Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Rapture

It may be a kind of living madness, awake and aware, hunting you invisibly though the darkness. Hovering, waiting for a crack. It may be your own hidden desire to die exploding suddenly from a repressed subconscious. It may be some deep engine of your surface biology revolting against its presence in a place its knows it was never meant to be. It may simply be cold compressed fear of an alien world that does not want you to survive.

For DM’s, its best to think of the Rapture as a kind of invisible monster that continually follows the PC’s, drifting and waiting for its time to strike.

Contact with the Rapture always takes place in the following sequence.

1. Contact is made.
2. The PC enters conflict with the Rapture inside their mind.
3. If the PC survives, they are changed by the experience. Roll on ‘The Effects’

The Rapture gains one HD for every day since anyone in the party made contact with it. So, it never attacks on the same day twice. On the second day it attacks at 1HD, the next at 2HD, and so-on.


The above being true, the Rapture will attack when a PC

- Finds themselves lost and alone.
- Is trapped in a squeeze (actually a good time as its ability to harm you is lessened)
- Witnesses a friend’s death.
- Loses any capacity to make light and is engulfed in the dark
- On encountering one of the Lower Darks.
- On things going unusually and extremely wrong in a way that surprises even the DM.

(If the Rapture has a choice of multiple targets in the same situation, it will only ever attack one, always the weakest, the one with less hit points at the moment of attack.)

In addition, players may choose to encounter the Rapture  in the following ways.

- If a random encounter is rolled during a long journey, any PC may say “I choose Rapture”, this cancels the encounter and replaces it with an attack of the Rapture in the same physical conditions (cave, pitch etc). The declaring PC is always the one attacked.

- A player who has been knocked unconscious (usually Zero hp) may likewise declare “I choose Rapture”. If they win the contest inside their mind, they sit back up with 1hp. If the Rapture wins, it sits up in their body, with 1hp.

The Contest

This battle takes place inside the mind of the victim. It occurs just like an encounter, in combat rounds.  The PC fights to retain control of their body and actions, the Rapture fights to possess and destroy them and their friends.

Time in the outside world also passes in combat rounds. The PC’s fellow adventurers cannot fight for them but can protect or restrain their body.

(At the DM’s discretion, certain Spells or Items may allow PC’s to join and assist their friend inside their nightmare vision.)

The PC is frozen during the encounter. Whoever wins a round of combat can do one of the following actions with the PC’s body.

- Move one limb.
- Move the fingers of one hand.
- Make a sound or single syllable word.
- Move one space back or forth along this chain;
Standing-Kneeling-Recovery Position-Foetal Position.

If either the player or Rapture wish to perform any kind of complex action, (ie pulling up an friend trapped on the end of a rope) they must break it into a series of smaller steps and win continuous rounds of combat within the mind. To cry “help” the PC must win at least one round.

The Rapture has HD equal to the days since its last attack. It’s damage die is the die size closest to its HD. Its attack bonus and bonus to damage are the same as its HD.

So a Rapture that has not struck for five days has 5HD, +5 to hit and does d6 damage.

The PC has their current hit points as normal.
Their WIS is their AC in this fight.
Their INT is treated as if it were STR and decides any bonus to hit or damage.
They have whatever weapon they held last.

The Rapture can appear as anything and in almost any environment, although the DM may wish to roll 2d10 on the table below.

It appears as
In this place
Childhood home
Your God
In the dying gleam of sun at the core of the Vampire Court
Mirror Self
Inside a vast Engine of Earth
A Living Dark
A sinkhole sucking you down
A dead friend
Empty Myconid City
The one you love most
Lair of the Antiphoenix (Antiphoenix absent)
A foe you recently killed
Halls of dripping pearl shaped like half-closed eyes
A powerful foe who remains
Across the surface of an enormous eye
A innocent victim of yours
Hanging from a chain above a great abyss
An Earth Elemental
On a capsized black ship sinking into a black sea as lights gather beneath the surface.

The Dm should be advised that the environment also hates the PC and wants them dead, however, it cannot betray the logic of its construction.

If the PC wins, they get their body back. If the Rapture wins, it gets full control of the PC for rounds equal to its HD.

It wants the following things;

Suicide, preferably by falling.
Homicide, preferably of friends.
Equipment destruction or loss.

The Rapture will usually be either screaming or laughing or both. If it takes the body of a mage or Cleric and has the ability, it may self-curse. It will do whatever it can to hurt the party, though its usual first action is to jump screaming from as high a place as it can reach.


If the PC survives its contact with the Rapture they will always be changed by the experience. They must roll on ‘the effects’.

The good news is that if the Rapture fails to kill someone ten times in a row, it will usually leave them alone after that.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, next time one of the PC's pisses off some gypsy/shaman/elder god...