Friday, October 21, 2016

Encounter: Rag and Bone Man (Guest Post)

Interesting Art.
Another guest post today. It's an encounter called the Rag and Bone Man. This is brought to you by (E) from the official GURPS Forum. This is a TL7 or TL8 urban horror type of monster that targets people who scorn the homeless. Let's take a look.


The origin of the Rag and Bone man is a painful tale that has gone unnoticed by all. The original Rag and Bone man was born in the late 40's in London the son of an actual rag and bone man. He later emigrated to Australia to try to escape the poverty of his life, failing to find a job in post war Brisbane he joined the army and gained a position in an artillery unit.
When the Vietnam War broke out his unit was sent to Vietnam during which time his position was hit by a shell injuring his leg and starting a fire. Trapped by the advancing fire and unable to move himself he began to panic. However before the fire could reach him an American GI pulled him to safety. While both of them where recuperating from the burns and injuries they received in hospital they became friends. Both were discharged due to their injuries. The rag and bone man left the war with a crippled leg and severe fear of fire while the American GI left the war with extensive scars about his face and hands from the fire.
Many years later when the correspondence the Rag and Bone man had been receiving from the American GI ceased he decide to go to the U.S. and track down his old friend. Upon arriving he discovered that his old friend unable to find a full time job due to his appearance had begun to live on the streets.
Spending all his money trying to track his old friend down the rag and bone man also gravitated to a life on the street. One winter's night the Rag and Bone man sought shelter in a clothing charity bin and while he was in there a drunken school kid set fire to the bin. The fear and anger experienced while he burned to death served to fuel a change from human to something both more and less than human, thus the Rag and Bone man was born.
The Rag and Bone man is comprised of a burnt skeleton with far too human eyes encased in many layers of clothes. Vengeance was sought for the suffering inflicted by the school kid and in the act of killing the Rag and bone man discovered a joy unlike any he had felt before.
The Rag and Bone man continues to track down and kill people who cause suffering to those within his stratum of society. The GM can feel free to adjust what the Rag and Bone defines as suffering so that it suits the feel of the campaign.
While preferring to attack people alone from ambush the Rag and Bone man has no fear of small groups. He favors using either a twisted piece of clothing as a garrote or a rusty piece of pipe as a bludgeon and will generally attack with a heedless ferocity relying on his near invulnerability to protect himself, grappling then constricting one foe while fighting and fending the rest off with his iron pipe.
Fire is an obvious weakness and he is flammable, with any attack that could reasonably ignite clothes doing the same to him. It takes between 10 and 60 seconds for him to burn beyond the ability to function
When his chosen victim or victims have been killed or beaten to within an inch of their lives he will flee the scene using his skills and knowledge of the city to escape.
However if a person uses fire to try and stop the virtually indestructible rag and bone man he will go berserk and try to strangle the one responsible and if that person is unlucky the Rag and Bone man has caught fire.... (1d-2 additional damage per turn)
Sometime after his destruction by fire, somewhere in the city, a homeless person will crawl into a clothing bin for warmth or a child might climb into a clothing bin on a bet and there will be a mysterious fire and the Rag and Bone man will be reborn.


ST: 12HP: 12Speed: 6.5
DX: 12Will: 16Move: 3
IQ: 12Per: 12
HT: 14FP: 14SM: +0
Dodge: 10Parry: 11DR: 1 
Garrote (9): Reach C, used in a successful ambush.
Iron Pipe (11): Reach 1-2, 1d+3 crushing.
Wrestling (11): Reach C, Attempts to grapple lead to attempts to constrict.
Constriction Attack (12): Quick contest of 12 versus the opponent's best of ST or HT. This can be executed as a free action every turn.
Traits: Acute Hearing (2) [4], Bad Smell ((Burnt and rotting flesh)) [-10], Berserk (12 or less) [-10], Bloodlust (12 or less) [-10], Combat Reflexes [15], Constriction Attack (Only one limb required) [25], Doesn't Breathe [20], Doesn't Eat or Drink [10], Doesn't Sleep [20], Double-Jointed [15] Extra Attack (constriction only)[20], Fragile (Combustible) [-5], High Pain Threshold [10], Injury Tolerance (No Blood; No Vitals; Unliving) [30], Lame (Crippled Legs) [-10], Mute [-25], No Sense of Smell/Taste [-5], Night Vision (9) [9], Phobia (Pyrophobia: Fire) (12 or less) [-5],  Recovery [10], Regeneration (requires clothes) (Very Fast: 1HP/Sec) [70], Regrowth (requires clothes) [27], Sense of Duty (The Homeless) (Large Group) [-10], Social Stigma (Second-Class Citizen) [-5],  Temperature Tolerance (1) [1], Unaging [15], Unkillable (Only when killed by fire) (3) [100],  Wealth (Dead Broke) [-25]
Skills: Area Knowledge (City) IQ/E - IQ+8 20 [28], Broadsword DX/A - DX+2 14 [20], Camouflage IQ/E - IQ+3 15 [8], Climbing DX/A - DX+4 16 [1], Escape DX/H - DX+5 17 [4], Garrote DX/E - DX+0 12 [8], Guns/TL8 (Pistol) DX/E - DX+2 14 [4], Guns/TL8 (Rifle) DX/E - DX+1 13 [1], Karate DX/H - DX+0 12 [16], Knife DX/E - DX-1 11 [4], Scrounging Per/E - Per+2 14 [4], Shadowing IQ/A - IQ+1 13 [4], Soldier/TL8 IQ/A - IQ-1 11 [1], Stealth DX/A - DX+2 14 [8], Tracking Per/A - Per-1 11 [1], Wrestling DX/A - DX+2 14 [20], -3 all combat skills due to limp, +5 escape due to flexibility
Quirks: favours an old army over coat; Likes to wear clothes from previous victims; Gives guns and other weapons to homeless people who have grudges; Sometimes attempts to conceal his smell with the smell of alcohol.
Equipment: Duct tape, Heavy Clothes, Iron Pipe, super glue, cheap strong smelling alcohol, a rusty wire garrote.
Class: Undead
The Rag and bone man only operates during the depths of winter when his garb will not draw undue attention. He still thinks he needs to sleep however and he always returns to a specific burnt out clothing bin in a decaying part of the city. If someone was ever close enough to the bin at the right time of day they might hear the moans of a person having nightmares from within.
When he witnesses an act of kindness or selfless bravery he may experience guilt as the last vestiges of a normal person within him battle to be heard. (Flashback mechanics) Whether his limp is caused by this part of him or if he limps from habit it is unknown.
Let's see, if I can get a CER from this even though it is not really a Dungeon Fantasy monster. Attack skill is 7, Affliction is 0, Damage is 7, Fatigue Points is 4, Move is -3. This gives an offensive rating (OR) of 15. For Active Defense, 6; For Damage Resistance, 26; For Health, 8; For Hit Points, 22; For Will, 7. This gives a protective rating (PR) of 69. CER is then 84. This number is belying a few situational facts that are likely to increase or lower CER, further, of course, this isn't meant to be fought in a stand-up face-to-face fight, so is usually going to be at least 20% higher. This is a "pretty tough" encounter for a 250 point Dungeon Fantasy character, and probably exceedingly dangerous for the type of PCs that would nominally encounter the Rag and Bone Man, presumably modern day everymen.

Other Thoughts

I think it is an interesting encounter. I've never had the type of campaign where a consistent antagonist hounded a party with morale damaging pot-shots, but this seems like a pretty good one for such a scenario. I hope you enjoy it.


  1. Good stuff. He'd make a great sympathetic Supers encounter too.

  2. Replies
    1. It's a carry over from an earlier draft. One of his tactics was to glue locks shut as part of an ambush.


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