“To be fair, anything can be perceived as a Cult in the same way that anything can become a Cult.”
– Ryan Dirge, Scholar.
Weird Urban “Cults”
1) “Mommy Runners”- Easily identified by their spandex body suits, multiple water bottles, and gargantuan baby strollers barreling ahead of them like some kind of steamroller. While small groups are harmless several dozen can pose a threat to entire city districts. Rumor has it, they intend on eradicating the use of inorganics and the dangers of chemicals.
2) Bridal Cults- While not a single unified Cult it is more a collection of short week long small group stints. Certain behaviors are common such as the leader wearing a crown and a “Party Goblet”. Oftentimes a particularly exuberant group can be highly disruptive/destructive to a small area. It is suspected that it is an almost trance-like episode as none of the members have any recollection of the last week.
3) Cafe Alleycats- According to a survey in 2013 around 83% of Americans drink coffee at least once a week. In that demographic are Cafe Alleycats. They hang out around cafes for hours at a time doing a variety of tasks; art, business culture, recruiting, etc. They tend to be very picky about what they enjoy and can be opinionated over trivial subjects.
4) Mall Goths- A reclusive yet aggressive group. It’s theorized they are possessed by fragmented spirits of “Old Ones” that wander the Aether between our world and others. If one of those possessed encounters another person who is not imbued they can be met with hostile reactions. It is usually best to avoid them if at all possible.
5) Chimeras- Similar to the Trans-Human movement except they intend to make themselves have animal-like traits over technological traits. Most cases can be minor such as personality quirks, but extreme cases tend to exhibit self mutilation such as interspecies fusing. A common one is Human-Canine Hybrids, where in extreme cases the person attaches fur to their skin and replace limbs with those of actual canines. An influx of missing animal cases in a city tends to denote when a Chimera Cult is in high activity in a given area.
6) Pied Pipers- Some musicians attract other like-minded musicians creating groups or “bands” of cultists. They tend to use music to attract followers but have to periodically expose victims to the music to keep the effects fresh. Pied Pipers do eventually lose their charms so they act quickly to feed off their thralls of whatever resource they need.
7) Pontificators- The loudest, least hidden group in this list. While usually solitary sometimes groups of around a dozen can gather and chant (not in unison though). While this is speculation, some researchers believe that extra-planar beings are drawn to Ley Lines in particular areas and the act of chanting is an attempt to communicate to their home planes.
8) Blood-Familials- Periodically in parks you can find Blood-Familial and Blood-Pact members reuniting and discussing past bondings. Usually this is in addition to displays of physical prowess. While it is uncertain what the purpose of these meetings are they are generally viewed upon as negative.
6 Haunted Amulets you’d find in your Aunt Ophelia’s Jewelry Box.
Aunt Ophelia was always a little weird to me and my sisters. There was 4 of us total. We were sent to live with her after our parents were sent off to fight during the war. They never talked about which war it was.
She lived in a large house that was built off of another large house which was built off of an even larger house. Sometimes she claimed it was a series of gifts given to her by various suitors over the years. Other times is was via inheritance. Regardless she always promised to pass the house down to whichever of us was still alive by the time she died (since she had no children of her own).
By the time Ophelia died I was the only niece remaining of the 4 of us. Mary, typhoid. Suzanne, burned to death while sick with yellow fever. Nina, hammer. On the day Ophelia died (poison) debt collectors took everything except the estate and a single bland cigar box full of jewelry. – Heide. Oldest Daughter of the Kluum family.
- Every few hours (if worn) an audible moan emanates from the locket. Inside the locket is a picture of a mysterious man you never met. Every time you open it the picture seems to change.
- It appears as a glass rose during the day and at night transforms into a morning glory. Sometimes on foggy days it drips a honey-like liquid from the stem.
- While functionally it is a stopwatch, cosmetically it is also a stopwatch. Curiously, when stopped a chilling breeze runs up your spine.
- A viciously ugly halibut token hangs from simple twine. Try as you might you cannot break its clasp.
- This amulet is bar none the most beautiful of them all. Unfortunately, if worn for longer than 30 minutes it begins to fuse to the wearers chest until it is engulfed by their body and poisons the heart.
- This black pearl necklace with an onyx encrusted silver pendant seems to rob the wearers voice if ever they speak in a tone louder than the surrounding area.
Article by: Tony Obert
“The primary benefit of setting up your base of operations in the docks of most any town is the fact that no one suspects anything that comes in or out. It’s effectively hiding in plain sight.”
– Ryan Dirge, Scholar.
Abandoned Warehouse turned Cult Meeting Grounds
2) You interrupt a very delicate summoning ritual. The disturbance causes a cultist to misspeak sending everything into chaos as a gate to the Lower Hells opens up.
3) Your presence is greeted with friendly embrace. Cultists being to chant and cover you in finery. Some begin to openly weep as they chant “Our new prophet has come!”.
4) A defector tries to stop you from further investigation of the Cult (what cult?). They beg you to turn around and never come back.
5) The Cult of the Round-a-Bout have locked themselves in their Grain-Silo-Turned-Headquarters. They refuse to come out and continue to play their merry-go-round like melody even in middle of the night.
6) A murderous cult has set up operations here and they don’t seem to be hiding it.
7) In a loud bang one of the warehouses explodes into an inferno. A thick haze surrounds the area for several days.
8) A mob of protesters surround the warehouse. Upon inquiry you find out the Heralded End of Times did in fact come to be.
9) The Cult of the Wagging-Tale begin to spread their literature around town attracting storytellers young and old.
10) Rock. Paper. Scissors. Rock. Paper. Scissors. Rock. Paper. Scissors. Shoot!
11) You are too late… they have already completed the ritual and a large creature is now rampaging through the docks.
12) Your very presence is alarming to the cultists. Some unsheathe knives and descend on you.
Sometimes something sparks in me and I write a short article about whatever. A lot of times it just about how to improve the hobby and just a fresh take on an old classic.
These are just short blurbs accompanied by a picture. They are meant to be tidbits that may spark some creativity.
While generally kind of ridiculous, these articles and tables are geared more towards “Weird Fiction” and “Gonzo” settings. The inspiration was a mix of those weird clickbait articles that were popular for a time “20 crazy tips to lose belly fat! Number 4 will blow your mind!”. These are an RPG version of those.
Have you ever needed some inspiration? Or have a surprise session coming up and don’t know what to do with it? Or maybe a weird situation came up and you don’t know where to take it? Tables are extremely helpful for gathering your thoughts and helping layout some possibilities!