A foe for The Esoterrorists / Fear Itself
Border Dwellers break through from the Outer Dark into our reality after scenting the psychic spoor of groups in conflict. The dispute that draws them could be between adjacent communities, or between factions in a single town. A Border Dweller can turn any collective resentment into the sort of emotional energy it feeds on. The beef might pit longtime locals against incoming gentrifiers, environmentalists versus job-seekers, or strikers against management. Below-the-radar conflicts between subgroups work too: the Border Dweller might zero in on a rivalry between high school cliques, athletic team supporters, or drug crews.
Its standard modus operandi requires an additional element: a secluded, uninhabited zone members of both sides occasionally travel through. Mostly this means a wooded area, but might be an old quarry, derelict rail yard, or even a business district or industrial park that turns into a lonely wasteland when workers go home for the night.
The Border Dweller patrols its chosen habitat after sundown, waiting for a participant in the dispute to happen along. It coalesces its semi-material essence into a 5 m tall, shaggy, three-legged, ogre-like form. It stomps its initial victims to death, saving its demonic pick-ax for later in its murder spree. On the cursory examination they’re likely to receive from local authorities, the first victims look as if they’ve been beaten to death. The Border Dweller alternates targets between the two sides of the dispute, so that they look like a series of escalating reprisals. This turns up the heat on the conflict, feeding the Border Dweller with delicious fear and hate.
Parties to the beef can’t see the Border Dweller. Nor can it be recorded on any sort of camera. However neutral parties in the conflict can glimpse it momentarily it as it ambles about in search of its desired victims. In a Fear Itself one-shot, it might be the PCs themselves who first spot it. In The Esoterrorists, sightings from locals come to the attention of the Ordo Veritatis.
The creature departs when the animating dispute comes to an end. Destroying it also ends its rampage. This is best achieved through its special means of dispatch: uniting disputants on either side to strike at it. The challenge with that is that they can’t see the Border Dweller, even if they can be convinced that an otherworldly enemy, not the people they hate, is responsible for the body count.
Abilities: Athletics 8, Health 26, Scuffling 20
Hit Threshold: 2 (if you can see it); 5 (if not)
Alertness Modifier: +2 (if you’re involved in the dispute); -2 (if not)
Stealth Modifier: +2 (if you can see it); -3 (if not)
Weapon: +2 (Massive Stomp), +3 (Pickax)
Special Means of Dispatch: Destroyed if it loses at least 1 Health point from an attack by one member of the dispute it is exploiting, and in the same combat loses at least 1 Health point from an attack by a representative of the opposing side.
The Esoterrorists are occult terrorists intent on tearing the fabric of the world – and you play elite investigators out to stop them. This is the game that revolutionized investigative RPGs by ensuring that players are never deprived of the crucial clues they need to move the story forward. Purchase The Esoterrorists in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.
Fear Itself is a game of contemporary horror that plunges ordinary people into a disturbing world of madness and violence. Use it to run one-shot sessions in which few (if any) of the protagonists survive, or an ongoing campaign in which the player characters gradually discover more about the terrifying supernatural reality which hides in the shadows of the ordinary world. Will they learn how to combat the creatures of the Outer Black? Or spiral tragically into insanity and death? Purchase Fear Itself in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.