Copyright © 1996 by Richard Lunsford
This GURPS Horror adventure is written for the Modern Day. Conversion to other times requires modification, especially in transportation, media and forensics techniques.
Designed for three to six 100-pt characters, the adventure stresses detective and combat skills. Other useful skills include fast-talk, forensics, research and tracking. Low-level magic and psi powers (Divination, Precognition and Psychometry) may enhance the mood, particularly if the GM assigns these abilities secretly.
Intended for play over two or three sessions, Death Night offers a chance to convert 'Just Plain Folks' to 'Fearless Monster Stompers'. Written as a One Shot, it presents several opportunities to launch an extended campaign. Occult contacts, psycho killers . . . even a Fourth Reich. Choose those best suited to your campaign. The seeds are planted; development is up to you. Enjoy.
Evansmith is a modest community of four thousand in northern Michigan west of Escanaba, nestled in a valley bordered by mountains near the Menominee Range. In addition, over two thousand students attend the University of Michigan at Evansmith, and a healthy tourist population abounds the year round.
Evansmith's economy thrives on tourism and local industries such as forest products and iron mining. Due to this strong economic base, Evansmith is growing rapidly and offers excellent services relative to its size. Lifestyles range from rural to suburban, with a predominantly working-middle class population. Crime has risen in recent years, with a sharp increase in drug trafficking and vandalism. Skiing and hunting are the major recreational activities.
Curiously, the weather and terrain, Evansmith's greatest assets, are also its worst liabilities. The heavy snowfall and rugged surroundings so favorable to skiers seal off the valley for months at a time during bad winters. This year will have one of the worst.
A map of central Evansmith is provided, showing Highway 117 (main street) and major area locations. This highway runs from the southern tip of the valley through town, three miles out to the college. The population diminishes moving outward from mainstreet, graduating from near urban squalor to 'the sticks'. Cedar and pine border the region, with tall mountains on the northern border. Wildlife is abundant, and so are RVs and vacationers.
Where the Heart is
Evansmith hosts a variety of living areas tailored to the individual. Obvious choices include dormitories, family-owned homes and work-provided housing. Otherwise, lodgings go as budgets allow. There are several alternatives to those listed below. Price reflects quality of housing and location (near mall or ski lift). Lower cost lodgings are seedier and subject to higher crime, moderate prices provide decent living and real money buys the frills. Costs and conditions should approximate those given. In poor areas, some advantages may become disadvantages as attractiveness and obvious wealth attract unwanted attention.
Pete's Trailer Lodge
This trailer park has adjoining laundromat, a small grocery for the bare essentials and space for over sixty trailers. Rent is $125/month with utilities for space, $250/month for a trailer. Prices at the store are 5% above average.
Peter McCallister owns and manages the park. He doesn't allow fast driving or loud parties, but is otherwise tolerant. Crime is a rarity; McCallister carries a big stick to keep it that way. The park is clean and well-kept, with large lots and ample space. The tenants are mostly working class folk who keep to themselves.
A three story building owned by Edward Simpson, this apartment complex features lower class housing at a nominal price. Rooms include two bedrooms, bath, kitchen and living room with two closets. Rent is $250/month without board.
The complex is dirty and graffiti ridden, but the rooms are functional. Mr. Simpson is never in town; complaints are taken by Ms Petrish, a hateful old crone who ignores them. Service is non-existent, and tenants must tend to their own problems. A roll against Research or Streetwise at -4 reveals that Simpson bribes the building inspectors. A critical success produces proof.
Recently, a local gang has lain claim to the building, terrorizing tenants and vandalizing apartments. Several rapes and muggings have been reported, and illegal narcotics abound. People are so afraid that a good reaction is needed to get help in an emergency.
Each year, Evansmith hosts a number of vacationers looking for a peaceful country retreat with the perks of a nearby population center. And each year, a part of that experience is Montgomery Cabins.
For $1,000/month, customers enjoy a private log cabin with two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and spacious den with fireplace set in a beautiful hardwood forest five miles east of Evansmith. Also provided is a supply of firewood and the use of the private lake. Electricity is by way of gas-powered generators. Only cabin residents may hunt and fish on the thousand acre spread.
The U.M.E. campus has four huge dormitories, two coed and two exclusive to men and women, respectively. Each dorm is two stories and of sturdy brick construction. A single dormitory houses up to 500 students, running at about two-thirds capacity. Private and shared rooms are available. Both floors have bathroom and showering facilities. A laundry room is on the first floor of each dorm, as are vending, coke, cigarette and (most recently) condom machines.
Each dorm is overseen by a dorm monitor and two student assistants. Officially, all students are in their rooms by 10 pm curfew. Actually, monitors ignore all but the most flagrant violations. Loud, rowdy parties break out weekends and guns, drugs, and other contraband abound. The coed dorms are sleazy and so are most of the coeds. PCs with lecherousness or addiction will have no problem meeting the need here. Serious students study in the library. Dorm personalities to flesh out college life are the GM's prerogative.
Evansmith's economy relies largely on tourism, especially by way of restaurants and rentals. Curiously, none of the big name chains have prospered, owing to snow-ins and pressure from the Chamber of Commerce to discourage non-local businesses. Several 'gas station groceries' serve the town, as well as those below.
This restaurant is owned by Barney Daniels, a portly fellow who cooks and directs four waitresses. Barney's serves assorted drinks, some Mexican and all greasy fast foods. Customers are served at the drive-in window or interior cafe. Barney's is a local youth hangout due to the small arcade in back. A jukebox plays the latest rock music.
The Smoke House
Roger Milton owns the Smoke House, a large log cabin-style restaurant located at the north end of mainstreet. The Smoke House offers steak, ribs, roast and other grilled, barbecued and burnt fare; it's a meat and potatoes place. Beer and whiskey are served (soft drinks on request). Weekend shows provide entertainment via country western bands. Tuesday is ladies' night (dates drink free). Prices run about $8.00/meal.
Five waitresses tend the large cafe and salad bar. The cook (and unofficial bouncer) works in back over a huge fire pit; his name is Drake Edwards, and he is one mean man. Those with Area Knowledge know better than to cross Drake.
Sam's Sea Food Emporium
At the heart of Evansmith, this quaint eatery serves all manner of seafood and fresh-water cuisine. Sam's is classy and sophisticated with a party atmosphere. Sam mingles with customers and arranges entertainment. Most patrons prefer the buffet, $7.50/person, $8.75 with crab legs.
The Pizza Palace
The Palace caters mainly to teenagers and families with children. Prices are average, about $8.50 for a medium pizza and pitcher of Coke. Patrons have access to pinball and video games. The Palace offers free delivery anywhere in Evansmith, and special prices for large orders.
What owner Anthony Stravaski and the community don't know is that the Palace serves as cover for an area drug ring. The chef, Brad Ashley and three delivery boys supply local buyers, taking orders by phone and delivering the illegals in pizzas. Delivery boys collect the money and the Palace does a whopping business. A roll against Area Knowledge -6 or Streetwise -4 informs a character of the trafficking.
For ice cream, yogurt and tofu, people go to the Parlor, a small desert bar in the southern part of town. The parlor is owned and operated by the three Rossley sisters. Service is friendly but slow (they push the tofu). The parlor has struggled along for the past five years, and a sharp drop in tourism could drive it under.
The Evansmith Mall
In 1987, the Chamber of Commerce contracted area businessmen to construct a shopping mall. The mall was successful, strengthening the local economy and increasing tourism. Small but growing, the mall is a center for youth, shopping and community events. Business hours run from 9:00 a.m. thru 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Similar to Walmart or Sears, Shop Mart is a department store featuring a variety of clothes, luggage, records and tapes, toys, sporting goods, items for home & garden and school supplies. Lay-a-way costs an added 15%; regular prices are 5% above average. Eight check-outs serve the public. The only store of its kind in Evansmith, Shop Mart does great business. Everyone in town shops here.
Troy's is a clothing store and the only serious competitor to Shop Mart. Most merchandise is family attire geared to the cold climate. Troy's has average prices with a good selection.
The Ski Shop
THE place to buy skis and all the accessories, plus ski clothes and fashionable winter wear. Stan Sanders owns the Ski Shop, and also gives ski lessons.
The Shoe Shack
Reebok, Nike, Adidas and other popular brands are priced at +5%, including boots, sandals and formal footwear. Lay-a-way costs an extra 10%.
Styles 'n Smiles
Four hair stylists at a time work in this beauty salon, which also sells hair care products. The clientele is largely female; more men choose the Barber Shoppe. By coincidence, the boutique is also a gossip mill (Streetwise rolls at +1).
The Barber Shoppe
The Barber Shoppe services men and boys ages one to one hundred. Four barbers cut here, dealing in G.I.s, crew-cuts and other styles from the Hack'n Slash school of hair care. Older men gather here to socialize, and have decided more than one election. As a result, Mayor Bill Todd is a frequent customer.
The Refreshment Rack
Serving fast food and cafeteria fare, this eatery has several specialty shops carrying most every known food. A large, open court provides tables and chairs. In the center is a stage for local shows.
Pat's Sporting Goods and Pawn Shop
The only sporting goods dealer aside from Shop Mart and the Ski Shop, Pat's sales camping, hunting and fishing supplies, and handles sports equipment orders for the high school and college.
Pat Strong will fix, trade, buy or sell any type of firearm. He also carries assorted ammunition. With an Area Knowledge -4 or Streetwise roll, a PC learns that Pat deals in illegal arms. On a Fast-Talk roll -4 or the recommendation of a regular customer, PCs may buy explosive and armor piercing shells, uzis, assault rifles and grenades. Pat doesn't sell to known criminals, catering more to home security, survivalists and collectors. If anything happens to Pat, his friends will come after somebody.
Leroy Stuart owns the business, but his son James runs it while he vacations in Florida. Landscaping materials, items for gardening and all basic hardware are +5% standard cost. Customers must know their own needs; James can barely ring up prices.
The Crack House
Evansmith's only drug store, the Crack House is owned and operated by Gerald Bradley, pharmacist. The stock includes all common drugs, pharmaceutical supplies and practical joke novelties. Bradley is decidedly neurotic; clean and unbribable, yet coveting his reputation as a drug lord. He is known to try his practical jokes on customers, and is a friend of Dr. Sanders.
Evansmith Regional Hospital
Built in 1972 with a grant from a late citizen, Evansmith Regional provides quality medical care to the community. It's a small, three story facility with adjoining parking lot and a small staff working to treat everything from pneumonia to skiing injuries. When the valley is snowed in, Evansmith Regional is the only med-center available, so crucial supplies are stocked in advance.
In light of fiscal realities and the small population, the hospital offers several non-traditional services such as dental and psychiatric. A large morgue is located in the basement, with adjoining autopsy lab. Pathologist and Medical Examiner Dr. Alex Sanders handles the autopsies and accompanies the police at homicide scenes. No body may be moved without his consent.
Evansmith Sheriff's Department
Law and order in Evansmith are maintained by the Sheriff's Department, composed of Sheriff Neal Turner and 12 deputies. Turner is at his office 10 am-6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and six deputies operate at all times; two at HQ and four on patrol.
The single-story brick building is divided into four main areas; Turner's office, staff workroom, rec room and holding cells. The rec room has weights and exercisers for fitness training. The weapons locker holds 6 rifles, 4 shotguns, 8 pistols and 500 rounds of ammo. Only Turner and the deputy in charge have the keys to it. Each officer receives a .38 with 12 rounds, nightstick and handcuffs. The department owns four panda cruisers, and Turner drives his own Blazer. The prisoner facilities include eight two-person cells and a group shower. Meals are by special arrangement with the Smoke House.
Dillan's Tow Truck and Auto Service
Auto rip-off is more like it. Amidst a half-dozen backyard garages, Dillan's is the only large scale operation in Evansmith. Prices on parts and service are +10%; single women and the mechanically illiterate get rooked for a whopping +25%. When business is dragging, Bob and his 4 mechanics 'arrange' future problems for cars in the shop. A Streetwise or Area Knowledge roll -3 reveals Dillan's dishonesty. If challenged, Dillan and crew deny everything, growing violent if pushed.
Evansmith Bank of Commerce
One of the cornerstones of Evansmith's prosperity, the bank offers 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. service six days a week with a 24-hour auto-teller out front. Interest on savings generally run about 7%, loans about 15%. To encourage town growth, loans are easily obtained. Due to semi-annual snow-ins, the bank holds a large cash reservoir during the winter, protected by an armed guard and security systems (Electronics (Security Systems) -10 to bypass).
The deceased in Evansmith are seen to by its only funeral home, which offers a full line of caskets, monuments and floral offerings. The undertaker is Mortimer Hodges, who runs the Mortuary and handles burial arrangements. The bereaved may choose from four local cemeteries or have a body shipped. Mr. Hodges provides simple services to the poor free of charge.
Named in honor of town founder Nathaniel Rollins, this 20-acre park has dense hardwood growth, grassy meadows and a children's play ground. The park is maintained by the Chamber of Commerce and local volunteers. Lots of teenagers come here at night to make out.
The Ski Lift
Northeast of Evansmith and four miles north of the college, the Ski Lift is run by David Greer and wife, Pat. A ride up lookout mountain (5,200 feet up) is $20, less for partial trips. Greer is a part-time ambulance driver for Evansmith Regional, and knows enough first aid to help accident victims. The Ski Lift is his retirement.
Westchester Consolidated School
Westchester has been in operation since an ugly scandal closed the Woodhill School for Boys in 1952. The student body runs just over a thousand, grades K-12. The educational program is excellent, with computer-assisted instruction and generous contributions from area businesses. The drop-out rate is low, and most students pursue higher education.
A dark cloud on the horizon has come. Drugs. Since the turn of the decade, absenteeism and campus violence are up while grades have fallen. Despite recently added metal detectors and a liberal search policy, many students carry weapons, and youth gangs are growing.
University of Michigan at Evansmith
Located three miles north of Evansmith on a 1,500 acre tract, U.M.E. is a modest college serving over 2,000 students in common fields of study. Established in 1915, U.M.E. is an accredited institution offering the bachelor of science in 16 major programs, the bachelor of arts in 9 and an associate's degree in 4 areas. Classes and most facilities are open to the public. Several instructional classes in surveying, computers and data processing provide continuing education to the public. Tuition is $200/class (max. tuition $800/semester), plus $40/class for materials. Full-time students take 4-6 courses/semester. PCs may pursue study in most mental and some physical skills.
A few faculty members contract privately with area businesses for product testing and research. The head of the Science Department, Dr. Morgan, consults with the Sheriff's Dept. on evidence analysis. Faculty have academic specialty skills of about 16.
KZYN Evansmith Radio
KZYN is a radio station owned by the university and operated by students majoring in broadcasting and related fields. The station alternates between Rock, Country and Jazz depending on student preference. Irregular news casts spotlight local and national happenings. Radio reception for other stations is sporadic and poor; most townspeople keep a lot of tapes.
The Evansmith Testifier
The Testifier is Evansmith's only newspaper, and most feel it's enough. Published weekly, the Testifier averages 15-20 pages and graphic, lurid photos. Four staff reporters write regular columns and cover local events. Owner and Publisher Arnie Palmer churns out candid editorials about politicians and area scandals. Undaunted by three failed libel suits, Arnie continues to decide elections and promote civic improvement.
First Catholic Church of St. Paul
The three churches in town are all well attended, with loose denominational boundaries. The Catholic Church is strongest, enjoying over three hundred parishioners. A small staff of five lesser Priests provide upkeep, hear confessions and answer questions about Church doctrine. Father Harold Stanley delivers sermons and heads the church. Father Stanley also counsels the most serious cases. His deep, resonant voice and imposing presence impact heavily on public opinion. He is gentle but stern, a conservative with a strong sense of right and wrong. Lately, Father Stanley has taken an interest in seeing that Mayor Todd doesn't get re-elected.
Growing frustration with the lack of a V.A. center in town led local vets Peter McCallister and Pat Strong to construct a private rec center for Evansmith's veterans. Infamously named, the 'Nam includes a bar, pool, hot tub, gym and bowling alley. The alley is open to the public; $5/game plus $2/person for shoes, half-price for veterans.
A combination of quality facilities and camaraderie draws scores of vets and business is good. Pete makes profits to cover costs only, so prices are -5% average for drinks and vending machines (average for non-veterans).
Denny's Disco & Arcade
THE happening place in Evansmith, Denny's caters to the eighteen and older crowd. Open from seven p.m. all night, this pleasure palace stays packed till closing time. 'Denny' is Denny Alexander, a hold-over from Woodstock who never really came down off his last acid trip (in 1968, no less). The expansive dance floor features strobe lights and a classic disco ball, band stage, D.J.'s pit and bar. Adjoining the dance floor is a huge arcade. The floor stays hot as Denny D.J.s Wednesday-Saturday, four days per week.
PCs with Addiction or Lecherousness are at home here. Every dealer, tramp and gigolo for miles around gravitates to Denny's like a moth to flame. Anyone can find just about anything, though reaction rolls affect the quality of the merchandise.
Disappearance Sept. 24th
We begin with the disappearance of Reggie Stans, son of Curtis and Amelia Stans. Local news broadcasts over half the state show photographs and a brief summary. Reggie was a student-athlete at U.M.E. active in numerous organizations with no known enemies. Reggie's Pontiac was found abandoned two days ago between the campus and town, lights on and battery dead. Reggie was not found. Photographs show a bright, handsome young man with curly black hair and green eyes. The only clue so far is his shoe, found mired in a ditch. Police suspect the boy may have fallen victim to foul play.
The distraught Stans plead for public support. Curtis Stans is a C.P.A. with extensive holdings in area business; he offers $10,000 reward for information on his son's whereabouts. Further, he hires any P.I. or investigator he finds. If the PCs have a Reputation, he calls them. Stans provides $500 apiece up front. He believes his son was killed by some pervert and buried in the woods. Curtis cannot join the search because of Amelia. His wife is mad with grief.
The Scene of the Crime
The abandoned car is halfway to the college on a highway shoulder. Sheriff Neal Turner and two deputies meticulously scour the crime scene, barricaded off with sawhorses and yellow ribbon. Civilians are not allowed within fifty feet without Diplomacy, Fast-Talk or Law Enforcement. Turner says there's no evidence to indicate the boy didn't leave the car of his own volition. Deputies found his shoe entrenched in mud, but otherwise nothing.
Any PC viewing the scene with a Tracking roll -4 notices a matted patch of grass near the car. Another roll suggests a large body lay here for some time. If told, Turner suggests someone feigned injury to get the boy out of the car, overpowered and dragged him into the woods. Further tracking bears this out. Unfortunately, recent rains have removed most sign. Turner is grateful for help; if shown this much, later reaction rolls are at +2. Nothing else can be found here.
With no evident leads, Reggie Stan's may never be found. Police are questioning Reggie's known associates, and react at -1 to outsiders poking around. Reggie was last seen leaving a night class in Music Appreciation around 8:30 last Thursday night. Everyone thought he was heading straight home.
Curtis Stans knows nothing useful but suggests questioning Reggie's college professors and friends. He suspects some hazing ritual may have gotten out of hand.
First Blood Nov. 1st.
This encounter occurs at the college or someplace isolated after dark. Characters may be students, patrolmen, reporters investigating allegations of steroid use etc . . . or searching for Reggie. They should cross the deserted campus at night. Read the following passage.
You leave the library, ushered by an old custodian with a rude disposition. Icy air wafts over you with a chill to freeze the blood. 'It's cold,' you think, breath cloudy against the distant street lights. Your watch says 9:15.
Frost crunches underfoot as you cut across campus towards the moonlit parking lot. There's no one else in sight. You breath the cold night air, clothes flapping in the wind. Shivering and invigorated, you nearly stumble over the body.
A large, burly man in a campus guard's uniform lies sprawled on the ground, his body obscenely twisted and broken, throat torn out. He has been bled white. An expression of agony lingers on his face. One lifeless hand grips a .38 pistol.
Fright Checks at -2. Forensics, Physician or I.Q. -4 reveal he died within the hour. Another roll suggests that while the corpse is drained of blood, there's none on the ground, indicating death before the throat wound. The pistol has been fired. Twice. When the PCs are ready, continue.
A scream cuts the night. By the post office lies a young woman apparently in shock. A massive, shadowy figure lifts a struggling night watchman high overhead. The sound of breaking bone is sickening, and the watchman is cast aside in a broken heap. He turns to the woman . . .
Fright Checks at +1. If the characters keep still and quiet, they have one minute before Kore sees them.
The frost betrays your presence, and he whirls to face you. Amidst darkness there is a glimpse of harsh, angular features with hideous, sunken eyes that burn like coals. A bald head gleams in the moonlight. Worn, moldering clothes hang from a haggard frame. His mouth splits in a grisly snarl, and his teeth seem dagger-like and long.
With a sudden lurch too swift to follow, he is on you.
Kore reaches the PCs in one round, entering close combat with fists. The pistol can knock him down but won't stop him. If a gun is fired students and security come rushing onto the scene; Kore flees in two rounds. If no one else fires a shot, the crippled watchman does. Kore won't chase those who flee; those who fight are beaten unconscious and left for dead.
Picking up the Pieces
Anyone who fled can vanish into the crowd. Ambulances blare onto the scene from Evansmith Regional, with two police cruisers and a detachment of campus security. Injured are ushered into the ambulances (whether they want to go or not) and taken to the hospital. Deputies quickly cordon off the area while security pushes back onlookers. Turner orders the crowd to disperse after questioning and taking statements.
The Morning After Nov. 2nd.
Unconscious PCs wake the next day in hospital beds. They are roomed in twos with a deputy posted outside. By Sheriff's orders only family have visitation privileges.
Turner comes in toward late afternoon for statements. He interviews each character under a Doctor's supervision, pressing for a description of the assailant. Turner is suspicious if he's had prior contact with the PCs.
Details from last night are sketchy. The young woman's name is Angel Lewis, a sophomore at U.M.E. under sedation for deep shock. The night watchman suffered a broken back and is in critical condition with 50/50 odds for survival. Little evidence was found, save for footprints and fibers the victims' clothing may have picked up. Plaster casts and clothing are in transit to a crime lab in Lansing. It takes about a week to get the results.
While the battered and bruised recuperate, the Evansmith Testifier runs an exclusive on 'The Campus Killer.' Angel, the night watchman, and incapacitated PC's receive front page attention. An interior shot depicts the dead campus guard, Chris Bradley, partially covered by a sheet. Drawing on the college connection to Reggie Stan's disappearance, the Testifier asserts there may be a Gainsville-style murderer stalking the campus. The article features interviews with terrified students and makes inflammatory remarks about the Sheriff's Department. It closes with a suggestive "Who will be next?"
Sorority Party Massacre Nov. 8th.
After leaving the hospital, each PC receives an invitation to a party Saturday night at the Delta Sigma sorority house. Admission is four bucks a head for buffet costs, and the party is open to members and guests. The invitations are courtesy of Angel Lewis.
The sorority house is a large, Victorian style manse with balconies and terrace. It is located off campus, surrounded by dense oaks. Sorority membership consists of twenty girls, most wealthy, beautiful, or both with strong rivalry between members of the in-crowd.
The party starts at eight. Guests find a lavish buffet, drinks and the main living room cleared for a dance floor. Rock and Roll blasts away while people dance before huge speakers or eat in the adjacent dining room. (Opportunities abound for PCs w/Lecherousness, Addictions, Dancing or Carousing). Toward midnight the dancing dies down and guests watch V.C.R. movies on big screen TV or pursue private matters elsewhere. One couple goes out on the balcony . . .
Suddenly a piercing scream rings out (Fright Checks at +4). A hearing roll places it upstairs, and an I.Q. roll recalls the balcony. None of the others react immediately; the PCs are first at the scene. What they find is horror.
Amidst scattered antique furniture lie the bodies of two students. The man's skull is crushed, his sweater caked with gore. A woman sprawls back in silent scream, throat laid open to the bone, blood still jetting from torn arteries. Her hand twitches.
Fright Checks at -1. Each investigator may roll I.Q. to notice a strong resemblance between a dead student and a character (GM's choice). Even the clothes are similar. And as they wait in silence for the police and ambulances, a hot, musty smell fills the cold night air. The smell of blood.
It Gets Worse
An ambulance with Dr. Alex Sanders and three police cruisers arrive within the hour. The makeshift crime squad outlines the bodies while a police photographer snaps the area and guests. Everyone is ushered downstairs to the main living room, where police take names and statements. A paramedic sedates several people, and after two hours most go home. No one saw the attack, though a few give the PCs accusing glances. Future reactions with college students are at -1.
Turner speaks with the PCs privately, noting the resemblance between a character and victim. He believes the assailant learned names and faces from the Testifier and wants to eliminate witnesses from before. Turner can't spare manpower for a 24-hour watch, so a patrol passing their homes occasionally will have to do. If they see or hear anything odd, the PCs are to call the Sheriff's office, and Turner advises against going out alone or at night. Off the record, he suggests going armed with a warning; slain guard Chris Bradley was armed, and it didn't save him.
Meet the Press Nov. 10th.
Two days after the ill-fated Delta Sig party a character is accosted by Audrey Wilson, roving reporter for the Testifier. Audrey offers $50 for an exclusive, $100 if pressed. She's interested in rumors that the attack was intended for a PC, and what measures police have taken to protect him. Audrey has a copy of the lab report from Lansing on the campus assault. She asks about the overcoat and any facial features the PCs remember.
If Audrey gets the story, future reactions from police are at -1 and, if PCs share information they haven't told the police, an interrogation is held in their honor. Audrey's article sympathizes with victims and criticizes the Sheriff's Dept. for inaction. Turner is not pleased.
Rest in Peace Nov. 16th.
Brian Stolowitz and Cynthia Bradford are laid to rest Sunday at Deliverance Hill cemetery, with services by Father Harold Stanley and Restwood Mortuary. Response from the community results in a tremendous turnout, including such area leaders as Mayor Todd and editor Arnie Palmer. Audrey is covering the event with a camera.
A light rain falls from an overcast sky. The ceremony is well performed and simple, Father Stanley's rich baritone rising against the wind. Proceedings go as planned, except for a sidelines argument between the Mayor and Arnie, and Curtis Stans calling Audrey a 'damn ghoul.' After services, the bereaved are led away in limousines.
A Grave Matter Nov. 18th.
Two days later, police investigate reports of vandalism at Crossett Cemetery. PCs may hear of it by TV, radio or phone call from Audrey or Turner.
Investigators find two police cruisers and a green hatchback by the iron gates. The Sheriff and Audrey argue outside; a good reaction or Law Enforcement is needed to go in. Three deputies search the area, one leading a pair of German Shepards.
On the far side stand ten open graves, disinterred bodies cast about and coffins missing (Fright Check +2). On a Tracking or I.Q.-3 roll, someone determines that a shovel was used here two nights ago. Another roll -2 discovers a huge shoe mired in the bottom of one grave. The old wooden shack behind the cemetery is empty, and the front door open. Caretaker Abner Jenkins is gone without trace, save for large tracks on the porch.
The authorities find nothing but a few tracks and the use of a shovel; after a two day investigation, the graves will be refilled. The dogs cover ground until a wind passes over from the graves. They will not go near the shack, graves or shoe, cowering at first and attacking if pressed. Danger Sense or Psychometry senses vague evil over the cemetery. The sky builds towards a storm, and by the time Dr. Sanders and the forensics people arrive, the rains have begun.
Face the Nation Nov. 21st.
Under fire from Mayor Todd and the Testifier, Sheriff Turner calls a press conference. PCs are invited as witnesses closely involved with the investigation.
Come Friday, the town hall hosts a capacity crowd of concerned citizens and reporters from across the state, including a TV news crew from Lansing. Despite attempts by deputies at crowd control, chaos reigns.
Mayor Todd opens with a speech emphasizing support for the Sheriff's Dept. and their investigative efforts. Todd is confident that a suspect will be apprehended soon. He then gives the floor to Sheriff Turner for questioning, and the torture begins.
Questions range from whether Reggie Stans is presumed dead (yes) to what is being done to protect children. Arnie Palmer is in rare form, criticizing low police presence and 'failure to bring adequate resources to bear'. Turner discusses the investigation in detail, displaying plaster casts and the large shoe, if found. PCs are asked about police protection, how threatened they feel, etc . . . Public opinion hinges largely on their testimony. Roll a reaction for the main PC speaker. This governs public reaction to the Sheriff's Dept. in general.
Outsider Nov. 22nd.
Early next morning after the conference, a PC is approached by Paul Gabriel, reporter for the Lansing Inquirer. Gabriel is after an exclusive and believes the characters will lead him to it. For inclusion in PC activities, he offers anonymity for the duration of the investigation, favorable media coverage afterwards and the Inquirer's resources. Gabriel is already familiar with the name, face and background of all whose involvement is public knowledge.
Empathy or an Aura spell shows that Gabriel is on the level though ambitious and self-centered. If the PCs accept Gabriel, he will abide by agreements and employ his resources in their interest. If they don't, he'll shadow them, question acquaintances etc . . . Should the group ally with Gabriel, Audrey Wilson is hereafter hostile.
Grace Period Nov. 22nd-28th.
For about a week no new attacks or incidents are called in, though police are busy with prank calls and false alarms. Disappearances have been reported, but so many have left Evansmith due to the attacks that police can't determine who's missing. Investigators may visit Stans, Turner or other NPCs and review lab results and casts from the crime scenes. Gabriel (whether involved with the PCs or not) searches state police records to find out if the killers struck outside Evansmith. The media speculate that he's moved on because of an increased police presence. Most are skeptical and the streets are deserted after dark.
On the 30th of November, a snowfall comes to the valley, and by the 4th of December drifts are two feet deep. Drake Edwards and David Greer run snow plows down main streets and the highway to the college, but the ice-covered roads are hazardous (Driving roll to navigate clear roads). The back roads are impassable and Evansmith's valley is sealed off from the outside save by snowmobile, plane and foot.
Bad Tidings Nov. 28th.
Noon broadcasts are interrupted by reports of a body discovered in northern Evansmith. Miss Patty Rye found the remains of an unidentified man while walking her dogs this morning near her home. Witnesses say the body was tangled in the top of a large pine and appeared mauled. It was recovered by police with the aid of an Evansmith Fire Dept. truck. Both the Sheriff's Dept. and Miss Rye declined interview pending notification of family. Patty is shown warning off the news crew with a shotgun.
If the PCs don't visit Patty on their own, Turner calls for a favor. Miss Rye was uncooperative with police but he thinks she'll talk to them. The trip to Patty's takes about twenty minutes on dirt roads in poor condition (Driving check or be stuck). Visitors find a large, two story house sitting in an acre yard with a huge oak out front and chicken coop around back. A big German Shepherd and Rotweiler hold PCs in their car. She has a Pit Bull and Mastiff in the house.
Miss Rye recognizes the group from the Testifier and calls off her dogs. On at least a Neutral reaction she invites them inside to talk. Each morning Patty walks her dogs through the woods and back. Today about a half-mile out, the dogs started growling like something was watching them. Miss Rye didn't see the body at first, but she felt something wrong. And then she looked up.
"Buzzards," Patty says. "Branches was filled with buzzards. Damndest thing, though . . . they was all quiet. The whole woods was quiet as the dead. Ya cud feel how bad it was. An' then I saw it." She knows little else; the vultures stripped the body too much to tell how he died. If asked, Patty says the throat was gone and the body very pale. She offers to lead them to the site tomorrow, but not now since it's getting dark. Patty will not hear of being guarded or moved, and would-be house watchers must contend with Rodney, Rhodey, Rodchester and Rutledge.
The Finding Nov. 29th.
Turner drives to Ms Rye's noon after Church, inviting PCs on a neutral reaction or appropriate skill roll (Diplomacy, Fast-Talk). Those here before notice something different, something wrong. An ominous air lies over the yard. The front door stands open.
With a Smell or Hearing roll, investigators notice flies and an awful stench. The German Shepherd hangs from an oak, impaled with a pitchfork. The condition and drying blood suggest it's not recent (Forensics or Veterinary place death about midnight). Freeing the dog requires a contest versus Str 14. Out back, chickens run free and the cow lies dead, its neck broken. The other dogs are nowhere to be found.
The house seems undisturbed save for the open door. Tracking reveals two large shoe prints before the porch, but none leading to them! Once inside, a dry whisper drifts from upstairs. "Help meeee . . . " Ms Rye lies collapsed at the top of the stairwell, pale and delirious. Diagnosis places her in severe shock due to massive blood loss. An I.Q. roll notices two holes near the jugular vein. Turner radios for help, but by the time an ambulance arrives, she is comatose.
Paramedics diagnose her as severely dehydrated with acute anemia. Once at Evansmith Regional, Ms Rye receives a blood transfusion, broad spectrum antibiotics and i.v. fluids. Only staff may visit in the critical ward (Fast-Talk or Reaction rolls at -3). All witnesses and her doctors are asked to keep this quiet until Dr. Sanders and the Sheriff's Dept. find the cause.
Patty declines steadily over the next two days despite repeated transfusions. Many samples are taken and tests run but nothing comes back positive, leaving doctors to cite shock and hidden infection. Sanders suggests a stress-induced autoimmune phenomenon – Patty's system is destroying transfused blood cells. Immune-suppressant steroids and chemotherapy drugs have no time to work. When death claims her on the third day, an autopsy is scheduled that night.
The Awakening Dec. 1st.
Whichever PC's most likely gets a late evening call from Dr. Sanders asking them to come in for questions while he works. Sanders thinks the police missed something and means to find it tonight. If he does, he wants to question witnesses then (and Sanders isn't comfortable alone with the body; he saw throat wounds now gone). He'll be waiting at the hospital entrance in twenty minutes.
Sanders asks to hear the story again as he dons smock, scrubs and prepares the morgue, asking whether Ms Rye touched Abner Jenkin's body or was ill earlier. When he leads the investigators into the autopsy room, she's under a white sheet on a table in the center of the floor. Sanders moves for it, and the horror begins.
A dry, static charge of malignancy builds, a tangible presence of evil. Danger Sense screams warning; Aura or Psychometry perceive a gathering darkness or entity in the air over her body. Everyone feels overwhelming danger, instincts crying to leave. Sanders pauses halfway to the table. The sheet moves . . .
And the vampire Rye lunges out (Fright Checks-1), striking Sanders with bone-crushing force. As he falls, she turns to the rest. Patty Rye fights until repelled by holy symbols, slain or PCs flee the room. If driven off, she dissolves into mist shrieking "The Headmaster will come, children! Beware the night." Unless left to die, Sanders needs treatment for fractured ribs and internal bleeding. He's conscious and asks how they'll explain this to the authorities. For himself, he believes. If PCs refused to come tonight, tomorrow's Testifier reports Sanders murdered (torn throat) and Rye's body stolen. Sander's body was drained and won't rise.
He Whom Has Not Seen
Turner asks questions while doctors tend the injured, and he's not happy with the answers. If Patty Rye escaped, PCs may concoct a story (Contest of Fast-Talk or Acting vrs I.Q.) or suggest an intruder disguised as Patty, but what's the motive? If someone wanted them, how'd he know to go to the morgue? Sanders was too injured for a prank, and Rye's body is gone. Worse, the body may carry infectious disease.
If the vampire was slain, they must explain a damaged corpse. Holy symbols and water have no effect, and fangs aren't conclusive. Depending on the evidence at hand and a reaction roll, Turner ranges from visibly shaken to charging the investigators with desecration of a body and, without a believable story, withholding evidence. He won't accept the vampire theory, but will consider cult activity or a hoax. Sanders and the PCs are only charged on bad or very bad reactions, but then future reactions from police are at -2. They're held without bail (requires Diplomacy, Fast-Talk or Law -4) and tried within a week. If convicted, they get the strictest sentencing and the Testifier and Sheriff's Dept. link them to the killings and Reggie's disappearance (Bad Reputation -4, recognized often). Otherwise, the hospital and police report Ms Rye as a heart attack victim and close the case. Gabriel gets the story from PCs or an anonymous source, but doesn't file it with the Lansing office. Yet.
Darkness Gathers Dec. 3rd.
Incarcerated or not, PCs see a news report (read the Testifier, hear gossip etc) on the brutal slaying of the Tigers gang. Neighbors reported gunshots last night and deputies found eight members dead in a vacant house on 10'th and Maple. Three were killed by shotgun, the other five by knives or crushing weapons. The Sheriff's Dept. suspects a rival gang since lab equipment and drug paraphernalia were found but no narcotics. Tigers leader Carlos Cortez is sought for questioning and is the only member unaccounted for. In other news . . .
Investigators with Area Knowledge or Streetwise may learn the Tigers are a local youth gang dealing in drugs and petty theft. Word on the street says an upstart gang from the East side called the Deads cut into the drug market until the Tigers wasted a pair last month. The Deads are a small group led by Derrick Wells with a reputation for tactics and ruthlessness. They say the Deads will do anything . . . and get away with it.
Investigators find the Deads at their hang-out in the slum section of town with Area Knowledge or Streetwise (if they lack appropriate skills Gabriel or Turner can help). The house is a broken down two-story manse with boarded windows. Visitors may make a Vision roll -4 to spot a sawed-off shotgun trained from an overhead window. Carl and Razor turn away guests with threats and weapons. Those with Empathy or Psychology realize both are terrified and Danger Sense or Psychometry senses a vague, ill-defined menace pervading the house. Gang members won't listen to reason and attack if trespassers threaten or won't leave. Interrogation attempts are at -4. They know Derrick's a vampire, and has been for over a week. Derrick led the assault on the Tigers and carried Carlos back to the attic. His screams shook the house all night.
The attic is in total darkness and if investigators have light they find Carlos, bloodless and impaled to an overhead rafter with a large knife (Fright Check -1). A moldering trunk sits in a far corner, wrapped in heavy chains with a padlock. Within lies Derrick, his face fixed in a bloody grimace (Fright Check +2). If he awakes, Derrick charms the strongest PC and dissolves to mist, reforming behind a straggler (I.Q.-4 to see) for a rear head blow. He fights to the death if need be; any information he gives consists of lies.
Within a week an investigator is accosted by deputy Britt Tyler (recognized on I.Q.-2) looking red-eyed and listless, like he hasn't slept. Tyler claims the Sheriff wants him to ride in and examine new evidence and insists they go in his cruiser.
Tyler is Heinreich Kore's slave, driven by an overwhelming urge to kill those dangerous to Kore (GMs may chose important NPCs first). PCs may notice something wrong with Danger Sense, Detect Lies, Empathy, Precognition or Psychology. A call to the Sheriff's Dept. discovers Britt's been missing all week and Turner didn't send for anyone. He asks to talk to Britt. If the PC refuses to go or confronts Britt with Turner's call he opens fire with a .38; otherwise, he drives to a secluded area first, steps out of the car and attacks (Fright Check +4). If successful, he moves to the next investigator until stopped or none remain.
If Britt is subdued he goes insane, frothing at the mouth and shouting lunacies. A roll of I.Q. learns he's afraid "the Headmaster will get him." Mortally wounded or not, Britt gasps out 'Woodhill' before death or unconsciousness. Police cars arrive on the scene shortly, and the deputy cannot be roused.
Cop-killing is serious, and if Tyler died his killer(s) is(are) held at least 24 hours, after which a reaction roll is made at +2 with legal aid or Law skill, +1 if Turner was called or witnesses were present plus any modifiers the party has acquired. A poor reaction indicates holding for arraignment in a week with bail available on a neutral or better reaction (roll again). Future reactions from local deputies are at -2.
The Hunt Begins
Woodhill may be researched at the university library in the records section. A Research roll -4 finds crude records, but this information was provided by the First Episcopal Church of Evansmith which may have better records. First Episcopal handled both the spiritual needs and record keeping of most of Evansmith until the town took charge in 1969.
Library files claim Woodhill was established as a private finishing school for boys in 1912 by Walter Mitchell, a teacher from Boston, Massachusetts. Mitchell ran the school until his death in 1944, when it was purchased for an undisclosed sum by Conrad Guiles, an immigrant from Germany. The school remained in session until June 6, 1952, shortly before Dr. Thomas Westchester formed Westchester Consolidated, which became coed in 1965 and a public institution in 1971. Records say Woodhill closed but not why or what happened to Conrad Guiles, nor is the school's location given.
Old issues of the Testifier, dating from 1894, are kept on microfilm at the library and have several articles from the 1944-52 period. There were many accidents at Woodhill (and more unreported), including several broken bones, serious burns and at least four disappearances. Several boys were withdrawn, and Guiles was accused of unusually harsh discipline although no charges were filed. The Testifier reports that on May 24, 1952, two weeks before closing ceremonies, the body of Conrad Guiles was found hanged in his cellar, riddled with knives. When the cellar was examined authorities found the buried skeletons of the four missing boys and occult paraphernalia. Subsequent investigations failed to trace the murderer but uncovered Conrad's secret past. His real name was Joseph Heinreich Kore, and he was no Jew. FBI officials learned that Kore fled to the U.S. after deciding the Axis would lose World War II, and investigators with Law Enforcement or government contacts can learn the CIA traced Kore to the SS and convicted Nazi sympathizers aiding him.
If researchers peruse later articles, they find that on October 18, 1968, authorities found the remains of the wife and two children of Zebadiah Whately, murdered with an axe. Whately was never found, and locals credit him with a rash of disappearances in the forest over the next few years. The Sheriff's Dept. never closed the case, but only the older townsfolk remember and few believe the rumors.
The First Episcopal Church of Evansmith was founded in 1854 when the town was a lumber community, and handled its spiritual needs and record keeping. Many public records at the university were copied from the Church's and are notoriously incomplete. First Episcopal has declined over the decades, but still serves a small congregation in northern Evansmith, and those researching local history are referred there.
The Church is in a wooded area northeast of town at the end of a dirt road. Inquirers learn the church has been closed over a week for renovation, while no one has seen the ministers or renovators. A new priest named Father Cambell has assured callers that work is underway but says the clergy are in private retreat and can't see anyone. On a Good reaction a parishioner may reveal suspicions; the ministers have never gone into retreat all at once and even the deacons are turned away. Cambell said services will resume in about a month and suggested callers engage in private study until then. Three days ago, the lines went dead.
The road to the Church is blocked by a tree cut with an axe, requiring a combined strength of 35+ to move. A wooden sign attached to the tree says "Closed for renovation." Trackers may find large, familiar tracks near the base of the tree. The church is a mile down the road.
First Episcopal is styled after a minicathedral, white wood and stone construction with stained glass windows and no sign of renovation. Those with Danger Sense or Psychometry sense a sick corruption about the place, and on an I.Q. roll notice unnatural quiet. Trackers may find Kore's tracks at the edge of the grounds, meeting the sandaled feet of another, the dirt stained with a few drops of blood.
On entering the Church investigators make Fright Checks, at -2 if they noticed no signs. They stand in a huge congregational room with twin rows of pews dusty from lack of use. The bodies of three parish priests dangle from an overhead rafter by bell rope, impaled with knives and missing their eyes. A lone figure hunches over the altar, sobbing. He is obviously insane, staring off into space and talking to no one. If questioned, he says his name is Father Francis Cambell, sent from a New York seminary four years ago. Last month, he began having dreams, dreams in which he walked alone at night and spoke to the dark man. The dark man promised Francis power, told him he was chosen to play a role in the PLAN. What the PLAN was Francis didn't know, but when he looked in the dark man's eyes it didn't matter. But first, he had to prove his loyalty. He had to make sacrifice. Francis looks to his three colleagues and shudders. He says the dark man lied. Worse, when the heinous deed was done, he made Francis drink of his blood. Francis grimaces, filling a crystal from the holy fountain. When he drinks, the mad priest bursts into a writhing, screaming bonfire that nothing can douse (Fright Check -1). He dies shouting "Seek the school that is no more!"
All records pertaining to Woodhill were burned by Francis. Police won't investigate for days, and the party won't be connected with it unless they call the authorities. The three priests have been dead a week and Cambell left a written confession on the altar, but his death remains a mystery. It'll eventually go down as an instance of spontaneous combustion.
Over the next few days matters worsen as investigators seek Woodhill. If Britt Tyler was captured, he hangs himself with a sheet in his cell, horror etched on his face (Fright Check +2). There are large footprints outside his window. Heading home after dark two days later, Sheriff Turner is attacked and torn apart by four huge dogs. A German Shepherd and Great Dane were shot to death and witnesses saw a Rotweiler. That same night Gabriel and Dr. Sanders disappear (unless run as PCs). Searchers find Gabriel sprawled in his Simpson Apartment, half-eaten body covered with rats (Fright Check -1). The corpse is too decayed and eaten to tell much, and the neighbors heard nothing. Sporadic disappearances are reported, with a massive exodus from Evansmith sending the economy into a depression and Mayor Todd into a frenzy.
An emergency meeting of the town council (including McAllister, Palmer, Father Stanley, Strong and the Mayor) names deputy Thomas Rogers acting Sheriff. Roger's reaction to the party hinges on their relationship with Turner. The council calls in anyone connected to recent events for questioning, and they're ready to listen. While the council won't accept vampires, they might (on a Good reaction) consider precautions, just in case. Arnie Palmer and Pat Strong know about Woodhill and relate the sordid affair if asked. The Sheriff's Dept. can't investigate due to the need to protect people here, but the council would like the PCs to look into it. They can lend supplies, and Pat can bolster the party's confidence if not their chances.
Over the Hills
Woodhill is beyond the north-eastern tip of the valley, over thirty miles from Evansmith in hills covered with dense forest. A crude guess of its location may come from library files or Arnie and Pat. The town council can arrange the loan of four snow-mobiles from David Greer which can cover half the distance (Driving roll -2 for hidden hazards), but the rest must be covered on foot or horseback.
This area is uninhabited, and those with Botony or Naturalist skill may notice no logging's occurred for over a decade and hunters see no deer stands or dirt roads. Trackers check at -4 for prints from a dog pack, and -6 to find shoe prints (smaller than Kore's but still large). On IQ -2, someone finds the old farmhouse.
An old farmhouse stand withered and ancient against the pines, paint long since peeled from cracked walls. The windows are broken and the floors creak (Stealth at -2), while a malign air hangs over all. It seems long since abandoned.
Horrible evil lingers still. Zebadiah lies waiting, living on whatever he can kill. He knows this house intimately (Stealth +1) and can enter through the storm cellar, catching stragglers alone. Zebadiah goes for the throat from behind at -1 (+4 stationary target, +2 surprise, -5 throat, -2 awkward position). Zebadiah attacks loners and pursues to the death or the edge of the forest. Whichever comes first.
Zebediah has the full powers of a Psycho Killer (see GURPS Horror) through the Lodger of Woodhill (Creatures of the Night); if he lives when it is dispatched, he becomes a simple crazy man. Police will arrest him after he assaults campers three months later, who beat him unconcious and tie him up. If the PCs destroy Kore w/o the House, he comes for them in Evansmith. One by one.
If PCs travel on foot, Zebadiah can figure their probable course (Area Knowledge roll) and design traps along the way. Most are crude (snares strong enough to dislocate a hip or ankle, shallow pits w/a few crude wooden spears, etc . . . ). These are detected w/IQ-3 (concealed under snow). Worse, he can, on a contest of Stealth & Camouflage vs guards' Alertness (best of Hearing or Vision), pass through camp at night and take packs. Or disable snowmobiles.
Woodhill's sentience feels the characters draw ever nearer; drawing on decades of suffering and death, it twists nature itself. Psi's and those with Magical Aptitude may sense a horrible forboding in the air, like a dormant evil building to be unleashed. This is the Lodger's presence, as the House on Woodhill summons a blizzard. The air is so charged no astral travel or telepathy is possible, nor psychometry or precognition.
The group can't withstand the blizzard; they have to find shelter. Those with appropriate Survival skills may find a defensible cave or half-fallen tree with enough cover to make a functional lean-to; others must improvise (use GURPS Basic Set to assess situation). A concerted effort should produce crude shelter with a small fire.
While the PCs go to ground, the Lodger sends a call through the valley. Larger, feral dogs, great grizzled beasts, slip leashes, leap pens or come from the alleys, surging into the forest. A success w/Precognition -5 may fore-tell their coming. They gather in the forest while PCs find shelter, bound by central will. They are treated as Ghouls (GURPS Vampire; +2 ST w/+1 damage; otherwise as large dogs, GURPS Basic Set). Their eyes glow yellowish in the fire light when they attack.
If PCs made Survival rolls, they've made shelter well before night and the dogs move in during daylight; otherwise, the attack comes at night (w/Darkness penalties; Dogs unhampered by darkness). The Pack includes at least two dogs per PC, more if they're well armed, and the beasts use fiendish intelligence; the first attack will come when someone leaves the shelter for rest room purposes (IQ vs. Dog's Stealth 12 or be caught alone). The dogs may dash in amongst the PCs to render gunfire dangerous, grab supplies and run and other ploys. If outmatched, they retreat to trail the group, awaiting opportunity.
The House's goal is to insure the group cannot reach Woodhill within early daylight hours (the blizzard) and wear them down (the dogs). Travel the day after the dog's assault will probably reach Woodhill about 2:00 (darkness falls at 5:00). Showmobiles may cut time to 1:00. Travel the night of the assault is suicide; if Zebadiah lives, he hunts the periphery of their camp. The dogs obey him.
The years since 1952 have not been kind to Woodhill. Originally a ten acre spread with administrative office, two education buildings and two dormitories with sports facilities (for the time), what remains are a dorm (the other's collapsed remains sprouted pine and cedar; occasional rotted books or furniture are found in brush), the two education buildings (rotted and dangerous; each PC on 2nd floor roll Dex or fall through) and, hidden by time, the three-story Administration building. PCs with Aura, Precognition or Psychometry sense a vague, ill-defined evil spread over the grounds; a roll -5 directs them to the administration building.
The Admistration building is concealed naturally by a large hill (Conrad Guiles rebuilt it in 1945 for privacy and to intimidate children sent there), and the Lodger inhabiting it. Massive trees hide the building on all sides; vines encumber visitors. Many poisonous snakes are drawn here; the Lodger summons rats to maintain them throughout the grounds. Random PCs roll I.Q. vrs the snakes' Camouflage (12) or are struck (note: in the author's experience, stationary rattle snakes and copper heads are hard to see in leaves and brush). The snakes do not enter the Administration building itself.
The Lodger wants PCs to reach it just after dark, to feed from their suffering. To this end it can summon remaining dogs from The Pack, send a swarm of rats (not snakes; reptile brains are too primitive) or alter weather. It may do all these things to heighten the ominous mood and escalate tension. Attacks aren't geared to kill, just wear down PCs so Kore will win out.
Make as much of the grounds as you want; when PCs arrive, they find torn, rusted wrought iron gates and fence around the grounds (running its perimeter finds Administration). Dark clouds gather and drizzle falls, building to light rain (later that night, thunderstorm) with lightning tearing the sky. Thunder shakes the forrest and two bolts scorch the grounds, the first the iron fence, the second near the PCs (whom IQ checks reveal are not at a high point and shouldn't have been threatened). The Lodger allows the PCs to search the ruins as daylight fades, then guides them to it (with 3 lightning strikes behind the hill or a telepathic 'drawing'). Their first sighting of the ominous edifice, with its evil aura against a backdrop of rain and lightning, calls for a Fright Check +2. The house almost seems to . . . leer at them.
The House on Woodhill
The old Administration building is a three-story mansion covered with vines and tree limbs; a cloying oder of mold, wisteria and honey-suckle linger even in winter. The first floor was administration proper; it contains a waiting room, Vice-Chancellor's office, three secretaries offices and a large file room with rusty metal cabinets, locked (and empty; law enforcement seized all files in the T52 scandal). All look rifled through, long ago. The staircase is very narrow, wooden walls closing on the climber from all sides (to intimidate children; may frighten claustrophobes). Tracking +2 detects Kore's prints on the stairs (-1 with poor lighting).
The second floor was the Headmaster's home; it contains kitchen and dining areas, a den, study and bedroom. Thick dust covers everything. Nothing has been disturbed in ages. The study has two kerosene lamps and ample stocks of kerosene. Guile's private library includes old volumes, with a few valuable first editions and signed novels. Of particular note are works on anatomy, showing wear from use even now, with notes in the margins from an experimenter (if PCs have seen Guile's writing, they may recognize it). Alongside them is an old dissection kit (also worn from use). Several displays offer testament to one of his hobbies; building ships in bottles. They are quite intricate. Nothing on this floor has been touched since 1952.
The stairwell opens to a small room with two wooden stools (where boys waited, sometimes hours, for punishment). Psi's may feel hopeless dread. The massive wooden door is too tall (7 feet), with a low set knob. It opens into Conrad Guile's office. The office is a barren place, with a large desk, Headmaster's chair and two small, hard wood chairs. Those in the chairs were at a disadvantage; the tall Headmaster loomed over them. Psi's may feel pain and despair. A small waste can contains Tbirching' switches (finished and so preserved). Some are worn. Most of the desk's contents were taken in the scandal; searchers left an old, rusted pair of handcuffs, two lengths of chain and another dissection kit. Bits of rag suggest gags. There is little else to find until someone moves a rotted Oriental rug by the desk over the brass ring of a trap door.
Into the Ground
The trap door has a large modern steel lock underneath, but is unlocked (perhaps the vampire is out). It opens on a small staircase down, narrower than before, through the building and into the ground. The stairs lead twenty feet below ground level, to a large underground chamber (20×20×20 ft) reinforced by perserved wooden beams. The ceiling looks ready to collapse. Muskiness and moldering wood give it a stagnant odor.
Throughout the room are the decayed remains of torture devices. Rusted manacles hang from the far wall, knife blades are strewn about, handles rotted away. A rack is built into the north wall. Sets of pliers hang with other tools on the south wall. The center of the chamber has a crude stone altar, grey stone stained with blood from long ago. Some is fresh (Forensics +2). The stone is a single piece. Chains lie beside it. The earth before the altar has been turned recently.
Digging uncovers some of the twenty buried here; those on top are fresher, and the skin is only starting to peel away from bone (HT -2 to withstand the stench). Worse, the Lodger may choose to Animate Dead (if a cadaver grabs a PC w/surprise (+4), Fright Check -3) and can raise up to 4 zombies. The room's floor comes alive with tormented moaning of the damned; bodies shiver and twitch (Fright Check -2, -4 if someone was grabbed). The Lodger may employ ESP and Ventriloquism to make a corpse speak to PCs (GM's option what is said . . . something like "Rejoin us in Hell, Jamie. Join us!") (Fright Check -2). If PCs stay, the corpses reenact the last moments of long-ago victims (one dons the manacles, then screams hoarsely through rotting vocal cords as another beats him; two bind a third to the rack).
The Lodger may also uncover Phobias with ESP, and create illusions of these (on a failed Fright Check, a PC may empty a gun at one). It will wait until the PC is heading back up the stairs (Dex roll – amount Fright Check failed or fall). When PCs reach the trap door, it is locked (and the hard wood of the door and stairwell walls is strong; appropriate tools are needed). When PCs escape the shaft, it uses Death Vision (GURPS Magic) on them, possibly followed by Fear (whatever is needed to drive them out).
The Final Conflict
Against the soft glare of the full moon, Heinrich Kore looms before the edifice, sunken features visible in full, holding a meat cleaver. Around him stand ten large dogs of various breeds (Fright Checks -2). Now that the party has been weathered by the others, the Lodger's main son has come to claim them. The dogs growl, and all entrances to the Administration building slam shut and lock (if necessary, using moaning of the dead and illusions to keep PCs out). Depending on past events, Heinrich may converse with the party a few rounds.
Suddenly, a trio of dogs breaks from the trees and vaults over the crumbled gate. PCs may recognize the mastiff, pit bull and rotweiler as Patty Rye's (Fright Check), all decayed with an odor reaching everywhere. The dogs bolt for Kore's group, with a shattering roar unheard in mortal dogs. Even he shows fear when the mastiff meets his doberman in mid-leap and crushes its skull in his jaws. The three Brackish Hounds (GURPS Creatures of the Night) close with the remnants of the pack. The dogs have two special abilities; neither the Lodger nor Kore can control them, nor manifest a supernatural power within their presense (50U range). Heinrich cannot shape shift, nor can the Lodger telekinese or apport holy symbols from their hands, etc . . . Kore is as human as he will ever be again.
It can end right here. The Hounds can finish Kore if necessary; PCs need only occupy him while they finish the pack; the Hounds can destroy a vampire (although he will claim two of them). Or Kore might break away to hide within the Lodger (which the Hounds won't enter). PCs can stay the night and enter by day, endure the Lodger and stake him in slumber. The Lodger may allow Kore's destruction to deflect attention. The Hounds will never harm the party (friends of Mrs. Rye in life; if she wasn't destroyed by them, the dogs hunt to bring her peace). If PCs attack, the Hounds flee. The Hounds are a benevolent force which will prowl the forrests north of town preying only on wildlife, a counterpoint to the Lodger's evil. If Zebadiah lives, they stalk him off and on.
The Lodger goes to ground, suggesting the evil died with Kore. Unless burned, it soon calls another evil man. He might be a child-killer, a cannibal, a psychopath . . . or all these. What is certain is that the Lodger will not rest until it is inhabited by an evil man, of intellect and intensity. And its cellars will know human torment and pain again.
Appendix A: Other Adventures in Evansmith
Whoever the Lodger summons may come in six months or ten years. It'll take time, but he'll come. He may be a psycho killer, a mage or a werewolf. The House won't risk another vampire for decades. He might avoid the PCs for safety, hunt them for revenge or ignore them. His weakness is the need to occasionally bring victims to the House. He may keep them in chains to starve, feeding it, so he need not live there. The Hounds may impede his commute.
Patty Rye should be left to the Hounds; she is too pathetic for a full adventure, although a single hound may come to the PCs by day and gesture to be followed, leading them to her resting place; the Hounds reason humans can destroy her mercifully. The dogs howl around her for hours before fleeing into the forrests.
Derrick Wells is another matter. Well's keen mind and ruthless methods may lead to a 'treaty' with PCs (he honors his word), a pre-emptive strike or going to ground. He may flee to a city (New York or Chicago). He isn't above using terrorist tactics to discourage pursuit; Derrick's henchmen can commit arson, murder and rape, and letters may threaten enemmies if he isn't left alone. His gang is small, but the legal invulnerability of street gangs (every member in jail has a buddy on the street to get revenge) and Derrick's tactical acumen make them formidable. He won't make other vampires unless he has to for muscle.
Lodgers are powerful. Heinrich was known by a few influencial beings through correspondence. The deaths of either may be known in the supernatural community and investigated by the Cabal. If the Lodger lives, it can communicate everything about the PCs (unless ESP was prevented), right down to personal Disadvantages and Quirks. Odds are the Cabal will let the matter go; the PCs settled a personal grudge against a rogue whose activities drew too much attention, benefiting all. Or they might be assassinated for security reasons; they are watched for awhile, regardless. If the Lodger was destroyed, their investigation will be more in the Sam Spade' tradition, and PCs may encounter investigators.
Books & Correspondences
Before his death (and after), Conrad Guiles was a potent mystic who studied widely the arts of conjuration and control. His activities in life enabled the Lodger to reanimate him as a vampire in death. His library may contain books with rare occult information, protective wards and sigils, and a couple with summoning rites (GMs are refered to Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu products for excellent examples). Similarly, he may have owned a few silver bullets and other wards. If you don't want PCs using the rites, require human sacrifice, multi-year rituals, the Lodger's aid, etc . . . Some are written in German.
More important is his correspondence, both before his death in 1952 and after (some contacts noted in both). His letters and journals may contain much information regarding powerful individuals, possibly with weaknessness and possessions noted. Perhaps a mage is coming to town next month to trade for some of Kore's blood. Will the PCs intercept him? If the GM uses GURPS Vampire: The Masquerade, area Princes may have ordered Kore to tone it down, and his replies may lead to a new campaign (or existence). References to the Garou presence and Sid Montgomery's kennel may lead down other roads. If the PCs don't know Dexter, he's mentioned as an experiment and informant; the world changed over forty years. Such letters are found wherever you wish.
If the PCs are a group, they may need to replace losses. If the GM doesn't allow the old pre-trained ready for action newly rolled PC to jump in, you may roleplay the acquisition of new members and/or their training. Trying to convince such characters of what was faced may be difficult, perhaps leading to a meeting with Dexter or the Hounds.
The PCs themselves are potential recruits for many organizations. The Chill Game's SAVE and White Wolf's Vampire Arcanum are two examples. Occult hunters may hear of the PCs directly or come to town investigating; they may contact the party with new leads (you didn't kill the Lodger . . . what do you mean you let the Hounds go!?!? . . . etc . . . ).
Appendix B Me
I hope you enjoyed Death Night. I'm 25 years old, in my 3rd year of medical school. I've been role-playing since high school, numerous and sundry games. I began this project in high school, evolving and editing it over several years. It's been an off-and-on job, but it's given me a creative outlet, a chance to share and a lot of fun, which is what role-playing's about.
I hope more people write 'freeware' adventures like this, for gamers all over. It works like this; I retain all rights to my work, but allow individuals (you) to make copies for personal use (which includes running the adventure with friends). This is not shareware and you don't owe me money (if for some bizarre reason you send some, I'll take it). What I want is to hear from you, GMs, players and just readers. What do you think? Did you enjoy the adventure? Did you run it or read it? What specifically did you like/dislike? What would you change? What kind of horror adventures would you like to see? My Internet address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my regular address is:
I have a Little Rock address, but I don't know where I'll be after June '96 so my folk's address above will do. I really need to hear from you; I copy and paste e-mail to a Word document on my Macintosh (which I access the school's VAX system through via modem), so it's part of my permanent record.
I ran Death Night for college friends (Damian, Jeff, Julie, Kenny and Tommy) at my old college in Monticello, Arkansas. We finished after six hours play (I almost fell asleep driving home after 1 a.m. in the fog). We went off on tangents; Tommy's martial artist liked to pick fights with toughs at Simpson Apartments, Damian's CIA agent (yes, I let him run it) tried to bust Brad Ashley's drug-running operation at the Pizza Palace after hearing of it with Streetwise (Ashley motioned a flunkie to go in back while he was at gunpoint; PCs didn't stop him, so he dumped the Cocaine down the sink. Turner wasn't pleased but he sensed wrongdoing and Damian's PC was CIA, so it slid. There wasn't enough residue for a bust. Tommy's character antagonized the Deads at their house and followed one; Derrick materialized overhead and struck him down as a bargaining chip for peace (which lasted). And they never reached Woodhill; we'd played six hours, it was 1 a.m. and I hadn't finished writing the adventure. Instead, Kore struck at Angel's house; Turner got the call got the call and buzzed the PCs. They arrived to find Angela's father dead by the front door, her mother screaming, Angel in near-shock and Turner held over the vampire's head. He threw Turner over a car into a tree, snapping his spine and killing him. The PCs slammed Kore into the house with their car, then got out and sprayed him to death. I think they had something like Super Soakers loaded with holy water, and they destroyed him as he was turned to mist. I'm sorry, but GMing is stressful after 6 hours and it was a bad time to quit.
I had a good group of players and I miss them. They were good friends. I wish you could read the bog beast tale Damian ran on our campus; we role-played ourselves. Now that was horror.
No armor (Kevlar in emergencies) or encumbrance (Toughness 1)
Advantages: Legal Enforcement Powers (part-time deputy), Status 1 (Evansmith), Toughness (1), Wealth (Comfortable).
Disadvantages: Age, Duty (Evansmith in emergencies/deputy), Lame (Left leg), Overweight, Sense of Duty (Veterans).
Quirks: Usually carries big stick; Likes Viet Nam memorabelia; Unconciously dislikes Asians; Conservative politics; Mature demeanor.
Skills: Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-14; Axe/Mace (Stick)-14; Boating-14; Brawling-15; Cooking-13; Detective-12; Driving-13; First Aid-12; Guns (most, including military issue)-16; Law-12; Streetwise-13; Survival (Jungle/Forest)-14; Strategy-13; Swimming-14; Tactics-13; Traps-14.
Equipment: Jeap; 1 suit Kevlar body armor; several large knives; 9-mm Baretta; large stick (club); Camping gear; 3 Grenades (1 dud); AK-47 assault rifle; M-16 submachine gun; Hunting rifle & 12-gauge shotgun.
Advantages: Wealth (Comfortable).
Disadvantages: Age, Appearance (unattractive), Greed, Intolerance (everyone -2).
Quirks: Watches lots of TV; Believes the Enquirer & Star; Never goes outdoors; Considers tenant complaints 'insufferable whining'; Likes cats; Smokes dope.
Skills: Accounting-12; Administration-10; Animal Handling (Cats)-11; Detect Lies-11; Diplomacy-9; Guns-12; Interrogation (Where's the rent?)-13; Electronics/Engineering (Maintenance)-12; Professional Skill (Plumbing)-12.
Equipment: .25 pistol; Big screen TV; Meat cleaver (always concealed on her person); 12 cats.
No armor or encumbrance (Crinos-D.R.).
Advantages: Common Sense, Danger Sense, Status 2 (local garou), Wealth (Wealthy), Toughness (1- +Crinos).
Disadvantages: Metis (Crinos form only), Sense of Duty to area garou.
Quirks: Keeps meat in freezer; No gun (hunts himself); Likes raw meat; Commited to secrecy of Garou presence; Likes human flesh.
Skills: Accounting-12; Acting-14; Administration-12; Area Knowledge (Evansmith/Forests)-14/16; Axe/Mace (axe)-16; Brawling-14; Boating-11; Cooking-11; Driving (Jeep)-13; Leadership-13; Professional Skill (Taxidermy)-15; Strategy-12; Tactics-12.
Equipment: Cabin; Old Jeep; Large wood axe; Chain saw; Camping gear (unused); Electric generator for cabin; Taxidermy equipment; Many mounted specimens.
Background: If the GM wants a Garou presence, Sid can be a Garou whose cabins are home/resort to kinfolk and fellow garou across the States. PCs may be suspicious when told 'no vacancies' while cabins stand empty, tales of slaughtered deer carcasses and human hunters' harrowing flight from 'bigfeet' into dark forest coupled with two disappearances. The exact number of local garou varies, usually 5-20. Runs are held nights of the full moon, and natives avoid the forests east of town without knowing why.
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive), Charisma +2.
Quirks: Likes youth; Loves cooking/running a business; always cheerful; energetic; likes heavy metal.
Skills: Accounting-11; Administration-11; Area Knowledge (Evansmith youth scene)-14, Cooking-16; Driving (Car)-12.
Advantages: High Pain Threshold, Rapid Healing, Toughness (1).
Disadvantages: Appearance (Unattractive-vaguely threatening -1), Odious Personal Habits (Threatening body language -1), Reputation (Mean; Evansmith, -2, 11 or less).
Quirks: Quietly contained anger within; Impression is one of controlled violence; Likes subtlely frightening people; Cruel; Keeps within the law (usually).
Skills: Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-12, Brawling-15, Broadsword (Clubs)-13, Cooking-15, Driving (Motorcycle)-15, Driving (Car)-13, Gun (.12-gauge shotgun)-13, Interogation-13, Intimidation-13, Knife-15, Knife-Throwing-12, Survival (Forrest)-13, Swimming-14.
"Sam" Andrea Poulschivae
Advantages: Charisma +1, Voice.
Disadvantages: Dependent (Has retarded 12 yr-old son; wife died in childbirth).
Quirks: Hardworking and efficient; Patient & Loving; Old-fashioned; Obsessed with Emporium's good name; Rides a Moped.
Skills: Acting-13; Administration-14; Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-12; Area Knowledge (Chicago)-11; Cooking-16; Diplomacy-14; Driving (Moped)-12; Language (French)-13; Psychology-13; Savoire-Faire-15.
Equipment: Emporium business. Battered old moped. Extensive collection of classical music and antiques at home.
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive), Charisma +2, Patron (various drug suppliers – bail & lawyer), Intuition.
Disadvantages: Secret (Drug supplier).
Quirks: Doesn't do drugs; Likes reggae and heavy metal; Saving for college.
Skills: Administration-10; Accounting-12; Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-14; Cooking-12; Driving (Car/Motorcycle)-13; Engineering (Drug Processing)-12; Guns (Pistol)-12; Knife-12; Law-11; Professional Skill (Money laundering)-11; Survival (Urban)-12; Streetwise-13; Strategy-12.
Advantages: Common Sense, Danger Sense, Intuition, Lightning Calculator, Longevity, Patrons (arms clients & suppliers), Wealth (Wealthy).
Disadvantages: Age, Greed, Odious Personal Habits (Gives people the creeps), Secret (Illegal arms merchant), Amateur Botanist.
Quirks: 'Ethical' arms merchant (won't supply criminals); Solitary; Likes killing; Survivalist (Believes next war will be civil after economic collapse).
Skills: Accounting-15; Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-16; Botony-14; Fast-Talk-14; Guns (Any)-14; History (Evansmith)-14; Interrogation-14; Knife-12; Law-12; Poison-13; Research-12; Short sword (Machete)-13; Streetwise-15; Swimming-12; Traps-12; Woodworking-12.
Equipment: All sports supplies; Hunting arms, plus M-16 submachine guns at home and in store. Can aquire most guns and body armor; even odds of acquiring a flame thrower.
Dr. Gerald Bradley, Pharm.D
Advantages: Charisma +1 (when he uses it), Status 1 (Pharmacist), Wealth (Comfortable).
Disadvantages: Lecherousness, Odious Personal Habit (suggests he's handling illegals – -1), Overweight, Reputation as 'shady' (-1).
Quirks: Enjoys being weird; Easy Going; Likes reptiles; Friendly; Informal at formals.
Skills: Accounting-13; Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-13; Botony-11; Chemistry-12; Driving (Car)-12; Ecology-12; Fast-Talk-11; Law-11; Naturalist-13; Poisons-14; Professional Skill (Pharmacologist)-15; Research-12; Swimming-12; Zoology-14.
Dr. Alex Sanders, M.D.
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive), Common Sense, Intuition, Status (M.D./Pathologist) 2, Wealth (Wealthy).
Disadvantages: Dependent (African Grey Parrot, "Crackers"), Odious Personal Habits (Morbid Sense of Humor/Peculiar mannerisms) -1, Sense of Duty (Hippocratic Oath – won't interfere w/good sense).
Quirks: Likes animals; Humorous cynicism; Lecherous; Uninterested in sports or hunting; Likes photography.
Skills: Accounting-12, Adminstration-12, Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-12; (Evansmith Regional Hospital-14); (Medical community-14), Botany-11, Brawling-12, Chemistry-13, Computer Operation-14; Cooking-12, Diplomacy-12 (rarely exercised), Driving (Car)-13, Ecology-11, Fast-Talk-12, First-Aid (as Physician), Forensics-16; Guns (Pistol)-13, Knife (Scalpel)-12, Literature-11, Naturalist-11, Physician-14, Physiology-16; Poisons-15, Research-13, Riding (Horse)-12, Swimming-11, Zoology-13.
Equipment: Physician's & First Aid equipment (in bag); access to most chemicals and labs; access to hospital, morgue & related records, .9-mm Baretta pistol, large 2-story home on outskirts of Evansmith, African Grey Parrot & huge ($1000) cage (usually open).
Sheriff Neal Turner
Advantages: Appearance (Handsome), Charisma +2, Common Sense, Legal Enforcement Powers (Sheriff), Rapid Healing, Status 2, Toughness (1).
Disadvantages: Code of Conduct (uphold laws), Dependent (Wife), Duty to Evansmith (11 or less), Intolerance (Drug-related activity).
Quirks: Collects guns & knives; Family man; Friendly but stern; Conservative politics; Romantic.
Skills: Accounting-12, Administration-14, Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-15; (College/Schools)-13, Brawling-15, Broadsword (night stick)-14, Carousing-13, Computer Operation-12; Criminology-14; Detective-14; Diplomacy-13, Drive (Any)-14, Escape-13, Fast-Draw (pistol)-13, Fast-Talk-13, First Aid-14; Guns (Any)-15, History-12, Interrogation-14, Knive-12, Law-14, Leadership-14, Mechanic-13, Poisons-12, Research-14, Riding (Horse)-13, Running-12, Scrounging-13, Shadowing-13; Stealth-12, Strategy-13, Streetwise-14, Swimming-13, Tactics-13, Woodworking-13.
Equipment: Jail armaments + 3 stun guns; Tear gas; Town jail; Kevlar body armor; Brass knuckles; Police Blazer; Tracker dogs (5); Access to police records, + hospital records w/warrent (requires skill/reaction contest w/Judge), Extensive national information system on known felons w/Finger Print I.D.; 2-story home.
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive), Double-Jointed.
Disadvantages: Greed, Odious Personal Habits (Unclean; foul mouth) (-2).
Quirks: Likes mechanics; Enjoys ripping off the mechanically ignorant; Only respects 'real men'; Dreams of owning a Harley; Considers women good for two things; house work and . . .
Skills: Accounting-11, Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-15; Axe/Mace (Large wrenches)-13, Brawling-13, Broadsword (smaller tools-treat as club)-14, Carousing-13, Diplomacy-10, Drive (Any)-14, Fast-Talk-12, Mechanic-15, Scrounging-13, Streetwise-12, Swimming-13.
Equipment: Mechanic's Shop w/equipment (cutting & welding torches, metal gas bottles, acids, lots of gasoline & oil), Jeep Cherokee.
Advantages: Reputation (honorable/well-known) +2; Wealth (Comfortable).
Disadvantages: Age; Bad Sight; Deaf in left ear.
Quirks: Emaculately dressed; Always polite; 'Distinguished' manner; Trace of British Accent; Cares about people.
Skills: Administration-12; Accounting-13; Acting-13; Diplomacy-14; Disguise (improving corpses' looks)-13, Drive (Hearse)-13; History (American/British)-14; Law (Handling deceased's estate)-13; Literature-12; Mechanic (keeps up crematorium, etc)-12; Professional Skill (Undertaker)-15; Research-12; Woodworking (used to make coffins)-13.
Equipment: Undertaker's facility & crematorium. Black Hearse.
Dr. Paul Morgan, PhD (Pathologist-PhD (not M.D.))
Advantages: Eidectic Memory (1); Charisma (+1); Reputation (Researcher & distinguished faculty member – scientific community (+1)); Status (PhD; Head of Science Department) (2), Wealth (Wealthy).
Disadvantages: Age; Bad Sight; Sense of Duty to Profession (Workaholic); Odious Personal Habit (Intimidatingly competent) (-1).
Quirks: Thinks students are lazy and amotivated (tells them so); Always 'professional'; Tries to be 'the best'; Intolerant of disrespect; High opinion of himself.
Skills: Accounting-12; : Administration-14; Area Knowledge (UME)-16; Biochemistry-16; Carousing-13; Chemistry-15; Criminology-12; Diplomacy-13; Driving (Lexus)-12; Ecology-13; Fast-Talk-14; Forensics-15; Genetics-13; History (American/World)-12; Leadership-13; Literature-12; Naturalist-12; Physics-12; Physiology-18; Poisons-15; Research-15; Zoology-14.
Equipment: Access to chemistry lab supplies & equipment. Can consult with variety of scientific experts (& other fields of study on campus w/Good Reaction). Lexus. Owns two-story old-style Brownstone home in ritzier part of town; five acre estate with a black iron gate.
Dr. Morgan is an intimidatingly focused and capable man; his dedication has cost him two marriages and any real friendships. He has, in essence, sold his life to professionalism. As Thoreau might say, he lives a life of "quiet desperation."
Editor Arnie Palmer
Advantages: Eidectic Memory (1); Reputation (Excellent journalist (local)) +2; Status 1.
Disadvantages: Age; Enemy (Mayor Todd, 8-); Odious Personal Habits (Blowhard on local politics); Sense of Duty (Report scandals regardless of who or what is involved); Truthfulness.
Quirks: Loves scandals; Opinionated; Loves Detective stories; Likes publishing violent stories & photos; Believes the public should know everything, as soon as possible.
Skills: Accounting-11; Acting-13; Administration-13; Area Knowledge-16; Carousing-13; Computer Operation-13; Criminology-14; Debate-14; Detective-14; Driving-12 (old lime green Volkswagon); Fast-Talk-13; First-Aid-12; History (Evansmith)-14; Law-14; Leadership-13; Lock-Picking-14; Photography-14; Professional Skill (Editor/Journalist/Publisher)-15; Research-16; Shadowing-13; Stealth-12; Streetwise-14.
Equipment: Owner: Evansmith Testifier & Premises (Two-story brownstone); Old lime Volkswagon; Lock-Picking tools; Variety of special effects cameras & development kits.
Father Harold Stanley
Advantages: Appearance (attractive); Charisma (+2); Clerical Investment (Ordained Catholic Priest); Reputation (Honesty +) +2; Resistance to Disciplines (2) & True Faith (if using GURPS Vampire); Voice.
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Uphold Catholic Doctrine); Duty to parishoners (visiting hospital patients, etc . . . ); Honesty; Sense of Duty (fight evil); Truthfulness; Vow (Celibacy; Poverty).
Quirks: Conservative right-wing community activist; Compassionate; Eager to oppose 'real' evil; Pragmatist.
Skills: Accounting-11; Adminstration-14; Area Knowledge-14; Debate-13; Diplomacy-13; Driving-12; Fast-Talk-12; Geography-12; History (Catholic Church)-14; Leadership-14; Psychology-13; Streetwise (Confessional)-14; Theology-15.
Father Stanley is on good terms with most townspeople, including Turner. He has 300 active parishioners to draw on in crises, a few with True Faith. He is a good inroad to other Churches.
Advantages: Charisma (+2); Common Sense; Danger Sense; Intuition; Luck; Voice; Wealth (Very).
Disadvantages: Fat; Lazy; Lecherous; Reputation (Owns house of ill-repute/always recognized).
Quirks: Mixes Woodstock & Punk styles; Uncomfortable dealing w/people outside DJ role; Loves fried food; Supports drug legalization; Doesn't use drugs anymore.
Skills: Accounting-12; Acting-14; Area Knowledge (Evansmith)-14; Area Knowledge (Music Industry)-14; Botony-12; Carousing-13; Debate-14; Fast-Talk-13; Law-13; Mechanic (Audio equipment)-12; Professional Skill (DJ)-14; Scrounging-13; Streetwise-14.
Equipment: Denny's Disco & Arcade w/small house behind it. Denny is a slob and has little of value besides a bank account. He has no auto. Denny's vice den is opposed by many townspeople, like Mayor Todd (political reasons), Father Stanley (religous) and the Ladies' Auxillary (busybodies). His skill at tailoring his operation to the law, out-debating opponents on its legality & fast-talking the less determined reinforce DD&A's overwhelming popularity with local youth. Denny has an uncanny knack for anticipating threats to his business.
Advantages: Patron (various influential community members; fairly powerful, common); Status (Chamber of Commerce; City Council) 1; Wealthy.
Disadvantages: Delusion (Reggie is alive and comes to me at night – Amelia); Greed (Curtis).
Quirks: (Curtis) Obsessive-Compulsive; Uncomfortable displaying affection; Admires 'macho.' Likes horses. (Amelia) Talks about Reggie as though he's alive; variable quirks of psychotic behavoir (wanders out at night, sets objects on fire, babbles at imaginary people).
Skills: (Curtis) Accounting-15; Area Knowledge-(Evansmith Business)-14; Carousing-13; Computer Operation-12; Debate-12; Diplomacy-13; Driving (Cadillac)-12; Fast-Talk-12; Law-12; Research-11. Riding (Horses)-13.
Equipment: The Stans own a large white Cadillac, two story brick home and spacious five acre estate surrounded with wrought iron fence. Own 2 Tenessee Walkers (horses) kept here. Curtis runs an independent CPA firm & brokerage handling money & taxes for many of Evansmith's powerful; he can't independently promote investigators, but he can damn them.
Advantages: Magical Aptitude (1); Patron (Lodger); Vampire.
Disadvantages: Berserk, Greedy (Power/Mystic might), Odious Personal Habits (Severe), Sadistic, Secret (Vampire), Sense of Duty (to Lodger), Vampiric weaknesses.
Quirks: Enjoys killing with an axe; Hates humans; Covets magical paraphenalia; Loathe to use modern technology; Plans to become a vampiric god.
Skills: Administration-14; Alchemy-13; Area Knowledge (Area around Evansmith)-14; Axe/Mace-13; Botony-12; Brawling-13; Broadsword (Club)-12; Camouflage-13; Chemistry-13; Debate-14; Escape-14; Fast-Draw (Knife)-14; Guns (Pistols/Sub-machine guns)-13; History (German/Evansmith's)-17; Interrogation-16; Knife-14; Knife-Throwing-16; Leadership-12; Naturalist-12; Poisons-13; Professional Skills (Nazi Officer/Dean)-14; Research-14; Scrounging-14; Shadowing-14; Stealth-14; Strategy-13; Tactics-13; Traps-14.
Equipment: Most anything in Evansmith, Kore can have; he carries two large knives in his clothing and often an axe on his back (see GURPS Horror). If anticipating great opposition, he can aquire a Kevlar Vest and Uzi through contacts in town. He possesses whatever mystic tomes the GM desires.
Kore's past is the GM's discretion; one possible origin is that of a former SS officer who fled Germany after seeing the tides of war turning, reaching America before such refugees became suspect. In this country the distinguished aristocrat might find refuge in the role of Dean of a boy's school, a man expected to wield authority and be stern, with enough power and autonomy to suit Heinrich. Why not? Under cover as a Jewish refugee, such a man might make a new life. Or, in the finest tradition of H.P. Lovecraft, maybe there's nothing exotic about Kore . . . maybe he's just a plain old evil man whose soul's strong malignancy reached out to something else. His mystic dabblings can easily lead to a Things Man Was Not Meant to Know encounter, and who knows what links the Lodger might have with them.