From thresholds and barriers, many terrible things break free to cause mayhem. Among them are things from a digitized and electronic world. These monsters may have strange origins, but the evils they unleash are no less dangerous.
Welcome to the realms of electronic terrors, creatures that originate from incredible devices known to some as “video games”. These creatures hail from a variety of supposedly fictional universes and realities, where they do all in their capacity to torture brave and cunning protagonists within a digital landscape. These tales may just be works of fiction, but they could very well be alternate worlds held back by a pixelated veil. Perhaps this could mean an expansive frontier within the Prime or perhaps a demiplane of its own.
Author’s Note: Another blog carnival post! This time, it’s a bunch of monsters from horror (or at least suspenseful/horror-related) video games! Yes, the Zombie Dog is a repost…
Enter a Domain of Dread born from paranoia and fearmongering, where your neighbor conspires against you and practices wicked sorcery… at least, by your observations.
Ruled by a once-beloved governor, now fear is there ruling force! The colony still expands and progresses, even as its appointed ruler acts from the background. However, his control is far stronger than most realize. Face an endless battle between a crazed governor and the dark witch that haunts the lands.
Domains of Dread – Dawnsveil is an expansion for the Ravenloft Campaign Setting. However, it is fully compatible with the Curse of Strahd adventure. Inside, you’ll find a history of a fallen trade colony, dark tales of a dark witch taken form and terrifying creatures that dwell in the darkness.
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Mordent, considerably more progressive than other domains by a distance. Curiously, its presence in the Mists is the fault of Strahd and Azalin. They devised a scheme to exploit an apparatus within the realm to free themselves from their imprisoned domains. This failed, sealing Mordent’s fate as well.
A fair share of oddities drift in and around the domain. The Darklord himself, Lord Wilfred Godefrey, certainly counts. Once a backstabbing aristocrat, he slew his own wife and daughter. He covered the incident up as it were an accident. But, their vengeful spirits drove him to suicide, forcing him into the ironic fate of a trapped spirit too. Since then, he has collected the souls that are beckoned to his house on Gryphon Hill. He has even used the trapped souls to his advantage at times, creating networks of informants and spies within his domain.
But, what is beyond the house? The Great Moors risk dense moss and trees to get lost in, while ghost towns just beyond prove to be less than salvation. The river ways and moors are mucky and thick, the perfect predatory grounds of the bog hound. A ways off the path was an off beat enclave of artists, creatives and non-establishment people who failed to fit in with the norm. Save for the waxworks, there is no more life here. No true life. Despite much of it burning down, wonders of art are mixed with the macabre to unveil an art show unlike anything before.
Author’s Note: Yet another double-feature! This time, the Domain of Mordent as the theme. The first creature is based off the Howls of the Night adventure, prominently featuring the Bog Hound. The second is from a homebrew pocket domain within the domain itself. It’s a meshing of wax museum horror tropes. And for added creepiness, some extra homage to one of my favorite parts of BioShock!
For most people, the cemetery is a place to reflect and remember. But, dark powers have other plans for these resting places. Thus, the safe haven for the dead becomes a grounds for corruption. Dare you see what wicked deeds taint once sacred memorials?
Author’s Note: What do Tom Waits and cemetery-themed monsters have to do with each other? I’m not sure. But, here are an assortment of higher level foes to fill your boneyards with. A few of these critters make nods to editions past as well as other media. In this case, I wanted to give some pretty powerful undead to face off against. Also, I won’t lie, the recent Joker movie inspired my take on the Wheep to take shape.
This isn’t the dreaded “Gothic Earth”, but something almost as odd. It feels like the world of Oerth, known as “The World of Greyhawk” to many. However, it changed. It evolved. The technologies here, while magical somehow, feel quite close to the wondrous artifice of Gothic Terra. However, I can’t help but wonder how all of this came about. None the less, I’ll take this place over the forces of The Mists or The Red Death any day! I feel I’m not done with either though. – Ramon DeLeon, planes traveling bard
Oerth. But, not the Oerth I remember. This is one of a distant future. Just as there are new hopes, there are new fears. The evils of yesteryear are supplanted by the evils of today. News of a new abomination of mad science and magic has made its way throughout New Greyhawk City. A creature similar to the dread mouther, but created through artificial means. The news does its best to cover up details, but the truth is far more twisted and will only be spoken of in hushed whispers. The terror of the Millexium Mouther rests, for now.
Author’s Note: Dungeon Magazine #83 gets referenced once again! The last time was the Faranth, a one-off aberration that has sadly never appeared in official form again. This time, I’m referencing both Greyhawk 2000 and its tie-in adventure, Alterations. It’s sad that GH2000 only got attention here, never again in Oerth canon. D20 Modern would have been the perfect place to continue it. Eh. Whatever. Here’s a quick conversion of the NPCs and monsters found in it. Plus, the Millexium Mouther is a new monster to play with! While I won’t encourage piracy, back issues of Dungeon Magazine have long since gone out of print. You can find a copy of this issue via Archive.org.
Here at the Hoffman Institute, we specialize in chronicling the strange, the distant, the shadowy. Xenoforms and other horrors have found methods of breaching through thresholds and corrupting our very world. Unless we’re prepared, a whole otherworld of monsters could bring Earth to its knees. However, the future lies in both our veteran members as well as readied recruits. Through honor, teamwork, diligence and knowledge; the forces of darkness will not prevail over the best humanity has to offer against evil.
We have a few notes from some upcoming assignments. These will tell you what to look out for. Above all, while protecting the public, we must keep these incidents secret. We can’t let too much paranormal news get out to the public. After studying these cases, be prepared to secure and contain the threads that they are attached to. The Hoffman Institute is counting on you. Best of luck.
Author’s Note. So, some of the monsters here take inspiration from the previous post. And no, I’m not trying to cheapen what I made before by giving creatures stats. A few of these are directly tied to one ghost story, bu that’s okay. Also, keep on the lookout for some more foes of gothic earth! (A mix of Masque and D20 Modern inspiration.)
“Chroniclers from “some outside world” kept babbling about Shadow Powers and Fell planes. These people are fools. They know not of the mists, they know not of true nightmares. I live in them, just as I do in the rare dream. Some day, our people might escape through these gates, through the endless worlds of dream and into paradise. Perhaps these outlanders can take our place… As far as I’m concerned, they don’t truly exist anyway.” – a rather rude Aabber Shaman of the Nightmare Lands, according to Ramon.
The Mists house many untold and unspoken evils and perils. They’re usually the results of twisted minds and nefarious plots. Some are just sad souls that have long since fallen from grace. In more than one instance within the demiplane, some were merely evil souls from the beginning. Such a twisted menagerie exists within the Domains, it’s a miracle that they haven’t escaped to torment the outside worlds.
Brace yourselves and survive the monsters of the night!
Author’s Note: While Ramon bumbles in Ravenloft, let’s bring in a mixture of classic monsters and some new creations! Since I already have various Ravenloft critters in my Vampire and Were-beast books on DM’s Guild, I have not included them here. Also, please pardon the rampant song references…