'Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family' (H.P. Lovecraft d20)

Michael O. Varhola

Finding something to adapt from "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family," H.P. Lovecraft's 19th published work of fiction, was kind of tough! The first thing that occurred to me was the obvious one, to create a human-ape hybrid or stat one of the apes mentioned in the backstory, but there did not seem to be anything particularly exceptional or interesting about any of them beyond their apparent proclivity for miscegenation. The whole point of the drill, in any event, seemed to be to have the title character become so mortified by his ancestry that he was moved to destroy himself, not to allow him to revel in any superpowers or special abilities. This brought to mind an unpublished Defect I had written up, which appears below. Anyone interested in the concept of Defects, by the way, can find more than 230 of these "anti-Feats" in the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook The Jester Dragon's Guide to Defects

Defect: Suicidal Tendencies [General]

A character with this defect is more likely to “end it all” when faced with adversity. 

Detriment: Anytime this character is faced with a serious setback, there is a chance he will respond by trying to kill himself (possible triggers might include failing an important Skill check, losing a companion, or being faced with an apparently insurmountable obstacle or unwinnable situation). In such a situation, the character must make a DC 10 Will saving throw, failing which he will attempt suicide by some expedient means; this check is made at -2 if the character is exposed to someone with Defect: Aura of Despair and at +2 if someone appropriate is attempting to dissuade him. 

If the character succumbs to despair and tries to off himself, he is entitled to a DC 10 Fortitude save. Failing it, he dies. If he passes it, the character survives but is reduced to Con 0 and -9 hit points; he is considered stabilized, however, and is no longer at risk of dying as a direct result of his suicide attempt. Furthermore, he is not again subject to the effects of this Defect until he has completely recovered from the current attempt. 

Special: Quarter-Elf characters and those with Subtype: Goth are especially likely to have this Defect.