July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Mutant Monsters

 

They shouldn’t have existed, mistakes of nature and mistakes of humanity!  These abominations were the accidents as a result of careless experiments and deadly warfare.  And the result?  Worse than we could have ever feared.  Confused, angry, resentful, hateful!  These things seek to destroy both their creators and the world around them.  Much like the forces that spawned them, destruction is usually their goal.  But, these creatures are no villains, but the consequences of arrogance, apathy, discrimination and violence.

Author’s Note: As a continuation of my theme, here’s a plethora of horrible mutants and mad experiments.  While much of it is revisiting old monsters, there’s a good amount of new goodies to toss into your wastelands, super secret labs and other such locations.
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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Post-Apocalyptic House Rules

Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.

The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things.  And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed.  Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life.  And what followed?  I dare not say…  All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them.  Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.

The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction.  There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in.  Or at the very least, the death of civilization.  In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians.  But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired!  (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.)  Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon.  Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches.  Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!

With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings.  Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish.  Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past.  Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces.  While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic.  To be fair, neither has core D&D really.  And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web.  So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.

Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while!  In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter.  Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week!  Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!

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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peaks Adventure Report: Part 4

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“Where are we?  When are we?”

It has been a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back!  Hooray!  The lands beyond Qvosfeir await, as our team etches closer through the rugged terrain of the bloodied wyvern peaks.  And by lands beyond, I mean quite beyond!  As always, things are about to get even weirder!

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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peak – A Mini Adventure for 5th Edition

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“That’s… not supposed to be there.”

Background:  All of you have been summoned on account of a king’s desperate plea for aid.  Resources have been running low for his people and attempts to trade with outside lands has been shut off completely.  The routes you’ve all taken are too unwieldy and out of the way for caravans to use often, in part because it is longer, far more hazardous and ideal locations for bandits.  All that is known is that the wider passage ways to Bloodied Wyvern Peak have been sealed off and going there is far too dangerous.  Attempts at leaving have been, more often than not, futile as the people feel trapped in their once cozy land.  To make matters worse, the soil and water have slowly been poisoned by something in the mountains.  King Orvalt Delinandor will reward handsomely for your efforts.

Inside the lavish meeting room, a temperamental man in kingly garb fidgets with his fingers as he attempts to give off a composed look.  He ushers each of you to take a seat at one of several ornate chairs, adorned with plush cushioning and fancy stitched patterns.  He rises from his comparatively large chair, himself, as to make a grand speech.

“I would like to thank all of you for making your way to my great kingdom.  Forsaking the usual pleasantries, I’d like to get to addressing our main concern.  The prime routes for trading and traveling has been completely cut off in the last couple of weeks.  Why?  I can’t really say, as most of my scouts haven’t returned for many days.  And those that are either died moments after returning or worse…  On top of that, imports are running low as our commerce has been thrown into peril.  Our soil has also turned bad, poisoning those who have used it.  Any mining operations have been halted, due to reports of collapsed tunnels and monsters.  Any workers, traders or scouts that came back alive from the mountains have returned scarred, plagued or driven mad.  Worse yet, entire towns have vanished lately.  People proclaim they see horrible things and disappear instants later!  Please, explore the cause of this; whether it’s bandits, monsters or worse!  Some blame our miners for unearthing something foul, but I have my doubts.  I’ll award a bonus if you bring any captured subjects back… dead or alive.”

After the meeting with the king, his guards escort you to rooms to equip all of you with proper provisions; climbing equipment, coats and other survival essentials.  After everyone is set with equipment, everyone is taken outside where a carriage sends them towards the outskirts of the mountain.  This ride take about 1 hours time.  The landscape changes from a bleak winter forest into jagged mountainous rock jutting from the earth.  The carriage driver indicates on a map given to you that the route follows the dirt path ahead, in through a canyon-like divide.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Inspired by my Barrier Peaks conversion and Epicroll’s short adventure, as well as a lot of retro/pulp sci-fi, here’s my take on the classic sci-fi spaceship into fantasy world crossover.  This adventure is meant for characters of 7th level.  A WORD OF WARNING!  This module gets more and more deadly as time goes on.  Some encounters aren’t meant to be fought, but are meant to be part of a puzzle.  Either way, this is a bit of an experiment for me.  Enjoy.

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Diseases and Plagues – Sinister Sickness for D&D 5th Edition

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Journal Entry 183

Illness.  A force capable of wiping out an entire city, if not civilization, if left unchecked.  My superiors theorize that it is the result of the machinations of the lower planes.  I know better though, I’m well aware that life so evil need not come from other planes, but from our prime material.  Sicknesses come from small germ-like creatures, accidentally bred through hosts and environments, but that’s as far as I can gather on my research.  By all means, I’m sure fiends can create their own diseases though… and I shudder at the thought.

That said, I will never rule out an element of the supernatural in plagues.  I’ve witnessed many things while acting as a physician: pustules emitting acidic vapor, coughing fits leading to burning alive, previously rotting and wasting victims returning as the undead, demonic incubation.  The list continues onward.  In fact, some of these cases I plan on covering more in depth, in addition to some new discoveries I’ve made.  I must go back into plagued lands to dive deeper.  However, one can’t venture into these dark depths without proper protection.  As unnerving as it may be to the public, the plague suit has proved quite effective.  Aromatic contents treated with protective wards is helpful enough, after all.  Now, I ready myself for travel throughout the planes, in hopes of understanding disease throughout all realities.

Author’s Note:  My avatar on many of my pages tends to be a plague doctor.  So, what could be more appropriate than analyzing diseases with such a character.  Also, I guess this marks a return to planar and sci-fi content, right?  Plus, one of the things that inspired this was Russet’s Mold and Vegepygmies from Expedition to Barrier Peaks… a module I had previously converted!

Also, be warned!  If you do not like Body Horror or other forms of Medical Horror, I do not recommend continuing.  While I don’t go into grotesque detail, I’ve still tried to capture both to the best of my ability.  And even then, many of the diseases here are quite deadly and have the capability to kill an entire party.  As such, use them sparingly.

Also, please pardon the lateness of this post.  I’ve been under immense stress for the past month and a half.  Things haven’t been going too well for me and I’m doing my best to manage.  That said, things are getting better and I’m trying to make things go back to normal.  As always, thanks for understanding.

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Modern Myths and Local Legends – Contemporary Horrors

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Hello.

Stories of monsters changes through the ages, adapt to different societies and views.  Some tales and creatures alike die out, while new ones are born.  These can be from new developing trends or even tragedies.  Wherever they’re spawned from, their dastardly ways will terrorize much like their predecessors before them.

In a world closer to our own, when the stories truly connect to us on some level, we truly begin to think about it… and when we dwell on the thought, then we get scared.  This is the true effect of horror.  Now please, look behind you so we can be properly acquainted…

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Vampiric Henchmen & Overlords – Forces of the Living Dead for D&D 5th Edition

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“One vampire, I can handle!  But, a whole army?  I didn’t sign up for th- AAAAHHHHH!”

The vampire, an immortal creature of darkness.  These creatures are soulless and damned, cursed by a thirst to leech off of human blood; they are parasites upon the living.  Those who had a fateful encounter with them were likely to either die or worse, become recruited to their dastardly cause.  For the longest time, it was assumed that those who succumbed to a vampire’s dark powers suffered one of two fates:  those who did not drink a vampire’s blood would become a ghoul with some slivers of their original self and those who drank the blood would become vampire spawn that were driven mad and violent by the corruptive power.  Such creatures range from mindless abominations to frenzied and insane mockeries of their former selves.  They are nothing like the true vampires that recreated them as they are now.

This leads to a strange new revelation, it’s more than possible to create more true vampires.  While usually not as powerful as a vampire who has fully mastered their abilities, they are an incredible force none the less.  Such creatures are more than capable of using their talents learned as a mortal with the unnatural abilities of the vampire.  Their progenitors are already a menace to those around them.  Combined with potent magics or martial prowess though and such an opponent becomes all the more deadly.

Author’s Note: Inspired by my “Vampyr” post from last year, I wanted to make a small handful of vampiric minions to throw at players that aren’t like the quasi-ghoulish spawn or the very powerful MM vampire.  Also, I decided to marathon through the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga after the Adult Swim announcement some time back, so I took some inspiration from the first and third arcs… and a little from the second.

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