The living dead. What brings about such perversions of life? Rituals derived from dark sorceries imbue a dreadful force into corpses, creating a puppet bound in necromantic power. These zombies are crafted by the spells and rituals of adept necromancers, aiming to create a slave or build an army. Plagues created by the most vile of creatures corrupt and sicken victims, eventually overwhelming them and turning them into walking diseases of their own right. These are often accidents, potentially prevented by proper preparation rather than giving into hysterical campaigns. Even alien horrors have their means of parasitically bonding to a host, creating their own version of zombie. Some of these victims aren’t just alive, they have some level of consciousness. However, not all origins are evil. Some were created as punishment at the hands of powerful spiritual priests. However, the zombie created by necromancy is by far the most common sight.
No matter their sources, the terror of the zombie is a known one. Shuffling corpses, either confused by their existence or enraged by it, find themselves at odds with the living. Some of these abominations are at the whims of a mad master. Others are distorted by outside forces, left to rampage against all in their wake. And even worse, the zombie will never give up. While it is devoid of emotion or any ideology, the zombie is relentless until it’s impossible for it to continue. Some will fight until literally falling apart. Converted into killing machines, these mockeries of life are a blight to all who are haunted by their presence.
Author’s Note: I’m back. Pardon these disappearances. Things have been a little rough, I’ll spare the details. In addition, I haven’t been happy with a lot of things, hobbies included. That’s made it a little harder to work on these posts. Admittedly, one of things keeping me going is created content for settings that WotC has forgotten. The people deserve to learn at least a little about these cool places! Anyway, here’s my updated take on some variant zombies! Ooooh, spooky! Also, to the one of my friends who wanted me to tack on a tacky coronavirus reference on this? You’re welcome.
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.
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!