World Building 104 -a

Ok so last post I started talking about races and monsters. I want to continue that thread now that I have the races in place.

So the next part of that question becomes what is really a monster. I mentioned that I don’t want magical creatures to be common at all. At least to start with. I mean if you look into the five books that Piazo has published for their Pathfinder Bestiary series you can see hundreds of creatures that you absolutely have to have magic to make. Or you have to have easy access to other plains of existence. And I really don’t want to have that kinds of feel to the start of the game. However I do want things to feel, outside the norm. This world will have elves and dwarves so… how to make things a little more interesting without… ahh.

So the idea behind monsters at first will be that yes we have all the mundane animals in this world. But that may not be enough. So if I add Dire creatures that should be a boost. For those that don’t know what that might mean a dire creature is extra big, extra nasty, and usually has a grouping of regular versions of the creature type following it. So imagine if you will a dire grizzly bear. This is a bear that when walking on all fours is about five feet high at the shoulder. Its fur in a few areas has matted and twisted together to form something like the keratin horns of a rhino. And it is smarter and more vicious than a usual bear. And add to that it has intimidated five or six usually solitary grizzly bears into following it. Dire animals will stay rare at first. But they give some good low level quests.

Next thing I want to add into this would have to be dinosaurs. I don’t think they get the love they should in fantasy settings, and Piazo has been good enough to add stats in their books for the cases of, OK so you are playing a class that gets an animal companion, well if you catch a dinosaur when it is young you can team up with them and this is the stats they will have. So making it a point of honor and wow factor that a class that can use them will go after them. I can see how a pecking order will evolve in those classes where the basic animals are fine for a local guy. Dire animals really show a guy is serious. And being backed up by a freakin’ T-rex means this guy is a bad ass among bad asses. I will have to limit them by geography at first because amongst most mammals you are going to find adding a super predator like a T-rex would deplete too many types of animals, and even the giant sized herbivores in the dinosaur groups would reduce plant life too much to make farming or herding them viable. They just eat too much. But having them be rare and a sign of effort and social station would work.

All righty, so that will start things out. Now I can hear a couple people in the background starting to go, well what about the undead and were creatures, aren’t they staples of the fantasy settings as well? Actually not really. Now then free willed undead (look them up in game books for a big list) like vampires are not going to be in the game to start. However I am thinking that in a couple of the cultures I am fleshing out, like the humans (recycling everything in the forest) and the goblins (got to have something in that culture that is treated as the lowest of the low) you may have some who would animate the dead (skeletons and zombies) to keep working on things. Were creatures I am thinking of just tossing out at the beginning.

Now then you may have noticed I have said at the beginning a lot. Well that is because it is my intent to put a story together overall for the world. Well maybe not a story but a time line anyway. That would mean that at certain points in the game events will happen. If they characters are there they can stop them, or assist them from happening. Like at one point the big bads figure out that the worship the gods get helps power them, so they want to do a few things that makes the mortals go… ummm no… you need to fix this. And if the big bads go and unleash vampirism as a contagion passed in the blood of others, and maybe use a few lesser strains of that contagion to create a few other types of undead that are free willed and willing to strike at other mortals… Now then if the heroes of the story (my players) are in the place that this initial release happens they might stop it. Or they may think its a good idea and help release it. Same things goes for lycanthropy. But the lycanthropy illness cannot be stopped with channeled divine energy like the undead can… so they would be round two. I also do not intend to keep all the monsters out of the game forever. I mean a crazy wizard here and there, maybe a summoner who gets something that wont go home, and other things unleashed by the big bads… until their time comes… allows for a build up, allows for uniqueness, and gives the game master a chance to do things like saying, “Just ahead of you on the road you see something that stands almost as tall as your elven friends back on the beach. However it is broad in shoulder like a dwarf, and drools like your goblin friend Ryath after he has had too much to drink. Its eyes are small and its weapons are large. Some of you can feel the hatred and malice sloughing off its ugly and to most eyes deformed frame. What do you do?” instead of saying, “You see an orc, what do you do?” Because they will never have seen an orc, or heard of an orc, or dreamed of an orc (well unless there is a precog around). But I am sure you get the idea. The players are going to get to be on the front lines of discovery in this game.

Ok well that is all for this post. Hope that anyone following and reading is still having fun.

Now gimme the dice. I need to see if I can beat that roll for the number of adjectives I can use to describe a gelatinous cube.


  1. #1 by dantherpgman on December 5, 2016 - 8:24 pm

    I like the idea of putting some thought into what the monster population is going to be and why instead of just rolling on a chart; “You see a #17…I mean bugbear!” Nice job!


    • #2 by authortao on December 11, 2016 - 2:35 pm

      Thank you. It has always bugged me that even when game designers go to all the trouble of coming up with ecological niches for every little things the monster and creature populations can be found almost anywhere in a game setting without rhyme or reason.


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