Thursday 31 May 2012

May of the Dead: Lords of the Grave

"That's not a knife... That's a knife"

And so May draws to a close. Here in the UK we've had some beautiful weather, with well over a week of glorious sunshine (an oddity for Britain). The birds are singing, the flowers are in bloom, and the house I'm staying in has its own swimming pool (if a week of sunshine is an oddity, this is a temporal paradox). None of which is particularly appropriate for the gruesome May of the Dead blog carnival. Thank goodness for lone maniacs, eh?

I don't know if you've been following the blog carnival, but there've been some fantastic contributions. Here are a handful of my favourites:
Roving Band of Misfits brought us Horde Zombies. The twist here is giving zombie minions a resurrection power somewhat akin to a troll's, bringing them shambling back to life on their next turn. I'm not so keen on the encounter power (I throw minions around like confetti, so it's a pain to track anything on them), but I love the overall vibe here.
That Robed Guy gave us the Z-Virus, a brutal zombie contagion. I picked this one out not so much for the rules (though they're perfectly serviceable), but mainly because - as That Robed Guy says - your standard zombie doesn't have an infected bite in 4E (or in any other edition, as far as I know). Which is odd when you consider how common it is in the movies.
Fantasy Paper Miniature Models created some papercraft monsters that immediately brought a big smile to my face. Similarly creative was the wonderful Sarcophagus created by Terrain Wench. I'm big on props, so I really enjoyed checking out the construction process here. 
DMG 42 gave us a complete board game with the Siege of Barovia. I initially got a hint of Zombies!!! from the rules, but the more I thought about them, the tighter they became. I'd like to play this someday.
Going Last unleashed the catoblepas onto 4E, giving them a trait that forces all living creatures in sight to make death saves at the end of every turn. One of the main characters in my old 3E campaign died to a catoblepas, so the monster's always held a place close to my heart. Never known how to pronounce its name though. Cat-o-BLEP-as? Cat-OH-blepas? I usually go with Cat-OB-le-pas. 
D&D Weekly worked up a couple (!) of adventures for the carnival, the second of which had a ghost pirate theme. Brilliantly this included a ghost parrot that mimics the voices of its enemies during battle, drawing their allies out of formation. Who's a pretty boy then? 

For myself, I submitted the Death Knight as a racial variant to the Revenant. Over the past few weeks I've invented some new powers to accompany this, primarily triggered by Tjaart trying to take "Wild Talent Master" for his death knight ("three free powers!!" - hardly the first time a player has tried this). When Stacey drew the wonderful picture you see above, I decided to write it up into a new article. See what you think!

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