Atticus, a weak man weary of the pain and struggle of human life, lay on the cold marble of his kitchen floor. Focusing on the grooves and shadows that made up his ceiling, his eyes followed a specific shape across the ceiling that resembled a ghoulish face. He grimaced and rolled over whispering the name of his once lover whom had called 30 minutes earlier to pronounce she no longer wanted to be with him and continued to insult him for approximately 15 minutes. But Atticus wasn’t surprised, what with her fickle behavior and all it was only a matter of time. He sat up slumping a bit and thought what was all this worth? Why should he be the one burdened by life when so many others have opted out but after such a thought he shook his head standing up and thinking to himself what a fool I am. He stretched his arms out wide arching his back like a cat, when all of a sudden he felt something drip on his shoulder. Looking up he saw a strange discolored liquid that was absorbing the ceiling. “Just my luck” he mumbled staring inquisitively at the spot that seemed to be almost black. Removing the muck off his shoulder he went to the cabinet to grab a pot and placed it where the liquid was falling. He looked once more at the spot giving it a good hard stare and then shrugging and sauntering off to his bed room to sulk for the evening.
Dripping ever so slowly the pot began to fill up with the murky black liquid becoming thicker and thicker as it grew in mass. Wandering spirits could see into the abyss of darkness but not humans, not Atticus. The pot sat in the kitchen an ominous omen. Repulsive as it grew to smell of sulfur and dead skin. With darkness falling across the sky, and Atticus fast asleep without a thought of the dripping horror in his kitchen, the mass began to gain more and more power as it grew into a monstrous figure.
Atticus was awoken to a nauseating smell that he could not quite explain he quickly shielded his nose and mouth from the odor and rushed out of his bedroom. Upon approaching the kitchen he was surprised to see the pot was no longer holding that strange liquid but a much stranger mucus residue resided in the pot instead. He slowly crouched over the pot inspecting the disgusting sticky filth that remained inside. Then he looked up to find the spot on the ceiling was also gone. Puzzled he quickly picked up the pot and sat it in the sink filling it with soap and hot water. When suddenly he heard a squeaking of the springs on his couch, Atticus froze where he stood feeling vulnerable. He slowly turned his head to peer down the hallway that lead to his living room and what he found sitting upon the couch made his stomach even sicker. A creature blacker than the night sky whose skin was porous in appearance spikes traveled across his head and down his figure and his eyes a circular shape that glowed white. The creature seemed to have helped himself to a glass of scotch and was reclining on Atticus’s couch sipping away. Atticus’s heart began to pound as his mind raced what was he to do? This thing wasn’t human or even earthly! And why the hell was it drinking his brand new pricey scotch! Atticus out of ideas poured himself a glass of scotch and cautiously moved towards the living room.
Atticus stepped through the doorway and pressed his back against the wall as if stunned by the creatures gaze. The creatures mouth curled into a horrific grin and then it began to speak “Dear Atticus finally awake I see” the creature said bringing the glass of scotch to his ferocious mouth. Atticus’s eyes began to widen with surprise at the eloquence this creature was able to communicate with. He would have thought a creature as vile and pungent as it would be nothing more than a beast. Atticus gulped and his mouth quivered “What are you? What are you doing here?” he said barely managing to choke the words out. “Who me?” the creature said with a hint of sarcasm “I am Borus, well that is who I am. Why don’t we save the what for another time? And I am here for you young Atticus. To help you…” Borus’s words trailed off into a thought. Atticus looked at him with a puzzled face and began to feel angry “Oh I need help do I. Fancy someone like you would say that.” The words slipped out before he could catch them. Atticus covered his mouth as Borus gave him a good long look “Well someone like me would say that to a pitiful human, yes.” Borus pulled himself up from the couch and towered over Atticus like a giant black bolder. “You my dear boy have something special that if you tried could be cultivated into great power. Great power that I need, you see if you didn’t I would not be wasting my time on a silly human.” Borus said impatiently. Atticus frightened by the sheer size of Borus’s shadowy figure clutched at the wall as if trying to stabilize himself. “But I am nothing more than a man I have no power, you must have the wrong guy.” He said inching towards the hallway. But Borus stopped him with his large claw-like hands saying “You do” and with those words Atticus looked down at the creatures hand on his chest and saw the blackness of the creature begin to seep into his skin. Atticus panicked and began to try to squirm away panting in a cold sweat. Borus removed his hand and Atticus dropped to the floor curling up and clutching his chest as if that would protect him. The world began to spin and faded into darkness as Atticus lost consciousness.
Atticus awoke on the cold floor with no concept of time. His head and chest pounded with intense pain as he rolled onto his back focusing on steadying his breathing he moved his hands over his face trying to calm his mind. What happened earlier was it a dream? He looked down at his chest and felt relieved when he saw nothing but milky flesh. He slowly raised his weary body from the floor and staggered out of the room, head hanging, thinking he must have been delusional earlier, when all of a sudden he ran into something slightly soft in the hallway. His eyes fixed on the ground would not move. Atticus smelt the nauseating stench again and staggered back “damn it!” he cringed. Borus frowned “not happy to see me?” he muttered in an impatient tone. Atticus sighed “obviously not but it seems you’re not going to leave till you get what you want and obviously I am no match in a fight against you. I could call the police… But I think I would be the one leaving in a white padded van. So let’s do this.”Borus smirked at Atticus’s boldness and put his clawed hand across Atticus’s shoulder saying “follow me” and then turning around and striding away with such speed that Atticus’s jaw almost hit the floor. He was becoming more and more curious as to what the creature was and what it wanted although that thought was quite frightening to him. The bigger question being was he doomed? Would this creature devour him and leave no trace of whom or what he was? Not that it would matter he had no immediate family other than a money hungry older brother with his head up his own ass. He sighed again as he followed Borus through the hallway and around the kitchen till they were standing in the place where the pot had once resided. Borus raised his head to gaze at where the black abyss had gathered on the ceiling. His glowing eye sockets began to illuminate brighter until hot white beams shot from his eyes reaching up to the ceiling changing it into a magnificent spinning vortex. Borus extended his hand towards Atticus and reluctantly Atticus accepted his hand and they disappeared into the shadowy gateway.
The two faded like ghosts into the next plain of existence. Upon entering this new dimension Atticus found he was once again nauseous but this wasn’t in the least bit surprising, ever since he met Borus his stomach had been in knots. He plopped down on the ground trying to regain his balance and overcome this unbearable nausea. As his sickness began to subside he was able to take in his surroundings. The land was ash white and flakes of dust floated across the barren ground. There were no buildings as far as the eye could see only a few black trees that curled in on themselves’ twisting around like serpents in the breeze. Atticus felt as if he were stuck inside some demented child’s coloring book. He looked towards Borus for an answer Borus just hung his head in despair. This baffled Atticus but he wasn’t going to pry, he was still holding a grudge against this creature for basically kidnapping him and invading his home. So Atticus waltzed over to one of the creepy trees thinking I can tell Borus belongs here in this estranged world. He poked at the tree curiously when all of a sudden he felt a strange liquid drip down his lower back. He jumped around with cat like reflexes pressing his back against the cold yet soft tree. He was surprised to see the limbs of the tree encroaching on him as if about to engulf and devour his body. The branches quickly wrapped around him as Atticus frantically tried to get Borus’s attention but he seemed to be lost in some thought. “You sure have shitty timing Borus…BORUS!” Atticus provoked but it was too late he was engulfed in the cocoon of limps. A strange sticky liquid began to seep out of the limbs of the tree and fill up the cocoon. Atticus trying to stay calm searched the limbs for weaknesses and finally came upon a scrawny branch that he clawed at tearing it to shreds. He reached his arm through the crack and rammed his fist against the trees outer shell but it wouldn’t release him! The sappy liquid smoked as it started to burn through his skin Atticus lost his cool and began to cry out, what else could he do? When all of a sudden he felt something moving under his skin ripping at his shirt he saw it move across his chest and stop directly over his heart. The lump began to pulse and laminate and with a burst of energy shot across his chest in all directions. He could feel the hot energy flowing through his body and he turned to the tree destroying its limbs with one swift motion. He fell out of the tree soaked with acid and sweat; his eyes glowing white just like those of Borus and for a brief second he saw Borus not as a monster but a friend.
Hands and knees on the ground Atticus panted as the power surged through his body. He felt as though he might burst into flames when all of a sudden he felt Borus’s hand on his back and heard the soft words drift through the air “Control it. Control the chaotic energy that flows through your veins. This is the gift that I have given to you; you may use it in any way as long as you learn to control it kid.” With those words Atticus squeezed his eyes together focusing on centering the energy and as he felt the pressure lift from his body he relaxed and fell to the ground. “That might take a while to get used to” he said with a smirk “But why the hell didn’t you help me?” Borus looked around “Well I had to test you out to make sure you were able to handle the power.” Atticus looked at him for a moment and then burst out “So wait you didn’t know I was ‘special’? I see so I could have just exploded into a billion sparkly flames because you wanted to use me for some strange experiment!?” Borus chuckled “Well yes! But you didn’t now did you?” Atticus irritated looked down feeling out of control and used shot Borus an angry glair and then spat out “Well what’s next huh? Now that I know I have this extraordinary energy you have to let me test it out on something. At least make up for almost killing me!” Borus sighed “Stop being so childish Atticus. We must continue our journey” Atticus impatiently followed Borus through the misty terrain “Where are we going?” Atticus pestered Borus like a young child “I deserve to know whats going on!” Borus eyed Atticus repeatedly but didn’t stop to answer his question. Atticus continued to ramble on no longer paying attention to his surroundings when all of a sudden he smacked into something hard knocking him to the ground. When he looked around he saw nothing and Borus had stopped about 10 steps behind him. “Borus! What!? Where!? Okay never mind” He said as he realized asking Borus a question would return foggy answers. Borus looked at him “I thought this invisible wall might just shut you up. This is our destination” Borus said rubbing his fierce claws together. Atticus furrowed his brow squinting at the wall that was ‘apparently’ there. Standing up he walked back towards Borus who cleared his throat and began speaking “Atticus I need you to call upon your energy and focus it in the direction of that wall you just hit.” Atticus nodded and then stretched out his arms and tensed up his body staring at the wall intensely. Borus watched him for a moment and then burst into laughter “What are you doing!?” Atticus frowned “What! This is what every character I’ve ever seen on TV do when trying to destroy something with energy, I just assumed that’s how it’s done” Embarrassed Atticus folded his arms across his chest and waited for Borus to finish mocking him. “Okay, sorry I should have explained it to you. Focus your energy in the center of your chest and when you feel it burst across your whole body you will know the chaotic energy has been released into your veins. Then you can try directing it at the wall.” Atticus tried again this time he was able to prevail and shot a whit hot beam of energy directly at the building. It began to ripple across the surface of the walls materializing a white oval shaped building with black windows. Atticus lowered his hands and said through grinding teeth “Stop” as he tried to release himself from the vicious hands of power. He felt the calm fall over his body and stretched his arms releasing some tension.
Borus was standing in front of the entrance to this strange building with a grim look on his face. He reached for the handle carefully afraid of what he might find inside of this place he once called home. Gripping the handle he trying to build up the courage to open it but could not. Borus turned away feeling pathetic as he paced back and forth. Atticus watched with curious eyes but shrugged it off and went straight for the door turning the knob and letting it swing open. Borus quickly turned and rushed towards Atticus to see what was revealed. But nothing seemed to be moving inside; it was deftly quiet and white as a blank piece of paper. The two crept into the house searching for any sign of abnormality but Borus saw nothing. With a sigh he relaxed a little sitting down at his old dinner table. Atticus continued to look around when something caught his eye in the mirror of the bedroom. Creeping closer he could see the image of a unclothed woman in the mirror coaxing him to come closer. Curious he continued towards the lovely figure when he got the entry way of the bedroom the house began to rumble and a long thin crack shot across the mirror. Bursting the mirror open to reveal a hideous beast with slick black tentacles that reached out into the room twisting and flipping around. Its head was horned and large with the same white eyes as Borus. The form of a woman was attached to its body and seemed to be somewhat alive and connected to this vile creature. Atticus stumbled back as his heart pounded vigorously against his flesh. Borus ran through the doorway with fierce determination ordering Atticus to call forth his power. Atticus nodded and reached into himself pulling out the overwhelming surge of energy. Borus turned to him and said “This is your enemy once you have destroyed it I will release you!” Atticus nodded trying to hear over the chaos. He turned towards the beast and rushed it with a burst of energy the beast recoiled but quickly shot forward entangling Atticus in its many limbs. Atticus shrieked as it constricted him, trying to crush his bones. Atticus’s eyes flashed a white hot beam slicing across the tentacles and plopping him onto the ground. Panting he quickly rose to his feet charging the beast again and again but he could not seem to kill it. As he attacked it Atticus tried searching for a weakness but this jet black creature seemed to have none. He thought back to when he first saw it and remembered the form of the woman, where had it gone? He ran around the creature trying to find the slender body when all of a sudden he discovered it sinking in and out of the creature’s body. That must be the weakness! He thought to himself and began to seek it out throwing powerful attacks at it every chance he got. When suddenly the creature stunned began to sway and the woman slumped down from the creatures belly attached to veins and organs that now were exposed. The woman began to gasp as if she was choking spitting up black goo. Atticus gazed at the creature with cruel eyes and as he felt the rage build up inside him his eyes began to glow brighter. He reached for the woman’s face gripping it tightly in his hands and ripped it away from the body of the creature. The woman decapitated gasped again, and with a burst of veins, sighed her last breath. The creature began to twitch and flail as its body spat up black and red liquids. Atticus victorious stood in the middle of the room eyes glowing no longer human. His chest began to burn clutching at it he felt as if hot knives were carving into him. But the pain momentarily subsided and when it did he looked down to see a large symbol circular in the middle with arrows stretching out from all directions, the symbol of chaos. It looked as though his skin had been ripped off and in its place laid black skin similar to Borus’s with purple veins stretching out across his chest pulsating.
Atticus slowly turned his face upward to face Borus “What is this?” he questioned in a frigid tone. Borus chuckled “What a strong human you are! Oh and smart too! I mean you were just able to destroy the guardian of the gate to the human world. Bravo!” he said with a mocking tone. “What are you saying Borus?” Atticus asked patiently. “You opened the gate between your world and mine the shadow world, demon world, land of the creepy crawlies whatever you want to call it! You know I’m glad because sneaking around that guardian was always such a hassle” He said with a wink. Atticus now enraged looked past the dead guardian’s body to see an enormous gateway now vulnerable and exposed. Borus put his arm around Atticus’s shoulder and whispered in his ear “now your world is mine kid.” Atticus was fully enraged now and his body began to tremble glowing with chaotic energy he shouted out in anger “BORUSSSS! You betrayed me!” Borus’s figure began to fade as Atticus charged him. Atticus fell to the ground alone again thinking to himself I will destroy you creature of the abyss. Making that promise to himself Atticus brought himself to his feet and watched as creatures began to slither, crawl, and run through the gateway.
The players begin their journey on the streets of a very old and lowly populated city. The city air is thick and there is a strange aroma and fog about the environment. The characters will witness the attack and murder of a civilian, dumbfounded the players must band together to uncover the dark secrets behind the strange occurrences. (Note to DM: Be prepared for unexpected actions by players and be willing to compromise the game in order to uphold a working story and game.)
The players encounter their first creature and must defeat it using their hiding skills and weapons on hand. The creature encountered is the isopod, the weakest enemy, the isopod will move in a mass of 20 to 30 and will attack the players and explode. After escaping or defeating their enemies the players will be able to inspect the creatures. If the players roll an intellect of 10 or above they will reveal that the creatures are not native to land but water. Depending on their roll they may also notice that the creatures have mutated and have a strange mucus seeping from their shells.
The second encounter that will occur will be with the jellyfish, once again the players skills in hiding and combat will be used to defeat the enemies.The jellyfish are slightly stronger and more intelligent than the isopods. They move in groups of 3 to 5 and have glowing heads like spotlights to detect life. The jellyfish will shock and stun players so they should be avoided. After defeating the enemies the player may roll to observe the dead or passing jellyfish at this point the players realize that these creatures are either aliens or from the sea. They fear the cause of the mutants invading the city and notice that the creatures are releasing a strange gas that has caused them to feel strange and begin to hallucinate. At this point in the game the sanity meter will come into play.
Middle(Tension is build up at this point):
The players are frantically searching for answers as they travel across the map. They stumble upon a pawn shop with flashing lights that read open. The players wander in hoping for answers. They meet a rough looking older man with a glass eye and a large scar running down the side of his face. The man follows the players with his one working eye and abrasively nods his head in approval of their entrance. The players will have the opportunity to talk to the pawn shop owner and if they do they will be greatly rewarded with information and 2 large health packs. The pawn shop owner questions the players because he fears they may be infected with the insanity that has been spreading around town. He reveals conspiracies that he has heard but they are gossip and not solid information still.
The players will have to battle their sanity during this crisis. The players will encounter dragon fish, while small these creatures carry a large amount of poison and cause the players to start to lose their sanity faster. The players will become confused and will be forced to work together in order to stabilize their sanity through communication and in game actions. After escaping the creatures the players will realize the creatures are polluting the air with gases that may be the end to human kind. With this knowledge they continue their journey to stop mans apocalyptic fate.
They continue their journey across the dark terrain cautiously. The players will feel relieved when they discover a open gas station that seems lively. Upon entering the station they will find that the building has been overrun with more mutated creatures. Horrified they witness the devouring of the cashier. As his body flops around like a rag doll they watch the mutant creature embody the dead man’s corpse and rise. The creature encountered at this point in the game is the giant squid. This is the most difficult creature within the campaign and must be defeated with the player’s environment and objects. During the battle with the squid the players will run into a strange man who, if they players are having trouble, will tip them off on defeating the squid. After defeating the enemy the players will follow the man back to an abandoned building where they will converse.
The old wise man will reveal his past to the players and explain to them why these strange events are occurring. He will plead with the players to help eradicate the creatures before they destroy everything with the poisonous gas they are spreading. The players may accept or deny this quest. If they accept they will be rewarded with skill points that carry over into the next campaign.
How to be a Dungeon Master:
What is a Dungeon Master?: As a DM, you control everything including monsters and non-player characters. In short you are guiding the players through the game and as the DM are responsible for creating a fun experience for everyone. The DM’s responsibility is to balance story and gameplay as seen fit for the group of players.
The world has been on the brink of world war three for many years now. A secret corporation has been secretly developing nuclear bombs and testing them at the bottom of the ocean where they will go unnoticed. Their creations were a success and a nuclear bomb that would inflict madness upon civilians and cause waves of mass suicide was created. But what the corporation did not anticipate was the mutation of the deep sea creatures. The creatures from the belly of the ocean rise to the surface and begin to invade the states, giving the citizens one last chance to defend and prepare themselves from this deadly weapon.
There will be a map here indicating where important events will happen and where items are located.
There are three sizes of health packs the player may acquire (Small, medium, and large). The small pack allows the player to regenerate 10% of their health. The medium pack allows players to regenerate 25% of their health. The large health pack allows players to regenerate 50% of their health.
The lighter is used to scare away enemies and damage them slightly (gives player a +1 to combat roll). The lighter has a total of 10 uses per container.
The wooden plank is used to damage enemies or break obstacles (gives the player +2 to combat roll). The wooden plank has a total of 4 uses per plank.
The gas tank is used to destroy an area or enemies (gives the player +4 to combat roll). The gas tank has a total of one use per tank.
The cake is used to regenerate sanity (causes sanity to regenerate at a speed of 40% instead of 15% over the duration of two turns.)
Health is based on a 100 point scale. The player’s health does not regenerate without a health pack or over time. The player’s health cannot be upgraded.
The sanity mechanic is an important asset of the game. The sanity scale will be based off a 100 point scale and is not upgradable but does regenerate over time (15% per turn):
+90%: The player will have no side affects
75%: The player will hear strange noises (Scurrying, whispering, creaking) as well as begin to see shadow people in their peripheral vision.
60%: The side effects stated earlier will increase in intensity and the player’s vision will begin to tunnel. They will be able to hear their heart pounding louder.
45%: The player’s vision will blur in and out as the other side effects prevail. The player will see strange shadowy figures and begin to have episodes.
30%: The player will have trouble focusing at this point and must either use an item to regenerate their health or find a safe area to wait for their sanity to regenerate. The player will no longer be able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy.
-15%: The player will no longer be able to control their actions at this point it is highly unlikely they will survive unless they have an item to regenerate their sanity.
For skills: (intellect, strength, agility, and charisma) the player will be given 10 skill points to put into these areas but cannot put more than 5 into a single skill or less than one. The player will use these when rolling dice for hiding, combat, observation, and seeking information. The player will use a 20 sided die when rolling for level of success:
20-25: The player will hit the enemy, only doing seven damage + the player’s strength stat. The player will be able to hide extremely well with no chance of being spotted. When observing the player will be able to see everything in plain sight with high details.
15-19: The player will hit the enemy, only doing five damage + the player’s strength stat. The player will be able to hide strategically and have a slight chance of being spotted. When observing the player will be able to see everything in plain sight with good details.
10-14: The player will hit the enemy, only doing three damage + the player’s strength stat. The player will be able to hide adequately but there is still a chance they might get spotted. When observing the player will be able to see everything in plain sight with little details.
5-9: The player will hit the enemy, only doing one damage + the player’s strength stat. The player will be able to hide poorly and will most likely be spotted by the enemy. When observing the player will be able to see everything in plain sight but no details.
0-4: In combat the player does not hit anything and in fact deals 2 damage to themselves. When trying to hide, the player will fail to hide and be in plain sight of the enemy. When trying to observe a room or area they will see nothing.
Will come into play when the player is rolling for combat or to move a heavy object.
Will come into play when the player is rolling for observation and hiding.
Will come into play when the player is rolling to escape. Agility also determines the player’s movement being a number 1-5.
Will come into play when the player is rolling to acquire information from a NPC.
The isopod is a small creature, about the size of a small dog; it travels in packs of 20 and scavenges for human flesh. The creature makes a clicking noise as it scurries across land. These creatures are the easiest to defeat but beware of their numbers.
The jellyfish is a medium size creature, approximately 3 ft in diameter and 3 ½ in height. The jellyfish travels in packs of 3 and are modified to float in air like they do in water. They have bright glowing spots on their heads that are meant to mirror spot lights. When these creatures are near the player will hear a strange buzzing noise.
The squid is the largest and most intelligent creature, about the size of a 10 year old child not including tentacles. The squid travel alone and find humans to attach themselves to similar to that of a parasite. The squid uses human bodies to navigate the map. The player will hear wet dragging feet and the sound of jerky crushing bones when this creature approaches.
Police Officer(if not a player character):
Inquisitive character that does not tell the player much but asks many questions.
The police officer has knowledge of the current events but is not so willing to give it up. He will hint at the truth but never blatantly tell the player.
A rude character that avoids conversing with the player.
The thug knows little to nothing about the current events and will threaten the player if they ask too many questions or linger too long.
This character is kind to the player but is not in the right state of mind therefore her information does not always make sense.
The hooker has seen the strange creatures many times and although she knows not of their origin she does know how to survive. She will hint at ways to stay alive, if the player listens they will most likely stay safe.
The motel owner is a crooked old man who shoos the player away but also reveals some helpful hints.
The motel owner hears rumors from all types of people. He is the man who can tell you gossip but his information may not always be right.
The waitress is a friendly woman but knows little to nothing about the strange happenings around town.
The waitress does not bring up the topic of the strange occurrences because she has not encountered any of the creatures but she lends the player a friendly ear to ease their worries.
The pawnshop owner is a laid back middle age man who talks coolly with the player but does not give the player any information unless asked several questions. The pawnshop owner see’s all the scum around town and has a bit of information about the happenings such as their weaknesses and hot spots but you didn’t hear it from him.