Alien Horrors from Beyond

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There exists dimensions beyond our own.  And what dwells in those realms?  Entities far beyond our comprehension, of course!  Only a fool would research too deeply into such theories, as they’re liable to go mad from either dark truths or being constantly called a liar and a fool.

Author’s Note: It’s been a while since I’ve done something truly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s brand of horror.  While my personal campaign has inject Lovecraftiana into a Barrier Peaks homage (making it more Firestorm Peak), my blog has been lacking in that.  So, let’s revisit Cosmic Horror by revisiting some of my older monsters!  Enjoy.

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Return to Bloodied Wyvern Peaks

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We were once cowards, existing within a small bubble… Then, they came and lit they way.  With the help of portal devices and the temporal displacement fields, we did the rest. – Unnamed Fraal Engineer.

DISCLAIMER: Spoilers for the original Bloodied Wyvern Peaks adventure!

Background.

Several months ago, The King Orvaldt, the kingdom’s eponymous leader and House Patriarch, sent a group of adventurers to uncover the strange happenings in the mountainside.  Not only has trade and mining been disrupted, strange poisons had messed with the soil and water supply of local villagers.  As the adventurers ascended, they uncovered wreckage from some sort of advanced faring vessel, akin to a Spelljammer.  Encountering several constructs and mutated horrors, they were lead through a cave into some strange temple-like building.  Only, little did they know it was actually a part of a larger spaceship.  The team struggled as they made their way through winding corridors and abandoned halls still rife with devices that were literally alien in nature, as well as even stranger creatures that lurked the derelict wreckage.

By some miracle, the power source had enough juice to boot the battered ship back up.  Doing this alerted the remaining denizens, who were cornered in a secret room.  Slowly but surely, the team pieced together that experiments with portal technology lead to hostile coup by another species called “The Reptoids”, a race of scaled shapeshifting aliens.  The fight caused the technology to go haywire, slamming it into the depths of a mountain.  Much of the ship was crushed, even more totally destroyed.  Attempts at freedom were failures, as the Reptoids saw their chance to hijack the remaining operations on the ship.  Eventually, they were confronted by the team, who managed to defeat them in impossible odds.  The Fraal had emerged from their hiding and did all they could to rebuild elsewhere, after solving the very mess they caused initially.

Following the Fraal’s retreat from the mountains into the forest below, things have remained silent under an opaque energy dome for countless months, some say at least 5.  Occasional trade was made with The Kingdom of Orvald, greatly bolstering its defenses with both the mystic arts and strange innovations.  Some stuck around a while to help royal crafters learn the art of artifice, only to return once lessons were complete.  In addition, many of the Fraal could commune with important figures within the kingdom to discuss matters.  Sometimes, said figures would speak at some mid-point created by the Fraal, which was none the less a technical marvel. Some chose to join them in their hidden communes.  Others followed the beastmen and other mutants that lived in territory close by, who proclaimed a faith in the Fraal themselves.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Depending on the outcome of my mini-dungeon, the landscape of your world might be drastically changed forever!  Aberrant plants and animals, Reptoids, Greys and more!  That doesn’t even account for the strange technologies that fill the crashed spaceship.  Like Blackmoor, this is a world that is being changed by an encounter with a technologically advanced race.  Granted, the alien visitors have also learned from the magical mysticism of the world they’ve inhabited.  More or less, this is an adventure location with plot seeds and ideas to sample from.  I might combine this with the module to create a product if reception proves positive.  While not typical for this blog, I wanted to try my hand at expanding my own little universe.  Sure, I’ve been reluctant to share it (in light of recent events),   Needless to say, my campaign isn’t even done, so this post might be entirely moot in regards to my own group.  None the less, here’s my take on an expanded world.

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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peak Adventure Report: Part 7

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The Dream has died, but in its place… is something worse.

Before leaving to reality, the players pierced deep into the deeper dream.  The Dreaming is finished, perhaps gone for good?  The players make their way out of a dream realm and hopefully back into the real world.  But, what is real and what’s really going on?  Being stuck in The Dream for so long was certainly no accident.  And so, ends the first part of my zany adventure (that I originally intended not to last this long!)

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Doomsdays & Dystopias Wrap-Up

While I got a fair bit more last year, I still enjoyed this theme quite a bit!  The GRIMDARK theme might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps less than science-fantasy.  But, oh well, this was a theme I wanted to do for a long time.  None the less, this has been a learning experience.  All the same, some of the bloggers who participated last year weren’t able to join in for this year.  But, to those who were able to join in?  You have my thanks!  Thanks for making this celebration of the dark and dreadful a truly fun one!   That said, onward to other things.  But in the meantime, here are this month’s contributors for my theme!  Please, check out what they have to offer!  And as always, give the RPG Carnival a try yourself!  It’s tons of fun and well worth the effort!

Anyway, enough babbling out of me!  Here are the contributors for “Doomsdays & Dystopias”:

Stay tuned for Kobold Press and their theme of “Magic” for August 2017!  You can find out more here!  Again, a big thanks for everyone who was interested in the darker side of gaming fiction!  Till next time, gamers!

IMAGE CREDIT: Wasteland 2 Promotional Image – Obsidian Entertainment

 

July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival: Ultra Cars and Death Machines

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“It’s time for New Oerth City’s favorite game show pastime!  ‘Killer Cars and Motor Murder!’  It’s the only game show that combines demolition derby, gladiatorial combat and modern popular culture!  Strap on your helmets and visors, it’s carnage time!”

In several dystopian and post-apocalyptic books, games and movies; technology hasn’t so much improved our lives so much as modified how we do things… whether it’s in the name of everyday convenience or horrible acts of violence.  In the case of today’s post?  We’re reinventing the former to do the latter!  Twisted game shows, a new form of combat among road warriors, an armored carriage against an unrelenting wasteland, improved assets for both warfare and public suppression, you get the idea.  I’m talking about stuff like Death Race 2000, Twisted Metal, Blood Drive, Mad Max, Cel Damage, Car Wars, stuff like that!  So today, we dedicate this post to decked out and weaponized automobiles!

Author’s Note:  I’ve been wanting to update vehicles for a while!  Plus, this is an excuse to write up some ideas for vehicular combat, in terms of more modern machines.  Jousting with motorcycles, fuck yeah!  And yes, I realize that some of the ideas below are somewhat sparse notes, but I’ll probably come back to this later.  After all, I promised someone something on racing, something on jousting and even mecha battles!  GIANT ROBOTS!!

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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Post-Apocalyptic House Rules

Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.

The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things.  And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed.  Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life.  And what followed?  I dare not say…  All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them.  Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.

The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction.  There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in.  Or at the very least, the death of civilization.  In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians.  But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired!  (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.)  Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon.  Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches.  Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!

With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings.  Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish.  Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past.  Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces.  While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic.  To be fair, neither has core D&D really.  And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web.  So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.

Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while!  In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter.  Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week!  Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!

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July 2017 Blog Carnival – Conflicts in Dark Worlds and Genres

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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.

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