Jack Deth! The name is legend in the annals of Trancer hunting. Throughout time, space, & beyond Jack Deth has been hunting the psychic parasites known as Trancers. Jack Deth is a wisecracking police detective (or “trooper”) in Angel City (the future Los Angeles) and is portrayed by Tim Thomerson in five out of the six films, as well as having a cameo appearance in the movie Evil Bong.
According to Wiki:
"Jack Deth is a cop who originally was from the 23rd century, c. 2247 in Angel City (the renamed Los Angeles, following an earthquake) and he was married to a woman called Alice B. Stillwell, who was also his partner, until she was killed by zombie like enemies called "Trancers" after an operation went wrong. After seemingly killing his arch nemesis (Trancer guru and psychic mastermind, Martin Whistler) on Mekon Seven, Jack briefly quit the force to go into retirement, when he was thrust into a new assignment by the council of Angel City, who wanted him to re-capture Whistler, who had unknowingly escaped back to the year 1985 using some kind of drug induced time travel technique, with a plan to assassinate the ancestors of Angel City’s three ruling governors; Van Zandt, Ashe and Spencer."
When we first meet Jack he's already a 4th or perhaps 5th level fighter moving through the mean streets of Angel City. He's pissed off, sort of cynical, & ready for a different direction in his life. Because of his involvement with the entire Whistler/Mekon affair he's looking for an entirely different direction in his life.
There are two possible places to run into Jack's rough & tumble form of justice. Mekon Seven & the death trap it almost becomes for Jack with the PCs helping to pull his ass out of the fire. Or '85 Los Angeles as he's hunting down Whistler. The '85 affair allows the PCs to offer support without playing around with his timeline
Trancers II takes place six years after the first movie & this is a more polished Jack Deth. This is the true fifth level fighter waiting for the next shoe to drop in the Tracer war. This comes in the form of Whistler's brother, E.D. Wardo (Richard Lynch), has gone back in time and created a "trancer farm" under the guise of an environmental organization. GreenWorld strives to 'clean up the world', but they are kidnapping the homeless and mental patients to enslave in a trancer army.
Green World is a perfect foil to bring the PCs into the Jack action happening. The Trancer movement is on the rise & this film allows the PCs to get in on the action. Green World could well survive ED Wardo with little problem & come to menace any number of PCs & the organizations that they work for. This is where the PCs could come in as both clean up & support. Trancers II is one of the most accessible of the series & really throws the hammer down as far is the roots of this problem.
Trancers III is the one that finds Jack cruising toward 6th level fighter. Jack (Tim Thomerson) is now a successful private detective, catching cheating lovers in the act. Angel City begins to come apart at the seams as the Trancers War breaks out fully. To save Angel City from its future destruction in a massive war Jack is pressed into service. His mission - find the origin of this new wave of trancers and end it with extreme prejudice.Here's where PCs come in & offer support & really take the fight to the enemies of Angel City! We get to see the extent of the destruction these things cause. Jack is really at his cynical best here. The introduction of an android partner allows the Mutant Future roots of this 90s cheese fest to show right through. Allow the PCs to really shine in the spot light & while Jack gets the glory the PCs get the gold & adventure.
Trancers Four is 90s cheese at its best & gives us a Jack Deth at Level 7 when the DM decides to mix it up a bit. We get a new dimension in the form of the planet Orpheus & a brand new monster in the form of the Trancer Nobles. This caste of Trancers are mutant psycho zombie overlords. They're similar to another species seen in the Richard Band movies Subspecies. Critters who feed on the psyches of their victims or simply monsters who drain the levels from the poor fools.
The Tunnel Rats are great as a cell for the PCs to be thrust right into the middle of the good fight for Orpheus & its environs. The planet is someplace that's seemly ripped from the pages of Arduin or some other OD&D cheese fest. Perfect material for a Mutant Future or even a Carcosa project. There are several megadungeon locations to be mined from in this movie. Pure awesome Brand name cheese!
Sudden Deth or Trancers five is one of the best of the series because its where the movies introduce new elements, characters, & the most D&D like of the Trancer movies. Here's a plot summery of Trancers 4&5 according to wiki :
We've got more information on the Trancers of Orpheus, we've got background on the "Subspecies" like Nobles, half Trancers like Prospero, the Castle of Unrelenting Terror megadungeon along with the artifact the Tiamond, & we've got a whole new campaign world to mess with.
Orpheus allows the DM to play hard with the Trancers saga without touching or messing with the Dethverse at all. This is where we've got Jack at 8th level & going strong with his Trancer partner, rebel love interest, & son on the way. The PCs can follow in his foot steps, save his bacon, assist with the rebellion or simply go adventuring on Orpheus.
Trancers 6 is where the DM loses it completely
Plot according to Wiki
The fact is that Jack can show up anywhen or anywhere. Seriously its all a matter of hunting Trancers wherever they rear their ugly heads! The whole series allows PCs to thread in & out where they're needed. What ever happened to Orpheus? Jack can't be everywhere or can he? Well because of the nature of parts 4 & 5 the question of happy ever after is never settled. The Tunnels Rats could be fighting their Noble masters even now! What bout Jack's son on Orpheus & the evil Nobles who want to twist the mind or spirit of that child? Jack is completely unaware of him or her! Then of course there's Angel City naked, cynical, & complete unprotected from machinations of those Trancer nobles & their human psychic thralls. What about Mekon seven? Is there a loose end or two there? Trancers left behind in the 85 period still out there waiting, plotting, or hatching at this very moment?
Jack ends the series at 8th or 9th level. The cameo in Evil Bong is possibly the last we see of the Mr. Deth we all know & love.
The Tools of Deth
Like all cool science fiction or fantasy heroes Jack has all the cool gadgets. Here's a complete listing of them according to wiki :
There's enough in there to keep a Mutant Future DM jumping for quite awhile. Well this concludes our Trancers coverage. Thanks for the cult ride. We've got more fun coming up.