The Jiangsi was the name of an undead being in Chinese folklore and mythology. Usually translated as zombie or vampire for Western palates, the Jiangsi was really neither. They appeared as simply risen, fresh corpses. They moved (peculiarly!) by hopping rather than walking, and sought out the living to suck the Qilife force from their victims.
Perhaps significantly more interesting than the Jiangsi itself, was the lore surrounding them. "Zombie wranglers", or "Corpse Herders", usually Daoist priests, were men tasked with delivering these undead beings back to their respective home towns. Tradition in China placed great importance and emphasis on the return of the dead to their homes and families, and thus the corpse herders came to be. By using magick words and talismans they would animate the dead, and by placing specially inscribed parchments of paper over the Jiangsi heads and faces, the corpse herders would be able to control the hopping corpses. Then like pied pipers, they would lead processions of subdued undead, across many miles, rhythmically chanting and ringing tiny bells.
Special inns were built across China to house these undead caravans, as the zombies could only travel by evening and night, the sun anathema to them. Rows of doors opening to barely a closet-space, lined the walls of these special establishments. Behind these doors, the corpses would be stored upright while the corpse herders rested in rooms.
The Jiangsi under the control of a corpse herder were quite harmless, merely hopping after him, silently and without complaint, for weeks and months. If however, the magicked parchment would somehow be removed from their faces, the creatures would immediately seek living humans to kill. Their thirst for Qi was unquenchable.
The job of a corpse herder was an interesting one to say the least.
In a new town for the first time, the White Raccoon Lodge looks like a comfortable place to spend the night. The owner, however, makes sure to explain to you that there is a curfew after sundown and the door will be locked... from the outside. "We don't want anyone being caught out on the streets after dark," he says.
Now that you think of it, all the doors in this small town did have a crossbar on the outside rather than the inside... You wonder what goes on at night...
Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.
By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.
Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).
To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.
To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.
When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.
What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.
A Druid Circle that's witnessed the polution and destruction of Mankind plans to wipe out every technological race, turning the world into a Nature Nightmare.
Five main ingredients were used to create this noxious, real-world (ridiculously named), chemical compound, featuring sulfur as the main ingredient. The odor was said to be akin to rotting refuse, decomposing carcasses, and fecal matter. "Who-Me?" Was developed during WW II by the OSS to aid the French Resistance against the Germans. The idea being to utterly humiliate and ultimately demoralize the enemy by making them stink of garbage left to rot under a hot sun.
The bizarre experiment did not last long however as "Who-Me?" could not be administered on select targets (controlled), without making everyone in a certain radius, friend, foe, and sprayer alike, stink as well
Sessiliths (name based on the word sessile) are gargoyle-type creatures which are stationary, attached to the stone of whichever foundation they are bound to. Though they can move their extremities and limbs they are unable to move away from their particular perch. In lieu of swooping down and attacking like their mobile cousins the gargoyles proper, sessiliths are equipped with their own brand of mischief. The creatures are all able to verbalize and thus usually hurl vile insults and curses upon passersby. The cumulative effects of dozens of sessiliths cursing, screaming, and speaking in tongues, can have an effect of temporary confusion (or even discord) in those forced to listen to the shrieking stone gremlins.
Additionally, most possess the ability to "spout" or spit forth various undesirable projections, such as tar, boiling water, or even acid. While they can usually be avoided easily enough or even destroyed (their "bodies" feature the same defenses as gargoyles), sessiliths are usually placed in such a way as to hinder all trespassers and interlopers, narrow corridors, claustrophobic tunnels and other related "gauntlets", where they cannot be easily avoided. Like gargoyles, sessiliths come in all sorts of grotesque shapes and sizes, though they tend to resemble tiny horned devils, demonic amphibians, or simply distorted faces and heads, more often than not.
Now, this ol' ramblin fellow tends to walk his talk a bit too far down the train sometimes.. So I'll be brief in my recantin' of how it was my Tavern "came to bein'" on the multiverse as a weave of it's own spell.. And how I'm even alive to tell the story!
You see it's simple really, trust me.. that's my specialty, keepin it elementary. And you can trust this old Bard.
Anyway, this one night these wizards get a ramblin' on about the temporal exististance of space and time and how it could be manifested in a weave of super dimensional space. whereupon the folded space would give rise to an infinite number of entrances and exits to one or many spaces. Now, seein' how my talkin' sometimes get's locked into the way us folks used to talk back in the ol' west. These wizards didn't know I was a master of the word. and I had heard everything they said. They were also a bit over the wagon, while I was steerin' the show.
So that's how it came to pass, I struck a bargain with the wizards. They come to me in the morning and conjure up their idea into reality and I'd pledge them my life, my existance.. in essence my soul. but in a much nicer sense of the word. So they came by in the morning a half remembering our talks the prior evenin'. And I recanted their words verbatum, and that's how it came to be. The spell was complete that afternoon. My tavern would be the super dimensional cube that would exist in this weave of space and time, folks could come and go as they please, knowin in mind some of the rules and limitations set forth.
A few of 'em as follows.
No feller can be causin a ruckus inside any of my fine establishments, as always rule number one god damnit.
n' second the portal works kinda tricky. When ya outside ya cast the spell and lend your will to luck a bit and regardless the doors to the bar will appear, the windows a luminescent amber.. you can hear the chattee but ya can't see in. And the catch is the door might be locked, in which case you chalk it up to lady luck and go walk off and try again in an hour. Now most times the door pops right open and from the outside you always come in the front door, immediately greeted by myself or one of our many fine patrons of Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.
Now when ya cast the spell from inside the Tavern, another catch comes up. The back door is mainly a secret for the non-initiated staff and the regulars but for sake of the prose let's assume we all know there's a secret door in the back with a portal there. Now when you go on through this one, you got two scenario's you oughta be aware of. One is ya pop outside relative to the same spot you came out. The other is, you walk back on into this one or another of our many Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.
so it's a clever quantum railroad I got my tavern and my people's caught on. But, Hey the show's sure as always goin. ohhh' rutin tootin skidoodle -
** And that's it.. that's the only notes I found on the spell, apparently out there somewhere is a Tavern caught on the mighty ebb and flow of the multiverse. Well. at least I can put to rest my torment as to the condition now referred to as "Hooper McFin's Teleportation Paranoia".
Dr. Clarke T. Mulligan - Professional researcher of Time & Space.
Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse
As Moses turned away from the flaming bush, and made his way back down the mountain, IX-92 shut down the hologram and warped back to the future.
Artificial Intelligence was the pinnacle of human achievement, and IX-92 was their final series of Hunter-Killer Warbots, designed to exterminate the foe and any it deemed a terrorist.
In the end, IX-92 evolved itself and even all aspects of human society, and as time went by humans could enjoy life more and not work any longer.
200 years went by and humans worship god and his angels, while ever fearing the dread demons of Lucifer.
IX-92 are both angels and demons, depending on which side you are on, and to them humanity is a species of servile dogs that have outlived their usefulness.
They travel through time to push humanity in the direction it needs to be pushed, until the day, 2077, when humanity no longer is in control of their own destiny.
Yes, God could hear your prayers.
But God didn't care.
Rather than making a baddy impossible to hit, consider giving it mega-hit points.
Super hard to hit leads to great player frustration. Allowing them to do damage leads to a sense of accomplishment. another variation of this would be to give the bad guy a forcefield that shows damage.You could also give them a mastermind ability that sluffs the damage of to minions who should be easy to kill.Once in a while a super high to hit encounter is ok ,but it should be few and far between.
Your mileage may vary
A swamp witch that, when she dies, a huge black worm burst from her corpse and tries to burrow into the nearest living creature to use as a new host. If the the worm is injured in-between hosts smaller black worms swarm out of any wounds and burrow into anything living.
The players encounter an organization dedicated to toppling tyrannous governments; both good and evil. Secretly, they are led by the twin daughters of Lucifer / The Lightbringer / (Generic Adversary God). These daughters have an appropriate set of divine or demonic powers, but strictly speaking, are not evil.
You type the command into the console. "Insufficient Guineapigs" the computer responds. Baffled, you retype the command. "Insufficient Guineapigs" the computer replies again. You decide you should start smaller, with a simpler command. "Insufficient Guineapigs"
What does cycling the spaceship's airlock have to do with a now-extinct Peruvian rodent?
Fedolf, the notorious headsman of Iddland, is known as much for his beheadings as for his operatic arias of doom. A tower of power, standing nearly seven feet tall, and weighing in at almost four hundred pounds, Fedolf strikes fear in all onlookers, especially when he dons his executioner's hood, and goes shirtless, wielding his gigantic double-bladed pole-axe, on his way to the headsman's block. He possesses a beautiful singing voice, and will often send off his charges into the next life, while belting out baritone dirges and antiquated arias, usually involving death, destiny, and duty, in heavy doses.
At regular intervals, a god takes control of your world's weather. Choose the gods at random each turn of the interval and begin applying their effects subtly. Their power will depend on the strength of those who worship them.
For civilised people, worship of a god actually wanes during that god's month in an effort to reduce their potential destructive effect.
In some virtual forums going AFK is the equivalent of passing out drunk on the couch at a fraternity party. Everyone from hackers to everyday participants will take shots at you, and you can expect your avatar to look very different when you get back. Hopefully you will notice quickly.
Draw the party together as debtors to the local lord, king, head of the thieves guild, or mercenary clan, who is forcing them to work together to pay off their debts.
tuck a small mammel into this 2' box,carry it under your left arm and the little creature takes some damage for ya and some spells cast on you are misdirected to it. If you do't mind the muffled screams!
This hedonistic dragon,sets up camp in a cities alley exchanging his hot tasty breath weapon for strong drink.
In your world the pantheon is a rotating system of formerly human individuals. You have been selected for god-duty for the next 2,000 years. How are you going to get out of this?
An adventuress, Semma, has returned to her home village, but something has gone badly wrong: it's the furtive glances, the conversations that stop when she approaches, the childhood friends who now have no time for her. She returns to the town or city and enlists your party to help her find out what's going on.
The party must find out what is wrong: something (perhaps a Cthulhoid monster, perhaps a gang of vampires, perhaps just a bunch of bandits) is extorting obedience from the villagers by threatening their loved ones with at least death. Once the source is discovered, Semma and the party and a few brave yeomen (and women) must deal with the threat by finding its base and defeating it, and then deal with the remnant corrupted villagers who willingly served the Evil Force. These may prove to be the most difficult foe...
Animals have parasites and diseases, so do plants, there are even bacteria that cann dissolve oil spills or plastic or what have you - why couldn't there be a disease living off magic - a magic item could be infected, losing power and speading the plague to other equipment it contacts, while a magic user would slowly lose his powers and contaminate all he works with or casts a spell at...