Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Edge of Death Metal

While writing the Brood Ventricle I listened to all sorts of metal from the 80s to take myself back. There is just something synonymous with metal and old school gaming. The lyrics and album covers just power up your imagination if you let them. A while back I touched on just how the imagery of metal music is such juicy RPG material. Today I was mulling over how much further death metal takes us into the realms of the otherworld. For example Lovecraftian horror and Conan-esque type savagery often colors the themes and lyrics of death metal bands. Just for clarification I’m using the term death metal loosely here to mean extreme metal.

Admittedly death metal singing has never really been my cup of tea. That being said, I have friends who know the lyrics to some songs that sound like nothing more than guttural snarling to me. I do however like the aggressive guitar complexities and the epic vibe of death metal. Much of the music sounds like the potential cadence of some army of hell or alien horror from the abyss. Below I have displayed a few of my favorite death metal album covers for your continued inspiration:

Finally below please find a new relic for some lucky (or unlucky) player in your campaign to find. The only caveat being it may induce mosh pits in your game room and herald a new era of combat in your games! 

Death Metal


Death Metal is a two handed sword which has been forged from a single piece of adamantine. Legend holds that the hammered blade was cooled in the blood of ancient dragons. When hefted and swung, Death Metal issues forth a distortion of growls which resemble a mighty beast singing.


Death Metal revels in the fight and seeks out combat so it may sing new songs of glory. The wielder of this antagonistic sword always fails charisma based rolls related to social interaction and diplomacy. Once per day the wielder may also invoke the sword’s Wall of Death power. All allies and enemies within a 60’ radius must make a difficult wisdom saving throw or charge each other violently. This charm of fury lasts until a saving throw is successfully made on subsequent rounds or until everyone is unconscious or dead.

Death Metal has a +3 enchantment bonus and can be considered morally ambiguous in terms of alignment. The wielder of Death Metal is immune to all Fear both mundane and magical.


Death Metal is said to have been crafted for a mighty king who became complacent after years of peace and opulence. Worried their realm would soon fall victim to outside forces several wizards conspired to find a way to push the king into action. The result was the creation of a notorious weapon that was gifted to the king on his 60th birthday. What followed was the unbridled conquering of several nearby nations when all efforts at continued diplomacy failed. When the king was laid to rest many years later history tells that a strange calm filled the land.