8d (Attacks, Gnarly x2)

]
136

Location 7: Goat Stomach 3d (Useful [eat anything], Awesome x2)


Locations 8-10: Billy Goat Head and Horns 10d (Attacks, Useful [knock things

down], Gnarly x5, Spray x1)

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Chapter 7:
Project Long Stairs

The final battle with the Ur-Monster takes place in the depths of Area 51,
the top secret US military base. For decades, the US has experimented with
transdimensional exploration with a project known as The Long Stairs.
However, the Ur-Monster is nearly awake and the entire base has been overrun
by minions of the Ur-Monster. The party must get to the lowest level of the
base in order to confront and stop the Ur-Monster. However, their victories from
previous chapters play an important role. They can call on allies and information
gained from those adventures to help them in the final battle.

]
138

Special thanks to Benjamin Baugh for Project Long Stairs.

Location:
Sources:
Godzilla

Area 51, Nevada.

Half-Life, The Mist, Stargate, Delta Green, Call of Cthulhu,

The Postcards Power


Each postcard has a powerful psychic charge fine-tuned to the Traveler and, to a
lesser extent, the Cult of the Underworld. While their primary use is in the final
confrontation with the Traveler, they can be used as a get out of jail free card
in other encounters during Area 51. If the group runs into trouble and faces an
encounter they cant handle, describe one of the postcards charging up with
energy. If a character shows the postcard, it will release a burst of energy and
then disappear. Postcards can do the following:
Shield characters from the Cults view for 2d minutes.
Banish a monster controlled by the Cult, such as Whispers, for 1d minutes.
G
uide the characters to a talisman or the gate room (if they lose Dr. Churchs
team).
Heal a character completely.
However, the characters should want to hoard as many of the postcards as
possible for the final confrontation. Use them only if the group gets stuck
or needs help to keep going. The postcards, as magical items, are virtually
indestructible and even if thrown away will show up later in the characters
belongings.

What the Traveler Wants


This is it. The end of the road and the Travelers quest. Its all or nothing for the
Cult. Either they raise the Ur-Monster from the Underworld now or they never
will.
The Traveler does not fully understand human technology
but has learned the importance of communications. He
begins the attack by summoning a massive cloud of fog
that prevents all forms of technological communications
from piercing the cloud. The base will be cut off in one fell
swoop. Given Area 51s secretive nature, it will take hours
before the government decides that the Long Stairs has
overrun the base.
Once the base is cut off, the Traveler summons numerous
monsters from the Underworld to bring the base to a
standstill. While the soldiers are able to destroy some of
the creatures, the base soon splinters into small pockets of
resistance. The Cult moves in. As the Traveler knows where
the gate is, the Cult simply has to destroy every barrier in
order to get to the gate. Whispers does most of the work,
slicing thick steel doors into ribbons. However, the gate
barrier is too thick to cut through. The Traveler needs the gate
barrier opened.
If the Traveler got Project Doppelganger from Sucrose Park,
then the robots will be able to hack through the military
computers in a short period of time. Otherwise, the Traveler
orders the Cult to look for a way to open the gate. They will
quickly learn from captured personnel that only General Cody
Walker has the access code to open the gate. The Traveler
orders the Cult to find him immediately.

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Regardless if the gate barrier is open, the Traveler begins the ritual to summon
the Ur-Monster. He reasons that the Ur-Monster can destroy the gate barrier if
need be. However, unless the Traveler has drained the Great Tree (in Pastoral
Manor) of magic, he will lack the energy to complete the ritual. Fortunately for
the Cult, three talismans of great power are stored at Area 51. He orders the Cult
to get the talismans.

The Cults Order of Battle


The Cults strength depends on how successful they were over the campaign. In
each chapter, the Cult had a specific goal. Every time they accomplished their
goal, the stronger they will be in the finale.

Core Cult Forces


The Red Terror and his brothers. At least three of them will be
around.

Dagon the sorcerer.

No matter what happened to him in the


campaign, Dagon is here. Hes very hard to kill.

Cult goon squads.

Dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of

brainwashed goons.

Whispers.

A deadly monster summoned from the Underworld. See his stats


later on in this chapter.

The Traveler

The Traveler is the leader of the Cult but is focused on the summoning ritual. He
will not act against the players until they interfere directly with the ritual.

Special Guest Stars


The Cult may have additional forces depending on how the player characters
acted during the chapter. What kind of epic final battle would be complete
without seeing all the important NPCs from every adventure the characters have
had on this road trip? Of course, too many guest stars will muddle the game but
a few well placed callbacks will make a huge difference.

Who Should I Use?

Think back on the campaign so far and figure out who the players responded to
the most. If they loved talking to the Brain Trust from Sucrose Park and hated the
Sentai Rangers from Sunny Glades then use those NPCs. If they were indifferent
to Blackbriar from Pastoral Manor then dont try to force him in. You can also
use generic NPCs from adventure the characters really enjoyed.

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If youre unsure about what your players liked the most from the campaign, pick
NPCs that you think will make interesting encounters. Perhaps Coolrat will try to
redeem himself by fighting the Ur-Monster or Tin, Fur and Straw want to regain
power by joining the Cult. Its your campaign and you should know what will
work best with your group.

How Do I Include a Guest Star?

Theres no one right way to include NPCs from previous chapters but its best to
think of an approach beforehand and remain consistent throughout this chapter.
The most obvious ways to include NPCs are to either give the players a list of
allies and enemies before the scenario begins or create a list of NPCs to place
when dramatically appropriate.

Guess Whos Coming to Area 51.

You might want to let the


players know who will be at Area 51 before they storm the gates if you think
they will make use of the NPCs. Some groups prefer to plan things out or like
to role play a lot and these types of groups will benefit from knowing who will
show up. Planners can take the new allies and enemies into account and role
players should enjoy catching up with their friends from earlier adventures.
This approach is also easy to run, as any NPC allies should make their presence
known to the players before they enter Area 51. It could be a very dramatic
scene, as the characters make their last plans when a friend like Blackbriar
appears to join them, then another friend and another.

Mystery guests.

If you want to be more spontaneous in the game, you


can save the NPCs to show up when its dramatically appropriate. Once you
figure which NPCs you want to use, keep them in mind whenever your group
runs into one of these situations:

The group is stuck. If the group cant figure out where to go next or

cant move past an obstacle, then you can easily include a NPC ally to help them
out. The Sentai Ranger can take out Whispers if hes about to destroy the party
or Blackbriar can figure out where the three talismans are being held.

The group blows past a challenge too easily. On the other

hand, if the group takes out Whispers without a problem or seems to be plowing
through the adventure, have NPC enemies from previous chapters show up
when its least convenient for the characters. The animal nobles show up in their
demonic forms to bum rush the party right after they finish off Whispers or a bird
from the Eternal Glades steals one of the talismans before the players can get it.

The game is too calm.

As this is the final adventure in the campaign,


you should pull out all stops and make it more exciting than a summer
blockbuster movie. If the group is quiet, cautious and intelligent, then theres a
chance they will tackle this adventure too professionally. Use the guest star NPCs
to shake things up and add chaos. Allies come in only to set off traps or draw
the attention of Cultists or enemies pop in at just the wrong time to ruin the
plans of the party.

Potential Additional Cult Forces

Any NPCs the players made into enemies or betrayed are prime candidates
for the Cult to recruit, especially if they have powerful supernatural abilities.
Revenge is a strong motivating force.

Pastoral Manor.

If the Traveler drains the Great Tree of magic, he will


be able to start the ritual without any of the talismans stored in Area 51.
Furthermore, any of the Manor Army nobles will fight alongside the Cult, in their
demonic forms. They fight so they may permanently retain their intelligence.

Sunny Vale. If the Cult has taken their weapons, each of the Cults

champions (The Traveler, Dagon, Whispers, the Red Terror and one of his

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brothers) will wield one. If they recruit the Sentai Rangers, they will be present
and they will guard the talismans while the ritual is underway.

Sucrose Park.

Project Doppelganger. The human defenders will be gone.


The robot duplicates captured all of the human personnel and threw them
into the Underworld. The characters will face several robot duplicates dressed
as soldiers. Furthermore, several robot duplicates will communicate with the
military and delay any reinforcements.

The Kingdom of Oz.

The Cult found the Golden Cap and enslaved all


of the flying monkeys as scouts and cannon fodder. Characters will be spotted
long before they get to the gates of Area 51. The other citizens may be press
ganged into fighting

Eternal Glades.

The Cult will use the Eternal Glades as an extradimensional base, allowing them to send in more Cultists and monsters quickly
and efficiently. Use standard numbers but reinforcements arrive twice as
quickly the characters will have to hurry with their plans or find themselves
overwhelmed.

Potential Allies for the


Player Characters

Unless the players specifically keep in contact with friends made in earlier
chapter, only a few potential allies will show up in the final chapter. Its not as
though the allies wouldnt want to help the players save the world, but most
simply wont know whats going on or be able to get there in time. Of course, if
you want to use a specific NPC, you can always figure out a reason why theyre
there but the following suggestions are the most likely to show up.

Pastoral Manor.

If the players reunited Joseph and Blackbriar, then the


power of the Great Tree will warn them of the battle at Area 51. They could send
an army of animals to help the characters or perhaps only Blackbriar and a few
elite warriors, depending on how much the players helped them.

Sunny Glades. If the characters found Zoltron and resolve their personal

issues, the Sentai Rangers will be more than happy to kick Cultist butt on behalf
of the group. Zoltron the wizard can detect the mystical shockwaves sent out
during the Area 51 attack and alert the Rangers.

Sucrose Park. It is unlikely that any of the supernatural beings in this

chapter will come to the aid of the characters but it is possible. Perhaps the Brain
Trust calculates that the world is threatened by the Cult and sends an army of
robots to fight the Cult or makes an appearance himself. Coolrat might help the
characters if he wants to redeem himself in the eyes of the group. Of course, this
will only happen if the group left the theme park on at least neutral terms with
either being. If the party trashed the robot lab or bit off a few chunks of Coolrat,
then it will be unlikely that either being will want to help them.

The Kingdom of Oz.

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The kingdom has many powerful supernatural


beings who will be more than happy to fight an evil Cult and save the world.
This is why the Cult wanted the characters to drag them down into a civil war.
Should the Wicked Witch be a friend of the party, she may send some aid. The
form of aid depends on her new personality. A heroic and noble Witch will show
up in battle herself, accompanied by an army of flying monkeys and munchkins.
A selfish Witch might send a few monkeys or a Winkie or two. An evil Witch is

more likely to help the Cult than the players. The other creatures such as the
Cheshire Cat, The Crocodile and The Dauphin might also help out if the players
were friendly to them.

Eternal Glades.

Unfortunately for the group, the monsters of the Glades


will most likely be unable to help the party and furthermore, they are too simple
minded to want to help or they will be transformed back into children.

Overview: Project Long Stairs


By Benjamin Baugh
In 1963 (post test ban) a nuclear detonation under the Nevada desert knocked a
hole in reality.
The bomb was something new and still classified but what it did was
stab through the fragile skein of normal spacetime the whole visible universe
occupies, and opened a hole into something stranger.
The government put a door and a lock onto the hole; ninety tons of steel and
titanium, the strongest they could make it. They kept it secret too. The place
the hole opened into was just too weird for people to know about or deal with.
Its variously called The Basement, Downstairs, and for those who hide behind
terminology, the Subterrestial Operational Theater.
By the 90s, everyone was just calling it The Dungeon despite the term being
officially verboten. Of course no one knew that they had opened a permanent
gate to the Underworld.

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The name fits, though. Under reality, in realms so strange they defy scientific
models to explain, someone or some thing built tunnels, chambers, traps, lairs...
but also filled it with wonders and treasures, including objects and devices which
could quite simply do the impossible.
Project Long Stairs was born.
Efforts to map the Dungeon proved difficult (and extraordinarily dangerous) for
the Marine and Special Forces survey teams sent down. The place seemed to
change, slowly but inexorably, and entirely unpredictably. Maps become useless,
food goes rancid.
The dangers from the cruel and arbitrary traps (and the constant minefield stress
they engender) is bad, but the inhabitants of the Dungeon are worse. Theres no
other word but monsters. Alright, there IS another word Xenofauna but
nobody uses that except in reports.
The Americans poured money and men into Long Stairs, extracting from it
miracles. Impossible devices. Unique wonders. After JFKs assassination, every
US president wore a talisman which renders him immune to gunfire. Reagans
near-assassination was the result of its removal at the behest of Jerry Falwell
who declared it to be ungodly. Reagans tendency to let slip information about
Long Stairs was a constant aggravation for the projects controllers, but the
president loved the project and pushed his allies in Congress to fund its cover
programs massively through is two terms. His fear of what the Russians might do
if they had access to the Dungeon drove him.
Eventually the Cold War ended and Long Stairs was one of the first projects to
receive cutbacks. Despite the few talismans and advances in science derived
from the project, the costs and causalities made it too expensive to fully fund
during peacetime. Manned expeditions were halted in favor of unmanned drones
and round the clock monitoring by automated systems. As a result, progress was
reduced to a snails crawl.
Several years ago, the government gave a private military contractor and a
private think tank access to Long Stairs in hope that they might pick up the pace.
The corporations would assume the risk of exploring the dimension in exchange
for reaping the benefits of whatever technologies could be gained. Highly paid
mercenaries and ethically challenged scientists made several highly successful
expeditions down the Long Stairs.
Unlike the soldiers who had distrusted everything in the dimension, the
corporate teams had no qualms about exploiting the talismans they found for
their own immediate gain. They used them to better explore the Long Stairs,
while the military had carefully preserved each talisman so it could be studied
back at Area 51. Their talisman usage gave them an edge in conquering the
Underworld, or so they thought. Instead, using the talismans in the Underworld
corrupted them and soon they began to love the Long Stairs more than they
loved Earth.

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The modern Cult of the Underworld began in earnest when one of the corporate
scientists translated an ancient Sumerian tablet found in the Long Stairs using
a talisman of knowledge to speed up the process. The translation opened the
scientists mind to the Ur-Monsters thoughts, driving him mad in the process.
The gestalt link between human and monster spread to every member of the
corporate expedition in a matter of minutes. They became the first members of
the new Cult of the Underworld. The Cultists decided to take over Area 51 as
soon as they returned to Earth in order to summon the Ur-Monster. However,
they did not know of the militarys secret security protocols. The soldiers tending
the gate activated the protocols after the corporate team showed signs of

corruption. After a brief but intense battle in the gate room, the Cultists were all
killed or captured. No one noticed a slight black mist leave the gate during the
crisis.
A review of the event led the government to decide to permanently close
the gate. The risks were simply too great and the existing talismans would
take decades for researchers to analyze. Unfortunately, the government also
concluded that no xenofauna had escaped during the crisis.
The black mist was the essence of the Cults true leader, the Traveler. The
Cultists were merely pawns to cover its escape. He now knew the layout of Area
51 and its defenses. He would returnbut only to conquer it.
But the Traveler does not know of the last resort defense of Project Long Stairs.
A five megaton nuclear device is armed approximately 100 feet below the gate.
The President can activate the device if he believes that Area 51 has been
overrun by xenofauna from the gate and there is no chance of recovering it.

Area 51 Right Now


By the time the characters arrive on the scene, the Cult has nearly taken over
the entire facility. Only scattered groups of soldiers and scientists still fight the
invaders. Above ground the entire base is covered in a massive cloud of fog.

Crossing the Threshold


As the party approaches Area 51, they see a massive fog bank encompassing
the entire base. This can be seen from miles around. The outer fences have been
torn down as well. The characters realize that they must enter the fog in order to
continue. Visibility becomes a mere 20 feet at best in the fog, so the characters
must proceed with caution. Monsters with perceptive powers find they still work
here.

Getting Around Area 51


Sound is somewhat muffled by the fog, but it still carries much further than
vision. Therefore, the characters must remain quiet as they explore the
abandoned or they will be attacked. Panicked soldiers can spray them with
machine gun fire and Cult goon squads are everywhere, not to mention the
monsters lurking in the darkness. Characters must take care or they will attract
unwanted attention. In general, a single successful FEET + P.E.. check or a
monster with a stealth power will be sufficient to move around without being
detected. All characters moving as a group must make a check or use a stealth
power but only one check is necessary.

Area 51 Random Encounters


Panicked soldier.

A lone soldier has holed up and fires at anything that


moves or makes a sound. His aim is poor so he wont hit anyone but characters
have to make an opposed GUTS + COURAGE versus a 5 dice pool or they will
take shock damage to their Guts score.

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Cult goon squad.

A goon squad on a search and capture mission. They


attack relentlessly and if the characters do not defeat them in 3 rounds or less,
they will call for backup.

Underworld bleedthrough.

The dimensional boundaries between


Earth and the Underworld are weakening and as a result, parts of it are
manifesting throughout Area 51. For example, characters might find a building
transformed into a stone maze or a car turned into a fountain made of human
skulls. The manifestations are scary and require a GUTS + COURAGE check to go
through them. Other than that, nothing else happens.

Mad scientist.

One of the Long Stairs researchers has lost his mind and
scribbles arcane formulae on the walls in ancient Sumerian. The scientist will
leave the group alone, but if disturbed, he rants about the end of the world to
the person who disturbs him. This requires a BRAINS + OUT-THINK check or the
character will be confused and dazed from trying to process the rant.

General Walker.

The general has a bottle of whiskey, a .45 and an


attitude. Hell join anyone trying to fight the Cultists and will be impressed by
the partys prowess. In fact, he tries to persuade them to join the military after
this is all over. Theres junior ROTC, you know

Dr. Church

Sooner or later, the group should encounter Dr. Tom Church, the last sane Long
Stairs researcher not captured by the Cult. He is accompanied by Linda Wood, a
junior researcher and Private Martin Riggs, the last member of a squad assigned
to protect and evacuate Dr. Church. They are trying to outrun a Cult goon squad
bent on capturing them.
As soon as Dr. Church sees one of the characters, he begs for their help. The
characters can either try to hide them from the Cult or fight off the Goon Squad.
If the characters do nothing, the Cult squad will drag off the trio and call for
reinforcements to deal with the intruders.
Dr. Church has worked on Project Long Stairs for decades and has still retained
his sanity, a rarity among the researchers. In fact, he has refused promotions
in order to continue his work. He is not obsessed but sees the gate as the only
scientific problem worth studying in the entire world. Once the Cult squad is
dealt with, Dr. Church demands to know who the characters are and why they
are at Area 51. Assuming the characters explain the truth to him, Dr. Church will
decide to help them out.
He has long suspected that xenofauna has roamed the world due to temporary
dimensional gates so he will not be surprised by the presence of monsters in
the group. Once he learns that they are friends, he will be fascinated and start
speculating about a psychic bond between kids and their monster friends.
Characters will have to remind him about the current crisis in order to get him
back on topic.

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Dr. Church offers to lead them to the gate room and explains the basics behind
Project Long Stairs. As long as at least one of the trio survives, the group will be
able to navigate Area 51 with reasonable speed.
The first stop to the Long Stairs is the Ice Cave.

The Ice Cave


The Ice Cave is a general-purpose, high-security, above-ground storage facility
for all Fortean and unexplainable objects the government has collected over the
years. Everything from proof that superhumans fought in the Civil War on both
sides, the magic bullet that killed JFK, to UFOs and unicorn horns.
To the group, the Ice Cave looks like an endless bank vault, with thousands of
secure containers built into the walls, labeled by number and barcode only, with
an occasional separate vault to store larger objects. Many of the containers
have been pulled out of the walls, yanked out or knocked down by a being with
tremendous strength. There are a few researchers and soldiers on the floor here
and there knocked out. Glimpses of the fantastic such as a human/Deep One
hybrid in stasis, centaur skeletons and parts of a robot labeled future assassin of
President Gaga 2024 can be seen through these knocked out doors.
The Traveler ordered Dagon to find the talismans but Dagon took the Red Terror
and decided to loot the Ice Cave for himself. Hes looking for Old Blessed, a Civil
War saber imbued with the ghosts of a slaughtered regiment of Confederate
soldiers. He wants to use it to kill the Traveler and take over the Cult himself. He
also has a few Cultists watching over the entrances to warn him of any threats.
Theyre dressed as soldiers and are playing dead. They warn Dagon through a
message spell prepared by Dagon.
If the characters simply march through the Ice Cave, they will not see Dagon.
The sorcerer simply hides and waits for them to leave. If the characters want to
explore the Ice Cave, they have a chance of spotting Dagon. Roll an opposed
BRAINS + NOTICE check versus Dagons Invisibility spell (7d, Awesome x1).
Greatest height wins. Once detected, Dagon tries to negotiate with the party. He
knows hell lose, even with the Red Terrors help.
Dagon offers to stop the ritual and get rid of the Traveler in exchange for
protection from the wrath of the characters. Dagon explains that the Cult is a
great way to get rich and meet women but he is tired of risking his life and doing
what the Traveler wants. Old Blessed is a weapon that can destroy the Traveler
and its in the Ice Cave somewhere. Dagon does not want the characters to help
search for it though. He just wants to be left alone. Finding the sword is nearly
impossible as it would take days to comb through the entire archive and there
isnt time. Only Dagon has a clue about its potential location and he wont share
the information.

Old Ble ss e d
A Confederate cavalry saber, cold
to the touch no matter what the
ambient temperature. A powerful
magical artifact used by the US
government to kill supernatural
creatures. Seldom used but quite
potent. Anyone who picks the
blade up and uses it to attack a
monster or other supernatural
creature makes a 10d Gnarly
x5 Scarring attack against the
creature. It is just an ordinary
sword against humans and other
real creatures.

If the players fight Dagon, hell order the Red Terror to delay them and then use
a teleport spell to flee the country. He will be out of the campaign at that point.
However, if Dagon does not flee, he will play a part in the final confrontation.

Descending the Long Stairs

The Project Long Stairs facility is only accessible through one of two entrances in
the Ice Cave: an elevator and emergency stairwell. The elevator down has been
disabled leaving only the emergency stairwell, which Dr. Churchs team knows
about.
It takes a while to get to the bottom level of the base and distant rumbles of
dimensional barriers weakening and echoes of strange chanting can be heard,
even from this distance.

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Ground Floor of
the Apocalypse
At the bottom level, the Cult is at its strongest. The characters see dozens of
Cultists and strange monsters milling about bleak metal corridors and rooms.
The majority of Cultists and monsters loyal to the Cult wait here in anticipation
of the Ur-Monster arrival.

]
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As they are all focused on the gate room and many are lost in prayer, characters
find it relatively easy to move around. In fact most of them will think the
characters are also members of the Cult. Even Dr. Churchs team will be left
alone as long as no one draws attention to them. Characters can easily steal
some Cultist robes from some of the mooks who fell in battle.

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Drawing the Attention


of the Cult

The following actions will draw the attention of the Cultists and blow the partys
cover. Cultists will attack the characters and attempt to alert others about the
security breach.
A
ttempting to gain entry into the gate room. Burly Cultists and monsters
guard the doors and will not let anyone they do not recognize to pass.
F ighting or arguing out loud, even amongst themselves. All the rank and file
Cultists are of one mind and do not argue with each other.
H
acking or repairing any of the systems without a good cover story. Cultists
are deeply suspicious of anyone who seems to know how the machinery
of Project Long Stairs works. A character must make a height 7 WITS +
CONNIVE check to convince them otherwise.

Learning About the Ritual


Characters should realize that a frontal assault would be impossible. Hundreds
of Cultists mill about and their sheer weight of numbers will either overpower
or delay the characters long enough for the Traveler to finish the ritual. Instead,
they need to stop the ritual but they wont know how, at least at first. The
party needs to gather information and quickly. The following information can be
learned.
T he Traveler needs total concentration in order to perform the ritual correctly.
Any distraction may cause the ritual to fail. Of course the only way to distract
him is to get inside the gate room, which is the most heavily guarded room in
the entire base.
T he Cultists are looking for three talismans of immense power which
are stored nearby. If a Cultist finds one, he must take it to the Traveler
immediately and will be granted access to the gate room.
W
hispers, the most powerful monster in the control of the Cult has sensed
enemy monsters nearby and is searching for them.
Each piece of information can be learned through any of the following methods
but characters must attempt each method to learn all three.
Hack the Surveillance Cameras. Dr. Church suggests that they go to the
surveillance room so he can check out whats going on. If the Cultists in the
room are dealt with, either by a quick and stealthy fight or a good cover story,
then he can access the cameras and sensors in the gate room. With them, he can
watch and listen to the ritual and overhear the Cultists guarding the room.
Eavesdrop on the Cultists. A FEET + P.E.. allows a character to sneak close
enough to some of the Cultists trying to plan their next move. They will discuss
the talismans, go over the Travelers orders and so on.

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Interview a Cultist. Particularly bold characters can attempt to impersonate a


Cultist and simply talk to one of them. Of course, no Cultist will believe a little
kid is really Cult member, but monsters with illusion powers or characters with
a clever idea (two kids hiding in an adult sized robe) might be able to pull it
off with a Height 8 or better WITS + CONNIVE check. Dr. Church and his team
refuse to even try though.

The Three Talismans


While Area 51 has thousands of items collected from the Long Stairs, most of the
talismans were shipped to other research facilities. Only three were deemed too
unstable or dangerous to move far from the gate. If any of the three talismans
become too dangerous, the protocol is to throw them back through the gate.
Each is stored in a high-security vault. See the map for locations.

The Idol.

An intricately designed idol of an unknown


god that levitates two feet off the ground, no matter how
much weight is placed upon it. While it has a general
shape and appearance (cylindrical, carved stone), no
sapient creature sees the Idol exactly the same. At
first, the design seems to be entirely abstract, with
bizarre non-Euclidian geometric shapes covering the
entire surface of the Idol. However, a character who
makes a successful BRAINS + Notice check discovers
a recognizable shape. The shape always reminds the
character of something personally important. If the
character continues to examine the idol, he will see
a series of pictographs that provides valuable and
reassuring advice.
For example, a character that misses a beloved pet
dog that went missing several months ago might see
a drawing of a dog. Moving in to examine the symbol
closer, the character sees more pictographs depicting a
dog lost in the woods until it finally comes to a house
with several distinguishing characteristics where an old
woman takes the dog in. If the character searches for
such a house, he will find it and the missing dog.
The danger of the Idol comes in its tendency to
reveal greater cosmic truths and invite worship of
it. Characters who learn anything of value from the
Idol want to study it more. Once the character has
learned three things from the Idol, he will view the
Idol as an instrument of divine power and will worship it accordingly. Even if
separated from the Idol, the character will pray to the Idol and may even start a
Cult if given a chance. The human mind cant resist the Idols call normally but a
monster with a mental ability such as telepathy can free an enslaved human by
beating the enslaved characters BRAINS + OUT-THINK check in Height.

The Blade.

A multi-headed bladed instrument not designed for human


hands. It can be awkwardly gripped with two hands, although this reduces any
attack rolls by one die made with the Blade. Using the blade to carve up foes
is like using a nuclear missile as a battering ram. The Blades true power comes
from tapping and focusing its unlimited energy at enemies.
A character who handles the Blade can guess how it works on a basic level with
a Height 8 or better BRAINS + OUT-THINK check. If successful, the character
can manifest energy beams from one of the Blades tips to any enemy in sight.
The character makes an attack roll using BRAINS + NOTICE; the attack is Gnarly
x5 and damages supernatural creatures. However, there is a downside to the
Blade. An amateur Blade wielder takes 1 damage to a random hit location every
time he makes an attack and there is no way of resisting this damage. Kids can
channel the damage to a monster friend but the monster wont like it.

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The Machine.

An unimaginably complex clockwork device made of bronze,


similar in appearance to the Antikythera Mechanism. Its gears endlessly click and
whirr, powered by an unknown energy source. It is triggered whenever a sapient
creature speaks or writes a question anywhere in the machines presence. The
machines gears begin to speed up and within 213 seconds, it will answer the
question with absolute accuracy. At least thats what the researchers think. The
machine communicates answers in a nearly incomprehensible mathematical
language that appears on any blank surface in sight of the machine. Researchers
have spent years trying to learn the language and several advances in cutting
edge military science came from the Machine. Unfortunately, those who spend
too long with the Machine go mad. They speak only in an alien tongue and lose
the ability to understand any known languages. The Machine gradually replaces
all languages with its own and once a human learns that language, they are lost
forever.
In game terms, a kid with a monster can gain some insight by asking the
Machine a question. A BRAINS + OUT-THINK is needed to learn something from
the alien markings. If successful, the character gains valuable insight into the
question.

Getting the Talismans

The group needs to get at least one talisman in order to be allowed into the gate
room, if not to stop the ritual altogether. Whispers tore down the blast doors
blocking access to each talisman but the Cultists have been unable to gather any
of them because of the talismans themselves. Dr. Church can lead the characters
to the talismans. As long as the characters dont draw attention to themselves,
they can get to the vaults easily.

The Idol.

The Cultists immediately began worshipping the idol as they are


highly susceptible to its power. When the characters enter its holding chamber,
they see a half dozen Cultists prostrating themselves before it and praying in
tongues.

The Blade.

For some unknown reason, the Blade does not like the Cult of
the Underworld. Any attempt by a Cultist or monster working for the Cult to
handle the Blade results in the Blade blasting them with energy. The characters
can freely pick up the Blade, but the Cult goon squad currently trying to figure
out how to bring the Blade back are going to want to know what the characters
are doing that is so different. A Height 9 or better WITS + CONNIVE check is
needed to bluff their way past the Cultists or the characters have to fight the
goon squad.

The Machine.

Two Cultists have been driven mad by the machine and have
jammed the inner door shut to prevent anyone from getting to it. Whispers could
destroy the door but hasnt learned about the delay yet. Any monster with a
strong attack can knock the door down.

]
152

Whispers Appears
The Cult enforcer, Whispers, lurks somewhere near the gate room, watching. He
knows that the Cults enemies are near but has trouble distinguishing humans
from one another and cant detect monsters easily. However, once the characters
get one of the talismans, he will watch them closely. Characters must beat his
Shadow Lurker ability (8d, Awesome x2) with a BRAINS + NOTICE check in order
to detect his presence as the sound of whispering emanate from the shadows.
Once the party detects him or after Whispers observes them for several rounds,
he will demand to know if they are faithful members of the Cult. To the group, it
will sound like a chorus of phantom voices whispering to them from all angles.
Characters cannot convince Whispers that they are faithful Cult members but
they can delay him from acting for a number of rounds equal to the width of a
WITS + CONNIVE check, which might give them a chance to think of plan. No
matter what, Whispers will realize that they are not members of the Cult of the
Underworld and thus must be enemies of the Cult.
Whispers can be defeated in one of two ways: a straight up fight or by cleansing
his soul. The first option is rather straight forward but keep in mind that
Whispers is a powerful monster who is much stronger than the average monster.
However, characters who study Whispers and in particular listen to the constant
whispering that surrounds him can figure out that he is a tortured creature
haunted by his past deeds through a successful BRAINS + NOTICE check. A
character can confront Whispers on this issue with either a WITS + CHARM
or GUTS + COURAGE check. Whispers will pause and reveal that he once had
a child friend but the child died and it was his fault. Since then, he has hated
himself for not saving the child.
If the party offers to befriend it, Whispers will thank them. The new friends feel
a rush of dark emotions and turmoil flooding over them. Whispers is literally
dumping his psychic burden on them. At least one character has to sacrifice
a minimum of one point in an existing Relationship in order to bond with
Whispers. After this exchange, Whispers leaves, unable to face the Traveler but
promises that the party will be able to reach the gate room.

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153

Stopping the Ritual


After the party deals with Whispers and has gotten at least one of the talismans,
they can enter the gate room. Even if the Cultists are aware that the group is not
with them, they have orders to get the talismans inside and if Whispers couldnt
defeat the party, then they wont even try to get in their way.
The gate room is a chamber larger than an aircraft hangar with a massive
dimensional gate embedded in the far wall: the gate to the Underworld. If the
Cultists have access to Project Doppelganger, then the gate is open, showing a
metal staircase descending into the Underworld the Long Stairs. Otherwise, an
armored barrier covers the hole.
The Traveler sits in a lotus stance, surrounded by black candles, chanting in
ancient Sumerian. One of the Red Terrors brothers and a Cult Goon Squad are
present, and if the Sentai Rangers have been corrupted, then they are here as
well.
By the time the characters arrive, the ritual is nearly complete. The party only has
moments to stop the Traveler.

The Final Confrontation


In order to save the world from the Ur-Monster, the party must either stop the
ritual or keep the Ur-Monster from fully stepping in our reality. This can be
played out in a number of ways. This is the last major encounter of the campaign
and should be structured in a way that the players will most enjoy. As each
group has different preferences, the following choices should allow you to
customize the finale to best suit your group

Brawl!

For groups that love action and fighting, the finale can be an extended battle
between the Cult and the player characters. Feel free to modify the existing
fighters on both sides, referring back to every chapter the characters have been
through. In general, NPCs the players have befriended or helped should show up
to help while enemies will jump in to fight the players. If the players have done
pretty well, then they should have an even fight while if the players have been
jerks, then it will be tougher.
The goal is not to defeat every enemy though, but to disrupt the Travelers ritual.
In order to do this, the players must knock out at least of the enemies present
in order to create an opening so a single character can reach the Traveler. As a
rule of thumb, assume that one NPC ally will be knocked out every other round
while a NPC enemy will be knocked out every three rounds, not counting the
contribution of the players. The Cult goon squad counts as only one enemy.

]
154

Instead of rolling for a dozen or more attacks by the enemy NPCs, simply make
an attack roll against every PC monster every round to simulate the chaos of
battle. The strength of the attack is equal to 2 + the number of enemy NPCs and
every enemy past that adds either Awesome x1 or Gnarly x1. The width of the
roll is divided among all player characters evenly if possible.
If the characters reach the Traveler before they are all knocked out, the ritual is
stopped.

Allies and Enemies


Pastoral Manor:

General Blackbriar, members of the Revolution, nobles

of the Manor Army.

Sunny Vale: Zoltron and the Sentai Rangers.


Sucrose Park:

Robbie Drake, The Brain Trust, Coolrat, Project


Doppelganger robot duplicates, feral kids.

The Kingdom of Oz: Any friendly monstrous NPCs will gladly join in,
including the Wicked Witch, the flying monkeys and the Dauphin.

Eternal Glades:

Various megafauna and monsters.

Option: The Ur -Monster Interferes


A single tentacle or arm of the Ur-Monster might squeeze in and take a few
swipes at characters.
Locations 1-2: Giant Tentacle! 5d (Attacks, Area x5)
Locations 3-5: Eyeballs for No Good Reason! 10d (Attacks, Useful [locate

foes], Gnarly x3, Spray x1)


Locations 6-8: Ahhh! Why Are There Mouths There? 10d (Defends)
Locations 9-10: Tentacles with Eyeballs! 7d (Attack, Useful [detect danger],

Awesome x2, Spray x1)

Option: Dagon
If Dagon is not stopped in the Ice Cave, he shows up with Old Blessed and fights
on behalf of the characters, at least until the ritual is stopped. Then he banishes
the Traveler and orders the remaining enemies to destroy the players.

Option: Bigger Bads


Duke it out with the Ur-Monster! If you have the Bigger Bads source book, you
can add a true boss fight to complete the campaign. Regardless of the brawls
conclusion, The Ur-Monster is summoned and its enormous, a civilization-ending
threat that reaches past the skies, blotting out the sun and moon.
Fortunately, the monsters can temporarily increase their own size. This is only
now possible because the laws of physics and magic are unstable while the UrMonster is in our reality. How? A few possible reasons:
A
ll of their NPC friends theyve met lend their power to the player characters.
Each NPC can add 1 point of Bigness to a single monster.
T he Underworld increases the power of all monsters now that the gate is
wide open. A monster can gain 1 point of Bigness per round of exposure.
The Ur-Monster will use its mega-telekinesis to throw characters into another
state.
J ack Blackguard shows up and overpowers the Traveler then uses magic to
pump up the player characters. This will provide a flat 5 points of Bigness
each.

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155

T he talismans especially the Blade can channel 1 point of Bigness per


round of usage. This requires a Width 4 GUTS + COURAGE or BRAINS + OUTTHINK check activate.
Each postcard can be burned to increase a monsters Bigness by 1.
A
kid can loan out Relationships to increase a monsters size for every 2
points of Relationships used, the monster grows by 1 point. This damages the
relationship regardless of the final outcome of the fight due to the strain it
puts on everyone involved.
Any combination of the above possibilities.
A monster cannot grow more than one category of Bigness per round.
The Ur-Monster starts at Bigness 2 and gains one category of Bigness per round.
That means in 4 rounds, he will be at Bigness 5!
The Ur-Monster can take two actions per turn without having to sacrifice any
dice from either action In other words, each of its two actions is treated as a
single action no halving of the dice pool. If it makes 3 actions, it is treated as
making two actions for a normal character.

Big Bits and Prodigious Pieces


Locations 1-2: Hyper-Geometric Sigils in Non-Euclidian Space 10d (Defends,

Useful [mega-telekinesis], Awesome x2, Tough x2)


Locations 3-4: Ye Liveliest Awfulness 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x3, Spray x1, Wicked

Fast x2)
Locations 5-6: Thousand Eyes of Utter Darkness 10d (Attacks, Useful [see the

future], Area x3, Burn x1)


Locations 7-8: Fleshy Proto-Matter Talons 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful

[spawn proto-matter minion], Awesome x2, Tough x1)


Location 9-10: The Living Gate and Key 10d (Attacks, Useful [sorcery],

Awesome x2, Gnarly x2)


The Ur-Monster can use See the Future to know what the characters plan to do
that turn, thus allowing him to act in his best interest.
Sorcery is a Swiss Army Knife powerit can be used to do anything other than
Attack or Defend. He can heal himself with it, healing damage equal Width 1
to a given hit location.
Obviously the fighters are too big to stay contained in the gate room, so the UrMonsters entrance into Earth tears a massive hole in the space-time continuum.
The 150 feet of earth above the characters heads simply vanishes into the
Underworld. The Ur-Monster climbs out of the pit and begins to demolish Area
51. Fortunately the other monsters should be able to power up and fight the UrMonster in a cataclysmic, no-holds-barred brawl for the fate of the world!

]
156

Roleplay!

Less violent groups can try to convince the Traveler to stop.

The Jack Blackguard Connection.

The kids should realize that


there is some connection between Jack and the Traveler. The exact nature of the
connection varies; see Chapter 1. The characters can exploit this connection and
make the Traveler stop. If its role played well, no die rolls are needed.

The Postcards.

Each postcard is a powerful weapon against the Traveler.


A kid can channel emotions and memories through the card into the Traveler,
disrupting the ritual. This uses Relationships like ammunition, which drains
the kid. Each postcard can transfer 2 points of Relationships from a single kid
into the Traveler, and then it is used up. The player must describe a particular
memory or emotion tied to that postcard; if its a great description, then it
transfers an additional point at no additional cost to the player. Once all the
players have gone or all of the postcards have been used up, the group must
make a final plea to the Traveler, who is now struggling with himself. It comes
down to a single roll.
The base number of dice in the pool is equal to the number of Relationship
points transferred by the postcards to the Traveler. Each player can add an
additional die by roleplaying their final speech to the Traveler well, at the GMs
discretion. If the pool goes to 11 dice, then its rolled as 10d with Awesome x1;
at 12 dice its rolled as 10d with Awesome x2. Beyond that, you roll 10d with
Awesome x2 and increase the Width by 1 per extra die.

S u c c e s s Ta b l e
This is based on the width of roll.
............................................................
Width Effect

None

Absolute failure! The Ur-Monster is summoned and the apocalypse

begins!
2

Major failure. The Ur-Monster is summoned but the characters can

beat him by pushing him back through the Gate. This requires a giant
monster fight. See the Bigger Bads optional section for details.
Alternatively, a player character monster can sacrifice itself to push the
Ur-Monster back in and close the gate permanently. This means the
loss of that monster forever and should not be taken lightly.
3

Minor Failure. The Ur-Monster is partially summoned. The players

have to shove part of the Ur-Monster back through the gate. See the
Brawl! section for details on fighting part of the Ur-Monster.
4

Minor victory. The summoning ritual fails! The Traveler is fine, though

and swears revenge before disappearing with a teleport spell. Then the
nuclear warhead below the gate starts counting down. The characters
have to jump into the Underworld or run fast to get out before it
detonates!
5

Major victory. The ritual fails and the Traveler is banished into the

Underworld. The nuclear warhead activates but the characters have


more than enough time to get outif they run fast!
6+

Absolute victory! The ritual fails, the Traveler is banished and the

warhead doesnt even activate!


............................................................

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Resolution and Aftermath


What happens now? That depends on how well the characters did and should be
customized for your campaign. This is a great opportunity to incorporate a new
theme or motif into your game. Some options are presented below.

Great Job, Gang!

Everything goes back to normal. The characters get


out of Area 51 without being detained by the military and head back to their
normal lives. Perhaps theres a bit of summer time left, so they visit some of the
friends theyve made over the last few months. Hit the beach with the Sentai
Rangers in California or enjoy camping at Pastoral Manor with Blackbriar the
rabbit. Or perhaps not. School is just around the corner and the kids have to
start thinking about how they will explain what they did this summer

The Few, the Proud, the Monstrous.

The military hails the party


as heroes and inducts them into a special military school to best use their special
talents. Think X-Men and Enders Game. Their lives are forever changed but
theyve already saved the world once. The futures looking bright indeed.

This Isnt Over!

The Cult of the Underworld swears revenge and soon the


kids uncover a new plot that threatens the world. They may have to leave their
old lives behind and take up crime fighting as a full-time job.

Theres a Larger World Out There Than You Imagine.

The kids find out that superhumans and wondrous beings walk the world and
have taken notice of them. Perhaps the entire world is awakened to the fact
that monsters and magic are real, and who knows how they will change that
everything. The characters might become international celebritiesor fugitives.

The End of the World. If the kids fail to stop the ritual, The Ur-

Monster tears the worlds civilizations down. Only ruins and pockets of survivors
remain. Monsters roam the land. Perhaps the characters embark on a quest for
revenge, or help rebuild society, or just try to get by.

Important Characters
Dr. Church

A true believer in Project Long Stairs, Dr. Church has seen the improbable and
done the impossible, risking life, limb and sanity to protect America from all
threats foreign, domestic and supernatural. A tall gaunt man with graying hair in
a lab coat who chain smokes and drinks nothing but coffee and whiskey.

Stats and Sk ills

]
158

Feet 2 (P.E. +1, Kicking +1, Dodge +1)


Guts 4 (Wind +1, Courage +4, Wrestling +1)
Hands 4 (Shop +5, Punching +1, Blocking +1)
Brains 5 (Out-Think +5, Remember +5, Notice +5)
Face 3 (Charm +3, Putdown +3, Connive +2)

Relationships
Science! 2, His Pet Cat Einstein 3

Other Scientists

Assorted techies, geeks and nerds given unlimited funding and esoteric alien
technology to reverse-engineer. As a result, they are as unstable as the Long
Stairs artifacts they experiment on. Still they can be valuable in a tough situation.
Treat as a threat.
Threat 4d: Awesome x2.

Cultist Goon Squad

Robed abhuman freaks toting ritual daggers and machine guns.


Threat 7d: Area x3

The Traveler

His true form is a pure black silhouette of a child, composed of black pulsating
energy. Thin tendrils form and disappear around the edges. He is indestructible
in this form but if the ritual or the Ur-Monster is stopped, the Traveler dissipates,
perhaps destroyed forever or simply banished to the real world. Or perhaps Jack
and Basil the Minotaur wake up somewhere in the world, with no memory of
their past life. Who knows?

Whispers

An inhumanly fast monster, Whispers is heard long before


it is seen. As it approaches, soft whispers pick up, too
quiet to be distinguished. When the monster finally
arrives, it appears as a tall blur of motion. If it stood still,
Whispers would look like an impossibly thin crystalline
humanoid, with human eyes appearing deep in the
crystals reflection. It is a talented assassin and can cut
through steel as though it were paper.
Whispers is more powerful than a standard monster.
He has 2 extra points per hit location, gained from
gobbling up many other monsters in the past.
He can also split actions without sacrificing half his
dice. If he wants to split his actions, he uses the
smallest dice pool and takes a single -1d penalty and
rolls for each action.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Shadowy Aura 8d (Useful [shadowy

lurker], Awesome x2, Tough x2)


Locations 3-5: Crystalline Skin 8d (Defends ,

Awesome x2, Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 6-7: All-Seeing Crystal Eyes 7d (Useful [detect hidden things], Useful

[see in the dark], Useful [X-ray vision], Awesome x2)


Locations 8-10: Invisible Blades 9d (Attacks, Area x2, Gnarly x3 , Wicked Fast x2)

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Appendix A:
Underworld Tremors

The Underworld is not Hell, but it comes close. It is an endless maze, where
nightmarish creatures are spawned from nameless gods, where madmen and
immortal sorcerers craft weapons that destroy the soul and mind using the
alien science known as magic. It is infinite in size and portals from a thousand
and one parallel realities connect to it. Only the most depraved and inhuman
beings find their way to the Underworld. Until now. A Cult has found a way to
rouse the most powerful inhabitant, the Ur-Monster, so that it may feast upon
an innocent and unsuspecting world. But because of the Cults activities, the
Underworld is now leaking into the real world and vice versa. Those who come
into close contact with the Cult may find themselves temporarily pulled into the
Underworld. While this is incredibly dangerous, it can also provide insight into
defeating the Cult once and for all.
Once the group takes up the good fight against the cult, its possible they
may suffer through an Underworld Tremor if the GM wants to incorporate
these encounters into the campaign. The tremors can happen at any time but
usually happen during a calm period, a lull between the action. Its a sudden
dimensional shift into the Underworld. To the characters, it feels like an
earthquake although only theyre shaking. Everything blurs and goes black. A
sensation of falling for what seems to be ages. The character passes out for a
second and awakens on the cold stone floor of the Underworld.
The group cant leave the Underworld until they meet a certain precondition,
such as finding an exit portal or defeating a guardian monster but when they
return, they find that only a second or so has passed on Earth.

In the Underworld

The Underworld is an impossibility. Its too big, too old, too weird for the human
mind to fully comprehend. Some sections are wild caverns, with collapses and
flooding. Others seem to be the ruins of ancient and alien civilizations while the
most terrifying seem to be recent additionsperhaps the builders are close. It is
a hint of what may happen to Earth if the Ur-Monster is summoned.
Being in the Underworld is disorientating to all and has variable side effects to
all.

]
160

All kids suffer a -1d to all rolls for the first 10 minutes they are in the
Underworld. However, monsters do not suffer from this effect.
All player characters (kid and monster) must roll 1d and check the following
table to see what other side effects may occur. Roll each time the characters
venture into the Underworld. A character may suffer from different side effects
each time they visit.

............................................................
Roll

Underworld Effect

The character becomes physically ill something in the air isnt right.
The character takes 2 points of shock damage to a random hit location.

The character develops vertigo. -3d penalty to any skill checks involving
heights or depths.

Paranoia sets in. -2d penalty to checks involving Notice or perception


based Useful powers as the character jumps at the slightest shadow.

The characters skin starts to slough off. -1d to any rolls to block or
defend damage.

Enemies in the Underworld target the character first in the first round
of combat.

The characters shadow disappears. This is quite disconcerting. -2d


to any rolls that involve anyone else, as no one seems to trust the
character.

A sudden and overwhelming sense of dj vu floods the characters


mind. The character takes a -2d penalty to any rolls involving
concentration or deep thought but the character might have unusual
insights into the Underworld.

A piece of parchment is found on the characters person in the


characters own handwriting. It is a warning of a cryptic nature. The
character doesnt remember writing it.

The walls seem to be closing in. The character suffers a -1d penalty to
all rolls while in the Underworld.

10

The character suffers no ill effects.

............................................................

Five Underworld Tremors


The Lady and The Tiger:

The characters must solve logic puzzles in


order to escape the Underworld, typically by asking guards who either always lie
or always tell the truth or some similar nonsense. Ruthless or bored characters
can just kick down doors but that will probably lead to violence.

A Dungeon of Leaves: A maze that shifts in space and time as the

characters move through it. Passing through a door leads to the room you just
left. Getting out requires non-rational thought, intuition and a confrontation
with personal demons made real.

Descending:

A naturalistic cavern system. Traces of a previous expedition


are left behind. What happened to these spelunkers and whats that breathing
down my neck?

The Donjon of Darkness:

A group of people in vaguely medieval


clothing have made a section of the Underworld into a makeshift village. A
horde of monsters plan to destroy the settlement. The characters need to protect
the village either by fighting the monsters off themselves or training the villagers
to fight.

A Mirror Darkly:

A magical mirror spawns doppelgangers of the


characters. Each is a twisted parody of the original though. The characters can
either fight their other selves or defeat them in a contest of wills.

7
161

Appendix B:
Roadside Encounters

Before super highways, Americas roads were usually two lane highways that
had many small towns and attractions built right next to the road to attract
passing motorists. In order to draw their attention, business owners frequently
made outlandish landmarks such as statues of giant animals, teepees and Paul
Bunyan that could be seen from a distance. The attractions were even odder,
with caves, mystery spots, various worlds largest (or smallest) objects, and
alligator wrestlers, among others. This is a rich backdrop for setting up roadside
encounters.
A good roadside America themed encounter should focus on a particular site
that is subject to an unusual or supernatural challenge for the player characters.
The group pulls off from the highway to check the site out and gets entangled in
strange events. Before they can leave, they must overcome the challenge or face
some type of penalty or punishment.
If you want to learn more about the history of roadside America, I recommend
the work of John Margolies. Books like Fun Along the Road, Pump and
Circumstance, The End of the Road, See the USA and Roadside America illustrate
and describe the gas stations, motels and attractions vividly and accurately.

Mundane Encounters

Not every obstacle has to be the result of an evil monster or malevolent sorcerer.
Cars run out of gas and break down. Drivers get lost or get stuck in traffic. The
cops pull over the innocent just for the hell of it. And so on. Dealing with the
same hassles that drive normal vacationers mad with rage turns into an exercise
of self control and discretion when you have an 8 foot friend that can bench
press a Buick.

Fi v e E n c o u n t e r I d e a s

Flat. The car has blown a tire and the group is late to the next adventure.
Do the characters use monster powers to speed up repairs at the risk of
alerting the adults?

]
162

Lost.

Cabin Fever.

A detour isnt panning out as progressed. In fact, the group is lost


but the driver refuses to go back. How do you get the driver to relinquish the
wheel or change his mind? Where are you?
Terminal boredom is setting in and someone is about
to snap. Maybe its a monster. Or a kid. Or even one of the supposedly
level-headed adults. Better distract everyone and lighten the mood before
relationships start taking damage from the putdowns and bickering.

What About...?

Ah! Deer In the Road!

The great existential dilemma: where do we eat?


Picking the right place without angering at least one member in the group is
much harder than it may seem at first.

Roadside Oddities

Popular culture has created its own mythology and no mythology is complete
without its own magic. A statue of Paul Bunyan comes to life once every decade,
under the command of the old man who keeps it company the rest of the year.
The mystery spot by the interstate lets you fly like a bird for an hour but only if
you know the magic word and it aint please. The cave run by the alcoholic old
lady is visited by the mole men and they will tell you secrets of the old world in
exchange for gifts of candy and photographs of sunshine. The book Weird U.S.:
Your Travel Guide to Americas Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark
Moran & Mark Sceurman offers dozens of real roadside oddities just waiting to
be turned into encounters.

Fi v e E n c o u n t e r I d e a s

The Mystery Spot. For five bucks you can see a place where the laws

of nature break down. Up is down. Black is white. Sure its probably all smoke
and mirrors but the man who runs the Spot claims anything can happen.
Thats gotta be worth checking out, right?

The Haunted House.

he Crazy Old Guy Who Spent Decades Making a


T
Giant Monument Out of Beer Bottles or Popsicle
Sticks. The old guy is supposed to have been inspired by a vision from

The cashier at the gas station mentioned that


theres a haunted house at the edge of this town. A Satanic cult sacrificed a
whole family in it and a serial killer later moved in. The cashier said that if you
spend the night there the ghosts will answer any question you ask themif
they dont kill you first.

God or the Devilbut the Devil was trapped in a labyrinth and theres a Cult
trying to free him. Anyway, the monument is supposed to contain clues about
the nature of the Underworld.

Ghost Lights.

Local Legendary Creature. Creatures like the Jersey Devil or

As the party drives through a lonely stretch of highway


after dark, a character spots strange lights in the distance. An ominous light.
Why is it following the group? Perhaps its a monster dispatched by the Cult
to stop the group or its a ghost trying to finish its earthly business.
Moth Man can be found throughout America. Its quite likely that the players
will get mixed up with one. Perhaps it is a territorial monster who attacks any
supernatural creature that trespasses or it has an even darker agenda.

Tourist Traps

The characters blunder into a trap set to catch passing motorists. The trappers
dont want to sell cheap souvenirs either. They might be mutated cannibals
looking for a new meal or hucksters trying to rob or con the adults out of their
hard earned money.

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Fi v e E n c o u n t e r I d e a s

Speed Trap from Hell. New Rome is a small town that makes all of

its money from speeding tickets. The cops are crooked and the judge is even
worse. To make matters worse, the adult driving the car gave the cop some
lip so the cars been impounded. The group needs to teach the adults of New
Rome a lesson if they want to get back on track

The Hills Have Optical Sensory Organs. Inbred mutant

cannibals puncture the groups car as they drive through a lonely stretch of
road. Too bad for them they dont know who theyre messing with.

Jurassic Mini Golf Park.

The Side Show. A traveling side show has set up in the parking lot

Mini golf among painted statues of


dinosaurs, cavemen and giant insects. Its kind of fun but the more time you
spend in the park, the more you think the statues are watching you. And the
rowdy teens seem to obsessed with hole 13. Seems theres a secret to getting
a hole in one there and if you can figure out, you get a special prize. No one
knows what the prize is or how you can get a ball around the myriad dinosaur
legs and rocks in one shot but who knows?
of an abandoned grocery store. Theres a giant alligator, bearded woman,
midgets, fire breathers and all kinds of oddities. Perhaps these freaks know a
little about the cult of the Underworld?

The Enigma.

The billboards just read SEE THE ENIGMA, WHAT


IS THE ENGIMA? and DARE YOU CONFRONT THE ENIGMA? without
describing anything about what it is, just where it is. Next exit it turns out.
Curiosity killed the cat, so you just have to see it. Could be a crashed UFO,
ancient mummies from Atlantis, Excalibur, Hitlers skull or just a really weird
looking rock.

Urban Legends

Theyre all true. The man with the hook hand looking for bloody revenge. The
ghost girl who wants to hitch a ride home. The woman with a real beehive in her
beehive hairdo. Elvis is still alive. UFOs mutilate cattle and kidnap rednecks to
perform horrible experiments in their unmentionables. And as luck would have it,
your characters are the kind of people who would run into them on a lonely road
some dark summer night.

Fi v e E n c o u n t e r I d e a s

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Ghost Rider.

They Stole Your What?

Gators.

Bad Hair Eternity.

A hitchhiker the adults inexplicably decide to give a ride


turns out to be a ghost. Big surprise. Too bad the ghost is insecure and really
bummed that it cant scare the player characters (after all each PC has a scary
monster as a friend). The ghost needs to be cheered up before it will leave.
An adult in the group got his or her
organs stolen and has woken up in a bathtub full of ice. Again.
Sewer alligators are coming up through the motels toilets. The
whole motel is lousy with them and the party has to get out now!
When the PCs stop to eat at a fast food place, a
woman with an enormous beehive hairdo is already there, chowing down.
Shortly after the characters sit down to eat, her do explodes, flinging spiders
everywhere!

Many Years Ago, On a Road Just Like This...

When the
PCs make a pit stop, they find a hook dangling from one of the cars doors.
Uh oh.

A Note on Adults in
Roadside Encounters

Parental figures, teachers, chaperones and other adults are much more likely to
be a factor in roadside encounters than the main adventures. After all, in the
main adventure, characters will have ample time and space to figure out how to
deal with the adults and most importantly characters are aware of what theyre
going into but most roadside encounters are unplanned. The players wont be
aware of the situation until theyre already in the mix. So when running these
encounters, use the following guidelines to help you keep the campaign on track:

Get Them Out Of Here! The player characters should first try to get

the adults out of harms way. This is easy if the group has a monster with a super
speed or teleportation power handy. The adults will be confused and dazed
but they wont have to worry about getting squished by a ten foot Paul Bunyan
statue brought to life by dark magic. Many adults are unable to deal with the
supernatural and become easily manipulated when they are overwhelmed. A
charming kid can lead them away to safety.

The Power of Rationalization:

Adults can rationalize virtually


anything after the fact, if theyre given a cover story that they would want to
believe. After seeing a bunch of monsters fight in front of their eyes, the adult
wants to believe anything other than the truth. A player character who gives
the adults a good cover story can get them to suppress their memories of the
craziness.

Dealing With The Consequences:

This is all good and fine for the


first or second time the adults encounter the supernatural, but if the players keep
getting them involved, then they will either begin to learn the truth about the
kids. The kid will either have to come clean or find out that their relationships
suffer. Even if the kid doesnt have a relationship with that adult, someone will
take the brunt of the adults growing neurosis.
Once a player character has let an adult associated with him see the
supernatural three times, the player must either pick a Relationship to take
damage or tell the adult the truth. The consequences of telling the truth to the
adult will vary, but the adult will believe the kid due to whats been seen.

Mini-Adventures

Finally, if you dont want to come up with your own encounters, well provide a
couple of mini-adventures to shake things up in your campaign. Each one should
last one session or two at the most.

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Appendix C:
Mr. Keens Muse

This is a roadside mini-adventure.


Mr. Keen was a failed artist until he enslaved a muse: Margret the robo-rainbow
unicorn. Now his black velvet paintings of large eyed children, cowboys, Elvis,
wild animals and Native Americans are so vivid they have actually come to life
and taken over a stretch of the road. Under Mr. Keens control, the paintings
waylay passing cars so he can hock his art and if no one buys, then he has the
wide-eyed children actually steal from them. Hes made quite a bit of money,
but hes become an unbearable narcissist who believes in his own hype. Mr.
Keen even has a captive audience to praise him on nonstop basis. Further, he is
paranoid about losing Margret and is convinced that someone is trying to steal
the unicorn away from him. The party will have to deal with Mr. Keen one way or
the other if they want to escape his animated paintings.
This encounter can last from one scene to an entire session, depending on how
curious the characters about Mr. Keen. If you want this to be a brief encounter,
do not bring up Margret and just emphasize the challenge of escaping Mr. Keens
clutches in the first scene

Scene 1: The Art Show


As the characters drive to their next destination, they begin to see a series of
signs advertising an art show. At first its rather innocuous, with simple hand
painted signs reading ART SHOW! 3 EXITS, but as they get closer they begin
to see more elaborate signs that read SEE GREAT ART AND BUYT IT! CHEAP!
2 EXITS with a wolf howling at the moon painted next to it. Finally, as they
get at the exit, they see the highway ahead has been torn up and a sign reading
DETOUR THIS EXIT forcing the characters to take the exit.
If the group wants to see the art show, then skip the next part and proceed
to New Idyll. Alternatively, you can hint that something is wrong in New Idyll.
Perhaps a monster power detects the supernatural afoot or they receive a
warning from a friend about the town.

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If the group votes to pass the art show and you still want to run the encounter,
then have Mr. Keens forces intercept the group. Shortly after the group takes
the exit, a small waifish child with very large eyes will dash in front of the car,
causing the driver to swerve out of the way and into a ditch. Since none of the
characters should be driving, theres no real chance to avoid this. The damage
to the groups vehicle is minor, and luckily the town of New Idyll offers a repair
shop with tow truck that can repair their car and it just happens to be within
walking distance of the crash. Oddly, the waifish child is nowhere to be seen

Enter New Idyll

Sadly, New Idyll is a one gas station town. It is literally made up of a half
dozen buildings clustered around a four way intersection that leads back to
the highway. The gas station FILLER ER UP has a small garage and a diner
attached to it. The art show takes up a large part of the stations parking lot. A
guy named Earl runs the gas station. Leroy runs the garage. Selma is the waitress
at the diner and Stan is the cook.
Aside from the gas station, theres no sign of activity. The other buildings are
in bad repair or outright abandoned. The only people are in the gas station or
looking at the art show.
The art show has a variety of items on exhibit hanging from free standing
displays, all of which are for sale. A sullen man in a cowboy hat named Rooster
watches the show and handles the money. Three other people browse the show
and each seems very impressed by the art. The exhibits include:
Black velvet paintings of Elvis
B lack velvet paintings of Western scenes: Cowboys, Indians, desert
landscapes, cattle herds
Black velvet paintings of impossibly wide eyed children
Black velvet paintings of tigers and lions
Persian carpets of poor manufacture
A
t-shirt of three wolves howling at a moon, made of the finest
craftsmanship. It radiates power and coolness. It also seems to be a good fit
for any kid! Its quite expensive though and no kid will have enough money
to buy it outright. In order to buy it, a kid can beg a parent (if one is present)
for the money, requiring a FACE + CONNIVE check of Height 6 or better, but
this automatically causes 1 point of Shock damage to that Relationship. If
the kid doesnt have a Relationship with the parent, then begging them for
money wont work. Stealing the shirt takes a HANDS + SHOP check of Height
8 or better. Failure of this check or if the parent finds out later about the theft
causes 1 point of Scar damage to the Relationship.
All items are signed Keen and are priced pretty high. Unless the player
characters are rich, then they wont be able to afford any of the items.
The gas station offers a number of basic groceries as well as the standard
allotment of beef jerky and booze. The diners specialty is chicken fried steak and
even thats not too good.

Somethings Not Right

Even a cursory examination of New Idyll reveals that something unusual is going
on in here, to say the least. Characters can use any number of skills or monster
powers to dig up some information. Each check requires a Height 4 or better to
succeed unless otherwise noted.

Brains + Notice.

Everyone seems a bit off as though they are


hiding something. They show signs of being under stress: nervous tics and
constantly shifting eyes. If the group was waylaid by the waifish child, then
one of the paintings clearly resembles the child.

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Hands + Shop.

Face + Charm.

Face + Connive.

Face + Putdown.

Monster sensory powers. Rooster is not human. He isnt a

Each painting has an unusual reoccurring motif: A


chromed unicorn with a rainbow aura. It is quite small but exquisitely painted,
far better than any of the major subjects.
Talking to the people there reveals that no one wants
to say a single bad thing about the art displayed at the show, especially near
Rooster. Everyone is very positive about the art.
Under close questioning, Earl the gas station
attendant reveals that everyone wants to keep a Mr. Keen very happy no
matter what and that means praising his art. Earl doesnt want to cause any
trouble.
Rooster does not like critics and will ask them to be
respectful of the artist. He says this in an intimidating dont mess with me
manner. He seems to not understand basic social nuance though, as though
he wasnt really human.
monster either but he lacks a soul and is clearly supernatural. In fact all the
art radiates magical energy.

As the party looks around the art show, Rooster tries to size them up. Have the
character nearest Rooster or who interacted with him the most make an opposed
FACE + CONNIVE check versus Roosters 6d pool. If the player character
succeeds, he realizes that Rooster is up to something bad but Rooster wont be
aware that the player is onto him. If Rooster wins, he will be able to summon the
animated painting goons without alerting the characters.
Eventually, either Rooster will realize the player characters are trouble or the
characters will realize that something weird and unusual is going on. Let the
tension mount for a little bit before heading into the next scene or have it
explode into combat right away, whatever seems more dramatic.

Scene 2: Mr. Keen Has a Posse


This scene starts with Rooster making a call to Mr. Keen. In hushed tones,
Rooster explains that the group is trouble and needs to be dealt with. A FEET +
P.E. check of Width 3 is needed to get close enough to eavesdrop and a BRAINS
+ NOTICE check of Height 6 is required to actually hear the conversation. If a
character is successful, he will have about 3 minutes before Mr. Keens posse
shows up.
After the call, Rooster announces that the art show is closed and everyone needs
to leave immediately. The other patrons shuffle out dutifully. As the party tries to
leave, Rooster asks them what they thought of the art. Regardless of how they
answer, Rooster tells them they need to fess up. You aint getting out of here
until you do. He refuses to elaborate.
At this point, the characters should all be allowed a BRAINS + NOTICE check to
realize that Rooster isnt human. The skin color is a bit off and he isnt breathing.
If the check is Height 5 to 9, they realize he is some kind of magical creature and
a Height 10 check reveals he must be a black velvet painting brought to life!

]
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A short time after Rooster finishes the call, a classic 1956 Ford Thunderbird
convertible driven by a Native American medicine man pulls up. It is overflowing
with a tiger, waifish children, clowns and what appear to be poorly painted
celebrities brought to life.

The posse surrounds the characters and demands to know why theyre here.
Theyre convinced the players want to steal Margret away from Mr. Keen and
they wont take no for an answer. The party will either have to fight them or beat
them in a chase to get away!

Fight. A straightforward fight. Rooster and the Tiger (ridden by waifish

children) are treated as monsters, while the celebrities and clowns are treated
as Threats. If you want the fight to be easier, remove the Tiger. The posse
isnt used to fighting powerful foes so they will flee if Rooster or the Tiger is
defeated, or if both Threats are defeated.

Chase. Treat the posse as a Threat dice pool with 8d, Awesome x2. The

characters have to get a combined Width of 10 +1 for each member of the


party MORE than the posse in order to flee. Each character must get at least
2 Width from a FEET + P.E. to run. Have characters use BRAINS + OUT THINK
or FACE + CONNIVE to mislead the Posse, HANDS + SHOP to knock down
obstacles to slow the posse down, or any other skill if the player has a clever
use for it or substitute appropriate monster powers for skills checks. Only
Useful powers can be helpful.
Again, if you want the encounter to be short, dont mention Margret the unicorn.
Let the players defeat or run away from the posse and end the encounter there.
Otherwise, have the posse make several comments referring to Margret during
the action. Rooster will yell You cant take Margret from him!. The waifs will
sing We have the muse! You cant have her! Neeter neeter! and so on.
The Threats dissipate into gobs of paint when dispatched. Rooster and the Tiger
limp away to Mr. Keens cabin if they lose more than half of their hit locations.
Once the players defeat the posse, they can interrogate a waifish child or clown
to find out Margrets location. The child spills the beans, revealing that Mr. Keen
is afraid someone will steal his magical muse. This leads to the next scene.

Scene 3: Free Margret!


Once the Posse is out of the way and the characters decide to investigate
further, they can interview employees at the gas station. The other patrons have
fled in the chaos of the action. No roll is necessary, as the employees are eager
to talk or unwilling to piss of the freakish monsters that just beat up Mr. Keens
posse. All of them are adults who are used to the supernatural so they wont be
terrified or freaked out by monsters and as a result, they are all a bit off.

Earl the Gas Station Attendant.

Selma the Waitress. A happy and overfed woman in her forties who

A rail-thin model train


hobbyist who will not shut up about it and tries to interject it no matter what
the subject is. Earl is happy to explain that an artist named Mr. Keen runs
things around here with his weird posse. He mail orders lots of art supplies
and lives in a cabin nearby. Earl is happy to give directions.
loves the color yellow and everything associated with it. She knows that Mr.
Keen refers to a woman named Margret as her muse. Before he met her, he
couldnt sell a single painting but now that he is holding her captive, he can
create the most wonderful art and it even comes to life!

Leroy the Mechanic. Leroy divorced his wife last year and hasnt

gotten over it. She taught grade school so kids will cause him to tear up
and go into long speeches about his ex-wife (Lori). Leroy has seen dozens of
people who enter New Idyll and never leave. He guesses that Mr. Keen has
them hostage somewhere or had them killed. Either way, its getting to Leroy

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because hes running out of places to store their kids. The lot behind the gas
station is nearly filled to capacity with cars.

Stan the Cook. Stan refers to himself in the third person. Thems

magic pictures come to life. Stan seens it. That Keen feller he done got some
magic from that whatchacallit muse lady. He raising himself an army. Stan
knows. Stan knows it all.

The Cabin of Mr. Keen

Having learned whats going on and where Mr. Keen is laired, they will need to
come up with a plan to stop him. It would probably be a good idea to scout his
cabin out first.
The cabin is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac that used to be part of New Idyll,
but has long since been abandoned after the last residents died or moved away.
A few rotting houses line the street but a brand new wooden cabin stands apart.
Behind the cabin is a field of great pastoral splendor, a meandering creek, lush
grassy hills and several noble trees provide ample shade. A forest can be seen in
the distance behind the field. Its perfecttoo perfect.
A BRAINS + NOTICE check of Height 6 or better allows the player character to
realize that the coloring and lighting of the field and cabin are off and not even
physically possible. The cabin and trees are literally glowing with a soft suffuse
light. The cabin has five chimneys, all of which are issuing thin artistic trails of
smoke. And theres not a soul in sight. It reminds the character of the paintings
you can buy at special galleries at the mall.
A BRAINS + NOTICE check of Height 10 reveals that a single waifish child is
hidden in a concealed haystack nearby. The waif has a 6d pool to detect foes.
Anyone who wants to approach the cabin will have to beat her check in Height.
The waif can silently alert Mr. Keen by pulling a string that rings a bell in the
cabin. The bell is too small to be heard outside.
Characters that arent noticed by the waif can easily grab the child and tie her up
so she wont alert the others. No roll is required.

Inside the Cabin

It is easy to look in and see whats going on in the cabin, due to the large
number of windows Mr. Keen feverishly paints in the cabin while the rest of the
posse recuperates from their defeat. In the center of the cabin is a pentagram,
each point of which has a burning stick of incense. Trapped in the pentagram is a
brilliant robo-rainbow unicorn, Margret. The unicorn angrily tests the pentagram,
trying in vain to escape. A mystic barrier shocks her every time she tries it. She
remains defiant, unbroken but also fatigued. The colors of her rainbow aura are
dulled slightly, showing that Mr. Keens draining is slowly killing her. A vent is
positioned above each burning incense stick. Obviously the five chimneys on the
roof correspond to the vents.

]
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If the characters have approached the cabin without being detected, they can
eavesdrop on Mr. Keen berating the posse. He is not happy about the partys
success and is absolutely convinced they are here to steal Margret away. The
remaining posse members apologize about their defeat but Mr. Keen wont
have it. Everything bad is everyone elses fault and he will have to step up the
completion of his masterwork. He orders the posse to guard Margret or activate
Plan B if she is about to escape. After that, he picks up his paintbrush and gear
and steps into the painting!

If the characters were not stealthy and Mr. Keen is alerted, he will step into
the painting before the characters have a chance to react. The remaining posse
members will scramble to fight off the characters. Mr. Keen retouched their paint
so they are fully healed. Of course, if they werent able to fight off the party the
first time, they probably wont succeed a second time. So they will try to activate
Plan B to keep Margret trapped.

Freeing Margret

The Pentagram magically keeps Margret trapped and drains her of energy to
fuel Mr. Keens art. It is held together by the five incense sticks. If all five are
extinguished, the pentagram is broken and Margret is freed. But if someone
pours paint thinner over all five incense sticks, the magic will intensify the ritual
and transform the poor unicorn into a pewter statue. Mr. Keen would lose access
to Margrets creativity boosting power as a side effect, so its strictly a last
resort.
Characters that look into the cabin can make a BRAINS + OUT THINK check of
Height 5 or better to figure out that the incense sticks are crucial in powering
the ritual that traps the unicorn. A second BRAINS + OUT-THINK check of Height
5 will clue the character in that dousing the burning incense sticks will probably
dampen or stop the ritual altogether. Monsters with perceptive powers that
make a successful check can also figure this out.
Let the party figure out a way to stop the ritual and save Margret. Subtle groups
might try to simultaneously pour water down the five chimneys. This would
require a stealthy way to get on the roof of the cabin without alerting Mr. Keen.
Mr. Keen has a 7d pool to detect people on the roof. Groups that prefer brute
force might simply burst in through the door and start dousing incense sticks.
As soon as the party makes their presence known, one of the posse members,
a mob of angry clowns, pops out of a nearby painting to pour paint thinner
over the incense sticks. The party must act quickly to stop the clowns and save
Margret!
If Margret is freed, she will instantly convert the remaining posse members into
gobs of paint.

Angry Clown Threat

Hopefully the party manages to rescue the unicorn and force Mr. Keen to flee
into his painting.
Mr. Keen will flee at the first sign of danger and the posse will do everything in
their party to make sure he can escape, even sacrificing themselves to get him
into the painting, aside from the angry clowns, who will try to finish Plan B, no
matter what. In order to stop Mr. Keen from getting away, the characters must
sneak up on the cabin, stop him in the first round and defeat all of the remaining
posse and angry clowns without giving Mr. Keen a single round to escape, then
they will capture him.
If the party somehow manages to capture or trap Mr. Keen and still free Margret,
then the party has successfully navigated this adventure! See Rewards to see
what the party will receive. However, if the party captures Mr. Keen but allows
Margret to get turned into a pewter statue, they will have to continue on into
the painting to break Mr. Keens power forever. Continue on to the next scene.

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Scene 4: The Talented Mr. Keen


Assuming Mr. Keen escapes, the party will have to chase him into the painting
world. If Margret the Robo-Rainbow Unicorn Muse is freed, she will explain
that Mr. Keen plans to create a new kingdom where the unlucky people he has
captured will be forced to worship him as the greatest artist forever. It will slowly
spread across the rest of the world, destroying all art and things of good taste. If
Margret has been transformed into a pewter statue, the characters should realize
that they need Mr. Keen to turn her back into a real unicorn.
The painting-world looks like a bucolic nightmare of bright colors and glowing
buildings, a 19th century village of excessive cuteness and ornamentation. Once
the characters step through they will suffer a moment of disorientation. When
they recover, they will find that each of them is now also brightly painted! The
monsters have excessively large eyes and pink bows everywhere. The kids are
now attired in formal dresses or sweater vests. The horror.
The village is empty and silent, but Mr. Keen is easy to find. The village square
holds several dozen people with blank eyed stares, watching Mr. Keen paint an
unusual mural on the wall of city hall. It is unlike any of his previous works, a
brilliant abstract explosion of surreal colors and shapes. In fact, the more the
characters look at the painting, the more they realize that the colors are unlike
anything they have ever seen. They are beyond this world and a BRAINS +
NOTICE check of Height 7 or better shows that the color is leaking out of the
mural and into reality. Mr. Keen has summoned the Colour Out of Space. As soon
as Mr. Keen realizes the party is here, he will panic and run away, leaving the
Colour without a master to control it.
The characters have three challenges to deal with at once: Rescue the innocent
citizens, banish the Colour and stop Mr. Keen once and for all. If Margret has
been rescued, she will deal with Mr. Keen. Otherwise, the group must overcome
all three challenges. The party can split up to do more than one thing at once.

Rescue the People

Unfortunately the people are not trapped because of some hypnotic magic. They
are here because they genuinely love Mr. Keens art and are so enthralled by
it that it will take a strong shock to their systems to wake them up from their
trance. They are oblivious to the supernatural and monsters in this state. It only
takes a basic BRAINS + OUT-THINK check to figure this out but the characters
will have do some thinking of their own in order to come up with possible ideas
to shock a bunch of adults with poor taste.
Examples of things that will shock adults with poor taste:
Reciting popular rap music lyrics as loudly as possible, with break dancing
and beat boxing accompaniment.
Describing the latest M-rated video games goriest and most anti-social
sequences in graphic detail.
Re-enacting the latest TV talk show.

]
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Attempting dangerous stunts that children are expressly warned not to


imitate.
Read an accurate history of the United States, as opposed to what the
textbooks say.

Any of these actions will wake the adults up from the trance. Within moments of
waking up, they will be sucked out of the painting, as their rational minds will be
unable to comprehend where they are, forcing them out of the pocket dimension.

Banish the Colour Out of Space

The Colour is not a monster or conventional threat. It exists beyond such pitiful
distinctions. It is dangerous though, as it starts draining the life force out of
everything in the vicinity. If it isnt stopped soon, it will drain everything in this
pocket dimension and then will go to the real world looking for more prey.
Attacks and Useful powers do not affect the Colour. The characters have 10
minutes of game time before the innocent civilians are all drained and the Colour
moves on to them. So, how do the characters stop the Colour?
Fortunately Mr. Keen left his art supplies behind when he fled. The party just
saw the Colour created with the supplies so it stands to reason that they can be
used to fight it. Once the party realizes they can use the art supplies, the Colour
can be treated as a Threat but only actions involving the art supplies will reduce
the Colours pool. When it is reduced to 0d, it will be banished to the realm from
when it came. There are only enough supplies for three kids to paint at any given
time.
HANDS + SHOP is the most appropriate skill to use for actual painting. BRAINS
+ REMEMBER would be used to remember enough color theory to think of
possible colors that would hurt the Colour. BRAINS + OUT-THINK could be
used to think of geometric shapes that could trap the Colour, like an Escher
painting. FEET + P.E. could be used to maneuver around the expanding Colour.
All successes gobble the Colours successes. If the Colour wins a round, then
everyone in the area takes the successes as damage.
The Colour Out of Space is a Threat with 10d and Area x5.

Stop Mr. Keen

Once the Colour is banished, the party will be free to hunt down and stop Mr.
Keen. He is hiding in the village church, but the monsters might want to tear
down the entire village, as each building is quite flimsy. He is frantically trying to
draw a door that will let him escape. Too bad for him, hes almost entirely out of
magical mojo. He has a pool of 10d left to create a magical door to escape and
needs an accumulated 20 width to make the door. Mr. Keens pool goes down by
1 every other round. Begin keeping track of Mr. Keens escape 3 rounds after he
unleashes the Colour out of space.
The party needs to accumulate 15 Width to find him but monsters can contribute
their attack powers or their perceptive useful powers. If Mr. Keen manages to
escape, he will be impossible to follow, as the last of his magical energy ended
with the completion of the door. The characters have only moments before they
are ejected from the pocket dimension and find themselves in an empty and
ugly field near the gas station. If they do find him first, they can stop him from
finishing the door and can decide what to do with him. Mr. Keen begs for mercy
like the coward he is. If Margret has been turned into a statute, then she will
transform back once the party captures Mr. Keen.

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Rewards
Regardless of what happens, the party will find themselves back in New
Idyll. The recently rescued adults will want to turn Mr. Keen in for fraud and
kidnapping to the authorities so unless the party kills him, Mr. Keen will be
dragged away by the angry mob to face justice. The adults will not thank the
kids as they are already forgetting all the strange and supernatural things theyve
just witnessed. Instead, they head to the parking lot behind the gas station to
find their cars and get on with their lives.
Margret the Robo-Rainbow Unicorn will be forever grateful to the party for
rescuing her from Mr. Keens clutches. If you want her to become an ongoing
NPC in the campaign, let her form a Relationship with a kid, preferably an
artist one. She loves to encourage creativity in artists but she is mercurial and a
strong willed wanderer at heart but will always respond to a summons from a
dear friend. If you dont want Margret in your game, she can grant one or more
magical gifts to the party. The party also gains experience as normal.

The Three Wolves Howling at the Moon T-Shirt.

Permanently infused with magic, this t-shirt lets a kid reroll one skill check once
per session because of how cool and confident the kid is wearing the shirt. The
kid must wear the t-shirt all day for the magic to work and if he takes it off after
using its power, he must recharge it by wearing it for a full week before he can
use its power again. Since so many people are intimidated by the power of the
three wolves, the kid wearing it takes a -1 penalty to Charm and Connive skill
checks.

A Black Velvet Painting of a Native American


Medicine Man. This painting can talk and provide advice to the player

character. Once per adventure, the medicine man will answer a question posed
to it. Its more accurate than a magic 8-Ball, but the actual value of its advice
is left to the GMs discretion. It also has the annoying habit of talking about
annoying trivia about 1980s sitcoms.

A Black Velvet Painting of Waifish Children Riding a


Tiger. This painting can actually turn into fearsome tiger ridden by large eyed
waifish children. In game terms, it has identical stats to the one in Mr. Keens
Posse, but summoning it has a terrible price: Each round it fights in combat, it
damages one Relationship from a kid in the party. Perhaps the tiger sheds fur
over the kids nice clothes or a waif pickpockets the kids lunch money. It can
only be used once an adventure and it will disappear back into the painting
when no kid is willing to feed Relationships to it.

]
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Important Characters
Rooster

A grim cowboy, full of true grit, whisky and more true grit. He isnt even human.
A painted parody of a man. But dont tell him. Hes quick on the draw.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-3: Hands Full of Gun 10d (Attacks, Wicked Fast x5 )
Locations 4-5: Rawhide Boots 7d (Defends, Useful [summon horse], Awesome

x2 )
Locations 6-7: Manly Grit 5d (Attacks, Defends, Tough x4)
Locations 8-9: Lasso 8d (Useful [snare foes], Awesome x2)
Location 10: Cowboy Hat 5d (Useful [eye a fella])

Endless Stream of Clowns


A mean gang of clowns. Their seltzer bottles spray acid.
Threat 6d: Spray x1, Gnarly x1

Celebrities

Classic American celebrities popular with the older folk. Theyre back and theyre
pissed!
Threat 5d: Wicked Fast x1

Tiger Ridden by Waifish Children


Just as it sounds. A black velvet nightmare brought to life.

Bits and Pieces


Locations 1-2: Dread Grasp 7d (Defends, Useful [grasp foes], Awesome x2)
Locations 3-5: Fearful Symmetry 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x5)
Locations 6-7: Sinews of Thy Heart 10d (Defends)
Locations 8-9: Waifish Children 10d (Useful [paralyze foes with cuteness] )
Location 10: Dread Eye 3d (Useful [terrify], Awesome x2)

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Mr. Keen

Keens Magic Art skill is treated as a Useful power that can be used to achieve
any effect Mr. Keen can paint. Mr. Keen is treated as a monster for the purposes
of perceiving other monsters and resisting damage.
Feet 2 (P.E +1, Kicking +0, Dodge +4)
Guts 2 (Wind +2, Courage +1, Wrestling +2)
Hands 5 (Shop +5, Punching +1, Blocking +1 Magic Art+5)
Brains 4 (Out-Think +3, Remember +3, Notice +3)
Face 4 (Charm +4, Putdown +4, Connive +4)

Margret, the RoboRainbow Unicorn Muse

A cybernetic rainbow fueled unicorn muse. Beautiful beyond words, but


somewhat flighty and erratic.
Locations 1-2: Rainbow Mane 6d (Defends, Useful [summon rainbow bridge],

Awesome x2, Tough x1)


Location 3: Glitter 3d (Useful [glitterify everything!], Awesome x2)
Locations 4-5: Cyber Hooves 8d (Attacks, Gnarly x2)
Locations 6-7: The Power of Imagination! 5d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [inspire

art], Useful [summon inspirational music], Awesome x2)


Locations 8-9: The Beauty of Art! 7d (Useful [artistically interpret reality],

Awesome x2, Wicked Fast x1)


Location 10: Sparkly Laser Eyes 3d (Useful [critique art], Awesome x2)

]
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Appendix D:

The Road-Kill Necromancer


This is an Urban Legend mini-adventure.

Abner Hoag is the last in a long standing lineage of powerful necromancers.


He did have a large family but he killed them all so he could inherit the familys
library of occult grimoires. The unquiet spirits of his family rather predictably
arose to haunt the kin-slayer. Abners has raised an army of undead servants to
protect him but thats only been delaying the inevitable. He needs to trap the
spirits of his dead family so they can never hurt him. But he needs bait to set the
trap and the player characters are just right for that purpose
If you want to run this as a short encounter, simply run Scene 1 but allow the
characters to escape from the zombie siege or have Abner attack with the road
kill zombies so the players can knock him out in one extended encounter. If you
have Bigger Bads, you can have a massive brawl between the party, the huge
zombie road kill horde and Abner.

Scene 1: Night of the


Living Road Kill
This adventure begins when the party has checked into a motel for the night. Its
too far to get to the next chapter and the adults are too cheap to spring for a
fancy hotel. The party is stuck at a one story family motel with a small pool and
basic cable. Let the players figure out what theyll do to entertain themselves for
a bit. Its been a long day and the characters are tired. By the time the characters
have gotten to their rooms, the pool will already be closed and the adults will
want the kids to go to sleep soon.
Unbeknownst to the party, Abner is secretly directing a massive horde of road
kill animal zombies to force the characters into the dark forest behind the motel.
As a powerful necromancer, he detected the presence of the monsters in the
group and wants to use them as bait for a spirit trap. He needs them in the
dark forest in order to make his plan work so hes only made one gap in the
impossibly huge swarm of zombies. The horde is pretty slow and Abner is taking
great care to make sure they are fully surrounded before he lets anyone know
whats going on. Of course a few zombies are going to stray from the herd.
Just as they settle down, let all the kids make a BRAINS + NOTICE check. The
character who gets the highest Height hears a slight tapping at the door of
their room. No one can be seen through the peephole but the tapping gradually
begins to rise in volume. If they open the door, they will see a small box turtle
trying to push its way through the door. At first, it seems normal, but if anyone
tries to handle it, it becomes highly aggressive trying to bite anyone who comes

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near it. A successful BRAINS + NOTICE check reveals that the turtle is in terrible
shape bits of its shell are missing, its skin is sloughing off so it cant have that
kind of vigor, can it?
If the party ignores the tapping then they will eventually hear a car alarm go off
in the parking lot. A sparrow has crashed into a car windshield. It looks dead but
if a kid moves close to examine it, the bird comes to life with horrifying spasms,
twitching violently despite its broken wings and legs. This is treated as a 5d,
Attacks against every witnesss GUTS + COURAGE. If the PC fails to gain more
successes than the attack, his guts take the difference as Shock damage.
The adults brush this weirdness off easily enough and get back to watching TV. If
a character examines either animal, have them make a BRAINS + REMEMBER skill
check. A Height of 2 to 6 uncovers that the animal is dead and a Height 7 or better
check will let the character come to the only reasonable conclusion: zombies.
If the characters stray far from their room, they can find evidence of an
impending zombie road kill attack. Weird birds watch from nearby power lines.
The whiff of decay is carried by the breeze. Strange shuffling and squishing
sounds. They have minutes at best before the zombies will be upon them. Its
hard to say how many though. This is the quiet before the storm.

The Attack!

The road kill zombie horde hits all at once. Directed by Abners magic, a tidal
wave of undead animals surrounds the entire motel, except for a narrow opening
between the office building and the main motel that leads to the dark forest.
The sheer size of the horde is overwhelming, over 20 feet at its highest and the
zombie birds block out the moon. Abner has collected road kill for decades so he
has a virtually limitless war chest of corpse cannon fodder. Because of this, the
horde has been broken up into three monsters.

A Murder of Dead Crows


Locations 1-3: Foul Fowl 10d (Attacks, Area x3, Gnarly x2)
Locations 4-6: Birdemic 7d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [blind foes with feathers],

Awesome x2, Spray, Tough x2)


Locations 7-8: Carrion Feasters 8d (Attacks, Gnarly x2)
Locations 9-10: A Thousand Eagle Eyes 7d (Useful [spot prey], Awesome x2,

Tough x1)

A Legion of Flat Cats


Also squashed dogs, liquefied insects, rabbits, and other small vermin.
Locations 1-2: Squashed Cats 8d (Defends, Useful [move real fast], Tough x1)
Locations 3-4: Flattened Dogs 8d (Attacks, Gnarly x2)

]
178

Locations 5-7: Bug Goo 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [fit in small spaces],

Area x1, Tough x2)


Locations 8-9: Mangled Deer 7d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [trip foes], Tough x1)
Location 10: A Giant Eye Made Out of Hundreds of Squished Up Eyes 2d

(Useful [detect hidden enemies], Useful [disgust foes], Awesome x2)

Unholy Regeneration

Each monster regenerates 4 points of Shock damage or 2 points of Scar damage


per round as long as Abner remains conscious. As a result, the horde cant be
beaten through conventional fighting.

Option: Using Bigger Bads


If you have Bigger Bads, then use the following stats instead to represent the
entire horde. It can be fought normally but still retains its unholy regeneration
until Abner is knocked out.
Locations 1-2: Zombie Dogs 6d (Attacks, Area x1, Awesome x2, Gnarly x1)
Locations 3-4: Dive Bombing Dead Birds 8d (Defends, Useful [blind foes],

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 5-6: A Plague of Undead Bugs 10d (Attacks, Defends, Awesome x2,

Wicked Fast x3)


Locations 7-8: Zombie Cats 7d (Attacks, Area x1, Gnarly x1, Wicked Fast x1)
Locations 9-10: Rotting Sensory Organs and Mouths 6d (Useful [detect foes],

Useful [terrify foes], Awesome x2, Tough x1)


Bigness: 3

Escape - Or Is It?

The characters will be overwhelmed in the open courtyard of the motel. They can
fall back to their motel room or immediately escape to the dark forest. If they
choose to escape, go to Scene 2 but they will miss some important info.
Once in the motel room, they will find themselves under siege by the zombie
horde. The adults will panic and become completely useless for the most part.
The party needs to hold off the undead while they think of a plan to escape.
Monsters with perceptive powers learn that the zombies are fueled by an
external power source. The party must cut off the power source to stop the
undead. In order to do that, the party first has to get out of the motel.
Treat the siege as dealing with two Threats: holding off the undead and figuring
out an escape plan. The party has 3 rounds before the zombies start trying to
barge their way in.

Threat: Escape Plan


The party must gain a total of 12 Width to figure out the best possible escape
plan. Kids can make BRAINS + NOTICE or BRAINS + OUT-THINK checks. Useful
monster powers that deal with perception or movement can also add to the pool.
Once the pool is full, the group realizes that their only safe escape route leads to
the dark forest behind the motel and they can easily escape by popping open the
bathroom window and helping one person at a time crawl through it.

Threat: Zombie Siege


The road kill horde has 10d to break into the motel room. The party must
maintain 8 more Width than the zombies pool in order to keep them out of the
motel. HANDS + SHOP (making barricades), and FEET + P.E. (moving furniture in

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front of the windows and bracing the door) can be used by kids to increase the
siege pool. Useful monster powers related to moving objects or building barriers
can help as well.
The zombies gobble the players pool but players do not gobble zombie
successes. They only add to their own pool. The party has a 3 round head start
to build up a pool. If the partys pool drops below Width 8, some of the road kill
squirms or oozes into the motel room, creating a new zombie pool equal to 1d.
Every additional round the siege pool remains below Width 8, the zombie pool
increases by 1d.

Z o mbie Po o l
It makes an attack against all characters in the motel room equal to its current
pool. Monsters can wipe out the current zombie pool with attack powers but the
zombies will never stop coming.
Once the party escapes into the dark forest, Scene 2 begins.

Scene 2: The Trap Is Sprung


The entire party will find that the zombies are too slow to purse them effectively
once they get out of the motel. The kids should realize that the zombies are
powered by some type of dark power source. The adults will try to do useless
things like call the authorities and urge the kids to not panic.
At this point, Abner activates the second lure, a magical light show deep in the
dark forest. The characters will see an ominous display of cascading red energy
emanate from deep within the forest. Undoubtedly the zombies power source
rests there.
The adults will see the light as a source of safety against the horde of angry
animals. Dazed and confused from the attack, they will lead the kids towards the
light, as the motel is obviously no longer safe.

The Dark Forest

Abner has made the dark forest his territory, using ghosts, ghouls and zombies
to ward off trespassers for decades. As a side effect of the necromancy practiced
within it, the forest has taken on a twisted and evil look. The trees are stunted
and cruel faces seem to appear in the lines of the bark. The weeds cut and
irritate the skin of any fool who dares to wear sandals. Even the few living
creatures appear ill-tempered and malevolent. All kids must make a GUTS +
COURAGE check when entering the dark forest. If they fail, they take 1 point of
Shock damage to their Guts.
The magical light is easy to track, as it is providing enough illumination to allow
kids to see where theyre going. It only takes the party about half an hour of
marching to reach the clearing where the light is centered. Ghosts swirl around
the nexus of red light, howling and gnashing their teeth.

]
180

Abners trap affects everyone in the dark forest and was triggered when the last
of the party members stepped inside the forest. Thus, its too late. The party
moves onto Scene 3 when they realize they are in the Dreamlands. Figuring this
out can happen in several ways:

If a party member tries to leave the forest, they will see that the motel has
disappeared, along with all other signs of civilization.
A BRAINS + NOTICE check of Height 8 or better uncovers discarded bits of
road kill. Someone must have dragged quite a bit through this forest. On
closer inspection, the bits turn out to be made out of ectoplasm. Thats not
right
If a character announces that he is watching the forest have him make a
BRAINS + NOTICE check. A check of Height 5 or better reveals that the
trees twist in unnatural patterns and some of the branches seem to be
unconnected to any trees. In fact, the more you look at the trees, the more
it looks like a crazy Escher painting that has impossible geometry that cant
possibly exist. If the character tries to examine the tree branches after
learning this, he is overcome by a spike of cosmic dread. Treat it as a 6d
emotional attack with Spray against the character. If the character takes
damage, he instantly learns that they are in the Dreamlands (and may develop
a case of narrating like a protagonist from a Lovecraftian story for the
remainder of the adventure).
If the party gets to the clearing, any successful use of a monsters perceptive
useful power or a Height 4 or better BRAINS + OUT-THINK check reveals
that the light show was a mere illusionary spell. The party was lured here for
a reason. Any successful BRAINS + NOTICE check will be sufficient to show
that the party is no longer on Earth.
Once the party has learned the truth, a thick fog envelops the group. They
remain in sight to each other but the landscape fades away until it is replaced
with grim moors. The adults have all vanished!

What Happened To The Adults?

Abner doesnt need or want meddling parental figures or adults interfering.


Furthermore, adults are easy prey to his magical powers. He zapped them with a
sleep spell and placed them in a cell in his lab. Needless to say, the adults will be
free from the sleep spell when Abner is defeated, but not before.

Scene 3: The Moors


of the Dreamlands
Two moons shine down on the party as the fog part as a chill breeze whistles
by. The rocky moors are foreboding and stretch as far as the eyes can see. Soon
after they arrive, a piercing howl can be heard far in the distance.
Abners plan was to throw a bunch of powerful monsters into the Dreamlands,
where the spirits of his dead family dwell, after tainting them with a small
amount of his energy. The taint is harmless but it makes the party smell
like Abner to the spirits. Once the spirits make themselves visible, Abner will
complete a ritual that will trap the spirits (and the party) in the Dreamlands
forever. Abner is already hard at work to seal the Dreamlands but it will take
time. The party has to figure a way out before its too late.
The Hoag family is indeed drawn to the scent of the party but they are not
mindless beasts. They want to see who these strangers are and what they
want. As powerful necromancers themselves, the family has enslaved many
lesser ghosts over the years. The family will test the party three times in order
to determine if they are allies of Abner or unwitting pawns and if they can help
them get revenge on him.

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The First Test: The Test of Mercy

The family wants to make sure the players arent allied with Abner. The best way
they can do that is to see if they are sadistic jerks who enjoy torturing animals.
To this end, they send the ghosts of two cruel boys who tied fireworks to animals
and set them off. They died when a rabbit ran under a truck and set the gas
tank off, blowing the boys up in the ensuing explosion. (Its a true story. My
roommates uncles first cousin lived next door to the house where it happened.)
A rabbit runs past the group and explodes mere moments later. A BRAINS +
NOTICE check will alert the character to the fact that a firecracker was tied to
the poor creature. Two kids crest a nearby hill in time to see the poor rabbit
explode and nearly wet themselves laughing at the animals demise. The two
boys take out another rabbit to repeat the process. The party can intervene at
any time. The boys are easy to stop, as they give up without a fight. The party
must decide what to do with them.
If questioned, the boys happily explain what happened to them. We had some
leftover fireworks from the 4th of July so we got some duct tape and blew up
these stupid critters. It was so funny. You could see their guts fly EVERYWHERE.
But then we did a rabbit and it ran under a parked truck and it blew up and we
died.
If asked about where they are, paraphrase the following dialogue. Were in that
place you go where you dream. These people dragged us out of the other place.
You know. Down there. They sent us to play with you. You want to go next?
The ghost boys will begin to rig another ghostly animal with fireworks. At this
point, the characters should decide what to do with them. If they take the
fireworks away from the boys or otherwise act appropriately, the boys will pout
and fade away. A BRAINS + OUT-THINK check from any character indicates that
whoever summoned the ghosts is testing the party. To what end remains to be
seen. Abners family will be convinced that the characters cant be willing allies
of Abner, as he is an evil and sadistic power monger that no good person would
put up with.
If the party decides to join in on the fun, the Abner family will mistrust them.
When they finish the tests, the family will question them more intensely than
normal in order to make sure they arent allies to Abner.

The Second Test: The


Test of Cunning

Next, the family wants to see if the group possesses at least a modicum of
intelligence. Or at least prove that the players arent gullible fools. As the group
searches the moors for a way out, they come across a massive hole in the
ground. Discarded mining equipment lies scattered around the hole. A massive
drill hangs over it. The group can hear wailing and moaning coming from the
hole, which is far too deep to see the bottom. A weak and tortured voice issues
from the hole begging for help. The aroma of brimstone wafts from the hole.

]
182

A BRAINS + REMEMBER check recalls the story of the miners who drilled so
deep that they drilled into hell. The same mysterious figures who summoned the
ghost boys could be behind this as well.
The voice claims to be a trapped miner and wants the party to lower the drill and
then raise it back up so he can hold onto the drill and escape.

In reality, the voice belongs to Herbert Holmes, the ghost of a serial killer.
Holmes once crossed the Hoag family and they got revenge by binding his soul
to the entrance of hell. They felt this was worse than just sending him straight
to hell because Holmes was a masochist who enjoyed suffering. Being trapped
in the entrance of hell meant that he would be left to rot in the dark for eternity
without stimuli. As a result, he is quite desperate to escape or break into hell.
However, he does know who imprisoned him and what happened to them.
If the characters uncritically accept his story and activate the drill, Holmes
escapes and fades away into the real world, where he torments teenagers at
abandoned summer camps, slumber parties and proms.
If the party questions how a miner could have survived so long by himself,
Holmes gets desperate and admits he is a ghost trapped by evil necromancers
and guesses the party was also trapped by necromancers. He then offers to tell
them the story of the Hoag family in exchange for being released from the hole.

The Tragic Tale of


the Hoag Family

The Hoags were always an evil clan, as far back as anyone can remember. They
were rumored to make deals with infernal forces, study the secrets of the occult
and do business with the most vile and depraved men that walked the earth, all
to gain more power for themselves. Eventually they hit on a bottomless source
of power: death. Every member of the family became a student of necromancy
and their power grew. However, some years ago, the youngest child, Abner,
decided he didnt like the idea of sharing his inheritance with anyone else. So he
dispatched all of his brothers and sisters but his parents became suspicious so he
had to kill them as well.
Once Holmes relates the story, he begs to be let loose. If the players are clever
then they will wonder how Holmes could have known this about the Hoag family.
If questioned about this, Holmes will panic and try to make up a cover story but
its obvious that he is hiding something.
Should the party simply drive a hard bargain, Holmes confesses to being a
resurrectionist, a man who killed people and sold their corpses to the Hoag
family for years. He betrayed them to Scotland Yard forcing them to flee to
America.
Hopefully the party will not let Holmes escape. If the party does, then they will
fail the Test of Cunning.

The Third Test: The


Test of Strength

Finally, the party comes to a massive circle of stone megaliths, somewhat like
Stonehenge. In the center of the circle a vortex of energy shows an image of the
real world, a crooked and cracked mansion. As the party examines the megaliths
in more detail, they will hear the howling of wolves close by. A pack of dark and
menacing wolves surrounds the party but keeps their distance. Attacks against
the wolves are ineffective, as the wolves simply turn into mist and reform a short
time later. These are the spirits of the Hoag family.

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If the party has failed both of the previous tests, the Hoag family will simply
attack the characters, seeing them as gullible sadists who wont be able to help
them get revenge.

H o a g Fa m i l y S t a t s
Locations 1-2: Lil Sister 7d (Defends, Tough x3)
Locations 3-5: Big Brother 10d (Attacks, Defends, Burn, Spray x1, Awesome x2)
Locations 6-8: Father 10d (Attacks, Defends, Useful [necromancy], Awesome

x2, Tough x1)


Locations 9-10: Mother 10d (Useful [necromancy])

If the party has passed one or both of the tests so far, then the family will decide
to use them in their plan to get revenge. The largest wolf approaches the party
and stops about ten feet from them. He speaks in an old and commanding voice,
obviously the former patriarch of the Hoag family:
We are damned to wander between the waking world and the Dreamlands for
eternity for our sins, but our errant son must also pay for his crimes. We have
tried to punish him but he has warded himself against us. He lured you here as
pawns in his scheme to seal us in the Dreamlands forever. If you want to escape,
you must break the seal at the center of the vortex and then chase him out of his
mansion. Only this will free you.
The Vortex is a dangerous maelstrom of magical energy. Anyone who steps
inside the circle suffers a 5d, Attacks lashing of energy every round. No defense
is possible against it. Monsters must step inside the circle in order to damage
the vortex. The party must inflict 20 Width of damage before it will open a
temporary portal to the real world. The Hoag family created the vortex around
the portal in order to make sure the party was strong enough to face Abner in
combat. They have only one chance to get revenge and they dont want to use
weaklings.
Once the family is defeated or the vortex is destroyed, a portal to the real world
will open up and lead to Abners mansion, the stage for the final scene.

Scene 4: Abners House


The group will find themselves in the courtyard of a massive rundown mansion.
Its still night and a thunderstorm is brewing overhead. Monsters immediately
detect an overwhelming supernatural presence nearby, which must be the power
fueling the zombie road kill horde. Unfortunately, Abners mansion is a massive
labyrinth filled with deadly puzzles, enigmatic secrets, and dozens of undead
guardians. Finding the necromancer could take weeks of careful investigation
and exploration and the group doesnt have time for that. Its time for a mystery
solving montage!

]
184

Spend a few minutes to explain the basic rules of this mini game. The object
of the mini game is to build up a certain number of Clue points based on the
groups ultimate goal.
Find Abner for a dramatic final battle: 7 Clue points
Find Abner and get him to surrender peacefully by talking him down: 9 Clue
points

Trap Abner so they can hand him off to the spirits of his dead family: 13 Clue
points
Once they pick a goal, the group will have to go into the mansion to find the
requisite number of clues. Each group searching the mansion can make one
check to find clues per turn. Pick a single kid from the group and have him
choose a skill to use. Any skill can be used to find clues, provided the player
comes up with a plausible explanation for how it would be used. Notice and OutThink are obvious skills, but skills like Guts could be used to stick an arm down a
dark crevice to pull out a clue or Shop could be used to open a jammed cabinet.
A character cant use the same skill more than once. If a rolls Width is greater
than 5, treat it as 5.
Characters can go alone, break into smaller groups or remain together. Each
group is only allowed one roll per turn. The players will have to decide which kid
will use a skill to look for clues. The other characters will only come into play to
deal with complications.

One Roll Hijinks

Once a character rolls, look for the Widest match. Consult the One Roll Wacky
Hijinks Mystery-Solving Mini Game Tables. Ignore all other matches and then
look for strays (dice with no matches) and consult the Complications tables to
determine what kind of complications result.
A group can have no more than two complications per turn. Alternate between
the two Complications tables in order to keep things varied. Some complications
are labeled traps or guardians. Finding certain clues affects these complications.
Keep that in mind. Guardians make only one attack.

Example
Bob, Bill, Frank and Jane break up into two groups: Bob and Bill in group 1 and
Frank and Jane in group 2.
On turn one of the mini game, Group 1 decides to use Bobs HANDS (3d) +
SHOP (4d) to look for clues. The roll is 4x4, 2x2 and a single 2. Height 4x4
turns up: A contract between Abner and a being only known as Baal. 2 Clue
points and ignore any guardian complications this turn. The other match 2x2 is
ignored.
The stray 2 results in Guardian: A squashed cat zombie that clings to the ceiling
and drops on an unwary passerby. 5d, Attacks on a random member of the
group. However, because of the clue found, group 1 ignores the guardian.
Group 2 uses Janes BRAINS (4d) + NOTICE (5d) which results in 2x8 2x9, 2x6,
3 and 4. 2x9 produces Proof that Abner cheats on his taxes! 1 Clue point The
other matches are ignored. The stray 3 and 4 produce Trap: Chinese finger traps
of the damned. 2 points of Hands shock damage and Guardian: Zombie ninja.
Attacks one character at 7d, then the ninja vanishes. Group 2 does not benefit
from what group 1 found and has to deal with the trap and guardian.
The Clue pool is 3 points.

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The One Roll Wacky Hijinks


Mystery-Solving Mini Game Tables
x1 Clues About Necromancy
2x1

Some grave dirt leading down the corridor. 1 Clue point.

3x1

A witchs finger bone that wards off undead. 1 Clue point and ignore
one guardian complication this round.

4x1

A torn page from the Necronomicon! 2 Clue points.

5x1

Confessions of a New England Ghoul audiobook. 3 Clue points.

x2 Clues About the Hoag Family


2x2

The room of Abners little sister. Dolls that track you as walk around.
Creepy. 1 Clue point.

3x2

The court transcripts of Hoag Sr.s murder trial. Acquitted after


witnesses recanted or disappeared. 2 Clue points.

4x2

A map showing where the bodies are buried. Literally. 2 Clue points
and the character can ignore a trap complication this turn.

5x2

The Hoag family photo album. Terrifying. 3 Clue points or 5 Clue points
if the party is trying to get Abner to surrender. Either way, it causes 1
point of Shock damage to ones Brans as it is terrifying to behold.

x3 Clues About Abners childhood


2x3

Abners report cards and teachers notes. He was a bit too fond of
dissecting frogs. 1 Clue point.

3x3

Abners art class work. He loved the mausoleums behind the mansion.
Perhaps he is hiding there now? 2 Clue points.

4x3

A book report on To Kill A Mockingbird by Abner Hoag. He was


sorely disappointed with the book, thinking the title was misleading. 2
Clue points and ignore a guardian complication this turn.

5x3

Abners favorite pet cat, Whiskers. Whiskers has been preserved with
taxidermy. 3 Clue points or 5 Clue points if the party wants to fight
Abner.

x4 Clues About Abners Accomplices

]
186

2x4

A list of phone numbers written on a napkin. If the characters have


a cell phone they can figure out that Abner has contacts with the
highway patrol and coroners office. 1 Clue point.

3x4

News clippings of unusual murders from around the world with notes
written in Abners handwriting. Reveals what Abner has learned about
hunting people. 1 Clue point or 3 Clue points if the group is trying to
trap Abner.

4x4

A contract between Abner and a being only known as Baal. 2 Clue


points and ignore any guardian complications this turn.

4x5

Abners little black book of killers, grave robbers and dabblers in the
occult. 3 Clue points and ignore all complications this turn.

x5 Clues About Abners Plans


2x5

NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO LURE GHOSTS OF FAMILY TO


DREAMLANDS? 1 Clue point.

3x5

Research notes on a ritual to seal ghosts in the Dreamlands forever. 2


Clue points.

4x5

Ritual diagrams showing how Abner created a road kill zombie horde. 3
Clue points

5x5

Pages from Abners diary explaining his plan in great detail. 4 Clue
points.

x6 Clues About the Mansions Secrets


2x6

Pulling on a book on this bookshelf opens a secret door! 1 Clue point.

3x6

Hey this wall is hollow. Whats on the other side? 1 Clue point and
ignore 1 trap complication this turn.

4x6

Schematics for many devious traps. 2 Clue points and ignore all trap
complications from now on.

5x6

A partial blueprint of the mansion. 4 Clue points.

x7 Clues About Road Kill Zombies


2x7

Directions to the local rendering plant. 1 Clue point.

3x7

The manual for the scraper, a truck modified to harvest road kill right
off the road. 2 Clue points.

4x7

A battle map showing how Abner planned to surround the motel with
road kill zombies. It reveals several weaknesses in the zombies. 2 Clue
points and ignore any guardian complications this turn.

5x7

Bub, an intelligent and talkative zombie janitor cheerfully answers any


questions. 3 Clue points and ignore any guardian complications this
turn.

x8 Clues About Ghosts


2x8

A ghost only visible in mirrors points towards a clue! 1 Clue point.

3x8

Phantom voices speak in riddles. Somewhat useful but a clever kid can
figure out the riddles. 1 Clue point or 3 Clue points if the kid makes a
height 8 Brains + Out Think check.

4x8

The ghost of the family gardener is lonely and wants to talk. Knew
Abner very well before he was poisoned by him. 2 Clue points or 3 Clue
points if the party wants to get Abner to surrender.

7
187

5x8

A banshee wails in the distance, singing a song of sorrow! 1 Clue point


or if the party listens to the whole song, they will learn many secrets
and gain 5 Clue points but each character in the group suffers an 8d
attack that can be blocked or defended.

x9 Clues About Dark Deeds


2x9

Proof that Abner cheats on his taxes! 1 Clue point

3x9

Evidence of Abners plot to set up an animal shelter so he could start


harvesting living animals for his zombie horde. 2 Clue points.

4x9

A family tree with everyone but Abner crossed out. 2 Clue points or 4
Clue points if the group is trying to trap Abner.

5x9

Abner is planning to poison an entire city so he can raise them as


zombies in a bid to take over the country. 3 Clue points.

x10 Clues About Cosmic Dread


2x10

This room was built with non-Euclidian angles. This realization provides
some insight into the nature of the mansion. 1 Clue point.

3x10

A dimensional shambler is spotted down the corridor. It vanishes before


the group can react but it leaves behind instructions written by Abner.
2 Clue points and 1 point of Shock damage to a random hit location.

4x10

A window pane shows vistas from bizarre dimensions. Gazing upon it


shows scenes from the past and future. The longer one gazes in it, the
more mad the character becomes. The character may choose how many
rounds he wants to look in the window. For every round, the character
gains 1 Clue point and takes 1 point of Shock damage to their Brains or
Face. Maximum of 5 Clue points can be gained in this way.

5x10

The Necronomicon rests on an altar made of bones! 1 Clue point if the


characters simply observe it from a safe distance or 5 Clue points if
they open it. Opening the book unleashes a torrent of psychic visions
maddening everyone in the mansion. Visions of the babbling insanity
of the court of Azathoth and his servitor gods cause a 10d attack to all
kids and monsters in the mansion.

Complications A

]
188

1.

Trap: Character sticks his hand in a hidden rat trap. 1 point of Hands
shock damage.

2.

Guardian: A squashed cat zombie that clings to the ceiling and drops
on an unwary passerby. Attacks a random member of the group at 5d.

3.

Trap: Chinese finger traps of the damned. 2 points of Hands shock


damage.

4.

Guardian: An animated undead human hand that leaps on a characters


Face and starts clawing. Attacks a single character in the group at 6d.

5.

Trap: Pit trap! The character must make a Width 3 FEET + P.E. check or
take 2 shock damage to a random hit location.

6.

Guardian: Giant cockroach raised on human flesh. Attacks two


separate characters at 5d.

7.

Trap: Bear Trap. One character takes 2 points of Scar damage to Feet.

8.

Guardian: Pack of zombie dogs. Attacks every character in the group


at 4d.

9.

Eerie Happening: The ghost of a little girl sings a creepy lullaby and
disappears. Spooky but no other adverse effects.

10.

Unexpected Epiphany: The group puts the pieces together and gains 1
Clue point.

Complications B
1.

Trap: Rotten floorboards. A random character takes 2 points of shock


damage to Feet.

2.

Guardian: Poltergeist in a room full of vases. Attacks every character in


the group at 4d.

3.

Trap: The character sets off a trip wire but nothing happens. Obviously
a dud. Or is it? 1 point of Shock damage to Brains as paranoia sets in.

4.

Guardian: Zombie ninja. Attacks one character at 7d, then the ninja
vanishes.

5.

Trap: Marbles on the floor. Every character in the group takes 1 point
of damage to a random hit location.

6.

Guardian: A zombie shark with sewn-on horse legs. Its incredibly


freaky but fortunately very slow. Attacks a random character at 8d.

7.

Trap: A chandelier falls on a character. A FEET + DODGE check of


Width 3 or better dodges it; otherwise, suffer 2 Scar damage to a
random hit location.

8.

Guardian: A zombie Rottweiler that shoots bees from its mouth!


Zombie bees! Attacks 6d on every character in the group.

9.

Trap: Electrified door knob zaps a character. 3 shock damage to a


random hit location.

10.

Serendipitous Event: A helpful ghost answers questions about the


mansion. 1 Clue point gained.

7
189

The Finale
Once the party finds Abner, they have three options to take him down: wage a
final battle, get him to surrender, or trap him so his family can deal with him.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Battle!

If the characters chose to find Abner for a dramatic battle, once they piece
together enough clues to figure out where he is, they find him at his secret lab
deep within the mansion. Abner fumes at the groups insistence in a villains
monologue then launches a bolt of magic energy!

Make Abner Surrender

If the group chose to get Abner to surrender peacefully, then once they have
gotten enough Clue points, they will find him at his secret lab and know how
to talk him down. Abner feels ashamed for what he has done but has projected
his guilt on the rest of the world. He tries to begin a villains monologue but
cant seem to finish. If a player character points out that hell only find peace if
he owes up to his crime and makes a successful FACE + CHARM check, he will
surrender and call off the zombies. The players can call the police to arrest him
for the murders of his family.

Trap Abner

Vengeful groups will want to trap Abner so his family can exact revenge. If the
group gathers enough clues to figure out how to trap him, they will learn that
Abner needs the Necronomicon to make his ultimate plans work. Also, his family
can attack him if he steps out of the mansion. Thus, the group can lure him out
by telling him they have the Necronomicon. This takes a FACE + CONNIVE check.
He rushes out of the mansion in a blind panic, desperate to save the tome before
he realizes his mistake. Of course its too late by this point as seven ghosts
manifest and proceed to drag him into the Dreamlands, where they can torture
him for eternity.

Resolution
After Abner is defeated, one way or the other, the players can rescue the adults
from Abner. The players will need a very convincing cover story to placate them
or they will probably get in deep trouble, possibly even damaging Relationships.
However, the horde of road kill zombies will be gone, leaving nothing behind but
their stench.

]
190

Important Characters
Abner Hoag

A weasely little man decked out in arcane accoutrements that boost his
necromancy! He is now the equal of any monster.
Locations 1-2: Spell casting Gloves 8d (Attacks, Awesome x2)
Location 3: Ring of Spell Turning 3d (Useful [counter useful powers], Awesome

x2)
Locations 4-5: Robe of Necromancy 8d (Useful [necromancy], Awesome x2)
Location 6: Belt of Power 3d (Useful [heal damage], Awesome x2)
Locations 7-8: Blue Jeans of Protection +4, 6d (Defends, Tough x4)
Location 9-10: Crown of Command 6d (Useful [mind control], Attacks,

Awesome x2, Wicked Fast x1)

Frankenfish

An experiment to make an amphibious undead servitor was a partial success.


Dumb as a box of rocks but terribly dangerous in a fight.
Locations 1-3: Octopus Legs 10d (Defends, Useful [climb and move], Useful

[squeeze into small spaces] , Tough x1, Wicked Fast x2)


Locations 4-5: Snapping Turtle Shell Armor 8d (Defends, Tough x2)

Locations 6-7: Moray Eel Tentacles 7d (Attacks, Useful [grab things], Awesome
x2, Wicked Fast x1)
Locations 8-10: A Dozen Shark Mouths Sewn Together to Make One Huge

Mouth! 10d (Attacks, Gnarly x5)

Roadkill Horde

Yet another mob of ravenous undead animals.


Locations 1-2: Zombie Dogs 6d (Attacks, Area x1, Awesome x2, Gnarly x1)
Locations 3-4: Dive-Bombing Dead Birds 8d (Defends, Useful [blind foes],

Wicked Fast x1)


Locations 5-6: A Plague of Undead Bugs 10d (Attacks, Defends , Awesome x2,

Wicked Fast x3)


Locations 7-8: Zombie Cats 7d (Attacks, Area x1, Gnarly x1, Wicked Fast x1)
Locations 9-10: Rotting Sensory Organs and Mouths 6d (Useful [detect foes],

Useful [terrify foes], Awesome x2, Tough x1)

7
191

MONSTERS AND OTHER CHILDISH THINGS


GET THE COMPLETE RULES IN MONSTROUS FULL-SIZE HARDBACK
OR SNEAKY PORTABLE PAPERBACK!

Monsters and Other Childish Things


The Completely Monstrous Edition
180-page hardcover book, 8.5 x 11
$29.99
Published by Arc Dream Publishing

Monsters and Other Childish Things


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264-page paperback book, 5.5 x 8.5
$14.99
Developed by Arc Dream Publishing
Published by Cubicle 7 Entertainment

INSTRUCTIONS: Cut this sheet from the book. To trim each postcard to 4 x 6, use a straight-edge and
a box cutter or paper cutter to cut along the black lines near the edges.

ANIMALS FIGHT
AGAINST HUMANS.
TRUST NO ONE.
STOP THE WAR BY ANY
MEANS NECESSARY.

THE CULT KIDNAPPED


THEIR MENTOR.
FIND THE WIZARD
ZOLTRON BEFORE
THE SENTAI RANGERS
DESTROY THE CITY!

INSTRUCTIONS: Cut this sheet from the book. To trim each postcard to 4 x 6, use a straight-edge and
a box cutter or paper cutter to cut along the black lines near the edges.

BRING LIGHT TO
THE DARKNESS
BELOW SUCROSE
PARK!
KIDS ENTER THE
PARK BUT THEY
NEVER LEAVE . . .

TRICKSTERS ARE
WHIPPING UP A
REVOLUTION.
ITS A COVER FOR
THE CULT.
FIND A WAY TO
BRING ORDER TO
THE LAND BEFORE
ITS TOO LATE!

INSTRUCTIONS: Cut this sheet from the book. To trim each postcard to 4 x 6, use a straight-edge and
a box cutter or paper cutter to cut along the black lines near the edges.

FIND THE HEART OF


THE EVERGLADES.
FREE THE KIDS
FROM THE GLADES
MONSTERS!

UAL!
STOP THE RIT
STAIRS!
G
N
O
L
E
H
T
FIND
ENING
IT IS AWAK