Monday, February 27, 2017

Metal Monster Manual Monday - Volume 8

Continuing a weekly series of posts wherein I share several album covers (mostly by death metal bands!) as brainfood for encounters in your tabletop RPG. Expect this every Monday!

IGNOTUM (The Voynich Code)
I think of this little guy as more of a questgiver or informational resource rather than a monster or foe (though he could be that, too).
I imagine his skin having the same texture as parchment.
The drawings, writing, and symbols on the cat's skin are either from or inspired by the Voynich manuscript, as indicated by the band's title. What knowledge do they reveal in YOUR campaign world?
I'm honestly not sure what's going on with the roots or the flame. Perhaps the flame is merely ethereal, or a sort of "burning bush" effect?

Aw yiss. Dem ruins.
The area looks volcanic, or at least geothermally active (geysers, hot springs, etc.). I'm imagining that either the structures were built before the area became volcanic (in which case the volcanism itself depopulated the area and ruined the buildings) or that they were built in an already geothermally active area. I lean toward the latter, since volcanism would usually WRECK buildings like that, whereas they look like they're in pretty good shape.
So, there's a couple possible reasons why such buildings would be erected in an area characterized by hot springs and mineral pools (which looks like what's going on above). From the architecture, it's not a fortified or military structure (except POSSIBLY that tower-like structure in the foreground on the right).
It could be a complex of decadent bathhouses and spas, its nurturing empire now fallen apart and its former patrons reduced to members of distant peasantries.
It could be a religious complex, a place of worship for the deities who created or dwell in the hot colored waters.
It could be a magical or alchemical nexus, making use of the mineral-rich waters or the natural heat to create strange and wonderful enchantments, effects, or compounds.
In any of the above cases, it would be worth exploring for a party of greedy adventurers.
What dangers would they face? Scalding waters, spirits of the inner earth, mutated monsters?

Alright, time for the BOSS BATTLE:

GHOST THIEF (Living Sacrifice)
I love the mood in this one, first off.
Right, so, the towering skeletal figure on the hilltop is obviously the Ghost Thief (see him stealing the ghost of that woman walking toward him?). He has the power to steal souls and thereby add to his power (Dark Souls, anyone?).
I imagine him then burying the lifeless bodies on the hill and placing a cross upon it.
It's telling that at least four individuals seem to be walking resignedly up the hill to have their souls stolen. I imagine the Ghost Thief has formidable powers to enchant and compel, perhaps even from a great distance, luring prey to him to have their souls stolen.
Combat would involve both a mental element (psychic compulsion, followed by the theft of a PC's soul) and a physical element (a JANKING HUGE robed skeleton stomping about and impaling people on crosses).

How would YOU use any/all of these monsters, encounters, and scenes in your game, Reader?
(Let me know how it goes if you do!)

Previous volumes:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7

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