Showing posts sorted by relevance for query camazotz. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query camazotz. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, April 3, 2015

A to Z of Vampires, Camazotz

Now let's go to Central America where their vampires are gods and still straight up killing machines.

Please allow me to introduce Camazotz the vampire "death-bat" and god.

Camazotz was first made known to me from the pages of AD&D 1st Ed hardcover Deities  & Demigods.   His write up includes the standard stat-block and two thin paragraphs.  None of which help show how awesome this vampire/demon/god/creature is.  No picture either.

So for my games Camazozt is an ancient vampire. So powerful that over the epochs he has become more and more demon like and is now worshipped as a god. Well humans worship him, other vampires fear him and honor him as their king.  In a way like the Red Court Vampire King from the Dresden Files books.  Here he is in Petty Gods format.

Camazotz
God of Vampires
Also known as: The Death Bat, Bat God, Sudden Bloodletter, Slaughter Lord 
Symbol: a bat in flight
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Movement: 120' (Flight is infinite at night)

Armor Class: -2
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 120 hp (24 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: F20
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 8,600
--
Armor Class: -2
Hit Points (HD): 120 (24 HD)
Save: F20
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Q
XP: 13,600

Camazotz is the demon god of bats and vampires. But he is not truly a god or a demon but rather a vampire that is thousands of years old.  Vampires pay him homage more out of fear than actual piety. Humans on the other hand worship and hope that he will reward them with the gift of immortality (vampirism).  He requires blood sacrifices every new moon.  Camazotz himself goes through periods of extreme torpor and frenzied blood lust.

Camazotz dreams of one day destroying the god of the sun.

Camazotz attacks as a vampire with a claw/claw/bite routine of 1d8/1d18/1d12.  His bite (any natural roll of 18, 19 or 20) will drain 3 points of Constitution per round.  Anyone reduced to 0 becomes a vampire under his control. As a god-like being Camazotz can attack 4 times per round.

He lives in a dark cave like plane know as Xibalba on the Abyss where he serves as a vassal to Orcus. Again this is not out of fidelity but out of fear of the Demon Prince of Undead.  The cave is dark and the floors are stained with blood.  In this cave Camazotz can summon up to 1000 bats to do his will.

He considers the Goddess Nox his "Sister" but whether that is an actual familial relation or merely an affectation is unknown.

Links
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camazotz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xibalba
http://tashasthinkings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/atoz2014c.html
http://demonhunterscompendium.blogspot.com/2012/12/camazotz-death-bat.html
http://www.blueroadrunner.com/camazotz.htm
https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/camazotz-the-death-bat/

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monstrous Monday: Camazotz & Weekend Round-up

This weekend I took the Order of the Platinum Dragon through the classic module C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.  I ran it semi-tournament style. That is I focused on the areas from tournament play where suggested, but I did not keep the scoring.  Given the trap crazy nature of this module I also gave XP for clever ideas on how to defeat the traps.

I changed it a bit to fir the current "Come Endless Darkness" storyline. The party was teleported there after the Council of Greyhawk scryed for anything that might help them re-ignite the sun.  The crystal pointed here and off the party went.
They appeared in a jungle with a pyramid of into the distance and an opening in front of them.

Yeah, so it was an Egypt project my son did...
Entering the tunnel the soon where confronted with traps of a sort.

I played up the "Temple of the Sun" bits and focused a lot on the various god depictions in the dungeon. In particular the ones with the bison, coyote, bear, serpent and eagle heads.   They encountered the evil neried and decided to drain all the water out of the room with a portable hole. That convinced her to tell the party what was a "safer" route.

They mangaed to find their way up to the temple where a sight of horror was found.  On the temple floor were hundreds of dead humans and among them four dead gods. Each god was dressed in Olman garb wearing sylized headgear of the bison, coyote, bear, and serpent.  All of their hearts had been cut out.  On the altar was a god wearing the Eagle head gear, his heart was also cut out.
They party recognized the gods not only as the gods from the frescoes, but also they were the Cinco Hermanos, their retainers from the Keep on the Borderlands.  Standing over Eagle/Cinco/Ixion was the demon bat god Camazotz.  In his hand was the heart.


The paladins attacked right away and managed to force Camazotz back to his home plane of Xibalba in the Abyss.  But Cinco (as always played by Danny Trejo) was dying.  He told the Order that he tricked Camazotz into taking his liver instead of his heart (gods can do the sort of thing), but he was dying anyway.  He convinced them to take his heart so they could use to relight the Forge of Moradin.  This would give them enough magic to at least keep the world from frezzing to death.

The forge was relit with the help of the only surviving members of Greyhawk's great wizards, Bigby, Tenser and Mordenkainen. But at the cost of their own magic.

Now the Order has been sent to investigate the possible outbreak of attacks by a group of giants.

This adventure was a big one.  It set up the next act of the campaign, it brought back the Cinco Hermanos (though only for them to die) and revealed the Orcus connection to the death of all the Gods of the Sun.

It also allowed me to bring in Camazotz as a demon lord.
Here are the stats I used, Maybe not 100% accurate for 5th edition, but it worked yesterday and the kids did not have to fight him much.

Bat King by FangWangLlin
Still getting the hang of these monster stats, but they are based on my Labrynth Lord/Petty Gods stats for Camazotz and the D&D5 stats for Yeegnohu.

All in all I like it.  Can't wait for the kids to run into him again in Throne of Bloodstone!


Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: 5E Monster Books

I LOVE Monster books. Always have.  One of the first, if not THE first, book I ever saw for an RPG was the AD&D Monster Manual.  My love for these books has never waned.

So of course, I am going to grab the new Monster books for 5e!


I am rather pleased with both of these, but Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press edges out in terms of things I want to use.  There are just a lot of really great monsters in this book.
Including some I will use in my current Come Endless Darkness game and some for the War of the Witch Queens.

They have their own version of Camazotz which I am dying to use.


I have not compared these stats to the ones I worked up a while back,  But I think I will use these new ones since the players did not kill Camazotz the first time.

There is also a new Witch Queen featured in the book.


She is based, somewhat, and named after the Scottish witch Nicnevin.   I will have to do a conversion of her sometime soon.  Having someone that is the "Daughter of Scáthach" is just too cool to ignore really.

I am not ready for a review of these just yet. But stay tuned.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Special thanks go out to +Justin Isaac for letting me know about this book and that it featured Camazotz.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Endless Darkness: The Road So Far

This song seems appropriate here...
I have been talking online with a lot of people who are doing the same thing I am; running the Classic Modules from 1st Edition using the new D&D 5 rules.  So I thought I would post a summary and talk about where I am going next.

The Background
The characters all belong to a group known as the Order of the Platinum Dragon.  They are mostly made up of the children of the DragonSlayers (my 3.x game).  They began their adventure like so many others....or so they thought.

Here are the adventures in chronological order (links take you to the blog post where I talk about their game).

T1 Village of Hommlet (forgotten by the characters, played as a flashback)
B1 Into the Unknown
B2 Keep on the Borderlands
L1 The Secret of Bone Hill
X2 Castle Amber
I6 Ravenloft
C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness
A1-5 Slave Lords
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
G123, G4 Against the Giants  (where we are now)

Then we do:
D12, 3 Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Vault of the Drow
Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits
(Q2) Queen of Lies
CM2 Death's Ride
H4 Throne of Bloodstone

The adventure began in The Inn of the Welcome Wench (T1). Here they discover the main plot of the "Cult of Chaos", but a battle with Lareth the Beautiful and Bargel left their memories wiped and two of their party missing (the Warlock Croulie and the Pyromancer Cynder).  The remaining party delved into the Castle Quasqueton (B1) and it's dungeons where they discover one of the Chaos Stones.  This leads to a vision/memory of a long ago battle.  They travel to the nearby Keep (B2) where they take on some hirelings, Uno, Duo, Tres, Quatro and their leader Cinco ("played" by Danny Treo) to investigate the Caves of Chaos.  Here they discover a temple dedicated to ancient demon god and more on the Cult of Chaos.

They then traveled to the monastery on Bone Hill (L1) and a group of missing wizards. Again there is a rumor of the Cult of Chaos, but also the involvement of several "Hyena Men".
Following the trail of the Hyena Men, the party is sucked up in a mysterious fog, here they find themselves in a strange land (actually the past) and a strange Castle (X2). More knowledge is gained about the Dawn War and for the first time they hear the phrase "Beware the Endless Darkness".  Here they meet up with the "wizard" (actually a warlock) Skylla.  They travel the mists for a while till they come upon the Villiage of Barovia and the terrifying Castle Ravenloft (I6).   They stop Strahd and his plans to blot out the sun, but not before Skylla is taken away by an army of ghosts.

They meet up with another party and tackle the famed Ghost Tower of Inverness (C2).  They recover the Soul Gem and hear the phrase "Beware the Endless Darkness" again.

Leaving the Ghost Tower they hear rumors once again of the Hyena-Men (Gnolls and Gnoles) and a slaving operation. They have long suspected, but now get confirmation that Gnolls are servants of a Demon Lord (keep in mind my players don't have the wealth of history of D&D we all do). They also find out that the slaves are all being transported elsewhere by human agents.  They discover the Cult of Chaos is also behind this operation and the Drow, long forgotten, are also involved.  
The Order manages to destroy the slaver operation and even convince an Earth Dragon and Red Dragon to reawaken the dormant volcano to destroy the island.  Before leaving the island with rescued slaves the Earth Dragon (an actual dragon) tells them to "beware the coming darkness".

Returning the slaves to the Duchy of Urnst they see the Sun go completely black.

Or maybe this is a better choice
The sun is out and there is a council of the greatest mages (ie their characters from the 3.x game) in Greyhawk.  The plan is worked out to relight Moradin's Forge.  It's light and life giving heat will keep everyone alive till the sun can be put right.  In the meantime the world is besieged by monsters and undead.   The Council of Greyhawk scrys for any remaining sun-related magic items.  Even the Sunsword from Ravenloft is out. The party is sent to a jungle (C1) because an artifact is found there that is related to the sun.    The "artifact" is the dying Mystarian Sun God (Immortal) Ixion, whom the characters knew better as "Cinco".  He and his four brothers were all gods of the sun, they were killed by vampire god Camazotz.   Cinco/Ixion gives the character his heart, Camazotz was not able to get it in time, to use to relight Moradin's Forge.

With the world now on life-support, the Council sends groups of adventures all over the world to find out what is going on.  The Order of the Platinum Dragon is sent to investigate raids made by some giants...

They know they are fighting against the clock.  Moradin's Forge is a powerful artifact that the gods used to create life, but once it is lit any one can use it. Undead are swarming all over. New monsters and monstrosities are everywhere and the Priests of the Sun gods are powerless.

Chaos, it seems, is winning.

What happens next is now up to my players and their characters.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Lilith, Queen of Demons

It's April. And I have to admit I am kinda missing the A to Z challenge this year.  Maybe I'll do it next year.  But in any case, I was thinking of past challenges last week and the topics I have done and one topic just kept coming up nearly every time I did it.
Lilith.

For three consecutive challenges, I posted about Lilith on "L" day for Demons, Witches and Vampires.
2013 L is for Lilith and Lilim
2014 A to Z of Witches. L
2015 A to Z of Vampires: Lilith

The story of Lilith has always fascinated me.  The character has always fascinated me.
I suppose then it is no surprise that she lies at the intersection of all my interests.

Also this weekend I finished a nice binge watch of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 2. Here the amazing Michelle Gomez plays Lilith the Mother of Demons and the First Witch.

So, I figured it was time to revisit my muse.

Lilith by IsraLlona
Lilith
Queen and Mother of all Lilim (demons)
Hit Dice: 18d8 + 33 (114 hp)
Armor Class: -3 [22]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d4), 1 weapon (1d8)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: +2 magic weapons to hit, magic resistance (65%), immune to fire, magical abilities, summon minions
Move: 12/18 (flying)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil*
Challenge Level/XP: 20/3,400
Lilith appears an inhumanly comely woman standing 5’7” tall and weighing roughly 130 pounds. Her skin is cinnamon colored, and her hair is waist length and blood red. She has a pair of leathery black bat-like wings that she can hide or expose at will.

Lilith never openly attacks.   She considers combat beneath Her and will not partake in it.  Her arena is intrigue, guile, and deception.  Why fight when a cup laced with poison or a dagger in the night is much quicker.
She can use ESP and cast fireball, hold person, charm person or charm monster, suggestion and teleport at will. Three times a day she can cast lightning bolt and wall of fire.  She can see perfectly in darkness of any kind. Lilth can summon 1d4+4 lilitu with a 100% chance.

The First Witch
was the first witch and can cast any witch spell.  She cast spells as a 20th level witch but does not have any occult powers other than her magical abilities listed above.
Lilith was the first human woman. She rebelled against the gods that created her and now controls armies of demons.  The gods won't work against her or strike her down because she knows all their True Names.

Lilith has no true friends because most fear her.  She is known to ally herself with the Goddess Ereshkigal since both have similar portfolios and areas of concern.  Some even claim that Lilith spent some time as Ereshkigal's handmaiden.  Others claim she served Astártē or Ishtar.

Appearance and Emissaries
Lilith always appears as a young very attractive woman.  Most often with long flaming red hair.  It is claimed her true form is that of an ancient hag with long, but sparse wild black hair, talons, fangs and the feet of a predatory bird.  Either or neither could be her true form.

Servants
Lilith is typically honored by the Witches of the Mara Tradition.

Naamah - Known as the Daughter of Lilith Naamah is either a demon, a human or something else.  She is honored in her own right as either the Patroness of Whores or the Patroness of Those Who Hunt the Night (slayers of the undead).  Her title as The Daughter of Lilith, as opposed to just a daughter of Lilith, is significant.  She may be her first true daughter or she may be her first human daughter.

Abyzou - Another daughter of Lilith. She is a powerful Lilitu Demon. She takes pleasure in possessing others and destroying them from the inside out.

Nox - The Petty Goddess of the Dusk is also believed to be a daughter of Lilith.  Possibly the offspring of Lilith and a Sun god.

Camazotz - a Son of Lilith and the bloodthirsty god of Vampires.  Some claim that his father may have been Orcus.

*Lilith's alignment is listed as Chaotic Evil.  The Chaos part should be obvious, she has rebelled against the entire universe.  While many of her actions are evil, she still kills babies, she is also a lot more complicated than that.  Lilith has a high personal morality. She honors and keeps her friends and associates.  You can trust that she will always do what is best for herself, but she also cares for her own "children" so she will protect them.

Holy Texts
As witches, the worshippers of Lilith hold their own Books of Shadows as their holy texts, but a few are are considered to be helpful in understanding Lilith.

The Splendor - The foundation text on which many of the Gods of Light have based their own holy texts.  The Splendor mentions Lilith as one of the first demons of darkness. For this reason, many religions will see Lilith as a threat to their religion.

The Enochian Tablets - More details on the life and rebirth of Lilith. Written in an ancient angelic script that is difficult for many sages to translate. Also discusses her relationship to the divine and the demonic.  It also details the origins of Those Who Hunt the Night.

Other posts about Lilith here
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Seasons in The Abyss

A while back I talked about how my players in the Order of the Platinum Dragon are splitting off for one level (14 to 15) to do something different with each of their characters.  We have jokingly referred to as a "vision quest" but in the Mythos of my game world it would be more appropriate to call them "Secret Journies".

They are trapped in the Abyss and each one will visit a different demon world before they hook back up on the Demonweb.  I have no issues with them finding each other across the Abyss; they just will.  A random encounter with a Chaos Stone has them all linked with a minor form of telepathy.

In one case one of the Paladins and the Fighter will be visiting Liberation of the Demon Slayer. The sorcerer will be going to Têhom, the Abyssal layer that had belonged to Tiamat.  Likely he will bring her back to life.  And the others... I have no clue yet.
I know I need one that is a savage world, maybe one with Dragon-lords.

So I dove into my archive at DriveThruRPG to see what might work.

Liberation of the Demon Slayer
The adventure is six levels and 70 pages. VS suggests using 3 0-level characters per player and let everything work out, or a large party of 1st level characters. Nothing is mentioned on how many players, but I am guessing 6 to 8.

There is some background given about the world this adventure lives in. They are all optional, but it does set the mood for the rest of the book. I found the bits about Snake-men and elves to be interesting. The adventure is steeped in a lot of Lovecraftian tropes and we are introduced to some of the "Old Ones" here, albeit with different names.

If you, like me, love eldritch abominations and dark magic then this the adventure for you. The adventure itself "sounds" simple enough. Retrieve a demon-killing sword from the caves to stop the demons attack your village. Easy peasy. Trouble is that the author grew up when dungeons-as-meat-grinders were a thing and everyone was afraid the big bad devil was going to get you. This adventure though is closer in tone and danger to the Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen than it is to most Lamentations of the Flame Princess products. With the right DM this could be a great and dangerous adventure where the party could live. Sure they could all easily die too. One can read this and imagine that all of the author's games are a bit like it.

I have known the author for a number of years and yeah this is exactly the kind of things I expect in his games. I think the difference here with this adventure and some of his earlier material is there is a maturity here to accept the absurd. This adventure can be played straight or with a dash of dark humor. Think of it as a horror movie, even the scariest have a touch of humor to them; it sets you up for the bigger punch later down the road.

In my own games I do have an epic weapon for killing demons. In my current world state this sword is lost and a quest is needed to recover it. Maybe this is what I need. If so then the value of this adventure just increased ten-fold for me. I am going to have to spend some quality time with it and a pencil to see if it can be recrafted into something that fits my world a little better.

Lair of the Demon Princess
38 pages. Full color.
This is an older adventure designed for D&D 3.0/d20.
Part 2 of 2 adventures it can easily be run on it's own.  The positive features of this adventure are some new monsters, and use of old monsters in interesting ways.  In fact one of the things I liked most about this was the creative use of use of a Vrock and a Succubus as the main bad guys.  This adventure reminds us that demons need to be played as an intelligent monster.  Bloodthirsty agents of rage and destruction, but intelligent.
The adventure is fine, I think it might be a bit easy for the listed levels of 8-12.  The layout of the module could use a little more work and some the art comes out as blurred or pixelated.

Against the Cult of the Bat God
A while back my players ran into the Demon Bat-God Camazotz.  He managed to get away with the what he thought was the heart of the Sun God (it was his liver).  Since then my players have been itching for a rematch against him.  This adventure might just be the thing.
While the creature here is listed as "Servant of the Bat God" a little tweaking and I could make this into a coastline being terrorized by the Bat God himself.
The characters have three days to complete their task, so it's a nice tight adventure, exactly what I want, and it weighs in at just under 60 pages.
In any case there is a lot of good stuff here to use.

B1 Journey to Hell
I bought it on a whim based solely on level and "hell". First off you get a lot of adventure for your buck. 45 pages of adventures and maps (granted it is the same adventure twice, but still). The artwork is great, coming primarily from sources like The Inferno. This is quite fitting given that the adventure itself is quite reminiscent of Dante's great tale. It does include some art from the Larry Elmore CD that was out years ago, but doesn't properly cite it in their OGL page. It is dual stated for the OSRIC and Altus Adventum Role-Playing Game, always a plus in my book, but it can be played with any number of OSR systems or their fore-bearers.

Gods, Demi-Gods, and Cults #1: Chaos Queen of Ants
After dealing with the Queen of Spiders, maybe the Queen of Ants would be fun.
This 21 page (cover, OGL, and 19 pages) book is the first of the GODS,DEMI-GODS, AND CULTS series. This one features Khraliche Karinkhamür the Chaos Queen of Ants. Presented here is plenty of detail about the cult, the sub cults and the important figures. Worshipers are detailed and discussed. We also get some new spells for both Wizards and Clerics and some new monsters.

BTL005: Brave the Labyrinth - Issue #5
An OSR Zine, but filled with more useful content than some books.
We get a new Elvish-Demon Lord, some elf-sub races and a castle to adventure in.  I immediately decided that all of these are connected and the Demon Lord, Erebus has these elves in his castle.
There are some patron saints of Good. Some magical tools and some new lycanthropes.

Going Through Forbidden Otherworlds
Going Through Forbidden Otherworlds, or GTFO (cute huh) is again a case of me getting something that is exactly what I need.  While I am not going to play it as-is, there is a tweak mentioned in the book itself that works perfectly for me.  In fact, a lot of this book works perfectly for me and my next set of adventures.  I can't believe I am saying this, but I will turn up the gore factor in this Lamentations product for my needs.
Not a real fan of the art inside but I see why it works for this.


There are plenty more.  I just need a few.   One for the cleric/paladin and fighter, one for the Dragonborn paladin, one for the Dragonborn sorcerer, one for the two elves (a thief and ranger) with maybe the half-pixie NPC (Brave the Labyrinth is looking like a good choice for them).

This is going to be a fun winter!

Monday, May 4, 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 Reflections Post

I survived another A to Z blogging challenge.


I was so unprepared this year.  I know what vampire I was going to talk about each day, but often not much more than that.
By the numbers Vampires are much more popular than Witches or Demons.

Despite there being fewer participants in the challenge this year I did not get a chance to visit everyone.  That is too bad really, visiting new and interesting blogs is one of the highlights.
Though with the fewer blogs there were more that seemed in it to really enjoy it.

I actually had a lot more fun this year than last.  So that is something.
I did miss not participating in a mini-hop like I did last year.

This challenge would not be possible without our hosts:
Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Author Stephen Tremp
Heather M. Gardner
AJ Lauer
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing



I'd also like to thank the Ambassador's Team that I worked with this year:
Arlee Bird, Rob Z Tobor, J Lenni Dorner, Jenny Pearson, and Jeffrey Bushman.
You are all a great bunch!

Anyway in case you are curious here are the vampires and their country or myth or origin.

Letter
Vampire Country / Myths
A
Aswang Philippines
B
Berbalang Philippines
C
Camazotz Central America
D
Dearg-Due Ireland
E
Estrie Jewish Folklore
F
Farkaskoldus Hungary
G
Gierach Eastern Prussia / Poland
H
Hsi-Hsue-Kue China
I
Impundulu South Africa (Zulu & Xhosa)
J
Jigarkhwar India
K
Kyuuketsuki Japan
L
Lilith Ancient Mesopotamia
M
Moroi Rumania
N
Nosferatu Germany
O
Ovegua Guinea, Africa
P
Pĕnanggalan Malaysian
Q
Vampire Queen Modern
R
Rolang Tibet
S
Soucouyant Trinidad
T
Tenatz Eastern Europe
U
Upierczi Poland
V
Vrykolakas Greece
W
Wurdalak Russia
X
Xiāng-shī (殭屍) China
Y
Yara-ma-yha-who Australia
Z
Zburător Rumania

Other Vampire Posts

Vampire
Country / Myths
Baobhan Sìth Ireland
Dracula Novel
Elizabeth Bathory History / myth
Lilith, as a demon Ancient Mesopotamia
Lilith, as a witch Ancient Mesopotamia
Strigoi Eastern Europe


I have NO idea what to do for next year! Any requets?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z of Vampires: Lilith

Lilith by Isra2007
Let's head to ancient Mesopotamia and talk about Lilith.

Er...wait. Haven't I done this before?

Actually I have, I talked about Lilith last year on the A to Z of Witches and the year before that on the A to Z of Demons.   She is just one of those subjects I never grow tired of talking about.
Obviously since I made her the cover of my Eldritch Witchery book.

Back in my WitchCraft RPG game I actually wanted to do three different Liliths that were also all connected.

Following the Maiden, Mother Crone archetype she would have been a Witch, Vampire and Demon.  In my Buffy/Ghosts of Albion games she was a more central figure. A faction all her own in the constant wars between the forces of good and evil.

While that was a fun idea and it worked well for the WitchCraft RPG, for something like D&D I prefer one Goddess. A complicated Goddess to be sure.

So here she is. In Petty Gods format. Though she is by no means a Petty God. She is actually something more than a demon, witch or goddess.  She is Lilith.

Lilith
Goddess of Witches, Mother of Vampires and Demons
Also known as: Ardat Lili, Lili, Lillitu
Symbol: Image of the Goddess
Alignment: Chaotic Evil*
Movement: 40' (Fly 160)
Armor Class: 4 (15)
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 140 hp (25 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: Witch 25
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 16,660

Lilith is the mother of monsters.  She is the mother of demon, having spawned so many, but she is also the mother of vampires and many say witches.

Lilith was the first human woman. She rebelled against the gods that created her and now controls armies of demons.  The gods won't work against her or strike her down because she knows all their True Names.

Lilith has no true friends because most fear her.  She is known to ally herself with the Goddess Ereshkigal since both have similar portfolios and areas of concern.  Some even claim that Lilith spent some time as Ereshkigal's handmaiden.  Others claim she served Astártē or Ishtar.

Appearance and Emissaries
Lilith always appears as a young very attractive woman.  Most often with long flaming red hair.  It is claimed her true form is that of a ancient hag with long, but sparse wild black hair, talons, fangs and the feet of a predatory bird.  Either or neither could be her true form.

Servants

Naamah - Known as the Daughter of Lilith Naamah is either a demon, a human or something else.  She is honored in her right as either the Patroness of Whores or the Patroness of Those Who Hunt the Night (slayers of the undead).  Her title as The Daughter of Lilith, as opposed to just a daughter of Lilith, is significant.  She may be her first true daughter or she may be her first human daughter.

Abyzou - Another daughter of Lilith. She is a powerful Lilitu Demon. She takes pleasure in possessing others and destroying them from the inside out.

Nox - The Petty Goddess of the Dusk is also believed to be a daughter of Lilith.  Possiblly the offspring of Lilith and a Sun god.

Camazotz - a Son of Lilith and the bloodthirsty god of Vampires.  Some claim that his father may have been Orcus.

Combat
Lilith never openly attacks.   She considers combat beneath Her and will not partake in it.  Her arena is intrigue, guile and deception.  Why fight when a cup laced with poison or a dagger in the night are much quicker.  If forced into combat she can summon pretty much any demon she likes save for the Baalor. If it comes down to it, Lilith can cast spells as 25th level Witch of the Demonic Tradition.

*Lilith's alignment is listed as Chaotic Evil.  The Chaos part should be obvious, she has rebelled against the entire universe.  While many of her actions are evil, she still kills babies, she is also a lot more complicated than that.  Lilith has a high personal morality. She honors and keeps her friends and associates.  You can trust that she will always do what is best for herself., but she also cares for her own "children" so she will protect them.

Other posts about Lilith here:
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Checking in on my Plan

Over the years I have discussed my Plan.  The Plan is what adventures I am going to take my kids through.

For D&D 3.x I was content to take anything as it came, make stuff up and generally going towards a  stopping the cult of Tiamat plot.  It was/has been fun and we are nearing the end of that.

For the new adventures I was looking at 3rd, then 4th, then 1st and now 5th Edition as the primary game system.

http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-have-plan.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2012/02/lets-play-1st-ed-dad.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-kids-are-awesome.html

At the present here is where I am.
  • B1 Into the Unknown, levels 1-3
  • B2 Keep on the Borderlands, levels 1-3
  • L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, levels 2-4
  • X2 Castle Amber, levels 3-6 (where we are now!)
  • I6 Ravenloft, levels 5-7
  • A0-5 Slave Lords, levels 4-7
  • G123, Against the Giants, levels 8-12 (I also have the Stone Giant one from Dragonsfoot, just need to find it)
  • D12,3 Against the Drow, levels 8,9-14
  • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits, 10-14
  • CM2 Death's Ride, levels 15-20. (Again, unless I use it in my current 3.x game which the boys want me to do)
If I don't do Death's Ride I am seriously considering the classic H series to go after Orcus.
  • H1 Bloodstone Pass, levels 15+
  • H2 The Mines of Bloodstone, levels 16-18
  • H3 The Bloodstone Wars, levels 17-20
  • H4 The Throne of Bloodstone, levels 18-100
But I would REALLY edit these since they have a lot of issues.  Truthfully my best plan is to just use H4 and add bits from H1-3 and maybe even some stuff from the 4th Ed E-Series.  But that is if I want to have Orcus as the big bad guy at the end.  It has appeal.

Also I have the mind flayer adventure A Darkness Gathering to work into the mix.

It has taken me a while to get through all this because I am alternating with my 3.x game, some AS&SH and other games.

So far the adventures have seemed random and the characters are wandering about.  But they are about to get some items in the X2/I6 series that will help them later on.  

Right now, with out their knowing about it the Drow, Vampires and Illithids have gathered together to put the final phase of their ultimate plan into motion.  The PCs will discover a little of this plan when they encounter the Slavers.  The slavers are all vampires now and they are not dealing in slaves, but human cattle.    After they have defeated them the last part of the bad guys plan comes into fruition.  

The sun goes completely out.  

There is panic. Everyone gathers in the Freecity of Greyhawk.  The Church of Pelor/Ixion is hardest hit, but also the loudest voice.  All the "big names" are there and they are trying to figure out what to do.
There is a plan to set the moon a flame, but the various clergy of the Moon Goddesses are against that.  Finally they agree to instead use a large asteroid to keep life going till they can re-ignite the sun.
While all the big names are trying to figure this out the PCs have to deal with some raids nearby of giants...

The PCs will then go through the GDQ series to discover the plan and that the drow are working with mind flayers.  After defeating Lolth in Q1 the PCs will have to deal with the vampires who have Pelor captured.  In order to re ignite the sun they will need to set him free from his prison in ..... and that is all I have.

Yeah it is kinda story-gamey.  It's my game, my house and my kids. They will eat this up.
I guess it is hard for me to get away from the idea of vampires as the big bads.

Those of you who have been reading this blog a long time might notice that there was a similar plot in my Buffy Season 7 game, Episode 12 No Other Troy.  Though that one the sun being blocked was a side effect. 

I am inclined to use Orcus as the big bad holding Pelor.  
I have a huge ass mini of him and a crap ton of material for him.

But I have also wanted to use Camazotz as the demon-god of Vampires in his abyssal plane of Xibalba.  Maybe I still can use him in some way.  It is possible he is something like a high priest to Orcus and his job is to sacrifice Pelor on a bloody altar.  Once that is done Orcus will suck up his godly powers and reign as the God of Death and Darkness.

And he would have gotten away with it too had it not been for those meddling PCs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A to Z of Witches. N

N is for Nox 

So almost a year ago exactly I submitted my "Petty God" to the Petty Gods project.
I am not sure where that project is at the moment, but I am sure it will be out eventually.  In the meantime I wanted to share the god I cam up with; Nox.

Nox is an interesting creation.  Back in the day when we all got together to play we would not get started till it was dark outside.  Why? It seemed cooler and it was the 80s after all.  Nox represent that time when it was still light enough to see, but dusk was gone.

Nox later appeared in the first drafts of some of Buffy/Ghosts of Albion games. I later changed the part and it was switched over to Lilith.  I choose to do a witchy goddess because that is what people would expect me to do and I really wanted to do it.

Here she is, in Petty Gods format to be used with Labyrinth Lord or Adventurer Conquer King.

NOX
Goddess of Near Night
Also known as: Goddess of Twilight, Mistress of Near Dark, Keeper of Secrets, Trick of the 
Light, Mistress of Illusions
Symbol: A sunset with a crescent moon and a star above.
Alignment: Chaotic (Neutral)
Movement: 120' (40')

Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 80 hp (19 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 6,400
--
Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (HD): 80 (19 HD)
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: Q
XP: 4,400

Nox is the mysterious Goddess of the Twilight, Near Night and the space between sunset and full night. She is the daughter of Night (Nyx) and sister to the God of Vampires (Camazotz). She is not a widely worshiped Goddess, but her name is often invoked by those that welcome the night; typically thieves, vampires, prostitutes, witches and lovers, especially clandestine lovers that seek the cover of night.

She will only manifest in a humanoid form in the hour after sunset but before full darkness.

Nox grants no spells to her followers, but she have been known to render people invisible or at least unnoticed at the times of twilight to hide their activities. This boon is not extended to all who invoke her name, but her name is still whispered by those who wish her aid.

Nox never speaks. It is not that she can’t, she just has nothing to say to mortals. She speaks through her minions though. Not that she is in telepathic communication with them, they just know. Because of this she is also known as the Keeper of Secrets. Lovers whisper their secrets to her, witches tell her where their sabbats are, thieves plot their crimes to her, vampires speak the names of their victims, all knowing that their secrets are safe. A saying has even taken root among those who know her; “Only Nox knows” meaning no one else knows.

She prefers not to attack anyone as she is not a Goddess of violence. Any who attack her, or even annoy her, she can cast any Charm or Illusion spell of her choice as a 19th level Magic-User/Witch to deflect others. Failing that she can cast Sleep that can affect up to 20 people.

She is honored by some vampires since it is believed she created vampires with her brother and they are all their children. She is mostly honored by the reluctant vampire, new to their condition since it is believed that her participation in the creation of vampires was not through her own choice.

Nox appears as a stunning woman of young adulthood. She has two forms that often chooses. She appears with pale skin, flowing gold-red hair (like a sunset) and bright blue eyes. She also appears as fiercely beautiful woman with dark, ebony skin and silver-white hair (like moonlight), but with the same blue eyes. Alternately she has appeared as a large white owl. With her powers of illusion she can appear as anything she wishes, but those forms are subject to the same rules that govern all illusions.

She is on good terms with the Goddess of Night and the Goddess(es) of the Moon. She is neutral to the God of Vampires and the God/Goddess of the Sun. She is on reasonable terms with the various Gods and Goddesses of the Occult and Secrets provided that they do not share said secrets.

Minions

Nox is a Goddess of in-betweens; neither light nor dark, day or night, so she served and honored by a number of faeries. In the times of her reign; after sunset but before full night, she is served by the Fyre Fae. These creatures are like pixies in all respects except that they also glow in various colors. At a distance they appear as Will-o-wisps or even Faerie Fire.

Nox’s current chief minion, voice and lover is a witch named Syla. Syla will speak for her lover and will be with her most twilights. Syla is a vaguely elfin woman, who maybe half-elf, half-nymph or a human with elven parentage. She has short platinum-blonde hair and piercing green eyes. She is also a witch (magic-user) of 9th level. Her spells are mostly charm and illusion, but unlike her mistress she is more than willing to attack those who anger her or Nox.

Reaction Table (2d6 Modified by Charisma and below)
2: Sleep. Nox is so insulted by your presence that she puts you to sleep for 8 hours
3-5: Illusion. She casts an illusion of herself while she teleports from the area
6-8: Fyre Fae: She remains, but so many Fire Fye are summoned that approaching her is difficult.
9-11: Boon. She grants you a boon, you can remain undetected (as per a thief hide in shadows at your Charisma x 5%)
12: Boon. She grants you the ability to turn invisible once at any time after sunset but before full night (1 hour after sunset).

Modifiers
+1 if you are present with a lover
+1 if you are thief, witch, prostitute, vampire. (Can’t combine, vampire thief is still only +1)
+2 if you share a personal secret with her.
-2 if you have divulged the secret of another in the last 24 hours
-1 if you are a cleric of the sun.

And something new.

Fyre Fae
Armor Class: 1 [19]
Hit Dice: 1d8 (5 hp)*
No. of Attacks: 1, special
Damage: -
Special Attacks: Dancing Lights 1 per day
Movement: 10’, fly 60’ (perfect)
No. Appearing: Gang (2-4) or tribe (20-80)
Saves As: Fighter 1
Morale: 9
Treasure: None
- Tribe: 3d6 SP, 2d4 GP, Gems: 5% 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
XP: 70

Fyre Fae are often confused with Willow-o-the-wisps or even fireflies.  They are tiny fae resembling smaller pixies.  In the hours of dusk the Fyre fae come out to play where they will flash a multitude of different colors from their wings.
They are harmless and prefer to flee if attacked. Though if needed they will cast a dancing lights spell to confuse attackers of their whereabouts.
1 Fire Fae out of 100 also has the abilities of a first level witch and can cast Light into the eyes of attackers.





Supernatural AtoZ

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Vampires vs. Demons

Instead of doing stats today (sorry Vepar!) I thought I'd discuss some of the issues with research.

When doing research for this blogfest and for my game books in general the first thing you notice is that the myths of the world do not organize themselves in nice logical units.

This could not be more pronounced when trying to figure out what the difference is sometimes between a Vampire and a Demon.


Game books and novels that feature both often make pretty clear lines.  This is a vampire and they do X, Y and Z.  This is a demon and they do A, B, and C and sometimes D.  But go to the myths of the world and then you find creatures that do X, A, B and D but never C, Y or Z.

When getting ready for this I was also researching various vampires.  This was almost an A to Z of Vampires (maybe next year).  what some cultures call a vampire another call a ghost and another a witch and another a demon.  Sometimes with the same names.  A lot of creatures from China, Japan and the Philippines are like this.

The Succubus and most of what I call the Lilim are a great examples.  While they are classified as demons they have a lot of vampire like qualities.  In some games a "Succubus" is even just another type of Vampire (World of Darkness and WitchCraft).  Yet in others a Vampire is a type of demon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Even is games where the distinctions are really, really clear there can still be a lot of overlap.
The succubus is one good example, but so are the Nabassu. Nabassu, also known as Death-Stealers, are described as demons that are close to undead.  They even look like the true form of the vampires from Lifeforce and the Red Court Vampires from the Dresden Files.


Looking at them it is hard to tell which one is the vampire and which one is the demon.

So the issue for writers putting mythological creatures in their books (novels, stories, games) and that is what sort of creature is this?

Have a look at the Mayan god Camazotz.  His name is roughly translated as "Death Bat".  In a book he could be a god, a demon or a very powerful vampire.  Lilith is another great example. Is she a demon, witch, vampire or just a human.  Of even the Baohban Sith, is she a faerie or a vampire.

Of course the one other option is "All the Above".  Creatures that blur the lines a little are nice to have.


EDITED TO ADD:  Other vampires from today
http://coffintreehill.tumblr.com/
http://r-moran.blogspot.com/2013/04/v-is-for-vampire.html
http://noreecosper.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-z-blog-hop-vampires.html

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gods, Demigods and Heroes

I have been thinking about Gods and the like in my games for some time now.  Now that I am going to be playing Pathfinder as well as 4e I thought I would look into some gods for my Mystoerth world.

Now Mystara didn't have gods, but Greyhawk does and so do all the other worlds I am using here.
A few I know I am going to use and where they all fit.

Gods
Ancient beings of great power.  The next generation after the Titans and Primordials.  Gods differ from humans and the others in many respects.  Gods can have Aspects and Avatars, which are semi-independent versions of themselves that can interact in the world.  Demons and Devils can have Aspects too, but generally only one at a time and for them it is more like Astral Projection.
Gods also have the power of creation.  They created their specific races, or the lands, or even the world.

Bahmut and Tiamat -Bahmut (and his Dragonlance cousin Paladine) has become the god of Lawful Good paladins since the 3.0 days.  This is only reinforced in 4.0.  Plus he is a very D&;D god, with ties back to the first Monster Manual and featured in the Dragonlance sagas.

Tiamat is a given for the same reasons, but she was also a god in myth in her own right.  Though given that in Babylonian myth she was the god of Chaos, I would change her alignment from LE to CE and put her in the Abyss.  In fact the Abyss is there there because she was tossed into it.


 Sehanine / Selûne / Shar - Three aspects of the same moon goddess. Represent the Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of the Triple Goddess. Neutral.

Wee Jas - Goddess of Magic and Death. The Witch Queen.  Worshiped by the Suel. Mix in bits of Hecate, Cardea, Isis and Mystra to her.  Her student was Ioun.  LN.

Others
Bast Egyptian - Goddess of Cats and the hunt. CG
Blibdoolpoolp (Greyhawk) - Goddess of the Kuo-toa and other deep see nasties. Maybe a daughter of Dagon and consort of Demogorgon (ick). CE
Camazotz (Aztec) - the Bat God, I like having him as the god Vampires too, great rivalry exists between him and Orcus. Camazorz doesn't control vampires, but some vampires and vampire cult pay him homage. CE
Celestian (Greyhawk)-  God of the stars.  Have to include him. Neutral
Corellon - God of Elves.
Gruumsh - God of Orcs. Neutral Evil.
Istus (Greyhawk) - Goddess of Fate. Neutral
Lovitar (Realms/Finnish) - Everyone needs a crazy S&M chick.
Set - God of Evil.
Surtur - Fire Giants and Thrym - Frost Giants, both from Norse myth, but folded into the D&D myths.
Vaprak, the Destroyer - God of Trolls and Ogres. Though I have considered having this just be an aspect of Demogorgon.

I plan to use Earth myths when I can.  For example my Desert Elves worship elven versions of the Egyptian Pantheon.  Isis is an elf, but Set is human since according to these elves humans are the greatest evils in the world.

Devils
The new editions of D&D (3.x, Pathfinder and 4) have Asmodeus listed as a god.  Now I have no issues with that per se.  I even think the back story of Asmodeus rising to power that started with the Dragon Mag article "Politics of Hell", on through the Blood War stuff and finally his triumph at becoming a Dark God is an interesting one.  But it does't work for me.   See I would rather set Devils up as the alternatives to Gods.  The devils temp mortals away from the "proper" religions to worship them.  Why would a mortal worship a lesser beign like a Devil?  Simple, the devils provide a quick avenue to power.  Gods, even evil ones, require faith and worship and service, the rewards then are given based on that faith.  Devils tell the mortals "hey, why do all that work when you can work with us and get all those benefits now."  Devils also side with mortals against the Gods.  They will remind mortals that the Gods have it easy while they work and toil.  They even try to promote kinship, "hey the Gods cast us out, so we are on your side."  Of course these are all lies, but situated in enough truth that mortals keep falling for them.   Asmodeus then is not a Dark God, but the most power Arch Duke there is and his power is equal to that of a god or goddess.  The Devils will even point out that one of their own rose to such power that is should be possible for everyone to do it.
The devils now have moved beyond the "Blood War" of 2nd ed and are now going to engage in a "Gods War" with the battlefield the mortal realms.  I think a good story for the PCs would be to become part of this "Gods War".  I alluded to it a little in my Buffy adventure, The Dragon and the Phoenix.
Afterall what would be more climatic than all the heroes, each representing their God, on the field of battle against the greatest foe in humanity.    I might drop my "Vs. Orcus" idea for this instead.

Demons
The Abyss is the sewer of the multi-cosm.  Everything that gets flushed, thrown out, discarded and forgotten ends up here.  Of courses there were plenty of things here to start with.  Demons are legion.  There are thousands of types, races, and varieties.  Some, like Orcus, are "dead" Gods.  Others, like Demogorogn, used to be Titans.   Others still are cast out gods (not sent to Hell), forgotten powers or even monsters that have become very, very powerful.  There are even ones that were spawned by the Abyss itself.  If the ultimate purpose of the Devils is the destruction of all the Gods, then for Demons it is just destruction.
The Blood War, the war between the Demons and the Devils, was a minor skirmish in the long range plans of the Devils.  In fact prior to the Blood Wars, demons and devils had been on working terms.  The devils would often use demons as grunts in their battles.  This went on for so long that some species of demon were once considered to be devils and visa-versa.   Graz'zt, the Demon lord, had been an Duke of Hell, till he went native.  Succubi are constantly switching allegiances between demons and devils that they are difficult to properly classify.


Demogorgon - Older than the gods.  A Titan that has become more demonlike.  Hates Orcus.  Only worshiped by non-humans and insane cultists.  Just wants to destroy everything. CE.

Jubilex - Demon lord of slimes.  Created from the Abyss itself.  It is as if all the waste and runoff of the Abyss collected into a conscious form.  Deeply, deeply insane.  Wants the entire multcosm covered in acidic slime.

Orcus - Was a god, then demonized, killed, came back as undead, became a demon again.  GEnerally just an angry dude.  Hates undead, but hates them less than he hates everything else.  Wants to become the God of the Dead.  CE.


Primordials and Titans
Like in Greek myths, the Titans were the "parents" of the Gods.   Some gods from other games might end up here.  I prefer to figure these out as I need them.  The Scarred Lands books from Sword and Sorcery Studios were good for this concept as well.  They had a lot of interesting titans.  Theirs though were outright evil, I prefer to have my titans more uncaring about humans.  The world was theirs, now it isn't anymore and they are not happy about it.  Most of the titans are dead, others are imprisoned or converted to demons.

Primordials came even before the Titans and represent raw nature or natural aspects of the world.  Earth, Sky, Night, Death.  These things are hard to personify into human terms so Primordials are not really like the gods or titans at all.  Primordials do not care about worship or humans although some are aware of such actions.  In some cases my "Titans" are what other games "Primordials" are and my Primordials are something different.

Mad Gods
Have to include these. Things like Leviathan, Cthulhu and the rest certainly will have a place in my game.

For me Gods need to be complicated.  The characters live in a world where they can travel to the planes, commune or other wise get "evidence" for their faith.  I think I might make this a bit tougher is some cases and even out right prohibit in others.
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