The Order always prepares for adventure!
The Order of the Shootist, it’s a name claimed in both fear and mystery. They arrive with their incredible weaponry, unleashing thunder claps and smoke. And in mere instants, their enemies drop dead from incredible blasts of metal and fire. Only warriors worthy of their cause are admitted into their ranks. People know plenty about the mythical “fire brands”, as they have for countless years. However, most people are barely proficient. Even more fail to use them properly to begin with! The Shootist rises above these average folk. They hold sacred knowledge about not only wielding a gun with finesse, but a myriad of skills to truly champion their weapons.
For a Knight of the Shootist Order, there are many key features. One must move with a certain panache. Not only must they be graceful with their guns, but their steps must be constantly fluid. One slip up and you are shot down. A shootist has little time to stop and study their enemy, but must make a quick observation on the go. In addition, you won’t see armor worn as often within their ranks. Only truly strong and brisk warriors sport the arms and speed of a gunslinger with the armory of your traditional knight. Such individuals command both respect and a charismatic presence all their own. Some take to the shadows to get in the most brutal surprising shot possible, unleashing a devastating barrage.
Author’s Note: Lots of folks have asked a long time to revisit my shootist post. And since my theme for this month is Gaslamp Fantasy and Weird West, it was the perfect opportunity. So, let’s not just revisit the Shootist, but have a list of new options for the Rogue, Ranger and even Paladin! Take aim and fire, here’s a shooting gallery’s worth of options! However, these can easily be repurposed into a general ranged specialist if firearms are not allowed in your games or not common enough to allow training in.
“You’re just in time for our weekly Necronomicon Study! Sit down, have a glass of kool-aid.”
The concept of death inspires some of the oldest fears known to civilization. The end of life, the end of all we have worked for. The finality to our existence. While many fear death, the idea of undeath proves to be far more horrifying to many. The idea of losing ones self, the very essence, coming a shriveled shell that exists as a mockery of its former self. These are the fears of the undead. For that reason and more, they are a menace to civilization on the average.
Why are the undead are considered a menace to the living? For a variety of reasons, of course. Many of these reasons derive from ethics over necromancy, while others are because of their often destructive ways. None embody the latter more than a secretive cabal known simply as “the entropic gloom”. This quasi-religious order is dedicated to eradication of the living, assimilating them into the ranks of the dead. The reasons for this? Cloaked in shadow, much like themselves. It could be out of contempt for the living, some utopian ideal of unity or perhaps even a penchant for heinous acts of violence. While much of the ranks of this cult are typical undead, some have been transformed into truly incredible servants of dread forces.
Author’s Note: I loving making undead nasty nasties! This is no surprise, for those who know me well enough… So with that, here’s an assortment of living dead monsters to torture your players with. After reading up on monstrous synergy via Tome of Foes, I’ve plucked a few ideas to boot! Also, priest characters, you’re gonna have a bad day.
“Endure, in enduring grow strong.” – Dak’kon, Zerth Disciple
The endless struggle in the planes beyond. This is brief summary of the Gith, a displaced and wounded people. Long ago, they came to know suffering under a domineering race of creatures known as “Illithid”. The horrid creatures broke and enslaved these beings into servitude, harvesting them when it became convenient. In a showing of will and defiance, rebellion lead to the gith breaking free. However, factions arose over what to do with their newfound freedom. The split lead to the rise of many new groups rife with their own strange philosophies and viewpoints.
Despite this fracturing, each respective faction remains strong and proud in their own manner. Each continues onward in their ideals. Each finds their place in the multiverse. However, they remain sullied by hatred and biases of the past. Many refuse to deal too much with their kinds, lest they risk getting dragged into Gith politics. However, a wise and powerful ally is usually welcomed within a team.
Author’s Note: Wouldn’t you know it? I’m not overly satisfied with a non-core book on races, once more. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is by all means a great book in terms of conflict inspiration as well as monsters, but I was eager to do my own take on things. As I’m a master of reinventing the wheel, here’s my own take on the Gith. But, in all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to this for a while. Even before Tome of Foes was announced, I wanted to do a whole assortment of Planescape races. The new book just encouraged me to get to it. Mind you, most of this was already pondered when the initial unearthed arcana article came out.
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Beyond the realm of Khorvaire lies many horrible things. Some exist upon the Prime Material Plane, while others are haunted remnants of old conflict. The wasteland of Cyre lures curious onlookers hoping to know more of the Last War. An empire of the undead waits patiently while assembling its forces. A deadly draconic power below prepares for an onslaught like none have seen. However, these threats and more are far more terrestrial. Within the realms of a sleeping mind lies a gateway into a dark unknown. It is here that the Mi-Go flutter, elementals of dream gather and the Quori plan their dreadful deeds.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I love Eberron… a lot! Now, I wasn’t the first to convert some monsters over to 5E and I won’t be the last! Given my posts about dream-related content, it’s likely Dal’Quor content will show up in something else if Eberron isn’t unleashed to the public any time soon. So as always, continue to divine in the realm of dream and you too might learn a thing or two. For more dream wandering content, check out The Dreamlands tag.
Heya, Doc here! I wanted to do a slight change of pace from the norm. In support of a theme I have been waiting to look into for a while, here is a sampling of creatures based on fears that I’ve come across at some point in my life. Now, which ones genuinely effect me? I’d rather not say. But, here are some creepy critters inspired by various existing bits from the D&D multiverse as well as my own twisted psyche.
If you wanna jump on board this month’s theme, the theme is “What Scares You?” Read on here!
You love me, you really love me! Your kindness is matched by the most generous berk in the world who hocked their jink to learn everything about the fair cage. But in all seriousness, I’m glad you returned for more of the dark on those who dwell here.
I gotta hit up other primers, lest you keep popping jink in my bag as I act like your personal info automaton. All of you seem like fine bashers and bloods, ripe with adventure or something. But, we have to stop meeting like this. Besides, some of my associates think I might be planning some big dark with you. Can’t have that, just business and all that. That said, I would be willing to talk to you all about some hot shots of the Cage, if ya got the jink for it. But, that’s closed quarters stuff. Nothing any Hiver or higher Warder could sneak a quip on!
Author’s Note: Doing all of those variant plane-touched made me really want to tackle other races. I honestly don’t know if they’ll appear in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foe’s or not. Githzerai and Githyanki are already scheduled to appear in the upcoming book. I might create stats for them before it drops for AL stores, we’ll see. That might be for next week. Either way, here is my take on them. Now, these races have been tackled by other people… perhaps with more know-how. Regardless, I wanted to do my own take. Here ya go!
The so-called Death Curse seemed like a contradiction at first… we were robbed of our ability to die! Oh, how wrong we were! – A tattered letter from Camp Righteous
A dark shroud has enveloped fair Toril, it is not of this world. A powerful force of raw necrotic energy has made its way into this world. What was once a mere Lich is slowly becoming something more, in part from his Death Curse. Worse yet, a powerful artifact is making the effects of this hex far greater and far more widespread too. But, for what purpose? Perhaps to empower him or possibly provide an endless font to create feats of magic locked away from even the gods! Adventurers are needed, as always. Many have fallen to the madness of the curse, becoming little more than empty husks who attack anything with a semblance of life force left. Go forth and bring life back to this world and don’t you dare go hollow on me!
The world of Abeir-Toril is fairing poorly against a strange incursion by a powerful entity known as “Acererak”. Stories travel around other prime material planes. These stories tell of foul magic, undeath and annihilation. Not long after the monster’s arrival, people found themselves somehow alive when they should have been dead. At first, people rejoiced! But soon, they caught on. Their hearts had stopped, their complexion faded, they began to look more like walking corpses. Many lost their mind, aimlessly attacking those who still show some signs of life. Some fear that this Acererak is not alone, aided by a far more malevolent force.
Author’s Note: Sure, the new adventure is coming soon or whatever. That said, here’s an idea I’ve been bouncing around for a while! What if, instead of merely wasting away from the Death Curse, victims would lose themselves to a slowly spreading and corrupting undeath. Then it hit me, this is Dark Souls! So, I mashed the two together in a sense. Below are a retooling of my Curse of Undeath as well as how to mesh it with Tomb of Annihilation. View the original here. Also, find more content for Chult here.
One final thing. This article contains major spoilers for much of the module. Do not read on if you plan on playing this module!