Ravenloft! The Demiplane of Dread! The Mists! All names for the same prison dimension for the foulest in the multiverse! Those within the clutches of the Dark Powers must suffer, whether or not they deserve it. These Dark Powers overseen all sorts of truly awful Domains of Dread, plots of artificially constructed spaces where the Powers observe the truly damned in the places of their own damnation. The Darklords are those who have doomed themselves through acts of ultimate evil. They preside over the aforementioned domains to remind them of their sins. Usually, they don’t take kindly to visitors like myself.
Author’s Note: The Lovable World Traveling Bard vs. The Demiplane of Dread! I always love writing bits on Ravenloft and this is a good way of introducing some of my favorite domains to players who might not be as familiar with them. Of course, there are MANY domains that I wish I could ramble about, but I have only so much space and time to play with, unlike the Dark Powers. In fact, their ability is limitless! Plus, this is a good way of building up my own domains, Dawnsveil, Within the Woods and Feuer! (Yes, the second one is Evil Dead 1 & 2.) Keep an eye out for those new domains, by the way… Also I continued a piece cut from my prior post. The Black Lanterns was part of my Shadow Fell to Planescape conversion concept from before.
“Give ya the dark for some good jink! I know tons, lots of things about distant sights and travels. Don’t let the grungy look dissuade you, I know all about the realms beyond the cage!” – Lanky, Ultroloth-blooded Tiefling Rogue/Planar Fighter, The Hive of Sigil
I’m back at it once more, bringing in some more classic monsters of the Planescape Campaign Setting. While Wizards might eventually port all of these over, I thought I’d bring my take here in the meantime. While I’ve made a reference to the current layout, I should note that my take on Planescape looks back to the AD&D take on it, mostly ignoring any newer creations (such as Post-Spellplague Forgotten Realms, new cosmology elements a la Shadowfell and Feywild, newer takes on races like Tieflings and the like) outside of respective settings such as the Nentir Vale. But, I’ve tried to make that apparent as much as possible in previous posts.
Author’s Note: December is Planescape Month, I guess? Why? Because I love Planescape, that’s why! Also, I noticed I haven’t really tackled enough lawful monsters, so here’s some more from planes of law. Plus, I wanted the squeeze in the Hellcat and the Bladeling in last time, but ran out of time. Also, I wanted to convert a creature from the Dungeon Adventure, “Deep Freeze” (again). Enjoy! Happy Crimbo!
Welcome back, gamers! I usually homebrew stuff and this is a complete change of pace for me. That said, I’ve been meaning to write pieces examining things within games in addition to homebrew. As it is, I’ve branched out with gaming recaps and those seem to reach some sort of audience, so I’ll continue to experiment. That said, homebrewing is still my prime focus.
Back on topic, last time I opened up the carnival by looking at why I think people like darker genres and topics in their games! Today’s post is deeper focus on dark settings in regards to conflict; whether it’s problems from society, the self, the environment or even forces beyond our control. One can’t have a darker story without extreme conflict, to the point it’s usually quite oppressive, or repressive in some cases. Sure, there are more examples than what I’m talking about, but I could go on and on about that. Also, I like rambling some anecdotes about old games I’ve played it, because I really love sharing gaming stories with everyone when I get the chance!
Author’s Note: I know, it’s a change of pace. Like I said, I’m not abandoning homebrewing. I promise. Also, this one is a little more mature oriented than other posts, touching upon rougher subjects.
EDIT 2019: Some of the math on these is wonky. I’ll get around to fixing them, perhaps for an even larger science-fantasy masterpost or the like! STAY TUNED!!
Here is a complete list of monsters and hazards from the module, in alphabetical order. I figured this post would be useful, since I separated monsters into tons of categories to make conversion easier. So, here’s a handy list of creatures from the module. This post could be used in tandem with Part 5 for running the module in 5E!
NOTE: This does not include the optional new monsters I added to the adventure. Those can be found here. This is meant as an index for pre-existing monsters converted over.
“Why did the wizard explode into mold people?”
“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.
Please don’t anger the Lady of Pain!
So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness. Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting. While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me. It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit! You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns? You can! You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side? It’s possible! You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God? PLEASE DON’T DO THAT! But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore. For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition. So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.) While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game. I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes. Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting? Why, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Doc! Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?” Yes, I did. However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions. Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole! With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.
For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc! Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?” And you would be right! Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up. The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms. Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!) Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time. The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below. That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine. To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.