October 3, 2011

Superhero Adventure: ORB


Sawbones has a new experiment. He is looking into regressive research, wherein the human body is regressed to an earlier form of evolution. He feels he can then take the best parts, the parts that helped push the species forward, and reintroduce some of the human components that have been lost since time and medicine has “weakened” humanity.

Part One
The players are called to the Rock Institute, a research facility on AIDs. Some creatures with powers are attacking the place. When the characters get there they will have a chance to fight some of Sawbone’s Abominations (see the chart at the end for possible opponents). After they clear up the fight they will learn Sawbones has made off with a bunch of technical research.

In particular, Sawbones made off with research into how AIDs is spread, specifically how it breaks down a human’s natural resistances and insinuates itself into the human body. This was cutting edge research that was meant to be used as a means to prevent a person from ever getting AIDs, research into creating a natural blocker (as opposed to finding a cure). However, as Doctor Jenny Sol, head of the Institute, mentions, this research could also be used to find a faster and more efficient means to introduce AIDs into a person.

After the attack, the characters will hopefully try to track Sawbones down. Let the characters hit the streets, use whatever contacts/methods they have for ferreting out information. Eventually they should find his latest lair, an unused kennel. Once inside they will discover Sawbones had captured some people for experiments. How long their search for the lair took determines how many are still alive. At least one should still be alive. Any alive will be on the verge of death from dehydration.

Information to be gleaned will lead the characters to Sawbones next mission.
“He was extracting body tissue from us; he took some of my spinal fluid.”
“He left us here expecting us to die before anyone found us. Good heavens you found me before it was too late.”
“He thinks the human body has gotten soft from modern medicine.”
“He was heading to Durango, Colorado and some place there called the Square Tower House. He was looking for the graveyard of the Anasazi”

Part Two
Sawbones and his crew are at the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, 35 miles west of Durango. He is searching for the secret graveyard of the Anasazi Skinwalkers. The Anasazi have a graveyard (which is known to the general public), but they also had a secret graveyard where they buried their Skinwalkers, Indian werewolves. This secret graveyard is hidden in the cliff face behind the Square Tower House. This secret graveyard is a maze of twisting passageways behind a secret door.

By the time the characters get there the secret door will already be open. This will be a running battle between the characters and Sawbone’s Abominations. You can also throw in some traps and other such things as the Anasazi did not want anyone to find their secret graveyard. At one point near the beginning of their exploration they will come across an Abomination already dead. This was caused by Skinwalker, but the characters will not know this and will likely assume it was a trap or something else.

Eventually the characters will find the central chamber which housed the corpses of the tribe’s Skinwalkers. Sawbones is again gone already. It is clearly evident that two corpses have been taken.

After the characters leave the ruins they will be approached by Blueberry Swift. He claims to know where Sawbones has gone. If pressed he will state he is an ancestor of the Anasazi and it his task to look over the ruins. He failed in this task because Sawbone’s abominations were too strong, but he would like the corpses stolen returned and Sawbones punished. He will reveal he heard Sawbones say he was heading back to Blooming Grove, New York (in reality he managed to do a quick mind reading of Sawbones).

Anasazi SkinwalkersThese are the Indian equivalent to werewolves. There are a bunch of legends surrounding them. One of the current theories is that they did not take on animal forms, but rather were genetic throwbacks to a more primitive form of human and that the legends sprang from that.

Blueberry Swift is a descendant of the Anasazi. He ahs gained their ability of being able to shapechange (into any animal form) and some of their other "witchcraft" (mind reading, super speed, mimicry). For now he watches over the ruins of the Anasazi inside Mesa Verde National Park near Durango, Colorado. Thus far he keeps to himself, but he can not be said to be a hero or villain. This may change in the future.

Part Three
Sawbones has taken over part of the Brotherhood Winery in Blooming Grove, New York. He has created ORB (Oral Regressive Bioweapon) that is meant to regress people into a more primitive form. By the time the characters get to Blooming Grove he has already introduced ORB into the town’s water supply. His next big methodology will be to do the same for the wine at the winery and allow ORB to be spread across the country. The next test of this is going to be the local town celebration coming up in two weeks (or a time appropriate to the characters being able to interact).

The characters will have to do some investigating to try and get an exact pinpoint on Sawbones hidden lair. During this time there will news of a serial killer striking the area savagely. This is in fact residents of Blooming Grove succumbing to the virus. How this part (and the adventure) ends depends on how the characters fare. There is no reason to slow down or speed things up. Let the characters find what they will. If for some reason they get stuck the town celebration should be able to lead the characters to the winery when they determine that it was the free wine that was the cause of the residents regressing into werewolf type creatures.

Some possible encounters in Blooming Grove:
-Joe’s Bar and Grill. He makes a point of closing at dusk. This is because he regresses and he has shut himself in.
-Perkins 5 and 10. This general store is the spot of the first victim of the serial killer. Peggy Perkins was the victim and she died early one evening soon after Sawbones got back here. In reality she was killed by her father Oakley Perkins after he changed into a regressed form. His wife, Karen, and daughter, Petra, know of this but remain silent.
-St. Cuthbert’s Church. The pastor, Peter Duvall, has made the church a haven during these trying times. He feels the killer is punishing he town for its various crimes.
-The Village Well. This newspaper run by Beth Amos has some information. The killings started (soon after Sawbones arrived). The attacks are all savage as the killer rips the victims apart. One person who has the greatest criminal record within the town is Cole Jenkins.
-Cole Jenkins. If the characters go to the home of Cole Jenkins they will be met by his father, Devin, who obviously knows something is going on with his son. If pushed he knows Cole knows something about the killings, but not what. Cole Jenkins was hired by Sawbones to put the ORB virus into the water supply at the dam. Cole didn’t know what it was, but he has since figured it out. He plans to blackmail Sawbones for more money and then get out of town.
-The Hunt. At some point the local police will ask the characters for assistance. Most the attacks have taken place at night so they are planning on committing a large number of personnel to canvassing the area the next night. They have called in a large number of citizens. The characters are asked to help. When the characters show up to help the residents all of them regress and attack. The characters will have to fend off the residents until morning. Also at this time Petra Perkins will be trying to escape her house after her father killed her mother after regressing. If they rescue Petra she will reveal she is the girlfriend of Cole Jenkins and is trying to get to him since he has a plan to escape town. This is another means of finding Sawbone’s lair before the town festival.
-Town Festival. This is a parade and wine garden at the end. Unfortunately, the wine has been spiked with the ORB virus. This is a more potent version that causes immediate regression. Fortunately for the characters, powers burn out the virus before they can regress. However, they are then left with half a town of regressed creatures out to kill them. They should, however, now know the winery is the likely location of Sawbone’s lair.

Sawbone’s Lair
This is actually fairly straightforward. There are some fights with some Abominations and then with Sawbones himself. After defeating him they can learn of his plan.

Level 5 [Deathgaunt Lasher, Dolgaunt, Glork, Goblin Mass, Trash Hulk]
Level 15 [Aboleth Suffocator, Destrachan Far Voice, Ethereal Marauder, Far Eidolon, Foulspawn, Warped Slave]
Level 25 [Blarux the Ancient, Crownwing, Spawn of Ulban, Swordwing]
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