Hey /tg/, this Friday I'm planning on getting together with some friends and playing a campaign I'm making based on The Thing (not to be confused with Ben).
Problem is, I'm not sure what I should be doing with the campaign. Should I just do a re-hash of the movie, or maybe I should detract a little bit? My original idea was that since it's Call Of Cthulhu, if the original PCs get wiped out, the second part of the act comes into play, where I planned to have a few months go by before a rescue team is sent out to investigate what has happened at this Antarctic Research Base.
Any thoughts or ideas you think you could throw my way?
We had a thing monster in a game. It was pretty cool and scary at first but eventually ruined by magical realm. One thing to keep in mind, is that the thing can infect animals, like birds for example.
>Should I just do a re-hash of the movie, or maybe I should detract a little bit?
If none of your players have seen The Thing - literally none, no idea of what the movie is, then go for it. It's a solid plot, it gives you some great ideas for what to throw at players and it will help you build atmosphere.
If they HAVE seen it, you're going to need to get creative.
Bit of advice either way - consider having one of your players start play as 'The Thing', or at least a version of it, either with or without them knowing. Even multiple players, if you think they can handle it.
Will this be a one-shot?
Another thought for you:
Research Native American Skinwalker mythology. The Thing fits in pretty well with that concept, and it will give you more ammo than just the movie to throw at your players.
More like writhing fleshy shapeshifting monster that someone inserted their benis into, regularly.
After of course going through all the effort of figuring out how it was hiding among people and singling it out as a monster posing as a person, and convincing it that they were more use to it remaining individual rather than being assimilated, and would even help to that end and its goals.
Effectively, yeah. Your immune system would fight against it though, so it's not clear how effective such a tactic would be. Probably why we don't see it in either of the movies or referenced in the sequel miniseries summary.
Putting a bit of it in your food seems to be a better ploy.
I too want to try this.
Do your take on it, make it back in the times where phones were still mounted on walls and the internet wasnt really a thing.
Have a bunch of npcs too if there is a small player base.
Maybe bring another player in halfway through and make the players suspect that you made him the thing. If you do or dont, thats up to you. But really play up the social stress factors and tone down the monster mash. Make it ooze with meta anxiety.
Draw a map of the base with NO MYSTERIES
Put your PC in it.
Put ONE SHOGGOTH somewhere.
Post map on /tg/
Let /tg/ control the Shoggoth during play
Also use a kitchen timer to rush your pc to decision
Make up your own monster who follows its own rules.
The original set of PCs can beat the monster but its unlikely, use them to figure out the rules.
For some reason the rescue team knows what the first set of PCs knows, and their job is to use the knowlege of the first victims to kill the monster.
The alien->aliens thing. The second wave is war.
>No, because the cells would disguise themselves as your own cells as soon as it touches you.
I get what you're saying, but keep in mind that peoples bodies do fight against their own cells.
Personally, I think it's a brilliant plan. The only issue I can see is - why didn't it do it before? From a cinematic perspective, it's clear that it wouldn't have been as fun to watch.
From a plot perspective, you could argue that 'The Thing' doesn't actually infect you. It eats you. Slowly, maybe. Or quickly. But it devours and kills you and replaces you with an identical replica that may not even know it's a replica.
>If they HAVE seen it, you're going to need to get creative.
Ironically, the shitty remake/prequel from 2011 had a really neat element in it. People infected by the Thing would slowly push out any metal objects in their bodies, like earrings, fillings, screws to fix broken bones etc. The rest of the movie was garbage that lacked the charm of the original, unfortunately.
>'The Thing' doesn't actually infect you. It eats you. Slowly, maybe. Or quickly. But it devours and kills you and replaces you with an identical replica that may not even know it's a replica.
I thought that was what it DID do.
>The rest of the movie was garbage that lacked the charm of the original, unfortunately.
Have you ever seen the practical effects they used? Fucking beautiful. Producer meddling caused them to throw 3d special effects over it and ruined it.
Hello everyone. OP here. Sorry about taking so long to reply. I hope everyone is still around.
I was thinking one of the loss goals would be if a creature (arctic fish or mammal of some kind) makes it to a civilized area of the world, or with the fish or birds, they make it off the continent via the ocean.
>Bit of advice either way - consider having one of your players start play as 'The Thing', or at least a version of it, either with or without them knowing. Even multiple players, if you think they can handle it.
The way I was thinking about it, if there was beyond a doubt they were hurt by The Thing, they would be infected.We all sit fairly close together when we game, so it would be easy to notify someone of their infection (which they would know if they were infected). As such, they're still in control, they just take on an antagonistic role.
>Will this be a one-shot?
>Putting a bit of it in your food seems to be a better ploy.
Yes, this is one of the plans. While the base has food and generally everyone should be able to cook, I'll have someone playing a cook of some kind, and infecting the food is completely plausible.
>Maybe bring another player in halfway through and make the players suspect that you made him the thing. If you do or dont, thats up to you. But really play up the social stress factors and tone down the monster mash. Make it ooze with meta anxiety.
Since it takes place during the winter in the 80's, chances are people aren't going to be moving up to investigate the base if contact is lost for upwards of weeks to months. That's a normal occurrence there.
Question: How should I handle when The Thing pops out? You can see from the image that there are a lot of possibilities, but I'd like for something crazy and new each and every time. Maybe I should roll up the monster right when it pops out? Make a D10 thing that happens and causes SAN checks?
This is gonna be pulpy.
>making it to a continent via the ocean
Fuck, the Thing making it to the ocean is game over by itself.
For relaxing videos hippies like to make of pretty fish swimming around, and want like half an hour set to music, they need days of footage to sift through for scenes that don't include something brutally devouring something else.
The entire ocean would be the Thing in a few weeks without it even trying.
The more I think about it, the more it looks like you'd need to nerf the shit out of The Thing to make it a worthwhile opponent that wasn't guaranteed to end all life on Earth.
Like, Holy Shit - it's a massive fucking lucky shot that the thing crashed down in the ice and not in the fucking ocean that covers 80% of the goddamn planet.
Quest threads run amok instead of being novel little things, mods enforcing blue board status, a lot of shit has happened. New crowd came in and drove off most like us.
Much like the Thing does to your cells and the subtle effects on the host organism as a whole.
You get replaced bit by bit until you look mostly the same but things are subtly wrong and accusations of this are easily deflected by fixating to distract from the point.
OP, if you're still around, watch The Thing From Another World.
If you want to expand the scope look for Ice Station Zebra. It has a nice angle of international espionage and gears the characters against each other with secrets.
If you want to define the creature more intricately read Who Goes There? It has a limited total mass that it can distribute freely among its impostors.
There's a polar station grid map among the Critical Locations for D20m, and I think it's a free download. Grid maps may not be the way to go for horror, but depending on your players it could help structure the location.
Generally the situation leaves very limited options to the players. Weather prohibits travel and in the end
the only way to save the world is to burn fucking everything, not escort it to civilization. So offer a lot of options and see what gets picked up. Pic related on a basic level.
But resist the urge to make it bigger without need. It's a classic for a reason. It doesn't need much work to be current. Only go beyond the original story if it suits your group and your game better than the pure Thing.
Sorry for not responding, Ive been taking care of life stuff. I would say take inspiration from what really sets people off on the "Oh god please no" aspect. In the games ive run, ive been told I do unsettling/paranoia themes very well. Make it not all the way visible, let THEM create most of it in their mind. If you want to do a full reveal. Try and go for primal fears, find audio clips of various animal's death wails and play them all together. If I had to make one now, id go for a thing that you would be repulsed by, but would be able to take pity on, something flat and layed out, able to reach across the room.
Just my 2cents
Woah, that's a jumble.
Let me see if I can structure... hold on, didn't I already? I already did.
And possibly this. Although much doesn't apply to a isolated polar station.
>knowing it is a thing
Way to ruin half the fun of the fucking concept. ANYONE should be the Thing, even the guy who is willing to do anything to destroy the Thing.
Not only is it becuase the imitation is so perfect that the copies believe they're human, but because Things are so fucking selfish they act like crabs in a bucket even with Thing cells in the same body. God knows how fucking awful they are at acting as a group.
And on that note
>acting as a hivemind
Nope. They're a fucking colonial organism. Again, they're like crabs in a bucket the minute even a single cell is in danger. I can only imagine what might happen if you got one to drink bleach. Probably implode.
>There's a polar station grid map among the Critical Locations for D20m
I haven't been rollplaying long but have already lost a dice. Now my gamekeeper wants me to increase my aptitudes and I don't know how to put it on the description page. Is there a volume I can read to look up the instructions? Or should I ask the other dramatis personæ?
Trying to use words I don't know, just like OP.
Is this supposed to be ironic shitposting or normal shitposting?
Hey guys, OP here. Been doing a little bit of brewing and I wanna run this by for people to check out.
>THING TRANSFORMATIONS (Only when discovered by group or at player/keeper discretion)
1. Roll 1D4
2. Use number from first roll to discover how many transformations
3. Roll 1D10 to discover each transformation
4. One Transformation available per combat round. If party members see transformations occuring, SAN check 0/1D6, plus 1 for each subsequent transformation.
5. Player may choose to save transformation
1. Subject's fingers become loose and extendible (triple player's finger length, with bony, protruding claws at the tips
2. Subject's tongue extends like a frog's, capable of grappling from up to two spaces away. Gains the ability to violently spew digestive acid at targets (spit can shoot up to 5 spaces away. If target is hit on bare-skin, deals 1D6 points of damage for 1D4 rounds)
3. Subject's head splits open vertically, revealing jagged rows of flesh rending teeth. Can grapple with head-mouth
4. Subject's arms can extend via loosen tendons and malleable flesh. Extends striking distance up to four spaces.
5. Subject's chest forms an open cavity, revealing either a half assimilated body (SAN check +1 if recognizable party member) or a protruding series of spikes (Follows spear rules) for goring at the player's discretion (Must run at target and target must fail a parry check) .
6. Subject's head completely detached, becoming a low-intelligence scuttler (controlled by keeper as a separate monster). Player still in control of the main body.
7. Player may pick transformation at will.
8. Subject's waist opens up, spilling out intestines to be used to grapple opponents or objects like a whip.
9. Subject's limbs drop off, leaving only a torso and head. Body Parts combine to form a scuttler and may rejoin the body at any time (SAN check to witness this)
0. Keeper may choose transformation at will.
I don't know if a random table is the way to go if you want a horror atmosphere. Better roll with the punches. But a list can be really helpful with that.
He is right though. A campaign is a series of adventures. OP wants to play a one-shot.
>series of adventures
Well, to be fair, it'll be either a one-shot or a campaign, depending on how well they do.
Do you think I should just leave it up to the player? I went with a table because I felt it would be too OP for the player to pick transformations. A lucky gamble with SAN and everyone could get fucked.
You are the arbiter of atmosphere, and grim details are a major tool in your shed. Why would a player pick? No player ever controls the threat. What are you up to?
If you want deception, use mundane things. Like the android and captain on board the Nostromo secretly instructed to preserve the Xenomorph. Have a character conceal a drug problem, and blackmail another who knows with some rations he stole to feed his illegal pet.
If you want THE traitor then do it like BSG: Not even the traitor knows initially. And when he finds out he only gets to keep playing as long as the others don't know. After that he can at best flesh out details under your direction, but he's an NPC.
I remember getting my hands on a Thing-inspired CoC adventure that had been used at some convention. Granted, this was at least 10 years ago and I don't have it anymore. Heck, I'm not even sure the creator still has it.
But the gist of it was, as far as I remember, that the adventure took place before the film, in the Norwegian base that the creature first infected.
Also watch Leviathan and the X-Files episode "ice" for ways to mix up encounters NPCs and plot points.
Just so if any of the players know the Thing movie really well they still have a few twists to surprise them.
A mass murder–suicide occurs among a team of geophysicists at an outpost in Icy Cape, Alaska. FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) head for the outpost, accompanied by physician Dr. Hodge (Xander Berkeley); toxicologist Dr. DaSilva (Felicity Huffman); geologist Dr. Murphy (Steve Hytner) and Bear (Jeff Kober), their pilot. With the scientists' bodies the group finds a dog, who attacks Mulder and Bear. Scully notices black nodules on its skin, and suspects that it may be infected with bubonic plague; she also notices movement beneath its skin. Although Bear (who was bitten by the dog) becomes ill and develops similar nodules on his body, autopsies reveal no such nodules on the bodies of the scientists.
Murphy finds an ice core sample believed to originate from a meteor crater, and theorizes that the sample might be 250,000 years old. Although Bear insists on leaving, the others are concerned about infecting the outside world.
I think I remember...