The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms. These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others. Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane. Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new. From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.
Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while. I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games. I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago. Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things. Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.
If the Positive Energy Planes were a delight, then surely the Negative Energy Planes will be just as delightful… But really, one cannot describe the planes without a fuller picture. So, keep your life sources handy, as this is a place devoid of them.
Author’s Note: Okay, that about wraps things up. With that, I’m gonna try to tackle some monsters! I would have made a list for the Upper Planes, but I’ve already tackled a fair number of celestials. Also, I might just convert all of the Guardinals later, perhaps for a DM’s Guild related thing. Though, I want to port over my take on the Gehreleths/Demodands too… Maybe at some point?
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.
“You understand the risks of joining our hunting team, yes? There are many things in the woods that would stop our enterprise, but we’re among the most elite in the lands. Our skills are legendary. Some angered spirits don’t threaten us!” – The last words of a foolish trespasser
The forest holds many mysteries beyond the fabled Grandmother of the Witches. Life grabbing wolves, tree-like giant men, three headed dragons! Such terrors and more lie over the mountain side and into the forest. Travel with caution and tact. And of course, show respect to the spirits around you.
Author’s Note: My exploration into Slavic folklore creatures continues. Also, I’m gonna cover some weaker monsters for lower tier adventures later. So far, all of these have been at least pretty strong.
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.
You can find this product here. Happy Halloween!
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.)