|Incomplete||This is a fragment, it is in the initial stages of being written|
This is a GURPS Adventure. Set in the modern day with some supernatural elements. It starts with the death of a person or two, so it might be easiest to have the PCs be investigators looking into the deaths.
The story is formatted into the main bulk of the story, then suggestions for continuing and lenses for modifying are provided, but feel free to creatively modify it or take useful
Umar Zaire is a pickpocket.
He does not make a living this way, he is a kleptomaniac and can't help himself.
Four days ago, he accidentally stole an object while on a subway station. The object is a small stone thing with a few strange and complicated symbols on it.
The day after he got the thing, he was found dead by his friend, Elwin Theodore. Theodore stole the object and hid it in his room (which is next door to Umar's), before he called the police.
| The Object is a magic artifact, it is known as Wisopher's Stone. It causes anyone who sees it to die if they fail a HT-4 roll, continued exposure requires another check every hour.|
Umar Zaire was killed by the stone. His friend who found him made his HT check and closed the lid of the case it's in so he could put it in his pocket.
After the police arrive at the scene of Umar Zaire's death, the Illuminati find out that he had the stone, and they send someone to find it. Their agent (somehow) finds that Elwin Theodore has the stone and goes into his room, killing him quietly by strangulation. The agent then takes the stone.
However, when the agent reaches the lobby, he is assaulted by an unknown person, and the stone slips out of it's case in the struggle, killing everyone in the lobby.
The unknown person survives however, and manages to escape (it is possible that he was shot or otherwise injured by the agent).
Obviously the police will investigate the deaths of the people in the lobby of the building.
Continuing the story Edit
How the story continues from here is up to you, as a GM. But, as an example; you could say that Orange, a FBI agent working for the conspiracy, introduces the PC(s) to the Canadians. The Canadians are a 'good' group of conspirators. They are working against a group of conspirators called The Nevada Group, a 'bad' group of conspirators.
The Canadians relate the story of the Wishopher's stone. A mysterious object, believed to have been made long ago by a certain alchemist, is believed by some to be a magical object, perhaps a philosopher's stone. Others think he merely found the stone, and that it is really an alien artifact. Either way however, it is old, and stuff. They believe that the stone that Umar Zaire stole is the Wishopher's stone. But without the stone itself they can't know for sure (and even then, they still might not recognize it).
The lenses below are examples of how the story could be changed to help it suit a particular campaign or story scheme. They are by no means all-encompassing, and you should feel free to be creative in your implementation of the story/adventure.
For a less virulent artifact, it could deal 6d Fatigue Damage instead of instantly killing people, or it could deal 400d radiation (which won't instantly kill them, it leaves more then enough time to shop for a fancy well priced casket).
- Magical Powers
- For an alternate character group, the stone kills Umar Zaire first, then it kills the people in the lobby. An amount of time later, they all come back to life (it might make sense to vary this, to have Elwin Theodore go to his drug dealer Fred who kills him and takes the stone, then the agent fights with him in the lobby, making the psychotic Fred be the second person the stone kills.)
- The first two people the stone kills come back with some (very temporary) partial amnesia. They each have magical powers, each other person killed by the stone after them become Zombies. The zombies follow the commands of the second person the artifact killed (the bad guy).
- The artifact itself, after killing all the people in the lobby, become inactive. It no longer kills people, and a certain homeless man named Mr. George happened upon it. He took it. Over a short space of time, he learns that he can influence people's minds with it (either a suggestion power, or possibly full on mind control). Shortly after which he becomes a very rich man of some importance (once the stone became inactive, it became much harder for the Illuminati to find it.)
- Alien Artifact
- Adapting the story to an alien artifact is not hard, it could even allow things to remain unchanged; the alchemist who 'made' the stone might have instead found it, and merely didn't mention that it really fell from the sky (it might well be that either his first hand accounts don't exist, or haven't been found; and it's entirely plausible that he might not spread rumor of it's origin too broadly).
- The artifact might produce some kind of barely perceptible audio-visual manipulation that makes people want to have it (in a way similar to how commercials make you want stuff, or how music effects people emotionally). This caused Elwin Theodore to kill Umar Zaire. Or (as in the above story) Umar Zaire could have been killed by the artifact itself, and Elwin Theodore happened upon it afterwords.
- The stone is a mysterious artifact, but it is not magical (at least not the instant-death kind of obvious magic) it may be an alien artifact (perhaps connected with some comet or Roswell-like incident), or an ancient relic thought to possess magical powers (people might suspect it's a philosopher's stone). But it is certainly strange, and connected with the Illuminati somehow. When Umar Zaire saw it, he was interested, he didn't understand it. So he showed it to his friend, Elwin Theodore. Elwin killed Umar and took the stone.
|Why did Elwin kill his friend? Elwin is a drug addict, and it may be that his habit impaired his judgment. Perhaps he needed drugs and thought the stone valuable; perhaps he was on drugs at the time, and they were so powerful that his mind made him believe that he had to have the stone; perhaps the stone really is magical, maybe it made him want to take it. We (and the PCs) may never know for sure. Depending on your campaign choices, you might make Elwin part of the conspiracy, although this does seem somewhat unlikely, that Umar would happen to take the stone from a random passer-by on the subway, and then his best friend and next door neighbor happened to have been in on the conspiracy and recognized the stone on sight. But with some conspiracies it may not be that unlikely (especially if Umar is somehow connected to the conspiracy as well).|
- Note: this changes the death of Umar Zaire, by default the cause of his death leaves no visible marks, but if he was killed by a drug addict who was either high or drug-seeking, that circumstance becomes unlikely.
- Elwin took the object to an alley outside his building, perhaps he was meeting someone to sell the stolen artifact. He was killed, and the artifact taken.
- The incident at the hotel is harder to fit in with this lens, it might be best simply to edit it completely. Simply making it so that someone shot Fred. Then he went outside, George stole the stone from him, and so forth.
- This lens probably removes the part where Umar and Fred come back to life. Depending on what the object is, George might be able to use it to make money, if it's alien, he could develop advancements from it (in which case he likely has skills that allow him to understand it). If neither George nor Fred can exist, there are no obvious bad guys. In which case you'll need to fill the rest of the game with your own stuff (if you do, feel free to mention it here; this Wiki is collaborative after all). The device might emit some kind of radiation that causes people exposed to it to die (that would be far easier to detect then magic), or spread some virus.
see Umar Zaire