Death Street Game

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Summary

Life, Death, the world exists in an endless karmic cycle. But normal humans don't know anything about that- at least not until they die.

When the key arrived in the mail, you stopped being a normal human. Whatever your life was before, it changed, fundamentally, with that arrival.

An unexpected destiny awaits you, at the corner of Death Street & Despair.


What is it?

Death Street is a game about the afterlife- but an afterlife that may seem unfamiliar and strange. It is a game about strange beasts, and those who fight them, and about normal men and women donning a mantle of responsibility to balance the world of the living and the dead.


Prelude

You have been called- by curiosity, or perhaps some other force, to investigate the strange key you received in the mail, and the strange letter that accompanied it. Directed to a decrepit looking bed and breakfast in a sleepy little town, you find an abandoned and forbidding place.

Though you don't arrive all at once, you each find that your key unlocks a single, well furnished room. Though some of you may feel like leaving, you feel compelled to stay, compelled to spend a night here, in this place. The letter promises your questions will be answered, and to the last you decide to give it a shot.

Maybe it will all turn out to be some sort of giant prank- and you could use the laugh, right?



Night falls and one by one you turn out the lights and go to sleep.


And when you wake, everything is different. Where once there was an abandoned inn, now is a place in the best shape of its life, a warm and welcoming eatery. You exit your rooms to the smell of fresh breakfast cooking, and make your way downstairs to find your answers.


And those answers... they change you. Will it be for the better, or for worse? And when you're called by a destiny you never expected, will you step up to the challenge, or fall by the wayside?

Rules

Character Creation

10 Questions that define you

1. Who were you before you found your key? Your name and personal details.

2. What did you do for a living? Where you a student, a homemaker, in the army, or perhaps retired?

3. Did you have any interest in the occult, or in fantasy before you found your key? If so, what sort of interest?

4. Have you ever seen anything strange that you can't explain? If so, what?

5. Are you religious? If so, what religion do you follow, and how strongly do you believe in it?

6. Have you ever been in a fight? If so, what did you do? If not, what are your plans, if any, to get out of one?

7. Has anyone close to you died recently? If not, has anyone close to you died a longer time ago?

8. Were you adopted as a child, or raised by your birth parents? Are they living or dead?

9. What sort of person would you want to be, if you had the power to be anyone you chose?

10. Have you ever suffered from depression, or ennui? If so, how did you get past it? Did you get past it?


Organizations and Major NPCs

Reaper Kings

The official police force of the after life, the Reaper Kings are part grim reaper, part beat cop, and actually have a formal police uniform- if a bit outdated- that they wear under their reaper cloaks. The cloaks themselves are actually the vestments of their office, and empower them to do their job. While the Reaper Kings also have their own personal 'weapon' that differs from King to King, it holds no power of its own, but is instead a sort of spiritual focus engine through which the Reaper Kings can channel their inborn power.

The Reaper Kings as an organization draw membership primarily from the recently deceased- those with drive and motivation whom are still fresh from life's touch. However they also occasionally employ the living as Kings- usually individuals with some unique talent power that makes them vital to the task of maintaining the balance of the afterlife.

Each Reaper King is capable of assuming a 'Skeleton Mask', which is an innate ability that lets them assume a mantle of authority among the dead (and look like a skeleton as a result).


Sin Eaters

A smaller organization run by the 'Church of the Hereafter', the Sin Eaters are a paramilitary group whose driving goal is to locate those souls whom are consumed by their past deeds- usually evil- and through means of a secret ritual- draw that evil out of them. Certain individuals become so depraved over a long cycle of lives, that the taint begins affecting their soul. Even the long road to reincarnation is not long enough to clean their karmic slate.

The 'Eaters track down these individuals and draw the sin out of them, feeding it into many other souls. One insurmountable atrocity becomes many ever so minor slights, and the wheel of reincarnation remains on track for their efforts.


The Smiths

The Smiths, short for "Locksmiths", are a loose organization tasked with maintaining balance between the realm of the living and that of the dead. Blessed with an ability to forge keys to open any lock, and even travel between worlds, they are scattered across the world- and the road to reincarnation. Though no formal organization exists, each Smith possesses a Key which brought them to their current vocation, usually through one of many little shoppes managed by retired Smiths, whom send the keys out into the world to bring in new members. These keys enable them to instantly recognize any other Smith, and unlock any door.

Each Smith brings something unique to the job, though the vast majority have fantastically little in the way of actual supernatural powers. Minor talents like dreamsight or telekinesis tend to be the limit of their 'magical' abilities, though the ability to open any lock, and turn any door into a gateway to any other door- even crossing the borders of life and death- make them extremely potent.

As the keys they use to do this are themselves semi-sentient, the Smiths boast a nearly impeccable record. None of their number, that they can recall, has ever turned from the calling and 'gone rogue', though many have retired.


Matron Maggie's Bed and Breakfast

Matron Maggy is a plump, middle aged appearing woman whom runs a small bed and breakfast in the afterlife, at the corner of Death Street and a road called Despair. Eternally a former Smith, no one can quite recall when Maggie was active among their numbers, though she remains excellent friends with many of their higher ranked agents.

Maggie herself is something of an anomaly, possessing personal powers greater than what one might find in a Smith. Some have speculated that she is actually an elemental spirit- never having lived in the real world at all, though Maggie has never confirmed this, she has also never denied it.

Maggie is accompanied by her adopted daughter, a frail girl of sixteen named Lily, of unknown origin. Lily has worked with Maggie for 'at least a hundred turns'- the world of the afterlife not using years, but the motion of the Moon, which exists simultaneously in the real world and the afterlife. Lily herself does not know her origins, though she wears a 'magic' pendant from her 'real' family.

Maggie is the instigator behind the PCs arriving at the bed and breakfast, having used her contacts in the Smiths to have special keys forged for the bed and breakfast.


Grief

Grief is an entity that feeds on forlorn souls- those whom have fallen so deep in existential despair, usually at the nature of the universe or their deaths that have wandered entirely off Death Street. A statistically significant proportion happens at the corner of Death Street and Despair- though the naming of that road was because of that number, the occurrence predates Despair having a name. Grief is a shapeless humanoid-like figure that eats entire souls and uses their grief to gain in power. Thought to be an ex-Reaper King, Grief has displayed numerous Reaper King-like abilities over the centuries. It has never been contained, and indeed many believe it unable to be so- but there are still those who fight it, and those whom have been chosen to stop it.