The Killer Out of Spaz!
This was a ToF-SE adventure, ToF-SE is the mutant child of Twilight 2000 and Cyberpunk, mixed up with some near future Sci-Fi and far too many post-apocalypse movies to be mentioned. I was GM`ing, and was running a Call of Cthulhu adventure, "The Killer out of Space" from the Cthulhu Now setting (why did Chaosium change the Cthulhu Now setting into Cthulhu 1990`s, when they had to change it back after the decade ended?!?).
Now while I didn`t expect this to go as a normal Cthulhu adventure would (the players have more weapons for a start), and had reworked it quite a bit to fit it better into my game, but I didn`t quite expect it to go as it did.
The adventure is based on the H P Lovecraft short story "The Color out of Space", and is basically about an alien being (which is so alien, that it is just a colour), which absorbs all the life force out of an area to breed and return to space. Since ToF-SE wasn`t horror based, but was SF based I thought this adventure could be fitted in without any major reworking (apart from the setting).
Lance Kimp, a "Heavy Weapons Expert" who was still suffering mental trauma after getting his minigun broken in two during the previous adventure. Played by C.
Dan Skorupski, an "Assassin Knight" who, fresh from torturing old women, was looking for some new kind of depravity to get up to. Played by R.
Ahira Bandylegs, a Dwarf "Tech" (yes ToF-SE is cyberpunk/SF based, but he did indeed seem to be a stereotypical dwarf, even down to his carrying of an axe (ok it was a Chain Axe, but still an Axe). Played by L.
Jerry Kwon, a "Scout" who was still developing the deep psychoses that would eventually come to serve as a personality. At this time the character was still human, and still a teenager, far more playful than brutal as he would later become, but already flaunting his fetish for the most expensive powered armour that he could afford. Played by K.
The adventure was included as part of a campaign, where they were trekking across post-holocaust America, travelling from San Fransisco to the remains of Washington, escorting a powerful NPC. They had been through about two adventures so far in their journey, and they were beginning to get worn down by the lack of rest and healing between adventures (combined with the fact that they`d just had the sh*t kicked out of them by a bunch of holograms).
The adventure started with them arriving in a small town where a friend of the NPC they were escorting lived. The NPC was happy to put them up, and they began to enjoy his hospitality and comfy beds, when their rest was disturbed by a meteorite crashing to earth in the cornfields behind the house.
Immediately the players sprang into action, and found an impact crater with the plants around it dead (the colour had drained the life out of them).
Assuming that the plants had died from a toxin, the players examined the area for poisons and diseases, however the lack of a medic or doctor in the party meant that any test would basically amount to someone eating some of the dead plants, and everyone else watching to see if they died.
However there seemed to be a general lack of volunteers, and for once they didn`t attempt to sacrifice an NPC. So Ahira decided that Jerry was the best test subject, a view which Jerry didn`t seem to agree with.
After several attempts by Ahira to force Jerry to ingest some of the dead plants, Jerry left and began to "frolic" in the cornfield, which amounted to little more than a game of hide and seek.
Also around this time Dan discovered that there was a scarecrow in the middle of the cornfield, and he joined this game of hide and seek, by putting the pumpkin that formed the head of the scarecrow onto his own head and standing with his arms out in the middle of the field. The fact that he was wearing a set of heavy powered armour and carrying a variety of guns and swords may not have scared any birds away, but certainly scared the townspeople away, especially when Dan remained standing there during his spare time for the duration of the adventure.
Finding no leads, the players returned to their beds (except Dan, who locked the motors on his armour so he could sleep standing up in the field), and rested for the night, disturbed only by the noise of the metal recycling plant that was nearby.
The colour in the meantime, found an abandoned well it could use during the day (being made from a colour, bright light made it uncomfortable, so it tended to act nocturnally). It then searched out a lone townsperson, and drained the life out of him, returning to the well to begin creating new baby colours.
The next morning the players, were informed about the death of a townsperson and headed off to investigate, pausing only to collect Dan from the field.
The dead man appeared to have died in his sleep, and although the attending doctor could find no sign of disease or poison, the players were still convinced that this was the cause.
Still finding no clues, the players returned home, to rest and await delivery of the next plot thread, which they actually discovered when they returned and found that the field of corn was slowly dying radiating out from the meteor strike (again a cause of the colour draining the life out of the plants).
However, this they actually took to mean that the GM was starting to get annoyed at them playing in the field, so ignored it.
As night fell they noticed a strange colour moving through the dying cornfield towards the house, but as it reached the edge of the area illuminated by the house, it stopped and moved around this area heading off into the town. (The magnetic fields generated by the magnets in the cranes in the metal recycling plant forced the creature away, not the light as it appeared to the players).
Quick as a flash, the players put two and two together, the adventure was called "The Killer Out of Space", Lovecraft had written a story called "The Colour Out of Space", therefore this strange colour was the monster of the adventure, however it had gone by now.
They were later contacted by the townsfolk to tell them that another two people had been killed, and that something had crept into their houses slaying them before they could raise an alarm. If the players had investigated this, they would have discovered that the houses were lit when the people were killed, therefore disproving the theory that light forced the creature away. However the players didn`t want to waste any more time examining bodies, and wanted to kill this monstrosity as quickly as possible.
Waiting, they soon spotted the colour returning through the field, and they tracked it to an abandoned farm nearby. They searched the buildings thoroughly, and eventually noticed the strange glow at the bottom of the well.
This however started a debate, they knew where the monster was, but didn`t know what to do. They briefly pondered about sending someone down the well, but when Ahira once again suggested sending Jerry, things began to look like breaking down into another game of hide and seek.
This was when Dan (still wearing his pumpkin) came up with an idea, if the creature was effected by light, then they could force it out of the well by shining lights down it.
Plans were formed to get a set of spotlights (the massive ones used to light sports fields) and rig them up over the well. This, the players decided, would be dangerous, since the colour could attack anyone setting up the lights before they were ready.
So another plan was formed, the players would get every source of light they had, and would shine it down the well, the fact that some players had laser weapons would surely only help, and could possibly even kill the creature.
So everyone prepared, Dan had spotlights mounted on his armour and a lasersight on his rifle (every little would help), Ahira had a Laser Rifle, Lance had a torch and a Laser Pistol, and Jerry had a laser sight.
So the group formed around the top of the well and prepared, however Jerry decided that his puny laser sight would be of no help, and he wasn`t going to stand at the top of the well, with only a laser sight to defend himself when a p*ssed off monster came out to fight, so he vacated the area.
Everyone else started shining their lights, and firing their lasers down the well, and after a few moments, became aware of a glowing colour rushing up the well towards them.
However they were to get off lightly, the colour (and its offspring) drained the life from the surrounding area and launched themselves back into space (having only been irritated by the lights). The players were left to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and feel the hurt of having a large chunk of their life force drained. Everyone that was except Jerry, who was feeling fine since he had been far enough away to be out of the area of effect.
The players had succeeded, after a fashion (and a little GM intervention), and headed off to their next adventure.
The village suffered a poor harvest since the colour had killed off their crops.
Jerry went on to gloat that after all Ahira`s suggestions that he be the one put into danger, that he was the only one to have made it through the adventure unharmed (and that his armour would have taken the damage anyway).
And Dan kept his Pumpkin headgear until it was rotting and the GM had a NPC remove it and destroy it while he was unconscious.
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