[MotW] Mystery: The Jersey Mothman

  • 2 Replies
[MotW] Mystery: The Jersey Mothman
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:57:52 PM »
This is the one-shot I'm working on for the upcoming GUGacon on Saturday. I'll be asking players to make their characters based on the Monster Revelations Show team concept from the Snoop playbook.

I'd like some feedback on the Mystery write-up, so I can fine-tune it in time for Saturday. At the moment, the most significant issue I foresee is that the Mothman isn't hostile in itself, only its presence is actually a threat.

Sightings of the Jersey Devil in Lake Abbot, New Jersey, are in fact sightings of a Mothman which has fallen through into our dimension. If it isn’t slain before it opens a gateway back to its home dimension, the consequences could be dire.

There are several news reports of a winged creature sighted in the area surrounding Lake Abbot, New Jersey, as well as mutilations of deer in the pine barrens.

Name: Mothman

Description: 7ft tall, muscular humanoid with big red, hypnotically glowing eyes and huge brown wings.

Type: Sorceror

Impulse: to usurp unnatural power

The Mothman needs to get back to its home dimension, and in order to do so it must find a weak spot between the dimensions. As it happens, the closest one is on the Abbotsview Bridge. Bridges represents a symbolic link between two points, making this perfect for the Mothman’s purposes. Unfortunately, opening a doorway between our dimension and its own in this particular spot will destabilise the bridge, causing a collapse similar to that of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant during 1967.

Powers: Claw/grab, electromagnetic interference, menacing aura, paralysing screech, vertical take-off, flight (100 mph).

Weaknesses: The Mothman is disturbed by electromagnetic signals, so it tries to stay away from built-up areas. When facing the Mothman in such circumstances, the hunters receive +1 ongoing.

Attacks: Claws (4-harm, hand), paralysing screech (see custom move).

Armour: 2-armour

Harm Capacity: 12

Custom moves:
Menacing Aura: anyone within 5 metres of Mothman takes -1 ongoing unless they act under pressure to resist the fear instilled by its unnatural presence.
Paralysing Screech: Roll +Cool. On a 10+ you’re able to act normally, on a 7-9 you take -1 forward (this stacks with the -1 ongoing from Menacing Aura), on a miss you are incapable of acting until Mothman has made its next move.

Day: Local farmer Daryl Ostler investigates his dog’s barking and abrupt silence during the night and finds the dog and two of his cows dead. He gets the briefest glimpse of a winged creature shooting off into the sky, then it’s gone.

Shadows: The Mothman is encountered by a pair of teenagers, Ericka Mceuen and Jessie Belin, camping out in the pine barrens. They’re paralysed with fear by the creature’s blazing red eyes, unable to move or look away until it takes off into the sky.

Dusk: The Mothman spooks a truck driver, Guy Earnshaw, on the road near the pine barrens, causing an accident. Several people are killed in the collision, and the driver is left in critical condition, babbling about ‘those eyes’.

Sunset: The Bukowski brothers successfully track the Mothman to its hideout in the pine barrens and try to kill it. In the fight that follows, Lance is killed and the Mothman escapes, leaving Allan as the only witness.

Nightfall: The Mothman locates the nexus point on the Abbotsview Bridge and makes its way there to open a portal home.

Midnight: The Mothman opens a portal to its home dimension on the Abbotsview Bridge, causing the bridge to collapse, killing many of the motorists crossing the bridge at the time.

Name: Allan and Lance Bukowski

Description: Allan is in his mid-30s, with long curly brown hair and a goatee, and well-built. Lance is in his late 20s, with short, slicked-back dark hair and a couple days’ worth of stubble, of wiry build.

Type: Helper

Motivation: to join the hunt

Allan and Lance were the ones that found the dead deer while hunting in the pine barrens. When rumours start to spread about the Jersey Devil being at large in the area, the two brothers decide to try and track it down. A catch like that is bound to fetch them a pretty penny.

Name: Sheriff Eve Boatner

Description: Chubby faced with long brown hair tied back in a pony-tail, Eve is a little plump, but in good shape. She has dark blue eyes.

Type: Official

Motivation: to be suspicious

Sheriff Boatner has enough to worry about with the cattle mutilations and the Bukowski brothers’ mad search for the Jersey Devil without some myth-chasing video crew wandering around bothering the townsfolk.


Name: Lake Abbot

Description: Lake Abbot is a mid-sized town which is home to about 4,000 residents. It’s a quiet community, with a few local amenities centred around the Lake Abbot Shopping Center.

Type: Crossroads

Motivation: to bring people, and things, together

Lake Abbot rests on a nexus point between dimensions, which has allowed the Mothman to stray into our reality.

Name: Pine Barrens

Description: A heavily forested area which surrounds the town of Lake Abbot.

Type: Den

Motivation: to harbour monsters

While the Mothman tries to locate the weak point between dimensions, it must take shelter in the Pine Barrens, as the electromagnetic signals of modern technology cause it distress.

Re: [MotW] Mystery: The Jersey Mothman
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 10:15:30 PM »
To me, the biggest problem I can see is that it might be difficult for the hunters to connect what's happening to what will happen if it's not stopped. Maybe you can deal with this by saying it' happened before? If the 60s bridge collapse was also caused by the Mothman, that might give them some information to work with.

It might be worth tweaking the countdown a bit as well: maybe make the first two items be the hook (rather than the vague "weird things are seen" and start the countdown with the truck accident.

To fill out the countdown, perhaps the Mothman's locating the nexus could be broken down, especially if detection attempts are destructive in their own right (like some of the weird science experiments in Fringe).

Overall, looks good. I love the idea of the Snoop & team on the case while a pair of bystander hunters try and deal with the monster.

Re: [MotW] Mystery: The Jersey Mothman
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 10:34:49 AM »
Thanks for the advice, Mike. I'll get around to working out the kinks sometime later in the week. Got a lot going on this week for some reason. ^^;