Murderous Maniac – A Slasher Villain Template

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The act of killing by itself is a heinous thing, something adventurers often have to cope with on a common basis.  Often it’s self defense against monsters and bandits, other times it’s for more insidious reasons.  Some snap amidst the violence, losing any attachment to empathy or reason.  Such people degenerate into cold blooded killers, driven by the thrill of slaying whatever prey comes into their clutches.  After a while, it becomes less about adventure and discovering lost treasure as it is an unrelenting bloodlust and hatred for all who oppose your goals.

This path of bloodshed and psychosis is a chilling and horrid one, the basis for many stories of terrifying villains and disturbed madmen.  Much of the time, these evildoers prefer to scare their prey as much as possible before causing them to meet their untimely end.  Such tactics are more than butchery and savagery, as the power of psychological terror is essential for weakening their foes.  Often, they’ll do whatever to take away their power and isolate a target as much as possible, finding impossible ways to stalk them as well.  And when all hope is lost, the killing strike is unleashed!  Few have survived the wrath of a murderous maniac… and they usually die in the sequel anyway!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I’ve rediscovered an awesome expansion for World of Darkness known as Slasher.  It’s built on the Chronicles era Hunter game, in which Hunters succumb to their own inner darkness and become the very villains of horror cinema lore…  essentially.  Of course, there’s more to it than that, but whatever.  Anyway, here’s a template that borrows heavily from slasher cinema, in an effort to translate the idea into D&D.  Enjoy!  (I might update with a “Supernatural Slasher” in the near future!  Who knows?)  Also, as for the picture?  I’ve always loved this scene from the original Halloween.  Something about that shot highlights a character’s seeming futile attempt to hide from a masked madman… and said murderous pushing into a claustrophobic space, where everything seems lost.  Did I mention that movie is one of my all time favorite films?

Also, this one will probably be revised once I get more accurate math for this one, maybe swap out one thematic ability for another.  I’ll see what people say first.

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The Cheerful Stalker – An Eerie Menace for D&D 5th Edition

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“Lovely evening, isn’t it?”

As if the wind called out in terror, I heard a faint cry being carried into the winding streets of urban civilization.  Minutes of silence filled the sloping labyrinth of metal, concrete and wood as the fog rolled in.  Barely within eyesight, he stood there as an outline in the mists.  The unearthly quiet was slain by his sickly cackle, a sound reminiscent of countless madmen laughing and screaming in simultaneous cacophony.  The hunter’s call was likely an attempt to demoralize me, making it easier to take down his meal.  Hunched over, the man creature looked as if ready to pounce; I becoming prey for an incomprehensible predator.  As it fazed in and out of corporeal state, the shadowy figure dashed ever closer, as if only existing in the faint illumination of the street lamps.  Before I could cup my mouth with an empty hand, the ghastly visage jumped directly within a few steps distance.  The monster’s proportions were similar to a man, but far too alien and uncanny to truly be registered as much.  A gaping maw, piercing marble-like eyes, almost digitigrade like stance, a hunched back.  Such a thing couldn’t have been spawned in this world, but an infernal underworld or somewhere beyond.  No matter, I gave into primal fear and reacted in violent defense.  Upon trying to slam an arced punch from my right hand, the creature was pushed back.  However, it looked neither stunned nor truly affected.  As such, I ran as to my house, never gazing behind my back.  I still don’t know what manifestation of evil I encountered, but I revel in absolute ignorance for the time being.  – A survivor’s account of the “Cheerful Stalker.”

Many assume this creature is a vampire who has turned to macabre theatrics to scare victims, a mad wizard whose dabbling in dark magic has turned him into a monster or even a creature from hellish depths sent to punish mortal creatures of a “sinful plane.”  All of these are false tall tales and narratives from the fearful masses. Such takes on this being are the results of political propaganda, mortified storytellers, anxiety-ridden survivors and culturally dependent interpretations.  A local legend, a mystery man, a cautionary tale, a moral avenger, a psychotic murderer, an alien threat.  All of these things could describe a strange “spirit” known by most as the “Cheerful Stalker.”  His name comes from the demented grin he displays to targets of his brutal wrath.  Also, it refers to his obsession with pursuing a target until their death or insanity.

Such a creature is actually fae in origin, hailing from the distant realms of Arcadia.  Like most denizens of said dimension, they follow complex and alien codes of morality; with viewpoints that are equally as surreal to the outside onlooker.  The Cheerful Stalker is no different.  It sees all life from this world as one of two things: objects to toy around with or food.  Sometimes, he’s partial towards both.  On another note, some have questioned if this creature actually is male, despite the fact that he prefers to mimic the form of a well dressed male of high society.  However, it is possible that this is just a preferred disguise.  The creature could very well identify as male as well.  While the creature is obsessed with hunting extraplanar creatures, it does so with intelligent planning and an almost sadistic zeal for prolonging the suffering for as long as possible.  However, he doesn’t hold grudges and will avoid targets that prove to be too strong or can overpower him.  The Stalker is, in the end, a coward.  Upon defeat, debasing and shouting down the remaining essence of the creature is the only way to kill it.

Author’s Note:  Alas, my Gothic and Gaslamp theme is slowly coming to an end.  My reason is simply that I don’t know how much more I want to do with it.  With that, I wanted to take part in Brynvalk’s RPG Blog Carnival theme of The Fae as well!  You can read more about that, HERE.  As I’ve said, the fey theme was a challenge for me.  However, I’ve learned quite a bit that has carried over into some of my other stuff.  Among them was applying the fair folk to horror.  Dark and nightmarish is my forte, after all.  So, with that, here’s a creature inspired by bogeyman legends, serial killers, creepypasta, faerie tales and various folk legends.  And seeing as he’s inspired by the concept of the thought form or “tulpa”, stories of his dark deeds will keep him alive for ages to come.

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