Unplaytested #3 New Lineage: Terror Born

They were a person once, weren’t they? They could remember men and women, faces young and old running the gamut of expression in their mind. They could even remember some of their names. Too many names. Was one of them theirs? How curious, they thought. 

  Why had they never noticed these colors? So bright and so many in their shades and tones. Had there always been so many? And the scents and the sounds and the feeling of their feet on the ground. The feeling of their skin on their muscle on their bone. These they remembered, didn’t they? They tried to catch one of the chaotic memories skittering through their mind, something recalling all of these myriad sensations. But they came away from the rolling swarm of thoughts with only essences. Like a close friend describing a feeling rather than the feeling itself.

  Friends. Those they remembered. Little sparks of light in a darkness so thick and clinging and intense that breaking free of it was like being born. 

They would find their friends.

The Plane of Nightmares is a labyrinthian miasma made of the fears and terrors of the creatures of the planes. From the panic of prey animals fleeing snapping jaws to the creeping dread of monarchs awaiting their assassin’s blades, when eyes close and minds float freely into the waiting black the Plane of Nightmares is where they come ashore. It’s from this twisted realm of infinite and terrible possibility that the terror born emerge.

Strange beings made of a thousand coalesced fears and snatches of stolen memories, the terror born wander the Prime Material with an almost childlike curiosity, bearing witness to sights and sounds for the first time unfiltered by the fear of the dreaming. Some terror born understand their origins entirely, and find themselves strangely delighted by their new form of existence, while others suffer in confusion, lost in the ill-fitting memories of an identity that was never meant to be theirs. In either case, the terror born often find themselves drawn to a life of adventure. Some seeking to experience every fresh new thing that corporeal life has to offer, while others are desperately chasing ghosts that cannot provide them with the answers they desire.

Primary Fears

Although the terror born are spawned from many fears, each one has a primary fear that makes up the core of their being and hints at what the true self beneath their skin might look like. This primary fear not only impacts how they look when they reveal their dream form but may also impact how they act in the world. A terror born whose primary fear is spiders might constantly find themselves toying with them and silently relishing the looks of disgust from those around them, while a terror born whose primary fear is height-based might spend their nights running along precarious rooftops.

Roll or choose your primary fear from the Primary Fears table below or work with your GM to create your own.

Primary Fears

d6 Fear
1 Spiders
2 Tight Spaces
3 Open Water
4 Being Alone
5 Heights
6 Blood

Terror Born Traits

Your lineage provides you with the following traits.

  Ability Score Increase. Increase one of your ability scores by 2 and a

different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1.

  Creature Type. You are an Aberration.

  Size. You are Medium or Small. You choose the size when you choose this lineage.

  Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet.

  Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 90 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You discern colors in that darkness only as shades of gray.

  Blood of Fear. You are made of fear, and yet you do not feel it. You are immune to being frightened.

  Dream Form. You reveal the unsettling form that you used when you walked the Plane of Nightmares. Choose a number of creatures within 30 feet of you equal to your proficiency bonus. The chosen creatures must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier). A target automatically succeeds on the save if it can’t see you. On a failed save, a target becomes frightened of you for 1 minute. If the frightened target takes any damage, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Once you have used this feature you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

  Nightmare Knowledge. During your time on the Plane of Nightmares, you crept through a thousand minds and claimed some of their knowledge for yourself. You gain proficiency in two skills of your choice.

  Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your GM agree is appropriate.

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Unplaytested is a free newsletter by Jess Pendley that features materials that aren’t canon to the current Underground Oracle Publishing materials or are still waiting their turn to become canon. Unplaytested also highlights other creators and projects in the ttrpg community as well as provides the latest news on the Underground Oracle Publishing events and releases.

All content created for this newsletter is the copyright of Jess Pendley under the Open Gaming License. The materials presented are available for personal use only.


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