View Full Version : Ideas for haunted/possessed asylum adventure in the 1940's?

2014-12-11, 07:54 PM
Hey, I'm in the middle of running an occult ww2 campaign, and the party has become trapped in a mental asylum that has been possessed by a psychic demon that was accidentally set loose by the Nazi's, and the spirits of all those mad patients who died in the asylum are now haunting it too (driven restless by the demon). Also, the possession has warped space, effectively turning the haunted asylum into an ever shifting maze.

Anyways, though I have a general idea of where this is going and how it would end, I was hoping for more ideas on things they may encounter in various rooms. Any creepy ideas you guys have?

2014-12-11, 09:41 PM
Oh man, this sounds like a blast.

Some ideas:

1. Required: the room that suddenly has hands come out and try to grab the party.

2. Also required: the room with the person huddling in the corner, who turns when they approach and turns out to have something seriously wrong.

3. A room with something deeply odd in it. Not even necessarily threatening, just... slightly off. Let the party examine it for a while until they get brave enough to touch or interact with it. Then ask them what exactly it is they want to touch, and describe the completely normal, empty room they're in.

4. Oh, another required one: in any given room with a shut door, describe something attempting to destroy the door and force it's way in. When the door finally opens there is, of course, nothing there.

4a. It's actually around the corner, waiting for them.

5. As they are walking through a hallway, describe a dripping noise halfway down it. When the party approaches, they realize it's blood. Then it begins to pour blood along the entire hallway. Entirely up to you whether they're still covered in blood when they leave the hallway, or if it's gone and they look back to see a puddle of water instead.

I could really do these all day, love horror. If no one else posts any, and if you like these, I'll keep going.

2014-12-11, 10:47 PM
Awesome suggestions from daemonaetea! Let's see if I can add to it.

1. Perhaps one or more of the spirits attempts to possess one or more of the players. Possession need not mean that the player is completely without their character. . . perhaps they find themselves seeing something the others don't, or must battle the spirit within their own mind, coming "face to face" with the broken mind of the possessing spirit.

2. I would consider adding in a spirit or two who might attract the sympathies of the PCs. Perhaps they are terrified by the demon and through their ghostly means, they beg the PCs for help.

3. You might already have this in mind, what with the "ever shifting maze", but I'd want to have them go through a door only to find themselves entering the opposite side of the room they were just in, and there on the far end they see themselves going through the door. Essentially, messing with the characters' own perceptions of reality. Make them loose time, gain time, get turned around, see the wrong face in the mirror, essentially make them feel like the asylum is driving them insane. Go even further! Blind them with light and as their eyes adjust they find themselves at the nurse's window as she doles out their afternoon medications!

Anyway, should be a pretty interesting session!

2014-12-12, 01:32 AM
Great ideas! Anyone have any ideas that fit specifically with occult world war 2?

2014-12-12, 10:37 PM
Afraid I don't know of anything occult related to WW2 (well, except from the Hellboy movie...). If you've got examples of what you mean, or occult happenings in your campaign you'd like tied in, I'm sure we could work with that.

2014-12-13, 01:11 PM
I can always recommend minor changes to a room each time they return to it. As for fitting it to the era, the http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/russian-sleep-experiment (Russian Sleep Experiment) creepypasta might be worth reading. Other ideas could be that those running the asylum wanted to use demonic posession to create super-soldiers, and perhaps they decided that, if for whatever reason corpses didn't work, a brain-dead patient could be an acceptable substitute. Then they might have found they were burning through those, and either made some more or used more conscious ones.
A contemporary twist on modern horror conventions might be worth considering. The ghosts might mess with the phone and radio, but what about if the asylum still has a telegram installed?
The Thule society would probably be a good place to look for gratuitous symbology.

2014-12-15, 11:17 PM
Afraid I don't know of anything occult related to WW2 (well, except from the Hellboy movie...). If you've got examples of what you mean, or occult happenings in your campaign you'd like tied in, I'm sure we could work with that.

In the campaign so far, the Ahnenerbe (Nazi occult archaeologists) have discovered the existence of the Trumpets of the Valkyries, ancient magical artifacts that summon champions through time and space to aid whoever activated them. It is said that if one were to gather all seven Trumpets, they would rule the world uncontested. After the Nazis uncovered the first two trumpets, Merlin, who has secretly been alive all this time and living under aliases (currently Dr. Myrdin), enlisted the aid of Dr. Henry Jones to beat the Nazis and their summoned champions to the third trumpet. Merlin tried and failed to destroy the third trumpet, and when the Nazis almost caught them, Dr. Jones inadvertently activated the item summoning heroes to the allies cause from across the multiverse(the PCs). Morgan le Fay has been working against the party (not out of loyalty to the Nazis, but simply out of spite towards Merlin), and almost killed them when they were in their first mission in Nepal to find clues to the location of the next trumpet. After nearly escaping demise at both her hands and the hands of undead nazis in an abandoned base where an experiment with the first trumpet went horribly wrong, the party has followed clues to an old Asylum in Amiens, France. There've been strange reports of supernatural phenomena shortly after the Ahnenerbe took it over, and the party believes a Trumpet is at the heart of it. While exploring the Asylum, the party entered a door into a dark room and promptly discovered the door had disappeared behind them, and was separated. They were reunited, but what they don't know yet is that one of them have been replaced by a doppelganger (who has been doing a great job at subtly sabotaging them and making them suspicious of each other). They are now making their way through a maze that superficially looks like a darker more twisted version of the asylum, with new horror behind each turn.

EDIT: It may be worth noting that the odd nature of the trumpet allowed the players to create *anything* they wanted as a character (as long as they were heroic characters), and they decided to role up existing characters from other fiction. So currently exploring the Asylum is Goliath (from Gargoyles - he kind of acts as the team's Hellboy), the wizard Prospero (from The Tempest), Luke Skywalker (jedi knight), and Maxwell Smart (from Get Smart). They've been fighting in World War 2 for a few months now, and are adapting quite well to their new world and have learned to use its technology, customs, etc.

2014-12-16, 10:52 PM
You could probably find some inspiration from the SCP Foundation.

This exploration log (http://www.scp-wiki.net/transcript-epsilon-12-1555) has more of an industrial feel, but the spacetime abnormalities are creepy.

2014-12-17, 12:24 AM
The room where time is wrong. Nothing shows about it but whoever steps out and in again steps out and becomes very hungry and thirsty. Or maybe they bar the door and rest in it but come out with no rest at all. Watches spin in weird ways and the sun jumps when they step in and when they step out. But not inside. Inside seems quite Ok and safe.

The room of Maupassant. Someone who was a young grownup at the time he was writing is old now. Or died young at the time of one of his short stories. Or Maupassant himself. He went crazy at the end.

The tinnitus room. Get a timer that makes a lot of noise. Put time on it. Run it whenever someone is in the room all the time someone is in the room. Nothing has to happen when it rings when someone is in the room but it might be fun. :smallbiggrin:

2014-12-17, 09:04 PM
Couple ideas based on what you said:

At one point, if one of them gets ahead of the group, describe that they find a trumpet ahead of them on the floor. Make sure that just as they're reaching for it another of the party members comes around a corner, sees it, and has a chance to warn them. Have the first player roll a reflex save, or system equivalent, to not actually stick their hand into the bear trap / electrified pool of water / hazard of your choice. Repeat it again later, but have all of them see a trumpet, and an enemy soldier who also sees it and is trying to grab it before they do. Is it a trap, they think? Why yes, yes it is. Is the trumpet there? No, no it is not. Do they have to touch it anyway, just in case? Why yes, I believe they do.

Second, again preferably when one of them is alone, have them enter a padded room. The door slams shut behind them. They turn around, and suddenly it no longer seems as if they're no longer in a dark and dingy asylum. Instead it seems brightly lit, clean, and new. Have them see someone they knew from their previous world, and a doctor, standing outside the door. For instance, Leia for Luke.

"How is he, doctor? Any progress?"
"I'm afraid not. He seems to still be suffering the same delusion."

Have their loved one plead with them to stop this nonsense. Plead with them to "take their medicine".

Have someone, an orderly, enter the room with a cup of medicine. Hint: it's not medicine. It's not an orderly. Or is it?

No, it's not.

2014-12-18, 10:59 AM
Great ideas! Anyone have any ideas that fit specifically with occult world war 2?

*says something about COD: Zombies*

But in seriousness, horror is easy to make ideas for. Anything that gives just enough information to leave some scary looking blank spaces can work very well. The party hears footsteps upstairs, maybe add a limp to the sound to suggest somebody sounding injured, or add scraping for the classic "big scary man-creature carrying big, scary blade". Of course there's nobody there when they hunt it down, but the sound keeps persisting from different areas after a while. Maybe have this sound run several sessions, or be a recurring thing if it's a PbP type game. Whether it ends up actually being anything is up to you. If they feel like there is something out to get them, they'll (hopefully) act a bit more paranoid.

They enter a corridor, and hear a noise from the door they just came through as though it locked. Similar sounds echo throughout the hallway. They just begin to notice a faint odor of smoke. Checking the door, and several others confirms they are indeed locked. The smell begins to get stronger.

Statues moving when you look away from them is always popular, for good reason. Even if it is just a change of expression. Maybe have one following behind them the entire time, getting just a little bit closer every time they look away. Have another at a split between paths, pointing down one path. The way is just a loop, but every time they come out, it is pointing opposite the way it was before. It also seems to be making eye contact, despite standing perfectly still.

Non-Euclidean spaces. Makes sure they're always one step behind on navigating. Bonus points if they make a map, only to crumble it up and throw it away several times. If you need inspiration, play some Antichamber. Falling into mirrors, your old path changing when you look back, etc.

2014-12-19, 02:42 AM
If I may suggest a different approach to what anyone else has, I think you should treat the asylum as you would a town. A lot of the ideas in this thread would work well for an abandonned asylum, but in the 1940s the asylum could well be in full use, full of shellshocked soldiers, or people left to rot because they have a mental illness. Interactions with the other inmates could be a key part of the adventure. For example, the PCs could have to investigate the delusions of various imates, having to sort through which are simply figments of the patients' imaginations, and which are actual eldrich horrors. Hell, they could have to figure out if some of the patients themselves are delusions.

On top of that, I'd make the asylum inescapable. Perfectly clean and cleanly on the inside, but when they try to leave they find themselves in the same spot as they started. The idea here is to start making the PCs feel like they are patients themselves, and as such aren't allowed to leave. Throw in some stuff like having them be registered as patients under different names, and see how they react. Do they go after the staff, thinking they're the ones keeping them here? Perhaps that might be a bad idea...

Of course, the quintessential text here would be One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It should give you some good ideas, and it's a great read anyway, so go check it out if you haven't already.

2014-12-19, 11:48 AM
Why don't you make the head nazi (cultist/wizard/demonologist or whatever) someone who is uging a vile and dark type of magic that involves blood.

Using the blood of the jews(Who are the elected people of a eldrich abomination AKA: God) he is trying to command the lesser eldritch abominations(AKA: angels) but something went wrong and now the angel(Who looks nothing like we think angels do) is out of control.

His room is full of jars filled with blood. Each jar has a spell and when broken itis activated. It is also full of leeches that the players can eat to gain powers such as see the invisible or something similar.

Now they have a moral choice. Use this horrible magic to defeat the demon or burn everything and have a harder time fighting that thing.

You can also have a plot twist where after they kill the demon using the blood magic they end up cursed or maybe just get some blood-related disease.

EDIT: This IS a horror game right?