Thursday, 13 February 2020

Working on my games bestiary

My current dream is a book of basic monsters that are mostly animals and will be about packing in creatures in groups by type on same spreads - like undead, elemental, faerie, demons etc A later monster book will have a spread per monster with stats, variant types and reskins, adventure seeds and will be for more high level more magical monsters. One benefit of my abhuman character class in my sorta bx game is it can replace a whole lot of beast races into one entry with paragraphs on basic types.

Originally my abhumans were beast folk but I wanted to have rock folk and ice folk and tree folk. Later I have allowed barbarian races and some orc races as abhumans also. I'd like to have lots of variations so each tribe with a different culture and technology. So keeping stats simple, letting them have weapons or tactics or alignment as you please makes them interesting too. So I can replace many dnd monsters from bcmei and 1st ed with abhumans which saves lots of time and does not dictate how they all act or even look like exactly. I can add new ones on the fly easily. Most recently I realised that abhumans make good androids. Magen in basic dnd seem possible fit for abhumans i will think about.

Frequently in my games, smarter abhumans within first four levels change class to a spell caster. Cat monk sword expert, snake wizard, orc priest, rogue rat folk, druid goat, all kinds of options really. It is a good HP and combat skill starts to life and makes for weird beastfolk spell users. Usually, with two squads, they get some kind of spell caster expert. No reason you can't have ten fish folk races with various alignments and visual differences. The point of this a basic stat block will let you make lots of monster races and have them at various levels and possibly some specialist leaders with a second class.

Sick of saying folk yet? 

suffix instead of folk + lots of beast folk change class early to do magic
-lord/lady or brother/sister or man/maid or wife
-kin or kindred or kinfolk 

-blood or blooded 
-tribe or clan 
-horde or herd 

Beast Folk & Abhumans in my EMO Monster Manual 
DnD to EMOverse 

Gnoll=hyena folk 
Dire Corby=bird folk 
kenku=bird folk 
flind =hyena or cat fok? 
firenewt=newt folk 
ettercap=spider folk 
dakon=gorrilla folk
crabman=crab folk
cifal = ant colony folk??? sound awesome
bullywug=frog folk
aarakocra=bird folk
frost Man = frost folk
Githyanki=astral knights use psionic spell list
Githzerai=limbo knights use psionic spell list
kua-toa=fish folk
lava children=lava folk
needleman=plant man increasing petty missiles is kinda cool power
mongrel men=mongrel folk (might make better mutants)
ogrillion=orc ogre hybrid like boxing
quaggoth=ape bear hybrids
qullan=a tattooed human-like variant fit very well into my setting barbarians as a tribe
          -early 80s warhammer parthenogenic punk amazons would be a cool tribe too sandman=sand folk
tabaxi=cat folk
gyerian=bird folk
hivebrood=insect folk
kna=fish folk
lupin=wolf folk
nagpa=vulture folk
rakasta=cat folk - im using horrible Hindu rakasha in my setting
rock man=rock folk
tortle=tortoise folk
snapper=turtle folk
cayman=croc folk
gator man=gator folk
chameleon man=chameleon folk
hutaaken=jackal folk
shark kin=shark folk
centaurs=will try to write up as an option
lizard man=lizard folk + dragon folk and dinosaur folk
minotaur=bull folk
sahuagin=fish folk lots like in Anderson's Stingray tv series, lots of types
dryad= tree spirit folk in my setting or tree folk (I like narnia and asian tree folk)
cat lord=minor deity of cats but lots of spirits like him and beast spirit folk changelings grippli=frog folk
myconid=fungus folk
thrikeen=mantis folk
triton=fish folk
locathah=fish folk
dark sun has a pterodactyl race? great to cross with psionics

dnd needs = rat folk, bat folk, weasel folk, lamprey folk, lion folk, cat folk, wolf folk, frog folk, fish folk, badger folk, fox folk

Subhumans = gibberings, grimlocks, cave folk, white apes, close relatives of humans from ancients or wilderness or degenerate isolated humans of a lost tribe, could all be abhuman

Goblinoids = dark creepers, dark stalkers, meazel, nilbog, norker, gremlin, mite, snyad, xvart, thoul, tasloi

Smaller Folk diminutive beast folk using reskinned halfling as base have -ling suffix after the species they are kin too usually. Faun make fine halflings too though a bit taller phanaton=racoonling geonid=rockling vegepygmie=shrubling or fernling

For shapeshifting magical spirit folk, I use a changeling my class.

12 Abhuman beastfolk I would develop in detail 

1 Dog folk (reskin as wolf or any canine)
2 Cat folk (reskin as lion or any feline)
3 Rat folk (reskin as weasels, shrew, mink)
4 Goat folk (reskin as bull or stag or kangaroo or horse)
5 Frog folk (reskin as newt or any salamander or prehistoric amphibian)
6 Fish folk (reskin as shark, eel, catfish, coelacanth, angler, barracuda)
7 Lizard folk (reskin as dragon, dinosaur, chameleon, gila, iguana or any reptile)
8 Snake folk (reskin as various types like cobra, adder, python, mamba)
9 Crab folk (reskin as lobster, isopods, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, trilobites)
10 Mantis folk (reskin as ant, bee, wasp, termite, scarab, type of beetle)
11 Worm folk (reskin as lamprey, maggot, blood worm, tiger worm, centipede, leach)
12 Squid folk (reskin as octopi, Kraken, nautilus, cuttlefish, ammonite)

12 Other non beast abhumans I would develop in detail 

1 Orc (superior hybrid orcs, organic recon and combat units)
2 Barbarian (mighty human maniacs)
3 Amazon (women warrior race)
4 Wild folk (prehistoric wild naked hairy folk live in forests and caves or mountains)
5 Toy folk (toys of ancient giants living in cloud kingdoms)
6 Machine folk (androids, golems, replicants, clone soldier, bioaugs)*
7 Mushroom folk (toadstool, shroom, mould, slime, fungus folk)
8 Tree folk (fruit tree types, oak, cacti, eucalypt, ash folk, moss, algoid)
9 Rock folk (granite, obsidian, flint, crystal, jade, metal folk)
10 Lava folk (magma, fire, brimstone folk)
11 Ice folk (snow, sleet, frost folk)
12 Cloud folk (storm, wind, typhoon folk)
*i have a robot class too

For Xor I want abhumans to include wierd roman era distant races with no head but chest in face or one leg for hopping, two heads and other strange things. A Flesh folk, bone folk, blood folk, animus folk (brain nerves and senses). A race of men with invisible skin look horrible.

For Psychon and SF I would have androids, replicants, clone trooper, bioaug (biologically augmented human treatment). Changing your class to robot would let you go cyborg rather than be non living like someone starting play as a robot. Changing your class to mutant is good too. There are technological mutants.

My cave or bronze setting would mostly have some different animals but sand folk or more ape types might be good in some settings.

In my fantasy setting, ancient giants who rivalled the gods and built sky lands in magic clouds left lots of golem construct toy people around as servants and playthings. Most greater giants are dead, imprisoned or sleeping now but lots of their toy-filled wonderlands and castle playrooms left toys with magical food and treats. So as these toy people I can stat as abhumans in my game toys can be a playable race. Now you could be a clown doll, a skittle, a humpty doll, a tin soldier, china doll, a nutcracker, a dancing ballerina, a fat policeman, a plush bear etc. But hey would be tough as brutes in a fight.


  1. Ha! That's very close to what I've been doing. I like a lot of similar, but different flavor humanoid races that AREN'T Orcs. And other types . . . One of the major city-states in my campaign has a VERY strict no slavery law, and any creature who can ask for protection against it is freed. I also decided long ago that REALLY ancient magic items tend to develop personalities. There is a sword that didn't like its stupid wielder and managed to bump into a city-councilor & talk to him. Now it stays in a Dwarf-bar in town, and people come up and touch the hilt to ask it if it wants to accompany them on an adventure for a share of the loot. There are free golems and a few other automata in town as well.

  2. A lot of great ideas in this (as usual for your blog). I've often let players reskin a race or class to better fit their idea of a character. Halflings have been reskinned to everything from awakened animals to alchemical creations that "just want to see the rest of the world" in my games.


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