OD&D: Opium, Dunsany & Dreamlands Part I

PURPOSE: As a sorta follow-up to my reskinning of Lair of the Lamb, I was encouraged to try reskinning OD&D monsters for various genre settings. Or at least give the Underworld Level 1 random encounter a shot since it's shortlist. Here are my initial efforts with a sorta opium-dreamlands-art-deco-Lord-Dunsley vibe. I don’t think I’ve quite nailed it, but I like the monsters I came up with. And I at least liked them enough to take a crack at Level 2.

PRINCIPLES: I think I have outlined a few general qualities of monsters in the “Twilight Realms” that might separate it from the standard D&D arrangement above. Examples are given with the Level 1 monsters, but I’ve tried to maintain these core ideas throughout.

First, the “peoples” (Cultist of Yg, The Nameless Legion, & Sailors from Leng) of these dreamlands often bear curses and/or traditions originating from somewhere else not connected to the dungeon now. And although not explicit (but I might make it so later), they have an agenda separate from “sitting around” in the dungeon– they are searching for something. This is much like the PCs.

Second, the vermin (Walking Rust, Scintilipedes, & False Door Spider) arise not from organic decay, but more from inorganic decay– spoilt art not meat. Disease comes not from decaying bodies- those tend to lie inert, but instead from dilapidated buildings, monuments, and other edifices. That resultant disease is one that kills aesthetics not really hearts-- transmogrify over termination.

Third, the “undead” (Walking Rust, The Nameless Legion), like vermin, are less about organic decay and more about the decay of the spirit or the perversion of a single emotion into a free-standing spirit that can inhabit things. The horror of dreamland undead is possession and supplanting of will with another force instead of death per se.


  1. Kobolds 1/2 HD AC 12 Weapons, Trap makers, Reptile pets
  2. Goblins 1-1 HD AC 12 Weapons, Hate Light
  3. Skeletons 1/2 HD AC 11 Weapons, Undead
  4. Orcs 1 HD AC 12 Weapons, Hate Light
  5. Giant Rats 1/2 HD AC 12 Bite, Poison
  6. Centipedes 1/2 to 3 HD AC 11-12, Armored Head AC 16, Bite, Poison
  7. Bandits 1 HD AC 12 Weapons
  8. Spiders 1/2 to 4+1 HD AC 12-15, Web/Ambush, Bite, Poison
You might not recognize it, but this too is a re-skin
of a section of the map for Outdoor Survival
the"overworld" map for OD&D,
but now our Twilight Realms

THE TWILIGHT REALMS: North of Sleep, South of the Setting Sun, LEVEL 1
  1. CULTIST OF Yg: Milky-eyed servants of the Night Serpent Yg. They typically reside in the line of old forts along the Orchid Swamps and often run steam houses in the cities- both guarded by prayer-painted crocodiles.
  2. LAMP EATERS: Whole discussions are had as to if Lamp Eaters are advanced Zoogs or people lost to the dark, but they fear and hate light; small brave groups will try and extinguish them, then their numbers quickly double in the dark
  3. WALKING RUST: A curious fungal spoor or the restless ambition of warlords that survives death, stains, pits, corrodes, and then animates armor; care must be taken or any contact will spread this curse to any iron or steel on the person; even gold, silver, or copper isn't safe from prolonged exposure (on a successful attack AC drops by 1; if AC 10 begins to animate hindering wearer)
  4. THE NAMELESS LEGION: Soldiers robbed of their names and now forever walking for conquest as restless shades who know no end; when they march, they carry a disorienting fog with them and when defeated weapons, armor, at body turn to an hour-glass fine black sand; summoned it is said by building two doors of polished onyx with silver hinges (building gates establishes the area as a Nameless Legion "lair") 

    art: Stephen Fabian

  5. ZOOGS: An array of eyes like a spider, body like a large rat, human-like hands, and a mouth surrounded by finger-like feelers; a thing more "like a" than "is a"; speaks any human tongue and prise them as a delicacy willfully given or not
  6. SCINTILIPEDES: Common wisdom says that these bothersome insects form spontaneously from patinaed metals in the dining room, toned coins in the vault, and ruined wallpaper of smoking rooms which is why polishing by the Filigree Guild is employed by any respectable house least these pests emerge in large numbers. Quit the embarrassment if one's social gathering was to be completely paralyzed and drained by their flashing a rhythmic light draining all color (-1 CHA if a save vs. Paralysis is failed)
  7. SAILORS FROM LENG: Manning the Black Galleys that visit Dylath-Leen, these people are rumored to have cloven feet, too many teeth, and horns- though this is hidden by their ruby-adorned dress; those press-ganged are driven to join their number by the droning beat of the galley drums
  8. FALSE DOOR SPIDERS: These arachnids take advantage of the shifting architecture of the underworld to mimic the subtle outline of secret doors; a bite convinces the victim there are other secrets around, but their friends don't want them to find them


  1. (humanoid) Berserkers 1+1 HD AC 12, weapons, morale 11; +2 to-hit humanoids
  2. (humanoid) Conjurers 2 HD AC 10, Spells 3, 1
  3.  (undead) Ghouls 2 HD AC 13, claws, bite, paralysis, kill by a ghoul raised as one (They are already such classic)
  4. (beastman) Gnolls 2 HD AC 14, XXX, +2 morale, fight with claw x2, bite
  5. (humanoid) Hobgoblins 1+1 HD, AC 14, +1 morale
  6. (animal) Lizards ?? HD AC ??, bite
  7. (humanoid) Theurgists 2+1 HD AC 10, Spells 4, 2
  8. (animal) Toads ?? HD AC ??, bite
  9. (humanoid) Warriors 2 HD AC 14, weapons
  10. (undead) Zombies 1 HD AC 11, fist

THE TWILIGHT REALMS: North of Sleep, South of the Setting Sun, LEVEL 2

  1. THE WINE-STAINED REVELERS OF PAN: Wine-addled, carefree, and looking for any excitement. Wine-stained fingers and feet carry a lascivious and fragile ego, they demand outrageous things from those who cross their path. Refusal or acquiescence leads to the same end- a murderous frenzy. As this frenzy builds a horned figure can be seen just out of the corner of one’s eye playing a shrill pipe.
  2. ARCANE BRAVOS: These are disciples of Saffory who’ve adopted the peacock patterns of Tyr bravos (much to the city’s collective irritation).  Generally hired to rid a home of incorporeal threats, but in hire times they are not above taking care of corporal existences. Often have Magic-Missle x2, Sheild, and Web prepared, 25% chance of a scroll on them can be hired for 100 GP/delve (hat-tip to Ben L. for the spellbook Saffory’s Arcane Dueling)
  3. CITIZENS OF THE ONLY EMPIRE: There are innumerable city-states in The Twilight Realms, however, there is only one empire that touches everywhere the dead are laid and only one empire that can transcend even death. Applications for citizenship are freely offered by gaunt, horse-skull-headed “representatives” clad in once-rich, twice-tattered livery. And even if initially refused, most come around. One bite of flesh at a time.
  4. NULLS: A lizard mouth attached to a crow's head, eagle talons for hands, and a shaggy mane of perpetually falling butterfly wings. These beings were created by the Corpse Dragons of LOMAR as playing pieces for a 999-year game. The game is done. The dragons were bored. And the NULLS are left on their own– but they only know the game.
  5. MOONMEN: The biggest secret of LAMP EATERS is they are part of a large organization. Their masters wear large full-moon-faced masks to hide a hideous cratered visage with a tumorous topography and small green eyes. They have no quarrel with dwarves or other light-shunners but have paranoid assumptions that all interlopers are spies to their machinations to creature eternal darkness.
  6. MONDATH ADDER-HOUNDS: Head like an eye-less eel extending from a six-legged lizard body describes this creature with a keen sense of smell and taste. A successful strike allows the creature to lock down on the target by pinning a sword arm (even hit) or leg (odd hit);  will answer to commands in old Mondathic– if anyone could remember to how to speak it.
  7. THE WANDERING LECTURES OF ZEIN: Taking “experience is the best teacher” to the extreme, ZEIN magic schools require students to roam all over the lands listening to their appointed professor lecture extensively on a variety of topics. And since dungeons are on the syllabus,  it is not surprising that occasionally at the semester’s end, there is no graduating class. The professors themselves are seasoned theurgists who demand silence and attention. And have no problem casting Sleep on PCs to aid in “resupplying the classroom”, nor drinking a potion of Gaseous Form should it become obvious this will be a class with low graduation.
  8. PROCESSION TOADS:  These squat, clawed planter-sized toads are known for their venomous bit that induces a confused stupor in prey. The toads will then follow at a distance until their prey drops due to exhaustion all the while emitting a low cry that attracts other toads. When standing still these toads are hard to spot looking like rocks and, almost sympathetically, empty garden planters if around ruins (3-6 surprise).
  9. THE FIVE MEN JUSTINIAN: Often a topic of idle conversation in coffee houses among scholars, mages, and diviners is the nature of the appearances of THE FIVE. Adventurers describe a group of five men (2-8), exactly identical, clad in silver mail, a winged helm, white cloak, and carrying a spear. They speak in unison and demand aid from those they encounter on a singular task. Scholars can find no record of the person described. Mages believe it is an echo of a miscast Mirror Image. Diviners believe their number and appearance signify something much like a doppelganger portents doom. If defeated, THE FIVE, shatter into a single spear, mail, and helm set (when the entire set + weapon is worn it has the following: AC Chain +1, Spear +1, & roll separate initiative) however wearing such causes the bearer to begin to believe they are THE JUSTINIAN.
  10. SANDSTONE STATUES: It is known that things in the shape of human likenesses eventually develop human desires. Time erodes the boundaries of living/not-living as rivers can carve the landscape. But it is a cruel fate when a thing has human desires, yet cannot feel as a human does. This longing to feel quickly turns to jealousy and that jealousy festers to hate. Hate fuels destruction which does register to even stone-dulled senses.
A zoog kindly rendered from
the mind of Colin Sproule; be on the lookout
for their OSE KS Fresh Meat! 


  1. Absolutely loving this! Any plans to go any further with it?

    1. Glad you liked them! And yes, there will be a Part II for Levels 3 & 4 coming up.

  2. These are great! Very impressed. What a great idea.