The Chaosium Digest

The Chaosium Digest supports the role-playing games produced by Chaosium Inc. and all content is fan submitted. Begun in 1994 by Shannon Appelcline who passed it to myself in 2000 and previously distributed via email, this is the newest incarnation of the Chaosium Digest. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chaosium Digest Classics: Another Look At Insanity

by Eric Yin
originally appearing in Chaosium Digest v28.06 on July 17, 1999.

In everyday life, there are insane persons who go about life relatively unimpaired, and completely recognized as such. Others exist who should be institutionalized, but are not. Because of this, I had made up these rules for playing insane characters in Call of Cthulhu back in my undergraduate days. It is a set of guidelines that add game mechanics to help the role-player simulate the uncontrollable nature of insanity and put some checks on what he may do while insane. Of course, there are certain liabilities to playing an insane character, since continued exposure to trauma and lack of competent care results in further deterioration of the character's condition.

An Overhaul of Indefinite Insanity

Under the Sanity rules used in 5th edition Call of Cthulhu, a character losing 20% or more of his SAN in an hour goes indefinitely insane, and the player loses control of his character to the Keeper. However, unless the Keeper has specific plans for that character, it seems quite reasonable to allow the player to continue playing the character until it becomes obvious that he need to be institutionalized or incarcerated. In the meantime, if the authorities are unaware that the character has gone mad, or his colleagues have nowhere to hospitalize him at the moment, there should be no reason that the insane character should be discarded.

While in certain cases insanity results in extreme behavior that would be difficult to role-play for most, there are other cases in which the symptoms that are more subtle, and leave the character with many of his faculties unimpaired. In such cases, a few appropriate guidelines should be enough to allow the player to continue controlling his character. Sanity (SAN) is a representation of the character's mental stability, and should reflect his state of mind. Thus, a person who suffers a breakdown, but has SAN 70 is in much better shape than a person with SAN 30. The degree to which the beliefs, behavior, and perceptions of the character with the higher SAN is altered should not be as drastic as the character with a lower SAN.

The degree of seriousness to the character's insanity is determined by his SAN score. Those characters with SAN 48 or less, are severely disturbed personalities, and must make a successful SAN roll to overcome his irrational impulses for a short period of time. Characters who have Minor or Moderate disorders will only succumb to the irrational if they fail a SAN roll. The duration of the temporary lucidity, or irrationality could be determined using the Temporary Insanity Table. When to make rolls is up to the Keeper, who should take into account whether the character's actions would be consistent with his insanity.

Indefinite Insanity Table
SAN Disability Notes
64-79 Minor Relatively unimpaired
49-63 Moderate Considered eccentric
32-48 Serious Considered strange
16-31 Debilitating A probable danger to self and others
0-15 Incapacitating Must be institutionalized

Using this system, each class of insanity should be broken down into five degrees of Disability, each with its own characteristic symptoms. Thus, Paranoia could be described in this manner:

SAN Disability Symptoms
64-79 Minor The character exhibits hypervigilance, and is suspicious of those with whom he is unfamiliar.
49-63 Moderate As above, but the character may entertain the idea that there may be someone or something out to get him.
32-48 Serious As above, but even more so. The character may become compulsive about safety precautions or protective rituals.
16-31 Debilitating The character becomes delusional. All his beliefs and perceptions become focused on a conspiracy directed specifically against him.
0-15 Incapacitating The character becomes unhinged and maniacal. He is a very dangerous person to be around. He may see hallucinations.

Phobia can be described like this:

SAN Disability Symptoms
64-79 Minor The character is frightened by the object of his phobia. He will cower and maybe run whenever this object is encountered.
49-63 Moderate As above, but the character becomes panic-stricken by the object, and perhaps even representations or things that are similar to the object. He may even lose SAN if the object is encountered.
32-48 Serious As above, but his reactions are even stronger when the object of his fear is encountered. He may start developing paranoia with regard to the object of fear. He may develop a split personality to deal with his fear.
16-31 Debilitating The character has delusions regarding the object of fear, and hallucinations where he sees the object of his fear. He becomes more and more irrational.
0-15 Incapacitating The character is so enthralled by his phobia, that he is completely unable to function. He may have locked himself in a fortress against the object of fear, or may have gone catatonic.

Insanity is a complex disease, and symptoms manifest themselves differently in different people. The tables give a general guideline on how the player should play the character, but the Keeper can be as specific as he likes. Keepers should tailor each character's insanity and its progression based on the cause of the trauma, and the character's personality (Originally, I had a large list of symptoms gleaned from abnormal psychology class, with descriptions, and how they could be interpreted in game terms, but I think that it is very similar to material in The Taint of Madness, so I left it out. Besides which, it was too much to retype).

An Overhaul of Temporary Insanity

Temporary insanity should result in short term symptoms that will go away at the end of the period for which the character is insane. Thus, phobias, schizophrenia, and the like would be inappropriate. The following table lists some immediate symptoms that could afflict the character following a crisis, and some residual symptoms that could follow.

Temporary Insanity Table
roll duration symptoms
1-4 1-10 rounds immediate
5-7 14-20 rounds immediate
8-9 ~1 day immediate + residual
10 1-10 days immediate + residual

Immediate Symptoms:

Flee from scene of SAN loss.
Become helpless with hysteria.
Nausea, vomiting, dry heaves.
Frozen, loss of involuntary muscle control.
Paralyzed with fear.
Pass out.
Physical symptom (e.g. stroke, heart attack).
Psychological symptom (e.g. trigger split personality).
Perform reckless act of heroism.

Residual Symptoms:

Suffer from flashbacks to SAN loss event.
Suffer from bouts of headache.
Undergo change in personality (e.g. exhibit fits of rage,
depression, hedonism).
Suffer sleep disorders (e.g. nightmares, insomnia).
Go into denial, accompanied by partial amnesia or detachment from reality.
Suffer amnesia, fugue.
Psychological incapacitation (e.g. enter state of delirium, senility, or delusion).
Enter state of shock or catatonia.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chaosium Digest Classics: Elric! Psionics

by Patricio Gonzalez
Originally appearing in Chaosium Digest v28.4, Friday, May 28, 1999

This is a Psionic system for the Elric! RPG but could be used with any BRP with some minor adjustments.

Psionics could be treated as Law's counterpart to Eastern Magic. It should be a hidden knowledge and few humans should know of it. Or it could be treated as "magic" in a lawful plane.
An INT of 16 is required to be able to use Psionic Powers.

Psionic Powers are composed of 5 skills with some powers related to each one. To use a power, a Psi must roll under the corresponding skill and spend a number of Psionic Points which are the equivalent of MP.

A Psi's Psionic Points (PP) are equal to his INT.

Whenever a Psi learns a new Psionic skill, it starts at INT%.

Every power has a number starting from 1, which rates what maximum potency it can have. A Psi can choose to use any level of potency up to the maximum. The Potency of a power is also the number of rounds it will work (with some exceptions in some spells).

Each power has also a cost of Psionic Points (PP).

A fumble skill roll costs PP and no Psionic is made. A failed skill roll costs no PP and no Psionic is made. A successful skill roll costs PP and works normally. A critical skill roll costs no PP, or costs PP but Psi gets a +5 to Potency or resistance rolls.

Experience: The skills rise normally. But in order to rise a power, a Psi must sacrifice the skill check to rise 1d3 points to a single power.

Telepathy governs mental communication and control.

Sense Psi
This power allows the Psi to sense the use of a Psionic Power within an area determined by the Potency.

The area is equal to Potency x10 yards in radius.

The total PP spent work as the active value if resisted by Psi Mask.

The more PP spent the more the chance to sense someone using Psionics.

Psi Mask
This power lets you "mask" your psionic waves against Sense Psi. The Psi knows when he's being traced so he also knows what potency the "sensor" has.

The PP spent work as the passive value in the resistance table.

Sense Emotion
Sense Emotion lets you know exactly what are the target's emotions when used.

The power's range is its Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table.

Send Thoughts
This power lets you send thoughts to a selected target. The target "hears" a voice telling him things. He may or may not obey it, but he will listen to it for sure.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table.

Mind Reading
This power lets you read target's thoughts for as long as the power continues to work. The victim will feel nothing except if the Psi fails .

Power's range is Potency x10 yards.

Every PP spent grants 2 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table.

Psi Attack
This is a mental attack that hurts the victim's mind. The attack feels like a painful headache. A Psi knows if it's a normal headache or a Psi intrusion.

New expenditure of points is needed each round, but no skill roll.

Power's range is Potency x10 yards.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table. If successful, the attack reduces 1d6 points of INT temporarily and 1 HP. When target's INT reaches 0 he falls unconscious. The INT lost is regained by 1 point per hour. Hit Points are regained normally. If the attack fails, the PP are lost but the Psi may try again next round.

Psi Shield
This power grants protection from a Psi attack or other Psi intrusion.

Each PP spent adds 1 to the user's INT for the resistance roll. Each use lasts for one attack, so new PP must be expended for each new attack.

This power makes the target feel tired... and sleepy.

Power's range is Potency x10 yards.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against target's CON in the resistance table. If successful, the victim falls asleep for 60-CON minutes.

Wipe Memory
This is a terrible power. It erases part of the memory of a victim. Before a Psi uses this power, he must Mind Read the victim in order to locate a part of his memory or thoughts.

Power's range is Potency x10 yards.

Every PP spent grants 2 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table. If successful, the selected victim's memory is wiped for Potency days. This power can be made permanent by the expenditure of 1 point of INT permanently. If the Psi fails he may not try again for 1 week.

Lets remark that the Psi retains the erased memory so he can restore it to the victim using Send Thoughts.

Mind Control
Another dangerous power that lets the Psi control a subject's mind.

Power's range is Potency x10 yards.

Every PP spent grants 2 points as the active value against target's INT in the resistance table. If successful the victim falls under control for Potency hours. This power cannot be recast until one week after "awakening". If the Psi fails he may not try until 1 week later.

This skill grants the ability to move things at distance, wether they are objects or atoms...

This power allows the Psi to move objects and beings with its mind.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against the object's SIZ or the target's STR or SIZ (whichever is higher) in the resistance table.

The speed of the target is equal in MOVs to the Potency minus the PP spent.

To hit some one with an object a Psi must roll again under Telekinesis. If the object thrown has only a part which makes damage (i.e. a dagger), the Psi must roll also under the appropriate skill.

To calculate damage from a thrown object, first judge it's size and give the object a basic damage (a rock 1d3, a chair 1d6, big chest 1d8, etc.). Second, add the object's SIZ and the Telekinesis' MOV and compare the result with de Damage Bonus Table. That gives the additional damage from speed.

Example: A Psi with a Potency of 14 in Telekinesis tries to move a chest of SIZ 5. He spends 3 PP to ensure his success. His Potency (14) minus the PP spent (3) gives the chest's speed (11 MOV). That's quite fast!!

Example 2: The Psi throws the chest at a guard that has been chasing him, the GM states that the basic damage of the chest is 1d6. The Psi adds the chest's SIZ (5) and the MOVs (11) and checks the Damage Bonus Table. No bonus... sorry...

This power allows the Psi to levitate. It works like Telekinesis.

Power's range is self.

Every PP spent grants 3 points as the active value against the Psi's SIZ or STR (whichever is higher) in the resistance table.

The speed of the movement is equal in MOVs to the Potency minus the PP spent.

This power allows the Psi to increase the temperature of an object.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent sets fire 1 SIZ. The Psi can ignite someone's clothes at 1 PP per every SIZ of the target. Damage done by this fire is 1d6 per round. A Psi can opt to ignite half SIZ of the target but this fire does only 1d3 damage per round.

This power allows the Psi to decrease the temperature of an object.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent freezes 1 SIZ. The Psi can freeze someone's clothes or objects at 1 PP per every SIZ of the target. Damage done by this freeze is 1d6 per round. A Psi can opt to freeze half SIZ of the target but this cold does only 1d3 damage per round.

Psychokinetic Shield
This power allows the Psi to create a force shield that protects all sides.

Power's range is self.

Every 2 PP spent grants 1 point of armor to the Psi.

This skill governs the ability to perceive things hidden for normal people.

This power lets the Psi to see through walls and other solid objects.

Power's range is Potency/2 in yards (a potency of 1 grants half a yard of Clairvoyance)
Every PP spent grants a round of vision.

This power is very similar to Clarivoyance except that the Psi can hear through walls instead of seeing.

Power's range is Potency/2 in yards (a potency of 1 grants half a yard of Clairaudience)
Every PP spent grants a round of hearing.

This power allows the Psi to sense the history and experiences of an object or place.

Power's range in time is Potency squared in years.

Every PP spent grants one fact in the object's history.

This is a dangerous power because it lets the Psi to know his future.

Power's range in time is Potency squared in days.

Every PP spent grants a fact from the Psi's future.

Sense Allegiance
This power lets the Psi to know to what force the target has preference. For game purposes, the GM tells the Psi which of the three forces is the highest, which is the second highest, and which is the last.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP grants 3 points as the active value in the resistance table against the target's POW.

This skill governs the moving of things from one place to another without crossing the space between.

This power lets the Psi to teleport himself to another place he's already been.

Power's range is Potency in kilometers.

Every PP spent works like 3 points as the active value against the Psi's SIZ.

Allows the Psi to teleport himself with objects or other people.

Power's range is Potency in Kilometers.

Every PP spent grants 5 points as the active value against all the Psi's, object's and other being's SIZ added together.

This skill governs the use of Psionics for healing purposes.

Psi Cure
This power allows the Psi to cure a victim's wounds with his mind.

Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Every PP spent cures 1 HP + 1 additional PP if the victim is unconscious.

Disease Cure
This power cures a disease or poisoning of a victim.

The Power's range is Potency x10 in yards.

Each PP spent works as 2 point as active value in the resistance table against the disease or poison's POT.

Oh, my sons... Tanelorn is not difficult to find because it's far or hidden, it's difficult to find because it lies within yourselves.

>From Tanelorn,

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Chaosium Digest Classics: Pendragon Encounters

by Warren Hately
Originally appearing in The Chaosium Digest volume 28, number 1 and 2 on Sunday, April 11, 1999

It was with a little shock the other week while playing the game I have been running for nearly two years now that I turned to the rules for the statistics of a monster. I realized then this was the first time I'd ever actually done this, in all that time of playing. Pendragon has always seemed to be direly in need of a solid section for mundane and magical encounters, a "Monster Manual" of sorts. But to be true to the setting of the game, there is a limit to exactly how many pages could be filled without borrowing wholesale from other genres which are not strictly historical. So I thought I would gather together my notes and thoughts and scribe down the stats for some of the encounters I have used in my game over this length of time. From what's listed here, you'll also be able to discern the nature of game my players and I are involved in. I hope this proves useful to some!

These unfortunate beings are the result of the magic issuing from the various magic cauldrons which populate Celtic myth. These cauldrons are said to be able to take the dead from the field of battle, and return them to a form of life though they are mute thereafter. I have interpreted these beings as a much more efficient kind of zombie; temporarily summoned from the afterlife to reinhabit the bodies in which they died. In most cases, the dead were fairly noted warriors and the cauldron's animation of their bodies means they do not suffer the slowness of ordinary zombies. While their fatal wounds remain as the signs of their former slaying, now only major wounds, decapitation and truncation will slow them down.

SIZ 13 Move: 3
DEX 15 Damage: 5d6
STR 15 HP: irrelevant (29)
CON 16 Armour: 6 + 6
Attacks: Most Cauldron Dead employ the weapons which they used in life. Some may use double-handed weapons, and therefore forego use of a shield in exchange for the additional 1d6 damage (and any other effects). They attack with a skill @ 16. Some also use missile weapons (javelins) @ 12.
Sig. Skills: Awareness 10, Hunting 12, Horsemanship 12, Drive Chariot 12.
Sig. Passions: Loyalty (Cauldron Bearer) 16
Avoidance: 0
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 40

These shapeshifters, also known as Selkies, can make an interesting player character race. They sail the seas around Ireland and northern Britain in super-fast ships constructed of Otherworldly materials. Their captains are referred to as "Husband-of-Ships." They speak an ancient form of Gaelic, barely recognizable, and appear as Celts with red or blonde or blue/green hair. Each wears a totem (usually a skin) of his or her animal spirit (and usually little else) and frequently can be found in this other form. Their actual stats and skills vary, as normal people do. However, each has Shapeshift as a Natural Talent, @15 minimum. Some possess higher magics.

These creatures are often found lurking in the waters of the Mediterranean and the North Sea, waiting for ships to capsize, and humans to devour. On rare occasion they are captured by seamen and used against rival fleets. The Cold Ones have an almost identical description to the Gargoyle Type One (see later), and are often mistaken for such. They are gray and stone-like, but while their skin is very thick and hard, these creatures bleed if pierced successfully.

SIZ 18 Move: 3 (9 swimming)
DEX 14 Damage: 6d6
STR 20 HP: 43
CON 25 Armour: 8
Attacks: 2 claws @ 16 against multiple opponents, or a bite @ 22.
Acid Vomit: Cold Ones often save this terrible attack until they are biting an opponent. They vomit their hoarded digestive juices upon an opponent, inflicting 2d6 damage per round. Armour gives no protection from this attack, though the damage is inflicted against the armour first. Once the damage done has exceeded the armour rating (not
including shields except in special circumstances), the armour is useless, and the acid affects the opponent's body until he is washed clean. Salt-water is particularly effective in this.
Avoidance: 10
Mod. to Valorous: -5 (reroll after the Acid Vomit has been employed).
Glory to Kill: 60

These nearly extinct creatures appear to be a cross between a giant lizard and a snow leopard. Their fur is highly prized, and a complete pelt of these large creatures of worth 6L easily! They are serpentine in their quickness, suppleness and their sharp fangs, but otherwise behavior much like big cats, including their crawling and tree climbing abilities.

SIZ 25 Move: 4
DEX 20
STR 20
CON 20

SIZ 20 Move: 2
DEX 10 Damage: 6d6
STR 14 HP: 32
CON 12 Armour: 4 + shield
Attacks: Spear 13, Axe 11, Javelin 11
Sig. Traits: Proud 16
Sig. Passions: Loyalty Lord 18, Honour 10
Sig. Skills: Awareness 10, Horsemanship 8, Industry 10, First Aid 10, Folk Lore 10, Hunting 12
Glory to Kill: 25

SIZ 24 Move: 3
DEX 10 Damage: 7d6
STR 16 HP: 39
CON 15 Armour: 6 + shield
APP 10
Attacks: Spear 18, Axe 18, Javelin 15, Sword 12
Sig. Traits: Proud 18, Energetic 16, Vengeful 16, Merciful 16, Generous 16
Sig. Passions: Loyalty Lord 21, Hospitality 15
Sig. Skills: Awareness 15, Horsemanship 12, Industry 12, First Aid 15, Folk Lore 10, Hunting 15
Glory to Kill: 35

SIZ 22 Move: 3
DEX 14 Damage: 6d6*
STR 17 HP: 40
CON 18 Armour: 8 + shield
APP 12
Attacks: Spear 18, Axe 21, Javelin 15, Sword 20
Sig. Traits: Proud 20, Energetic 16, Vengeful 20, Merciful 18, Generous 18
Sig. Passions: Loyalty Tuath 18, Hospitality 20, Hate Tuatha De Danaan 15
Sig. Skills: Awareness 16, Courtesy 12, Horsemanship 14, Folk Lore 12, Hunting 15
* Fir Bolg leaders will almost always have 1-3 enchanted items, often a weapon at +2 skill +2 damage.
Glory to Kill: 50

I'm hesitant to call these beings such, as it is not until later in history they are named thus. However, Gargoyle-appearing monsters appear in my campaign as the personification of Earth Elementals, when summoned by a druid/enchanter. They are beings of pure stone. Gargoyles mesh with what is known about the demonic appearance of Gargoyles in later centuries, except they do not fly. Wing-like structures can be perceived on their backs, but closer examination reveals these are actually an antler-like extension of the spinal-column.

Type One
SIZ 16 Move: 3 (3 climbing)
DEX 14 Damage: 6d6
STR 20 HP: 41
CON 25 Armour: 10*
*A fumble with ANY weapon against these beings indicates the weapon has broken.
Attacks: 2 claws @ 15 each, against separate opponents.
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 50

Type Two
SIZ 25 Move: 4 (4 climbing)
DEX 12 Damage: 8d6
STR 25 HP: 50
CON 25 Armour: 10*
*A fumble with ANY weapon against these beings indicates the weapon has broken.
Attacks: 1 claw per round @ 18.
Mod. to Valorous: -10
Glory to Kill: 80

SIZ 40 Move: 6 (18 flying)
DEX 20 Damage: 6d6
STR 35 HP: 60
CON 20 Armour: 8
Attacks: 2 claws @ 16 each against one or two targets, or 1 beak stab @ 21, or a grapple @ 15 (does automatic 3d6 damage) and includes the chance of being dropped from a great height.
Avoidance: 20
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 100

The giant lizard is an anachronism, a left-over from primitive times. Almost entirely extinct within the civilized world, this creature can still be found on semi-magical islands, isolated from the world. It is not impossible to tame them, to use them as mounts and load-bearers. The Giant Lizard's description is quite obvious; it is a gecko-like creature grown to immense size. Otherwise the creature is plain and has no body ornamentation or special abilities.

SIZ 40 Move: 5 (5 swimming and climbing)
DEX 12 Damage: varied
STR 40 HP: 52
CON 12 Armour: 12
Attacks: 2 slashing claws @ 12, against separate opponents, inflicting 6d6 damage, or 1 charging ram @ 17, doing 8d6 damage (12d6 if ramming the opponent into something solid, like a tree, though the Giant Lizard then takes 4d6 damage itself). When the Lizard charges no warning is given and players' actions should be consulted as if they expect the claw attacks. The Lizard hunches its body in a mere moment and then launches itself in a ram, with the entire weight of its body behind it.
Avoidance: 5
Mod. to Valorous: 0
Glory to Kill: 100

These scabrous winged beings are part human and part vulture. It is up to the GM's discretion as to whether both male and female harpies exist.
SIZ 13 Move 4 (8 flying)
DEX 18 Damage: 4d6
STR 18 HP: 28
CON 15 Armour: 6
Attacks: Harpies tend to employ bows or javelins for distance attacks @ 13, but much prefer to engage with their filthy claws, raking one opponent per round with a skill of 15.
Disease: a roll vs. CON is required to escape disease from each attack, which ages the victim three times. No matter how many times infected, the victim only suffers once.
Sig. Skills: varies, per GM's discretion or requirements.
Avoidance: 21
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 35

These enchanted guardians were well-known to old Roman sorcerers, who constructed and enspelled them in sacred temples. Immortal, these spirits can lie dormant for generations before being disturbed. They take the form of animate statues and have all the advantages and few of the disadvantages of stone.

SIZ 25 Move: 3
DEX 10 Damage: 6d6 Fist
STR 25 HP: 45
CON 20 Armour: 10
Attacks: a bludgeoning blow or stone weapon @ 16.
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 50

Also known as Men of the Bogs, these beings are another manifestation of earth-power, most common to swamp and dense forest. Moss Men appear as exactly that: humanoids devoid of features, which appear made of solid lichen and vines. Each Moss Man has an ancient skull (of an intelligent being, though not necessarily human) imbedded within it, and the ghost of such a departed spirit provides the initial burst of Life Force required to animate the Moss Man.

SIZ 15 Move: 3
DEX 10 Damage: 4d6
STR 20 HP: 35
CON 20 Armour: 4
Attacks: Moss Men tend to be unarmed, and cannot properly articulate weapons due to their mossy hands. The Moss Men do not have claws either, but bludgeon their opponents @ 18.
Unconsciousness: Moss Men have no unconsciousness limit, and must be reduced to 0 HP to be stopped.
Sig. Skills: Hunting 20; if Moss Men are evaded, they will often obsessively track their opponents, methodically and with amazing slowness. Therefore an encounter from the previous week may come back to haunt individuals later, after it has been consigned to history.
Avoidance: 10
Mod. to Valorous: -5
Glory to Kill: 30

These scummy beings are the dread of anyone travelling through swampland. Spongy, gray-skinned beings of human size and appearance, Nicors are like water-logged Neanderthals, with vestigial suckers along the insides of their arms and across their chest. Their quasi-human faces have sunken into a disgusting sucker-like mouth long ago, with no nose, and only baleful black eyes below a heavy brow. They tend to be unarmed.

SIZ 15 Move: 3
DEX 15 Damage: 4d6
STR 15 HP: 27
CON 12 Armour: 2 + 2 (furs and rags)
Attacks: double-claw attack @ 18 (the Nicor gets to roll its skill twice and choose the best result against its opponent, though the attack is against only one opponent ever, for 4d6), one bite @ 12 for 3d6 damage, or grapple @ 30 (this is assisted by the Nicor's suckers; once grappled, the victim is usually dragged into swamp-water and
Avoidance: 5
Glory to Kill: 25

This is just one of the races of men which the famous Pliny the Elder "discovered" while "sailing" in his boat "the Poppy." Traces of this hunter-gatherer race can still be found amidst the semi-magical islands to Ireland's west and Britain's north. They appear as pale, big-boned humanoids, normal in every respect except for having their heads located in the top-half of their chest. They are generally a peaceful people and live a perilous life trying to remain in harmony with the magical/mythical beings of the islands.

SIZ 13 Move: 2
DEX 11 Damage: 4d6
STR 14 HP: 28
CON 14 Armour: 0 + 6
Attacks: Spear 14, Dagger 8
Sig. Traits: Generous 16, Prudent 14, Trusting 16, Honest 12
Sig. Passions: Loyalty (Elder) 12
Sig. Skills: Hunting 12, Fishing 16, Boating 12, Industry 12, Faerie Lore 15, First Aid 10.
Glory to Kill: 10 (but only if the People initiate the fight).

These leathery birds have two hobbies: circling active volcanoes and attacking travelers for little reason other than food. Again, these beasts are an anachronism still to be found in the islands off the west coast of Ireland.
SIZ 25 Move: 4 (12 flying)
DEX 20 Damage: 5d6
STR 18 HP: 39
CON 14 Armour: 6
Attacks: Pterodactyls generally attack with their beak @ 16, swooping down upon their prey.
Avoidance: 20
Glory to Kill: 50

RISULKI (Scandinavian Water Maiden)
Two sets of stats are provided here. The Risulki appears normally as a Russian, Finnish or Scandinavian maiden washing in a stream, and has a magical song which can instill a great desire on hapless males and females alike to share the bath. The Risulki can also transform into a gigantic amphibious fish, like a cross between a giant salmon and a claw-bearing toad (yes, ugly).
SIZ 12 Move: 4 (8 swimming)
DEX 15 Damage: 5d6*
STR 21 HP: 30
CON 18 Armour: None
APP 21
Attacks: Grapple 12, Brawl 6
*The maiden is usually unarmed, thus 2d6 must be deducted from Brawling damage.
Magic: Maiden's Song @ 25; consider this the same as Evoke Emotions (Lustful). The Song's effect lasts even if the Maiden turns into her Monster form.

SIZ 50 Move: 5 (10 swimming)
DEX 12 Damage: 10d6
STR 35 HP: 75*
CON 25 Armour: 12
*The monster has no unconsciousness statistic, and must be reduced to 0 hit points.
Attacks: The monster has a combined charge/bite attack @ 21 for full damage, or one claw @ 15 (the monster uses it's claw when it has been wounded past the point of normal unconsciousness and can no longer move swiftly).
Mod. to Valorous: -10, +10 Prudent
Glory to Kill: 350

This creature is the manifestation of a sort of Ysbryd (Nature Spirit) which usually appears to attack the unwary adventurer cutting down trees to make forts, rafts etc. It appears a green and greenery-tinged humanoid, gaunt but with immense upper body muscles. An animal's skull-like face is set with ram or bull horns, and a bull's tail hangs from scrawny withers. The Tree Spirit has long arms set with dangerous claws. It never uses weapons of its own, though it will cheerfully grab up those dropped by adventurers.

SIZ 20 Move: 4
DEX 16 Damage: 7d6
STR 25 HP: 42
CON 22 Armour: 6
Attacks: 2 claws @ 17 against one or two opponents (if 2 claws are used against one opponent and both succeed, consider the opponent grappled; it will the use its bite @15 until the opponent is dead), or any scavenged weapon @ 12. Though it is a weaker attack, Tree Spirits will opt to grab a weapon if possible.
Avoidance: 50
Mod. to Valorous: -10
Glory to Kill: 80

These kinds of Fae are water elementals that dwell predominantly in rivers and lakes. To one with the sight, they take the form of beautiful men and women in fine raiment, living out their existence horizontally in the current and tide of the water. They are capricious and can be appeased with either sacrifices or offerings, otherwise take delight in drowning riders and their horses. This is especially true if they lie in wait as guardians to a sacred place that can be found on yonder side of the water. On rare occasion, these sprites can be conversed with and even courted. Sprites have been known to give up their more base urges for a pretty song or interesting tale from a comely bard.

SIZ 10-18 Move: 4 (8 swimming)
DEX 15 Damage: varies, by weapon type.
STR 15-20 HP: 31-36
CON 16 Armour: 0 or 12 (Faerie Chainmail)
APP 16-21
Attacks: Male Water Sprites can be treated in all regards as Extraordinary Knights for their attacks. Both males and females additionally have a Grapple @ 17 with which to drown passers by. When drowning, they prefer to attack in gangs, appearing to the uninitiated as a raging current sprung from nowhere.
Sig. Skills: as appropriate.
Avoidance: 10 versus Sight
Glory to Kill: 30

A breed of Lycanthrope occurring amongst the Saxons, this man-wolf shapeshifter passes for normal most the time. In groups of Saxon raiders, the Wehr-wolf may even be an accepted member of the group, feared and respected for his (or her) obvious Otherworldly touch. The statistics given here are for an average member of the ilk, though stats may vary between individuals.

SIZ 18 Move: 5
DEX 15 Damage: 6d6 or weapon
STR 21 HP: 39
CON 16 Armour: 6 or armour and shield
Attacks: the Wehr-wolf can transform and attack as a wolf of giant kind, or partially transform and employ a claw attack @ 18, for 6d6 damage. Of course, as a berserk warrior the creature has other options also available.
Sig. Skills: Hunting 14, Awareness 12
Sig. Passions: Madness 12
Avoidance: use Hunting
Glory to Kill: 50

Wooden Men are the magical creations of Enchanters, and amongst the Fir Bolg spell-smiths are often created to assist with menial chores as well as personal protection. They are mindless except to the one who created them. They appear as a large, almost random agglomeration of wooden blocks, splinters and odds-and-ends, and are only kept together and mobile through magic.

SIZ 30* Move: 4
DEX 8 Damage: 9d6
STR 30 HP: 60
CON 30 Armour: 8**
* This SIZ rating reflects the density of the Wooden Men as well as their physical height.
**Weapons which normally gain +1d6 against shields gain this bonus against Wooden Men.
Attacks: 1 jagged wooden bludgeon @ 12
Vulnerability: Wooden Men are obviously susceptible to fire, though
they lack the intelligence to realize this.
Mod. to Valorous: -10
Glory to Kill: 100

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chaosium Digest Classics: MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY: Life at the World's Scariest School, 1999

A variant for "Cthulhu Now"
by R. J. Christen
Originally appearing in The Chaosium Digest volume 27, number 9-11 on Sunday, March 14, 1999

Along the banks of the mighty Miskatonic River in Arkham MA, a prestigious university stands. But dark and mysterious forces pervade this school and the surrounding lands, and only brave investigators can save humanity from these minions of evil. The only question is; who's got time to be an Mythos Investigator these days?? The answer: Miskatonic University students, that's who!

It's a well known fact that most college students have loads of free time; otherwise there would be no pep rallies, rock bands, wild parties, road trips, alcoholic binges, soap operas, sleeping in late, or late-night role-playing games. The modern college student, if curious and smart enough and allied with the right accomplices, can confront and (hopefully) defeat the sinister shadows of cosmic horror or silly, conniving con artists ("...and I would have succeeded if not for you meddling kids!"). Miskatonic students have all the resources at hand to formulate their ideas into plans of action, particular those items found in the world famous Henry Armatage Library. The Miskatonic experience also provides beginning Call of Cthulhu player characters with more advanced skills and personality. As in Classic "Call of Cthulhu", there are two kinds of student investigators; those who do the snooping, and those who do the studying. Snoopers are usually Reporters from the MU newspaper, adventurous jocks, or Fantasy Gamers. Study types are the serious student scholars, avant' garde artsy types, or Fantasy Gamers (something about those darn gamers).

Admission to Miskatonic:
In order to even get into Miskatonic, a character needs: EDU=12+ for admission; 13=Soph, 14=Jr, 15=Sr, 16+=Grad. Roll your Idea each year for success. OK, Athletes with EDU of 10+ can get in on scholarship, but they have to be pretty darn good on the playing field (Roll Luck instead). Bonus Skill points for INT (INTx10) are devised as per "Call of Cthulhu" basic rules. These would represent pre-college skills and hobbies.

Classes & Academics:
All students each get 5 skill points in Library Use, 1d6pt in Listen (needed to understand what your aging prof is muttering), and 1d3 in computer (word processing) use per semester of study. A student- investigator character's initial EDU skill points (EDUx20) are divided by choice in the following majors:

ANTHROPOLOGY/ARCHEOLOGY= Anthropology, Archeology, History, Library, Persuasion, Navigate, Occult, Other Language.
ART: Anthropology, Art, History, Fast Talk, Photography, Persuasion, Psychology, & Other Lang.
BUSINESS= Accounting, Bargain, Law, Library, Persuasion, Psychology, Other Language. COMPUTER SCIENCE= Accounting, Computer, Electrical or Mechanical Repair, Electronics, & Spot Hidden. (Require yearly SAN Roll for dealing with computers).
FOREIGN LANGUAGES= Persuasion, Psychology, Other Lang, & Art (Sing).
EDUCATION= Art, Computer, Library, Persuade, Psychology, 3 Academic Skills. (Require yearly SAN Roll for dealing with Brat kids)
ENGINEERING STUDIES= Computer, Electrical Repair, Electronics, Geology, Mechanical Repair, Physics, & Spot Hidden.
HISTORY= Debate, History, Library, Law, Persuasion, Psychology, & Other Lang. JOURNALISM/COMMUNICATION ARTS= Bargain, Debate, Photography, Psychology, Sneak, Fast Talk OR Persuade, & any other Skill.
LIBERAL ARTS (English, Philosophy, Music, Minority Studies, etc) Art, History, Persuasion, Psychology, Other Lang, & some academic Skill.
LIFE SCIENCES= Biology, Chemistry, Computer, Natural History, Latin, Persuasion, Spot Hidden.
MEDIEVAL METAPHYSICS: Anthropology, Archeology, Dodge, Hide, Occult, Psychology, Read/Write Latin, Sneak. 10pt Cthulhu Mythos per semester. (Requires SAN Roll per semester as well)
NURSING: Anthropology, First Aid, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, and Any Other Skill. (Requires yearly SAN roll for icky hospital stuff)
PHYSICAL SCIENCE= Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer, Geology, History, Physics, German, & Spot Hidden.

Student Investigators who somehow manage to survive evil cultists, slimy monsters, and lord-knows-what year-to-year are eligible to advance in skill level as they advance towards graduation. Students must pass Two rolls against INTx6 (six) to pass each class. Add 1 pt to the initially rolled EDU per successful academic year (as dictated by the Keeper) and get 20 additional points towards the skills in their major field. Player who wish to change their character's major also follow this procedure (if they survive as well...).

Those who continually change majors to avoid Gradation (and thus the "real World") can be classified in the two following Categories:
DILETTANTE STUDENT: Requires Credit Rating= 50+. Just take 5-7 skills of your choice per semester, 1 EDU pt per year, and have a beer.
PROFESSIONAL STUDENT. Requires EDU=20+. Take 1d6 of any 7-10 skills of your choice and subtract 10% from Credit Rating since this course of action is NOT what your parents wanted.

Every student at M.U. must take at least 1 and up to 4 Phys Ed courses per year in their four years of studies. Sure, for those studious types this is a drag; but when being chased by monstrous things, one may horribly regret forsaking PE classes for Music Appreciation. In any normal phys ed class, students can add 1d6 pts for Climb, Dodge, Jump, and Throw per course, OR add 1pt to Dexterity or Constitution once per year.

Taking the following specialty PE course adds the following skills per semester:

Weightlifting: 1pt of STR.
Boxing: 1d6 Fist.
Karate or Judo: 1d6 Martial Arts.
Archery: 1d6 Bow Use
Wrestling: 1d8 Grappling.
Fencing: 1d6 to the choice of Epee or Saber.
Trap Shooting: 1d6 Shotgun

"Physically challenged" students are exempt from the taking PE classes, but may take the shotgun, archery, or weightlifting classes. This character development can be done once per semester.
Students taking Army ROTC instead of regular PE can add the same 1d3 points in First Aid, Operate Hvy Machine, Make Maps, Sneak, & Track, 1d6 for either Rifle or Pistol and 1Pt to Constitution. JR & SR ROTC cadets are legally obligated to four years of Regular or Reserve Army duty, but then again, who knows if an M1A1 tank might come in handy some day.

GRADUATE SCHOOL STUDIES In order to enter Grad School, candidates must past an INT and EDU Check (i.e. your graduate Exam). Graduate students can add 1-2 points to EDU per year of grad school and take 20 points in their original field of study or in another. Miskatonic graduate programs also includes the following advanced degrees:

LAW (add 1-2 EDU/year & 25skill pts/semester): History, Law, Persuade, & Psychology. Requires minimum Latin Skill of 20.
MEDICAL (add 1-6 EDU/year & 30 Skill pts/semester): First Aid, Medicine, Pharmacy. Requires minimum Latin Skill of 30.
PSYCHIATRY (add 1-4 EDU/year & 25 Skill points/semester): Medical, Pharmacy, Psychoanalysis, & Psychology. Requires minimum Latin Skill of 20.
PHARMACY: (add 1-2 EDU & 30 Skill points/year): Medical, Pharmacy. Requires minimum Latin Skill of 30.

Law Students have the opportunity to intern with the Essex county Prosecutors office, often in the role of Defense Attorney.
Medical Students must work at least 30 hours per week at the University Medical Center. First time Med Students must make an initial SAN check at 0/d6 SAN Loss for all the nasty sights one finds in a modern hospital, particularly Miskatonic's.
Future Psychiatrists work in the Peaslee Psychological Clinic, where they will meet lots of crazed wack-os who have met with the forces of the mythos. This will provide ample opportunities to get started on new and bizarre investigations.
As for the Pharmacy students, their studies provide ample opportunity for obtaining certain "supplies".

Graduate Assistants: The best way for graduate students to pay for grad school and get information & insights into the Mythos is by working for various academic departments and professors. A successful Luck Roll will gain the student investigator a paying job ($350 a month plus tuition), access to normally secured tomes and thesis, and either 1d6 Persuade (Teaching Assistant) or 1d6 Library Use (Faculty Flunky) per semester. Each academic department hires 3-10 grad assistants and the Library hires between 10 and 20. Senior assistants can also get a hold of the most valuable items on campus; keys for late night research and snooping around looking for clues, restricted materials, or what-ever.

Miskatonic is still a private school, but not as expensive as other Ivy League-type colleges. Tuition and Student Fees run about $9,500 per five month semester, based on a full schedule of 5 classes, which are held between 8AM and 10PM. Miskatonic prides itself on it's 300 year tradition of Academics and of course, the school officially desires that it's students behave in a mature academic manner; but hey, this is college after all...

Male students live in either Robert E. Howard Hall (FR, SO), L. Sprague DeCamp Hall (SO, JR), Frank B. Long Hall (SR, Grad) or at home.
Female students live at either Dorothy Upman (FR, SO), Sonia Greene (SO, JR) or the Asenath Waite (JR, SR) Halls.

All dorms have dining facilities, study rooms, TV lounges, and typical 2-bed student rooms. Graduate students can live off campus or at the Graduate House on the downtown campus (sorry, no food service). Juniors & Seniors can also live off campus, which can mean either the vast acres of condos, apartment complexes, or the ancient and foreboding boarding houses located throughout Arkham proper. Married students can live in the M.U. Married Student Complex ("the Twilight Zone") or off campus as well. The dorms are cheapest, running $550-$675 a semester (meals included), while student apartment rent is anywhere from $300 (semi-squalor) to $1800 a month (luxury), food and roommates not withstanding. Boarding house rooms can be had for $100 a month & up, based on varying conditions and food service. But still, living in 300+ year old boarding houses provides far more opportunities to uncover the horrors of Arkham's dark past, but never overlook any equally sinister activities in the M.U. dorms....

Every student need something to do besides attend boring lectures on The Salem Witch Trials or Psychosomatic Secretions in Lower Mollusks, and the opportunities at Miskatonic abound These include varsity sports, 13 various Fraternities & Sororities, the newspaper ("The Crier"), the yearbook ("The Schooner"), and various clubs.

"The Miskatonic Crier". The nearly ageless student newspaper, "The Crier" is managed by a tabloid wannabe who gets more thrills out of writing stories about student sex, kinky campus gossip, and alleged administration corruption then real campus news, even though most students read it only for music reviews, sports, and the comics page. Still, the Crier's issue morgue goes back to the mid 1880's and can turn up a mythos clue or two for inquisitive Investigators on staff, who get 1d6 pts of either Read/Write English or Photography skill per semester.

"The Schooner": The M.U. yearbook, named for the sailing ships that helped found Arkham & the school, publishes a well-documented picture book of that year's events and student body. The editor has student photographers roaming the campus at all hours, prepared for that perfect shot. This also presents the opportunity for spotting weird happenings (or being the victim). The back issues go far back as 1900, although photos go back to the Civil War era. Staffers can get the same 1d6 skill points that Crier staffers get per semester of service, although Photography would be more prevalent.

WHPL (91.9FM): Arkham's only Rock station (located on the Student Center 4th floor), it was founded in 1952 as a classical & jazz station. Since it's addition of rock music to the format in 1966, one can find every occultic or Mythos-based rock song from that year on. Nowadays, they have a typical College alternative music format with Jazz/Swing, Blues, Reggae, and Rap thrown in. In 1971, WHPL staffers and campus radicals rigged a school election to rename the Miskatonic mascot from the "Badgers" to the more Cthuloid "Cephalopods", which is still not recognized by the Marching Badger Band. Late-night DJs are also good folks to be witnesses (or victims) of bizarre mayhem. WHPL Staffers get 5 points Spot Hidden and 5 points Library looking for obscure requests like "White Ship" by the 60's Chicago band H.P. Lovecraft or "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus.


PSI PHI Science Fiction Society: Home to those wacky folks that are into the fantastic, the unusual, and Fantasy Gaming; this is the current form of the Miskatonic Science Fiction Guild, formed in 1938. When not gaming all night or going to SF/Fantasy conventions, they manage to produce a semesterly Fanzine, "Dreamland Journeys", that may include a Mythos-based submission, either a story or poetry. Members receive 1d3 points of Occult per semester, along with 1d10 of Science Fiction Trivia and 2d10 of Fantasy Gaming or Military History (can't leave out the wargamers). Incidentally, they are also the most acceptable people in Arkham when it comes to realizing the danger of the Cthulhu mythos.

The Miskatonic Players: Members of the University theatrical group, an artistic staple since 1889, are eligible for their choice of 1d6 points of the following skills per semester: Persuasion or Fast Talk (acting), Electrical Repair (stagehand), or Art (set design). The M.U. Film Society: Members of this club gain only 1 point of Occult out of old horror movies; film makers get 1d10 of Photography.

"The Shutterbugs": MU's Photography Club get 1d8 Pts of Photography per semester.

Dance Miskatonic: The campus Dance troupe puts on various theatrical dance numbers during the Semester and thus receive 1d10 Art (Dance) per semester and 1pt Dex per year.


Members of the Miskatonic Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Chorale and Marching Badger Band get either 1d10 Sing or Play Instrument per semester, once passing an audition (Roll Double prior Musical Skill). Marching Badger Band members get 10 temporary pt of Credit rating when dealing with Arkham residents, School staff, and alumni/boosters. They are also traditionally antagonistic towards WHPL staffers. Students who play in the variety of campus garage bands only get either 1d6 Sing or Play Instrument per semester without an audition, but also get a lot more "affection" from fans.


Bioscience: Gets the choice 1d6 of either Biology or Natural History per semester.

Debate Club: 1d6 Persuasion. History: 1d6 History and 1d3 Persuade for lively debating.

Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers: Choice of 1d6 in Computer, Electrical Repair or Electronics.

Language clubs (Arabic, French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish) get 1d6 Other Language.

Society of Manufacturing Engineers: Get 1d8 of Mechanical Repair or 1d6 Drive for the annual intercollegiate "All Terrain Vehicle Contest" or 1d8 Pilot Submarine for the "Woods Hole Submarine Derby" contest.

Robot Wars Club: An offshoot of Mechanical Engineering 355 "Creative Engineering", this club is made of mechanical minded cyber gladiators who get 1d6 Mechanical Repair and Computer per year.


The Outdoor Society: During the 2-4 campouts during a semester, members get 1d8 Natural History, and the choice of 1d6 Climb, Navigate, Pilot Canoe/Kayak, or Track.

"The Waves" MU's Sailing Club, members get 1d8 Pilot Small Boat. The MU Chapter of Greenpeace: 1d3 Biology, 1d6 Persuade and Climb, plus -10pts of Credit rating when dealing with the MU Security and Arkham Police.

Young Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/Socialists: 1d3 Persuade and Debate, and +20 Temporary Credit Rating when dealing with Party Politicians.

M.U.C.K. (M.U. Computer Klub), open to all students, provides 1d6 of Computer Use per semester. Four members are highly qualified Hackers, with Computer skills of 70+ and willing to attempt to break into any computer system.

The International Club: 1d3 of Any Language (and we mean any!) plus lots of overseas legends and mysteries.

The Baptist Student Union: Members of this religious group get 1d3 Occult per year for all those "dangers of Devil Worship" lectures

The Pagan Student Union: Formed in 1986 as a comic response to the Baptist Student Union's railing against heavy metal music, these esoteric folks are now into the usual melange of new age religions ranging from simple Tai Chi to Hari Krishna. Members get 1d8 Occult per semester.

The members of MU's thirteen Fraternities & Sororities receive 5 skill points of Treat Poison (hangovers) and 50 temporary pts of Credit Rating when addressing alumni of their organization, 10 Pt with Boosters and school staff, but -10 when dealing with Arkham police.

Student Members of the Rotary, Optimist, and Key clubs get 30pts Temporary Credit rating with school staff, and community/business leaders. Pep Club members get the 3pts of Persuade/semester and 20 temporary pts of Credit Rating with Boosters and school staff.

Miskatonic Cheerleaders are best left to be victims of supernatural distress unless their name is "Buffy".


Football (Div II) has been a M.U. staple since 1897 and Baseball for 15 years prior. Scholarship sports include the following; Track was added in 1900, Basketball in 1920, Swimming in 1921, Golf in 1950, Gymnastics in 1955, and Soccer was adding in 1971.

Non-Scholarship University supported sports include Cross Country, Fencing, Wrestling, Volleyball, and Women's Softball & Field Hockey.

Club Sports (those supported by members and boosters) include Lacrosse, Rugby, and both Ice and Roller Hockey.

Students on these teams can add skills increases as received in Phys Ed classes, except only once a year/season, and must pass tryouts (Roll Double Exiting Skill or 5xPlayer Stat. Team members get 30 temporary points of Credit Rating when interacting with Alumni and Boosters.

Football: 1d10 Grapple, or Throw, or Kick and 1Pt each STR and CON
Basketball: 1d10 Throw and 1pt DEX or CON
Baseball/Softball: 1d8 Club and 1pt DEX.
Gymnastics: 2pt DEX and 1pt either STR or CON
Soccer: 1d8 Kick, 1pt CON Swim: 1d10 Swim. 1pt CON
Cross Country: 2Pt CON
Volleyball: 1pt DEX
Field Hockey: 1d6 Club, 1pt CON or DEX
Wrestling: 1d10 Grapple
Rugby: Adds 1d8 Grapple and 1pt CON
Hockey: Adds 1d6 Club, 1d10
Ice or Roller Skating and 1pt CON or DEX.


Nothing would sound so ridiculous to a professor then a student claiming that he couldn't finish his paper on "Ecological Aspects of Thoreau's "Walden Pond" because he was being chased by ghouls the night before. So what do daring student-investigators do when the fate of humanity is in the balance? Well, they could either study real hard beforehand, cram, drop courses midway through the semester, or drop out entirely and go pro. But dropping courses can be expensive and there is not much of a market for professional investigators, so studying is the best way out. Keepers can tabulate their player's academic success by asking for an Idea or Luck roll each week of interrupted school. Cramming entails making up for an entire semester of investigating (or too much RPG playing) by cramming the entire semester into one night's orgy of study and coffee drinking. Cramming success is determined by this formulae: (KNOW+INT+CON x Percentile). If the result is 61 or better, they pass that course. Otherwise, it's off to work at the local First National Grocery store or "Dave's Donuts" to pay the bills.


The leader of a campus punk band "Arkaan Noledge", Mark Alscot, discovers some really cool lyric ideas in the library; from the Necronomicon, no less! Unfortunately, during a wild practice session, the combination of amplified sonic thrashing and the "lyrics" turned loose a seething "thing", which promptly attacked the other three band members and sucked the life out of them. The police figured the musicians were accidentally electrocuted and had Alscot committed to the M.U. Psychiatric Hospital due to his wild rantings. Slightly calmed down a few days later, Alscot pleads with the investigators to destroy the creature.

1) Alscot, under the influence of certain hallucinogenics, actually just saw his bandmates get accidentally electrocuted by a beer soaked amplifier. The poor guy mistook the electrical arcs as "monsters".
2) The band members were electrocuted, but on purpose by a oversensitive and insane neighbor who was fed up with both the noise and the mysterious lyrics from the Necronomicon. The Neighbor now believes the entire college is filled with "Satan worshipers and monsters" and must fight this unholy onslaught any way they can, namely with a high powered hunting rife. The players have to prevent this from happening.
3) The Creature is a Fire Vampire now getting it's fill with Arkham's homeless people down by the river. The investigators have to discover just what the "thing" is and devise a way to either dispel or destroy it. This Fire Vampire is a bit more powerful then most, having 15 HP, a 17 POW, at 85% Touch attack (doing 2d6 fire damage) and has spells: Call Cthugha, Create Gate, and Summon/Bind Star Vampire (even more trouble!).

THE SORT OF UNNAMABLE: After old Widow Archer refused to sell her 175 year old family mansion to real estate developer Ronald Crump, mysterious sounds and bizarre sightings began spooking the neighborhood. Popular rumor has it that the ghost of a crazed wizard has risen from the grave and is now haunting the house and neighborhood. Mrs. Archer is just about at the edge of a nervous breakdown and possible commitment to a mental hospital. The cops are calling it all a case of mass hysteria.

1) Poor Mrs. Archer is just old and suffering from an over active imagination. The neighbor rumors are just local legend, but when the players prove there's no ghost, Mrs. Archer gives them milk & cookies and title to the house in her will. Pro Bono Student Lawyers will have to battle Mr. Crump instead (Roll Average of Law & Persuade to succeed).
2) Yup, the house IS haunted! Back in the late 1600s, a follower of Goody Fowler named Zephram Curin lived in a house on the site of Mrs. Archer's house. Three Hundred years to the date of his execution by torch-wielding townsfolk, Curin is back and ready to exact his evil revenge against Arkham. (use Lich stats)
3) What Mrs Archer, and her terrified neighbors don't know and what the intrepid student investigators have to discover is that the "ghost" is really Mr Crump and his stooges and perfect chance for Keepers to recite that famous the line, "...and I would have succeeded if not for you meddling kids!". Crump had three of his goons tunnel under the house to the basement and sneak around in luminous costumes making spooky sounds to frighten Widow Archer into selling the house (the fiends!). Spells will have no effect, but avoid letting the investigators use guns as this would scare Mrs Archer into having a coronary, and besides, Crump can't say the famous line with large holes in his body...


SON OF REANIMATOR REVISITED: Well, it looks as if yet another wack-o young Med student has stumbled onto the twisted notes of Dr Herbert West and is once again trying to raise the dead with the mad doctor's weird reanimation serum. Naturally, the same grisly results occurs for stray animals and unlucky students & staff with the student investigators having to clean up the mess afterwards.

I DON'T THINK WE'RE STILL IN ARKHAM, TOTO: One peaceful evening while playing a friendly game of "Myths & Monsters", some darn fantasy gamers dig up some supposedly harmless spells from the Armitage library and manage to get themselves teleported to the Dreamlands, Yuggoth, R'ylth, or some place much, much worse. The gamers must find their way back to earth or face eternity (or quick and messy deaths) trapped in a world they never made.

CTHULHU IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS: Evil and crazed cultists are selling a new hallucinogenic drug called "Time Warp" which gives the users a LSD-type sensation of flying through time and space, making it big with those "party-types" tired of acid and Ecstasy. The problem is, aside from it being quite addictive, the drug causes their crazed thoughts & dreams to become a wake-up call for the Dreamer Beneath the Sea. After 3 or more uses, the user begins to dream of lost R'lyth and loses 1 POW and d10 SAN per night until insane. The investigators must reveal the cultist drug dealers to the authorities to prevent a Avatar of Great Cthulhu from materializing in Arkham.

BEACH BLANKET BYHAKEE: While on a roadtrip up to Maine for skiing, camping, or hunting (preferable hunting), the student investigators get stuck in the quaint old town of Innsmouth just when the Deep Ones are having their annual "Spring Break" hunt for nubile human "dates". Fort Lauderdale, it ain't.

THE GREEKS DON'T WANT NO MORE FREAKS: Some random Fraternity is taking their rituals a bit too far as they celebrate the semesterly Rush week and Finals by inviting homeless people to dinner, then sacrifice them to (fill in the blank) and REALLY have them for dinner (it tends to solve the "where to put the body?" problem). Perhaps the sudden disappearance of a friendly homeless person or an unlucky student will attract the attention of the student investigators

IT CAME FROM THE BIOLOGY BUILDING: Late one Friday evening, two unfortunate grad students made the mistake of defrosting a frozen specimen from the 1959 Miskatonic University-IGY Antarctic Expedition. The hideous blob of black goo ate one of the students, sending the other screaming maniacally to the student investigators. It is a 700,000 year old shoggoth and will destroy much of the campus unless the brave investigators can nullify it with spells, gates, elder signs, or a M1 tank.


School of Languages, Literature, & The Arts
Departments of: Fine Arts, English, Philosophy, Modern & Classical Languages, and Communication Arts.

School of History & Social Science
Departments of: Anthropology & Archeology, History, Political Studies & Geography, and Sociology.

School of Physical Sciences
Departments of: Physics & Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Oceanography.

School of Life Sciences
Departments of: Biology, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Ecology, Animal Science, and Psychology.

Astor Division of Mathematics & Computer Science

chool of Medicine School of Nursing

Departments of: Mechanical, Industrial, Electrical, & Civil Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Industrial Management, and Industrial Design.

Departments of: Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and Adult Education.

Departments of Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Management.



Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu 3rd ed.
Chaosium's Arkham Unveiled
Chaosium's Kingsport: The City in the Mist
Chaosium's "Miskatonic University Graduate Kit"
Arkham House's The Dunwich Horror & Others
Georgia Southern University Graduate Catalog
Georgia Southern University Student Activities Guide

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