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Friday, 12th September, 2008, 01:41 AM #281
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
I was about to point you to the second link on the front page, which used to link to the character sheets, but with the transition to ENWorld's new format that thread disappeared. So I've reposted the characters I have. I couldn't get Jim-Bean's to load for some reason (now the forum is claiming anything I post, including a .PDF titled "test," is already uploaded) so he will have to wait until we can get it sorted out.
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, 12th September, 2008, 11:40 AM #282
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Conclusion
“Did he talk?” asked Jim-Bean.
“Oh yes,” said Hammer. “Without much prompting.” He looked disappointed. “Mamoud knows all about Saladin.”
“They guy who is officially dead but unofficially may not be?”
“Yeah, him. Looks like Warner was arming terrorists in Iraq to be his own private army. They were training them as counterinsurgents to fight the Karotechia.”
“Sounds exotic,” said Jim-Bean. “An Italian terrorist group?”
“I don’t know. But that’s the second time this name came up. Seems Mamoud was actually a double agent working for Saladin. He took Warner’s guns and money, then when Saladin disappeared, Al-Hazzan activated his cell.”
“That explains why Tucker was so keen on covering everything up,” said Jim-Bean. “So what happens to Mamoud?”
“What about him?” asked Hammer innocently.
“You know, terrorist leader who can bring evidence against Warner?”
Hammer shrugged. “Don’t know.” He looked down at his cistron. “According to Sprague, Mamoud died in the explosion.”
“Officially?” asked Jim-Bean with a sigh.
“I almost became official myself,” muttered Jim-Bean.
“What happened back there anyway? I’m still not certain how you got out of that mess without Tucker putting a bullet in you.”
“Two, actually,” said Jim-Bean, and this time a steely glint was in his eyes. “I plan to return the favor some day.”
Saturday, 13th September, 2008, 01:19 PM #283
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
The Gates of Delirium: Introduction
This scenario, “The Gates of Delirium,” is a Cthulhu Now scenario from The Stars Are Right by Gary Sumpter. You can read more about Delta Green at Delta Green. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!
Our cast of characters includes:
This scenario was originally planned for my brother’s character, Guppy; if you recall from a previous scenario, he stumbled across the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend, who had been committed to an insane asylum. Guppy was to investigate, discover what happened to her, and then try to survive her “treatment” by yet another insane psychologist.
- Game Master: Michael Tresca
- Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero/Telepath) played by Jeremy Ortiz
- Kurtis "Hammer" Grange (Fast/Dedicated Hero/Sharpshooter) played by George Webster
It didn’t work out that way. Instead, I made it so that Guppy was the victim and needed to be rescued. It helped explain why Guppy had been missing for awhile, so this was an opportunity to bring him back into the fold. What ensues is a rip-off of the movie “The Cube,” in which the agents are placed in a hellish extradimensional series of traps (actually Daoloth). They would have to survive not just Daoloth but each other. It sounded good in theory.
There were two problems. For one, the scenario requires a certain level of basic distrust; freaking out about the circumstances surrounding the mind-bending nature of Daoloth would go a long way in making the scenario a lot more interesting. For that distrust to be sowed, it requires more dissension amongst a larger group. But with just two agents, the PCs weren’t about to role-play that level of distrust; they needed each other too much.
For another, this scenario disarms the PCs. Hammer is good with guns, of which there were none. Jim-Bean is good with working the system, of which he had little system to work with. So for this scenario to work, we needed someone prone to hysteria (like Guppy) and more PCs.
Still, there was a brilliant psychological moment where Jim-Bean brought up the insanity of it all, and that helped make the scenario memorable, if not as enjoyable as the previous two scenarios.
Defining Moment: Jim-Bean, facing down Ngo Dinh Hao, realizes that in a hostage situation in a parallel dimension, nobody wins.
Monday, 15th September, 2008, 01:13 AM #284
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Prologue
ARKHAM, MA--They traced Guppy to a private room at Arkham Asylum. Hospital staff at first refused any requests to visit. But eventually, the cantankerous duty nurse approved Jim-Bean, and only Jim-Bean’s, entrance.All the thug rock kids are playin'
All the punk god angels sayin'
"The toys are us, and we don't even know"
GO GO GO-doppelgangers
(You're one of us, you're one of us)
GO GO GO--throw your shapes doppelgangers
You're one of us.
--Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag by Marilyn Manson
“What happened to him?”
“Mr. Gupta apparently threw himself off a platform in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza subway station last week,” she said. “He was rescued by a heroic bystander.”
“Weird. That doesn’t sound like Guppy.”
“…Hank, I mean.”
The staff escorted Jim-Bean to Guppy’s room. Inside, was clear Guppy’s injuries were serious, but not life-threatening, consisting mainly of severe abrasions and contusions. His eyes were covered with a bandage.
“Guppy,” whispered Jim-Bean.
Guppy’s head turned to face Jim-Bean, but it was clear he was unable to communicate coherently. He didn’t even seem to recognize him.
“Can you hear me?”
Suddenly Guppy began to sob hysterically. The duty nurse tapped a wicked-looking needle. “Here we go again.”
“You regularly inject him?” asked Jim-Bean, eyeing the needle.
“Mr. Gupta’s had spells like this before,” she explained. “Sometimes he wakes up shrieking. Most of the time it’s just nonsense, but once in awhile you can make out some of what he says. Last night for instance, he was screaming as though someone were in the room with him, trying to kill him. Of course, he was alone; it was very disturbing for the other patients to hear. But then, Mr. Gupta’s not the first addict we’ve had in here.”
“Whoa, whoa. Addict?”
The duty nurse shrugged. “The hallucinations and delusions are probably the result of addiction to Blink, not of any concussion. He has a high tolerance to morphine.”
Jim-Bean kept silent that it was likely Guppy’s history was more responsible for his resistance to morphine than any drug use.
“Could I get a look at his things?”
The duty nurse frowned. “That’s not standard procedure.”
Jim-Bean shot her a dazzling smile. “Please, Darlene. For me? It’d mean oh so much to me if you could help me out.”
Darlene the duty nurse shook her head, but she was blushing. “I just can’t say no to that charming accent!” She unlocked a drawer and handed Jim-Bean a plastic bag filled with Guppy’s personal effects. “Just don’t steal anything.”
Guppy possessions consisted of a driver’s license, several credit cards, about twenty dollars in small bills and coins, a set of keys, and Mapquest directions to Rachel Hayward’s address. There was also an eyedropper bottle prescribed for Rachel by a Doctor Tarrou from Asharoken, Long Island.
“That bottle was hidden in one of Mr. Gupta’s pockets,” said Darlene. “But I’m very thorough at my job; when patients come in here I’ve learned to look through every seam, because sometimes they smuggle drugs in.”
Jim-Bean held it up to the light to get a better look.
Darlene peered at the bottle along with Jim-Bean. “Funny, the prescription is labeled the same day as Mr. Gupta’s suicide attempt.”
“Suicide attempt?” asked Jim-Bean. “What happened?”
“He tried to throw himself in front of a subway train. Fortunately a good Samaritan saved him.”
“When do you think Gup—I mean Mr. Gupta will be released?”
Darlene gave Guppy a worried look. “He’s stable,” she said with a sigh, “but it will be several days before any real improvement can be expected, and at least a week before he can be released.”
“Great, Darlene, thank you so much.” He touched her arm and her expression lit up. “You’ve saved a man’s life today.”
Darlene blushed. “Oh, just glad I can help a modern day James Bond!” The woman, well into her fifties, giggled like a schoolgirl.
Jim-Bean rushed out of Arkham. He hated the place.
Hammer was waiting in the car. “Well?”
“Guppy was snooping around Rachel Hayward’s place. He had a prescription bottle on him for his ex-girlfriend.”
Hammer nodded grimly. “Got any leads?”
“A Doctor Tarrou. I think Guppy got too close, figured out what was going on with Rachel, and Tarrou shot him full of drugs and dumped him in front of a subway train.”
Hammer’s gloved fists gripped the steering wheel tightly. “So this is a wetwork mission.”
Before Jim-Bean could response, Hammer slammed the accelerator and the van lurched southwards towards I-95.
Monday, 15th September, 2008, 11:25 AM #285
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 1 – Dr. Tarrou’s Home
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY--Dr. Tarrou’s home was located on Easton Neck Point in Long Island’s Suffolk County, an hour’s drive east of Brooklyn. The nearby village of Asharoken was a small, unremarkable resort community.
Dr. Tarrou’s two story house was an unadorned, rectangular, early Georgian building overlooking Long Island Sound. A gable roof and large chimneys enhanced the symmetry. The ornately carved entrance with its pilasters, paneled double doors, and semicircular fanlight formed a gracious entryway to the home. An inscribed brass plate beside the door bore the legend, “Dr. R. Tarrou, Psychiatrist.” Beneath the plate was a doorbell.
Hammer rang the doorbell.
There was no answer. He waited.
“Do you hear that?” asked Jim-Bean.
They strained to listen. Sure enough, there was some faintly audible chanting.
“That can’t be good,” said Hammer. He kicked open the door.
The front door opened onto a bright, clean entrance hall. A carved oak staircase climbed to the second floor. Throughout the house there hung a number of fine paintings, an obvious show of taste and money.
Jim-Bean and Hammer spread out, pistols at the ready.
The kitchen was unremarkable, but the dining room contained a long oak table of great age, surrounded by velvet-upholstered chairs. Fine china was displayed in a hutch against the wall. There were several comfortable chairs in the parlor, gathered around the cozy fireplace. An upright piano stood against one wall.
Something heavy slammed downstairs, followed by “Utghos Yuggoth, Uthgos qond, Daoloth Uthgos fhtagn!”
Exchanging glances, Hammer and Jim-Bean made their way down into the basement.
Tuesday, 16th September, 2008, 11:31 AM #286
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 2 – The Parting of the Veils
The basement contained cords of wood and a jumble of old furniture, including a broken rocking chair, a table and an old mattress. A furnace was installed as well.
The chanting was coming from beyond the mattress. Hammer shoved it aside.
Behind the old mattress was a small door in the wall, about four feet high and three feet wide. He pushed it open.
Beyond was a large, very dark room. It had been crudely expanded to its present size with pick and shovel.
A pentacle was inscribed upon the floor. Two candles – the only illumination in the room – flickered within the pentacle. Two men stood around the pentacle a few feet back. Tarrou’s assistant, a short Asian man, to Tarrou’s left. Dr. Tarrou slammed a metal rod against the floor several times and called out, “Unveil the universe, O Daoloth! And reveal the realities beyond as thou once did for the astrologers of Atlantis!”
Hammer’s flashlight caught the heavy presence floating over the pentacle. The thing in the pentacle was shapeless, so complex that the eye could recognize no describable shape. There were hemispheres and shining metal, coupled by long plastic rods. The rods were of a flat gray color, so that he couldn’t make out which were nearer; they merged into a flat mass from which protruded individual cylinders. As Hammer looked at it, he had a curious feeling that eyes gleamed from between the rods; but wherever he glanced at the construction, he saw only the spaces between them.
“Fools!” shouted Tarrou. “You’ve doomed us all!”
Tarrou drew his pistol and fired. Jim-Bean fired back. Tarrou’s assistant drew a knife. But Hammer saw none of it. He could only see the endless horizon of Daoloth, who consumed his vision, blinded him, encompassed him. It was like floating in space, staring at all of creation at once, and Hammer was falling, stumbling towards it, struggling to regain his footing.
“Hammer! Get back!” shouted Jim-Bean, squeezing off another shot from his SIG.
Hammer was fascinated by the scintillating intricacy of shapes he couldn’t fully comprehend and was so caught up in the vision of infinity that he didn’t realize he was taking shuddering steps towards the pentacle like a drunken man. One foot crossed the confines of the pentacle…
And suddenly, the thing in the incredibly complex form in the center of the pentacle surged exponentially, rapidly filling the room and eclipsing the basement until it was all anyone could see. Wispy tendrils brushed against Hammer’s face and probing feelers entered his ears, nose and mouth. All was light…
Wednesday, 17th September, 2008, 11:28 AM #287
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 3 – Don’t Move
Jim-Bean woke up in a strange, cube-shaped room with glowing, computer circuit-like walls and six doors, one at the center of each wall, including the ceiling and floor. The walls were all lit by white light from every direction, the only reprieve being the diagonal superstructure of the room. Ladders extended from the center of the room in four directions on every wall, each leading to a door. Although he was wearing his own clothes, Jim-Bean was otherwise unarmed.
He crawled up to one of the doors. As he reached toward the door, it whisked open.
The short Asian man with a bowl cut lay on the floor in an identical room.
Jim-Bean stepped back and the door whisked shut.
A variety of weird static noises emanated from all around him. Then one of the doors whisked open.
The younger man Jim-Bean saw participating in the ritual opened the door ahead of him, peered inside, and closed it.
“Hey!” shouted Jim-Bean.
A second later, the young man appeared in the door above Jim-Bean, peered inside, and closed it.
A moment after that the man appeared in the door behind Jim-Bean. He craned his neck to look inside, and closed it.
Jim-Bean ran over to the door. It whisked open as Hammer stumbled into the room.
“Did you see that guy?”
“What guy?” asked Hammer, looking around. “I’m still a little disoriented, I could have sworn I was moving sideways but I ended up dropping into this room.”
“There was a guy! A guy who just came out of the door you were in! You didn’t see him?”
Hammer shook his head.
Jim-Bean suddenly remembered how they’d gotten into their current predicament. “What the bloody hell is wrong with you, anyway? Running into a pentagram and all that?”
“What?” Hammer rubbed the back of his head. “I remember falling towards that…thing. And then I woke up here.”
“Without weapons,” said Jim-Bean morosely.
“Without weapons,” confirmed Hammer.
“Great.” Jim-Bean crossed his arms. “Well you got us into this mess, so you get us out of it.”
Hammer shrugged, opened one of the doors, and clambered through it.
Thursday, 18th September, 2008, 11:55 AM #288
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 4 – Closer
The next room they entered contained Guppy, a bandage across his eyes, balled up in one corner.
“Please don’t hurt me,” he wailed. Guppy scrambled backwards as Hammer got closer.
“Guppy? It’s me, Hammer.”
“H-Hammer?” Guppy swung his head from left to right. “Is that…is that you?”
“Yes. Jim-Bean’s here with me too. What happened to you? Do you know how you got here?”
Guppy shook his head. “I was looking for Rachel. I thought I found her…and then all I remember is something holding my eyes open. Wide open…and there were these eye drops. And then…then I saw these two lights and heard a roar…”
“The subway train,” said Jim-Bean. Hammer shushed him.
Before they could ask him more, the door on the floor whisks open and an older man’s head in glasses peeked through it. He clambered up.
“Finally,” he breathed. “I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one in here. Kept hoping I would find some other people. I’ve been wandering around these rooms for hours!”
“Keep him away from me!” shouted Guppy. “Don’t let him hurt me!”
“Oh, certainly not,” said the man. “I come in peace. I don’t suppose you could let me know what we’re doing in here? Oh, I’m Martin, Martin Fielding,” he offered his hand.
Hammer took it. “My name is Hammer. This is Jim-Bean and Guppy.”
Fielding looked askance at the names, then shrugged.
He wandered over to one of the doors and unlatched his watch from his wrist. Using the corner of the watch clip, he carved a number into the door.
“What are you doing?” asked Jim-Bean. The man looked vaguely familiar.
“I’m marking the rooms,” said Fielding. “This is the fourth room I’ve been in. What’s weird is that I’ve been wandering for hours. Each one of these rooms has six of these doors or portals, but no matter how many doors or portals I go through, I always end up in the same three rooms…until now. The rooms must be moving…but I don’t feel any motion, do you?”
“No,” said Hammer, “We haven’t—“
He stopped, because there was the sound of movement behind them.
“Oh no, it’s getting closer!” wailed Guppy. “I don’t know what it is, something’s coming after us and I don’t think it likes us. It wants us dead, please we have to get out of here right now! Please, we have to move!”
Jim-Bean and Hammer needed no encouragement. “All right, let’s go.” Hammer helped Guppy up. “It’s up to you if you want to come with us.”
Fielding adjusted his glasses. “Well I’m certainly not going to stay here. Lead on!”
Friday, 19th September, 2008, 11:49 AM #289
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 5 – Help Me!
The door whisked open to reveal a horrible scene.
“Help!” shouted a young man attempting to hold up Doctor Tarrou, who was slowly being strangled by his own belt.
“He looks familiar,” said Jim-Bean. “I think he was at the ceremony.”
“Help me!” shouted the man. “I can’t hold him much longer! Hurry!”
“Bruce?” Fielding shouted back. “We have to help him!”
“Give me some space…I’m going to loosen the belt.” shouted Bruce McNab. “I’m losing him!”
Hammer hopped off the ladder and jogged over to help. Between the two of them, they were able to release Tarrou from his suicide attempt and gently drop him to the ground.
Hammer checked his pulse. “He’s breathing. But he’s been beaten up pretty badly.”
“By who?” squeaked Fielding.
“Or what?” asked McNab.
“Let’s give the good doctor a minute,” said Hammer. “Maybe he can help explain what happened here.”
“I’ve been trying to get a handle on the configuration of these rooms.” Fielding scraped the number five into another door. “All I can say is—“
“They just don’t make any sense,” said McNab. “It’s as if the rooms are moving around really quickly.”
“But you know there’s got to be some kind of logic to it,” replied Fielding. “These rooms just seem to repeat. You go in one direction and the room just loops back in on itself—“
An unearthly screeching sound interrupted their conversation, emanating from the far wall.
“It’s getting closer,” shrieked Guppy. “I can hear it, all the time, even when you don’t. And it sounds…it feels WRONG.”
Suddenly the room shuddered.
“It’s here!” whispered Guppy.
McNab shook his head. “I’m out of here.” He began clambering up one of the ladders to the door.
“Suit yourself,” said Jim-Bean with a shrug.
McNab was catapulted back into the room, landing hard on his back.
“What the hell?” McNab stared at the wall in disbelief.
“What?” asked Fielding.
“The wall just…wiggled!”
The wall shimmered again and an after image of McNab climbed the ladder, as if he had been burned into the retinas of all who saw him.
Then the wall started moving inwards towards them, shimmering.
“All right people, out!” Hammer guided Guppy towards the ladder on the opposite side of the shimmering wall. “Let’s go, it’s not moving fast, we can get out of here.”
Jim-Bean peered through the shimmering wall. There was a figure staring back at him. Someone he recognized.
“What about Doctor Tarrou?” asked Fielding, voice rising.
The doctor’s eyes fluttered open.
“You don’t honestly think you can escape?” Tarrou shook his head. “The only way out of Daoloth is death. And maybe not even that.” He wrapped one arm around one of the ladders. “I’m staying here. It’s better this way.”
“Suit yourself,” said Jim-Bean. He turned to the others. “He’s dead weight anyway.”
The shimmering wall wavered closer.
As Jim-Bean passed Tarrou’s unmoving form, the doctor’s arm shot out, gripping his leg.
Tarrou’s desperate grab turn into a convulsive squeeze as his legs were struck by the shimmering wall. The pants of his leg faded and disintegrated, revealing gray skin that flaked off and muscle that turned to powder. Tarrou shrieked at the top of his lungs.
“Get off of me!” snarled Jim-Bean. He aimed a wicked kick to the man’s head.
Tarrou’s head lolled, his nose broken. He gurgled in pain as the shimmering wall closed in on him. It reached his torso just as Jim-Bean slipped through the door on the opposite side of the room.
The high pitched screech was still ringing in his ears when the door closed behind him.
Saturday, 20th September, 2008, 10:48 PM #290
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Gates of Delirium: Part 6 – Hypercube
They moved quickly from room to room, the gradual encroachment of the shimmering wall giving chase. They finally cleared four more rooms, for a total of ten. Fielding dutifully marked them down with his watch.
Jim-Bean looked up. “I don’t remember that being here before.”
There were drawings of a tesseract on each of the panels of the walls, ceiling, and floor that didn’t contain a door.
Fielding started laughing. “A tesseract! Of course! I can’t believe I didn’t see it before, it’s been staring at us in the face the whole time!”
“Uh…what?” asked Hammer, concerned that the man had finally lost his mind.
“Look, a tesseract, it’s another name for a hypercube, a four-dimensional cube,” said Fielding with exasperation. “All the elements are there: rooms repeating, rooms folding in on themselves, teleportation, it could all very well add up. Look here, let’s call one dimension length.” He scratched a line in the wall. “And represent that with a simple line.” He scratched another line, outlining a square. “Two dimensions are length and width, which can be represented by a simple square.” He scratched a three-dimensional representation of a cube. “Now if we extend that square one more dimension we get a cube, which has three dimensions: length, width, and depth. Here’s the really funky part. If you take this cube and extend it one more dimension we get a tesseract.”
“I always thought time was considered the fourth dimension,” said McNab.
“Sure that’s just one idea, but what if you have a fourth spatial dimension?” asked Fielding. “A hypercube isn’t supposed to be real, it’s just a theoretical construct.”
Hammer rubbed his forehead. “This place gives me a headache.”
McNab shook his head. “Right, anyway, here’s my theory for what it’s worth. I’ve been seeing Dr. Tarrou for months. I was on the verge of a breakdown before I met him.” He stabbed an accusing finger in Hammer’s direction. “He told us we were going to participate in some form of experimental therapy when you goons showed up! I think they’ve got us strapped to tables in some CIFA prison somewhere, high on LSD.”
“That’s right. I…” Fielding blinked. “I didn’t remember it before, but that’s right. My wife had just divorced me. Doctor Tarrou was treating me…he told me to come to his home for experimental therapy, the drugs he gave me weren’t working…”
“Does that number mean anything?” asked Jim-Bean.
There was a number scratched into the ceiling: 60659. It wasn’t there before.
“Sixty thousand, six hundred and fifty nine rooms?” wondered Fielding.
“God, I hope not,” said Hammer.