So, last time when I ran Chill, the characters kinda got their asses kicked. They headed back to the Boise HQ knowing that while no one died and they did save a man's life, they also inadvertently unleashed some Unknown beasties into the surrounding area, with no way to easily track them down.
Unfortunately, the Unknown is at work in other quarters as well...
(here's where players stop reading)
So, Sarah and Michelle made new characters last time, kinda to have a "stable" of envoys that they could draw on if someone gets killed or hurt and needs to sit out, or if there's a type of case that needs a specialist. Last case, we didn't have Auntie Dee at all (scheduling issues plus it was only two sessions), and this time we do...but not Mike or Rob (so no Edward or Dylan). I think, therefore, I'm gonna have Sarah and Michelle play their new characters (Willa and Jordan, respectively). That, to me, indicates we should have a haunting on our hands.
Flipping through the Apparitions book (one of the best antagonist sourcebooks ever produced, in my humble opinion, though honestly most of the Chill 2nd Ed run was pretty baller), I came to Phantom Hitchhiker. I like these ghosts; they're nicely low-impact, but they do open the possibility of a) being something more dangerous and just pretending to be benign and b) being the ghosts of people killed by something much worse. I think I'll go with the latter.
The idea here is to have this case stretch more than one session; give the players the chance to look into the hitchhiker and their life today, and then maybe open things up to the investigation of the (thing what killed them) when they boys are back in town and the players have a little bit more oomph.
Thing one, then, the hitchhiker:
Phantom hitchhikers are almost always female in legend, and so I kinda want to play against that trope, but the truth of the matter is that lone men don't get picked up (and hitchhiking in general isn't as prevalent as once it was). So let's change the trope up a little and say that our hitchhiker flags people down, looking frantic. He gets in the car and tells the driver, frantically, to "go!" The driver either tries to get him to say what's up (in which case the hitchhiker runs away, but uses Hunter's Mark on the driver and then Dreamsend on him that night; that's as malicious as the hitchhiker gets) or lets him into the car and drives off, in which case the hitchhiker tells the driver his name is Bryan. As they get away from the area, Bryan asks the driver to borrow their phone to "call home." The driver hears Bryan talking into the phone, but it's very general, innocuous stuff ("yeah, I'll be home soon"). When the driver looks over, it's just the phone on the seat, cover in ectoplasm.
So, the real deal: Bryan Gill was a 36-year-old man driving home from a trip to see his brother in Mountain City, NV. He left later than he meant to, and wound up driving north on 51 late at night. He made it as far as Bruneau when he saw a light in the trees. He stopped and investigated (Lure discipline) and fell into a crevasse, breaking his neck.
The creature that Lured him is another ghost, kinda (taking inspiration from the ajatar in Things). The ghost - whose living name is long since forgotten - was murdered out here in the later 1800s. Her body has been eaten away over the years until nothing but her skull, fragments of her femurs, and part of her spine remain.
EWS: 95 (Potent)
Aspects: Bane (Queen Anne's lace), Incorporeal, Invisible, Special Weakness, Spectral Attack, Telltale (mushrooms)
Disciplines: Blunder, Eerie Rain, Lure, Pestilence
Special Weakness: Destroyed if remains are buried in a cemetery with a marker (even without a name), or burned to ash and placed in a funerary urn
Bryan Gill (Phantom Hitchhiker):
EWS: 55 (Common)
Aspects: Incorporeal, Invisible, Special Weakness
Disciplines: Corporeal Manifestation, Dreamsend, Hunter's Mark
Special Weakness: Destroyed if ajatar is destroyed or if body is found
And I think that's good. I think for today we can just focus on Bryan and getting the story of how he died, and maybe getting the ajatar to make somebody sick.