Even vampirism has evolved alongside growing technologies…
“Magick…” he grumbles in a hoarse whisper to himself, “the force we all thought would hamper progress. And here we are, traveling the stars with it.” Letting out a sigh, he pushes his hovering seat away from a messy desk. “If we were truly destined to separate ourselves from magick, the horrible monsters would have been vanquished long ago… not terraforming entire planets.” The man slightly grips his teeth as he rises from the floating chair, joints popping from ache and wear. The spacefaring man gazes into a mirror before continuing to shuffle. The marks of fatigue and age on his face contrast the shining gleam of his badges, reflecting light from the ‘glow panels’ dotting the ceilings and hallways throughout the vessel. Over towards a huge glass pane, the elder military man observes systems of stars with planets seemingly nestled in perfect viewing spots by ancient giants or celestial creatures. “And this ship, it has served more of a home for me than it deserves. But, through the mad crusades and bloody combat, it has served me well.” The tranquility of an empty space fades as ships pull into view, built with alien geometries and operating through impossible physics, they charge weaponry for an epic battle. The man cracks a faint grin as similar weaponry opens fire on the enemy crafts.
The worlds of magic and monsters don’t need to end when civilizations have advanced themselves into new eras; feudal worlds give way to industrial, which give way to information, which give way to hypothetical new technologies that Earth can only speculate about. Even a world of fantasy can and should advance and change with the flow of time. All too often do these worlds stagnate in the endless mush of quasi-medieval high fantasy. Now, this isn’t to say that such a thing can’t be good and doesn’t still have a place. It’s just that for many fans of the genre, such things have grown stale and resistance to change.
In a fantasy future, adventurers will continue to carry on their business. Perhaps new sanctions are in effect and new regulations are in place. However, there are still dens filled with malicious monsters and strange sights to behold. There are gnoll raiders who operate miniguns instead of wield war-axes, elementals from a plane composed of radiation, beholders who bolster their psychic power through cybernetic enhancements, orcish biker gangs terrorizing the streets through their “hover hogs” and much more. Granted, most of these will not be appearing in the article below. However, they are ideas on how someone can twist a classic monster for a more Modern/Sci-Fi inspired setting.
Author’s Note: I figured this is a great way to close out the theme, a look at some classic monsters transferred to a new genre. And by this, I mean transferring classic D&D monsters into classic (as well as some less standard) science fiction. Also, please don’t mind the cheesy space-opera-meets-D&D blurb from up above. I’m not quite what I’d call a writer, but I figured it would be a fun change of pace.
The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before. Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes. Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction. Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort. Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler. The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.
“Hail, friend! It has been a while, has it not? Please, do not shy away. Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond. I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”
The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares. Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts. Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend. Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.
Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being. However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars! This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes. But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here. As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment. No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.
Planar-based parties are weird.
Planetouched. Such a term can be used to describe humanoids that have an ancestry shared with an extraplanar creature. The blood of fiends runs through a Tiefling, the blood of celestials in a Aasimar and the blood of elementals in Genasi. But, these are but a handful of creatures gifted by strange sources lurking in the known multiverse.
Among their ranks are other creatures, either blessed or cursed by their strange bloodlines.
- The Changeling is the result of a union between a mundane humanoid and an ancient magical creature empowered by corrupting sorcery, a hag or a bodach.
- Dream-Touched are born from the powers of two fallen archfey; one of pleasant dreams and one from nightmares.
- The Eldritch-Touched is an unfortunate creation of mad cultists, victims of dark gods and overly curious lunatics.
- Fey Dog Barkers are the result of Fey Dogs who wandered too far into the Maddening Winds of Pandemonium… those who didn’t go insane were changed, perhaps for the better.
- Finally, the Vitalborn are a race of creatures much like the Genasi. Their elemental nature, however, comes from the Positive and Negative planes.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Not 1, but 5 new races! (Well, 3 new races, a sub race and a remake) I wanted to continue my planar/weird fantasy theme with some more player options. Most of this started with a player wanting a hag-blooded tiefling in an early 5e game… which didn’t quite feel thematically right to me. Though, it ended with the loss of famous meme “Gabe the Dog”… otherwise, the sub-race wouldn’t exist. Granted, Fey Dog was a meme-based joke creation to begin with.
All in all, I got carried away with a whole assortment of planar themed racial options at your disposal! While they need some playtesting (and some more than others), I’m still happy I managed to get all of this done. Enjoy.
So, I posted the frog race a bit early. My schedule (work, life, etc) is slipping back into crazy mush again, so posts may come out on a less concrete schedule as a result. That said, I’ll have something by next weekend or next Wednesday.