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.
Pardon the delay, I meant to release this update alongside A Planar Grimoire, but a few things got in the way. Anyway, here’s four new werebeasts, as well as four new NPC creatures to torture your heroes with, all outside of the norm for the curse of lycanthropy. On top of that, the NPCs all have a roguish-assassin type of theme.
- Seawolf (Swashbuckler) – A seafaring terror that can stalk both on deck and in the murky depths. Its NPC counterpart is a cruel sailor who mingles with crews before viciously slaying as many as possible, usually amidst a deadly storm or allied seawolves.
- Weremantis (Shadowdancer) – A were-insectoid capable of long reach and deadly bite. Its NPC counterpart is a master of stealth and dark sorceries.
- Wereserpent (Stygian Cultist) – Cursed with the blood of snakes, this creature can not only doom others to such a life, but can choose to kill undesirables through deadly venom instead. The NPC counterpart is dedicated to a dark cabal of death, assassination, dark gods and the lower planes.
- Werewasp (Toxic Assassin) – This were-insectoid takes to the skies to shock and terrify its prey. While it lacks a potent bite, its curse can be transferred through a venomous sting. Similar to the wereserpent in terms of tactics, the werewasp also has the boon of flight. Due to its natural poisoning ability, its NPC counterpart can unleash a barrage of alchemically augmented toxins, poisons and more.
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The act of killing by itself is a heinous thing, something adventurers often have to cope with on a common basis. Often it’s self defense against monsters and bandits, other times it’s for more insidious reasons. Some snap amidst the violence, losing any attachment to empathy or reason. Such people degenerate into cold blooded killers, driven by the thrill of slaying whatever prey comes into their clutches. After a while, it becomes less about adventure and discovering lost treasure as it is an unrelenting bloodlust and hatred for all who oppose your goals.
This path of bloodshed and psychosis is a chilling and horrid one, the basis for many stories of terrifying villains and disturbed madmen. Much of the time, these evildoers prefer to scare their prey as much as possible before causing them to meet their untimely end. Such tactics are more than butchery and savagery, as the power of psychological terror is essential for weakening their foes. Often, they’ll do whatever to take away their power and isolate a target as much as possible, finding impossible ways to stalk them as well. And when all hope is lost, the killing strike is unleashed! Few have survived the wrath of a murderous maniac… and they usually die in the sequel anyway!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ve rediscovered an awesome expansion for World of Darkness known as Slasher. It’s built on the Chronicles era Hunter game, in which Hunters succumb to their own inner darkness and become the very villains of horror cinema lore… essentially. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but whatever. Anyway, here’s a template that borrows heavily from slasher cinema, in an effort to translate the idea into D&D. Enjoy! (I might update with a “Supernatural Slasher” in the near future! Who knows?) Also, as for the picture? I’ve always loved this scene from the original Halloween. Something about that shot highlights a character’s seeming futile attempt to hide from a masked madman… and said murderous pushing into a claustrophobic space, where everything seems lost. Did I mention that movie is one of my all time favorite films?
Also, this one will probably be revised once I get more accurate math for this one, maybe swap out one thematic ability for another. I’ll see what people say first.