This is not your typical DG scenario. It is primarily a scenario of horrible tortures and impossible choices. Best to discuss if your group can stomach it. If they agree have them make a list of people and things their characters care deeply about.
It's the near future and the Americans pushed too hard on the Greys. So hard that the Greys abruptly ended the Accord and proceeded to nuke some cities making it appear as if America nuked itself. The scenario opens in Act 3 with the agents being tortured and then forced to choose the death of something cherished versus nuking an American city. It gets worse but don't worry. A keeper who doesn't want it to be super bleak may have less disturbing outcomes per below.
CURRENT AMERICAN CITIES NUKED TO HELL (in the span of 36 hours): DC, NYC, Chicago & Atlanta.
LIMITED STORY STRUCTURE
This scenario will focus only upon Act 3 and the epilogue because of a limited word count. It's up to the keeper to fill in the details for Acts 1 & 2. A daring keeper may want to do it like some movies and start with some scenes in Act 3 and then jump around with flashbacks though be warned this can be very challenging.
WHAT THE GREYS DESIRE
Three options: (1) if you want to go disturbingly bleak then they have long known humanity's time is ending. They are doing experiments to see how much pain in various forms the humans can take. From that experiment they then plan to create an abomination which remains partly human and which they will remove from this planet to put in their zoos and test labs and maybe human sexual fluids are a delicacy in their fungus food?.; (2) they wish to renegotiate the Accord from a position of nuclear strength. They plan to do far more experiments and will expect a certain number of living Americans to be offered up. The PCs are the beginning negotiators for this because as far as the Greys are concerned one “hairless monkey” over another doesn't make much of a difference.; or (3) a Yithian who is either kind or has a secret agenda rescues the PCs and gives them the chance to go back in time and change things back to “normal”. Grey desires optional.
ACT 3 OPENS UP/ DAY 1
Agents are strapped down on movable hard beds. It is impossible to break out. Don't let them do that or you'll ruin the tone. Sometimes the group is together and other times they are separated. Sterile, calm music at the gaming table may force your players to make real life SAN checks.
Agents are visited by serene nurse attendants with snake-like hypos. Things unnatural rustle underneath their pristine white lab coats. They have no name tags (though they will make a name up on the spot but then change it later) and when they smile their eyes do not. If agents try to be clever/humorous they will force a laugh out of the attendants but it will always die halfway in their throat. Kudos to keepers who can act it out.
DIALOGUE OF NURSE ATTENDANTS/GREYS
Use throughout scenario as needed.
“It is for your own good. Be grateful and worry not.” If PCs ask as to why they are being tortured.
“You are not in control. The sooner you accept this belief the better your life will become. Do you understand?” Do not let the players ask questions or maneuver. The NPCs will repeat the lines above until PCs accept. If the player pushes it on the third time they will be stuck with a slithering snake-like hypo 0/1D3 SAN as they go into seizure. 0/1 SAN to see it.
Later, they see some Greys in the background observing so 0/1 SAN. A bit later they come near the players and are holding human kidneys. Recently removed and dripping with fresh blood. Perhaps a human scream somewhere distant? 0/1D2 SAN
“No one is coming to save you. There is no cavalry on their way. You are alone.” Best said when a PC is at a low point or the group has hit rock bottom.
“We will work with you. If you comply then you will survive. Do you wish to survive?” Again if the particular player or player won't answer have the NPC pull out a strange alien looking device that seems similar to a gun. “This is your last chance to comply.” If resistance continues the keeper may elect to have the PC's head blown off (assuming you have a back up character which is easily inserted since the Greys are torturing many people in a variety of “rooms” and realities) or simply have a hand or leg or arm amputated before their eyes. Appropriate SAN checks.
Some of the Greys will show up later and maybe even reveal their Mi-Go masters 1/1D6 SAN. They may execute humans in front of the PCs to make them submit. Perhaps people the PCs care for?
It is necessary to have several things that each PC cares about whether it's people, an ideal, someone they admire and so forth. Try to see if the group can avoid making jokes to ease their tension. Remember, don't cheat yourself. This is serious shit.
Agents are shown a live camera view of several major US cities. They are told to pick one to be nuked. If they fail to do so then one of the things they care about is destroyed before their eyes on the camera. 1D2/1D6 or higher. 1D6/2D10 for watching the inhabitants of a city being nuked. Repeat this torture until it lags.
Later, the Gray tells the agent to pick whether he wants his left eyeball removed or that of a fellow agent. CONx5 to stay conscious. 1/1D6 to see a comrade's eyeball surgically removed the Mi-Go way. If you wish to amp it up have the removed eyeball eaten by one of the agents. Eating it 1/1D4 SAN; 0/1 to watch or maybe more if your group seems grossed out. Alternatively, this can be punishment if the PC refuses to choose a city or something important to him/her. Further silence means its the PC eyeball that gets removed and force fed.
for those who have survived said agents are told something “wonderful and edifying” is going to happen. What proceeds then is a horror upon horror as their body parts are taken apart yet they can see it all because their heads are detached and in strange cylinders as they are combined with other strange creatures (your choosing but I personally like a bit of Deep One, a dash of ghoul and a sprinkling of Gug). 1D6/2D10+4 SAN loss.
the world is broken and then some but the Greys have decided to use the PCs as ambassadors. They want 10,000 humans every six months and double the number of livestock and mining rights through dummy corporations. What do the humans have to bargain with? At first it won't seem like much but it's clear the Greys could wipe them out yet they do not. Idea rolls if needed. PCs can threaten to annihilate themselves and expose the Greys to the whole world. The Greys do not desire this so it's possible to bargain them down. Compassionate players will try to save human lives and maybe even livestock. Machiavellian players will go for tech knowledge tied into the Cookbook. Godlike players will attempt both and succeed. Yet another possibility is that something new about the Greys is negotiated/learned. Endless possibilities.
give the players a chance to change time. Arguably the best way to do this is to have them be rescued by a Yithian in the body of someone trustworthy. He or she will enter and kill the torturers. Later, it will share “the possibility of making it normal once more.” From there you can come up with all types of ideas and even a campaign. Why trust the Yithian? The Yithian would say, “You are welcome to not trust me and stay in this bleak existence or you can travel back into the time stream with my vessel.”
Yithian lets them reset time for a price or maybe it wants humanity to continue so as to study it and thus demands little to nothing from the players. Another option is that the Yithian is pulling a bait and switch of some sort on the players and is allied with the Greys. Perhaps the players changed something or remember something that is needed to continue/change this time continuum? Perhaps time is out of control and the Yithian has no idea but wishes to find out using the humans as pawns?
This was an entry in the 2014 shotgun scenario contest, written by Shannon Mac