“Sometimes, dead is better.”
In particularly cursed places, the very ground itself rebukes death and damns the souls of whoever is buried there. This could be from the sight of a great war, a disturbed burial grounds or more. No matter the case, the land is tainted. And for those who dare to gamble against the forces of life and death within these corrupted lands? They may become something equally as wicked.
In other cases, the world may just have stacked odds against the heroes. The world may be kept in the clutches of dark forces that conspire to corrode and twist all in their path. Malevolent entities are challenged by heroes of horror, those who take a stand against the darkness at all costs. They too may face trauma when losing an ally… and having them come back wrong.
Author’s Note: This RPG Blog Carnival post came out of a few things. In a game I was part of, the DM wanted to make resurrection a risk. In that world, that sort of art is lost and things tend to not work always right when this is tried. The idea was also going to be used in a Gothic Earth one-off I wanted to do at some point too… Plus, I watched the original Pet Sematary recently. So, here’s my revised take on risky resurrection!
Learn more about the October RPG Blog Carnival theme here!
“Yeah, Fangs Gulch is a place. I found my way there not long after being bewitched and I started turning into one of them. Anyway, the locals look like those animalmen out in the wilderlands, but they run shops, shoot guns and live life like us. The scotch was something great, I only passed out after two jugs mind you. The butcher served up a nice slice of meat he called ‘furless one’. Even the ladies of the night were good too, even if they’re all hairy and have like eight knockers, real bitey and growly too. Hey, don’t look at me like that! It’s no weirder than the bar owner who screws automatons off-hours! Aww shucks, I really am one of them… – Rawoo (Rowan T. Jammerson), Lupine (Ex-Human) Maverick Rogue
The Lupines, especially the Gray Runners, often receive harsh treatment. Life in the tribes prove hard, but life among the outsiders, exotic travelers and other oddities proves all the more frustrating. Hostility seems inevitable, whether in the realms of trade or battle. Sometimes peace is achieved, but it’s often to suit an agenda. Some have sold their wisdom and secrets to get ahead of the travelers, while others have taken to more vindictive approaches… some reactions truly wicked. Most care about the day by day, appeasing the forces above them while surviving in a harsh world. Until recently, the harvests and hunts have been good, as life has been normal.
Author’s Note: By popular demand, here is more content for the gray runners… or rather, what the concept got expanded into. While they feel not overly different than Mystara’s Lupins (I even made a NPC that uses Lupin mechanics), they seemed pretty popular here. Plus, anything to bring more attention to Spellslinger (in the naive hope that Fantasy Flight Games will convert it to D&D 5E! Ya hear that, FFG!? You’d gain money from joining the new edition!) I pondered on how to expand on serpentmen, based on a request on my Tumblr blog, but my previous post points out that Yuan-Ti work just fine. For more on The Lupines, please check out this post here.
Welcome back to Chult.
The Jungles of Chult are a place of many things; an incredible civilization that has survived against impossible odds, a realm of ancient and massive beasts and a land of sinister secrets that could very well corrode the world. Within this jungle lies a conspiracy that could very well cost Toril and its denizens its life. Delve even further to encounter new foes and new rewards!
Author’s Note: Well, all of that took a lot longer than I had planned. The long and short of it was, a lot of things weren’t going right. On top of that, I had to wait a bit before borrowing this book in the first place. But enough complaining, I was inspired by some posts on expanding this adventure, so I wanted to see what I could cook up and add in here. I realize that there are some revisited pieces in here, but I’m always striving to improve my work and find ways to work it into other things, such as Tomb of Annihilation. And with that, enjoy a sampling of crazy critters and awesome artifacts for your adventure!
“Captain, there’s far too many!” “I think I am well aware of that!”
Zombies, disposable minions of the undead. Alone, these near mindless shambling corpses pose little threat. But woe to those who get too close to a horde of them, for they risk being torn apart by a walking mob of death. Zombies come in many stocks, destroying all that they encounter. In some instances, a single living dead can spell disaster for anything it comes into direct contact with. Such zombies are loaded with corruptive pathogens that create more walking dead when their victims fall. Others are brought back through a mixture of divine rites and deadly neurotoxins, forced to work off the sins they committed in their past lives. Others are the foul manifestations of negative energies, twisted and corrupted for likely malicious purpose.
No matter the origin, the zombie is a creature synonymous with absolute horror. Its shambling remains exist to cause destruction and misery. Only by slaying them can you hope to put their miserable souls to rest. Sometimes that is not enough; consecration, utter annihilation, reburying the remains and burning everything are typical ways to rid the undead plague. Sometimes, pushing the problem elsewhere is the only action that can be taken.
Author’s Notes: Zombies, for when you run out of ideas and need a horror monster on the spot! But in all seriousness, I love zombies in all sorts of games, even though they are typically the result of a creative dry spell. That said, building zombies is always fun, so I wanted to make some monstrous variants as examples of you can make legions of living dead at the disposal of necromantic masters. Also, be on the look out for the finale of my Gothic & Gaslamp theme!