Time Marches On: Bizarre Bazaar – The Spark of Innovation! (Part 1)

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Once again, you find yourself in a familiar store.  However, everything looks chrome… very chrome.  It’s sleek, it’s bright, everything looks angular.  Strange lights illuminate the silver shaded corridor leading to a somewhat familiar cashier stand.  Instead of the lovable traveling monk is some kind of mechanical humanoid.  Components grind and chirp as it takes notice to you.  “Designation: GREETINGS!  Operation: SALES, X = Promotion, go to X.  What items are you seeking today, Occupation: Adventurers?”  The illuminated metal humanoid seems to be ushering you around the renovated shop.  “The specialty of Location: Bizarre Bazaar is adventure equipment, mostly involving arms and armory.  DISCLAIMER:  Some items are inherently restricted and will require proper documentation in order to receive them.  Items can be delivered to a proper base of operations, if need be.  Do any Ocupation: Adventurers have any inquiries?”

Author’s Note:  Time marches on, even for Zam’Dul!  I’m back doing one of my favorite segments.  This time, I’m doing a much needed update to tech items and magitech!  Here is an assortment of techno items from past and present!  Also, these operate similarly to enchanted magical items and contain similar properties as a result.  Keep a look out for scattered pop culture references… which are revealed in the tags.  Also, this is one of my longer ones!

If interested, you can find the Performance Boosting Exo-Suit and the Force Field Coil Armor here, the Crystal Ray Gun here and the Flight Pack here

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Defenders of Arborea: The Eladrin

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All of this talk about Planescape has gotten me quite nostalgic.  Plus, I did a couple of Eladrin stats on a whim a year around two years back.  So, I figured it was time to update them for a whole new generation of gamers that hasn’t seen their Arborean incarnation.  But, enough rambling from me, check them out here.  Bring back some Planescape-y flavor for just a dollar!

Bizarre Bazaar – Strange Magical Items Revisited

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A familiar face comes into view as patrons briefly part into a narrow opening, it’s a cloaked humanoid with a strange helmet!  The creature gets up from a meditative stance, acknowledging your presence.  His relaxed and idle stance changes into a beckoning yet inviting gesture.

“Ah, Zam’Dul has not forgotten you, traveler!  Many of my old wares are gone… The rest?  Well, a bored mind tries to see what can be done with spare parts.  You’ll see some older oddities as well as some new creations.  Please, relax and observe what the shop has to offer!  Never be afraid to ask questions, Zam’Dul knows all!”

He lifts a curtain beyond his little stand to reveal a massive archive of the wonderful and weird, seemingly infinite space is filled with encased treasures and incredible artifacts.  The helmed monk shuffles to a counter, seemingly observing you wherever you go.

Author’s Note: These were always fun to do!  Also, I’ve been messing around with some of my magic items.  Some needed a fair bit of overhaul, while others weren’t developed enough.  Plus, I have a few ideas I’ve been kicking around in general.  So, let’s get shopping!  (Or something!)  Keep an eye out for the Tomb of Annihilation nods, for any gamers eager to run the major adventure book for Fall 2017.  Also, this post was made in support of the November 2017 RPG Carnival with the theme “The Past, Revisited“.  Check out the post and its contributors!

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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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Spawn of Death – Creatures born and reborn from the dead

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You are a creature created from the impossible, either unnatural life given back to a body or from a birth most foul.  In either case, the death infused are considered abominations by many.  In some cases, they were created from revival rituals and necromatic magic gone awry.  In other cases, merely the results of trying to achieve immortality… with horrific results.  Arcane experiments in general are the source of the half-undead, either to crossbreed horrors or to create a new form of unlife entirely.

While the Death-Spawn are tainted by different forms of negative energies and dark power, they tend to share similar aspects in traits.  They convey a sense of lifelessness or at least an uncanny sense of life.  They typically lack the warmth of a living body, feeling clammy and/or cold to the touch.  Some are lucky enough to have bodies perfectly intact, looking indistinguishable from other average humanoids.  The unlucky look akin to shambling corpses and disheveled zombies.

Author’s Note: I wanted to take a crack at races again.  So, here’s a new race of undead-touched creatures inspired by a handful of resources: The Raven Queen, The Crow, Pathfinder’s Dhampir, the Half-Undead from Dragon Magazine and so on and so forth.  Just a heads up, this is a rough draft and none of these have been tested yet.  I am likely to revisit this at a later time though.

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Darker Oaths – Paladins for Grimmer Games

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While not fallen knights, these are holy warriors who have fallen on hard times none the less.  Certain orders of the paladin are not seen as the high and mighty crusaders of justice and good, but a necessity for dealing with evil… while preventing troubles members from falling themselves.  Many of the more righteous minded are uncomfortable around such types, as they tend to be far more dour, jaded and even looking they have the life taken out of them.

For many their path is seen as one of ultimate damnation, getting too close to that which they fight… or at the very least, losing sight of what’s worth fighting for.  Among their darker orders, they are the realists, the last line of defense, those who know too much about their enemy and the like.  Only a fool would turn down the aid of a dark oath member.  These crusaders are typically infiltrators, veterans, lore keepers and specialists against specific threats.  This of course assumes that suspicion doesn’t lead to their banning or worse.

Author’s Note: While these sub-classes are meant to be neutral/anti-heroes, they could be twisted into alternative options for Fallen/Oath Breaker Paladins.  All in all, I wanted these sub-classes to convey an almost gothic theme, alongside other inspirations.  Furthermore, I really wanted to experiment with these sub-classes, totally overhauling my original ideas for the “Oath of Blasphemy” and the “Oath of the Cynic”.  However, these sub-classes could easily fit vibes like Mythos Cultists, Instruments of Chaos and Trickery (i.e. Loki, Tzeentch, Cyric), Corrupt Clergymen, Fanatical Crusaders, agents of the Shadowfell or even servants of a less malicious God of Death (i.e. Wee Jas, The Raven Queen, Kelemvor, Anubis, etc).

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Lovecraftian Addendum

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I made a slight addition to my supply of Lovecraft inspired monsters, after there was request for more!  Plus, I ran out of time on the other post and wanted to squeeze one more nasty thing in there.  Here is the Gug, the Elder Thing and the Ghoul.  Please enjoy, don’t go insane though… like the last group.

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