Discussion:
Stranger Things: A Dungeons & Dragons History Check
(too old to reply)
Ubiquitous
2017-01-03 16:49:57 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
The 1980s were grand years for the Dungeons & Dragons game, and its
players. Millions of young people were influenced by the game in a
variety of ways, and have since integrated into society to let those
D&D-sparked influences loose upon an unsuspecting world. {cackling
and hand-wringing}

The most recent example of D&D’s influence comes by way of the
Netflix original series Stranger Things, a sci-fi supernatural
horror show created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer that’s
currently all the rage on the internets. This influence shows up
right from the start, and runs unashamedly throughout the entire
eight episodes of the first season. Many articles have already been
written that speak positively of this fact, but don’t go much
farther into it. This article will change that.



*SPOILER ALERT*

The focus here will be on D&D, but there will be scenes from
Stranger Things described, so if you have not watched it yet and
don’t want to know spoilers, turn away now. There will also be D&D
campaign spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

Demogorgon

Within the first two minutes of Stranger Things, the scene shifts to
a group of kids playing D&D in the lower level of a nice suburban
house. The DM is craftily setting up a combat encounter, which at
first includes a band of troglodytes. Then, the DM spookily
continues his narration, and suddenly throws in the dreaded
Demogorgon, much to the dismay of the players.

What’s a Demogorgon? Why were they so afraid to face it in battle?
Demogorgon is none other than the Prince of Demons, and has been an
iconic D&D creature since 1975, along with Orcus, his chief rival
and enemy. You can find a short description of Demogorgon in the 5th
edition Monster Manual under the Demon Lords section (pgs. 51-52),
and a brief mention in the 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide in The
Abyss section (pg. 62).

In the 80s, Demogorgon was one of the most feared D&D creatures, and
that’s why that Stranger Things scene played out as it did.
Demogorgon is known as the Prince of Demons, and Lord of All That
Swims in Darkness. Demogorgon is 18’ tall, has two baboon heads, a
lizard-like body and legs covered in scales, two tentacles for arms,
and a long, thick, forked tail. Demogorgon has always been drawn to
look terrible and cruel throughout D&D editions, but I think the 4th
edition Monster Manual 2 cover artwork is the best rendition.

http://geekandsundry.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/07/MM2Demogorgon.jpg

Demogorgon’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons edition powers included 95%
magic resistance, all psionics, and being able to make 3 attacks per
turn. On top of that, Demogorgon had a -8 AC, 200 HP, and required a
+2 or better weapon to hit. Back in the day, these stats meant your
certain and gruesome death should you ever be so unfortunate as to
meet it. Demogorgon plays prominently in the 5th edition Rage of
Demons story arc, specifically in the Out of the Abyss campaign. I
don’t have the stat block from that adventure, but I’ve no doubt
Demogorgon is as terrible as it always has been.

Expert Edition

In Stranger Things episode 5, “The Flea and the Acrobat”, we get to
see what edition of D&D the main characters are playing. As they
look up information on The Vale of Shadows, the scene shows a well-
worn copy of the D&D Expert Rulebook.

TSR published the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR 1001) in 1977.
That set went through a major revision in 1981, lead by game
designer Tom Moldvay, and covered character levels 1-3. The Expert
Set, also published in 1981, and with cover art by the famed Erol
Otus, was an expansion to the Basic Set, covering character levels
4-14. The Expert Set was revised in 1983 under the direction of
Frank Mentzer, with cover art by the equally famed Larry Elmore. It
became the second D&D product in the line that included the
Companion Set (levels 15-25), the Master Set (levels 26-36), and the
Immortals Set (levels 36+). The 1983 edition of Expert Rules seems
to be the one being used in Stranger Things.

The Expert Rules were notable for a few reasons. One, they
established ‘reversible spells.’ For example, a cleric could cast a
healing spell, but reverse it, so that it would cause damage instead
of healing damage. Second, dwarves, elves, and halflings were given
max levels (12-10-8 respectively) due to them having special racial
abilities, in order to help keep the game balanced. And third, it
made allowances for characters to gain and hire NPCs as retainers
and henchmen, and also allowed characters to construct their own
castles and strongholds upon reaching higher levels.

The Expert Rules also came with the adventure X1 The Isle of Dread,
the first D&D adventure to feature wilderness exploration. The early
D&D world campaign setting was called Mystara, where the Isle of
Dread was located. However, 4th edition placed the Isle of Dread
somewhere in the Feywild, and the current 5th edition has it located
on the Plane of Water, though it is “connected to the Material Plane
by means of a regular storm that sweeps over the island.” (DMG pg56)

The Vale of Shadows

In the same scene as above, the Vale of Shadows is linked to the
‘upside-down’ place described by Eleven as being where friend Will
is hiding / being held. Here’s the description of the Vale as read
in the scene:

“The Vale of Shadows is a dimension that is a dark
reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay
and death, a plane out of phase, a [place] with monsters.
It is right next to you and you don’t even see it.”

I don’t remember the Vale of Shadows actually being in the Expert
Set, or any D&D edition for that matter, and I’ve not been able to
confirm or deny it as fact. So, this may just be a little Hollywood
mojo added in for effect. No matter, it works, so I’m cool with it.

However, the Vale of Shadows does have actual merit, maybe not as
official D&D canon, but at least the name has appeared in other D&D
material. Chapter 1 of the excellent video game Icewind Dale is
titled The Vale of Shadows, and has your party investigating the
area on a mission for the druid Arundel. This Vale of Shadows is
just a tomb located east of Kuldahar in the Spine of the World, and
not another plane of existence.

The Vale of Shadows in Stranger Things could easily be taken for the
Shadowfell, known in pre-4th editions as the Plane of Shadow.
Compare the above description of the Vale of Shadows with the
description of the Shadowfell in the D&D 4th edition Manual of the
Planes (Chapter 3: The Shadowfell, pg. 48):

“The Shadowfell is the dark echo of the modern world, a
twilight realm that exists “on the other side” of the world
and its earthly denizens.”

Even though the Vale of Shadows may not exactly hit the D&D mark,
it’s close enough to certainly make it count.

Psionics

In Stranger Things, the mysterious girl Eleven has the ability to do
things with only the power of her mind. As the series progresses, we
find out she was a test subject in Project MKULTRA, specifically to
instill and increase her cerebral capabilities.

In D&D terms, “Psionics is a source of power that originates from
within a creature’s mind, allowing it to augment its physical
abilities and affect the minds of other creatures.” (Unearthed
Arcana, Psionics and the Mystic, pg. 1)

Psionics were first introduced into D&D in Eldritch Wizardry
Supplement III, published in 1976, and were present in Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons editions up to 4th edition. The edition of
Unearthed Arcana titled Psionics and the Mystic detail a supplement
to house rules for playing a psionic character, but psionics is not
yet official 5th edition material.

Nonetheless, psionics are one of the coolest things to ever happen
in D&D. Probably why it was a centerpoint of Stranger Things, even
though it was never mentioned by name, because it fit so well with
the D&D thematic. Eleven used psionics, the power of her mind, to do
everything from float a toy Millennium Falcon to crush a Coke can,
from levitating an entire person to instantly killing an entire
person. If that sounds like a powers you’d love to have for a D&D
character, get with your DM and discuss it!

Green Flame

Now this is probably nothing but a bit of a stretch on my part. But
it’s a fun stretch, I think, so I’m including it here.

You may (should) know Chris Perkins, current Creative Director for
Wizards of the Coast of all things D&D, DM of the long-running
Acquisitions Inc., and also DM of Dice, Camera, Action!. Well, see,
he has this trope about green flame that’s been running through his
adventures for years now. It’s one of those memes that the audience
at Acquisitions, Inc.’s public games have caused to stick, to the
degree that Perkins has colored all flame green in the adventures he
DMs.

In Stranger Things, there’s a scene where one of the main characters
is drawing an art scene that has a wizard magically casting
fireballs, but the fireballs are colored green. The reason he uses
green as the color for the fireballs is because he doesn’t have a
red crayon.

See? Probably a stretch on my part, but when I first watched that
scene, I couldn’t help but think of Perkins and his green flame
trope, and connect that D&D reference with all the other D&D
references in the series. Maybe the Duffer brothers meant that to
be, maybe they didn’t. But in my mind, it is. And I’m not going to
say where that scene is. When you find it, let me know!

If you were one of us playing D&D back in the 80s, Stranger Things
is a critical history check down memory lane, and I recommend you
watch it. If you’re one of us who hasn’t been playing D&D that long,
Stranger Things is worth watching just for a better understanding of
the nostalgia you’ll soon be fondly recalling. Either way, when
you’re done binging on the show, go binge on your next D&D
adventure. And beware the Demogorgon!
Justisaur
2017-01-06 21:11:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ubiquitous
The 1980s were grand years for the Dungeons & Dragons game, and its
players. Millions of young people were influenced by the game in a
variety of ways, and have since integrated into society to let those
D&D-sparked influences loose upon an unsuspecting world. {cackling
and hand-wringing}
The most recent example of D&D’s influence comes by way of the
Netflix original series Stranger Things, a sci-fi supernatural
horror show created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer that’s
currently all the rage on the internets. This influence shows up
right from the start, and runs unashamedly throughout the entire
eight episodes of the first season. Many articles have already been
written that speak positively of this fact, but don’t go much
farther into it. This article will change that.
http://youtu.be/XWxyRG_tckY
*SPOILER ALERT*
The focus here will be on D&D, but there will be scenes from
Stranger Things described, so if you have not watched it yet and
don’t want to know spoilers, turn away now. There will also be D&D
campaign spoilers, so consider yourself warned.
Demogorgon
Within the first two minutes of Stranger Things, the scene shifts to
a group of kids playing D&D in the lower level of a nice suburban
house. The DM is craftily setting up a combat encounter, which at
first includes a band of troglodytes. Then, the DM spookily
continues his narration, and suddenly throws in the dreaded
Demogorgon, much to the dismay of the players.
What’s a Demogorgon? Why were they so afraid to face it in battle?
Demogorgon is none other than the Prince of Demons, and has been an
iconic D&D creature since 1975, along with Orcus, his chief rival
and enemy. You can find a short description of Demogorgon in the 5th
edition Monster Manual under the Demon Lords section (pgs. 51-52),
and a brief mention in the 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide in The
Abyss section (pg. 62).
In the 80s, Demogorgon was one of the most feared D&D creatures, and
that’s why that Stranger Things scene played out as it did.
Demogorgon is known as the Prince of Demons, and Lord of All That
Swims in Darkness. Demogorgon is 18’ tall, has two baboon heads, a
lizard-like body and legs covered in scales, two tentacles for arms,
and a long, thick, forked tail. Demogorgon has always been drawn to
look terrible and cruel throughout D&D editions, but I think the 4th
edition Monster Manual 2 cover artwork is the best rendition.
http://geekandsundry.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/07/MM2Demogorgon.jpg
Demogorgon’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons edition powers included 95%
magic resistance, all psionics, and being able to make 3 attacks per
turn. On top of that, Demogorgon had a -8 AC, 200 HP, and required a
+2 or better weapon to hit. Back in the day, these stats meant your
certain and gruesome death should you ever be so unfortunate as to
meet it. Demogorgon plays prominently in the 5th edition Rage of
Demons story arc, specifically in the Out of the Abyss campaign. I
don’t have the stat block from that adventure, but I’ve no doubt
Demogorgon is as terrible as it always has been.
Expert Edition
In Stranger Things episode 5, “The Flea and the Acrobat”, we get to
see what edition of D&D the main characters are playing. As they
look up information on The Vale of Shadows, the scene shows a well-
worn copy of the D&D Expert Rulebook.
TSR published the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR 1001) in 1977.
That set went through a major revision in 1981, lead by game
designer Tom Moldvay, and covered character levels 1-3. The Expert
Set, also published in 1981, and with cover art by the famed Erol
Otus, was an expansion to the Basic Set, covering character levels
4-14. The Expert Set was revised in 1983 under the direction of
Frank Mentzer, with cover art by the equally famed Larry Elmore. It
became the second D&D product in the line that included the
Companion Set (levels 15-25), the Master Set (levels 26-36), and the
Immortals Set (levels 36+). The 1983 edition of Expert Rules seems
to be the one being used in Stranger Things.
The Expert Rules were notable for a few reasons. One, they
established ‘reversible spells.’ For example, a cleric could cast a
healing spell, but reverse it, so that it would cause damage instead
of healing damage. Second, dwarves, elves, and halflings were given
max levels (12-10-8 respectively) due to them having special racial
abilities, in order to help keep the game balanced. And third, it
made allowances for characters to gain and hire NPCs as retainers
and henchmen, and also allowed characters to construct their own
castles and strongholds upon reaching higher levels.
The Expert Rules also came with the adventure X1 The Isle of Dread,
the first D&D adventure to feature wilderness exploration. The early
D&D world campaign setting was called Mystara, where the Isle of
Dread was located. However, 4th edition placed the Isle of Dread
somewhere in the Feywild, and the current 5th edition has it located
on the Plane of Water, though it is “connected to the Material Plane
by means of a regular storm that sweeps over the island.” (DMG pg56)
The Vale of Shadows
In the same scene as above, the Vale of Shadows is linked to the
‘upside-down’ place described by Eleven as being where friend Will
is hiding / being held. Here’s the description of the Vale as read
“The Vale of Shadows is a dimension that is a dark
reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay
and death, a plane out of phase, a [place] with monsters.
It is right next to you and you don’t even see it.”
I don’t remember the Vale of Shadows actually being in the Expert
Set, or any D&D edition for that matter, and I’ve not been able to
confirm or deny it as fact. So, this may just be a little Hollywood
mojo added in for effect. No matter, it works, so I’m cool with it.
However, the Vale of Shadows does have actual merit, maybe not as
official D&D canon, but at least the name has appeared in other D&D
material. Chapter 1 of the excellent video game Icewind Dale is
titled The Vale of Shadows, and has your party investigating the
area on a mission for the druid Arundel. This Vale of Shadows is
just a tomb located east of Kuldahar in the Spine of the World, and
not another plane of existence.
The Vale of Shadows in Stranger Things could easily be taken for the
Shadowfell, known in pre-4th editions as the Plane of Shadow.
Compare the above description of the Vale of Shadows with the
description of the Shadowfell in the D&D 4th edition Manual of the
“The Shadowfell is the dark echo of the modern world, a
twilight realm that exists “on the other side” of the world
and its earthly denizens.”
Even though the Vale of Shadows may not exactly hit the D&D mark,
it’s close enough to certainly make it count.
Psionics
In Stranger Things, the mysterious girl Eleven has the ability to do
things with only the power of her mind. As the series progresses, we
find out she was a test subject in Project MKULTRA, specifically to
instill and increase her cerebral capabilities.
In D&D terms, “Psionics is a source of power that originates from
within a creature’s mind, allowing it to augment its physical
abilities and affect the minds of other creatures.” (Unearthed
Arcana, Psionics and the Mystic, pg. 1)
Psionics were first introduced into D&D in Eldritch Wizardry
Supplement III, published in 1976, and were present in Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons editions up to 4th edition. The edition of
Unearthed Arcana titled Psionics and the Mystic detail a supplement
to house rules for playing a psionic character, but psionics is not
yet official 5th edition material.
Nonetheless, psionics are one of the coolest things to ever happen
in D&D. Probably why it was a centerpoint of Stranger Things, even
though it was never mentioned by name, because it fit so well with
the D&D thematic. Eleven used psionics, the power of her mind, to do
everything from float a toy Millennium Falcon to crush a Coke can,
from levitating an entire person to instantly killing an entire
person. If that sounds like a powers you’d love to have for a D&D
character, get with your DM and discuss it!
Green Flame
Now this is probably nothing but a bit of a stretch on my part. But
it’s a fun stretch, I think, so I’m including it here.
You may (should) know Chris Perkins, current Creative Director for
Wizards of the Coast of all things D&D, DM of the long-running
Acquisitions Inc., and also DM of Dice, Camera, Action!. Well, see,
he has this trope about green flame that’s been running through his
adventures for years now. It’s one of those memes that the audience
at Acquisitions, Inc.’s public games have caused to stick, to the
degree that Perkins has colored all flame green in the adventures he
DMs.
In Stranger Things, there’s a scene where one of the main characters
is drawing an art scene that has a wizard magically casting
fireballs, but the fireballs are colored green. The reason he uses
green as the color for the fireballs is because he doesn’t have a
red crayon.
See? Probably a stretch on my part, but when I first watched that
scene, I couldn’t help but think of Perkins and his green flame
trope, and connect that D&D reference with all the other D&D
references in the series. Maybe the Duffer brothers meant that to
be, maybe they didn’t. But in my mind, it is. And I’m not going to
say where that scene is. When you find it, let me know!
If you were one of us playing D&D back in the 80s, Stranger Things
is a critical history check down memory lane, and I recommend you
watch it. If you’re one of us who hasn’t been playing D&D that long,
Stranger Things is worth watching just for a better understanding of
the nostalgia you’ll soon be fondly recalling. Either way, when
you’re done binging on the show, go binge on your next D&D
adventure. And beware the Demogorgon!
I'd read this after watching Stranger Things a month or so ago.
Watching D&D in TV and Movies always disappoints. It's like watching
hacking or computer use (being a computer professional), it always bears
no resemblance to reality.

Demogorgon isn't some solitary monster stalking the upside down*. He's
the freaking Prince of Demons, the singular most powerful Demon with
hordes of demons at his command!

I still enjoyed the show but wasn't quite as into it as many other people.

*O.k. so you might run across him alone in a dungeon, in a city at
night, or as a psionic encounter if you're running random dungeons from
the back of the DMG as I have done.

- Justisaur
3***@colonial.k12.de.us
2017-01-10 15:23:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ubiquitous
The 1980s were grand years for the Dungeons & Dragons game, and its
players. Millions of young people were influenced by the game in a
variety of ways, and have since integrated into society to let those
D&D-sparked influences loose upon an unsuspecting world. {cackling
and hand-wringing}
The most recent example of D&D’s influence comes by way of the
Netflix original series Stranger Things, a sci-fi supernatural
horror show created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer that’s
currently all the rage on the internets. This influence shows up
right from the start, and runs unashamedly throughout the entire
eight episodes of the first season. Many articles have already been
written that speak positively of this fact, but don’t go much
farther into it. This article will change that.
http://youtu.be/XWxyRG_tckY
*SPOILER ALERT*
The focus here will be on D&D, but there will be scenes from
Stranger Things described, so if you have not watched it yet and
don’t want to know spoilers, turn away now. There will also be D&D
campaign spoilers, so consider yourself warned.
Demogorgon
Within the first two minutes of Stranger Things, the scene shifts to
a group of kids playing D&D in the lower level of a nice suburban
house. The DM is craftily setting up a combat encounter, which at
first includes a band of troglodytes. Then, the DM spookily
continues his narration, and suddenly throws in the dreaded
Demogorgon, much to the dismay of the players.
What’s a Demogorgon? Why were they so afraid to face it in battle?
Demogorgon is none other than the Prince of Demons, and has been an
iconic D&D creature since 1975, along with Orcus, his chief rival
and enemy. You can find a short description of Demogorgon in the 5th
edition Monster Manual under the Demon Lords section (pgs. 51-52),
and a brief mention in the 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide in The
Abyss section (pg. 62).
In the 80s, Demogorgon was one of the most feared D&D creatures, and
that’s why that Stranger Things scene played out as it did.
Demogorgon is known as the Prince of Demons, and Lord of All That
Swims in Darkness. Demogorgon is 18’ tall, has two baboon heads, a
lizard-like body and legs covered in scales, two tentacles for arms,
and a long, thick, forked tail. Demogorgon has always been drawn to
look terrible and cruel throughout D&D editions, but I think the 4th
edition Monster Manual 2 cover artwork is the best rendition.
http://geekandsundry.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/07/MM2Demogorgon.jpg
Demogorgon’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons edition powers included 95%
magic resistance, all psionics, and being able to make 3 attacks per
turn. On top of that, Demogorgon had a -8 AC, 200 HP, and required a
+2 or better weapon to hit. Back in the day, these stats meant your
certain and gruesome death should you ever be so unfortunate as to
meet it. Demogorgon plays prominently in the 5th edition Rage of
Demons story arc, specifically in the Out of the Abyss campaign. I
don’t have the stat block from that adventure, but I’ve no doubt
Demogorgon is as terrible as it always has been.
Expert Edition
In Stranger Things episode 5, “The Flea and the Acrobat”, we get to
see what edition of D&D the main characters are playing. As they
look up information on The Vale of Shadows, the scene shows a well-
worn copy of the D&D Expert Rulebook.
TSR published the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR 1001) in 1977.
That set went through a major revision in 1981, lead by game
designer Tom Moldvay, and covered character levels 1-3. The Expert
Set, also published in 1981, and with cover art by the famed Erol
Otus, was an expansion to the Basic Set, covering character levels
4-14. The Expert Set was revised in 1983 under the direction of
Frank Mentzer, with cover art by the equally famed Larry Elmore. It
became the second D&D product in the line that included the
Companion Set (levels 15-25), the Master Set (levels 26-36), and the
Immortals Set (levels 36+). The 1983 edition of Expert Rules seems
to be the one being used in Stranger Things.
The Expert Rules were notable for a few reasons. One, they
established ‘reversible spells.’ For example, a cleric could cast a
healing spell, but reverse it, so that it would cause damage instead
of healing damage. Second, dwarves, elves, and halflings were given
max levels (12-10-8 respectively) due to them having special racial
abilities, in order to help keep the game balanced. And third, it
made allowances for characters to gain and hire NPCs as retainers
and henchmen, and also allowed characters to construct their own
castles and strongholds upon reaching higher levels.
The Expert Rules also came with the adventure X1 The Isle of Dread,
the first D&D adventure to feature wilderness exploration. The early
D&D world campaign setting was called Mystara, where the Isle of
Dread was located. However, 4th edition placed the Isle of Dread
somewhere in the Feywild, and the current 5th edition has it located
on the Plane of Water, though it is “connected to the Material Plane
by means of a regular storm that sweeps over the island.” (DMG pg56)
The Vale of Shadows
In the same scene as above, the Vale of Shadows is linked to the
‘upside-down’ place described by Eleven as being where friend Will
is hiding / being held. Here’s the description of the Vale as read
“The Vale of Shadows is a dimension that is a dark
reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay
and death, a plane out of phase, a [place] with monsters.
It is right next to you and you don’t even see it.”
I don’t remember the Vale of Shadows actually being in the Expert
Set, or any D&D edition for that matter, and I’ve not been able to
confirm or deny it as fact. So, this may just be a little Hollywood
mojo added in for effect. No matter, it works, so I’m cool with it.
However, the Vale of Shadows does have actual merit, maybe not as
official D&D canon, but at least the name has appeared in other D&D
material. Chapter 1 of the excellent video game Icewind Dale is
titled The Vale of Shadows, and has your party investigating the
area on a mission for the druid Arundel. This Vale of Shadows is
just a tomb located east of Kuldahar in the Spine of the World, and
not another plane of existence.
The Vale of Shadows in Stranger Things could easily be taken for the
Shadowfell, known in pre-4th editions as the Plane of Shadow.
Compare the above description of the Vale of Shadows with the
description of the Shadowfell in the D&D 4th edition Manual of the
“The Shadowfell is the dark echo of the modern world, a
twilight realm that exists “on the other side” of the world
and its earthly denizens.”
Even though the Vale of Shadows may not exactly hit the D&D mark,
it’s close enough to certainly make it count.
Psionics
In Stranger Things, the mysterious girl Eleven has the ability to do
things with only the power of her mind. As the series progresses, we
find out she was a test subject in Project MKULTRA, specifically to
instill and increase her cerebral capabilities.
In D&D terms, “Psionics is a source of power that originates from
within a creature’s mind, allowing it to augment its physical
abilities and affect the minds of other creatures.” (Unearthed
Arcana, Psionics and the Mystic, pg. 1)
Psionics were first introduced into D&D in Eldritch Wizardry
Supplement III, published in 1976, and were present in Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons editions up to 4th edition. The edition of
Unearthed Arcana titled Psionics and the Mystic detail a supplement
to house rules for playing a psionic character, but psionics is not
yet official 5th edition material.
Nonetheless, psionics are one of the coolest things to ever happen
in D&D. Probably why it was a centerpoint of Stranger Things, even
though it was never mentioned by name, because it fit so well with
the D&D thematic. Eleven used psionics, the power of her mind, to do
everything from float a toy Millennium Falcon to crush a Coke can,
from levitating an entire person to instantly killing an entire
person. If that sounds like a powers you’d love to have for a D&D
character, get with your DM and discuss it!
Green Flame
Now this is probably nothing but a bit of a stretch on my part. But
it’s a fun stretch, I think, so I’m including it here.
You may (should) know Chris Perkins, current Creative Director for
Wizards of the Coast of all things D&D, DM of the long-running
Acquisitions Inc., and also DM of Dice, Camera, Action!. Well, see,
he has this trope about green flame that’s been running through his
adventures for years now. It’s one of those memes that the audience
at Acquisitions, Inc.’s public games have caused to stick, to the
degree that Perkins has colored all flame green in the adventures he
DMs.
In Stranger Things, there’s a scene where one of the main characters
is drawing an art scene that has a wizard magically casting
fireballs, but the fireballs are colored green. The reason he uses
green as the color for the fireballs is because he doesn’t have a
red crayon.
See? Probably a stretch on my part, but when I first watched that
scene, I couldn’t help but think of Perkins and his green flame
trope, and connect that D&D reference with all the other D&D
references in the series. Maybe the Duffer brothers meant that to
be, maybe they didn’t. But in my mind, it is. And I’m not going to
say where that scene is. When you find it, let me know!
If you were one of us playing D&D back in the 80s, Stranger Things
is a critical history check down memory lane, and I recommend you
watch it. If you’re one of us who hasn’t been playing D&D that long,
Stranger Things is worth watching just for a better understanding of
the nostalgia you’ll soon be fondly recalling. Either way, when
you’re done binging on the show, go binge on your next D&D
adventure. And beware the Demogorgon!
Joanna Rowland Stuart
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I
don_t have the stat block from that adventure, but I_ve no doubt
Demogorgon is as terrible as it always has been.
DEMOGORGON
Huge fiend (demon), chaotic evil
Armor Class 22 (natural armor)
Hit Points 496 (34d12 + 272)
Speed 50 ft., swim 50 ft.
STR 29 (+9)
DEX 14 (+2)
CON 26 (+8)
INT 20 (+5)
WIS 17 (+3)
CHA 25 (+7)

Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +16, Wis +11, Cha +15
Skills Insight +11, Perception +19
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and
slashing that is nonmagical
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened,
poisoned
Senses truesight 120ft., passive Perception 21
Languages all, telepathy 120ft.
Challenge 26 (90,000 XP)
Innate Spellcasting.
Demogorgon's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 23).
Demogorgon can innately cast the
following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect magic, major image
3/day each: dispel magic. fear, telekinesis
1/day each: feeblemind, project image
Legendary Resistance (3fDay). If Demogorgon fails a saving
throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance. Demogorgon has advantage on saving
throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. Demogorgon's weapon attacks are magical.
Two Heads. Demogorgon has advantage on saving throws
against being blinded, deafened, stunned, and knocked
unconscious.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. Demogorgon makes two tentacle attacks.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 10 ft., one
target. Hit: 35 (4d12 + 9) bludgeoning damage. If the target
is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 23 Constitution saving
throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal
to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes
a long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is
reduced to 0.

Gaze. Demogorgon turns his magical gaze toward one creature
that he can see within 120 feet of him. That target must make
a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw. Unless the target is incapacitated,
1t can avert its eyes to avoid the gaze and to automatically
succeed on the save. If the target does so, it can't see
Demogorgon until the start of his next turn. If the target looks
at him 10 the meantime, it must Immediately make the save.
If the target fails the save, the target suffers one of the following
effects of Demogorgon's cho1ce or at random:
1. Beguiling Gaze. The target is stunned until the start of
Demogorgon's next turn or until Demogorgon is no longer
within line of sight.
2. Hypnotic Gaze. The target is charmed by Demogorgon until
the start of Demogorgon's next turn. Demogorgon chooses
how the charmed target uses its actions, reactions, and
movement. Because this gaze requires Demogorgon to focus
both heads on the ta rge t, he can't use his Maddening Gaze
legendary action until the start of his next turn.
3. Insanity Gaze. The target suffers the effect of the confusion
spell without making a saving throw. The effect lasts until the
start of Demogorgon's next turn. Demogorgon doesn't need
to concentrate on the spell.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
Demogorgon can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from
the opt1ons below. Only one legendary action option can be
used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn.
Demogorgon rega.ns spent legendary actions at the start
of his turn.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 15ft., one target.
Hit: 31 (4d10 + 9) bludgeoning damage plus 22 (4d10) necrotic
damage.
Maddening Gaze. Demogorgon uses his Gaze action, and must
choose either the Beguiling Gaze or the Insanity Gaze effect.

DEMOGORGON'S LAIR
Demogorgon makes his lair in a palace called Abysm,
found on a layer of the Abyss known as the Gaping Maw.
Demogorgon's lair is a place of madness and duality;
the portion of the palace that lies above water takes
the form of two serpentine towers, each crowned by
a skull-shaped minaret. There. Demogorgon's heads
contemplate the mysteries of the arcane while arguing
about how best to obliterate their rivals. The bulk of
this palace extends deep underwater, in chill and darkened
caverns.

LAIR ACTIONS
On Initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties),
Demogorgon can take a lair action to cause one of the
following effects: Demogorgon can't use the same effect
two rounds in a row:
• Demogorgon creates an illusory duplicate of himself,
which appears in his own space and lasts until
initiative count 20 of the next round. On his turn, Demogorgon
can move the illusory duplicate a distance
equal to his walking speed (no action required). The
first time a creature or object interacts physically with
Demogorgon (for example. hitting him with an attack).
there is a 50 percent chance that it is the illusory duplicate
that is being affected, not Demogorgon himself,
in which case the illusion disappears.
• Demogorgon casts the darkness spell four times at its
lowest level, targeting different areas with the spell.
Demogorgon doesn't need to concentrate on the spells,
which end on initiative count 20 of the next round.



Cheers
JOanna

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