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Pentex is the everpresent servant of the Wyrm corporation in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. You might also find references to Pentex in other World of Darkness books, but on the whole the evil Wyrm Corp is designed as a nemesis for Werewolves. What follows are a few suggested ways to use Pentex in your games, particularly non-Werewolf chronicles.
1) Ventrue Bait
Imagine you are a centuries old vampire who has made careful planning and sound investment your watchword from day one. You’ve amassed a fortune that is unparalleled, even as it is held in various shell corporations and by various minions. Now imagine there is a force working against the interest of your corporation. At first you assume it is another foolish Ventrue, or one of the Toreador muscling in on your action. Then you slowly uncover evidence that this hostile takeover is being performed by a subsidiary of Pentex. You start trying to seed your ghouls into the organization only to find them having ‘accidents’ soon after they take their new job.
Pentex has been planning this operation for 100 years. They know this Ventrue has power over an entire conglomerate of economic authority. The trap is set. Will the Elder put his foot farther into the deep end, or will they leave their hard-earned wealth? This Elder is smart, of course, so they hire a coterie of Kindred to investigate this… King Breweries to see what sort of mischief they are about.
2) Take Your Medicine, Young Woman
Being a Changeling is amazing. You’ve finally started to feel alive again. You are discovering what it means to be you, and after several rough years feeling like you at 18 feels like an accomplishment. Of course, all of the requirements at court make taking college seriously really hard. In fact, you’ve flunked your entire first semester. Now, thankfully the school is willing to give you another chance and they’ll even expunge the entire semester’s grades if you are able to get a B or higher in your second pass through. Oh, and the school nurse suggests you take some new medication from Magadon Pharmaceuticals to help your concentration.
A month later, the motley comes looking for their young Pooka friend. But now she’s hardly herself. Her fae mein seems to have disappeared completely. Where she once felt like herself, now she feels like she has to try and be someone everyone else expects her to be. The only clue the motley has is the daily dose of MagLoft the Pooka takes. How did they do this to her? Why did they? Do they do this to all the Fae that come to this school?
3) Omnipresent and Helpful
The hard-pressed cabal of Mages decides to take the night off. They pull into Ten Tickle Ales’ brewpub and have a few drinks. The next morning they take a handful of Magadon Migraine Mauler, and they roll off to face the Technocracy another day. On the way they pass a sign for O’Tolley’s. Man, their burgers aren’t the greatest but you sure get a craving for them whenever you see the ads. After they escape the clutches of another group of Men in Black with their Hit-Mark associate, they fuel up their car at the Endron station at the end of the block.
That’s when someone in the cabal starts to think. Who owns all of this? Are these corporations owned by the Technocracy? If not, by who? Do they control part of the consensual narrative? If so, how and why? Why do I feel like I always need a drink when I’ve stopped at the Endron Mart for gas? Is that because I’m actually thirsty or because there is a subtle mind-control effect going on? Wait, did something just slither out of the gas line into my car?
Pentex is Everywhere, Pentex is Good.
4) Profit Is Good
The Avalon Toy Company makes a lot of great toys. The Red-Eye Air Rifle you got on your 12th birthday is still one of the things you love. You gave it to your son when he was 12, and now it’s your fetter. However, since coming to the other side of the shroud you’ve noticed something about the gun. It has a… sheen on it. The look in your son’s eyes changes when he holds it. It’s not joy, its something… sinister. You can feel something akin to the Tempest upon the whole thing. When you investigate Avalon-R-Us you notice most of the toys are the same. The factory is the same, and the factory on 5th and West Ave sits on the edge of a Nihil.
Does Avalon have a connection to Oblivion? Does it want to kill children, adults, or does it want to corrupt the world? Should your son even have the air rifle? The one you love, the one that helps you stay connected to him? Can you convince your friends to help you investigate Avalon, and figure out what is going on? Or will they shrug their shoulders and focus on more pressing matters related to the Hierarchy?
Hopefully you can get some mileage from these plot hooks. Pentex is one of my favorite elements of the World of Darkness.
Josh is the intrepid Chief Operations Officer of High Level Games. With 20 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He runs, www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s currently running a Changing Breeds game and writing a lot. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C. You can also find Josh’s published adventures here and here.
Picture Reference: https://nerdarchy.com/world-of-darkness-enemies-garou-pentex/
If you are looking for a gimmick to get your plot rolling, I’m here to help you out. We get some random search results on our site from time to time, and one person rolled in and looked for “a gimmick for a plot.” Well, I’m the gimmick guy around here so I couldn’t really pass up this opportunity.
The key to generating gimmicks to use to help get you started is to realize that EVERYTHING around you can be turned into a plot idea. A person’s name might be the start of a story. Tripping over the street, burning yourself on your coffee because you’re a klutz. Reading a great book is a *normal* way to get plot ideas, but it’s not quite gimmicky enough, is it?
1) Hot Pies!
The baker in Waterdeep has an important order for pies that need to be delivered to a shady part of town. He reaches out to the party to see if they would be willing to act as guards for his pie shipment. Worse, a rival baker has hired members of the thieves’ guild to ambush and steal the pies. It’s not just a gimmick, it’s a McGuffin at the same time!
How to use this: Pie motivates me. I’m confused if it doesn’t motivate you.
2) Changelings Invade Elysium
The local freehold has fallen on hard times. The Troll lord has fallen. He was killed by a dark, gloomy prodigal calling himself Prince Modius. The freehold is up in arms over this outrage! They have gathered a war-band to avenge their lord. They are sending the Sluagh skulking through the sewers seeking the court of this so called Prince. They think they’ve found it too. The beast they traded a favor to called it Elysium. The Freehold girds itself for battle.
How to use this: You decide if using Modius or the Changelings is the gimmick? Honestly? This is a fun story whichever way you roll with it.
3) Savage Rifting Nightmare Before Christmas Style
Rifts is presented as a serious universe. Rifts drop into serious worlds with serious troubles. That doesn’t have to be the case though. If we assume the Multiverse theory is true, then there are worlds that follow all sort of ‘Cartoon Logic.’ What’s the gimmick here? Clearly it would be awesome to have Jack Skellington piloting a mecha! Or maybe Santa Claus joins a group of dedicated misfit toys, fighting valiantly against the rifts ripping through the North Pole.
How to use this: This is a great one-shot concept for any game that includes trans-dimensional travel in any form.
4) Who? Dr. Who!
Running through a ship, 10 seconds remain before you run out of air. There are three buttons. One is red, one is green, one is cyan. Clearly cyan! Who makes a button cyan!? Quick thinking is the only thing that will save you. That, and the Doctor. The Cubicle 7 Dr. Who game is pretty smashing, and you should look into it. You can also use this gimmick in any game system. Start in-media-res. The players have a short amount of time to make a decision; that decision will have a massive impact on how the rest of the story goes. Provide a silly, eccentric, but helpful NPC to help them. Or, even better, give a random player the chance to play some form of the Doctor.
How to use this: This is a great method to start a new campaign, or liven up a steady style of gaming. Your players might be confused at first, tell them what you are doing and have them play through things. Give them the chance to fill in the gaps before the story starts. Push them to develop some story of why and how they got where they are.
5) Gimme The Gimmick (Make It Dark)
A hook, a murder, a toy, a random passerby: the gimmick is a reason to start playing. It’s the thing that gets you started. The plot that drives you forward. Think of something silly, something funny, something that gets you thinking differently. A gimmick plot can be dropped into any game of any type without too much trouble. That doesn’t mean it has to be funny or silly. The hidden story behind the bakers above might be that they are a family of cannibals that are now at war, brother to brother. Changelings might die off in a panic of banality when they attempt to attack the Vampire court. Jack Skellington might be an actual skeletal nightmare that gleefully rips up Santa and his minions. The Doctor might not be the Doctor, but might be a nefarious menace (perhaps an Illithid or other mind manipulator) who is using the Doctor trope to feed on human brains. The gimmick is a way to start, and you can go as light or as dark as you’d like while using it.
How to use this: Gimmicks are a great start, but they aren’t the end of the story. Use the gimmick as a launch pad into the story you really want to tell.
I hope that was gimmicky enough for you. If not, please let us know what sort of gimmicks you’d like to include as plotlines. I’m ready to hear them, and ready to make them even more of a gimmick than you asked for, anonymous search friend.
Josh is the intrepid Chief Operations Officer of High Level Games. With 19 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He runs, www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s preparing a Changing Breeds game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C. You can also find Josh’s other published adventures here and here.
Artwork by Jeshields, whose work can be found and supported at https://www.patreon.com/jestockart .
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.