Monsters, Horror, Gaming

Month: March 2015

Haunted Houses

Creepy House manor Orava Castle

There’s a shunned and fearful house on the edge of town, with an infamous reputation amongst the locals; the adventurers decide to investigate.

The House…

Roll d20 Result
1 …had a massive conservatory full of exotic plants that have now grown wild, making the entire house a treacherous vegetal hell. Strange hallucinogenic blooms cloy the air with their unwholesome perfume; creeping vines burst through windows and doorways; shambolic pitcher-plant things haul themselves through the overgrown passages. The house was owned by a wealthy explorer who brought the plants back from her travels from afar; her ghost still tends the multifarious blossoms, murmuring sweet nothings to the same poisonous vines and flowers that killed her.
2 …was converted into a leprosarium long ago before being abandoned. The deformed ghosts of the diseased dead now afflict the walls, floors, and ceilings with symptoms of the afflictions they suffered in life: weeping sores, gangrene, tumorous growths, cysts, boils, necrosis, and the like. Objects within are similarly affected: lamps shudder feverishly when lit, faucets or fountains dribble blood or pus, furniture sweats. Only the sick are safe in the house; those who are hale of body quickly become the ghosts’ victims.
3 …was nearly burnt down by the deranged, arsonist wife of the owner, kept locked in a sound-proofed room. The spirits of the family, their servants, and even their pets are trapped in the charred ruin of the house, manifesting as forever-burning apparitions, immolated phantoms whose touch ignites flesh and clothing. Holy water can put the spirits “out” at which point they cease to be deranged, raving horrors and become potential allies. Only once the arsonist’s ghost is exorcised will they truly rest.
4 …erases the memories of those who enter before locking them inside itself. Its interior is actually an extradimensional labyrinth of apparently infinite size, the haunt of otherworldly aesthetes and uncanny predators, notably certain hungry echoes whose sultriness entices wayfarers deeper into the maze.
5 …has become the house of a crazed Druidess obsessed with cats. She invites strays into the house with endless saucers of milk and seems to bewitch them; they follow her around in a great train, and hundreds of them can be found in the house’s rooms. The cats are multiplying, and they are getting very hungry. At night, a great mewling can be heard within, mingled with suspiciously human screams… and folk in the nearby town are disappearing.
6 …has become the haunt of vagrants, some of whom have disturbed the peculiar shrine found in the basement and now suffer nightmarish visions, visions of a Beast that speaks to them, giving them instructions, describing certain rituals, certain incantations, certain acts of unspeakable violence and depravity. The squatters are finding such urgings increasingly difficult to resist.
7 …has been taken over by local thieves who use it as a guild headquarters. Using disguises and magic they occasionally impersonate ghosts in order to deter unwanted visitors. Inside, a mixture of props and illusions make the house look haunted. Further in, past several secret doors, the headquarters is quite lavish, well-lit, and filled with riches.
8 …is the abode of uncountable multitudes of rats. The upper floors are the domain of mundane albeit somewhat bloated, over-large rats. The basement levels, which go down for an unfathomable distance and eventually merge with a series of tunnels and caves, are filled with increasingly disturbing mutant generations of rats: rat-kings with tails intertwined, six-legged rats, two-headed rats and blind rats with tails where their faces should be, hairless rats large as dogs, winged membranous rats, bipedal rat-children things. At the lowest level are pestilential horse-sized rat monsters birthing scores of the degenerate beasts. The mutations are caused by eldritch, radioactive crystals in the depths; those who brave the caves begin experiencing strange changes themselves.
9 …is infested with creeping fungus that spreads up from the basement into the main house. A brood of fungal horrors thrives in the deepest cellars beneath the fell house, but now the mildewed denizens of the place are venturing out into town and abducting those who dwell in it, dragging them down into the house’s pungent depths to infest their flesh with spores. They worship a kind of fruiting hive mind composed of the decomposed bodies of hosts no longer ambulatory.
10 …is filled with furniture made from embalmed human limbs, wallpaper, curtains, and lamp-shades from tanned flesh, decorations from carved bones and preserved organs, etcetera. Most of these materials were gathered from the local graveyards by the deranged inhabitant of the house, who is himself quite harmless, if macabre. However, the spirits of those whose mutilated corpses were used to craft the furnishings now plague the house and its morbid denizen.
11 …coexists on seven unusual planes of existence – the Roiling, the Skein, the Gnashing Realm, the Last World, the Tonguelands, Shriven, and the Plane of Wings. These places can be glimpsed through its windows at certain times of day, visited using the seven keys scattered throughout the house. But other travellers sometimes find their way into the house, as well…
12 …swarms with vermin of every variety – spiders, cockroaches, centipedes, flies, beetles, and others less identifiable. Wallpaper rustles and furniture teems with them. Webs shroud every surface and the floors crunch with moulted chitin. Cocoons and eggs dangle from the ceiling. The vermin occasionally shape themselves into quasi-humanoid masses; others fill the corpses of victims to use as grotesque puppets; they may or may not be demonic spirits. The swarms are being vomited forth unendingly from a jade bottle in the former owner’s cabinet of curiosities.
13 …is defaced with blasphemous graffiti so vile that it has achieved a kind of life. Living obscenities stalk the halls, erupting suddenly from wallpaper, returning to their papery realm when injured. Animate scribblings and pornographic caricatures made flesh seek to entrap intruders within two-dimensional reality. The graffiti was created by a mad, artistic warlock who wanders the house with chalk, charcoal, and brushes, scrawling new creations into unlikely life.
14 …is itself a ghost-house that appears only once every hundred years on the anniversary of its destruction; at other times it is nothing more than a few scattered lumps of rubble. Those inside the house when it disappears become trapped within it for a century, but perceive no passage of time.
15 …contains countless cursed mirrors in which the spirits of the former residents (and many others) are trapped, driven mad by centuries of imprisonment. The spirits can walk from mirror to mirror and can harm trespassers by attacking their reflections. They can be fought in the same way – though this is difficult and disorienting. Breaking mirrors is inadvisable: anyone reflected in a mirror when it is broken suffers terrible injuries, bones cracking, organs rupturing as their anatomy becomes hideously reconfigured. Those killed by a reflection have their souls drawn into the mirror-world.
16 …is the lair of an ancient family of vampires who swathe the windows with black curtains. Decades ago vampire hunters managed to trap the vampires within the mansion by consecrating the ground around the house and encircling it with running water. The vampires remain within, but have not fed in many years; as a result they are feral, emaciated things, bestial and maddened by the terrible thirst they cannot slake. The only victims they do enjoy are the periodic hunters who enter the mansion to finish the job – always unsuccessfully – and the foolish burglars who, hearing of the vampires’ extraordinary wealth, hope to plunder the mansion of valuables.
17 …contains portals to unimaginable past and future epochs that connect to “sister-structures” in those time periods. The denizens of such far-flung eras occasionally find their way through to the house, some monstrous mutants, others merely curious. Time within the house itself has been known to behave curiously, sometimes flowing at different rates in different rooms and on different floors.
18 …is the abode of a coven of hedonistic witches who use the place for their orgiastic rites to goat-headed gods and moon demons. Arcane drug-laboratories, stained altars guarded by horned servitors, cauldrons of sacramental filth, and luxurious incubi-harems can all be found here.
19 …was owned by an obsessive doll-maker who peopled the place with thousands of his own creations, eventually performing vile rituals to trap the souls of the living in the wood and porcelain bodies of his creations. The dolls have since murdered their “creator” but cannot leave the bounds of the house and so have gone slowly mad, forever trapped in their artificial forms, some taking on the dolls’ personae…
20 …is a gigantic, carnivorous shapeshifter, a living organism that attempts to lure would-be ghost-finders and looters into itself with suggestive groans and flickering lights in order to messily devour them. After consuming a group of investigators the house’s exterior doors and windows vanish, trapping the house’s prey inside. Rooms and corridors move about according to the creature’s whims until its kills and absorbs those within.

Fimbulvinter Maps

An unpardonably long time has passed since my last post. I’m putting together the next bit of Fever in the Blood, but in the meantime here are some hand-drawn maps for my Fimbulvinter campaign, an intermittent IRC game set during the endless winter of Norse myth. It’s equal parts Viking Age sandbox and post-apocalyptic survival horror, run using Pathfinder. Most of our big combats are now played out using Roll20 using maps I draw, like these ones:

barrow0001 house0001

mountains grove0001 Map0004 Map0003 Map0002 CampBlodlands Hrafnlands Gorn0001

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