November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Electronic Terrors

Image result for welcome to the survival horror

From thresholds and barriers, many terrible things break free to cause mayhem. Among them are things from a digitized and electronic world. These monsters may have strange origins, but the evils they unleash are no less dangerous.

Welcome to the realms of electronic terrors, creatures that originate from incredible devices known to some as “video games”. These creatures hail from a variety of supposedly fictional universes and realities, where they do all in their capacity to torture brave and cunning protagonists within a digital landscape. These tales may just be works of fiction, but they could very well be alternate worlds held back by a pixelated veil. Perhaps this could mean an expansive frontier within the Prime or perhaps a demiplane of its own.

Author’s Note: Another blog carnival post! This time, it’s a bunch of monsters from horror (or at least suspenseful/horror-related) video games! Yes, the Zombie Dog is a repost…

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November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Welcome to the World of Survival Horror

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The opening text to the first Resident Evil game.  Those words present a theme and a mood.  You are leaving your own world.  You are entering a dark and foreboding world where you must use your wits and preserve what little resources you have to endure a horrible nightmare.  And with that,

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SURVIVAL HORROR.

Author’s Note: Let’s add some atmospheric music, shall we?  Ah, there we go.  Anyway…
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Also, I welcome you to the November RPG Blog Carnival for 2019.  The festivities may wind down in most places, but they continue well till Thanksgiving here at Daemons & Deathrays!  You can have your extremely early Christmahanukwanzica, Doc keeps the Halloween vibe going strong!  And with that, the survival horror begins…

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Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

Todd Lockwood - Mech Hunter

Rumors tell of impossible machines, constructs built by the bashers of an exceptionally accursed prime space.  Such a place was long buried deep in the dead book by its own hubris and acceleration, despite the warnings of their Powers.  The barmies kept on going, crafting up one of the most heinous things to pollute the multiverse.  I speak of the Sheens.  Baator-fed buggers seem to self-replicate and thrive, despite attempts to wipe them out.  They’re not just constructs either, but true thinking machines!  They lack souls, but have the mind and bone-box alike to surpass most eggheads.  Needless to say, this place burned down hard.  The Land of Blackmoor was no more!  However, their creation escaped far beyond its Crystal Sphere and beyond.  So, go ahead and kill one, multiple will show up out of no where to take you down!  The Metal berks burnt my tail bad too! – Geber Reynardt, Kitsune Alchemist and Sensate, survivor of The Sheen Invasion of Ignis

Who says sci-fi and fantasy don’t mix?  It’s been a thing for decades, eons, at least a century!  Even in D&D, we’ve had all sorts of strange crossovers.  The aforementioned Blackmoor has been around since the beginning.  That setting was a somewhat dirty and gritty medieval world that contended with a crashed alien space ship.  The result was an AWOL officer starting an uprising with a “frog cult”, as well as the ship thrown into other forms of turmoil.  The end result of the mess caused Blackmoor to experience technological leaps before ultimately blowing itself up.

And in the case of the Sheen, one of my favorite articles from Dragon Magazine (complete with a follow-up), they’re very much science-fantasy too.  The articles tell of the sheen, a strange and mysterious menace.  These constructs were made by a society more advanced in technology and probably magic too.  Their genuine origins are a mystery to most, but their desire to consume and conquer makes them a massive threat.  Plus, they have numerous forms that can adapt to different situations.  And while the sheens tear through organic life, they don’t do so out of malice or hatred, but a survival for their own “machine kind”.  Fortunately, countless defenders have learned enough to fend them off and even reverse engineer some of their own contraptions too.  In a sense, think like Horizon Zero Dawn!

Author’s Note: This one has been a long time coming!  The Sheens are by far one of my favorite obscure D&D monsters (or set of monsters).  Beyond two magazine articles, there hasn’t been too much buzz around them.  Hopefully, I can help to change that!  Here’s the first part of that, with a mix of both articles.  Sure, I’ve made robots already, but I really love these ones too!  Plus, should I find the time, I might be interested in converting the Kits and Spells introduced by the article too… eventually… hopefully.

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The Road (Thankfully) Less Traveled – Terrors on the Road

Foggy trail in Catskills, NY

“Take me home, country roads!”

Just beyond the veil of reality exists an entire bestiary worth of wretched things.  These monsters and entities lie beyond our grasp, waiting for the right moment to strike.  Many of these creatures are quite similar to the everyday and mundane aspects of life we take for granted, while others are incomprehensibly alien.  While in the comfort of our homes, we take much for granted.  But, on the road?  We are much more vulnerable.  The elements, wildlife and even fellow people can prove to be potential hazards.  But, even more troubling is the strange and supernatural sights that we all hope to never encounter…

Author’s Note: If there’s one thing I love in a ghost story, it’s encounters on the road; when you’re traveling, far away from home and quite vulnerable.  And worse yet?  Many of the things stalking you take up the guise of something far from insidious at all.  While some predators will fight head on, others are bit more crafty.  And some?  They’re just quasi-mindless masses of hunger.

Also, special thanks to Ian for helping to create the Haunting Traveler.  I shall inform you on how many people it kills, I promise!

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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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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: Doomsdays & Dystopias (Dark Genres and Settings)

Abandoned Environment Concept tutorial by maciejkuciara

While I enjoy tons of heroic settings with noble characters ensuring good in the world, I’ve always loved truly grim and dour settings.  I speak of worlds that fit the “GRIMDARK” moniker that’s been affectionately used.  For those who don’t get the reference, it refers to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K tagline, which states that “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!”  I’m speaking of places blighted by impossible evils, dystopias where any sort of righteousness and passion is repressed, a sinister universe that is out to destroy you, nuked out wastelands where the remains of society struggle to continue or scrap the last bits of the old ones… but you get the point.

So, why is my theme essentially “dark settings and dark themes”?  Sounds depressing, I know.  After all, spending too much time in an overly dark and oppressive world can wear one down, right?  Not exactly!  There are many reasons why dark settings are truly fascinating.  Before I turn the carnival over to you, let’s take a look at why starker settings can be awesome.  (Or if you prefer, skip down to the bold text.)

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