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.
Hey, ghosts and ghoulies! Doc is back at it again! This time around, I have an assortment of werebeasts at your disposal. The document includes new content including: a werebeast never posted on the blog, new NPCs inspired by each animal stock, cleaned up versions of two previously existing sub-classes and more!
You may find the document HERE!
Greetings, goblins and ghouls. I added a small handful of spells to my Planar Grimoire document. It’s a heaping helping of darker spells throughout the multiverse, as detailed below. Enjoy.
- Jutting Bones – Conjure bones from the ground to pierce foes
- Sylvan Soul – Sample an aspect of the fair folk for a brief moment
- Psychic Projectile – Reach into the Far Realm and pull out some power to hurl at a foe!
- Rolling Skull Army – An entourage of skulls come from seemingly nowhere and slam into all in their way
- Abyssal Kiss – You blow a deadly kiss to a foe, possibly destroying their very soul
- Visions from the Stars – Everyone around you sees a horrific vision from the cosmic depths
- Shadow King’s Drain – A draining magical effect, crafted by a dreadful lich
Also, I tied up some loose ends. I dunno why this one stumped me!
- Detect Portals – Does what it says on the tin! Admittedly, I had a similar idea to the Horizon Walker Ranger. The only difference was involving size and distance.
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).
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.
Across the wastelands and into the mega-cities, all sorts of people dwell in truly dark places. Many fall to corruption, whether from inside of or outside of its “protective” walls. Many adventurous folk are not merely content with a mediocre life as a drone or even the life of a delivery courier. While the latter explores the world outside, they are still tethered to a track, lest they quickly find themselves in over their head. The rest who make their way across the strange and bleak world? Thrill seekers, mercenaries, civilians on a vital but deadly mission, absolute maniacs! But, haven’t adventurers always been this way?
Author’s Note: Yes, I know my RPG Blog Carnival is done. But, I’m still quite inspired! With that, here’s a couple of new backgrounds and how to incorporate them into a more average fantasy setting… and not so average settings. Dark Sun, Ravenloft and other darker worlds might make for good fits.
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.