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Nightmare Fuel / Dungeons & Dragons

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A black slaad, one of the many telepathic horrors from another plane you don't want to meet.

The Nightmare Fuel page for Dungeons & Dragons.

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     Games and Guidebooks 
  • This page shows that even things like the oft-ridiculed original Thought Eater can be this trope.
  • From D&D comes the vastly disturbing Atropal, an epic-level creature who is quite literally an undead god-fetus. As if that wasn't terrifying enough, even if you manage to kill the Atropal, bits of its sloughed off flesh can reanimate as less powerful but perhaps even more disgusting Atropal Scions.
    • Worst part - you don't need to kill it to make those. It can re-animate its own chunks.
    • And the 4E version is quite possibly even worse.
  • A sourcebook called the "Book of Vile Darkness" is a whole vat of Nightmare Fuel (it has a label declaring "content intended for mature audiences only"), supplying the GM with ideas for various heinous acts, spells such as 'Mind Rape', 'Wall of Eyeballs', or 'Rapture of Rupture', as well as several monsters. One particular horror is an abyssal being who feeds by paralysing its victims and then digging through their bodies with a toothed feeder tendril. Bonus? The creature is naturally telepathic, so while it is munching on the victim's guts, everyone nearby (including the victim) will feel what they taste like.
    • Also, from the Book of Vile Darkness comes the spell "Eternity of Torture", a spell which, in addition to causing excruciating pain for as long as it lasts, which is forever, also twists the victim's body, and renders him completely helpless. And if that weren't enough, it also sustains all your needs such as food, drink, air, etc. And it makes you ageless.
    • The Book of Vile Darkness includes several "races of pure evil", who can also be this. Most prominently are the Vasharans and the Jerrans, evil versions of humans and halflings, respectively. Vasharans were a flawed first attempt at humanity that archdemons rescued from oblivion and further perfected; they are totally incapable of anything like pity, remorse, love or kindness. Jerrens are technically even more frightening: originally, they were just ordinary halflings. And then, to fight off the goblins they were at war with, they gleefully sank to levels that disgusted said goblins.
    • Let's not forget the sample character The Dread Emperor, who keeps children chained to him so that he can gain a minor benefit, and his armor allows him to shunt any damage he takes off on the kids in question. Actually, most of the sample characters presented in the first chapter are pretty twisted, especially the elf child who happens to be a HALF-FIEND.
    • Also, unlike nearly all other sourcebooks, the illustrations border on Gorn.
    • Most importantly, the Book of Vile Darkness that this sourcebook is named after? One of the most prominent examples of evil literature? Turns out it got its start when a Vasharan one day decided to start writing a diary of the messed-up things he did. "Big things have small beginnings", indeed.
  • What about the Vargouilles, monsters that are essentially flocks of flying Shrunken Heads that kiss you and, if you aren't quickly healed, turn you into a flying Shrunken Head? Not even you as in all of you. Just your head sprouts wings and breaks off.
    • Added to this is the fact that, while sunlight can delay the transformation, the only cure is a level 3 spell, while the Vargouille is low enough a challenge rating that you may only have level 1 spells available when you encounter it.
  • Planescape has the Vaath, which uses a tentacle with a sphincter-mouth on the end to burrow through your flesh and organs until it reaches your spine and severs it, paralysing you. Then it tortures you to death.
  • Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations is equally unpleasant. Let's consider: we have the aboleths (horrors from before the beginning of the universe, whose knowledge of the magical and psionic arts will actually drive you insane if you try and learn it), the mind flayers (pretty much the same thing, only from the future and who reproduce by sticking a tadpole in your brain, whereupon it eats your entire nervous system), the beholders (xenophobic and paranoid beings who are not only virtually immune to magic, but whose reproduction is basically vomiting up their children), the neogi (giant wolf-spider people who basically see the entire universe in terms of money, and will sell anything or anyone if they think it'll net them a profit — oh, and they can control minds), the tsochari (who are basically Always Chaotic Evil Pod People, only they can inhabit people and slowly eat their insides), and the grell (floating tentacled brains who think the entire universe is just a smorgasboard). Oh, and there are about a dozen Eldritch Abomination gods like Mak Thuum Ngatha, Tharizdun, and Y'chak, many of which are utterly insane Expys of creatures from H. P. Lovecraft and would gladly crush the universe. These are all supposed to be happening on the same universe.
    • First off, a proper description: aboleths are giant tentacled leech-fish with varying amounts of eyes, usually in sets of three. Kinda like this. JUVENILES tend to be on the order of 25 feet tip-to-tail. They're also basically pure psionic energy made flesh, sometimes are able to fly, and each one has the combined genetic memory of all its predecessors. Depending on which edition they range from, the either hail from one of the deeper levels of the Abyss (the Chaotic Evil version of the afterlife; Hell in D&D is Lawful Evil) or the Far Realm, a.k.a. the lovely little hole in the order of the universe that spawns everything Lovecraftian. Their attacks tend to eat your memories, if not just completely Mind Rape you into being a thrall. They're also more-or-less immortal (as immortal as anything gets in the setting, anyway) and the earliest ones predate all other known life. Yes, a baby slug-looking Aboleth spawn wriggling in the mud (that's still twice as large as your biggest adventurer) has memories of the entire divine pantheon coming into being. The only, only up-side to them is that they're not really openly hostile unless attacked; it's just that their very PRESENCE tends to lead to horrible, horrible consequences to anything that isn't them, since their psyches and priorities don't exactly work on the same level as ours. However, they still intend to take over all existence.
    • Mind flayers, who refer to themselves as illithids, are lavender-skinned, slimy Cthulhumanoids that eat brains. They are refugees from the end of time. They are ruled over by giant psychic brains with tentacles, formed out of their own corpses. Aboleths consider them disturbing because they don't have memories of Mind Flayers' origin.
    • Also mentioned are the Elder Evils (not the same entities mentioned below). They are...beings that the aboleths treat almost like gods. They're impossibly ancient, godlike in power, and utterly hostile to all normal life. They're not from the Far Realm. They're from somewhere beyond, and they created the Far Realm.
  • Most of the Elder Evils readily qualify for this. Pandorym? It's an Eldritch Abomination from a reality perpendicular to the game world, and it's going to kill the gods and a fair number of planets too — and Obligatum VII, one of the representatives of universal law, wants to release it to fulfill a freaking contract. Father Llymic? He's a monster from the Far Realm who will transform the entire world into ice, transforming most of its inhabitants into hybrids of themselves and insects. Ragnorra? She's a giant wormlike sack of flesh that transforms into an (arguably even scarier) True Mother form, and she not only spawns an infinite stream of crimes against nature that make beholders and mind flayers look pleasant, but The Dragon is a maddened zenythri (for the uninitiated, these are the descendants of humans and beings of pure law) who has cut his lips off and replaced them with wriggling flukelike critters. Sertrous? He's not so bad by himself, but his manifestation flooding the world with serpents, and he can can never really be defeated, as he's already dead. Kyuss, The Worm That Walks? Let's just say you may never look at a worm in the same way again. It's strongly advised you only read this book in dark rooms, so that you don't have to look at some of the pictures. And of course let's not forget Zargon, the last member of the devil race before the baatezu. Not only is he a vile-looking creature, but he creates a pool of poisonous slime wherever he goes. Plus, he is pretty much unkillable, as in the gods asked Asmodeus to take him down. Which even he couldn't do in the end, as he couldn't find the pit that you have to pitch Zargon's horn into to actually destroy him for good; I suppose it wouldn't hurt to mention that you have to do this within a DAY of taking him down, or that his horn makes him practically indestructible in its own right. Especially the golothoma, an eyeball-spider-serpent-thing that eats you with its shadow.
    • Of course Zargon and Serthos become pure Narm when the party's druid realizes that there's a prestige class that allows them to assume the form of those two elder evils with perfect access to all their abilities.
    • Father Llymic may not look particularly threatening, but the fluff they built up around him is sheer nightmare fuel. Back when your flavor of ancient magical empire Dug Too Deep, and created a portal to the Far Realm without knowing the consequences. This allowed a number of Far denizens into the Prime Material Plane (and may be the origin of aboleths and similar aberrations in that realm). Thankfully, while the Far Realm is not particularly habitable to us, it turns out the same is true the other way around. Specifically, Llymic is weakened by light, and when he's exposed to it, he radiates extreme cold. The ancient elves exploited this, and imprisoned him in ice on the highest peak of the highest mountain, where the sun's rays would keep him imprisoned forever. He psychically manifests to people as an elderly elf male who points you to the mountain where his body is imprisoned, and may become hostile if ignored. If you spent too much time near him ("near" here means a few kilometers) or come into contact with his spawn, you may be transformed into horrifying ice monsters that worship him feverishly. The scariest part about Llymic, however, may be his signs. It starts out simple. Longer winters, a few people go missing, that sort of thing. This is D&D, where children are kidnapped by wererats every other week, so most people won't notice. Maybe an adventurer or two is sent after them, and get to slay one of Llymic's spawn and call it a day. Over time, the cold gets worse and worse. The glacier on the mountain starts moving at a heightened pace, and the villages nearby become uninhabitable. Llymic's spawn start to spread, and cults form to worship him. When the powers of the land can no longer ignore this, the worst signs become noticeable: Slowly but surely, the sun starts to dim, and magic that produces light stops working. When Llymic fully awakens, the sun has fully gone out.
      • Oh, and extra horrifying? Unlike many of the Elder Evils, Llymic does not appear because summoners call him or cults worship him (they do, but that comes later). It could happen anytime.
    • And finally, there's Atropus. This Elder Evil's moniker is "The World Born Dead" — a godling formed from the figurative afterbirth of the universe that takes the form of an entire planet made out of undead flesh, bone, and corrupted elemental matter. Its surface teems with swarming armies of undead, and Atropus is defined first and foremost by its unquenchable hatred for all life, which sees it roaming the universe, causing a Zombie Apocalypse on any world it approaches, hoping to annihilate all life and replace it with undeath. As if that weren't enough, Atropus takes the form of a planet with a face: a vague, shadowy semblance of a skeletal face, visible from orbit, with a hollow mouth gaping in an eternal scream of hatred.
      • Oh, and those Atropals we mentioned earlier? The stillborn gods? They all came from Atropus.
  • Dragon Magazine occasionally got into this too. One issue featured several spells designed to evoke that "insane asylum" feel, up to and including a lobotomy. About the only reason it's possible to sleep after seeing that is to consider the Shout-Out in the opening flavour text features a "Dr Gregorian Ilhousen", a Hilarious in Hindsight moment. note 
  • Eberron contains quite a few nasty devices used by the more malicious/insane antagonists:
    • The Husk of Infinite Worlds, a magical device used by the daelkyr to create new species of creatures by horribly mutating others. Think of it like a DNA washing machine: creature goes in, gets put on the spin cycle, and if it doesn't immediately dissolve into primordial ooze it pops out in a new, horribly mutated state. Even then, there's only a 1% chance that the new form will be able to survive for longer than fifteen seconds. And if it does survive, the daelkyr in charge will likely just put it in again to see if it can mutate into a more interesting form.
    • Everything the daelkyr do qualifies as Nightmare Fuel. These are people whose main slave race was created by fusing two goblins together. These are people who bred a variety of abominations to use as clothing, including a suit of armour that's actually a limbless crab. These are the inventors of the beholder — and frankly, anyone who could develop a creature whose reproduction consists of vomiting up your young and then biting off your uterus presumably runs on Nightmare Fuel. (Important memo to whoever at TSR or Wizards of the Coast who came up with that one: you are one sick, sick puppy).
      • The daelkyr also created the mind flayers. So they made a species that reproduces by putting a tadpole in your ear so it can eat your brain, take its place, hijack the rest of your nervous system, and turn your head into a squid!
      • The beholder was a bit of an evolutionary thing. You start with a monster that's basically a sphere that's mostly mouth and eyes, and eventually somebody asks where little beholders come from, and at that point the thing really has only one body cavity, which is the inside of its mouth. You are now imagining eyeballs erupting into tiny little baby beholders.
    • The Lords of Dust have devices that can turn any creature into a willing slave by pumping them full of magical sand. Here's how the process works: the subject is placed into the device — which resembles a sarcophagus — which is then sealed shut. Suckers emerge from the inside of the device, attach themselves to the victim, then proceed to suck out their soul. Once the body is completely drained, those same suckers pump the empty husk full of magical sand that turns the body into a willing servant of the Lords of Dust. Finally, the victim has a key installed in their eye socket that, when turned, will stir up the sand and grant increased strength and speed. The passage mentions that the Lords of Dust particularly love to inflict this fate on their worst enemies. Looks like whomever put these things into Eberron canon liked to watch and/or read Hellboy, doesn't it?
    • One question posed to the setting creator was "Why do daelkyr look so human?" His response was "The question should be 'Why do humans look so much like daelkyr?'"
  • The Urban Arcana campaign setting combines fantasy and realistic settings. It includes familiar monsters from Dungeons & Dragons, which is fine...and then there's the new ones. Such as the "Urban Wendigo". A homeless person's bitterness and sense of disconnection from humanity eventually causes them to degenerate into a subhuman, Morlock-like beast that, while still looking essentially human, preys on lost people in the city. And just think: ANY homeless person could be one of them...
  • In AD&D standard 2nd edition, minotaurs are usually held captive in labyrinths by "an evil wizard or a tyrant " and that they are often provided "prisoners and slaves on a regular basis". "Minotaurs [also] breed with human females to produce offspring, which are male minotaurs". It is unlikely that these human females consented to sex.
  • Dungeons & Dragons gives us the mimic, which can disguise itself as anything stone or wood. Traditionally depicted as chests, they can also appear as doors or stonework. Touch them, then you stick, and they beat you to death with their tentacles. Metal Mimics can imitate metal as well, illuminate themselves, and disguise themselves as valuable artifacts. Thankfully, their "eyes" are vulnerable to sunlight. House Hunters don't have the sunlight vulnerability, and can disguise themselves as a building, including light and noises. Several usually work together to form a "village". And then 2nd Ed rolls around...
    • Even worse in 4th edition. Item-mimics are the juvenile stage. Adults pretend to be people.
  • The Ooze is a gelatinous Blob Monster whose main method of attack is to digest you alive. The 3.5 Monster Manual has a particularly demonstrative picture of a poor chap who fell victim to the monster's grasp...
  • The d20 sourcebook Dragonmech. A D&D type world where the moon has been moved closer and almost all life lives either deep underground or within truly Humongous Mecha , the City-Mechs up to 2000 feet tall, powered by magic, steam, clockwork... slavery, or necromancy. One of the undead 'mechs' is described as being thousands of bodies melded together... but some of the smaller ones are creepier. A meatrack is a metal skeleton with sharpened fingers as its weapons, that is powered by bare muscles attached to the frame. But even the undead ones aren't the worst... one of the character classes is a steampunk cyborg... that modified himself. Break a leg, why wait for it to heal? Hack it off and replace it with some metal... well, now you're lopsided, so you might as well do the other side too... Man, this would be easier if I could change out my hands, why not replace the arms too? Until you're left with a head on a robot body... and the steampunk cyborg did all of the work himself, aside from the implantation of the original small steam engine, was forgotten. The amputation of limbs and replacement with metal, with no mention of any sort of anaesthetic.
    • The self-mutilation mentioned above was added as an Artificer feat in 3.5 Eberron, aptly named "Self-forged". As in, a Warforged that forged itself. You keep your original race for a while, but eventually your self-modification will cause your character to become almost entirely Magitek.
  • The Derro were always a race of batshit insane lunatics, but 4th Edition has brought their insanity, and their scariness, Up to Eleven. Pale, blank-eyed dwarf-like creatures that always cackle and drool no matter what they do, their link to the Far Realm allows them to "warp" their slaves into tentacled monstrosities who barely retain any of their past features or memories. So malicious and mad are they that even the Drow will drop everything and work together to fight the Derro, because they know that if they even so much as let them get a foothold, it could mean the end for them.
  • We all know the stars, right? Big balls of light that you see in the sky? Well, in 4th Edition, quite a few of these stars are actually alive, and they are not our friends. These living stars are pretty much Eldritch Abominations that have one goal: annihilate the World and everything on it. Some of them are capable of creating humanoid avatars of their powers. These "Star Spawn" are all horrific in their own right.
    • The Herald of Hadar is a corpse-like figure that falls into the Uncanny Valley, with red orbs for eyes and wicked-fast claws. Worse, all he does is eat, eat and eat. Represented by a fat monster? Nope. The herald of Hadar is clearly starving.
    • Like the Herald of Hadar, the Scion of Gibbeth's sole purpose is to eat, but that's not what makes it horrifying. The picture we're given of it shows a pitch black demonic figure encased in an amorphous, corpulent shell, but that's still not what's horrifying about it. No, what is horrible about it is that this disgusting, dual-skinned form isn't the Scion's true form at all. The Scion of Gibbeth is so alien, so mind shatteringly disgusting and horrific, that no one who sees one ever sees the shape another person would see. Makes Pale Night look like a loving, friendly mother.
    • The Maw of Acamar is a giant, human-shaped void that leads into the depths of space, you can clearly see stars, and whole galaxies in the tear. Oh, and what is Acamar? It's implied to be a sentient, evil, black hole. One day, it might eat the world.
    • The Spawn of Ulban is a humanoid figure covered in purple chitin. Instead of legs, he's got seven tentacles (still purple). His hands are covered in cold, blue fire. He's more powerful than some gods, and what does he do? He destroys small kingdoms. And no, he isn't a One-Man Army. His sheer psychic presence makes people go crazy. And the worst part is that its master, Ulban, is not himself evil: he's trying to prevent The End of the World as We Know It from happening. But if Ulban isn't evil, then why are his Spawn the way they are? And why can he not hold them back?
    • So your players are engaged in a diplomatic endeavor. They are very lucky, 'cause they have one of their nation's best diplomats on their side. With Errol Flynnish good looks, he's the life of the party, and all the while he steers the debates in your favor. But something seems off, he has a weird accent, or odd syntax, or he steps just a little into Uncanny Valley. The PC's investigate. It turns out that this guy just popped up recently, and just in time, as a mysterious plague is sweeping the nation, and the cure lies in the hands of enemies. So this guy comes in to save the day. And then the PC's learn the awful truth: this "friend" is actually a Defector from Decadence, and his enemies are hunting him down. Won't the PCs please protect him? The plague intensifies, and kills a friendly diplomat. The other nation is struck, and refuses the to share the cure. The two nations go to war, while the dead mount. A whole continent is dragged into despair, and as the heroes look on, helpless, a purple star rises in the sky. What happened? Well, the nice diplomat was an alien monster all along. That's an Emissary of Caiphon, one of the more powerful of the star spawn. And Caiphon is revealed in a Dragon article to be the nicest of these things. He is implied to not hate you, he is just curious as to what happens when you remove part of the social foundation. Sometimes he eradicates horrors like, say, slavery, and other times he eradicates entire sentient species.
    • The Serpents of Nihal, whose origin reads like an H. P. Lovecraft short story. Once there was a jungle nation, devoted to the evil god of Snakes, assassins, darkness, and poisons. Now, this nation of Aztec Expies searched for more power. So, they opened a gate to Nihal, a a star made of snakes, and the Spiritual Successor to Kyuss up there. What came out? An army of glowing, evil snakes.
    • And then there is Allabar, Opener of the Way, the first 4th Edition living star we get a close look at. Remember what Atropus looked like? Well, instead of a face, imagine dozens upon dozens of unblinking eyes, as well as hundreds of rope-like "growths" around its "body." Think the moon, when it's nice and big and clear, so you can see all of the faultlines, valleys and craters. Now imagine every faultline and valley is a huge, thrashing tentacle, and every crater, from the biggest to the smallest, is a never-blinking eye. Imagine that floating in the sky above you at night. Staring at you. Hating you.
  • Most campaign stories are up to the Game Master to decide. What some particularly inventive and sadistic Game Masters come up with can be truly horrifying to behold.
  • Quippers. Imagine really big piranhas that survive in cold water. Now imagine: you're walking by a pool, and then a giant fish with sharp teeth jumps out and devours you in one big gulp. And they can be anywhere. Paranoia Fuel, anyone?
  • Heroes of Horror. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: an entire sourcebook for adding Nightmare Fuel to campaigns.
  • Pale Night, even more than the other obyriths. Her shrouded form only exists because reality CANNOT allow what she really looks like to exist in the world. If you look under the shroud and make the save for whether or not you understand what you see, you get deleted from existence for grasping the cosmic horror you have just seen.
  • The Tarrasque 48d10+594 hit dice points. You're already dead.
  • 5th Edition comes in strong. Certain spoilers have revealed the nothic (a rather silly-looking cyclopean lizardman) is now a wizard who pried too deeply into forbidden matters and is now a sadistic Seer which is able just know things about the people it observes (it doesn't read your mind, it just knows) and with the ability to make you rot from the inside out just by looking at you. And nobody knows what they're planning...
  • So you know that 3.5e spell Avascular Mass? Y'know, the one that forces the target's blood vessels out of their body and makes a wall out of them? A wall that traps people inside? And the best part is it only takes away half of the target's Hit points, so it guarantees the target will be alive while it happens.
  • A bit of meta horror: crack open any of the older bestiaries and flip to the 'Giants' section. In the middle of describing encounters and such, it will suddenly mention the statistics of their newborns. No context, no reason to be there, but it is. When Gygax said Always Chaotic Evil, he knew exactly what he was doing.
  • The Unholy Scion is a horrific little example of Demonic Possession. Usually created when a fiend possesses an unborn baby, the result is truly a Fetus Terrible; it's aware and sentient even in the womb, and has a permanent Charm Person effect on its mother. Naturally, being a demon, it likes to make its host-mother do all sorts of terrible things for its own amusement, something a sadistic Dungeon Master can really have some "fun" with. Imagine a beloved pregnant matriarch whose many loved children are disappearing... and then imagine it's because she's eating them at the behest of her unborn child, simply because it amused it. Worse, the mother is perfectly aware that what she's doing is wrong, but the unnatural love for her child forced upon her by its powers leaves her helpless to obey.
    • And it doesn't get any better when the Scion is born. It just graduates to the position of Enfant Terrible. Now you have the lovely scenario of a perfectly normal baby who uses both its permanently-besotted mother and its own array of Black Magic powers to guard itself until it's physically strong enough to enact its corrupt and sadistic urges.
    • Oh, and the icing on the cake? You can't exorcise an Unholy Scion. Attacking a body with such an underdeveloped soul means the fiend effortlessly absorbs the original spirit. From an outside perspective, there's nothing to exorcise. You can only kill it when it's born... or perhaps, before.
    • Oh, and it gets worse! See, whilst most Unholy Scions are created through deliberate Demonic Possession by fiends, they can also form spontaneously. If a woman happens to conceive through union with a fiend in an area of high Taint, then the result is always an Unholy Scion.
  • There is something mildly unsettling about the cantrip Toll The Dead. The sound of a tolling bell is heard out of nowhere, and all of a sudden, the target is missing a chunk of health for no apparent reason. Also, it's necrotic damage, which means it likely damages the very soul of the target.
  • With the release of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, there's plenty of high level terrors, but why overlook the CR 1/2 Adult Fear that is the Skulk? It's a humanoid who went soulless from spending too much time in the Shadowfell, and it is also permanently invisible, unless seen in a mirror, as well as leaving no tracks. The aforementioned Adult Fear comes from the fact that children below the age of 10 can see it perfectly.
    • The Sorrowsworn are personifications of all the negative feelings of people in the Shadowfell: The Hungry, the Lost, the Angry and the Lonely. The portraits make them look like Mooks, but when you look at the CR, each would be a challenge for lv. 10 players. These things are so miserable that you almost feel sorry of them. But don't worry, you can help them. In fact, they're not giving you a choice...
  • The level 9 Warlock/Wizard spell Imprisonment is And I Must Scream Incarnate. Buried deep under ground for all eternity? Bound with unbreakable chains? Eternal sleep? Your own, inescapable pocket dimension? Shrunk to the size of a pin and placed in a gemstone for viewing pleasure? Pick your poison. While imprisoned, it's nigh impossible to escape, and the spell negates all forms of teleportation, including planar. Your only hope is that your captor is nice enough to provide a set of conditions for your release (which can be anything from True Love's Kiss to When you agree to do what I say), or your party has a 17th level spell caster available. Or a Wish scroll. Of course, Lv. 9 spells are hard to come by. Let's hope you were nice to your teammates.

     The Animated Series 

  • Venger, with his deep, booming Peter Cullen voice, his fangs, pale deathly pallor, horn, and wings, is also trying to kill a bunch of kids, and can assume some very convincing disguises in his efforts to do so. Anyone you meet in the Realm could be Venger leading you into a death trap.
  • The idea that you could get stuck in The Realm just because you decided to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park. And our group isn't the only ones to arrive that way. You'd think they'd shut the ride down after the first few kids go missing...
  • An episode where the villain caused interdimensional portals to appear under kids' beds and his minions dragged them through to perform slave labor for him — complete with terrified parents trying to keep their kid from disappearing through the rift. On the other hand, when Bobby, the youngest of the featured characters, is snatched, the other kids and their new ally force the portal open and dive in after the kidnapper with a determined look that promises a world of hurt for anyone who tries to stand in their way.
  • One of the characters got turned into a bogbeast. Eric must've failed his saving throw against Polymorph.
  • The fun moment in "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior" when Venger tried to turn Hank into one; before the process is interrupted, the ranger's entire outer meat layer starts to melt off.
  • The kids once accidentally summoned Venger's master, which manifests as the top half of a giant green face with slit-pupil eyes above the cloud layer, and as a cyclone of absolute hellfire from there to the ground. Might not look so threatening in a cartoon, but imagine seeing something like that yourself and doing anything other than crapping your pants and curling up into a whimpering ball. Now imagine that it's following you, and can appear anywhere in the world within seconds, and you've got a taste of what Dungeon Master and the kids went through.
  • The series was pretty dark for a childrens' cartoon in The '80s, which didn't do it any favors with the syndication censors. "The Hall of Bones" was one of the better episodes... but featured a were-spider transforming on screen and the titular haunted hall, so it didn't air often.


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