Supernatural RPG - Corebook - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Supernatural Role Playing Game by Jamie Chambers. Book Review - Grimm: The Chopping Block by John Passarella. supernatural Rapunzel dean winchester sam winchester castiel Jensen Ackles Misha Collins destiel spn Jared Padalecki flynn ryder supernatural convention unicorns-poop-gold. Supernatural Role Playing Game · Cortex Classic. Nickname. PDF version. Alternate Names. Year Published. Format. Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook.
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DOWNLOAD PDF. Report this file. Description. Download Supernatural RPG - Corebook Free in pdf format. Sponsored Ads. Shop Now. Ads by site. NAME. CONCEPT. SUPERNATU TRA. DESCRIPTION. Role Playing Game. General and Specialty Skills. Attributes. Derived Attributes. ANIMALS. INFLUENCE. Using the Cortex System at its foundation, the Supernatural RPG allows a group Very effective in print, a bit of a bother in PDF (my copy came in at 42Mb and.
They die bloody. Some of them repeatedly. Including both of our lead characters. Supernatural is a show about the creepy evil lurking in every corner. Its about the hunters who just barely manage to keep beating that evil back.
The teeny little candle flames in the pitch black. Theyre outnumbered, outgunned Im sorry, am I depressing you? Dont get me wrongits fun to watch the creatures go ballistic. Blood spatter hits the wallor a Winchesters faceinnocent people scream, our heroes dive for the Impala trunk and select from a cache of groovy weapons No, I trust were all on the same page here. You didnt tune into our little show because you wanted to watch The Nutcracker.
Youre after some hardcore Bad Thing Hunting. Maybe you had a rough childhood. Maybe you just have really excellent taste. Im just glad you found us. When I was 12, my folks shipped me off to spend the summer in Canada with my cousins. We were bored, unsupervised, and had access to the video store.
We watched the entire horror section. I wont waste your valuable role-playing time getting into a deep analysis of why I was so drawn to monsters. Ill just say that theres something about experiencing scary stuff thats more satisfying when youre with other people, all freaking out together. So Im glad this game has come into being. You can gather in a like-minded group, turn down the lights, and egg each other on.
Dont forget the pie. For extra veracity, someone should probably wear a trucker hat. If youre of age, by all means have a beer. Lucifer could rise at any time. Might as well party. And seriously: We make the show for you.
Youre alone, crouched in a corner. The wind howlsor is that a scream? Scratching sounds at the window, creaking in the floorboards, hinges groan as a door slides open. The arrhythmic thump of footsteps moves steadily across the floor. Something is headed your way. Whatever it is, it cant be good.
More than likely, its gonna be a real bitch. They say the nights alive, but you know whatevers coming aint animals, insects, or some insomniac. Other things are out thereseriously bad stuff that lives in the darkness. This ugly, relentless evil is hungry.
Hungry for flesh and blood, sure, but also fear, terror, and life. The worst of it starves for your soul. Surviving such a world aint easy. In fact, its hard as hell. At times, it is Hell. No one lasts long if they arent prepared. To do that, you gotta know just what sort of world youre living in. You also gotta learn the kind of nasties that can rear up and take a bite out of you and your buddies. No tellin when something might come for you out of the shadows. If you arent ready, youre as good as dead.
The World You Know Check it outthe real world, modern-day. Its the world you see every morning when you wake up. People tool around in cars, listen to iPods, heat up coffee in microwaves, curse the ATM for their own pathetic bank account, and surf the Internet when work gets old say, five minutes in.
Its the same dreary world youve always known, with all the same boring people. Youre born, you learn to walk and talk, you go to school, you graduate, you get a job, you retire, and you die. End of story. At least, thats how it is for most folks. What most people dont know is theres a lot more crap going on. Some people aint most folksthey aint as lucky, or as ignorant. Theyve had their eyes opened, usually by force. Theyve witnessed firsthand what haunts the shadows.
They know a nice, neat life is a lie. Beyond itand not nearly far enough beyondis something much worse. The Supernatural Nature and human effort dont explain everything. If anything, that stuff just covers over a badness that, thankfully, most people never experience. That horror has a name: This deeper world is filled with ghosts and spirits and demons and all manner of monsters.
These creatures piss on the normal rules. Most are stronger, faster, tougher and way more vicious than humans. Some only need to eat once a decade, but feed much more often cause they like it. Some are made of. The ugly stuff cant die by normal means. The really ugly stuff lives forever. Now were talking about the real world. The big, bad, scary, rip-out-your-organs world.
The one where those who battle the supernaturalthe huntersstrive every hour of every day to download normal folks what safety they can. On the upside, its a thousand times more exciting than classes or carpooling to your CPA job. Its also an important job. Somebodys gotta do it.
Thats about it for the positives. On the flipside, its also stupidly dangerous. A few supernatural creatures just want to be left alone, but dont count on it.
Most are hip-deep in messing with normal humans. Some want people for entertainment, but more often theyre just lookin for a food source. That might be blood and guts, but others suck out emotions, memories, or life energy. Since most folks cant even accept the idea that such creatures exist, their nasty habits usually go unpunished, written off as the deranged crimes of unknown assailants. Hell, half the time no one even looks into the thing.
What used to be a living, loving human becomes just another missing person, bizarre accident, or elaborate suicide. Hunters know better.
Like we said, someones gotta fight back, protect the innocents, blah, blah, blah. Hunters take on a job few know about, and even fewer want anything to do with. One monster at a time, they risk everything. The lucky ones that dont have their hearts ripped out more often than not go insane.
Most just hope they can take down the sons of bitches before they cash it in. So what sort of beasties inhabit the darkness beyond the light? The unfortunate truth is its anything you can imagine, and a whole mess of stuff you cant, or dont want to. Every myth, legend, and ghost story began as some kind of true account. Later generationsfolks that didnt want to believediscounted them as empty tales. Partially thats cause most supernatural creatures dont die away, they simply adapt to whatever life and society humans create.
That helps them hide better and keep on killing. If youve ever been spooked by a story or a hunch, that son of a bitch is probably out there somewhere.
Heres the nickel tour. Stay sharp, some of this information could save your sorry ass. You live, you die, you move on. If youre lucky, you avoid goin someplace nasty, but no one really knows exactly where you go. At least, thats the case with most folks. Then therere those who dont, or cant, move on. Some men, womenhell, even children or animals linger after death. They dont pass through the veil to whatever comes next. They stick around and become ghosts.
Spooks seem to turn up in the majority of our scary jobs. Thats cause theyre the single most common supernatural creature in our world.
You can find ghosts almost anywhere: If you know where to look, theyre all around. Whenever something supernatural occurs, its usually a safe bet that a spook is involved. Of course, not all specters are the same. Some cant be seen; others get their kicks by gettin in your face. Some are uglier than your fat aunt Mildred, sporting open wounds or horrid signs of what caused them to stop livin.
Some appear so normal that most people seeing them dont notice anything out of the ordinary. Some spooks are sad, pining for their living, breathing days, or trying to change something that happened so long ago no one remembers. Some are protective, watching over loved ones. More than youd like, however, ghosts are just plain angry, seeking payback for whatever happened to them while they were still alive.
Ghosts run the gambit in power and ability. The one thing all spooks share is intangibility. They are shadows of their former, living selves, and spend most of their time with no real physical substance. Some are permanently immaterial, but many can get tangible when riled up. Solid or not, many ghosts can make stuff move with nothing but a stare, flinging items and even people around. Most ghosts can turn invisible, and tend to stay hidden when not gettin medieval on someone.
A few of the more powerful spooks may be able to read minds, to alter weather, to cause heart attacks, or even to bend time and space.
Now thats downright frightenin. No one knows what causes one persons spirit to linger while another faced with similar bad stuff moves on. Maybe its willpower, or faith, or intensity, or some combination. The good news is that ghosts were once human, and tend to think just like when they were alive. They can be tricked, manipulated, or outmaneuvered by using their own memories, interests, and emotions against them.
Others are more twisted, shunning meat and blood in favor of emotions, thoughts, or some other esoteric feedbag. They are as subtle as they are cruel, and they are always, always hungry. The upside is that creatures have substanceliving beings with physical bodies. That means you can kick them in the head, blow holes in them, or run them over with a car.
The trick is figuring out what type of ugly it is and what its weaknesses are. Most flesh-and-blood creatures can be damaged by fire. Many can be hurt by knives, bats, and guns. Best count on them being a lot tougher than any regular animal though.
For creatures made of weird substances, like rock or thousands of bugs, whatever damages that stuff can probably hurt it.
Chisel the rock thing, spray down the bugs with poisonyou get the drift. The other good thing about creatures is that they are limited by their bodies. A ghost can pass through walls, vanish from sight, and reappear anywheremakes it damn tough to ambush or trap.
Creatures can usually only sense whats around them at any given time, and can be hemmed in with walls or nets or powerful enough tranqs. That means hunting a creature is much the same as hunting any wild beast. The biggest difference is that most creatures are smarter than animals, and have unusual strength and endurance.
Even worse are those sons of bitches that move like lightning, or fly, or shape-shift, or shoot venom from places you dont want to know.
Just gotta out-tough those bastards. Some of these things were never human. Not even close. Lots of these creeps arent even flesh and blood. They could be made of stone, wood, plants, or stuff you dont want to get near, much less on the bottom of your shoes.
Many could never be mistaken for us, while others are close enough to pass among regular people when necessary. Ultimately all of them are inhuman, with inhuman needs and desires.
Usually, these creatures live apart from humanity, preying on us when the mood strikes them. Some are like wild beasts, only more cunning. Some relish the chase, hunting people with the patience. Ghosts were human at one point. Creatures are physical and, in the end, mortal. Both are part of this world, even if its a screwed-up part. Really vicious horrors come from beyond.
And the worst of those are demons. Hate to say it, but Father Christopher was right. There really is a Hell. Thats something every hunterevery one who lives more than a couple weekslearns for absolute certain. No one knows if Heaven exists, but sure We know that cause sadistic, pitiless things keep crawling out of it. These beings are powerful and utterly ruthless. Theyre known to those in the trade as demons. Demons have no physical form of their ownnot in our world, anyway.
Some huntersthose who can string together more than two sentences at a timedebate whether demons have bodies in Hell. Most dont bother, or try not to think too much about the place down below. In the real world, demons possess regular people and use their bodiestheir meat suits as the hellions like to call their rides.
They can access the host bodys memories, pulling off a nearly perfect imitation, right down to knowing the meats work routine, loved ones, financial arrangements, and even kinky pleasures. Demons are abnormally strong in their host bodies, fueled by their infernal power.
Whacking or shooting the meat doesnt do a damn thing to the demon, cept maybe tickle them. A demon can simply vacate a damaged ride and go find another one. When outside a host, a demon looks like a cloud of black smoke, roiling and moving with overwhelming force and focus. Fighting a demon aint much different than suicide maybe a bit slower and more painful. The better approach is to bind it. Wards work to contain or block them, and holy water burns them something fierce.
Salt can turn them away too. The more powerful demons ignore the simple stuff, but a proper ward, like a Devils Trap, should stop even the strongest from entering a room. Then again, stopping a demon physically doesnt always keep you safe. Hellions can move things with their minds, cause fires by willpower alone, and get weak-willed humans to do their dirty work.
The older, more powerful demons are very good at manipulating normal people, promising them gotta-have-it things in exchange for their help. Once a demon has its hooks in you, free will is little more than an illusion that helps you sleep at night. That means a hunter is stuck fighting a mostly unknown evil.
Makes it damn difficult to figure out its capabilities and weaknesses. A werewolf or vampire is powerful, but at least a huntera hunter with any decent amount of training or experienceknows enough to prepare for those threats.
When a creature is unknown its potential danger is limitless. Will fire affect it? Will salt? Will guns? Can it only come out at night, or can it hunt during the day? Does it need to breathe? Can it hear heartbeats, or thoughts? The less a hunter knows about a given threat, the bigger the risk of judging it wrong.
When that happens people dieusually messily. Hunting Heres where the rubber meets the road. Hunters are all about the hunt. Find whatever creeps are hurtin people and put an end to them, once and for all.
Some folks are born hunterstheir parents were hunters and taught them the trade, or theyve simply got it in their blood. Others discover, or more likely are. Ghosts, creatures, and demonsthats not all thats out there. Some horrors have their own gig. Usually, they dont play nice with others. Thats good when the others are different nasties. Thats bad, very bad, when the others are humans.
Take vampires, for example. They might have been mortal folk once upon a time, but after they change, they no longer age, sleep, or breathe. They possess phenomenal strength and speed. You might be able to slow them down, but you cant really hurt them with most weapons.
They survive by drinking blood, which makes them bad neighbors unless you too want to be undead. Good thing they cant cross running water, are burned by sunlight, and can be killed by a wooden stake through the heart or decapitation. At least, thats the case with most of them. Other evils exist in legend but seem so farfetched even hunters have a hard time believing theyre real.
The djinn, or genies, are like that. These bad boys can alter reality, messing with your head and changing the world at a whim. They can vanish, turn immaterial, change their appearance, and have an annoying habit of being immortal. Fortunately djinn are few and far between, and seem more interested in amusing themselves and whiling away the long centuries than in actively hurting humans.
Would be nice if the other supernaturals were so indifferent. The most dangerous of the others are the unique ones. Each one is hard to identify cause its the only one of its kind. Some dont even have a name, cause the few people who might have survived its attacks cant write or talk about it in detail.
Evidence about its existence and habits is sketchy, amounting to, at most, vague rumors. A fewa precious fewget enough of a mad on to arm themselves and go out and face the bad guys.
Those poor bastards are the hunters. Others join the hunt after theyre full-grown. They mightve had mundane careers and even families before Hell came acallin. For most, the kick-starts the samea supernatural run-in.
Happens all the time, all over the country. People encounter ghosts, demons, spirits, vampires, whatever. Most dont survive that first encounter. Those who do probably werent the bastards target, or got damn lucky.
They write off the experience as stress or hallucination or an overactive imagination, or some sort of vicious prank. A few allow themselves to really see whats happening around them. They realize that whatever it was, it cant be explained away. Something mean and dark and butt ugly tried to do them a world of hurt.
They accept that it wasnt natural or remotely human. It was real and it was real scary. Of these folks, most try and hide from the new world theyve discovered. Some have the balls to study it,.
Not surprisingly, hunters dont have much lifeexpectancy. Hell, the point is to find and battle supernatural creatures. Nearly all of those suckers are stronger, faster, and tougher than any human. And they dont much appreciate folks who try to blast, burn, or ritualize them into little pieces. Those who live more than a few days do their best to stack the odds.
Weapons are key, but so is protection, both mundane and supernatural. Some hunters learn rotes and spells and rituals, fighting brimstone with brimstone. Some augment vehicles, creating warded armored cars and trucks that can literally crush ghosts and other spirits beneath their wheels. A few have tattoos and other marks, amulets and pendants, wards and charmsall designed to protect them from dismemberment, possession, and damnation.
No matter what, theres no way to get it right percent of the time. Nature of the job is risk. Gotta accept that. Most of the risk comes from uncertainty. Every so often a hunter busts down the door knowing exactly what hes dealing with.
Most times its just a guess, based on news reports about recent victims, lore dragged out of obtuse texts, or raw gut instinct. The hunter prepares as best he can, but if he makes the wrong call, he may not have the right tool or mumbo-jumbo for the job. That can get downright uglymost of the nasties out there arent much for giving a guy a second shot.
Taking on the critter isnt the only risk. Lots of creatures have lairsdark, skanky, pits that are just as unforgiving as their inhabitants. Some boltholes are trapped against intruders; others are just way off the OSHA charts. Fighting a doppelganger in an old abandoned mine is tough enough, but afterward you still have to make your way back out through closed-down tunnels and collapsed shafts.
After tangling with a shapechanger and comin out alive, it would suck hard to be taken out by a cave-in. Some monsters live on cliffs or mountain peaks, or in dank underground cellars, or in sewers, or in derelict complexes. None of these are garden spots at the best of timeswith a vengeful spirit or slavering beast on the loose theyre out-and-out unpleasant. Oh, did I mention that most fiends abhor bright light?
If I was that ugly, Id stay out of any spotlights too. Anyway, hunters get awful good at moving around, and fighting in less than ideal lighting. Still, bad light increases the chance of falling through rotten floorboards or running into rusted nails or head-butting something a hell of a lot harder than your noggin.
None of this keeps a good hunter down though. If you want a nice, safe, long life, stay home and let the pros handle it. Hunters do damned important work.
The most successful hunters are responsible for saving dozens, maybe even hundreds of lives. Entire communities are in their debt. Not that most of those folks know it, or appreciate it, however. Hunters are unsung heroes. They take their lumps in the shadows. Worse, hunters are unpaid heroes. They work at a job most people dont believe exists, and no one is willing to pay for. Even if some sucker was willing to put up cash for kills, most of the time, hunters cant hand over the dead monsters.
Thats cause most supernatural bastards disintegrate or crumble or melt away when theyre aced. Thats alright thoughmakes covering your tracks a hell of a lot easier. So how do hunters survive? Some have other work, like running an auto salvage yard or a bookstore or being a traveling salesman. Some had a regular job before hunting got all-consuming, and saved up enough to keep them going for years afterward. A few real lucky ones are independently wealthy. The rest make ends meet any way they can.
That usually means doing things that arent exactly on the up-and-up. Pawning loot, for example. Usually a monster that drags people back to its lair and devours them has little use for their money, credit cards, clothes, jewelry, or gold fillings. That crap just lays around the place collecting dust. So a hunter comes along and takes out the beast.
Suppose he could spend a bunch of time trying to track down the victims next of kinfat chance thats gonna happen. To the victor go the spoilsmany hunters collect any valuable remains, pawn them, and use that money to cover expenses. Its only fairthe hunter killed the creature that killed those people, preventing more from dying in the future.
Some hunters sideline as they go. They roll into a town and look for odd jobs, working and learning the area at the same time. Hunters best keep themselves in shape. A little manual laborll help with that, and it gives them a chance to observe the locals unnoticed.
Most folks dont pay much attention to a workin man. The majority of hunters make money the old fashioned waycrime. Credit card scams are commonapply under a fake name, using a forged ID, rack up a few thousand, then ditch the plastic and move on.
Hustling pool, flipping card tricks, palming wallets or jewelrywhatever it takes. Hell, it aint easy being a hunter and most folks got more than they really need anyway. Beside, hunters protect everyone from far worse stuff. Whats a little con, identity theft, or fraud, compared to dying in the clutches of something that liquefies your bones?
The local law man takes a dim view of all this, but that doesnt cause many hunters a lot of lost sleep. Cops are part of the clueless masses. They handle mundane crimes. Hunters take on the supernatural ones, which in their minds puts them higher on the pecking order. FBI agents dont worry much about stepping on toes or laws, so why should hunters? The things they stalk and kill are far worse than any terrorist. The laws hunters break often involve trespassing and trashing private property.
The most common, and the most disgusting, though, is desecrating a grave. Ghosts are usually banished by salting the remains and then burning them. Gettin to the remains means digging them up first. Among normal folks, thats a definite no-no. Not that hunters care much. Sure its safer to wait til after dark, just to avoid complications, but if the situation is dire enough a hunterll dig up a coffin, break it open, salt it, and ignite it in broad daylight.
Most of the other wreckage hunters cause is incidental. Assuming it would work, you dont plan to take out a monster by droppin a house on it.
Still, when youre fighting something strong enough to smash through walls and the battle takes place inside the house its been using as a lair, theres a good chance somebodys gonna tear through a support beam or two.
Is it really the hunters fault that the house collapses afterward? With the monster, who the neighbors all knew as nice Mr. Melman, still apparently inside? Maybe, but he aint the only one to blame. Try tellin that to the authorities. Planned or not, hunters get blamed for destructive acts and other situations that arent their doing, or at least not entirely.
When the true culprit was supernatural, and left no clear remains after the hunter killed it, who else are the normals gonna blame? Sure as hell the hunter cant prove his innocence. No one but another hunter or anyone who faced the creature with them would believe such a wild story anyway. Worse still is when an ugly looks like Joe Average human to everyone else.
The hunter knows better, and sees the creatures true face, but no one else does. Naturally, when the hunter takes the bastard down, everyone else call it murder.
A charge like that can haunt a hunter for the rest of his life, and make doing his job a damned sight more difficult. Thats the pride of being a hunter: Hunting Grounds Supernatural stuff exists in other countries and on other continents, but America seems to be home to lots of vile.
More than one hunter lives, works, and has been forced into a dirt nap in the good ol U. You got miles of mostly empty land, and nearly as much filled with clueless humanity. You got. Most hunters arent much for obeying laws. That doesnt mean they rob and steal at the drop of a hat, but when youre fighting a ghoul or a demon or an ancient.
So many people, all rushing around, all focusing on their own goals and their own activitiesmost folks never even glance around. They dont look too hard at those around themthats just asking for a faceful of angry.
With so many different types all mashed togetherso many looks and garb and disguiseswhos gonna notice a weirdo. The bad stuff and those that do it get lost in all the smoke and noise and bother. As if all that werent cause enough for supernatural celebrating, cities gather up big ol groups of homeless. The larger the burg, the more folks fall through the cracks. They lose jobs or homes or both, and wind up on the street, begging and stealing and scavenging to survive.
Many huddle under bridges or in subway stations, straggling from shelter to shelter in search of food and warmth. No one misses those bastards. Hell, most folks are just as happy to have them disappear. Any badness that cares to think about it could see themselves as public servantsthey take out the garbage and recycle the trash. Course, having a home is no guarantee of safety. Thats cause most big-city dwellers like their privacy. They expect to be left alone, and they dont get involved if they dont have to.
Most folks have no idea who their neighbors are, and dont much care. If someone down the hall or in the house next door disappears, its not their problem. People come and go all the time in the big towns. Sure a landlord notices when his tenants up and vanish, but that doesnt cause any alarm. No doubt they skipped out cause they couldnt pay the rentthe deadbeats even left nasty stains in the bedroom and whos stuck cleanin up that crap?
Good riddance to bad rubbish. Small Towns farmland, badland, deserts, big-ass lakes, mountains, mines, and everything in between. Cultures, and their horror stories, mix it up, bringing their traditions, their history, and their demons along for the ride. Creatures of any origin could wind up in the United States, and theres usually some group of people who tell tales about them in the area. Americas got some seriously big cities. Millions of two-legged monster snacks gather in places like Chicago, New York, and Atlanta.
They all teem together in massed rat warrens, blurring together into a single monstrous entity. For nasties that prey on humans, a big city is little more than a smorgasbord. Damn spread is so big, no ones gonna notice if an apple or two goes missing. For those who can look human, even if only in seriously dim light, or who can move around on the down-low, cities offer handy concealment. America isnt all big cities, not by a long shot. Its filled with small townsa whole other world from the big cities.
A small town might have only a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of people, max. The residents know each other and call each other by name.
Often they know everything about everyone elsegossip is king in a small town and news travels fast. Small towns cant offer what a big city canthere might be three or four restaurants, only one movie theater, one dentist, one doctor and one school.
That keeps the place close-knitthey all go to the same places to do the same things with the same people. That drives some folks batshitmore than one small-town kid dreams of growing up and running away to the big city some day. Strangers are noticed right away in a small town, and it doesnt take long for the entire community to hear about it. That can be good and it can be bad.
Makes a hunters investigation easierhe can go to the local diner, ask a few people if theyve seen anything strange, and hear all about the recent deaths in gruesome detail.
Makes the hunt harder though. The local sheriff hears about the hunter. Given what hunters usually ask about, thats gonna get the lawman damned curious, if not outright hostile. Wandering uglies pass through small towns quick enough. As mentioned, its hard to hide there. Those that set up shop in a place, posing as humans and doing their business over time, can be particularly stubborn though.
These monsters often become established members of the community. Taking them down forces the hunter to go up against the entire town. Some hickvilles are even responsible for their monsters, summoning spirits and other entities to protect their town and sacrificing strangers and passersby in exchange. The good newsits not hard to notice when an entire town is acting peculiar. The bad newsa hunters gotta take on the whole place and the creature. Might be better to let it go and leave the folks to their just deserts.
The Midwest is the perfect place for ghosts. Farmhouses might stay in the family for generations, but if the last owner dies the house can sit vacant and untouched for decades, the land around it going fallow or reverting to untamed prairie. After the kids run off to better, or at least more interesting lives, some old farmers die alone, bitter and twisted by the hard, unrewarding, solitary lives they led.
That makes for vengeful ghosts that prey on anyone foolish enough to enter their territory. And that territory has stretched pretty far afield. If you divy up the U. This vast stretch has a handful of large cities, dozens of small towns, and vast farmland in between. Most of the nations grain, produce and meat come from this Bread Basket. The Midwest poses serious problems for hunters. First of all, its damn big. Getting from one town to the next can take an entire day, Hell, sometimes farmhouses are eight or more hours apart.
That means canvassing an area looking for a monster can take weeks instead of hours. Meantime, the nasty is going on its merry killing way. Even when you narrow it down, hunting in open expanses aint easy. A field of grain or corn or a pasture can literally stretch for miles. Sure theres miles and miles of road, but that dosent cover anywhere near all there is. Monsters have a buttload of ground to hide in.
If the hunter doesnt happen have a four-wheeler, all that areas gotta be searched on foot. Portions of the Midwest are flat, of course, but other areas are rocky or mountainous or hilly or forested.
The Mississippi River cuts right through the country, forming a natural barrier and a beacon to water-based creatures. Countless small lakes and ponds dot the land, as do copses and orchards.
If a monster gets the chance to go to ground, it could take literally years of searching to find it. Large swathes of the Midwest are conservative, in thought and tradition and politics. Superstitions are alive and well in many farming communities; the locals may still speak German or Irish or Dutch as well as English.
The good newsa hunter might be taken seriously when he asks about people vanishing into thin air or changing appearance or leaping up into the trees.
The bad news those holding to the old ways are more likely to summon monsters themselves, leaving the hunter with both a supernatural adversary and a mortal one. America happened first in New England. It was the center of commerce and politics for many years. That means lots of history is tied up in those old places.
The area was famous for its whaling towns, ports and factories. All those areas are full up with legends about wronged men and women, about greedy plots and violent ends. All are ideal spawning grounds for ghosts. Worse still are the old cemeteries. Hidden, out of the way, long overgrownwho knows whats been bubbling up from down there.
In the Midwest, many old traditions are kept alive. In New England, they tend to be buried just beneath the surface. Most people dont believe the old stories, but that doesnt affect the gravestones that still stand or the stone buildings and wooden piers that are still in use.
Angry spirits had long-standing anchor points or frames of referenceand plenty of fresh victims. New Englanders might still believe deep in their hearts, but theyll never admit it. Mysterious deaths are explained away as bizarre accidents or crimes of passion and added to the long history of weird stuff thats already happened. Investigations are quick and cursorythe police really dont want to find anything out of the ordinary. That attitude just gives monsters more freedom to indulge their bloodlust hatred and hunger freely.
It can also be frustrating for hunters trying to discover the truth, especially when the local law gets defensive. Investigations in the northeast are a pain. Its not that records dont exist; its that they are more often than not a mess.
In the Midwest, a family might stay in one place for six generations. Lots of immigrants arrived in New England but moved on, following new industries or just their fame and fortune.
Towns merged together, or were abandoned. Companies shifted two towns over, taking their workers with them but losing half their old records in the move. Tracking down genealogies and old events can be a bitch, especially for anything before the twentieth century. Buildings are reconfigured, repurposed, or rebuilt on top of the burned out remains of old ones.
A hunter might be looking for a seminary and not realize the place is now a bar, a movie theater, or a bookstore. The best thing about New England is all those old churches. Many hunters are religious, and even those who arent, appreciate the benefits of.
With so many churches around, a priest or a baptismal font is usually not far from the action. The unfortunate thing is how often thats crucial to a hunters survival. One of the last areas explored and colonized, the Pacific Northwest still has traces of primordial America stretches of forest, completely untouched by humanity, thick with animals and birds and insects.
And monsters. As folks from the east staked claims and built houses and started towns, the wildlife was pushed out. Thats one thing when its wolves.
Migration wasnt limited to the natural order, though. Lots of monsters moved too, especially those with feeding patterns that didnt sit well with civilization. These uglies stayed just ahead of the wave, finally coming to rest in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The area might have fewer ghosts than almost anywhere else, but it more than makes up for that with the variety of creatures, particularly those attuned to woodlands.
The deep forest provides them with sanctuary, and enough prey in the form of hikers and tour groups and road-trippers. The monsters can feed and still avoid the local towns and cities. People in this region are a strange bunch. Theyre friendly enough but slow to accept new residents. They keep themselves aloof, tolerating visitors only because theyll be leaving soon enough. Theyre close-knit and closemouthed, perfectly happy to take strangers money, but unwilling to share stories with them.
The locals might know all the old tales and histories, but they dont believe them any more than those of other areas. Hunters who know the region find it relatively easy to hunt creatures cause they know who to ask for stories and legends and old maps. Those from other areas find the locals as hostile as the monsters, and the strange landscape bewildering.
All in all, the Pacific Northwest aint a good place to be lost, particularly at night when the fog rolls in and the temperature drops and sounds seem to come from everywhere at once. Northerners are still called Yanks, and outsiders of any kind are distrusted on general principle.
The Southeast has several large, modern cities, but in lots of ways it still clings to the old ways. Not surprisingly, the Southeast is chock full of Civil War ghosts. The violence, hardship and bloodshed spawned an incredible number of spirits. Many old plantations and townhouses are haunted by former Southern officers soldiers and civilians. Shermans march through the heartland made sure that lots of areas away from the front lines shared in the misery.
Some spirits keep their ire for northerners, but many have grown less picky over the years. Unfortunately, southerners are proud of their ghosts maybe not of the deaths they cause, but certainly of their history and of their grisly stories.
The locals delight in telling visitors about the great-uncle who carved open his twin brother with a cleaver, or the distant cousin who butchered his slaves rather than free them after the war ended. Most southerners dont actually believe in the talestheyre no different from other folks that way. But they claim to, and actively mess with anyone who tries to disprove or dispel those old spirits. The other problem for hunters is the southern smile.
Southerners move at a slower pace than the rest of the country, maddeningly so at times. Theyre all nice and polite to everyonethen shred them in private. Makes it difficult to get information from a southerner, and almost impossible to gauge their sincerity. Many a hunter has died cause he believed a southerner that a ghost was long gone or no real threat or confined to only one room of the old family estates. The Southeast is all the land below the Mason-Dixon Line.
More than any other, that areas been marked by the American Civil War. That bloodbath pitted the northerners against the southerners, brother against brotherdamn near tore the country apart. The South, which seceded to form the Confederate States of America, lost the war, and paid hard for it.
Even now, more than a century later, wounds linger, both in the land and in the people. Until a few years ago, some state capitals still flew the Confederate flag over their courthouses. Unlike those usually called southerns, the folks of the Southwest were never very concerned with the Civil War.
Thats cause there wasnt much America out there at that time. It was pretty much just the Wild West thengreat prairies and deserts where horses roamed free and cattle were driven from one town to the next.
Robber barons grabbed up the power in these largely lawless regions, growing rich on oil, cattle, or horses. The area saw more than its share of cruel men who owned whole towns where their word was law. Violence was a way of life. Young men may have gone west to seek their fortune, but most wound up dead in a ditch somewhere. The only thing it is really missing to make it a perfect modern supernatural horror hunting game is a magic system.
BUT, given this is "Supernatural" and more about normal humans, it's fine that it is not there and more of a reflection of my play style than the show. I am not sure how it compares to other Cortex books in terms of mechanics. It's looks most similar to Demon Hunters and the Cortext Core, but there are changes to reflect the world a bit better no super science, no flashy magic, lot more gear.
Though while Demon Hunters is very tongue and cheek and the Core is very dry, this book is neither. If you are already a fan of the Supernatural TV show and want to play out the kind of adventures that happen to its protagonists, this book will come as a real treat. If you enjoy the TV show and want a game specifically tailored to its nuances, this is for you. It is presented beautifully and atmospherically, and should empower you to recreate the show in your game.
It could even spread to wider, but similar, themes — say you wanted an X-Files or Warehouse 13 themed-game. If you don't know the show, or are just looking for a game in which present-day heroes deal with supernatural menaces, this probably is not the game for you.
Written throughout in a casual style almost as if written by Dean Winchester and laid out in full colour with lots of uncaptioned, alas, and rather dark shots from the show as well as evocative collections of items that might rest on a hunter's desk, the work begins with an Introduction by Sara Gamble, one of the show's writers. Clearly, she'd quite like to join in, and it ought to get you into the right mood for this game from the outset.
Then the book jumps right in with Chapter 1: Be Afraid of the Dark. This is a wide-ranging chapter that covers the underlying concept of the game, the mood of the show which you'll be trying to recreate, and setting the scene of an elite group of 'hunters' who deal with menaces that most ordinary folk do not even believe exist outside of legends and stories.
There's an overview of the sorts of nasty things these hunters will face - as well as other hassles such as local law enforcement, lack of a reliable income if full time hunters and the effect of their lifestyle on family and friends.
Assuming you want to run your game in Continental America, there's an overview of some of the likely places supernatural menaces are to be found Next, Chapter 2: The Basics covers just that - the basics of the Cortex rule system - certainly in enough detail to play the game. Aspiring referees and players wanting to use the rules to their full effect will find a lot more detail in Chapter 6: The Rules. And that's another good thing about this book, you are constantly directed to what it will be useful to read next, depending on your needs at the time.
Starting with a brief explanation of what role-playing is and the role of player and game master, it moves on to introduce the dice used in the Cortex System and the way in which the capabilities of a character or monster are described and used from a game mechanics point of view - and all with reference to where you put it on the character sheet.
There is even sufficient detail for you to understand what is going on during a combat or other mechanics-heavy moment in the game.
The basics explained, on to Chapter 3: The Hunters, which gets down to the detail of actually creating your character ready to play. Everything is based around your concept for a character, with a point-build system to allow you to set him up just as you please. And if you prefer to play one of the Winchester boys or one or two other major characters from the show, they are presented in full detail.
An interesting feature is Traits - which come as Assets or Complications. They confer modifiers in appropriate situations, but Complications can if well role-played also gain the player Plot Points - freely usable bonuses to die rolls at a time of your choosing.
The chapter rounds out with the advancement system. Chapter 4 looks at Traits and Skills - basically explaining what is available and how to use them in game mechanic terms, then character creation is completed with a trip to the store, or at least Chapter 5: The Gear. This is quite abstracted, both in terms of detail if you want to describe your weapons in loving terms, fine, but here you get generic statistics for each type! Characters done, Chapter 6: Rules provides all the detail that the game master - or most avid rules-lawyer - could need to enable the game to run smoothly, logically and fairly.
Suitably given the subject matter, there is a cinematic feel and GMs are advised that excessive die-rolling can spoil the flow of the game, and to require rolls only when there is a definite need to allow for an element of chance. However, when the need arises for rules mechanics, these are explained clearly with plenty of options to enable you to tailor them to the precise circumstances in your game.
The theme of Plot Points is expanded with suggestions as to how players can use them not just to enhance a roll but to create favourable circumstances, like finding precisely the right weapon to deal with a given monster just lurking forgotten at the bottom of your bag. Plenty of detail is given to the mechanics of combat and chases as well, also all-important information on getting injured and recovering from the damage. Considering the nature of adversaries, attention is also paid to the characters' mental state with rules for getting scared or even losing your grip in the face of Things That Should Not Exist Chapter 7 is entitled - and aimed at - The Game Master.
There's nothing game-destroying should a mere player read here, more just things that are more appropriate for a GMs use. Things like actually running games, pacing, levels of control to exert, even how to deal with rules lawyers a gem: The overall setting - horror in contemporary America - is already chosen for you, but there are lot of options within the broad theme as to how you wish to address it in your game.
For example, are the characters footloose wanderers seeking out monsters to hunt, or have the monsters chosen to come visit them in their home town and they have to step up to defend all that they hold dear? However much you prepare, there are some useful thoughts about how an individual adventure should be organised to best effect quite useful general advice, and certainly apposite to the sort of adventures you'd run for this game.
Chapter 9: The Supernatural is an overview of some of the commoner types of adversaries that the characters might encounter in their hunt. As the authors admit, you'd need a whole library to cover the myths around even a few of the most well-known monsters; and so the emphasis here is on how to use monsters within your game rather than bare facts except of course example game statistics about them - both Game Master and players will do well to undertake their own research into what the legends say.
Information sources, especially those available in-game to the characters, are well explored. There's a good section on how the characters can apply various skills to their search for information. The details given about the monsters themselves are vague enough that players can safely read most them, although perhaps unless they can justify their characters having a pre-existing interest before the game begins, even this may be more than 'ordinary' people, the ones who don't credit the existance of such beasts, would know.
There are some examples given that are best left to the GM. Finally, Chapter 9: The Mundane looks at everything else the characters will encounter, in main a series of locations and the sort of people likely to be found there. There are also some of the more likely wild animals - such as bears and cougars - that might cause confusion to a hunter who sees the supernatural behind every attack.
The overriding feel is 'small-town America' and even to one who has never been there it's beginning to come to life in my mind as backdrop to the adventures. There's also some suggest background music, then the Index and a character sheet rounds the whole thing off. It could even spread to wider, but similar, themes - say you wanted an X-Files or Warehouse 13 themed-game.
Supernatural is one of the best fantasy horror shows to come along since the Whedonverse brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Through its five seasons, it has developed an intriguing mythos revolving hunters and the things that hide in the dark. More than any other television series, Supernatural is perfect for a Role Playing game, having already established that there are dozens of hunters, maybe even hundreds, all over the world. At its heart, Supernatural is an action horror RPG.
Players create a group of individuals who, for some reason or another, are together chasing evils throughout the country. Often times, those RPGs have you splitting up 3 or 4 different ways to best utilize the characteristics of an individual player.
Supernatural has frequently introduced the idea of teams of hunters on the show, so players feel right at home working together within the spirit of the show. A researcher could be right next to an gun toting hunter and still have something to contribute to a situation. There is material for game masters and players. The Cortex system is suitable system for role-playing heavy RPGs. Because players are not dealing with static statistics that need to be added with specific dice, it is easier to teach someone new to RPGs.
The six basic stats in the game are given a specific die, as are skills, perks and compilations. You simply roll that die when a relevant check comes up and you match the results against a standard chart that ranges from easy to impossible.
As with other Cortex games, players receive plot points, which allow them to altar the die used and effect the story aspects of the game.
The material comes together well, but lacks enough pregenerated characters, something that made Serenity far easier to set up a campaign. The only characters included are the four main characters from the show. For the Game Master There are stats for all level of supernatural as well as animals and ordinary people.
The Game Master section does a comprehensive job of describing how a game is run. It really made running the first game very easy. For the Player The beauty of the Cortex system is its ease of use.
Making a Rookie character takes 15 minutes. I had a player tell me she hated the show Supernatural, but had a ball playing the RPG. The Iron Word Supernatural plays to the strengths of the Cortex system.
Regardless on if you are familiar with the show, you will appreciate the nuances the system brings to a game where you are a hero hunting down the evils of a modern world. This is a very nice product. After reading it, I'm thinking about switching all of my Savage Worlds games over to the Cortex system. The game itself is written in a very casual style - like it's being spoken by one of the character's from the show. While some may not appreciate the style; I, for one, really enjoyed it and found it to be a welcomed substitute for the typically dry RPG rulebook.
The author clearly knows his subject matter and can 'teach' game rules without putting someone to sleep. Margaret Weiss would be wise to hold onto this guy - he's damn good. The rules are vintage Cortex can something only a few years old be vintage?
For example, instead of a static number for success in SW, Supernatural uses a Difficulty number. Players roll their Attributes and Skills to equal or exceed that number. I always thought that Bennies were a great part of SW and that every game should use 'em. Having seen and used Plot Points - they're better. They make more sense and make the Player make tough choices. If you use them before a roll, you can get 'em pretty cheap. If you need to use one to save your bacon after the roll, they're more expensive.
I think it's brilliant stuff. The game covers a lot of territory in regards to running a good Supernatural game. It has a pretty good selection of weapons, gear, and all the stuff needed to run a good Hunter.
My only real complaint is that there isn't as many monsters as I would've liked. I understand that there is likely a Monster book coming out soon, so that choice makes sense.
Another complaint would be that there really isn't a lot of magic, but that wouldn't be true to the show. For those that want to diverge from the main canon, adding your own magic is mostly going to be up to you. I've found that on the Cortex fan-site http: Lots of color pictures, nice graphs and tables and a real pleasant look to it. That being said, if you're going to print at home, there wasn't a print-friendly option that I was aware of.
Not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd recommend taking it somewhere to print. It's sure to use up a lot of ink as there's very little unused space. I really like the Cortex system.
It's a kissing-cousin to Savage Worlds, but in many respects it's better. It isn't designed with minis and maps intended as the focus they can be used, but measurements are real-world distances, not inches on the map-board. I really like the Plot Points better than Bennies, and the dice mechanic, while similar, lacks much of the Savage Worlds goofiness.
Really the game stands on its own merit, and I'm not sure why I compared it to Savage Worlds other than that is a system I'm familiar with, and I was pleasantly surprised that this system is immediately 'familiar' - but different enough that I can appreciate that, for me, it's better. I look forward to the certain follow-on resource books with anticipation. I'm very happy with this download and as I mentioned at the outset, if I can convert all of my other games without much hub-bub, I'll be running a lot more Cortex than just this.