Bizarre Bazaar – Beyond the Infinite Staircase

Sigil

Even during your travels through the rather alien hub known as Sigil, your eyes latch onto a few familiar sights; goods and magicks from your prime material, creatures and cultures you have encountered in your travels and one very familiar and eager merchant that seems to follow you wherever you go.  Zam’dul too has seemed to appear in this fantastical city of doors.

“Hoohoohoo, traveler!  Zam’dul knows you to be an excellent customer!  Fear not, there is no stalking happening here, but simply travel to the places that adventurers go to!  As always, wares find their way to Zam’dul and prices remain fair.  Plus, a rather intriguing guild known as “The Fated” seem to have Zam’Dul’s interests in mind, should ruffians appear.  In the meantime, please sit upon a meditative cushion.  It is fluffed for long term discussions over philosophies and trading.”

Author’s Note: Magic items are always fun to make.  In fact, they might be the most fun thing for me to make.  So simple, yet there’s potential to create truly fantastical things!  Read onward and continue your adventure.

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Gloomy and Gothic Story Hooks

Endless tomes tell tales of brooding beings locked in wretched crypts, of things we are not meant to know dwelling beyond the skies, of shocking creatures that terrify as they stun, of punishment for grievous sin and decedent folly.  These stories of old have fueled events to come for generations.  History has a habit of repeating, especially the negative…

Author’s Note: What?  Something non-crunch related???  That hasn’t happened in a long time, I know.  I prefer the mechanical bits, myself.  That said, I wanted to do something a little different.  I’ve made backgrounds, NPCs, monsters, class options, a race and then some with a gothic theme… why not stuff on the campaign itself?  Plus, this example is literally about literature.  So, here are some hooks inspired by various stories.  I’ll post something else later in the week, I promise.

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Lovecraftiana – More Items & Monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos

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Upon a distant plateau lies foul denizens of Leng.

While many horrors beyond our reaches have found their way into the material, other things creep into reality and bring chaos with them in more subtle ways.  Some lurk just beyond the veil, while others find others to do their bidding.  Whether they seek to destroy us or take over, eldritch powers are slowly becoming more pronounced.  It is unlikely that we’ll ever be ready for them. – Finnemin Cobblertoe, Halfling Archivist

Author’s Note: I wanted to make another contribution to the December ’17 blog carnival.  So, true to Doc tradition, here’s some more H.P. Lovecraft creations for 5E!  You can find more cosmic horrors throughout my blog via relevant tags like ‘lovecraft‘ and ‘cthulhu mythos‘.  Read more about the RPG Blog Carnival Blog here.

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Murderous Maniac – A Slasher Villain Template

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The act of killing by itself is a heinous thing, something adventurers often have to cope with on a common basis.  Often it’s self defense against monsters and bandits, other times it’s for more insidious reasons.  Some snap amidst the violence, losing any attachment to empathy or reason.  Such people degenerate into cold blooded killers, driven by the thrill of slaying whatever prey comes into their clutches.  After a while, it becomes less about adventure and discovering lost treasure as it is an unrelenting bloodlust and hatred for all who oppose your goals.

This path of bloodshed and psychosis is a chilling and horrid one, the basis for many stories of terrifying villains and disturbed madmen.  Much of the time, these evildoers prefer to scare their prey as much as possible before causing them to meet their untimely end.  Such tactics are more than butchery and savagery, as the power of psychological terror is essential for weakening their foes.  Often, they’ll do whatever to take away their power and isolate a target as much as possible, finding impossible ways to stalk them as well.  And when all hope is lost, the killing strike is unleashed!  Few have survived the wrath of a murderous maniac… and they usually die in the sequel anyway!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I’ve rediscovered an awesome expansion for World of Darkness known as Slasher.  It’s built on the Chronicles era Hunter game, in which Hunters succumb to their own inner darkness and become the very villains of horror cinema lore…  essentially.  Of course, there’s more to it than that, but whatever.  Anyway, here’s a template that borrows heavily from slasher cinema, in an effort to translate the idea into D&D.  Enjoy!  (I might update with a “Supernatural Slasher” in the near future!  Who knows?)  Also, as for the picture?  I’ve always loved this scene from the original Halloween.  Something about that shot highlights a character’s seeming futile attempt to hide from a masked madman… and said murderous pushing into a claustrophobic space, where everything seems lost.  Did I mention that movie is one of my all time favorite films?

Also, this one will probably be revised once I get more accurate math for this one, maybe swap out one thematic ability for another.  I’ll see what people say first.

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Therianthropes! – A Collection of Werebeasts for D&D 5th Edition

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Hey, ghosts and ghoulies!  Doc is back at it again!  This time around, I have an assortment of werebeasts at your disposal.  The document includes new content including: a werebeast never posted on the blog, new NPCs inspired by each animal stock, cleaned up versions of two previously existing sub-classes and more!

You may find the document HERE!

HALLOWEEN SPELL UPDATE

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Greetings, goblins and ghouls.  I added a small handful of spells to my Planar Grimoire document.  It’s a heaping helping of darker spells throughout the multiverse, as detailed below.  Enjoy.

  • Jutting Bones – Conjure bones from the ground to pierce foes
  • Sylvan Soul – Sample an aspect of the fair folk for a brief moment
  • Psychic Projectile – Reach into the Far Realm and pull out some power to hurl at a foe!
  • Rolling Skull Army – An entourage of skulls come from seemingly nowhere and slam into all in their way
  • Abyssal Kiss – You blow a deadly kiss to a foe, possibly destroying their very soul
  • Visions from the Stars – Everyone around you sees a horrific vision from the cosmic depths
  • Shadow King’s Drain – A draining magical effect, crafted by a dreadful lich

Also, I tied up some loose ends.  I dunno why this one stumped me!

  • Detect Portals – Does what it says on the tin!  Admittedly, I had a similar idea to the Horizon Walker Ranger.  The only difference was involving size and distance.

Spawn of Death – Creatures born and reborn from the dead

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You are a creature created from the impossible, either unnatural life given back to a body or from a birth most foul.  In either case, the death infused are considered abominations by many.  In some cases, they were created from revival rituals and necromatic magic gone awry.  In other cases, merely the results of trying to achieve immortality… with horrific results.  Arcane experiments in general are the source of the half-undead, either to crossbreed horrors or to create a new form of unlife entirely.

While the Death-Spawn are tainted by different forms of negative energies and dark power, they tend to share similar aspects in traits.  They convey a sense of lifelessness or at least an uncanny sense of life.  They typically lack the warmth of a living body, feeling clammy and/or cold to the touch.  Some are lucky enough to have bodies perfectly intact, looking indistinguishable from other average humanoids.  The unlucky look akin to shambling corpses and disheveled zombies.

Author’s Note: I wanted to take a crack at races again.  So, here’s a new race of undead-touched creatures inspired by a handful of resources: The Raven Queen, The Crow, Pathfinder’s Dhampir, the Half-Undead from Dragon Magazine and so on and so forth.  Just a heads up, this is a rough draft and none of these have been tested yet.  I am likely to revisit this at a later time though.

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