Turk

F: TY/6
A: TY/6
S: PO/4
E: PO/4
R: FE/2
I: FE/2
P: FE/2

Health: 20
Karma: 10
Resources: FE/2
Popularity: 0

Background:

Known Powers:
None

Equipment:
Turk typically carries a light pistol (Good range and damage) and switchblade (Good damage). In very rare cases he may be kitted with better equipment according to the Resources of his employer.

Talents: Turk is trained to commit various kinds of Crime. He has knowledge of the basics of a variety of criminal operations and organizations, though he is a poor (PO/4) criminal himself.

Contacts: Kingpin, the Rose, Vanessa Fisk, the Enforcers, Hammerhead, Chameleon, Silvermane, Hood, Owl, Melvin Potter (Gladiator), Foggy (Guts) Nelson, Matt Murdock, Ben Urich, Jessica Jones, the Arranger

Role-Playing Notes: Turk Barrett is the most hard-lucked henchman in Hell’s Kitchen. He has a long relationship with the Kingpin’s empire but that worker-employer relationship is rocky at best. He is the quintessential henchman, familiar with every level of operations and with a wide swath of the criminal underworld. He occasionally grows a very elastic conscience. Turk talks big and sometimes tries to rise above his station but his endless failures have taught him his place, and several one-punch encounters with Daredevil have left him as likely to help (or hide from or flee from or just cave and walk away) as to hinder. Turk should be used to add a scene or two of levity to a session and to provide the PCs with information, with Karma being awarded in greater supply for disposing of Turk humorously than for just stomp-beating him.

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Unicorns are nemeses

When the body suffers a grievous wound or infection antibodies appear. In mythology and fairy-tale-ese, this is the nemesis, named for she who pursued those who pissed off the gods with their acts or presumptions. This is how I see unicorns because most of the stories about unicorns that leap to mind and don’t involve Twilight Sparkle , they’re a matched set: unicorns and something terrible.  Some tragedy befalling the land, or some foul creature, and yes often these stories have a cause-effect relationship…these terrible things happen because somebody captured/killed/defiled/something a unicorn. But it’s more interesting if we reverse that….what if these horrible things are how you get unicorns?

Now, whenever you do something horrible enough (a sin against nature, an abomination in the face of a god (or gods (or in the face of a dark god, which could prove interesting)), an unforgivable curse or the casting of a forbidden spell)  a unicorn manifests in a bolt of prismatic lightning, as if tearing through into the universe. Now they’re still impossible to catch but, like Juggernaut (bitch), they’re also impossible to stop and will hound you across planes even until the evil you have done has been revenged.

Swift, devastatingly cunning, and perhaps even capable of speech (but only use this in one scene per unicorn), unicorns would be a powerful magical beast to everybody but to its target the touch of (or impalement by) the horn would be a god-level magic unbinding….total protonic reversal that erases the unicorn as well. Wild unicorns loose in the world would be unicorns whose quarry preceded them into death, the realm of the dead being one place a unicorn cannot go.

The unicorn nemesis effect could even be something you could weaponize, making it a ward or arcane trap on a place, an object, or on a spellcaster. Sure we need to stop Fogrin the Enchanter and destroy his tower but if we do then this hoofy fury will pursue the party until we’ve all been atomized.

This makes the unicorns not just beautiful and awesome and rare but also frightening, and is at least a dozen campaigns all on its own.


Hemokeens

Also known as Bloodborn, these are pints of human blood which have gained sentience and enough ability to maintain cohesion and surface tension to pass from host to host, reproducing through the host organism’s own bloodstream, taking over the organism and feeding on it until the organism dies or a stronger host is found. Hemokeens prefer powerful but innocuous-looking hosts. If their host body is attacked the Hemokeen will use its control over the hosts and its host’s mutations to defend itself. If its host dies, the Hemokeen projects itself at force toward the aggressor from his host’s eye sockets and try to force itself through a cranial orifice in its target, seeking a new host. Hemokeens are naturally toxic to most organisms, with direct blood-to-skin contact or ingestion requiring a poison save. These stats concern “open air” Hemokeens, jets of blood that try to overtake the party.

No. Enc.: 1 (2)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 0’ (0’)
       Flight: 220’ (73’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1 (toxic weapon)
Damage: 3d6 (half damage on save)
Save: L3
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: none (as Host’s)

Mutations: parasitic control, toxic weapon, regenerative capability, hemophilia, increased willpower, flight-psionic


Acts of Secrecy

I’ve put together a flair kit for when you don’t necessarily have a shadowy counter-movement, conspiracy, or secret society in mind for your game but your PCs suddenly want to go to the black market or meet the king of thieves. How might members of this order make themselves known to one another in public, or how might they prove their allegiance to gain entrance to an enclave?

Assuming that “secret handshake” or “the password is Swordfish” are boring (because they are) here are three Sign/Counter-Sign tables for use in pretty much any campaign, with some light tweaks here and there.

This first table is for symbols and is somewhat inspired by the old Jesus Fish and a similar table I once put together for pirate flags. Someone would draw a symbol and another would draw a symbol in response. Roll twice on this table, once for Sign and again for Counter-Sign. This can also be used to generate tattoos on the fly.

1. Circle within a circle/Dividing line
2. Sun/Scorpion
3. Fire/Half circle
4. Five lines radiating from one point/Diamond
5. Serpent/Arrow
6. Water/Stone
7. Cloud/Thunderbolt
8. Crescent moon/Hourglass
9. Eye-Male/Eye-Female
10. Hand/Horse written backwards
11. Skull/Holy symbol
12. Oak Tree/Bird
13. Snow/Hammer
14. Letter/Axe
15. Number/Claw mark
16. Arc/Twelve-point star
17. Triangle/Flag symbol of region or kingdom
18. Fish/Wind
19. Sword/Shield
20. 3 Wavy Lines/Quartering lines

The next table is for code phrases. These are often a little more awkward but quite fun because these are the easiest signs to goof on. Assume that many or most of these are forms of maxims in the campaign world, so that a person might accidentally offer the correct Counter-Sign with no foreknowledge. Roll once on this table for the initiating and completing phrases.

1. The twilight wanes/The shadows swell
2. The rains came early/Floods have small beginnings
3. My slave is ill/Sick of heart, sick of limb
4. Swords must remain sharp/Passions, sharper still
5. Wits are weapons/Arguments are armor
6. Five praises to the gods/Praise also the damned, favorites of gods
7. Never run with sabres/It can be lethal to stand and wait
8. Dragons can be friendly/Only when friendship excludes generosity
9. Nobles can afford noble intentions/Beggars must instead beg forgiveness
10. Blood follows blood/Waste follows waste
11. Let wine flow in dark times/And dark beer flow all the time
12. Saints must first repent/Sinners make good vicars
13. A man needs a good chair/A good throne needs a bastard
14. Crows nest at midnight/Magpies nest at noon
15. I have a golden snake to sell/I wish I was you
16. You must cross two rivers/I’ll cross one river twice
17. I’m as strong as ten men/And as honest as a thousand thousand
18. Miracles are all around us/True, you haven’t killed me yet
19. I seek a book on pottery/I have a book on narwhales
20. My wife says I should be king/Her Majesty does you disservice

This final table is for meeting agents in a public forum…players won’t necessarily know who they’re meeting and neither might the agent sent to meet them. By these methods they can quickly distinguish themselves in a crowd only by the correct exchange. There is room for confusion here but I feel less so than the code phrases. Roll twice on this table for Sign and Counter-Sign. Players should feel encouraged to mime the actions (if you’re the type of group who does that kind of thing).

1. 3 taps on side of nose
2. Tug of ear
3. Fist to chest
4. Touching below left eye
5. Hands folded, as if in prayer
6. 6 Clicks of tongue
7. 2 fingers raised
8. Mouth covered, as if coughing
9. Hand closed around own throat
10. Thumb drawn in line down chest
11. Thumb drawn in line across chest
12. Hand held out flat/”paper”
13. Elbow tap
14. Hat brim touch
15. Chicken dance
16. Stick tongue out
17. Nod twice
18. Click heels
19. Crack knuckles
20. Index finger held under nose

With this you can easily add character to a thousand cults, thieves’ guilds, shadow cabinets and secret governments with just a few rolls.