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  • Input on a creature...

    Hey all! I know this is short notice, but tomorrow night I have an adventure planned for my Rippers group and I'd like some input on the creature.

    The backstory is that one of the players is a Rich, Noble Englishman with a sick brother. He's been obsessed with finding a cure for his brother's illness and it was the driving force behind him investigating the Supernatural as a means of finding a possibly otherworldly cure. The player gave me full reins to flesh out what's actually wrong with his brother.

    Well.. his brother is dead, and has been for a while. The sick man in the upper bedroom of the family manor house is not a ghost or anything horrible... it's a Tulpa, a thought construct.

    Basically, Lord Richardson (the Rippers character) was so obsessed with his brother's illness that he "believed" this Tula into being as a means of dealing with his guilt over not being able to save his brother. He blocked out memories of his brother's death and has been trying, in vain, to cure what amounts to an imaginary friend. Others can see the sick man because the Tulpa is real now, which is why doctor's he's had brought in never thought twice about it. The player was a bit surprised at all this when I first revealed it last week, but I think he's intrigued at the story. It was totally unexpected.

    Anyway, now I need stats for the thing! I'm not expecting this to be a big knock-down, drag-out fight... I'm hoping for mostly roleplaying as the other characters and the NPCs present try to convince Lord Richardson that the Tulpa is not actually his brother. How do you convince someone to let go of a loved one like that?

    Here's the stats I have so far... any thoughts or suggestions?

    The Tulpa
    Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d10, Strength d10, Vigor d12
    Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d10, Notice d10, Persuasion d8 (+2), Stealth d8, Taunt d10
    Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 8
    Special Abilities:
    • Convincing Guise: This tulpa is a convincing facsimile of Lord Alfred Richardson. It can use its Persuasion skill to act in the role of Alfred, with a +2 bonus when used with Richard.
    • Fear: A tulpa can shift its form to induce fear. In this form, viewers must make a Fear check at −2.
    • Memory Arsenal: A tulpa can use the memories of its host to arm itself. These attacks can be either ranged (12/24/48) or melee, and inflict its Sprit+d8 damage. If the host witnesses these attacks, he must succeed on a Spirit check or be Shaken.
    • Teleport: The tulpa can use the teleport power using its Spirit die as the casting die. It has 15 pp.
    • Thought Construct: A tulpa is a construct. Constructs add +2 when attempting to recover from being Shaken. Constructs do not suffer additional damage from called shots. Construct Wild Cards never suffer from Wound Modifiers. Constructs do not suffer from disease or poison.
    • Unreal: A tulpa cannot be wounded unless its creator is willing to accept its loss. Until that time, it can only be Shaken by attacks of any kind.

    'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

    The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!

  • #2
    If you want a mechanic to represent the 'disillusioning' process, I'd say go with a Persuasion-based Dramatic Task. Instead of the usual fixed modifier, the Tulpa gets to essentially roll 'interference', using its Persuasion to target L.R. Every Success/Raise gives an additional -1 to the party's roll (in order to make it match the standard Dramatic Task rules, give it a fixed -1, then increase it according to the roll). This would also give non-face characters a way to help, if they can, in turn, disrupt the Tulpa's efforts (via Lower Trait/Curses, for instance).

    On the flipside, I'd say the Tulpa cannot use that Fear power until/unless it is disbelieved in by its creator; possibly when L.R. is simply out of the room, but even then I'd figure it would avoid breaking cover for any reason, even in the face of someone who 'knows' the truth.

    If the party fails at the DT, then Richardson orders them out of the house, and if they don't go, calls the police to ditch them (since a DT 'round' can be hours long, the cops arrive as the fifth roll fails to make the goal). Naturally, each round would also need to be roleplayed out, using the numbers as the basis for how he reacts to their arguments.

    One possibility--the PCs can buy a 'success' automatically during any round if they actually strike the Tulpa in a fashion that SHOULD be fatal, with L.R. as a witness. However, doing so will permanently lower Richardson's attitude towards the PCs by one step, even if they succeed in breaking the Tulpa's hold on his mind (this option should be left to the PCs to discover, both in effect and consequence--don't suggest it to them).

    You should also have a 'failure consequence' in mind--if the PCs are utterly unsuccessful, what happens to L.R.? Maybe he gets recruited by the Cabal, in exchange for offers to assist his ailing brother? Interestingly, a skilled manipulator could get in L.R.s head and slowly make him believe that his brother is 'recovering', letting the Tulpa be more active (in exchange for this, of course, the Cabal would want the Tulpa to be an agent in cases where nigh-indestructibility is more important than offensive powers).


    • #3
      Thanks for the suggestions! Here's how it went down. I made a lot of it up on the fly, which was sort of how I was expecting to do it anyway.
      'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

      The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!


      • #4