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101 Occult

by James Maliszewski

While science teaches us that the world is and fear reigned supreme. If the occult wars are
an orderly and predictable place, obeying natu- to be wonor at least containedhumanity
ral laws that never vary or change, those on the will have to face up to the fact that our much-
front lines of the occult wars know better. For vaunted science is woefully inadequate to the
them, the world is not merely stranger than we task of describing the universe. The sooner we
imagine; it is stranger than we can imagine. The come to grips with this awful truth, the better.
odd, the inexplicable, and the downright impos-
sible are common occurrences for the men and
women who have chosen to fight in the shad- USING THIS PRODUCT
owy battles that rage just beneath the surface of 101 Occult Events is intended to serve sev-
21st century life. They encounter events that eral purposes. The simplest use is as a
defy science every day. Indeed, some seem to Gamemasters tool, a way to add mystery to an
attract these events, as if they were magnets of occult-themed D20 Modern Roleplaying Game
the weird. campaign. The GM can select a handful of the
Whatever the truth, there can be no denying events offered here and sprinkle them sparingly
that occult events can and do occur. While into his adventures. The events need not tie into
many are minor and easily ignoredrains of the adventures plotsin fact, they work best
frogs, the recurrences of certain numbersoth- when they do notto create red herrings, mis-
ers are not so easily dismissed. To do so would direction, and hint at the notion that there are
be to deny that human experience, no matter things going on that the characters cannot hope
how bizarre, has any value and to retreat into a to understand. Of course, the GM can also
comfortable but dogmatic Dark Age no better select occult events that do tie into his adven-
than those benighted times when superstition tures plots. Doing so can provide ways to pres-

Requires the use of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Modern 101 Occult events
ent information in an unusual or non-linear fashion,
as well as to heighten the players sense of ignorance
at the forces at work behind the scenes. Either way,
these occult events can add spice to any adventure
and, under the right circumstances, can spur spin-off
or side adventures, thereby making the GMs job
Strange events inexplicably occur wher-
ever you go.
Another use for the occult events is in conjunc-
Benefit: One per game session, you may
tion with the Fortean Magnet feat presented in this
ask the Gamemaster that an occult event occur
product. This feat enables a character who possess-
in your presence. If the event is beneficial to
es it to bring about occult events on a limited
you, then nothing further is required. If the
basis. The events presented here can be used with
event is detrimental to you, the GM must
this feat, since they are wide-ranging and generic
compensate you with a bonus action point.
enough to fit into most adventures, whatever their
This action point functions exactly like all
subject matter. Fortean Magnet gives players a small
other action points and its use falls under all
amount of control over the game world, which is
the same guidelines and restrictions as others
essential, especially in occult campaigns where so
of its kind.
much happens in the shadows and without the char-
Special: At the GMs discretion, this feat
acters knowledge.
can only be selected at 1st level or after there
Finally, the occult events in this product can
is sufficient justification for the characters
serve as examples and inspiration for the GM in cre-
manifestation of Fortean magnetism (being
ating his own events. By and large, the benefits and
cursed, acquiring an occult artifact, a near-
impediments that these events provide are small, no
death experience, etc.)
more than a +/-2 bonus/penalty to d20 die rolls or a
minor magical effect that lasts up to 24 hours. No
effect should be permanent, as such things should ment and its hoped the examples here will show
not happen without the GMs specific decision to how even such seemingly insignificant events can
include them as part of the development of his cam- be used to good effect in a D20 Modern Roleplaying
paign. Some events provide no benefit or impedi- Game campaign.

the Occult Events

The occult events presented here use a very simple format. First, there is a description of the event in
broad terms, including any game mechanics needed to use the event. Second, there is a parenthetical
notation indication whether the event is beneficial or detrimental for use with the Fortean Magnet feat
presented above. Some events have no notation, meaning that the GM is free to use it either as bene-
ficial or detrimental, depending on how he chooses to present it in his game.

1. Raindrops run up a window instead of down, cre- 2. The wind seems to carry the faint echo of scream-
ating a pattern that the characters can recognize ing voices. Characters who make a successful
with successful Intelligence check (DC 12). The Listen check (DC 15) can make out what the
exact nature of the pattern is up to the GM and voices are saying, as determined by the GM.
the specifics of his current adventure. (Beneficial)

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3. A character experiences a sudden muscle cramp 14. A black cat crosses a characters path. If he does
(-2 to attack rolls and Dexterity-based skill not make an effort to find another route, he suf-
checks for 1d6+1 rounds) every time he passes fers a -1 penalty to his next d20 roll, after which
through a doorway of a particular locale. this minor curse ends. (Detrimental)
(Detrimental) 15. A poisonous fog (Inhaled, DC 14, 1d2 Con/1d4
4. In the middle of a normal conversation, one char- Con) suddenly rolls across the landscape and
acter inexplicably uses an utterly unfamiliar, lasts for 1d4 hours before dispersing.
alien word for a normal concept. Depending on (Detrimental)
the GMs wishes, the word can be a clue or just 16. A photograph a character has taken no longer
an oddity. Whether the word is in a knowable shows one or more people or objects that had
language is also up to the GM. (Possibly bene- previously been visible. (Detrimental)
17. A photograph a character has taken now shows
5. Two (or all of the characters) have the same someone or something that had previously not
dream. (Possibly beneficial) been visible. (Beneficial)
6. A character experiences dj vu upon entering a 18. Mysterious lights emanate from the sky without
room for the first time. (Possibly beneficial) any obvious source.
7. One of the characters suffers a few minutes of 19. A telephone line a character attempts to use goes
missing time. He cannot remember what tran- dead without cause. (Detrimental)
spired during those minutes, except possibly
20. A character receives an anonymous telephone
through hypnosis, magic, or similar means.
call from a mechanical-sounding voice that pro-
(Beneficial or detrimental)
vides him with a small piece of information he
8. One of the characters watches stops deador had been searching for. (Beneficial)
goes backwards.
21. A bush inexplicably bursts into flames.
9. A coffee stain on a map circles the place the char-
22. An unknown body crosses the path of the sun,
acters are going nextbut the map is a new one
creating a partial eclipse for 1d4 minutes.
and no one has ever put a coffee cup on it.
23. Burning cinders fall from the sky. Characters
10. An old wound or scar begins to bleed again. The
must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or suffer 1d6
character suffers 1d6 points of damage.
points of damage. (Detrimental)
24. Every animal within sight of the characters sud-
11. A character finds a coin on the ground minted in
denly freezes in its tracks and then bolts away at
the year of his birth. If he keeps it, he automati-
top speed, taking their owners, if any, along
cally succeeds on his next rolls, whatever it is,
with them.
after which the coin becomes useless.
(Beneficial) 25. Strange lights appear on the surface of the
Moon. A successful Intelligence check (DC 15)
12. The characters stumble across a monstrously
can discern a pattern to the lights, possibly a let-
huge spider web containing a colony of
ter or symbol. (Beneficial)
dozens of spiders, seemingly cooperating in
capturing prey. 26. The image of a ghostly town, complete with
people, appears as the characters travel through
13. As far as the eye can see, darkness falls during
a desolate area. The image fades as soon as the
the daytime for a period of 1d8+2 minutes. The
characters approach it.
darkness is so complete it that all creatures
within it gain concealment (20% miss chance). 27. The characters encounter a surprising number of
(Beneficial or detrimental) redheaded people over the course of a single

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28. A great shadow of some object or creature falls 41. A character briefly sees another persons face
across the ground, although there is no evidence when he looks into a mirror. The other person
of its source. mouths something that the character can lip read
29. A meteorite falls within a few feet of the char- on a successful Intelligence check (DC 18).
acters. (Beneficial)
30. A brownish-red substance, resembling blood, 42. A character sees a pair of eyes staring at him
pours from the faucet of the next sink a charac- from a darkened window. If investigated, there
ter uses. is no sign of anyone (or anything) at the win-
31. An otherwise stationary object (like a rock or a
tree) moves from one location to another while 43. The characters hear a song that is of pertinence
the characters are not looking. to their current activities. (Beneficial)
32. A number (such as 23) keeps popping up again 44. A character finds a coin lying face down. If he
and again. (Possibly beneficial) picks it up, he will automatically fail his next
roll, whatever it is. (Detrimental)
33. A character finds an old newspaper containing
an article of relevance to their current activities. 45. While passing through or near a graveyard, a
(Beneficial) character feels an urge to look at a particular
tombstone and finds it bears his name. He suf-
34. The characters hear loud footsteps following
fers a -2 penalty to his next d20 roll.
them wherever they go, but cannot discern any
source for them.
46. A black rain falls for the next 1d4 hours.
35. A character experiences jamais vu, the feeling
that something you should be familiar with is in 47. Someone approaches a character to ask for
fact unknown to you. The GM determines what directions. As it turns out, he intends to go to the
the character forgets, while its length is 1d6 same place the characters are currently headed,
hours, after which the characters memory although for a different reason. (Possibly bene-
returns. (Detrimental) ficial or detrimental)
36. A character receives a misdirected email whose 48. A character gets a fortune cookie whose fortune
contents pertain to his current activities. pertains to his current activities. (Beneficial)
(Beneficial) 49. A freak snowstorm occurs during the summer
37. Someone mistakes a character for another per- months.
son. (Possibly beneficial or detrimental) 50. A character suddenly gains the ability to speak a
38. A small child stares at the character and points foreign language for 1d4 hours. (Beneficial)
toward something of interest to him, without 51. A swarm of rats comes streaming out of a near-
saying a word. (Beneficial) by storm drain and heads straight for the char-
39. A computer disk, CD-ROM, or other electronic acters. The rats are harmless but they do draw
storage device a character is carrying becomes attention to the characters, as well as frighten
inexplicably corrupted and utterly unreadable, anyone adverse to them. (Detrimental)
although a successful DC 30 Computer Use 52. A thunderclap knocks a painting off a wall,
check will reclaim 50% of the data. revealing a hidden compartment or safe behind
(Detrimental) it. (Beneficial)
40. A character encounters an old acquaintance 53. A bolt of lightning fells a tree within sight of the
whom he has not seen in years. (Possibly bene- character.

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54. A character suddenly sees strange writing appear 67. The next time a character buys a used item of
in the air around the head of someone he meets. A any sort, he finds written on it somewhere the
successful Decipher Script check (DC 18) allows name of its previous owner: Nikola Tesla.
the character to understand its meaning but not its 68. The next three times the characters attempt to
source. (Beneficial) call Department-7, they get a wrong numbera
55. A character sees a person on the street suddenly different wrong number each time. (Possibly
wink out of existence. detrimental)
56. A character witnesses a car crashand finds that 69. The characters see themselves doing something
one of the two cars has no driver whatsoever. at a distance. If they go to the place where they
57. A person the characters are pursuing trips, falls to saw themselves, they find no one but will see
the ground, and immediately dissolves into a pool themselves looking back at them from their pre-
of salt water and clothing. (Detrimental) vious location.
58. A characters gun jams, because a small crystal is 70. A wounded character inexplicably heals 1d8+1
in the firing chamber. (Detrimental) hit points after he touches his wound with his
own hand. (Beneficial)
59. An elderly person of an ethnicity uncommon in
the area the characters are traveling approaches 71. The characters encounter someone with a
them and makes a cryptic statement about them. vicious scar in the center of their forehead,
(Possibly beneficial) which, if asked, he says he acquired when he
drilled a hole into his head to let out the evil
60. A character finds a sheet of paper on which are
written the final scores of baseball games that
happen tomorrow. (Possibly beneficial) 72. After encountering a devout priest, one of the
characters suffers stigmata for 1d6 days. The
61. When the character awakes from sleep, he finds a
wounds do 1d4 points of damage each day, after
note written in his own handwriting that contains
which they cease. (Detrimental)
a clue to his current investigation. (Beneficial)
73. A television psychic describes events uncannily
62. With a successful Spot check (DC 15), the char-
like those the characters are experiencing. If the
acters can see that they are being tailed by two
characters contact him, he will, with reluctance,
men in black. Once spotted, they disappear and
admit that he made up his entire vision.
never return.
(Possibly beneficial)
63. The characters stumble across a dead dog whose
74. One or more of the characters catches a non-
internal organs have been surgically removed.
fatal disease unknown in their part of the world.
64. While surfing the Internet, a character inexplica- (Detrimental)
bly gains access to a restricted government net-
75. The characters encounter what they believe is an
work for 1d4 minutes, after which he is shut out.
animal (lion, tiger, chimpanzee, etc.) escaped
from a zoo, only to discover that the town has
65. A field near where the characters are currently no zoo and never has.
staying manifests a crop circle for the first time.
76. The radio in the characters car briefly plays a
The circles continue on a regular basis as long as
radio show from fifty years in the past.
the characters are in the area and stop when they
(Possibly beneficial)
77. A successful Spot check (DC 12) reveals a wal-
66. A character wakes up with a small piece of parch-
let in the gutter. The wallet belongs to a relative
ment inscribed with the Hebrew word emet (truth)
of a person the characters are seeking or inves-
on his forehead. A successful Knowledge (arcane
tigating. (Beneficial)
lore) check (DC 15) reveals that it is one possible
activation word for a golem.

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78. Stuck in between the pages of a book a character is 91. After trying a new food he has never eaten
reading is a leaf from another book, containing a before, the character must make a Fortitude
map to a previously unknown location of interest save (DC 12). If he fails, he is able to see the
to the character. (Beneficial) true form of any supernatural or inhuman crea-
79. When a character opens an email from an unknown tures for the next 24 hours, although no one else
sender, a screen saver appears on his computer can see them. (Beneficial)
screen. If he fails a Will save (DC 15), he finds 92. Upon leaving his home in the morning, a char-
himself receiving telepathic messages that give acter finds a carpet of worms right outside his
him a clue to his current investigation. (Beneficial) door.
80. Throughout a single day, peopleincluding the 93. When a character picks up a note pad to write,
other charactersconsistently mispronounce a he can make a Spot check (DC 12). If success-
characters name. ful, he sees the imprint of his own handwriting
81. A character finds a potato chip in his bag that looks on the top page of the padand its a note about
like Aleister Crowley. the very thing he was about to write.
82. The characters find a goldfish swimming in a toilet. 94. A big book falls from a shelf and hits a charac-
ter on his head (1d4 points of nonlethal dam-
83. A character cuts open a fruit whose seeds spell out
age), opening to page that reveals information
a word in a language they know. (Possibly benefi-
hes been seeking. (Beneficial)
95. A character finds a fully-grown mouse in a bot-
84. A character uses a vending machine and gets a
strange-looking soft drink can. If he drinks it, he
must make a Fortitude save (DC 12). Failure grants 96. A new TV show airs and one of its characters
him a +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution for has the same name as a player character.
the next 24 hours. (Beneficial) 97. A character briefly sees events in a place famil-
85. The characters walk through a door and find them- iar to him but where he is not currently located.
selves not on the other side but coming back into When he returns to that familiar place, a suc-
the room they just left. The experience is not cessful Wisdom check (DC 12) enables him to
repeatable. realize that his remote viewing perspective
aligns with a knothole in a wooden wall panel.
86. The characters see lights in the sky that move
unlike a plane. If they follow them, they lead them
to a clearing that contains a clue to their current 98. When a character is next wounded, he does not
investigation. (Beneficial) bleed red blood but some other color. After a
few moments, though, the blood turns red as
87. A character finds that all the books he is carrying
with him are suddenly blank. (Detrimental)
99. All of the characters undergarments are turned
88. A character sets off metal detectors wherever he
inside out without his knowing it.
goes for 24 hours. (Detrimental)
100. Several people comment that the characters
89. On one evening, the stars are unusually bright, giv-
canine teeth are unusually large.
ing a +2 bonus to all Spot, Search, and other
vision-based checks. 101. A characters nose begins to bleed uncontrol-
lably and will not stop until a successful Treat
90. A character gets a letter inviting him to a meeting
Injury check (DC 10) is made. In addition to
where he will be initiated into the higher myster-
blood, the character finds a tiny crystalline
ies. If the character goes to the location indicated
sphere that, under microscopic examination, is
in the letter, he finds only an abandoned warehouse
shown to be completely smooth and featureless,
with a copy of the Book of Dzyan (see 101 Occult
but also inorganic in origin.
Books, also from Ronin Arts) lying on the floor
within. (Possibly Beneficial)

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OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a right holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open
Game Content you Distribute.
The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is
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3.Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Your acceptance of the terms of this License. Modern System Reference Document, Copyright 2002, Wizards of the
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4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams,
License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy
non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Collins, and JD Wiker.
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OGL Horror, Copyright 2003, Mongoose Publishing Limited; Author:
6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT Gareth Hanrahan
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RIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying Modern: 101 Occult Events Copyright 2004 James Maliszewski.
or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copy- Published by Ronin Arts,

Modern: 101 Occult Events is copyright 2004 James Maliszewski. Artwork copyright Philip Reed. All text in this book is designated as open
game content. You may not distribute this PDF without permission of the author. d20 Modern is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a
subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and is used with permission. Wizards of the Coast is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a sub-
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