Spawn of Death – Creatures born and reborn from the dead

Death-SpawnFile:Revenant-5e.png

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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Bizarre Bazaar Addendum – More Spooky Items

“Haven’t had enough of the ol’ hunchback shopkeeper’s wares, huh?  Well, there’s more where that came from!”

Here is a small helping of even more magical items for Halloween.  Enjoy.

Author’s Note: I wanted to make a few more magical items in addition to what I made before.  Also, more JoJo references?  I figured why not, since Part 1 is airing on U.S. television.  I had to hold myself from making anything Vento Aureo, Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run or Jojolion because not enough people read the manga… and they should.  Also, be on the look out for how many Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem references I can squeeze into one item.

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

https://67.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lctdfjKT2P1qbuknmo1_1280.jpg

“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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Vampire Variants – More Vampires for D&D 5th Edition

V20 Dark Ages - Nosferatu - Penne Milde by Z-GrimV

I thought that by living my once idyllic mountainside home, I would be ridden of the evil that tainted such a land.  Unfortunately, this world hosts countless kinds of unholy creatures that suffer and bring suffering much like they do. – Passage from a bloodstained journal found on the victim of a vampire.

Vampires are damned creatures of undeath.  Countless stories are told of people that committed unspeakable taboos and were cursed to walk as the living dead in retribution.  These soulless monstrosities thrive on the misery of others, selfishly leeching life from mortals in an endless quest to prolong their accursed existence.  The castle dwelling Lord of the Night is but one of many vampiric creatures that blight the countless reaches of reality.  All sorts of sinister things wait, waiting for a mortal to steal life from.

The Asabosam is a stealthy creature that resides in trees and plays with its victims like a predatory cat.  This creature has hook like feet, allowing it to swing down and strike its victims while still hanging from its perched tree.  Its teeth is said to be as strong as metal itself, making it able to pierce through countless protective armors with ease.  However, it can attempt to blend in with humans better than other vampires, save for it’s obvious curved hook-like feet.

The Astral Vampire is a cosmically infused nightmare that is more aberration than undead.  The raw essence of realms beyond has a tendency to corrupt creatures distant from such planes.  This creature is one of the results of such exposure.  Instead of draining blood, they drain life force through the mind and afflict mental trauma.  Their methods are also dealt through their sickening gaze.  These beings looks like heavily mutated humans, displaying physical traits associated with the most unfathomable abominations imaginable.

The Jiang Shi looks like a stiff corpse, unable to move in normal manner beyond a hop like movement.  While they don’t drain the victim’s blood, they take their very life essence instead.  Much of the time, these horrors were created by accident.  Having a soul trapped within a corpse after death or through resurrection risks creating a Jiang Shi.  These angry dead desire nothing more than consume life as they arise to hunt under the night’s sky.

The Nosferatu is a lurker in darkness, so hideous that the sheer terror could very well stun them in place.  The Nosferatu is no ordinary vampire.  Some slowly become this way through eons of existence, while others morph themselves through dark sorceries that further defile their undead bodies.  No matter the truth, they are scarred and driven further away from the humanity they had once had.  They become alien, monstrous and sometimes feral as a result.

The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who looks like a little red man with a bulbous head and suckers upon his fingers and toes.  But beware, this cursed being seeks to drain and feast upon their victim before regurgitating their mutated corpse into another one of them, which the fiend then animates.

The following variants are available to the Vampire entry in the Monster Manual (page 297) as well as the Vampyr.  In some cases, they can be used for the Vampire Spawn entry in the Monster Manual (page 298) as well.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I figured I’d cover a classic monster for my theme this time, the Vampire!  However, I thought I’d make a whole bunch of variants that sample inspiration from all over the world as well as popular culture.  Here’s a handful of monster templates to change up your vampires, giving them an assortment of new abilities.  Enjoy.

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Bizarre Bazaar – Gothic Oddities for D&D 5th Edition

Moonlight village_Tera by moonworker1

The fog’s rolling in and it’s been a long day of travel.  The countryside would be much nicer if it wasn’t for the fact the sun barely pierces through the clouds, the locals look grey and depressed, an unnatural force seems to linger in the air.  All isn’t as it seems.  Up the road from the Inn you booked for the night, a cozy cottage holds a sign stating “Rare and Magnificent Antiques and Wares.”  Your curiosity piqued, you decide to go in.  At the counter, a hunched over figure in dusty garb greets you.  As he prepares to speak, he also beckons you to a back room.  Here lies a collection of dark and abominable additions to his collection.

Welcome!  Please, peruse!  I know a discerning group of clever treasure hunters when I see them!  I encourage onlookers to become properly acquainted with their purchases, before everything is set in stone.  We have incredible wares from all corners of the world, even worlds beyond our own.  From artifacts of dread cults to supposedly cursed crafts.  Pay no mind to the strong storms and green tinged fog outside, that’s normal weather for these parts.  Of course, you’re safe within the confines of my shop… so long as you purchase something.  If you need anything explained or elaborated upon, I would be happy to do so.  Just be warned of one thing, all purchases are final!  Once we part with an artifact, it becomes your problem, hehe.

Author’s Note: Welcome back to another installment of Bizarre Bazaar, in which I craft a whole bunch of thematic magical items.  This time around, it’s items for my Gothic and Gaslamp theme.  We have a few Weird West, Steampunk and Weird Fiction items thrown in for good measure.  Also, this post is a collaboration with Bound-Incubus.  A big thanks goes out to him for the awesome ideas as well as helping me with designing some of the items.  Also, please pardon posting a bit later than usual.  I wanted transition back to posting on the weekends anyway.  Also, keeping with the gothic theme, many of the magic items are cursed, with a foreboding side effect to their boons.  Without further ado, please enjoy my largest collection of items for Bizarre Bazaar yet!

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Psychic Vampire – Psionic Horror for D&D 5th Edition

“The Darkness Comes!”

“Our knowledge of the universe is but an insignificant dot upon the bleak and endless canvas that is true reality.  That said, outside knowledge of realms beyond the veil of knowledge leak into our own mythology.  What we rationalize as ‘vampires’ is rooted in an ancient creature, far more insidious than anything we could ever comprehend.  Entities from beyond the stars that drain their victims into soulless husks have existed for unfathomable aeons before any of us could have existed.  In fact, you’ve all been an excellent audience for them.  They’re all yours, my eldritch friends!” – A Dread Cultist, posing as an Astronomer at a summit.

COSMIC LIFE DRAINING HORRORS

No one for certain knows what psychic vampires truly are.  Many theorize they’re the progenitors of the vampires we have grown accustomed to on the material plane.  Perhaps they’re created from a separate evolution of vampirism, changing drastically as it infects the cosmos beyond.  While these fiends are true undead creatures, their features and means of action are far too alien to relate to anything we know of.  However, their basic needs match much of what we know of the material plane vampire; they are parasitic horrors that leech off our life force to survive.  Whether through using their innate psychic talents to lure creatures into their grasp or using brute force to bend victims to their will, these creatures find ways to restrain a victim before draining them of all of their life.  Sometimes, victims are lucky enough to break free from the creature’s control before they are able to drain their victim to death.  However, these unfortunate souls are so badly scarred by mental trauma, they typically go insane.  Those unlucky enough to be slain by their power return as spawn under their control, exhibiting similar arrays of dark power.

LIFELESS THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE

Describing the psychic vampire is not an easy feat, as their shape is only barely humanoid in nature.  Its proportions are as ghastly as they are impossible, adding to the mystery of this strange beast.  However, it seems that a long tongue from its mouth analogue lashes against foes in an effort to hold them in place while their fangs channel draining powers.  Its gangly limbs suggest its capable of brisk sprints in order to track down and catch its foes with minimal effort.  However, several survivor accounts seem to suggest this creature is also highly intelligent, capable of crafting elaborate hunting strategies to weaken and eventually overpower its prey.  Creatures turned into psychic vampires look much like they did in life, save for a more pale and pallid skin tone and the slight crackling of psionic potential throughout their bodies.  In a sense, they look similar to the traditional vampire.

Author’s Note:  Here’s yet another contribution to my planar theme, this one blending lore from Lovecraft’s Star/Fire Vampires, Eternal Darkness Sanity’s Requiem, Doctor Who (Vampires of Venice, Curse of Fenric), Psychic Vampires and a handful of other influences to create a terrifying beasty.  With that, here’s a variant of my Vampyr I made back in October.  Enjoy!

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Vampyre – Masters of Undeath for D&D 5th Edition

The masters of living death come in multiple forms.  Some are the incredible elite, capable of unleashing a new age of darkness.  Others are near mindless spawn under the mercy of their creators.  In the middle lies most vampires, still powerful creatures of darkness capable of causing absolute hell to the world around them.  They retain free will like their masters, but will likely never outrank them.  However, an army of the standard “vampyre” rank is capable of doing just as much damage as a high vampire lord themselves!  Whoa to those who meet these kindred en mass, for survival chances are exceptionally low.

Author’s Note:  The entry for Vampire in the Monster Manual is really damn high.  I know vampires are supposed to be absolutely awesome, but that layout better fits Count Strahd for I6 Ravenloft, or at least an elite vampire.  So, here’s an entry for vampires that, while not as strong as Strahd, are pretty damn scary.  In a sense, it’s a mod of the vampire spawn and the regular vampire more or less.

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