Adventure Conversion – Alterations (Greyhawk 2000)

Alterations

This isn’t the dreaded “Gothic Earth”, but something almost as odd.  It feels like the world of Oerth, known as “The World of Greyhawk” to many.  However, it changed.  It evolved.  The technologies here, while magical somehow, feel quite close to the wondrous artifice of Gothic Terra.  However, I can’t help but wonder how all of this came about.  None the less, I’ll take this place over the forces of The Mists or The Red Death any day!  I feel I’m not done with either though. – Ramon DeLeon, planes traveling bard

Oerth.  But, not the Oerth I remember.  This is one of a distant future.  Just as there are new hopes, there are new fears.  The evils of yesteryear are supplanted by the evils of today.  News of a new abomination of mad science and magic has made its way throughout New Greyhawk City.  A creature similar to the dread mouther, but created through artificial means.  The news does its best to cover up details, but the truth is far more twisted and will only be spoken of in hushed whispers.  The terror of the Millexium Mouther rests, for now.

Author’s Note: Dungeon Magazine #83 gets referenced once again!  The last time was the Faranth, a one-off aberration that has sadly never appeared in official form again.  This time, I’m referencing both Greyhawk 2000 and its tie-in adventure, Alterations.  It’s sad that GH2000 only got attention here, never again in Oerth canon.  D20 Modern would have been the perfect place to continue it.  Eh.  Whatever.  Here’s a quick conversion of the NPCs and monsters found in it.  Plus, the Millexium Mouther is a new monster to play with!  While I won’t encourage piracy, back issues of Dungeon Magazine have long since gone out of print.  You can find a copy of this issue via Archive.org.

 

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Revenge of the Sheens – More Mechanical Horrors!

Revenge of the Sheen

“Metal things, metal things, why do you get in my way?  My favorite ditch, destroyed!  They ate my gold!  One of them stole one of my axes!  Tin can bastards are going in my book, my book of grudges!  Blasting that damned fox into near-dust was entertaining, but I still hate them!  Back to the chained islands with all of you!  A cursed land, of course it’s the place they crawled out of!  I’ll make them crawl back!” – Boron, Unhinged Dwarf Warrior/Rune-Crafter, “Ally” of Geber, survivor of The Massacre of Ignis

Lesser Sheen models have proved to be quite destructive.  However, far worse ones wait for their chance to strike.  Some seek to hack through organic like, while others harvest whatever secrets they have to further help the sheen agenda.  Their mechanical terror knows very few limits, expanding and changing at rapid rates.  In fact, new forms of sheen have emerged from their studies of the prime material plane itself.

Author’s Note: Here are the rest of the Sheens from both articles.  These baddies should prove to be far more formidable than the previous post, especially the massive power tree!  That’s an end campaign boss, more or less!  With the Sheen out of the way, I think I’ll slowly move towards my horror/dark fantasy theme I do every autumn.

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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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