Skinners - Rough draft
A terrifying new creature for use in most horror themed modern role playing games.
By: Peter Amthor
Hiding in the dark of those abandoned places that so few ever venture to explore. Watching and waiting for a lone victim to wander in to close. Razor like claws itch for flesh to sink into while their minds crave the euphoria that your terror provides them. Wanting two things above all else, your skin and your screams.
“I can't even close my eyes at night without seeing them. Those bodies, four or five of them, it was hard to tell. Piled in a corner with their skin gone. Two of them were smaller I remember that, they were probably children. There was blood everywhere. It was all over the room upstairs, practically soaking in it. Then the trails of it where I guess the thing drug them downstairs to the... pile. What? Yeah I saw it. Some kind of dead thing I think, still walking around, God it stank. It had knives or something and it tried cutting me from behind. But I had my vest on and it stopped most of it... still got twenty stitches out of it though. It was on me fast, but then the back up I called came running in the other door and it shrieked and ran off. I'll never forget that night. Or that two of them were children.” Officer Donald Haskins, Transea PD.
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to humans in both height, proportion and general body movements they are anything but human. Residing a rung above us in the food chain we are what they prey on. The differences in appearance set them apart if seen uncovered. Thinner limbs and center mass they look built like somebody with an eating disorder in that regard. With skin that is almost blood red, with a raw look covered in hundreds of small thorn like extrusions. Possessing no body hair, ears or lips they have a slit for a mouth and a row of jagged sharp teeth behind it. Their fingers end in claws that are flat, almost like double edged razors, and roughly two to three inches long.
Sunlight is a bane to these creatures when they are uncovered. With skin that is easily burned they hide out in abandoned buildings and subterranean locations that still have a chance of humans making their way into (old subway tunnels, large storm drain systems, etc). Hiding in the shadows and watching from a distance when they spot a potential target you rarely see them unless they want to be seen. If there are out numbered they are rarely attacked, but then again they also don't more in groups very often. Most encounters reported are of the one on one type. It is very obvious that they possess an almost human level of intelligence and are capable of using just about any weapon to some degree.
Even when possessing a strength and speed greater than that of a typical human they still prefer a sneak attack. Everything from a straight forward hit from behind to some sort of trap, anything they can think of. Only one catch, they do not kill outright and intend to make the target suffer as much as possible before ending their life. One of the most reported methods is to immobilize the person through stunning or just by over powering them and then using some sort of restraints on them (ropes, handcuffs from previous victims, etc). Once they are unable to fight back their claws are used to slice open a long stretch of skin, then to work them up under the flesh and slowly skin the victim alive.
- Emotional Feeding
The skinners feed off the pain they cause in others. A necessary part of their mental nourishment. Without it they will eventually grow delusional, with emotional out of control fits of anger and an inability to sleep. At some point this will cause them to either grow bolder when searching for victims or, in most cases, to become even more seclusive until they suffer a brain aneurism which will kill them. When receiving the emotional rush of the pain they have created it acts like a drug, euphoric and never enough, leading them to drag out the tortures for as long as possible.
There is, however, one very unique and strange weakness to this. It only works when they are the cause of the pain. If someone or something else that they had nothing to do with causes the pain then there is a severe mental backlash causing a great deal of pain. The greater the pain the more it forces them back. This is also the believed reason as to why they are rarely found in groups as the attack of one would drive the others away.
- Physical Feeding
This is where the skinning part comes into more importance. Those thorn like things on their skin are actually part of their digestive system. Once a person has expired they finish removing the layers of skin and then cover their body with the pieces. The thorns hold them in place like hundreds of small hooks while they also release a digestive enzyme which breaks the flesh down. This is then absorbed through pores in the skin providing the creature with substance. The process may take weeks to finish leading to encounters where people think they are being attacked by something undead as the layer of skin is rotting on the outside.
Once they are finished and their meal is dead they will generally drag it off to some other section of their chosen lair. Usually the furthest point away from where people usually enter from. They are absolutely not interested in doing any other kind of clean up at all. Blood is left where ever it hit the floor and even bits and pieces are left lying about. They simply wait for their next food source as they soak the in warm feeling of their emotional feeding for several days.