Post Mortem

POST MORTEM, a one-round scenario
There is very little text to this scenario. The scene is set, there is a little scripted action at the beginning and at the very end, and the rest is virtually all character interaction.

Due to the nature of character backgrounds, it is imperative that the players read their character’s backgrounds silently and not share the details.

Player Information

You are here for the funeral of Edward Dale Burke. “Eddie” was shot to death by police officers responding to a silent alarm at The New York Cultural Museum. When the officers arrived, Burke fired on them.

Eddie Burke was attempting to steal the “Heart of Montezuma,” a huge diamond, roughly the size of a golf ball, found in South America in 1935. When the “Heart” was discovered, it was already exquisitely cut, though no one knows when or where this was done.

After a series of deaths surrounding its ownership, the diamond disappeared. Recently recovered, the “Heart” was on display at The New York Cultural Museum, until Eddie’s failed burglary attempt a few days ago.

Keeper Information

In reality, Eddie swallowed the “Heart of Montezuma” in a desperate attempt to keep it, immediately prior to firing on the police. Anyone holding the diamond feels an overwhelming desire to maintain possession of it, kill anyone available, and a compelling hunger for the flesh of whoever they kill. Each round a character holds the diamond, it compels them to do the above with a POW of 20 on a POW v POW roll. Once the diamond establishes control, it maintains until the possessor loses contact.

Friday, 13 June 2003
6:00 P.M.

The funeral is to take place in the basement, secondary, funeral chapel of the Fitzgerald Funeral Parlor in a multi-story office building in New York City. Just as Fitzgerald is beginning the service, Some Catastrophic Event happens on the street outside, causing a noticeable, deep rumbling, knocking out the power and sealing the stairwells above the first basement and the elevator shaft with rubble — making them utterly impassable. Red emergency lights come on, providing the only illumination.

The only communication with the outside world is Decker’s cell phone, which has a very low battery. He left his radio in his car, so as to not cause disruption during the funeral, and his cell charger is in the car as well. The most anyone he reaches can tell him is that they do not know exactly what has occurred, and that police and fire officials are en route. Then Decker’s cell battery dies and his phone is useless.

Four hours after the scenario begins (or sooner at the Keeper’s discretion), rescue workers break through the rubble in one or the other stairwell and the scenario concludes. Any surviving characters will probably become suspects in one or more murders and corpse tampering.

#

Combat Order of Action

Dex     Name               SAN     Weapon Atk and damage                                Notes

16       Ernie                40/        Small Knife 75% 1D4          POW: 8
14       Edward G        00         Sword Cane 80%  1D6        POW: 18       Self Ward: 6
14       Charles M        80/        Punch 50% 1D3                  POW: 18
14 Julius                     60/        Punch 50% 1D3                  POW: 12
12 Dan                        50/        Punch 50%  1D3+db           POW: 10
.32 Rev 90% 1D8
11 Henry                     50/       Punch 50% 1D3                   POW: 10
7   Zombie                  Sanity Loss 1/1D8
Bite 30%, Dam 1D3
Lg Club 25%, dam 1D8+1+1D4
Moves at about 75% human speed.
STR 16           POW 1
Impaling weapons do 1 damage, all others do half rolled damage.

Maps

post mortem map 1     post mortem map 2

(Map error-Map 1 should say “Basement” and Map 2 should say “Sub-Basement.”

 

Map 1 (Basement): The elevator lets into a room with doors to the left and right, and a set of crash doors on the opposite wall.  The side doors let into a stairwell with debris-strewn stairs going down to the sub-basement and stairs going up which are utterly impassable with rubble.

Beyond the crash doors, on the right, are two stainless steel carts-one for carting cadavers and one to hold surgical instruments.

Along the right wall are a restroom, a custodial closet (both unlocked) and the cremation furnace.  It takes only a few minutes of examination to understand how to operate the furnace.  In front of the furnace are two stainless steel carts.

Forward from the elevator are two rooms, accessed by crash doors, which contain examination tables.

Map 2 (Sub-Basement):  The elevator car is on this level.  It is completely non-operational and the shaft is utterly impassable with rubble.

Along the elevator wall are an umbrella stand and coat hooks.  In this room are tables and chairs (more chairs than shown) and doors to stairwells leading up to the first basement; these stairwells are cluttered with debris.

Through a blue, velvet curtain, one enters a large room filled with pews, the coffin on a raised dais and access to two restrooms and a custodial room.  (All three are unlocked.)

Character Backgrounds

Julius Fitzgerald
Born 8 February 1955

You have been in the funeral business for 15 years. This promises to be a very routine, and quick, funeral. The deceased was not exactly the most beloved citizen and you are not certain if any family of the deceased will even attend. There is one brother, who is an attorney, and with whom you made the funeral arrangements by telephone. You plan to politely do what is necessary and then close for the night.
The deceased was a small-time criminal, who was shot to death by the police during a failed burglary at a local museum, while attempting to steal a diamond of great value.
You take great pride in your work and maintain a well-ordered business. Your affairs are all in order, in terms of both legality and taxation. Also, your workplace is very clean and neat.

The dead deserve dignity, and you do your best to set them to their repose carefully and with respect. Their families count on you for a peaceful transition from life.
You have no particular beliefs regarding an afterlife, though you respect the beliefs of your clients. Your hope is that your work in assisting people move over into mystery is how you will have earned your ultimate rest and reward.

Your feelings toward the others

Henry Burke: is an attorney, and the brother of the deceased. You are no longer astonished how members of the same family can be so different from one another.
You know Mr. Burke has not had a close relationship with his brother, and now is showing signs of remorse.

Ernie Simms: is dirty and rat-like in appearance. He is another small-time criminal, and was with the deceased during the burglary.

Detective Dan Decker: seems like an acceptable fellow. He is a police detective and you assume he is here looking for clues regarding the burglary and the location of the diamond.
Decker is overweight, not uncommon for a detective, but he seems intelligent and pleasant enough.

Charles Matheson: is a bit aloof, but seems pleasant enough. He is impeccably dressed in an old-style suit.

Edward Graham: is a bit aloof and strikes you as arrogant. He is impeccably dressed in an old-style suit.

julius fitzgerald

#

Henry Burke
Born 12 September 1974

You have not seen your kid brother Eddie in years and now he is dead. You have tried not to care, but this had made you begin to think more about your relationship with him.
Now that you have arrived at the funeral home, you are really starting to have pangs of guilt and memories of the better times of when you and Eddie were young. Your parents seemed to love you both equally, and you never have understood what made Eddie turn into such a slacker or become a criminal. Maybe you could’ve been a better brother.
If someone were to ask, you would probably describe yourself as Christian, though you really have no particular religious beliefs.

Your feelings toward the others

Julius Fitzgerald: seems pleasant enough. He owns the funeral home and you made the funeral arrangements with him by phone.
Fitzgerald is tall, slender, pale and quiet, with a handshake like a cold fish. He seems quite at home, working with the dead. He is probably in his forties.

Ernie Simms: is dirty and rat-like in appearance. This is the scum who was with Eddie during the burglary. He probably has the diamond hidden somewhere. Maybe, if it weren’t for jerks like this, Eddie could have had a different, better, life.

Detective Dan Decker: seems okay. He is a police detective and you assume he is here looking for clues regarding the burglary and the location of the diamond.
Decker is slightly overweight, not uncommon for a detective, but he seems in overall pretty good shape.

Charles Matheson: is a bit aloof, but seems pleasant enough. He is impeccably dressed in an old-style suit. He appears to be in his fiftes.

Edward Graham: is a bit aloof and strikes you as arrogant. He is impeccably dressed in an old-style suit.

henry burke

#

Ernie Simms
Born 17 March 1974

You’ve had a tough life. Your mom wasn’t worth a shit and your dad was some guy she screwed. You dropped out of school in the eighth grade and have been living on the streets ever since.

Nobody ever cared enough to help you out, so you’ve been helping yourself. You take what you need and sleep wherever you can find a warm place. You’ve stabbed a few people ‘cause they got in your way, or didn’t want to give up something you wanted, but you don’t think you’ve ever killed anybody. Not that it really matters.
You and Eddie used to work together a lot. He was probably the closest you’ve ever had to a friend, and now the freakin’ cops have killed him.

Just when the cops showed up, Eddie swallowed the damned diamond. You managed to get away, but you’ve come to say goodbye to Eddie, and hello to a huge freakin’ diamond.
The knife you’re carrying should let you cut into Eddie’s body and get it out. You’ll need a little time alone, so you can unbutton his shirt first, and have enough time to close it back up after you cut out the diamond.

Your feelings toward the others

Julius Fitzgerald: seems nice enough. Kinda creepy, though, an old guy spendin’ all that time with dead people. He looks dead himself, pale and stiff. Guy’s really tall, too.

Henry Burke: is Eddie’s brother, the lawyer. Maybe you could use a lawyer right now, but probably can’t ask him. Looks pretty high and mighty in his expensive suit.
You and Eddie have been scrounging for years just for meals and places to sleep, and this guy shows up wearing shoes that cost more money than you’ve seen in a year. Maybe, if it weren’t for jerks like this, Eddie could have had a different, better, life.

Detective Dan Decker: is a cop. You can always tell a cop, even in a cheap suit. He must be here lookin’ for the diamond, and maybe to bust you. He’s a big guy, too, but probably slow, if it comes down to it. Damn cops.

Charles Matheson: is dressed pretty spiffy. His suit is old school, but slick. Maybe he’s some kinda’ lawyer, like Eddie’s brother. If so, maybe he can help you out. He’s an old dude, probably older than the funeral home guy.

Edward Graham: is dressed pretty spiffy. His suit is old school, but slick. Maybe he’s some kinda’ lawyer, like Eddie’s brother. If so, maybe he can help you out.

ernie simms

#

Dan Decker
Born 24 August 1970

You’ve been a cop for ten years, and a detective for two. Serving the public is tough and you see your job as just that, service. You are a clean cop, the best cop you know how to be.

Now that you’re a detective, you spend more time at a desk and have been putting on weight. A steady diet of cheeseburgers, antacids, cigarettes and bad coffee probably isn’t the best. You’ve been trying to quit smoking at least, and it’s been three days since your last one.

This is a crappy case. Some huge diamond with a history of people dying around it has been stolen from a local museum. The deceased, Eddie Burke, was shot when responding officers caught him stealing it and he tried to play cowboy. The problem is, no diamond. That’s because he passed it off to his buddy, Ernie Simms, just before firing on the police.

Simms is likely to be here, and you’re not here to arrest him so much as to try to get him to reveal where the diamond is hidden. Hell, he could be stupid enough to bring it with him.

You left your radio and sidearm in the car, out of respect and so you don’t look so much like a cop. You have your backup, a little .32 revolver in an ankle holster, one speed load for the .32 and your cell phone. The phone charger is in the car.

Your feelings toward the others

Julius Fitzgerald: seems pleasant enough. He owns the funeral home. Fitzgerald is tall, slender, pale and quiet, with a soft handshake and a cold touch. No wonder the guy works with dead people.

Henry Burke: is Eddie’s brother, the lawyer. Hard to imagine how one brother could do so well for himself, and the other become a small time hood who gets himself killed trying to shoot it out with the police, while stealing a diamond from a museum protected by a sophisticated silent alarm system. Go figure.

Ernie Simms: is a rat-like little punk. He’s the guy that was with Eddie Burke during the burglary. You’re sure he has the diamond hidden somewhere, and you’re hoping you can get a clue where it is.

Charles Matheson: seems like old money, but is more approachable than Graham. He’s wearing a really expensive-looking, old-fashion suit. Matheson is an older gentleman, probably in his early sixties.
You get the impression Matheson and Graham know each other, though they’re trying to hide it. You’re also pretty sure they don’t like each other.

Edward Graham: seems like old money, and is real distant. He’s wearing a really expensive-looking, old-fashion suit.
You get the impression Graham and Matheson know each other, though they’re trying to hide it. You’re also pretty sure they don’t like each other.

dan decker

#

Charles Matheson
Born 30 January 1951

You are a member of The Brotherhood of Light, an order of sorcerers who seek to defend humanity from dark horrors, which seek entrance into our universe to ravage and feed on the bodies and souls of humanity.

The Heart of Montezuma is far more than simply an enormous diamond, it is a powerful, evil artifact. Your order is uncertain of the origin of this terrible stone, or of its exact powers, but you must keep it from the clutches of the Brotherhood of Darkness.

The Brotherhood of Darkness is a rival order composed of evil sorcerers who worship and seek to aid the very dark beings you strive to oppose. Your order believes that Eddie Burke probably swallowed the diamond in a desperate attempt to maintain ownership of it, and that it may still be held within his body.

Your feelings toward the others

Julius Fitzgerald: owns the funeral home. You are certain he is an innocent and knows nothing of the diamond’s location or powers.

Henry Burke: is an attorney, and brother to the deceased.

Ernie Simms: is dirty and rat-like in appearance. He was Burke’s partner in crime and may know of the location of the diamond.

Dan Decker: is a police officer, and you assume he is here looking for clues regarding the burglary and the location of the diamond.

Edward Graham: a member of the Brotherhood of Darkness, is here to acquire the Heart and you have been sent to prevent this and to secure the Heart of Montezuma so your order can destroy or hide it. Charles Matheson

Spells

!Remember that if you hit 0 magic points, you fall unconscious!

You wear a magical silver ring which stores magic points for powering your spells. The ring currently contains 10 MP. Use these before spending your personal magic points.

Augur: Spend 4 magic points and 1D2 Sanity points. Cast some sort of media – tea leaves, wet noodles etc. Examining how they lay can give you an idea of future events. This is usually quite vague.

Candle Communication: Allows communication at a distance. Spend 5 magic points and 1 Sanity point. One hour after the scheduled time for the funeral to begin, sit in a place where you can remain undisturbed and place a candle in front of you. Light the candle and look into the flame. Repeat the spell until you hear the other person’s voice. You may now speak until the candle is extinguished.

Deflect Harm: Spend 1 magic point and 1 Sanity point. While invoking the terrible Outer Gods, raise your hand toward someone who is attempting to do you harm. Each point of damage negated costs you 1 magic point. If an attack does more damage than you have magic points, the spell simply ends and they hit or miss as normal.
This spell remains in effect until you voluntarily drop it, you fall unconscious or dead, or the combat otherwise ends.

Flesh Ward: Takes 5 rounds to cast and costs 1D4 Sanity points. Each magic point you spend when casting this spell provides 1D6 ablative armor to the recipient, you or another person. This protection is only effective versus mundane, non-magical damage
You may not recast this on a given person within a 24-hour period. (Example: If you have 16 points of this, and someone hits you for 4, you now have 12. If you have 4 points left and someone attacks you for 6, your protection is gone and you have taken 2 points of damage.)

Healing: Takes 2d6 rounds to cast and costs 12 magic points and 1 Sanity point. Target regains 2D6 hit points.

Vanish: Takes 2 seconds to cast and costs 5 magic points and 1 Sanity point. You teleport away.

charles matheson

#

Edward Graham III (p. 1 of 2)

Born 23 February 1943

(You appear to be in your mid-twenties)

You are a member of The Brotherhood of Darkness, an order of sorcerers devoted to learning hidden secrets and understanding the workings of the universe. Certain activities you find necessary, for obtaining such knowledge, are considered by some to be morally reprehensible. Therefore you must often operate in secret, in the shadows, hence the name Brotherhood of Darkness.

Your order is certain the Heart of Montezuma is in fact The Heart of Hunger, a huge diamond mentioned in several ancient, occult tomes. The order is uncertain of the Heart’s exact powers, but they are certain it can be a very useful tool. You are here to learn what you can of the diamond’s location, including the possibility that the deceased swallowed it and it is still trapped within his body cavity.

Your feelings toward the others

Julius Fitzgerald: owns the funeral home. You are certain he knows nothing of the diamond’s location or powers.

Henry Burke: is the an attorney, and brother to the deceased.

Ernie Simms: is dirty and rat-like in appearance. He was Burke’s partner in crime and may know of the location of the diamond.

Dan Decker: is a police officer, and you assume he is here looking for clues regarding the burglary and the location of the diamond.

Charles Matheson: a member of the Brotherhood of Light, is here to acquire the Heart, keeping it from your order. He must be stopped.

#

Edward Graham III (p. 2 of 2)

Spells

!Remember that if you hit 0 magic points, you fall unconscious!

You own a magical cane with a silver handle which stores Magic Points for powering your spells. You may also press the cane against someone, draining 1 POW/30 seconds which adds 1 MP to you The cane currently contains 14 MP. Use these before spending your personal magic points.

You also wear a leather pouch containing some of your hair. This is a magical item which greatly reduces your aging, and provides you with 6 points of armor against physical attack.
If this item is destroyed, or its contents emptied, your physical age will suddenly jump from twenty-six to sixty, and your damage resistance will be gone.

Candle Communication: Allows communication at a distance. Spend 5 magic points. One hour after the scheduled time for the funeral to begin, sit in a place where you can remain undisturbed and place a candle in front of you. Light the candle and look into the flame. Repeat the spell until you hear the other person’s voice. You may now speak until the candle is extinguished.  (You may or may not wish to report to your superiors.)

Cloud Memory: Spend 1D6 magic points. If you succeed at a POW v POW test against the target, you may make them forget one specific event.

Create Zombie: Spend 1 POW, and place 1 oz your blood into mouth of corpse, then kiss the corpse on the mouth & “breathe part of yourself” into it (spending the 1 POW). It will then animate and follow simple commands.

Death Spell: Spend 24 magic points. Target must be within 10 yds. Make a POW v POW test and concentrate for 1D3 rounds. If you are successful, the target takes fire damage over the next 3 rounds – 1d3 the first round, 1d6 the second and 1d10 per round thereafter.

Dominate: Spend 1 magic point. If you succeed on a POW v POW test, the target will obey you on their next action.

edward graham iii

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