Now You See Me

A shotgun scenario for one Agent. Adding others works, too.

The Threat

An Agent has become the Obsession for a Vanity.

The Vanity is a trans-dimensional doppelganger life-thief. It survives in reality on the cosmic energy contained within an Obsession’s soul. It exists within the Mirror Realm, a pale dimensional copy of reality.

The Vanity yearns for the fullness of flesh and the allure of life.
Above all else, it seeks to live beyond its prison in the Mirror Realm.

Like a reflection, a Vanity can not exist without an original. It becomes attached to a person looking into the Mirror Realm, to the point of Obsession. Once a Vanity develops an Obsession, it doesn’t stop until it has fully absorbed the life and soul of its target. The Vanity attempts to live its Obsession’s life when it can.

The source of many unsolved murders and baffling suicides, it travels through any non-biological reflective surface with ease: windows, mirrors, cellphone screens, stillwater. It can remain there indefinitely, or exit through another reflective surface visible via line of sight from its last point of transdimensional travel.
NOTE: The surface must be reflective, not merely shiny.

First Contact

The Agent may have encountered the Vanity while sanitizing the residence of a deceased Agent (suicide). The Vanity lurks in a mirror, waiting for its next target.

If this is the case, the deceased will have been the Obsession for a period of three weeks.
In that time, the Vanity commandeered their Obsession’s work, doing better than the Obsession had. This is due to the Vanity attacking their work with vigor, enthusiasm, and joy.

The deceased’s family and coworkers speak highly of the deceased, saying they have no idea why this happened, that during the preceding three weeks they repaired several emotional divides, they completed numerous work assignments, and their life showed so much promise.

or

The disturbed contents of a Green Box (say, during a minor earthquake) where a temporary prison for the Vanity had been in place (two mirrors taped shut facing each other fell down, opening up). The Obsession attracts the attention of the monster in a mirror shard.

Either way, the Vanity waits, following and studying the Obsession. When the time comes, it attempts to fill the Obsession’s shoes.

Running This Scenario

Utilize otherwise “safe” areas for the Agent: home, work, commuting, shopping, wherever Bonds are. The Vanity does its best to appear in places the Obsession is not.
Save the Agent encountering themself for a special time. The Obsession should have no idea how any of this occurred.

Examples:

  • Workplace: coworker comments on the Agent repeatedly coming through the door . At the Agent’s work area, their latest project has been disturbed. Their supervisor applauds them for their latest work effort.
  • Home: The Vanity is interacting with the the Obsession’s spouse or child, perhaps reading their child a bedtime story or finally fixing that pipe under the sink as they promised their spouse.
  • Abstract: The Obsession’s mother calls and tells them how glad they were to see them last night. A photo on social media of the Obsession they have no recollection of.
  • The Obsession see themselves on security camera monitors at another place, or a recording of themselves doing something they have no memory of doing.
  • The Obsession comes home to find the Vanity in bed with their partner.

When confronted, the Vanity flees through the closest reflective surface. The surface visibly ripples as a portal to the Mirror Realm remains open for 4 combat rounds.

If the surface is large enough for an Agent to fit through, they may follow. This costs 1/1d4 SAN and an equal amount of WP. See Mirror Realm.

As confrontations happen more frequently, the Agent should have to go to greater lengths to hide the existence of the Vanity.
It’s likely they will attempt to figure out the physics of it all.

Convincing a Bond they are delusional is a Persuade or CHAx5 test. On a failure, the Bond may go along with it, but it costs 1 point from the Bond score. More elaborate lies may call for tests with penalties and result in harsher penalties.

As the Obsession encounters the Vanity more and more, it begins to lash out:

  • Inappropriate or criminal acts at work
  • Causing terror at home by making a spouse or child uncomfortable or afraid. Attempts to take Bonds away or hold them hostage.

The incidents escalate to outright violence, as the Vanity lashes out at being unable to live its Obsession’s life.

Threaten the Agent’s Bonds. Over time they may loathe the Agent; explore the consequences.

Sample SAN Losses

Seeing yourself: 0/1d4
Seeing the Vanity flee through the closest reflective surface: 0/1d4
Find the Vanity in bed with your spouse: 1/1d4 (Helplessness)
Seeing Vanity as yourself harmed: as Violence table, but sourced Helplessness
Trapped in the Mirror Realm: 1/1d8

Traveling

The Vanity abuses physics but it is still slower than Agents, usually.

  • Constraints for Vanity travel
  • Hitchhike down roads via car and building windows
  • Can hitch rides from people via sunglasses, cell phone screens, or makeup mirrors.
  • Can bounce around the edges of a room from windows, picture frames, and mirrors.

Other Tips

  • The Obsession makes use of MIRROR IMAGE to its advantage, either by disarming themself, causing harm or peril to themself, etc.
  • If the Obsession cannot see themself, neither can the Vanity.

The Mirror Realm

The Mirror Realm lies beyond the last reflective surface the Vanity traveled through.

It is entropic, hollow, and empty. Over a short distance, light fades away into nothingness, a darkness that can’t be broken up by any light source.
The only other sources of light are additional reflective surfaces, which now serve as “windows.” These can be destroyed from the inside, to cut off avenues of retreat.
When this occurs, these reality side surface no longer function as a mirror (SAN loss 0/1 Unnatural).

It’s always possible to leave the Mirror Realm from the inside, so long as there is a reflective surface to travel through.

Temporary Fixes: The Vanity may resurface months or years later.

  • “Trapping” the Vanity is accomplished by closing off the reflective surface that it entered last.
    • Removing all reflective surfaces except one and spraypainting it black
    • Forcing the last two mirrors together and taping them shut
    • Removing light from a room.
  • Death of the Obsession in reality. The Vanity was in reality and the energy of their Obsession fades from death, it must retreat to the Mirror Realm. This becomes a permanent fix if the Vanity can’t make it home.

Permanent Fixes:

  • If the Obsession dies in the Mirror Realm, the Vanity loses a link to soul energy, and fades. If they have company, it’s possible to bring them back from the dead.
  • The Vanity dies within the Mirror Realm.
  • Closing off all avenues of exit inside the Mirror Realm, perhaps leaving the one exit for Agents to retreat through. Crafty Agents will think to drop an explosive behind them as they leave.

Conclusion

If the Obsession is imprisoned in the Mirror Realm, it’s not the end of the game; this Agent is now a Vanity portraying the Agent. Bonds and other Agents may not ever know the difference.

This changes play in the following ways: On a temporary insanity, the Vanity-Agent always choose flee, and seeks the nearest reflective surface. A Motivation of the Agent’s is replaced with “Living Life to the Fullest.”
At the next Breaking Point, the Agent receives Disorder: Obsession (new target), triggering the Vanity to seek a new life. Should this happen, the Agent’s soul, likeness, and consciousness become trapped forever.

If the Vanity-Agent dies, the Vanity retreats into the closest reflective surface. If there is no reflective surface, the Vanity vanishes.

If the Agent temporarily stops the Vanity, reward them with 1d4 SAN.
If the Agent permanently stops the Vanity, reward them with 1d6 SAN.

Statblock

Vanity. Transdimensional Doppelganger Life-Thief.
STR * CON * DEX * POW 15 INT * CHA *
*see MIRROR IMAGE
HP 1 WP 15
Armor: FRAGILE (in reality), PERSISTENT (in Mirror Realm)
Attacks: As the Obsession’s own
Skills: As the Obsession’s own
BAD LUCK: Destroying a mirror a Vanity lurks inside of imposes bad luck upon the destroyer. For (18-CHA) hours, failures rolled by the curse become fumbles.
FRAGILE: Any damage to the Vanity in reality destroys it. Its attacker suffers as BAD LUCK.
OBSESSION: A Vanity seeks realness beyond that which exists in the Mirror Realm. Once it locks onto a target, the Vanity’s goal is to live the target’s life, and consuming its soul.
PERSISTENT: Imbued with unnatural vitality, a successful Lethality roll destroys it, but it takes only half HP damage from attacks (including failed Lethality rolls). Hypergeometry inflicts full damage.
REFLECTIVE: A Vanity can travel through any non-biological reflective surface: windows, mirrors, cellphone screens, stillwater. The size does not matter. It can remain there indefinitely, or exit through another reflective surface visible via line of sight from its last point of transdimensional travel. Note: The surface must be reflective, not merely shiny.
MIRROR IMAGE: A Vanity chooses a target for their Obsession. After STUDY, it can create a perfect copy of a target that gazes into it within a reflective surface. However, the Vanity is a left/right flip of their Obsession.
STUDY: The Vanity spends a round studying their Obsession looking outwardly from the Mirror Realm. Doing so, they absorb a current “image” of their Obsession, gaining a fresh copy of the Obsession’s memory and knowledge.

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.