I’ve been doing this for three years, whoa. I started this project as a Tumblr blog that made Pathfinder monsters of dubious quality… The sole reason was because one of my favorite bloggers at the time went on hiatus from crafting some genuinely neat stuff. My work was more so trying to imitate what they did, but it was none the less good practice. Granted, I eventually grew tired of attempting to make 3/PF content after a while. It’s not to say there’s anything wrong with Pathfinder, more so that I never truly got 3rd edition down since I started playing it. Daemons and Deathrays was reborn into the strange world of homebrew it is today! My inspiration was sparked once more when D&D 5E had its official release in July of 2014. Now, I’ve been following 5E since its inception and have studied it with as much attention as I can devote. But, none the less, I started this is a means of sharpening my skills and giving something cool to the world! Who knows? Perhaps this little blog could be the springboard for publishing work soon enough.
By many, they’re considered dreaded creatures of darkness; near mindless servitors of dark vampiric lords. For eons, there have been rumors that vampires infuse their blood into giant bats in order to turn them into powerful mind slaves to carry out their wretched work. The truth is far stranger than this fabricated mythology. Like many races of the Wyld, they were not originally born but made. Several tribes in the regions south of the the Forests of the Sundered Giants were facing a cosmic menace that scorched all it touched in radiant fire, capable of shooting magma like ooze from its mouth as well. To them, the forces of light had betrayed them and have attempted to destroy them. In truth, these creatures were an evolved version of a race of alien invaders called “The Empyrean.” The invaders commanded that they turn to their light or be vanquished on the spot. Spirit beings from the demiplane of wilderness sought their chance, convincing the populace to make pacts with them in an effort to banish the “Hateful Light.” These new patrons warped bats from nearby caves into bipedal creatures under their control. In addition, they offered the locals such power in return for revering the forces as their gods.
Following the pact, those who swore an oath became similar creatures to the transmogrified bats, fighting to banish the celestial attackers. Following the Empyrean’s defeat, the Wyld patrons dragged their beastly creations back to Arcadia to use as part of their army. While some of the bat people began to mentally degrade over time, others fortified plans to revolt and regain their freedom. An ambush at the hands of these creatures, as well as from other wronged creatures, caught their fey-like captors off-guard. A combined effort struck a devastating blow to these mighty lords of faerie, utilizing the same power that created them. Seizing the opportunity, the bat creatures lead over enslaved monsters and beasts through the dark gateways they took to enter in the first place. In the material world, they were greeted by a changed world that has advanced ages in time since they left. The stranded creatures took to the darkness, where they felt comfortable. Some utilized the shadow magicks of their captures to formulate new arcane powers, others decided to fulfill the stereotype and turn towards help from vampires. The rest of them isolated themselves in pitch black shelters, away from the wretched light that started it all.
Author’s Note: The Faerie of the Wyld are jerks, as I established in previous posts. In my home setting, they’re among the antagonist factions that exist in the planes beyond the prime material. I have utilized them in other posts, but they’re a villain I enjoy revisiting in my own campaigns or in lore within my posts. But enough about that, we’re here for bats! Well, kind of. A blogger who followed me requested a bat-inspired race. And considering I have a Gothic theme going, what better time? As for the name, it comes from a Mesoamerican deity that takes the form of a giant sinister bat. The name also alludes to the bat shapeshifters from the World of Darkness/Werewolf the Apocalypse expansion, “Changing Breeds.”. All of that said, my prime concern for balance is the blind sight.
Space, whether it be the outer reaches of our galaxy or Wildspace, is a cold and seemingly empty void with only a few clusters of rocks and stars to populate it. For eons, many thought that they were the only intelligent life forms in the known universe. More chillingly, they thought they were the top predators as well. Recent expeditions have brought back disturbing data of strange creatures that leech off of other life forms and evolve based on their parasitism. Following the deaths of countless crew aboard various vessels, we quickly learned that we were but prey in an uncaring and harsh cosmos.
The Alien Menace is a creature never before seen by travelers in distant space. It can manipulate its form to based around a wide variety of host bodily structures that it took life from. In most cases, the creature is a semi-bipedal being with sharp ridges and spines all along its anatomy. It has very sharp claw-like hands and feet and a reptilian prehensile tail, acting as slashing weapon too. A armor-like chitinous plating covers its bump covered hide. The creature’s face is made of wretched proportions; some aspects are vaguely humanoid, while others are unfathomable and truly alien. From the large shell like head extension to the harpoon-like tongue with a secondary mouth, this ghastly hunter preys on the very creatures that helped it grow.
Author’s Note: It’s a Xenomorph, more or less. That out of the way, this was specially requested by a friend of mine. They wanted to create a one shot inspired by the classic film that started it all, spliced with Alien Isolation. Even though this breaks away from my Gothic theme a little bit, the original Alien followed the haunted house movie formula… RECYCLED IN SPACE! So in a sense, it vaguely fits. Also, Curse of Undeath coming soon, as promised.
Darkness preys upon countless innocents, dragging them into their clutches as it sees fit. It awaits for us to falter and turn to it in search of aid, courage, control. It happily responds, in hopes of enthralling those who get too close. This wickedness is no one being, but the very nature of evil itself. It seeks to take everything that is true goodness, and destroy it any way it can. For true evil, the failure of hope and prosperity is its ultimate goal. And in the end, it has plans to make us all pawns in its twisted games.
However, heroes rise up to combat the darkness and help bring light to the world. But in the end, they risk falling to the same evil they combat. Their feuds against wickedness risk corrupting them as well, making their valiant efforts all for naught. Such adventurers may become the very monsters they quested forth to destroy, in the end. Only a true champion of justice can withstand an onslaught of defilers and diabolic forces. All everyone else can hope for is solace and sanctuary, for it’s all we have in an endless struggle to fend off powers far beyond our control. We have no control, you see! The darkness comes! It will damn us all!
The forces of corruption are a new threat to your players. Similar to the Sanity stat, Purity is an alternate option to measure your players’ endurance against forces of absolute evil. The lower their purity is, the more likely they are to succumb to its dark embrace, similar to the Dark Lords of Ravenloft or the hellish creatures found in countless dark fantasy tales.
Author’s Note: I’m back with another rule module for you all! In short, I gave the Pureness stat some playtesting, but found out it was wasn’t properly defined or fleshed out. That and the base concept was tied to either Gamma World style mutation or “Arcane Corruption” (DCC style spellcasting). The resulting feedback concluded that a mix of Ravenloft’s Dark Power effects charts, disease tracks and mutation were the best way to go. In a sense, this is a compilation in addition to expansion on what I already have. In short, this is a revision of the purity idea from my Arcane Corruption post. It’s still similar to the rest of the post, same as my post for mutation.
Also, one of my players wanted me to delve deeper into the Curse of Undeath, making a post inspired by Dark Souls. So, stay tuned for an expansion on that!
The fog’s rolling in and it’s been a long day of travel. The countryside would be much nicer if it wasn’t for the fact the sun barely pierces through the clouds, the locals look grey and depressed, an unnatural force seems to linger in the air. All isn’t as it seems. Up the road from the Inn you booked for the night, a cozy cottage holds a sign stating “Rare and Magnificent Antiques and Wares.” Your curiosity piqued, you decide to go in. At the counter, a hunched over figure in dusty garb greets you. As he prepares to speak, he also beckons you to a back room. Here lies a collection of dark and abominable additions to his collection.
Welcome! Please, peruse! I know a discerning group of clever treasure hunters when I see them! I encourage onlookers to become properly acquainted with their purchases, before everything is set in stone. We have incredible wares from all corners of the world, even worlds beyond our own. From artifacts of dread cults to supposedly cursed crafts. Pay no mind to the strong storms and green tinged fog outside, that’s normal weather for these parts. Of course, you’re safe within the confines of my shop… so long as you purchase something. If you need anything explained or elaborated upon, I would be happy to do so. Just be warned of one thing, all purchases are final! Once we part with an artifact, it becomes your problem, hehe.
Author’s Note: Welcome back to another installment of Bizarre Bazaar, in which I craft a whole bunch of thematic magical items. This time around, it’s items for my Gothic and Gaslamp theme. We have a few Weird West, Steampunk and Weird Fiction items thrown in for good measure. Also, this post is a collaboration with Bound-Incubus. A big thanks goes out to him for the awesome ideas as well as helping me with designing some of the items. Also, please pardon posting a bit later than usual. I wanted transition back to posting on the weekends anyway. Also, keeping with the gothic theme, many of the magic items are cursed, with a foreboding side effect to their boons. Without further ado, please enjoy my largest collection of items for Bizarre Bazaar yet!
A bane among their compatriots and a blessing all the same. The Practical Joker is a master of mischief and mayhem. Perhaps they’re creators of comedy, perhaps their sheer power of annoyance is a weapon all its own. Either way, it’s not likely they’ll be trusted by many people and for good reason.
This isn’t to say these cheery pranksters are forces for antagonism. On the other hand, many are quart jesters or comical folk in general. Many travel around, hoping to bring amusement… usually at someone’s expense. Assuming they have a sense of humor, they’re often in on the joke. However, some practical jokers take their craft too far. They become malicious, seeing downright sadistic acts as comical. These people become feared as villains in their own right.
Author’s Note: The Muscle Wizard didn’t turn out how I had hoped. It was a one shot joke based on a one shot joke anyway, so no harm done. Also, this sub-class is built around the idea of manipulating enemies and making light of a situation. This archetype is not intended for more serious games. Likewise, this archetype shouldn’t be used as an excuse to troll your fellow players. That’s a reason why Kender tend to be banned at a lot of tables. Also, better late than never, right?
Some wizards are driven by specific arcane studies, while others want to augment an aspect of life or society through the powers of magic. And then there’s others that want magic to augment their bodies in a unique way. Some suggest the monks are driven to alter themselves through spiritual teachings. Many mages have witnessed their teachings and have applied similar principles to magical study. And thus, the “Muscle Wizard” was born.
To a Muscle Wizard, physical fitness is just as important as mastering arcane studies. While they are not as enduring as warriors, the Muscle Wizard is just as extraordinary in their ability to dish out absolute physical punishment on top of magical craft. Many go on to become mentors for those who wish to fuse martial prowess with arcane arts. In fact, they’re among the first attempts at doing so. However, their history likely goes back to trade lines between mageocratic settlements meeting with monks who ended up sharing disciplines, philosophies and spiritual teachings. As the two concepts began to mingle, they merged into a style all their own. While not as able to master spiritual disciplines of the self and not as able to master specific aspects of magic, this arcane school is more than happy to throw a magical fist in the face of anyone who dares to belittle it.
Author’s Note: WE TAKE A BREAK FROM OUR GOTHIC THEME FOR AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN! Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! As always, I love making absurdist and silly posts every year. And by all means, this one is no exception. Originally, I was creating a hybrid of the Fighter and Monk to create a more martial and less mystical brawler class for 5E. Sadly, that idea fell apart. A ways later, I decided to make a mock write up for the Muscle Wizard as a joke. Somehow, the meme stuck and became this year’s April Fools post. How about that?
That said, a word of warning. This subclass was tinkered with on a whim, rather than made with absolute balance in mind. Because of that, it might be a tad on the unbalanced side… a sort of beefed up Bladesinger if you will. Needless to say, I might revisit this at some point and use it as inspiration.