Of Lands beyond Castle Ravenloft: Forgotten Domains and other Tales

These 5 Haunted Libraries Will Give You the Heebie Jeebies

“Bard’s tales for sale!  Scripted and sold by an honest book keeper!  All of the stories in these tomes are completely real!  I offer tales of bravery, terror, exploration and more!  Please, step inside for more!”  A familiar Darkonese man hocks various loud proclamations in the light of day, a fine market square acts as his stage.

Author’s Note: The setting is no stranger to B-Movie trash and neither am I…  So, there is plenty of that here too.  You have blobs of rotten food, plant hybrids, murderous ball ghosts and more.

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Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Realms of Secrets

https://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/99147/anchorite.png“These notes, they are pulled together by a strange outlander. And yet, they make perfect sense. Why? Because it is part of the greater mysteries of Ezra! Consider that the wandering bard was sent to help us make sense of everything, a gift of the goddess to prove that we can prevail.  Perhaps even, he is an aspect of our goddess to help provoke thought and revelation!   We shall not fear the Mists of Death and their grim esoterica. A breakthrough is upon us!” – Brother Mellick, priest of the Dementlieuse Sect of the Church of Ezra

The Darkonese sect preaches of certain doom, but that is far from true.  In fact, many of these strange places can help preach hope.  But, this hope is hidden and requires diligent minds to seek it out.  Life in these realms is one of mystery and only in cracking that mystery can we achieve a brighter tomorrow.  Flickers of life in dying lands, a grim machine used in revenge against a corrupt system, the ways of planes beyond, cautionary tales of warfare.  All of these and more can give us vital insight into ourselves and our actions, they are lessons that Ezra can teach us.

Author’s Note: Split from a previous post.  Have some more concepts for domains.  I won’t turn down an opportunity to do a better ghost train idea than WotC.  And well, the same goes for an Eberron domain too!  I already made one, but Snaking Trenches were basic.  Let’s pull a city from Cyre instead!  And while we’re at it, cool new lady darklords and their own new domains.  Anyway, that’s enough petty jabs at the new book.  As always, please enjoy.

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More Words in The Mists

On Playing 'Dangerous' and Evil in D&D – Digital Ephemera

The shop has closed and the storekeeper ushers you out.  Along the way, he hands you a note though.  As you find yourself under the clammy evening following an afternoon shower, the letter seems to unfurl itself by magic.  The writing is unlike that of the scribe’s.  “For your service, allow me to provide some insight by my own eyes.  After all, any new information broker under my service should be given a proper welcoming present.  And yes, this means you.”  Lowering the letter, you notice a button materialize upon the right breast pocket of your shirt.  It’s a symbol, one swearing allegiance to Azalin.  Frantic, you continue reading.  “Now, please review this information.  It shall be relevant to your next assignment.  And please, don’t think of betraying me.  The last one who tried never made it to the domain’s border.  Now, inform yourself.  I shall test you the following evening. – A”

Welcome to Darkon.  You are from here, you have always been here, you will find your roots here and you shall always serve Azalin Rex.

Author’s Note: I forgot that I wanted to revisit Odiare. I never really liked that domain and the adventure that went with it felt too hokey. So, time to make Maligno’s existence a true nightmare. Mangiafuoco, a cruel puppet master from the original story, becomes his ultimate foil.  Big thanks to the Fraternity of Shadows forums for inspiration. Other than that, let me further rip off Thief.  Also, no one tries to get something out of the mighty lich without him getting something in return.  That said, as much as I love Azalin as a magnificent bastard, I’m done with him… save for one more thing.

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The Dark World of Tomorrow – The Broken Cog Cluster

“Meikridas Steamships, are they not marvels?” The hand of a flamboyant man outstretches towards his wondrous sea craft.  While he somewhat resembles a vistani in a few regards, he is clearly not of their ways.  The sailor man smiles with the genuineness of an eager salesman, “come friends!  The warm shores of Alleigosto are a mere boat ride away.  I offer you leisure and hospitality unlike what is seen here in fair Dementlieu.”  The pitch continues, as the showman distributes pamphlets detailing incredible works of art and technology, a history spanning empires of old and “magnificent” relations with nearby nations.  While the man’s vessel is spotless and a marvel of engineering, the owner of this enterprise comes across as insincere and just as full of steam as the ship.  “We board now, don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!”  It is at this moment that you can swear the man’s eyes bulge unnaturally, even for a second.  And at that, unblinking.  Such a voyage would indeed bring wonders, but also new terrors to behold.  What visions of the future does this “cog cluster” bring?

Author’s Note: I’m always good for more Ravenloft.  Cursed robots, a zombie apocalypse, manipulative shadows, killers on foggy streets, the successor to the Atlantean Neur-Maise, the refuse of industry, fanatic technophobes, the distant (and not so distant) looming shadows of totalitarianism, utopian idealism crushed by said dark tidings, Deep Ones and more haunt a new cluster.  Here is a new pocket domain, as well as a new cluster to house old domains (like how Fell Arts houses Farelle and Odiare).  Major props to ScS of Fraternity of Shadows for inspiration on Nosos and other advanced domains.  And with that, here’s my take on a Steampunk-ified cluster much like the proposal from Quoth the Raven issue 2, with The Shining Bay cluster.  But, unlike that mixture of just Paridon, Timor and Nosos; this adds in several Islands of Terror I devised many years ago… some more recent than others.  One is a plague-ridden urban sprawl taking notes from the 19th century United Kingdom, Prussian Empire and Northeastern Coastal U.S. (especially from the fiction of Lovecraft and King).  Another is a mix of drama, Luddites, robotic horror and more in a Mediterranean based land.  It is next to decaying Greek-inspired splendor spliced with The Shadow over Innsmouth.  And finally, a somewhat Balkans inspired fake utopia.  Plus, as an added bonus, an homage to the classic Thief games.  And with that, enjoy one of the longer posts I’ve made.  And should anyone be curious, I have no interest in anything Wizards of the Coast.  I don’t want their new book, as I don’t care for the Post-4E/Shadowfell take on things..

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More Creations of Alza’um!

Camel, Augmented!

Ever eager to innovate and create, the artifice city marches onward with all sorts of strange ideas.  However, many prove to be quite practical.  Whether to ensure the city runs like clockwork or to keep the peace in some regard, Alza’um provides in many strange ways.  Even in Bashar, there are many marvelous sights to see… and some significantly less so.

Author’s Note:  Pardon the extreme lateness.  Job hunting and other things have held me up.  Simply put, I can’t afford to dedicate too much free time to what I love until I find some kind of job in the meantime.  That said, I’ll try to keep some stuff moving along.  Plus, I have a project that I want to start up soon, inspired by one of my patrons on Patreon!  Stay tuned for all sorts of magic and mayhem.  In the meantime, hopefully some steampunk-y goodness will suffice.

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Bizarre Bazaar: More Gothic, Gaslamp and Weird West

Image result for les halles painting -gettyimages

“Zam’dul is closing up shop for the great bazaar.  Do hurry, the fumes of these locomotive devices are quite sickening.  Search at your heart’s desire, but do be quick.  And also, do be careful.  Questions are welcome and can very well save your life!”

Zam’Dul returns once again to unleash a wide variety of fantastic artifacts, contraptions and concoctions sure to amaze and bewilder.

Author’s Note:  I had some item ideas that I couldn’t fit in the prior items post, so they’re here instead!  Also, I didn’t have the time to finish my one post for DM’s Guild.  So, it is unfortunately delayed a smidge.  All I’ll say is that it is a conversion of one of the few 4th Edition modules I really enjoyed playing with quite a few years ago.  Despite all the guff I give 4E, it certainly had its moments.  And for that reason, I’m “reanimating” it for D&D 5E!  Once it’s available, hopefully you all check it out!

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Bizarre Bazaar – Gaslamp, Gothic and Weird West

Images of Hitchin Market Place as it was in Victorian times (1837-1901)

The monthly market at Granite Well Station’s market is rich with life as it always is.  Amateur crafters alongside trade professionals, artisans both local and well out of region, even a few arcanists willing to share a secret or two.  Among the oddest is that “metal head” fellow who just showed up at the last minute.  He calls himself “Zam’dul”, sounds like some really far eastern name.  Either way, he has a haul of junk to investigate.  It’s all pretty odd stuff, I have a feeling he’s making dirty money on pick-pocketed goods, but that’s just me. – Constable Taranath Glistendawn, long time officer of Granite Well; a town known for its eponymous well, where an evil creature was thwarted decades ago.

The Granite Well Station sports a diverse rummage sale and market at the start of the month.  As far as flea markets go, Zam’dul is no stranger to this.  While a somewhat dusty, but sprawling city space; it already sports a diverse array of fascinating vendors to choose from.  To compete, Zam’dul only brings the most fascinating odds and ends from around the world.  As always, he promises quite the show!

Author’s Note: Zam’dul travels to a city anew!  Since I’ve been doing a fair share of player options as well as monsters, why not items as well?  Like before, they have a gothic, victorian, western, dime novel or relate theme to them.  In addition, I wanted to add some more gun augmentations.

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One with the Gun Part 2: More Heroes of Legend

https://i.redditmedia.com/ipKziHY8-08rRKgm35cvho332vmJ86UDlNocGfV9Cng.png?fit=crop&crop=faces%2Centropy&arh=2&w=960&s=405edb8837a0ea9cd6b101e882791d9f
Time for an upgrade!

The art of the shootist has transcended beyond certain types of warriors and scoundrels, expanding to even holy warriors, devoted protectors of spiritual ways or even magic-users themselves!

Author’s Note: I meant to do this long ago! However, monsters took over much of my gaslamp/weird western thing. So, let’s not delay this any longer! Here are more ranged (guns) sub-class options for your games! Also, this time an homage to The Dark Tower.  Also, special thanks to my friend, Ian.  Your insight really helped shape things here, and your endurance allowed you to deal with my endless rambling.  Trying to hammer sub-classses based off a meta concept like ranged weapon combat proved to be a challenge for me… especially in regards to classes that weren’t quite meant for them.  As such, this might be a little more janky than some of my other creations.  I’ll try to refine whatever I can here.

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Horrors by Gaslamp – Gothic Creatures and Tales of Woe

Ravenloft
“Why do they always faint when they see me?”

The streets are seemingly cast in a dark and gloomy shade among the lit up lamps.  Flittering insects cast sinister shadows on the cobblestones below.  However, the chill down your back is far from a winter wind.  You feel it, don’t you?  A cross between a clacking of razor blades upon your coat mixed with the sharp feeling of exposure to ice.  It’s right behind you.  As to what it is?  You dare not find out, but your doom is likely spelled out for you, regardless.  Before you can react, the words, “I have use for you” buzz in your mind before all turns to black.

Author’s Note:  Weird Western stuff is fun, but it’s only a single flavor of the Gothic.  I’ve always been one for horror in an urban environment, such as jolly old London.  Plus, I wanted to switch gears to something a little more traditional D&D.  Also, I was really eager to bust out some references to Castlevania!  (Yes, most of them are Symphony of the Night.)

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Weird Western NPCs

Old Western Town by BLMcKinney

“Jammer J. Spellman for governor! What a joke! His illegitimate son disappeared after following some madwoman some weeks back, plus there’s some scandal over him giving the okay to try to lynch some wolf man over some caravan dispute. The howling varmint broke free and ran, making Spellman look like an idiot! He even gave the sad sack of a mayor a lick on the face, like something out of a satirical illustration book. The rear kissing heeler was never a good mayor, that’s for certain… and now he wants to be some provincial governor? HA! I hope his loss is a huge one. If not, that idiot will run the territories right into the ground.” – Garvin Fripp, disgruntled farmer

Lots of folks populate countless settlements, villages, boom towns, what have you. While the adventurers are trying to uncover all the mysteries of the west; lots of folks have plenty of other jobs to attend to. And beyond those expansive tracts, tons of folks live their day to day, dealing with all sorts of things. Few townsfolk know what the tribesfolk are up to, but it’s known they’re hard working and persevering all the same.

Author’s Note: Yes, I know. A lot of this is reposted material that’s slightly brushed up. But, I figure it’s getting time to wrap things up soon, at least for the weird west. I’m probably gonna continue to my gaslamp stuff in one way or another. I focused a bit too much on the west.  Also, I already posted a couple of NPCs in my previous post with the Gun-Mage and the Mad Scientist.  Check them out too!

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