They shouldn’t have existed, mistakes of nature and mistakes of humanity! These abominations were the accidents as a result of careless experiments and deadly warfare. And the result? Worse than we could have ever feared. Confused, angry, resentful, hateful! These things seek to destroy both their creators and the world around them. Much like the forces that spawned them, destruction is usually their goal. But, these creatures are no villains, but the consequences of arrogance, apathy, discrimination and violence.
Author’s Note: As a continuation of my theme, here’s a plethora of horrible mutants and mad experiments. While much of it is revisiting old monsters, there’s a good amount of new goodies to toss into your wastelands, super secret labs and other such locations.
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.
While I enjoy tons of heroic settings with noble characters ensuring good in the world, I’ve always loved truly grim and dour settings. I speak of worlds that fit the “GRIMDARK” moniker that’s been affectionately used. For those who don’t get the reference, it refers to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K tagline, which states that “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!” I’m speaking of places blighted by impossible evils, dystopias where any sort of righteousness and passion is repressed, a sinister universe that is out to destroy you, nuked out wastelands where the remains of society struggle to continue or scrap the last bits of the old ones… but you get the point.
So, why is my theme essentially “dark settings and dark themes”? Sounds depressing, I know. After all, spending too much time in an overly dark and oppressive world can wear one down, right? Not exactly! There are many reasons why dark settings are truly fascinating. Before I turn the carnival over to you, let’s take a look at why starker settings can be awesome. (Or if you prefer, skip down to the bold text.)
WELCOME TO PURPLE VIOLET! (Don’t sue me, Green Ronin!)
We’re back! Once again, the weirdness lifts off the material realm… or so it seems. We lose one of our dysfunctional heroes and gain another and more things seem off… if a tad off track entirely!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes, Utopian-Orvaldt is a slight spoof on Blue Rose, with the fashion and style of Hirohiko Araki to boot, even though players didn’t have a chance to explore the utopia too much. No, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder towards Green Ronin, even though I don’t particularly like Blue Rose. The idea was based on old notes I had sitting around for the sake of a light-hearted plane hopping game. I might do something more with that soon enough. Also, I’m sorry for killing off your character super quickly, Evan! Really, I am!
That’s right, Moon Nazis…
“Their initial strikes have left us vastly crippled. We never saw them coming, legions of men fitted with advanced armor and weaponry; adorned with the symbols of a diabolic looking empire. They eliminated our troops quickly and many of our civilians even quicker. There is little hope for our world.” – A letter found in a burnt down house
The planes hold countless universes and endless possibilities. Among them is a dystopian world where a brutal regime managed to take hold of the world. However, one planet proved to be not enough for them. Their empire was forged on persecution and bloodshed; hatred and genocide. Their global domination campaign cost the lives of billions, causing irreparable damage upon the world as a result. Unsatisfied with controlling the entire world for many years, they eventually turned their cleansing campaign towards the planes beyond. Thanks to their high tech moonbase experiments, they were able to rip open a portal within the fabric of reality itself. Achieving planar transport, waves of these augmented super-soldiers unleashed hell upon anything unlike them.
Countless realities did their best to hold back the waves of soldiers and generals, armed with strange technologies. Some succeeded in pushing their evil back from hence it came. Others were conquered and their resources exploited until only dirt and death remained. Some realms were enslaved and only the worthy preserved… or recruited. With an ever present grip, those who manage to slip through the cracks continue to hide in fear, well aware that their attempts at sabotage or spying aren’t enough. Many of these realities require a hero now more than ever, a rebellion to turn the tides against a dystopian cancer that seeks to infect all walks of life.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wanted to revive my Wolfenstein themed post because the first version needed a touch up, plus I promised I’d come back to it. Plus, I love the of Iron Sky… Alien invasion plus an alternate-history nazi menace. So, what if the horrors of Wolfenstein invaded the worlds of D&D? Well, in the name of over-the-top pulp science fiction, I give you the chance to find out! Also, as I had done with the previous post, I’d like to apologize for poorly translated German.
“Truly, this is paradise”
Not all who dwell in dark gaslamp lit towns and cities are called by the darkness. Some take more heroic and honorable pursuits. Of course, these people are just as susceptible to the darkness as the more “accursed” among them. Noble deeds can be tainted and benevolent action can devolve into a fanatical crusade. But in proper moderation and reflection, these heroes can be true champions of not only their ideals but for others as well. A harsh society is made all the more overwhelming by the presence of dark forces. In fighting them, even the most pure of hearts can fall to their wickedness. Those who are careful prove to be the truest exemplars of righteousness and courage, but few rise up to the occasion. Like countless others who are forced to take a stand, these mere everyday people must overcome extreme odds for not only victory, but survival as well.
Author’s Note: I tried to write as much as possible for this one! After all, my last background post was a fair bit skimpier. With that, I went a bit more overboard by giving you 4 new backgrounds and 2 variant backgrounds! All of them fit a general 19th century inspired fantasy/horror/adventure theme! Also, be on the look out for my next post! It’s a tie in to a certain blog carnival theme for this month!!
Cyborg Nazis from Space! Why not?
The planes hold countless universes and endless possibilities. Among them is a dystopian world where a brutal regime managed to take hold of the world. However, one planet proved to be not enough for them. They turned their cleansing campaign towards the planes beyond. Thanks to their high tech moonbase experiments, they were able to rip open a portal within the fabric of reality itself! Achieving planar transport, waves of these augmented super-soldiers unleashed hell upon anything unlike them. While countless grunts are equipped with the best technologies that engineers have to offer, this Planarnaut is fully upgraded into a cyborg warrior capable of massive damage. An era of darkness driven by fascism threatens the multiverse!
Author’s Note: Yes, space nazis. Why? I don’t really know! Iron Sky and Wolfenstein the New Order haven’t crossed my mind in a while, so I don’t know what brought this. Nostalgia for WWII FPS games? Fascination with alt. history and dystopia? No matter what happened, here they are! Also, I deeply apologize to anyone who is fluent in German, I know my translations aren’t good.