Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Under-Grunge: really gritty supernatural role-playing

I was in a bit of discussion today about bath salts and zombie attacks, which I think are complete click bait. The stuff sold as "bath salts" may or may not contain sufficient amounts of cathinone to deprive a person of sleep, but not enough to mimic the effects cocaine or meth. Besides boosting the body's natural levels of dopamine, because of growing respiratory discomfort, there is no generalized feeling of euphoria. Maybe the user experiences moments of spiking then dropping blood pressure can cause psychedelic hallucinations while that person faints, mimicking severe dehydration during a hangover from alcohol, but no big whooping psychosis. So the well publicized "drug-induced cannibalism" craze has more to do a The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad being on the same cable TV channel than any horrifying wonder of chemical engineering.

This sort of fantastic thinking is a great "street level" enhancement to the standard horror based RPG though. Delta Green has already added the Tcho-Tcho people selling black lotus to get a DEA angle into their games. The TV show, Blade, had the whole ASH, thing going on.

MUT-8- This chemical mixture was first produced during the First World War by Baron Von Ruhong of the AustroHungarian Empire. It can actually have part of the recipient's DNA mutate itself into something of a super-power. 67% of all the tests died on the table. Only 22 out of the surviving 315 test subjects did not develop severe mental disorders. It is said that this drug is behind the appearance of super-powered heroes and villains from 1935 and on.
There are documents that show the Nazis, the USA, and USSR all experimented with the drug during WWII. There are rumors of official governmental usage as late as 1986.

ZOM-B- This drug is usually used in secretive religious cults where the belief in a strong guru/prophet figure is in charge. The leader of said cult develops a relationship of faith and trust with the intended users sometimes taking years. Those given the drug that have survived, refer to their time under its influence as having been in paradise. Their bodies though are under what appears to be the psychic influence of the figure. The effect can last for months.
These "zombies" physical bodies seem to be in a constant state of adrenaline reaction to threat. They are cognizant of no pain, except fire and burns, and are only fully incapacitated from doing their leader's will when dead.

Blue Blood- This plasma-based chemical compound, mimics the effects of vampirism after initial exposure, without the supernatural qualities described throughout literature around vampires. The exposed are stronger and faster, and can heal faster than normal when consuming human blood. They are highly susceptible to UV light burns.
These exposed are somehow immune to the adverse effects of InFERnol, and use it gain the supernatural traits associated with classical vampires.

WarHOL- Turns the user's skin to plastic for hours at a time. They become heavy mouth-breathers as their bodies cannot regulate body temperature adequately.

Essential Salts- This tincture, also called "Lovecraft," is quiet an elaborate, and expensive, application various preternatural pharmacuticals in a certain order which will restore the semblance of life to a corpse. These returned are reported to be deeply damaged in terms of their mental stability.

InFERnol - This drug while in effect endows users what can only be describe as supernatural abilities, they are however subject to severe personality changes and later recall nothing. The alternate personality may reappear later throughout the subjects life.

Players can play Agent (Federal DEA specialist), Deputy (local law enforcement), and Professor (scientific researcher), and Gumshoe (civilian) classes. 

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