Part of a whole, but this can be easily run as a one-night game on its own. Good, creepy prison, with the appropriate touches of brutality and hopelessness.
The before-and-after scrolls are pretty long, but remind me of a published adventure, where you get the two gm boxes on how to run it before and after some "great event", for each scene.
Layout is stark and spartan, so that works. Good examples of prisoners and guards, and nicely woven overall.
Paragraph one and two provide us with the authors view of prison and punishment without discussing law. Being that the prison is not going to be a major part of the story do we need this brief and unconcluded pontification of institutional punishment as a function of a complex society. Do we need this to understand the gaols, is the teaser text not enough?Go to Comment
Ok, so here we have this eternal black hell. Interesting. There is no light here and anyone trapped here that has no way of seeing in this blackness is pretty much screwed. Cool. I echo Siren in asking how does one stumble to this Hell or be sent here? Seems like a foolish place to willingly go for sure. A trek to find an item hidden within the realm to stop the ensuing darkness perhaps? Into the Lion's Den for sure.
It is a grand and horrible place brought to life by its unique ecosystem, each one seeming to have a real mind of their own yet to echo Pariah I do not understand the ability to be immune to light if they are blind. No immune persay but not as weak to it as others when "the touch of light is anathema to the natives of this hell, searing flesh and burning away the darkness that comprises their very essence."
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Regardless this is a nifty place and it speaks of dark and ill nightmares should it leak out into the real world. A wonderful forboding place to have a campaign.
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Dog-sized creatures with thick, scaly skin, long claws and double-rows of razor teeth. They charge to bring down their prey, biting through calf or thigh with their terrifyingly strong jaws, though occasionally they'll hammer a large creature with their long tail to knock them over. Once their victims are downed, the creatures claw and bite without mercy, tearing out large chunks of sweet, delicious flesh to devour. Their bite is poisonous, quickly leading to paralysis and sepsis, presuming the prey lives that long.
The Ebony Octopus
It creeps from shadow to shadow, finding entry through the smallest of openings. Shadowy tendrils snake from around corners and beneath grates, grabbing ankles and dragging victims screaming into the darkness. What happens next is best left unsaid.
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Notably, these tendrils seem immune to the normal corrosive effect of light upon the denizens of the Primal Shadows, retaining their form and power despite direct illumination. This makes them a huge threat against the unwary, who naturally assume that being in the light protects them from the dangers lurking in the lightless reaches. Only the core body itself is vulnerable to radiance, though trapping it long enough to fully destroy it is quite difficult; much like it's waterborn compatriot, the Ebony Octopus is hard to pin down.
Fell creatures near the top of the food chain, shadowbeasts are a hairsbreadth away from being shadow incarnate. Their form is extremely fluid, shifting and changing as actual shadows do, becoming larger or smaller as needed. If seen with dim light (full daylight would annihilate it), it will appear as an amorphous mass of shadows, clinging to and creeping along the ground.
Cunning predators, they prefer to ambush their prey and drag it off into the darkness, enshrouding it with their caustic shadows before tearing it apart to release the essence of life within.
Like all creatures of this plane, light is a potent weapon against a shadowbeast. Enough light will kill it, as will sufficient application of magical damage. Physical weaponry, however, is next to useless in fending one off. Torchbearers should be cautious, however, for a shadowbeast will make it's first priority the removal of light and any who carry it.Go to Comment
The Onyx Serpent
A great creature of black, stony skin, whose slithering across the ground sounds like the grinding of mill stones. It has piercing eyes of gold and teeth that glow with a ghostly pale light, with a hiss that sounds like crumbling mountainsides. It's size belies it's speed, however, and this snake eshews venom, preferring instead to crush and swallow prey whole.
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The hide is an organic obsidian composite harder than any known rock, easily capable of deflecting both blade and spell. Of the various fauna that exist in the Hell of Primal Shadows, this is the one that all others fear. You do not confront it, you sidestep it and pray it finds something tastier to go after.