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D6 D&Dables from Castlevania: Level 1

Steal. Steal everything. Steal from everywhere.

Those words should be on the first page of every DMG. Steal your ideas. Steal anything that's not nailed down. If it's nailed down, re-skin the nails as nail golems. Then steal it.

Before I purchased A Red & Pleasant Land, I hadn't read any vampire fiction. No Bram Stoker. No Anne Rice. Hadn't watched many vampire movies. (Does Blade count? Lost Boys?). None of it really interested me. Too Twilight-adjacent.

(I have since started catching up on my reading & watching.)

So when I think of vampires, my mind goes here:


Castlevania for the NES. (Yeah, I'm sensing a pattern on this blog too.) Inspired by Chris McDowall's recent post in favor of small random tables, let's go through this game and see if we can steal d6 worth of D&Dables (Into the Odd-ables) from each level.

Level 1


No enemies here, so maybe not a lot going on game-wise. But we've got a garden entrance to a castle, statues, a hidden treasure, and (if we take things literally) braziers that dispense energy/vitality (hearts).


A grand entrance hall that an infinite number of ghouls chase the player down. That's definitely something we can use. But there are also those panthers (?) that jump down from the higher ledges and always seemed to hit me. Jerks.


A high wall that forces players down into a flooded basement full of mermen. If you've ever watched a speedrun of Castlevania, you know that you can actually get over the wall by damage-boosting off of one of the bats that fly by.


Another ghoul-chase hallway. Not much new here.


And finally, a boss fight against a giant bat on a staircase.

D6 Castlevania locations

Written in Into the Odd style as that's how I roll.

1 - Castle Gate
WALL (10ft high, spiked on top, surrounds castle grounds)
GATE (rusted, spiked on top, makes loud creaking noise when opened)

2 - Castle Garden
STATUES (3 ill-maintained depictions of Red King, 2 covered in vines, 1000 sp buried at the base of statue without vines)
BRAZIER (eternally burning flame, grows brighter in presence of gold, fire can burn gold to ash, throwing in 1 GP and bathing in its light for one turn is equivalent to one day's rest)
DOOR (30 feet tall, large door knocker in shape of bat's head, door opens with a push)

3 - Entrance Hall
TAPESTRIES (red velvet, edges frayed with age, worth 1 GP to any seamstress)
BALCONY (overlook entrance hall, crumbling stairs lead up to them, 1d4 King's Panthers wait in ambush)
COLUMNS (rise to the arched ceiling, empty candleholders along each one)

4 - Flooded Basement
COLLAPSED WALL (immense pile of caved-in brickwork, blocks the hallway, rises nearly to the ceiling, bats can be seen emerging and flying from the top)
STAIRS (on both sides of the collapsed wall, lead down to flooded basement)
FLOODED BASEMENT (wooden floor is warped and rotten, large holes reveal flooded room below, 2d4 Colorless Pawns, surface of water is mirror smooth, portal to Nephilidian realm of debauchery, Pawns will attempt to drag victims in)

5 - Hallway of Thralls
ENTRANCE DOORWAY (staircase leading down to hallway, from behind staircase emerge 10d4 Thirsty Red Thralls)
COLUMNS (candlestick on each, each containing an unlit candle)
FAR DOORWAY (heavy wooden and metal barred door, unlocked, locks from other side by rotating metal wheel)

6 - The Bat's Staircase
BAT GUANO (pile in center of staircase, tall as your head, rotten rust smell, desiccated corpses, crystal ball worth 10 GP buried in pile)
SPIRAL STAIRCASE (leads up towards door near arched ceiling, Giant Vampire Bat makes nest at top)\

Some Into the Odd creatures

King's Panther STR 14, DEX 15, WIL 7, 6 HP
Driven to ambush from above distracted prey.
Attacks with claws. Anyone dealt Critical Damage is immediately savaged by the panther for d8 Damage

Thirsty Red Thrall DEX 15, WIL 6, 3 HP
Driven to chase prey and drink fresh blood from the ground. Will happily use its claws to make prey freshly bleed. Will not drink directly from prey as they are cursed to only drink from the floor.
Anyone dealt Critical Damage will leave a trail of fresh blood if someone drags them away.

Giant Vampire Bat STR 15, DEX 16, WIL 6, 8 HP, Armour 1
Driven to harass prey from above.
Attacks with claws (d8). Anyone dealt Critical Damage is picked up by the bat. The bat then flies high up and drinks their blood for d6 STR each round. Victims reduced to 0 STR become desiccated corpses. The bat either drops the corpse at other prey or into the guano below.

More levels to come later...

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