Bloody Dark across the Planes – The Editor’s Grim Findings

Dear reader, I admire your dedication to my works.  But take heed, such dedication also puts your life in danger.  No doubt, when these scrambled notes become an elaborate codex, such books will see ban in no time.  You wouldn’t believe the among of jink offered to hack my head and serve it on a Lady’s grade platter.    As always, their hunt continues.  Mine continues in the expanse of knowledge.  Plenty of conflict bubbles and oozes beyond your surface.  Ready and prepare, the safety of the multiverse always hangs in the balance.  Let me serenade you with many tales.  But, these aren’t tales of joy or triumph, no!  Tales of woe await you.

Author’s Note: “The Editor” is back, not content with simply The Factol’s Manifesto!  Plenty of things going on, the fall and rise of deities, more on the fey, dark conspiracies of intrigue, a look at my old table’s post-2008 take on the Forgotten Realms, a further looks at my zany Ravenloft-Planescape crossover and more!  And of course, Baby Vecna!  And as always, The Editor proves an ever unreliable narrator, as some details might be fabricated or stretched for his convenience.

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Monsters of Forbidden Realms (Raven-scape Monsters Part 1)

The Mists have spawned all manner of atrocities and abominations to traverse its foggy murk.  These creatures are usually the physical embodiment of either a darklord’s sins or the horrors of our very existential condition.  Some are merely pulled into the Demiplane of Dread and enhanced into something so much more, even replicated to bring new methods of terror to the native populace of the lands.  No matter the origin, they stand in opposition to heroes who challenge the everlasting darkness.  Whether they are pawns of the dark powers or operating on their own accord is up for debate, but their haunting presence shall be known to those unfortunate enough to encounter them.  In fact, some creatures are capable of removing you from known reality.  All the more reason a monster hunter be readied and prepared for such evils.

Author’s Note: Nightmare Fuel, Body Horror, Terrors of the Cosmic and more!  Yes, Halloween is done and plenty of real life horror may get in the way, but nothing a little pretend horror can’t distract from. So, let’s take a moment to enjoy the monsters of some chilling tales.  After all, it doesn’t matter if it’s Halloween, they always lurk and await new victims.  Here are a bundle of monsters inspired by the Planescape/Ravenloft posts, from various domains or dimensional spaces.  Also, the inclusion of the Wolfwere was done in support of the November RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Faith of Pratfalls and Pixies.  Find more here!  Also, look out for part 2 soon.

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The Gate of the Mist Lure – Machinations of Darkon

Frankenstein, Vats | Mad scientist lab, Environment concept art, Mad  scientist

A prisoner of Azalin, how could this be?  And worst of all, the darklord is eerily happy about this.  He has been quite dour towards other “guests”, but I’m different.  He knows I’m the “Mist Lure” for his gate device.  But, this begs the question, what horrors await once he breaks free with his Entropic Gloom cult?  What horrors will the planes face?  I can’t think of a way to stop him, not now at least.  In the meantime, I’m simply one man against the forces of an all-powerful lich.

Author’s Note: I’ve been holding onto this idea for a year now! Ever since Ramon “escaped” Gothic Earth, I wanted to toy with something that popped into my head. I already had a “metaplot” of sorts bubbling in my head, with Azalin once again trying something. I figure this is a way to wrap this all together. Also, as to a previous reference to “Set Wands to Warpdrive”? That came before, but I wanted to tie it all together.  Hell, I’ve been teasing and referencing these ideas for a while.  And with that, let’s end this crossover of Planescape and Ravenloft with a domain that’s a literal crossover.  But, with the truth finally out on Ramon, what to do with him next?  Should he be doomed to The Mists with a successor taking over for The Planes and Wildspace?  Or will he be released once more, living with a horrible guilt of his dark truth?  Perhaps I should leave that to all of you.  In the meantime, look out for at least one more 5th ed monster post soon!

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Ramon’s Multiversal Adventures, Continued!

The darkness envelops once more…

As always, my travels take my throughout the known reaches of reality and beyond.  Time time around, I have a few more places to examine once again.  As always, there are familiar places and there are very much new ones.  Travel along as we make our way through the elements and into raw darkness itself.  As always, make proper preparations, as even I’m liable to find myself in danger.  For a less experienced traveler, it would mark certain doom.  But, for those ever brave in their desire to quest along the known and unknown planes, venture on and find unending wonder to behold.  But, be warned, there is always an evil darkness lurking right around the corner.  Should you tread foolishly, it will take you.  And even then, I only seek it out of curiosity and study.  I’ve been lucky once, surely I can escape in tact once more.

As always, I chronicle all means of places and people one might find within all know reaches of reality.  Should one tip me off of some thrilling new adventure to seek, I am far from shy.  As it is, I ready myself for a true journey through wildspace some day soon.  However, the planes occupy the majority of my interests.  As it is, I sense something I need to examine now.  Or rather, I feel there is something I need to face soon.  I can’t quite describe it, but I can attain that it is quite ominous.  May I see you once again after it has concluded.

Author’s Note:  Work and other things have held me back.  But, hopefully, I’ll be able to keep myself going pretty strong during the autumn.  I always seem to.  So, I’m doing a return to mutilating the newer planes for classic usage via Primordium and the Entropic Gloom.  Likewise, it might be fun to see what exists of The Void after its reality ensnaring tendrils are broken.  Also, Planescape – Ravenloft Crossover?  It must be October (or near it)!

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Blackmoor Week 2020: Blackmoor, Into the Future

https://daemonsanddeathrays.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/8b57f-blackmoorweekbanner2020.jpg

Blackmoor week celebrates the birth of Dave Arneson and his creation of the Blackmoor setting.  As the co-founder of the game and other grandfather of roleplaying games, he deserves some love as well, hence this week on the web.  You can click the image above to see more of what Blackmoor Week has to offer.  But, should you be interested in my own mad ramblings and homages to Arneson’s setting and beyond, do continue here as well!  Doc’s Laboratory awaits!

Since its inception, there have been a number of iterations of the lands of Blackmoor.  The ones most tied to Arneson were the first and last incarnations.  And to an extent, even the alteration into Mystara’s history counts.  My experience with Blackmoor started mostly with the final versions, the 3rd edition and 4th edition source books provided by Zeitgeist Games at the time.  While I knew it was put into the distant past of The Known World and beyond, I never had a chance at the Mystara friendly version of it for a while.  None the less, I favor a blend of the classic vision with the Mystaran one.  It even factored into a game friends took part in long ago.  Said game was a multiple campaign arc in Mystara, with tons of crazy time travel and other antics with reality.  The last game ended after our travels back and forth into Blackmoor’s history.  For numerous games, we were called to deal with progressively evolving threats in the kingdom-turned-empire.  However, our final threat was something we weren’t prepared for, a Blackmoor in the modern age.  Sadly, the campaign ended as we caught a glimpse of an imposing and bleak city over the horizon.  Mind you, this was during the days when many of us still thought Blackmoor would be fit in the Broken Lands, before we realized that later developments changed that.

This isn’t the end of Returned Blackmoor, just it in active campaign form.  Years and years passed, before the Mystara Reborn Facebook group became the encouragement I needed to give life back into this new Blackmoor.  With old notes in hand and scrambled bits from the rest of the old table, I cobbled together an image of what a Blackmoor might look like if it used time powers to survive its doom in the Mystaran world.  It turns out, having your land rotated into a frigid wasteland can massively throw one off.  This, combined with plague and political instability lead to a trusted member of the military staging a coupe and establishing a harsh dictatorship.  While the arcane-infused high technology of Blackmoor recovered and developed anew, the culture became far more stagnant and stale, as leadership forbid it to develop further.  As the decades passed since it leapt into the near-present, the leader began to lose a grip on reality as well as physical health.  Ultimately, he would become something of a quasi-undead cyborg, a major campaign reveal.  (A brain-in-a-jar piloting a robot body, a staple science fiction trope.)   Meanwhile, movements arise in the shadows to oppose him, some more extreme than others.  Other forces stir, many of which driven by wicked ends.  All sorts of enemies roam this new Blackmoor: wasteland raiders, rogue robots, mutant animalmen, atomic undead, acolytes of new dark Immortals or even the slumbering Egg of Coot!  Those are only a few examples.

Now, how does this involve the players?  Well, many games could involve them in the mayhem and wonder of this forbidden land.  For starters, they could help shape an uprising against the corrupt usurper state.  Heroes may choose to help remnants of the old ways help restore classic order within the realm.  They might consider radical change instead, favoring one of several other factions, ranging from reformists to new potential overlords.  They might even earn the trust of the regime and become ambassadors to the greater world.  Over time, the current ways of Blackmoor may become less extreme in their own way.  For the more Arneson approved old school experience, there are a number of dungeons both classic and infused with gonzo science-fantasy, even Castle Blackmoor has received modifications over the eons.  It seems with time that many of the kinks that caused Blackmoorian tech to go haywire are more properly ironed out too.  Or at least, more attention to potential sabotage.  Potential for larger plots exist too:  Blackmoor trying to integrate safely into the greater world, the Immortals having none of it and punting the land into the Hollow World (alongside the Blacklore Elves), a massive war risking a Greater Rain of Fire, the rise of a new Blackmoor Empire and much more.

To dive more into Returned Blackmoor, check out Threshold Magazine!  Issues 20, 22 and 26 (Coming Soon) have articles by me.

Ramon’s Continued Notes on the Multiverse

Means of transport in Sigil by Deusuum on DeviantArt

Allow me to recant and give you words of caution.  Remember, only take jobs that you can verify first.  If you don’t, you might find yourself bound, gagged and stuffed in a warehouse in the Lower Ward…  And from there?  Well, read on and find out.  Take it from a personal experience, at least I got some jink from a Sensate interview out of it.  But, if you are more streetwise than I, then you will ahead of whatever challenges and traps lurk behind every corner.  And yes, this includes the countless wonders of Sigil, the City of Doors.

Warning bashers and berks isn’t the purpose of this little session for today.  No!  Rather, I’m picking up where I left off from before.  I’ve continued to take notes of all sorts of wonderful places and things in the multiverse.  As always, revisiting a few places while finding new ones.  So, let us find old friends and seek out new ones.  Off I go, to places unknown and places barely known.

Author’s Note:  As always, I love adding places to Planescape and beyond.  One of my creations was actually a series of notes from years ago.  If I found it before, something would have been said on it in the past.  But, here’s my cobbled together take on developments on top of The Slags, the most infamous part of The Hive Ward!  Joining that is a return to some previous concepts that I failed to really flesh out.  And as always, a few other ideas are tossed around.  Enjoy!  As always, reference nods usually get a tag.

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The Editor’s Expansive Sigil Expose – Part 2

The Factol's Manifesto | Forgotten Realms Wiki | Fandom

Not satisfied the first time, eh? Well, I have things for you. Not all sects made the glorious jump into our Cage. But, far more exist on the planes than you know. Let me tell you of a new list of sects that fill plenty of planes; Olden Glory, Moving Progress, The Burned, Front of Greatness, Glorious Subversion, Positivists, Educatorium and The Guardian Primers. Mind you, the last one is more of a guild. But, technicalities are important! You want details on the inner workings of these people, after all.

So, with a careful glance around and ducking into the right alleyway, please read onward and discover more things to know about the many Factions and Sects that hover around our spheres of influence and beyond. After all, you read the scribed words of a very banned author. And as such, you only place yourself at risk here. Stay safe, friend. And always, and I mean always, watch yourself for onlookers. And with that, do enjoy.

Author’s Note: So, besides the previous faction, only two other concepts here came from games themselves. One of them is just a nod towards a classic work of fandom, while another is based on said classic work. The rest? Additional philosophies through a fantastic and tongue-in-cheek window mostly.

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The Editor’s Expansive Sigil Expose – Part 1

The Factol's Manifesto | Forgotten Realms Wiki | Fandom

Greetings, reader.  There is no Ramon to worry about this time around.  He is fine, my cohorts have seen to that.  However, his journal is just too valuable to fall into the clutches of some grabby faction or offended primer.  By all means, let me contribute!  For the purposes of this document, this is an addendum to a magnificent tome that will damn you just by thinking about it.  I speak of the most infamous tome in Sigil and maybe beyond, The Factol’s Manifesto!  The pages within, adorned with flavour and flare by yours truly, describe the deeper details and dim dark on the factions that populate the Cage!  Read no further, lest a basilisk of the mind take you!  Once you go in, your mind will never go out.

Good, you’re still with me.  Let us speak more of the infamous Factols’ Manifesto!  The following pages are but supplements to inform you on some background groups attempting to politic and tinker with the workings of wider society all the same.  I sense that you’ll ask a question, “Editor, how do I know you’re from Sigil when you don’t speak in Cant?”  Well, my scrutinizing friend, one can choose to take a break from such slang terminology.  Doing so can allow even the most oblivious of Primers to comprehend forbidden things that could either save them or… well… see above.  So, take heed that all you see before puts your life on the line much like it does my own!  With that dire warning, continue and be educated!

Author’s Note: Writing in the style of the Factols’ Manifesto, what fun!  I’ve made a number of sects and the like over the years, also playing with other ideas.  Plus, here’s a chance to spill the rest of the beans on the Acts of Balance “Faction” I’ve been teasing for a while.

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Defense-Unit 78’s Guide to Dimensional Convergence

The Void

Convergent.  This is described as multiple facets of something coming together, usually to form something completely new.

You might inquire the relevance of this definition.  This is simple.  Reality as properly defined by both The Ancients and the Scholars of Gamma Terra is crumbling.  And not only that, a possible new dimension, known to many as “Void Space” has opened up.  Sensors detect that other possible realities have indeed converged upon this meeting point within space and time.  Even stranger, these fragments of reality have merged together at points, making rather alarming hybridizations between worlds.  Gardens with wires and machines growing instead of plants, octagonal platforms and hallways turned into castle-like labyrinths of stone and wood, whole buildings breaking off into floating land chunks in the cosmic soup.  Completely unrelated confines and compounds have blended alongside others.  A piece of a cabin has become tethered to a segment of an industrial warehouse, linking to a medieval dungeon.  This dimensional space does not operate on principles of mundane logic.  Data does indicate that these pieces are fused to instill stability between realities.  This alternate world acts in a manner of coping mechanism.  More information is required to properly analyze.  Deployment is requested.

Author’s Note: What sort of mad crossover nonsense is this?  Well, exactly that.  Thanks to a long finished game, as well as the BLOOM mod for Doom 2, I’ve worked up some level of inspiration to cobble all means of absurd mash-ups.  Also, I’ve been weaving some mythos-horror content into Planescape for a while.  For the few people that played in crossover games with me, many of these games are directly referenced here.  Set Wands to Warpdrive, in particular, literally broke realities.  (It’s probably archived on my old tumblr page.)  Technically, this exists outside of typical Planescape, but I’ve always pondered a nexus space between realities.  It kind of worked for RIFTS already, why not in other things?  Ramon is a background character as well. 

As for crunch related stuff?  I’ll get around to something.  As I’ve already stated, I’d rather use a different gaming system, honestly.

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Ramon’s Guide to the Outlands and Beyond

The Outlands (Planescape) | Fantasy map, Dungeons and dragons ...

I have touched upon The Outlands, yes.  But, there is still more to see.  The Concordant Opposition, a name with more than one meaning.  To some, it’s the center point where all things converge.  To some as well, it is the force fighting all planes at once.  At least, this is what that Acts of Balance sect/faction proclaim.  Beyond them, there are many more sights and sounds to observe within the center ring within the Wheel.  With such a variety of experiences alone, a Sensate could spend a lifetime here.

Author’s Note: I enjoy doing these.  As such, I have to return to this!  Now, thanks to the Torment conversions and some of my own, that takes care of a number of monsters at least.  The one bit from the Elemental post felt a bit tacked on, but it only made me wanting to do more.  It begs the question, what happens when I run out of planes?  Well, I’ve been making plans for another project.

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