A strange phenomenon is sweeping through the Realm, forcing townsfolk to worry about any critical successes, lest a mysterious creature stalk, hunt, and unalive them.
Based on “It Follows,” the 2014 American horror film.
As the party walks through town, they come across the town guard cordoning off a clothing store in the commercial district. If they appear interested, the guard will offer to let them inside to check out the scene. They could use the extra help. If the party is not interested, the Lead Detective could come out and cite their previous investigative prowess to lure the party in to assisting. He’s willing to pay good money to find the serial unaliver responsible for what’s inside.
The Real Story
The creature is a Yochlol that was accidentally left in the Material Plane after acting as a witness for a sacrifice to Lolth. The Queen of Spiders peaced out, but left this poor guy on accident. It found that creatures in the realm were quite amusing to watch and even more amusing to scare. As it traveled the Realm (generally in humanoid form), it learned of one noise it absolutely detested, the noise of success. DMs Note: You could also have it hate the sound of laughter and there’s likely a standup comedy/open mic encounter you could play out.
With a short attention span, the Yochlol targets the most recent success it learns of, pivoting to its next target if someone else has another critical success shortly thereafter. Once it unalives the individual, it turns its attention back to the prior target until it gets back to the very beginning, at which time it believes a portal will re-open allowing it to go back to the Demonweb Pits.
To not draw attention to itself, the Yochlol moves with a movement speed of 5, which inadvertently draws more attention to it as it slowly shuffles in humanoid form toward its target.
Potential Adventure Start
The victim inside “Fannie Covers For All,” an undergarment store owned by Fannie Farshall, is Fannie herself, her body literally twisted into a pretzel shape, a look of shock on her face.
“We found her here like this this morning,” says Oxidian Diemond, the great fish detective, “something seems fishy to me.”
No forced entry into the business, no scratches or signs of a struggle, but there is a strange glop of ooze and spider hair next to a four-layered chain mail seat cover. Oxidian asks the party if they’ve ever seen anything like it. The history of the campaign and backstories of the characters will determine the necessary check, otherwise the party is oblivious and will need to concoct their own theory. The detective asks the party to help determine the cause and solve the serial unalivings.
Other successful individuals have recently met their maker, including:
- Jade Width – Professional Female Halfling boxer that just won the Paperweight belt in the BLURGH title fight.
- Paulie Boulderone – A small male tabaxi that was awarded the “Silent But Deadly” medal in his local hunting lodge
- Scrungo Bepis – Realm-renown Half-Elf carpenter that just won the Woody for best birdhouse (it had 329 rooms)
- Cranglin Soptune – Female Tiefling Bard that recently, in front of a huge crowd, forgot all of the lyrics to her entire one-woman show “A Bard’s Guide to Bathroom Ballads”
- Other NPCs from your game that had potential to go on to do something successful.
Asking around town, the story is always the same:
- The individual recently had a huge success (or failure) in some form or fashion
- No one saw the act of unaliving
- In the days leading up to their unaliving, the individuals all became paranoid, noting something was following them, grumbling telepathically about their recent success
This is a mystery that can take place in one location, several, or the entire Realm. It can also follow the party around as they travel.
Overall the above is a fairly flimsy premise. We get it!
The key aspect is to try and tie everything together in a way that affects the party and what better way to do so than have a mysteriously invisible creature that follows them after every crit. Whether others can see the Yochlol as it follows an individual is entirely up to the DM, but if you want to stay true to the movie, only the DM and the individual should know its whereabouts.
There are many ways the DM could choose to have this play out within a campaign. It could be that “it” follows the last person to have a critical success or a critical failure. Hit a Nat 1? It follows. Hit a Nat 20? It follows. The party assists an NPC to achieve something great, that NPC is now followed.
It always takes as straight of a line as possible to whatever it follows, so keep that in mind as well. With its ability to use mist form, it can move through and around objects with any form of an opening (crack beneath a door, gaps in rock walls, etc).
The Yochlol will use Modify Memory to prevent any other individual looking at it to see nothing.
As it approaches the individual, it arrives in a form of their biggest failure, reminding them that no matter how much they succeed, their failures can still haunt them.
How could you see this being a fun implementation in your campaign?