Halloween, that time of the year when TV stations find an excuse to show any horror movie they have hiding in their library, and Call of Cthulhu players find an excuse to play their favorite game. In that spirit, we bring you the Octobernomicon, a project featuring one brand-new monster for your Call of Cthulhu game for each day of October.
October First: The Jack-O-Lantern
Jack-O-Lantern, Unique Entity
Most people know the folk tale behind the tradition of carving jack-o-lanterns. The reality behind Jack-O-Lantern is far-removed from this quaint tale. In truth, a young Necromancer named Jack summoned Nyarlathotep and attempted to bargain with the god for eternal life. Nyarlathotep agreed to grant Jack’s desire, on the condition he sacrifice a number of souls in a certain amount of days to the Outer Gods. The number was impossibly high, but Jack foolishly agreed. Though he could not meet his obligation, Nyarlathotep granted Jack’s wish for immortality, but extracted a price. Now Jack wanders, a twisted mockery of humanity known as the Jack-O-Lantern, gathering souls for his master.
From a distance, in the shadows, one might mistake Jack as a gaunt and gangly man, with an overly large head. Up close, however, no one would mistake Jack-O-Lantern as anything approaching a human being. A grostequely deformed head rides atop Jack’s shoulders. As large as a pumpkin (or a turnip, if Jack is encountered in Europe), and roughly the same color and shape, the head carries an almost comical face, carved just like a traditional jack-o-lantern. An unholy fire burns within Jack’s pulpy skull, red and yellow light pouring out of Jack’s empty eyes and grin.
Consume Soul: On a successful grapple attack, the Jack-O-Lantern will stare into a target’s eyes, attempting to steal his soul. With a successful POW vs. POW roll on the Resistance Table, Jack drains 1d6 POW per round (on subsequent rounds, no POW vs. POW roll is necessary), until the victim is completely drained. The victim will not be able to voluntary escape the Jack-O-Lantern once he has begun steal his soul; others can try to forcefully remove the victim, however. If the victim is rescued, the POW lose is permanent. Additionally, the victim loses 5 sanity points for each point of POW drained away; this is also permanent. Victims drained completely of POW spend the rest of their days as vegetables, and completely open to possession by otherwordly entities.
Jack-O-Lantern, Pumpkin-Headed Horror
STR 15 – CON 15 – SIZ 14
INT 14 – POW 25 – DEX 12
Mov 8 – HP 15
Damage Bonus: +1d4
Weapons: Punch 40%, 1d3+db; Grapple 45%, damage special (see above)
Armor: None, but Jack-O-Lantern’s strange composition causes all weapons to do minimum damage.
Spells: As Keeper wishes, though most will have to do with Nyarlathotep and his servants.
Sanity Loss: 1d4/1d10 to see Jack-O-Lantern.