Tuesday 3 May 2022

Into The Dark City - Part 1

A hack of Into the Odd where you play as legally distinct dark eldar.
The skeleton for the game, Into the Odd, was created by Chris McDowell at Bastionland.com
You get to play as horrible decadent evil space elves, being flamboyant in their extradimensional dark city and raiding realspace for fun and profit.
Please don't sue me, Games Workshop.  

A disclaimer: The PCs in this game are Bad People. Slavery, torture, poisoning and haute fashion are morally wrong. You shouldn't want to be like your PCs. The key to enjoying this game is to make your villainy so over-the-top and flamboyant that it goes from harrowing to camp.

Your Character

Who Are You?

Roll 3d6 for each Ability Score. 10 is average for an Eldar. 

  • Strength – Fighting, fortitude, and toughness.

  • Dexterity – Stealth, athletics, and reflexes.

  • Willpower – Confidence, discipline, and charisma.

You may swap any two of your Ability Scores.

Characters start with d6 Hit Points, a measure of their ability to avoid life-threatening Damage.

Starter Package

Consult the Starter Package Table below to find your starting equipment and any special information about your character. As well as individual equipment, every character has a backup tissue sample with the Homonculus Covens, and the Coterie has resources of its own.


Unarmed Attack: (D4 Damage) EG: Claws, Bites, Fashionably pointy clothing, Elegant martial arts.
Light Weapon: (one hand. D6 Damage) EG: Razor Pistol, Combat Knife, Venom Pistol, Electro-whip, Power Sword.

Military Weapon: (two hands. D8 Damage) EG: Venom Rifle, Gladiator-Witch Arena Weapons, Razor Rifle, Ceremonial Glaive

Noble Weapon: (one hand. d8 Damage) EG: Vampiric Blade, Antimatter Pistol, Lamia Knife, Homunculus Tools 

Heavy Weapon: (two hands. d10 Damage. Cannot move and fire) EG: Venom Cannon, Antimatter Rifle, Homunculus Bio-weapons.

Shield: Armour 1. A protective field of some sort. EG; Shadow field, Displacement generator, Forcefield, etc
Combat Armour: Armour 1. EG: Witch suits, Combat Armour, Ceremonial Plate Armour.
Tools: EG: Torture kit, Artisans tools, Bio-scanner, Climbing gear, Disguise kit, Astronavigation array, Hover-board, Hologram Projector, Manacles, Calligraphy Kit, Tea Set.
Luxuries: EG: Fashionable Clothes, Pheromone Perfumes, Exotic Pets, Poetry Scrolls, Exotic Smokeables, Trophy Racks, Mimic Masks, 

Stun Grenades: Momentarily blinds anyone that fails a dex save.
Combat Drugs: Add d4 to an Ability Score for an hour while high, then deduct the same amount for an hour during the comedown, then return to normal. 
Bomb: d12 Damage to all within the blast.
Poison: Lose d20 str if consumed.
Ether: Inhaled, str save or pass out for an hour.
Antitoxin: Neutralises most toxins.
Nightmare Doll: Lets you do a psychic type thing (precognition, dispelling, telepathy) without attracting the attention of the Thirsting God.
Soul Trap: Lets you trap the soul of a dying person, for fun and profit. 

What Do You Have?

Match your highest Ability Score against your Hit Points to find your starting package. Weapons have their damage roll listed. If two characters would have the same equipment, the second character takes their starting package as if they had one HP less, or one HP more if this is not possible.

Highest Score 3-9: 1 HP: Venom Pistol (d6), Shock Whip (d6), Shadow Field (1 Armour), Artisan's Tools. As part of Scourge-cult initiation, have bio-sculpted wings, and can fly. Roll for Hypertech. 2 HP: Venom Rifle (d8), Combat Knife (d6), Stun Grenades. Nightmare Doll allows you minor precognition. 3 HP: Gladiator-Witch Arena Weapons (d8), Venom Pistol (d6), Trophy Racks, Combat Drugs. Nightmare Doll lets you see souls.

4 HP: Venom Pistol (d6), Power Sword (d6), Pheremone Perfumes. Nightmare Doll allows you to communicate telepathically if the victim fails a Will save.

5 HP: Ceremonial Glaive (d8), Razor Pistol (d6), Combat Hawk (d10 strength, talons for d6). Beast-master cult training lets you talk to animals. 6 HP: Paired Knives (d8), Dark Fire (d6). Disguise Kit. Being born a Mandragora, you can become insubstantial in complete darkness.

Highest Score 10: 1 HP: Gladiator-Witch Arena Weapons (d8), Needle Projector (d6). Hunting Scorpion (d6 Strength, sting for d8). Roll for Hypertech.

2 HP: Venom Rifle (d8), Shock Whip (d6). Flesh Thrall (d8 strength, bite for d4). Roll for hypertech.

3 HP: Venom Rifle (d8). Torture Kit, Pheremone Perfumes. Roll for Hypertech.

4 HP: Ceremonial Glaive (d8), Razor Pistol (d6). 2 Flasks of Ether. Astronavigation Array. Roll for Hypertech. 5 HP: Paired Venom Pistols (d8). Hover Board, Artisan's Tools. Roll for Hypertech.

6 HP: Lamia Knife (d8). Displacement Field (1 Armour). Vial of Poison. Lamia-cult initiation gives social status. Highest Score 11: 1 HP: Razor Rifle (d8), Combat Suit (1 armour). Tracker-worm. (d8 Strength, Bite for d6). Roll for Hypertech.

2 HP: Poison Blade (d6), Venom Pistol (d6). Combat Drugs. Roll for Hypertech. 3 HP: Venom Rifle (d8). Fashionable Clothing, Hologram Projector, Torture Kit. Roll for Hypertech.

4 HP: Venom Rifle (d8), Power Sword (d6). Pheremone Perfume. Demon-cat (d8 strength, Bite for d6) with telepathic link. 5 HP: Flaying Knife (d6), Paired Venom Pistols (d8). Poetry-scrolls. Talking blood-worm (d6 strength, Bite for d6). Minor mutation means you don't need to eat.

6 HP: Shock-whip (d6). 3 Virus Bombs (d12). Vial of Antitoxin. Surgeon's Tools. Homonculus-cult inituation has taught you to cosmetically resculpt flesh with time. Highest Score 12: 1 HP: Power Sword (d6), Telekine Darts (d6). Trophy Rack. Roll for Hypertech. 2 HP: Venom Rifle (d6). Porter Thrall (1 HP, 2d6 Strength). Fashionable Clothes. Roll for Hypertech. 3 HP: Shock Whip (d6). Manacles, Combat Drugs. Roll for Hypertech. 4 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Ossification-Grenade (d12). Exotic Pet Moths. Roll for Hypertech. 5 HP: Vampiric Blade (d8), Venom Pistol (d6). Vial of Ether. Trophy Racks. Magnetic skin-implants let you manipulate metal.

6 HP: Homonculus Tools (d8), Hidden Poison Blade (d6). Disguise Kit. Torture Kit.

Highest Score 13: 1 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Vial of Ether, Vial of Poison. Mimic Mask. Roll for Hypertech.

2 HP: Power Sword (d6). Razor Pistol (d6). Combat Suit (1 Armour). Trophy Rack.

3 HP: Venom Blade (d6). Stun Grenade. Pet shadow-cat (d6 Strength, Bite for d8). Exciting feline fang-grafts.

4 HP: Venom Rifle (d8) Disintegrator Powder. Gambling Set. Monomolecular Rope. 5 HP: Lamia Knife (d8). Combat Drugs. Musical Instrument. Lamia-Cult Initiation.

6 HP: Ceremonial Glaive (d8). Ornate Mask, Scorpion-claw Manicure. Glass Bomb (d12). Incubus-Cult Initiation grants social cachet.

Highest Score 14:

1 HP: Venom Blade (d6). Hologram Projector, Still-living Trophy Pelts. Roll for Hypertech.

2 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Monomolecular Razorwire, Exotic Smokeables. Stun Grenade.

3 HP: Antimatter Pistol (d8). Incense Drones. Vial of Poison. Mummified Hand.

4 HP: Shock Whip (d6). Artisan's Tools, Razor Snares, Bio-Scanner.

5 HP: Razor Pistol (d6). Universal Solvent, Caligraphy Set, Scrimshawed Fingerbones.

6 HP: Combat Blade (d6). Vial of Antitoxin. Recording Array.

Highest Score 15:

1 HP: Gladiator-Witch Arena Weapons (d8). Vial of Ether, Trophy Rack. Pet Nightingale.

2 HP: Venom Rifle (d8). Fashionable Clothes, Vial of Poison. Pet Razor-wasp (d4 Strength, Sting or d8).

3 HP: Razor Pistol (d6). Musical Instrument, Vial of Ether, Exotic Liqueurs.

4 HP: Venom Pistol (d6), Sword (d6). Ossification Bomb (d12). Torture Kit.

5 HP: Gladiator-Witch Arena Weapons (d8). Emotion Projector. One eye replaced with dashing eyepatch.

6 HP: Concealed Venom Pistol (d6), Concealed Blade (d6). Shard Bomb (d12). Artisan's Tools.

Highest Score 16:

1 HP: Razor Rifle (d8). Pocket Multicorder. Exciting Tattoos. Virus Bomb (d12).

2 HP: Ceremonial Glaive (d8). Tea Set, Pheromone Perfume. Incubus-Cult Initiation provides a certain mystique. 3 HP: Beast-goad (d6). Net, Pheremone-Bait, Beast-Skull Trophy. Alluring venom-scars. 4 HP: Electro-whip (d6), Venom Pistol (d6). Exotic Smokables, Pet Centipedes. Empty Eye-socket.

5 HP: Poison blade (d6). Mimic Mask, Skeleton Key. Occasionally-malfunctioning mechanical hand.

6 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Virus Bomb (d12). Tea Set, Exotic Liqueurs. Eyes glow in the dark.

Highest Score 17: 1 HP: Ceremonial Glaive (d8). Trophy Rack, Decoy Pistol. Incubus-cult Initiation replaced heart with a shard of ice.

2 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Net, demon-calling pipes. Demon-ravaged leg only semi-material.

3 HP: Combat Blade (d6). Artists Tools, Paint, Easel. Incense-dispensing gland rather distinctive.

4 HP: Vampiric Blade (d8). Tea Set, Fashionable Clothes. Totally colour-blind for fashion purposes.

5 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Razor Wire, Artisans Tools. Brands mark you as a former slave.

6 HP: Homonculus Tools (d8). Torture Kit, Surgeon's Tools. Grotesque appearance.

Highest Score 18:

1 HP: Garotte (d6). Venom Rifle (d8). Ornate Mask. Tongue surgically removed.

2 HP: Concealed Venom Pistol (d6). Artisan's Tools, Astronavigation Array. One arm replaced with cybernetically-implanted artisan's arrays, and can't be used for general functions.

3 HP: Stolen Venom Pistol (d6). Hookah, Grappling Hook. A delightfully in-vogue fugitive.

4 HP: Electrified Rapier (d6), Displacement Field (1 Armour). Recording Device. Scandalous reputation.

5 HP: Concealed Knife (d6). Vial of Poison, High-Fashion Outfit. Horribly in debt.

6 HP: Venom Pistol (d6). Reams of Poetry, Writing Kit. Tattoos mark you as a former slave. Hypertech (roll d20). 1: Space-folding Origami Spider, lets you teleport 10 ft. For when you're too stylish to walk. 2: Homonculus Flesh-solvent, apply to flesh and re-shape it like putty. Fashion made convenient! 3: Decoy Soul, can be fed to a soul trap, or otherwise used to fool psychics and hypertech.

4: Gravity Adjusting Spotlight, reverses direction of gravity in the area illuminated.

5: Exquisite Pain Recordings. Listeners must pass a Dexterity save to block their ears, or lose d6 Will. Considered prestige entertainment.

6: Reality Compliance Chime, the sound of which causes all psychics nearby to bleed from the ears.

7: Light Ensnaring Prism, when unveiled sucks in all light, causing an area of absolute darkness. Mandragora's love it.

8: Dimensional Adjustment Clamps, can cause an object its attached to grow or shrink by a factor of up to ten.

9: Time-Stuttering Dust: Victim takes d6 Damage and is frozen in time until they pass a Will save.

10: Tiara Of Legal Correctness. Others must pass a Will save to disagree with you, and can do so no louder than a whisper.

11: Soul Ink. Write on a restrained victim's soul; they must pass a Will save or take on the personality traits you write into them until the ink fades. Helps keep your minions in line.

12: Gravity Negotiator Drone. You can walk up walls and across ceilings as if gravity pointed in a different direction. Useful for making an impression.

13: Absolutely Universal Dictionary, lets you talk to and be understood by anything, and understand the responses if things are capable of responding. A bit gauche.

14: Hyperdimensional Handbag, a portable pocket dimension that lets you carry all sorts of things.

15: Romantic Red Twine, state the person you love or hate the most, and instinctively know the direction and distance to them, and the state of their health.

16: Absolute Privacy Shroud, hang it over a door, window, etc and nothing can pass through it, not people or light or psychic signals or anything.

17: Neural Cocktail Glass, lets you read the thoughts of anybody whose vital fluids you currently drink from the glass. Potentially very romantic.

18: Backup Persona, creates a holographic duplicate of yourself, that acts independently but just like you until you absorb it back into your own mind. Useful for busy social functions.

19: The Void Between Atoms And Stars, creates a rift in space-time that leads you back home to a pre-prepared location. Handy for leaving boring events.

20: Contract Papers Of Unerring Law. If you sign a deal on the papers, you know instantly if it's been broken and can inflict d12 damage on the other signatory at will. Also potentially very romantic.

What The Coterie Has

The Coterie: The coterie is a small organisation of evil space elves residing in the dark city. Lacking the numbers, power or prestige of larger cults, covens and cabals, the coterie instead consists of a few closely allied individuals working for their own mutual benefit in the spaces between these large organisations. It's a sort of mixture of polycule, cult, street gang and small business.

Home: The coterie has a small residence somewhere in the dark city. Their own individual spire, tunnel complex or villa-pod. Enough space to be mildly luxurious, as suits evil space elves, but nothing overtly extravagant. Their home's defences are assumed to be secure enough that enemies won't be getting in unless they either get invited in, or put a lot of effort towards it.

Dimensional Portal: The coterie's residence includes a portal back to realspace, allowing them to warp in for raids. Exactly where it takes you is temperamental; see the tables for realspace raids to see where it might take you.

Minions: The coterie are attended to by a number of slaves, thralls and minions, that remain in their residence and - alongside the space elf tech of the place - see to their needs. These are in addition to any pets you might have, and unlike those pets the minions don't get to come on realspace raids; they might try to escape, and anyway, they aren't very competent. For each PC, which minions you have depends on which your highest attribute is:

Strength: A pair of enslaved humans. Less compliant unless motivated, but quite creative.

Dexterity: A pair of vat-grown flesh-thralls. Very compliant, but not very bright.

Will: A single space-elf minion under your power. Perhaps an indentured servant, apprentice or enslaved criminal. Carries some prestige, and could be promoted to the rank of Actual Person.

Two or more tied: An exotic alien thrall. An avian predator, space-monkey technician, serpent bodyguard or similar. Very fashionable.

Regardless of their origin, your minions have 1 HP, and 8 for all stats.

Petty Luxuries: Back home, you have access to appropriately scandalous art, delectable confectionary, still-alive fur rugs that moan when you walk on them, lots of eyeliner, and other necessities of decadent space elf life. Whilst this is utterly libertinous to us, by the standards of the dark city this sort of thing makes you comfortable middle-class.

What Do You Need to Know?

A Save is a roll to avoid danger from a risky action or situation.
Roll d20. If you roll equal or under the appropriate Ability Score you pass. 1 is always a success and 20 always a failure.

Generally the Players take their turn before any enemies. If there is a risk of being surprised, characters must each roll a DEX Save or be unable to act on the first turn. On their turn, Players can act in any order they wish.

On your turn a character can move and perform an action. An action can be anything from negotiating, to attacking, to fleeing. Attacks are detailed below. For other actions the Referee calls for the character at risk to roll a Save. For example, an attempt to trip an opponent might force them to pass a STR Save to stay on their feet, while an attempt to trick an opponent into surrender may force them to pass a WIL Save or lower their arms.

An attacker rolls a die dictated by their weapon, and subtracts the opponent's Armour score. Their attack causes this much Damage. Ranged weapons cannot be used in melee, melee weapons can't be used at long range.
Attacks that are Impaired, such as firing through cover, or fighting while grappled, roll d4 Damage regardless of weapon. Similarly, attacks that are Enhanced by a risky stunt or a helpless or vulnerable target, roll d12 Damage.

Blast weapons, such as bombs, cause Damage to all targets in an appropriate area, rolling separately for each. If in doubt as to how many targets are affected, roll the weapon’s Damage die.

When an individual takes Damage they lose that many HP. If they have no HP left, they are wounded, and any remaining Damage is removed from their STR score. They must then pass a STR Save to avoid Critical Damage.

Critical Damage:
A character that takes Critical Damage is unable to take further action until they are tended to by an ally and have a Short Rest. If they are left for an hour without being tended to, they die.

Using Hypertech:
A character can use a piece of Hypertech as a normal action, though some Hypertech ask for something in return.

Ability Score Loss:
If a character has their STR score reduced to zero they are dead, which is a bit of a downer but only temporary. If their DEX or WIL are reduced to zero the character is paralysed or mentally broken respectively, and cannot act until they have a Full Rest.

When a character dies, they are reborn from tissue samples stored with the Homunculus Cults. They will take a few days to re-grow a new body, and will be waiting for the rest of the Coterie when they return home from a realspace raid.
Make a Will Save, if failed roll for Cloning Errors to see how death has affected them. Either way, roll for Debts to see what you now owe the Homunculus Cults for your next revival.
If you can't or won't get a Homunculus Cult to store some flesh for revival, then if you die you just die, and must roll up a new character entirely. But why would you do that when you could be immortal?

Power From Pain: When you witness interestingly unusual or intense pain, you become Empowered by it. You can spend your Empowered status to re-roll a Save or Attack.

If you go an entire day without being Empowered at all, you become Withered, and start losing yourself to the Thirsting God. While Withered, you lose 1 Will, and lose another 1 Will at the end of each subsequent day until you become Empowered again. You can't regain Will while you're Withered.

Other particularly exciting and novel emotions - love, curiosity, fear, joy - can occasionally also Empower you, if they're special enough. Suffering, however, is always a sure thing.

Reaction: When the group encounters another being, the character at the head of the group must pass a WIL Save to avoid an unfavourable first reaction. Some encounters are always hostile, or always friendly, but all have potential to change after first contact. 

Groups require a WIL Save to avoid being routed when they lose half of their total numbers. Groups with a leader may use the leader's WIL score in place of their own. Lone combatants must pass this Save when they are reduced to 0hp. This applies to opponents and allies but not Player characters. Fleeing to safety under pursuit requires a DEX Save and somewhere to withdraw to.

Short Rest:
A few minutes of rest spent doing something entertaining - appreciating art, a romantic liaison, basking in somebody else's suffering (or all three) - recovers all of a character’s lost hp. Resting may waste time or attract danger.

Full Rest:
A Full Rest requires a week of downtime back at the coterie's home. This restores all Ability Scores.


Damage from falling rocks, explosions and other sources outside of normal combat ranges between d4 and d12, with d20 used only in special cases. Consider how it would affect an average person. A fall that is quite likely to injure an inexperienced character might cause d8 Damage but a huge rock that would crush most might do d12. Poison usually causes Ability Score loss. Effects like Blindness will Impair attacks and call for Saves to carry out usually simple actions.

Advancing in Society

Getting Stronger: Every time you advance in society, your personal power grows as well. Gain d6 more HP, and roll a d20 for each ability score; if you roll over its current value, add +1 to it.

Fledgling: You're ready to go on your first realspace raid! This is where PCs start.

Raider: You've survived your first realspace raid! Congratulations, you're a respected professional now.

Veteran: You've survived three realspace raids since becoming a Raider, and brought something interesting back to the dark city. People might start paying attention to you now.

Sybarite: You've survived five realspace raids since becoming a Veteran, and killed an exciting enemy (a powerful psychic, orc warchief, space marine, alien war-drone or demon), bringing an exciting trophy back with you. At this point, you're becoming a minor local celebrity. You can recruit an Acolyte, roll their stats like a starting PC.

The Road To Archon-hood: After becoming a Sybarite, you mostly advance by recruiting additional Acolytes and fostering their own growth. Anybody can call themselves an Archon, but only the most powerful get to do so a second time. Powers greater than you won't tolerate upstarts without the strength to back up the claim.

Buying Things: You can purchase goods - such as hypertech, weapons, surgical modifications, thralls, vehicles, and other useful gear - through trade. Simply find somebody who can sell, and roll a Debt to see what their price is.

Rarer items - nightmare dolls, soul traps, hypertech, a second dimensional portal, particularly interesting thralls - incur two debts. When purchasing hypertech or a nightmare doll, roll to see what sort is available.

Debts: You can leave a debt unpaid as long as you like. However, an unpaid debt affects your social station and reputation: add one to the number of realspace raids needed to advance to the next social tier for each unpaid debt. Further, if you leave a debt unpaid long enough that it's clear you have no intention of paying it off, your creditors might decide to do something about this; typically, this involves subduing recalcitrant debtors by force and selling them into slavery to recoup the loss.


  1. This feels like better Toreadors from VtM than the Toreadors from VtM

  2. hell yeah evil bastard elf time

  3. I like the hypertech especially.

  4. I found this throigh Twitter, very cool!