It’s a given that your October- or Halloween-themed 4E-dungeon’s going to have a hovering ghost (page 116, Monster Manual) haunting the undisturbed crypt, at least one gruesome hag (page150) stirring a kettle with a noxious brew and a blood-thirsty vampire (page 258) waiting in the wings — so to speak — to strike.
But here are some other monsters from that glorious tome you could use to slip into a Gothic horror setting and not sacrifice one iota in suspense, or at least good fun.
The Over-eager Undertaker
It’s not that the undertaker Imargo is ever lacking for work — people are dying to give him business. But Imargo sees himself as an artist of the funereal craft. What’s the challenge of preparing an unmarked body for an open casket viewing? The old who die in their sleep are boring. He wants to work on young, beautiful people whose remains are marred ever-just-so. Fixing a victim that had been dismembered or scarred or gutted like a fish, and presenting that body with nary a mark visible? That’s art. Sadly, too few of his customers arrive in such a condition. And he ever-so-much wants to master his craft. The answer: arrange a few of the deaths himself. He already has all the tools — all he needs now is an opportunity, and a few well-chosen victims.
Imargo is a Dark One Dark Creeper, small shadow humanoid. Level 4 skirmisher.
The Ghost-cat of Barrow Boneyard
It goes without saying that the graveyard is haunted. Such things always are. But since when did the spirts of cats come to haunt it? Ghostly white, as large as a hound, they say. A wizard’s familiar? A good luck spirit? Or is it a dire omen? The cat’s only been glanced at out of the corner of the eye, darting between tombstones, or sitting imperiously at the far end of the lane that passes between the markers. Odd things have been happening since the thing appeared. For one, the caretaker of the crypt’s gone missing, and in many places, it looks like the ground’s been disturbed. Is the ghostly cat to blame for these strange occurances, or does it simply watch over the boneyard while other, more sinister powers are at work?
Ghost-cat is a Fey Panther, medium fey beast, Level 4 skirmisher.
The boneyard’s true threats are the caretaker-eating Ghoul, medium natural humanoid (undead), Level 5 soldier and the emerging zombie threat of the Corruption Corpse, medium natural animate (undead), Level 4 artillery and his gang of Zombie Rotters, medium natural animate (undead), Level 3 minions.
The Good Doctor
Strange things have been happening in the old manor house since the Good Doctor moved in. Strange flickering lights, the sparks and flashes associated with lightning have been seen through the narrow slitted windows of the attached tower. The Good Doctor just shrugs when asked. “Weather experiments,” he says behind a thick pair of goggles and a lab coat covered with greenish chemicals and what looks like splotches of dried blood. There’s mud on his shoes, and there are rumors he’s been making late-night visits to the cemetery. “I’m laying a wreath at the grave of some dear relatives,” he admits, his eyes shifting left and right quickly as he answers. He then slams the door and raises the bridge over the moat. The townsfolk are alarmed. “It’s more than peculiar, it’s unnatural!” they complain. Pitchforks and torches are being distributed. Can the heroes act before the mob is assembled?
The Corpse Given Life is a Flesh Golem, large natural animate (construct), Level 12 Brute.
The Failed Experiments are two Spirit Devourers, large shadow humanoid (undead), Level 11 Elite Soldiers.
The Good Doctor is Human Mage, medium natural humanoid, Level 4 Artillery. Adjust using the Death Master template, creating an Elite Controller (leader).
The Good Doctor’s Laboratory contains five dangerous electrical fields and/or devices. Treat as Electrified Floor, trap, Level 10 Obstacles.