Saturday 1 November 2014

Underland 2 - Your underdark is soft

Life here is tough. It survived the god wars at the dawn age. Survived the gods dropping mountains on top and submerging under the land and sea. Survived waves of survivors escaping great dooms on the surface only to be forgotten by surface folk. Survived the great death engines of evil wizards running rampant and the fall of the great age of Underland citadels. So when you come crawling down here blinking at the luminescent waste lands, the things down here will think you are soft and sweet and curious treats for their pleasure. You wont make it back home. This is your doom. The Underland keeps its secrets well and the surface will forget you ever existed.

The puny surface folk forget that life came from the deep and darkness and when the surface is scoured clean by another apocalypse, it will be repopulated by the things of the below kingdoms. A great pallid exodus of horrors will return to the surface again to claim what the weak sunlit dwellers are too soft to hold. The million chittering young of the depths will gorge themselves on sweet soft flesh of the sunlit lands beings and replace them. This has happened many times. Only the deep remembers.

So part of my visualization of the Underland include monsters.

1d20 Quick sentient beings you might meet table

Common intelligent life you might find in ruins, settlements, camps or on patrol or trade routes

1 Goblinoids (goblins of various colours thrive in fungi)
2 Elves (dark elves, bone elves, shadow elves and ash elves)
3 Dwarves (mostly dark dwarves, morlocks and derro)
4 Gnomes (mostly dark and cave gnomes)
5 Orcs (many formerly albino human evolved into elves by black magic)
6 Ogres (many weird local variants)
7 Troll (the common insane regenerating chaos kind and others like dark, bright and cave trolls)
8 Abhuman Beast men of mammals (goat, bat, weasel, hyena, rat, mole, badger, cat, dog and wolf men)
9 Abhuman Beast men invertebrates (spider, scorpion, centipede, trilobite, crab, lobster and worm men)
10 Abhuman Beast men of reptilians (snake, lizard, draconic and saurian types)
11 Abhuman Beast men of elder waters (fish, frog, newt, squid, catfish, lamprey, octopus and eel men)
12 Abhumans hybridised with elementals and or beasts like fire newts, rock men, ice men
13 Abhumans hybridised with fungus like mushrooms, toadstools, mould
14 Abhuman hybrid mongrels with human, mutant and beast characteristics
15 Humans (necromancers, sorcerers, wizards, witches, psions, cultists)
16 Humans (mutants, some humanoid, others barley recognisable)
17 Humans (albino cannibals degenerates)
18 Undead (many corporeal varieties)
19 Undead (many non corporeal varieties)
20 Other planar (humanoid devils and demons mostly, but some elemental)

d6 Quick types of life that might meet and eat you

Adapted for subterranean life and often long extinct on surface - often gigantic, albino or mutant

1 Slimes, oozes, fungi, lichen, jellies, macrobes
2 Giant Invertebrates (slugs, centipedes, scorpions, spiders, leeches, worms, grubs, beetles)
3 Marine creatures and amphibians (cave pike, lobsters, frog, toad, salamander, lamprey)
4 Dinosaurs and lizards (herd animals of reptilian beast men, could include featherless terror birds)
5 Mammals (rats, bats, moles, weasels, badgers, swine, boars, cats, wolves, bears, mammoths)
6 roll on the horrors below table

d12 Quick types of horror that will destroy you
This covers the main types of thing that lurk in the deep

1 Mutants (altered by magical auroras and hybridisation into new horrors fro mundane creatures)
2 Draconic (dragons, wyverns, worms, reptilian magical hybrids of many types)
3 Lycanthropes (rat, devil swine, bat, mole, spider, lizard)
4 Necrobeasts (undead creatures made by necromancers to serve as domestic animals)
5 Centauroids (human waste up with animal bodies like man-rat, man spider, man-scorpion, man snail)
6 Sphynxoids (often human headed beast hybrids, inteligent like human-boar-bat or human-bear)
7 Chimeroids (bat-mole-rat, rat-snake-bats, weasel-boar-badger-bat, bear-bat, and hybrid horrors)
8 Automatons (golems and magical constructs and engines)
9 Abominations (basilisks, cateoblas, rust beasts, eye killers and other unnatural magical hybrids)
10 Elder servitors (shoggoths, dark spawn, mi-go, byakee, shambling horrors, moon beasts)
11 Elementals (standard types by elemental beasts like salamanders also)
12 Other planar (non humanoid devils and demons and others)

Other guidelines
1 Pleistocene creatures, dinosaurs and other prehistoric life might be found here but altered
2 It could be mutated, hybridised, reanimated from dead or altered by other planar influence or magic
3 Skin of many creatures might be pallid, hairless, featherless, albino, transparent, glowing
4 While light is dim and many adjust senses, other develop thermal sense, sonar or improved smell
5 Some beings have bio luminescent organs or symbiotic algae or fungi growing on them
6 Gigantism and long life are common changes, many can sleep for long periods and eat little
7 Cannibalism and inbreeding is common aiding the mutation process
8 Local beings may resist terrible environment they dwell in, while other types might be fatal
9 Use creatures from many settings like dark sun, spelljammer, ravenloft, deities and demigods
10 Cross breed any creatures or swap surface species elements for sub world ones like birds=bats, plants=fungi, etc


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Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more