Genius strikes in the most unlikely of places. Newton allegedly got the whole idea for gravity from a falling apple. Who would imagine that the idea for the next cool military weapon would come from a lame 1990s horror flick…
The military research branch of your favorite Cthulhupunk corporation (arbitrarily, I select the Shoggoth Corporation) has been looking for something new and zesty to add to their weapons division. As fate would have it, one of the research scientists spent one night killing time by watching a copy of an old horror flick on the network. That’s right, kids: Jack Frost! And in an epiphany similar to that of Chris Knight in Real Genius, he realizes that ice is nice and that he should talk his company into developing giant killer snowmen. And, someone moron in the company approves funding for it. I blame the mi-go.
For those of you who did not see the 1997 flick, Jack Frost, do not, I repeat, do not confuse it with the 1998 film of the same name. The 1998 film is a happy and touching movie starring Michael Keaton as a father who has trouble keeping promises, dies in a car accident, and comes back from the dead to fulfill his fatherly duties.
The 1997 Jack Frost, in comparison, is a really bad horror film that featured (not starred, mind you, featured) Shannon Elizabeth. Who’s Shannon Elizabeth, you ask? Naked chick in American Pie. Knew that would jog your memory. The 1997 film is about convict Jack Frost who, on the way to death row, has his prison transport vehicle get into an accident with a tanker truck filled with kooky genetic waste material that eats away at Jack’s flesh. Through vigorous handwaving, Jack Frost comes back from the “dead” as this genetic snowman monstrosity, and heads back to the hometown of the sheriff who originally sent Jack up the river. Jack’s out for revenge. Shannon Elizabeth’s notable contribution was to get raped and murdered by Jack Frost once he’s on his winter-wonderland killing spree. Yes, she got raped. By a snowman. With his carrot.
As a random side note, Shannon Elizabeth has a far more sophisticated than she really should have. It’s more sophisticated than Bruce Campbell’s. And really, Bruce is far cooler than Shannon. Unless they were to both get naked. But I digress.
(Reading what I just wrote…) Right, so the research scientist gets funding, as well as some strange assistants who provide him with dubious ingredients for his super-snow-soldier serum that he plans on using on test subjects in the corporation’s paramilitary security force. (“Yes, senator, our security branch needs mil-spec weapons to best ensure the safety of our assets.”)
The strange assistants are really zero-SAN sorcerers working for the Dark Masters of the corporation who are providing alchemical goodies to the strange and fantastic brew. Because, really, science in your standard cyberpunk tech-level isn’t cool enough to make killer snowmen. Sorry to break it to you.
The result of the serum is that it turns a normal human into a shape shifting humanoid creature made of snow. In Call of Cthulhu terms, this means the following:
SAN is reduced to 0.
Abilities: May change into a liquid form, and has limited shape shifting ability. Can basically look like anything made of snow. May also meld into ice and move around in it.
Armor: In ice form they have 5 points of armor against slashing and impaling attacks, and 7 points of armor against bludgeoning attacks. Because of their slipperiness, all attempts to grapple or be grappled are reduced by 25%.
In water form, slashing and impaling attacks do 1 point of damage, and bludgeoning attacks do half damage.
In either form, fire does double damage. Contact with anti-freeze does the same amount of damage as a very strong acid (1d6 per round). Also, the subject of the serum cannot be killed unless it’s by fire or anti-freeze. He can be incapacitated by other attacks, simply not killed. Contact with ice or snow causes the creature to regenerate one point per round.
Attacks: Launched ice spears 25%, damage 1d8+1.
However, since Cthulhupunk is technically a GURPS book, you may not be even using Chaosium’s rules for this. The above is, for your convenience (and mine) adapted from GURPS Compendium I using the following Advantages and Disadvantages that I’ve tailored as needed:
Body of Ice (Can only change to water) 
Body of Water (Can only change to ice) 
Morph (Ice forms only) 
Move Through Ice 
Regeneration, Instant (only in contact with snow) 
Strikers (Spines, projectile) 
Vampiric Immortality 
Vampiric Invulnerability 
Vulnerability (fire, antifreeze) [-20]
Some mental illness of some sort [most are at least -15]
Grand Total: 352
Obviously, you don’t want to have Investigators in either system face a mob of these.
That said, the corporation was clever and made no less than nine of these. They all went insane, and promptly escaped. Some number of the Keeper’s choosing have taken up covert residence in, you guessed it, the Investigator’s home town. Not only will the Investigators have strange murders related to the snowmen, but they’ll also have agents of the Shoggoth Corporation snooping about looking for the snowmen.
At this point, what happens depends largely on the Keeper and the type of group he has. The players may decide to aid these poor snowmen that are obviously victims of a megacorp. They may decide to team up with the megacorp in order to fight off this inhuman monstrosity. All depends on what sort of game you’re running here. I’ve merely presented the set-up.
As for stats, use whatever template you have for generic mooks in your game. Since I’m (a) not as familiar with GURPS as I am with Call of Cthulhu and (b) I didn’t want to have to create a version of the NPCs for each version, I’ve simply provided you with a template that you can attach to any standard combat-oriented villain you may have lying about in your NPC file. Until next time, true believers!
Jeremy Zimmerman is a teller of tales who dislikes cute euphemisms for writing like “teller of tales.” His fiction has most recently appeared in 10Flash Quarterly, Arcane and anthologies from Timid Pirate Publishing. His young adult superhero book, Kensei, is available as part of Cobalt City Rookies. He is also the editor for Mad Scientist Journal. He lives in Seattle with five cats and his lovely wife (and fellow author) Dawn Vogel.