The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Lodovico Grimaldi, Lady of Glass]

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
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Skaramine
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Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; The Stranger's Club, John Albion, Professor Vulcan]

Post by Skaramine » Sat May 19, 2018 3:28 am

Vulcan and Albion are fantastic!
The ATT member formerly known as both MorningKnight and Power-Glove.
Just call me Doug.

Yojimbo
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Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; The Stranger's Club, John Albion, Professor Vulcan]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat May 19, 2018 2:49 pm

Skaramine wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 3:28 am
Vulcan and Albion are fantastic!
Thanks! I'm posting the two player characters next, the characters for which all the adventures were basically written. I didn't build them myself, but I'm including them in order to provide context for the adventures I did author and will be posting. After that will come more of the Stranger's Club.

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The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Ambrose Blackwood, Samarioch the Blind]]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat May 19, 2018 2:58 pm

The Blackwood Detective Agency

Sir Ambrose Blackwood
Scion of a wealthy family of arms manufacturers, Ambrose Blackwood defied his family’s wishes by studying magic. Upon graduation, Ambrose hung out his shingle as a consulting detective and freelance wizard.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 10 (-) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 10 (-) INT: 20 (+5) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Bluff 10 (+12)
Diplomacy 8 (+10)
Disable Device 10 (+15)
Gather Information 15 (+17)
Investigate 10 (+15)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 15 (+20)
Knowledge: Behavioral Science 6 (+11)
Knowledge: Civics 6 (+11)
Knowledge: Otherworlds 8 (+13)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 10 (+15)
Language 4 [Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Spanish]
Notice 15 (+18)
Profession: Detective 5 (+8)
Search 15 (+20)
Sense Motive 10 (+13)
Stealth 10 (+11)
Feats: Accurate Attack
All-Out Attack
Benefit 3 [Wealth]
Fearless
Improved Initiative 2
Luck 2
Power Attack
Ritualist
Well-Informed
Powers: Magic 12 [Mystic Blast (Improved Critical 1, Affects Insubstantial 1)]
  • AP: Dazzle 12 [Visual]
  • AP: Healing 12
  • AP: Mind Reading 10
  • AP: Snare 12
  • AP: Strike 12
  • AP: Super-Movement 3 [Dimensional (Any)]
  • AP: Super-Senses 4 [Postcognition]
  • AP: Teleport 11 [1100 ft./move action; Change Direction, Easy]
Protection 8
Combat: Attack +8 [Blast DC 27, Dazzle DC 22, Mind Reading DC 20, Snare DC 22, Strike DC 27, Unarmed DC 15], Defense +12, Init +9
Saves: Toughness +8, Fortitude +5, Reflex +6, Will +8
Description: A dapper gentleman of means, with neatly coiffed black hair and piercing blue eyes, Ambrose Blackwood wears black suits, color waistcoats, and a top hat. He keeps a walking stick in hand, which he can empower magically to strike with tremendous crushing power. As an accomplished detective and wizard, Blackwood has a variety of spells to aid him in his adventures. The most vulgar of them is a blast of purple energy, invoked via “nekka tekka thi er” and dexterous movements of the hands. He can also blind with a burst of light, enwrap foes in mystic bindings, use magic for healing and recovery, or transport himself through space to virtually anywhere in the world or even into other dimensions. With magic, Blackwood can also peer into a person’s mind or view the recent past, both very useful applications in his chosen profession.

Under the Hood
Blackwood is basically Sherlock Holmes with magic. He originally had a bunch of super-sense APs. The very first adventure I ran for these characters, "The Threat From Below," Blackwood pulled out his Postcognition and I realized that making mysteries for a detective who could see the past was going to be a serious pain in the ass (never mind the Mind Reading). The player reigned that stuff in a little bit, but the third adventure I built in material for his Postcognition, so it sort of worked out. He almost never used it after that, instead mostly relying on his skills to figure out he meager puzzles I devised.

This is Blackwood at his most recent; a lot of the bells and whistles built up over the course of the game. He couldn't originally Teleport, for example, but after needing to power stunt that during the second adventure, added it permanently for future use.

His family would provide fodder for future adventures, and he also managed to acquire a household of sorts along the way, too.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yojimbo
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The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Ambrose Blackwood, Samarioch the Blind]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat May 19, 2018 3:08 pm

Samarioch the Blind
The being known as Samarioch claims to be a fallen angel, sent to Earth to right wrongs and protect the innocent. His strange bedraggled appearance and lack of functioning eyes argue against an angelic nature, but his phenomenal abilities seem to support his claim.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 16 (+3) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 16 (+3) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 16 (+3)
Skills: Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+11)
Knowledge: History 8 (+11)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 8 (+11)
Notice 8 (+11)
Stealth 4 (+7)
Feats: Accurate Attack
All-Out Attack
Fearless
Luck 4
Power Attack
Takedown Attack 1
Ultimate Effort [Toughness Save]
Powers: “Cosmic Retribution” Blast 10 [Improved Critical 2, Alternate Save (Will), Action (Full)]
  • AP: “Cosmic Healing” Healing 10
  • AP: “Light of Creation” Blast 10 [Improved Critical 2]
  • AP: Strike 10 [Improved Critical 2]
Immunity 14 [Aging, Disease, Life Support, Poison, Sleep, Starvation & Thirst]
Impervious Toughness 3
Leaping 5 [Running Jump: 650 ft., Standing Jump: 325 ft., High Jump: 162 ft.]
Protection 7 [Impervious]
Regeneration 1 [Resurrection (1 week)
Super-Senses 4 [Hearing (Acute, Radius), Smell (Acute, Radius)]
Super-Senses 4 [Precognition (Uncontrolled)]
Combat: Attack +10 [Blast DC 25, Strike DC 25, Unarmed DC 18], Defense +10, Init +3
Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude +5, Reflex +5, Will +5
Description: Medium height and build, with gray skin and long white hair. Perpetually closed eyes, seemingly sealed shut, but moves and reacts without any hindrance. Wears a long gray overcoat and beneath that he is wrapped in rags. A very physical being, Samarioch relies upon the crushing power of his fists, his prodigious leaping ability, and his heightened senses almost exclusively. Among the remnant of his angelic powers is the ability to call upon cosmic retribution, a beam of purplish-black light that attacks the victim’s psyche and makes them relive their recent transgressions. He can also generate a ray of super-heated light, the so-called “Light of Creation,” or mend the wounds and maladies of others with a healing touch. Samariach possesses few of the weaknesses of material beings, being proof against poisons and diseases of all kinds, and needing neither food, rest, or drink. Few mortal beings can harm him, as his body is made of material stronger than steel and proof against most conventional weapons. If this body is killed, he can recover, rising in the span of about a week. He is sometimes visited with strange visions of possible futures, which drag him hither and yon through the backstreets of London in search of lost souls to aid.

Under the Hood
I thought this was a very interesting and imaginative character - a blind angel wandering the Earth looking to help people. He was definitely the Watson to Blackwood's Holmes, as he was the muscle, but he also brought a variety of different abilities to situations. His Uncontrollable Precognition was a gift - I got to use foreshadowing or prologues where Samarioch felt compelled to check out something that led to deeper mysteries. A lot of fun, really.

I hope you can tell that this isn't one of my builds - all those Improve Criticals on everything, for one - but if I was making a blind character with super-senses to compensate, that's not at all how I would have done it. I never audit characters as a GM (I generally trust my players), but sometimes I wish I did.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yojimbo
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Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; Ambrose Blackwood, Samarioch the Blind]]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat May 19, 2018 3:10 pm

The backgrounds on Blackwood and Samarioch are sparse because, again, they aren't mine. I'm only posting them to give you all some context as to why the adventures are designed the way they are - there's a lot of background that goes into the introductions to each, especially as the adventures accumulate - and I also tried to cater to particular powers and abilities and the like.

Anyway, the next thing I'll post will be the first adventure, "The Threat From Below."

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The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [The Threat From Below]]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon May 21, 2018 12:46 am

The Adventure of the Threat From Below

Introduction

Due to the recent collapse of the Guardian Protection System[1], widespread chaos has erupted across London. The police are stretched too thinly across the city, trying to keep order, but many threats are simply too much for ordinary police forces to deal with. Martial law is probably days from being declared, and there has been a great deal of rumbling from the Houses in Parliament about the situation. The papers are full of questions about what the Queen thinks, what she will do about the situation, etc.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of work available for mercenaries and freelance detectives.

The Hunt

Blackwood has been contracted to deal with some strangeness in Westminster. The people of the neighborhood of King’s St., Covent, and S. Garden have contracted Blackwood’s services to deal with an unusual problem. Several respectable members of the neighborhood have on separate occasions witnessed a “monster” rising from the sewers. While police have proved uninterested in hearsay (and are too busy anyway), the neighborhood is convinced that an invasion from Faerie is imminent. They’ve hired you to deal with the problem.

Whether patrolling the streets or camping out and keeping an eye on the sewer entrances, the hero will get an eyeful (descending into the sewers is not recommended). Around 4:00 AM, a manhole cover will be forcefully lifted from below, and two huge and misshapen scaled humanoids will climb out on to the street. They are difficult to make out in the morning fog, but as they step into the light, it becomes easier to make them out.

Deep Ones
PL: 8 (93 pp)
Abilities: STR: 18 (+4) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 10 (-) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Climb 4 (+8)
Handle Animal 4
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 4 (+5)
Notice 4
Search 2 (+3)
Stealth 4 (+6)
Survival 6
Feats: Endurance 1
Power Attack
Rage 1
Teamwork 1
Equipment 4 [Hook-Staff]
Powers: Immunity 3 [Cold, High Pressure, Suffocation (Drowning)]
Protection 5
Strike 2 [Mighty]
Super-Senses 3 [Darkvision, Scent]
Swimming 4 [25 mph, 220 ft./rnd]
Combat: Attack +8 [Unarmed +6, Hook-Staff Melee +7, Hook-Staff Blast +5], Defense +6, Init +2
Saves: Toughness +9, Fortitude +6, Reflex +6, Will +4
Description: Hulking creatures covered in fish scales, with fins located on strategic locations and unblinking amber eyes, the creatures wear some kind of fine mesh clothing. Strange loops and belts that appear to be made of organic material hold a variety of odd looking implements. They are each armed with a six foot long staff that appears to be made of bone. With a twist of the wrist, the staff can extend either a wickedly curved hook or unleash a blast of blue-green energy.

The creatures move with an odd gait, their large sharp-toothed mouths opening and closing as they survey the street. Then they begin to toddle off in the direction of the Thames.

If stopped, whether spoken to or attacked, they will themselves attack. They fight to the death. If searched, they each possess a small metal disk imprinted with the image Ψ.

The neighborhood folk are relieved that Blackwood has found and destroyed the creatures, but they are quite rightly terrified and disturbed by the existence of such things in God’s realm.

Concerning Mr. Blackwood

Blackwood returns to his apartment/office to see a letter in the post from a Professor Crawford Tillinghast, who has requested that you visit him at his office at King’s College. He desires your help with a delicate matter, requiring the greatest of discretion. Please call at his office at the university, archaeology department, Strand campus.

The Appointment

Rest, recuperate, discuss your strange find, divide up the spoils. But don’t take too long, as Professor Tillinghast is waiting.

As Blackwood steps out his door, one of the new horseless carriages pulls up, steam churning from the engine in the back. It peals away from the curb into traffic at speed, a dark skinned foreign type at the wheel. If asked, the cabbie’s name is Harry. He’s got dredlocks and a neatly trimmed beard, and some kind of idol or fetish hanging from the dashboard.

The city streets whirl past you at an uncomfortable speed. Horse drawn carriages and pedestrians have to rush out of the way. You pass a few scenes of devastation – London is still rebuilding following the destruction of the Guardian robots. The streets and buildings are black with soot, the streets thronged with people, and in the skies you can see dirigibles moving gracefully through the clouds. You see automechanical servants carrying packages, walking a step behind their masters. A faerie with clipped wings begs on a corner, until some bobbies come round to deal with him.

The cab deposits you at King’s College in about twenty minutes, and you navigate your way through the buildings and grounds to the archaeological department. A young man in school dress escorts you up to Tillinghast’s office on the second floor. Within, Crawford Tillinghast awaits. He is a small man, with a large head of hair long since gone gray, receding from the high crown of his forehead. His beard is large and luxurious, reaching down to his chest, and he wears small pince-nez glasses on his bulbous nose. The office is the usual assortment of books, bones, stone tools, and other accoutrements of the trade. Tillinghast has one of those new-fangled Babbage machines on his desk; it looks a little like a typewriter with a mirror attached to it.

The professor rises, extending a hand to welcome Blackwood. He is a bit put-out by the presence of anyone else, but clearly too much the gentleman to say anything. “Welcome to King’s College, Mr. Blackwood. I appreciate you coming on such short notice. I stressed discretion in my communiqué. Can your companion be trusted?”

“Very well. Better to show you than simply tell you, I suppose.” He picks up a walking stick and leads you out of the office, heading down the hall and to the stairs. “I’m sure you’re familiar with Franklin’s lost expedition? No?

“The expedition was a doomed voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845. A Royal Navy officer and experienced explorer, Franklin had served on three previous Arctic expeditions, the latter two as commanding officer. His fourth and last, undertaken when he was 59, was meant to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage. After a few early fatalities the two ships became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in the Canadian Arctic. The entire expedition complement, including Franklin and 128 men, was lost.

“Pressed by Jane Griffin, Franklin’s wife, and others, the Admiralty launched a search for the missing expedition in 1848. Prompted in part by Franklin's fame and the Admiralty's offer of a finder's reward, many subsequent expeditions joined the hunt, which at one point in 1850 involved eleven of our ships and two American ships. Several of these ships converged off the east coast of Beechey Island, where the first relics of the expedition were found, including the graves of three crewmen. In 1854, explorer John Rae, while surveying near the Canadian Arctic coast southeast of King William Island, acquired relics of and stories about the Franklin party from the Eskimos. Finally, a search led by Francis Leopold McClintock in 1859 discovered a note left on King William Island with details about the expedition's fate. McClintock followed the clues, and within the year had discovered the final resting place of Franklin and his expedition.”

While talking (lecturing, really, in that way you remember from public school), Tillinghast leads you down several flights of stairs to the basement, and unlocks a few doors using an enormous key ring, finally leading you into some kind of storehouse or lab. While Tillinghast’s office was full, this place is fit to bursting. Shelves are filled with artifacts from a dozen different cultures across several thousand years. Skulls and bones – some looking only vaguely human – litter the tables and desks. Massive tomes lie in stacks, or open and spread out. On the far end of the room is a huge table with some massive figure laid across it, shrouded by a sheet.

Tillinghast continues. “McClintock spent months excavating Franklin’s final resting place, and brought not only the remains of Franklin and most of the crew back to England, but also recovered many of the artifacts and items Franklin had acquired on his expedition. Artifacts of unusual and, dare I say, unknown nature. We’ve been examining these items, and haven’t had much luck. For the most part, they defy any conventional explanation.

“Six weeks ago, McClintock died mysteriously. Three days ago, one of the artifacts began to glow. Something sinister is at work here, Mr. Blackwood. I wish you to suss it out, and deal with it in the manner you best know how.”

So, the artifacts, Tillinghast shows you in turn:

The glowing artifact is a statue of some kind, an icon of some hideous creature that seems to combine the traits of a fish, bat, bear, and cephalopod. It’s built into a circular base, bigger than your hand but small enough to fit in your palm. The statue is fashioned from some strange kind of stone or mineral which Tillinghast claims he cannot identify. Currently, the icon is glowing softly, a cool blue color. On the underside are cut several strange runes; in the center is the symbol Ψ.

The other strange artifacts look like tools or weapons fashioned from bone. Strange tubes and blades, panels or plates carved with runes, that sort of thing. All very odd and strange.

The last thing Tillinghast shows you is the body under the shroud. It is that of an enormous and incredibly ugly man with pale, sallow skin. His body is criss-crossed with scars, particularly at his joints. He has a shock of black hair on his head, including thick eyebrows, but is otherwise hairless. A DC 10 Notice check indicates he is breathing.

Tillinghast is alarmed if anyone points that out to him. He says the body was found in the hold of Franklin’s ship, clad in animal furs and completely frozen. It was kept cold in a specially prepared refrigerated unit until recently. Tillinghast had the body thawed out after the icon began glowing. He planned to dissect it, to see if he could learn anything from it regarding the icon and other implements. Now he isn’t sure what to do.

As you’re all taking this in, the door to the lab opens and four of the fish-men step into the room. Roll for initiative!

While they attack, they are clearly trying to get to the artifacts scattered across the table. In the midst of the battle (or more likely after the smoke clears), the body on the table rises, wrapped in his shroud. He introduces himself as the creation of the late Baron Frankenstein, and then says that he might be of service to the three of you. He recognizes the fish-men, having encountered them in the arctic before. If attacked, the creature does not fight back but will defend himself. He will aid the heroes against the fish-men if he has a chance to do so.

Adam Frankenstein
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 30 (+10) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 30 (+10) INT: 18 (+4) WIS: 18 (+4) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Intimidate 4
Knowledge: Life Sciences 4 (+8)
Language 4 [English, French, German, Italian]
Medicine 4 (+8)
Notice 4 (+8)
Ride 4 (+6)
Stealth 8 (+10)
Survival 4 (+8)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Improved Grab
Improved Initiative 1
Improved Pin
Jack-of-All-Trades
Power Attack
Powers: Immunity 3 [Aging, Disease, Poison]

Regeneration 18 [Persistent, Regrowth]
Bruised 3 [1/round without rest]
Disabled 6 [1/round]
Injured 4 [1/round]
Staggered 4 [1/round]
Resurrection 1 [1/week]

Super-Strength 2 [Heavy Load 3.2 tons]

Combat: Attack +10 [Unarmed +10], Defense +10, Init +6
Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude +10, Reflex +5, Will +8
Description: A gigantic man, nearly seven feet tall, with powerful muscles sheathed within thin, sallow skin. The play of muscle can be seen with his every movement, and he is further marred by excessive amounts of scar tissue, along his joints, across his trunk, and twisting his face into a perpetually snarling visage. Long, rank black hair spills down to his shoulders, and his brows are thick, but he is otherwise hairless. His eyes are a pale, watery blue, almost transparent in color. When clad in standard Victorian dress, he looks like an ordinary, albeit ugly man, and not the patchwork homunculus of Victor Frankenstein. Substantially stronger than a human being, Adam also recovers from injury at an accelerated rate (although he cannot repair the evidence of his construction), does not seem to age, and is resistant to toxins and diseases.

Taking stock, the characters will soon realize that everyone else in the building is dead, murdered by the fish-men. Rooms have been ransacked, priceless artifacts destroyed. While they are taking this all in and deciding what to do, the creature will say that he needs food and clothes. Perhaps they can continue this discussion at a tailor’s, and then a pub.

Tillinghast is suitably horrified, particularly learning how everyone else in the building is dead. He scurries to his office, starts throwing belongings into a valise, and muttering about the police. If no one stops him, he flees the archaeology department, leaving Blackwood, Vulcan, the creature, and the glowing artifact.

The creature gets ready to depart as well, whether Blackwood and Vulcan want to hear his story or not. Assuming they do, he heads out into the city still wrapped in the sheet. The creature hails a cab – an old fashioned horsedrawn one reluctantly stops for him, and after climbing aboard he tells the driver to take him to a tailor. He refuses to discuss the fish men or the artifact, instead plying the two of you with questions about London, the year, and what has happened in the last dozen years or so. He’s been on ice for some time.

The Interview

The cab deposits the three of you in front of a row of shops, and the creature leads the way into one of them. A small man with a balding pate and glasses, a length of measuring tape around his neck, answers the bell. His look of shock almost staggers him, particularly when the creature talks and requests a suit. The tailor balks at first, until the creature produces a few jewels (where was he hiding those, you wonder) and greed wins out over terror.

While the tailor measures the creature, muttering under his breath, the creature tells you his story.

“I am the creation of a medical student from Geneva named Victor Frankenstein. He hoped to conquer death, and succeeded in creating life. However, he was so horrified by his own creation that he abandoned me at the moment of my birth, my awakening, and I was forced to fend for myself. Immature, unloved, and consumed by hatred for my creator, I attempted to destroy everything he ever loved – and he pursued me to the ends of the Earth in retaliation. Our denouement occurred on the polar ice. Indeed, Victor Frankenstein drew his last breath aboard a ship very much like the one captained by your Lord Franklin. With his death, I resolved to build a pyre for myself and cast my wretched form within, no longer to haunt the lives of men.”

The creature smiles grimly at this moment, the effect somewhat ruined by the tailor scurrying around at his feet.

“As you can see, I failed in my intention. There is not much fuel for fire upon the Arctic Ocean, and I found that the damnable vitality with which Frankenstein gifted me kept me alive long after I should have perished.

“Yet I saw and learned much in that icy world. There are people there, even at that extreme corner of the Earth. Skraelings, the Vikings called them, when Erik the Red founded his colony upon Greenland. Among themselves, they use the term Eskimo – Eaters of Meat. Life is cruel and harsh upon the ice. The Eskimo live on the water as much as upon the ice, hunting seal and whale. But even the bounty of the sea would not be enough to sustain life if not for the alliance the Eskimo possess with those fish people who attacked earlier today.

“The fish men are called Deep Ones. They are a degenerate race of ancient Atlantis, who went beneath the waves countless ages ago and persist in the sunless depths. They surface occasionally, seeking breeding stock from humanity. They form colonies near coastal settlements, trading the treasures of the sea for human flesh. I believe that these colonies feed some greater state located somewhere deep within the Earth’s oceans, although where it might be located I cannot guess.

“The Deep Ones possess a complex, bloody religion that venerates two monstrous deities: Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. I think these gods may merely be gigantic representatives of their degenerate race, or they may indeed be actual gods. Perhaps demons, I do not know. They propitiate these gods with sacrifices, and they do not care to sacrifice their own. Deep Ones are long-lived, and if they do not perish through violence, they can live for centuries, perhaps even longer.”

By this time, the tailor has puttered into his back room and his altering some garments to accommodate the creature’s enormous frame.

“The Deep Ones are getting into London somehow. They might simply be swimming up the Thames, but given their penchant for seeking out human agents, I would guess they arrived in a ship. You might take a walk along the waterfront.”

On The Waterfront

The docks are some of the busiest, most dynamic sections of London. Ships come up the Blackwall Reach and unload at the East India Docks, and on the other side of the Isle of Dogs is Limehouse, where ships are loaded for outgoing shipments. In either direction move craft from all over the world, carrying mundane and exotic goods near and far. Huge steam driven and coal driven craft berth next to ships that still use sails. Limehouse is also home to the airport, where the airships that cover the British Isles and journey to the Continent dock.

A riot of sound and smell and noise fills the area. There are a lot of Faerie beings working the docks, and there are rumblings among the ogres and trolls and others of that ilk about the possible recruitment of automated porters to the docks, which would put a lot of beings out of work. Limehouse is where London’s Chinese population has migrated, and most of the signs are in Chinese.

There are a lot of public houses in the area, serving up quite a bit of alcohol to thirst men, both landlubbers who load and unload ships and the sailors who steer the cargo into the city. Finding one ship – or even several – in all this mess is going to take some doing.

What’s your plan?

DC 15 Gather Information check (or Intelligence check) suggests that any incoming ship will be docked somewhere on the Reach.

DC 15 Intelligence Check will also suggest looking for some human beings who look like they’ve been breeding with the fish folk. Large, wide set eyes; no chin; pale skin, patches of scales; that sort of thing.

DC 20 Gather Information check within the confines of Blackwall Reach will suggest checking out the brigantine Hetty out of Innsmouth, in New England.

[Perhaps some disgruntled dock workers – of ogreish or trollish extraction – take exception to the characters snooping around]

The Hetty is docked at Greens Docks, just off the railway line, near the Brunswick Hotel. As a brigantine, it is a square rigged sailing ship, low on the water, and about 110 feet long, tonnage about 250, 28 ft. broad, 15 feet deep. It’s an old ship, seen better days, but it is well cared for. It appears to be neither taking on nor unloading cargo, just quietly sitting in its berth.

It is by this time late afternoon/early evening, and in the deepening gloom the gaslights and electric lights and faerie lights are flickering to life across the city. But The Hetty remains dark.

There are two lookouts on deck, both normal PL 2 Human Thugs, and they may or may not notice the characters, depending on how “loud” they want to be. There are 20 more crew members, a light number for such a large ship, but most of them are ashore, acting as the eyes and ears of the Deep Ones.

There are 10 Deep Ones in the hold of the ship, resting, going over their weapons, conferring, planning; six of their number have failed to return to the ship, and they are all a little bit edgy and spoiling for a fight. There are another 14 Deep Ones scattered throughout the city, hiding out in the sewers. But as the Deep Ones do not speak English, they won’t be explaining this fact to Blackwood and friends. Hopefully some of the crew will be left alive…

The fight should be hard, but not insurmountably so. The Deep Ones outnumber the heroes, and will use teamwork and tactics to take them down. But the Deep Ones are, after all, just minions, and it shouldn’t take long for the heroes to triumph. Whatever happens, when the last Deep One falls, a small device will spill out of his hand and rattle on the deck of the ship.

It’s a small round object, carved to resemble some kind of shell. It is apparently made of that same strange metal as the glowing statue, and there is a slight seam in it. Fiddling with the seam opens the shell up, revealing a button, clearly depressed, emblazoned with that “Ψ” symbol. It is at this point that a tremendous rumble is heard outside, and the ship rocks, as if just struck by a huge wave.

From the Depths

When the characters reach the top deck, they see a rather shocking sight. From beneath the waters of the Thames has risen an enormous floating citadel, held aloft by God knows what. Water streams from its every surface and orifice, while the river’s surface roils and shakes, having just allowed the thing to rise up from deep within its waters.

It looks like an enormous stepped pyramid, a little like a ziggurat or Mayan temple, fashioned from square stones of black volcanic rock and carved all about with strange, disturbing aquatic symbols and imagery. At the very peak of the pyramid is an altar, and it is glowing the same cool blue as the artifact once possessed by Tillinghast. The base of the pyramid is roughly 500 yards square, and it hangs about 500 feet in the air. As you watch, a blaze of cold blue light erupts from the altar and lances down into Blackwall Reach. There is a tremendous explosion of wood and metal and water as a ship explodes. Cries of pain and horror follow the explosion.

Another beam of light stabs forth, disintegrating a warehouse.

What do you do?

Deep One Priest
PL: 14
Abilities: STR: 22 (+6) DEX: 18 (+4) CON: 22 (+6) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 18 (+4) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Climb 4 (+10)
Diplomacy 4 (+6)
Handle Animal 4 (+6)
Intimidate 8 (+10)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 8 (+9)
Language 1 [English]
Navigate 4 (+5)
Notice 4 (+8)
Sense Motive 4 (+8)
Survival 4 (+8)
Feats: Dedication: Deep Ones/Esoteric Order of Dagon
Endurance 1
Environmental Adaptation 1 [Underwater]
Improved Initiative 1
Power Attack
Equipment 13 [Deep One Temple Ship]
Powers: Immunity 3 [Cold, High Pressure, Suffocation (Drowning)[
Protection 5
Sorcery 12 [Element Control: Water]
  • AP: Blast 12
  • AP: Growth 12 [STR 38 (+14), CON 30 (+10), Size: Huge; Toughness +20, Fortitude +14, Attack +10, Defense +10, Grapple +34, Strike +16, Heavy Load 9.6 tons]
  • AP: Obscure 12 [Vision]
  • Strike 2 [Mighty]
Super-Senses 3 [Darkvision, Detect Magic, Scent]
Swimming 4 [25 mph, 220 ft./rnd]
Combat: Attack +12 [Strike +8, Blast +12], Defense +12, Init +8
Saves: Toughness +16, Fortitude +10, Reflex +8, Will +12
Description: Virtually indistinguishable physically from the other Deep Ones, the Priest wears a tiara/headdress of some silvery metal, as well as a pectoral and bracers of the same substance. All of his jewelry is carved with strange sigils and runes, and decorated with aquatic imagery.

Deep One Temple Ship
STR: 75 (+32)
Toughness: +15
Defense: -8
Size: Colossal
Powers: Blast 14 [Explosion Area; Improved Range 3 (1400 ft. range incr.)]
Flight 4 [100 mph, 880 ft./rnd; Limited (Only Over Bodies of Water)]
Immunity 1 [High Pressure]
Speed 4 [100 mph, 880 ft./rnd; Limited (Underwater)]

The Deep One Temple Ship will continue to fire into London indiscriminately, moving up and down the Thames as it wills. It is much faster and more maneuverable than airships, but that won’t stop the authorities from mobilizing them. It will give the ship more targets, though.

100 Deep One warriors wait in the bowels of the ship, and they are led by a powerful priest of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. He is angry at the deaths of his people, wants his artifacts back, and is willing to start a war at this point to get them. He will not come out of the ship unless it’s absolutely necessary (it takes enough damage to go down), and will fight to the death. Conversely, if the heroes penetrate the temple and track the priest down and kill him, the ship will lose power and crash into the water. If the priest still has control of the craft as it goes down, he will steer it onto land and try to take out something valuable as the ship crashes.

At least half of the Deep Ones inside will survive the crash, and they will explode out of the wreckage to run riot in the streets.

Aftermath

The heroes have saved the day (probably). They now have in their possession an artifact valuable to these “Atlanteans,” and they are quite willing to kill for it, and apparently able to track it to some extent. What to do with it?

Under the Hood

[1] The Guardian Protection System was the subject of the first Fantastic Victoriana adventure, which I did not author. Summarizing briefly: the GPS was a force of mechanical giants that policed London and protected the British Isles. They were designed and built by an organization called the Brotherhood of Steam. But the giants weren't entirely mechanical, it turned out. They were animated by enslaved spirits. In revealing this to the public and shutting down the control hub, we had destroyed all the Guardians, freeing all the enslaved spirits, but leaving England and London a little vulnerable. The idea being that powered and amazing agents such as ourselves would have to step up and start defending the kingdom.

Other notes: There's a lot of Lovecraft in here. But I completely stole the flying Atlantean pyramid piloted by Deep Ones from The Kerberos Club. Crawford Tillinghast is, of course, named for the villain of "From Beyond."

The Franklin Expedition was a real thing, but its wreckage was only discovered recently. I long thought of combining Frankenstein with the Franklin Expedition. The parallels, most obviously in the names of the two, were just too tempting to pass up. Frankenstein would reappear in a later adventure, but he never became a regular.

At this point I was still getting a handle on what I wanted to do with the setting. I also wanted Blackwood and Co. to make a big name for themselves before the Stranger's Club approached them. I probably should have made use of the Deep One/Atlanteans again, but I never did.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Horus the Avenger, Hugh MacCulloch the Man of Steam]

Post by Yojimbo » Tue May 22, 2018 2:04 am

Horus the Avenger, Alexander Said
Augustus Holiday served as a British diplomat in Egypt for ten years, and returned home with a large number of Egyptian antiquities, with which he decorated his manor home. Among them was a falcon-headed canoptic jar that contained a slumbering god…

Two years later, four mysterious men clad in black infiltrated the Holiday home, murdered old Augustus, and threatened the lives of everyone else in the house. The oldest daughter, Elizabeth, knocked over the canoptic jars in her study in an attempt to escape the killers. The falcon jar shattered as it struck the floor, and in a burst of light, a powerfully built Egyptian man stood in the room. He easily handled the four men, who turned out to be servants of Set, searching for the jar and the god inside – Horus the Avenger!

With the help of Elizabeth and her brother Niles, now the head of the family, Horus learned English and gained a new identity, that of Egyptologist Alexander Said. Staying with the Holidays, Horus has begun a tentative search for his hated uncle, knowing that due to his captivity, Horus is at a fraction of his full power, and even then, most of that is invested in his ankh. It will be centuries before he gains his full power and is ready to face Set again. In the meantime, there is much evil afoot in this strange northern land.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 26 (+8) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 26 (+8) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Intimidate 8
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 6 (+7)
Knowledge: History 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 6 (+7)
Language 1 [English]
Notice 4 (+6)
Sense Motive 3 (+5)
Survival 4 (+6)
Feats: Accurate Attack
All-Out Attack
Benefit [Alternate Identity]
Defensive Attack
Diehard
Fearless
Improved Initiative
Power Attack
Ritualist
Takedown Attack 1
Powers: Device 12: Ankh of the Avenger; Easy to Lose, Use Restricted [Horus]
Blast 12
  • AP: Create Object 10 [Stationary, Tether, Progression 2 (10x 25’ cubes)]
  • AP: Dazzle 12 [Visual]
  • AP: Invisibility 4 [Shapeable Area, Selective]
  • AP: Light Control 12
  • AP: Snare 11 [Tether, Homing]
Enhanced Trait 2 [Improved Block, Quick Change]
Flight 3 [50 mph, 440 ft./rnd]
Immunity 5 [Damage: Heat]
Protection 4
Strike 4 [Mighty, Thrown 3 (Range 150 ft., increment 30 ft.)]
Super-Strength 3 [Heavy Load 3.7 tons]

Immunity 2 [Aging, Disease]
Impervious Toughness 8

Combat: Attack +8 [Unarmed DC 23, Blast DC 27, Snare DC 26, Strike DC 27], Defense +8, Init +6
Saves: Toughness +8/+12, Fortitude +8, Reflex +6, Will +6
Description: Horus is six foot four and roughly two hundred and fifty pounds, massively muscled and powerful looking. He has one brown eye flecked with gold and one blue eye, and his straight black hair falls to his shoulders. In his guise as Alexander Said, he dresses like a Victorian gentleman. He always has his ankh close to hand, which normally appears unadorned, made of gold, and is about the size of his forearm. When he concentrates on the ankh, “Alexander Said” transforms into Horus the Avenger, clad in shimmering gold and silver scale mail, wearing a falcon-masked helm, and wielding a huge warhammer with ankh-like accents. Wielding the Ankh of the Avenger, Horus can fly, gains superhuman strength, and the hammer-ankh strikes with titanic force. He can throw the hammer-ankh; a chain manifests, linking the pommel to Horus’s hand, allowing him to yank the weapon back to him after it hits. The Ankh can also generate a beam of burning light, generate solid light projections that resemble Egyptian architecture and statuary, generate light, release a burst of light bright enough to blind foes, or bend light around Horus and anyone else he designates in order to make them invisible. Lastly, Horus can use the Ankh on its chain to entangle a foe, and Horus can use the coil to pull the ensnared foe to him.

Under the Hood
Once you have a Hulk, why not make a Thor? Image 1963, Freedom City, and the Victorian fascination with all things Egyptian pointed me in the direction of adapting falcon-headed Horus rather than doing Thor himself. I sidestepped the more ubiquitous Greek mythology that way, too.

Horus and Vulcan/Talos became "my guys" in the setting. I would occasionally run other NPCs to team up with Blackwood and Samarioch, but most of the time it was Horus and Talos - Vulcan only appeared briefly, because Blackwood already covered the Sherlock Holmes niche and two of those guys was too much. But Horus proved durable and versatile. Most of his abilities ended up locked into his ankh primarily to preserve power points, but I don't see too many bricks with Invisibility (outside of J'onn J'onzz, of course).

The Holidays also served to flesh out the supporting cast a little bit, although Elizabeth was the only one who ever got any screen time, and then mostly as Horus' plus one. Still, it's nice to have recurring characters in a game.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yojimbo
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Horus the Avenger, Hugh MacCulloch the Man of Steam]

Post by Yojimbo » Tue May 22, 2018 2:12 am

Hugh MacCulloch, Man of Steam
Scottish sapper and engineer Hugh MacCulloch lost his legs on the continent, serving as a mercenary in the wars against the zombie hordes overrunning France and central Europe. He returned home to Scotland and the ancestral manor of the MacCulloch clan a broken man, in flesh and spirit. His father dragged him out of his melancholy by taking him down to the smithy and forcing Hugh to help him with his father’s projects. Before too long, Hugh was mentally engaged and active, coming up with new designs and inventions that he and his father built. Among the items Hugh designed were weapons, which he intended to be used against the zombies. Sir Reginald “Metal Baron” Winchester caught wind of the MacCulloch designs and tried to buy the patents off Hugh and his father. When the elder MacCulloch politely refused, the Metal Baron threatened him. Still MacCulloch wouldn’t back down. The Metal Baron left unsatisfied. Two nights later, the MacCulloch home was attacked, Hugh’s father murdered, and the plans stolen from his father’s study.

In the aftermath, Hugh locked himself in the smithy. He worked for two weeks straight, only allowing meals and the occasional nap to slow him down. When he was finished, he had designed a suit of armor, reminiscent of a Medieval knight’s but thoroughly modern, a suit designed to be worn by the crippled Hugh, giving him back not only his legs, but the means to exact his revenge. Hugh closed up the manor in the Scottish highlands and moved his operation to London, the Metal Baron’s base of operations. Hugh bides his time, practicing with the machine, looking for an opportunity to strike.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 14/34 (+2/+12) DEX: 10 (-) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 26 (+8) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Bluff 4 (+6)
Craft: Electronic 4 (+12)
Craft: Mechanical 4 (+12)
Disable Device 4 (+12)
Knowledge: Physical Science 4 (+12)
Knowledge: Technology 8 (+16)
Search 4 (+12)
Stealth 8
Feats: All-Out Attack
Beginner’s Luck 1
Benefit 1 [Wealth]
Diehard
Eidetic Memory
Improved Initiative 1
Improvised Tools
Inventor
Jack-of-All-Trades
Luck 1
Power Attack
Precise Shot 2
Powers: Device 15: Steam-Powered Exoskeleton, Hard to Lose; Negates Disability
Blast 12 [Autofire]
  • AP: Blast 12 [Penetrating]
  • AP: Blast 12 [Burst Area]
  • AP: Blast 12 [Cone Area]
  • DAP: Enhanced Ability 20 [STR]
  • DAP: Super-Strength 4 [Groundstrike, Shockwave, Thunderclap]
Immunity 2 [Critical Hits]
Leaping 4 [Running Jump 300 ft., Standing Jump: 150 ft., High Jump: 75 ft.]
  • AP: Speed 4 [100 mph, 880 ft./rnd]
Protection 10 [Impervious]
Super-Sense 5 [Darkvision, Radar]

Combat: Attack +8 [Unarmed DC 25, Blast DC 25], Defense +8, Init +4
Saves: Toughness +2/+12, Fortitude +6, Reflex +4, Will +5
Drawbacks: Disability: Paraplegic [Common, Major], Normal Identity [Full Round Action]
Description: Hugh is an unassuming man, about 30 years of age, with a wild shock of red-brown hair that he cannot control and inquisitive brown eyes. He dresses like the Scottish lord he is, handsomely and well, and maneuvers around adeptly in his wheelchair. At night, he straps himself into the Exoskeleton, seven feet of black iron shaped like a man, decorated with rivets, and powered by a miniature steam engine attached to the back. The armor is bulletproof, boosts Hugh’s strength, and allows him not only to walk, but to leap vast distances and run as fast as a locomotive. The suit is equipped with mini-gatling guns attached to each forearm, as well as a flamethrower on the right gauntlet and a grenade launcher on the left. The most devastating weapon is mounted on the chest; a round crystal lens focuses a ray of light, transforming it into a heat ray that burns and scorches whatever it comes into contact with.

Under the Hood
... so it should be obvious by now that the Stranger's Club are just the Steampunk Avengers.

It all goes back to Vulcan and his Jekyll & Hyde/Incredible Hulk thing. Then I made Horus, and I just said hell with it, the whole Stranger's Club will just be versions of Avengers characters. Other ancillary characters in the club would deviate from that template (at least one of them is meant to be a JLA expy, for example) but for the most part, the core and recurring Club characters were based on the Avengers.

Hugh MacCulloch actually didn't appear for a while, and when he did, he would be the "villain." But that all plays out in the course of another adventure, which I will be getting to eventually. I've never been a huge Iron Man fan, and there never seemed an easy way to introduce Hugh to the game. The rivalry between MacCulloch and Winchester, the Metal Baron, would prove the key. But first I had to introduce Horus and the Stranger's Club - and then send Blackwood to France.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MacynSnow
Posts: 2729
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; Horus the Avenger, Hugh MacCulloch the Man of Steam]

Post by MacynSnow » Tue May 22, 2018 3:00 am

So far,my favorite NPC's been Baron Frankenstien(technically,he DID succced his late father after he died in the Arctic),but i can't wait to see how you introduce a Dorian Gray or Alan Quartermain analogue....:D

Yojimbo
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [The Pyramid Killers]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon May 28, 2018 1:37 am

The Adventure of the Pyramid Killers

It is several days following the destruction of the flying temple. Your face and the faces of your companions cover the broadsheets lately, and Scotland Yard has been about, looking into your actions. So far none have found fault, but they’re expecting to find some.

A gentleman presents himself at Ambrose Blackwood’s home/office sharply at 8 o’clock. He is tall, well proportioned, and fit looking, with short blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He wears a dark suit with a blue waistcoat, off of which hangs a shiny golden fob. He apparently disdains hats, umbrellas, or canes, but he has a firm handshake and a winning smile. He introduces himself as John Albion, and hands you his card.

“I am here to invite you to join my club, Mr. Blackwood. We’re off Belgrave Square, just west of Buckingham Palace. We call ourselves the Stranger’s Club. We’re an exclusive bunch, of course, and we only take in those who deal with the strangeness of the world. Professional, academic, or amateur rankings are welcome, the only requirement is that members must either be Strange themselves, or dedicated to investigating the Strange. By your last two rather public adventures, I should say you are well qualified indeed.

“But even so, every initiate is given a test. We want to be sure that competent, dedicated individuals make it into the club. And as they say, ‘third time proves all.’ I suggest you gather your friends – extend my invitation to them as well – and today visit the warehouse at #3 Mill Wall Rd., Limehouse. There is a mystery to be solved, and I keenly believe you are the one to solve it.”

With that, and a few other pleasantries, John Albion retires to a waiting carriage and departs.

If you look into the Stranger’s Club, you discover it is much as Albion describes. It is housed in a rambling, fortress like structure off Belgrave Square, and it has a reputation in the neighborhood for queer parties, odd noises, and unusual clientele. Those who distrust the club suggest they are allied with the Dark Quarter or Faerie, but there are many respectable people among the club’s membership. Not least of these is John Albion himself.

No one seems to know exactly who he is or what he does – but he’s been seen in the corridors of Scotland Yard and entering and leaving Buckingham Palace on occasion.

Return to Limehouse

The warehouse is a large, brick building with small windows and large doorways for the loading and unloading of shipments. Most are closed, but the central door is open, and a crowd has gathered around it. Mostly dockworkers, porters, doxies, and the like. Bobbies in blue keep the crowd back, and keep shouting to “Move along, you scum! Nothing to be seen! Move along, damn you!”

Questioning anyone at the back of the crowd results in: “Some murders been done, mate. Right gruesome ones from what I heard!” and when pressed, “I dunno, just gruesome.”

The heroes can try to confront the police, bluff their way past them, or sneak in through one of the narrow windows, roof access, or back door. One lone bobbie is guarding the back, but he looks listless and bored.

Inside the warehouse, there is the usual assortment of boxes and packages and crates. An office abuts the south side of the room, and there is an unladen wagon beside it. No sign of horses or employees. The building is rather large, but it doesn’t take long for you to locate the site of the disturbance.

An entire section of crates has been torn open. Splinters of wood, fragments of stone, and piles of dust have been scattered around. There are also blood spatters on the hard stony floor.

Clues:

DC 20 Investigation Check will indicate that the boxes were broken from the inside out. The breakage patterns on the wooden slats and stress marks on nails and such suggest that titanic blows from within the crates broke them open.

DC 15 Search/Notice Check will show that the stone fragments are decorated with some kind of pictograms. Some of what you assumed to be stone is actually wood coated with plaster and painted with faded colors.

DC 15 Arcane Lore/History Check identifies the pictograms as Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Further searching and/or sifting of the rubble will suggest that the painted wood and stone are fragments of sarcophogi or coffins, and likewise they appear to have been opened from the inside.

Near the central door where the police are trying to keep order and waiting for a wagon to haul bodies away, are stacked the bodies themselves. The police have been kind enough to lay the three men alongside one another, but the four dogs have been stacked in a pile. No sheets cover the bodies yet, but they have been arranged in a Christian manner.

Examination of the bodies, assuming the bobbies don’t notice or are coerced into allowing it, leads to some interesting conclusions. One of the guards or workers was stabbed by some kind of blade, while the other two were strangled, judging by the black and blue marks on their neck. DC 20 Investigation Check notices dust and fragments of some kind of cloth on the necks.

The four dogs were more brutally handled by the killer or killers (varied methods suggest more than one). Three of them were slashed open, while one was quite literally torn apart.

The office is unlocked, but also unlit. There is a gaslamp by the doorway that can be used to light up the space. Otherwise it’s quite dark to be looking through paperwork. It takes about twenty minutes (and a DC 20 Search check) to find the relevant information. The shipment that opened itself arrived two days previously (on the very day of your tussle with the Atlantean Temple, it seems), aboard the steamship Orion, late of Lisbon, Marseille, Malta, Cairo, and Istanbul. The shipment was supposed to be picked up/shipped to the home of Augustus Holiday, #10 Dorset St., Portland Place. The address is in London.

On Holiday

It takes you about an hour to make it through the traffic of London’s streets and into Portland Place. Dorset St. is a pretty lane, broad and clean, with smart homes on both sides. Clearly a wealthy section of town, and in fact, anyone with Well-Informed will know that Augustus Holiday spent ten years as the British Ambassador to Egypt, and before that, held a seat in the House of Commons for twenty years.

You see a few automechanical servants walking dogs, sweeping front steps, etc. People here can afford to purchase such devices.

#10 is virtually indistinguishable from its neighbors, although the knocker is carved to resemble a sphinx of some kind.

An automechanical servant answers the door. Tall, thin, all brass and chrome, it has a virtually featureless face and a domed head that resembles a bowler. The unblinking orange eyes take you in, the mouth opens, and a mechanical voice says, “Who may I say is calling?”

The machine leads you into the waiting room and goes to present you, presumably to Mr. Holiday. There is a short wait, after which the machine returns and leads you into the front parlor. You are received not by Ambassador Holiday, but by a pretty young woman with dark hair and gray eyes, wearing a long black dress. The impropriety of this setting is offset by the presence of a rather large, dark skinned man standing beside the fireplace. Presumably her husband, he has long black hair tied back in a ponytail; cleanshaven although showing a 5 o’clock shadow even this early; one dark eye and one light eye that take you all in with a hint of suspicion; and he looks somewhat uncomfortable in his suit.

The young woman introduces herself as Elizabeth Holiday, and her companion as Mr. Alexander Said, her guardian. She is somewhat perplexed by you asking to see her father, as Augustus Holiday has been dead for 3 months. He died very suddenly, very tragically. Her brother Niles is now head of household, but he is away on business at the moment, so it falls to Elizabeth to receive you all.

Yes, it is true that Mr. Holiday lived in Egypt for a decade, but he returned almost two years previously, and was in excellent health before he died. Miss Holiday knows nothing about any shipment from Egypt. Everything Mr. Holiday acquired while in that country came back with him two years ago, and he evidenced no further interest in antiquities, save for some scholarly works on the subject that he was reading before he died.

If the warehouse attack is described in any detail, Mr. Said will become visibly distressed. He will ask pointed questions. For example, among the glyphs, do any of you recall seeing anything that resembled a jackal, or a sandstorm? As it happens, Miss Holiday and Mr. Said will admit, Mr. Said hails from Egypt himself, and is an expert in Egypt’s ancient history. He can read hieroglyphics fluently.

It is at this point that the front door is kicked in, and the mummies attack.

Mummy Warrior
PL: 10 [106 pp, Minion]
Abilities: STR: 20 (+5) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: - (-) INT: 6 (-2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 6 (-2)
Skills: Climb 4 (+9)
Notice 4 (+7)
Stealth 8 (+11)
Feats: Improved Critical 1 [Khopesh]
Improved Grab
Improved Initiative 1
Improved Pin
Equipment 1 [Khopesh]
Powers: Drain 10 [Constitution; Requires Grapple]
Emotion Control 6 [Limited: Fear]
Immunity 30 [Fortitude Saves]
Protection 10
Combat: Attack +10 [Khopesh +8, Drain +10], Defense +8, Init +7
Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude -, Reflex +6, Will +10
Drawbacks: Vulnerable [Common, Major (Fire)]
Description: The shocktroops of Akenhotep the Dark Pharoah, these mummies look like desiccated corpses wrapped in linen strips. Where flesh shows, it is dried out and blackened. The linen strips are thin, only about 3 inches across, and wind around the mummy from head to toe. Their eyes are empty sockets that glow with malevolent orange light, and their jaws hang open with jagged toothed grins. Dust and fragments of cloth fall from them with their every step, and though they look weak, they are abominably strong and quick, moving with cat-like grace. Some are unarmed, others carry curved swords called khopeshes, dull black iron blades with golden hilts. Here and there, the mummies are adorned with jewelry; a pectoral here, a bracelet there, a nemes there. All of their jewelry are inscribed with either a scorpion, a scarab beetle, or a locust.

While the heroes interviewed Miss Holiday and her companion, a large black sedan has pulled up in front of #10 Dorset, and disgorged about a dozen mummy warriors. With their swords and fists, they shatter open the front door and surge into the house. As the front parlor is just off the front hall, most of the creatures rush into the room and attack anything living (they shear through the automechanical servant with a shower of sparks and the squawk of a recorder).

A DC 20 Notice check will spot the fact that one of the mummies rushes upstairs, but the rest of them attack the party in the parlor. They will use their swords and fear attacks first, but as they go down they will attempt to grapple and drain.

As the melee begins, Alexander Said will step in front of Miss Holiday, reach into his coat and produce a large ankh. In a flash of light, Said is enveloped in shimmering silver and gold scale mail, a falcon headed helm, and wields a huge hammer with ankh-like accents. He attacks the mummies without hesitation.

If anyone pursues the mummy up the stairs, they find him ransacking Augustus Holiday’s old study. He’s apparently not finding what he’s looking for, but he will still put up a fight. If the study is discovered after the fight and the mummy gets away, the study is trashed. A DC 20 Search/Investigation Check will allow the heroes to spot a ledger, open at a page that says a jeweled pectoral was donated by Augustus Holiday to the British Museum a year ago.

Meanwhile, outside, the sedan pulls away from the curb as the mummies are defeated. They may pursue, or they may look for clues amongst the wreckage. If they pursue, they will have their first encounter with one of Akenhotep’s “Greater” mummies, Scarab.

Scarab
PL: 12
Abilities: STR: 28 (+9) DEX: 18 (+4) CON: - (-) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 12 (+1)
Skills: Climb 4 (+13)
Intimidate 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 4 (+6)
Knowledge: History 4 (+6)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 4 (+6)
Notice 4 (+7)
Search 4 (+6)
Sense Motive 4 (+7)
Stealth 8 (+12)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Cat’s Feet
Defensive Strike
Improved Critical 1 [Scarab’s Khopesh]
Improved Initiative 2
Improved Pin
Power Attack
Takedown Attack 2
Powers: Blast 12
  • AP: Additional Limbs 4 [10 Limbs; Improved Grapple; +4 Grapple when not using Improved Grapple]
  • AP: Deflect 8 [All Ranged Attacks]
  • AP: Fatigue 12
  • DAP: Anatomic Separation 10
  • DAP: Flight 2 [25 mph, 220 ft./rnd]
Device 2: Scarab’s Khopesh; Easy to Lose, Only Usable by Scarab
Strike 3 [Penetrating, Vampiric, Mighty]

Drain 10 [Constitution; Requires Grapple]
Emotion Control 12 [Limited: Fear, Burst Area]
Immunity 30 [Fortitude Saves]
Protection 12 [Impervious]
Combat: Attack +12 [Unarmed +9, Strike +12, Drain +10, Blast +12], Defense +12, Init +12
Saves: Toughness +12, Fortitude Immune, Reflex +8, Will +10
Description: Scarab is a thin limbed, dark skinned, and undead. His body is wrapped in long, thin strips of linen, ensorcelled to give his flesh the strength of stone. His jagged toothed mouth grins perpetually, and cold lights fill his empty eye sockets. He wears a coal black nemes imprinted with the image of a scarab beetle above his forehead. Like all mummies, his touch can drain the health of a living being, and he can generate a fear effect all around him. Scarab carries with him a golden bladed khopesh which is razor sharp and hard as diamond. With the cold black scarab charm buried deep within his brittle breast, Scarab can call upon his namesake in times of need. He can unleash a torrent of flesh-eating scarabs at opponents, or extend up to ten additional limbs (all made up of hundreds of tiny scarabs). By folding his middle fingers back and extending his index and pinkie, he can touch a living being and weaken them. Lastly, he can separate his body into ten different pieces, each taking on the appearance of a gigantic black beetle, and fly away.

Scarab will play with the heroes for a little while, but as soon as they get the upper hand he will discorporate into his ten scarab shapes and fly off at best speed, escaping into sewers, chimneys, and any other small spaces.

The Tale of Horus

In the aftermath of the battle, while the front parlor is strewn with mummy parts, swords, scarab shaped shields, and so on, Elizabeth Holiday will suggest a good stiff drink for everyone involved. Alexander Said will submit to questioning.

The night that the Holiday home was attacked and Augustus Holiday murdered, Elizabeth, in her panic, knocked over a falcon shaped canoptic jar which had held Horus imprisoned for thousands of years. The attackers served Horus’ evil uncle, the dark god Set, and they were searching for the jar. Horus, awakened, destroyed the invaders, and over the last few months, with the help of Elizabeth and Niles, fashioned the identity of Alexander Said. He expects that Set will attack him again soon, but does not believe that these mummies are connected to his old enemy.

Looking at the iconography worn by the mummies, Horus can say that in his day, Egyptian wizards often took the names of insects or animals.

The next logical stop should be the British Museum – whether the mummies know it or not, the thing they seek was donated to the museum by Augustus Holiday two years ago. However the heroes discover this – either by noticing the mummy that went up to Augustus’ stud, or by asking to see where Augustus kept his antiquities, or whatever – the ledger will be open to the appropriate page. There are other items in the overall lot that Augustus donated, but after scanning it, both Horus and Elizabeth agree that the pectoral is most likely what the mummies wanted. Elizabeth remembers it as a ghastly thing, and that her father got rid of it on her insistence, as she felt very uncomfortable with it in the house. Strangely, she cannot remember exactly what it looked like, but she does clearly remember it being disturbing.

At the British Museum

It is early evening when your cab pulls up before the British Museum, an imposing classical edifice that fronts Great Russel St. in Westminster. It is a huge building, two stories tall, and resembles the Parthenon in Greece (or so it is said). The museum was built in four wings around a central square, but recently a huge donation of books led to the construction of a new library and the Round Reading Room at the center of the square. Each of the wings houses galleries, mostly antiquities from the Near and Far East, but also for now a considerable natural history collection.

The museum is open late to allow “the working class” to view the galleries. The gas lamps are lit, and people move in and out of the museum, perusing the art and objects. There is the quiet murmur of conversation, the click of heels on the marble floors, the hissing of gas and flicker of fire.

Elizabeth and Alexander have both accompanied you to the museum. Miss Holiday believes that her family’s connections with the museum will get you preferential treatment.

The Egyptian galleries are on the first floor, west wing, and the second floor, north wing.

The key piece is of course the Rosetta Stone, but there are monolithic statues as well, primarily on the first floor. Colossal busts of Ramesses II, Amenhotep III, and others fill the gallery spaces.

Elizabeth steps away to talk to an attendant, and when she returns, she suggests that the party retire to the Egyptian galleries in the west wing. Samuel Birch, head of the Egyptology department, or one of his assistants, will meet you there.

In about fifteen minutes, a young man with dark hair and a long black coat, approaches your motley crew. He is a severe looking fellow with a hatchet nose and eyes like chips of obsidian. But as he introduces himself as Quintan Snape, he smiles at Elizabeth. “Ah, Miss Holiday, a pleasure to see you again. And Mr. Said, how lovely to make your acquaintance once more.” Pleasantries and courtesies and introductions are exchanged. Mr. Snape leads you up to the second floor gallery.

“The pectoral,” he says, “has been on display a short while, and due to complaints will probably be taken down soon as well.”

“Complaints? Well, you’ll have to see it for yourself. I admit that it possesses a macabre beauty, but can upset individuals who are sensitive to such things.”

The piece itself resides in a large glass case against the northern wall, in the midst of the gallery, and it is but one of many examples of Egyptian jewelry. As mentioned, it’s a pectoral, meant to be worn on the chest, a wide band that encircles the neck. It is made of gold and jet, inset with a large sapphire, midnight blue in color, and carved about with the images of insects and creatures of darkness. In the flickering light of the gaslamps, they seem to writhe and twist as if alive. Just looking at it gives Ambrose an “ice cream headache,” a feeling of cold in the back of his brain.

Snape explains. “It took some doing, tracking down any information on the piece. It is most peculiar, and does not conform to any familiar standards of Egyptian art of iconography. We are now fairly certain that the pectoral is among the grave goods of an obscure and little understood pharaoh from the Second Dynasty, ‘Akenhotep,’ the so-called Dark Pharaoh. Apparently he ruled for only a decade, just long enough for his tomb to be built. He was violently overthrown by an outsider, a warrior of some repute, and a prince of the blood. Birch believes this outsider to be a Hellene, but hasn’t decided from which kingdom.

“At any rate, this dark pharaoh chap had a reputation for necromancy and trafficking in human sacrifice, as abhorrent to the ancient Egyptians as it is to us. He was said to be served by a cabal of wizards, all with the most horrid names. Scarab, Scorpion, Locust, and so on. There’s a great deal about the evil this Akenhotep unleashed upon his own people, almost certainly propaganda to support his usurper.

“This prince, Khasakhem by name, supposedly entombed Akenhotep and his allies alive, then has his name stricken from all the records. Some, obviously, survived, or I wouldn’t be telling you any of this. It took considerable effort from Mr. Birch to collect all the disparate lines of information into this admittedly fragmentary story, and I believe it is a testament to his esteem for the late Mr. Holiday that he was able to do so. It is a pity that so few can appreciate the piece, as the story is simply fascinating.”

The museum is beginning to close for the evening, but Mr. Snape is willing to entertain you a while longer and is happy to answer any questions.

If the party left a lookout, they will see three large black sedans drawn by large black horses pull up. The sedans disgorge a tidal wave of mummies – most of them newly made in suits and dresses – led by the three undead wizards. Scarab (if he’s still alive), Scorpion, and Locust.

Showdown at the Museum

The mummies rush en masse into the museum. The minions attack any remaining patrons, or else just move to block the heroes and slow them down, while the wizards maneuver to collect the pectoral. They will not bother to engage the heroes if they don’t have to, relying upon Locust’s Obscure/Hamper Movement effect to keep them at bay while they grab the artifact. They will flee as soon as the pectoral is in hand.

Scorpion
PL: 12
Abilities: STR: 26 (+8) DEX: 18 (+4) CON: - (-) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 22 (+6) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Climb 4 (+12)
Craft: Mystical 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+9)
Knowledge: History 4 (+5)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 4 (+5)
Notice 4 (+10)
Survival 4 (+10)
Feats: All-Out Attack
Artificer
Defensive Strike
Fearless
Grappling Block
Improved Block 2
Improved Critical 2 [Strike 4]
Improved Initiative 2
Improved Pin
Power Attack
Ritualist
Withstand Damage
Powers: Additional Limbs 1 [1 extra limb; Improved Grapple; +1 Grapple when not using Improved Grapple; Linked (Strike 10)]
Drain 10 [Single Trait: Constitution; Requires Grapple]
Emotion Control 12 [Burst Area, Limited (Fear)]
Immunity 30 [Fortitude Saves]
Protection 12 [Impervious]
Strike 10 [Alternate Save: Fortitude; Poison; Linked (Additional Limb 1)]
Strike 4 [Penetrating; Mighty]
Super-Strength 10 [Heavy Load 471 tons; Groundstrike, Shockwave, Thunderclap]
Combat: Attack +12 [Strike +12, Strike +10, Drain +10, Emotion Control +12; Grapple +34/+35], Defense +12, Init +12
Saves: Toughness +12, Fortitude Immune, Reflex +8, Will +10
Description: A massive, mummified Egyptian man, Scorpion stands about six and a half feet tall, and in life weighed about three hundred pounds. His dried out husk of a body, devoid of many important organs, weighs about half that now, but he is still possessed of a fierce supernatural strength that allows him to lift enormous weights. He is wrapped in thin linen strips, and here and there clumps of calcified bone erupt from his leathery skin, most dramatically along his hunched spine. He wears a nemes the color of dried blood, with the image of a scorpion above his forehead. Like all mummies, he can drain life with a touch, generate a cloud of fear, and is immune to the demands of biological life. In addition, Scorpion possesses thick, bony claws that retract into his forearms. His spine can erupt from his back, becoming an elongated, bony tail that ends in a sharp bony spur which drips with venom. Somehow he is still able to stand and walk with his spine waving and lashing about him, and he can use it to help his grapple attacks, or stab and inject a deadly poison into a living being.

Locust
PL: 12
Abilities: STR: 20 (+5) DEX: 20 (+5) CON: - (-) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 14 (+2)
Skills: Concentration 4 (+7)
Craft: Mystical 8 (+9)
Diplomacy 8 (+10)
Handle Animal 4 (+6)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+9)
Knowledge: History 8 (+9)
Knowledge: Theology & Philosophy 5 (+9)
Notice 4 (+7)
Search 4 (+5)
Stealth 8 (+13)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Diehard
Evasion 2
Fearless
Hide in Plain Sight
Improved Initiative 2
Move-By Action
Power Attack
Precise Shot 2
Ritualist
Powers: Alternate Form 21: Swarm
Blast 12 [Affects Corporeal]
Environmental Control 6 [Hamper Move: 25%; Range: 60 ft., Radius: 250 ft.; Selective Attack; Linked (Obscure 6)]
Flight 4 [100 mph, 880 ft./rnd]
Insubstantial 2 [Gaseous]
Obscure 6 [All Sense Types; Range: 60 ft., Radius: 250 ft.; Selective Attack; Linked (Environmental Control 6)]

Drain 10 [Single Trait: Constitution; Requires Grapple]
Emotion Control 12 [Burst Area, Limited (Fear), Range 2 (Touch)]
Immunity 30 [Fortitude Saves]
Protection 12 [Impervious]
Combat: Attack +12 [Blast +12, Drain +10, Emotion Control +12], Defense +12, Init +13
Saves: Toughness +12, Fortitude Immune, Reflex +9, Will +8
Description: Locust is the most visually disturbing of the “greater” mummies. Thin and emaciated even by mummy standards, he is little but a walking skeleton draped in flesh and wrappings. His grinning skull is lit by the cold dead lights of his eyes, a pale orange in color. He wears a dull gray nemes imprinted with the image of a locust above his forehead. Like all mummies, he can drain the life force of a living being with a touch, or generate a cloud of fear around himself. Additionally, Locust can transform his undead form into a swarm of locusts. Indeed, if he isn’t concentrating, his body can occasionally writhe and twist as sections of it warp into locust shape, some of them flying off and then being absorbed back into his form. In swarm shape, he appears in a generally human shape, albeit composed of hundreds of flying and crawling insects. In that form, he can unleash a surge of locusts that hammer into targets with all the strength of a battering ram. He can slip through gaps, and is virtually impossible to hurt. More, he can expand multiply the numbers of locusts that make up his shape and explode outward into a true swarm of locusts, which blankets the surrounding area, hampering movement and obscuring senses.

Aftermath

Hopefully the mummies are defeated, if not destroyed. The pectoral should definitely be removed from public view, and perhaps even destroyed itself (it saves at +12 [Impervious]). The heroes now know, or suspect, that Akenhotep is awake and active, and should be on guard for more of his servants looking for other treasures stolen from his forgotten tomb.

If the heroes are successful, they will each receive a call from John Albion, inviting them to visit the Stranger’s Club. There they will receive their key to the front door, membership card, and be initiated into the club. The clubhouse is filled with spacious rooms, a prodigious library, comfortable chairs, and the trophies of many strange adventures. The other club members are odd and powered individuals, many of whom serve the Albion family or the crown. Explorers, scientists, secret agents, consulting detectives, freaks, wizards, and others call the club home. The heroes should feel right at home.

Under the Hood
The evil mummies were inspired, in part, by a late-oughts Lego set. I find Lego inspire a staggering amount of my material actually.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hoid
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Location: The Forever Tree

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; The Pyramid Killers]

Post by Hoid » Mon May 28, 2018 2:00 am

IM...
HO...
TEP.
IM...
HO...
TEP.

Yojimbo
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: The Multiverse in My Head: The Covenant [Fantastic Victoriana; The Pyramid Killers]

Post by Yojimbo » Mon May 28, 2018 4:29 pm

Nah, I haven't enjoyed any of the Universal mummy movies, even with Karloff as the Mummy.

The Dark Pharaoh and his servants are totally D&D mummies by way of this thing:

Image

Yojimbo
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The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Prince Ohmand Okoye, John Gulliver of Mars]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:11 pm

Black Lion, Prince Ohmand Okoye
Ohmand is the crown prince of the tiny African nation of Talantah, located in west central Africa, near Kenya and Tanzania. Talantah possesses one of the most technologically advanced societies on Earth, and technology that is becoming commonplace in England has been available in Talantah for much longer. Talantah has maintained its own traditions, ethnicities, and economy through thousands of years by being extremely isolationist. However, the recent European incursions into Africa, worse even than the Arab and Christian colonizations of the previous millennium, have forced Talantah to step forward and take her rightful place on the world stage.

In ancient days, Talantah served as the orichalcum mines for lost Atlantis, as the hidden source of wealth for the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, and many other legends and tales. The wealth of Atlantis remains with Talantah, and the country is rich in minerals (the almost mystical, nearly invulnerable orichalcum chief among them) and much lost lore and hidden knowledge. The British first tried to conquer Talantah, but were soundly rebuffed by superior technology and superiorly trained forces. England has been forced to deal diplomatically with Talantah, something that many British do not appreciate.

The crown prince has journeyed to the heart of the British Empire, ostensibly as a diplomat, but in practicality as a spy and potential saboteur. Talantah does not wish to see British power in Africa grow so great as to threaten Talantah – although, Talantah cares little for what happens in the rest of Africa. Ohmand is genuinely curious about the white men and their culture, and what their strange northern land is truly like. He is also an adventurer at heart, and foresees a time when Talantah cannot afford to be an island in the wilderness.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 22 (+6) DEX: 22 (+6) CON: 22 (+6) INT: 18 (+4) WIS: 22 (+6) CHR: 18 (+4)
Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+10)
Climb 4 (+10)
Diplomacy 4 (+8)
Disable Device 4 (+8)
Handle Animal 4 (+8)
Knowledge: Civics 4 (+8)
Notice 4 (+10)
Ride 4 (+10)
Stealth 4 (+10)
Survival 4 (+10)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Benefit 3 [Status, Royalty]
Cat’s Feet
Defensive Attack
Hide in Plain Sight
Improved Block 1
Improved Initiative 1
Lionheart 1
Power Attack
Tiger’s Leap [Running Jump: 32 ft., Standing Jump: 16 ft., High Jump: 8 ft.]
Powers: Device 1: Mantle of the King; Hard to Lose
Immunity 1 [Heat]
Protection 4

Device 2: Orichalcum Knives; Easy to Lose
Strike 4 [Autofire 1, Mighty, Thrown 1 (Range: 50 ft, incr 10 ft.)]

Super-Senses 8 [Accurate: Scent, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Tracking 3 (Scent), Ultra-Hearing]
Combat: Attack +10 [Unarmed DC 21, Strike DC 25], Defense +10, Init +10
Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude +8, Reflex +8, Will +8
Description: Tall, broad shouldered, and gracefully built, Ohmand moves with the grace and power of the big cat which graces the royal family’s totem. Handsome, with cool gray eyes and short cropped hair, he has taken to wearing a neatly trimmed goatee while in England. Always impeccably dressed, he is always fashionable, whether in the full panoply of the Talantah royal court, the dark suit of a Victorian gentleman, or wearing the Mantle of the King. The mantle is a thin suit of microweave orichalcum, hard as steel, flexible as cloth, and untouchable by the equatorial heat of Talantah itself. The metal of the suit is stained a dark black, and covers him from head to toe, the helm carved to resemble the maned head of a lion. Secreted across the suit are dozens of orichalcum blades, deadly weapons with which Ohmand is very proficient. As a member of the royal family, Ohmand is heir to thousands of years of careful breeding, and possesses a near superhuman physique, as well as advanced senses of sight, smell, and hearing.

Under the Hood
"Black Lion" is an archetype I tend to repeat. My worlds usually end up having some kind of Wakanda, too. Christopher Priest's run on Black Panther is in my top ten of all time, so I often find way to fit an expy of T'Challa in there somewhere.

We never really pinned down how or why this alternate Earth had high-tech steam powered devices, but one of the things we discussed was a hidden cache of Atlantean technology being uncovered by modern (well, 19th century) Europeans. When I get to the Clockwork Man I think there's more explanation. Regardless, Fantastic Victoriana's version of Wakanda maintained an unbroken line straight to ancient Atlantis, which substitutes for the Vibranium in good ol' 616. Talantah still has flying machines and steampunkified tech superior to the rest of the worlds (albeit period appropriate), but its tied more into this world's setting, which doesn't have a lot of extraterrestrial material (the next entry aside, of course).

Most of the adventures we ran in the setting hardly qualify as actual steampunk, as the -punk part is not something we ever focused closely upon. Black Lion here is meant to at least play lip service to that, and the idea that the British Empire's colonialism was not always welcome nor a good thing, at least to anyone non-British.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yojimbo
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: Fantastic Victoriana [Prince Ohmand Okoye, John Gulliver of Mars]

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:19 pm

John Gulliver of Mars
A young psychic who discovered a way to travel to the planet Mars via astral projection, John Gulliver found a new life for himself on the red planet. On Mars, his nascent psychic abilities were honed and expanded using the ancient Martian technique known as the Six Fold Path. He learned the secrets of Baharna runes, and became a Will Worker of prodigious power. After many adventures there, he was thrown back to Earth by his arch enemy, an ancient White Martian who seeks to conquer the planet.

Gulliver recently joined the Strangers Club, hoping to find some way to return to Mars, or “Urakhu” as he calls the red planet. The odd adventurers of the club remind him of his former life, and give him hope that he will find some way back. He has friends on Mars whom he worries about, and an enemy he wishes to revenge himself upon.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 10/34 (-/+12) DEX: 10 (-) CON: 14/26 (+2/+8) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 18 (+4) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Craft: Chemical 5 (+6)
Craft: Mystical 6 (+7)
Diplomacy 8
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 8 (+9)
Knowledge: History 4 (+5)
Language 1 [Martian]
Notice 4 (+8)
Survival 4 (+8)
Feats: Artificer
Eidetic Memory
Improved Initiative 1
Jack-of-All-Trades
Powers: “Six Fold Path” Alternate Form 12
“Yathian Size”
Enhanced CON 8
Enhanced Feats 9 [All-Out Attack, Attack Focus: Melee 2, Crushing Pin, Improved Grab, Improved Grapple, Improved Pin, Power Attack, Ultimate Effort: Toughness Save]
Growth 12 [+24 STR, +12 CON, +3 size categories]
Super-Strength 3 [Heavy Load: 89.6 tons]

AP: “Xinian Size”
Enhanced DEX 16
Enhanced Feats 3 [Hide in Plain Sight, Move By Action, Power Attack]
Leaping 3 [Running Jump: 25 ft., Standing Jump: 12.5 ft., High Jump: 6.5 ft.]
Protection 2
Shrinking 12 [-3 size categories, ¼ movement speed, Normal Strength, Normal Toughness]

“Will Worker” Magical Mastery 6 [Distracting]
  • “Blades of Baharna” Strike 5 [Affects Insubstantial 2, Autofire 1, Penetrating, Vampiric; Defensive Attack, Defensive Strike, Improved Critical 2 (18-20)]
  • “Call the Brood” Summon 6 [Horde, Progression 6 (100 minions), Type: Narrow (Martian Fauna)]
Combat: Attack +10/+6/+14; Melee +8 [Unarmed DC 27], Defense +12/+8/+16, Init +4
Saves: Toughness +2/12/4, Fortitude +2/12/2, Reflex +0/0/8, Will +6
Description: Gulliver is a slight man of average height, with short dark hair and warm brown eyes that almost look orange in the right light. He is naturally pale, but darkened considerably living in the Martian desert, and hasn’t entirely lost his coloring. An eccentric, Gulliver dresses in the dark desert robes and bone mask of the Red Martian nomads whenever visiting the club or going out “adventuring.” He finds the normal dress of a Victorian gentleman restrictive these days. Having developed his nascent psychic powers on Mars, Gulliver is now one of the most powerful psychics on Earth, although he remains a rank novice on the red planet itself. Like the Blue Martians of the Arctic poles, Gulliver can increase his size, and thus his strength and durability, topping out at a height of about thirty-two feet. Likewise, he can also reduce his size to match the height of the Yellow Martians of the equatorial canyons, and can also mimic their prodigious leaping ability. By contemplating the Baharna runes burned into his flesh, Gulliver can focus his natural psychic talent into a wide variety of ways, but it takes about an hour of meditation to reset his powers. In the past he has produced a pair of glowing red swords, called a horde of rats or insects to serve him, and of course teleported himself across the vast gulf of space to Mars.

Under the Hood
Hank Pym as John Carter, with different Martian races explaining his size changing, and magical mastery substituting for Pym's penchant at gadgetry. I've got more on Mars and its denizens and I'll get to them towards the end of the FV builds, but Gulliver here at least suggests a few of the Martian races and their abilities.

Thanks to League of Extraordinary Gentleman, I knew there was a Victorian story of an Earthling named Gulliver who went to Mars. I guess that outlandish adventurelogues were actually termed "Gullivers" at one time, thanks to Swift's satirical work. That was actually what gave me the idea to use Mars as a means to explain the Stranger's Club's size changer. John can switch from Lilliputian to Bromdignagian or anything in between. I managed to work a couple of references in there.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm

The Multiverse in My Head: [ Victoriana; Threnody, The Clockwork Man]

Post by Yojimbo » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:04 am

Threnody
Threnody is a pixie from Yorkshire, captured ten years ago by an unscrupulous wizard named Cottingley, and brought to London. Threnody was but one of several pixies captured on that expedition, and she watched in growing horror and outrage as Cottingley experimented upon and ultimately murdered her brethren, one by one. Threnody and another pixie named Puffle were able to eventually escaped, and they exacted a wicked revenge against Cottingley. During the course of it, Puffle was unfortunately killed, but Threnody survived and escaped out into London. She has lived off the streets ever since, unable or unwilling to return to her people in Yorkshire. Perhaps it is guilt that keeps her in London, or perhaps it is a burning desire to continue revenging herself against those who would enslave or murder fairies and other magical creatures. Over the years, Threnody has learned that not all wizards are like Cottingley, and in fact it is the technologists (such as the Brotherhood of Steam) that she must truly worry about. Threnody lives in the London Underground, occasionally slipping out into the Dark Quarter and greater London to punish the guilty, help those in need, or simply scavenge for food and shiny things.

It was her habit for helping those in need and for dispensing vigilante justice that drew the attention of the Stranger’s Club, and they surprisingly invited her to join their illustrious company.
PL: 10
Abilities: STR: 8 (-1) DEX: 20 (+5) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHR: 18 (+4)
Skills: Bluff 8 (+12)
Handle Animal 4 (+8)
Knowledge: Arcane Lore 12 (+14)
Knowledge: Streetwise 8 (+10)
Notice 4 (+7)
Search 4 (+6)
Sense Motive 4 (+7)
Stealth 4 (+21)
Feats: Animal Empathy
Defensive Roll 2
Distract [Bluff]
Evasion 2
Hide in Plain Sight
Improved Initiative 1
Taunt
Uncanny Dodge 2 [Vision]
Powers: Flight 2 [25 mph, 220 ft./rnd]
Protection 4
Shrinking 12 [Size: Diminutive, -15 ft. movement; Normal Strength; Permanent, Innate]
Stun 8 “Elfshot” [Ranged, Sleep]
  • AP: Fatigue 8 [Ranged]
  • AP: Nauseate 8 [Ranged]
Combat: Attack +12 [Stun DC 18, Fatigue DC 18, Nauseate DC 18], Defense +12, Init +9
Saves: Toughness +6/+8, Fortitude +4, Reflex +8, Will +4
Description: Threnody is a perfectly proportioned, attractive woman in her mid-20s who happens to be six inches tall. She has long auburn hair, bright green eyes, and pointed ears. As well, she sports two sets of insect wings from her back, which allow her to fly as fast as a horse can run. She dresses immodestly in black and yellow scraps of cloth that show a lot of skin. When she concentrates, Threnody can summon a bow that appears to be made of gold, with a silver string, and she is able to fire tiny golden arrows with it which can knock out a full grown adult, weaken them, or make them ill.

Under the Hood
Less steampunk and more urban fantasy, Threnody fills an important spot in the "Steampunk Avengers" concept. Magic and magical beings are a big part of the setting, too. For all the science fictional trappings of the original steampunk concept, I still find that sort of thing closer to say, Star Wars than Star Trek, i.e. more like fantasy. So pixies with elfshot are totally cromulant character concepts.
Last edited by Yojimbo on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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