Monday, November 6, 2017

they sag, shedding, onto Ikea chairs

New creature with Demon City stats.

STRANGERS

Strangers feed on the anonymity of the city. Literally. Any residential building containing only occupants who do not know each others’ names and with at least five units will begin to attract Strangers. They put in applications like anyone else, generally have acceptable credit, and provide each other with references.

In public, they appear entirely human, but cannot go out in the same skin twice. The physical characteristics, style, and demeanor of theses skins, which rot off like peach peels after a day’s errands, cling to the local average.

Incapable of direct violence, but driven—like all species—to occupy as much space as they can, they spend their time attempting to quietly make human life nearby unpleasant so that real people will move. They make anonymous noise complaints, vote in favor of real estate developers, drive cars with piercing and hypersensitive alarms, cook meals they never eat solely to fill halls with inscrutable humid smells, interfere with cell towers, give 20s to only the violent panhandlers and call the police on the rest. At home they sag, shedding, onto Ikea chairs, buying credit default swaps, writing computer viruses, leaving drive-by comments on social media and masturbating to the worst porn. 

Strangers avoid any interaction which might cause someone to ask their name—they have none. If engaged in any remotely intimate way, they make an excuse and flee. There are whole buildings, districts, perhaps even cities occupied only by Strangers.

Design Notes:

Strangers create an off-beat mystery story, heavy on investigation: Someone follows a person who goes into an apartment building and never comes out, or catches a Stranger in a minor act of irritating sabotage, or breaks into an apartment to discover nothing but a pile of J Crew and a headless face on the carpet. The party must then find a way to understand the nature of the infection, how far it’s spread, and do something about it.

Calm: 1
Agility: 1
Toughness: 1
Perception: 4
Appeal: 2
Cash: 3
Knowledge: 3

Calm Check: 7
Cards: Tower (16), Hermit (9)

Special abilities:

Isolationist metabolism: Strangers do not need to eat or breathe—they live off the alienation produced by creatures passing one another with no acknowledgement.

Skinchanging: Strangers grow a new skin in their sleep, different than any they’ve worn before.

Weaknesses:

Strangers cannot commit violence or speak names. Their ability to lie or create any kind of convincing narrative is very limited.
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

6 comments:

  1. For some reason, I find this creature genuinely disturbing. I had the same uneasy feeling with the Stairway Ghost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean the Staircase Wit?

      Delete
    2. No. The Stairway Ghost is a horror in Demon City. It hasn't been shared on this blog though.

      Delete
  2. Utterly fantastic. I've never seen monsters as truly strange and disquieting as yours. Rock on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a brilliantly creepy idea.

    ReplyDelete