CAGED HEAT

SETUP

The PCs are women in a medium security prison with at least 5 years remaining on their sentence.

Players should generate characters using the Criminal profession, unless they have an interesting backstory for something else. Everyone should think of the path that led their character here. They are cellmates and might even have Bonds with each other. They have no knowledge of or experience with the Unnatural or DG, but may take any other damaged veteran package.

BRIEFING

The PCs are taken from their cells one night and “invited” to one of the visitation rooms. The screws do not answer their questions, and do not enter the room with them. Inside is a lawyerly man: Agent Sandberg, DOJ Office of the Inspector General. He informs them that an inmate, Jennifer Hattie, is planning to escape soon. He wants them to prevent this, however they can. He is tight lipped about how he knows this, and why he’s arranging for inmates to take care of it. In exchange, he offers them release within one year, on condition that they do not get caught carrying out the assignment.

If the players ask him how he intends to accomplish this, or why they should trust him, he explains the procedural mechanisms he will use. Mistrials, new evidence, early parole and the like. The Law skill indicates what he’s describing would work.

THE TRUTH

Jen was a special child, created by special parents: hippies who believed that the coming of the great old ones would be a time of free love and enlightenment. Raised on a diet of new age garbage and cosmicism, Hattie didn’t talk until she was eight. By then she was already casting her mind among the stars to other worlds. By seventeen, her father was dead and her mother was in a home, convinced the beetles under her skin had reached her brain.

JENNIFER “JEN” HATTIE - 19 Year Old Witch
STR 7, CON 9, DEX 11, INT 15, POW 11, CHA 9
HP 8, WP 11, SAN 29
Fugue Disorder (Hattie’s mind is randomly cast to the stars, where she converses with beings from other worlds, leaving her body insensate)
Dissociative Episodes (Even when she’s inside her body, Hattie sometimes perceives her own actions as happening to someone else)
Skills: Alertness 40%, Anthopology 40%, Archaeology 50%, Foreign Languages (Aklo 32%, Arabic 50%, Greek 40%, German 15%, Latin 71%, Nacal 55%, Spanish 29%, Other non-human tongues as necessary) Occult 70%, Pharmacy 40%, Science Chemistry 50%, Unnatural 14%
Attacks: Unarmed (40% to hit, D4-2 damage)
Rituals: Call Forth Those Outside (Ifrit), Infallible Suggestion, One Who Passes the Gateways (at will, or often accidentally)

Jen was caught in a DG raid on a coven of teenage runaways which she was teaching witchcraft. The real Feds took control of the scene before the agents could finish her off. She ended up in the prison system.

Now, she plots to summon an Ifrit and break out of prison. She’s gathering reagents and recruiting prisoners, promising freedom and power. Hattie knows people will do what she wants under certain circumstances, but social interactions are opaque to her. She relies on the ritual Infallible Suggestion to do the heavy lifting. Plus a little help from her friend.

ZARDOZ - Hattie’s Familiar
STR 5, CON 7, DEX 20, INT 10, POW 8
HP 6, WP 8
SKILLS: Alertness 80%, Dodge 95%, Stealth 80%, Swim 70%, Unnatural 50%.
ATTACKS: Bite 40%, damage 1D4 (see BITE).
BITE: Zardoz’ spit can provoke an allergic reaction in humans. Anyone he bites develops an itchy rash around the affected area, which scabs up if they scratch it too hard. Serious episodes can require a CON save to ignore.
FAMILIAR: Zardoz can act as an assistant in any ritual his mistress knows. Because he knows all languages, he can help his mistress learn a ritual in any language.
SMALL AND NIMBLE: Any attack against Zardoz is at −20% due to his small size.
RITUALS: Prayer to the Dark Man, plus those known by Jen
SAN LOSS: 1/1D6.

Zardoz is a longhaired gray cat, lazy and plump. Jen named him after the last movie she’d seen when she got him. Now he has a human face. Moving around the prison is trivial for him, through spaces no human could pass through. He is sarcastic but helpful (to Jen, at least) when he speaks. Jen’s nipples are raw and red where he nurses with his sharp teeth and rough tongue.

JEN’S COVEN

Jen’s first disciple was her cellmate.

AMY WALL - Hattie’s Muscle
STR 16, CON 13, DEX 12, INT 8, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 15, WP 10, SAN 45
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Skills: Alertness 40%, Athletics 70%, Melee Weapons 50%, Unarmed 60%, Swim 50%
Attacks: Unarmed (60% to hit, D4 damage)
Improvised blunt instrument (50% to hit, D6+1 damage)

A tank of a woman, Amy Wall has trouble with her temper. Jen has Amy wrapped around her finger with sexual favors and sorcerous mental control. Jen tried to teach her about the boundless wonders in the dark behind the stars. Amy is unimaginative and found it difficult to follow.

Jen’s other recruits:

TONYA HIRSCHMAN

24 years left thanks to three strikes laws. Wants to track down her daughter. Stress eater.

BILLIE DIVER

8 years left for a handful of drug related crimes. Wants revenge on everyone and thinks a giant fireball is a great way to get it. Small and fidgety.

LEAH DUVERGIER

10 years left for a coked up hit and run. Wants to fit in and feel in control of her life. Likes Jen’s stories about magic and aliens.

INMATE STATS
STR 10, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 10, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 10, WP 10, SAN 45
Skills: Alertness 40%, Criminology 40%, Dodge 40%, Drive 40%, HUMINT 40%, Law 20%, Melee Weapons 40%, Persuade 40%, Stealth 40%, Unarmed Combat 50%
Attacks: Unarmed (50% to hit, D4-1 damage)
Improvised sharp object (40% to hit, D4 damage, 3 AP)

If the players get Jen’s attention she might try to recruit them into the coven - promising power, secret knowledge, and escape. She can use Infallible Suggestion to add herself as one of their Bonds.

GUARDS

By default, none of the screws are a part of Jen’s coven. If they take notice of her, it’s because other inmates are following her around, indicating gang activity.

KARLA MILLER

Lawful neutral. No drugs, sex, gambling, fighting, or fun allowed.

JOAN BIEDERBICK

Predatory. Always looking for a payoff. Likes being owed favors.

ALBERT BLUEGRASS

Moderately handsome, airheaded. Can’t keep it in his pants.

GUARD STATS
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 12, INT 12, POW 12, CHA 12
HP 12, WP 12, SAN 60
Skills: Alertness 50%, Bureaucracy 40%, Criminology 40%, Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, First Aid 30%, HUMINT 50%, Law 30%, Melee Weapons 50%, Persuade 40%, Search 40%, Unarmed Combat 60%
Armor: 3 points kevlar, Add helmet and riot shield in emergency to make 6
Attacks: Baton (50% to hit, D6 damage)
Unarmed (60% to hit, D4-1 damage)
In emergency, add
Shotgun (buckshot 60% to hit, 2D10 damage; beanbag 40% to hit, Stun) or Mini 14 (40% to hit, D12 damage, 3 AP)
CS grenades (50% to hit, -40% to actions)

INVESTIGATION

Asking around turns up: Jen was scooped up in a DEA raid/meth lab fire, charged with a panoply of drug related crimes. Smart, quiet, very spacey. Counts on her cellmate to keep trouble off her. Has a crew that follows her around.

Jen’s planning on escaping soon. She and her disciples get packages in the mail. Innocuous things they’ve asked friends and loved ones for, which add up to reagents for the summoning. Anything they can’t get smuggled, they steal or barter for from prisoners, guards and staff.

Resist the temptation to force the players through every mundanity of prison life. Ask them what they want to do, resolve the interaction and advance the clock accordingly. The cafeteria shows you who sits with who. You can make a weapon in the shop. The shower is a great place to catch someone defenseless. Leave some time for information gathering, but hint that Hattie is planning this thing within a few days, necessitating quick action.

RESOLUTION

Killing Jen costs 0/D6 or 1/D10 SAN, depending on whether they players observed her doing anything nefarious. Add 1/D6 or 1/D8 from Helplessness for anyone she had a Bond with, depending on if they see it happen. Either way, getting caught means a murder charge, and no parole for anyone implicated.

Jen needs all of her POW to summon the Ifrit. Merciless bullying could adapt her to Helplessness, reducing her POW and rendering the spell impossible. This is a bit metagamey. Players could figure it out with a good Occult, Anthropology or Psychotherapy skill. Something about needing a strong will to enact the ritual. DG will consider this a successful execution of the bargain.

If the players ensure Jen is caught doing something unsavory, she’ll get bumped up a security level. That means less contact with other people, fewer opportunities for Zardoz to come and go. She grows withdrawn, spending more time on other planes and worlds. Her body never tries to escape again, because her mind already has. DG considers this a success.

If the players accomplish the mission, DG holds up its end of the bargain. They are paroled as promised. DG might supply them with money, temporary housing, burner phones, and instructions to keep their mouths shut. They are now a Cell or Working Group, one which can never refuse an assignment.

IF JEN SUCCEEDS

When she has all the reagents, and she’s taught her disciples their parts in the ritual, Jen waits for a night when Fomalhaut is visible overhead. Zardoz unlocks the cells and Jen’s coven slips out.

In the kitchen, they spread accelerants and grease to form patterns of flame for the ritual. They sprinkle exotic salts and chemicals they’ve gathered, and the flames take on hypnotic colors. They concentrate on the smoke, fumes and crackling flames, letting Jen’s mind guide them to the star where the Lord of Embers waits for them. The flames coalesce into a glowing sphere, surrounded by points of reddish light. The Ifrit is born.

IFRIT
STR 2–18, CON 14, DEX 16, INT 10, POW 13
HP 8–16, WP 13
SKILLS: Alertness 40%, Dodge 50%, Stealth 50% (only when hidden in a larger fire), Unnatural 50%.
ATTACKS: Fiery touch 50%, damage special (see FIERY TOUCH).
Flame immersion 50%, Lethality 20% (see FLAME IMMERSION).
EXTINGUISHING: To extinguish an Ifrit is like putting out a very stubborn fire. Water inflicts 1D4 damage per gallon; a bucket of sand does 1D4 damage; a handheld fire extinguisher does 1D6. If the Ifrit has even 1 HP remaining at the end of the round, it immediately returns to 8 HP at the beginning of the next round, and then it grows (see GROWTH).
FIERY TOUCH: With a successful attack, the Ifrit sets its target on fire for 1D4 damage per turn. With a critical hit, the target suffers 1D8 damage per turn.
FLAME IMMERSION: This attack is possible after the Ifrit has grown to full size (STR 18). It flows over a target, with the attack counting as a grappling roll, and inflicts Lethality 20% burns every turn that the target remains pinned.
GROWTH: The first turn a Ifrit appears, it has STR 2 and HP 8. At the beginning of each turn, it gains +2 STR and +1 HP, until it reaches maximum size at STR 18 and HP 16.
NON-TERRENE: An Ifrit is at home in any environment where fire can burn.
TRANSCENDENT: Intangible, an Ifrit is immune to physical harm. It can be extinguished (see EXTINGUISHING), and it takes full damage from hypergeometry.
RITUALS: An Ifrit may learn a new ritual by burning someone who knows it, or a book containing it.
SAN LOSS: 0/1D6.

The summoning/binding ritual consumes lots of WP, enough to enervate the participants. Jen directs the fireball to burn a way to freedom. The Ifrit can demolish walls, melting or burning anything in its path. Jen is weak from the summoning, forcing Amy to carry her. Once Jen and surviving coven members are clear, she may unleash the Ifrit to act as a distraction.

If the players are working with Jen, they’ll be low on WP and struggling to keep up as they escape. If not, their cells will be open and the prison will be burning. They might escape if they’re lucky and determined, but just surviving the fire is a challenge in itself.

Players who escape as part of Jen’s coven can join her as magical fugitives. DG will be looking for them.

OPTIONAL SCENARIO CHANGES

  • Swap to a men’s prison.
  • Run the scenario with normal DG Agents investigating Jen, going undercover as inmates.
  • Replace the fireball with a threat you like better.
  • Replace the fireball with Chthugha himself. Burn everything.

Credits

This is an entry to the 2018 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by Anonymous.

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.