Wednesday, November 15, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 11, Room 15

 Encounter area 15 is in an odd little cul-de-sac. There is a group of monsters like goblins, trolls, and even a couple of minotaurs. They are all sitting around an ethereal woman playing a cello. 

Room 15

The cellist plays and the monsters are entranced. As long as she plays the monsters here will stay entranced. She will not attack, nor get the monsters to do so. If she is attacked she will entice them to attack back.

The monsters are: 

The cellist herself is a Faerie Lord who has the stats of a 10th-level elf. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Verwildert, the God of Wild Nature and Wood Maidens

 Today's god leans a bit more into the Greek/Roman side of the equation, though there are still bits from the Norse and even Norse-Celtic influences.  Introducing Verwildert, the God of Wild Nature and the Protector of animals, grains, and other parts of nature.



This god combines aspects of Pan/Fanus as well as Bacchus/Dionysus.  From the Norse side, we get wilder aspects of Odin and Freyr, especially in Freyr's roles in fertility and fecundity. Many of Æsir gods of the Norse pantheon have more in common with Pan than the other Greek/Roman gods. 

My group of Pagans here are living very close to nature (and Nature). Not, out some sort of neo-pagan ideal dreamed up by 20th Century writers (and 21st Century game writers), but because that was their reality. This group was a bad winter away from total barbarism and they knew that. A God like Verdwildert was the manifestation of that. The god that gave them grains and crops they could cultivate, the wolf that ate their sheep, and the storms that destroyed their farms and homes.  

Nature is always just a few steps removed from madness.

VERWILDERT (God of Wild Nature)

Intermediate God

MOVE: 36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  1d8+3, 1d8+3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Inspire Madness, Druid magic
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +2 or better to hit

SIZE: M (5' 9")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: All, Farmers, Druids
PLANE: Erde 

CLERIC/DRUID: 23rd level Druid
FIGHTER: 10th level Ranger
MONK/BARD: 20th level Bard
S: 18 I: 15 W: 22 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 23

Verwildert is the God of and the Protector of Wild Nature. He first taught humans how to cultivate land, not to tame nature, but to learn how to work with it. He is not an agricultural god, per se, but he is the patron of all growing things. He is also the god of the storm and flood that destroys, the wolf that kills, and secrets hidden it dark places. 

This god appears as a grizzled old wild man of the woods, with the antlers of a stag as headdress. He is hairy and bearded. Often, his idols feature an enormous phallus, which some claim is true for the god himself. Verwildert has little time for humans, though he is not overtly hostile to them at first. Like all nature, he is dangerous and can destroy.  Even he fears the raw power of Nature herself in the form of Mutter Natur, who is his own mother. Despite this human worshippers usually find Verwildert to be more approachable than Mutter Natur.

Verwildert can attack with two great fists or cast spells as a 23rd-level Druid. Three times per day, he can Inspire Madness, which will cause those who fail to save to drop their weapons (or whatever they are holding) and attack anyone close to them. Spellcasters are unable to cast spells. 

Animal: All, but the Wolf is a favorite
Rainment: (Head) horns of a stag (Body) none
Color(s): Red, Green
Holy Days: Nights of the New and Full moon; Also May 1st
Sacrifices: Everything is sacred to Nature, the weakest animals culled so the pack may survive
Place of Worship: Any natural setting. 

Verwildert has two groups of followers/worshipers he is associated with. The Wild Hunt and Wood Maidens.

The Wild Hunt

This band of hunters is known across the continent. In the times when Verwildert leads them, they ride and run across the land on the nights of the New Moon. These hunters are a mixed lot. Supernatural hunting dogs (like Hell hounds), undead hunters (wights), ghosts of hunters who died while hunting, and warriors not allowed into Himmel. 

Wood Maidens

Wood Maidens are a type of demi-goddesses, or semi-goddesses, that are the personification of wild nature. They appear as nymphs, but are more akin to the Maenads of Greek/Roman myth. These goddess represent nature run wild. They are the goddesses of wine, ecstasy, and fertility. It is said that they are active to still the blood of men and women.

They are the face of Nature that humans try to tame but ultimately cannot. 

Wood Maidens

WOOD MAIDENS (Demi-Goddess of Wild Nature, Ecstasy, and Fertility)


MOVE: 36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d6+1/1d6+1 (claws)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Inspire ecstasy

SIZE: M (5'2")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
SYMBOL: Maiden's face
PLANE: Erde (Prime Material)

CLERIC/DRUID: 4th level Druid
WITCH/WARLOCK: 5th level Witch
S: 13 I: 14 W: 16 D: 15 C: 18 CH: 24

Wood Maidens are demi-goddesses representing wild nature and the power to renew life. They are also the demigoddess of wine, ecstasy, and fertility. They claim they are the offspring of Verwildert and Liebhaberin or even Verwildert and Ôstara. Possibly both are true. 

They can be found roaming the lands, inspiring ecstasy to renew life where they can. But they also represent nature running wild; they create life and they also can destroy it. The same ecstasy that bring lovers together can also drive them apart, or drive people to jealousy. This aura extends 60' from their person. This is increased by an additional 30' for each Wood Maiden in a group. There can be as many as dozen in a single group. This will produce an aura up to 400'.

They appear as wild women. Often running through the wilderness wearing simple clothing and often barefoot even in the deepest of winters. When they run they often have wolves accompanying them leading to the belief they are werewolves (they are not).

Wood Maidens are the chaotic counterpart to the Ides.

May 1st, May Day

On the First of May, the Wood Maiden gather in large numbers of a score or more. They can be seen running across the land, where their wild aura can extend even further. At this time they are chased by the Wild Hunt. Overtly it is so the Wild hunt can run them down in an etiological myth of Man vs. Nature. Often the Wood Maidens are captured by members of the Hunt. Just as often the Maidens kill the Huntsmen. In the case where a Maiden is captured and she doesn't kill the Huntsman, the Maiden becomes a normal human; often as a high priestess of Verwildert. The moral here is that Humankind can't tame nature, much less conquer it. 

This is symbolically celebrated in a fertility rite where the young women of the community run through the woods in an attempt to be captured by the young men. The women wear flowers in their hair which they can give to whomever finds them. This is considered akin to a marriage proposal. It is said that any child conceived in these rites is blessed by the gods. 


Of all the myths I have written, this is the one most likely to have survived to modern times to feature in NIGHT SHIFT. It is a Folk Horror sort of tale. Think "Midsommer" and "The Wickerman."

A good hook is something from Norse/Germanic myths. The PCs are on some sort of hiking trip, and they come across a nearly naked young woman running through the woods chased by something.  The PCs naturally try to help her, only to discover that she is part of an ancient rite.  Is she innocent? Is she the monster? Likely it will be more complicated than that. 

I'll need to develop these more.


#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 11, Room 14

 Encounter area 14 features a true horror.

Room 14

This is an Eye Tyrant / Eye of Terror / Beholder (depending on the game you are using).

It will attack as soon as it can. It is guarding double the amount of treasure listed.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Doppelsauger

 Trying to wrap-up my entries for my Deities & Demigods II: The Black Forest Mythos this week. Here is a monster I have always wanted to include somewhere. A particularly horrific little monster.



The Doppelsauger, or "double sucker," was a creature I ran into very early in my vampire research. Back when I was known more as "the vampire guy" than "the witch guy."  It appealed to me then because the name is so evocative and descriptive of what it was; a creature that sucks twice. The first time when nursing milk from its mother and then again with blood.

MOVE: 6"
HIT DICE: 4+8 (26 hp)
% IN LAIR: 60%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 bite
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4 + Blood (Con) Drain
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Vampire traits
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: S (under 2')

The Doppelsauger, or "twice sucker" is the vampire revenant of a child that had been weaned, but had gone back to the breast later on. It would have died sometime after this point. Some claim that the death of the child needs to be intentional, such as leaving it out to die of exposure or via disease. In either case, the undead creature returns to feed on the blood of its mother and other close family members. 

The doppelsauger needs to find a way into the home of its victims. This must be their former home, and their victims can only be family members. It won't feed on non-family members.

Like the common vampire, this creature can charm its victims. The charm is similar to the spell of the same name and the vampire ability. Family members save at a penalty of -2 and its own mother at a penalty of -4. The doppelsauger can turn into mist like a common vampire and can summon 2d10 rats. It takes damage from sunlight, holy items, and holy water, as do other vampires. It can't enter another home, but its home is always open to it. It said that it must enter via the same way it left their home. If this entryway is blocked, the doppelsauger cannot enter.  Garlic flowers, wolvesbane, and holy items will keep it at bay. They are turned as Shadows (Type 4).

Their attacks are weak, causing only 1d4 hp per attack, but its greatest attack is its ability to drain 1 point of Constitution via blood loss. The doppelsauger prefers to feed off of their mothers first, then other family members. One of the ways to know a family is being attacked by a doppelsauger is if they all start showing signs of anemia and losing weight. 

To stop (or prevent) a doppelsauger a board with a semi-circle cut-out must be fitted over the neck of the creature and hammered into its coffin. One can also be stopped via a stake in the heart and then removing their head with a sharpened shovel. 


#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 11, Room 13

 Entering encounter area 13 the party sees what appears to be a giant dwarf.

room 13

This "dwarf" is 16 ft. tall, and is in truth a powerful Earth Elemental

This Elemental was summoned by the dwarven geomancers, but corrupted by the magics of the Vampire Queen.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 11, Room 12

 Encounter area 12 also has a swirling portal, this one from above.  When the party comes near a giant abomination drops from the portal; a Giant Astral Spider.

Room 12

This nightmare is accompanied by a normal Astral Spider

Astral Spider, Giant
Monstrosity (Demonic)
Frequency: Very Rare
Number Appearing: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaotic (Chaotic Evil)
Movement:  Special
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 13d8+13* (72)
Attacks: 1 bite, web
Damage: 3d8+6, 2 points Widom per day
Special: Immune to physical attacks, affected only by magic
Size: Huge
Save: Fighter 13
Morale: 12
Treasure Hoard Class: None

These creatures are like their smaller cousins in they have no physical form but can still attack creatures on the Prime Material.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 11, Room 11

 Encounter Area 11 also features a monster who has just arrived from a swirling portal.

Room 11

This monster is a Type II Demon, also known as a Hezrou. It is a large frog-like demon. The portal was not like a summoning gate, so no magic circle and the demon is free to move around as it needs.

Type II Hezrou