Weird Western Monsters – Part 5 (Cryptids and Wyld Creatures)

Image result for undead wildlife

“There’s living dead, even in the wilderness…  Well, damn.”

“The job is clear.  You shall escort my caravan through the brutal and harsh beast lands, then aid me in distributing these medicinal creations to the people of my tribe. The latter is easy, the former is likely to kill you if you lack the knowledge. As it is, some buffoon who followed me around nearly died, but I taught him some of my ways.  But, he’s not important.  Are you up for this task?  If not, stand aside.  And please, direct questions for my caravan’s scout.  He is knowledgeable on almost all travel matters.  Also, don’t mind the living dead.” – Moonlotus Fadingdusk, a human witch from the Seeking Mind tribe… Or so she says.

There’s a handful of beastly creatures out there in the weird western frontier.  A few varmints aren’t overly harmful, while others are truly malicious.  The vast wilderness requires one on their toes at all times, lest they get torn apart by the seems, some quick snack for a cunning predator.  It’s this reason why rangers and trailblazers join caravans, to minimize casualties outside of civilization.

Author’s Note:  More weird critters, yeah!  I decided a few obligatory folk tales were a necessary add-on, because fur bearing trout and jackalope are truly fun stories.  While it was supposed to be in another post on native inspired folk beasts, I added the accursed wendigo here.  Warning, this one is quite strong!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Weird Western Monsters – Lupine NPCs and Variants

image

“Yeah, Fangs Gulch is a place. I found my way there not long after being bewitched and I started turning into one of them. Anyway, the locals look like those animalmen out in the wilderlands, but they run shops, shoot guns and live life like us. The scotch was something great, I only passed out after two jugs mind you. The butcher served up a nice slice of meat he called ‘furless one’. Even the ladies of the night were good too, even if they’re all hairy and have like eight knockers, real bitey and growly too. Hey, don’t look at me like that! It’s no weirder than the bar owner who screws automatons off-hours! Aww shucks, I really am one of them… – Rawoo (Rowan T. Jammerson), Lupine (Ex-Human) Maverick Rogue

The Lupines, especially the Gray Runners, often receive harsh treatment. Life in the tribes prove hard, but life among the outsiders, exotic travelers and other oddities proves all the more frustrating. Hostility seems inevitable, whether in the realms of trade or battle. Sometimes peace is achieved, but it’s often to suit an agenda. Some have sold their wisdom and secrets to get ahead of the travelers, while others have taken to more vindictive approaches… some reactions truly wicked. Most care about the day by day, appeasing the forces above them while surviving in a harsh world. Until recently, the harvests and hunts have been good, as life has been normal.

Author’s Note: By popular demand, here is more content for the gray runners… or rather, what the concept got expanded into. While they feel not overly different than Mystara’s Lupins (I even made a NPC that uses Lupin mechanics), they seemed pretty popular here. Plus, anything to bring more attention to Spellslinger (in the naive hope that Fantasy Flight Games will convert it to D&D 5E! Ya hear that, FFG!? You’d gain money from joining the new edition!) I pondered on how to expand on serpentmen, based on a request on my Tumblr blog, but my previous post points out that Yuan-Ti work just fine.  For more on The Lupines, please check out this post here.

Continue reading

Plantfolk, Revised

Image result for plant people

—————————————————–

Born (Or Reborn) among Wild Realms

—————————————————–

The Plant Folk were created within another reality known to scholars as “arcadia”.  What exactly is this realm?  Not fully known, except it is the origin source of several types of magic as well as the fair folk.   Besides the native denizens, many fantastic creatures have been created through use of their alien magics.  Among these mystical sights and strange places is the Wyld, a sprawling plane of untamed wilderness.  Its alluring and inspiring atmosphere is quite deceptive, as terrible monsters and far worse curses dwell within the spacious demiplane.  Those who become trapped are doomed to become one of the many kinds of wildlife that inhabit this realm.  The plant folk are one such creation.

Native to a domain known as the “Wylds”, a planar place of natural beauty and (at times) savage brutality, the plant folk are at home within the bounds of their typically serene wilderness.  Like the beastfolk, many of these created beings weren’t originally humanoids.  In their case, they were merely plants that were animated and given new life through powerful sylvan magic.  Many have taken after the realm that created them, in hopes of creating a utopia of the organic, while defeating the inorganic.  Despite this, many are by no means evil and aggressive, some don’t even follow the cult-like ethos of their home plane.  Many grow tired of the semi-comprehensible rules, hidden behind the alien chaos of the primal realm.  As such, they’ve set out to explore other possibilities within known (and unknown) reality.  Some still retain attachment to their original home, but hope to “put down roots” elsewhere.

Author’s Note: Looking back at what I made last year, I was wasn’t satisfied with my concept for races of magical plant people.  They seemed really derivative and some decisions felt like rehashes of previous posts, with a different theme.  Now, I’m still struggling a tad with the concept, but here’s my updated take on the idea!  Some of the ideas are something I wanted to try and might be revised in another draft.  Also, I’m sorry for that one pun…  Really, I am.

Continue reading

Amphibi -An Amphibian race for D&D 5th Edition

https://theaspiringillustrator.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/frog-man.jpg?w=827&h=720

Born Strange, Drawn to the Strange

Amphibi, a species of humanoid amphibians.  These creatures have been called many things; bullywogs, grippili, frog demons (though, these comments hail from another plane of reality entirely).  Some dimension hopping amphibi have even been worshiped by a deranged cult from a plane called Terra.  In truth, these are quite distant from the truth.  Like many beings descended from Arcadia, realm of the Fey, they were sculpted from strange magic and other creatures.  Unlike other beastly folk, the Amphibi are a mystery.  Some figure them to be the remains of a fae worshiping cult from a swampy demiplane that wanted to embrace true faerie power.  There is little proof of that, plus the amphibi themselves don’t seem to know much about it either.

No matter their origins, they tend to dwell in lush and murky habitats; whether that would be a temperate or a rain forest environment.  Their skittish nature pushes them towards isolationism, more than anything.  However, they are also quick to attack anything that they cannot trust.  Despite all of that, they’re both clever hunters and crafters; creating a bunch of strange little contraptions to make day to day life more interesting.  In fact, some have returned to their odd routes and have begun to worship an entity they call “The Fallen Glow.”  To them, it is an animated chunk of star that flew into their territory.  In reality, it’s an alien being locked in a semi-conscious state… but just powerful enough to be influential.

A Friendly, but Quirky Folk

While decently trusting of others, many of them also have a slightly skittish side.  It is typically not hard to frighten an Amphibi.  How they react entirely depends on whether they prefer fight or flight responses.  While many will seek an opportunity to run away, others will use innate poisons or their own weapons to strike back.  This isn’t to say they’re not open to negotiations and diplomacy.  Many attempt to reach out to other lands in effort to expand networks and create allegiances.  However, common flaws of an unintentionally cold nature and situational awkwardness have hampered this to an extent.  In spite of that, observers tend to notice an often relaxed demeanor among the Amphibi when they’re not under intentional stress.  A popular phrase among their people in response to a soothing environment is “feels good.”

Author’s Note:  Well, this was a strange request.  But hey, amphibious humanoids are an essential part of D&D!  So, how could I resist?  Besides the tongue in cheek pokes at D&D inspired products and real life happenings/memes, I wanted to make an homage to David Arneson’s Blackmoor; Egg of Coot, Temple of the Frog, Beagle and all!  Also included is a new deity for science-fantasy games.

Continue reading

Swinefolk – A “Porc” Race for D&D 5th Edition

https://i2.wp.com/orig08.deviantart.net/e1b2/f/2013/036/0/2/pigman_war_chief_by_markbulahao-d5twh2v.jpg

Hardy Hogs of Arcadia

In olden days, they were called the “Pigmen”.  More often than not, they were mistaken for another fearsome race known as “The Orcs”.  While Orcs were born from natural means and from a different reality entirely, Swinefolk were created by the Arcadians as sturdy infantry for war.  These creatures were bred to charge into foes, goring them with their tusks; all while sustaining incredible amounts of damage.  Like many of the beastkin that dwell in the material realm, many broke away from Arcadia; whether from imperial campaigns or out of rebellion.  Built much like their wild ancestors, these creatures are brute ferocity incarnate.  While not too threatening from afar, the Swinefolk are known to brashly charge into their floes and slam them with their deadly tusks.  They are also skilled at combat and are a challenge to down.  While stocky and often foul tempered, they are able to endure suffering like few other creatures can.

Warring Clans, Brutal Combatants

Contemporary swinefolk tend to be divided among two societies, the natural dwelling truffleroot caste and the imperial-minded sylvan caste.  The former cares little about outside politics, focusing on their own societies.  This can range from ensuring survival to slight self-indulgence.  More often then not, they just prefer to be left alone and to their own devices at that.  While they’re curious about new developments in the world around them, they tend to be apathetic to trends and popularity in general.  While they tend to be the more mellow of the two societies, they can still be angered quite easily.  The latter was built upon spreading fear and servitude to the dark fae… or at least their newer societies have taken inspiration from this.  In a sense, these ‘pigmen’ are closer to how many portray another creature called “The Orc”.  In fact, it has earned them the nickname of “Porc” as a result.  But, best be warned, using that nickname around this breed of swinefolk is a good way to provoke violence.  The fact that these creatures have arrived to the material realm recently has made this distinction all the more apparent.  While the Sylvan get along with the Orcs, the Truffleroot have come to dislike them immensely.

Even among the swinefolk themselves, there is a lot of anger and aggression.  The two split factions often but heads whenever they meet, almost literally.  Their civil war is endless and tireless, as is their hatred for each other.  While some have escaped the politics of both factions, said politics still have a habit of catching up to them.  Many adventurers have taken a roll as emissary or representative for either faction; while others seek out adventuring out of pure rebellion.  For some, adventuring is a means of escape and independence.  For other more harshly minded swinefolk, it’s a means of assembling a new faction to crush the other two.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  This started as a pun for April Fool’s Day that never got fleshed out beyond a bad pun…  So, yeah.  Anyway, I wanted to come back to said “POrc” race and actually make it something.  I’m not fully content with it, so I might change it up a bit later.  Until then, playable big pig things!

Continue reading

Goatfolk – A High Dwelling race for D&D 5th Edition

“A Beast?  A Fiend?  I’ll show you both…”

 “I’ve seen it, a spawn of the Demon Prince of Beasts!  It walked like a man, but looked like a goat.  The creature carried strange sorceries upon them too, like nothing of this world.  Surely, there must be more…” – A traveler’s encounter with a fiendish-goatfolk warlock.

Born from the Planes

Many rumors have spread of a race of beastly creatures born from demons.  They have prominent goat features and walk upright, with a strange speech that’s a cross of humanoid and animal.  In truth, the origins of these creatures have nothing to do with fiends at all, but the fair folk or the fae.  The ever dubious and tricky denizens of the wyld plane are known for creating strange things on a whim, sometimes using outside creatures mutate into new ones.  The goatfolk is one such case.  During a fight between the unseelie and fiendish powers, warped goat-like creatures known as “hooved horrors” were unleashed as infantry forces for the fiends.  For the most part, the creatures were vanquished.  Those that were captured were used by the fey for experiments.  Most of them had their fiendish corruption purged as they were made into protectors of the Wyld Plane.  However, some still had a lingering fiendish essence that festered and manifested in later generations.

Swift and Athletic

The Goatfolk tend to dwell in steep crags, harsh mountaintops and rocky hills.  Many are adept at jumping about the otherwise dangerous surfaces.  As such, they value dexterity and maneuverability as important skills within their society.  Ironically, their strange hoof-like fingers make them less likely to train in ranged weapons.  However, those who have had success with such weapons are regarded as near-royalty.  For those who aren’t disposed towards weapons, sorcery is more than common upon the goat people.  This is likely the result of their distant underworld heritage, though the tampering of the fey could have caused a magical awakening all the same.  However, magic users are seen as eccentric and strange within much goatfolk culture.  Many see it as an unnecessary oddity, especially when physical prowess is held in such high regards.  Some even see it as cheating one’s way to power or improving themselves artificially.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: GOATS!  Sure, the connections to devils and the like was a bit easy, but I wanted to roll with it as a player option.  I guess it fits under the anti-hero category because of that, but whatever.  To be fair, this started as a variant tiefling option… which is also below.  Also, I guess I owe a minor apology to the many people who wanted content that could translate into Undertale… especially when I either didn’t deliver or was crabby about it.  (In short, I’m not a fan of Undertale.  I just couldn’t get into it.)  No matter, here’s my early Crimbo present to you!  Or should I say, Merry Krampus!

But yes, come for the goat race, stay for the Tiefling options!

Continue reading

Minotaur- A Tough Bovine-like Race for D&D 5th Edition

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/narnia/images/8/85/Otmin.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20071206002146

“Call me ‘beef’ one more time, I find human to be delicious!”


Born into Darkness, Creations of a Mad Man


Legends of their peoples’ origins have long since been an enigma.  Some say they were born in service to the glory of the puzzling maze, perhaps they are scions of the Demon Lord Baphomet, to some they are harbingers of the end days.  Much like the Minotaur themselves, these legends and stories have traveled across boundless planes.  In reality, the archfey lord of Nightmares brought such creatures to life in boundless mazes of his design.  Unlike the myths, these labyrinths weren’t made to protect something or to hide his work, but as a means of psychological torment and dastardly experimentation.  Few know the truth, but they have likely been driven to insanity by their petty pseudo-god.  Like all beast folk of Arcadia, their kind was not initially born but remade.  Several creatures ensnared under the Nightmare Lords grasp were warped into their current form, in an attempt to create relentless servants of chaos.  To this archfey, an army of unstable beastly horrors is exactly what was needed to turn the tides in war.


Fierce in Strength and in Spirit


While the Nightmare Lord’s brainwashed army of bovine-headed horrors began to ravish the material plane, not all were controlled to commit horrible acts.  Those who broke free from this control fled to dark corridors and sprawling tunnels.  Ironically, such hiding places were much like the horrible conditions they were tortured in for so long.  Even so, their familiarity with dungeons and mazes lead to them building complex mountain-side societies.  Rather than build over the land, they built into it; eventually developing all sorts of defensive methods against intruders and invaders alike.  In the years following, they had met conflict with the subterranean mound fey, human settlements and extraplanar entities.  This never deterred their survival instincts and knack for defensive innovation.  Eventually, some of their own became among the first to ascend.  A described high queen of healing and life was among those most powerful.  Those devoted to her cause can craft salves of magical healing through prayer and meditation.

Beyond worship of ascended minotaur powers, their societies have emerged to be an industrious and militant society built on protection and honor.  Some are driven by a passion to fight for what they believe in, while others are driven by keeping their kin safe at all costs.  These beliefs have lead to them being a prominent developer of arms and armory, making them a desirable trade ally.  However, their self-imposed sanctions make it harder for contraband dealers and illegal traders to gain powerful supplies.

Continue reading