They are 18 years old, and often appears as a diminutive yet stunning, tanned andryone with brown pixie-cut hair, and soft emerald eyes. They often wear practical clothing such as overalls, t-shirts, and jeans, but aren't afraid to occasionally branch into more formal masculine or casual feminine styles.
Murphy Martin lives in The Illumination, a setting where videos of the supernatural go viral every day.
Their journal, Murphy's YouTube Channel, has 4 entries.
Conditions are GM-assigned status effects.
Examples of Conditions include supernatural curses, enchantments, and diseases. Conditions are created by GMs and Playgroup leaders and are not subject to any standardized balance. Therefore, their effects may be altered or ignored outside the Playgroup where they were obtained. For example, lycanthropy may be contagious in one Playgroup, but not another.
Circumstances describe your Contractor's situation in various Playgroups.
Enemies, wealth, notoriety, status, contacts, fame, and imprisonment are all examples of potential Circumstances.
With a few gentle strums, the target feels all of their ailes slowly fading away. Murphy smiles at them, checking them for any more maladies before putting their guitar away and taking a moment to rest...
Exert your Mind and spend 15 minutes to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach. You must actively and obviously use Musical Instrument to activate this Effect.
You may cure any single disease or poison afflicting your target even if you have not diagnosed or fully understood it. You may cure diseases or poisons even if they are not treatable through modern medicine. During treatment, the malady you are treating does not progress or cause additional damage or other effects.
After you finish activating this Effect, you cannot move quicker than a walk (max 15 feet per Round) for one minute and suffer a -1 dice penalty for an hour.
After a bit of preparation, Murphy can use their sublime musical skills to put on a short concert that is capable of healing even the most grievous of wounds, assuming that the target will be around to hear the entire performance. The music causes wounds to heal at a rapid pace, making individuals feel fully whole again by the end of the performance. The effects are miraculous, and have the potential to regrow lost limbs and organs.
While recovering in the hospital, Murphy felt unsure of how they might go forward after their first, botched contract. They thought it must be a miracle that they survived, and didn't expect any reward for their near-death experience, as both Alan and Robert did all of the work. They rested for a couple of days, mostly mute other than for the most basic communication with the nurses and doctors. At some point during the first week of recovery, one of the nurses approached them and confirmed that they were the very same musician from YouTube. The nurse told them how much she appreciated the music that they wrote, and how helpful it had been at getting her through the toughest moments of her life. It was at this moment that Murphy remembered why they chose to become a musician in the first place. Part of the joy of creating is being able to share it with the world... and if what you have to share is worthwhile, the world will be better for experiencing it. The nurse would bring her ukulele to Murphy, a loan until they could get back home to their menagerie of instruments. They began to write again, filling pages upon pages with new material, more than they had ever been able to produce in the past. They didn't know it yet, but their wounds would begin to heal at a rapid pace, and the battle scar left by their first contract would disappear without a trace.
Exert your Mind and spend 15 minutes to activate. Select a Living target within arm's reach. You must actively and obviously use A Musical Instrument to activate this Effect. Choose a specific Injury on your target that has not yet been treated with this Effect and roll Charisma + Performance at Difficulty 6.
If you succeed, the Injury is reduced in Severity by your Outcome. If you reduce its Severity to 0, the Injury is fully healed. Otherwise, it is partially healed and will heal the rest of the way at its natural rate.
This counts as a successful Makeshift Stabilization if the Injury was not already Stabilized; any Battle Scars caused by the Injury will remain.
Murphy holds their musical instrument close as their eyes soften. They weave together a sweet melody, a tug on the heartstrings, as the target is suddenly overcome with intense emotion. The target starts to see things more clearly, that perhaps violence was never the answer. However, the experience might be... somewhat stressful for those who don't see things the same way.
Exert your Mind and spend an Action to activate. Select a Sapient target within 20 feet. You must actively and obviously use a musical instrument to activate this Effect. Roll Charisma + Performance at Difficulty 6. Affected targets may resist by rolling Mind at Difficulty 8 with a -3 dice penalty. If they are incapacitated or unconscious, they fail automatically and their Outcome is 0.
If the Contested Outcome is positive, the target takes Mind damage equal to the Contested Outcome. If you deal at least 3 Mind damage, the target will gain Soft-Hearted: Fear of Causing Pain as a Trauma. This trauma may be removed by Effects or mundane therapy as per normal rules. Affected targets are aware that they are being attacked and can generally tell who did it.
Track your current equipment here. You may start with anything your Contractor would reasonably have access to.
Trophies are special objects and equipment.
Examples of Trophies include healing potions, scrolls, sci-fi technology, or any supernatural item that was not created with The Contract's Power system. Trophies are not subject to standardized balance. Therefore, their effects may be altered or ignored outside the Playgroup where they were obtained.
I need some time, now...
When I was first contacted by that first person to go on these jobs, I was hopeful. I thought that I might be able to change the world in a big way. I thought I might be able to gain power to help everyone. But now... I'm not so sure.
Two kids died last night. I was the oldest of the group, and I'm 18! Another musician, named Angelo, was up and coming. He was soon to be famous, I thought. Even though he didn't talk much, I knew that we might've been better friends after all of this ended.
The other kid was 15. Will. Both of them had their lives ended by a bear. I can still hear the sound of their heads being removed by it... I could hear every drop of blood. I thought that I was going to die, too. I barely made it out of that cave with the bird.
The bird. I don't even blame the bird, really. We all knew the risks. We knew that it was going to cause bad things to happen. We knew that it was going to cause bad luck. But we all knew that we wanted to develop our abilities. I had already learned how to heal people. It was incredible, watching my music mend the wounds of myself and the people around me. For little more than a little bit of effort and a minute of time.
I saved Elliot. Nerissa made it too. And now I'm at home. I don't know if I can accept this reward. It doesn't feel right. Every time I go on one of these jobs, someone dies. This is the second one where I almost died, too. Is it actually worth it?
I just need a break. I just need a break. I'm not accepting another job for a long time. I need time to process... all of this.
[Murphy Martin uploads their blogs on a long-standing YouTube channel, complete with videos of countless original songs, covers, and musical games. They are often seen with their group of friends, developing an entertaining collection of unique personalities that cameo in various videos. Even as they became more well-known, their videos have always remained a genuine expression of their personality and life experience.]
[Video Title: Scary! My first supernatural day! Learned a new trick?!]
[The video begins slow with shots of the Emergency Room that Murphy was dropped off at by the Harbinger after the last game. Melancholic piano music plays as different shots of the hallways flash by. After about twenty seconds, we come to a frame with Murphy looking into the camera, hair messier than usual, their expression clearly distraught]
“Hello lovelies!” they say with a forced smile. “So I know it’s been some time since I uploaded now, but I have a bit of bad news for y’all. I’m in a Florida ER recovering from a really crazy day. I’m not sure that I’d be here to tell that to all of you right now if not for, uh,” They pause, voice choking a bit, “For some else’s sacrifice…” They look up, over the camera, taking a moment to compose themselves. “It’s been three days since I saw something really crazy. Like, I know that everyone’s been posting those videos online with the supernatural stuff, but I was never really sure that they were real until now. And it’s not very kind…” There is a shallow cough from Murphy’s right, and they continue after a quick glance. “I had some surgery done. My lung has some really rough damage on it, so I don’t know how I’m going to be able to sing… even now I can my breath is short.” They angle the camera down slightly, showing the audience the thick bandages that cover their chest, just underneath their medical gown. “I don’t really know what to do now. I…” they trail off, “I’m going to record a few more of these quick updates and probably upload them later, so I’ll give some more details about what happened soon… I just feel… lonely here.” They move to turn their phone camera off, fading to black.
A few moments later, Murphy returns, significantly more chipper than they were during the previous clip. “Hello friends!! It’s been two days since my last recording and I have some exciting news!” they flip the camera to the forward-facing setting, showing a slightly worn, but functional ukulele on top of their legs in the medical bed. They reach out to pluck the four strings, and they are slightly out of tune. “Ta da! It’s not mine, but I found a fan here at the hospital!!” they say as they flip the orientation back to their face. “She said that she’d lend it to me while I’m here since they wanted to cheer me up. She’s just to my left, but she’s kinda shy. I told her not to worry, so come over here Elise!” Shuffling into frame is a blushing brunette woman in scrubs, she’s smiling, unsure of whether or not she’s supposed to look into the camera or at Murphy.
“Hey, everyone! This is really crazy that Murphy is here, but don’t worry, they’re doing really well now. Our best surgeon worked really hard to make sure that they’d be able to keep playing music,” Elise says, looking back to Murphy hesitantly.
“Aaaaand, tomorrow’s her sister’s birthday, sooooo,” they hand the camera to Elise fumbles it a bit. They both laugh as she repositions the shot so that both of them are in view. Murphy has the ukulele in their hands now as they quickly get it in tune. They strum a chord and begin singing happy birthday to “Melony.” As they reach the end of the tune, the nylon strings of the ukulele begin to glow a very faint blue, but it appears that neither Murphy nor Elise noticed. “Yaaaay, happy birthday, Melony! And thanks for letting me borrow your ukulele for a little bit, I promise to get this back to you soon.” They put the ukulele down and retrieve their phone camera, waving goodbye to Elise. “Alright! So, anyways, the doctors said that I’m healing a lot faster than expected, and it seems that my body is taking to the surgery well. So I’ll probably be out of here pretty soon! They still wanna keep me for a bit longer, and I wanna make sure to visit the other guy that was with me last Friday before I leave.” The video fades to black once more.
As the video fades in again, Murphy is just outside the Hospital, wearing plain clothes. The day is slightly overcast, but it’s clearly humid as they’re already beginning to shimmer with sweat. They’re barely able to contain their excitement, they have a broad smile on their face. “Hello lovelies!!” they almost scream. “y’all will never believe what just happened… I think that my music is actually magical now!!” They look around for a moment, quieting slightly, “okay, I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Look, my lungs are completely healed,” they say before singing a long, melismatic improvised melody in one breath. “See? It’s like they were never hurt at all! And all of the burns?” they show their shoulder, pulling the neck of their shirt down slightly, “They’re completely gone. Vanished! The doctors are in absolute shock, they have no idea how this happened.” They look intently into the camera. “I do, though. Remember when I was singing happy birthday to Elise’s sister? After rewatching the footage, I noticed the strings of the ukulele were lighting up, weird right? Well, I think that was the music beginning to heal me!
“I had been sitting in my recovery room, writing some new songs, and I started to notice that Melony’s ukulele started ringing and glowing. I stopped, obviously startled, and the glowing stopped. After that, I started to sing and play for a while, performing some of the songs that I started to write about the supernatural experience that I had last Friday. And, after some time, I noticed that my lungs felt completely full again. I felt all my skin heal underneath my bandages, returning me almost entirely to normal. I’ve still got some small burns on my side, but the really big one, the one that caused the lung damage, is completely gone!!” They spin around with the camera, making an exuberant squeal. “Okay, okay, now, I’m gonna go back in there and find Robert, the guy who actually helped saved me. I’m going to make sure that all of his injuries are better, too.”
At this point, the video fast forwards over upbeat ukulele music, going through the hospital, first to Murphy’s room to grab the borrowed ukulele, then straight to another room, assumed to be Robert’s. Once outside, Murphy begins narrating again. “Okay, so here’s Robert’s roooom~. He doesn’t know that I’m coming, so I’m just gonna surprise him.” They slide the door open, calling out their friend’s name. “Hey, I’ve got a surprise for you, Rob!”
There’s the clack of a laptop closing as Robert coughs in surprise. “Oh, why yes, I’ve been expecting you…” he waits, extending the last sound of “you” until Murphy steps into his view, “…oooou Murphy. When you are as in-tune with the universe as one such as myself, there are few surprises, however, I appreciate the attempt, as it is the thought which is what really counts.” He’s sitting in his hospital bed above the covers in plain clothing, left arm in a cast. He has a tarot deck sitting on his lap and is slipping his laptop underneath his pillow. “As you can see, I’m reading the fates right now, would you care to join me?”
“Maybe afterwards, but you’ve gotta see this. I wrote some music, and I think it’s going to make you feel a lot better.” Murphy says, putting the camera down on a nearby chair, angling it so that both Murphy and Robert are just barely in-frame.
“Ah, yes, music truly is the best way to heal the soul, please, go ahead.” He says, glancing at the camera. Murphy begins playing their ukulele, singing a new song never before heard on the YouTube channel. It describes a story about a cat in a tree, how that cat only wanted to be left alone, a creature so free to sleep its cares away… They continue beyond this original, playing some of their old favorites and a cover or two. At each strum of their instrument, bursts of blue light emanate from the strings, swirling through the air around Murphy’s diminutive form. This colorful display begins to find its way to Robert, who is entranced by the music, then by the mystical spectacle. Murphy’s beautiful voice rings out through the room as they continue to play their concert. The YouTube video fast-forwards through the individual songs in the interest of time, stopping only at strongest hooks and choruses of the tunes. After Murphy strums the final note of the last song of the set, both they and Robert glow momentarily, both of their forms outlined in a light blue that shimmers into a spectrum of colors as it fades away.
Robert looks down at his arm in the cast, moving his hand with ease. “I… This is… incredible… The spirits are truly with us today!” he says, shuffling out of his bed and towards Murphy. He extends his right hand out to shake theirs, which they do gladly. “This is amazing, my arm doesn’t hurt even a little bit anymore!”
Murphy smiles brightly, nodding their head, “Yes, well, that’s my gift to you, for keeping me safe and getting me out of danger. I don’t think I’d still be here if it weren’t for you.” They look up at Robert’s face before looking back to the camera. “See everyone? It’s true! I hope my music can help heal even more people in the future!” Robert looks at the camera and begins to say something more as the video fades into Murphy Martin’s YouTube end card.
Murphy still feels the guitar ringing in their hands after strumming the final chord for their improvised tune. The ferocious felines made of light continue their charge, unphased by the attempt to be calmed. The first creature slashes through the acoustic guitar, hewing it into splinters with a single strike. For the first time, Murphy experiences the true fear of mortal peril. The first attack drops Murphy to their knees, their eyes glistening with tears as they look up to see the next sunlight creature bear down upon them. It leaps through the air and opens its maw to engulph Murphy's head and shoulders into its shimmering throat. They attempt to scream, but the air inside of the creature is scalding. They wordlessly slip into a dark abyss, their voice failing them as the....
"That one, daddy!" the voice of a young child rings out in the humidity-controlled air. She wears a long baby blue dress with ruffled hemming, stained with little patches of yellow from what must've been a lunch of box mac n' cheese. Her widening eyes are a beautiful green with tiny flecks of brown, an excited smile plastered onto her face. The little girl couldn't be more than 10 years old, yet she points her tiny fingers towards a full-sized dreadnaught acoustic guitar. The scent of freshly-milled wood is overpowering in this tiny room, the walls lined with countless guitars of all shapes and sizes. Work boots tap on the hardwood behind her as a man approaches the little one. He kneels down, a kindly smile on his face, little white hairs beginning to pop through short brown beard.
"Are you sure about that Murph?" the man says, standing to grab the guitar off of the wall and bring it down to his daughter's level. The instrument is gargantuan in the father's hands, smelling of mahogany and lacquer. He pushes the guitar body under his arm as best he can and strums it, the notes ringing beautifully in the sound-proofed room. He makes a small scoff before beginning to kneel down, "This one's really big, even for me," he says as he faces the girl, "Look, that one over there is a lot smaller, it might be a better place to start?"
The girl places her fingers on the strings as her father holds the instrument. She runs her fingertips along the largest, thickest string, the guitar responding with a metallic hum. She carefully pushes the largest string with her thumb, releasing it with a thunk. The note glows out of the guitar, the tone warm and comforting. She makes the same motion again, but with the second biggest string, making sure to mute the previous one before listening to the next. Repeating this six times for each string, she places her palm on the body of the instrument, feeling the minute vibrations created by the thinnest string. She takes her pointer finger and thumb, plucking two notes at a time now, beginning to lose herself in the harmony. Her father giggles in his throat as he watches her, wondering if this will be one of those moments he'll ask her to tell him about after he's too old to remember. Even with just six strings and no fretting, the girl finds a world of music to explore, feeling the burning urge to create tearing at her chest. She pauses, letting the guitar ring until it goes quiet again, the sound of silence engulfing the two once more. "I want this one... this one sounds the best," she looks up into her dad's brown eyes with that dangerous smile of hers. "I'll grow into it… that's what you said last time, right?"
Underneath a black sedan is the shattered and burned remnants of a dreadnaught guitar, metal strings splayed out on the concrete amongst spattered blood. A tall, lanky man and a stoic-looking woman drag Murphy into car before slamming the doors and flooring it, leaving skid marks on the sidewalk and ruining the well-maintained grass of this pristine neighborhood. Flecks of the splintered guitar are kicked up into the air as the vehicle speeds towards the gate of the retirement community. As quickly as it appeared, the car vanishes from sight as if plucked from existence by an equally malevolent and benevolent god.