Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

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“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.

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Rise of the Machines – Robots and Androids

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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!

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Life Beyond Space – Aliens

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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…

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Far Outsiders – More Cosmic Terrors

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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.)

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Horrid Things From Beyond the Veil – Aberrant Evils

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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!

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Planar Double Feature

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I’ve been quite busy, especially with an expo.  However, here’s my means of catching up on things.  In fact, two critters popped out to me when I was combing through the Monstrous Compendiums for Planescape.  Here are my takes on the Rast and the Bloodthorn.  Enjoy!

Author’s Note: In which the author covers up his posterior by posting two new creatures.

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June 2019 Blog Carnival – A Fair (Folk) Addendum

Hark, fine scholars, bookworms and those who crave knowledge!  Boskov’s Books has a sale unlike any other.  Gain the recipes of the Gold Bariaur Inn, read thrilling works written by well-known factotums, be the first to buy the collected lectures of Ramon DeLeon!  Only here, only at Boskov’s Books!  – A crier, advertising a book sale in the Clerk’s Ward.

Boskov is best of house spirits, here to serve you, discerning book seeker!  Why is Boskov Boskov?  Simple, original owner of book store, also called Boskov, bestowed name before death!  It was most sad, but the duty of the store continues!  What is the book you are doing the seeking for?  Boskov can find it with no time spent!  You heard of the sale, have you?  Luckily for you, gracious patron, there are many excellent titles for next to none.  Among them is an exclusive title that the store are premiering, many weeks ahead of the competition!  This is because Boskov has exclusive connections with a printing press in the Lower Ward.  Let’s say that both parties using knowledge to liberate an ignorant multiverse, views align and whatnot!  But, you are obvious well read, fair traveler!  You may think, such mannerisms and speech patterns are befitting of other great sellers in the Cage and beyond!  Very astute!  Boskov helped within the house of the Merchant Zam’Dul too!  Such service inspired Boskov to be in charge of sales work too, much like old master!

Please, let Boskov show you some excerpts of lectures of the faerie folk!  Boskov assures, it is a great and enlightening read!  Besides, this elaborates on those lectures, new content to behold!

Author’s Note: Quite a few people enjoyed my concept for the Fey in the classic Great Wheel.  The Deep pockets of the Ethereal proved to work well.  Plus, having Seasonal creatures not too far off the Inner Planes made enough sense, in my opinion.  Anyway, I wanted to expand upon a few ideas.  A couple have stated that for a hideaway for the fey, many D&D fey races didn’t get too much attention.  And you know what?  That’s a fair assessment… Hehe.  Plus, I’m back with another quirky NPC who talks in 3rd person.  My reason for this one?  I won’t deny it, I’ve been meaning to do a monsters post based on Slavic folklore.  That will get done sooner or later, especially since one of the creatures is floating around Sigil now!  As always, be sure to check out the June 2019 RPG Blog Carnival by Brynvalk, which this was made for!  Also, the only reason I put this in bold is because anything put in Boskov’s voice is meant to be in just italics.  In retrospective, not the best idea, but oh well…  Anyway, enough bolded text!  ENJOY!

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