Fill In The Gap
Invasionby Matt Turnbull
Fill In The Gap
Invasionby Matt Turnbull
Welcome to Fill in The Gap, a column devoted to individual, "one-off" scenarios, that any GM can run for his/her group.
This month's scenario is a horror one-shot (my personal favorite kind) set in the near future, in which the players will take on the roles of four exceptional individuals posed at the brink of a terrible invasion.
If you need to know more about the FITG(Fill in The Gap) system/column, please check out the first (and second) of these monthly columns. Without further ado, I bring you today's scenario:
Invasion is a scenario for four players.
As always, if it's a possibility that this scenario will be run for you by YOUR GM, then read no further for fear of spoilage.
In Invasion, the year is one not too far from now. Earth prospers, but is still entirely unaware of the large intergalactic community just outside their solar system. The players take on the roles of four members of NAGA, the North American Genius Association. However, not all of them are what they seem.
One of them is an Alien. A spy on Earth for a terrible species poised to invade the Earth to steal its resources. Another is a sentient machine, one of the last of his kind, his species wiped out by the aforementioned Aliens. Our third character is a member of a secret Earth society of people aware of and fearful of aliens. They've discovered that "the aliens" have infiltrated NAGA and this character is tasked with exposing them. Our fourth character is a smart if shy individual, who's life has been plagued with nightmarish bad luck.
None of the characters know each other's secrets, assuming the others are simply the friendly geniuses they purport themselves to be. Little do the characters know, our fourth gentleman is the key to everything.
This scenario begins with the players barely escaping a massacre of their organization. From there, they find clues of the coming invasion while trying to live up to their intentions - little do they know the invasion isn't coming from without, but from within.
Deep within the reccesses of the Earth and just out of sync with our reality, lives a race of creatures who hate all life and are determined to expunge it. Their existence in our reality is based entirely on thought and emotion, and the unbelievable and imaginative nature of humans have created them in the form of demons, controlled by magic and ritual. As compared to the threat this occult menace poses, each of the character's individual concerns pales considerably. If these creatures are loosed, it means the end of all the species of the galaxy. Only working together do they have a chance of stopping the creatures.
The scenario ends in a tough and dangerous situation. A powerful leader of these creatures comes to Earth to claim the fourth character whose blood being spilt upon the Earth is required to bring them to life.
Lionel, The Robot
Lionel is a kind-hearted sentient machine, very tough, agile, and strong. Inside his abdomen-casing he has a stun-weapon, capable of rendering unconscious a human (but it would have no effect on the alien.) Lionel's race was wiped out by the aliens, and knowing their plan to attack Earth, he's come in a misguided effort to protect the Earth and its people by helping them prepare. Joining NAGA seemed a good first step in that it would help him find those who'd be his agents on Earth. The three other characters are the individuals who appeared the most understanding and open-minded.
Teddy, The Alien
Teddy's all business. An alien agent sent to determine Earth's viability for invasion (accumulation of natural resources, their defenses, etc.) He's recently sent the message to the aliens to attack, and he also orchestrated the attack on NAGA, the organization most poised to become a resistance during the invasion. He only saved the three-people he trusted most, those open-minded enough to side with him and his species in the coming conflict. He's why they were late to the meeting. Teddy keeps a ray-gun in his pocket, small and easily hideable, it has several devastating shots more than enough to kill any man (or Robot.) Teddy's as strong and fast as a regular person, but a crackshot with his ray-gun.
Miles, The Secret Agent.
Miles is a darned good secret agent. Well-trained and the height of human acheivement physically, he can be a bit obtuse and stubborn. He has a standard firearm (would kill an alien or a human, wouldn't do a thing to a robot.) After being assigned to watch NAGA for alien infiltration, he decided to cozy up to the only three people he suspected of being aliens.
Paxton, The Unlucky
Just your regular genius. Horribly unlucky, plagued by nightmares his whole life, and unable to keep them contained - These three people are the only ones who'd be his friends. Paxton isn't aware of this, but he's actually the manifestation of the Demon-Creatures will on Earth, and only through his destruction and the ritual of his blood being spilled upon the ground can their fury and hatred of all life be truly realized.
This scenario's theme is selfishness. Can the individual characters get over themselves and their predjudices to work for the greater good? Will they be able to trust each other long enough to even reveal the greater threat they each learn about to each other?
This setting is a modern Earth. Try to play up some of the slightly futuristic touches, but don't overdo it, because it's not that far in the future.
The major locales are as follows:
The city. It's a major city like any other, filled with many different methods of transportation.
The Massacre site. A ghastly place, at the city's convention center, only now filled with burnt and charred bodies. This is where the game begins.
The Fortune Teller's Shop. A burnt-down building, smelling sulphurous.
The Museum. Free to enter, full of interesting relics, the most interesting being the untranslated unidentified relic in the corner.
The Game Store. Wierd and small, with an overweight and creepily mumbling guy behind the counter, as well as a large map that takes up an entire wall.
The Bank. A Large and well furnished bank, with a huge vault and many safe-deposit boxes used by the city's wealthy for valuable storage.
The Abandoned Warehouse. Burnt to the ground! A smoldering ruin.
The Skyscraper. A multi-storied building, the tallest in the city, with broken elevators. This is where the scenario ends.
The events in this scenario fall in no particular order, since the players are able to search each of these areas for clues at their own discretion, until the confrontation at the skyscraper. They get to search the city, discuss the results, as the time ticks down. They should have enough time to find 5 of the 6 clues, before they have to flee to skyscraper.
Found throughout the city are odd symbols. Ley-Lines, glyphs, and other notations of the occult. Both the Robot and the Alien don't recognize the symbols. The humans can recognize them as occult in nature, but that's it. One of these symbols can be found outside of every clue location. Just searching the city for these reveals every location individually - Although the locations also have links to each other found within.
Clue #1 - At the Massacre Site, they find evidence of the alien's attack, (both the robot and the alien know what the evidence suggests,) but they also find an occultist NAGA member's journal - which discusses an incoming invasion by the "forces of evil", as well as the address of a fortune teller's shop and a game store under "Allies".
Clue #2 - The Fortune Teller's Shop is a burnt out husk, searching it reveals that it was an arson that destroyed it. The arson smells like brimstone. The Robot can chemically analyze the debris and determine that it's out of touch with our reality, something assumed to be impossible by the intergalactic community. The Secret Agent notices amongst the debris a piece of wood of a different color and shape than the rest, engraved with odd symbols. He can pocket this without being seen doing it. He's not aware of this fact, but it's a piece of the True Cross. The Fortune Teller's Address book reveals only a single address, the Museum.
Clue #3 - The Museum holds several ancient relics. One of them is written in an ancient language. The Alien recognizes the language as of his people, and can read it as instructions on how to make a weapon that will destroy an extradimensional being. Oddly enough, the parts needed are those of a Stun-Gun (the Robot's), a Ray-Gun (The Alien's) and a piece of the True Cross that Christ was crucified on. It also states the weapon's peculiar property, only functioning on one planet, Earth, at the convergence of the Ley Lines. The Robot also recognizes the language, but can't translate it.
Clue #4 - The Game Store has a giant "campaign" map on one wall of the store, used for a wargame they're playing. Paxton, reading the map (and being a gamer as well as an anal retentive) realizes it's a map that would fit directly over the city, and each of the "campaign" lines match roads and converge on a single spot in downtown, a skyscraper he used to bank at. There's another couple of circles on the map. One is where the museum is, another is where the Bank's location would be (if it were a map of the city.) Under the circle on the bank are the numbers 666 written in red. One odd game store employee is the only person around, who keeps mumbling to himself about how magic is real. Talking to him snaps him out of his revelry, probing him reveals he drew the map himself, completely at random. He also sneakily slips a piece of the True Cross into the Secret Agent's coat when no one is looking.
Clue #5 - At the bank, deposit box 666 is in Lionel's name! Lionel's only allowed to head into the vault by himself. Upon doing so, he discovers a single microchip placed in his safety deposit box. Interfacing with the microchip (in the privacy of the vault) reveals to him the plans for a weapon to destroy extra-dimensional critters, utilizing parts from a Stun-Gun (the Robot's), a Ray-Gun (The Alien's) and a piece of the True Cross that Christ was crucified on. Further interfacing reveals the weapon's peculiar property, that it only functions on one planet - Earth. And on Earth, only in one spot: at the convergence of the Ley Lines. Interfacing further also states that there's one individual who knows this spot, and they have a homing device planted on them - They're in one spot and holding, the Abandoned Warehouse. Who left this disk here, and why, are not answered.
Clue #6 - The Abandoned Warehouse has been recently burnt to the ground, but the Fortune Teller is found there. She whispers audibly "The Tallest Spire" before succumbing to her injuries. The arson smells like brimstone, but no other clues are found here, except by The Robot, who chemically analyzes the debris and determines that it's out of touch with our reality, something assumed to be impossible by the intergalactic community.
When the characters have completed any five of the six clue sites, the summoning of the creature's leader begins, and he gives them chase. They should've found that the only place where they can protect Paxton from this creature's need to destroy him (to summon all of his people to Earth) is the Skyscraper, due to it being the convergent center of the Ley Lines. If they attempt to confront the creature elsewhere, give them a chance to escape, but don't be too lenient. If they work together at the skyscraper, they can use the piece of wood found by the secret agent pieced together with parts of the alien's ray-gun and the robot's stun-gun to defeat it. Also, killing Paxton by disintegrating him (using the Alien's weapon) will prevent any of his blood from being spilled, and although the character's will surely be killed by the Demon creature, they will have saved the galaxy. One rule of thumb with Demon-Creature: make him scary! Pick something that frightens your players, and describe THAT! Also, make sure he taunts them, and if they're having troubles, he can give clues as well. Things like "I need his BLOOD." OR, "This is a powerful place, perfect to complete the ritual."
If the players fail, then the world ends. Ah well...
Let me know what you thought of this scenario by E-mailing me at Msturnbull@comcast.net
See you next month!