Four Visiting Ghosts

In 1843, Charles Dickens published the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol. For those of you who have somehow missed either the literary work or the barrage of film adaptations, it’s about a miserly old bastard named Scrooge who is visited by four different spirits (an old business partner, as well as the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come) who show him how to find the true meaning of Christmas. Fifty years after the publishing of this fine tale, mischievous parties decide to do a little reenactment of their own.

Archibald Gladtree is a wealthy man about town in the town where the Investigators happen to be holed up at the moment. Unlike other rich people, he’s generally likable, which sets him apart already from Ebenezer Scrooge. If he were a miserly bastard, then you’d have trouble convincing Investigators to help him. Instead they’d just scoff at his plight, claiming it he deserves it for being such a miser, and then get distracted talking about upcoming course of the Harry Potter books, and how to adapt Lord Voldemort to various game settings.

Mr. Gladtree’s plight is this: he’s been visited by an alleged spirit this Christmas Eve. The “ghost” of a dead business partner, Owen Smythe. Owen was going to claim, falsely, that Mr. Gladtree had led a selfish and petty life and would have to learn the meaning of Christmas through the visitations of three ghosts. But Owen didn’t make it past his appearance before Mr. Gladtree lost enough SAN from the sight of his dead and slightly cadaverous friend to cause him to flee out of his house and through the streets. He finally found himself, coincidentally, at the doorstep of one of the Investigators.

The Investigators are, for sake of this scenario, spending a Christmas Eve together, recounting tales of misadventures past. (“Like that time the Deep One nearly bit Charlie’s leg off. Lord, wasn’t that a hoot!”)

Once the Investigators are getting down to some serious nog consumption, a knocking comes at their door and, lo and behold, there’s Mr. Gladtree gibbering something about visiting spirits. Hopefully your Investigators will feel obliged to do some actual investigating, especially since Mr. Gladtree is supposed to be a likeable chap. And everyone likes to help likeable chaps, right? Otherwise, well: Lord Voldemort.

So the background is this: a cabal of sorcerers, feeling peevish, has decided to play a practical joke on Mr. Gladtree. Unlike other cabals, they don’t have any sort of agenda outside the accrual of base power, and they figured, “Hey, what good is base power if we don’t actually use it?” We’ve never at any point claimed that these are clever mages. They’re just talented ones.

What they have done is animated a few corpses from the local graveyard, including Mr. Smythe. (He’s stayed remarkably well preserved.) The corpses have a glamour about them that makes them seem ghostly. The sorcerers are able to control the animated corpses from a distance. They are also able to create controlled mass hallucinations in the area around the animated corpses.

Mr. Smythe appeared at 11 PM of Christmas Eve. The others are to arrive hourly, at midnight, 1 AM, and 2 AM. For each of these creatures, they also possess the INT, POW and skills of their masters. Each spirit projects the occupants of the room into the mass hallucination described above. Each hallucination is tied in some way to the particular “ghost”. So, the Ghost of Christmas Past presents images from Mr. Gladtree’s past.

However, all the images are false. They depict Mr. Gladtree as a bloody tyrant with peculiar sexual tastes. Investigators of more dubious moral bent may recognize some of the more lurid scenes as coming from a recent popular collection of ribald tales. This being the Victorian era, Investigators may lose 0/1 SAN for viewing such naughtiness.

Each vision lasts about an hour. Gladtree finds the visions insulting and vulgar, but seems most disturbed by the Ghosts that bring them. Gladtree and the Investigators will only have enough time to catch their breath before the next one comes. Provided they wait that long. There’s nothing to stop them from beating the tar out of the animated corpses. Stats can be found below.

If the Investigators fight and destroy one of the animated dead, the vision ceases immediately. The cultists will abandon their fun, and seek to high themselves out of town. Investigators with a bit of Occult knowledge can figure out what the cultists would have needed to perform the raising of the dead, and can track down the cultists. What they do from there is entirely up to the players.

Ghost of Christmas Past

This is effectively a zombie child. Players may make an Idea roll to recognize the child as William Morgan, who died a few days prior after a sledding accident. His skull still looks a little pulpy in front from the rock that ended his life. He is glowing in a strange unearthly light. Players who recognize the child lose another 1/1d6 SAN.

STR 7
CON 16
SIZ 6
INT 10*
POW 16*
DEX 7
Move 6
HP 11

Damage Bonus: -1d4
Weapons:
Bite 30%, damage 1d3+DB
Punch 25%, damage 1d3+DB
Armor: Impaling weapons do 1 point of damage, others do half rolled.
Skills: See cultists
*Attributes inherited from manipulating cultist.

The Ghost of Christmas Present

This was Seamus O’Reilly, the local butcher prior to his unfortunate demise. (Doctors are calling it apoplexy!) Seamus was a big, fat cuss, with fists the size of hams.

STR 20
CON 20
SIZ 19
INT 10*
POW 16*
DEX 4
Move 4
HP 19
Damage Bonus: +1d6
Weapons:

Bite 30%, damage 1d3+DB
Punch 25%, damage 1d3+DB
Armor: Impaling weapons do 1 point of damage, others do half rolled.
Skills: See cultists
*Attributes inherited from manipulating cultist.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

This is simply an animated skeleton in a robe. Use the statistics for “Human Skeleton” from the rules. Substitute INT 10 and POW 16 for normal stats, however.

Cultists

STR 10
CON 10
SIZ 10
INT 10
POW 16
DEX 10
APP 8
EDU 18
SAN 0
HP 10
Damage Bonus: +0
Weapon: Fist/Punch 50%, 1d3
Spells: Contact Nyarlathotep, Create Gate, Dread Curse of Azathoth, *Virtual Realism, **Animate Dead
Skills: Astronomy 35%, Cthulhu Mythos 81%, Fast Talk 40%, Hide 65%, History 40%, Occult 65%, Organize Cult 60%, Persuade 40%, Sneak 30%

*Virtual Realism is the mass hallucination spell. It effectively allows the caster to force victims to experience whatever the caster can imagine. Costs 3 Magic Points. A variant of this spell allows the caster interact with the area surrounding his animated dead.

**Animate Dead is a spell I don’t feel like describing. It allows you animate corpses, and costs you bunches of SAN.

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