Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Six Shunned Houses in Wermspittle

What I heard in my youth about the shunned house was merely that people died there in alarmingly great numbers. That, I was told, was why the original owners had moved out some twenty years after building the place. It was plainly unhealthy, perhaps because of the dampness and fungous growths in the cellar, the general sickish smell, the drafts of the hallways, or the quality of the well and pump water. These things were bad enough, and these were all that gained belief among the persons whom I knew...
The Shunned House, by H. P. Lovecraft

Six Shunned Houses
  1. They say that anyone fool enough to spend a night in what remains of the old Franzikaner Grub Merchant's House on Black Street tends to get their head lopped off by whatever it is that haunts the place. The locals claim that there is a vengeful haint lurking in the place, possibly the ghost of the at old merchant's estranged niece who was a notoriously wicked girl with a violent temper. So far no one has survived to confirm any of the prevailing theories...
    No real mystery here. The attic of this house is crawling with a swarm of  Head Taker Beetles.

    (6d20) Head Taker Beetles [AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6[13], HD 3, #AT 2, DG 1d4/1d4, SV F2, ML 12 (mindless), Special: On a modified attack roll of 20 or better, a random appendage is severed, possibly even the victim's head. If the beetles successfully remove a victim's head, they will break off the attack and attempt to scuttle away with it. No one is completely sure what they do with such grisly trophies, and it might be prudent to simply just to ask.]

  2. Some folks say there is a vengeful phantom haunting the burned-out ruins of Mister Tiddles' Lollipop Shop. There are several Foragers and some Street Urchins who all swear to having seen the thing, and just barely escaping its clutches, when they tried to take refuge there during the rain or to escape pursuing Butcher Boys. Most of them seem to think that the horrid thing lairs in the fireplace...
    There is indeed an Ourang in this place, but it is not any sort of phantom, at least not yet. This creature was brought back to Wermspittle as a servant by the former proprietor of the candy shop on one of the last airships to visit the city decades ago...

    (1) Ourang [AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 6[13], HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws, 1 bite, can use weapons), DG 1d4+1, 1d4+1, 1d6 or by weapon, SV F4, ML 10, Special: Move Silently 70%, climb Walls 99%,Hide in Shadows 70%.] There is a cache of Trinkets and Trash in the fireplace. The beast actually lairs in a nest it has made in the rafters of the attic...

  3. Five stories above the street, the roof is broken open to the rain and elements like the shell of a rotten egg. No one goes beyond the second floor, only a few have ever attempted that, and never twice...
    The walls, floors and ceilings of this place are saturated with the coagulated filth of dozens of Loathsome Masses left behind by victims of the Vile Transformation were herded into the place by a group of masked vigilantes who rounded-up anyone they suspected of White Powder poisoning and left them here to die. Now there is a thriving colony of Scrum Pustules on every floor...

    (3d10) Scrum Pustules [AL N, MV (See Entry), AC 8[11], HD 1+, #AT 1, DG 1d4+, SV as zero-level human, ML 12 (Mindless), Special: Scrum Pustules gain 1 permanent hit point for every 30 points of damage they inflict. Every 6 hit points gained in this manner gives them another HD and allows them to increase in size, extending their area of effect by one more foot and improving their attack by an additional 1d4.]


  4. This foul-smelling tenement has definitely seen better days. Everyone avoids it. At night the walls radiate a flickering foxfire and dim shapes can be seen moving about doing incomprehensible things...
    Masses of reeking fungal-flesh cover the floors, clutter the stairwells and form something of an irregular obstacle-course or soft labyrinth all through the tenement. There are twelve apartments on each of the ten floors and a colony of Fruiting Bodies in every one of the rooms, with a Fungal Tyrant firmly rooted within the central courtyard.

    (3d4) Fruitng Bodies (per room) [AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 8[11], HD 2 hit points each, #AT 1, DG 1 hit point (Poison), SV As zero-level human, ML 4, Special: When 'killed' each Fruiting Body erupts into a 10'x10' cloud of toxic spores that lingers for 3d20 minutes and causes all exposed to it to Save at -1 or suffer 1d4 damage every minute of exposure. All corpses left within the area affected by the spores becomes completely taken-over by the fungi and are non-recoverable.]

    (1) Fungal Tyrant [AL N, MV *static*, AC 6[13], HD 4, #AT 1d4, DG 1d4+1 per attack, SV MU 6, ML 11, Special: Use the following spells at-will; Clairvoyance, Detect Invisible, ESP, Locate Object, Ventriloquism (only within Area of Awareness), and may know an additional 1d4 random spells. See entry for more details.]

  5. All three floors above ground are burned, gutted and even the centipedes don't bother hunting there any more. It's the space below the place that people are particularly concerned about. If you are careful in picking your way through the rubble, fallen timbers and collapsed walls, you can still reach the heavy old door that opens onto the narrow, steep stairs leading down to the cellar. If you wait long enough, sometimes you would swear that there were voices down there...
    Falling debris and collapsing walls make this a dangerous, treacherous place to go exploring, but if someone does get past the various hazards and obstacles, the old door can be opened (requires a combined STR of 23), and the rickety stairs might wobble a bit, but they will serve to get you down into the dark, dank chamber of crumbling brown bricks set with narrow arches about the height and width of a typical human. The chamber is clearly much smaller than what one might expect for such an old, large building. Each archway is bricked-up a little bit differently, very likely having been done by different hands at different times. The bricks are old and break easily, so it is possible to break through them, if so desired. Twenty-three cells hold the skeletal remains of long deceased prisoners. The Twenty-fourth cell contains a Spectre.

    (1) Spectre [AL C, MV 150' (50'), AC 2[17], HD 6, #AT 1 (touch), DG (Special: Draining Attack), SV F6, ML 11, Special: When the Spectre successfully strikes a victim, they must Save to avoid losing 1 HD, making the Save means they only take 1d8 damage. When a HD is lost in this manner, the character must re-roll their hit points using the reduced number of HD. The reduction in HD persists for 6d4 hours. Anyone reduced to zero HD is killed and will themselves become a Spectre in 1d4 days. Spectres are immune to Charm, Hold and Sleep spells. They take only 1 hit point of damage from normal or silver weapons. They will seek to avoid looking into mirrors and can be driven off by anyone who calls them by their name.]

  6. The floor in this Abandoned Property sags terribly and appears to be about to collapse at any moment, however a pack of Feral Children have been running through here for more than six months without any mishaps, so perhaps the floor will hold up a little longer. There are the dried remains of Loathsome Masses in most of the ground floor rooms, with a particularly nasty Wet Spot in the kitchen that appears fairly recent. Everyone knows that there is some sort of Vicious Slime under the main stairwell, and there are some peculiar Stains in the upstairs hallway, though they rarely tell outsiders. The cellar is flooded; some idiot filled it with acid until the walls collapsed and now there's a fetid pool of noisome fluids down there that no one wants to deal with, especially since there's a Grobbly Bonk map charred into the main bedroom wall, and a stash of vintage Pruztian pronography rumored to be hidden behind one of the walls on the third floor, despite no Forager admitting to having ever found the stuff...
    There is an Oval Portrait in one of the upstairs rooms, as well as a well-preserved flock of undead gray penguins locked away in the attic...
    (6d6) Undead Penguins [AL C, MV 60' (20'), AC 6[11], HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4, SV F1, ML 6, Special: Turn as 1 HD Zombies. They take double damage rom fire, however once set ablaze, they will scamper about the place randomly, setting everything on fire. In all other respects they are zombified birds, and completely inedible.

1 comment:

  1. These posts with sets of selected examples work well - material ready to go, and a good variety, but still only a taste of what's possible. The division into the introduction and the development should help with using them as well. This one has bags of mood.

    ReplyDelete

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