Ramon’s Guide to Places Eerie and Sinister

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“They’re already dead, they just don’t know it yet!”

Instead of a normal lecture, I figure I’ll just chronicle my own travels and recant later.  The realms of dream proved invigorating, mortifying, thrilling and so much more!  However, my desire for adventure has taken me to far more chilling places.  Lands of Death, Darkness, Disaster and so on!  As always, I am forever devoted to pursuits of knowledge.  And through my travels and magical catalogue of thoughts and sights, you too may travel with me to parts unknown and dreadful.  Should anything unfortunate happen to me, let this document be a word of warning!

Author’s Note: I did an old school reorganizing of 4e’s (and I guess 5e’s) Feywild, I figure it’s the Shadowfell’s turn.  Many of its ideas were appropriated from past sources already, so that makes things a little easier.  As for the other stuff?  Well, once again, time to improvise!  Also, keep an eye out for some crunch that relates to this post.

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Threshold Magazine – The Egg be Dammed

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Return to the dark mirror that is Returned Blackmoor!  While issues remain in more populated lands, an ancient conspiracy has been unearthed in a zone far detached from prying eyes.  The Cootsbane Dam, a derelict turned military grounds, has had rumors of weird activity and stranger trespassers.  Investigate into the dark secrets and keep them from being unleashed upon the world at large!

Check out the current issue and “The Egg Be Dammed” Here!

Author’s Note: I wrote an edition neutral adventure for Threshold Mystara.  Admittedly, this was because I didn’t know what version of the game to tackle and Threshold tends to focus more so on BECMI, which I don’t have too much exposure to (outside of reading setting information of The Known World and beyond.)  I might update things for 5E or AD&D, maybe ask for a hand with BECMI for the next issue.

Horrors of Khorvaire and Beyond – Dal’Quor

The Darkness Comes
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Beyond the realm of Khorvaire lies many horrible things. Some exist upon the Prime Material Plane, while others are haunted remnants of old conflict. The wasteland of Cyre lures curious onlookers hoping to know more of the Last War. An empire of the undead waits patiently while assembling its forces. A deadly draconic power below prepares for an onslaught like none have seen. However, these threats and more are far more terrestrial. Within the realms of a sleeping mind lies a gateway into a dark unknown. It is here that the Mi-Go flutter, elementals of dream gather and the Quori plan their dreadful deeds.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I love Eberron… a lot! Now, I wasn’t the first to convert some monsters over to 5E and I won’t be the last! Given my posts about dream-related content, it’s likely Dal’Quor content will show up in something else if Eberron isn’t unleashed to the public any time soon. So as always, continue to divine in the realm of dream and you too might learn a thing or two. For more dream wandering content, check out The Dreamlands tag.

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Bizarre Bazaar Forever – Even More Planar Items!

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Welcome back, weary traveler!  Please, as always, you are more than welcome to observe my inventory.  Should anything be particularly fascinating to you, signal me and I’d be happy to tell you more!  Of course, some of these artifacts are VERY dangerous and should be handled with care.  Fortunately for you, the GREAT Zam’dul is happy to provide assistance!

Author’s Note: Making magic items from around the planes remains to be one of the most fun topics for me to tackle.  As such, I really wanted to return to it so soon.  With that, enjoy another sampling of weirdness from many a reality.

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Werebeasts – Savage Shapeshifters for D&D 5th Edition

UPDATE: You can get the updated version of this via DM’s Guild!  Zoanthropes – A Collection of Werebeasts is available now!  Please, support the blog by grabbing a copy!

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The gang’s all here!

“I saw them as they left the citadel, they were covered in blood and they cackled about some noble family they had slain.  I figured they were mad assassins…  that was, until they emerged in the full moon’s light.  In an instant, they contorted and morphed into all sorts of vermin!  They raised their heads in dark tribute to some sinister master before finishing their transfiguration into the accursed things.  I’ve heard tales of witches and warlocks making dark pacts to gain animalistic power… sometimes spreading the curse to the most innocent of souls.  Fortunately, they didn’t notice me observing from a ramshackle shack nearby or they simply didn’t care…”

– A farmer’s account of unspecified werebeasts emerging from a murder.

Long have we come to fear nature, it is pervasive and will reclaim all that we abandon.  It cares not for our petty morality.  It exists outside of our constantly changing and growing societies.  If we are lost within it, there is a good chance we’ll never be seen again.  But, while those fears are relevant, the fear of nature speaks to something within us… something primal.  The fear of the inner beast is exemplified no better than the shapeshifting horror, the lycanthrope.

While the name is a big misnomer, the lycanthrope is a sinister beast that masquerades as a normal person during the day.  As the night falls, they begin to hunt down the very people they interacted with before by shifting into one of many beasts.  No one is completely sure why they do this.  Perhaps dark spirits of nature beckon and control victims into attacking civilization.  Maybe they are corrupted worshipers of the old ways who desire to tear down boundaries between society and the wild.  Maybe they’re just shape changers who went completely mad.  No is sure for certain, for those who have survived an attack eventually become one of the monsters themselves.  One thing is certain is that entire cults have been built up around werebeasts, revering dark gods such as Malar the Beastlord; a deity originally hailing from Abeir-Toril’s universe.

Scholars have pondered what type of changing beasts exist in the world.  Beyond a list of common creatures, there are rarer and newer beings emerging from the untamed darkness.  These creatures are based on an assortment of other animal stock, sparsely mentioned or researched by archivists and monster hunters.  Recently, brave souls and madmen alike have unnerved new types of werebeasts based on various stocks.  Some of these animal stocks seem to affect different races disproportionately.  For example, wereweasels have a strange habit of once being halflings, while werebadgers had once been dwarves.

Author’s Note:  Halloween season has returned to Daemons & Deathrays a little early this year!  I figured I’d start by converting some of the stranger therianthropic nasties across other editions and various settings.  Not to mention, create some new NPCs based on existing types.  With the Wereraven officially released in Curse of Strahd, that’s one less creature I need to stat up myself.  On another note, Werewolf the Apocalypse may have had something to do with this.  Whether it’s nostalgia or my unashamed love of Classic World of Darkness, but I just can’t hate that game… even if it’s filled with stupid (and borderline tasteless) nonsense.  With that, have some more werebeasties!

IMAGE CREDIT: Night Howlers – TSR Inc.

Felinian – A Cat-Like Race for D&D 5th Edition

EDIT: You can now find the stats via Patreon!

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“I shall smite you, glowing red dot!”

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Inquisitive and Adventurous Beings

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The Felinians resemble bipedal cats with a few humanoid-like qualities.  However, some are an inverse of humanoids with feline qualities.  Many tribes tend to have a variety of specific colorizations and various features, signifying different breeds.  As their cat-like descent would imply, the Felinians are naturally curious creatures that seek to know everything about whatever they find.  As such, social castes of scholars are often treated quite well within many of their societies, trading knowledge as if it were a monetary system.  However, their love of discovery doesn’t impede the power of a raw and savage nature that courses through their veins.  Gifted with the boons of their progenitor races, they’re capable of clawing a foe into submission, leaping incredible distances without too much damage and dashing incredible distances to track down prey.  That said, many fears and weaknesses associated with their ancestors carry over into much of the Felinian cultures, hence why most tend to live more inland rather than by coastal regions.

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Keepers of Balance and Seekers of Greatness

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To many a Felinian, achieving a greater sense of balance in one’s self as well as their world is the key to prosperity.  To them, a sense of neutrality is the key to survival.  In worlds that favor factions and feuding, they tend to not get involved.  Any involvement is either in self defense or eradicating faction influence within their lands.  That is not to say they won’t fight vigorously to uphold what they believe in.  Ironically, they value exploring almost anything.  While some would view their willing to indulge in something as hedonistic, Felinians typically view it as exploration.  Upon gaining greater awareness, it’s common to form group meetings in response to their discovery.  They are willing to trade in all sorts of sources of knowledge and many delights.  To them, balance can be recognized when all senses are properly “awakened.”  However, some view their philosophy as distasteful and self-serving.

Author’s Note:  Based on the positive reception from my homage to Mystara’s Lupins, I decided to tackle my take on the Rakasta sooner rather than later.  Enjoy.  (When I get the time, I’ll tackle my take on the Tortles too!)  Also, I felt motivated to do this request after rewatching the glorious vintage cheesy goodness that is (original) Thundercats.  That said, I’m probably going to start Eberron’s Quori now!

Find the stats via this post on Patreon!

IMAGE SOURCE: Shawn Ye