Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Return to Silently Screaming Streets (5e)

Dark even during the day.

These streets are made dark by more than just a lack of light. Here, shadows ride on the back of loss, and despair follows with them.
Loss is easy, anyone can do it, even without conscious intention or thought. The trick is in the finding, a retracing of steps back to that liminal point where the possessed became lost, back to a certain time and place. What can be lost, can be found, or at least, one can hope for such a thing. What if loss can’t be overturned? Where does one go if all options have been exhausted, all avenues traveled, all clues examined?

I was lost, but now am found. – J. Newton
For some, they arrive without fanfare, or without specific reason beyond the loss itself. For others, they are sought out, found standing in wet alleys or holding court in hidden cafes with names worn away by rain and time. Finders by name and trade, they travel through the city clad in three-piece suits over garb like a deep-sea diver’s suit. Commonly seen wearing round helmets in garish colors, usually battered, with matching gloves; these being the only oddities worn with their fine clothing. Under the finery and utility garments are bodies that resemble jellyfish that’s taken to walking on land with two legs, their jelly and gristle bodies prone to drying out without the protection of their suits and helmets.

For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought. – E. Spenser
If it can be lost, it can be had again: a treasured pendant, a squandered fortune, the ardor of a lover, the life of a loved one, anything and everything. While it may seem mad for a man to ask for his sense of wonder to be returned, or a woman to request that her ambition be restored, when brought to a Finder such requests move from the realm of fancy to one of reality. When returning a life the Finders require that a strong relationship exist between the one making the request and the one whose life is being restored, be it one forged by love or hate. The life of a random stranger is never on offer by the Finders.

Every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man. Art By: Me

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. – H.D. Thoreau
What would you pay to get something, or someone, back after a loss? How far would you go? What price would be too high for you to pay? In the presence of these Finders, such questions move from rhetorical musing to matters of immediate utility. Given a situation when answers matter to the questions of the cost, the wicked and just alike find themselves surprised at their own replies. The price asked for will differ between Finders, the yoked cost being easier to bear with some and much more difficult with others. While certain Finders can be sought out to make a deal, most often it is by pure chance which Finder one encounters. No matter how the price is paid, it must be paid in full before the lost becomes the returned. How the Finders know the price has been paid when they are not present is a mystery even to the Finders themselves. They just “know”.

What kinds of offers does this Finder make? – 1D6
1) Easy but of equal value.
2 to 5) Something of exactly equal value.
6) Something that is worth more than what is being asked for, or something that will be hard for buyer to part with.

GM Note: For the first option, be nice. For the second option, be fair but also exact. For the third option, be as mean as you possibly can be. I have included some general examples to help determine what should be paid for what. 

Easy but of equal value: While the cost asked for is equal, it need not be paid with a single “object” but with multiple whose combined value equals that of what was lost. To return a life they may ask for the life of someone already close to death, or the life of a murderer. To get back the ardor of a lover, the Finder may ask the individual to be rude to many other individuals the person may normally be attracted to, thus ensuring that they never gain the love of these others. A treasured locket might be returned simply for the cost of the materials used to make it.

Something of exactly equal value:  Whatever that is asked for must be paid for in kind. To return a life, another life must be ended, this life must be as close to the one that was lost as possible: age, sex, social status, as near as possible. To get the love of one back, one must ensure the loss of love from another. The return of a treasured locket might require the destruction of another equally cherished item.

Worth more or hard for the buyer to part with: Here the prices are steep, and whatever returned may in the end be worth less than the cost that was paid. The life of a loved one may cost the life of another who is just as dear to the buyer as the one lost, or perhaps the lives of a truly innocent person (maybe more than one). A returned love will cost the love of someone, and in the process, turning them into a mortal enemy. Treasured lockets might require the destruction of another treasured item, though not the buyer’s, rather that of someone dear to the buyer; the other person will know that it was they, and not the buyer, that paid the cost.

Promise less, deliver more. – S. Yard
How does one receive these impossible products? For some, they just find that what had been lost is back again: a man suddenly finding himself staring up at the stars in wonder. For others, they see a glimmer in the gutter to find the locket they had lost, or a familiar face in a crowd with a once occupied grave now bare of coffin and headstone. Those returned people, back from the great beyond, say little of their time in death’s kingdom: a few comments about light, a mention of timelessness, or perhaps no memories of the experience at all. 

Silk suit, Red tie, It don't need a reason why. Art By: Me

DnD 5e CR 5
LN (Majority) LG and LE (Equal Minority)
Medium Aberration
Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.
 Passive Perception: 18
AC: 17 (Natural and Suit) or 13 (Natural when outside of suit)
HP: 65 (10d10+10)
Weakness: Fire
Resistances: Bludgeoning, Piercing, Cold, Lightning

Speed: 30 ft. (In Protective Suit) OR 40 ft. (Out of Protective Suit)

Melee: Unarmed +5 (1D4 w/ Poison), Crystal Pistol +7 (1D6 Electricity + Stun)

Unarmed – Dmg: 1D4, Poison: Must make Constitution save DC 13 or become poisoned for 10 minutes. The poisoned creature takes a -3 penalty to: to-hit, Dex and Str saves, Dex bonus to AC (if any), and skills. A successful save renders the target immune to this poison for 24 hours.

Crystal Pistol – Dmg: 1D6, Range: 30 / 120, Light, Stun: DC 13 Con save, fail results in stun condition for 5 rounds. A successful save renders the target immune to the stun effect from this gun for 5 rounds.

Space: 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Str 11 (+0)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 13 (+1)
Int 18 (+4)
Wis 15 (+2)
Cha 19 (+4)

Deception: +10
Insight: +8
Investigation: +10
Perception: +8
Persuasion: ++10
Stealth: +8

Common, Their Own Language (You can't Pronounce it), Draconic, Elvish, Dwarven, Telepathy 60 ft.

Environment: Any urban area
Organization: Solitary or Pair
Treasure: Standard

Special Abilities (CL 10)
At Will: Telepathy 60 ft., Tongues, Comprehend Languages, Mind Strike

5/Day: Dimension Door

Mind Strike – 1D6 Non-Lethal, 50 ft. Range, requires a Strength save (DC 15) or be knocked prone. Only works on creatures who possess minds.

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