When you’re a real scholar, you don’t let little things like dying in a fiery crash or being transformed into an undead horror, a cute fuzzy mammal, or a sentient wrench(?!) slow you down for long.
Welcome to Hamster Highlight, a column where we take a common or classic trope and take it for a new spin. In keeping with our philosophy of Offbeat Encounters, we provide a few ideas on ways you could use these variant critters in your campaign. Take our ideas or leave ’em, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy ‘em. Of course, you may see these items reappear in other MGSHP products . . .
The Wight Stuff
Wights. In ages past they inspired fear amongst the bravest of adventurers, but in the modern era their raw power has diminished, making them kind of boring: Free-willed corporeal intelligent undead; first tier challenge rating. Hates the living, hates the light, drains life from its enemies, etc, etc. They are just hard enough to fight that players don’t like it, but not interesting enough to be memorable afterwards.
‘Tis a pity, for they are actually very interesting! Wights are people too! They have memories, personalities, and goals. Whether acting as a trusted lieutenant to your Arch-Nemesis, or as a long-term thorn in the side of your mid-level party (who aren’t ready for vampires and liches yet), or a shady quest-giver, or even as a distrusted anti-hero the players must grudgingly get information from, the Wight has the acting chops to spice up any scene, and the skills and powers to back it up.
In that light, let’s take a look at an odd and memorable encounter setup involving a wight. Will it be tragedy or farce; only your players know for sure!
Ed was a gnome who loved to tinker but hated being around other people. What moved him was imagining traveling between the stars, alone with his machine amid the grandeur of space. Years of experimentation and research led him, finally, to his masterpiece: The Prometheus One. A variant Apparatus of the Crab intended to launch its inhabitants into space, Prometheus One was the fulfillment of all Wight’s hopes and aspirations. Looking to the new frontier, he prepared for launch, accompanied by his assistant Gus Griffin and their technician Rogar the Chafey.
Unfortunately, the Prometheus One caught fire upon its maiden launch, and as the vessel roared flaming into the sky Ed and his companions burned right alongside it. All three were changed, and each stranger than the last: Ed became an undead scourge (removing his need to food and sleep, for which he is eternally grateful), Gus found himself in the body of a tiny, furry mammal, and Rogar found his consciousness bound within a hand tool.
The three now wander the worlds, ever searching for new parts and techniques to realize their ultimate dream: to soar amongst the very stars themselves.
Using the Wight Stuff
- The Wight is stuck, his ship needs parts, and he will use any means, fair or foul, to get bystanders to help him. The local village agrees: His presence is killing their crops!
- The fastest way for the adventurers to get where they are going is to hitch a ride aboard the Prometheus Two. But what can they offer to induce him? And what shall they do about food, water, and air (there is only enough on board for a hamster)?
- Temporarily grounded, the Wight seeks victims to turn into zombies so they can pull his craft like a chariot across the moors, toward the grand capital that contains the parts he needs.
- Ed Wight is terrified: Gus the Miniature Giant Space Hamster has been feeling poorly and needs a healer right away! But who will help a creature of darkness?
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