Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 2)

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“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.

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Bizarre Bazaar – Items of Castlevania (November 2019 Blog Carnival)

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As the fog begins to roll in, a comforting light barely breaches the blanket dead ahead.  A vardo wagon sits idly, alongside a crackling fire pit.  One lone man clad in ornate robes and a ceramic plate covering his head beckons you over.  His body language seems friendly, but he is clearly interested in business.  A quick wave of an arm showcases all means of strange and wondrous trinkets to behold.  The cloaked humanoid shape picks itself up, addressing the party, “Ah, well met!  All of you seek to fight off the legions of the damned?  Surely, you are in need of proper supplies.  You are fortunate to stumble upon this traveling merchant!”, hoarsely croaks the muffled shape through his sculpted helmet.

Author’s Note: While Castlevania is more action-horror, it’s still very much part of the history of horror gaming.  One could argue the early entries are a proto-survival horror too!  Plus, there’s the classic fiasco of Konami supposedly taking from TSR for their box art.  In general, Konami sucks and will probably always suck (unless some day they magically don’t), but we can still appreciate the classic franchise.  While this one focuses on the first game, fourth game and Symphony (because those are my favorites, I know… original); I might come back and do some items based on other titles at some point… not just the most popular ones.  So with that, here are a couple of items that pay homage to the franchise!  Enjoy and happy vampire hunting!  Also, I’m aware I reposted the solomon seal.

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The Living Dead: A Guide to Vampires

Halloween is over, but the chills never end!

Hail to thee of might and valor,

Dare you dive into the darkness and face an evil as ancient as the land?  The curse of vampirism persists throughout much of the multiverse, turning the innocent into blood-sucking monsters.  Explore this new tome and discover various kinds of vampires, as well as their unholy progeny.  From the fallen vampire to various clans from various worlds and beyond, their reach sprawls ever far.  Should this be of interest to any of you, please respond to the Burgomaster with haste.

– <name illegible>

Good evening, children of the night!  To celebrate Halloween, I have something special for everyone!  This time around, it’s a collection of vampiric horrors as a follow-up to last year’s werebeasts.  Here’s what you will find inside this terrifying tome.

  • Vampires in the realms of D&D: A look at the vampire and its place in various known (and unknown) realities.
  • Bestiary: A wide variety of vampiric evils to horrify your parties with.  Based on vampires from all over the world and more.
  • Vampires in your Campaign
  • Vampiric NPCs: Some sample NPCs in the vein of the monsters from the Zoanthropes book.
  • The Dhampir: The unfortunate spawns of a vampire and a mortal.  Seemingly impossible, but actually improbably; these offspring are stuck between the worlds of the living and the worlds of the dead.

 

A follow up to last year, this time I’m tackling vampires. Check out more here!

Included are new types of vampires, NPCs and Vampire adventurers, as well as the new racial option; the dhampir.

No Rest for the Wicked – Corrupted Villains

Even great evils can fall from grace or power.  However, that isn’t to say they aren’t inherently powerful beings.  In many cases, diving too deep into their tainted powers may make them stronger.  In many cases, these pitiful creatures are proof that depravities and wicked ways rarely turn out for the better.  All the same, these wretched terrors find their own boons in further exploring the path of evil.

Author’s Note:  I was tossing an idea in my head for a little bit and figured, sure why not?  By the way, the degenerated vampire might make an appearance in something else relatively soon.  Let’s just say a successor to a previous book project of mine is in the works.

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Terrors and Trinkets in Chult – Additions for Tomb of Annihilation

Chult Jungle Portal by Rusty001

Welcome back to Chult.

The Jungles of Chult are a place of many things; an incredible civilization that has survived against impossible odds, a realm of ancient and massive beasts and a land of sinister secrets that could very well corrode the world.  Within this jungle lies a conspiracy that could very well cost Toril and its denizens its life.  Delve even further to encounter new foes and new rewards!

Author’s Note:  Well, all of that took a lot longer than I had planned.  The long and short of it was, a lot of things weren’t going right.  On top of that, I had to wait a bit before borrowing this book in the first place.  But enough complaining, I was inspired by some posts on expanding this adventure, so I wanted to see what I could cook up and add in here.  I realize that there are some revisited pieces in here, but I’m always striving to improve my work and find ways to work it into other things, such as Tomb of Annihilation.  And with that, enjoy a sampling of crazy critters and awesome artifacts for your adventure!

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Bizarre Bazaar – Strange Magical Items Revisited

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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!

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Spawn of Death – Creatures born and reborn from the dead

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You are a creature created from the impossible, either unnatural life given back to a body or from a birth most foul.  In either case, the death infused are considered abominations by many.  In some cases, they were created from revival rituals and necromatic magic gone awry.  In other cases, merely the results of trying to achieve immortality… with horrific results.  Arcane experiments in general are the source of the half-undead, either to crossbreed horrors or to create a new form of unlife entirely.

While the Death-Spawn are tainted by different forms of negative energies and dark power, they tend to share similar aspects in traits.  They convey a sense of lifelessness or at least an uncanny sense of life.  They typically lack the warmth of a living body, feeling clammy and/or cold to the touch.  Some are lucky enough to have bodies perfectly intact, looking indistinguishable from other average humanoids.  The unlucky look akin to shambling corpses and disheveled zombies.

Author’s Note: I wanted to take a crack at races again.  So, here’s a new race of undead-touched creatures inspired by a handful of resources: The Raven Queen, The Crow, Pathfinder’s Dhampir, the Half-Undead from Dragon Magazine and so on and so forth.  Just a heads up, this is a rough draft and none of these have been tested yet.  I am likely to revisit this at a later time though.

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