The Road (Thankfully) Less Traveled – Terrors on the Road

Foggy trail in Catskills, NY

“Take me home, country roads!”

Just beyond the veil of reality exists an entire bestiary worth of wretched things.  These monsters and entities lie beyond our grasp, waiting for the right moment to strike.  Many of these creatures are quite similar to the everyday and mundane aspects of life we take for granted, while others are incomprehensibly alien.  While in the comfort of our homes, we take much for granted.  But, on the road?  We are much more vulnerable.  The elements, wildlife and even fellow people can prove to be potential hazards.  But, even more troubling is the strange and supernatural sights that we all hope to never encounter…

Author’s Note: If there’s one thing I love in a ghost story, it’s encounters on the road; when you’re traveling, far away from home and quite vulnerable.  And worse yet?  Many of the things stalking you take up the guise of something far from insidious at all.  While some predators will fight head on, others are bit more crafty.  And some?  They’re just quasi-mindless masses of hunger.

Also, special thanks to Ian for helping to create the Haunting Traveler.  I shall inform you on how many people it kills, I promise!

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Purity & Corruption – Struggles against Tainting Evil in D&D 5th Edition

Don’t worry, he’s completely fine.

Darkness preys upon countless innocents, dragging them into their clutches as it sees fit.  It awaits for us to falter and turn to it in search of aid, courage, control.  It happily responds, in hopes of enthralling those who get too close.  This wickedness is no one being, but the very nature of evil itself.  It seeks to take everything that is true goodness, and destroy it any way it can.  For true evil, the failure of hope and prosperity is its ultimate goal.  And in the end, it has plans to make us all pawns in its twisted games. 

However, heroes rise up to combat the darkness and help bring light to the world.  But in the end, they risk falling to the same evil they combat.  Their feuds against wickedness risk corrupting them as well, making their valiant efforts all for naught.  Such adventurers may become the very monsters they quested forth to destroy, in the end.  Only a true champion of justice can withstand an onslaught of defilers and diabolic forces.  All everyone else can hope for is solace and sanctuary, for it’s all we have in an endless struggle to fend off powers far beyond our control.  We have no control, you see!  The darkness comes!  It will damn us all!

The forces of corruption are a new threat to your players.  Similar to the Sanity stat, Purity is an alternate option to measure your players’ endurance against forces of absolute evil.  The lower their purity is, the more likely they are to succumb to its dark embrace, similar to the Dark Lords of Ravenloft or the hellish creatures found in countless dark fantasy tales.

Author’s Note: I’m back with another rule module for you all!  In short, I gave the Pureness stat some playtesting, but found out it was wasn’t properly defined or fleshed out.  That and the base concept was tied to either Gamma World style mutation or “Arcane Corruption” (DCC style spellcasting).  The resulting feedback concluded that a mix of Ravenloft’s Dark Power effects charts, disease tracks and mutation were the best way to go.  In a sense, this is a compilation in addition to expansion on what I already have.  In short, this is a revision of the purity idea from my Arcane Corruption post.  It’s still similar to the rest of the post, same as my post for mutation.

Also, one of my players wanted me to delve deeper into the Curse of Undeath, making a post inspired by Dark Souls.  So, stay tuned for an expansion on that!

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