#RPG – Giallo Series Additional Resources

Our system-agnostic Giallo settings, are collections of characters and circumstances, adventure kits rather than out-and-out adventures. Here’s a bonus adventure by the author – Miguel Ribeiro. Buy our Giallo RPG books HERE. They are more directly useful with Actual Fucking Monsters, but easily adaptable to any system.

PDF CHARACTER GUIDES

SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS FOR BACKGROUND MUSIC DURING PLAY

#TTRPG Giallo in RPG: The strange case of the unusual dice

Guest blogger: Miguel Ribeiro

So you want to write or run a giallo scenario? Great, there’s never enough edgy and stylish role-playing material and, in this particular case, the scarcity is even more obvious. Apart from Postmortem Studio’s editions, there’s Profondo Giallo, a sourcebook for the Spanish horror RPG Fragmentos, but it lacks an English translation. And nothing else, at least not evidently marketed as such.

The first thing to think about when trying to run an Italian horror scenario is, obviously, choosing an adequate group of players. The themes are mature, and some descriptions may be unsettling for oversensitive people. If you want to avoid trouble, choosing the right players and the right place is the first and most important step.

Giallo movies are usually led by female protagonists, but it doesn’t have to be necessarily so in a role-playing game. Unless you are planning a one-shot and continuity isn’t an issue, having female non-player characters as victims of gruesome murders or savage attacks is the best course of action. I’ve set The Sisters of the Seven Sins in a convent, allowing for the players to take the roles of nuns, but there are other options, such as Vatican authorities investigating reports of demoniacal manifestations and reporters exploring the mysterious narrative unrolling in the convent. A mixed group will allow for the use of typical tropes from both female and male led gialli, thus easing the game master’s work.

The player characters, male or female, can be either investigators or witnesses to crimes. The accidental investigator trope is recurrent in giallo movies, and it adequately fits the transition to role-playing games. Orpheum Lofts, the first giallo scenario I wrote, takes advantage of that theme. The players are supposed to be all residents of the same building and there are already connections presented among the personas, which account for the interference in investigations when something unusual happens. Of course those prepared links between characters are entirely optional. The voyeur/ witness trope can justify implicating any character in a murder mystery.

The alienation and mental illness theme, another trope which punctuates the genre, was in my mind while writing The Memorial, which takes place in a rundown hospital where bizarre things are bound to happen. While there are several doctors and nurses available to choose from, the psychiatric ward was given greater detail than elsewhere in that medical facility. Impersonating medical professionals or patients, the players encounter situations where doubts will arise about if it is a supernatural manifestation or just delusions they are facing. The alienation trope, in which the witnesses’ testimony is considered unreliable by the authorities, comes into play in such cases.

You probably noticed that I’ve chosen enclosed spaces to set myscenarios: a residential building, a hospital and a convent. That’s partly a personal preference, but it is also related to the genre’s characteristics. Unless the characters are professional investigators, being close to the plot’s mysterious occurrences is the only way to maintain their interest while keeping up suspension of disbelief. Fear and suspicion are always solid motivations.

Another of my personal preferences, one that makes perfect sense in a giallo – most likely the reason I gravitated towards that kind of horror – is having an extensive cast of non-player characters. You don’t need to detail them all, but at least put a name tag to them. As the story unfolds you’ll need victims, suspects, hypothetical witnesses and other investigators. Nosy neighbours, work colleagues, close friends or members of the family, reporters, police detectives, doctors, these are all archetypal characters from horror stories who have their placehere. The spaghetti thriller has a defining whodunit narrative structure, with some plot twists that point suspicions to different characters along the plot. The identity of the killer is only discovered at the ending, and it is never the one who was expected to be the guilty party. The trench coats, sunglasses and leather gloves have become such usual clichés for killers, but they were not just an aesthetical formula, they were also the answer to conceal the murderer’s real identity, when they had already appeared onscreen. When I run giallo scenarios, sometimes I use a trick: I don’t decide who the killer is at the beginning. I select a few suspects and the player character’s actions determine which of those the real assassin is.

Even though the social commentary doesn’t need to be transposed from film to role-playing, it’s an interesting perspective, especially if you intend to set the game in the past. Gender roles, sexuality and mental illness were the most frequent controversial themes. I’ve touched on those subjects in my own scenarios, Orpheum Lofts and The Memorial, which feature homosexual, drug addicted and paraphiliac characters. Also women of ill-repute, rapists and other abusers, paedophiles… Quite an assortment of unsavoury characters. The Sisters of the Seven Sins has an added political layer, as it is set in post-revolutionary Portugal of the mid-1970s. And before you assume I’m a right-wing Incel, stewing over my own misogynistic rage in my parent’s basement, let me assure you that’s not the case: I’m a 45 year old southern-European leftist, and a few of the most insensitive ideas in my scenarios were suggest by the unofficial first editor, my “companion” (or whatever is the politically correct way to call them). Anyway, though these subjects are dangerous to pick up right now, they could pay off if your players react in a mature way. Since I’m not a specialist in handling “sensitivity issues”, there’s an academic thesis that expands on those and other themes in a way I certainly cannot. You can find it here: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/4730.

For obvious reasons, a contemporary role-playing game is the ideal for you to use in conjunction with a genre that takes place right now, or in the recent past. Since spaghetti thriller feels a bit dated, for my own scenarios I’ve opted for the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but that’s not a rule. Setting things in the past surely avoids the ubiquitous smartphones, laptops and tablets, which can easily ruin a horror story, but no one is stopping you from setting gialli in current days. Dario Argento revisited it in Giallo (2009), starring Adrien Brody and Emmanuelle Seigner. In spite of the name, the movie isn’t the perfect showcase, but the time period had nothing to do with that.

And while we’re addressing setting, let’s go into the game choice itself. Lovecraftian cosmic horror RPGs are probably the most common, but they aren’t really good at accommodating spaghetti thrillers. A rules-light, psychological horror game is the ideal, since the menaces are usually human in nature. Supernatural can and does appear in gialli, but it’s always discreet in nature. A psychological horror game with emphasis in drama is most likely the best option. Personally, I don’t like narrative story games, but I suppose they are a good match. For my scenarios I used Actual Fucking Monsters, since the editor and publisher, James Desborough, is also that game’s author. AFM would have been an excellent fit anyway, being rules-light and rather flexible.

Having a soundtrack playing in the background is not everybody’s cup of tea; but if it doesn’t disturb you gaming sessions you should definitely try it. The musical score and sound effects are quite relevant and they will be handy to create the right atmosphere. If you decide to play a soundtrack you may want to pick something by Goblin, an Italian progressive rock band – which has frequently collaborated with Dario Argento – or any of Ennio Morricone’s horror soundtracks. There are very interesting and complete playlists for giallo and other Italian horror subgenres in Spotify and YouTube.

Something that should be remembered is that while there are similarities to slasher movies, these films are much more stylish. The vivid colours and lush décors that are a trademark of gialli aren’t easily translated to something that plays entirely inside the theatre of the mind. Since you can’t have a cinematographer helping you do your job as “director”, you must use your own words to describe them. There’s no need to go into very gory and graphical descriptions, but you should try to set the scenes with an added level of detail. And I don’t mean only the violent sequences, but also the aftermath of crime. When the characters find defiled corpses in macabre murder scenes, take some time to describe the locations and all the elements. Dario Argento would probably do the same.

PURCHASE MIGUEL’S GIALLO TRIOLOGY AT POST-MORT.COM

#TTRPG Postmortem Giallo 0003: The Sisters of the Seven Sins RELEASED!

The third in our Giallo mini series, TheSisters of the Seven Sins provides an Italian-style pulp adventure centred around a band of nuns who are not, quite, what they seem.

A system agnostic game setting for a variety of potential adventures, with placeholder stats for Actual Fucking Monsters.

Hardcopy

PDF

#RPG – Giallo: The Memorial RELEASED!

A Giallo-themed horror RPG adventure context/scenario that can be used with any system, but which is presented with statistics for Actual F*cking Monsters. This scenario takes place in a run-down hospital where nothing is quite what it seems.

System agnostic, but with statistics for Actual Fucking Monsters.

HARDCOPY

PDF

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters: Breaking the Limits – Schachr Mequbbãl

Loosely, and probably incorrectly, that translates to ‘Black Kabbalist’. They’re one of the Hunter groups detailed in the back of Actual Fucking Monsters. The main book doesn’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but the idea is that this order of Kabbalists and their supporters came about during WWII to deal with supernatural threats to the Jewish people that existed alongside the very human monsters we’re all familiar with.

Some inspiration was taken from 2000ADs ‘Fiends of the Eastern Front’, particularly ‘Stalingrad’, the more modern story illustrated by the brilliant Colin MacNeil.

In the modern age the Schachr Mequbbãl are a black-operations group buried deep within MOSSAD, hunting down Nazi Monsters (many of which were immortal) and new supernatural threats that abound both within and without Israel.

The practice of Kabbalah is forbidden, and said to curse one in the eyes of god, but these select few are willing to make that personal sacrifice for the sake of their people.

I’m not one for ‘sensitivity reading’, this is fiction, but it does occur to me that I know quite a few Israelis and Jews who will be far more familiar with Jewish folklore than I am. Everyone knows about the golem, but I’d like to include some other things. Anyone got anything cool to add as a ‘kickassery reader’?

#RPG – Actual Fucking Nightlife – Part Five – Magicians

Magicians can come from many different traditions, but magic is extremely rare. Magicians are simply humans with the capacity to tap into the latent flow of magic.

Magicians must take the following Monster Powers:

  • Indomitable Will
  • Dark Magic
  • Spellcasting

Possible Banes: Salt, religious symbols, painted eyes, gargoyles, mirrors, corn dollies, horseshoes, white heather, brass, candles, roosters, garlic, gemstones, cold iron, mistletoe. (Magician’s Banes typically make their magic more difficult, giving the target an extra die to roll to protect themselves).

It is not suggested that Spellcasting become a part of regular play, but a human becoming a Monster in a quest for supernatural power is a powerful trope nonetheless.

Magicians generate Satiation by performing any transgressive act, typically within the lore of whatever magickal tradition they cleave to. Human or animal sacrifice are popular ones, as are extended acts of debauchery or even taking the other path and living an ascetic and ritualistic existence.

Magicians have to spend Satiation only when performing acts of magic, though they can never store more than d12. If a Monster Power that they replicate with magic requires the expenditure of Satiation, they lose two levels.

Magicians aren’t limited by their Satiation as Monsters are, save when it comes to using their Monster Powers and they cannot starve from a lack of Satiation. The powers they replicate are replicated at the Spellcasting level and last for a number of minutes depending on their Spellcasting die type (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours).

Magicians cannot heal using Satiation as Monsters can. Should they become a Monster, they lose their Spellcasting ability, but retain their Dark Magic ability in their new form.

Casting a spell requires a roll of Spirit+Spellcasting against a d8+d8 difficulty and three actions to make invocations and to make gestures, or to draw runes or whatever else is appropriate for their tradition.

Example: Valkyr is a magician from the nordic tradition. Having drawn Satiation from hunting and killing a bear and devouring its heart, Valkyr finds himself confronted by witch-hunters. He hurriedly locks the door and slams the couch up against it, rending his shirt, drawing blood and bellowing a prayer to Tyr and the spirit of the bear for power. The difficulty is rolled at a 5, Valkyr rolls his Spirit d10, Indomitable Will d4 and Spellcasting d4 for a total of 7. A successful cast. He sprouts claws and fangs with a value of d4, ready to help in combat.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Nightlife – Part Four – More Monster Types

These Monsters are NPC types in the Nightlife book, but in AFM they could more than possibly be player Monsters.

Asrai: Water spirits.
Monster Powers: Armour, Water Control, Dark Seduction.
Banes: Sunlight.

Bugwalkers: Swarm-Like ghosts of people killed by insects.
Monster Powers: Insect Control (and take damage like insect swarms), Insubstantial, Levitation.
Banes: Insecticide.

Data Haunts: Electric ghosts that can ride people or machines.
Monster Powers: Insubstantial, Camouflage, Inhabit.
Banes: Being outside of a body.

Edimmu: Sumerian ghosts that inhabit bodies until they rot apart, before moving on to another.
Monster Powers: Armour, Fearsome, Olympian.
Banes: Holy Relics.

Goblynnes: Evil, dark-skinned, tusked troublemakers.
Monster Powers: Camouflage, Olympian, Drain (Blood).
Banes: Cold-Wrought iron.

Gorehounds: Undead dogs, kept as pets by many Kin.
Nature: Predator d6
Trio: Mind d4, Body d8, Spirit d6.
Mask: Guard Dog d4, Fighting d6, Tracking d6, Alertness d6
Monster Powers: Drain (Pain) d4, Claws and Teeth d6.
Banes: Sunlight d8.

Hafgryr: Descendants of Grendel and his mother.
Monster Powers: Armour, Fearsome, Olympian.
Banes: Sunlight, Compulsive hatred of humans.

Kikulaluit: Beings from a lost, underground civilisation with white hair and translucent green skin.
Monster Powers: Armour, Heightened Sense (Sight), Camouflage.
Banes: Agoraphobia, Sunlight.
Constant Slippage: Translucent.

Magadon: A form of shapeshifting Indian troll who use their shapeshifting powers to defraud and con others.
Monster Powers: Facedance, Armour, Telepathic Reading.
Banes: Sunlight, Cooked or non-meat food.

Medusae: Human bodies with twisting snakes atop their head. Their gaze petrifies targets and this is how they feed.
Monster Powers: Drain (Petrification), Armour, Dark Seduction.
Banes: Their reflection.

Nakani: Native American wind spirits who subjugate and control humans.
Monster Powers: Armour, Hypnosis, Speed.
Banes: Stale or dead air.
Constant Slippage: Always surrounded by whistling.

Ogre: Maneating, hulking brutes.
Monster Powers: Armour, Olympian, Claws and Teeth (emphasis on the teeth).
Banes: Hunger for child flesh.

Pengallen: A severed head, trailing entrails that can possess different bodies and which feasts on blood.
Monster Powers: Parasite, Levitation, Drain (Blood).
Banes: Sunlight.

Rakshasa: An Indian vampire with slitted pupils and poisonous claws.
Monster Powers: Claws and Teeth, Venom, Drain (Blood).
Banes: Sunlight.

Sidhe: Light elves who have adapted to urban living.
Monster Powers: Heightened Sense, Teleportation, Armour.
Banes: Cold-wrought iron.

Shockers: The ghosts of people who died from electrical shocks.
Monster Powers: Insubstantial, Discharge, Drain (Life force – bioelectricity).
Banes: Water.

Toxxix: Mutated, toxic-waste humans who have been altered by radiation or chemical waste.
Monster Powers: Acid Vomit, Fearsome, Olympian.
Banes: Fire, cannot eat non-rancid or non-polluted food.

Trolls: Hulking, thick-skinned, cannibalistic monsters.
Monster Powers: Armour, Olympian, Regeneration.
Banes: Sunlight.

Ubo: A form of Japanese vampire, often dressed in white.
Monster Powers: Armour, Beast Form (butterfly), Claws and Teeth.
Banes: Sunlight.
Permanent Slippage: Wears only white – if at all possible.

Withered Men: The revenants of homeless people who die from exposure.
Monster Powers: Ageless, Armour, Drain (Heat).
Banes: Cold.

Skinthieves: Predators made of wires and hooks that skin their enemies and wear them.
Monster Powers: Facedance, Armour, Claws and Teeth.
Banes: Ripping and tearing.

Suckers: Lamprey-headed and necked creatures.
Monster Powers: Armour, Claws and Teeth, Drain (Life Force).
Banes: Sunlight.

Tapefaces: Those who survive being skinned by skinthieves occasionally become creatures of their own.
Monster Powers: Armour, Drain (Heat), Heightened Sense (Touch).
Banes: Salt.

Zipperheads: Gimp-masked monsters that ‘unzip’ to extend tentacles and feed.
Monster Powers: Camouflage, Drain (Life Force), Armour.
Banes: Saltwater.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Nightlife – Part Three – Humanity (Ew)

Actual Fucking Monsters is explicitly NOT one of those games that uses Humanity as a gauge for anything, you can lift the system directly out of Nightlife if you do, actually, want to use it. I’ll offer an option for a different style of Humanity gauging system in a companion pamphlet for AFM.

Actual Fucking Monsters is explicitly NOT one of those games that uses Humanity as a gauge for anything, you can lift the system directly out of Nightlife if you do, actually, want to use it. I’ll offer an option for a different style of Humanity gauging system in a companion pamphlet for AFM.

If you choose to include ‘Humanity’ in AFM, against all reason and every warning and insistence I give, then fair enough.

***

Your Humanity has no meaningful impact on the game, most of the time. Humans can, themselves, be monsters of the non-supernatural kind and find ways to excuse, rationalise or ignore the most horrific things that they do. Nonetheless it has a die-rating, as with Health and Satiation and if your Games Master chooses to be a bastard, they can limit your social die rolls to a maximum of that die type.

Rather than having a rating, or a Judeo-Christian morality structure, this is about how your character manages to live with themselves. You set a ‘red line’, something that you will not do, starting with the least objectionable thing you might be able to think of.

If you ever cross that line, you get a chance to rationalise your actions to the Games Master and then roll your Mind die plus Nature die against your Spirit plus current Humanity die. If you succeed, you modify your red line to be looser, but keep your Humanity at the same level. If you fail, you modify your red line to be looser, but drop your Humanity one die-type.

Monsters that lose all their Humanity become ‘Maniacs’ and their monstrous nature fully erupts. Their Mind drops to d4 and their Body is stepped up by a number of dice equal to what was lost (even going into die multiples). They become an NPC and go on a rampage.

Example: Croen is recently made and despite being a blood-drinking horror, he has set the red line that he will ‘Never kill’. The circumstances being what they are in AFM, he’s soon put in a position where if he doesn’t shoot this shotgun wielding loon, one of his friends will die. He pulls the trigger and the man dies. Croen tries to rationalise this as being ‘Self defence’ and to modify his red line to ‘I will never kill except in self defence’. He rolls his Mind d8 + Nature d6 for a total of 6. While his ‘Humanity’ rolls d12+d8 for a total of 11. He fails to fully rationalise this, but shifts his red line to the d10 level and has lost a bit of his Humanity.

You could also kitbash this system for a Sanity system, with gradual stages of madness.

#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 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.