Monsters of the Elements: Creatures of the Inner Planes

Planescape Finders: Planes

The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms.  These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others.  Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane.  Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new.  From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while.  I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games.  I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago.  Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things.  Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.

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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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The Eldritch Unity – Amalgamated Horrors from Powers Beyond

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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!

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Weird Western Monsters – Lupine NPCs and Variants

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“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.

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 3) – Mutants and Monstrosities

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“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!

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