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Basic Information

Since 2006 there have been 8 reported sightings of a 'lake monster' in Lake Windermere in the Lakeland District of Cumbria county in northern England. The papers have dubbed the Lake Windermere monster "Bownessie", a play on "Nessie" the Loch Ness Monster and one of the towns on the lake shore, Bowness-on-Windermere.

One recent sightings, of a "an enormous snake" or "humpbacked creature" "about the length of three cars" was captured on camera. Sadly, like so many photos at Loch Ness, Lake Champlain, and other reputed sea monster sites, the photos ended up kinda blurry and rather inconclusive.

Prior to this recent 'wave' of monster activity, the first reported sighting of an unknown creature in the lake dates to 1955.


1. Website: The Sun - Includes the recent photo.
2. Website: The Daily Mail
3. Website: Yahoo News

Game and Story Use

  • Bownessie could be a living fossil plesiosaur, cryptid sea serpent, transplanted crocodile, mutant catfish or sea lion, a horrible eldritch abomination from the heart of Campbell Country, etc. Can you say Monster of the Week?
  • Sure, it could well be a hoax, but unless you're playing "Scooby Doo: the RPG", that's no fun.
    • If you're going to go the hoax route, at least make the con artist have an angle, some way they're going to get rich off of this confidence trick, preferably at the expense of the PCs or some other character they care about.
    • Or, the PCs themselves could be faking the monster for their own reasons, as in "The Strange Sea Monster of Strawberry Lake".
  • In a modern horror game, the PCs are sent to northern England on some completely unrelated mission. In the midst of pursuing a criminal, making a hostage exchange, researching a cult, or whatever else your party is likely to do, Bownessie surfaces.
    • Lets assume Bownessie's not immediately dangerous, but her timing is dramatic. Will the PCs abandon their current goal in the name of scientific curiosity?
      • You could use this as flavor, to establish that there's strange supernatural things out there that have nothing to do with the main plot.
      • Since it is a red herring or side-plot, you'll want to make sure it's entertaining enough to warrant the derailment. Make sure this one goes to 11.
    • Or, bownessie could just attack. It'd be out-of-character for the beast thus far, but could make for a fun twist on a tense dramatic or fight scene.
  • The PCs are near the lake, and there's a series of suspicious deaths, which are being hushed up by authorities that don't want a panic. Is it really Bownessie suddenly turned man-eater? Or someone using the local legend to cover up murder?
    • It's a few days before the British Gas Great North Swim, where several thousand people are going to swim across a mile of open water. If bownessie really is a man-eater, this could be disastrous.
  • What is the link between Nessie and Bownessie? Are they the same species? The same creature, just somehow migrated? If there's an entire species of monster swimming about and populating the lakes of the British Isles, what are the implications for your setting? The GM has a few decisions to make.
  • In any of the above scenarios, be prepared for what happens if the PCs decide to expend a lot of resources definitively proving that bownessie exists. PCs tend to be independently wealthy, possess unusual powers or technology, and flagrantly disregard the law. Plus, they're the stars of the show. If anyone can prove there's a monster in the lake, it's the PCs.
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