A few of these are quite interesting. Do flesh them out, Cheka!
#16 jumps out at me!
A crocodile and all that it entails, but also one that is loyal as a dog
. That is a cool twist. I can immediately picture a lizard-man village where sedate, even tender crocs, wander around freely, or follow their owners from place to place, patiently waiting for scraps or loving rubs. There are loyal to their particular owners and families unto death, can perform basic, semi-useful tasks (“Fetch” would be interesting with a gator. “Sic” would be lethal), and are loved in turn by their masters, who have bred and trained them over the years.
This gift, a hatchling croc, with a dog’s personality and mindset, would be given by the lizard-men to a chosen PC during the raucous ceremonies of the Hatching Festival in late spring.
It is considered a great honor to receive one as a gift by the lizard-men tribes. And besides, only the most callous of PCs would not fall in love with their very own baby croc soon enough.
Yes, adventuring around the world with your pet crocodile may prove difficult over the long run, but the benefits are endless. I can think of 30 benefits. But this can and WILL go 101 someday!
1. Don’t want to chase those pesky kobolds into the sewers again now that you finally bought that silk jerkin? Have “Salty” slither down instead. Get em boy! Good boy.
2. Crossing rivers would never be a problem again. Just hang on. Or surf.
3. You’d always have some loose teeth around to make a gruesome necklace, most barbarians would envy.
4. The animal would only relieve itself outdoors. (if properly trained)
5. It might outlive you. That is pretty cool. Ask the parrot owners. Of course, it probably won’t outlive most dwarves and elves.
6. In a pinch, you can ride it. Onwards into battle! Or, away into the muck.
7. You can scare the CRAP out of people! (You have a pet croc!)
8. You will never have to worry about getting a ‘negative’ reaction upon first encountering lizard-men ever again. The pet croc means you’re good people.
9. It will defend you unto death. That is one darn impressive quality in a croc.
10. It will always want to be with you or near you. (Granted, this may not always be a benefit)
11. You can definitely count it as a “party member” once it grows to a certain size.
12. You will have at least one more adventure in some rank, dank, swamp (full of monsters and treasure!) because eventually the croc will want to mate.
13. If it dies, at least you’ll have good leather (PETA, only if it is dead already!). And a good amount of it to boot (to boot, get it?). More teeth too.
14. You can pass yourself off as a shaman or some wild-person from the bogs, or even a druid in some circles. (There is a pet croc standing beside you)
15. You never have to go up into cold mountains ever again! That is to say, you will never be able to go up into cold mountains ever again. (unless you know a good croc-sitter)
16. You will never look upon ungulates the same again. They are not cute, innocent, grazers. They are merely hot dogs and hamburgers.
17. The croc won’t bother your fellow part members much, as long as you socialize it with them, while it is still young. Newer party members, well, they’ll be on their toes for a while, which is how you want new party members to be anyway.
18. Water-based campaign? You have a valuable friend.
19. All kidding aside, at the end of the day, a fully grown crocodile can be a bad-ass in combat. Chomp, twist, roll.
20. If you happen to be bestowed a saltwater crocodile by the lizard-men, see #19, but multiply damage
21. If you fall overboard, all is not lost.
22. It makes only a so-so familiar, unless of course you find yourself at a wizards convention, comparing whose familiar is more ‘bad-ass’ with your colleagues. You win hands down, unless the imp starts doing really fancy tricks.
23. You will learn not to rush. And hence, live a longer life. Definitely a benefit.
24. Can’t find that elusive spell component? Just swab Junior’s eye for that “crocodile tear”. A loose scale may help as well.
25. Riding horses is mostly out for you. You will do a lot of walking. See #23
26. Whether you want to or not, you will learn valuable stalk & ambush techniques.
27. Reptilian monsters will at least pause before attacking. See #8
28. Little birds, plovers to be precise, will hang around your croc, acting as dentists (for your croc) and lookouts (for you)
29. You will learn to better gauge “hives of scum and villainy”. If you walk into any given establishment with your croc on a leash, and are not thrown out or asked to leave immediately, you will know that dis' here dive is the place for some real trouble! (Which is usually what you are looking for anyway)
30. The croc won’t bore you with dialogue, like the cleric will, when you just want some peace and quiet.