“Step inside, what’s the worst that could happen?”
In an effort to keep this blog from being stranded in a theme for too long, I’ve decided to change things up starting in February. For the next little while, I’m going to do creations based on “The Fair Folk”. By Fair Folk, I refer to magical creatures of myth and legend. For the most part, I refer to faerie creatures from folktales and folklore; fey, spirit folk, magical nature beings, etc. Some dwell in the faerie realm of Arcadia, some are native to the material plane. In this regard, it relates to my previous planar/science-fantasy theme, but fey creatures don’t have to come from other planes per se. They can be very much a natural part of your realm. So with that, be on the look out for a helping of mystical and magical things to come.
IMAGE SOURCE: Martin Eager
Here’s another sampling of all sorts of items for science-fantasy D&D games! This time around, it’s an assortment of sci-fi themed vehicles as well as drugs and medicine.
It seemed like mere weeks ago, we thwarted legions of cosmic entities with the power of our arcane knowledge. They came in steel carriages and were armed with strange bows, but we ultimately triumphed. From their wreckage, we began to sample their from creations. In the years to come, we began to craft an arsenal that fused our magical craft with the aesthetics and functionality of higher technology. Today, our world looks just as alien as the attackers who tried to take our world all those years ago.
About a year ago, I crafted up a heaping helping of science fiction technology for your D&D 5th Edition games! I think it’s time I revisited that as my planar theme draws to a close, don’t you think? As I’ve said in prior posts, I’m quite the fan of mashing up genres together to create a wholly new experience. In particular, I like mixing aspects of science fiction and fantasy together to create a mystical experience that’s both supernatural and futuristic. To be fair, one of my earliest memories is loving everything about Star Wars. Without much further ado, enjoy!
As many of you know, Wizards of the Coast released two new licensing options for D&D 5th Edition! It’s truly an exciting time! The details of those licenses are more or less an OGL license akin to 3rd Edition D&D as well as an in-house publishing license utilizing their IPs. With that, I’m considering revamping some of my existing work for various products in the somewhat near future. What this means isn’t certain yet. I might release homebrew as playtests for final work, I might release a lot less, I might remove a thing or two from my page. All in all, I don’t know. But yeah, I’m hoping to get my many ideas out to the world however I can!
As I mentioned in my last post, my planar theme will once more come to an end soon. After a few more posts, I’ll probably go back to something random or dive into another theme for a little bit. Either way, do stay tuned!
Please don’t anger the Lady of Pain!
So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness. Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting. While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me. It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit! You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns? You can! You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side? It’s possible! You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God? PLEASE DON’T DO THAT! But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore. For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition. So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.) While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game. I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes. Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting? Why, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Doc! Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?” Yes, I did. However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions. Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole! With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.
For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc! Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?” And you would be right! Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up. The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms. Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!) Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time. The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below. That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine. To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.
Across the multiverse, priests of nature show their devotion to bountiful realms untouched by civilization and the divine powers that tend to them. Many of these priests make pilgrimages to distant demiplanes dedicated to these powers. The Demiplane of Nature is a realm of such untouched wilderness and raw magical power. However, many dark forces seek to harness and corrupt it. As such, a dark reflection of this domain was created, much to the ignorance of those who worship the forces of nature. When the corrupted wild plane reaches a faithful before the pure version, it taints their soul, maddens their mind and warps their body. Victims become horrible monsters, with nature priests and druids being the most heavily afflicted. Among them is a massive nightmare deemed the “Divine Atrocity.” This hulking beast was likely one of many important high priests dedicated to the plane, before being turned into a savage horror. Infection could be from the plane’s dark mirror feeding off of the victim’s hatred, perhaps a corruption within the blood itself.
Divine Atrocities dwell in lands of horrific plagues, planar incursions of the fey or of beasts, or sites of heavy lycanthropy. While lesser creatures create a nightmare for the remaining residents, these abominations help to wipe out any straggler still caught in the streets. Fortunately, these beings are a rare sight. This is in part because prolonged exposure to extreme corrupt energy was the main cause of these nightmares and most victims die long before turning into something like the Atrocity. However, there is a fear that dwells among many. As many nature-based societies come under attack by more technological societies, many will likely fall to that hatred that spawned such dread monsters. And such, a war against civilization will likely escalate to frightening new extremes.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I made a creation based on Nito from Dark Souls, so I figure it would be more than fair to tackle an awesome boss from Bloodborne as well. Or rather, taking inspiration and applying it to my setting’s planar cosmology a little bit. Who knows? If my FromSoft inspired monsters prove popular, I might make more!