EDIT: Many of the linked monsters no longer exist. Plus, a lot of new monsters need an update.
Much of the art of conversion can be much more simple than one thinks. Minimalism is something I’ve been meaning to toy with, as well as looking at my previously available options. With that, here’s a list of existing monsters to modify for the adventure as well as creatures that already exist in some capacity. Enjoy!
“It looked like some sort of badger-like animal, until I noticed the eight legs! Each of them had barb-like claws attached. As the creature faced us, its jaws dettached and let out the most horrid of shrieks. It pounced upon and tore apart the bardic minstrel in moments before we managed to put it down. What other twisted beasts dwell here?”
-A survivor’s brief encounter with the Aurumvorax
Beyond machines and flora, countless species of fauna populate the strange wreckage. Whether they’re organic forms from realms unknown or mutated experiments gone horribly wrong, their alien nature and ferocious abilities make them formidable foes to fight off.
Author’s Note: Beyond some easy to convert monsters using the monster manual, here’s a helping of monsters and beasts that roam the downed ship. Some of these were pretty easy to tackle, considering many of them had been ported over to other systems (beyond the Next playtest) such as Pathfinder. Stay tuned for my take on pre existing monsters as well as adding new monsters to the ship!
“The Grand Duchy of Geoff has sent a messenger out to you with an urgent alert! Sightings of strange creatures and stranger devices have been found somewhere beyond the hilly range known simply as “The Barrier Peaks.” All parties sent to investigate have failed to return for a while now. Rewards will be negotiated, alongside relics you may find in the threatening area you are sent to explore. All demands and discussion will be handled with the Duke of Geoff.”
We continue our conversion, this time with plant-based life forms and related creatures. Included is one of my favorite monsters, the vegepygmy. Sure, their name is weird, a bit too cutesy and possibly a tad racist; but I’ve always liked the ever strange mold men. Not to mention, their thorny companions were always fun too. With that, I give you more monsters from the Barrier Peaks.
Author’s Note: I’m still chugging away at the monsters from this module. Don’t worry, after this post, I’m over half way completed! After that, I’ll tackle some room specific bits as well as treasure. Stay tuned!
To kick off the August 2016 RPG Blog Carnival theme of “Super-Science and Sorcery”, I thought I’d show a part of a conversion I’m working on. This module has always been a special one for me. Not only was it a crazy fun house dungeon crawl, but it’s a bizarre crossover of D&D elements with the likes of Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha. Plus, I’ve always loved conspiracies revolving around Ancient Aliens. With that, I’ll be hoping to transfer Barrier Peaks to 5th Edition to the best of my abilities. After it’s complete, it might go up on the DM’s Guild.
To kick things off, we’ll start the conversion with an assortment of robots and androids. Now, you may be wondering, what do robots have to do with D&D? I’m not entirely sure, as I’m running on coffee and sheer determination. Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a way! Needless to say, the rest of the module is being converted in chunks, to be collected in a megapost in the end.
Author’s Note: You read that correctly! More or less, I’m going to be dumping some time into converting this module. It’s very likely that this will take up a chunk of the month, itself. Luckily, the Playtest made work a lot easier on me. I’ve found help from other bloggers as well, thus making the journey a non-arduous one. Plus, I’ve made a helping of techno goodies in the past too.
Check out my updated take on this alongside some neat ways to change up Tomb of Annihilation (again) here!
Sometimes, the sweet embrace of death is all but impossible for countless damned souls. They are forced to continue to walk a dark path. For them, they seek to regain an essence of life and restore their shattered minds, lest they be lost to an abyss of emptiness and madness. Such a curse can be from a variety of sources; an exploitation of a life source at a deific level, exposure to/using evil magics for too long, a hex brought upon by a powerful caster or even a destructive force bent on draining life from all reality.
The Curse of Undeath is a vile magical power that breaks the soul and leaves the body as little more than a husk. These drained husks share little with their once living counterparts. They are merely corpses controlled and warped by dread energy. Any remnants of mind left in these creatures are stretched to madness and driven to violence. While many of them retain enough knowledge to fight as though could in life, it is impossible for them to engage in rational dialogue let alone interact peacefully.
Author’s Note: Dark Souls III is out and I love it! With that, here’s an optional rule for handling a curse similar to the Undead of the Dark Souls universe. If you don’t want to literally be running Dark Souls, it shouldn’t be too hard to reflavor this into a different dread curse of sorts. If you’ve ever played Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Anthony’s chapter certainly comes to mind. One last disclaimer, these are mostly random ideas in my head, in an attempt to make a Dark Souls inspired mechanic. As such, it’s more than likely that this idea is a bit clunky. It will probably receive a revision in the future, if reader interest is there.
An Affliction of Body, Mind and Soul
As the last of life’s flames extinguish, you become less and less human. For every time you die, a piece of you is lost when you’re brought back. Only through restoring your humanity can you truly become whole. Even before the curse has truly taken hold of you, its dark power has tainted you indefinitely. You may currently look like one of the living, but heinous power seeks to transform you into one of many mindless and angry dead.
The source of the curse can be from one of several horrible events. Perhaps the Gods attempted to prolong the life of themselves and their followers by draining life essence from the planes. Perhaps an entire area was desecrated by overuse of necromancy. No matter the cause, the results will turn apocalyptic in the long run as people without souls begin to wither into deranged husks. Even before before truly becoming one of the Undead, the cursed already suffer greatly. Upon being afflicted by the Curse of Undeath, you automatically fail death saving throws when brought to 0 HP. You must still roll a Death save. Upon failure, you receive two failed saves instead. Getting a natural 1 causes three failed saves instead of two.
Image Source: Revenant – oevrlord
Based off of Dark Souls, which belongs to From Software. Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.