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HoE Relic: Lemarchand's Box; Lament Configuration (Classic)

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  • HoE Relic: Lemarchand's Box; Lament Configuration (Classic)

    Hello all,

    Long time players (since 98') of Classic Weird/Wasted West. Just a quick note on how we play HoE. We look to pull from real life lore as much as possible and if we can emulate an experience from a movie or culture we try and weave it in to our campaign. We play the wasted west pretty dark so it's nice to stumble across some familiar things that are "enhanced" in the setting (like Dr.Pepper) and can lighten the atmosphere at times. In this scenario we had played with a pleasure orb in the weird west that was similar to the Hellraiser cube from the movies. In the wasted west we took it a step further and had an actual prop from the movies become enchanted with the dark powers spilled out since the Reckoning and beefed it up accordingly.

    We had a large posse (7 players) encounter a old movie prop on an adventure in Hell Swamp, Arkansas. Fun toy for the players and marshal and a potential plot hook for future adventures. Warning the relic is powerful but heavily tainted. Feel free to scale at your discretion.

  • #2
    Had to split it up

    Lemarchand's Box (Lament Configuration)
    This screen used movie prop from the Hellraiser series looks like a cube embossed in gold and designed with arcane runes on each facing. The box is a three dimensional puzzle cleverly designed to partially come apart and then reassemble under the correct manipulations. While this may have just been a movie prop in the past something changed after the Reckoning and now the box has emulated its on screen presence.

    Power: The puzzle box can give incredible power to those who attempt to solve the riddle. The user must have a Smarts of d10 or higher, or be shown by someone who has solved it, to attempt to open the box. Should the user not meet either of these requirements, they can attempt studying the box for a full 8 hour day. After that has concluded the Smarts die type requirement lessens by a level to d8. For each period of study completed this lessens by one until the user meets the die type requirement.

    Once 8 hours are spent studying the runes and how the cube works an Incredible (11) Smarts roll must be made. If the roll is successful the first part of the puzzle opens and beckons the user to finish solving it. If the user chooses not to, they are mentally exhausted and suffer 1d6 Wind that can only be recuperated through a full night's rest and must wait a day before trying again.

    Once the first part has been solved the user needs to no longer spend more than an action to initiate the box and the remaining parts are solved easier. The user must spend an action moving each of the remaining pieces and succeed with a Hard (9) Smarts test for the second, Onerous (7) for the third, Fair (5) for the fourth, and an Easy (3) to turn the last piece ready to finish the puzzle. The sixth and final action requires no Smarts as its simply pressing down the turned section and finishing the riddle.

    Each solving of the puzzle surges forth power from the hunting grounds accompanied by strange lights and ominous sounds as well as intense surges of physical pleasure to the point of climax. These sensations are apparent even more so in a high Fear Level. This energy manifests differently depending on the user, but it greatly enhances their innate capabilities and skills. The only exception being a Blessed who will find the puzzle unsolvable unless a sincere renouncement of Faith is made beforehand. If not, attempting to solve the box or use it results in the Blessed having committed a Mortal Sin and being forced to roll against that on the Sinnin' Table.

    Solving the first section. Smarts TN 11 Reward +1 Aptitude level increase, +1 Strain, 1 extra card etc.
    Solving the second section. Smarts TN 9 Reward +2 Aptitude level increase, +2 Strain, 2 extra cards etc.
    Solving the third section. Smarts TN 7 Reward+3 Aptitude level increase, +3 Strain, 3 extra cards etc.
    Solving the fourth section.Smarts TN 5 Reward+4 Aptitude level increase, +4 Strain, 4 extra cards etc.
    Solving the fifth section. Smarts TN 3 Reward+5 Aptitude level increase, +5 Strain, 5 extra cards etc.
    Solving the sixth section. Smarts TN - Reward Summons the Cenobites.

    The Aptitude a user wants to use the power increase for is chosen at the time they use it and can be switched between actions as the user sees fit, however the bonus can only be applied to one given Aptitude per action. The power only benefits the character who has done the puzzle solving so they cannot pass it off to a fresh character to provide the bonus.
    Should the user possess an Arcane Background and want to channel the box's energy to use their magic it will comply depending on how their magic system works as shown on the table. It provides a double bonus in some circumstances. For example a Doomsayer with a Faith of 5 who spent 2 actions unlocking the box could cast a Miracle with an effective Faith level of 7 AND the box would also provide 2 Strain points to be spent. This makes the relic extra tempting to any Arcane Background users. Another example would be a Witch using the box who has a Witchcraft Aptitude of 4 and she has spent 1 action activating the relic. She would cast at a Witchcraft level of 5 and the box would in her case supply one of the material components (of her choice) that is required by the spell.

    Taint: Too good to be true? You betcha! This relic has immense power but is poisonous to the user over time, and could in some circumstances kill them.
    First, the longer the cube is used the greater the chance the user develops a Hankerin' Hindrance. For each day the cube is used or even handled the user will develop a cumulative 10% chance of becoming addicted to the arcane energies flowing off the relic. In game terms, once the percentile chance is successful the character is forced to make the test described below or gain the Hankerin' Mild: Puzzle Box Hindrance. Once this has occurred the character's cumulative chance of addiction resets to a 10% chance. The tests continue with this new chance that increases at the same rate until they succumb to the call and their Hindrance increases to Severe level.

    Any character may travel safely without touching it, such as in a case or wrapped in a sack but if it is ever actively handled (even through gloves, the cube knows) the cube exudes a heavy allure a test should be made against the percentage chance that particular character has built up to see if they have succumbed. Should the percentile check succeed the box forces the user to make a Hard (9) Vigor or Spirit roll, whichever is lesser, to resist the temptation and fend off the Hindrance. This percentage chance reduces by 10% for each day the user doesn't handle the cube until it's 0% and the addiction is broken or until the cube is handled again. Should someone suffering from the Hindrance wish to wean off the usage of the cube they must physically separate themselves as described for a full week of time and then they can buy off the Hindrance with bounty points as standard. If they had the Severe level, they can buy down to Mild and then must repeat the process to be rid of it's influence completely. If at any time though that the cube is used again, it starts all over.

    As if that's not bad enough the addictive nature is just the figurative hook. The second part of the taint is the fact that the cube can act as a portal to the Hunting Grounds. If this happens a bright flash of light encompasses the area and a low-toned but loud bell gongs mournfully once as the "solver" of the cube disappears. The user is physically taken into the Hunting Grounds and must attempt to escape or forever be lost. Here is how that process works. There is a 5% static chance each round the cube will become active and "solve itself" shooting the unlucky SOB holding it to the Hunting Grounds immediately. It never takes any more than the human solving it. This can only happen once the first section has been solved and will not happen during the initial studying of the riddles of the box. Time passes inside the Hunting Grounds but it doesn't necessarily link with the passage of time in the real world very well. Typically initial trips are near instantaneous, however repeated trips could be for much longer periods of time, potentially never again, this is subject to the Marshal's discretion. The cube craves the souls of those who attempt to solve it and will not be content until every one sees its sights.
    Note: A solver could open part of the puzzle out of combat and continue to leave it open if being held. The cube will wait to see if the solver will finish or hold on long enough for the cube to solve itself and thrust the user to the hunting grounds. If the cube is put away, thrown aside, or knocked out of the users hand it will revert back to its original state after 1 minute of not being used. Lastly someone can not "solve" the cube and attempt to rid themselves of it before the consequences. The Cenobites are watching once the first section has been opened and won't be easily fooled if someone tries to avoid their punishment.

    Lastly, if someone is foolish enough to actually completely solve the cube the worst possible outcome happens and you summon the manitou bound to that specific cube. Yes there are multiples. It is often accompanied by two of their favorite "creations", other souls that dared to play. While usually hostile, the manitou is of exceptional intelligence and has shown openness to working towards their own machinations, temporarily eschewing carnage now for more brutality down the line. With intelligence also comes pride and ego and the manitou has been outsmarted in the past by clever individuals. Cenobites cannot be killed in the real world, simply banished back to the Hunting Grounds by solving the puzzle box in reverse order, which gets more and more difficult as each step is reversed.


    • #3
      Interesting. I would like to see the adjudication to Reloaded as my players may be heading towards Movie Town in the next couple weeks and having this fall into the hands of a Curious Techno-Wizard would almost guarantee the solving of the puzzle.
      I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.