Bizarre Bazaar – Items of Castlevania (November 2019 Blog Carnival)

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As the fog begins to roll in, a comforting light barely breaches the blanket dead ahead.  A vardo wagon sits idly, alongside a crackling fire pit.  One lone man clad in ornate robes and a ceramic plate covering his head beckons you over.  His body language seems friendly, but he is clearly interested in business.  A quick wave of an arm showcases all means of strange and wondrous trinkets to behold.  The cloaked humanoid shape picks itself up, addressing the party, “Ah, well met!  All of you seek to fight off the legions of the damned?  Surely, you are in need of proper supplies.  You are fortunate to stumble upon this traveling merchant!”, hoarsely croaks the muffled shape through his sculpted helmet.

Author’s Note: While Castlevania is more action-horror, it’s still very much part of the history of horror gaming.  One could argue the early entries are a proto-survival horror too!  Plus, there’s the classic fiasco of Konami supposedly taking from TSR for their box art.  In general, Konami sucks and will probably always suck (unless some day they magically don’t), but we can still appreciate the classic franchise.  While this one focuses on the first game, fourth game and Symphony (because those are my favorites, I know… original); I might come back and do some items based on other titles at some point… not just the most popular ones.  So with that, here are a couple of items that pay homage to the franchise!  Enjoy and happy vampire hunting!  Also, I’m aware I reposted the solomon seal.

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June 2019 Blog Carnival – A Fair (Folk) Addendum

Hark, fine scholars, bookworms and those who crave knowledge!  Boskov’s Books has a sale unlike any other.  Gain the recipes of the Gold Bariaur Inn, read thrilling works written by well-known factotums, be the first to buy the collected lectures of Ramon DeLeon!  Only here, only at Boskov’s Books!  – A crier, advertising a book sale in the Clerk’s Ward.

Boskov is best of house spirits, here to serve you, discerning book seeker!  Why is Boskov Boskov?  Simple, original owner of book store, also called Boskov, bestowed name before death!  It was most sad, but the duty of the store continues!  What is the book you are doing the seeking for?  Boskov can find it with no time spent!  You heard of the sale, have you?  Luckily for you, gracious patron, there are many excellent titles for next to none.  Among them is an exclusive title that the store are premiering, many weeks ahead of the competition!  This is because Boskov has exclusive connections with a printing press in the Lower Ward.  Let’s say that both parties using knowledge to liberate an ignorant multiverse, views align and whatnot!  But, you are obvious well read, fair traveler!  You may think, such mannerisms and speech patterns are befitting of other great sellers in the Cage and beyond!  Very astute!  Boskov helped within the house of the Merchant Zam’Dul too!  Such service inspired Boskov to be in charge of sales work too, much like old master!

Please, let Boskov show you some excerpts of lectures of the faerie folk!  Boskov assures, it is a great and enlightening read!  Besides, this elaborates on those lectures, new content to behold!

Author’s Note: Quite a few people enjoyed my concept for the Fey in the classic Great Wheel.  The Deep pockets of the Ethereal proved to work well.  Plus, having Seasonal creatures not too far off the Inner Planes made enough sense, in my opinion.  Anyway, I wanted to expand upon a few ideas.  A couple have stated that for a hideaway for the fey, many D&D fey races didn’t get too much attention.  And you know what?  That’s a fair assessment… Hehe.  Plus, I’m back with another quirky NPC who talks in 3rd person.  My reason for this one?  I won’t deny it, I’ve been meaning to do a monsters post based on Slavic folklore.  That will get done sooner or later, especially since one of the creatures is floating around Sigil now!  As always, be sure to check out the June 2019 RPG Blog Carnival by Brynvalk, which this was made for!  Also, the only reason I put this in bold is because anything put in Boskov’s voice is meant to be in just italics.  In retrospective, not the best idea, but oh well…  Anyway, enough bolded text!  ENJOY!

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June 2019 Blog Carnival – Ramon’s Look at the Fey

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Ramon speaks to guests in the Gatetown of Ecstasy

The marvel and whimsy of the fair folk, is it not breathtaking? Ah, magnificent! Incredible! I tell you, there is much to tell. However, the Primers have it all wrong. That is something I wish to set straight, for all of you. Please, indulge me a moment as I tell you all there is to know!

The fey, alien and majestic. They follow a sense of wonder that is mostly alien to material plane denizens. However, despite being distant from the creatures of the mortal realm, these spritely spirits embody many emotional extremes and ideals. But, where would such creatures dwell? A Mirror Plane, some say. That is poppycock, mere propaganda made by Lords of the Courts to seem akin to true deities. That isn’t to say that fey gods don’t exist, but many of the leaders of the courts are far from gods themselves. Sure, you can find them on Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium and even the Abyss… But, what other such wondrous places might they hide? I have just the answer for you!

Author’s Note: Another post for the June RPG Blog Carnival? Why not!? Find out more here!  And by all means, this might be one of the longest things I’ve made yet!  As in, Wall of Text long!  Why?  Because I like to challenge myself with new ideas and new things to tackle.

This time, my relatively grognard-y ways revive an old character of mine while trying to figure out a greater place for the fey in the Planescape/AD&D Great Wheel. As I’ve made it clear, I don’t care for the 4th edition take on things and care less for stuff like Feywild being in the Great Wheel.  Okay, that’s a lie…  I like to modify some things when I do the Nentir Vale, especially with making the planes more alien and hostile. Despite being a curmudgeon for old school lore, I figure it’s time to make do and repurpose things!

In this, I try to sample the Fey Wild books themselves, alongside Planes of Chaos, Legends & Lore and The Tall Tales of the Wee Folk (from BECMI); in order to build my own Planescape-y proof of concept. Plus, this allows me to tie in some new ideas brought in through 5th edition as well!  So, for those who’d like to indulge my experiments in world building, here’s a lengthy prose about the life of the fey in the Great Wheel.  Enjoy the words of Ramon DeLeon, Priest and Planes Traveler.

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Threshold Magazine – The Egg be Dammed

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Return to the dark mirror that is Returned Blackmoor!  While issues remain in more populated lands, an ancient conspiracy has been unearthed in a zone far detached from prying eyes.  The Cootsbane Dam, a derelict turned military grounds, has had rumors of weird activity and stranger trespassers.  Investigate into the dark secrets and keep them from being unleashed upon the world at large!

Check out the current issue and “The Egg Be Dammed” Here!

Author’s Note: I wrote an edition neutral adventure for Threshold Mystara.  Admittedly, this was because I didn’t know what version of the game to tackle and Threshold tends to focus more so on BECMI, which I don’t have too much exposure to (outside of reading setting information of The Known World and beyond.)  I might update things for 5E or AD&D, maybe ask for a hand with BECMI for the next issue.

Things of the Multiverse – Even More Planar Creatures

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“Endless planes, endless ideas, endless possibilities!  That doesn’t mean a berk should go sniffing out any planar out there.  Tons of nasties will pen you real good in the book, but all of you have the common marbles to listen to the dark beyond!  For starters, some planars will want you for supper, others will ask you pay the music and enjoy a good garnish, some are just barmy psychotics!  And with that, we begin.  Don’t worry, the good scrape comes later!  Also, no interruptions.  I’m very hungry and not against eating poor listeners!” – Geber Reynardt alias “Pew Pew”, Chaotic Evil Foxfolk Lupin Alchemist Sensate, Lecturer at the Civil Festhall in Sigil

As always, one must be careful when wandering the planes.  Beyond the beautiful and scary sights to behold, there are denizens that are much like their surroundings.  Some can be invaluable allies, while others are the most fearsome of foes.  Great good and evil have there places in reality, places you can find if you look hard enough.  But, it begs the question, is it worth wandering too far off the beaten path?

Author’s Note:  What’s an homage to Planescape without Planescape Torment!?  Besides the usual planar beasties, I tossed in a reference or two to one of my favorite games.  On top of that, a creature inspired by my Bloodied Wyvern Peaks adventure and more!  Plus, some obligatory gothic horror that is one part Frankenstein, one part The Golem and one part Doppelganger.  Also, a twist on a Lower Planes classic!

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Bizarre Bazaar: Legend of Zelda

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“Greetings, travelers!  Reality is endless as are its possibilities, different people in different dimensions, all the same.  This form… it doesn’t suit Zam’del, but I guess he is some sort of happy salesman of masks…  No matter, he procures other fine wares from all over this region of Hyrule and beyond!  Some items seem to be outside of relative time, but that is okay.”

Author’s Note: ZELDA MONTH, now on my blog!  I’ve always wanted to do a LoZ themed post or two!  So, why not blend it with my love of making magic items.  Here are a couple of items spanning the Legend of Zelda franchise.

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Tales of the Astral – The Gith

Dak'kon by Grosnus

“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.

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