'A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson' (H.P. Lovecraft d20)

Michael O. Varhola

When I undertook the challenge of creating one piece of game content tying in with each of H.P. Lovecraft's published works, I certainly did not have this story in mind! Suffice it to say, there are no monsters or other items that immediately suggest conversion into OGL/d20 stats; the notorious Dr. Samuel Johnson is a possibility but would on the one hand be overly complex and on the other hand be of limited usefulness. The character of the narrator, however, an ageless alter-ego of Lovecraft himself, provided the inspiration for the following Defect. 
Defect: Atavistic [General]
A character with this Defect is more attuned to an earlier historical period than to his own, and reveals this in his dress, manners, and cultural references.

Effect: Anytime he is dealing with someone who would consider his archaic speech, behavior, and appearance to be odd, an Atavistic character suffers a -2 penalty on Charisma-based skill checks.  Furthermore, anytime he succeeds in a Knowledge skill but does not roll at least 5 higher than what he needed (e.g., 20 or more on a DC 15 skill check), then what an Atavistic character knows will only be appropriate to an earlier era. Knowledge (Local), for example, might indicate the location of a nearby sacred spring, but not the fact that a shrine was built over it just within the past few decades.