Monday, December 16, 2013

Some Vaporware - Kukeri

A vaporware funnel/level 1 adventure

All PCs begin as townsfolk in tiny village in the mountains.

There is a local tradition for all the men of the village to get dressed up as the most frightening monster they can imagine using sheepskin, bells, horns, masks and have a 24 hour festival, on the first day snow begins to melt, to keep evil at bay.

Two parades occur that day, one at noon and one at midnight. Their destination is a well worn limestone bluff riddled with caves where the evil sleeps (slept?). The route is approximately a mile and the men hop and dance, making as much noise as they can with bells and drums and obnoxious pipes.

Problem: Even though no one believes it anymore, the ritual works. While this would normally be a good thing, new evil has moved into the limestone caves. The new evil is more powerful than the village. The old evil is more powerful than the new evil. If the rituals are not performed the old evil will awake and "cleanse" their labyrinthine caves of the interlopers. No telling if they could be put back to sleep though.

The game begins with the townsfolk very excited about this year's festivities because of recent deaths, blood on the snow, missing children, etc. The new evil is some sort of "snatcher" type monster. Stealthy with lots of traps that result in apparent sudden disappearances. The old evil would be something more ancient and sinister with black magic like a coven of sleeping witches, or hags, or ghostly undead like banshees or wraiths, or some true faceless terror from beyond.

Random table determines the professions of the PCs and depending on group size determines all the trades in said village.

Starting equipment is a sweet ass monster costume, a ton of brass bells, some sort of obnoxious noise making instrument (and no musical training, just blare with it bro) and a few randomly determined incidental items like a hatchet, knife, torch, walking stick (with bells!!), handfuls of local fragrant herbs said to ward off evil, simple charms said to ward off evil (25% of being true), lockpicks ('cause you were planning on sneaking away from the parade and "shopping" for a few things, ya bastard), etc.

Inspirational material:
  • Google image search for Kukeri bulgaria
  • Youtube Vid 1 - Terrifying costumes. Maybe a little too real. Backwoods axe murderer shit right here.
  • Youtube Vid 2 - best costumes imo, great sounds, just no masks :(
  • Youtube Vid 3 - some costumes seem too modern, but the cacophony is particularly great
  • Fancy Vimeo Video -  Nice but a damn shame they cut the actual sounds
  • Binka Dobreva - Dan's Mom - Not directly related but helps set excellent tone of what the PCs are fighting for
  • БALKANSKY - Kuker - The track that sent me down this internet path tonight is a strange and wonderful amalgamation of traditional kukeri sounds and dubstep


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