That will devour our souls eventually hungrily. Happily, for this is nothing we start as nothing and we will end as nothing, but for what will some will call a brief shining moment. There is something which is that that points out I, like you, have you okay, prove it we’re just talking about Soros Warren from Morton Condon’s.
Remember! Well, yeah. I mean we’re here at outlaw moon talking about sorrow, sworn on web DM. Let’s uh, let’s inject! Some feels feels or feel feel sorry and our in our game, big loads. The Saros warned let’s get into where they come from, and Morton Tynan’s right, I’m not sure if they appeared in fourth edition before they’re. Some of the monsters that appear in Morton kind in stone foes that seem to have been drawn from were inspired by some.
Fourth edition monster, so I’m not sure if that’s the case with Saros worn, but I like them because they have a strong theme. They really fit their environment very well of the shadow fell and their each one of mechanically interesting and do something different and unique. I think they kind of they sort of punch above their weight a little bit in terms of their CR, their their beefy monsters that have each room have like a gimmick or a trick as well.
They have something that is about how they attack or or the conditions under which they attack that, if you change those conditions, something changes with of the monster itself, so a lot of them will have something. That’s like okay, you know be angry. For instance, it’s like, if you don’t attack it, it’s weaker, it thrives on violence. If you don’t hit it we’re don’t attempt to hit it, then it will be weaker and and therefore less effective.
So what really drew me to them in the first place was the fact that they are essentially the the story of the shadow fell, embodied in a monster right and that’s what I love about them so much. You can tell that an encounter with one of these monsters is an event, and it’s not necessarily something that you just like randomly encounter yeah while you’re in this place. It’s an adventure, it’s it’s something that can last a while.
You know you want to show the shadow fell for what it is. It’s not dark. It’s very dreary, yeah! It’s going to SAP the the morale right out of your party, so you just start doing that as soon as somebody starts to be like. Oh, no, I don’t like this. You know you spoil their rations yeah, it’s a time, dilation yeah, whatever, whatever it is. Rather they start to get a little hungry. Maybe yeah yeah the plane itself responds to that right.
The you know you try to try to invoke that in your players and as soon as one of them latches on to it’s, like oh you’re, getting angry about this it are you yeah make a perception right. Yeah, I mean that’s, that’s sort of how that’s how you sort of imagined it. I think there are some questions and and sort of mechanical considerations that we can get to later around like how the encounter comes about, but just the whole.
The fiction of it is what I really like, because each one of these creatures represents a stage of emotional condition that you might reach. If you found yourself in the shadow fell, and you can imagine sort of a group that gets there and like you’re saying there law first, they get lost or just the isolation of the place. Maybe one of them, you know, is afflicted by some sort of short-term madness or flaw or something that kicks this whole thing off and then, if you’re, paying attention to sort of your your party and what they’re saying and things that they’re you know mentioning to each Other the table talking sort of using that as a guide for how the players are going, you can see how this would turn into a very organic and emergent encounter where it’s like.
Oh no, we lot we’re lost again. We botched that forage role to try to to feed ourselves or something now we are in this position where our negative emotions are starting to manifest monsters that attack us yeah and it’s the fact that there’s mortals in the shadow fell experiencing these things they’re experiencing anger. Frustration, they’re lost and hungry they’re miserable and all of these things start accumulating and piling up, and it every step of the way this realm that they’re in spawns another nightmare creature that that’s based off of this experience that they’re having.
If you think about it, like that, you can easily see an encounter with the Saros worn leading to a TPK. None of these monsters attack the party when they’re at their best, so you’re they’re, already sort of weakened they’re already at a disadvantage, and now one of these monsters that mechanically speaking, are brutish and kind of nasty and hit hard is going to attack them. This could easily become like a centerpiece for an expedition into the shadow fell or something like that, and it’s the promise of that and realizing that promise that makes these such interesting monsters yeah most.
Definitely, I think, a good place to draw some inspiration. Believe it’s in the Legend of Korra mm-hmm, one of the characters gets lost in the spear right and when you get lost in the spirit realm, you go to this place and it’s the fog of the lost or what are the valley of the lost or something. As they’re all lost spirits go and then, if you go in there looking for someone guess what yeah you’re going to get lost too and you’re just kind of attacked by all the things that haunted you in life, yeah yeah.
But I don’t know when I’m reading through this, like my mind, goes right. There yeah, you could almost see these creatures, not as physical manifestations but as purely like psychic manifestations, and you would use the monster as a way to simulate that encounter. But you could easily have it like yeah there’s this big fight, but nothing’s happening it’s just like your companion is just sitting there catatonic, while in their mind they are battling with the lonely to try to keep.
You know to try to prevent this sort of despair from sinking in. You could almost see like losing a battle against. One of these, like makes the situation worse for that character right. So, okay, I’m lost right, like I’ve. Gotten us lost where there’s no one here who can save us hopelessly out of our depths, and now your leader is all of a sudden just finds themselves spacing and and not thinking about it and and wandering in weird directions.
It’s because the lost has taken over their mind and is trying to attack them all of that simulated by safe, combat that takes place. There’s a lot of different ways. You can use these monsters in that respect, to kind of get this feel for her and this place sucks like it’s the shadow. Oh, it’s the it’s, the upside down. It’s the realm of Shadows. It’s the it’s terrible right like you, don’t want to have to spend any time here, yeah and if you do, you might find yourself a little angry.
Oh yeah run down these guys all right. All right, let’s run down um like I do, love the the idea of like putting them kind of in a certain order. Yeah you starting to feel a little lonely. Then you realize you’re lost yep. Then you might get a little angry mm-hmm or now you would get hungry. First, you hungry and you’re. Just like you’re, truly wretched. I think you’re just wretched yeah I mean that’s.
What is right? It’s the story of the shadow fellas that you go there to find someone right. You go there to rescue someone. You go there to retrieve something like there’s all different reasons. Why you adventure there, you can see how these creatures would form based on what you’re describing first, you get lost, now you’re hungry and then you’re eventually going to get lonely and angry and scared, and now you’re, just miserable and wretched, walking through them.
The angry comes about because you’re in the shadow fell and you experience anger frustration. You know your avenues of effective action have been cut off or you know you are just overcome with a negative emotion of the place and fed up with. You know the fact that all of your party members seem to be apathetic and unable to like just push one more mile, just get us to that. You know: we’ve got to get to where we’re going.
We’ve got to retrieve that thing. That’s when angry shows up and is ready to just like charge into the middle of a biggest knot of big ass fighters. It can find and thrive off of off of the violence there yeah because I mean they they’re beefy yeah. They have a big si. Si they’ve got a lot of hip right and they hit pretty damn hard. They hit pretty hard and if you’re, fighting back against that they’re going to hit harder, and it’s going to be a lot worse as opposed to.
If you were using like spells to force them to be, you know to restrain them or something like that or taking the dodge action and leaving in my mind, if I were running the encounter, gets like a solo, angry kind of character you know encounter, then it Might be like yeah if you guys spent three rounds, not attacking it at all and dodging disengaging leaving then it might, it might leave you alone.
It might stalk off to go, find something else, start singing songs and dancing right. You know, calm. Emotions spell that would probably be useful in situation, but it’s not sort of like the angry. The hungry is another. You know your your. Your rations have spoiled you’ve lost them, or you know you turns out all along. You forgot to bring them in the first place, something like that. Then the hungry is the that manifestation it comes out of the desperation of we don’t have enough to eat.
What are we going? Do it’s already occurred after you’ve had a battle against they lost or the lonely, or something like that. The Hungary hits when you’re at your weakest. It’s it’s there. When you, you know, you desperately need a long rest or you need something, and I think that’s when hungry hits and you can even look at it as not like physical hunger either. You could almost say it’s like just.
It devours it’s there to consume using that as sort of its basis. It’s any time you need something hungry shows up to take devour what little you have left yeah. That kind of thing yeah that drive and ambition that I think for me, the lonely is, is a is a fun. One is actually the only one I’m used in in play before I use the lonely as a template for a pain, elemental, a psychic manifestation of pain and torture.
Was it guarded a torture chamber? Basically, so of course, you have long pain, elemental in the middle of a torture chamber, but you know it wants to be up close and personal with with the enemy riling, get as many of the enemy around it as possible and focus in on those characters who Feel socially isolated, yeah right! So if you have say a group of adventurers and there’s like one human and everybody else is like all whether it’s sort of like fantastical races or something like that – maybe it hones in on the human because they feel that sense of of social isolation or you Roll on that table for the shadow fell that gives you, like, I say, a short-term madness, or something like that despair might be another one that does it well touch on.
I think later about the fact that, because these are all takete off of emotions, a lot of this is like how your players will play their character right like if you have players who are role-playing, the depths of their characters and all the different. You know emotional states that they might have. This is their going to be easier monsters to work in as opposed to those players who, just like, don’t really get into their character that much or those who sort of like never put themselves in a disadvantaged situation because they’re just that’s just not the kind of Player that they are well guess we’ll talk about some tips and tricks for that later.
But it’s worth mentioning here that so many of these monsters rely on your character having these negative emotions, which means you have to have a player who’s willing to think about those things and sitter them and work them into their portrayal. But coming back to the lonely, they, they are probably one of my favorites, because that harpoon arm and they you know the the psychic leach they’re, just a nasty monster at the fight, the psychic bleach and the whole thriving and company.
Oh yeah, all of the monsters in the Saros warner like this, but the lonely, especially because they’re, the first one I used in combat. There was first time that I really saw the potential for these monsters and the fact that they have so many unique mechanical abilities and they sort of like have some synergy with each other, but they also seem like they present monsters. That would be a unique experience in a unique fight once you figure out the trick to them – probably not so much, but how many times you’re going to be running around the shadow fell in fighting one of these in the first place like you might only use These monsters once in an entire campaign, and so in that respect they have a memorable.
They have memorable sets of abilities that will make for a memorable encounter last two are lost and wretched lost is sort of that panic that anxiety. That fear. Oh, my god, I don’t know where I am what’s going on. I can’t find my way back. You know now this you know grotesque creature with these four extra limbs you know, will reflexively harm the creature, that’s grappling if someone tries to free it or attack it and see one of these like just running out and trying to grab ahold of a week or Party member and just like flee back into the you know, to isolate, to separate them and make things worse for them and then, like on.
All of these encounters you’ve got wretched, who are just these swarms of latching lamprey, like yeah little beasts that company there are larger brethren well and also what I love about the wretched is that it specifically says that they just attach it’s not a grapple right now. Granular or not grapple, I’m just hanging on to you yeah, I’m going Auto damage, yeah the more of thems, but I mean like they are little kind of weaklings and what we are ball could take sure right right, but they’re going to swarm her right.
On top of you, they’re right on top of you if they get a round or two with even a beefy party member, and you get a few hits in there because they do have their pack, they have pack tactic so they’re getting advantage. So all they need to do is makes make make contact you’re. Looking at you know, three or four, these things now you’re taking 40 10 plus four right on top of probably having to deal with another one of the Saros worn and that that’s in there, and particularly one of the ones, that’s like that benefits greatly from have From there being others around them, or from being like up close and personal like say the hungry or the angry or the lonely, I think it could be a really nasty fight and I think we’re starting to see monsters now that the CR system might start to Work with them because they hit harder, they they they have more things that they can do.
They present a bigger tactical challenge to the party that you might kind of see like yeah like these are not particularly high CR monsters right, but by the time that the party’s going to be facing them regularly. That means they’ve got access to the shadow fell. They can travel there, they’re, probably going to be a bit higher level, so they’re monsters that you can use that you wouldn’t not might think like.
I don’t know that I would use these. They seem weak for a party that can travel to the shadow fell and do a lot of stuff, but no, I think they hit harder than then they’re. Cr suggests and there’s synergy with their abilities. That would present a challenging fight and I hope we see more monsters like them yeah a future and the fact that most of them have like an auto grapple basic sure. They’ve got something if they hit you you or grappled yeah yeah.
That’s a big deal. There’s the loss, the lonely there and the hungry each have that hungry. Of course, has it restrained yeah things like the damage riders things that happen either automatically that then the player has to take an action to get out of or to do a save, like all of those things make for a more dynamic fight, a more challenging fight And then, if you start thinking about how they might like fit together into combinations, not just the wretched and another one of the sorrow, swarm but say, hangry fight, fighting, hungry and angry at the same time, fighting lost in lonely yeah right because, especially because you’ve got One monster who wants to be up close and personal with the party animal and has got like, say one of them: harpooned they’re dealing the leech damage, whereas the lost is over.
There try to separate one of the other members out of the pack to take say someone with a low strength or a low athletics and grappling them yeah and walk. You know, dragging them away, kicking and screaming. Oh you tried to rescue them. I’m just going to do extra damage to to the person now yeah yeah, that’s where the the lonely competeing gauged the fight the group of Fighters sure was following back while the lost comes in and tries to take away the support, casters and things like that.
Yeah, all while packs of wretches just make life miserable for everyone else, you could see it being a desperate fight, particularly if you allow these monsters to appear organically in your game. Now I think you’re going to have to do things to make that happen, make the conditions under which the Saros one would appear you’re going to have to massage that, because when was the last time, your party was lost.
When was the last time, they were lonely. When was the last time, they were hungry or angry without either you needing to do something to provoke those conditions or you’ve just got like awesome role: players who are willing to go like yeah, my characters just fed up and mad, and you know angry with you Or storms off by themselves, or does something that you would yell at a person in a horror movie for doing right like okay, the shadow fell back yeah if you’re in the shadow fell you’re in a horror movie right, like that’s just sort of how it is.
You know break up the party right, so maybe you take that dmg section on the shadow fell and you rework that table the table. That only has like three or so what was false, you and extra. Maybe it’s it is rations spoiling. Maybe it is, you know, intense feelings of isolation or loneliness goes without saying, or maybe it doesn’t go without saying, and we should explicitly say that if you’re going to play with these kinds of things to know your party know the people you’re playing with, and if You do, and you think, like hey everybody’s, going to be fine with this.
We good but you’re, dealing with creatures that are like manifestations in the game, world of real life, things, people struggle with and deal with, and then that wear them down and grind them down and make life just difficult for them. So it’s worth talking about that. Yeah you’re not well connected enough with your party already to kind of be able to anticipate what might just be like yeah they’re not going to have a good time dealing with the monster.
That’s basically like depression, yeah or maybe they would – and that’s a you know like a would be an interesting or enlightening thing for them. Yeah well yeah. I can totally see like the depression overlords, sending his minions. Angry hungry lost, lovely, wretched, yeah after the party yeah. Definitely hasn’t even brought in his right. Yeah seems like an incomplete list. Yes, Iitate needs to be a monster that never attack is ever directly yeah, but it always just offers D.
Buffs yeah gives you disadvantage on things like that it, whenever does. It am always forgets to do it. Yeah just has like a bunch of like or effects, and so it’s just something you can kind of throw in there. Almost like a like a like a like a shaman Toto burst yeah yeah yeah, it’s just battlefield. It’s like an invisible presence yeah for it, so first off really understanding how the rules for getting lost work, how the rules for foraging work, those both in the Dungeon Master’s guide and a player’s hand book, making sure that you understand how those work and how you’re Going to use them in this journey through the shadow fell.
If you want these creatures to emerge organically through play and you’re, not just going to say, like hey, you guys find yourselves in the situation in which you experience these things. Here’s the monster we’re going to have a fight. You know it’s DC 20 survival check to find food in an in an environment in which you wouldn’t otherwise normally be able to find food. The shadow fell, certainly to me, qualifies as a place where there’s not a lot of abundant options to eat.
You know this is one of those things where, if you have a ranger in the party or someone else who, like literally can’t get lost or has or is meant for this kind of exploration, then named Outlanders right, you need to do something. You need to stack. The deck against the players or find a way to undermine their abilities this one time and the fact that they’re on a different plane, the fact that there’s somewhere else it’s different.
This is the underworld, the realm of shadow, the in-between. You know you can say yeah. This doesn’t work like other places. It doesn’t follow normal, like rational geography, right you’re, going to you’re going to turn a corner in a matter. It’s a matter of perspective. Oh that looks like a valley. No, no! It’s not a valley. It’s just a ditch right, just looked that way right, because the shadow fell just messes with you in that regard, but on the shadow fill is also where the domains of dread are located place like burrow via and other things that you would find in Ravenloft.
So we’ve already got the established sort of like the mists of burrow via that confuse and entrap people like. Why isn’t this entire place, like that? This entire realm is designed to keep you here to trap you here. So why? Wouldn’t it because the spirits of the dead don’t provoke these kind of monsters that come about you know, yeah, maybe the the you know the the creatures and beings that live in the shadow fell can control the sorrows worn in some way they’re able to like mess With them or manipulate them, but they still need mortals coming there to generate these monsters to invoke them, yeah, yeah and then once invoked, they can be sentient to the Material Plane to you know: weak further havoc yeah.
Whatever you know, the hungry is a spirit of famine that sweeps through a region yeah. Now, of course, you might want to change the monsters up a bit, make them legendary, give them lair actions that currently yeah just make them make them harder. I just thought of another amazing reference: yeah Star Trek next generation skin of evil. The episode spoiler alert, but everybody should know this, but we’re yard dyes one of the times this.
Oh yeah yeah yeah right, you guys twice true yeah um, but the episode where she dies before it’s that this race of people shed their negative emotions and it distilled itself into a liquefied oily form. That’s on all of the anger and rage, yes of a society left over and like what, if that’s all the shadow fell, is well that’s right as you people die and pass onto the lands of the dead, those last impressions, the last thoughts they have get shed And left in this area, yeah eventually anger.
Angry, that’s a really good point because, like the outer realm, the realms outside of the prime material in a baseline D & D world, the things that you believe, the things that you need, the ideologies that you hold the sincerely held beliefs that you have are manifest Themselves in the outer Plains right, so how is the shadow feel not any different right, like think of all the kinds of messed up things your brain will make you believe, if you’re in the depths of one of these kind of negative emotions, all the weird iron Logic that that makes people despair and feel like there’s no way out of these situations.
They find themselves in like that’s what this monster represents. So how is that not also the shadow fell where these beliefs they’re toxic and poisonous, and not true, but they’re, still powerful. Then manifest here, then you know there’s all kinds of things you can. You can do with that kind of lore. If you, if you want to move away from the baseline, you know Saros, warn or perhaps the offspring of some civilization that found a way to remove these things for themselves, like you were saying yeah, they shed them.
Well now, there’s monsters in the world like how is that any better like because you couldn’t deal with your anger like cuz, you were tired of feeling lonely you feel like you can do so much more with a monster when you think about it. In those terms, it’s more than just an encounter, it’s more than you know, a tough fight. Now it’s a being in the world that has an impact on the world, there’s consequences for doing something for interacting with it or and it’s it’s the reason why monsters like the Saros Warren, just I can sit there just to think about them for hours and like I just there’s so much you can do yes, even just this little bit, that’s in the tomah photos, yeah and a DM can even you know if your players, maybe your players, aren’t the kind that want to get their feels on like that.
This is why you have NPCs right, yeah, exactly yeah, you know the NPC, because they would you find or they’re escorting through the shadow fell. Oh your mission, you got in there you hook into the shadow Kings dungeons. You broke this person out now you got it now. You got ta extract them right, that’s what the trapped there. Of course, I’ve been lonely for a while they’re kind of hungry. That’s why nobody escapes cuz the guards of his palace.
There an actual guards right there thesaurus for catasaurus, one like just thinking about that, I’m just like yeah yeah. These are really creepy monsters, they’re very surrealistic. Also like. Oh that’s what I like about them. It’s it’s it’s an element of just like, like they don’t all have to look the same. Most things just you know, oh they’re. Oh that’s what goblins sure sure sure there are some slight changes.
Yeah for me like I can see like the Saurus one. It’s like! Yes, this is a kind of a general template, but anything like this. Oh yeah, like the wretched like I see you know they run around or whatever they could just as easily be like little trimmer monsters. They can roll around and come up latch on. Do you, like these giant worms, yeah exactly they get easily like? I could see them being a lot of little things to me.
The the defining features like the there’s like they’re, like a lamprey mouth right, it’s the lace, the lamprey mouth or like the hungry. It’s their giant, mall yeah. Everything else is there going to be different every time it’s at the giant mall. You could also go like the opposite route and go like they call them. The angry yeah you bought like there’s only the one of them, the only the one, if there’s only the one of them, and that this is the one and it it manifests.
It will find you you will rather more likely you bring it into existence through. Being here like, why are why are you here? You brought your anger in here yeah, you brought your anger here. Why would you just so maybe like if you, if you are using like the shadow fell sort of lower, then maybe there are beings in the shadow fell they’re. Just like listen, you’re immortal you got ta get out like you are a ticking time bomb.
You will spawn monsters through the bad experiences that you’re going to have have here. It’s going to make life miserable for the rest of us, we’re just the debt right like we’re just like here in the spirit in the underworld just trying to have our afterlife and you’re over here, mortal like coming up in here and spawning all these monstrosity. Like get out of here with your emotions, get out of here with your intense feel feels your feels your you’re getting your you’re, getting your emotions everywhere.
Please contain yourself, you spilled some emotion on my foot and now I’m angry ready, yeah now and now it spreads and that’s kind of how it looks in thinking about him is campaign monsters. You do the same thing. What happens when the hungry is manifested? Is it it is just the spirit of it around here: just causes food to rod and be destroyed and they’re everybody’s. You know hungry and desperate, and that kind of thing, so a lot of possibility with the Saros worn there III hope to continue to use them.
But I just love: am I like every time I think about there’s a new stuff there’s the monster that keeps on giving. I love it head on over to patreon for our weekly podcast and so much more want to see us play. We’ve got games every week on Twitch, which we upload to our second YouTube blog web DM place. If you liked the article hit that subscribe button click, the bell give us a thumbs up and tell us in the comments.
Thanks for reading need to come up with the counterbalance to the sword. Oh yes, joy, joy, Oates, the joy, oh boys, right, yeah, fulfillment, fulfil happy satisfaction, satisfaction,
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