The Dark Entity
A creature from another world, it feeds on the life force of other leaving them as husks.
Its up to you to decide the origin of the creature, picks what suits your story best. The adventure only calls for something evil or twisted:
- The shadow of a fallen god
- A tortured soul, new returned as a revenant seeking revenge
- A demon sent forth to gather essence and then to use this essence to tear open a path for an army of its kind
They should have fearsome powers. The mummified bodies scattered throughout the city are the result of its hunger and not the result of the city being turned into a tomb.
Possible abilities, based on how scary you wish this creature to be:
- Level drain (a golden oldie that will lose you friends) – If this creature wounds a character it steals a level from them and adds it to itself
- Life drain – Any damage done to a character is turned into hit points for the entity
- Possession – This will give it the power to disrupt parties, move without causing alarm and perhaps forward it plans
What will the entity be in your story?
What powers will it have?
Long ago a proud and powerful city stood at the foot of a mountain. This was a place of great wealth and influence, but some people wanted more as they always do. Deep in the caverns of the mountain a group gathered and worshiped a dark entity. The entity demanded blood and the worshipers obliged, tempted by promises of untold and limitless power. With the blood of the hundredth virgin the entity broke through into our world, creating a massive explosion in the depths of the mountain and reawakening this sleeping volcano.
Now many generations later this city is all but forgotten, faded into myth hidden beneath 100 feet of ash and stone. Until one day a traveler noticed a church spire emerging from the ground, now the race is on to find the cities treasures before someone else does.
This is the beginning of a series into an adventure I’m working on, so more to follow.
In most games death sucks, so lets look at softening the blow. This was written with Lamentations of the Flame Princess in mind, but will work with any D&D style game. If people are interested I could look at moves for different classes.
Final Strike – As you die make a counter-attack on the creature that killed you – Roll <your level>d6 and apply this as damage to the creature.
Cleansing Fire – Your patron god delivers a vengeful fire through your body in your last moments – Roll 1d6 those of your alignment gain that many hp, those of other alignments lose that many.
Screaming Fissure – Upon your death the chaotic forces you’ve kept at bay break free, centered on your body a dark fissure appears in space and time. Everyone in the area roll vs Paralyze, those that fail are sucked into the fissure and deposited somewhere else.
Always Prepared – Upon your death roll a dice:
Odd. A scrap of paper with the blueprint of a possible trap falls from your pocket
Even. The key to a unknown lock falls from your pocket
Do you do anything to soften the blow of death?
I can also suggest this from James Young: Funerals for the Fallen.
This is something I plan to use as well.
In the gloom of the mine shaft our adventurers encounter a crumbed wall and through this opening they can hear movement. Their nostrils fill with the smell of stale air and decay. Passing into the dark passage Senan’s torch began to reflect off specks of red, these specks were appearing and disappearing; then they began to move. Out of the dim light emerged a tide of rats, pouring out of mounds of rot and ruin. A panicked battle brings out in the narrow passage way, many wounds are inflicted but the rats are put to rest.
Moving deeper into the passage way while patching up their wounds, the party miss an opening in the cave wall. Once they pass it by a group of wolves emerge and ambush them, in short order the Ranger is dropped, the Rogue is dropped, and the Bard is dropped. We are left with an injured Monk facing down the remaining wolves – and that’s where our story ends.
More like heroes arrive, but we’ll get to that.
I was asked to post of recaps from our sessions, not sure how one goes about writing this exactly but lets give it a go.
Our heroes are:
Lia Galanodel – The Elven Monk thirsty to drink in the world
Senan – The Human Bard with ties to the old ruling family (not by blood but by association)
Melech – The Tiefling Rogue who is the sole survivor of his clan
Dreg(olas) – The Dragonborn Ranger, cursed with visions of the world ending and hunted because of his race
I’m still looking at Irish Myth, but this sword or at least its name got around a bit appearing in Irish, Welsh and English myth. First to Ireland; it appears as the weapon Fergus mac Róich a man who really couldn’t keep it in his pants and had the sword taken from him for sleeping with the wife of Ailill mac Máta (king of the Connachta).
3 Roadside encounters for your fantasy game
Taking a path the party has taken a dozen times, they find themselves outside a town that has never been there before. Everything about the places looks normal other than one or two strange things, candle flames are green, the cats are the size of dogs, etc. Little do the party realise they’ve crossed the veil to another world.
Perhaps a powerful spell was cast here weakening the veil between the worlds or maybe there is a strange alignment of the planets that will pass and trap them here.
We’ve all started a campaign with the group sitting around a table in a tavern, it’s one of the ultimate cliches of the hobby; along with rescuing princesses from Dragons (the classic quest) or my parents and everyone who knows who I am is dead (the birth of the murder hobo).
Sometimes people don’t know where to go from here, so here are some thoughts if you find yourself drawing a blank about where to go next.
As the party are in the middle of getting to know each other characters, there is a smash behind them. It was the window, someone has thrown a flaming torch through the window, outside in the flickering light of flaming houses; tribal raiders. The door is smashed down and 6 raiders pour in the door, roll for initiative.
You’ve jumped almost straight into the action, your players have had a little time to chat and then the adventures comes running through the door, armed and hairy.
I’ve shared some advice for game masters to take some of the crunch out of our game; this makes everyone’s life a little easier. Now let’s look at things players can do to make life easier for the game master and make your game better.
This might sound weird, but don’t just roll; you break the flow of the game. It should go, GM describes the situation, players describe their actions and if rolls are necessary then the GM will call for a roll. Following this guide you don’t have situations like:
GM: You enter a 20 x 20 room, it is completely empty.
Player: *rolls a 20* I am doing perception to see what’s in the room.
GM: The room is completely empty, walls, floor, ceiling and you.
Player: But, but I rolled a 20.
All this leaves us with is a frustrated GM, frustrated player and a wasted crit.
Let’s continue to make our lives a little easier.
If you haven’t read part one you can find it here: Making Your Game Less Crunchy
I hate the action economy, it’s brought my games to a hold so often. I know it’s a key part of the mechanics of the game, but why does it take us two turns to put one weapon away to draw another. Bugger that, let your players swap from their long sword to long bow with one interaction, then next turn let them go back again. Players who use multiple weapons or have two handed foci like the bard will love you for this. No longer will they have a turn where they can’t attack as they have to swap back to their sword. Flip side of that, when the party run from a greatsword wielding maniac, the maniac can swap to their bow and take shots at their backs in one turn.