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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Domain of dread - short concepts

    In this thread, we gather short concepts, involving horror. The limitation is: this is a post-apoc world, with no large societal structures(no evil king, torturing the peasants). Hunger may be a major issue. The land is desolate, dotted with small concepts of horror.

    Here is what I came up with:
    - a small shelter is spotted in the distance. When explored, half-eaten, still living humanoids are found in the small dungeon under the shelter. This is the home of cannibals. They are just returning from their hunt.

    - in a desert of dust, an abandoned house is spotted in the distance. At the side of the house, there are animal bones. In the house, there are bones of cats and rats. In the attic, there are three hanging corpses - large male, large female, and small female.

    - An abandoned village is spotted in the distance. When explored, many tracks are found, leading to an underground cave. In the cave, there are two grey-skinned humanoid creatures with white eyes. There is a lot of white dust around them. Creatures do not speak and do not react, even if killed.

    Inspirations: and (just not space marine being teleported, but some low-level PCs)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Default Re: Domain of dread - short concepts

    Assuming these are going to be adventure hooks.

    - A church with a broken steeple rises out of the desert. On approach, it seems to have been abandoned for years but the scent of fresh blood and rotting meat hangs in the air. The inside is untouched except for a strange geometric shape drawn on the altar in blood.

    - The party breaks into an abandoned shack to escape the freezing wasteland night. Inside is a pile of empty supply tins and skeleton with no legs clutching a journal. The journal is in a language the party does not know but appears to be a spellbook.

    - A child is found wandering the desert. They have no supplies or equipment but the clothes on their back and an empty canteen. They don't respond to anything and continue walking south unless someone grabs them. If questioned, the only thing they do is point back where they came and shake their head.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Domain of dread - short concepts

    The ruins of a large city fan out over a 10 mile square, visible mostly as the rotted stumps of walls amid the overgrowth. Except for an unexplained clicking sound which can barely be heard over the moan of the wind, the city is silent.

    When night falls, from the sewers and storm drains flow cockroaches. Billions of cockroaches. Carnivorous cockroaches.

    These swarms are controlled by 'brains' which are formed by a million roaches connected by linking antennae to become a single neuron in the collective mind which controls swarms of resource gatherers through pheremones.

    There are a dozen such brains in the city at various levels of intelligence, with another thirty or more less intelligent brains either newly formed and growing, or aged and declining.

    Keep in mind that specialization is an insect trait. So there may be pheremone spreaders, warriors, food gatherers, etc.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    United States

    Default Re: Domain of dread - short concepts

    I used this in a game of my own, it was an actual feature of a domain of dread.

    A dark lighthouse overlooks a swampy peninsula, the night is black and starless and the moon hangs yellow and obscene low in the sky.

    The lighthouse is surrounded by shabby structures and silent animals with strangely human eyes that follow you as you walk.

    Inside the lighthouse is an old man stirring at a pot of strange meat covered with furry blue mold.

    "They have taken the light, down, down, in the darkest place below here. Without the light, the land is finished. Find it, find the light."
    What I'm Playing: D&D 5e
    What I've Played: D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, D&D 5e, B/X D&D, CoC, Delta Green

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Domain of dread - short concepts

    Drawing from a book...

    A village is found, relatively prosperous for the setting. Like, not rich, but people have enough food and water to survive, and decent-enough clothes and shelter. It's an eclectic mix, and they welcome the PCs, being friendly. They offer room and board for the night--not insistent, but offering and feeling sad if hospitality is rejected.
    A little after night falls, every villager goes into a bloodthirsty rampage and they slaughter each other, and the PCs if they can, and wrecking the town.
    In the morning, with the break of dawn, the village "reshapes" back to an undamaged, unblood-stained version of itself. Effectively time-shifting back 1 day. Except everyone who died is back, and any visitors who died are now villagers who have been there 'as long as anyone can remember'. A PC (or NPC ally who was with them) who dies is glad to see his old friends and hopes they will stay the night, but refuses to leave the village now that it's become home.

    Though, honestly, not a great plothook for a D&D-esque campaign and, if a PC dies, it effectively becomes an NPC...
    (If someone is forcibly removed, they still go into a bloody rampage at night and time-shift back to the village the next daybreak.)

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