arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

GM's Resources

10 Side Effects of Being Dominated by an Aboleth

10 Side Effects of Being Dominated by an Aboleth

by Creighton Broadhurst

November 15, 2019


GM's Resources

10 Side Effects of Being Dominated by an Aboleth

by Creighton Broadhurst

November 15, 2019


10 Side Effects of Being Dominated by an Aboleth

The aboleth…impossibly ancient and impossibly evil. These masters of the deep are the implacable foe of many adventurers. One of their most dangerous and insidious powers is the ability to dominate almost anyone unfortunate enough to encounter them. Using such powers, they set friend against friend, unleashing betrayal from among their enemies’ midst. Thus has been spelt the doom of many adventuring parties.

The effects of an aboleth’s domination wear off with its death. Such domination effects, however, can also have subtle, long-term effects. Use the table below, to determine what lingering side effects the unfortunate adventurer suffers:

  1. Your dreams are full of visions of sunken cyclopean cities and huge, teeming schools of strange, bloated fish swimming about the seaweed-choked ruins.
  2. You abhor the smell of fish and no longer eat them (unless in dire extremis).
  3. Occasionally, you feel a scratching on the surface of your mind as if something was trying to break in…or break out.
  4. You crave the sea and take every possible opportunity to swim in its salty waters. You get cranky and short-tempered, if you can’t go swimming in the sea at least once a week.
  5. You feel a special affinity to the sea and begin to believe the sounds of its waves conceal whispers of secret lore destined only for your ears. If given the chance, you sit for hours on a beach or dock listening to its sibilant whispers.
  6. While you were dominated, the aboleth commanded you in its ancient, abhorrent tongue. Mortals were not meant to utter such blasphemous sounds, but you have gained the ability to utter a few basic phrases including, “Yes, master” and “By your will”. Occasionally, you unwittingly use them in place of normal speech.
  7. Doubts about the natural order of the universe begin to creep into your mind. In particular, you begin to ponder the nature of the gods and whether they are really deserving of worship. (Note this could be a particularly “fun” side effect for a cleric, druid or paladin).
  8. You begin to be more dismissive of other people and their petty woes. Don’t they understand the lurking terrors hidden beneath the ocean’s endlessly churning waters? You become introspective and morose.
  9. You develop a taste for raw fish—the fresher the better. Why would anyone ruin such a meal with cooking
  10. Having a powerful will in charge of your every action was strangely comforting—after all, you could do no wrong while carrying out is command. Now stripped of this certainty of purpose, you occasionally become hesitant and unsure of yourself.

Side Note

I wrote this article because in my Shattered Star campaign (sessions 59, 60 and 61) two of the party were dominated by an aboleth. Both of the party members turned against their fellows and only clever thinking averted total disaster. I think it worth marking such a landmark event—the campaign almost ended in death and disaster, after all. Generating minor long-term effects of the domination can also provide the afflicted characters with some cool role-playing possibilities—after all I’m sure being dominated by such an alien intelligence is a rather traumatic experience! (And—if my players are reading this—who knows what other effects may emerge over time…)

Want More?

If you enjoyed this article, The Thingonomicon comprises 180 pages of random tables designed to help you add depth, detail and verisimilitude into your games with virtually no effort.

If you have ancient necropolises, bustling marketplaces, creepy graveyards, cultists’ lairs, curio shops and pawnbrokers, dark caverns, fallen dwarven holds, forts on the borderland, goblin lairs, haunted houses, hill giant steadings, kobold warrens, corpses, necromancer’s lairs, noisome sewers, ocean voyages, seedy taverns, slavers’ compounds, smugglers’ lairs, subterranean mines, sun-scorched deserts, troublesome treasures, war-ravaged lands, wilderness camps or wizard’s towers in your campaign The Thingonomicon has got you covered!

0 Comments

Shopping Cart