Who We Gonna Call?

Last post for January. I managed to squeeze in a random table for DsM RVS.

1d12 agencies the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society can call for backup if needed.

Keeper’s Note: Some of these agencies come at a high price- not usually in cash, but in terms of return favors. And if you have to ask- Yes, it’s really those guys.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to person living or dead on this list is purely unintentional.

Choose one or Roll 1d12 and consult the chart below:

  1. Dr Philately or Dr Franklin at the SCP Foundation Field Office in Nebraska.
  2. Dr Amanda Bronson, Professor of Paranormal Studies, Miskatonic University.
  3. James T Smith, PhD Director or Pacific Northwest Research Studies, WA.
  4. Ivan Markov, University of Moscow. (Actual degree or dept unknown.)
  5. Codename “Sgt Rock.” Dan’s contact at the DIA. (Real name unknown.)
  6. Detective Darren Friendly of the Des Moines Police Department.
  7. Stephanie Kolchak: Des Moines Register *WSFM Desk.
  8. John Smith, frequent caller to late night paranormal radio shows.
  9. “Deep Throat” aka Dan’s Contact in the CIA somewhere.
  10. Lisa Simpson, Department of Homeland Security.
  11. Dr Simon Hanes, Remote Viewing instructor.
  12. Rhonda Jennings, NASA data analyst.

*Weird Science and Frickin Magic. WSFM isn’t just a radio station.
There is no FBI contact listed because Lewis is in the group.
This was done as a random table in the event a lead needs to be generated at random. A couple of these contacts are a built-in plot hook on their own.

Contact lists for Tom and Brenda might be published later. Tom knows a lot of very strange people locally. Brenda knows some pretty far-out individuals from her time as a professional Remote Viewing instructor. Also, having formed as an Internet group initially, everyone in the original DsM RVS knows dozens of people online. Most of Dan’s contacts are around during Des Moines After Dark.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

d12 Modern Horror Tables.

7. An orange tabby cat, alive, unharmed, healthy. The box is clean and dry on the inside. No return address. No note. Meow.

What’s in the box?

Content Warning: Descriptions of gore. May be traumatic for some readers.

(Today’s random d12 table was suggested by @FreighterOne on Twitter.)

A strange box arrives addressed to one of the characters. What’s inside? Roll 1d12 and consult the table below.

  1. A human head, wrapped in plastic wrap. It’s been in there a while judging by the smell. No note or anything accompanying it.
  2. Completely full of ribbon candy, cinnamon disks, butterscotch lozenges, lemon drops, and other hard candies. A simple handwritten note says, “Enjoy. Don’t get a tummy ache. Watch out for tooth decay.” No signature or return address.
  3. A Blue Yeti Microphone. The address on the box is the character’s name and proper address. The note inside says the mic is a gift to “Night Whispers ASMR,” a popular YouTuber that shares the same real life name as the character. Only when they look on YouTube, there is no such channel.
  4. A 9″x13″x3″ box full of dead bugs. No return address. The note inside is an ad clipped from the newspaper that says, “I baked you a cake.”
  5. A large box full of used cat litter. The return address is Mr Fluffles, Eerie Ohio. The note inside is simply a paw print on a piece of plain white paper.
  6. A small box containing 16 rusty, straight square nails. The return address simply says, “Tombstone.” The note inside the box says, “For your coffin.”
  7. A White Bunny Rabbit- alive, unharmed, healthy. The box is clean and dry on the inside. No return address. No note. Seems unusually observant.
  8. The outside of the box is marked with biohazard warnings. If anyone foolishly opens the box, there is a broken glass container inside. The letter on the inside says, “If this box arrives broken or damaged, go to the nearest hospital immediately. This box contains a parasitic spider carrying a highly contagious necrotic plague. If still healthy after three days, you may leave quarantine. Please return this package to Site 14 as soon as possible.” The return address simply reads “SCP Foundation Site 33.”
  9. A large box containing a bottle of fine wine and a cake that says, “Happy New Year 1953.” The address is correct, but the name is incorrect. The return address is Ferdinand P. Gently, 666 N. Pine Blvd. Eerie, Idaho. Further research indicates Ferdinand passed away from natural causes in 1972. The cake is fresh and edible. (Chocolate slab cake. Quite delicious.) The wine is outstanding, maybe 100 years ole?
  10. Old Christmas ornaments and a string of lights. Return address is S. Klaus. 001 Factory Lane, North Pole. The note inside simply says, “Merry Christmas.”
  11. It contains 4 rings, a dull hunting knife, an old .38 revolver and a severed human hand that matches the character’s DNA. The note inside says, “I told you you’d put an eye out with that thing.” The character’s name and address are also listed as the return address.
  12. What appears to be a small, mummified extraterrestrial being in a strange metal sarcophagus. No note. No return address.

Random messages from beyond the grave.

Roll a d12 and consult the table below for messages caught on EVP or just heard around paranormal activity (“haunted” houses/buildings/etc.)

  1. “Hitler won World War Two.”
  2. “Leave here. Now. Go away.”
  3. “The water is too hot. Turn the faucet off.”
  4. “Where are we?”
  5. “This is Ashtar of the Galactic Command. Stay tuned for and important message.” (Nothing discernable follows.)
  6. “We’re all fine here. How are you?”
  7. “The horses are in the paddock.”
  8. “Look in the old rectory.”
  9. “Grandma. I can’t find Grandma. Where’s my grandma?”
  10. “That darn cat.”
  11. “The Bible was right about it.”
  12. “Come with us. Join us. It’s fun.”

Monstober Day 27: Judge.

It’s all fun and games until you go from “Not guilty” to “Please lock me up.”

A Monster of the Week challenge.

Intro: A Reptilian hybrid in Des Moines, IA has managed to wriggle her way up through the ranks and become a judge. She’s now dispensing “justice” according to what her Reptilian masters have ordained. Unfortunately, she’s also become more bloodthirsty as time goes on.

Day: Judge Julie Latch lets certain specific criminals loose on orders in a plain white envelope given to her by her courtroom deputy. Her overseers give the orders, she follows them. Some of the criminals who are released are of special interest to the Reptilians. Anyone who questions Judge Latch is silenced by outside influences and manipulations.

It comes to the group’s attention that someone who was recently arrested because of their actions has just been released from jail on a technicality.

Shadows: Judge Latch starts questioning some of her orders. She becomes increasingly annoyed that some of the worst criminals are, in fact, being cycled through her court and given a free pass. Something begins hunting criminals down shortly after their release.

Sunset: Judge Latch excessively sentences a criminal to jail against her orders. Her overseers order her to take administrative leave. Her three hench people depart with her. A conflict between Reptilians and hybrids begins. The human pawns are caught in the middle.

Nightfall: Latch and her crew start killing and possibly feeding on criminals in the streets at night. It becomes obvious enough that the local news catches on before the Overseers can cover it up. Curfew is ordered by the Office of the Mayor. Police begin to actively patrol the streets, making it more difficult for anyone to do anything after 6:00 PM

Midnight: Latch and/or her hench people get caught on camera eating one of the criminals she let out on a technicality the week before. The Reptilian apocalypse begins. SCP has to be called in to contain the situation before it gets completely out of control.

This is my first go at creating a true MotW timeline. I still haven’t quite mastered monster generation. More on that when I get it figured out. Thanks for stopping by. More to come.

Monstober Day 19: Pet

The question was always whether or not the witness PC was hallucinating or if Fluffy really was all that cursed/possessed. Whenever something bad or mysterious happened in another room, suspicion fell on Fluffy, even if it was in the same room as the group. Or was it? Bwa ha ha!

“What is up with this f&$%ing Cat?!?”

No stats on this one because it doesn’t need any. This is something I once pulled in a Call of Cthulhu game and it stuck. Since then, it has appeared in no fewer than three campaigns. I’ve used this bit with different animals, but it’s fun every time.

The lead into this is the group is either in possession of a cat or going to a location where the owners have a cat that takes a liking to a particular Player Character. (Preferably one that likes pets for their character.) The catch is, the animal is not entirely what it seems. The cat, Fluffy, becomes attached to the PC and stays close to them whenever they’re around.

Next, the Game Master picks a different PC than the one Fluffy is attached-to. Whenever the rest of the group’s attention is focused elsewhere, Fluffy will do something absolutely freaky, but only this one character will see it. The GM may even wish to pass the witnessing player a note describing what Fluffy does.

Now, this could potentially be a hallucination. It could be that Fluffy is cursed or even possessed. Maybe Fluffy is actually a corrupted avatar of Bast just messing with the mortals. Whatever is going on with Fluffy, only one character, the witness, ever sees this cat do anything weird.

It was a sure thing that if the witness PC called the cat out and tried to force Fluffy into doing something strange, nothing would happen. But as soon as the group’s back was turned, Fluffy would openly mock the witness. Fluffy never really hurt anyone overtly, and no one in the group ever put the kitty in danger. (Nor would we.)

The question was always whether or not the witness PC was hallucinating or if Fluffy really was all that cursed/possessed. Whenever something bad or mysterious happened in another room, suspicion fell on Fluffy, even if it was in the same room as the group. Or was it? Bwa ha ha!

Sometimes Fluffy was just a cat being a cat, too. Jumping up on counters, running around the room, randomly knocking stuff over, etc. You know? Things especially hyper but lovable Siamese cats tend to do normally.

Regardless, this type of pet situation makes for darned interesting role-playing. It doesn’t have to be related to anything the group is doing, and Fluffy can haunt the group long after it is found. Witness PC can eventually convince the group that there is, in fact, something going on with this feline. But, good luck getting Fluffy to go along with it.

Good times. Thanks for stopping by. Please be kind to animals in real life (and in game.) Even if kitty does act a little freaky.

Promptober Day 20: Myths.

Sometimes parents actually believe their children.

Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.

Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.

The government is not interested in every paranormal event.

Investigator myths dispelled:
  • They’re not all crazy conspiracy theorists.
  • They’re not all professors wearing jackets with patches on the sleeves.
  • They’re not all wide-eyed college kids bound to get lost in the woods.
  • Just because one believes in ghosts, it doesn’t mean they believe in “aliens.”
  • They actually spend vast amount of time observing nothing until they find something. The “something” may just be a dot or blob, but still evidence.
  • Not all people are stupid enough to go down in the dark basement to check the electrical box.
  • No professional investigator likes a hoax. Hoaxing is not allowed!
  • Not every spiritually-oriented investigator collects crystals.
  • Sometimes freaky footage does end up on the nightly news, and still gets ignored by and large.
  • Priests are not immune to everything just by holding up a cross.
  • Other religions have people capable of performing an exorcism.
  • Not every professor can read Ancient Babylonian or Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
  • Not every spiritual person is educated in every religion.
  • Sometimes parents actually believe their children.
  • Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.
  • Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.
  • The government is not interested in every paranormal event.
  • There really are psychics. Some are quite powerful.
  • The Men in Black are real.
  • The Men in Black are not the kooky guys from the movies.
  • The Men in Black do not visit every experiencer or UFO witness.
  • There really is an Illuminati. They do not approach people on social media.
  • Astral travelers and remote viewers see a lot of things or beings not of this Earth.

Dispelling myths about modern paranormal investigations.

Phenomenon myths dispelled:
  • Not every properly conducted Ouija board session ends in tragedy.
  • Not every alleged haunted house is packed full of scary stuff.
  • Sometimes investigators have nights where nothing happens.
  • Not every EVP session ends in mysterious voices. Many don’t.
  • Not everything is a demon.
  • Not every ghost is evil.
  • Yes, there really are vampires, werewolves, and giant spiders.
  • Not everything is covered in an ancient tome or scroll.
  • If a book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood, leave it alone.
  • Not every cult follows an Elder god or wants human sacrifices.
  • Gunfire does not solve everything, or anything sometimes.
  • Not every artifact is cursed.
  • Sometimes are dolls are just toys.
  • Not all magic is evil.
  • Not all religion is good.
  • Not everything is evil or out to get you.
  • The ethereal plane (spirit world) is a wonderfully weird place.
  • Some beings are truly evil. We don’t know why.
  • There is always a way to banish or destroy a phenomenon.
  • Killing something is not always the answer.
  • Legitimate footage of phenomenon appearing on the internet will be taken down or debunked as a hoax almost immediately regardless of evidence.
  • The Dark Web is real. Most people would be advised to steer clear of it.
  • The aliens are not here to conquer the planet.
  • The term “alien” is no longer preferred. We use ET or being now.
  • ETs do not always abduct people. Sometimes it’s just a sighting.
  • Vampires and werewolves are nothing like the ones in the movies.
  • Stay away from the Reptilians. We don’t mention the Reptilians.
  • There are Reptilian Hybrids. We don’t talk about them, either.

These lists is (mostly) fictional (I guess.) Some of us are conspiracy theorists. More investigations to come with the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society for Monster of the Week RPG.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you. Have fun. More to come.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Monstober Day 17: Laugh

Unfortunately, years of success, money, women, and repeated use of the spell have corrupted Larry Snelling. He has become a dark shell of his former self. The evil muse inside his mind starts to take physical form more each time Snelling invokes the dark powers. It becomes harder and harder to cover each show without the dark secret getting out.

How does a stage comedian stay on top?
(Dead Moines on Stage for Monster of the Week RPG.)

*Content Warning*: Murder, Occult Ritual, Dark Magic, Gore.

By using an ancient blood curse that takes life energy in exchange for talent. The ritual psycho’s stage name is Mr Obtuse, because he always has an angle. He travels from town to town, stage to stage in every local comedy club that can be found. Some venues are so small he doesn’t waste his time invoking the dark magicks. Other times, one or two people randomly turn up missing from the airport bar or nearby hotel.

Larry, “Mr Obtuse” Snelling was a poor, downtrodden, talentless hack of a comedian until he accidentally summoned upon what he thought was a stage magician’s prop box. It contained a grimoire of ancient spells that could enhance many aspects of stage magic. All Snelling wanted to do was make people laugh. After researching the grimoire excessively, he found the perfect spell to do exactly what he wanted.

Some nights Mr Obtuse isn’t quite as funny as others. He started in small, local comedy clubs and only moves up to major venues and elsewhere on rare occasions. He claims he feels more comfortable in small clubs. In actuality, he knows it’s more difficult to tie him to any disappearances or murders that happen in the area.

Unfortunately, years of success, money, women, and repeated use of the spell have corrupted Larry Snelling. He has become a dark shell of his former self. The evil muse inside his mind starts to take physical form more each time Snelling invokes the dark powers. It becomes harder and harder to cover each show without the dark secret getting out.

When he finally gets to Des Moines, stress by being approached by local radio talent and multiple interviews start to take their toll. Suddenly he finds himself relying on the ritual more and more until finally, he snaps. Worse, the dark muse may take its final form and consume Snelling.

Hopefully the group catches on before a beloved pet or family member is sacrificed for Mr Obtuse’s talent. Will the group discover the Grimoire and recover it before he skips town? The monster will only come out more and more if he is not stopped.

Thanks for stopping by to see me, though. I appreciate you! No dark anything needed. Inspired by Tales from the Darkside and my friend Miss Pandora Greaves. More to come for Monster of the Week.

Promptober Day 29: Abandoned Locations.

In my game, Des Moines Remote Viewing society used Randonautica to find remote viewing targets for Brenda Hart, the group’s resident psychic and most gifted remote viewer. It was a good source of interesting new cases as well as leads on the ones the group was working on.

This is prime Monster of the Week fodder.

How to use an app like Randonautica without ever installing in real life: Create a series of tables describing how far one has to travel from current location, in which direction, and what they find when they get there.

In my game, Des Moines Remote Viewing society used Randonautica to find remote viewing targets for Brenda Hart, the group’s resident psychic and most gifted remote viewer. It was a good source of interesting new cases as well as leads on the ones the group was working on. The potential for spooky encounters in abandoned locations has always fascinated me.

DsMRVS also used Ouija boards a few times in an effort to locate specific spirits, but such attempts almost always inevitably backfired. Ouija boards are often employed in abandoned places to get a better sense of history of the sites. Of course, in MotW that usually involves a demon, angry witch, ghost, cryptid, or interdimensional being of some kind. Des Moines is legit chock full of abandoned locations in real life, so converting them to fiction for the setting is all kinds of fun.

For the record: I know of several abandoned locations in the real world. I do not go in them. I would also never throw down a Ouija board near them. You just never know what’s on the other side. That’s my opinion as a paranormal researcher and Extraterrestrial enthusiast. Do not F around and find out in some of these abandoned locations. You might get surprised.

Disclaimer: Please DO NOT ENTER an abandoned location in the real world unless you have the owner’s permission! No owner = No permission. Too many investigators get hurt, arrested, or go missing entirely while on abandoned properties. If you find an abandoned house, car, sewer entrance, or mine entrance in the real world- DO NOT GO IN THERE! The physical dangers alone should be discouragement.

This was one of the best prompts all month. I could go on for hours on this subject. Thank you for stopping by. As always I appreciate you being here with us. #ttrpgfamily Much love.

Promptober Day 26: Lost

Key members of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society are lost as of 2022. The data gathered by the trio is also missing in places. Some may have been confiscated by the government or black budget interests. The group went their separate ways in 2020 under mysterious circumstances. (*Then again, it was 2020.)

This one is a subplot running through my Monster of the Week series, Des Moines After Dark.

Key members of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society are lost as of 2022. The data gathered by the trio is also missing in places. Some may have been confiscated by the government or black budget interests. The group went their separate ways in 2020 under mysterious circumstances. (*Then again, it was 2020.)

  • Dan Miller is missing key chunks of his physical files and Internet archives.
  • Brenda Hart moved to Champaign, IL and effectively disappeared. Dan has not heard from her via text, email, or chat in over two years. The two were very close prior to December 2020.
  • Tom Miller is flat-out lost. His mysterious disappearance became apparent when copies of his journal were emailed to Dan and Brenda along with some copies of physical journals arriving at known and undisclosed street addresses.
  • Tom’s last case was his independent study of the (alleged) Reptilian tunnels under Des Moines. His last journal entry indicated he found a tunnel entrance near a bridge and was going to enter it.
  • Lewis (Big Lou) has been reassigned to a different section within the FBI, but his personnel file has gone missing. Dan has been unable to contact him through any of their various channels.

2020 is the year best forgotten. Unfortunately for our heroes, members of the DsMRVS were among those not heard-from again. Even some of their meticulously kept records and videos have gone missing. One of their most notorious case files, loosely dubbed the “Backyard UFO Incident” involved several hours of missing time and blank audio/video footage interspersed with cryptic and bizarre voice lines.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Promptober Day 18: Mysterious Messages

A man begins furiously typing a document in his word processing program. He knows he saved it, but can’t find it. He has no recollection of what he typed or why.

A short collection of plot hooks for Monster of the Week and/or Shadowrun.

  • In the midst of a video call, the computer/phone crashes and comes back up with a screen full of 8 digit letter and number sequences.
  • A security guard wakes up in the middle of the night and begins writing out strings of binary on his bedroom walls.
  • Each night a small, square metallic plaque with symbols etched into it is left on a character’s doorstep.
  • Piles of rocks appear around a character’s door each morning.
  • A man begins furiously typing a document in his word processing program. He knows he saved it, but can’t find it. He has no recollection of what he typed or why.
  • A woman makes a video of herself speaking in Ancient Sumerian. The translation is cryptic and Japanese is the only language she knows.
  • A young gang member spray paints a collection of symbols on a wall instead of the tag he originally intended, having no idea what they mean or why he did it.
  • A character goes to check an innocuous email from a friend only to have the screen go to static. Several numbers and letters appear in that static. It’s a web address buried deep in the Dark Web.
  • Each character has a dream involving the same word of phrase repeated over and over. When combined, the sentence is a clue to hidden treasure, or a deeper mystery.
  • A farmer stumbles outside to find a series of crop circle style symbols etched into her yard.
  • An entire night’s video footage from a stakeout is erased and replaced with the sounds of the characters’ halves of a conversation with someone who isn’t there.
  • The wooden trim of an old house has Norse runes scratched into it all the way around certain rooms. The messages are cryptic, but coherent

Monstober Day 15: Kitchen

Flash forward to present. Dan, the group’s mentor and primary source of case information is not necessarily the best housekeeper. He’s a consummate bachelor and doesn’t necessarily clean the leftovers out of his fridge as often as he should. One day the group gets a call.

Remember whatever was living in the “mystery foil” in the back of the fridge?

A bizarre creature stalks the Earth in this lighthearted Monster of the Week encounter.

An old case file of the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society recently reveals the existence of what Brenda Hart called “The Mushroom Man.” This man was living not far from the river and had huge amounts of mushrooms, molds and fungi growing throughout his house. The DMRVS exposed Mushroom Man after learning he had murdered his wife in order to feed his monstrous collection and further his own experiments.

When the police went to arrest him, however, they discovered he had fled, probably on foot and was likely living off the grid. Further investigation uncovered additional human remains on the Mushroom Man’s property. Police were unable to determine where they came from or how old they were due to the presence of a toxic, invasive species of mold on the bodies. To hamper efforts further, the house burned down, apparently as a result of an arson fire.

Before everything fell apart, Dan, Tom, and Brenda learned The Mushroom Man was performing a wide variety of ancient hedge magic rituals from the book of shadows passed down through his family for several centuries. All of his spells revolved around the growth and consumption of mushrooms. Mushroom Man had apparently been making a living by selling the medicinal kind in order to make a living. Police found several strains of relatively non-lethal hallucinogenic and edible mushrooms at the scene before the fire.

Unfortunately, one of the species of mushrooms The Mushroom Man was growing fed best on beds of decomposing flesh. His experiments falsely concluded (unnecessarily) that they grew best on human flesh. DMRVS investigator Dan Miller made this discovery while looking for what happened to The Mushroom Man’s wife in 2016.

Flash forward to present. Dan, the group’s mentor and primary source of case information is not necessarily the best housekeeper. He’s a consummate bachelor and doesn’t necessarily clean the leftovers out of his fridge as often as he should. One day the group gets a call.

Dan’s refrigerator has been overrun by mold. Stranger yet, something seems to have pushed the door open and slithered off. Could this be the revenge of The Mushroom Man, or something far more sinister and arcane?

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

*Editor’s note: I know this wasn’t a monster per se, but MotW lends itself to storytelling. The actual monster statistics are a bit less relevant sometimes. It’s up to the Keeper as to whether or not this is just something freaky from Dan’s fridge or The Mushroom Man’s spells coming back to haunt Dan. Or possibly both.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you.

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