This week, we’re providing you with another NPC and adventure for your Masters of Umdaar setting: we give you, the Facemonger!
It was inspired by one of Gennifer Bone’s Monsters of the Week. Support her patreon, you can get access to more images like the one below. https://www.patreon.com/ladyredfingers (Warning: some images NSFW).
The Hierophant Ria faces you; her heart is heavy, but her resolution is clear.
“In my kingdom, there is a noble… his name is Duke Mullinix. His fiefdom is officially within the borders of our land, Callaria, but our spies report that he’s under the thumb of the neighboring Master, FrauSpaw. Mullinix is popular in the court, and to accuse him without proof would be disastrous. However, should FrauSpaw and her SkeleSpiders attack, Mullinix is unlikely lift a finger to aide us; he might even join the Master.
Worst of all, Mullinex has a rare artifact in his vault; the Nethermoon Mirror. Should it be used against us, it would spell our downfall. I must ask you act with the utmost discretion and care; I need you to obtain that artifact, but it can level be traced back to me.
If Duke Mullinex has any weakness, it’s his idleness; he is constantly throwing balls and parties. Tonight, he is throwing a masquerade; a perfect chance to sneak in, steal the Mirror, and get out without being identified.
However, you are very famous in these parts, and your work for me is well known. Normal masks won’t be enough to disguise you. It was difficult, but I have arranged a meeting with a… specialist in this matter.
I can only vouch for the specialist’s skill, not her virtue. Do not trust him, for she is not what she seems.
On the outskirts of town, in the Black Market square, is a dark velvet tent. It bears no sign or markings, but is open to the public.
Inside the tent is a young girl, small and frail. Her face is white and simple, like she a porcelain doll’s. However, every hair on your body stands up on end; despite what your eyes tell you, you feel the presence of a hulking figure in the room. Even as “she” speaks in light, dulcet tones, you feel your chest rumble with the buzz of a deep inhuman voice, just out of hearing.
“You want artifatzz, yezzz? I helpzzz you get artifact. You scratchz my back, I scratchz yourzzz. I helpzz you. I give you new facezzz.”
The facemonger tells you what she wants: the Brinestone Mask, which is one of the many treasures held within Mullinex’s vaults. She’ll help you, if you promise to bring her back the mask.
If you agree, she gives each of you a mask- it’s beautifully made, and in low light, it might even be mistaken for your real face. In full low, however, it does like a full masquerade ball mask.
However, if you put on a mask, you will see its true power; it doesn’t just mask your face, it changes your entire body. You find your height changed, the skin of your hands covered in strange skin, and your voice sounding strange to your own ears.
The good news is, there’s also no risk of the Duke’s men removing your mask… the bad news is, it seems to be permanently sealed to your face.
THE CURSED MASKS- RULES
When you receive a new face from the Facemonger, remove the bioform from your high concept and replace it with completely different bioform; they can pick this, or choose one at random.
In addition, remove all of your approaches and replace them with question marks.
Whenever you would attempt to make an action, if the approach you wish to use has not been revealed (i.e. still a question mark), then you must pick an approach that is skill hidden.
Next, roll 1 fate die:
+ The approach you picked is revealed as being the approach of your choice. Record it on your sheet, and continue with your roll.
0 It is unclear if the approach is the right one or not. For the sake of this roll, treat it as if the value you picked is the approach, but leave it blank.
– The approach is definitely NOT the approach you were hoping for; instead, write it down as another approach. If possible, record it is the as opposite approach (flash / sneaky; careful / quick; forceful / clever); if the opposite approach is already discovered, pick a random approach instead. For the sake of this roll, treat your approach level as Mediocre (0).
Example: The mighty Princess Kraj, wearing one of the Cursed Masks, tries to deal with an enemy in her normal way: forcefully! She picks the unknown approach in the Good (+3) slot, and rolls 1dF: she rolls a negative! This means that the Good approach isn’t Forceful, it’s Careful. She might have a fierce spirit of a barbarian, but she has the weak wrists of a priest! She treats this roll as Mediocre 0, due to the shock.
Once five approaches are discovered, fill in the sixth one automatically.
We will leave the adventure up to you, but some possible things to consider:
- The Duke is particularly nervous… is this ball a cover for something else?
- What other treasures lie in the Duke’s vault?
- Should you try to steal the mirror, what enemies (or even allies) will attempt to thwart you?
The Nethermoon Mirror
In addition to having hidden, Demiurge abilities, the mirror, has one overt quality: it shows the true reflection of anyone caught it in. Thus, any masks are ignored (including yours), illusions are overpowered, and shapeshifters are revealed.
Which begs another question:
Who else is hidden amongst the courtiers? Who else is not what they seem?
Oh, and lazers are reflected by the Nethermoon Mirror… for that extra “Saturday Morning Cartoon” touch.
Removing the Mask: You will find that removing the mask without theFacemonger is impossible. Should you get the Brinestone Mask to theFacemonger, she will remove the masks for you (assuming that’s what you want). Likewise, there’s always the chance that the Facemongermight renege on the deal, forcing you to go on other errands before keeping her end of the bargain. She might even send you to retrieve the legendary Mask of Menos.
That’s it for this week. More updates on our projects and kickstarters to come. Until then, game on!