November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Electronic Terrors

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From thresholds and barriers, many terrible things break free to cause mayhem. Among them are things from a digitized and electronic world. These monsters may have strange origins, but the evils they unleash are no less dangerous.

Welcome to the realms of electronic terrors, creatures that originate from incredible devices known to some as “video games”. These creatures hail from a variety of supposedly fictional universes and realities, where they do all in their capacity to torture brave and cunning protagonists within a digital landscape. These tales may just be works of fiction, but they could very well be alternate worlds held back by a pixelated veil. Perhaps this could mean an expansive frontier within the Prime or perhaps a demiplane of its own.

Author’s Note: Another blog carnival post! This time, it’s a bunch of monsters from horror (or at least suspenseful/horror-related) video games! Yes, the Zombie Dog is a repost…

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Bizarre Bazaar – Items of Castlevania (November 2019 Blog Carnival)

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As the fog begins to roll in, a comforting light barely breaches the blanket dead ahead.  A vardo wagon sits idly, alongside a crackling fire pit.  One lone man clad in ornate robes and a ceramic plate covering his head beckons you over.  His body language seems friendly, but he is clearly interested in business.  A quick wave of an arm showcases all means of strange and wondrous trinkets to behold.  The cloaked humanoid shape picks itself up, addressing the party, “Ah, well met!  All of you seek to fight off the legions of the damned?  Surely, you are in need of proper supplies.  You are fortunate to stumble upon this traveling merchant!”, hoarsely croaks the muffled shape through his sculpted helmet.

Author’s Note: While Castlevania is more action-horror, it’s still very much part of the history of horror gaming.  One could argue the early entries are a proto-survival horror too!  Plus, there’s the classic fiasco of Konami supposedly taking from TSR for their box art.  In general, Konami sucks and will probably always suck (unless some day they magically don’t), but we can still appreciate the classic franchise.  While this one focuses on the first game, fourth game and Symphony (because those are my favorites, I know… original); I might come back and do some items based on other titles at some point… not just the most popular ones.  So with that, here are a couple of items that pay homage to the franchise!  Enjoy and happy vampire hunting!  Also, I’m aware I reposted the solomon seal.

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Domains of Dread: Dawnsveil (now available on DM’s Guild)

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Enter a Domain of Dread born from paranoia and fearmongering, where your neighbor conspires against you and practices wicked sorcery… at least, by your observations.

Ruled by a once-beloved governor, now fear is there ruling force! The colony still expands and progresses, even as its appointed ruler acts from the background. However, his control is far stronger than most realize. Face an endless battle between a crazed governor and the dark witch that haunts the lands.

Domains of Dread – Dawnsveil is an expansion for the Ravenloft Campaign Setting.  However, it is fully compatible with the Curse of Strahd adventure.  Inside, you’ll find a history of a fallen trade colony, dark tales of a dark witch taken form and terrifying creatures that dwell in the darkness.

You can find this product here.  Happy Halloween!

Wretches of Ravenloft – Mordent

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Mordent, considerably more progressive than other domains by a distance.  Curiously, its presence in the Mists is the fault of Strahd and Azalin.  They devised a scheme to exploit an apparatus within the realm to free themselves from their imprisoned domains.  This failed, sealing Mordent’s fate as well.

A fair share of oddities drift in and around the domain.  The Darklord himself, Lord Wilfred Godefrey, certainly counts.  Once a backstabbing aristocrat, he slew his own wife and daughter.  He covered the incident up as it were an accident.  But, their vengeful spirits drove him to suicide, forcing him into the ironic fate of a trapped spirit too.  Since then, he has collected the souls that are beckoned to his house on Gryphon Hill.  He has even used the trapped souls to his advantage at times, creating networks of informants and spies within his domain.

But, what is beyond the house?  The Great Moors risk dense moss and trees to get lost in, while ghost towns just beyond prove to be less than salvation.  The river ways and moors are mucky and thick, the perfect predatory grounds of the bog hound.  A ways off the path was an off beat enclave of artists, creatives and non-establishment people who failed to fit in with the norm.  Save for the waxworks, there is no more life here.  No true life.  Despite much of it burning down, wonders of art are mixed with the macabre to unveil an art show unlike anything before.

Author’s Note:  Yet another double-feature!  This time, the Domain of Mordent as the theme.  The first creature is based off the Howls of the Night adventure, prominently featuring the Bog Hound.  The second is from a homebrew pocket domain within the domain itself.  It’s a meshing of wax museum horror tropes.  And for added creepiness, some extra homage to one of my favorite parts of BioShock!

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October 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard!

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For most people, the cemetery is a place to reflect and remember.  But, dark powers have other plans for these resting places.  Thus, the safe haven for the dead becomes a grounds for corruption.  Dare you see what wicked deeds taint once sacred memorials?

Author’s Note: What do Tom Waits and cemetery-themed monsters have to do with each other?  I’m not sure.  But, here are an assortment of higher level foes to fill your boneyards with.  A few of these critters make nods to editions past as well as other media.  In this case, I wanted to give some pretty powerful undead to face off against.  Also, I won’t lie, the recent Joker movie inspired my take on the Wheep to take shape.

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Adventure Conversion – Alterations (Greyhawk 2000)

Alterations

This isn’t the dreaded “Gothic Earth”, but something almost as odd.  It feels like the world of Oerth, known as “The World of Greyhawk” to many.  However, it changed.  It evolved.  The technologies here, while magical somehow, feel quite close to the wondrous artifice of Gothic Terra.  However, I can’t help but wonder how all of this came about.  None the less, I’ll take this place over the forces of The Mists or The Red Death any day!  I feel I’m not done with either though. – Ramon DeLeon, planes traveling bard

Oerth.  But, not the Oerth I remember.  This is one of a distant future.  Just as there are new hopes, there are new fears.  The evils of yesteryear are supplanted by the evils of today.  News of a new abomination of mad science and magic has made its way throughout New Greyhawk City.  A creature similar to the dread mouther, but created through artificial means.  The news does its best to cover up details, but the truth is far more twisted and will only be spoken of in hushed whispers.  The terror of the Millexium Mouther rests, for now.

Author’s Note: Dungeon Magazine #83 gets referenced once again!  The last time was the Faranth, a one-off aberration that has sadly never appeared in official form again.  This time, I’m referencing both Greyhawk 2000 and its tie-in adventure, Alterations.  It’s sad that GH2000 only got attention here, never again in Oerth canon.  D20 Modern would have been the perfect place to continue it.  Eh.  Whatever.  Here’s a quick conversion of the NPCs and monsters found in it.  Plus, the Millexium Mouther is a new monster to play with!  While I won’t encourage piracy, back issues of Dungeon Magazine have long since gone out of print.  You can find a copy of this issue via Archive.org.

 

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More Gothic Terra – Even more frightening foes

Heroes against the darkness, across spans of time

People who aren’t careful have a habit of vanishing in this city.  The cops, they just don’t care.  Hired hands, they’re hiding something.  The likes of people like me, researching the truth on the side.  If you’re careful, you’ll stay close and ask few questions.  – Herman P. Finske, Attorney and Occult Reseacher

Even as times change and people progress, one things stays true…  there are things that always go bump in the night.  Your walled in lands of safety can still be infiltrated or outright broken down.  And even without that, there are still dark forces at work from within.  Mad experiments, mutants, things of the mind and more!  Monsters are going modern for this week!

Author’s Note: More urban fantasy/modern horror creatures!  This time, right out of the pages of D20 Modern with my own twists here and there.

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