Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Squick (1st draft)

Superheroes of the Mythos.

This Risus supplement builds upon the Serious Risus rules presented by Lars Erik Larson, to create a world of Lovecraftian Superheroes fighting to defend a humanity that hates and fears them.  Think X-Men with a severe ick factor.

In the World of Squick (name pending satisfaction test... this is all first draft), the player character take on the roles of advanced meta-humans - the Afflicted - characters touched or twisted by contact with the horrors of the Mythos.  Squick does not use pumping or funky dice; though Hooks are mandatory and Tales are preferred.


Squick Characters begin play with 10 dice to spread among their cliches, no more than 4 of which may be spent on Power Cliches (see below).

Additionally, each character has 6 dice in the Health Cliche.  They also possess 6 dice in the Sanity Cliche (minus 1 per Power Cliche possessed).

A Character may not roll more dice for any physical action than his current Health Cliche Pool.  This includes seduction and other social roles based on appearance, that don't involve intimidation.  When a character fails to defend against a physical attack, he loses dice from his Health Cliche, rather than from the defending Cliche.

Your Current Health Cliche (Permanent Health minus Wounds) can be used in place of other cliches to fend off disease or poison, for tasks relating specifically to endurance, or tests based on Strength or Agility that are not better covered by other cliches.

When reduced to 0 Health, a character must roll his Permanent Health (difficulty 15) to fight off death.  If the roll is successful, the character survives.  He loses one permanent die of Health and must choose an infirmity that reflects this loss.  This infirmity could be anything from a missing eye to a lost or crippled limb.

A Character with 0 Permanent Health (or who fails his survival check) is dead and no longer playable.

A Character may roll his Current Health in an extended Target Number 15 roll to regain one die of Health at the end of 8 hours of rest (on a day in which the character has not been injured again.  Injury resets the extended roll to 0).  He may make this roll only once in a given 24-hour period, but so long as he is not physically injured, his total carries over to the next day.

A Character making a Healing Roll under the care of a properly cliched medic or physician, may "Team-Up" with their care-giver(s) for this roll - see the Risus Rules for more on Team-Ups.

A Character may not roll more dice for any Mental, Social, or Psychic action than his current Sanity Cliche Pool, except in the case of specific intimidation attempts.

Your Current Sanity Cliche (Permanent Sanity minus Psychic Wounds) can be used in place of other cliches to defend against mental, emotional or psychic attacks, when the character possesses no more appropriate cliche.

When reduced to 0 Sanity, a character immediately suffers a Psychotic Break and loses one Permanent die of Sanity.  He must choose (with the aid of the GM) one appropriate Derangement Hook (see below).

A character with 0 Permanent Sanity has devolved into a gibbering idiot and is no longer playable.

A Character may roll his Current Sanity in an extended Target Number 20 roll to regain one die of Sanity at the end of 8 hours of rest (on a day in which the character has not lost additional Sanity.  Mental duress [in the form of lost Sanity] resets the extended roll to 0).  He may make this roll only once in a given 24-hour period, but so long as he is not lost Sanity, his total carries over to the next day.

A Character making a Recovery Roll under the care of a properly cliched psychologist, psychiatrist or spiritual advisor, may "Team-Up" with their care-giver(s) for this roll - see the Risus Rules for more on Team-Ups.

Additionally, a properly cliched character (GMs discretion) may use meditation or religious self-reflection to regain lost Sanity.  A meditating character may make a recovery check after every 1d6 hours (rolled after each interval) of uninterrupted meditation.

Many of the so-called Afflicted - the meta-humans of Squick, as well as every abomination and even some horrifying and unfamiliar situations, possess a Fright Cliche.

When first encountering any Fright Cliche, a character must roll a contested roll against that Fright Cliche or suffer a loss of Sanity (and possibly a Fright Check Table?).  Additionally, a character must roll against any Fright Cliche that increases its dice pool in his presence, or that he has previously failed against and is encountering again in a separate scene.

A Starting Character possesses a Fright Cliche of 0, modified by any appropriate Hooks, or Power Cliches (see below).

Biokinesis.  Think Tetsuo from Akira.  Psychic control of Flesh and touched matter, allowing for melee attacks and grappling up to 5-feet per die away.
May change size by one step on the size scale per die, sloughing off flesh or assimilating outside matter as needed.
(each step up the scale adds 1d to all Strength based cliche rolls and damage soak rolls at the cost of 1d penalty to agility-based cliche rolls and dodge attempts.  The reverse is also true).
Can use growth to attack against touched creatures (Resisted Biokinesis roll.  Damage = partial absorption, death = total absorption).  Targets become trapped in the mass of flesh and non-organic matter.  Resisted Biokinesis to maintain grip.
May attach tendrils of flesh to targets to communicate telepathically, which may be resisted.  He may even roll biokinesis vs the Health cliche of a touched character to heal that character - which must be resisted, as the body attempts to reject the intrusion, beneficial or not.
Fright = +Biokinesis when used.

Combat Tentacles.  You have 1 Tentacle per die of this cliche, sprouting from somewhere on your body.  Instead of additional tentacles, you may choose to allocate two cliche dice to 1 tentacle, to increase its reach from 5 to 10 feet, 3 dice for 15 feet.  These are grasping appendages with no fine motor dexterity (an additional cliche die may be spent on one tentacle to grant it fine motor manipulation), but can be used to grab, grapple, slam, climb or balance as though they were one of your natural arms or legs.  Use your Combat Tentacles in a Team-Up for any of these cliche checks, or take 1 additional action per round for every 2 tentacles you possess.
Multiple 10-foot tentacles can be used for increased locomotion, adding 1 die per Tentacle to your speed (speed is determined by choosing your highest physical cliche and multiplying by 5 feet per round).
Add your Combat Tentacles to your Fright Cliche.

Contagion.  Carrier of the Dread Contagion - a sentient plague.  Immune to all disease (including the normal effects of the Contagion), but each die of Contagion inflicts a -1 penalty to all social rolls against the uninfected (unless relying on intimidation).  Add Contagion Dice pool to your Fright.  This represents the boils, pockmarks, rheumy eyes, blackened skin and hair loss that marks you as Infected.
Tumor within/on your body is intelligent, possessing a personality and intellect of its own (though starting with no experience, the Contagion may earn experience of its own and learn new cliches).  You may communicate telepathically with the Tumor.
Typically, it is assumed that the Carrier's goals and those of the Tumor align, allowing the Player to treat the Tumor as part of the character.  When severely wounded, however - or when acting in direct opposition to the Tumor's aims (continued growth and spread of the Contagion), the character may have to make a contested cliche roll against his own Power Cliche to use his power, or even - in dire situations - to retain control of his own body.
The Tumor (and by proxy, the character) can roll Contagion to dominate any infected creature or character. Causing it to act as a minion (willing to obey any order that doesn't put it into direct harm).  The Tumor can control a number of Infected equal to this cliche.
Can cause any character to become infected through physical contact with bodily fluids.  On initial infection, any character may roll TN30 to instead become a Carrier.
The Tumor (and character) may make an opposed Contagion roll when touching any Infected creature or character in order to heal himself by "attacking" the target and absorbing their health dice, healing a number of wounds equal to the damage inflicted in the attack.

Gestalt. The Worm that Walks.  The character's body is composed of a swarm of tiny maggot-wasp hybrids called Wyrmwasps.  The character gains a secondary "Swarm" form.  In this form, the character adds his Gestalt cliche to his Fright, but can fly 10-feet per round per die of Gestalt (1 mph per die in sustained, overland flight).  The Swarmed Gestalt takes up any space equal to 5-feet per die, and may automatically attack any creature that starts its turn within the area of the swarm.  The Swarmed Gestalt may crawl across any surface at normal speed, or "squeeze" through any cracks that a large maggot might be able to fit through).
Uninjured, a Gestalt may roll this cliche and add the total to its Fright Rating. Unless swarmed, the uninjured Gestalt appears human. Injured Gestalt suffer a penalty (equal to Health Dice lost) to all social rolls not relying on intimidation. She also gains a bonus to Fright equal to that penalty.
A wounded Gestalt may roll TN10+damage taken to "cover up" injury and appear normal.  This disguise lasts for the scene.  A Gestalt character recovers 1 Health die per hour of non-strenuous activity or rest, so long as that health was not lost to Fire or Acid.
A swarmed Gestalt character may separate herself into a number of smaller swarms (one swarm per cliche die).  Each swarm is under control of the character - as an extension of herself, but suffers a penalty to all cliche pools equal to the number of swarms (also, each swarm must possess at least 1 die of Gestalt).
Additionally, a fleeing Gestalt character can choose to split apart into individual wyrmwasps. In these forms, the character cannot make any cliche rolls - in effect releasing the Wyrmwasps to flee on their own, however - a Gestalt Character cannot be killed so long as a single Wyrmwasp lives.
A slain Gestalt character who did not flee in this manner, may roll this cliche against TN20 to cheat death.  A single surviving Wyrmwasp take (6-Gestalt cliche)d6 days find "wild" Wyrmwasps and reform.  The character regains consciousness at the end of that time frame, 3d6 miles from the location of his death, in a random direction.

Gut Leeches. The character's digestive and endocrine systems have been replaced by a number of large 1-2 foot long slug-like lampreys (one per die of this cliche).  No longer able to take nourishment from normal food and water, the character feeds by allowing the Gut Leeches to escape his body (usually tearing themselves from his body, leaving him horribly emaciated and hollow.  The Gut Leech shares an empathic link with the host, and is treated as an extension of the character (unless the character is low on Health, in which case the leeches instinctively seek out sustenance).
Each Gut Leech and the "evicerated" host has a Fright Cliche equal to Gut Leech.
The Gut Leech consumes matter or flesh by spitting its corrosive digestive juices on the target and then eating the disolved remains.  It can consume 1 foot of matter per round in this manner, and can "keep" a number of Heath Dice worth of material equal to this cliche, before it must return to its host.  Each Gut Leech attacks as a separate creature, using the host's Gut Leech cliche total as its dice pool.
When the Gut Leech returns (requiring one round to do so), the host is immediately healed of a number of Health dice equal to the Leech's "kept" dice. Additional dice are pooled together and can be added (in any combination to any cliche roll.  This temporary pool disappears at a rate of one die per hour if not used.
If one of the host's Gut Leeches is killed, he loses one die of this cliche to reflect the loss, and must make a contested Sanity Roll against his own, adjusted Gut Leech Cliche to avoid losing Sanity.
A Gut Leech Host must feed at least once every 24 hours, or begin losing Cliche dice at a rate of 1 per hour (lowest cliches first, then character's choice).  These dice are replaced by a returning Gut Leech's "kept" pool, after any Health Dice are returned.

Re-Generation.  You possess a remarkable capacity for healing and regeneration, granting you several benefits.
First, you recover from wounds at a rate of 1 per round.  You recover permanent Health dice at a rate of 1 per hour (this also represents the fact that you can regrow amputated or lost body parts), and you automatically succeed on Health Checks to remain alive when reduced to 0 Health.  In order to be killed, you must be reduced to -6 Permanent Health (You are still unconscious at 0 Health, regardless).  Typically this is done by burning your remains.  Regenerating wounds possess a Fright Cliche equal to the damage healed.
Second, you no longer age - or you age at such an astonishingly slow rate as to make no difference.  Your sanity will corrode or you will be exterminated long before you ever need worry about death by "natural" causes.  Your Fright Rating - relevant to those who become aware of your longevity, is equal to the number of decades they have known you.
Lastly, and sometimes problematically, you can reproduce asexually.  Any portion of your body lost or amputated, can potentially grow into a cloned duplicate of yourself.  A piece of flesh as small as a finger can duplicate an entire Re-Generating Character.
Using the d6 Hit Location Chart, each location requires 1d6 hours to regenerate if there is a brain attached to the amputated flesh or 1d6 days if not.  For this reason, a generated duplicate will typically grow "upwards" toward the head first, before finishing its gestation.  Upon generation of the last location, the duplicate awakes, with all the original character's memories, up to the point of amputation (the duplicate possesses all of the character's cliches at 1d lower than the original); and begins with a helpful attitude toward the character, in effect serving as a Minion.

d6 Hit Location Chart
4=Arms (1-3Left, 4-6Right)
1=Legs (1-3Left, 4-6Right)

A generating duplicate has a Fright Cliche equal to your ranks in Re-Generation, plus one per missing body location.  Double this if the character or any duplicates are present.
The Duplicate is an entirely separate entity from the character, and may - through abuse or neglect - grow ambivalent or even hostile toward the original.  If treated right, the duplicate(s) may prove a valuable ally or asset, otherwise, you may end up with a uniquely skilled nemesis.
The Re-Generating Character may generate a number of duplicates equal to his Re-Generation cliche.  This includes any duplicates of duplicates (created through the amputation of duplicate flesh rather than your own - and possessing 1 less die in each of the duplicate's cliches).  Once this limit is achieved, any amputated flesh is simply inert, and does not generate further.
Add one to your Fright Cliche for each duplicate in the scene with you at the same time.

Toxic.  Your bodily fluids are universally poisonous.  While you are immune to poison and disease, your every drop of blood, sweat and bile - even the oils on your skin is toxic.  Your touch on bare flesh automatically attacks using half your Toxic Cliche.
Weapons treated with your blood gain a bonus equal to this cliche.  Your tears and sweat may be collected and weaponized.
When injured, you exude an aura of poison with an area equal to 5-feet per wound level.  Any living thing entering that area is automatically attacked by your Toxic Cliche.  Additionally, when stressed or fatigued (sweating, crying or breathing particularly heavily), you must roll TN15 to avoid exuding this aura in a 5-foot radius, even if uninjured.
Add your Toxic cliche to your Fright for any character knowingly afflicted with or witness to your poisoning.

In addition to any effects listed, a character suffering from any Derangement is immune to the Fright Cliche of characters or Things whose Fright Cliche is equal to or less than the number of Permanent Sanity lost.

Anxiety. Particularly nervous about a thing or situation. -1 penalty to all cliche rolls when confronted with the object of your anxiety, or the promise imminent encounter.
Bulimia. Advanced Food Fixation Derangement.  Roll against Target Number 15 to avoid gorging until over-full.  Half dice pool penalty until you purge, inflicting 1 Health damage to yourself.
Cataplexy. Choose a triggering emotion: exhileration, anger, fear, surprise, orgasm, awe embarrassement, or laughter.  When faced with your trigger, roll against a Target Number 15.  If you fail, you suffer a half-dice pool penalty to all cliche rolls due to muscular weakness, trembling as all of your muscles go slack.  Effect lasts 1d6(boxcars) rounds.
Compulsive-Aggressive Disorder. Everything is a threat.  You may only use Intimidation for Social rolls.
Delusional Mania. 1. Mild. When suffering a physical attack, roll Current Sanity against TN 5 for severe damage, TN 10 for potentially injurious damage, TN 15 for potentially lethal damage.  If you fail, you cannot dodge or avoid attack for the remainder of the scene without "spending" an additional temporary Sanity to represent the expenditure of Will to resist your delusions. +1 Fright.
2. Severe.  As above, except a failure results in your inability to dodge, and you won't avoid damage unless you "spend" a die of Sanity to represent the expenditure of Will necessary to resist your delusions. +1 Fright.
Dependent Personality Disorder. You auto-fail all social or psionic attempts to coerce or control you when made by the subject of your Disorder.
Depersonalization.  No sense of Connection to self.  You may not roll Sanity instead of other Cliches.
Diogenes Syndrome.  A Severe inferiority complex prevents you from maintaining personal hygiene, cleanliness and even healing.  Must expend one temporary Sanity in order to heal yourself (via powers, magic or medical know-how) or to clean yourself.  You still heal reflexively as normal.
Depression. Failure to achieve any goal results in a Target Number 15 roll.  Failure results in an inability to Roll Sanity instead of other cliches, and suffer a -1 penalty on all cliche rolls.
Fixation. Roll Target Number 15 to avoid obsessing over a loss or victory.  On failure, roll 1d to determine how many scenes you are fixated on that loss or failure.
Fugue. When faced with your Trigger, roll against TN15 to avoid entering the Fugue.  Half-Dice penalties to all cliche rolls, representing disassociative amnesia.  Roll a number of dice equal to lost permanent Sanity to determine how many hours your remain in this state.  Once the Fugue ends, memory returns, though events in the Fugue state require a TN20 cliche roll to recall.
Inferiority Complex.  Cliche Roll TN15 any time you could be boasting or othewise one-upping another, to avoid doing so.
Insomnia.  TN15+number of nights sleep missed in order to sleep 8 hours.
Irrational Defiance.  When given orders by superiors, TN15 or suffer a half-dice pool penalty to all cliche rolls made in attempt to accomplish those orders, due to your need to defy your superiors.
Manic Depression. On any failure, TN15 to avoid lapse.  If you fail, roll 1d6.  Odd = depression (inability to roll Sanity instead of other cliches, -1 penalty to all cliches).  Even = Mania (-1 penalty to any cliche rolls made to avoid action, +1 bonus to any endurance or "active" cliche rolls - excluding combat rolls).  +1 Fright in Mania.
Masochism. TN15 roll to avoid causing pain or humiliation to yourself when opportunity arises.  May gain a 1d bonus to this roll by systematic cutting - on days in which you have cut.
Multiple Personality Disorder. Trigger causes TN15 cliche check.  Failure causes secondary personality to emerge. May rearrange 1d6 Cliche Dice according to limitations set by your choice of additional personality and GM Fiat. +1 Fright if Personality shift witnessed.
Mythos Compulsion.  Insistence on investigating Mythos Lore & Creatures. -1 penalty (cumulative) to all cliche rolls when prevented from following a lead regarding the Mythos; until you can investigate some Mythos related thing.
Narcissism. TN15 to avoid a bout of vanity whenever you succeed on a goal.  On a failure, disregard all help in favor or yourself, -1 die penalty to all Teamwork rolls and any social cliche check.
Obsessive Compulsion.  With GM help, establish a strict code of behaviors.  If forcibly kept from performing these, TN10 to avoid resorting to violence.  TN20 or spend one Sanity to override these compulsions for the scene.
Paranoia. -1d penalty to all social rolls.  The Slightest hint of suspicion or aggression triggers a TN15 cliche check to avoid fleeing or attacking.
Phobia. TN5-20 (dependent on severity) to even approach the target of your phobia.
Pyromania. TN15 to avoid setting fire when opportunity presents itself.
Schizophrenia. -1d penalty to all social rolls.  TN15 to avoid attacking/ escaping the Trigger. +1 Fright.

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