Adventure Conversion – Alterations (Greyhawk 2000)

Alterations

This isn’t the dreaded “Gothic Earth”, but something almost as odd.  It feels like the world of Oerth, known as “The World of Greyhawk” to many.  However, it changed.  It evolved.  The technologies here, while magical somehow, feel quite close to the wondrous artifice of Gothic Terra.  However, I can’t help but wonder how all of this came about.  None the less, I’ll take this place over the forces of The Mists or The Red Death any day!  I feel I’m not done with either though. – Ramon DeLeon, planes traveling bard

Oerth.  But, not the Oerth I remember.  This is one of a distant future.  Just as there are new hopes, there are new fears.  The evils of yesteryear are supplanted by the evils of today.  News of a new abomination of mad science and magic has made its way throughout New Greyhawk City.  A creature similar to the dread mouther, but created through artificial means.  The news does its best to cover up details, but the truth is far more twisted and will only be spoken of in hushed whispers.  The terror of the Millexium Mouther rests, for now.

Author’s Note: Dungeon Magazine #83 gets referenced once again!  The last time was the Faranth, a one-off aberration that has sadly never appeared in official form again.  This time, I’m referencing both Greyhawk 2000 and its tie-in adventure, Alterations.  It’s sad that GH2000 only got attention here, never again in Oerth canon.  D20 Modern would have been the perfect place to continue it.  Eh.  Whatever.  Here’s a quick conversion of the NPCs and monsters found in it.  Plus, the Millexium Mouther is a new monster to play with!  While I won’t encourage piracy, back issues of Dungeon Magazine have long since gone out of print.  You can find a copy of this issue via Archive.org.

 

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More Gothic Terra – Even more frightening foes

Heroes against the darkness, across spans of time

People who aren’t careful have a habit of vanishing in this city.  The cops, they just don’t care.  Hired hands, they’re hiding something.  The likes of people like me, researching the truth on the side.  If you’re careful, you’ll stay close and ask few questions.  – Herman P. Finske, Attorney and Occult Reseacher

Even as times change and people progress, one things stays true…  there are things that always go bump in the night.  Your walled in lands of safety can still be infiltrated or outright broken down.  And even without that, there are still dark forces at work from within.  Mad experiments, mutants, things of the mind and more!  Monsters are going modern for this week!

Author’s Note: More urban fantasy/modern horror creatures!  This time, right out of the pages of D20 Modern with my own twists here and there.

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Modern Masque of the Red Death – Some Horrors of Gothic Terra

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Here at the Hoffman Institute, we specialize in chronicling the strange, the distant, the shadowy.  Xenoforms and other horrors have found methods of breaching through thresholds and corrupting our very world.  Unless we’re prepared, a whole otherworld of monsters could bring Earth to its knees.  However, the future lies in both our veteran members as well as readied recruits.  Through honor, teamwork, diligence and knowledge; the forces of darkness will not prevail over the best humanity has to offer against evil.

We have a few notes from some upcoming assignments.  These will tell you what to look out for.  Above all, while protecting the public, we must keep these incidents secret.  We can’t let too much paranormal news get out to the public.  After studying these cases, be prepared to secure and contain the threads that they are attached to.  The Hoffman Institute is counting on you.  Best of luck.

Author’s Note.  So, some of the monsters here take inspiration from the previous post.  And no, I’m not trying to cheapen what I made before by giving creatures stats.  A few of these are directly tied to one ghost story, bu that’s okay.  Also, keep on the lookout for some more foes of gothic earth!  (A mix of Masque and D20 Modern inspiration.)

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We Aren’t Alone – Horrific Alien Entities

Image result for alien abduction painting

The stars carry their own ill omens.  Sometimes, they are not always distant sleeping beings, but terrestrial creatures of a different sort.  This doesn’t stop them from being completely alien in other ways.  Sometimes, these things are from our own world and remain just as frightening as things from beyond the stars.  The borders between dimensions falter, as a dark matter begins to traverse into our own realm.  All means of xenoforms manifest as a result, with us ill prepared for what is to come.

Author’s Note:  War of the Worlds, Alien’s Xenomorph, Classic Conspiracy Theories.  Those are the subjects of this post.  Also, remember when I said I was done butchering German?  Well, I guess I lied…  Also, I wanted to fit a few references to the Alternity RPG’s Dark*Matter setting.  Also, please don’t hate me for poking fun at the recent Aliens universe…

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It Came From Another World – More Planar Creatures

There are a lot more strange planar creatures where that came from.  In fact, we’ve only just scratched the surface.  From technomagical bioweapons to distant watchers to strange experiments, the planes offers many mysteries.

Author’s Note: Last week had all Planescape stuff…. and this one has a couple that, well, aren’t.  I dunno what prompted me to convert an obscure Pathfinder monster from Reign of Winter adventure path, but it’s in there too.  Likewise, I added a jokey monster my sister came up with.  Enjoy!

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Don’t Go Out At Night – More Monsters on the Road!

Traveling at night on an unfamiliar path can prove to be particularly treacherous.  Beyond the threat of bandits and wayward brambles lies the supernatural.  Thick forests and foggy meadows often carry dark creatures lurking about.  Ranging from the bothersome to the lethal, these dastardly foes take glee in anyone foolish enough to get lost at night, far off the beaten path.

Author’s Note: I’m trying to get some updates to old projects ready.  New spells and monsters will hopefully be made available soon!  In the meantime, I really wanted to make more monsters along my “lost on the road” theme.  This time, I sample a mix of folk tales and horror movies.

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Murderous Maniac – A Slasher Villain Template

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The act of killing by itself is a heinous thing, something adventurers often have to cope with on a common basis.  Often it’s self defense against monsters and bandits, other times it’s for more insidious reasons.  Some snap amidst the violence, losing any attachment to empathy or reason.  Such people degenerate into cold blooded killers, driven by the thrill of slaying whatever prey comes into their clutches.  After a while, it becomes less about adventure and discovering lost treasure as it is an unrelenting bloodlust and hatred for all who oppose your goals.

This path of bloodshed and psychosis is a chilling and horrid one, the basis for many stories of terrifying villains and disturbed madmen.  Much of the time, these evildoers prefer to scare their prey as much as possible before causing them to meet their untimely end.  Such tactics are more than butchery and savagery, as the power of psychological terror is essential for weakening their foes.  Often, they’ll do whatever to take away their power and isolate a target as much as possible, finding impossible ways to stalk them as well.  And when all hope is lost, the killing strike is unleashed!  Few have survived the wrath of a murderous maniac… and they usually die in the sequel anyway!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I’ve rediscovered an awesome expansion for World of Darkness known as Slasher.  It’s built on the Chronicles era Hunter game, in which Hunters succumb to their own inner darkness and become the very villains of horror cinema lore…  essentially.  Of course, there’s more to it than that, but whatever.  Anyway, here’s a template that borrows heavily from slasher cinema, in an effort to translate the idea into D&D.  Enjoy!  (I might update with a “Supernatural Slasher” in the near future!  Who knows?)  Also, as for the picture?  I’ve always loved this scene from the original Halloween.  Something about that shot highlights a character’s seeming futile attempt to hide from a masked madman… and said murderous pushing into a claustrophobic space, where everything seems lost.  Did I mention that movie is one of my all time favorite films?

Also, this one will probably be revised once I get more accurate math for this one, maybe swap out one thematic ability for another.  I’ll see what people say first.

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Mythos Monsters – Creatures of H.P. Lovecraft

Demon form the Deep by Sapiento

Welcome back, my cultists.  Back for more horrors from beyond the void and beyond reason?  I’m more than happy to provide.  Here are some classic creatures, as seen in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.  Be sure to check out my other post about Lovecraft inspired monsters from last week.  They’re updated versions of earlier posts on my blog.  While they needed a new coat of paint, I’ve been eager to bring them up to date.  And, if this proves popular, I might continue to bring Lovecraftian monsters into D&D 5th Edition…  Hell, I might compile them for DM’s Guild or the like.

As for using the content in other worlds, the easiest solution is The Far Realm, a weird demiplane just outside of reality that has been messing with the multiverse since late 2E!  Barring that, there’s always the classic method of weird and aberrant things in dungeons and the underground depths (like the Underdark). And with that, here is my take on The Deep One, the Nightgaunt, the Mi-Go and the Shoggoth.

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June Blog Carnival – Bizarre Bazaar – Magitech!

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Why hello-li-lo-li-lo!  The name is Jermaine!  Funny name for a guy like me, I know, but I’m the one and only!  I know what you’re about to say… What am I?  Don’t worry, I am not offended, not in the very least!  I love to talk about myself!  I am of the Arcane and I am here to serve you.  These robes I wear, they are ceremonial, for the high holy act of commerce and trade; a sacred practice among my people.  My people have scoured wild space, the planes, the multiverse, you name it; we have visited it!  Many like me collect all sorts of oddities for my “bizarre bazaar”.

Unlike that barmy star berk, I assure you that my wares are much safer… and much fairer of a price.  My associates procure a wide variety of simply marvelous items from all over all known realities, the price you pay matches the story and the piece!  Now, what is my specialty?  Why, I collect and craft technological crafts empowered by The Art…  That’s “magic” for the clueless out there.  I’ve rambled far too long…  So my lovely observers, do you see anything you like?  Hmmm?  …  Oh, and one more thing!  No refunds, a merchant has to make a handful of jink somehow.  Ya hear me, baby?

Author’s Note: I’m back with another contribution to the RPG Blog Carnival!  This month’s theme is gonzo cross-genre gaming, hosted by Cross-Planes!  Find out more HERE.  Also, stay tuned for my theme post next month!

If there is one thing I love, it’s magitech!  Sure, most of my planar items count as this already, but I wanted to try something new.  In fact, I made a new shopkeeper narrator for the occasion as well!  (Don’t worry, Zam’dul isn’t going anywhere, Jermaine promises this!)  Here’s a sampling of technomagical devices for your games!  And yes, Scaramouche from the Samurai Jack miniseries inspired Jermaine the Arcane.  I also went a little crazy on these, so they might be a tad unstable.

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Horrors of Myth and Folktale – Classic Terrors for D&D 5E

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Tales of wretched beasts, disturbing men and unspeakable evils pierce our ears and chill our souls.  Countless villages, kingdoms, continents have stories of sinister monsters that seek to end us at any moment.  Their motivations might differ or be strangely similar.  Likely born of pure wickedness, these dark spirits haunt those who get too close to their very brand of malevolence.

Many of these monsters are often accompanied by tales of caution and woe.  Those who drift too far off a righteous path are often victims of these horrors.  Those who feel they’re too good for the morals of a realm or a certain way of life should always stay careful and alert, lest they fall prey to the evil that lurks nearby… waiting, stalking, preparing…

Author’s Note:  Here’s another list of monsters, taking inspiration form creatures around the world.  Also, here’s another case where I have 2 creepy horse-themed creatures… for some reason.  Maybe I just find horses to be creepy?  I don’t know.  Perhaps it’s pent up horror caused by seeing that disturbing Archie McPhee horse mask?  I don’t know.

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