Bizarre Bazaar – Items of Castlevania (November 2019 Blog Carnival)

Image result for Netflix castlevania art"

As the fog begins to roll in, a comforting light barely breaches the blanket dead ahead.  A vardo wagon sits idly, alongside a crackling fire pit.  One lone man clad in ornate robes and a ceramic plate covering his head beckons you over.  His body language seems friendly, but he is clearly interested in business.  A quick wave of an arm showcases all means of strange and wondrous trinkets to behold.  The cloaked humanoid shape picks itself up, addressing the party, “Ah, well met!  All of you seek to fight off the legions of the damned?  Surely, you are in need of proper supplies.  You are fortunate to stumble upon this traveling merchant!”, hoarsely croaks the muffled shape through his sculpted helmet.

Author’s Note: While Castlevania is more action-horror, it’s still very much part of the history of horror gaming.  One could argue the early entries are a proto-survival horror too!  Plus, there’s the classic fiasco of Konami supposedly taking from TSR for their box art.  In general, Konami sucks and will probably always suck (unless some day they magically don’t), but we can still appreciate the classic franchise.  While this one focuses on the first game, fourth game and Symphony (because those are my favorites, I know… original); I might come back and do some items based on other titles at some point… not just the most popular ones.  So with that, here are a couple of items that pay homage to the franchise!  Enjoy and happy vampire hunting!  Also, I’m aware I reposted the solomon seal.

Continue reading

November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Welcome to the World of Survival Horror

Related image

The opening text to the first Resident Evil game.  Those words present a theme and a mood.  You are leaving your own world.  You are entering a dark and foreboding world where you must use your wits and preserve what little resources you have to endure a horrible nightmare.  And with that,

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SURVIVAL HORROR.

Author’s Note: Let’s add some atmospheric music, shall we?  Ah, there we go.  Anyway…
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Also, I welcome you to the November RPG Blog Carnival for 2019.  The festivities may wind down in most places, but they continue well till Thanksgiving here at Daemons & Deathrays!  You can have your extremely early Christmahanukwanzica, Doc keeps the Halloween vibe going strong!  And with that, the survival horror begins…

Continue reading

Domains of Dread: Dawnsveil (now available on DM’s Guild)

https://www.dmsguild.com/images/site_resources/DMsGuildProductLogoLarge.png

Enter a Domain of Dread born from paranoia and fearmongering, where your neighbor conspires against you and practices wicked sorcery… at least, by your observations.

Ruled by a once-beloved governor, now fear is there ruling force! The colony still expands and progresses, even as its appointed ruler acts from the background. However, his control is far stronger than most realize. Face an endless battle between a crazed governor and the dark witch that haunts the lands.

Domains of Dread – Dawnsveil is an expansion for the Ravenloft Campaign Setting.  However, it is fully compatible with the Curse of Strahd adventure.  Inside, you’ll find a history of a fallen trade colony, dark tales of a dark witch taken form and terrifying creatures that dwell in the darkness.

You can find this product here.  Happy Halloween!

Wretches of Ravenloft – Mordent

Image result for ravenloft mordent

Mordent, considerably more progressive than other domains by a distance.  Curiously, its presence in the Mists is the fault of Strahd and Azalin.  They devised a scheme to exploit an apparatus within the realm to free themselves from their imprisoned domains.  This failed, sealing Mordent’s fate as well.

A fair share of oddities drift in and around the domain.  The Darklord himself, Lord Wilfred Godefrey, certainly counts.  Once a backstabbing aristocrat, he slew his own wife and daughter.  He covered the incident up as it were an accident.  But, their vengeful spirits drove him to suicide, forcing him into the ironic fate of a trapped spirit too.  Since then, he has collected the souls that are beckoned to his house on Gryphon Hill.  He has even used the trapped souls to his advantage at times, creating networks of informants and spies within his domain.

But, what is beyond the house?  The Great Moors risk dense moss and trees to get lost in, while ghost towns just beyond prove to be less than salvation.  The river ways and moors are mucky and thick, the perfect predatory grounds of the bog hound.  A ways off the path was an off beat enclave of artists, creatives and non-establishment people who failed to fit in with the norm.  Save for the waxworks, there is no more life here.  No true life.  Despite much of it burning down, wonders of art are mixed with the macabre to unveil an art show unlike anything before.

Author’s Note:  Yet another double-feature!  This time, the Domain of Mordent as the theme.  The first creature is based off the Howls of the Night adventure, prominently featuring the Bog Hound.  The second is from a homebrew pocket domain within the domain itself.  It’s a meshing of wax museum horror tropes.  And for added creepiness, some extra homage to one of my favorite parts of BioShock!

Continue reading

Ramon’s Guide to Gothic Terra

Masque

“I came to, a willingness to survive kicked in.  When I swam above the waterline, I wasn’t greeted by Lamordia, by a mist-cloaked land anew.  Surely, this was but a trick of The Dark Powers, once more?” – Ramon DeLeon, wandering bard and planes traveler

Planet Terra.  It has been referenced in many planar logs.  Many worlds tell of a mythic world of great humans who fled the oppressive horrors of their old world of many names.  LaTerre, Uerth, Gothic Earth.  These names and more have been given to this world by many a scholar of Wildspace and The Planes.  Despite its mythic past, much of its fantastical glory days are over, with only dark shadows looming over the present.  The present, according to the widely used calendar of its people, is 2012.  The common people either mistranslate old calendars as prophecy or completely brush off any fear.  The reality of the matter is so much worse…

Author’s Note: Credit where credit is due!  A big thanks to Rucht Lilavivat of the Fraternity of Shadows community for his creation of Gothic Earth Eternal, a pathfinder mod that brings Masque of the Red Death into the Modern Age.  In my case, this is my means of highlighting a variety of chilling tales.  In the world of Gothic Earth, they’re most likely true!  Also, this is not the Earth you are used to, but one more akin to the gothic settings of the World of Darkness roleplaying game.  Life is deadlier, the aesthetics are grimmer and the world in general is far more sinister. Plus, I have an excuse to tie in Alternity Dark*Matter RPG’s Hoffman Institute and the forces of Shadow from D20 Urban Arcana, which are both canon in D&D.  I know Masque of the Red Death doesn’t traditionally have standard Domains, but this concept takes place over 100 years after the main campaign.  Anything can happen, right?

Also, this gives me the chance to showcase some disturbing stories through a supernatural lens!  The fate of the SS. Morro Castle, Jane and the Starving Period of Jamestown, fell curses in the Payton Randolph house, the murder of George Wythe, tavern tales of devil pacts and their supposed results, government conspiracies, southwestern ghost towns, real life camp killers and the infamous murder hotel.  Now, save for a tavern tale or two; the majority of the topics mentioned in this are real or are based on real events.  I don’t mean any offense or disrespect when adapting these events to horror fiction.  If anything, reality is far scarier than any fictional tale we could come up with.  None the less, I realize this one will be rather controversial.

Continue reading

Creatures of the Mists – Dark Denizens of the Domains of Dread

Image result for ravenloft monsters

“Chroniclers from “some outside world” kept babbling about Shadow Powers and Fell planes.  These people are fools.  They know not of the mists, they know not of true nightmares.  I live in them, just as I do in the rare dream.  Some day, our people might escape through these gates, through the endless worlds of dream and into paradise.  Perhaps these outlanders can take our place…  As far as I’m concerned, they don’t truly exist anyway.” – a rather rude Aabber Shaman of the Nightmare Lands, according to Ramon.

The Mists house many untold and unspoken evils and perils.  They’re usually the results of twisted minds and nefarious plots.  Some are just sad souls that have long since fallen from grace.  In more than one instance within the demiplane, some were merely evil souls from the beginning.  Such a twisted menagerie exists within the Domains, it’s a miracle that they haven’t escaped to torment the outside worlds.

Brace yourselves and survive the monsters of the night!

Author’s Note: While Ramon bumbles in Ravenloft, let’s bring in a mixture of classic monsters and some new creations!  Since I already have various Ravenloft critters in my Vampire and Were-beast books on DM’s Guild, I have not included them here.  Also, please pardon the rampant song references…

Continue reading

Ramon’s Guide to The Mists

https://daemonsanddeathrays.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/5f28c-ravenloft.png

Ravenloft!  The Demiplane of Dread!  The Mists!  All names for the same prison dimension for the foulest in the multiverse!  Those within the clutches of the Dark Powers must suffer, whether or not they deserve it.  These Dark Powers overseen all sorts of truly awful Domains of Dread, plots of artificially constructed spaces where the Powers observe the truly damned in the places of their own damnation.  The Darklords are those who have doomed themselves through acts of ultimate evil.  They preside over the aforementioned domains to remind them of their sins.  Usually, they don’t take kindly to visitors like myself.

Author’s Note: The Lovable World Traveling Bard vs. The Demiplane of Dread!  I always love writing bits on Ravenloft and this is a good way of introducing some of my favorite domains to players who might not be as familiar with them.  Of course, there are MANY domains that I wish I could ramble about, but I have only so much space and time to play with, unlike the Dark Powers.  In fact, their ability is limitless!  Plus, this is a good way of building up my own domains, Dawnsveil, Within the Woods and Feuer!  (Yes, the second one is Evil Dead 1 & 2.)  Keep an eye out for those new domains, by the way…  Also I continued a piece cut from my prior post.  The Black Lanterns was part of my Shadow Fell to Planescape conversion concept from before.

Continue reading