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Scarlet Tropix
2010-08-03, 11:31 PM
Hello Forum! Long time no post.

I'm running a game for four to six people that will be focused around a city that's rather bleak and infested with nasties. In addition to having a bloody, maligned history bad enough to manifest as deadly horrors, it's become a feeding ground for awful things.

In that vein, I'm looking to emulate something similar to the titular IT, something that perhaps the PCs can encounter multiple times before actually out and out killing it. I'm just curious if the forum has any suggestions for monsters, templates even class builds that would allow for the sheer level of control and fear that the clown exerts over the town of Derry.

Thanks in advance.

Machiavellian
2010-08-04, 12:31 AM
Hello Forum! Long time no post.

I'm running a game for four to six people that will be focused around a city that's rather bleak and infested with nasties. In addition to having a bloody, maligned history bad enough to manifest as deadly horrors, it's become a feeding ground for awful things.

In that vein, I'm looking to emulate something similar to the titular IT, something that perhaps the PCs can encounter multiple times before actually out and out killing it. I'm just curious if the forum has any suggestions for monsters, templates even class builds that would allow for the sheer level of control and fear that the clown exerts over the town of Derry.

Thanks in advance.

Grey Jesters, Abominations that look like clowns, that one make-up covered demon/devil, ect. Make these the "Cannon Fodder"

The BBEC (Big Bad Evil Critter) should be a Drow Vampire Drider/Scorrow with mondo Jester (DMC) class levels. Since he could change his appearance, he'd appear as a Drow Jester who is more annoying than a threat, then when the PCs see him last, BOOM! He takes his true form and could have a homebrewed "Aura of Fear"

This is scarier when the townsfolk are creepy, like a gravedigger following the PCs around, or a creepy little girl who randomly appears/disappears (maybe an Evolved (x10) Slaymate who was the BBEC's first victim)

plus, add creepy music, low lighting, and suspense to make your players jump. It's a fricken blast in horror-based campaigns

Eronai_Jantig
2010-08-04, 01:03 AM
Just recently someone was talking about using Slender Man in a game, he's quite perfect for what you looking for, someone even stated him out.

To put him simply, he is essentially a man in a black suit.....who is very tall and skinny.....and can extend his limbs......and oh.....has no face.

Yeah he's a creepy dude, he also has tentacles that can come from his back to walk on. He was an urban legend made up on Something Awful, a good way to get yourself somewhat familarized with him is to google "Slender Man" it has some of the images they made and some of the fake stories.

The best way imo however is to to google "Marble Hornets twitter" go to the beginning, and start reading and watching the posted youtube videos in succession. Its an alternate reality game that ended in april, hopefully to be started back up relatively soon. Point is, it gives you a great idea of how to scare your players during RP moments, the background stuff I suggest stealing from the other stuff about him, which doesn't jive well with Marble Hornets, but hey, your the DM, you get to cherry pick.

Just know that the videos/twitter can be freaky, some people aren't affected at all, some it can take a few weeks to get fully over the scare. The night I watched them I couldn't sleep for awhile, kept waking up and scanning the room. Totally worth it though.

Anyway I hope this helps.

The post a day or so ago: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162588

The Stats:http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7707638&postcount=11

Satyr
2010-08-04, 02:22 AM
The point is that Pennywise himself is not the monster - it is only makes of the monster which makes it easier to prey on children by looking harmless and terrifying at the same time (that's the power of the clown). The true monster is really old, and more or less psychic and a very potent shapeshifter.

For a D&D game I would probably build IT as a minor god, with a very strong focus on illusion, enchantment and the transmutation line of spells.

That said, Pennywise and IT are probably wasted for a D&D game, and its usual lack of personal response.


There is such a fine line
Between love and fear
Your love makes me float
But we all float down here.

SurlySeraph
2010-08-04, 02:25 AM
A Changeling Warshaper would certainly work well - being able to take on any appearance, and then have an enormous fanged mouth burst out of said appearance to devour a target.

Scarlet Tropix
2010-08-04, 02:26 AM
You have a point. I was concerned that building IT as a god--Which is what it really is, after all--Would make it a bit difficult on my players. But then, all things considered, it's really my job to make sure that things work out, eh? Considering that this incarnation of IT, such as it is, is a fragment of another deity, statting him as a lesser god makes sense.

Building IT as a god, however, by Deities and Demigods rules, still requires some base form or levels to build off of, something I'm open to hearing about.

...And don't worry about the personal response. I'm very good at finding it.

Eronai_Jantig
2010-08-04, 02:30 AM
Well if you were to build as a god, he'd probably be an eldritch abomination rather than a a normal classed human or outsider or something. I'd suggest looking at the Slender monster, and building a new monster taking inspiration from that, I've never been a monster builder so I'll leave that and suggested character levels to other posters. Also do you want IT to be killable, and do you want it to be a very direct translation of IT? Or just a vague translation?

Scarlet Tropix
2010-08-04, 02:37 AM
It's more of the concept of a horrible fear entity that can use not only illusions and fear to hurt you, but the history of the town that it resides in and the very real living people around you.

This creature is evil, deadly, but killable. It is meant to be a horrifying abomination attracted to the bloodshed that this city frequents, and while it might indeed be the most deadly thing there, it isn't the ONLY thing.

Eronai_Jantig
2010-08-04, 02:43 AM
Whats your opinion of the Slender Man mythos stuff I suggested? Also what level do you feel the party should be encountering the main monster directly?

Scarlet Tropix
2010-08-04, 02:49 AM
I'd heard of the Slender Man mythos before, and I do think that it's certainly very similar, although the specifics are probably not appropriate since my players will have heard of him before. So I wouldn't be using Slender himself, although I probably will study the material for inspiration.

The beauty of a fear entity, in it's own right, is that the true form that it takes is almost irrelevant to what it actually does and accomplishes.

As for level, I'm not entirely sure yet. Depending on how the group pans out, we may make it all the way up to epic levels. Fortunately I am a world-builder at heart, and so it's very difficult to derail my campaign plans. :3

Eronai_Jantig
2010-08-04, 03:31 AM
Well I wasn't trying to suggest using Slender as-is as what he looks like haha, that wouldn't work at all, I'm going to do it, because only one player knows, so it'll be fine. So it sounds like a god really might not be to hard for them. In that case I can throw out some mechanical suggestions for the "boss".

Homebrew up a series of templates that slowly turns various aberrations and the like into the final IT creature. Lesser templated creatures would be minions, lower leveled versions could be non-templated flavor changed Slendy guys. Main IT can some divine ranks, not sure how many at this point, but it's possible. Have it start out as a beholder, continue as a beholder mage, take up initiate of the sevenfold veil and incantrix, homebrew up a feat that allows cleric spells to be cast by the spell stalks, otherwise, just use them anyways. Give it 20 cleric levels, spontaneous cleric casting salient ability. Make sure they are high level enough that this won't kill them in round 1 and you've got yourself an end boss fight.

Khatoblepas
2010-08-04, 05:16 AM
The thing about IT is that it can't be hurt by anything but belief. Fervent, absolute belief. In the story, it took children (who were uncorrupted by growing up) to kill it. Otherwise, it's going to be invincible.

You really can't have IT in any system that doesn't support Sanity, and models a world of monsters the party faces as a matter of course. IT is a monster in a world that doesn't believe in them.

The quintessential parts of IT are:

- It can take the form of your worst nightmares.
- It preys on children.
- It makes people (especially adults) ignore it and become apathetic, maybe even forget it was even there.
- It has Deadlights (Sanity blasting light that emanates from within, someone that looked directly into it lost their mind completely [1d10/d% Sanity])

To keep up the horror of IT, you shouldn't be filling the town with Silent Hill esque monsters - the town itself should be the enemy. Adults who do nothing to help. The PCs should fall under it's spell if they're particularily weak willed. Start disbelieving that "Derry" is anything but a small, homely town in "Maine". Monsters become men, IT doesn't manifest in front of them. It becomes a battle of wills to see whether they can break the apathy that grips "Derry". Only when the PCs are alone, unprotected and their faith wavering, does IT come down to strike. Children could hurt it because they believed the folktales so fervently (In CoC terms, to hurt it, you have to FAIL an Idea roll [to keep yourself believing] and pass a Luck roll [to overcome IT]). The only way the adults could dismiss it is with a sanity draining spell. In standard D&D, IT would get slaughtered, and the concept would be wasted.

I guess the way to do it in D&D is to PRESENT Pennywise as a God, give the players the seeds of doubt, and watch them squirm as they try and find a way to defeat what is essentially Nyarlathotep. If one player says "You can't kill him with a sword, he's a God!" then that player cannot hurt IT. Sew the seeds deep and water them with clouded thoughts. Say "Are you sure?" a lot when they suggest ways of killing IT. IT isn't actually a God, but merely a powerful being with an achilles heel.

They all float down here. And when you're down here with me, you'll float too!

Scarlet Tropix
2010-08-04, 05:25 AM
Khatoblepas--

I agree 100% with everything you have said. I am aware that the terror of IT comes from the subtle aspects. It's a little difficult to convey exactly WHY this is going to work in the game, but I am fairly confident that it will. I intend to use the town itself as an enemy to the utmost extent. There's a lot of very elaborate, horrible things that our "IT" is interlaced with. I'm doing the best I can to create a similar mood and hopelessness, and I am also drawing heavily upon Heroes of Horror for mechanics and such.

I especially like what you've said in terms of the presentation. Given my usual DMing style and the players involved, I have a feeling that even a response such as 'Are you sure' would make them feel rather off.

Satyr
2010-08-04, 06:21 AM
You know, there is a roleplaying game which is mostly based on IT. It's called Little Fears and includes all the belief and fear issues.

But I guess the point is not to play a retelling of IT, but to include something like Pennywise in a D20 game and for this, which requires a different angle.

I would really build IT as a deity, perhaps using Pennywise as its Avatar (probably calling him different. The Bloody Fool or something like that), and using the various feat effects as illusion spells la Phantasmal Killer, plus a few selected Necromancy and Enchantment spells (especially Irresistible Dance and hideous Laughter are obligatory).
And probably replace "small little town" with " small backwater kingdom"; the scope of D&D is usually larger, and so should be the general threat level.

faceroll
2010-08-04, 06:37 AM
There is such a fine line
Between love and fear
Your love makes me float
But we all float down here.

Unless the fluid pressure is less than the downward force on the object in the fluid.

Machiavellian
2010-08-04, 12:11 PM
The thing about IT is that it can't be hurt by anything but belief. Fervent, absolute belief. In the story, it took children (who were uncorrupted by growing up) to kill it. Otherwise, it's going to be invincible.

You really can't have IT in any system that doesn't support Sanity, and models a world of monsters the party faces as a matter of course. IT is a monster in a world that doesn't believe in them.

The quintessential parts of IT are:

- It can take the form of your worst nightmares.
- It preys on children.
- It makes people (especially adults) ignore it and become apathetic, maybe even forget it was even there.
- It has Deadlights (Sanity blasting light that emanates from within, someone that looked directly into it lost their mind completely [1d10/d% Sanity])

To keep up the horror of IT, you shouldn't be filling the town with Silent Hill esque monsters - the town itself should be the enemy. Adults who do nothing to help. The PCs should fall under it's spell if they're particularily weak willed. Start disbelieving that "Derry" is anything but a small, homely town in "Maine". Monsters become men, IT doesn't manifest in front of them. It becomes a battle of wills to see whether they can break the apathy that grips "Derry". Only when the PCs are alone, unprotected and their faith wavering, does IT come down to strike. Children could hurt it because they believed the folktales so fervently (In CoC terms, to hurt it, you have to FAIL an Idea roll [to keep yourself believing] and pass a Luck roll [to overcome IT]). The only way the adults could dismiss it is with a sanity draining spell. In standard D&D, IT would get slaughtered, and the concept would be wasted.

I guess the way to do it in D&D is to PRESENT Pennywise as a God, give the players the seeds of doubt, and watch them squirm as they try and find a way to defeat what is essentially Nyarlathotep. If one player says "You can't kill him with a sword, he's a God!" then that player cannot hurt IT. Sew the seeds deep and water them with clouded thoughts. Say "Are you sure?" a lot when they suggest ways of killing IT. IT isn't actually a God, but merely a powerful being with an achilles heel.

They all float down here. And when you're down here with me, you'll float too!

Khatoblepas, you are a genius!

Not only are you named after the most terrifying First Edition monster ever (more parties killed than almost any other monster, save goblins), you know your horror. I tend to like "shock horror" tactics, such as whole-party "hallucinations" (See my "creepy little girl" idea in my original post) and classics (finding a human head in a toybox, poisoned cake, weirdos who add suspense) and thus classic monsters (Flesh Golems, Mummy Lords, Vampire Lords, Werewolves), but my god, your tactics are flawless

Prodan
2010-08-04, 12:22 PM
Hello Forum! Long time no post.

I'm running a game for four to six people that will be focused around a city that's rather bleak and infested with nasties. In addition to having a bloody, maligned history bad enough to manifest as deadly horrors, it's become a feeding ground for awful things.

In that vein, I'm looking to emulate something similar to the titular IT, something that perhaps the PCs can encounter multiple times before actually out and out killing it. I'm just curious if the forum has any suggestions for monsters, templates even class builds that would allow for the sheer level of control and fear that the clown exerts over the town of Derry.

Thanks in advance.

Have the monster abduct anyone who says his name, like what Candle Jack

The Glyphstone
2010-08-04, 12:25 PM
You better make the monster's name something other than IT then, otherwise it'll be a TPK in the first five minutes.