Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

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Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 8th, 2012, 9:56 am

Here's a new topic, with stuff already needing to go into it.

To date, Errant Road has generally downplayed the role of "monsters" in the game, for the simple reason that they don't seem to exist in Errant Story itself. Tsuiraku, Veracia, Farrel, and even the Northern Confederacy appear to be civilized enough places that by and large, they don't have dragons and werewolves (specifically rejected by Poe) and giant, sentient spiders and so on, that run amok in other role-playing games. Besides, experience has shown that humans and humanoid species can be plenty monstrous enough. :evil:

With the expansion of Errant Road into points off the main Poe-verse map, however, there are opportunities to bring in a reasonable number of creepy-crawlies that inhabit the Far North (Siberia-like?) or the Southern Continent (think 19th-century sub-Saharan Africa) or other far-flung locales where humans are unwelcome intruders. Wandering adventurers might even crash into a few of these. This topic is intended to be a place where these things can be tabulated and described, and in the cases of ones mentioned in Errant Road but not yet actually encountered, "designed" collaboratively. Note that there are several motivations for doing this. First, obviously, is to make sure that Errant Road continues to strike a balance between creativity and playability. Second is to help with navigation of the vast number of threads and postings we now have. And never to be forgotten, lurking in the background is the desire that Poe and Impy have expressed to create a Poe-verse-based game system for commercial purposes. I would speculate (Impy?) that they'll feel they can't use any of the things mentioned here, for reasons of intellectual property, although I will say that I specifically grant Poe, Impy and Caffeine Angel Studios unlimited rights to use any monster concept that I personally devise. Still, laying out the concepts, and the things to think about as a creepy-crawlie is designed, can only help them, and I'd like to be helpful.

So: If you've created weird beasts for the party to run into (JR, you've done some good ones), or would like to propose possible beasts for future encounters, post about them here. A sample will follow in the next post, using a particular critter that we've seen. The headings in that sample are the ones proposed for use in subsequent descriptions, although I may well have missed something; if I did, by all means comment on it and I'll edit.

Finally, note that just because a critter is proposed here doesn't mean it will be encountered in Errant Road. Note also that when we started this thing, we agreed to abide by the rules that Poe and Impy set up. As yet, they haven't really imposed any other than "play nicely together," but I personally would like to suggest that we also want to make sure that the monsters we're designing are compatible with the way the Poe-verse works. That's one of the reasons for setting up the thread, after all: to vet monster concepts so they don't go too far off the reservation.

Sample coming momentarily. There are others that need to be added from game play so far, and I have it on good authority that others may be encountered by the party currently adventuring up north (thanks for the suggestion, A...), so let's see what we can do.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 8th, 2012, 10:09 am

So here's a sample creepy-crawlie, one that we've already seen at work. Please let me know if anything should be added to this description and I'll retcon.

Name: Gornch lizard

Status: Seen and encountered

First encountered, if applicable: http://forums.errantstory.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=739&p=13274#p13274

Origins: Southern Continent

Description: A Gornch lizard is a large, six-legged, lizard-like beast found in the jungles of the Southern Continent. Basically, it's a non-sentient eating machine, with slavering fangs, etc., to match. At full maturity it's a good twenty feet long, or maybe even longer, although the big ones are rare. Coloration is neutral, the better to blend into the background of the jungles where it hunts. Its diet is basically "everything that isn't tied down," including humans and humanoids. As a result it is feared and respected by the tribal communities of the Southern Continent, who occasionally lose members to a marauding Gornch lizard; this results in a hunt to slay and devour the lizard itself, as Brother Miguel remembered and recounted at one point. This is all done respectfully, as the tribes view the lizards as a primal force of nature, to be respected and admired as well as feared. They are now rare in the Southern Continent, and are protected by the limited government there, with their capture or slaughter prohibited except in those eye-for-an-eye situations. Think land-dwelling crocodile, with an extra set of legs, crossed with your basic dinosaur.

Other notes: Nothing special. No particular magical powers or other noteworthy features. Note that a domesticated Gornch lizard appeared in one thread as a throwaway, but they're definitely not run-of-the-mill domestic beasts. NB: the Gornch lizard is an exception to the rule I mentioned in the opening post, and should not be incorporated by name into any future gaming system, to avoid copyright issues (the term "Gornch lizard" is not new and unique to the Poe-verse, although the animal itself was never seen or described where the name first appeared).
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 8th, 2012, 11:07 am

Here's another, done as a case where, in contrast to the Gornch lizard, we really don't know much about the thing at all.

Name: Night wyrm

Status: Mentioned but not seen; may not even exist

First encountered, if applicable: Not yet encountered; mentioned here

Origins: Far North

Description: Who knows? A creature of the night, big and nasty enough to eat wandering Veracians, and that's all we know about it.

Other notes: Mentioned by a pair of miners in the Northern Confederacy city of Goriel. They may or may not have been joking; stay tuned.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Alberich » June 8th, 2012, 11:35 am

Well, why not?

Name: Three-armed lust monster. (According to Drusia, the elves call it an Athach - however, she also says the name is from a standard Pathfinder RPG monster so that name shouldn't be used carelessly.)

Status: Dissipated

First encountered: Background noise. Last encountered: Getsemiel.

Origins: Unknown. It may manifest anywhere. It doesn't appear very often, happily.

Description: "A scuffed, dirty brown it was, a good eight feet high, with a wrinkled hide like a rhino's. The head was boarlike with tusks, and darker than the body, the eyes red with pure lust. Two huge arms hung from the shoulders, the fingertips clawed, the skin as tough as anywhere. A third arm grew from halfway down the body, and its hand supported the monster's male member, rampant and swollen with lust and malice.

"That thing seemed as thick-hided as the rest of the monster's body, and parts of it had a sheen like horn or bone - it wasn't soft or vulnerable like a man's. It was a weapon, not a love-tool. It was also far too large for anything near human- or elf-sized."

Other notes: As far as anyone knows, the creature is unique. It comes into the world with one purpose in mind - to sate its lust, and it's not particular about sex or species, or whether its victim survives the encounter. (Which a human-sized victim will not.) Once it "reaches completion" it dissipates. It seems vulnerable to magical manipulation, if that manipulation works through lust or desire.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 8th, 2012, 12:43 pm

Great idea Gray, I'll add my two pennies to this.

Name: Silka

Status: Seen and encountered.

First encountered: Goriel and Beyond viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2193&start=200

Origins: Native to the southern continent.

Description: A silka greatly resembles the domestic mouse although it's possessed of longer, scaly legs, huge ears and oversized eyes. It is a non-violent omnivore whose species was changed a long time ago by sorcerers of the age who bound their essense to summoning magic. In this regard the Silka is typically used as a scout with the summoner directing its actions and 'borrowing' its acute senses to map enemy movements or eavesdrop for information. In the Southern Continent the Silka is rarely encountered due to its status as prey in a land of large predators.

Other notes: The most common phrase uttered when encountering a Silka for the first time is usually 'D'awwwww'.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 8th, 2012, 12:59 pm

Name: Galdy

Status: Seen and encountered.

First encountered: Goriel and Beyond viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2193&start=30

Origins: Native to the southern continent.

Description: Roughly feline in generally appearance, although the head of the creature has reptilian elements, particularly its mouth which sports highly retractable lips and a twin pair of fangs which fold up when the mouth is closed. It's body is covered in mangy patches of fur intermittently bald to reveal mottled, sickly, pale skin laced with purple blotches. The galdy is about the size of a large dog and highly aggressive to anything entering it's territory. Like the Silka, the Galdy is linked to summoning magic, but harder to control than it's smaller counterpart due to it's aggressive nature. In this regard the Galdy are summoned as shock troups, utilising their speed, claws and fangs to rip enemies apart.

Other Notes: Highly poisonous, untreated bites will usually result in death inside of an hour (for an average healthy adult). Symptoms include dizzyness, fever and delirium.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 8th, 2012, 1:18 pm

Right, now we're rolling. Incidentally, the idea here isn't to over-specify as-yet-unseen monsters so that the party knows what's about to eat them and where that one vulnerable square inch on its belly is, the rubbing of which will turn a raving monster into an overgrown purring pussycat. Rather, it's to summarize what they know about such monsters that they have seen, and then, to give enough on the as-yet-unseen ones to provide a sanity check without taking the fun out of running into them. So to continue:

Name: Anuban swamp beast

Status: Mentioned, pieces of flesh seen (and eaten), skull observed on a shelf, but not encountered

First encountered: Not yet, but first mentioned here

Origins: Anuban Colonies

Description: Really, we don't know, and it may not be a "creepy crawlie" at all. A reasonable supposition, consistent with the fact that it is generally beastly but has parts that are good to eat, might be something like a swamp-dwelling, tusk-bearing hippopotamus -- and if you don't think a hippo is nasty enough to qualify as a "beast," check out this little bit of insight. (Incidentally, I [GB] have had the "privilege" of observing the "dung showering" behavior mentioned in that article, and if an Anuban swamp beast does anything like that, it's plenty beastly, all right.)

Other Notes:
Its flesh is a delicacy consumed eagerly in higher-class Veracian restaurants, not all of which obtain this delicacy via entirely legal means.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 8th, 2012, 2:39 pm

Name: Valja Mortaneous

Status: Seen and encountered

First encountered: To the Southern Continent (originally) viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1663&start=80 , Getsemiel part 2 (current form) viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2137&start=50

Origins: Southern Continent

Description: Formerly a member of a cult of black magic sorcerers called 'The Ralkin'. Valja became a victim of the whirlwind of chaos known as Jaime Porter during the group's last attempt to seize control of the northern coast. The aforementioned mercenary put a bullet in his head during the final battle that nearly destroyed the group entirely. After his death, his body was recovered, experimented on, infused with magic and implanted with various forbidden artifacts by the group's leader Fucilious. What's left of the former mage now definately qualifies as a monster, he stands around eight feet tall and bulges lopsidedly with muscles and scar-tissue, fur, scales, skin and talons from various sources. The hideous picture is topped off with a semi-human, trollish face topped by a few strands of scraggly black hair. Whatever was left of the man is now gone. He is now merely a tool for his master to direct. He retains none of his former magic, instead relying on his huge size and strength to murder his master's foes.

Notes: Valja's implants include a barrier which protects him against weak to moderate magic attacks and a generator which grants him a degree of rengeneration, despite how formidable he is, without Fucilious nearby to guide him he's little more than a beast on two legs.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 8th, 2012, 4:43 pm

Name: Pinguimho (or "Prinny")

Status: Seen and encountered

First encountered, if applicable: http://forums.errantstory.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=742&p=13165#p13165

Origins: Unknown

Description: A large, flightless-bird-like thing that resembles a grossly oversized penguin. (The name is a corruption of the Portuguese for "little penguin.") They are bipedal and stand considerably taller than a man, nearly troll-sized. They have flippers instead of wings, which are used for swimming and also as surprisingly powerful bludgeoning weapons in combat. They are clumsy on land, but fast, powerful swimmers; don't have an underwater fight with one. They are at most semi-intelligent, and are not physically set up to administer as much damage in a fight as many things their size. However, they are exceptionally tough and difficult to kill.

Other notes: Pinguimhos are encountered in a fight in the Waldhaxen Channel in Rinkaiel, "crewing" (?) a submarine whose operators are a band of slavers distinct from the Seeadler, although sharing their seafaring specialization. Otherwise, we don't know where they came from, or much else about them.
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Re: Cavalcade of creepy-crawlies

Postby Graybeard » June 16th, 2012, 7:18 pm

Name: Lepivore

Status: Seen and encountered

First encountered, if applicable: Described here, encountered soon afterward

Origins: The mad workshops of Saiko Mesuinu

Description: A "lepivore" is a giant, flesh-eating rabbit. (So the polarity of the name is reversed. Big deal. It might have been better called a "Lapinemoth," but that name was taken.) Lepivores have become distressingly common in the farm country of west central Farrel, after they escaped from the "Mountain of Madness" amusement park where they were created, by the batty but powerful Tsuirakuan archmage Saiko Mesuinu, creator of the whole amusement park. (Worse abominations are to be found there -- you should see the giant-skunk security force -- but as the others have all stayed put at the park, they're not mentioned here. Yet.) They are about the size of large sheep, which they take as favored prey; that however does not stop them from including the odd human in their diet when circumstances permit. Other than size and flesh-eating habits, they have no notable special powers.

Other notes: They have become a more or less regular part of the ecosystem in western Farrel, and are themselves preyed on by other things that can take them down.
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