A beautiful variation on the much over done "you come by an inn to spend the night at," encounter most fantasy Gm's run a few hundred times (at least) a campaign. The vignette intro captured my interest, but at first the idea of were toads stuck me as too silly to use in a game.
Then I kept reading, and it grew on me, everything here clicks and fits together smoothly, and has enough background and plausibility in a fantasy setting, and that spark of creativity to really make a suitable microcosm of fun in any fantasy setting.
No matter how jaded your adventuring group they will not see an inn run by were toads coming, making this an adventure location most groups will talk about for years after.
Makes me deeply regret I'm not running a fantasy campaign so I could make use of this one. Go to Comment
Repellent to the eyes, sinister in appearance and far from welcome to the average villager and yet the bards are obssessed with it. Is there any explanation for this? I'm just curious. Thanks. Go to Comment
Nice, i think that is some of the purplest prose I've seen on the citadel! I like the tumble-weed aspect, with clumps of the leaves rolling around, and no one knowing what to do with the plant. Good show! Go to Comment
Well, I figure it is a temporary zeitgeist fad. One bard made a King laugh by including the plant in his composition, rhyming it bawdily, and now the challenge has been taken up by other entertainers. A tongue-in-cheek, wink-wink thing really. The plant's name has twelve syllables. Bards consider it a challenege.
The fact that the Flailing Leper is also well known as a giant useless thing that just takes up space, and insults the senses with its very presence, the bards have also taken to equating the plant, with useless political figures and other individuals, which they mock in their tales.
Soon, I'm sure, the plant will be forgotten by the masses once more however. Go to Comment
Yeah, i kind of purposely left out all the stuff you mention, because i was chatting with someone who wanted a "perfectly useless" creature (just because) :p, plus i wanted to add something to both the Whimsical Flora codex (short, sweet and harmless) And the Red Herrings one. Just playing around really. And yes, that second sentence is distractingly (and disgustingly) long. That was kinda of on purpose too. But sure, troll-aphrodisiac and mimicking decayed bodies could lead to some hijinks! One can take this thing and expand it i suppose to give it some use or purpose or at least to present a plothook, as you mention. I would normally include that kind of stuff in a creature submission, but just wanted something goofy with this one. :) Thanks for the visit. Go to Comment
That love the plants and animals that really establish the setting of a game without offering rewards or challenges. And this is definitely one.
I'd love to see it expanded with some more details of the ecological niche that it fills. There are many plants, for example, that mimic decaying bodies, which then attract flies to carry pollen between plants. Maybe, in a similar way, this plant, which is disgusting to humans, is favoured by trolls. Perhaps it's a troll aphrodisiac! I could see that leading to some humorous plot hooks...
Some of your sentences I found distractingly long. "It is difficult to describe a Flailing Leper in full bloom, without nauseating the reader. A bulbous bush the size of a horse, with countless spines, drooping, sap-filled pods, flies buzzing inside their contours, with crooked stalks and branches extending like broken fingers in all directions, and bizarre rag-like leaves and growths that resemble so many dirty strips of cloth flapping in the wind" for example. Go to Comment
Ooo! I hadn't seen the Red Herring codex before! I may have to come up with something for it...
I love the notion of the Herringbone brotherhood, btw. It'd be fun to flesh it out into an order devoted to the god of distraction (probably the trickster god in their pantheon). They'd be sworn to misleading the most driven, purposeful men around. Perhaps the players could be contracted by the order as part of some ridiculously elaborate plot to waylay a lancelot character purely for the amusement of their god. Go to Comment
Liked this kill-two-birds-with-1-stone sub that belongs to both the Whimsical Flora and Red Herring Codices. Actually, I ran into this years ago and somehow didn't vote on it, mistake corrected now. Go to Comment
A 30 for the 30, more ways to make your werecreature stand out:
A Question of Acceptance - how did the person inwardly change as a result, and in relation to lycantropy?
- has fully embraced the condition, or as some would say, succumbed to it
- is in control of the beast, as far as it is possible
- is barely holding the beast in check, may slip at any moment
- still does not know about it, usually a fresh starter
- something went completely wrong... does not know about own condition, and obsessively hunts the monster that always seems to be nearby
- has come to hate all humanity for its imperfections, or likes to hunt his kind (there may be exceptions)
- has come to hate all werewolves/-creatures (again, there may be exceptions)
- separated self from family and friends, but keeps watching over them in secret
- never stays in one place for too long, always on the move
- upon realizing the fact, has made a public scene - either a general scandal, or completely revealed the condition
A Question of Appearance - and how did the person change outwardly?
- gained animalistic attractiveness, a sexy beast indeed
- exudes raw power, may also be stronger in human form; has a tendency towards using it
- unless at least partially transformed, has a subdued appearance (aka "But he was just an ordinary guy!")
- became ugly to downright monstrous; has some of the marks folklore associates with lycanthropes
- by loss of control during the first change, or self-loathing, mutilated himself; it won't heal
- around full moon has the full physical strength of the beast even in human form
- the transformation was imperfect (or was it?), and left supernatural marks - changed reflection in the mirror, shadow, animal immediately perceiving it, etc.
- smells like the animal in question
- has even more rapid healing, but wounds may open later, from stress or chance
- can control bodily hair... always a good haircut
A Question of Animal - what is specific for the animal form?
- is a smaller, more agile version than typical
- is larger and slower, able to withstand more punishment
- no matter the current actions, looks like a 'friendly animal' (for dogs it would mean the 'smile', a wagging tail, orderly fur, etc.)
- no matter the current actions, looks like a 'bad animal', downright to rabid (bares teeth, much saliva, tends to growl, etc)
- there is a thing or person, that has a deeply soothing effect on the beast
- there is a thing or person, that has a strong enraging effect on the beast
- needs to roam a lot, nothing but large expanses of open land or wilderness will do
- tolerates enclosed living well, for a lycanthrope
- tends to adopt orphaned young (not necessarily of own species), may include the offspring of own kills
- has definite sexual preferences, figure them out yourselves, you perverts :) Go to Comment
This is a werewolf, or more of a weredog. It is a golden retriever (or replace with some other good-looking dog breed people like so much). The unusual size will make people careful anyway. To survive close to the civilization, and still enjoy the thrill of the hunt, "Lassie" has developed an entertaining game. It will find a child in distress, endangered by somebody, and a little growling and a show of teeth will force the bad guy to retreat. After playing with the kid, few will believe either side that the dog was unnaturally large. Besides, the bad guy will vanish soon after... ashamed of running from a dog, people will say.
Thomason is not really 'evil' or 'good',it is just convenient to be on the good side. He stays in the animal shape most of the time and slowly loses his humanity. Having a tough life before, he doesn't even mind. He can't remember how it begun. But at nights he dreams of a female, one like him. Maybe it was her.
The Mannik say, that in the far north, where not even the bravest hunters go, lives an old man by the man of Skowot. The cold doesn't freeze him, the wind does not break him. He is older than their tribe.
They say he is a wise man, and a wizard, who speaks with many creatures, and cares little for man or beast. If you offer him a fresh seal, or finely smoked whale meat, he may give you worthy advice.
But know, that any who would seek to hurt him, end badly. You will not find him. He will follow you in the guise of a massive white bear, unseen, until it is too late. Go to Comment
Had to add a few, since a few ideas slipped across the cracks, this excellent collection deserved to have more. It was the chilling qualities of Savid, the Rain-Maker, that impressed me most. Go to Comment
Generally I dislike having a whole zooful of werebeasts; people like to have everything from were-nematodes to were-okapis and everything in between, and I think it gets ridiculous and takes the mystery and interest out of the simple idea of the human that becomes the animal. But I love this simply because these are such well-fleshed ideas of people and clans. Go to Comment
Exceptionally well written, although as Val pointed out there are a couple of weaker entries among this particular collection of weres. Nevertheless, it is still overwhelmingly an amazing collection of critters and for this reason deserves a HOH. By far and large, I have to say that the Were-Scorpion and Were-Jackal are my favourites. Go to Comment