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Thread: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

  1. #1
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    The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Hey folks,

    Because I didn't have enough settings I've converted from my tabletop RPGs into novel series (and vice versa), I thought I'd share another one of my creations in THE UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS where I used the M&M system to do a somewhat "Supernatural meets World of Darkness meets Buffy" sort of place. Taking the sensibility of horror movies and monster hunting movies then throwing them together with superhero-esque quips as well as champions. I also took a bit of inspiration from the Marvel and DC attempts to do this kind of mix with Tomb of Dracula, the Shadowpact, Werewolf by Night, and so on.

    I've done three novels in the world so far.

    1. I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER (Bright Falls Mysteries #1)


    https://www.amazon.com/Teenage-Wered...dp/B075TTN2FN/

    Jane Doe is a wereder, the least threatening shifter race, living in the town of Bright Falls, Michigan. It is a town full of shapechangers but one that has a history of violence as well as secrets bubbling under the surface. A history that comes to a head when Jane finds her brother framed for the murder of the local homecoming queen (and werewolf clan princess).

    2. STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON (Straight Outta Fangton #1)


    https://www.amazon.com/Straight-Outt...dp/B01KNHICCC/

    Peter Stone is a vampire who lacks all of the usual privileges of being one of the undead. He's not rich, a sex god, or particularly powerful. He does, however, have a job at the local all night gas station on the road to New Detroit, the vampire Mecca. Too bad a girl turned in his bathroom gets him involved in a massive plot against the ruling vovoide.

    3. AN AMERICAN WEREDEER IN MICHIGAN (Bright Falls Mysteries #2)


    https://www.amazon.com/American-Were...dp/B076DPQVH6/

    Jane managed to survive her first real test at tremendous cost, exposing the lies she'd grown up with. Unfortunately, as Bright Falls Shaman, she now has to guard her town against the horrible things which go bump in the night. Unfortunately, when hiking through the woods, she ends up finding the horrible remains of the town founders' bloody religion.

    ARTICLES

    Setting
    Concept and Theme
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 05-22-2018 at 04:40 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Setting

    Humankind has been the prey of monsters for the vast majority of its history. Billions of years ago, terrible things were cast out from their home dimension and landed in the primordial ooze of planet Earth where they entered into a deep slumber. These beings, the Elder Gods fathered many of the races of the Spirit World with their dreadful dreams and they went onto become Lesser Gods themselves. Many species akin to humans rose in the millennium to come but were eventually wiped oyt when the Elder Gods rose, devoured their souls, and returned to theri slumber in hunger.

    This chamber in the early days of mankind when The Earthmother and the Sky Fathers allied together to arm humankind with great powers. These included the secrets of the Elder Gods' true names as well as how to shape their dreams. The humans, called Chosen, revolted against the Elder Gods and slaughtered their manifestations before binding them in Space Between Worlds. The Lesser Gods seized the Elder Gods dreams and forged their own heavens, hells, and kingdoms from them. The Spirit World was filled with fantastical beauty as well as terrible splendor. They proclaimed themselves the High Gods and the rulers of humanity who they promised would no longer be slaves but cared for worshipers if they simply obeyed.

    But they did not anticipate the greed of mankind as the Chosen drank of the blood of the Elder Gods to make themselves strong, jealous of the Lesser Gods who sought to set themselves up as the new rulers of mankind with the fall of the Elder Gods. The blood of the Elder Gods twisted the Chosen and they were also cursed by their former masters. They became the Vampires, Shifters, Mages, and The Undying.

    The High Gods failed to anticipate the consequences of this on the Spirit World, though, for the Chosen had intrebred strongly among humanity. Human dreams warped the Spirit World and turned many gods into demons as well as unleashed their fantasies both terrifying as well as surreal. The Spirits born of a half-existence, escaped into the physical world and bred into mankind to unleash a hundred terrible races of monsters. Their children included the Fair Folk, Lightborn, and Infernals.

    So it was that these groups conflicted for millennium as the Elder Gods slumbered, only briefly contacting their minds with the most savage or deranged souls. The only thing all parties agreed upon was that the greater bulk of humanity should remain ignorant of their conflict lest they try to rise up above their station as a source of prayers as well as food. It was not until 2008, that all of that ended.

    The vampires, having grown fat upon the wealth of mankind, realized technology would soon destroy them. Having prepared for their reveal for a century, they chose the United States as the place to make their new homeland. They believed the combination of corruption, Empire, as well as superstition would make it an ideal place to set their roots. More discriminating minds noted the United States was also a place with a history of hunters as well as stronger religious roots than many other more secular nations. The Revelation of 2008 did not go quite the level many people expected.

    A conflict lasting an entire year happened as the world discovered the millions of supernaturals living among them and reacted with vengeance, racism, prejudice, or desire to exploit. In the end, enough people were fascinated by the supernatural over repulsed by it for most of the world to give them citizenship throughout the world. The vampires also gained control over enough of a state to make their homeland that, for better or worse, many other supernaturals decided to immigrate to.

    That state?

    Michigan.
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 05-21-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Concept

    The United States of Monsters is about capturing the cinematic 90s supernatural action and mystery of things like Blade, Underworld, Resident Evil while also having room for things like 80s slasher horror and New Teens urban fantasy ala Supernatural and True Blood. It's a world with countless monsters fighting for dominance against one another with a humanity that is not content to stay put.

    The difference between this and something like the World of Darkness (this being more a World of Shadows) is humanity can make a difference as well as the monsters themselves. It may not be possible to completely overthrow the evils afflicting the world but you can certainly deal with one after the other as well as weaken the darkness as a whole. Be a monster, well-equipped human, or a something which hovers in-between in order to fight for a piece of the world.

    Because heroes come on both sides and nobody is sure who the bigger monster is: man or those that used to be them.

    Theme

    The theme is "What is Human" and "Who is the Bigger Monster?" There are brutal murderous bigots on the side of humans as well as genuine monsters who treat humankind as a resource at best on the supernaturals. Both sides are equally prone to overreacting as well seeking the benefit of their side to the expense of everyone else. It doesn't help none of the supernaturals are particularly inclined to help each other and war with each other (even their own species) as often, if not more so, than humanity. In that respect, they're exactly like mankind. A vampire who feeds on the guilty and protects the innocent may find himself not alone or hunted by the same people he rescues. A hunter may find the supernatural using their powers to heal the sick while a human serial stalks their mortal relatives.

    There is also the question of what sort of good a person with the powers of supernatural can accomplish versus the temptations and corruption of power can do.
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    New Detroit

    New Detroit is the heart of the Vampire Nation and the rising power of the supernatural in the world. The undead could have chosen a less conspicuous way to display their power or even continued in secret but the City of Night (alternatively "The City of the Dead") is something which appeals to their inner predator. It is a place now where people go to be fed upon and pay for the privilege. It is also a place which is constantly on the verge of boiling over.

    Prior to the Revelation of 2008, the Vampire Nation destroyed the economy of a major American city in order to drive down its price as well as inflict massive misery on the population. This allowed them to buy up vast amounts of property as well as feed in relative secret as they imported hundreds, then thousands of their fellows from across the globe.

    The Vampire Nation has always found it easy to accumulate vast amounts of wealth since they have mind-control, the ability to enslave rich people with blood or the promise of immortality, as well as never pay taxes. Their vast fortunes are now exposed, though, and some of them have found it harder to keep control over their resources in this new world.

    An Old One without a vast fortune is an almost pitable creature and prone to losing control.
    The conflicts among such ancient and territorial creatures were intense with many old scores being settled in the resulting conflicts of 2009. Even more so, there was an unexpected problem as the revelation of vampires resulted in a "Baby Boom" of mortal seeking immortality or the younger undead trying to turn their abandoned families or loved ones now that the Great Lie has been exposed.

    In the end, the conflict resulted in hundreds of undead being killed with a small number of them being destroyed by ambitious hunters who were unaware they were doing the work of the Ancient Ones by thinning the number of apex predators in the region. Treaties were negotiated, bribes were paid, and the economic map redrawn as a bitter Great Recession left the United States willing to play ball.

    Thus, New Detroit was born.

    New Detroit is a mecca of gambling, prostitution, soft drugs, tourism, and the "friendly fiend" face of the undead. Much of the original city has been demolished and repaired with vampire-proofed hotels, casinos, and vice-based entertainment. Visitors to the city come to experience the Halloween-esque world which is 24/7 partying (albeit far livelier at night) then return with the belief the undead perhaps aren't so bad.

    Surprisingly, the city is not controlled by an Ancient One but the comparatively young 400 year old vampire, Ashura, who is a former Ottoman Sultan's concubine. This is due to the fact Ancient Ones are notoriously distrusting of anything new and have mostly remained in their secret abodes in Eastern Europe. Ashura and other Old Ones hope to parley the new society into a weapon against their own masters.

    The same way even younger vampires hope to do the same to them.
    Truth be told, this is because the undead have only a few rules among themselves with the primary one being "The tourists are off limits." People can sell their blood or buy the opportunity to have it drunk but this is in carefully regulated conditions. The vampires prey more traditionally on the population of the city that remains as well as the millions of workers they'd imported to build the city before becoming its staple of food. There is also no runaway or homeless population in the city despite how many people go there to make it big.

    How many people disappear every year in Detroit is a question as the vampires control over the city isn't quite as secure as they'd like it to be. While the media, local police, banks, and institutions of the city are all under the control of the Old Ones--the Federal government has many individuals who would like to see the city shut down and they still have access to the city. Likewise, in the 10 years since the Revelation, younger vampires have come to be closer to humanity as well as the idea of living beside them versus on top of them.

    Plus there is a large number of other supernaturals as well as perfectly "normal" hunters who note a city full of vampires is an incredibly dangerous arena but one that is lucrative if you want to wage war against them.

    New Detroit Personas

    * Ashura: The ruler of the city and publicly a movie star for her own bought and paid for horror series. She's actually a terrible actress but her supernatural beauty and charisma made up for many of her faults over several periods in Hollywood history. Ashura's position is shakey at the best of times but she is more willing to share power and reward subordinates than most Old Ones.

    * Thoth: A former Haitan slave that was transformed during the revolt, Thoth is an unusually young Old One but an exceptionally powerful one. He is Ashura's Chancellor and personal warlock, being one of the few vampires able to use magic. He is ruthless like all Old Ones but surprisingly wishes co-existence to work and a man of his word--which makes him quite clear to most undead.

    * The White Knight: An unknown figure who is responsible for numerous murders of vampires and their lovers/food/servants throughout the city. He is actually a human mage who has gained the power of controlling fire as well as regeneration through trauma. He is every bit as racist as his name implies, having gotten worse due to believing his powers come from God.

    * Kali: Not an actual goddess but a Rakshasa who took the name of her to disguise her true identity. Kali is a bartender and informant for both hunters as well as the supernatural. She wishes to play the groups against one another for her own amusement.

    * Doctor Death: A human serial killer who attracted the attention of a demon that has since possessed him and given him the ability to reanimate the dead (to an extent). Doctor Death creates his horrible abominations and sends them throughout the city while slowly building an army of the dead in an under-construction amusement park. His master wishes to spark a war between humans and supernaturals, so he figures a zombie apocalypse would do it.

    * Paul Putnam: The ruthless Southern fried gentleman who serves as the Vovoide's Hand. Paul Putnam is a Confederate veteran and not powerful enough to be an Old One. He, instead, curies favor with the ruling class by contriving every reason to persecute younger vampires as well as other supernaturals. These include framing them for murdering humans and going after their families. Ashura seems oblivious his actions are causing far more unrest than solving but possibly doesn't care since his loyalty is (apparently) absolute.

    * Mr. White: An agent of the Ancient Ones, Mister White is an Old One from Holland's Puritan years. A smiling savvy businessman, he is very determined to overthrow Ashura and figure out a way to reduce New Detroit's undead population by at least half. He, unfortunately, suffers from the fact he cannot control himself during eating and kills a new victim every week. This alone would be enough to get him destroyed and he is being blackmailed by an unknown group that he suspects is a government agency.

    * The Diaperman: The decidedly terrifying and not at all funny werewolf who lives in Old Detroit's ruins. The Diaperman is a cannibal who devours children. He doesn't care for their parents but usually kills them to cover up his actions. A local boogeyman, the vampires would very much like to see it destroyed as would the shifter population of the state. His existence would be enough to potentially end the truce between humans and monsters.
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 05-22-2018 at 03:17 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Bright Falls

    About thirty-five miles from the rebuilt city of New Detroit is a town in-between a half-dozen national parks and considered to be a quiet relaxing place. You know, if you ignore the all the damned shapeshifters. The peaceful, tranquil Twin Peaks-esque atmosphere of the town is something that causes the people traveling through the town a subtle unease. It's an unease that is deliberately cultivated as the people within enjoyed their privacy for two hundred years ago.

    Bright Falls is one of many secret towns across the United States, particularly in Michigan, where the Great Brotherhood sought to build a sanctuary for their own kind. While the vast majority of the population were human, there were hundreds of weres of various types living in a society that was ruled by the ruthless hand of the O'Henry werewolf clan.

    Bright Falls was founded by a sect of nature-worshiping mages who settled the town in the early 17th century. These eventually intermarried with numerous shifter tribes in the region. The sect bound numerous Twilight Trees to anchor the Spirit World in the region as well as increase the power of magic. A pantheon of Lesser Gods fed deeply on the sacrifices of travelers and give their blessings to the locals, allowing them peace and tranquility for centuries.

    Unfortunately, decency rather than evil brought about the fall of Bright Falls. Abandoning the practice of human sacrifice and refusing the evil gods, the town was cursed in the 1950s by the Shadow Gods. The town's economy collapsed and the woods transformed from peaceful tranquil forests to havens for malignant spirits as well as the kind of monsters which hunted the living. The shifters of the town retreated into the town and all was well until 2008.

    The O'Henry family would keep many of these spirits at bay by secretly continuing the evil rites that the other clans had abandoned.
    The vampires revealing themselves to the world exposed all of the other supernatural species in the world as humanity, naturally, caused them to suspect others forms of supernatural creatures existed. Clan Lord and petty king Marcus O'Henry soon declared himself the speaker for shapeshifters in the world and privately made deals with the Vampire Nation to eliminate the other werewolf kings in the United States. He brought the shifters into the world and soon was their leader by default.

    Marcus O'Henry's eldest daughter, Clara O'Henry, is the Sheriff of the town and one of his biggest weaknesses as she is attempting to gather outsiders to help drive back the monsters in the town as well as work against her evil father.
    Bright Falls has become something of a minor tourist spot for people who are looking for knowledge about werewolf kind. However, shapeshifters are far more territorial than vampires and have less need of mortals. Disappearances are common, especially as the spirits have learned to taste blood and become bolder in their incursions from the woods. There are also sects of magicians and hunters who have sought the area for its rich magic and are ready to take the town "back" for its humanity. The biggest threat, though, is the fact the town is built over an imprisoned Elder God long forgotten by the present days. The druids had unwittingly attracted the creature long ago but managed to trap it halfway.

    Personas

    * Marcus O'Henry: An ancient werewolf who is almost a hundred years old but looks like he's in his sixties at best (due to regular doses of vampire blood from a vareity of subjects). The king of the werewolves and shifters in general is a billionaire and descendant of French knights. He's also a murderous, abusive, hypocritical old wolf who kills anyone who threatens his power. Marcus hopes to integrate into human society as well but only because he wishes power over them as well. He is a proponent of the old ways and human sacrifice as well as hunts even if he knows they'll have to end.

    * Clara O'Henry: The beautiful and noble Sheriff of the town, Clara O'Henry is as decent as her father is monstrous. Many of the public would love to see him kill him but the thought of becoming a kinslayer appalls her. Clara tries to deal with the supernatural as well as human based crime in the city fairly but is frequently overwhelmed. Clara is also quick to judgement and not a very good detective. She bears a surprising resemblance to Naomi Watts.

    * The Big Bad Wolf: An literal god who lives in the woods. The Big Bad Wolf is a monstrously powerful spirit who routinely, by its standards at least, possesses citizens of the town then compels them to become serial killers. Marcus O'Henry "solved" this issue decades ago by incorporating the surrounding communities of humans so it primarily kills them rather than anyone related to him. The Big Bad Wolf makes deals with those few who know of its existence and offer it blood sacrifices (it will accept animals as well as people), granting actual magic or wealth. It was once benevolent but is now quite insane.

    * The Huntsman's Lodge: A group of extremely rich hunters who pay Marcus O'Henry for the privilege of murdering humans, shifters, and other supernaturals in one of the smaller parks in the area. They are, for the most part, depraved old humans who have extended their lives with vampire blood as well as magic. Their use of modern technology and the fact they cheat with vehicles, advanced weapons, as well as traps means they've yet to lose a member. The sadists have attracted the attention of nearby spirits, though, and started warping the Spirit World in their region to produce malevolent ones.

    * Lucien Drake: Yes, named for the Halt Evil Doer! character. Lucien Drake is a werecrocodile (he calls himself a weredragon) who is the last of the Drake clan. The rest were exterminated during the wars of 2009. Lucien runs a number of vice-related businesses and criminal activity in the town but is primarily devoted to finding a way to eliminate Marcus O'Henry's empire before killing him. He has made arrangements with the Vampire Nation but is hesitant to involve them in what could destroy his hometown.

    * Baba Yaga: Possibly not the real thing but certainly doing a good impression. The "Witch of the Woods" is a ogress who assumes the form of an elderly human matron with a not-inconsiderable resemblance to Pamela Voorhees. Baga Yaga can move her home around the woods at will and preys on the children of the community she deems naughty. She's birthed many children over the centuries with most of them being shapeshifting monsters of some sort or another. No one has yet found a way to kill her since everyone who finds her is either a child or someone she lets discover her. Found footage of her murdering a group of teenage filmmakers has been discovered and the FBI are now very interested in the case.
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 05-22-2018 at 03:35 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Added some personas.

    I hope people like this new world.
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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Phipps View Post
    Added some personas.

    I hope people like this new world.
    Well I obviously love it, Charles.

    Hey for a twist, how about it turns that the Elder God buried underneath Bright Falls isnít actually malevolent (but not exactly benevolent either)?

    Basically it likes to consider itself "the sum total of the works, the whole show" and was planning to head on other to Alpha Centauri to check up on some old acquaintances there if they're still around if released.

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    Re: The United States of Monsters - Vampires, Demons, Mages, Wolves, and more are the heroes

    Camp Deerwood

    Camp Deerwood is a genius loci which exists near Darkwater Lake in Bright Falls, Michigan but can actually appear anywhere it desires so long as it is in a sufficiently woodsy area. There's rumors Camp Deerwood has taken the form of a suburban housing development with rock bottom prices, a mysterious old mansion, and a cabin in the woods. Its most common form, however, remains that of a summer camp.

    The basic nature of Camp Deerwood is it is a malevolent location that exists for the purposes of killing the innocent. It lures in individuals like a Venus Fly Trap using conjured spirits, phone calls, and even internet adds before shutting off all communication to the outside. Once the trap is sprung, it is impossible to leave unless you destroy the Camp's avatar or somehow damage it physically.

    As the Camp grows fat and well-fed on murders, it often loses a lot of its self-preservation instincts and forgets that its avatars are durable but far from immortal.
    As one can probably guess, Camp Deerwood's avatar takes the form of The Slasher which is a variety of regenerating evil killers that hunt the originals inside its bounds. The Slasher is extremely durable, can teleport around the Camp, and knows almost everything which goes on within itself. It can sometimes possess humans who make deals with it as well but generally prefers to do its killing itself. This takes a lot of its effort and requires it to kill more, especially if its avatar is destroyed, but those are the risks the predatory spirit is willing to take.

    Camp Deerwood's origins lay in the fact it was originally a bloodthirsty god of the region who demanded blood sacrifices from the nearby peoples. Or maybe it was a cursed hunter who became a cannibal and devoured hundreds until it became invincible. Or maybe it is an color from outer space that merged with the drinking water. Truth be told, not even Camp Deerwood remembers how it managed to come into existence but it has the ability to create a perfectly functional killing grounds for itself now. It may even be related to or of the same species of many "haunted houses" affecting America.

    One prominent theory is Camp Deerwood is actually a Formorian giant buried at the bottom of the lake. How a Celtic deity ended up in the middle of the Americas is probably a story in and of itself.
    There is a way to destroy Camp Deerwood completely or bind it to something harmless like a film reel but no one has yet managed to find it. The Camp has final defense against intruders and that's The Haze which makes weak-minded individuals forget about the disappearances, murders, and worse that happen around it. Survivors, certainly, remember but they often have a severe time convincing others it's not in their heads.

    Meanwhile, the Camp has discovered it has a craving for more entertaining and delicious prey than its usual helpless teenagers...
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 06-01-2018 at 10:45 PM.
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