Vs. Stranger Stuff: The Mad Gasser (VsM Engine)
This adventure for Vs. Stranger Stuff Season 1 (fully compatible with season 2!) clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
I’ve been asked by one of my patreon supporters to move this up in my reviewing queue.
It should be noted that this adventure is also fully compatible with Vs. Ghosts.
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.
All right, only GMs around? Great! So, there is a case of “mass hysteria” making the rounds, as there seems to be a prowler on the loose, who anesthetizes people. The people seem to be paralyzed, which may sound like sleep paralysis or the like – or be similarly explained away. So far, these attacks have not see the people affected injured, but yeah…when Jessica, a smart, cute and popular girl fails to show up at school, the PCs will bring her homework and look after her – she is rattled and tired, and while her dad maintains that nothing happened on a spade, the PCs probably will want to investigate.
Investigating her house will notice old boxes at the back of the house, marks in the garden, and really diligent PCs may remember something on the WWII-era Mad Gasser – though research at the library will be really helpful – and show that only families descendant from the original victims are hit by these visitations…and that the culprit was never found. Staking out the place will put the PCs in conflict with the Mad Gasser – who gets stats for both Vs. Stranger Stuff and Vs. Ghosts, being quite tough in both systems.
Here’s a big plus: The pdf does not prescribe a solution. Instead, from not explaining the phenomenon to government R&D, madmen, a cryptid, a nazi ghost – all possible. And better yet, the different solutions regarding the entity actually matter on a mechanical level, for both systems! Cool, btw.: The gasser cannot just paralyze everyone – this is no “save or suck”-style scenario.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard with thematically-fitting b/w-artworks. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Ben Dowell’s brief little yarn is a short encounter-series and a pretty basic investigation, elevated by the versatile villain and the variations provided here. It’s not a gamechanger, but it is a fun little module. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this brief module here on OBS!
Wanna check out Vs. Ghosts? You can find it here!
The excellent Vs. Stranger Stuff Season 2 can be found here!