Monday, April 25, 2016

Mythos Space: Planet of the Vampires (Terrore nello spazio)

A distress beacon brings a group of astronauts to an alien world where they discover a derelict spacecraft and its dead and calcified giant crew. When the astronauts start being picked off one by one the true horror of their situation begins to be realized. If this premise sounds vaguely familiar it might be because you’ve seen or at least heard of Ridley Scott’s seminal science fiction masterpiece Alien. What is odd is that both Scott and author Dan O’Bannon claim to have not seen Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires prior to filming Alien. Having just watched Planet of the Vampires I’m going to go out on a limb here and say someone is definitely fibbing or at least very forgetful.
As this movie is an excellent example of blending Planetary Adventure and Horror, it is an excellent source of inspiration for Mythos Space and using the Grit and Vigor RPG. And so I am detailing some major characters, its central monster(s) and a spacecraft below. Now I am not going to be giving away the plot and its numerous twists and appeals, but I am detailing a few characters, a monster and a new starship. As for the movie, I recommend that you check it out for yourself here, or wherever you may find it.
Note: These rules are designed for use with the excellent Grit and Vigor RPG by John Stater. Its an excellent game that is based off of the d20 system, but has a strong element of the grittier sort of "old-school" games.

Captain Markary (Barry Sullivan)
Captain Markary is the captain of the starship Argos and is the only character in the film that is almost immune to the psychic powers of the Auran aliens. He also appears to be the only person in the  movie with ANY common sense. Despite personal tragedy, weird aliens and the continuous danger to himself and his crew, Captain Markary keeps his head throughout the film and keeps on fighting.
In the film, the Captain is apparently a scientist as well as being a military man. He is smart, tough a decent combatant, and willing to throw himself into any fight that presents itself.
Overall, I found this character as a refreshing change from what is generally presented as leading men in more modern movies. Its nice to see strong, able and compassionate characters who are also capable of being tough guys.
Spaceman/Fighter, LVL 7/3, HP 39, AC 12, MV 40, ATK +4, SV F9 R8 W11, Str 13 Int 14 Wis 17 Dex 11 Con 13 Cha 13
Special: +2 bonus on Will saving throws vs fear and anxiety. 1/day can delay the damage dealt by a single attack or effect for 8 rounds. Can temporarily increase two physical ability scores at a time. At the end of the duration, the daredevil is fatigued for 10 minutes.
Can operate in zero-gravity conditions without any penalty, including combat, saving throws and all task checks. Proficient with the weapons on all spacecraft or aircraft, if any and can coax +10% more speed from aircraft and spacecraft. He can apply any combat feats that they have, such as Power Attack, Dodge and Expertise, to aircraft and spacecraft when using them in dogfights and space battles.
Knacks: Listen at Doors, Move Silently, Track
Skills (Spaceman): Acrobatics, Chemistry, Display Knowledge, Electronics, Endure, Jump, Mechanics, Pilot Aircraft and Treat Injury.
Skills (Fighter): Bend bars, break down doors, endure, gunnery, jump, lift gates
Feats: Iron Will, Leadership, Pugilist
Weapons and Equipment: Advanced Breathing Apparatus, Communicator, Electronics Repair Kit, Plasma Rifle (8d6), Space Suit.


Sanya (Norma Bengell
Crew-member Sanya is played by the delectable Norma Bengell, and one of the few members of the ships crew to not become completely useless under stress. Sanya is smart, calm and intelligent, and despite initially having trouple with psychic assault, she keeps her head throughout the film.
On the ship, Sanya is a pilot and minor tech, and apparently is a pretty good one. The other crew seem to respect her and Captain Markary trusts her insight and abilities.
As a fan of full-figured women, I really enjoyed the presence of this actress in this film. There were not an abundance of scenes with her in her underwear or anything, but the fact that she is a WOMAN is not shied away from. Sure her dialogues is wooden and she appears to be in the movie to stumble into trouble, but she is a handy shot and not afraid of danger.
Spaceman, LVL 5, HP 25, AC 12, MV 40, ATK +3, SV F11 R11 W12, Str 10 Int 14 Wis 15 Dex 12 Con 14 Cha 17
Special: +2 bonus on Will saving throws vs fear and anxiety. 1/day can delay the damage dealt by a single attack or effect for 8 rounds.
Can operate in zero-gravity conditions without any penalty, including combat, saving throws and all task checks. Proficient with the weapons on all spacecraft or aircraft, if any and can coax +10% more speed from aircraft and spacecraft. He can apply any combat feats that they have, such as Power Attack, Dodge and Expertise, to aircraft and spacecraft when using them in dogfights and space battles.
Knacks: Athletics, Etiquette, Influence People
Skills : (Spaceman): Acrobatics, Chemistry, Display Knowledge, Electronics, Endure, Jump, Mechanics, Pilot Aircraft and Treat Injury.
Feats: Lighting Reflexes, Iron Will
Weapons and Equipment: Advanced Breathing Apparatus, Communicator, Plasma Rifle (8d6), Space Suit.


Auran Fiend (Monster)
Type: Undead
Size: Medium
Intelligence: Genius (17-19)
Hit Dice: 5
Movement: Fly 45/450
Armor Class: 14 [laser]
Attacks: Corrupting touch (1d6)
Saving Throws: F13, R13, W11
Special: Incorporeal, natural invisibility, rejuvenation, imprisonment, psychic powers
Environment: Any
No. Appearing: 1d4
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
XP Value: 600 (CL 7)
Auran Fiends in their natural form look like lights that can be yellow, white, green, or blue. They are capable of taking possession of a living body. The Aurans are an alien race of undead spirits that are a remnant of an ancient, evil race that seeks to continue existing by taking over other civilization.
Once per round, a haunt can merge with a living creature and seize control of its body. The target can resist the spirit’s attempt at possession with a successful Will saving throw. If the save succeeds, the spirit is rebuffed and pushed away. A target that successfully saves cannot be possessed by that spirit for 24 hours. If the save fails, the spirit vanishes into the target’s body and takes control of it. Leaders among the Aurans are always powerful occultists, and use their powers to create undead servants (zombies, ghouls and vampires) and create weird arcane technology.
Auran Haunts have the following psychic powers: Clairsentience, cloud mind, dominate, ego whip, empathic projection, ESP, id insinuation, mental barrier, mind thrust, telekinesis, thought shield; 1/day—Negation, psychic crush, tower of iron will. Auran Leaders (Spells): Animate dead, audible glamour, augury, control weather, create undead, desecrate, exorcism, phantasmal force.


NAVICELLA-Class Deep Space Cruiser
Tremendous Construct
HD 99 (347 hp),
AC 12 (Titanium DR 14)
SPD 80 mph (4M mph in space)
MVR -6
CP 4/20
WT 1,650 tons
Special: Spindizzy drive, Fully-stocked machine shop, research lab and electronics repair shop.
The Navicella Class cruiser is a deep space explorer and science ship designed for long journeys. The interior of these vessels is spacious and has room for a considerable amount of equipment. These vessels have the equivalent of a fully stocked machine shop, electrical repair lab and medical research lab onboard, as well as room and supplies for up to twenty crew-members. These ships are an old model, but still in use by survey teams and universities as research craft. As they are not warships, they do not come equipped with weapons, but many owners outfit them with a few just in case.

Keep your plasma rifles ready!

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan