Strangefinder Modern: John Frum Catalog

Strangefinder Modern are modern ideas for a strange urban fantasy world that could be played using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Anachronistic Adventures.

John Frum Catalog

The Cargo Cults of Melanesia were brought about by culture shock of modern manufacturing and the ability of military groups to apparently summon cargo from the sky. But they were also the result of strong Alterniverse overlap. A few major leaders actually had visions, and sometimes their major rituals–with mock runways and bamboo planes–successfully bridged the tiny frequency shift between their Alterniverse and one where cargo was still be dropped.

And then, there’s John Frum.

No single Alterniverse seems to have a John Frum, but cargo cults in multiple closely attuned Alterniverses all claim he once brought them cargo. John Frum might be a bit of static–a name or idea that doesn’t exist by itself but it perceived as a single thing when it’s truly an amalgam of different bits of Alterniversal overlap. For some cargo cults, he exists as a kind of patron saint of cargo.

For Strangefinders who know to look for the name, he’s a conduit to cargo.

Though it’s rare, a tiny percentage of physical catalogs list John Frum in their credits, or copyright, or on order forms. These otherwise ordinary brochures may offer department store goods, or a cheese of the month club, or (most often) overpriced items you can only order from a magazine found in airplane seat pockets. But if they mention John Frum, they’re nexi for Alterniversal bleed.

Order anything, anything whatsoever, that is normal and native mercantile goods to your own Alterniverse (no magic items, no living creatures except sea monkeys, no specific lore or anything you couldn’t buy in a major mall) from a John Frum catalog and mail it off, prepaid, in an envelope created from the catalog itself, and it arrives 1-4 hours later.

Don’t have a mailbox? Any form of permanently losing the catalog-turned order form will do. Burn it. Throw it off a cliff. Set it afloat in the ocean. And, 1-4 hours later, what you selected (and paid for) arrives.

No matter where you are.

Often from a company called ACME.

A John Frum catalog can be used only once, and has a value of 50 gp (General Product equivalent). They are sometimes found as treasure in the belongings of Strangemasters and Fell Visitors.

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 11, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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