Class 3 Bs Esp Club

An empty apartment just before moving. An echoing stairwell in a concrete office building. A parkade at two in the morning. An unfamiliar laundromat in a different part of town. Spaces where reality seems to stretch or squash as we stand dimly aware of our removal from the rhythms and regularities of our lives.

These are spaces of ambiguity and uncertainty; not destinations in themselves, but stops along the way to somewhere else. To linger too long invites a traveler’s malaise: a creeping fear of overstaying one’s welcome in these non-places, or perhaps not being able to leave the way one came. These are rare, but important spaces where rare and important work is to be done and those who linger may catch glimpses of those who are at work.

Four youngsters frequent these thresholds to ply a mysterious trade, guiding their temporary guests towards something. Perhaps something they wouldn’t notice without the altered frame of mind common to the threshold. Perhaps a welcome discovery or a revelation that was heretofore diligently avoided.

Club Members

All appear as schoolchildren, about 14 to 15 years of age, wearing school uniforms and hairstyles from the early 1970’s. Club members may appear to individuals of their choosing, but only from within ‘thresholds’; the liminal spaces-between-spaces that litter the odd corners of the waking world. Crossroads, bridges and doorways are classic examples, but more out-of-the-ordinary places are acceptable. Each has preferred locations, but members of the Club can appear anywhere in the world, provided a suitable haunt. For the time being, their inscrutable work seems to keep them confined to Japan.

Their appearances are meant to attract the attention of particular people and to compel them to do particular things. They mutely goad their visitors into avoiding or investigating something through gestures, expressions, and the mouthing of words. Once an investigator moves towards them, they disappear behind doors or melt into darkness. Their individual interventions may be difficult to explain, but taken together, they seem to be manipulating causality for some undetermined end. They may be helpful or harmful, but they should always be mysterious.

Each appears at a particular time of day and is associated with certain kinds of tasks. Details on each are below. No stats are provided, as Club members are completely insubstantial: they cannot be attacked or killed, nor can they directly attack or kill agents. They are visible in mirrors, digital video and photographs but appear as completely black silhouettes in film photography. A Handler may decide if they can be warded off with Shinto Talismans or Elder Signs.


Appearance: Sports a shockingly 70s shag cut and sailor suit with loose socks. Her lower face is obscured with a non-medical mask and she carries a PVC umbrella printed with some local mascot.
Task: Breaking Cycles
Example encounter: You saw that little girl again, this time in that alleyway off Dogenzaka street. Was that Southeast Asian shop always there? Whatever: it's on your turf and no one ducks protection payment on your watch.
Preferred haunts:

  • Early Morning
  • Love hotels during the day
  • Bars and clubs after closing
  • Closed beaches


Appearance: Tall and portly. Their big eyes are made even larger by a set of coke-bottle glasses. They appear to be closely studying books and comics, making notes in the margins with a pencil.
Tasks: Altering Courses
Example Encounter: What the hell was that kid doing in the middle of the road? Now your car’s totalled and the only nearby town doesn’t seem to show up on any maps or guide-books.
Preferred haunts:

  • Midday
  • Vacant buildings
  • Bus stops in the rain
  • Traintracks


Appearance: Wiry, with a snaggle toothed grin. He wears his uniform jacket open over a dusty white undershirt and sports a ballcap with a calligraphy ‘L’ embroidered on the front.
Tasks: Tricking people
Example encounter: You went downstairs to tell off that kid who keeps playing in that empty lot, but on your way you swear you heard Erin on the phone, giggling about that delivery man. She must never disrespect you like this again.
Preferred haunts:

  • Evenings
  • Abandoned parks
  • Alleyways
  • Public bathrooms


Appearance: Short, young and grim. His uniform is immaculate and he holds a Yosegi puzzle box in his hands at all times.
Tasks: Testing people
Example encounter: You’d been tailing that brat for days when found the storage locker key he dropped at the station. The kid wasn’t in the locker, but the urn was, and whatever’s inside is starting to make some enticing promises.
Preferred haunts:

  • Midnight
  • Airports
  • Theme parks after closing
  • Elevators

Club Supervisor(s)

The members of the Club cannot interact with the physical world in any substantial way, but their plans often require certain objects to be moved to certain places, doors to be unlocked and maps to be marked. It would be tedious to rely on a chain of individual apparitions to move the pieces in place, but fortunately for the Club, the altered perceptions of the insane allow them to perceive Club members outside of their thresholds. The Club selects some of these individuals to complete earthly tasks for them in exchange for fulfilling some of their desires. The Club always has at least one active Supervisor and never more than two. An example supervisor is presented under the statblock heading below.

The Club is not above driving individuals to madness if they believe they would serve as a useful supervisor. Their preferred method is to lead a victim to discover or confront an ugly truth about a loved one, superior or themselves. If the victim reacts negatively, the Club manipulates the people and world around them to drive them further into despair and madness. Alternatively, the Club may employ a more aggressive strategy, instructing another Club Supervisor to plant false evidence of some misdeed and lead a loved one or superior to discover it. A series of other well-placed misdirections are usually all it takes for the victim to question their own sanity and begin a downward spiral. Once their prospective Supervisor is teetering on the edge, the Club will offer them their first task.

This fate can be avoided. In the former case, handling the revelation and accepting a changed life will convince them to leave you alone: perhaps in passing through that mental threshold you move beyond their reach. In the latter case, discovering and stopping the Club Supervisor may put an end to the Club’s machinations.

Researching the Club

There is almost no material online or in-print mentioning the Club, save for an old webpage started by a former Club Supervisor in the early days of his affliction.

The Club members themselves have a few distinguishing marks and savvy agents may put these together:

  • President’s jacket bears an embroidered school logo of broad leaves in a triangle. A Botany or Art History roll recognizes this as stylized camphor leaves.
  • The mascot on Secretary’s umbrella is Wagamachi-Kun, a mascot for the city of Munakata in Fukuoka prefecture.
  • Treasurer’s cap bears a Seibu Lions logo. The Lions played in Fukuoka until 1979.
  • Vice-President is wearing a pair of Onitsuka AcTiger Volley 55 volleyball shoes. This model was first released in Japan in 1972.

Based on these, Agents can hopefully surmise that the Club has its origins in Munakata in the 70s. A review of local high schools reveals that a Kusuzaki Senior High (Kusuzaki translates directly to ‘camphor tree’) was in operation during that time. Each member of the Club is present in the ‘73 yearbook, but the ESP Clubs seems to have disbanded that year following a traumatic experience on a school trip.
Strangely, further research shows that all members of the Club lived long after their high school years, but most met bizarre ends. Treasurer died in a street racing accident in his early twenties. Secretary was murdered by a serial killer in ‘89. Vice President was declared dead in 2000 and was last seen in ’97, wandering into a tunnel in a mountain road. President is a Senior VP of Tokio Marine Bank.


Mr. Sadakazu Ushigawa
Current Supervisor of the ESP Club

STR 11 CON 12 DEX 13 INT 12 POW 7 CHA 9
HP 11, WP 7, SAN 0
SKILLS: Alertness %60*, Athletics %35, Stealth %40*, Search %60*, Dodge %50*
ATTACKS: Improvised Bludgeon %40, 1d6 damage
*HEADS-UP: Ushigawa has no powers of his own, but the Club can use theirs to assist him in his tasks or get him out of dangerous situations. They can guide him toward lost or hidden items, show him escape routes, and alert him to danger. If for some reason, the ESP club abandons him, skills marked with * are reduced by half.

Mr. Ushigawa is a plain-looking middle aged man, dressed in a rumpled suit and filthy eyeglasses. Ushigawa graduated university just before the economic crash of the ‘90s, leading to a life of temporary employment and quiet misery in a small apartment shared with his mother.
He first encountered Club three years ago and has since travelled up and down Japan attending to their whims. The Club directs him towards lost purses and wallets, dropped jewelry and unattended food and electronics and he uses the proceeds to fund a meagre existence of love hotels and convenience store dinners.


This was an entry to the 2020 shotgun scenario contest. Written by James Harrison.

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