• This game is under the Supernatural & Contemporary genres.
  • The game system is Cinematic UniSystem.
  • This game contains mature content.
  • The GM has marked this game as containing personal and intellectual property.
    If the GM leaves or deletes the game nobody else will be able to continue the game.
Bitter Chill [Cinematic Unisystem]

The world ends without a tragedy
Time is melting into history

The sky is falling
Voices crying out in desperation, hear them calling

Everybody, save yourself

~The Late Great Planet Earth by Plumb~

The signs were there, but people chose to ignore them for far too long. The world, as they knew it, was changing. Creatures believed to live only in the realm of nightmares or fiction, turned out to be real. Things like vampires and ferals had been around almost as long as man. Other monsters could predate human existence. They survived by staying in the shadows and feeding on the unwary.

In recent decades, the paranormal world had been colliding with humanity in greater frequency. The veil was lifting, and denying their existence became impossible. Incidents in California, Texas, and Missouri became the stuff of internet legends. It wasn't long before similar stories began popping up all over the world. YouTube was swamped with videos of the strange and unnatural. At first, people believed the videos were fake and the stories were hoaxes. However, those in the business of debunking such claims found too many things they could not explain.

Several years ago, a Denver DJ hosted a late-night talk show where callers, both human and some claiming to be supernatural, called in to share their stories. Pandora's box was opened when the DJ eventually admitted on the air that she, herself, was a werewolf. While the radio host was making the talk show circuit, and testifying before some congressional sub-committee, another figure emerged from the shadows. A popular musician claimed that he was a vampire. There were those who continued to insist that it could not be true, but the number of non-believers dwindled as others stepped forward to reveal their less than human natures.

It was good business for the churches, who had given up on trying to "pray away the gay". Now they had a new cause, another population to condemn, and fresh fears to motivate people to donate money. It was also good sport for some, who took it upon themselves to hunt and destroy anything that wasn't pure human. After all, there were no laws against it. Staking vampires couldn't be considered murder because, legally, they were already dead.

Two events played a critical role in changing opinions. First, a mining accident left several men trapped in a chamber filling with toxic fumes. A group of vampires volunteered to rescue them. Their strength and immunity to the fumes allowed them to get the trapped men out. That same month a group of hunters raided a family of werewolves. Among those the hunters killed were several children. People began asking, who were the real monsters? Lycanthropy was determined to be the result of a disease, and those who contracted it could no longer be legally discriminated against. That led to others among the paranormal population insisting that they were entitled to the same kinds of protections. Years of legal battles and protests ensued. An "us" versus "them" mentality took hold of the United States as radical support groups formed on both sides.

While the U.S. debated the subject, other countries chose sides. France was the first nation to offer the supernatural the same legal rights as humans. Denmark, The Netherlands, and Canada quickly followed suit. Some countries, like Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland, offered limited protections. Places dominated by a Roman Catholic population, such as Italy and Spain, continued to condemn preternaturals as abominations and an affront to God. Vermont and Massachusetts were the first states in the U.S. to grant equal protections to all citizens, paranormal and human alike. The fight was eventually taken all the way to the Supreme Court, and the group of predominately liberal justices ruled in favor of the paranormal population.

They refer to themselves as "The Gifted", but that term hasn't gone over well with everyone. There are some who believe it implies the supernaturally talented are better than normal humans, and they find that extremely offensive. Humans have called the paranormal population by a number of terms. The nicest, or at least most neutral one they've been able to come up with has been "The Different", and that's the one frequently used by mainstream media today.

It's been a few years since the paranormal were given full rights in the United States. Preternatural discrimination is rampant, and crimes against non-humans are a low priority for the police. The courts are facing new questions. For a country that could never agree on when life began, now they must answer when it truly ends. If a person becomes a vampire, is a death certificate issued? What becomes of their property and legal responsibilities? Are their spouses considered widowed? Should insurance policies pay out? These, and other issues continue to be debated.

Our story takes place in Chicago, Illinois, where the supernatural and human populations have settled into an uneasy coexistence. Many in both groups do not trust those on the other side. The police department is still playing catch-up. They are often ill-prepared to take down supernatural criminals. Where the cops fall short, bounty hunters frequently pick up the slack.

Has the paranormal population always been this large, hiding in the shadows, or is their number increasing? That's the question few are brave enough to voice out loud. If their number is on the rise, why now? Is humanity an endangered species? There are whispered rumors that a day of reckoning is coming. What will that mean for both the human and the paranormal populations?