Unification. Usually, this concept is seen as a positive. Coming together for a common cause. However, not all things use it for the betterment of all life. Some use it for the betterment of themselves, sometimes to literally propagate themselves; an all out cosmic domination campaign. For survivors sane enough to resist its curse, they will recant tales of an entity more than capable of unraveling all reality… and rebuilding it in a gruesome image.
Despite hailing from some alien dimension, accessed through planar loopholes and demiplanes, this entity is not driven by chaos or randomness, as we might assume. Scholars believe that this thing has taken interest in our takes on law, order and of course unity. However, it strives to perfect it. To material plane minds, the result is a sickening perversion that inspires madness and revulsion.
Author’s Note: The culmination of all sorts of cosmic and body horror. Here are a few powerful creatures that could make for some truly horrifying end game baddies, short of an elder god itself. Mix a little Dark Souls, Halo, Innistrad and Warhammer 40K and you have these abominations. Also, I realized that my homage to Hanweir is quite similar to Kor-Artificer’s. Great minds think alike, I guess. Either way, I can certainly say that I’ve created one of he most horrifying things I can imagine. All for a part of the Unity!
“Yeah, Fangs Gulch is a place. I found my way there not long after being bewitched and I started turning into one of them. Anyway, the locals look like those animalmen out in the wilderlands, but they run shops, shoot guns and live life like us. The scotch was something great, I only passed out after two jugs mind you. The butcher served up a nice slice of meat he called ‘furless one’. Even the ladies of the night were good too, even if they’re all hairy and have like eight knockers, real bitey and growly too. Hey, don’t look at me like that! It’s no weirder than the bar owner who screws automatons off-hours! Aww shucks, I really am one of them… – Rawoo (Rowan T. Jammerson), Lupine (Ex-Human) Maverick Rogue
The Lupines, especially the Gray Runners, often receive harsh treatment. Life in the tribes prove hard, but life among the outsiders, exotic travelers and other oddities proves all the more frustrating. Hostility seems inevitable, whether in the realms of trade or battle. Sometimes peace is achieved, but it’s often to suit an agenda. Some have sold their wisdom and secrets to get ahead of the travelers, while others have taken to more vindictive approaches… some reactions truly wicked. Most care about the day by day, appeasing the forces above them while surviving in a harsh world. Until recently, the harvests and hunts have been good, as life has been normal.
Author’s Note: By popular demand, here is more content for the gray runners… or rather, what the concept got expanded into. While they feel not overly different than Mystara’s Lupins (I even made a NPC that uses Lupin mechanics), they seemed pretty popular here. Plus, anything to bring more attention to Spellslinger (in the naive hope that Fantasy Flight Games will convert it to D&D 5E! Ya hear that, FFG!? You’d gain money from joining the new edition!) I pondered on how to expand on serpentmen, based on a request on my Tumblr blog, but my previous post points out that Yuan-Ti work just fine. For more on The Lupines, please check out this post here.
When magic is involved to experiment with life, the results can be horrifying and sickening. So-called Freaks are born from careless tinkering with supernatural forces. These “freaks” are often driven to madness and hostility by either their inability to grasp the world around them or reacting to a harsh and judgemental society. Those who lack sentience tend to go mad from their tormented existence. Most of the time, their creators have little care for their warped creations. Those who do seem them as the perfect meat shield, whilst they continue their depraved and disturbed experiments.
While many are the result of mad scientist, evil alchemists and deranged wizards; some are victims of corrupting powers and incomprehensible forces. These powers greatly vary. Forces like abyssal underworld hexes, maddening voids of realms beyond, places of raw and untamed energies. Creatures born from such mysterious planes and domains are often thralls to their mad overlords. Those who break free often became chaotic and destructive forces prone to rampage, much like material plane “freaks”. These planar-blighted beings were often enslaved as living machines of destruction. They serve as pawns in warfare, conquest or acts of terror.
Author’s Note: Many of these are original with the help of some of my friends (Thanks Bobby, Centaurpede will give me nightmares!) Also, the creepy horse mask inspired some of the flavor text… In the case of some of the others, they are homages. The Cosmicoid is both a nod towards Alien and the equally inspired Wanamingo from Fallout 2. The Hulking Mutant is a more clear reference towards the Super Mutants from Fallout. Meanwhile the Atomic Beast was my translation of Keith Thompson’s Pripyat Beast and Psi-Zombie is Zombified Stalker from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. meets the Witch from Left 4 Dead. Also, Atomic Beast and Centaurpede are conceptually very similar… Granted, one’s alive while another is a From Software staple.
CHECK OUT THE UPDATED VERSION HERE!!
Art Sources: Keith Thompson – Pripyat Beast
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.
“Two of our party members died, but check out this shiny ray gun!”
“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!
EDIT AUGUST 2018: Check out the updated version here! (It’s also more of its own monster now, rather than just a rip from Eternal Darkness.)
“They ARE amongst us!”
“When we thought that our very bodies and minds were sanctuary against foul things, there are horrid puppet masters that would seek to dig into our very essence and manipulate us. These skeletal looking beings always dig at the neck and claw their way into the victim’s spinal column, where they hijack all function. In no time, the victim is a mere toy of this awful beast. And worst of all, they’re capable of sampling the old mind’s memories to blend in, as one of us! They can infiltrate OUR lands without us knowing. Only when their new skin is damaged or useless, do they shed it like old clothing! These grotesque nightmares will try to control US ALL!” – Maxwell, an Archivist driven mad by dark revelation.
Behold, the Bonethief. This almost skeletal beast is nothing to make light of. As it skulks dark corners, waiting for prey, one can hear its demonic cackles. It strikes by leaping towards the spine of its victim, digging in before taking absolute control. It even has the unsettling ability to mimic its host in their prior environment. Thus, many who encounter these atrocities quickly succumb to paranoia. While not extremely violent, this parasitic race will subdue anyone who intends on thwarting their sick plans by any means necessary. When not acting like a normal living being, they will hide within corpses and masquerade as a dead body before causing the remains to leap up and attack. When you discover that at least one is present, you know you will never be safe from them again!
Author’s Note: Before, I did a monster inspired by Eternal Darkness, sampling their take on the vampire a little bit. This time, I wanted to convert one of my favorite creatures from the game, The Bone Thief. This was one of the most terrifying enemies in the game, if only for the reason that you didn’t know who had this parasitic creature controlling them.
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a product of Nintendo and Silicon Knights.
“Wrap your troubles in dreams, dream your troubles away!”
More horrors of Dol Quar, the Realm of Dreams, await those who connect to it beyond the wall of sleep! Some Quori rival and perhaps exceed the Dreaming Dark in terms of sheer power and deadly force of will. The evil of these creatures is not to be tested, unless you’re willing to lose your body or mind… or both. If you thought the first batch were threatening, you have seen nothing yet. Here’s the second part of my Quori conversion.
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. Quori and Eberron are copyrights of Wizards of the Coast.
Deep within the realms of Dream lie many secrets to the cosmos. The residents of Dal Quor are among those that should have remained distant. The Quori are a race of beings that interact through the dreams of others, influencing their victims however they can this way. While the realm of Dal Quor is said to only touch upon the series of Crystal Sphere dubbed “Eberron”, some fear that the Quori’s influence stretched far into the multiverse. Some theorize that they have an intricate network traveling through the distant eldritch plane known only as “The Far Realm.” No matter the truth, none of our dreams are safe from these malicious foes.
To many, they are a race of boogeymen. They manifest in horrific forms; your worst fears, deformed and mutilated killers, sometimes even their natural forms as well! No matter the shape they take, they stalk victims in their sleep, waiting to either bring them to ruin or control them… with or without them fully aware. Rumors have begun to persist that they can warp reality around the victim as they sleep. One witness saw a sleeping child pulled into their mattress, only for a geyser of blood to shoot from the newly formed hole in the mattress. If this account and many others are true, the Quori are as terrifying within the dream realm as they are outside of it.
Author’s Note: There are many reasons for me to tackle this awesome set of literal nightmares. Part of it is the strange sense of Lovecraftian horror these creatures give off. Another part of it is to honor the dream-filled horrors of the sadly late Wes Craven. Enjoy.
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. Quori and Eberron are copyrights of Wizards of the Coast.