Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.
The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things. And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed. Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life. And what followed? I dare not say… All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them. Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.
The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction. There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in. Or at the very least, the death of civilization. In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians. But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired! (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.) Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon. Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches. Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!
With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings. Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish. Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past. Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces. While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic. To be fair, neither has core D&D really. And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web. So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.
Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while! In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter. Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week! Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!
The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before. Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes. Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction. Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort. Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler. The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.
“Hail, friend! It has been a while, has it not? Please, do not shy away. Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond. I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”
The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares. Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts. Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend. Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.
Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being. However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars! This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes. But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here. As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment. No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.
Elementals from the Demiplane of Dread
The Elemental planes contain forces that embody raw and natural powers. The denizens of these realms equally represent those forces. The four prime planes represent basic elements that transcend the multiverse. All around, these beings tend to be neutral in nature or unable to comprehend alignment as a whole. However, the multiverse is vast and has methods of warping the essence of the planes themselves. The Elemental Planes are no different in this regard. One such example of this is the Demiplanes of Dread, known to some as “Ravenloft.” This dark prison dimension is ruled by a mysterious power called “The Mists.” It is unknown what such entities are, in a similar vein as Sigil’s protector known as “The Lady of Pain.” When the mists touch upon an elemental plane, they forge a strange demiplane copy that fits in with the darkness and despair of the Dread realm.
Resentful Corruptions of Nature
The so-called “Dread Elementals” are the results of such sinister mingling. These fallen elementals are empowered by same wickedness that spurs the defiled darklords and depraved denizens onward. Unlike traditional elementals, these shadowy doubles are openly malicious and will appease the mists in one way or another. This is because they hate what they are. The mists have transformed them into sick minions for their bidding, giving them the slightest inkling of awareness to render them mad. In their hatred, they lash at those who extend their mockery of an existence. Other times, they target those who dare to oppose either their goals or the goals of the dark powers.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I love Ravenloft, oh so much. Not to mention, the elementals don’t really get enough love… even with the decent adventure rolled out by Wizards early last year. Sure, I’ve made a handful of elemental beings, but it’s always fun to craft some more. Or rather in this case, continue my theme of simple modification to create a new monster. And what better way to close out my Gothic theme with a set of monsters from a Gothic Campaign Setting! I’ve learned quite a bit during this theme alone. However, it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Since this one was a quicky, I’ll have something by the end of the week for you bodaks and ghouls out there. I’m mostly gonna dabble with some ideas in the next few weeks and prepare for my own RPG Blog Carnival theme in August, “Super Science and Sorcery!”