Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for The They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.
It is 197-something. Something terrible is threatening your town, Senior Prom or summer camp. It is too early for alien trophy hunters and media-savvy ironic serial killers but too late for faceless blobs from outer space and tentacle monsters from racist pulp writers. You need something appropriate for the current times.
So, who or what is responsible for the current terror?
Roll a D10
1) Satanists – Oh yeah. Satan worshipers are everywhere. They are in your PTA, they are your elderly upstairs neighbors and they are DEFINITELY members of the church and clergy. You think they just want to knock up one lady with Satan’s son? There is a lot of demons out there and they all have cults trying to bring them to earth. Why, some Satanists might even be role-players!
2) Psychics- The 70’s were a bad time for psychics popping up and fucking shit up. Between the CIA’s drug programs, new additives in margarine or New Age Gurus messing with forces they don’t understand, psychics are manifesting their powers and lashing out. There might be a good psychic here or there, but for the most part, these bitter loners are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore.
3) Atlanteans – Some people say Atlantis was just a metaphor and never really existed. Those people are victims of the Atlanteans’ propaganda. Atlantis was real and it was up to no good when it sunk beneath the oceans. The survivors who escaped Atlantis tried to create new colonies and places of power in the ancient world but were (mostly) defeated by the forces of good. Some incredibly old Atlanteans live on, dreaming of bringing about a New World Order of magic, perversion and super-science. In some places, only their artifacts remain, waiting for foolish people to come across them once more and accidentally touch the wrong standing stone or mini-pyramid.
4) Cryptids – Do you have a lake nearby? What about a stretch of woods? Even an empty factory that has been abandoned? Then it probably has a Cryptid. Life always finds a way and in the pollution of the 1970’s life would often get really fucked up. If you are lucky, the local monster haunting your woods is just a Bigfoot but odds are if something weird is hanging about, it is a mutant freak that looks like a God was doing acid when he made it.
5) Masked Killer – Look, it might seem like a cliché but a cliché is just another word for “Stuff that happens a lot”. One thing we know about the 70’s is that psychopaths love masks and they have a lot of anger to get out. They might be back from the dead or they might just be a bitter jerk but either way, they really like to murder people.
6) Dracula – Dracula never dies, baby! Neither does his brides, children and sometimes casual enemies. Dracula has had a long life and if he can convert African Princes into vampires, then I am sure there are all sorts of vampires we have never heard of.
7) Ghosts – There are two kinds of ghosts. Some ghosts are friendly but strongly disagree on what temperature the thermostat is set to. The other kind of ghost is a bastard and would like you to kindly get out of its house, hopefully in pieces. Ghosts possess small children and seem to be really good at make sharp objects levitate. They don’t just haunt houses either! Sometimes they haunt objects and figuring which object needs to be doused in holy water can be the real challenge.
8) Communists – In the 60’s communists were making monsters to attack navy bases or building UFO’s to harass the Midwestern United States. In the 70’s, their methods are more subtle and sinister. Now they are replacing labor union workers with shapeshifters or mind-controlling teenagers with subliminal messages in their rock-and-roll. If something is trying to tear down society and they are using science to do it, it is probably communists.
9) Amazons – Almost as bad as Atlanteans, Amazons can have different origins. Some are descendants of the real Amazons of history, while others merely call themselves Amazons in their book club. Either way, these women are not satisfied with the unequal role of women in society and they would rather murder than protest. Some might form kill squads that massacre entire fraternities while other will turn to black magic to kill every male that wrote a nasty letter to the editor about Billie Jean King in their local town. Underestimate them at your peril.
10) Cult Leader- Different from Satanists in that they might not actually have magical powers. They could just be sadist narcissists who compel their followers to prove their loyalty with terrible acts of violence. Now a days, cult leaders run for office or demand movie studios release their cut of a flopped movie, but in the 70’s, cult leaders order mass murders and collected women to be cult leader’s brides. Cults don’t need to make sense or even have a higher purpose. They just need a bastard in charge and sycophants to follow them.