Nocturnals

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“Nocturnals,” by Leonora Carrington

Mortal beings indelibly marked by the spectral realm.

Nocturnals can be of any race (elf, goblin, human, whatever), but their normal characteristics are replaced or altered as follows:

Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Wisdom score increases by 1

Age: You reach adulthood as normal, but then you age half as fast as is normal for your race.

Darkvision: If your race normally doesn’t have it, you do with a range of 60 feet.  If members of your race already possess darkvision, then you have double the normal range. In any case, your eyes are pure black.

Spectral Sensitivity: You are dimly aware of the spectral realm in a 30-foot radius around you, but you cannot interact with it or anything within it.

Break on Through to the Other Side: Once per day, you can travel into the spectral realm as if you cast enter spectral realms with a caster level equal to your character level.

Uncanny: Your have an eerie appearance and unsettling affect. You gain proficiency with the Intimidation skill and have Advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks to detect falsehoods.

Nethereal

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Zdzislaw Beksinski

Medium outsider, chaotic neutral

Number appearing: 1, solitary
Armor Class: 17
Hit Dice: 6d10 (30 hp)
Movement: 30 ft.

Str  13 | Dex 15 | Con 15| Int 17  | Wis 15 | Cha 9

Incomprehensible: The thought patterns of a nethereal are too alien to grasp. A creature attempting telepathic contact with a nethereal must make a Wisdom saving throw – with a success, they take 1d4 damage directly to their Wisdom score; on a failed save, their Wisdom score is permanently decreased by 1d4 exploding (if the result is 4, roll another 1d4, if that result is also a 4, add yet another 1d4, and so on).

Liminal existence: Nethereals simultaneously exist in, and can interact with, the spectral realm. When a nethereal is reduced to 0 hitpoints, they dissipate into nothing.

Spectral shroud: The spectral realm seeps into the world around a nethereal – they appear dim and distorted no matter the lighting and atmospheric conditions. Ranged attacks against the nethereal have Disadvantage.

Attack: draining touch +7 (1d8 damage and the target suffers Disadvantage on Strength- and Dexterity-based rolls until the end of the nethereal’s next turn; alternatively, the nethereal can elect to deal no damage and cause the target to fall unconscious for 1d6 rounds).

Spectral Bleedthrough: As a full-round action, a nethereal can channel the spectral realm into the environment, causing the area around them to take on a frightening aspect. When this ability is activated, the light in a 30-foot radius sphere centered on the nethereal drop to nighttime levels. Creatures outside this area must make a Wisdom saving throw before attempting to enter the darkened zone.

As a move-equivalent action, a nethereal can increase the radius of the affected area by 10 feet.

 

The Wolf That Walks Behind

 

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“Yeth Hound,” by cinemamind


THE WOLF THAT WALKS BEHIND
Medium outsider, neutral evil

Number appearing: 3 to 6 (1d4+2)
Armor Class: 16
Hit Dice: 3d10 (15 hp)
Movement: 50 feet

Str 13 | Dex 15 | Con 15 | Int 7 | Wis 12 | Cha 3

A foot in each world: a wolf that walks behind can freely move in and out of the spectral realm as part of its move action.

Spectral predator: A wolf that walks behind has Advantage on attack rolls in the spectral realm.

Attack: slavering jaws +4 (1d6 damage; a wolf that walks behind can pull a target it bit into the spectral realm with a successful opposed Strength check)

Howl from Beyond (Recharge 5-6): As a standard action, a wolf that walks behind can emit a haunting, otherworldly cry. All creatures within 30 feet of the wolf must succeed a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to act until the end of the wolf’s next turn. This ability can be used even if the wolf is in the spectral realm.

“All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies. Or had they bodies? I saw them only for a moment, I cannot be certain.”

– Frank Belknap Long, “The Hounds of Tindalos”

Peerless trackers, wolves that walk behind are often summoned by unscrupulous magic-users to chase down their enemies.

NEW SPELL: Enter Spectral Realms

Warlock/Wizard/Sorcerer 1 (Conjuration)

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Beneath, or maybe behind, the world of human experience, is another place. In terms of time and location, it corresponds exactly, but the light is always dim, the colors are faded and washed out, and the air is still and cool. Occultists have bestowed many names on this spectral realm: “the Beyond,” “Ghost World,” and “the Dark Side,” among others. 

 

By means of this spell, a magic-user can enter this realm for a number of minutes equal to their caster level. Within the spectral realm, the caster is able to breathe and is subject to gravity as normal. 

Inanimate matter appear as it does on the other side, but living things are transparent and intangible. Passing through a living creature has no effect on either the magic-user or the creature they pass through, though the person on the other side may experience a jolt or a shiver. 

Due to the relationship between the two worlds, caster interactions with spectral objects are reflected in their counterparts on the other side: for example, if the caster picks up a spectral chair and carries it across a room, the same chair in the Prime realm appears to levitate off the floor and float a similar distance. Spectral objects have the same material characteristics, so the caster cannot lift or break or alter something they wouldn’t be able to normally.

At the end of the spell’s duration, the caster will reappear in the location that corresponds with where they were in the spectral realm.

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In the Pines, In the Pines, Where the Sun Don’t Ever Shine

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Some spooky things adventurers might encounter in a dark wood:

1 – ILL WIND: A sudden gust of unseasonably cold (or warm, depending on the time of year) wind causes unprotected flames (torches, campfires, candles) to gutter (1-in-6 chance of going out completely); horses and other animal companions must make morale checks to avoid panicking.

2 – FOOLISH FIRES: Off the path, eerie lights bob and blink in the woods. Characters must succeed Wisdom saving throws to resist the urge to follow them deeper into the forest. Every minute or so a character spends in pursuit of the lights, there’s a 1-in-6 chance they wink out.

3 – LOST PATROL: Coming down the path is a squad of 1d4+2 soldiers bearing archaic arms and armor. When asked, they will claim allegiance to a fighting unit (or country) that hasn’t existed for decades (or centuries even, whatever length of time will seem the creepiest). If pressed on this matter, they’ll become increasingly belligerent. If the party leaves them be, they will march off in the opposite direction, disappearing into the gloom.

4 – TASTES LIKE BURNING: Beside the path is a patch of bushes bearing oozing purple berries. A successful Bushcraft / Survival check will determine that the fruit is pretty poisonous. A character that eats a berry and fails a Constitution saving throw will be laid low with intense stomach cramps, vomiting, profuse sweating, and muscle spasms until they rest for 8 hours; increase the difficulty of the saving throw by 1 for every additional berry eaten.

5 – CABIN IN THE WOODS: A rickety one-room shack, currently empty, but obviously inhabited. Whoever lives there:

1 – Just went out to take a piss and will be eager to know what these heavily armed dingbats are doing inside their home.
2 – Is in a secret room beneath the cabin, doing something vile.
3 – Is tied up and near death in the loft; a perceptive character might hear their feeble cries.
4 – Ran off in a hurry by the look of things.

6 – COLONY OF BIRCHMEN

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illustration by Bernie Wrightson

A cluster of disconcertingly humanoid-looking trees by the side of the path is actually a pack of 2d4 carnivorous tree people, waiting in ambush.

Birchman (Large monstrous humanoid [plant])
Hit Points: 35 (4 HD)
Armor: equivalent to chainmail (bark-like skin and woody flesh)
Movement: half human speed
Attack: clutching limbs +4 (1d8 damage and target must make Strength saving throw to resist a grab); a birchman can’t attack if it has grabbed a creature
Special: Dismember – Once a birchman has grabbed a creature, it will attempt to wrench off a limb (an opposed Strength check with a +4 bonus for the birchman; if the birchman wins it deals 1d8 damage. If it rolls maximum damage, the birchman tears off one of the creatures limbs).

7 – UNHALLOWED GROUND: The soil itself is tainted with a malevolent presence. Magical healing is only half as effective in this area. If someone were to fall asleep here, they must make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid possession by the force haunting this place. If successful, they merely suffer from horrible nightmares and awaken stiff and grouchy (Disadvantage on all Dexterity and Charisma based checks for the day). Should a character fail, they will come under the influence of a dark entity.

8 – VILLAGE OF CUCKOOS: A collection of dismal hovels populated by scrawny weirdos (treat them as being permanently confused, as the magic-user spell). Their madness is contagious – every hour spent in the village, a character must succeed a Wisdom saving throw or being acting like the cuckoos. After three failed saving throws, a character is irretrievably mad.

The source of the insanity is:

1 – A cult with extremely unorthodox practices.
2 – A weird artifact displayed in the center of the village.
3 – A defiled burial ground upon which the village was built.
4 – An evil magic-user.
5 – Spongiform encephalopathy from cannibalism
6 – Generations of inbreeding.

9 – KINDER-CORVEN TERRITORY: The path takes the part through an area of the forest inhabited by kinder-corven. Perceptive characters might notice the unsettling wicker ornaments dangling from tree branches.

10 – NODESTONE
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The path widens into a small clearing, in the center of which stands a weathered megalithic structure. Characters attuned to the supernatural will sense that the stone thrums with arcane power. By tapping into the stone, magic-users can cast spells as if they were 10 levels higher but have Disadvantage on all checks to avoid magical mishaps and suffer consequences twice as severe if they improperly cast the spell.

There’s a 1-in-20 chance the party comes across a magic-user attempting some kind of spell or ritual at the foot of the stone.

11 – HUNGRY EYES: A stealthy predator stalks the party. During the day, a perceptive character might catch a fleeting glimpse of shadowy figure peeking out from behind a tree; at night, a character on watch might see red eye-shine just outside the perimeter of camp. On a particularly bad Perception check, a retainer might get snatched off the path or dragged into darkness.

12 – A DOOR: A sturdy portal is built into the side of hillock the path curves around. It is the entrance to:

1 – A raided crypt and the unquiet dead angry at the theft of their grave goods.
2 – An intact crypt and the unquiet dead angry to be disturbed by grave robbers.
3 – The prison cell of an elven criminal, driven insane from isolation.
4 – A bandit hideout.
5 – A network of subterranean fortifications from some ancient war.
6 – A magic-user’s secret laboratory.
7 – An abandoned mine.
8 – A shrine to a forgotten god.

 

 

 

Internet Detritus Monstrous Compendium Supplement 2: War Pigs

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WAR PIGS

Once they were men, a formidable host of soldiers, now cursed for their wanton cruelty and depravity.

Medium monstrous humanoid
AC: 16 (Chain mail + shield)
Hit points: 3 – 25 (2d12+1)
Movement: normal human
Attack: Melee weapon +3; a war pig that has not moved can make two attacks
Morale: High 

Evil Minds that Plot Destruction: Whenever a war pig rolls a 1 on a damage roll, they re-roll. Whenever a war pig rolls maximum damage, they roll an additional die of damage.

Death and Hatred to Mankind: A war pig can use their action to feed off the corpse of a humanoid to regain 1d12 hit points. Retainers that see this must make a Morale check.

In the Fields the Bodies Burning: When an attack would drop a war pig to 0 hit points, its body rapidly decomposes, releasing a 15-cubic-foot cloud of caustic vapor. Creatures starting their turn within the cloud take 1d6 damage and have Disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks. The cloud lasts for 1 minute or until dispersed. War pigs are immune to the effects of the vapor.

Poisoning their Brainwashed Minds: Weapons and armor looted from war-pigs are cursed. For every day that a human or demi-human possesses such an item, they lose 1d4 Charisma (half as much with a successful Wisdom saving throw) as their appearance gradually becomes more porcine.

At 0 Charisma, they have permanently devolved into a war pig.