Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0370/93/1420084727485.jpg

“Machine, meet Mage!”

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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Rise of the Machines – Robots and Androids

Image result for "barrier peaks"art

Robots – 1, Organics – 0

The Machine.  A testament to engineering and ingenuity.  Artificial life taken to the next form!  Whatever the case may be, these constructs are forged from a truly advanced form of artifice.  Many are made through a high technology not unlike many forms of magic.  Some are even crafted through rare forms of magical infusion.  These constructs are far more capable of thought that many predecessors.  Beyond their elaborate programming, some prove more than capable of having souls.  Such constructs truly achieve the joys of sentience.

Author’s Note:  ROBOTS!  I made a post many moons back, that I have since wanted to remake.  Plus, here are a few more ideas I’ve tossed around for general science-fantasy robot fun!  Plus, I decided to tie the Pathfinder settings(s) into Planescape/Spelljammer… for some reason.  Since my schedule is limited this week from preparation for and volunteering for a fair, things are broken up into chunks.  Expect more soon!

Continue reading

Life Beyond Space – Aliens

Guardians Concept Art

Beyond even the Great Wheel and known space, there are incredible creatures with equally incredible possibilities.  Distant worlds and distant planes, both hold incredible secrets to ancient realms and alien beings.  Some reach just beyond familiar material Crystal Spheres, while some are as incomprehensible and untouchable as the Far Realm.

Author’s Note: Let’s bring in some real science fantasy!  This time, I’m reaching for Star Frontiers/Star*Drive/Dark*Matter for inspiration!  For anyone familiar with either game, these monsters should be quite recognizable.  As it is, the Yazirian already got its own set of stats… well, under its Spelljammer name.  At some point, I might hope to bring the Star Frontiers aliens back as races.  Though, I’m far from the first to think about that…

Continue reading

Far Outsiders – More Cosmic Terrors

Image result for githyanki

Githyanki.  Like the Yuuzhan Vong, but not garbage

“So, you’re a fancy crew cruising around on your nice spelljammer.  And then all of a sudden, some ghost thing makes your captain go mad and he’s killing all of ya!  Then what?  That’s why you prepare for the worse out in those spacial depths.  Who knows what nasty things will be lurking out there!  You certainly don’t!” – Glass-Eye Erg, Dwarven Trader from Rock of Bral.

This time around, a few homages to Spelljammer and Star Wars. Long and short, one of my friends showed me the revised d20 Star Wars. It’s better than I recall it being, still no D6 though.  Needless to say, those very familiar with Star Wars will get some of my references.  The same goes for Spelljammer, but I’ve been making a bit of spelljammer stuff for the past couple of months.

Author’s Note:  I figure some more nods to Star Wars are a great way to transition to more science fiction inspired content.  For the next couple of weeks, I shall continue to expand my endless bestiary.  And no, this post isn’t about the Githyanki… I just wanted a swipe at how the Vong kinda look like them.  While I plan for the future, here are two entries based on existing Star Wars monsters as well as my take on the Neogi (as I don’t care for the official take for 5e… but I usually don’t in general.)

Continue reading

Horrid Things From Beyond the Veil – Aberrant Evils

image

Heroes of D&D meet their match!

Among the most foul creatures within the realms of D&D is the aberration.  Some hail these terrors of entities spawned from a distant realm unlike anything else; The Far Realm.  Others fear that they are perversions of our own reality, distortions that prove how horrible magic can truly be.  No matter the case, they lurk in dark shadows and hover beyond the veil, as the fabric of reality is slowly torn asunder.

Author’s Note:  I haven’t really tackled too many aberrations in a while.  Considering they’re among my favorite monsters, I need to fix that!  This time around, I have conversions of 3rd edition creatures, as well as some of my own creatures.  Star Vampires, Hulking Illithids, Dragon Illithids and one of the most nefarious parasites to show up in D&D!  Ready yourself for some truly menacing Elder Evils!

Continue reading

Planejammer Forever! – Creatures of the Planes

Image result for kurt state pixabay

A Book of Monsters? A good choice!  Zam’dul is happy to bestow such a tome upon you.  The cost is effective too, for you invest in knowledge!  Even with such knowledge, be quite careful.  The planes themselves are very unforgiving and care not for visitors. – Zam’dul, planar merchant.

As you might have guessed, I love the multiverse created by AD&D 2nd Edition and tend to have a bias in favor of it in some capacity.  By all means, you are correct….  Not that there’s anything wrong with my favoritism, of course!  Anyway, I wanted to convert over a few more creatures featured in Spelljammer and Planescape before I hop over to other things.  That said, there are a fair number of D&D-adjacent things outside of both of those settings that would be fun to tackle.  So, I’ll probably consider some of that too.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring back some other favorite creatures of mine.  As always a healthy mix of aberrations, constructs, undead and the like.  Don’t worry, no fiends this time.

Author’s Note: I’ve covered the whole Planar theme for a while.  I might do a few more things before I switch gears.  Personally, I’m feeling a return to either Gothic or something else entirely soon.  Who knows?  I certainly don’t!  I just pull ideas either out of my brain or out of my bum and go from there.  If I actually had a plan, I’d probably have a production studio by now…

Continue reading

Highway to Hell – Things of the Lower Planes

Related image

Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me for me for me

The campaign pushed into the Grey Wastes themselves.  We were readied for countless fiends, all battling in the name of their dastardly causes.  We even were readied to control the sinister magics of the Night Hag.  But, something unexpected and foul caught many by surprise…  Aberrations formed and mutated through necromancy.  Surely, these beasts weren’t native to the plane, but something brought them there.  Something perfected them.  The casualties within my own legions became astronomical, even with pushing the abominations back long enough. –  Lucien, an angel-blooded aasimar paladin, captain of The Indefatigable.

My series of planar monsters continues with a healthy mixture of folklore, pop culture and crazy custom creatures.  This time, a post devoted to horrible things to crawl up from the Lower Planes!  Fiends, hellish constructs, necromantic mind flayers, cursed souls and more!

Author’s Note:  In addition to some more planar threats, I wanted to ramp things up a bit with some more out there experiments.  Also, shout out to Brynvalk for inspiring one of the scariest things I’ve ever heard of.  Also, I’m back to bringing in a fair number of fiends to horrify my mini-bestiaries!  I love making fiends!  Also, pardon the classic rock references.  But, it wouldn’t be my first time.

Continue reading