Table of Contents
Poster #15672's Nightmares
The Jonesin' Boyz
'hey baby…did you ever want to fly…or make the whole big bad world fly away from you? you can fly me…i'm free as free can be…i love you and you'll love me…need to feel some ecstasy? *childish giggling*'
Picture a grey-skinned, naked, sexless teenager, with corpse-white eyes. Give it rows and colums of syringes sticking out of it's skin, syringes that slowly yet continuously fill with glowing, radiator-fluid green liquid. When the syringes fill up, they re-inject the substance back into the creature's body, causing it to stop what it's doing and gasp in pleasure for a few minutes. Give it a raspy, high-pitched, almost childlike voice, and a weirly pleasant smell. Plant a couple around the fringes of the Bizarre Bazaar, and call them the Jonesin' Boyz.
They charge nothing, just wanting to show the love. If you want to feel their love, just give one of them a kiss on the lips…and be prepared for the needle-sting on your tongue. The fluid is Pain 5 to struggle against. Succeed, and for one scene, you get an extra Madness ability of your choice, or you clean out all Flight or Fight checks. Fail…and you Snap as if your response boxes were overtaxed. Each additional 'love injection' increases the Pain by one (thus the second one is Pain 6, the third is Pain 7, etc.) Did I mention that, upon the first injection, you get a Pain 2 craving for another injection, that also goes up for each injection your character gets? And that the only way to beat the craving is to successfully abstain, with each act of abstention lowering the subsequent Pain until it hits 0? (This also lowers the initial Pain of the next injection back to 5.) Snapping while still craving this substance guarantees that the Awake will come back as one (or more) Jonesin' Boyz. (Divide Permanent Madness, Madness, and Exhaustion by 4.) Most intelligent Awake find this to be a horrifying way to end their careers.
Anger them (an unusual feat!), and they are individually Pain 4 (increase this by 1 for each additional Boy). They inject a glowing, hot, reddish fluid from their syringe-fingers to attack, and successful injections cause burning sensations, as well as bad hallucinations, cramps, depression, etc.
It is assumed that they work indirectly for the Wax King, as the only other substance they hawk besides themselves is a waxy, sugary narcotic that induces intense happiness (reduces Exhaustion by 2 for one scene, but the next scene adds one to the original total) called Wax Xtatic. They are nominally against The Tacks Man and Officer Tock, and will aid characters against these two Nightmares or their minions. (If you can call it aid. Don't expect much.)
WEE DOOONNN'T WAAANNNNT YOURRRR KIIIINNND ARRRROUUUUNNND HEEEEEERRREEE!!!
A particularly virulent species escaped from the Howler's Realm, Hate Hives are rapidly infesting the rooftops and basements of Mad City. They appear as normal people except: 1) violently xenphobic, 2) they look, dress, and act exactly the same, and even move in an eerily clockwork manner similar to District 13, 3) their culture is tight-knit to the point of being inbred; outsiders are easy to recognize, and 4) they chew up the surrounding scenery and regurgitate it into a nest; it appears like a cross between a human-scale yellowjacket nest and termite mound. Each mound has nightmarishly distorted correlations to an ethnic hate group in the real world; every human ethnicity/political group/special interest group has been catalogued in one nest or another. However, even two nests of similar 'species' (two 'skinhead' nests, for example) will not cooperate with each other, unless an outside threat that is 'not them' disturbs both nests. Hate Hives are noticeable for their unique architecture, as well as the buzzing that surrounds them: a babble of threats, complaints, and racial/social slurs unique to each Hive.
They never appear alone, especially outside the nest. They attack as a group, at Pain 2-5 depending on size and proximity to the home Hive. Inside each Hive, there is a 'queen' referred to as a Demagogue. A Demagogue is anywhere from Pain 7-9 depending on the size of the Hive. If directly assaulted/insulted, a Demagogue will call for a pogrom against the offending parties, which means that the entire Hive will pursue a ceaseless hunt for the offenders, not stopping until they or the offenders perish. Their bites contain venom; if a local is bitten, s/he instantly converts into one of the Hive. If an Awake person is bitten, and Snaps during that scene, s/he converts into a Demagogue, who immediately envenoms surrounding locals and attempts to create a nest in the nearest secure area.
Officer Tock is charged with burning out Hate Hives, and Hate Hives regularly storm District 13 as a result. The Tacks Man and Mother When have routed their share of Hives as well. Paper Boys and Roof Rats occasionally rumble with them as well. King Wax has promised to get enough troops up on the surface to eradicate them…someday.
The Waiting Room
ogod…we thought we hid in a warehouse…ogod, ogod, ogod…but then the lights were all wrong, poisonous somehow…things swam and kinda danced around while we weren't looking…the PA system spoke up and said…the PA system spoke up and said…ONE. ONE. ONE. NOTHING IN THE NURSERY RHYMES. WHATEVER HOPE OF A NORMAL LIFE YOU HAD, YOU LEFT ON THE DOORSTEP. ogod, and then there was grfitti on the walls, and the languages kept shifting too fast, and the shadows got darker, and there was this buzzing…TWO TWO TWO YOU MUST LEAVE NOW BEFORE THE ALARM GOES OFF. YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE. YOU ARE FOOD FOR THE BEAST. RUN RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN YOU WILL BE EATEN LIKE A GINGERBREAD MAN. and it wouldn't stop, and it smelled of burned rubber, and I could start to feel my skin get gelatinous…SIX SIX FUCK YOU SIX! FORGET THE ALARM. EVEN IF YOU LEAVE THERE WILL NOT BE ENOUGH OF YOU TO LEAVE WITH. FRIENDS: DEAD! FAMILY: DEAD! YOU ARE TOO LATE. don't ask me how we got out I think Jackie went Mad and did something super…but I still feel sick…I can still feel the light making my skin scream…what came out of the walls after us…the PA system spoke up and said…
The Waiting Room is misnamed, as sometimes it appears as a creepy house, a dark patch of woods, a closet, any space that has an aura of foreboding around it. Anywhere with a bad reputation can be a spot inhabited by The Waiting Room.
It is not shy, and the feelings of unease will begin the moment the victims enter. Hallucinations, objects moving, appearing, disappearing, noises and voices, all of this and more awaits people inside it. The first attempt to leave is Pain 5. Each subsequent attempt makes the Pain go up by 1, until Pain 10 is reached. At that time, the Waiting Room will manifest it's true, soul-shattering form, the ultimate manifestation of The Unknown and Unknowable. It will not, however, pursue it's prey beyond it's pre-defined boundaries. Special warning: any Aware who Snap in it's confines must make one last roll vs. Pain 10. If the Aware succeeds s/he becomes her own Nightmare, but if The Waiting Room wins, it devours the Aware.
It is unwelcome by all factions in the Mad City. The Wax King swears that it is a sentient Outland Kingdom, but others suspect that it is the cancerous cannibal heart of the Nightmare itself.
It spoke with screeching metal and its language was Pain and Death.
Some say Death walks the streets of Mad City. Some say Mother When is the true manifestation of Death. Both are wrong. Deaths walk the streets of Mad City.
Mad City knows no time, reflecting various eras from the City Slumbering in an almost seamless anachronistic passage. Crash is a more modern manifestation of Death, and even Nightmares tremble when the screaming approaches.
Crash looks like a ruined car, smashed and broken, somehow still running and moving with the horrible sound of a dying machine. Its movements are accompanied by the unending cough of its ruined engine and the horrible screech as gears and pistons grind each other into oblivion, but it still runs
Although usually recognizable, Crash is never seen the same way twice. The make and model of the car changes. The mutilated driver, sometimes still in-seat, a mash of bone and flesh, sometimes a flayed bloody lump hanging of the windshield, is different at every sighting.
The one constant to Crash, besides its ruined appearance and sound, is the danger it presents to pedestrians in Mad City. It runs them down, crunching them beneath its wheels, and the screams and man and machine blend as grinding gears tear and rend the victims flesh. There is never a body left, just a smear of blood and bits of tissue and gritty ground bone.
Trying to face down Crash on the open road is a Pain 10 challenge. However due to the insanely complex design of Mad City and the size of Crash, it is only a Pain 7 challenge to escape it given some warning and reach an area where it cannot follow.
âFinally done with this damn paper… Print… Print! Print you bastard! Oh, don't do this, DON'T DO THIS! I havn't … ! FUCK! DON'T CRASH ON ME YOU BASTARD! GOD! I DIDN'T SAVE IT! FUCK!â
Fatal Error followed by a long stream of gibberish numbers and information Bill Gates himself couldn't decode. All Windows users know the dreaded blue screen of death. Countless hours and thousands of papers have been lost to this black whole of data. Everyone knows this, but few consider the implications. Sure, one person might only experience the blue screen a few times, only loose a little work, but multiply that over the millions of personal computers populating the modern day world… The blue screen of death takes in more time and information every day. Sure, it seems like a semi-harmless glitch, but one must consider: Where does all that time in information go? Beezodd is the answer. It goes to Beezodd, and he grows more sophisticated and more knowledgeable every day.
Beezodd is quite an old nightmare, but he had all but disappeared before the advent of the personal computer. Beezodd was the nightmares of witch hunters who feared their victims tomes of blasphemous knowledge, the fear of Popes who saw themselves being made obsolete by the advance of science. He has found a new niche in the modern age, rather than feeding off burned books and squashed ideas he feeds off the randomly destroyed date of the computer age, and the time that comes therewith has allowed him to regain power at an astonishing rate.
Nowadays Beezodd resides in his Outland Kingdom, a place of endless hallways walled with machines containing tape drives and vacuum tubes. Some of his components are more modern, but they take up far less space and are far less ubiquitous. Beezodd himself is the computer network that makes up the physical structure of his kingdom, a vast AI growing ever more sophisticated using the endless hours of wasted time.
Beezodd is very intelligent, and to engage him in a battle of intelligence is a Pain 9 challenge. However, he is, for the most part, physically immobile, and while his Silicon Soldiers and flailing wires will attack in force if his body is threatened, they only make up a Pain 5-7 challenge. Silicon Soldiers are the minions of Beezodd, perfect slaves tied directly to his brain, men of circuit boards and computer components with only blinking lights and meshed wire where a face should be. Facing a single Silicon Soldier is a Pain 2 challenge. Each additional Soldier adds +2 Pain. They are not particularly strong or fast, but they work with perfect coordination and anyone who remains in physical contact with them for long risks having his brain connected to the Beezodd network. The wires sprout from the Silicon Soldiers' bodies when they touch others, snaking under skin and into the bloodstream on a straight trip to the brain. Those unfortunate enough to become connected to Beezodd, and who cannot resist his mind control (Pain 9) are compelled to report instantly to Beezodd's kingdom and be refitted so that they may join the ranks of the Silicon Soldiers.
The Surgeon General
While Officer Tock and the Tacks Man take care of the law enforcement and bureaucratic needs of the city, a third and equally sinister figure has taken the 'health' of the Mad City's residents firmly in his immaculately manicured hands: The Surgeon General (Pain 10).
Like most of the other nightmares in positions of authority, almost nothing is known about the Surgeon General before he ensconced himself in Mercy Hospital with his coterie of clinical lieutenants. It is said that he was a consultant surgeon in the Slumbering City, but ambition and a certain moral flexibility preyed on his conscience until he found the fracture in reality that brings so many here.
Physically, the Surgeon General is one of the least imposing Nightmares in authority. Normally, he appears as a well-preserved man in his 60's with silvery gray hair, distinguished looking rather than old and very paternal despite the frosty glitter of his almost colourless eyes. He typically wears slightly dated dress pants, black brogues and a crisp white shirt, covered with a pristine white coat of the sort worn by doctor's fourty for fifty years ago. Wire rimmed glasses and a Mont-Blanc pen complete the image of the experienced medical professional. It is only when he is at his most wrathful that this image is twisted out of true, with the fatherly features becoming inhumanly cold and judgmental, like some Old Testament vision of an angry God. It takes a very gross indulgence in self-destructive behavior to engender such wrath however, such as flagrant use of harmful drugs, utter dissolute intoxication, extreme gluttony. Otherwise there is a condescending coolness in the Surgeon Generalâs manner, as is the way of many doctors.
Assisting this self-appointed guardian of public health are two major groups:
Nightingales (Pain 3) are virtually identical in appearance with the exception of minor matters of dress, hair and makeup. Each is a tall and shapely woman in her early 20's of very pale complexion and sensuous features with long black hair worn up in the styles of the early 40's and capped with a little nurses hat. Their alabaster complexions are offset by vibrant red lipstick and dark eye shadow, applied quite expertly but for one small flaw, be it a smudge, smear or other small defect. Their nurse's uniforms are of the one-piece dress variety, buttoned down the left breast and too tight to be practical, making them appear extras in some period stag film rather than real medical personnel. Typically they travel in two's or three's, but for the more recalcitrant cases, as many as six have been dispatched. Although they leave the subduing of patients to the Orderlies, Nightingales have been seen to defend themselves with the tools of their trade, be that a syringe full of air to the carotid or a slap with a palm full of scalpel blades.
Orderlies (Pain 1) take care of the non-medical matters, be that disposal of remains and garbage, the incessant scrubbing of Mercy Hospital or physically coercing an unwilling patient. Much like the Nightingales, the Orderlies are almost identical; squat brutish figures with prominent body hair, bald pates, beetling brows and highly developed physiques, almost ape-like in their dapper mint-green uniforms of period scrubs. In addition to their formidable fists, each orderly wears a heavy baton and carries at least one pair of restraints. Typically guided by a Nightingale, they will use simple tactics to surround and bludgeon a target into immobility, unless more delicate methods have been specified.
When the Surgeon General declares someone, or thing a blight against the public health, pairs of Nightingales along with three or four Orderlies will be dispatched in their silent ambulances to bring the aforementioned in for treatment. While the medical techniques used in Mercy Hospital are a trifle outdated, they are quite sound and performed with consummate skill, even if they are not always entirely necessary. One never knows what awaits on a visit to Mercy Hospital. It may be surcease from pain or some unwarranted procedure that will leave you in misery for the rest of your days. The emergency room is the last resort for the truly desperate, for they serve all comers and never, ever close.
It has been said that there are other denizens of Mercy Hospital, victims of the Surgeon General's more arcane pursuits, locals and Awake who have been moulded into grotesque and horrific forms as a sheer celebration of his surgical art. If there are such beings, they are kept far from the public eye, most likely in the hospitals darker recesses.
Minotaure’s Nightmares (inspired by The Cure’s Lullaby)
A new power recently infested an area of the Nowheres beneath the Mad City - “The Kingdom of Shadows” it’s called by the locals; at least by the few who dare to speak of it at all.
On candystripe legs the spiderman comes
And the spiderman is always hungry… (The Cure - Lullaby)
This Kingdom is ruled by the Spiderman.
The Spiderman looks like a strange crossbread of man and spider. He walks on eight hairy legs and has a body much like that of your average spider but of course he’s much taller than that. Where one would normally expect the spider’s head there’s a naked human upper body protruding ending in a hairless human head that disturbingly features two spider like eyes of dark glassy globes.
The tips of the eight legs are covered in saliva that’s constantly dripping from them. This saliva smells like sweet candy and touching it gets you an instant mental horror trip. Defeating him directly is a tough venture (Pain: 8 to 10; depending on when he did last feed). Overcoming the effect of his saliva isn’t so hard (Pain: 4) but if you don’t manage that you’ll end up completely helpless lying on the floor shivering from the horrible dreams you’ll get - sure to become spider food shortly after.
The Spiderman emanates a kind of shadowy sphere. If you go near him, light sources seem to dim and aren’t able to illuminate the surrounding area as you are used to.
The Spiderman never leaves his realm and feeds on dreams and emotions that are brought to him by his loyal minions the Whispering Shadows. Occasionally a local or a much tastier Awaken gets caught by the Spiderman or his Shadow Guards. These unlucky individuals end up bound to the wall of a cave until all their dreams and emotions are drunk away. The empty husks of theses unfortunates - still living bodies, at least technically - are carried away and left to die and rot in some of the darker tunnels of the Nowheres.
Once in a while the Spiderman walks even deeper into the caves of his kingdom to lay some Shadow Eggs. These eggs have roughly the size of a football and look like they are made of black polished marble. This is where the Whispering Shadows come from. But of course this is a secret nobody knows of - at least nobody who lived to tell the tale.
The Whispering Shadows
… [it] comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim shivering in bed
Searching out fear in the gathering gloom and Suddenly!
A movement in the corner of the room!
And softer than shadow and quicker than flies
His arms are all around me and his tongue in my eyes
"Be still be calm be quiet now my precious boy
Don't struggle like that or I will only love you more
For it's much too late to get away or turn on the light
The spiderman is having you for dinner tonight" (The Cure - Lullaby)
The Whispering Shadows appear just like the name says - shadows. But only to those who are able to see the Mad City after all; “normal” people still slumbering aren’t able to see them at all.
They don’t have a physical body or form in the way you are used to. They appear as moving roughly humanoid shadows creeping down walls or above floors, ceilings and things - their long shadowy fingers always groping for a new victim.
The Shadows are lured by strong negative emotions like fear or confusion and despair. Positive or aggressive emotions keep them at bay. Never would a Shadow go near someone who’s very happy or freshly in love.
Someone who’s responding with checking off a Fight box to a roll which is dominated by madness could easily drive them away with his outburst of mindless aggression.
The easiest prey for Whispering Shadows are helpless people dwelling in emotions - sleeping dreamers, junkies on a trip, hallucinating mad men, etc.
Of course that means they have to hunt in the City Slumbering where they can be easily encountered by any freshly awaken.
If a Whispering Shadow got a “scent” of the feelings of one of it’s intended victims it follows him as long as it takes to get him while constantly whispering his name and hissing insults and threats that only the victim is able to hear.
If a Whispering Shadow finally has you in his grip he drink’s away all your current emotions and dreams while your body shakes convulsively. They are able to stowe away a great portion of these feelings somehow and bring it to the Spiderman to feed on.
Being shadows the Whispering Shadows are not easy to evade or fight. The players should have to come up with a good idea like bathing them in strong light, trapping them in a ring of fire, running from them jumping from roof to roof (shadows can’t jump - they’d have to go the long way down one house crossing the street and up the other house after all) or something like that. If you want to throw dice instead make it hard (about Pain: 6).
Sometimes one of the Whispering Shadows becomes so attracted by one of its victim’s emotions that it simply won’t leave her alone to feed the Spiderman.
So the Shadow keeps drinking its victim’s feelings until all consciousness leaves her. Infants usually don’t survive this treatment and are dying a “sudden infant’s death”. Stronger persons are usually falling into a coma that they are rarely able to shake off even if the Shadow leaves them be at last.
These Shadows slowly transform into a Shadow Spider - they get the shadowy “body” of a human sized spider embracing their victim with their legs and feature a roughly human face resembling that of their victim.
Shadow Spiders can frequently be encountered in hospitals and institutions caring for comatose and catatonic people where they are nurtured by the hopelessness and despair of their victim’s relatives and friends.
The Shadow Spiders pose no threat to anybody except their beloved victims and are frequently dying with them once the transformation is complete. Severing them from their victim is not easily done however (Pain: 5).
The Shadow Guards
Once in a while the Spiderman needs some real muscle doing some dirty work for him like fighting off the Blind Knights of the Wax King or bring him some locals to directly feed upon.
On these occasions the Shadow Guards come into play. These are some of the Awaken who have become addicted to the Spiderman’s saliva and work for him.
Of course the continuing consume of the Spiderman’s Candy takes it’s toll on the body and the mind of the Guards.
They tend to be slow and easily distracted from their prey.
Physically they appear like the worst image of a junkie living on the street you can imagine - hollow cheeked, dull eyed, body covered in dirty rags, skin covered in rush, etc.
In a confrontation they’re not hard to overcome (Pain. 2 to 3, depending on their last “fix”). They’re not many - at least yet. But their number is slowly but steadily growing. Each individual guard adds Pain: 1 to the roll.
Russell Collins' Nightmares (from the Stygian game session)
When the all the lights go out on a moonless night, with the stars blotted out by the clouds, the city comes closer. Much closer.
Can you see in the dark?
Blackouts are people or animals made out of the total inky blackness you find in deep caves or at the bottom of the ocean. No longer reflecting light, they are dark outlines devoid of features even under bright lights. They avoid such lighting whenever possible, and are never seen during the day. Otherwise they maintain the attributes of the creature they once were. Blackout birds fly, dogs run and people talk.
Their goal is to create more Blackouts, a process they can accomplish by holding other creatures until the inky blackness that coats them spreads and saturates their target. Their touch leaves behind black stains on the skin, that will only fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Their Pain levels are relative to their size and the ambient light. A small animal or bird Blackout has 2 Pain, a dog or other medium sized animal, 3 and person sized or larger 4. These pain values are for low light situations; at night with the lights out and moonlight or street lamps shining through the windows. When exposed to stronger, more direct light, such as a room with overhead lighting and with little shadow their Pain values are halved (round up.) It's in total darkness however that they are most powerful and dangerous. In a situation of total blackness, such as indoors at night with all window shades down and no lights on, their Pain values are doubled!
The darker a space is, the more likely they are to congregate there. If they can shut down all lights in an area, they will move in as a group to feed and spawn. If a person is not turned to a Blackout nightmare by their attacks (crashing instead of snapping,) they eat the body, so as to leave no evidence.
Rich Karpusiewicz's Nightmares
"Did you see that? We need to move. Those things are bad luck. Period."
A Jinx is a tiny, impish creature which usually appears as a small gargoyle with wings, sharp claws and teeth; they have some choice over their appearance and some do not fly, but they are always relatively small (about the size of a large house cat) and generally are energetic, like a cat hyped up on cat nip or a person overloaded on caffeine. The whole point of jinxes is to go around and destroy stuff – "to destroy the point of" as the dictionary says. Jinxes can't help their nature - they possess a childlike innocence and take glee from achieving their purpose, even if their fiddlings send a plane full of people or a family on a road trip crashing to their deaths. For this reason they are extremely dangerous, and their ability to break machines and spread bad luck is legendary in Mad City. They can be mastered by certain forces in the City and given more specific instructions, to the chagrin of many of the Awake.
Pain Dice: 2-3 individually, 4-5 in a swarm
"Crap, it's coming! Get to the roofs, it can't follow us up there!"
Grotesque, roaming zombies who eat anything left out on the street for too long – garbage, small animals, pieces of junk and scrap metal, whatever. They are filthy and can be smelt as well as heard before they arrive. They come and devour people and things in a place and move on. They appear as massively fat naked people , are well over 500 pounds and have massive mouths that make up most of their face and no eyes. Their large, teeth-lined maws deliver a crushing bite. They move with intimidating speed for creatures so large, and are so morbidly obese that their skin is actually torn in places with fat oozing out between stretch marks for having eaten so much, too quickly. While scavengers they have no qualms about attacking people in their way.
Pain Dice: 6 to stay and fight, with reductions in difficulty for running away, especially up where they won't be able to follow.
"C'mon darlin', come over here are make me purr…"
Humanoid cat folk roam Mad City, mostly as drifters too lazy to hold down a steady job. Some might be guards, hired muscle or even more likely, informants for the powers that be in the city. However they are most known for their insatiable libido and incredible sexual dynamism. They don’t call it “alley catting” for nothing – although most are quite willing to indulge themselves, the more aggressive among them certainly have no qualms about taking what they want from the unfortunate souls who pique their interest. Like cats, they always land on their feet, and possess a cat’s quickness and athletic ability, as well as a cat’s claws and teeth. Like any other Mad Citizen they could be relatively benign or monstrously evil, possessing very human qualities in regard to personality.
Pain Dice: 4 (potentially more for exceptional individuals; troublemakers also often travel in small packs)
"Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly. It's not personal, it's strictly business."
The Business Spiders are tireless workers, tough negotiators, and deadly foes should the Awake run afoul of them. Monstrous spider fiends clad in suit jackets and ties, they are constantly brokering deals, closing accounts and opening new ones, and performing all the necessary maintenance to keep the World Wide Web functioning. Their boss and CEO, the Weaver, is an unforgiving mistress and more than anything they fear being “let go” – or worse, eaten, as is often the way with their kind. The Business Spiders are living embodiments of the Sleeper’s corporate world, constructing the electronic unreality upon which reality is based or infiltrating existing “real” networks through a series of hostile takeovers. In combat they can poison, paralyze and wrap in cocoons to be eaten later those Awake who cross them; they can also easily grab victims and are notoriously difficult to trip up. Fortunately Business Spiders are typically very reliable, which is why most of Mad City is prepared to deal with them as intermediaries – but then again, outwitting a Business Spider is tough work, and pity the fool who doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
Pain Dice: 8
"I can't take this anymore. Can someone please explain to me why my house is trying to kill me?"
Sometimes the gases used to heat homes in the Mad City take issue with their confinement in pipes and foul-smelling machines, and attempt to escape. These successes can result in ruptured pipes or gas mains through which the Leak enters the homes of Mad Citizens or Sleepers, sometimes with the aid of a Jinx. The more spiteful among them will attack the fragile lungs of their jailers and suffocate them, or if they are prone to excess they may find a source with which to ignite themselves, causing a building fire. Due to their often irrational state and their possession of only simple, flighty emotions, Leaks can be some of the most destructive and maniacal foes, since they aren't concerned with killing an entire building full of Sleepers if the mood strikes them.
Pain Dice: Between 4 and 6, this is highly situational and depends on the severity of the incident.
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
The Grue is a monster that lives in the shadows and devours those who fail to bring a light source with them. Victims of the Grue are found literally torn to pieces, if they are found at all – often enough they disappear entirely. Although many think that there are many of them, others claim that the Grue was formerly one of the Awake who could shadow-walk, who has succumbed to madness and forgotten that it had a physical body from staying in the shadows so long. A current rash of serial killings in the Mad City is rumored to be the dark work of the Grue, although the truth perhaps is known only by the victims. Others have dismissed these claims, arguing that the last Grue was destroyed long ago by those Awake who could no longer tolerate the existence of such foul shadow demons. Although the Grue very definitely has a physical form, it is unlikely that it remembers such and therefore although light may frighten it greatly, it will not dissolve into nothingness as it fears just by simple exposure to light. That said, scaring a Grue away with light is probably a smarter way to survive than trying to fight it.
Pain Dice: 13 in the Dark, 9 in the Light
"Hey man, that's some cool stuff you've got there. Mind if I take a look?"
Pack Rats are essentially humans – for now. But as they accumulate more and more stuff, the Mad City is stripping them of their human façade and replacing them with their true form. They typically have one rat-like feature, sometimes one that isn’t easily noticeable: buck teeth, beady black eyes without irises, a pink tail, patches of rough, dark fur, or big pink ears. They steal and take things compulsively, but they won’t pick a fight if they can help it – at least unless someone is wearing something shiny that they really, really want…
Pain Dice: 4
"That was @$#*%!ing disgusting."
The filth which accumulates in Mad City's sewers sometimes develops a mind of its own. While the tunnels can provide some temporary safety against the authorities, Slime which has grown strong from feeding on the occasional Pack Rat will present difficulties of its own. Slime may wait to attack until its target is located on a ladder or a catwalk, or some equally vulnerable position. Unnaturally strong with a tidal force of its own, it can bludgeon its victims and drown them under a wave of liquid refuse. Those who survive an encounter with a Sewer Slime are still going to be feeling it - and smelling like it - for some time.
Pain Dice: 6
"You have such pretty skin, my dear. Think of what a wonderful scarf I could make with it…"
The little old ladies of Mad City have some bad habits, one being the knitting of human flesh. That sweater or scarf she’s making has a horrible source, although it’s no secret that some deliberately go to the Flesh Knitters if they need to lay low in order to trade their skins, if they think their pelt is worthwhile. Flesh Knitters are often out on their porches with a tray of freshly baked cookies and milk, which they give to passersby to lure them inside and passing Jinxes to incite them to draw more victims their way. Their rooms at first glance appear normal, filled with carefully stitched, beautiful accessories - rugs, curtains, tea cozies, table skirts and so on. Only after they reveal themselves overtly to trap their quarries can the intended victim see the actual state of the room - all these things knitted not of wool or thread but human flesh. The Flesh Knitters themselves are so obsessed that they will even use their own, substituting quilted patches in order to use their own skin to keep knitting. Once they've trapped a victim they move in quickly for the kill with their large knitting needles…
Pain Dice: Between 5 and 7.
"Yes, hello ma'am? We're selling time shares. May we have ten minutes of your time?"
The Time Keepers have control over time, and can move it in blocks or shape it. In Mad City they make their living by borrowing and lending time itself, or taking it from those who are careless via telemarketing and pyramid schemes. Their services aren’t cheap, but they can lend some extra time in return for interest, or give out plans with roll over minutes. Regardless, one must be careful not to fall into debt with the Time Keepers – the balance could end up being some of the best time in their lives.
Pain Dice: 7