“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!
The monthly market at Granite Well Station’s market is rich with life as it always is. Amateur crafters alongside trade professionals, artisans both local and well out of region, even a few arcanists willing to share a secret or two. Among the oddest is that “metal head” fellow who just showed up at the last minute. He calls himself “Zam’dul”, sounds like some really far eastern name. Either way, he has a haul of junk to investigate. It’s all pretty odd stuff, I have a feeling he’s making dirty money on pick-pocketed goods, but that’s just me. – Constable Taranath Glistendawn, long time officer of Granite Well; a town known for its eponymous well, where an evil creature was thwarted decades ago.
The Granite Well Station sports a diverse rummage sale and market at the start of the month. As far as flea markets go, Zam’dul is no stranger to this. While a somewhat dusty, but sprawling city space; it already sports a diverse array of fascinating vendors to choose from. To compete, Zam’dul only brings the most fascinating odds and ends from around the world. As always, he promises quite the show!
Author’s Note: Zam’dul travels to a city anew! Since I’ve been doing a fair share of player options as well as monsters, why not items as well? Like before, they have a gothic, victorian, western, dime novel or relate theme to them. In addition, I wanted to add some more gun augmentations.
“Why do they always faint when they see me?”
The streets are seemingly cast in a dark and gloomy shade among the lit up lamps. Flittering insects cast sinister shadows on the cobblestones below. However, the chill down your back is far from a winter wind. You feel it, don’t you? A cross between a clacking of razor blades upon your coat mixed with the sharp feeling of exposure to ice. It’s right behind you. As to what it is? You dare not find out, but your doom is likely spelled out for you, regardless. Before you can react, the words, “I have use for you” buzz in your mind before all turns to black.
Author’s Note: Weird Western stuff is fun, but it’s only a single flavor of the Gothic. I’ve always been one for horror in an urban environment, such as jolly old London. Plus, I wanted to switch gears to something a little more traditional D&D. Also, I was really eager to bust out some references to Castlevania! (Yes, most of them are Symphony of the Night.)
“Howdy, friend. You also crawl out of Hell?”
“Lemme tell you ’bout this really freaky gent, just lingered outside of town for a bit. He got this big ol’ rictus grin, like someone who died clenching their teeth. He asked me about my evening. ‘Course, it was lovely. One of the men of the inn helped me relax real well upstairs a bit, hehehe. Anyway, the mad smilin’ man vanished after I told him off. Damn ghosts. I need some rest, so I don’t cleave off someone’s face…” – Booker L. Wyatt, Human Barber, owner of Wispy Cliffs Barbershop
Dark spirits gather in these parts. Maybe they love the sorrow and struggle that comes with developing frontiers; the lawlessness, the adverse environment, the lonesome people. All sorts of negative traits and qualities seem to lure all sorts of vicious monsters to prey on the miserable locals. Many of the monsters themselves were once the very same miserable locals, in some cases brought back from the grave to terrorize anyone who dares to live life well. Some are just manifestations of pure evil, formed upon this world to destroy.
Author’s Note: You can’t have most weird west tales without a degree of horror. So, let’s dive into some particularly nasty creatures. Some of them are homages and conversions of beloved and infamous monsters from various games; such as Darkwatch: Curse of the West and Deadlands: The Weird West. You could say, I like both… a lot. Also, good lord, are the Hangin’ Judges SOOOOOO 1990’s! I love them, but they are a trope of their era.
I love gothic fiction, gaslamp fantasy and weird westerns, as has been known through various posts throughout the blog. Plus, pages like Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque remain both awesome to visit and truly inspiring!
So, for the next month or so at least, I’m going to try to keep a wide variety of gaslamp, pulpy and gothic flair. This can be anything from more expansion of Tomb of Annihilation or Curse of Strahd to more content inspired by Eberron to more Victorian and Wild West inspired fantasy and horror content. And while I’m at it? Good old Ravenloft, as in the Demiplane of Dread (instead of the module)! I’ve been pondering making a small adventure in one of the domains… possibly Dementlieu, Richemulot, Nosos or Lamordia. I might put it up on DM’s Guild while I’m at it! Of course, this is all pondering based on whether or not I’ll get around to it.
IMAGE SOURCE: Vampire Victorian Age: London by Night – White Wolf Games
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.
A familiar face comes into view as patrons briefly part into a narrow opening, it’s a cloaked humanoid with a strange helmet! The creature gets up from a meditative stance, acknowledging your presence. His relaxed and idle stance changes into a beckoning yet inviting gesture.
“Ah, Zam’Dul has not forgotten you, traveler! Many of my old wares are gone… The rest? Well, a bored mind tries to see what can be done with spare parts. You’ll see some older oddities as well as some new creations. Please, relax and observe what the shop has to offer! Never be afraid to ask questions, Zam’Dul knows all!”
He lifts a curtain beyond his little stand to reveal a massive archive of the wonderful and weird, seemingly infinite space is filled with encased treasures and incredible artifacts. The helmed monk shuffles to a counter, seemingly observing you wherever you go.
Author’s Note: These were always fun to do! Also, I’ve been messing around with some of my magic items. Some needed a fair bit of overhaul, while others weren’t developed enough. Plus, I have a few ideas I’ve been kicking around in general. So, let’s get shopping! (Or something!) Keep an eye out for the Tomb of Annihilation nods, for any gamers eager to run the major adventure book for Fall 2017. Also, this post was made in support of the November 2017 RPG Carnival with the theme “The Past, Revisited“. Check out the post and its contributors!