Dipstick Manger

The Boomers vs. The Hooners


Founded in 1954 to research corporate psychology, ESPER’s an Australian consultancy agency specializing in organizational turnaround. It also assists Australia’s security services on “weird” cases. Psychics (Talents) are recruited to do this.

Read mellonbread’s write-up HERE.


Millennia ago a meteorite of sentient metal hit Australia. The impact gouged a huge teardrop-shaped crater in the desert. In the 1890s this crater – dubbed The Gap – became a silver and nickel mine. The town of Kookahunga grew nearby until 1947 when the seam ran dry.

The meteorite’s proximity to Kookahunga made the locals sterile. Lacking progeny, unwilling to leave, they got desperate. Becoming modern-day “wreckers,” they orchestrated accidents on the highway, pilfering from crashed vehicles. Adults survivors were killed, children “adopted”.

Never allowed to leave, the kidnapped young “hoons” grew to despise their elders.

They took to making cars, racing them in the Gap.

Recently the “son” of the mayor found the meteorite in a mineshaft. It offered the boys an opportunity to leave town and get revenge.

The hoons built an enormous vehicle (The Beast) and put the meteorite inside. Tourists were captured with its powers. Melding man-and-machine, The Beast will .

ESPER arrives the day before the ritual occurs.


Midnight in the Outback, three days ago. A rental car zooms through pitch-black desert. The last gas-station was 150km back, the last town (Bailey) twice that. No cell reception.

Inside are four PCs:

  • Gunther Prochnow (German tourist, Maria’s boyfriend)
  • Maria Roth (German tourist, Gunther’s girlfriend)
  • Dominik Möller (German tourist, Gunther’s best-friend)
  • Sarah Harris (Australian hitch-hiker, visiting boyfriend at Parry Station)

All stats and skills are base. All speak English.

  • Ask who’s driving
  • Ask Germans for a unique distinguishing item (e.g. crucifix, name-engraved hip-flask, etc.)
  • Sarah has her video-camera; she films whatever her player desires

In the headlights, a sign:


Ahead a light flickers. Another winks in reply. Roaring fills the air. The car goes crazy; needles wild, engine sparking – *Drive** to not crash into a ditch.

The lights are from the hoons’ souped-up cars. Describe them as animals; roaring beasts, lights too bright to see. They ram the PC’s car, run down those who escape, leaving them dead, unconscious or fleeing into the desert.

On successful Drive rolls, PCs outrun the “animals”, race to Kookahunga. A roadhouse is at the edge of town. They escape inside.


Saturday. Midday. ESPER and their Federal Police (AFP) handler arrive at Kookahunga in a single unmarked 4x4. They’re briefed as follows:
Three German tourists and a hitch-hiker vanished on the road between Bailey and Kookahunga, north-western NSW. This is a political disaster.
Kookahunga is the last town to be investigated.
NSW police hasn’t had a crime in Kookahunga in 4-years. The nearest police station is Bailey, 250km away.
Descriptions and photographs of the missing are provided – each displays their unique distinguishing item.

PCs begin at half WP. A shower, new clothes and pint refreshes them. A good place to do that is the Roadhouse.


A dusty Outback town, population 64. A mining-road winds 6km to The Gap, past empty shacks and abandoned cars. No cell-reception, no Internet.

Posters for PIONEER BALL (tomorrow, 8pm) pasted in windows.

Roadhouse: clapperboard hotel, gas-pumps out front. It serves cold Tooheys. Locals drop in for a pint or seven. The proprietor is one-armed Jocko Eaton. Six threadbare bedrooms are upstairs, one occupied by Mickey Mulligan.

Jocko claims the tourists bought fuel and left (he also says they didn’t speak English, which is a lie). Under the bar is a tourist’s distinguishing item. Shown to Jocko, he unravels, blaming the hoons.

Town Hall: locals put up bunting and trestle-tables for Sunday’s Pioneer Ball. A portrait of the Queen looms. The Mayor has a small office. Library, including town-records, in a lean-to annex. Clue: Ginger gave the Mayor a tourist’s distinguishing item. It’s on his desk.

Mechanics: It’s like a blacksmith’s, scrap piled outside. The mechanic, Bluey, is converting a Volkswagen Beetle into a 4x4. Clues: A tourist’s distinguishing item’s on the mechanic’s person. He says it’s his. He’s obviously lying.

General Store: run by Mrs. Gorman. A boomer trades a hub-cap for tins of beans. Gorman says the town – poor and isolated – sells scrap in Bailey for supplies. Clues: A tourist’s distinguishing item is here; Mrs. Gorman says a hoon traded it.

Surgery: a camper trailer. Dr. Jaffer trades medical services for beer. It’s a mess of bottles, pornographic magazines. Records are in a filing cabinet. Clues: records show no births in Kookahunga since 1963, yet children appear every few years. There’re also dozens of death certificates for out-of-towners.

Church: Reverend Watkins drives up from Bailey on Sundays for a sermon (everyone attends, even hoons) and to enjoy the Ball. He knows nothing about Kookahunga.


The boomers live hard-scrabble lives, holding to a 1950s set of morals. They know of goings-on in the outside world but shun them. Otherwise, friendly but tight-lipped.

All know about, and profited from, looting cars over the years. If uncovered, the Mayor offers to take the fall so the town goes free. If PCs refuse, he has the menfolk ready for a police raid, then “wrecks” the PCs car when they leave.

Only Jocko and Bluey know the hoons wrecked the tourists’ car. They’ve been paid off with distinguishing items for silence. They’d be horrified to learn the hoons’ victims are alive.


Arthur Kelly: 18-year-old Arthur is one of the Mayor’s “sons”. Gangling and nervous, the exasperated Mayor has appointed him Traffic Warden, telling people where they can’t park. This makes the hoons despise him more. Arthur knows about the tourists and The Beast (but not its Unnatural power). If outsiders stood up for him (against hoons and elders), he’d tell the truth.

Mikey Mulligan: Sarah Harris’ boyfriend. A rough-knuckled stockman here to find her. He’s in his room or skulking around, spying on the hoons.

His truck’s on the street. If he’s dead, the locals strip it for parts

In his room are print-outs on Kookahunga’s history as a silver-town and brochures about the Gap – “See a meteor crater millions of years old!”

Photograph of Mikey and Sarah on the bedside table

His bag holds his Lithgow bolt-action rifle (1D12+2)

He’s liable to become a sacrifice.


There are just two-dozen people under 50 in Kookahunga. Eight are hoons, the rest preteens. None talk about their past; the young’uns can’t remember.

The hoon leader is Ginger, one of the Mayor’s “sons” – his buddies are Cutter, Tooley, Grease, etc. They wear bush-gear and leathers with a steampunk-cowboy aesthetic.

They’re 17-to-20-year-old speed-freaks with souped-up off-roaders cobbled from parts, personalized with shark’s grins, hunting-lamps, roll-bars, mesh-windows etc.

Surly, sarcastic and anti-authority, they begrudgingly listen to the Mayor. They hate him so much.

Hoons have no experience with younger women. They show off, brag, might be turned against one another if a female PC uses their charms.

Hoons harass visitors but won’t get violent unless provoked. If tourists are dead, they lure new sacrifices to the Gap.

Every couple hours roll LUCK: 2D4 hoons roar into town to pick up material for The Beast and annoy some boomers.


PCs can leave if they haven’t raised concerns. Otherwise their car is stripped when they’re not looking. The hoons are blamed.

Escaping on foot is impossible. If PCs steal a car, the Mayor sends the hoons to smash them off the road “in an accident”. The hoons bring the meteorite to stop the PCs’ flight.


The road to the Gap is scattered with boulders, shacks and rusting cars. Search finds mining-explosives in some sheds.

The Gap is deep and long, with steep sides. A road leads down. Its floor is filled with old autos, mining equipment and buildings (+20% Stealth). Mine-shafts are cut into its walls.

The hoons spend time here well into the night, racing their cars, then go home. One mine-shaft is important to them: they congregate outside it.

Inside sits The Beast, hood open, engine-space filled with blood and a head-sized lump of Ore (see Stats).

Surviving tourists are chained here for sacrifice the night of the Pioneer Ball.


The Pioneer Ball commemorates Kookahunga’s founding. PCs are invited. Hoons are absent. If the ritual isn’t stopped, The Beast smashes the building to tinder, grinding party-goers into gore.


Stopping the sacrifices or removing the meteorite stops the ritual. The angry hoons chase the PCs, out for blood.

If the hoons sacrifice a victim, The Beast comes to life, has them clamber inside. Not stopped, it tears up Kookahunga, smashes the Town Hall to pieces (killing many), then disappears into the desert. (-1D10 Unnatural)

If townsfolk are informed of the hoons’ crimes, they kill them in a pitched man-versus-vehicle battle. (-1D8 Helplessness)

Negotiations may win Ganger into forgoing the sacrifice – if he and his lads can leave town and raise hell elsewhere (-1D6 Helplessness)


> ROBIN NETLEY, Australian Federal Police
STR 12, CON 11, DEX 13, INT 12, POW 13, CHA 11
HP 12, WP 13, SAN 65, BP 52
SKILLS: Accounting 60%, Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Bureaucracy 40%, Criminology 50%, Drive 50%, Firearms 50%, Forensics 50%, HUMINT 60%, Law 30%, Melee Weapons 50%, Navigate 30%, Persuade 50%, Search 50%, SIGINT 40%, Stealth 40%, Unarmed Combat 60%
ARMOR: 4-point vest
ATTACKS: Unarmed 60%, 1D4
Extendable Baton 50%, 1D6
Glock 17 50%, 1D10
BONDS: Sarah Glazer (Best friend) 11
David Netley (Brother) 11
Superintendent Milton (Superior) 11
DESCRIPTION: A newbie, fresh from probation. Enjoys crosswords and detective novels. Netley’s not sure why they’re babysitting on a missing person case, but has heard that people who work with ESPER’s consultancy professionals get rapid promotions… or resign rather quickly.

> MARK MACHEATH, Empath and “Combat Caster”
STR 13, CON 13, DEX 13, INT 11, POW 11, CHA 11
HP 13, WP 11, SAN 44
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Craft (Electronics 40%, Mechanic 40%), Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, First Aid 40%, Heavy Machinery 50% , HUMINT 40%, Indigenous Language (Wati 40%), Navigate 60%, Occult 50%, Persuade 40%, Science (Geology 40%), Survival 60%, Unarmed Combat 60%
ATTACKS: Unarmed 60%, 1D4
Big Knife 50%, 1D6, 3 AP
Lee Enfield w/ ACOG, 60%, 1D12+2, AP 5
BONDS: Loretta MacHeath (Mother) 11
Alejandro Daggett (Priest) 11
Alexander “Alex” Cross (ESPER Mentor) 11
DISORDER: PTSD (Inappropriate fight or flight responses)
MIND BLAST: For 1D6 SAN and 3WP, can implant a sanity rending vision in the mind of a target within line of sight. The victim must make a SAN test versus Unnatural. On a success, they lose as much SAN as the Talent. On a failure, they lose twice as much. If the target undergoes a temporary insanity, the Talent can choose whether the vision induces them to flee, fight or freeze.
FASCINATE: Takes only a single turn and entrances a target with an opposed POW test. Each attempt costs 3WP and 1D6 SAN. Success renders the subject motionless and insensate, with only autonomic processes functioning, for up to an hour. Only physical assault or an overwhelming event shocks the subject from their reverie.
BLOWBACK: Talents are vulnerable to psychic attacks from non-human entities. Any POW or SAN save to resist a mental assault by such a being is made at -20%.
DESCRIPTION: A Mardu from the Western Desert, Mark was a troubled kid, his anger bleeding into the people around him, spreading chaos and violence. ESPER found him hiding in the bush, and taught him how to control his powers. He’s the nicest guy you’d want to meet. Handsome, cheerful, gladly suffering insults, right up until someone takes a swing at him. Then he melts their mind. In the bush he carries his tricked out but legal SMLE.

> KATY CHAMBERLAIN, Energy Vampire and Psychic Grifter
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 14, INT 11, POW 10, CHA 13
HP 11, WP 11, SAN 58, BP 52
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Anthropology 40%, Craft (Locksmithing) 40%, Criminology 60%, Disguise 50%, Dodge 40%, Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, HUMINT 50%, Law 40%, Melee Weapons 40%, Occult 60%, Persuade 70%, Search 50%, Stealth 50%, Unarmed Combat 50%
ATTACKS: Big Knife 60%, 1D6, 3 AP
Taser 70%, Stun
BONDS: Jo Chamberlain (Sister) 7
Anderson al-Sarraj (Ex-Husband) 7
Gabriel Brunner (Former Drug Dealer) 7
Joe Krennel (ESPER Handler) 13
DISORDER: Adapted to Helplessness
MESMERISM: Manipulates bio-energy. For 1 SAN, the Talent makes an opposed POW test to leech D6 WP from an unwilling target, or drain the same from a willing target for free. They can drain D6 more WP each turn, until the target beats them in an opposed POW save. It can also transfer up to 6 of the Talent’s own WP per round to other people. Stolen energy boosts the Talent’s WP beyond its usual maximum and lasts until spent, or sleep or unconsciousness occurs.
PERSONAL MAGNETISM: For 4WP and 1 SAN, the Talent briefly appears more trustworthy and likable to those around them. Adds +20% to Persuade or CHAx5 or allows a Persuade roll in situations where a target would normally not entertain the idea.
BLOWBACK: Talents are vulnerable to psychic attacks from non-human entities. Any POW or SAN save to resist a mental assault by such a being is made at -20%.
DESCRIPTION: Occult con artist Katy Chamberlain infiltrated the First Life Temple, intending to pilfer its secrets. She had just learned the “sacred art of life-drain” when police raided the compound and arrested everyone. ESPER, always interested in bright psychics, sponsored her release in exchange for her services.

> BRUCE ARMSTRONG, Remote Viewer and Retrocognitive
STR 11, CON 12, DEX 11, INT 12, POW 13, CHA 13
HP 11, WP 13, SAN 52
SKILLS: Alertness 40%, Anthropology 60%, Bureaucracy 50%, First Aid 60%, History 50%, Medicine 60%, Navigate 50%, Occult 30%, Persuade 40%, Pharmacy 50%, Psychotherapy 60%, Science (Biology 60% Physics 50%), Search 40%
ATTACKS: Unarmed 40%, 1D4
BONDS: Grace Howell (Fiance) 13
Dr Roger Moon (Ex-Faculty Advisor) 13
Alexander “Alex” Cross (ESPER Mentor) 13
DISORDER: Depersonalization (Like watching it happen to someone else)
RETROCOGNITION: Opens the senses to time and space. The Talent can experience the past of a given location or object they are holding. Costs depend on how far the Talent rewinds.
A few minutes: 3WP and 1 SAN
A few hours: 6WP and 1D4 SAN
A few days: 9WP and 1D6 SAN
Visions may inflict their own SAN costs.
REMOTE VIEWING: For 6WP and 1D4 SAN, the Talent summons a vision of a distant, unseen target. They must know the person, place or thing they’re looking for, either what the target looks like or where it is. Each minute of viewing after the first costs 1 SAN and 1WP. The ability to direct the vision is limited, and objects and people may move “out of frame” or speak inaudibly. If used to view another Talents, the target gets an INT test to realize they are being watched.
BLOWBACK: Talents are vulnerable to psychic attacks from non-human entities. Any POW or SAN save to resist a mental assault by such a being is made at -20%.
DESCRIPTION: Bruce Armstrong dropped out of medical school because he couldn’t handle the visions – of murder, suicide, horror. ESPER picked him up when they caught him sifting literature on remote viewing. Bruce is small and sunburns easily, often appearing lost or confused. He is nervous in the desert because of his dreams about an ancient underground city in the sand.

> GINGER KELLY, Hoon Chieftain
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 13, INT 10, POW 10, CHA 11
HP 12, WP 10, SAN 29, BP 19
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Drive 70%, Firearms 40%, Melee Weapons 40%, Unarmed 60%
ATTACKS: Unarmed 50%, 1D4
Big Knife 40%, 1D6
Lever-action shotgun 40%, 2D6
DESCRIPTION: Red-haired, rarely without his flying-goggles, swaggers around like a young Clint Eastwood. Doesn’t look anything like his “brother” Arthur.

> TYPICAL HOON, Zoomers-in-Cars
STR 10, CON 10, DEX 12, INT 10, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 10, WP 10, SAN 33, BP 30
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, Melee Weapons 40%, Unarmed 50%
ATTACKS: Unarmed 50%, 1D4
Iron-bar, bicycle-chain, bottle etc. 40%, 1D6
DESCRIPTION: Young, flinty-eyed, rough-and-ready, speed-freak “sons” of the Outback. Can’t leave until they get their revenge. Trust in Ginger and the meteorite. The meteorite more, actually.

> TYPICAL OLD FOLK, Boomers-in-Denial
STR 10, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 10, POW 11, CHA 10
HP 10, WP 10, SAN 55, BP 44
SKILLS: As base
ATTACKS: Unarmed 40% 1D4
Burning torches 40%, 1D4 + Burning
Hunting Rifles 20%, 1D10
DESCRIPTION: Sunburned, insular and bonded by a secret never to be told. Would rather die than leave Kookahunga.

> MIKEY MULLIGAN, Stockman-turned-Detective
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 12, INT 10, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 12, WP 09, SAN 50, BP 40
SKILLS: Alertness 30%, Craft (Animal Husbandry) 50%, Drive 40%, Firearms 40%, Heavy Machinery 50%, Stealth 40%
ATTACKS: Unarmed 40%, 1D4
.243 Win Lithgow Bolt-action Rifle 40%, 1D12+2
DESCRIPTION: Burly 20-something with fists like hams and a mission to find his girlfriend. Grudgingly accepts police aid if he can lump the kidnappers before the handcuffs go on.

> ARTHUR KELLY, Nervous Traffic Warden
STR 10, CON 10, DEX 11, INT 11, POW 09, CHA 08
HP 10, WP 09, SAN 45, BP 36
SKILLS: As base
ATTACKS: Unarmed 40%, 1D4
DESCRIPTION: Sandy-haired, gangling coward who knows to keep his mouth shut or his “father” (the Mayor) or “brother” (Ginger) will whip him bloody. Treated with disdain and exasperation by everyone in town.

HP 40, WP 40
SKILLS: Sit there like a lump of metal 100%
ARMOR: See Made of Metal
ATTACKS: Alien Thought, touch only (special)
EMF: The ore can manipulate electromagnetic energy, fogging film, wiping computer memory, frying electronics. It costs 10 WP and takes effect within a mile or two.
IMPOTENCE: Anyone living within 10-miles of the ore suffers sterility. Women cannot conceive. The longer you live there, the more permanent it is.
ALIEN THOUGHT: Victim must make SAN test. On success, they lose 1 SAN. On failure, they suffer 2D6. They gain an equal amount in Unnatural. Either way they receive insight into the ore’s origin, its sentience and the fact the hoons are building it a vessel to travel.
MADE OF METAL: The ore is impervious to all but magic and explosives of 20% lethality or greater. If blown apart, the individual parts may continue to be sentient at Handler’s decision.
RECHARGE: The ore can only recharge WP by being bathed in blood. It regains the same amount of WP as the amount of HP used, up to its maximum.

STR N/A, CON 30, DEX N/A, INT 30, POW 40
HP 45, WP 40
ARMOR: 10-points
SKILLS: Dodge 50%, Drive 90%
ATTACKS: Ram 70%, 15% lethality
EATS METAL: The Beast can replenish HP, up to its maximum, by destroying and “eating” metal (including other cars). Guns, kitchenware, etc. are worth 1HP each.
EMF: The meteorite can manipulate electromagnetic energy, fogging film, wiping computer memory, frying electronics. It costs 10 WP and takes effect within a mile or two.
RESILIENT: A successful Lethality roll does not destroy The Beast, but inflicts HP damage equal to the Lethality rating.
RUNS ON BLOOD: The Beast recharges its WP, up to its maximum, by sucking down the blood of its victims. It gains 1WP per 1HP of rammed, run-over victims.
SAN LOSS: 1/1D8 to see this living monstrosity of meat and metal
DESCRIPTION: A behemoth of blood-stained metal, bolted-on attachments, spiked tractor wheels, and a grille like a mouth. It roars like a demon and travels at speeds of upwards 100kph. If it escapes, stories of a “ghost-car” terrorizing lonely Outback roads are told for years after.


This was an entry to the 2020 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Agent Obtuse.

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