Ghastly Affair VENUS Packages III: Mad Scientist, Magician, and True Innocent

Now with original author approval!

In the early years of Wine and Savages, one of my obsessions was adapting Savage Worlds to Gothic Romance in the style of The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk, and other such early classics. I made some progress, but Daniel James Hanley beat me to the punch with Ghastly Affair. a charmingly horrific D20 RPG of Gothic horror in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is, frankly, brilliant and I encourage the curious to check out Hanley’s site – The Engine of Oracles – and download the free version of the game (or buy the nifty illustrated version).

Thankfully, utilizing the Savage Worlds Horror Companion easily allows one to adapt the setting to our favorite game – especially if one uses Ghastly Affair’s character classes as the basis for V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages. Here – with Hanley's approval – are the last three of nine.  Quotes are taken from Ghastly Affair.


Mad Scientist

“A creator of Mad Inventions, and commander of Monstrous Servants.
  • Bonus Attributes: +1 die Smarts.
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Weird Science and a Knowledge (Science) of the player’s choice.
  • Bonus Hindrances: Wanted [Minor; the Mad Scientist is feared and suspected by the local townsfolk, who are eager to raise a mob and attack the Mad Scientist if provoked] and the player’s choice of Bloodthirsty, Delusional [Major], Phobia [Major], or Touched [Major].*
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Weird Science), Connections (academia).
  • Bonus Gear: “1 pistol, 1 set of clothes for laboratory, 1 set of rugged clothes, a book of archaic philosophy, a blank journal, pen & ink, a letter from another scientist that rejects or dismisses the Mad Scientist’s monumental discoveries, letters from angry creditors, diplomas, a locket with a picture of a lost love, a vial with unusual tissue sample preserved in alcohol, a vial of a strange powder with unknown properties, a cane or walking stick, a whip (for Monstrous Servant), a Mad Invention…”
  • Laboratory: The Mad Scientist owns a hidden Frankenstein’s Laboratory.*
  • Monstrous Servant: The Mad Scientist enjoys the loyalty of the player’s choice of a Deformed Minion,* Homonculus,* Man-Dog Hybrid,* or Stock Zombie* (with no special abilities).
*see Savage Worlds Horror Companion
“One who works wonders with strange Incantations, bizarre Ceremonies, enchanted Talismans, and secret Pacts.”
  • Bonus Attributes: +2 dice Smarts and Spirit.
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Knowledge (Occult); +3 Spellcasting.
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Magic) and Talisman Craftsman.*
  • Bonus Gear: “1 dagger, 1 set of ordinary clothes, a haversack, ceremonial clothes, 1 Talisman, 1 Magical Implement (such as a wand, sword, or pentacle), 1 Power Object (such as a ring or parchment inscribed with a diabolical pact), a book of magic spells and theory, a dried root or herb, blank journal, pen & ink, salt, candles, chalk, a skin of wine…”
  • Power Object: Magicians gain their eldritch power through a pact forged with a cult, demon, or spirit – a pact embodied in a special Power Object the Magician possesses. When the Magician does not have their Power Object on their person, any spellcasting attempts are at -2. If the object is destroyed, the Magician is unable to use their powers until it is recreated exactly as it was (something that costs $1,000 per Rank). Some Power Objects – such as diabolical contracts – cannot be recreated. The Power Object may be the same as the Magician’s Magical Implement.  
*see Savage Worlds Horror Companion
True Innocent
“A person of inspiring virtue.”
  • Bonus Edges: Attractive, Common Bond, Fanaticism,* Luck, Great Luck, Tower of Will*
  • Bonus Hindrances: Victim [Major]*
  • Bonus Gear: “1 set of modest clothing; a pet; a painted locket (or pocket watch); a tasteful ring or necklace; a holy scripture or book of inspirational poetry; an unsent letter to parents; a family keepsake; a love letter from a wicked Libertine, filled with immoral double entendres.”
  • Fainting: Anytime a True Innocent fails a Fear test, they faint, becoming prone and Shaken. If the Fear test was for Fear/Nausea, the hero must also roll Vigor to resist Fatigue as normal. If the Fear Test was for Terror, the hero only suffers additional effects if their d20 roll is 13 or higher.
  • Redemption: Both the True Innocent and companions (who abstain from wicked deeds during that time period) recover an extra point of Sanity if they make their Smarts rolls when they take a month of rest.* 
*see Savage Worlds Horror Companion

Looks like my kind of player character.


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