“Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.”
H.P. Lovecraft -Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Adventure Ideas: Page 5

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Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas in your BTS game?
Then this next adventure idea is for you!

Christmas time is here, and so is Krampus!

Image of KrampusWhile Saint Nicholas comes every year to bring gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe's Alpine region also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in a variety of horrible ways -- or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack. In keeping with pre-Germanic Pagan traditions, men dressed as these demons have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, on an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets.

But in the United States, Krampus is all but unknown. But it seems he’s out to make a name for himself here in the states (in your group’s town no less) as his description has been reported to the police several times nightly over the last week! He’s been reported to be out running up and down streets and side walks while scarring children, threatening to punish them for their bad behavior, and a few eyewitnesses say that he’s actually shoved them into a sack and then disappeared into the night! Publicly, the excitement of this phenomenon has died down as someone pointed out that in the region he’s known, people have been dressing him Krampus and performing these same rituals for years. But with a big of digging, the group’s police and/or authority contacts are still getting reports of Krampus on the streets at night, and several children have indeed gone missing (delinquents and runaway’s mostly). But Krampus is only a mythical Christmas creature; he can’t be real… can he?

Investigating this Krampus character means the group will have to be out in public (that’s where he’s spotted most often), they will have to behave carefully in public to not arouse suspicion themselves (no weaponry and odd gear in public without a good reason), and the police have quietly stepped up their patrols in the last few days. Diviner’s & Sensitive Psychics would be great for hunting him down in public. When they do inevitably spot him, what they see doesn't make sense; it’s not a beast-creature (it’s obviously a man in a suit), but whatever is inside the suit… is not human! He lunges a little too high, he moves a little too quickly, he shows off a little too much strength, and the Psychics in the group get a psychic adrenaline rush around him.

At some point Krampus will snatch up a child (anywhere from age 6 to 15), quickly shove him/her into a large burlap bag he was carrying, and suddenly lunge up the side of building, fleeing into the darkness! The characters will have to track and chase him down (and probably without their best weaponry unless they have it all stashed nearby), and when they do find him (wherever you’d like to set the lair, but it should be somewhere dark and subterranean or at least well protected from the sunlight).

Confronting him in his costume will throw off the group as they will fight him not knowing what kind damages him. Eventually, they will discover that he’s a Vampire, dressing as Krampus as a way to walk the streets and getting close to children (this vampire’s favorite meal). He might even be from Austria or Germany, where Krampus is most popular.

If your group is capable (or somehow got the idea that its a vampire early on and prepped for it), the vampire may be a “Master Vampire” from the Rifter #49, and has a few secondary vampires working with him, or maybe even a wild vampire or two on a leash, ready to attack intruders. Either way, the outcome should revolve around the mystery of Krampus, and that they will unknowingly be dealing with a vampire (or vampires). I would consider a Master Vampire to be a “Greater threat”, Secondary Vampires a “Lesser Threat”.

Note: Inspiration for this adventure idea came from this news article concerning Krampus (where the image I used above came from) and the request of creating a vampire adventure per Palladium Books BTS forum fan “Gaby”. Oh yeah... someday, the real Krampus just might show up. Tell your fiends.

A Pact With a Monster

Mindolar art

Valerian: Twice each year, at the Spring and Summer Equinox, the king selects a new victim. Virgins.
Ulrich: A lottery! Barbaric. And in return, this dragon... it leaves your villages and crops unburned. Your king has made a pact with a monster!

This adventure idea came about while watching the criminally underrated movie “Dragonslayer”. To start, the players will be traveling to or nearby a small town/community in the middle of nowhere. How they discover this is part of the fun, but the land is cursed by the residence of a large and dangerous monster of some kind (perhaps even a dragon if the GM feels confident that the group can handle it). Unable to do anything else to placate it, the town has resorted to sacrificing a member of its youth twice a year.

While they perform this sacrificial lottery in secrecy, the players will find out in some way.  Perhaps the next chosen youth, or one who is concerned that he/she will be the next one to be given to the monster, desperately comes to them for help. Or maybe they get a tip off about it via psychic means.

There are questions to consider for this adventure work, such as:

-What keeps the people here? Has the town been doing this for so long that it’s just the norm? Does the monster provide some kind of financial benefit? Does the monster have some kind telepathic effect on the town that keeps them from leaving? Will the monster just not let them leave town? Is the town worried that if they leave the monster will also leave and prey upon some other unsuspecting town or city?

-What does the monster do with the town’s youth? The most common answer is to eat them, but it may be worse than that. If so, what nefarious purpose might it have for them? The players would inevitably want to deal with the monster, but at least a few of the residents won't appreciate meddlers getting involved and potentially enraging the monster (it takes its anger out on the town).

Another angle might be that the entire town will try to stop them, perhaps they are under the influence of the monster, or theyre simply terrified of angering/upsetting it and simply want to keep the peace (which is why they began the sacrificial lottery to begin with).

Finding the monster's lair can be as challenging as the GM desires, and might require someone from town to help them find it (maybe one of the potential teens registered in the lottery would help).

“Rise the Dead” by Anthony Uyl

BTS illustration

Frequent guest and contributor Anthony Uyl has submitted a twelve page BTS adventure for all the house guests to enjoy!

“In this adventure, characters will be thrust into a small town where many superstitions and folk-lore abound. The P.C.’s will have to determine what’s true and what’s false as they follow the tracks of a mysterious stranger the locals claim have been causing strange people to emerge from the dark forests surrounding the small town of Hemel. When they find him, they'll be thrust into a climactic battle against a great evil and its source of power”.

Click here to download the PDF