The Real imaginary friend 

Imagination can be a funny thing, taken down one road it can be a limitless resource to draw upon when one feels the need for entertainment, support, and even salvation. On the other hand, it can destroy trust, relationships, and even the very fabric of what we believe to be real when we investigate the dark corners of the world. The odd thing is that given its name, imagination, we all agree on what exactly an imagination is when it is working and when it is a fault, how very unimaginative. Imagination is nothing more than rational thought stretched to its very limit, that the things we imagine as just the shadows at the edge of our vision we dare not stare at. We imagine the things that we could never see or comprehend, we imagine that everyone can make believe or invent whatever they wish but then why do we find… 

Professor Desmond Fairbroke on the imagination of the collective, at a café in Amsterdam.
From a distance, the “RIF” appears as a small football-sized globe of light that changes colours calmly and gives an almost soothing aura. When approached the orb becomes a whirlwind of differently coloured shards of light that clash, merge and reform in an almost hypnotic and feverish dance.
Real Imaginary Friend by Brad Hicks

  

There have been few who have encountered the “Real Imaginary Friend” and survived the ordeal, and even fewer who understand its schemes. Whilst it’s been almost impossible to separate actual events related to the “RIF” there have been clear occasions where its presence has been known. 

In the early 1900s, two young cousins in a small English hamlet allegedly took photographs of themselves with “fairies”. The photos later became the fascination of a renowned author and the national presses. Looking at the photos it was clear to many that they were fake, good fakes but fakes non the less. Why would sane and rational people believe that such fakes are real? Why are small children so convinced of the big bad wolf under their beds? Why do others insist they were visited and experimented on? Simple, the imaginary monster is real and they are doing the best they can with the limited resources they have. In most cases, the evidence provided to prove the existence of the ”RIF” is so blatantly fake that the consistent denial and public flagging of the “evidence” makes one wonder, why? Why humiliate yourself with such a daunting task that has no real positive outcome, the only thread between any of these occurrences is the need to convince others even when the chances of doing so are remote to impossible. 

The “RIF” has appeared as a small blurry two-dimensional entity that at first befriends the victim, offering help or companionship at a time of need, building trust, and establishing itself as something to believe in. Even offering the victim opportunity to capture its image and prove its existence. Then encouraging the victim to share with as people as possible, however, the proof that seemed so perfect is, in fact, grainy, blurry, and easily disproved. It is the victim’s desperation, humiliation, and ostracization that sustain the “RIF”, feeding off them for decades, until the scandal dies and then onto another hoax in another guise. Grainy photos of UFOs, big foot, and the Loch Ness monster are rumoured to be hoaxes created by the “RIF.”  

Char. Rolls Average

STR 12             (1D6x3)

CON 45             (3D6x5) 

SIZ 1 (1)

DEX 90 (6D6x5)

INT 85 (5D6x5)

POW 100 (6D6x5)

Average Hit Points: 5

Average Damage Bonus: -2

Average Build: -2

Average Magic Points: 20

Move: 6/12 flying

Combat

Attacks per round: 1

The RIF will typically avoid a traditional fight, only biting if held, and will favour its magical abilities spells instead. 

Fighting 30% (15/7) 1d4-2 magical bite

Dodge 45%

Skills     

Listen 60%, Spot Hidden 60%, Stealth 70%, 

Armor: Immune to all types of damage. The “RIF” can also spend a hit point to create temporary magnetic fields that corrupt recording devices it is aware of, making attempts to capture its true form improbable. 

The “RIF” can recover 1 hit point per sanity point lost by the victim when they are publicly mocked, disbelieved, or ridiculed. They will use their spells to push the victim to declare unequitable proof only to have them share easily detected fakes and trigger a San 1/d4 as the crowd’s jeer and boo.

Spells: Cloud Memory, Dominate, Enthral Victim & Mental Suggestion. When casting the “RIF” can spend 1 hit point to impose a penalty die on the target. 

The “RIF” can also spend 1 hit point to become invisible to the human eye. 

Sanity Loss: 0/D6

The only true way to slay the “RIF” is to successfully prove its existence to non-believers, physically capturing and displaying the being does provide additional costs to the general population’s sanity, hence its current feeling of invulnerability. 

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