Melcad The Destroyer
Hello, and welcome to this week’s issue of LoreMasters - Your regular source of inspirations, ideas, and homebrew for your TTRPG games. In each issue, I'm going to be bringing you a veritable Heroes Feast of items, spells, podcasts, streams, Kickstarters, and STUFF, so if you like this, please subscribe and pass it on to your close friends and distant relatives.
As always, the main chunk of this newsletter is a homebrew for your game and if you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, come find me on the Twitters.
(Also, please check out my work on DMsGuild)
Melcad The Destroyer
At first, it was just dreams.
Dark dreams, twisted and brutal, visions of blood, of naked fear writ large, of all he knew and cared for lying broken at his feet.
But the dreams grew into his waking hours, quick movements in the corners of his vision, a lingering sense of watching eyes.
Then his body began to fail, the sharp taste of blood in the morning, a growing headache at the base of his skull, pulsing, unrelenting.
He’d tried everything, all the druids in town, the old lady who helped the women, none knew what it was.
The noises grew, the scratching at the walls, the distant muted screams, the whispers in his ears
Soon he wasn’t sleeping at all, wide-eyed and staring out the window, seeing the betrayal and evil on the faces of all his sees, in every side glance, every bored look.
He grips his sword tight, the voices screaming now, the scratching deep inside his head, he’d stop those looks, that evil, he’d kill, he’d feed, for Melcad…..
Melcad The Destroyer
Deep in the hells, among the flame and torment, lies the domain of Melcad. A dark and twisted being, feasting on the pain and suffering of others. He lurks there, sending his powers out in the material plane, bending and twisting the mortals there to his dark purpose.
He turns them on each other, each death a sacrifice to himself, each killing an offering to his power, all in the service of his rise to godhood, and his conquest…
Melcad is built to be the end boss of a campaign. He’s built to be a hard fight, likely in the hells themselves, deep in his lair.
(Feel free to add in some Lair Actions if you’d like!)
My intent is for the players to start to see the long fingers of his influence well before they even know if his existence. Hearing stories of crazed murders, of previous calm people driven mad and going wild. They’d come upon someone deep in the throes of the effect of Melcad, ranting about the noises and the dreams.
I’d even be tempted to make my players start to make regular wisdom saves, as Melcad tries to claw his way into their minds.
The campaign would continue, the players uncovering the spate of attacks, tracking them back to the cult of Melcad, taking them down and discovering the fiend behind it all, heading to the hells to kill him, and vanquish that evil…
I’m always a fan of this sort of Big Bad, one that you don’t even know at the start, where you encounter the sympthoms well before the cause, so the players can look back at their notes (you take notes right??) and see the pattern they couldn’t see in the moment itself.
It also helps to deal with the common ‘chosen one’ trope of the a lot of games. Melcad is doing his nefarious schemes, hatching his plans, entirely seperate to the party. They stumble upon in and heed the call. I always feel the unchosen who step up are far more heroic than the chosen who simply accept.
Things To Check Out
This is the part of the newsletter where I bring you a few things to check out that inspired me and might inspire you.
I'm Sure You're All Wondering Why I've Gathered You Here This Evening
From the fantastically evil to the hilariously so! Who here hasn’t watched the glorious insanity that is Clue and not wanted to live it yourself? Well, I'm Sure You're All Wondering Why I've Gathered You Here This Evening is here to make that a reality. You and 6 friends take on the the persona of guests at an ill-fated dinner party and use a standard deck of cards to craft the mansion, the bodies, the events and even the epilogues of the characters. Dawn is coming, and only one may live…
I’m a giant nerd, I know, but I’ve always liked trains. Well, that’s not entirely true, I’ve no overly strong interest in the engines or the like, I’ve always liked train journeys. The sense of adventure they instill in me matches no other form of transport. Something about watching the landscape roll by, without needing to be the one driving, evokes something deep inside me.
And Train Tracks works to explore that, also using a simple deck of cards, this one is a solo adventure, imitating that feeling of looking around the next turn, the destination assured but the journey in flux.