Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sanctuary

You feel lost. Hurt. 
Helpless. Desperate. 
Alone.

Something happened to you or to people you love.
And no one understands. 
No one believes.
And no one can help.

But we understand. 
We believe.
We can help.

We are Sanctuary.
Someday everything is going to be alright.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary began in my 1st Edition AD&D game.  Located in the Principalities of Glantri (from Mystara and Basic D&D), Sanctuary was a group of healers that specifically dealt with the attacks on normal people by supernatural creatures, werewolves and undead in particular.  Since many of the rulers of the land were the very monsters they were fighting Sanctuary had to become covert and hidden.  The only way to know you were in a "Sanctuary" was by a open palm hand in blue paint.
Eventually they were one of the groups that lead to the political coup of Glantri, tuning it in to a Theocratic Monarchy, but that was many years ago.

I revived the idea of Sanctuary for modern horror games back around 2004 or so.  They are  group that helps people deal with the after-math of a supernatural creature attack.  You or your loved ones are attacked by a vampire or werewolf?  Well going to the police or the hospital won't be much help (even if they do know) and talking to a therapist will either get you a nice quiet rest or hooked up with enough anti-psychotics to dull every pain (and in fact many do just that).

But Sanctuary is different.  They staff doctors, social workers, psychologists and even an array of computer experts to help rebuild lives.  Like all social services they are understaff, over worked, under funded and at least six months behind on their case loads.

I had wanted to introduce them in Season 2 of my Willow and Tara game, Season of the Witch.  But it never worked out.  Instead they worked out much better in my Season 3 Willow and Tara game, Generation HEX. Here the girls could contribute to Sanctuary a little more.

In the world they are a bit like occult social services and clinic as well as occult relocation program.

In an episode or adventure I use Sanctuary in my modern occult/supernatural games as part resource and part plot device.  Typically in their role of helping someone the monster of the week does not want helped.

I have not worked out any stats for the group, typically all I need is an NPC ready to go as a councilor or social worker and the monster.  Though in Generation HEX I did have an older Sarah Bailey working at Sanctuary.  She basically was there to yell at the cast saying she often had to clean up the messes and broken lives they left behind.

As a group they are not very old, game time wise.  I put their development around the 1990s.  Maybe they got their start up funds from the Clinton administration. But this goes along with my theory of supernatural games needing to up the ante each generation.  Back in the days of Chill monsters were rare, but as time went on more and more of the beasties were crawling out of the woodwork. So there has been more of an in-game and in-universe need for a group like this.

Those with a good memory might be able to guess where the name and the symbol of this group comes from.

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