A Foe for Yellow King: This is Normal Now
The Carcosan entity known as the Fame Eater nourishes itself on the psychic energy exuded by celebrity. Fame Eaters can attach themselves to well-known individuals of any stripe. Most seek the particularly heady emotional energy that surrounds people who combine true achievement in their fields with messy, turbulent personal lives. Fame Eaters sometimes fight each other for proximity to tabloid fixtures who trail behind them an extended series of arrests, court cases, controversial statements, and heavily publicized stints in rehab.
If perceived in their natural forms, Fame Eaters look like crustacean humanoids covered by a thick, segmented carapace, most often in a rich, golden hue. Large, round, buglike eyes hang over pinched, grinning mouths. Multiple stalks, halfway between antlers and coral spikes, sprout from their foreheads. Some have smaller second faces leering or groaning from the tops of their heads. Flowing robes cover their four-limbed crustacean bodies.
By psychic projection they mimic the appearance of ordinary humans, matching the facial features and clothing one would expect from a hanger-on in a particular celebrity milieu. They can conjure up the proper details of clothing, hair, make-up and body language to embody a sports agent, the publicist for a Hollywood actor, or an aide to a polarizing political figure.
After latching onto a promising target, the Fame Eater sets out first to render itself indispensable. Early in its tenure it ingratiates itself to its subject, ladling out gifts, favors, and constant reassurances required by an ego of bottomless fragility. Its psionic powers and access to lesser Carcosan beings allow it to solve a myriad of problems besetting the crisis-prone modern superstar, from security issues to cover-ups. Along the way it edges out the celeb’s preexisting support network, cutting them off and becoming a devoted entourage of one.
Once the target has been rendered fully dependent, the Fame Eater then reverses course, enabling the sort of self-destructive behavior that attracts public love and loathing in equal measure. Whenever a phalanx of fervent online stans does battle with a legion of detractors, the fame eater dines deep.
Inevitably the feeding process takes a toll on the subject, pulling them further into career-damaging conduct and finally full-on emotional collapse. When the audience turns away for good, the Fame Eater drifts off in search of another star to exploit, usually in a brand new guise.
The anti-Carcosan everyday heroes of This Is Normal Now may discover the predations of a Fame Eater by coming into contact with a spiraling celeb, or when fans and critics start to wither as secondary victims of its psychic vampirism.
Fame eaters would rather slip away than engage in physical confrontation, sometimes calling on alien lackeys to do the fighting for them. When forced into combat they strike with the clacking claws they keep hidden under their robes.
When hit by their psychic attack, investigators make Difficulty 5 Composure tests to avoid Shock—Minor: Enthralled / Alien Passion.
Difficulty: Evenly Matched (Escape 3, Other 4, Kill 5)
Difficulty Adjustments: -1 if you know what it is; -1 if you have broken its hold over its chosen celebrity
Injuries, Minor and Major: Raking Claws / Savage Mauling
The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.