Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pockets - An Encounter For Mutant Future or Any Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign


In many highly radioactive areas often near railroad tracks and stations there are thin areas of reality where the energies used during the Apocalypse have thinned the veils between universes. These strange ripples in time and space are often found quite by accident by those who venture in these areas to loot and salvage various rail related artifacts & places. These ripples can often occur underground near subway stations and sub car platforms where the network of tracks reaches deep into the Earth. 
These puddles or pockets of unreality often flex and shift during the day or open fully at night at three A.M. Often these demi pocket universe zones open into the Negative material planes. They are sometimes filled with horrors from beyond. Hordes of undead, zombies, plague ghouls and worse are often trapped in these places only to pour forth to wreck bloody vengence upon the world.
But there are those who actively seek these 'pockets' out. The 'Barn Stormers' or 'Lightning Chasers' use a wide variety of super science tools to track,locate, and tag areas such as these. Pockets contain rich traces of so called pocket diamonds or corroded diamonds. The crushed down and crystallized remains of the very monsters who haunt these places. Each 'black corroded  diamond' has a special negative planar charge and has 1d8 random charges when found. Used correctly and these diamonds can be used to power  a special super science laser rig to 'lace the diamond'. That is to expose one to a laser charge and to send ones mind between pocket universes. Irt gives the ultimate high and enables one to grab a bit cosmic insight while shedding between 1d20 years off of their chronological age.
There is a 20% chance of going temporarily insane as the negative planar energies play marry havoc with the fool's mind and sanity. There is also a 1% chance of a negative dimensional  soul inversion with each treatment in which the victim must make a save vs death or become a minor mindless undead of the most aggressive type. The diamonds are worth between 400 to 500 gold pieces each or one minor trade relic each. 'Lacing the diamond' treatments can only be done in an expensive super science laboratory by qualified personal. Treatments run between 10,000 and 20,000 gold pieces per treatment. 
Because of the nature of these minor pocket dimensional gateways; they often seem to occur within urban environments and around the outskirts of cities. Often times they were created by the use and release of certain spectrum of neutron radiation. These weapons often cracked the local time space continuum with the most horrid results happening. Over time there may be as many as thirty or more pockets with a city.

These energies not only form these miniature dimensional fractures but also seem to attract one of the most aggressive strains of undead imaginable. There are hordes of feral zombies that are almost always found within pockets waiting by the small glowing piles of black diamonds. And the occasional relics left behind by previous adventurers. Sometimes these feral zombies are in fact the former adventurers and explorers themselves. These hordes may instinctively gather relics and items of power and value. Guided by some twisted remnant of their former minds they often venture forth and return with some item or relic. In all other respects they are simply apex predator undead. 
There are often 1d4 random relics gathered by the feral zombies close to pile of black corroded diamonds that they revere and seemly worship. Here is a list of some of  some of the possible random finds.
1d10 Random Pocket Relics 
  1. A laser pistol with a spent charge and yet fully charged capacitor. There is a high energy signature coming from this thing and it will do an extra point of damage to it's target when fired. The weapon is actually effective against monsters that can't be affected by normal weapons. 
  2. A ring of strange reflective duralloy that has a cut crystal rock on top of it. The crystal is actually a miniature ray projector and will do 1d6 points of damage per shot up to a range of 10 meters.It will have 1d4 random charges left. 
  3. A special crystal lens that will show any mutant shape shifted into another form when looked through. Also works for monsters like doppelgangers. It will crack if exposed to the light of a new moon however. 
  4. A single tear drop of an angel that will destroy any one undead it touches unless they save vs death. Can only be used once. 
  5. A special wafer of silicate material that has a printed circuit design on it. This item when placed behind the ear allows one to use ESP as per the spell and mutation for half a day. The being must not used it more then three times a week or they will be stunned as per the spell and at a -2 on all rolls. 
  6.  A black bead that will be instantly drawn to any undead creature with a 20 meter radius. The thing will roll unerringly to the undead horror coming to rest at their feet. 
  7. The preserved teeth of a zombie, these items will call forth 1d4 zombies who will obey the user for an hour after which they will return to toxic sludge. These horrors may claim the user's teeth to replace the items. 
  8. A strange machine part that once a day may cause time to stop for 3 rounds. The item will do 1d4 points of damage when held, the item must be held for time to be stopped. 
  9. An undead hand of a zombie holding a special glowing crystal, the crystal allows one to call forth a dimensional gate to the negative plane  once every three months. There will be guide waiting for the PC's as well. This guide will try to keep them from being tempted by the dark illusions that will await them on the other side. This trip can also be used as a teleport without error once per month under the new moon. 
  10. Computer of the Lich Lord - This devilishly clever A.I. draws its strength and power from the souls of the dead who animate it. The thing will make lewd comments about any PC's it fancies and the A.I. is able to break into many preholocaust systems. The A.I. is a part of the Legion hive mind of psychotic machine intelligences and there is a 20% chance of it trying to murder the owner at a critical time. The computer is a palm sized unit and has holographic capability as well.

Anyone encountering a pocket must make a Dexterity check or be sucked into the strange black swirling dimensional limbo. Often times 1d4 days will have passed in the real world while only hours have passed within these pockets of unreality. 
There is a 40% chance of a feral zombie stepping through into the local space time continuum at three A.M. on most days from a pocket. These horrors will vanish with the first sunlight but otherwise they are free to roam within a 20 block radius of the pocket
The feral zombies will be attracted to the scent of the living and driven into a feeding frenzy at the sight of any blood spilled.
There are agencies who will pay 100 to 140 gold pieces for a feral zombie. These outfits are often mom and pop bio weapons divisions who want the feral zombies for fodder for quick military grade weapons made from the zombie's remains.

Want to know more? Go over to Chris Van Deelen's blog

No. Enc: 1d8 or 1d20 depending on moon phase 
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180’ (60’)
AC: 3
HD: 8
Attacks: 1 pounce, 1 bite, 2 claws
Damage: 2d6 plus special / 1d6+2 / 2d4+2, 2d4+2
Save: L8
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Special (see above) 
Mutations: Increased physical attribute (dexterity), toxic weapon
Source: State of Decay video game (2013)

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