Denizens of Nightmare

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Hi,
I have been thinking some more about the Dimension of Nightmares, or The Nighmare Lands which it is usually referred to IMC.

What creatures hail from this dimension? I've been trying to come up with a list:

  • Brain Collector (Neh Thalggu)
  • Malfera
  • Draeden ?
  • Night Dragons (seen to fit)
  • Carnifex (if they were indeed banished to Nightmare)
  • Diaboli
  • Abelaat (according to my recent re-definition of these guys, they are magic draining creatures from this dimension)
  • Shadow-kin (The OD&D Shadows, similar to 3e Shadows, but not undead)
  • Beholders (Would fit...)
  • Decapus (Decapi? Not sure if these should be Nightmare Creatures)
  • Ropers (again, just a possibility)
  • Nightwing, Nightwalker, Nightcrawler (These are most likely Nightmare Creatures)
  • Nightmare (Where else would they come from?)


Anything else?

Havard
Originally posted by havard
What creatures hail from this dimension?

Well, the old rules cyclopedia says that the Mujinas are magical creations made to plague mankind but I always thought it made more sense to have them come from the Dimension of Nightmares.

:-) Jesper
Originally posted by Spellweaver
Well, the old rules cyclopedia says that the Mujinas are magical creations made to plague mankind but I always thought it made more sense to have them come from the Dimension of Nightmares.

Cool addition. The Mujinas are faceless shapeshifters right? Before I didnt care much for them, but with the assumption that they are from Nightmare, I get these images of frightening twisted faceless humanoids...hmmm..I like it!

Anything else?

Havard
Originally posted by havard
Draeden ?

I'm not sure where they fit in. I kind of like the idea of making them Nightmare creatures, myself, but their stature compared to the Immortals (and their description in the Gold box) seem to make them more like natives of the Outer or Astral planes.

Nonetheless, I'm stealing this idea.

Carnifex (if they were indeed banished to Nightmare)

I think they are banished to some remote prison plane, and not Nightmare necessarily. But Carnifex or Carni-related creatures in the Nightmare realm would certainly be a fit (many of the "intelligent" creatures seem to be reptile-like, as opposed to the mammals of the Prime Material).

Shadow-kin (The OD&D Shadows, similar to 3e Shadows, but not undead)

Glad to see I'm not the only one this idea occurred to. Actually, IMC, I don't have a Plane of Shadow at all, but use the Nightmare Dimension as the basis of Shadow in the Prime. A complex idea involving the Mentzer/Gold Box version of the Dimensions (ie, Nightmare being dimensions 3-5 and Normal being 1-3), and RW physics (where it is postulated that shadows are reflections of light in the higher dimensions- in brief, anyway).

Beholders (Would fit...)

That's not a bad idea. It also fits with the "origin" of the Beholders from Dragon Mage of Mystara, wherein they were brought to Mystara from another plane.

Decapus (Decapi? Not sure if these should be Nightmare Creatures)

I'd say they fit from an "oddity" standpoint- they just look weird. I'd feel a bit more "comfortable" if we used the "illusion" casting version of them from the Original B3: Palace of the Silver Princess. Maybe it's just a flavor thing, but the combination of illusion and weirdness seems more "nightmarish" to me.

Then again, we could have two versions- the illusion casting Nightmare Decapi, and the non-illusion "native outsider" Decapi.0

Ropers (again, just a possibility)

These would be a good one, too. Just (again) from the oddness factor.

Nightwing, Nightwalker, Nightcrawler (These are most likely Nightmare Creatures)

I think it's a better idea than having them be "Entropic Constructs" from Limbo, which is the idea put forth in the Limbo article in Dragon #181 (IIRC). I say we go with this.

Nightmare (Where else would they come from?)

Might as well.

Anything else?

I had the Deep Glaurants originally from the Nightmare Dimension, in an article I wrote about Blackflame.

Can't think of anything else offhand, though I've been tinkering with a Nightmare creature template for some time. Can't quite get it to look the way I'd like, though.
Umm,

at first I was thinking much along the lines of Cthuludrew - and I especially liked the idea of Nightshade undead going that way and was going to suggest Death Demons (Ostygos), but...

Nightmare in D&D is NOT evil.

Nightmare creatures are those whose origin lies in dimension 3, 4 and 5 - in effect a different universe. I would say that they are best described as "Odd" or "Different".

This makes the Brain Collector a perfect creature to have come through, collecting brains to figure what is going on, and I would agree here on Beholders etc. (If you are going 3rd Ed and use Mind Flayers - why not make all of psionics a Nightmare ability?)

What it rules against, is the Nigtshade undead. These are supposed to be terribly evil and destructive creatures, which is not a good reason to basing them as Nightmare denziens (if they are typical of Nigtmare undead then the diaboli really have to worry!) I also think they are too similar to normal creatures - giants, giant bats and purple worms. Note as OD&D Shadows are not undead these make a nice call - but see below.

I would look to add the truely wierd to the Nightmare realm, so yes to the Decapus, Mujina etc.

Nightmares themselves - I would actually say no! If you do not see them as entropic, then I would think they fit better as Vortex creatures - which would also be a good home for shadows... Vortex creatures seem to be non-undead drainers...

Other possible Nightmare creatures are the gem dragons! Since dragons are supposed to be everywhere there should be Nightmare orientation dragons too. My theory here would be for them to be the same as the original dragons, but this is the effect on the breath weapon of dimensional shifting. This way in the Nightmare dimension they are the normal dragons (without the extra breath weapon effects, so really just the alignments reversed) and the visiting normal dragons gain the gem breath weapons...

OK then - a challange - what friendly (i.e. more friendly than Diaboli) Nightmare denziens are there?
Replying to Cthulhudrew:

Draedens:
You are right, I havent really read up on their stats in a long time. I figured they would be the Nightmare version of Dragons (though probably equal to Epic Dragons in power). They might be good candidates for Vortex aswell though.

Carnifex:
They could have their own prison plane I suppose, but then again, why? Why not throw all of these things into the same place?

Shadow-kin:
I like the link between the Plane of Shadows and Nightmare, and I think I will make my Mystara cosmology similar to yours. I never really understood Mentzer's whole deal about the 6 dimensions and all that though, so I am going for a more WotI-ified cosmology... Id also like to have some lesser Shadow-kin race which doesnt have drain abilities and is more suitable as a PC race....

Decapi
We could perhaps make a Greater Decapus which could use illusions? Then we would have Decapus, Greater, Lesser and Marine as three different suptypes?

Reading your article on the Glaurants was quite interesting. The idea of Nightmare having its own elemental planes is cool. If we make Nightmare into an Ethereal-like plane, that would give us 8 elemental planes instead of 4. Quite cool
Glaurants are in then. Perhaps we could distinguish between High Glaurants and Deep Glaurants, the former being the Nightmare ones and the latter being the degenerate mystaran version?

Replying to Kheldren:
I agree, Demons and the like are out. Nightmare is not evil, but maybe not evil in the sense that Faerie is not good. Nightare should probably have some connections to entropy, even if it isnt neccesarily an ally or servants of those immortals. Entropic Immortals probably use Nightmare to further their own goals...

Tying Gemstone Dragons to Nightmare might make sense. In my Dragon Lore artickles I made the creator of the Gemstone Dragons a Draeden Lord, who might well reside withing Nightmare. That fits with the idea of psionics being common in Nightmare too.

Should the Nightwalkers, Nightcrawlers etc be undead in 3e? Outsiders might fit better with that definition of undead. IMO Entropics will be more likely to use demons and devils than these creatures as their servants. I agree that Nightmares (the horses) should probably not be Nightmare creatures though.

As for non evil races, I dont know. Perhaps there are Diabolic Versions of Elves, Dwarves and Halflings though?

Havard
Ever since The Gates of Firestorm Peak was released, I've used the Far Realm as the Dimension of Nightmare...besides the fact that Brain Collectors are in the Far Realm, the description just seems to fit so well.

So, the creatures I would use are:

Brain Collectors (obviously)
Diabolus
Mujina
Nagpa
Gibberling
Brood Gibberling
Wyste
Bloodsipper
Dharculus
Kaorti
Rukanyr
Nishruu
Fihyr (or Feyr)
Maelephant
Meenlock

Also, some monsters from the Call of Cthulhu game would be appropriate:

Colour Out of Space
Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath
Dhole
Dimensional Shambler
Flying Polyp
Gug
Hound of Tindalos
Star Vampire
Terror from Beyond
by Havard
Should the Nightwalkers, Nightcrawlers etc be undead in 3e? Outsiders might fit better with that definition of undead.

I'll have to vote outsider. Never thought about the connection before but I like it.

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

Honestly, I think you'd be better off leaving nightmares and nightshades out of the Dimension of Nightmare...it's supposed to be this bizarre, alien place that human minds can barely comprehend. Nightshades and nightmares have struck me as more "demonic and evil," rather than "bizarre and alien." Thus, they'd be better off as servants of evil immortals.

Remember, this is the home of the brain collectors. The denizens of this place should be of a similar nature...and nightmares and nightshades don't even come *close* to the brain collector's nature.

Besides, you want your players to have a feeling of the weirdness and horror of this place. A dark flaming horse and a giant shadow do not reflect this adequately.
Originally posted by Bluebomber4evr
Besides, you want your players to have a feeling of the weirdness and horror of this place. A dark flaming horse and a giant shadow do not reflect this adequately.

I agree.

As a player I once experienced in a group that we came upon a secret group of Mind Flayers who had an Aboleth in a huge tank of water. The flayers had somewhow placed the horrible fish in a dormant stacis and via hoses were "tapping into" its mind powers and distilling some vile black liquid into an ancient cauldron for some dark purpose.

We destroyed the tank, awoke the fish and all hell broke loose. Suddenly we were gated into another world and when we came to our senses we saw that we were standing in an alley between two towering skyscrapers of blackish metal. Thousands of windows glowed with an eerie green light and the sky above us was purple! We didn't know whether we had landed in Hell, the Dimension of Nightmares or "just" Mind Flayer City. Scariest thing I ever played...

:-) Jesper
Amoebic Crawler (Dragon #330)
Cloaker (MM)
Cloaker Lord (Monsters of Faerun)
Cranial Encyster (Dragon #330)
Daekyr (Eberron)
Darkweaver (Fiend Folio)
Darkwing (Mystara Monstrous Compendium)
Deep Glaraunt (Mystara Monstrous Compendium)
Demon, Shadow (BoVD)
Dragon, Shadow (Draconomicon)
Elemental, Shadow (Tome of Magic)
Ephemera, Duskbeast (MotP)
Ephemera, Ecalypse (MotP)
Ephemera, Umbral Banyan (MotP)
Ephemeral Hangman (Tome of Magic)
Genie, Khayal (Tome of Magic)
Dharculus (Planar Handbook)
Diabolus (Dragon #327, Dragon Compendium)
Dimensional Horror (Menace Manual)
Drifter, Hob (Dragon #324)
Dream Larvae (ELH)
Dream Vestige (Libris Mortis)
Drifter, Spellshadow (Dragon #324)
Eidolon, Idyllic (Dragon #324)
Eidolon, Nightmare (Dragon #324)
Fihyr (MMII)
Gibbering Mouther (MM)
Gibbering Orb (ELH)
Half-Farspawn (Lords of Madness)
Half-illithid Creature (FF)
Ineffable Horror (Underdark)
Kaorti (FF)
Kaortic Hulk (Dragon #330)
Lurking Strangler (MMIII)
Mind Flayer (MM)
Malfera (D&D Companion Set/Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium)
Moonbeast (MMII)
Mooncalf (MMII)
Neh-Thalggu (ELH)
Night Hag (MM)
Night Terror (Menace Manual)
Nightmare (MM)
Nightseed (Dragon #330)
Paragon Mind Flayer (ELH)
Pseudonatural Creature (MotP)
Pseudonatural Creature, Epic (ELH)
Phthisic (Expanded Psionics Handbook)
Quori, Dark Fury (Dragon #324)
Quori, Dream Master (Magic of Eberron)
Quori, Dreamstealer (Dragon #324)
Quori, Eyebinder (Dragon #324)
Quori, Tsoreva (Magic of Eberron)
Quori, Tsucora (Eberron)
Roper, Prismatic (MMIII)
Rukanyr (FF)
Runehound (MMIII)
Shadow (MM)
Shadow Jelly (Planar Handbook)
Shadow Spider (Monster Manual II)
Shirokinukatsukami (Oriental Adventures)
Skybleeder (FF)
Star Doppelganger (Menace Manual)
Umbral Creature (Dragon #322, Libris Mortis)
Uvuudaum (ELH)
Veserab (Dragon #299)
Wyste (MMII)
Reading through ripvanwormer's and others' list of Nightmare creatures it brings the ND to life. I now can actual imagine running a series of adventures here.

OK then - a challange - what friendly (i.e. more friendly than Diaboli) Nightmare denziens are there?

I'd suggest CG Nightmare Devils from the Nightmare Outer Plane of Infyrnem as paragons of friendliness.

I was wondering, do folks see the various kinds of Diaboli equating to different races of humans, or to Nightmare demi-humans?

Shane
Two others that popped into my mind that may or may not fit are the Nekrozon/Catoblepas and the Nuckalavee.
I was wondering, do folks see the various kinds of Diaboli equating to different races of humans, or to Nightmare demi-humans?

Humans. The human species is varied enough that its Nightmare equivalent should be equally varied. And not everything should have a direct equivalent (though I like the devil/eladrin idea). Introducing pointy-eared, extremely orderly diaboli who live underground and are immune to paralyzation and sleep spells, or short hairy-footed diaboli, seems a bit too neat.

Nightmare demihumans are probably not remotely humanoid.
Introducing pointy-eared, extremely orderly diaboli who live underground and are immune to paralyzation and sleep spells, or short hairy-footed diaboli, seems a bit too neat.

Nightmare demihumans are probably not remotely humanoid.

I see what you mean. Yes, the varieties of Diaboli are best equivalent to human races. Does anyone have any idea of some weird creatures from any campaign setting that could serve as the demihumans of the ND? The races could even inspired by non-gaming sci-fi or fantasy novels - Frank Mentzer has stated that the Diaboli are from Arthur C. Clarke - I wonder which book? That book might be useful in detailing the ND.

I hope it's not too hamhanded to have three main N-demihuman races so the OD&D version of the ND would have the same number of common PC races as its Multiverse Dimension. Plus maybe one PC race that's rarer like the Gnome, and maybe a couple rare half-breed PCs. I'm not suggesting that the N-Demihumans be like Elves, Dwarves, Halfings, Gnomes in any way...just that there be the same number (something like how the OD&D Carnifex have equivalents to all the OD&D Human classes).

Shane

P.S. I wanted to suggest another "flavor" of the ND in addition to the Lovecraftian and Bizarro/Mirror Universe flavors: the world of the Tall Man from the Phantasm movies.
- Frank Mentzer has stated that the Diaboli are from Arthur C. Clarke - I wonder which book?

The book is Childhood's End.

I like your Phantasm idea.

Is it possible that illithids are Nightmare elves and malfera are Nightmare halflings?
The races could even inspired by non-gaming sci-fi or fantasy novels - Frank Mentzer has stated that the Diaboli are from Arthur C. Clarke - I wonder which book? That book might be useful in detailing the ND.

Ripvanwormer beat me to it, but yes, the book is Childhood's End. I asked Frank the question myself in his Dragonsfoot thread, so the quote is there if you want it for your other thread.

As for the usage in detailing the Diaboli- not very useful. The only real inspiration for the diaboli was in the appearance of the creatures, and even that only goes so far. The aliens in the book are much larger than humans. Culturally, they are very different. The only real inspiration is that the aliens in CE (which I can't recall the name of offhand) had an appearance much like the concept of devils, and they kept themselves hidden from mankind for a long time because they didn't want to frighten them and be subject to the prejudices and panic of racial memory. Hence the diaboli, who are so nightmarish because they resemble devils (or, in this case, the human concept of "devils" comes from their interactions in nightmares. In this case, though, the humans are just as repulsive and horrific to the diaboli for the same reason.)
Ripvanwormer beat me to it, but yes, the book is Childhood's End. I asked Frank the question myself in his Dragonsfoot thread, so the quote is there if you want it for your other thread.

Sweet. I hope to work my way through all 101+ pages eventually.

Thanks for the overview of CE.

Shane
Is it possible that illithids are Nightmare elves and malfera are Nightmare halflings?

That would be truly weird...which is appropriate for the ND. One guideline that I'd suggest though, is that the N-demihumans be playable as PCs. I imagine that if/when Mystara is relaunched, that a Creature Crucible for the Nightmare Dimension could be done, in which case it'd be best that the 4-to-7 PC races at least get along well enough to form a Nightmare adventuring party. Diaboli adventuring parties are sometimes encountered in the Multiverse Dimension.

Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations might be a useful resource. I've only browsed through it at the bookstore - does LoM have suggestions on how to play Illithids or other Aberrations as viable PCs? If the Illithids and Malfera are demihuman PC races, then maybe there'd need to be some explanation for why they'd cooperate with Diaboli to go adventuring; or there could be a branch of each that has a different alignment and culture (not quite as evil) - like Forest Elves vs. Schattenalfen or Rockborn Dwarves vs. Modrigswergen. Could Half-Illithid Diaboli and Half-Farspawn Diaboli fill the niche of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs? Perhaps in the OD&D Mystara Reality, these two hybrid races wouldn't wouldn't breed true.

Shane
I'd just say that these are Mystara illithids, and so are NOT evil. Unlike AD&D, good and evil don't really exist as objective concepts in Mystara - it's all just different cultural attitudes (truly objective good/evil concepts such as murder and slavery aren't generally approved of in any dominant Mystara culture). It shouldn't be that big a deal to rework the illithids.
ooh... lot and lots of white screen space... pwetty! If I don't reply in a timely manner, it is because this forum is still so borked that it was impossible to use the "post reply" screen in a timely manner.
I'd be worried about bringing in illithids into Mystara as denizens of the Nightmare Dimension, for the following reasons:
- Illithids are iconic and memorable in other D&D worlds, from their AD&D 1E roots. We have enough problems with explaining how the Shadow Elves are Not Drow (tm) when they have pale skin and odd birthmarks; explaining how mauve-skinned tentacle-faced brain-eaters are Different In Mystara from their normal and well-known alien, malevolent, megalomaniacal ways is going to be much, much worse.
- Illithids are psionic. Intensely so. Bringing them into Mystara is either going to require some extensive slash-and-burn to remove their psion abilities, or open Mystara up to psionics. I doubt either would work very well.
- Illithids just plain don't work well as Nightmare denizens, IMHO. Their main schtick is that they eat brains - but as Nightmare creatures, they'd find all Normal beings to be a deadly poison! Oooops. I don't see much way to use illithids as Mystaran beings without making them a pale pastiche of everything that makes them fun to encounter in a game.

As an alternative, let me offer something that I think is to the illithid as the shadow elf is to the drow - the memoryxx. This being looks something like a cross between a humanoid and a trilaterally symetrical mantis, with long, spidery legs extending to the fore-left, fore-right and straight backwards, and three manipulator limbs similarly spaced above its torso.

The memoryxx's 'hands' are clumps of fine manipulator tendrils, normally tangled into three or four relatively strong 'fingers' but capable of unravelling into a fine net of over two dozen smaller tentacles. The memoryxx adopts this later configuration when it chooses to feed - a caress from the unravelled tendrils will cause a sapient being to suffer memory loss, altered perceptions and some loss of muscular control as the memoryxx absorbs some of the victim's thoughts and personality into itself. Such feeding is not permanently harmful in the short term, but can cause extensive damage to the psyche if it persists.

Memoryxx are well-known within the Nightmare Dimension, where they're accepted by most if sometimes distrusted. In their home dimension, most Memoryxx are able to trade their services and talents to others in exchange for feeding off other sapients only infrequently, making sure never to cause permanent damage, though a few choose to buy the lives of the terminally ill or other unfortunates and feed on them until death. Memoryxx are also starting to take the lead in exploration of the strange, alien and terrifying Normal Dimension, as they can feed on the memories of the hideous 'humans', 'elves' and other natives rather than carrying their own food supplies. Because of the horrifying appearance of the Normals, and their tendency to react with unthinking violence whenever Nightmare explorers appear, memoryxx are not so careful to avoid permanent mental damage as they are among their own kind.

... how's that for a start?
I was searching through the Vaults and found this article by Kit Navarro. I remember Kit used to write top-notch articles on the social scene in Glantri. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's suggested that Devils are Nightmare denizens:

Where in Hell are the Devils?

After all that has been said about the Mystara setting (Mystaraverse) and the Spheres of Power, here are the possible answers to this question of the missing devils:

Devils do not exist.

This is the simplest answer (but a waste of a lot of cool ideas).

An explanation for this would be, because the Sphere of Entropy embodies evil and death, and is associated with the Chaotic alignment, it would be difficult for there to be an embodiment of both evil and Lawfulness-at least within the influence of the Spheres of Power.

This would suggest the next answer.

Devils do not exist in the Mystaraverse, but do exist in other Dimensions.

The Dimension of Myth is the first place that comes to mind and it is easy to imagine that devils walk on Laterre, in Averoigne. The original CAS stories do mention devils and demons.

An implication of this is that the Immortal Nyx, whose ancient origins lead all the way back to Laterre may have some devilish (not demonic) connections. Personality wise, she/he does fit the bill.

The Dimension of Nightmares is another place where devils may exist. This would explain why the Diaboli are so similar to devils in appearance. In fact, the role of Immortals in the Dimension of Nightmares may in fact be served by the Devil rulers! (This could lead to very powerful, cross-dimensional conflicts between Immortals and the Devils. or Nightmare Immortals!)

I few things I see differently: 1) Chaotic Good Devils, 2) that there be a N-Immortal hierarchy with Five Nightmare Spheres of Power, with Stasis being the baddie, and 3) that there be N-Outer Planes and N-Inner Planes*.

There would a whole range of evil (mostly Lawful) Immortals, not just Nightmare Eladrin rulers, like how the Multiverse Dimension has evil (mostly Chaotic) beings such as Hel and Thanatos alongside Demon Lords such as Orcus and Ranivorus. There would be trusted servants among the Nightmare Devils, known as Diacon-Devils. The Nightmare Eladrin rulers would be members of The Court of the Right Stars. ;€

References:
"Arch-" fr. Greek 'ruler, chief' vs. "Diacon-" fr. Greek 'servant'
"The Court of the Stars"
"When the Stars are Right"

Shane

*P.S. One thing that favors the Nightmare Dimension having its own version of the Outer Planes (and Inner Planes) is simply the official OD&D name for the "normal" dimension: the "Multiverse Dimension". This implies that the entire "Multiverse" from the pre-WotI products (e.g. Gold Box) - including the Prime, Inner, and Outer Planes - is contained within the "Multiverse Dimension". If the Nightmare Dimension shared its OPs and IPs with the Prime Plane, then the Multiverse Dimension would be synonymous with the Prime Plane. However, if they were synonymous then it would've been called the "Prime Dimension". This suggests that the Dimension of Myth, as another Dimension in its own right, would have its own planar scheme. The "3E Reality" version of the DoM is probably simply the d20 Call of Cthulhu RPG (and the OGL Conan game for the DoM's Hyborian Age).
Continuing on the line of thought from the preceding post...

I'm not up on my OD&D demonology. In OD&D are Orcus and Demogorgon the only two Demon Rulers/Demon Lords? If so, then in the Nightmare Dimension, there'd be two kindly Devil Leaders/Diacon-Devils. Which two of the Great Wheel Arch-Devils would it be*? Perhaps Asmodeus and Mephistopheles (known as "The Lord of Mercy"), since Asmodeus is the "Overlord of Devils" and Mephistopheles is the next most powerful. This would be parallel to how Demogorgon is the "Prince of Demons" and Orcus is his arch-enemy. Though both have a diabolical appearance, Mephistopheles looks particularly like a Diabolus
Mephistopheles is a nine foot tall, blue-black humanoid with handsome, yet diabolical features.

*Here's links to a list of the Demon Lords and Arch-Devils.

Shane
Orcus and Demogorgon are the only two Immortals who share names with AD&D demon princes, but they're not the only Immortals who are called demons.

I don't think precise symmetry is desirable. It's better to have things a little different, so it's not exactly a mirror. If you were going to restrict the number nightmare archdevils to two, Baalzebul and Mephistopheles are the two greatest rivals, so they would be the most interesting pair to have. If it was Mephistopheles and Asmodeus, you'd just have a boss and his (or her, if everything's going to be backwards) ambititious assistant. It's be better to have all three of the lowest archdevils, though - Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, and Baalzebul - so you can replicate a similar dynamic to the politics of Hell, seen through chaotic good glasses.
3) that there be N-Outer Planes and N-Inner Planes*.

I've been a proponent of N-Inner Planes for a long time- it was my initial suggestion in this article oh so many aeons ago that first (to my knowledge) equated the halfling Blackflame with the Nightmare equivalent of Fire.

Sadly, I've not yet come up with a very good idea of how to handle Nightmare equivalents of the other three elements (probably because, unlike fire, they represent whole ranges of different things- earth as rocks, minerals, etc. for example). Giulio Caroletti came up with some really good names for the N-Elements, and wrote a number of interesting articles that are available on his A Dark Portal website.

The idea of N-Outer planes is a bit trickier, as the Gold Box set is a bit contradictory in its cosmology. According to that set, all Immortals are 4th dimensional creatures (including the one Nightmare Immortal that is known from canon), and all Outer Planes exist in the Astral Plane. The example from the Gold Box of the dimensional shift caused by the Astral is that all Immortal creatures, losing one dimension, would thus appear three-dimensionally, while Normal and Nightmare creatures would appear two-dimensionally. Unfortunately, it was a bit neglectful in presenting how Nightmare Immortals should appear- as fourth dimensional creatures (of dimensions 3-6 as opposed to 1-4 like Normal Immortals), they should still appear as horrific to "Normal" Immortals as Nightmare mortals appear to Normal mortals- but that doesn't seem to have been taken into account. (Even on the Astral, they would only appear to have dimensions 4-6, as opposed to a Normal Immortal's 1-3)

So, theoretically, I think there should/could be Nightmare Outer Planes, but the inference I get from the description of the Astral Plane is that it is sort of dimensionally neutral, at least in terms of appearances. I don't know. It would be a good question to ask Frank Mentzer on his forums, now that I think of it.

As to Nightmare Immortals and their hierarchy, well, canonically there is only one known Nightmare Immortal- the diabolus Harrow (who is described, IIRC, as the only diabolus to become Immortal), and it is specifically mentioned in various sources that Immortals from the Nightmare dimension are rare. I think there should definitely be some, but I don't know that there would be many, and given the generally chaotic nature of the Nightmare dimension, I don't think they would be organized into a hierarchy (well, maybe the evil ones would).

If the Nightmare Dimension shared its OPs and IPs with the Prime Plane, then the Multiverse Dimension would be synonymous with the Prime Plane.

Not necessarily- it's nomenclature as the "Multiverse Dimension" could easily have referred to the existence of other universes not described in the Gold Box- such as the Greyhawk universe or something. I think it was likely more a nod to the Moorcockian concept of many different universes rather than indicative that the Nightmare was a separate universe outside of the Multiverse (especially since they are, in the Gold Box, specifically tied to one another- just dimensionally shifted. IE, neither could exist in a vacuum, as they are interdependent and interlinked due to the existence of the Void).

This suggests that the Dimension of Myth, as another Dimension in its own right, would have its own planar scheme.

Well, now you're mixing cosmologies. The Dimension of Myth came from the WotI set (the first time the d'Ambreville's homeworld was referred to as coming from its own dimension and named), but the WotI cosmology also redefined the Nightmare Dimension as well (it was no longer the, essentially, mirror image/dimensional shifted counterpart to the Prime).

That being said, however, if one were to adopt the Dimension of Myth cosmology (as opposed to its original depiction, an alternate Earth, or the one I use, a different planet- earth- in the Mystara universe), I would definitely give it its own cosmology- one more in keeping with the nature of the origins of the world. To follow a strict depiction of the DoM from WotI, that would include the planes of Olympus, Asgard, etc.

The "3E Reality" version of the DoM is probably simply the d20 Call of Cthulhu RPG (and the OGL Conan game for the DoM's Hyborian Age).

The Conan Hyboria is quite different from the Cthulhu Hyperborea, at least as I understand these things. I don't know that much about Conan, but I am quite familiar with Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle, and from what I understand, Hyperborea is set in a much further distant period than Conan's Hyboria. There are connections (I believe that Tsathoggua shows up in at least one of the Conan stories, though as more of a demonic entity than an Elder God).

Technically, CAS borrowed the name Hyperborea from the Greek word which referred to northerners, and Robert E. Howard coined the Hyboria variation which he used in his Conan tales.

At a guess, I'd say that the Conan Hyboria gets its name from (and shares historical elements with) CAS' Hyperborea, but chronologically, the Conan period would fall in between the Hyperborean period and the Averoigne cycle- all separated by long gaps (tens of thousands of years in the former, a couple thousand in the latter).
I'm not up on my OD&D demonology. In OD&D are Orcus and Demogorgon the only two Demon Rulers/Demon Lords?

Alphaks is noted in a couple of places to be a demon (his manifestation is a roaring demon, aka a Balor). I believe Atzanteotl is referred to as a demon somewhere.

In Gold Box lore, all Entropics were demons, and all demons were Entropics. This paradigm shifted with the advent of later publications (notably WotI), where demons were no longer all Immortals, but were essentially just Immortal servitors.

(Incidentally, this almost parallels the treatment of demons/devils in AD&D/3E, where at various points the rulers were equivalent to Gods- to the point of being able to grant worshippers spells themselves- to the current mode, where they are just cosmic level powers, but not Gods, and unable to grant spells to worshippers.)

Orcus and Demogorgon were the only major demon lords noted in the Gold Box, but really, it's anyone's guess at this point whether they are the only ones that the demons answer to or whether there are many other lords out there of various levels of power.

I'm personally inclined to change them from being Immortals (and a part of the Immortal hierarchy) to being cosmic level beings on the level of Immortals but with their own agendas and (possible) hierarchy. I use the term "hieararchy" loosely with the demons, in particular, as being highly Chaotic, I doubt they'd have a static pecking order of any sort.

Similarly, I would prefer to go back to the Gold Box version of the draconic rulers not being a part of the Immortal hierarchy and having their own rules/structure/etc.

Of course, this change isn't without its own inherent difficulties, and I've never completely worked out the details to my own satisfaction.
Given that Harrow is the first of only a few diabolus Immortals, in spite of the age and history present in the Nightmare Dimension (as old as the Normal Dimension, after all), I'm thinking that Nightmare features a method of achieving unending life and supreme power other than the accepted promotion to Immortality. I've got a couple of ideas, that I'll likely break off into a different thread as it would seriously derail this one.

Oh, and on the devils/eladrin discussion, I'll take a few bytes to bring back the notion that Mystaran devils are native to Nightmare, hideous to human eyes, but CG in alignment and use 3E eladrin stats, while Mystaran eladrin are beautiful and awe-inspiring to humans (hideous to diaboli, natch), but LE in alignment and using 3E stats for devils. Seemed to have some support. =)
I've been a proponent of N-Inner Planes for a long time- it was my initial suggestion in this article oh so many aeons ago that first (to my knowledge) equated the halfling Blackflame with the Nightmare equivalent of Fire.

Yep, I got the N-elements idea from your article, and I remember Giulo's work too.

Sadly, I've not yet come up with a very good idea of how to handle Nightmare equivalents of the other three elements (probably because, unlike fire, they represent whole ranges of different things- earth as rocks, minerals, etc. for example).

Thanks for the links. Giulo suggests these names for the N-elements:
Blackflame
Vischor
Nightmair
Terro

I quite like these names.

Another scheme for coming up for N-element names would be to model them on the word 'blackflame' - namely, a compound consisting of:

(one word reflecting a quality that is opposite of a quality a Normal element has, like 'black' vs. 'red') + (one word nearly synonymous with, but not identical to the element, like 'flame' vs. 'fire'), such as:

(reek-, choke-) + (-wind, -fume, -breeze, -mist, -fog, -haze)
(bitter-, gall- ) + (-flow, -current, -fluid, -ichor)
(fallow-) + (-rock, -clod, -spar, -stone)

On second thought, the first part of the compound could simply be a color instead...one not associated with the Normal element (like how normal fire isn't black).

orangeflow?
mauvespar?
glowwind?

Which names do people like best?

Shane

P.S. I wonder what diaboli would call Normal elements in their language, since "blackflame" is probably just "fire" to them?

brownspar?
blueflow?
clearwind?
redflame?
As to Nightmare Immortals and their hierarchy, well, canonically there is only one known Nightmare Immortal- the diabolus Harrow (who is described, IIRC, as the only diabolus to become Immortal), and it is specifically mentioned in various sources that Immortals from the Nightmare dimension are rare. I think there should definitely be some, but I don't know that there would be many, and given the generally chaotic nature of the Nightmare dimension, I don't think they would be organized into a hierarchy (well, maybe the evil ones would).

This is going beyond the official materials, but I've heard others suggest that Harrow may just be the only Nightmare being to earn Normal Immortality - the only one who emigrated to the Multiverse Dimension to become an Immortal there instead of in his home Dimension (where there are as many Nightmare Immortals as there are Normal Immortals in the Multiverse Dimension). As far as N-Immortals grouping themselves around five Nightmare Spheres of Power, the Chaotic-alignment of the Normal followers of Entropy and Energy didn't prevent them from grouping together.

Most Immortals in the Multiverse Dimension were Humans as mortals, so most N-Immortals would be Diaboli, though others would be Illithids, Malfera, and so on. Some followers of Stasis would take the horrific Eladrin form (like some followers of Entropy have Demonic form). The Eladrin rulers would be LE versions of Faerinaal, Gwynharwyf, and Morwel, Queen of Stars.
The Conan Hyboria is quite different from the Cthulhu Hyperborea, at least as I understand these things. I don't know that much about Conan, but I am quite familiar with Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle, and from what I understand, Hyperborea is set in a much further distant period than Conan's Hyboria.

CAS's Hyperborea is the island of Greenland c.759,000 BC
REH's Hyperborea is an analogue of Finland c. 10,000 BC.
REH's Hyboria Is Europe (as a whole) - REH's Hyperborea is one country in Hyboria. The Hyborian Age is the Cthulhu Mythos Earth during the age of Hyborian/European domination (c. 13,000 BC to 9550 BC). Conan lived around 10,000 BC.

I imagine the DoM would be an amalgam of Mythos Earth (including HPL's, CAS's, and REH's settings, among others) and D&D Earth (of d20 Modern's Urban Arcana setting).

Shane
In regard to PC mind flayers...I browsed Savage Species at the bookstore, and discovered it has a 15-level racial class for illithids. I wonder what an OD&D Creature Crucible-style Mind Flayer class would look like?

Shane
Mystara already has a mind-flayer, sort of. Its called the Kopru, its stats and powers are very simillar except it lives in the water(and its even got a tentacalled mouth).
And there's the Mind "Slayer" named M'hyllthrykk in Night of Amber (although admittedly, it's 2E, most most people retcon it into a Brain Collector)
Mystara already has a mind-flayer, sort of. Its called the Kopru, its stats and powers are very simillar except it lives in the water(and its even got a tentacalled mouth).

Good point natewis...it's conceivable that the Kopru (and/or Brain Collector) fills the "Mind Flayer niche" in Mystara - though its aquatic nature limits its scope.

And there's the Mind "Slayer" named M'hyllthrykk in Night of Amber (although admittedly, it's 2E, most most people retcon it into a Brain Collector)

Oh yeah...I forgot about this reference. Culture 20, was M'hyllthrykk's species consistently called a "Mind Slayer" instead of "Mind Flayer"? If so, that's kinda neat, since it would give them a different name in Mystara (like "Shark-kin" vs. "Sahuagin"). I see the following options:

1) The Mind Slayer only exists only in the Official 2E Mystara Reality - in any upcoming Official 3E Mystara Reality, M'hyllthrykk would be a Brain Collector (or possibly a Kopru...but an aquatic creature probably wouldn't work in that module). Same for in the Official OD&D Mystara Reality if by some small miracle new official dual-statted products or web enhancements touched that Reality again. Of course, in Personal (non-official) Mystara Realities (of whatever game system...OE, 2E, 3E, GURPS, HERO, etc.) the DM is free to make Mystara however he or she wishes.

2) The Mind Slayer is determined to be a valid adaptation of the Lovecraftian Illithid for Mystara. It is given a history in the World of Mystara - associated with Brain Collectors and the Nightmare Dimension. "Mind Slayer" would be the official name for the creature in Mystara, though "Illithid" could be the race's own name for themselves when using speech-based languages (instead of their preferred telepathy); like "Aerial Servant" vs. "Haaou". In any upcoming "Creature Catalogue II" the Mind Slayer would be given official OD&D stats and a rules-neutral "Mind Slayer in Mystara" paragraph listing all (one) of its official occurences, plus suggestions of other places they may be found (e.g. the ND). In any Denizens of Nightmare Creature Crucible book, they could be made a PC race, based on their Savage Species racial class, with details of their life in the ND and ideas on how and why Mind Slayers would join an adventuring party without eating their comrades' brains. There could be a web-enhancement giving an OD&D Mind Slayer PC class too.

Shane
Oh yeah...I forgot about this reference. Culture 20, was M'hyllthrykk's species consistently called a "Mind Slayer" instead of "Mind Flayer"?

The only place it is referred to as Mind Slayer is in the stat block as its name- M'hyllthrykk the Mind Slayer. Everywhere else in the section it appears it is referred to as a mind flayer. I assume it was most likely a typo, although perhaps it is an epithet that M'hyllthrykk gave itself.
The only place it is referred to as Mind Slayer is in the stat block as its name- M'hyllthrykk the Mind Slayer. Everywhere else in the section it appears it is referred to as a mind flayer.

Nuts! I liked the Mind Slayer name...oh well, I still stand by everything else I said in previous post except that their common name would be Mind Flayer.

Shane
Note that this Mind Flayer had no psionics (except for the mind-blast, and spell-like powers if you count them), and it could have been a denizen of the Land of Mists like the slime-worm.
Note that this Mind Flayer had no psionics (except for the mind-blast, and spell-like powers if you count them), and it could have been a denizen of the Land of Mists like the slime-worm.

Looking over the 3E Mind Flayer again (when I was browsing Lords of Madness at the bookstore), they are consistently referred to as sorcerers - with their powers being supernatural magical abilities, not psionics, since psionics is an optional non-Core system.

Right, the Land of Mists would be included in any "Mind Flayer in Mystara" description.

Shane
The mind flayer is referred to as an agent of Entropy in MoA, fwiw. It (and the reincarnated as rakshasa Halzunthram) have both been sent by Entropic Immortals to prevent Etienne's resurrection.

Also, the land of Mists in MoA is a dream realm of Etienne's, and not the real Land of Mists, near as I can tell. (The implication is that both the mind flayer and Halzunthram are real creatures from the outside world, however, like the PCs, and not dream figments.)
Just found another mind flayer in Mystara.

In Glantri: Kingdom of Magic, in the adventure "Temple Takeover," there is a mind flayer named L'vethian who is the main opponent of the adventure. He is described as being from "far below the surface of Mystara" and has come to Glantri in search of magical power.
Just found another mind flayer in Mystara.

In Glantri: Kingdom of Magic, in the adventure "Temple Takeover," there is a mind flayer named L'vethian who is the main opponent of the adventure. He is described as being from "far below the surface of Mystara" and has come to Glantri in search of magical power.

Yeah, the brief 2E AD&D stint of Mystara products dumped mind flayers into the campaign world. I recall the Dungeon magazine #206 or #207 which detailed the new Karameikos School of Magic, mentions the site was formerly inhabited by a band of mind flayers.

Bruce Heard does a brief article in Polyhedron #100 which portrays mind flayers as outsiders who invade Mystara from other planes. And it also portrays Glantrian wizards as collectors of mind flayers for spell component purposes, even allowing information to trickle into the mind flayers hands as bait to get them to plane shift to Glantri!