#RPG – Actual Fucking Nightlife – Part Two – Powers

Nightlife has a lot of powers that can be easily recreated from the Monster Powers in AFM. Some, however, aren’t as straightforward. You can also consider these a bit of a dry-run for some additional powers in a companion book for AFM.

If you have any questions or queries about Actual Fucking Monsters, or Power or Monster Profile (or enemy!) requests. Let me know in the comments or message me on social media.

Acid Vomit
You can vomit a stream of acrid fluid, out to a distance equal to your Acid Vomit rating in metres, halved. It reduces one die type of insanity every two turns (keeping the original attack roll) until it has all reacted out. A single human-sized target can be engulfed by the power.

Slippage: Unnatural pigment, rancid stench, burnt lips and tongue, constant belching.

Astral Projection
You can leave your body and float, psychic and invisible, through the world. You trail a long astral tether back to your own body and can engage with other psychic and astral entities while in this form. Your die type’s maximum possible roll provides the maximum number of hours you can be separate from your body and the maximum distance in kilometres (16/36/64/100/144).

Slippage: Slight afterimage, glowing eyes, silvery sheen.

Control Weather
You can exert power to change the weather around you by spending a level of Satiation. The difficulty to do this is based on the intensity of the current weather and how strongly it fits the current season and environment. If, for example, you’re in England and it is raining (a light drizzle) in the Autumn, then the difficulty to change that weather will be an unchallenging d4/d4. If you’re in the Southern US and trying to avert or dissipate a tornado, the difficulty would be a more challenging d12/d12. You affect an area around you with a radius in kilometres equal to the highest possible roll on your Monster Power die type (4/6/8/10/12 km). Stopping the eye of a hurricane or a tornado will have an effect on a far broader surrounding area, of course.

With weather control you can shift the weather by one degree of intensity, and another degree for every two points you beat the difficulty by. To create a new kind of weather you must first reduce the current intensity to nothing, and then build the new intensity. The default weather depends on where you are, but is ‘the usual’. In Britain, for example, it would be ‘overcast’.

  • Rain Intensity Levels: Spotting, Drizzle, Rain, Heavy Rain, Hammering Down.
  • Sun Intensity Levels: Bright, Intense, Dazzling, Sweltering, Heat Wave.
  • Fog Intensity Levels: Faint,Wispy, Misty, Foggy, Can’t See your Hand in Front of Your Face.
  • Wind Intensity Levels: Breezy, Strong Breeze, Gale, Storm, Hurricane.

Example: Takash is hiding out in a small agricultural village near the border of Syria. The farmers there are having a rough time due to a drought, so he uncharacteristically sets out to help. The weather is a heat wave (d12), and while climate change is playing a role, that’s not that typical for the area (d8). Takash has Control Weather at d10 and Occult d8 from his Mask. He dresses it up with a little ritual, disconcerting the locals somewhat. The weather rolls a difficulty of 12, Takash rolls 15. For hitting 12 he can change the heat by one degree to Sweltering, for hitting 14 (two points over), he can reduce it to Dazzzling. At least the irrigation can be more effective and he can always try again, it’ll be easier now.

Slippage: Constant draught, lightning behind your eyes, hair standing on end, clammy skin, glowing skin, sky blue skin and white hair.

Danger Sense
Add your Monster Power die level to your Initiative. You will almost always go first. If ambushed, roll your Monster Power die type in Danger Sense and if you score four or more you are not ambushed and get your turn as normal, on your Initiative turn.

Slippage: Additional eyes, sensory hairs, twitching motions and turns of the head, frills that rise in the presence of danger, pounding heartbeat, nervous tics.

Demagogue
By spending a point of Satiation and exerting your power over a crowd you can attempt to change or incite a particular mood in a crowd, depending on the intensity of their current mood. This works similarly to Control Weather, but the difficulty is virtually always a d8 (for the average mental resilience of a human being) plus the intensity of the existing emotion.

A happy crowd at a rock concert, might be d8+d8 for difficulty. A furious lynch mob chasing down a Monster that they think killed a child might be d8+d12. The default mood is passive, and is d8+d8.

  • Happy: Smiling, Amused, Happy, Joyous, Rapturous.
  • Sad: Frowning, Unamused, Unhappy, Depressed, Grieving.
  • Angry: Discontent, Grumbling, Angry, Furious, Murderous.
  • Fear: Uneasy, Nervous, Afraid, Scared, Terrified.

Example: Fenwick is ensconced in a crowd at a football match. He needs to feed and planned to use the cover of hooliganism and violence, but the crowd is too happy for his liking. He rolls his Monster Power level (d8) plus his Mind (d10) to try and sway the crowd. The crowd scores 14, he scores 15 which is only enough to slightly sour their mood, moving them from happy to amused.

Slippage: Deep or sonorous voice, exaggerated expressions, unnaturally large mouth, swollen head, glittering aura.

Direction Sense
You have an infallible sense of where you are, no matter what. Not necessarily ‘where’ as in a map or grid reference, or what town or city, but ‘where’ in relation to north, south, east and west and in relation to places you are familiar with. You might know that you’re ‘about ten miles north of home’, for example, but not that you’re locked in the cellar of the Parson’s house in Chickenburg.

Slippage: Metallic lines on your skin, slightly larger sense organs, metallic pupils, bird-like twitching.

Drain (Life Force, Blood, Fear, Youth, Pain, Petrification, Heat)
This replaces Life Drain with a more generic power that can be used to feed (but not regain Satiation unless the act is also your transgression) and to heal.

You must get a firm grip on your target or have direct eye contact for Petrification, then you can suck the appropriate type of energy or fluid from them. This must be a sizeable living thing such as a person, dog or cow. You roll your Trio, appropriate Skill and Drain dice and beat the target’s Body and appropriate second die. If you succeed you drain the appropriate energy and recover a level of Health.

Draining life force does one level of damage to a target that is successfully drained, and heals you by that amount. You will also not require any food or drink for a day.

Draining blood does the same as draining life force, but drained blood – extracted by whatever means – can be stored. One health die level is enough for one blood meal. You won’t need to eat or drink on a day you have a blood meal.

Draining fear causes the target to become irrationally and indefatigably brave for 24 hours, which is something you might not want to do to a hunter. It heals you one level and means you don’t have to eat or drink for a day.

Draining youth causes the target to age a number of years equal to your Monster Power die roll in making the drain attempt. It regains you a die level of health and you do not need to eat or drink for a day. If the ageing process takes them past the age of seventy they take a die level of damage for that and each five years over. If they’re already over that age it’s one automatic level of damage and another one for every five years or part-thereof.

Draining pain causes the target to gain a level of Armoured, representing their temporary immunity to further torture. They may engage in more risk-taking and violent behaviour due to feeling invulnerable.

Petrifying a target rolls Mind+Appropriate Skill for the attack (at -2 if they’re aware of your power) and rolls damage at its die type as though it were a weapon. Completely petrifying a person restores a health die and precludes you from needing to eat or drink for a day.

Draining heat works in exactly the same manner as Drain Life Force, but with the side effect of coldness and loss of body heat.

  • Slippage (Life Drain): Pale skin, greenish pallor, cold flesh, pointed canines, yellow nails, acrid stench.
  • Slippage (Blood Drinking): Obvious fangs, pale skin, coppery smell, red eyes.
  • Slippage (Fear Drain): Unsettling expressions, exaggerated features, distorted sounds, black eyes.
  • Slippage (Youth Drain): Aged appearance, wrinkled and sunken, milky eyes, long fingers, broken yellow nails.
  • Slippage (Pain Drain): Pierced and twisted flesh, sharpened nails, serpent-like eyes, small horns.
  • Slippage (Heat): Pale flesh, vapour breath, blue skin, ice-blue eyes.

Empathic
You can read the emotional state of another being, at least one that is capable of having or expressing emotion in a noticeable way. They must be within line of sight and in order to read them you make a Monster Power and Mind roll against the target’s resistance (Mind plus any appropriate training). Succeeding lets you read their overall emotion, while every two additional points of success gives you a bit more nuance or deeper reading into that emotional state.

For example, while questioning someone you could attempt to read their emotions in order to get a better angle on how to question them or gauge their reactions. In this situation a simple success would let you read that they were nervous (no, d’uh), while another degree of success could allow a read of underlying reticence, holding something back. Another degree of success on top of that could allow the reading of the spike in emotions when a particular question upsets them.

Slippage: Golden halo, glowing aura, kaleidoscope eyes, deformed head.

Flight
Through wings or some other manner of power you can take flight – but cannot hover, at least not for long. Your Flight die determines the maximum height and speed at which you can fly. 16/36/64/100/144 kilometres per hour or metres in height. You can carry one extra person with you, so long as your Flight die is higher than a d4.

Slippage: Bat wings, angel wings, small feathers in your wake, your feet never quite touch the ground, constant draught.

Heart Attack
You can reach out towards someone and cause their heart to stop working, to spasm and fit, crippling them and doing damage to them. You must be within ten metres of the target and be able to gesture with your arm to enact the power. You roll your Power Die + Mind against their Body, if you succeed they are reduced to one action per turn for the duration and take a single die level of damage to their health. You can maintain this effect over several turns, continuing to cause damage and keeping the target relatively paralysed. So long as you continue to succeed you gain an accumulating +1 bonus to the roll each turn.

Slippage: Bloody fingers, staring eyes, black-ringed eyes, visible veins, audible heartbeat, organs visible through skin.

Heightened Sense
One of your senses is heightened to an abnormal degree. You can add your Monster Power die to rolls relating to that sense (sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste). This can also allow you to perform remarkable feats relating to that sense, reading microfiche with the naked eye, feeling the thread count on a cotton sheet, hearing a conversation a block away, smelling the particular constituents of someone’s scent or tasting hints to the provenance of particular foods.

Slippage: Distorted or enlarged sensory organs relating to the sense involved, or additional or strange sensory organs like antennae, cilia or sensory pits.

Necrocommunication
You can communicate with the dead. This requires the expenditure of a point of Satiation, and the presence of all or part of the deceased (a fistful of ashes is sufficient, provided it is mostly from the deceased rather than wood or something else used to burn them). Those who have died a violent or unjust death are easier to summon, while those who have died a peaceful death are harder. The relative violence and unjust nature of the death sets the intensity of the difficulty (d4-d12) while the amount of time they have been dead for determines the other dice of difficulty. D4 for days, d6 for weeks, d8 for months, d10 for years and d12 for any longer than that. Only the spirits of humans or Monsters can be raised in this way, and not if their soul or spirit has been otherwise claimed.

Slippage: Grey pallor, milky eyes, rotten smell, echoing voice, rasping croaky voice.

Reanimator
You can raise the fleshy corpse of a person or animal, provided it still has sufficient muscle mass to move, even if it is old or mummified. This Zombie has d4 in everything and d4 in the Armoured Monster Power. It can perform even complex tasks, so long as its master is close by (25 metres) or so. Raising a corpse requires that you spend a level of Satiation, maintaining it in undeath also costs a level of Satiation every 4/6/8/10/12 days, depending on your die in the power. Unsupervised zombies revert to an animalistic and feral state and seek to devour living flesh. If they can kill – and feast – they can maintain their undeath for another 4 days.

Slippage: Grey pallor, milky eyes, green mist surrounding you, glowing green gaze, twitchy motions, cold flesh.

#rpg – Actual Fucking Nightlife, Part One – Kin

Nightlife was a much underrated game, by Stellar Games (also known for It Came from the Late Late Show) with great art by my long time partner-in-crime Brad McDevitt (whose art was all over AFM and who also sells stock art through us at Drivethrurpg.

I have tried to approach the guys from Stellar Games on several occasions to seek licensing for this ‘lost’ game, but they have always asked for too much, or more commonly, been unresponsive to attempts to license or or produce a new edition (as I did with Blood!).

I figured it might be fun to provide some bare-bones rules conversions for running Nightlife using the Actual Fucking Monsters system nonetheless, it doing so would also help me explore what additional rules and ideas might go into AFM’s companion book.

So here it is, just a silly fan-blog.

Kin

The Kin in Nightlife were pretty loose anyway, rather open collections of thematic powers and weaknesses. So there’s plenty of scope to use AFM’s completely open system to recreate the Kin breeds found there.

Death and Resurrection

Unlike Monsters in AFM, you can’t outright kill Kin easily. When they die they – usually – resurrect the following night. This is detailed in the Nightlife books, but a Monster in AFM’s rules can only resurrect a number of times equal to their die type in Body (1-5 times) before dying the ‘true death’. Dying from Bane damage, or being dismembered or bodily destroyed will also do it.

General Kin Monster Powers

Ageless, Armoured, Claws & Teeth, Control Weather, Danger Sense, Direction Sense, Drain, Dreams and Nightmares, Extra Sensory Perception, Heightened Sense, Navigate Probability, Sense of Time, Speed, Techno-Invisibility, Tracking.

Vampyres

Those who are Made.
Transgression: Cannibalism/Blood Drinking
Monster Powers: Animal Magnetism, Beast Form (Bat), Hypnosis, Insubstantial, Beast Form (Rat), Beast Form (Wolf), Drain (Blood).
Possible Banes: Sunlight, Running Water, Garlic, Wood, Fire, Holy Relics.

Werewolves

Those who are Born, or Those who are Made.
Transgression: Sadism or Cannibalism.
Monster Powers: Animal Magnetism, Beast Form (Hybrid), Beast Form (Wolf), Drain (Pain), Fearsome, Heightened Sense.
Possible Banes: Fire, Silver.

Ghosts

The Neverborn.
Transgression: Cause Fear.
Monster Powers: Armoured, Camouflage, Drain (Fear), Empathic, Facedance, Fearsome, Frigidity, Insubstantial (In Ghosts, using this power makes them corporeal), Levitation, Telekinetic, Teleportation.
Possible Banes: Cold-Wrought Iron, Fire, Holy Relics.

Daemons

Those who are Born or Neverborn.
Transgression: Corruption and temptation.
Monster Powers: Body Manipulation, Drain (Life Force), Facedance, Fire Breath, Flight, Inhabit, Levitation, Telepathic Projection, Telepathic Reading, Teleportation.
Possible Banes: Flint (stone), Holy Relics, Natural Fire.

Wyghts

Those who are Made.
Transgression: Necrophagy, Necrophilia.
Monster Powers: Drain (Youth), Necrocommunication, Reanimator.
Possible Banes: Sunlight, Silver, Fire.

Manitou (Inuit – even I thought that was a bit much)

Those who are Born.
Transgression: Pranks and tricks.
Monster Powers: Animal Magnetism, Bedlam, Camouflage, Harm Transference, Heart Attack, Levitation.
Possible Banes: Fire, Holy Relics.

Animates

The Neverborn.
Transgression: Sadism.
Monster Powers: Body Manipulation, Demagogue, Drain (Life), Hypnosis, Telepathic Projection, Telepathic Reading.
Bane: Sunlight, Fire, Antipathy.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters – Some Clarification

Hello all,

I figure I might do a companion booklet for AFM, with some rules variations, clarifications and ideas. Ideas for longer, ongoing campaigns, ideas for playing as hunters, rather than monsters, some new Monster Powers people have suggested and so on.

If there’s something you’d like to see covered, leave a comment here on or social media and I’ll see what I can do for you here, before I fully put it together for the companion.

Here’s a few things that have come up from readers and players already…

Slippage

Apparently this wasn’t clear enough, but Slippage (the physical/material manifestation of your powers and Monster nature) kicks in involuntarily when your Satiation drops below a certain level. Place the slippage from each power in order (typically from least to most obvious manifestation) matching to each die type of satiation from the bottom up.

EG:
d4 – Cloud of Sulpherous Mist.
d6 – Fanged maw.
d8 – Red skin

Masks

Most of the time it’s anticipated that your Mask describes your human ‘cover story’, or what you do or did before you became or Monster, or besides being a Monster. Some Monsters might feel that they no longer need a cover identity or can do without one, or were never really human in the first place.

In those instances a standard Mask might not be appropriate. Masks don’t have to be these human identities or tasks, you can use them in these instances, like a secondary nature, or to describe what kind of Monster you are in some more explicit terms.

Example: Mr Thinner is a manifestation echo of The Slender Man. He has never been human and in addition to his Stalker Nature, he decides to take Sinister as his Mask, with the skills Intimidation, Stealth and Persuasive under it.

New Power – Dormancy

You can subside into a state of hibernation or dormancy and rest, maintaining your Satiation for longer but rendering you – to all intents and purposes – comatose until the end of your dormancy. Depending on the power level you can awake (and roll for Satiation loss) every 5/6/8/10/12 days, or part thereof decided by you when you hibernate. While dormant you are insensible (until and unless harmed) and cannot defend yourself. Your metabolic activity, body heat and so on are also virtually imperceptible during this time.

Slippage: Slabs of body fat, coated in webbing, mucous ooze, chitinous fragments.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters RELEASED!

Aren’t we all just a little tired of shiny, brooding, romantic, tragic monsters with their ‘woe is me’ whining and carrying on? ‘Monsters we are, lest monsters we become’. Well, fuck holding onto your humanity. If we’re going to be monsters, let’s be Actual Fucking Monsters.

Drawing inspiration from works like Nightbreed and an endless array of 80s horror flicks and their revivals, Actual Fucking Monsters is a game of monstrous creatures doing horrible things and being tracked down and destroyed for it. You don’t win, you live fast, leave a bloody swathe in your wake and then are cut down by the forces of vengeful humanity.

Is that fun?

It sure as shit is.

BUY PDF HERE

BUY POD HERE

#RPG – Love, Death & Robots Sonnie’s Edge (Daikaiju Die!)

Love Death and Robots came out a while ago on Netflix. It’s a worthy successor, in many ways, to Heavy Metal – the series, the anthology comic and the movie. It can be a bit hit-or-miss, many of these kinds of shows can be, but it’s more hit than miss. One of the stand-out episodes was the first one, based on a Peter F Hamilton short story, where bio-engineered mini-kaiju battle it out in underground arenas.

That would make a great premise for an RPG campaign, and carries implications with it – around the technology – that could form a broader and more varied set of RPG scenarios. The technology would be unlikely to only be used in the underground and the military applications of producing cybernetically controlled monsters, organically, bypassing a lot (but not all) of the normal industrial infrastructure necessary for war machines.

Creatures bypass a lot of the real-life issues around giant robots, and engineered and bio-printed organisms, stitched together from cybernetics and vat-grown organs are – in many ways – a lot more plausible.

My FATE-based game, Daikaiju Die! Has the basis for people able to run such a game, with a few tweaks.

Scale

  • Fighting monsters should be scale 2-3 (vehicle or tank).
  • Scale adds to physical Stress.
  • If you’re attacking something bigger than you, the difference in scale counts as two points of extra armour for them.
  • The other way around, the difference in scale is added to damage.
  • If you’re shooting at something smaller than you, the difference in scale is a penalty to the roll.
  • If shooting at something larger, the difference in scale is a bonus to the roll.

Fighting Kaiju Creation

Concept: Overall idea behind the creature.
Codename: Start with a codename for your Fighting Kaiju. Something that sums it up in one go.
Aspects: Concept Aspect, Trouble Aspect, Bonus Aspect.
Stunts: Fighting Kaiju start with a single stunt.
Everything Else: Fighting Kaiju also have Skills, Armour and Attacks to buy. These come out of a starting pool of 12 points.
Skills: Fighting Kaiju have Athletics, Fight, Notice, Physique and Shoot skills. Buying them is 1/1. Don’t forget to increase stress according to their Physique as per the main rule book.
Armour: Fighting Kaiju are naturally very tough, but some are tougher than others. 1 point of armour costs 1 point, 2 points of armour costs 4 points and 3 points of armour costs 9 points. For Fighting Kaiju, armour also adds to stress.
Weapons: Fighting Kaiju’s weapons must be natural, claws, teeth, biological acid vomit and so forth. Weapons cost one point per bonus point of damage, up to a maximum of +3. You can also buy aspects for a weapon for one point each.
Bonus Stunt: A Fighting Kaiju can have a second stunt at a cost of 3 points.
Bonus Aspect: A kaiju can have additional aspects at the cost of two points each.

Rules

The Interface skill works as normal, but there is only ever a single ‘pilot’.

The connection is direct and at the speed of light and is essentially lagless out to a distance of 225km. The operator suffers a -1 penalty for every 100km distance or part thereof beyond that.

A civilian transmitter typically only has a maximum range of 500m before connections start to drop out, less in built up areas or inside structures.

In both competitive and military settings, the relative loss of operational effectiveness and the use of upgrades follows the same rules as per normal.

Khanivore

Concept: High velocity predator.
Concept Aspect: Lithe and Twisty.
Trouble Aspect: Relatively Weak.
Stunts: Split Attack – After making a successful head-tentacle attack, Khanivore can spend a FATE point to split the tentacles, making four strikes instead of one, at -1 damage each.
Skills: Athletics 3(4), Fight 3(4), Physique 2.
Weapons: Claws +1, Teeth +1, Head-Tentacle +2.
Bonus Aspect: Skin in the Game.
Scale: 2.
Physical Stress: OOOOO

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters preview, Monster Hunters

In AFM the background is mostly implicit, rather than explicit. The GM and the characters will create the (unreliable) lore of the world as they play. Even so, I felt some areas needed a little more definition. Monster hunter groups are likely to play a big role in any game that lasts long enough. The Inquisition is SO played out, so I went further afield looking for inspiration…

DEEP ORG

When Monsters are hurting, they can reach out for help, just like humans do. Monsters are usually not fortunate enough to find a helpful therapist and don’t often retain much in the way of contact with their families. If they don’t learn how to be self-reliant or can’t find some other way to exorcise their demons, they may well fall victim to cults, ‘occultism’ and pseudo-religions.

Some Monsters have found themselves unlucky enough to run afoul of a particular cult. This cult, primarily based around wealth and celebrity, has long sought some way – any way – to meet the kinds of promises it has made to its members. Monsters have provided that way, along with evidence of the supernatural and a dangerous enemy.

The cult believes that Monsters are thieves of the powers and abilities that humans should have at the highest levels of the cult. They consider Monsters to – by and large – be ‘exograms’, Frankenstein’s Monsters of bad experiences and soul fragments, bound around supernatural powers that are the birthright of ‘cleared’ humans. When they hunt Monsters, it is to destroy the exograms and free the powers.

The hunters from this cult are called ‘Deep Org’ and are secret, even for a cult that loves its secrets. The Org reports directly to the Chairman of the cult and is led by The Commander – a title that replaces their identity. The Commander oversees around fifty Deep Org agents around the world all of whom have a long history of loyalty to the cult and have some military or law-enforcement experience.

Type: Human NPC
Trio: Mind: d8, Body: d8, Spirit: d10
Mask: Fanatical Cultist d4 (Cult Teaching d10, Melee Combat d8, Firearms d8)
Powers: Arrogant self-confidence is a strange idea of a power, but members of Deep Org truly believe they are superior and to an extent that self-belief makes it true. Each member can choose a +1 bonus to one of their Trio on every roll that includes it. They often also believe they have other powers, such as immunity to poison and disease, telepathy and other psychic abilities. They don’t actually have them, just believe that they do.
Gear: Deep Org has access to firearms and equipment around the globe, safe-houses and top-notch legal representation as well as several large yachts and other vessels. They tend to dress in variations of navy or marine uniforms, or nautically themed attire such as blazers and deck shoes. They typically arm themselves with heavy automatic pistols, such as the Colt .45 and carry bags, cuffs and other kidnapping equipment. Their specialised EM meters can often detect Monsters, but only with skin-to-skin contact.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters Preview for Supporters

Actual Fucking Monsters – the RPG of unrepentant, monstrous transgression (the cover is a fake-out) – is now finished as a rough draft, and that first draft is available to people who back me on Patreon or Subscribestar (along with a whole host of other things like disount codes).

You can back me for as little as $1 US a month, or more, and this helps give me the space and funds to pursue better games, better art, more video creation and the possibility of podcasts in the future. You get access to me for support, questions, suggestions, video topic suggestions and more.

If at all possible, please back me on Subscribestar as I need a certain amount of subscribers and a certain amount of cash to be able to cash-out from there.