Building World notes
Building World has no set map. Geography is fluid; locations can appear in any order. They can be visited once, visited more than once, or never encountered at all. A confusing series of alleys, rooftops, and staircases connect them. You can never get down to the street unless it's noted; if you want to get to South Ashfield Heights, you'll have to find that way.
Just two exceptions: You begin in Richard's Apartment, and end on the Roof.
Wandering monsters are at the bottom of this post. Please plan to complete this world on or before June 19th!
The escalator from the subway emerges into a tight space between two buildings. It's nighttime out, and a fog hangs heavy in the air. There's no access to the street here, and only one door.
Richard Braintree was never a particularly pleasant sort of man; ergo his apartment was never a particularly pleasant place. But now the cloying, greasy reek of burning flesh permeates the atmosphere, turning the small space from ‘unpleasant’ into ‘nausea-inducing.’ The smell is never quite strong enough to cover the scent of rot and decay that sneaks into every nook and cranny here—instead it mixes within, seeming to swell and recede in waves.
The beam of the flashlight will illuminate a set of scorch marks on the linoleum floor; something under intense heat and pressure once stood there. Whatever it was apparently dominated the room, it’s now nearly empty. The windows are barred, and outside visibility is nil.
A set of hollow shelves is set back into the wall. Searching them will uncover a 9mm clip. Victim 19 is likely to attack you in this room. The other door leading out of the apartment does not, unfortunately, open to South Ashfield Heights, but to Building World.
On something of a rooftop patio, there's trash scattered around, and maybe a broken-down old car or two, even though you're well above the ground. You can hear noises echoing in the cement jungle that are a mix of city and zoo noises, even though there are no other people or vehicles that you can see.
Only one room in this dingy little apartment is accessible; doors that lead to other rooms are impassibly locked and crisscrossed with chains. The area is primarily dominated by the kitchenette, its dingy emptiness all the sadder for the fact that it looks as though someone once tried to cheer it up.
A lamp draped in faded streamers hangs directly over a table on which the remains of a birthday party are slowly decaying. A few open boxes, their paper gone tattered gray, dot the table amongst paper plates and plastic sets of knives and forks. The light from the lamp illuminates the table and only the table; around its perimeter the ever-present darkness closes in like a curtain.
Something is glinting in one of the open packages. Closer inspection will reveal a melted cylinder of silver, a few links of delicate chain hanging forlornly from one end. It appears to have once opened into a long string of smaller disks, but the clasp has been irrevocably welded shut.
The rest of the kitchen is relatively unremarkable, but a search of the cupboard above the sink will yield a first aid kit in relatively salvageable condition.
The pet shop was probably once a cheerful place which contained all manner of happy feathered, furry, and scaly creatures. What you’ll find now is significantly different; it’s now a shambles of chaos and violence. Cages are overturned, and bits of what might have been their occupants are smeared liberally on the floor and walls in slashes of red and black.
There is fairly impressive bullet damage in most of what’s left of the furniture.
When you open the door to the Toy Shop, you hear the sound of a ball rolling, and the light of the flashlight might glint off of it bumping into a contraption on the far side of the room, setting off a bizarre Rube Goldberg-like mechanism, which makes little squeaking and tooting noises as it goes about its business, though you can see that the parts are clearly often sharp and metallic implements. It's elaborate and extensive, and you can hear it wheezing and grinding behind the walls, childish and threatening sounds in turn. The series reaches its end, the noise and motion halts, and... nothing happens. Or nothing seems to, but who knows what's poised to come down on your heads.
A few small mannequins hang on strings from the ceiling in such a way that they seem to be pointed at you as you enter. A whole row of cotton-stuffed dolls in blue dresses have had their heads torn off. A dartboard rests on the wall, stuck with needles instead of darts. A small knife sits amongst a cluster of sad-faced clown dolls.
This room looks like an ordinary living room, except that the walls are made of mirrors, and there is no door. When you are in this room, you can neither see nor hear nor feel the other members of your mission group, even if they also entered the room with you. One of the mirrors on the wall, at random, will take you out into the hallway to proceed if you should walk into it, as though it were the door. Exactly which mirror this is will be different for different people, and will be different upon different visits to the room.
This is apparently a counseling room, a couple couches and a lamp on a small table that casts a disorientingly flickering light. However, you shortly realize the shadow cast by the light is shifting when it should not. It expands and contracts, shifting over the wall where it is cast like oil, until it assumes the shape of a man with shoulder-length hair, a coat that hangs to half-thigh, and a gun in each hand.
As per usual, this area is almost entirely dark. The only light is a dull, reddish glow emanating from behind the bar, which illuminates in stark detail the collection of bottles arranged there. They have been carefully, painstakingly set out in precise patterns, perhaps so that what little light there is more effectively illuminates their contents. Bloated organs and teeth still bearing chunks of the gums they were ripped from float silently behind the glass of each bottle. A swollen, bloody eyeball rests in thick, sluggish liquid, rolling to watch you as it falls into the beam of the flashlight.
That’s surely just a trick of the light.
There's a purchase order on the bar counter for metal ladders and hinges, with a note written on the back:
"It seems like no place in the whole city is up to code. Not seems like, is. If there was a fire, you couldn't get out of one of these buildings if you tried. We'll just have to go one by one. Finished adding the fire escape to the roof on 832 7th Ave, now we need to go do the rest."
A few empty bottles here can be broken for emergency bladed weapons, though they'll probably only be good for a single blow.
When the flashlight shines on the walls of this stairwell, they seem to quiver and shy away from the beam. Closer inspection, although why a person would want to do this is incomprehensible, will reveal pores and broken veins trembling below the surface of tightly packed layers of decaying flesh. If the light fails to demonstrate this, the smell should make it obvious.
Here and there these walls melt into rusty chainlink fence, although if you try to look too closely at where they change, the eye will simply refuse to focus. Beyond these spaces, there is simply endless blackness.
This room has one defining characteristic, and that characteristic is nausea. All the furniture and fixtures being on the ceiling would be disorienting in any circumstance, but the floor and walls all jut crazily as well. Extended time in this room will induce a throbbing pain around the eyes, although it slowly dissipates upon exit.
Conversation in this room is difficult, the slicing whoosh of the fan is a nearly overwhelming amount of sound. At regular intervals the blur of noise becomes distinctly louder; the fan is lopsided. Ideally, you’ll want to get out of this room as fast as possible, just in case it collapses, sending a shower of bright blades down over your heads.
Unfortunately, there is a legion of wheelchairs careening menacingly from one end of the room to the other. The wheelchairs are empty and unoccupied, somehow moving about on their own. These must be passed to reach the exit.
Upon accessing the roof, vision is almost completely cut off by a thick, heavy fog. For those who have visited previously, this isn’t too great a change; all outdoor areas are covered by a combination of swirling mist and black, filthy smog, and this one is no exception.
It is notable, however, that this fog is just a little thicker, a little more claustrophobic than others previously encountered. Clothing and hair dampen almost instantly.
Before your eyes can really adjust to the new lack of vision, you become aware that you and your team are not the only occupants of the roof. The silhouetted figure of a woman is just barely visible through the knots and twists of fog.
She approaches, still obscured in all but outline, pace steady, but unhurried. This probably has something to do with the fact that the door from the stairs has just locked behind you with a click that somehow echoes in the heavy air, so it isn’t like she has to worry about you going anywhere.
And suddenly there are two shapes in the fog—or maybe there always were? But no, now there are three…and then four, the last only visible for a moment before it drops, vanishing into the fog. But it’s not long before you find out exactly where it went… The creature/s attack you after you venture out into the thick fog, thick enough to obscure what's happening to anybody more than a few feet away from you, and once away from the wall, you'll rapidly find yourself disoriented.
One of the creatures looks like a little girl, with holes in her skull where there should be eyes and nose and mouth. She crawls and squirms on her belly surprisingly quickly, and does not herself attack. Instead, she will attempt to grab hold of your feet and upend you before shuttling away, leaving you more vulnerable for one of the other three to attack.
The second is a young woman, perhaps in her late teens, dressed in white. Her eyes are closed and her expression never changes. She wields a large knife in one hand.
The third is slightly older, a provocatively-dressed woman with a mangled face. She will slash at you with surprisingly sharp nails, and has a particular fondness for wrapping them around your throat and attempting to choke you.
The last is a woman slightly older than the third, vacant white eyes weeping. She wields a knife like the second woman. Disconcertingly, when she is close up, a third arm may burst out suddenly from her stomach, retracting back in without leaving a mark once she is done using it.
Once all four creatures are dead, the bodies of the first, second, and fourth seem to melt into the concrete of the roof, black shadows making their way like worms to where the third "woman" lies. Seeming to "burrow" into her, she wastes away into a desiccated shell of a corpse. You hear a sudden loud series of metallic clangs from not far off, and as the fog thins a bit, you can see to the edge of the roof. A fire escape ladder has lowered to the ground, and you can access the street. You can see South Ashfield Heights about three blocks away. The lights are on in all its windows.
The street is much like the alleys and rooftop patios in this world have been. South Ashfield Heights is an unassuming apartment building, U-shaped and three stories high. All the apartments look normal through the windows, and no one seems to be home in any of them. The building's front door, situated atop a few steps in between the two wings of the building, is locked. It's also criss-crossed with a number of thick chains, which, with effort, you could probably remove.
Congratulations, you have completed your two worlds! Please inform the GMs when you reach this point.
All monsters can be killed. If you want to go for extra atmosphere, monsters may get back up again after being knocked down unless you stomp them good. ;-)
Gumhead (Grey or Red)
Appearance: It stands about 5'5'' and looks and sounds apelike. Its flesh seems to be rotting, and some of them have a second face apparently trying to emerge from its neck. Some of them carry long blunt weapons, lead pipes or branches or golf clubs or the like. Often appear in groups of 2-4.
Movement: They walk on two legs like a human, awkward-looking but surprisingly nimble on their feet. You can outrun them, but they're pretty good at dodging hits.
Attacks: Attacks with its blunt weapon, or just trying to pummel you with its hands. They're quiet adept at stealing a melee weapon from your hands and turning it against you.
Defenses: Tough to get solid hits on in melee, and because of its jerky movements, it's hard to shoot consistently. It takes a fair beating to take one down.
Probable Location: Anywhere.
Appearance: A bat-like creature with a long sharp beak. Its wingspan is about two handspans, and it sounds like a buzzing insect as it flies. Tends to hide in a shadowy spot, in a corner or under an awning, until you pass by. They usually come in groups of 3-6.
Movement: Flies, but isn't very agile in the air.
Attacks: Scrapes or gashes you with its hooked proboscis as it flies by. Not very damaging.
Defenses: One blow is enough to elicit a bird-like screech and take it out.
Probable Location: Outdoors.
Appearance: Looks and smells like the mutilated corpse of a tall woman. Her face is half-stripped of flesh and her scalp doesn't sit quite right on her head. Her shirt is torn to bare her breasts, and there's a large hole low in her abdomen where her uterus was removed. She cries out like a human would when struck.
Movement: She only walks, and is easy to outrun.
Attacks: Most likely, she wields a small axe in one hand. She may have a scalpel instead.
Defenses: It'll take a little more damage to kill her than it would a real person in her place.
Probable Location: Anywhere.
Appearance: Patches of it have fur, but the rest looks as though it's had its skin carefully stripped away. Its long tongue drags along the ground, and it's often found feeding on the corpses of dead Sniffers. Tend to appear in packs of 2-3.
Movement: Just like normal dogs. Very difficult to outrun.
Attacks: Mostly biting, sometimes clawing as well.
Defenses: A couple of blows are enough to take it down.
Probable Location: Large open areas.
Appearance: A large hulking creature with massive hands for feet, and two stuck together childlike faces that never change expression, frozen like porcelain masks. Its "footsteps" are surprisingly noisy; if you're in the dark, you will definitely be able to hear it clomping around. Sometimes, it attempts a vocalization, a human voice in an impossibly low register mumbling a word scrambled beyond recognition. It will also sometimes produce a dull roar when they attack or are attacked.
Movement: It gets around using its oversized hands, and has no problem balancing on one to take a swipe with the other. It can "sprint" at the same speed that a person can.
Attacks: It attacks by striking the target with one of its oversized hands, and packs a surprising amount of strength in the blow. Note that, because it attacks with what is effectively a leg, it cannot attack while on the move.
Defenses: Takes quite a bit of damage to go down. Bullets do deal damage to the Twin Victim, though they seem to pass through its burlap "body." This means that if you have one Twin Victim in front of another, one bullet can indeed hurt both.
Probable Location: Anywhere.
Appearance: One minute, a space of wall is just a space of wall, and the next minute, it's the form of a man half in the wall, half out from the torso. Seems to be covered with a yellowish skin-type substance and has two claw hands. Makes strangle growling-like noises when it emerges from the wall, and when it swipes at you.
Movement: The creature is unable to move from the wall but can somewhat pivot from its torso, and also go back in the wall.
Attacks: Swipes with its clawed hands.
Defenses: The equivalent of a few axe blows are enough to fell it and cause it to retract back into the wall.
Probable Location: Anywhere with solid walls.
Although appearance, speed, and power vary by Victim, all ghosts behave essentially alike.
Appearance: Ghosts make low strange moaning noises from time to time, but are otherwise silent.
Movement: Ghosts float, sometimes just above ground, sometimes well above it. They can pass through walls, but it's a difficult process. They must struggle to pull themselves through, leaving trails behind them of what looks like molasses (see linked image). For this reason, most ghosts will not bother to pursue you if you go to another location.
Attacks: -An "aura of damage" surrounds all ghosts. If you are within about ten feet of the ghost, it begins to affect you, growing stronger the closer to the ghost that you are. Your life begins to literally leave you. This manifests as a feeling of weakness, red and blurred vision, a buzzing or ringing in your ears, and a headache so powerful that it can effectively paralyze you at close range to the ghost. Any open wounds that you have may begin to bleed badly, and you feel cold. A healthy person exposed to this effect uninterrupted for about three minutes, dies. If you are wearing a Saint Medallion, however, the effect on you is completely negated.
-The voluntary attack that ghosts use is to reach into your chest cavity and constrict your heart, paralyzing you and causing more and more harm the longer the contact is maintained. Sometimes this attack causes blood to appear over the entry point, but it does not actually cause a wound. Ghosts are reluctant to touch you if you're wearing a Saint Medallion.
Defenses: Ghosts cannot die. Dealing a sufficient amount of melee damage will cause them to fall to the ground and be inactive for about 15 seconds. Usually, this takes the equivalent of several axe blows, or a full clip of regular ammunition. Shooting a ghost with a single silver bullet causes them to the ground and writhe, gasping and making a strange sucking noise, for about 30 seconds.
Appearance: A balding middle-aged man, wearing blue suspender trousers that are falling off one side. He carries a trowel.
Attacks: Victim 04 can use his trowel as a weapon in addition to normal ghost attacks. He prefers digging at one's face or chest with it. The damage inflicted by his "aura" and heart-constricting attacks are average.
Probable Location: Anywhere, especially nearby the Pet Shop.
Appearance: A young man with short hair, wearing a green jacket and pants. Note: unlike in the image linked above, he does not have a sword in him.
Attacks: He's fairly fast, and his attacks deal moderate damage.
Probable Location: Anywhere, especially Eric's Apartment and Bar Ashfield.
Appearance: A teenage boy in a brown beanie hat, his head slowly wobbles from side-to-side in an unnatural way.
Attacks: His attacks deal moderate damage, but he's not very aggressive.
Probable Location: Anywhere.
Appearance: A middle-aged man with an angry expression, this ghost walks normally instead of hovering, but his movements are jerky and erratic, rather like a record skipping in place, or like suddenly being on fast-forward. He also has the ability to teleport short distances, preferring to disappear from in front of you and reappear behind you. Victim 19 wields a lead pipe. He smells strongly of burned hair and flesh.
Attacks: Very aggressive and persistent, and his aura and attacks are very powerful. It will shatter saint medallions with very little exposure. It takes a moderate amount of damage to get him down, but he stays down for a bit longer than other ghosts.
Probable Location: Victim 19 is likely to attack you in Richard's Apartment. He will persistently pursue you throughout Building World.