Monsters & Madmen
Bloodlines & Black Magic embraces the weird, the wondrous, and the unknown with equal vigor. You're not going to find a lot of heartwarming, seasonal stories here. On the contrary, you'll find urban legends, local myths, and rich, modern mythology that takes place just beneath the surface.
Characters who Pierce the Veil see this world with increasing clarity and in greater detail, sometimes gaining oddities in the process.
Although Bloodlines & Black Magic doesn’t use a traditional XP (experience point) system, it includes Challenge Ratings to help GMs export and balance those monsters or foes in other games. Players expecting a lot of typical monsters from fantasy games offered up in Bloodlines & Black Magic are in for a very big, very fun surprise – we treat monsters, madmen, haunts, and traps a little differently. Players will certainly see a lot of old favorites but designed within the constraints of the world we’ve built, and alongside a lot more detail.
GMs and players alike should note – not all monsters in episodes of Bloodlines & Black Magic look the part. Although some certainly do (and players will have ample opportunities to justifiably destroy monsters in-game), just as many might come disguised as completely normal people.
Moreover, the monsters and foes presented in Bloodlines & Black Magic come with a lot more detail, including details about the creature’s ecology, its tactics, its lore (offering players insight into its biology and its relative weaknesses), and what special steps – if any – player characters need to take when harvesting dosh from that foe.
Bloodlines & Black Magic further defines these monsters for those who hunt them, defining them by type:
The Asura – Lawful Evil, aligned against the Cosmic Clock and actively looking for a way to reboot the universe because they don’t like this version. Like the other supernatural species working from the Invisible World, the Asura are few in number, even when powerful. The Archons barely notice them. Asura cannot breed with humans.
The Fey – Varies. Although most of the fey live in the Celestial Realms, more and more fey are returning to Earth (many are behind the “Green Spaces Initiative,” a program used to reduce developing nation’s carbon footprints). Although some fey can breed with humans, nearly all avoid the act, which they consider vile; most fey hate the fey-blooded humans, believing them to be soiled versions of themselves. The fey work in the modern world, working from watchtowers hidden in plain sight.
The Skulks – Castoffs from an older civilization some think is Atlantis, the skulks were originally designed to serve a far more powerful people; skulk colonies have been discovered in every location Atlantis was credited with establishing colonies, further adding credence to their claim that they are the custodians of Earth's true history.
When most of the Archons gathered to strike down (and sink) the great city, most of the skulks escaped. While some skulks earned their freedom and established enclaves, most of them eventually killed their masters and fled into the wilderness.
Today skulks reproduce using dark, corrupted Atlantean rituals that produce any number of corrupted variants (some have bred dragon-skinned skulks), which quickly set up basement labs.
The Hollow Ones – Originally created by the Archons as replacements for humans, hollow ones lack souls and function largely like automatons in some of the Archon's Aberrant Heaven. Most hollow ones have one of three sources – you’re either a former human (soul removed), a ritually-created hollow one, or you’re constructed from planar energies by a powerful Goëtic Spirit. Reference – The Quiet Ones, Shell Scripts (fiction), the Qlippoth, and House of Hollows (first appearance).
The Pack – The Pack is a collective of cursed lycanthropes who are moved, compelled, controlled, and empowered by an Earth-bound spirit that is as much pure animus as it is a virus. People who are infected by lycanthropy in Bloodlines & Black Magic become something else when they submit to the Night King; they become hunters, reavers, and predators.
The Serpentfolk – To hear them hiss the tale, the serpentfolk were the first to step onto dry land, working magic and using math long before the monkeys stumbled upon it. Elegant, refined, and smart, the serpentfolk carved a kingdom for themselves long before Atlantis sank into the sea. Although they’ve raised tyrants and monsters over their long lifespan, the serpentfolk genuinely see themselves as the guardians of mankind, working from the shadows to teach, enlighten, and embolden mankind – even if the Archons find their efforts laughable at best.
The Rakshasa – The seven eternal tigers have walked among mankind since its inception, weaving their identities into countless stories, myths, and legends. Given to bouts of blood-thirsty rage, the rakshasa settled the Asian subcontinent while the Earth was still young, where they could hunt man without censor or rebuke. Over the centuries, the Archons came to respect the rakshasas’ efficiency and offered them a minor role in the new paradigm they were building. Some say the rakshasa denied the Archons, using their magic to disappear from them for all time. Others swear they took a knee, becoming the powerful spirits willing servants in the Secret World.
Every once in a while, one appears in Florida.