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DracoDei
2015-05-23, 04:48 PM
I'm asking this here, rather than in a subforum or the homebrewing area because it isn't quite so much about the system as about narrative convention, especially in faerie-tales and children's stories (including the ones that the Grimm brothers had to tidy up before they wrote their work). (See at the end)

Ok, with that out of the way, what sorts of creatures prey on children by preference? Kidnapping, transforming, cursing, corrupting, or eating all count, as does probably anything I haven't thought of (please specify).

For one thing, think "Be good or the ________ will get you!".

In my own thinking so far fae are definitely strong contenders, as are humans and near-humans (slavers, pedophiles, "hags"). Giants seem to me to be a good idea, but I can't think of a specific example that went after children by preference.

Weird beasties are of especial interest, as are devils/demons/evil spirits, and undead things. And, yes, I realize that "Evil Spirits" could include certain ghosts and such.

Now, TECHNICALLY I'm trying to think about which D&D 3.5 creature types would tend to include such creatures, but since y'all don't need to know anything about that to point me to examples, I'm posting this here. (Mods: Please consider carefully if you are asked to move this thread.)


Should have mentioned this when I initially wrote this post:
Yes, I know about fey/elves, have for years. It has been established over and over again in this thread as well. I want to move beyond that since while that is the most important one, I want to decide what ALL the categories that have a strong enough showing to be something that someone who turns into a child to lure out and defeat things that prey particularly on children would have studied extensively, and which aren't worth covering.


[EDIT^2]
Also, I'm NOT looking for NEW ideas. I'm looking for pre-existing precidents in folklore/myth/legend/etc and monster manuals from whatever system. This is about making something that fits what is already in existance, not coming up with what may be biased (or simply redundant) examples, especially from creature types that are already well established in my existing knowledge.[/EDIT^2]

Grinner
2015-05-23, 04:50 PM
Other children. :smallamused:

Vitruviansquid
2015-05-23, 04:50 PM
Anything that wants to use people as a food source would probably find the young ones more tender and tasty.

Lurkmoar
2015-05-23, 04:52 PM
Off the top of my head, Tembo in the Dark Sun setting are infamous for skulking about looking for human or demihuman children to eat. I'll check back in a sec, but I'm fairly sure that there are plenty of Ravenloft monsters that snack on children.

Wererats are a common boogey men for kids in most D&D settings. Hags and evil fairies probably fit the bill as well.

Kid Jake
2015-05-23, 04:56 PM
Clowns are children's most prominent natural predators, at least according to my 3 year old niece.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 04:57 PM
Other children. :smallamused:
*Chuckles, a bit darkly*
You probably meant this as a joke, but now that I think about it it is surprisingly relevant for my purposes.

To be more specific: I'm working on a character type who turns into a younger version of himself (or when their power increases, other child forms) to lure out this category of threat and defeat it. While the school-yard bully would be a pushover compared to a child-stealing giant, or a spider the size of a cat that wormed its way up through a crack in the floorboards, or a widow left open, there is a certain thematic appropriateness to roleplaying confronting such an individual.


Anything that wants to use people as a food source would probably find the young ones more tender and tasty.
Ok, but from a narrative/literary perspective what sorts of things have people heard of?


Off the top of my head, Tembo in the Dark Sun setting are infamous for skulking about looking for human or demihuman children to eat. I'll check back in a sec, but I'm fairly sure that there are plenty of Ravenloft monsters that snack on children.

Wererats are a common boogey men for kids in most D&D settings. Hags and evil fairies probably fit the bill as well.
What are Tembo? If you could tell me the creature type that would be especially useful...

Wererats? Interesting...

Mr Beer
2015-05-23, 05:03 PM
Whatever is different preys upon children. That might require something pretty wacky in a D&D setting. In the real world the Blood Libel was believed by many. So this might be useful, depending on whether you want actual child predators or unfairly ghetto-ized victims of prejudice or actual child predators lurking amongst unfairly ghetto-ized victims of prejudice.

Anonymouswizard
2015-05-23, 05:15 PM
Okay, I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong, but I believe that 'troll' covers a diverse range of creatures (like fairy does), at least some of which would steal children.

I don't know any others, but I'll be watching this thread with interest, as it'll help me with ideas for a campaign I'm planning to run.

Vitruviansquid
2015-05-23, 05:17 PM
Ok, but from a narrative/literary perspective what sorts of things have people heard of?


I have no idea what you're asking for here.

You've never heard of a story where the big, mean monster most enjoys eating kids who don't go to bed on time?

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 05:17 PM
Whatever is different preys upon children. That might require something pretty wacky in a D&D setting. In the real world the Blood Libel was believed by many. So this might be useful, depending on whether you want actual child predators or unfairly ghetto-ized victims of prejudice or actual child predators lurking amongst unfairly ghetto-ized victims of prejudice.
In other words: humans, and human-like things (dwarves in areas with a dwarven population etc etc).

Good enough, already established, but we need to move on.

I'm talking about stuff like the monsters under the bed, or other such obviously INhuman things now I think... or if they LOOK human they still really AREN'T biologically.


Okay, I'd love to be corrected if I'm wrong, but I believe that 'troll' covers a diverse range of creatures (like fairy does), at least some of which would steal children.

I don't know any others, but I'll be watching this thread with interest, as it'll help me with ideas for a campaign I'm planning to run.
Yeah, but someone needs to tell us what sorts of trolls tend to do that sort of thing...


I have no idea what you're asking for here.

You've never heard of a story where the big, mean monster most enjoys eating kids who don't go to bed on time?
I most certainly have heard of that SORT of thing... the problem is I need some fairly specific descriptions of what as many examples of such creatures, both physically, behaviorally, and metaphysically.

Thrawn4
2015-05-23, 05:21 PM
Something that immediately comes to my mind is the boogeyman, aka the thing in your wardrobe. Most children are afraid of the implication that they are not sure whether the door of the wardrobe was in exactly this position five minutes ago. I know I was...
For inspiration I would recommend the short story by Stephen King or the Ghostbusters episode.

Something that might be a relative of the boogeyman the thing under the bed. You know, the reason why you make sure your feet are savely under the blanket.

The witch from Hansel and Gretel.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 05:26 PM
Something that immediately comes to my mind is the boogeyman, aka the thing in your wardrobe. Most children are afraid of the implication that they are not sure whether the door of the wardrobe was in exactly this position five minutes ago. I know I was...
For inspiration I would recommend the short story by Stephen King or the Ghostbusters episode.

Something that might be a relative of the boogeyman the thing under the bed. You know, the reason why you make sure your feet are savely under the blanket.

The witch from Hansel and Gretel.
Again, I need specific physical and/or metaphysical descriptions here... at least in the case of "boogeyman"/"the thing under the bed"/"the thing in the closet".

I'd rather not be referred to sources I might not have ready to hand. (Edit: Although I HAVE seen "Monster's Inc." so that is reasonable, although I feel like we should be looking into older sources as well... myths and legends.)

I have to categorize them fairly precisely or there is no point. My overall objective is to figure out what categories DO contain a significant number of examples and which categories DON'T... and by categories I mean the D&D 3.5 creature types, but knowledge of what those are isn't necessary for people to answer the question since with good enough descriptions I can do the categorizations myself.

For instance: The witch in "Hansel and Gretel" is either a human, or a "hag"... which tells me all I need to know as it happens.

Vitruviansquid
2015-05-23, 05:26 PM
I most certainly have heard of that SORT of thing... the problem is I need some fairly specific descriptions of what as many examples of such creatures, both physically, behaviorally, and metaphysically.

Okay.

Take anything, make it big, give it lots of teeth or shaggy fur or slithery locomotion, and you have your monster. If you want concrete examples, watch "Monsters Inc." and basically all the scarers in that movie are some play on that trope.

Honest Tiefling
2015-05-23, 05:29 PM
Elves in the original mythology stole children. (For some reason, they seemed to have a preference for the blonde ones. I guess blondes don't really have more fun...)

Of course, if elves are a player race, this quickly causes problems. Unless the thief is something in elfskin clothing, if you catch my drift. Nothing like something that rips off or digests the innards of a creature to wander around in the skin like a stylish, if bloody, suit.

There's also that pesky long life. Maybe the mortal mind was never meant to keep going, and going and going. So older elves tend to get a little bonkers. Either these elves simply become crazed, or in their insanity call to something from the Far Realm. Maybe a mind so warped and so experienced really appeals to those aberrations fellows looking for a nice summer home.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 05:34 PM
Elves in the original mythology stole children. (For some reason, they seemed to have a preference for the blonde ones. I guess blondes don't really have more fun...)

Of course, if elves are a player race, this quickly causes problems. Unless the thief is something in elfskin clothing, if you catch my drift. Nothing like something that rips off or digests the innards of a creature to wander around in the skin like a stylish, if bloody, suit.

There's also that pesky long life. Maybe the mortal mind was never meant to keep going, and going and going. So older elves tend to get a little bonkers. Either these elves simply become crazed, or in
Yeah, that is a classic (Please keep them coming people!)... which means it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to you that I've thought of that. "Elves" are either fae or humanoids to me. And I've already categorized both "fae" and "humanoid" as "things that might tend to prey on children".


their insanity call to something from the Far Realm. Maybe a mind so warped and so experienced really appeals to those aberrations fellows looking for a nice summer home.
Do things from the Far Realms have any literary precedence for preferring children?

An Enemy Spy
2015-05-23, 05:35 PM
The Julajimas from the Monster Manual 2 is specifically noted as a child eater. Parents tell their kids cautionary tales of a child keeping a cute pet secret that turns into the monster at night and eats them.

Lurkmoar
2015-05-23, 05:37 PM
What are Tembo? If you could tell me the creature type that would be especially useful...

Wererats? Interesting...

A Medium sized Magical Beast. Not sure if they were offically converted from 2ed to 3rd, but I have come across one posted on a forum.

Tembo

Medium-Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 4d8+16 (34 hp)
Initiative: +8 (Dex)
Speed: 40 ft.
AC: 16 (+4 Dex, +2 natural)
Attacks: +5 claws x 4, +2 bite
Damage: 1d4+3 front claws/ 1d6+3 back claws/ 1d8 bite.
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Level Drain, Death Field
Special Qualities: 13 % Magical Resistance, Psion, Dodge missiles, Immune to fear
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 14
Skills: Climb +8, Hide +10, Jump +8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Spot +10
Feat: Improved Initiative, Multiattack*

Climate/Terrain: Tablelands and mountains
Organization: Pack (1d6)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: chaotic evil
Advancement: 5-10 HD (Large)

Combat

Though all Tembo love to fight, their battle tactics are unpredictable as these vicious beasts. Some prefer to sneak as close as possible to their victims and a short distance trying to kill them with Death Field. Others prefer, leap to leap into the target, meleeing their victims from the first round.

Death Field(Ex): This power allow Tembo, generate a field that drain life of the victims. This field reach 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 30 feet long, for 6 rounds; damage 6d6, Fortitude half DC 16. This field can through walls, stones and iron. Tembo can use this power 3 times a day.

Dodge Missiles(Ex): When attack from the distance, Tembo have a 40% chance to dodge ant non-magical missile.

The Way(Ex): Tembo can use the following psionic powers:

Shadow Body 2/day; Ectoplasmatic Form 3/day
At will: Chameleon, Dismissal, Highness sense, Immovability.

Immunity to fear: Tembo display no fear and prefer fight to the death rather that run. However Tembo can be affected by magical effects that cause fear, but gain a +6 bonus against fear.

Level Drain(Ex): The greatest danger of Tembo comes from its horrid mouth. When, Tembo strikes with its powerful jaws, the victim must make a Fortitude save or lose one life level. This loss is permanent, and must be made each time that Tembo lands a successful bite.

Feats: Multiattack is a bonus feat.

The poster was worried it might be under CRed. I'll PM you the link if you're interested in further reading, not sure if this is one of the 'forbidden' forums that can't be posted.

Edit: Still got them in my Wander's Journal. I'll post their habitant and ecology as well if you're interested.

Maglubiyet
2015-05-23, 06:02 PM
There was an old Dungeon magazine adventure that featured a Berbalang that was preying on the town's children cyclically every 28 years or something.

I always thought that the movie Jeepers Creepers was based on that adventure.

Honest Tiefling
2015-05-23, 06:08 PM
Do things from the Far Realms have any literary precedence for preferring children?

I think by definition, no. Abberrations are the unknown, so precedence doesn't really work for them. I think they work best if the DM plays around with them each time, giving the players a mystery to solve, or a mystery to eat their minds and leave them as gibbering husks. One of the two.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 06:13 PM
I'm working on a class. They hunt things that hunt children. I'm trying to decide which Knowledge skills are justifiable to give them. The ones I'm currently uncertain about, and the creature types they apply to, and other reasons for potentially including are:

Arcana:

Creature Types:
Constructs: Beyond the one scene in the original movie of Frankenstein, I'm not recalling much that relates to this.
Dragons: Generally go for nubile virgins, not prepubescient ones...
Magical beasts: This might count if we can find enough examples in myth and OLD stories, or if we count "Monster's Inc." and the like. I actually think that there should be some examples here, but I can't think of many SPECIFIC ones.
Non-Creature Relevance:
Seems relevant to "the dark and mysterious woods" that is central to many faerie-tales, and other such things.


Dungeoneering:

Creature Types:
Aberrations: Again, this seems like it should be rife with examples, but I'm getting surprisingly few.
Oozes: Too dumb to be picky about their prey, but I suppose that their hunting strategies might make them more likely for a child to run afoul of them in some cases?
Non-Creature Relevance:
Kidnapped creatures being kept in a cavern seems thematic, so this would help this character class find their way into and out of such areas safely.

Religion:

Creature Types:
Undead: Can't think of any examples beyond the idea of certain ghosts targeting children in movies and books: Poltergeist, The Lady in Black (might be the name of the movie, the creature, or neither), and the ghost that was causing a lot of crib death in one of the Dresden Files books.

Non-Creature Relevance:
Evil cults might go in for sacrificing children? Certainly has historical precedence in real-world religions.


The planes:

Creature Types:
Outsiders: Fiends that "will get you if you are a bad child"? Seems plausible, but again I'm drawing a blank for specific examples.
Elementals: Probably not, but someone might surprise me.

Non-Creature Relevance:
Fey Realms are often depicted as being on another plane. Plus the Ethereal makes for a good place for ambush hunters to work from, and might allow moving through walls to get at a sleeping child?



The Julajimas from the Monster Manual 2 is specifically noted as a child eater. Parents tell their kids cautionary tales of a child keeping a cute pet secret that turns into the monster at night and eats them.
Okay, I have that book*...

Let's see here... Okay, that is one "specimen" for "Aberration". More would help me nail down if that should be included.


*If I hadn't I would have asked you for the creature type.

A Medium sized Magical Beast. Not sure if they were offically converted from 2ed to 3rd, but I have come across one posted on a forum.

Tembo

Medium-Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 4d8+16 (34 hp)
Initiative: +8 (Dex)
Speed: 40 ft.
AC: 16 (+4 Dex, +2 natural)
Attacks: +5 claws x 4, +2 bite
Damage: 1d4+3 front claws/ 1d6+3 back claws/ 1d8 bite.
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Level Drain, Death Field
Special Qualities: 13 % Magical Resistance, Psion, Dodge missiles, Immune to fear
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 14
Skills: Climb +8, Hide +10, Jump +8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Spot +10
Feat: Improved Initiative, Multiattack*

Climate/Terrain: Tablelands and mountains
Organization: Pack (1d6)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: chaotic evil
Advancement: 5-10 HD (Large)

Combat

Though all Tembo love to fight, their battle tactics are unpredictable as these vicious beasts. Some prefer to sneak as close as possible to their victims and a short distance trying to kill them with Death Field. Others prefer, leap to leap into the target, meleeing their victims from the first round.

Death Field(Ex): This power allow Tembo, generate a field that drain life of the victims. This field reach 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 30 feet long, for 6 rounds; damage 6d6, Fortitude half DC 16. This field can through walls, stones and iron. Tembo can use this power 3 times a day.

Dodge Missiles(Ex): When attack from the distance, Tembo have a 40% chance to dodge ant non-magical missile.

The Way(Ex): Tembo can use the following psionic powers:

Shadow Body 2/day; Ectoplasmatic Form 3/day
At will: Chameleon, Dismissal, Highness sense, Immovability.

Immunity to fear: Tembo display no fear and prefer fight to the death rather that run. However Tembo can be affected by magical effects that cause fear, but gain a +6 bonus against fear.

Level Drain(Ex): The greatest danger of Tembo comes from its horrid mouth. When, Tembo strikes with its powerful jaws, the victim must make a Fortitude save or lose one life level. This loss is permanent, and must be made each time that Tembo lands a successful bite.

Feats: Multiattack is a bonus feat.

The poster was worried it might be under CRed. I'll PM you the link if you're interested in further reading, not sure if this is one of the 'forbidden' forums that can't be posted.

Edit: Still got them in my Wander's Journal. I'll post their habitant and ecology as well if you're interested.
Thank you, but "Magical Beast" was about all I personally needed to hear (description of appearance and abilities might still be useful for giving the non-D&D fans in this thread a frame of reference).

Kid Jake
2015-05-23, 06:22 PM
I seem to recall Grey Jesters from Heroes of Horror being fond of luring children off for nefarious reasons. Heroes of Horror also had an interesting take on Dragons where their version of greed made covet that which meant the world to people rather than tying value to actual material worth; so a beggar's last copper, a farmer's beautiful daughter and sword made out of diamonds all looked equally appealing in their eyes.

I could easily see that manifesting as stealing away a herd of children from a nearby village to create its own version of the sims.

Keltest
2015-05-23, 06:43 PM
Any sort of creature that is likely to prey on humans for whatever reason is going to be used in that sort of context. Think like a predator. Children are small, weak and unable to use the tools that people are so fond of, at least effectively. That makes them ideal prey. A guaranteed meal that is smaller will be chosen over a larger meal that has a moderate chance of survival or worse, outright victory, every time.

Telonius
2015-05-23, 06:50 PM
Various kinds of Fey are supposed to do this - basically, stealing babies and taking them back to Faerie (or whatever local variant name). Associated with the Elf stories, but sometimes the line between Elf and Fey is a little blurry in folklore.

I've seen some theories that dragons themselves are just an amalgamation of real-world predators that early humans had to contend with - crocodiles, big cats, and some sort of particularly large bird (which may also be the source of the Roc legends). Any one of those could target human children.

Will-o-the-Wisps might lead anyone astray, but a little kid who hadn't ever heard of them, seeing a bright shiny light, could be particularly vulnerable.

Cats (regular domestic felines) were supposed to steal the breath of infants. Just one more reason for the average Commoner to fear them.

Ettina
2015-05-23, 06:51 PM
Pretty much anything that offers a saving throw vs their feeding ability, or that makes spawn by draining stats (and wants to make spawn) would probably like children, because their stats are really bad (http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/katz/dnd/kids.html).

So, off the top of my head, that would include allips (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Allip), wraiths (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Wraith), shadows (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Shadow), ghouls (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Ghoul), vampires (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/vampire.htm), and many other undead, as well as illithids (http://www.angelfire.com/games/Alterniverse/dragonstar/The_Illithid.pdf) (they want to mindblast their target to make it easier to eat its' brain), and probably others that haven't come to mind.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 07:52 PM
I seem to recall Grey Jesters from Heroes of Horror being fond of luring children off for nefarious reasons.
I was excited about this. Then I saw that apparently we both had forgotten they were fey.

Again with the fey... I know about the fey... I'm trying to figure out what else.

But, as I said, you probably just forgot that little detail about them.


Heroes of Horror also had an interesting take on Dragons where their version of greed made covet that which meant the world to people rather than tying value to actual material worth; so a beggar's last copper, a farmer's beautiful daughter and sword made out of diamonds all looked equally appealing in their eyes.

I could easily see that manifesting as stealing away a herd of children from a nearby village to create its own version of the sims.
Yes, that could certainly work, but I'm not sure how well an optional interpretation serves as a justification for granting particular knowledge of the broad category that dragons belong to (along with other types of creatures, such as constructs and perhaps very relevantly, magical beasts).

Any sort of creature that is likely to prey on humans for whatever reason is going to be used in that sort of context. Think like a predator. Children are small, weak and unable to use the tools that people are so fond of, at least effectively. That makes them ideal prey. A guaranteed meal that is smaller will be chosen over a larger meal that has a moderate chance of survival or worse, outright victory, every time.
So... basically, anything goes as far as you are concerned?

Various kinds of Fey are supposed to do this - basically, stealing babies and taking them back to Faerie (or whatever local variant name). Associated with the Elf stories, but sometimes the line between Elf and Fey is a little blurry in folklore.
Right, again with the fey. I should probably put a note in the original post... Done.


I've seen some theories that dragons themselves are just an amalgamation of real-world predators that early humans had to contend with - crocodiles, big cats, and some sort of particularly large bird (which may also be the source of the Roc legends). Any one of those could target human children.

Will-o-the-Wisps might lead anyone astray, but a little kid who hadn't ever heard of them, seeing a bright shiny light, could be particularly vulnerable.

Cats (regular domestic felines) were supposed to steal the breath of infants. Just one more reason for the average Commoner to fear them.
Interesting thoughts, especially that last bit!

See below for the first two...

Pretty much anything that offers a saving throw vs their feeding ability, or that makes spawn by draining stats (and wants to make spawn) would probably like children, because their stats are really bad (http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/katz/dnd/kids.html).

So, off the top of my head, that would include allips (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Allip), wraiths (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Wraith), shadows (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Shadow), ghouls (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Ghoul), vampires (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/vampire.htm), and many other undead, as well as illithids (http://www.angelfire.com/games/Alterniverse/dragonstar/The_Illithid.pdf) (they want to mindblast their target to make it easier to eat its' brain), and probably others that haven't come to mind.
I see...

Still, this is based on extrapolation, rather than long-established folk-lore. I'd have to think about how much that would count...

Keltest
2015-05-23, 08:09 PM
So... basically, anything goes as far as you are concerned?

Well... yes and no. On the one hand, pretty much everything in the monster manual is going to be hostile to humans. But not many of them actively prey on humans for entertainment or sustenance.

Mastikator
2015-05-23, 08:10 PM
Bed bugs! Or what about giant flies that fly in through open windows, inject eggs into the kid while it sleeps. And then horrible things happen.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 08:18 PM
Well... yes and no. On the one hand, pretty much everything in the monster manual is going to be hostile to humans. But not many of them actively prey on humans for entertainment or sustenance.
Right, but since I'm only worried about individual races in as much as they might or might not provide an argument for their creature type (aberration, construct, dragon, elemental, magical beast, ooze, outsider), and via that, the associated knowledge skills being included, that means you would seem to be in favor of "everything" when it comes to the knowledge skills I'm still on the fence about. Note that the creature types I've listed in the parantheses above are said creature types, and the associated knowledge skills are Arcana, Dungeoneering, Religion, and The Planes.

Maglubiyet
2015-05-23, 08:27 PM
fyi, there are a wide variety of child-eating critters from different cultures' folklore under the wiki page for Bogeyman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogeyman).

Hawkstar
2015-05-23, 09:17 PM
Other children. :smallamused:

On this note - Goblins, given that they are physical manifestations of the worst of children.

DracoDei
2015-05-23, 09:49 PM
fyi, there are a wide variety of child-eating critters from different cultures' folklore under the wiki page for Bogeyman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogeyman).
Given that I'm was torn between naming this class the "Bogey-Slayer" and the "Bogey-Hunter", I am very mildly embarrassed that I didn't think of that, although I was spelling it "Boogey" so that might not have turned up even if I searched for it.

So useful quotes from that article:
"In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the Devil." this would be an argument for including devils and demons in their especial prey.
(GTG, will read more later.)


On this note - Goblins, given that they are physical manifestations of the worst of children.
Noted and accepted. (Doesn't happen to change anything, but that is the cost I pay for the added benefit of getting a wider variety of opinions by posting this in a more general section of the forums.)

BWR
2015-05-24, 03:47 AM
Kobolds. (http://www.koboldsatemybaby.com/)

I'm not sure there are a lot of creatures prey on kids by preference as presented in books. It is easy to fluff most creatures into doing this, however, especially individuals of a species. All you need to do is pick a monster, look at its basic description and ask "why and how would this being be interested in children?"
E.g.
Ghosts or other spirits:
- parents who've lost their children and died in pain, risen from the grave to find them again. They'll take any kid and kill them in a fit of rage when they find out it isn't theirs
- someone who was killed by a childish prank and does not rest easy, looking for the culprit, so be good or the Drowned Man will take you
- a parent whose child was an unholy terror and the gods condemned him/her to everlasting torment for raising such a beast, and the ghost punishes kids to make sure nothing like that happens again

JCAll
2015-05-24, 05:33 AM
Clowns are children's most prominent natural predators

I can attest to this being 100% fact.

SimonMoon6
2015-05-24, 10:18 AM
I believe bugbear = bogeyman.

DracoDei
2015-05-24, 11:15 AM
All you need to do is pick a monster, look at its basic description and ask "why and how would this being be interested in children?"

Except that I'm not sure that that is a strict enough standard for most GMs?

It is looking like these guys end up getting full BAB, cleric saves, and I'm really wanting to give them a fairly low-powered (in that it is mostly healbot and utility) spell list that never-the-less goes up to level 5.

So with so many goodies, and a skill list that is already pretty long, I'm expecting I'll have to defend the knowledge skills. I suppose I could brute-force it and invent a new knowledge skill that cuts across the normal categories and only covers species especially known for preying on children by preference.

Heh... and I just realized I should include a feat/ACF that would let them disguise themselves as an elderly* person. -6 to all physical stats and perhaps a reduced movement rate does make for a tempting target, and the fact that they have more commoner levels rather than less means that things that are based on HD would be more useful to do to them rather than a young and strong individual of fewer HD...

*Or crippled? An illusionary effect that makes you appear to be missing an arm and a leg while still technically allowing you to act with you full abilities would be interesting.


Also, they should probably get "Forever Young"/"Aged Dignity", both of which would do the same thing, but with the name being the different. Both would duplicate the following monk/druid ability:
Timeless Body (Ex)

After attaining 15th level, a druid (monk) no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place.

Bonuses still accrue, and the druid (monk) still dies of old age when her time is up.

Gritmonger
2015-05-24, 03:35 PM
Kelpies. They would take the form of a horse and entice children to ride, then immediately dive into the nearest body of water, drown them, eat them, and throw their entrails on shore. Rather than a bogeyman under the bed (a way to keep children from wandering at night), they were a warning against wandering out of doors and strangers.

AzraelX
2015-05-25, 11:59 PM
I need specific physical and/or metaphysical descriptions here... at least in the case of "boogeyman"
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/bogeyman

Mark Hall
2015-05-26, 10:24 AM
In Hackmaster, bugbears require the heart of a child for the females to become fertile.

Segev
2015-05-26, 02:06 PM
I could have missed it, but I am surprised if nobody has yet mentioned "wolves."

Wolves are a classic Big Bad of fairy tales.
Yes, reference intended.
And children are among the most likely humans to actually be targetted, because they're so small and generally helpless. (Wolves usually avoid grown humans because humans are one of the most dangerous things to a wolf out there.) But they're perfect as monsters, too: close enough to the warm, cuddly, friendly, heroic dog to evoke a sense of betrayal and wrongness over their size and more frightening demeanors and features; able to "see in the dark" and very good at hiding and moving quietly; big and scary enough to be dangerous alone, and yet known to travel in packs...

Add in the metaphysical characteristics sometimes associated, or go full-on werewolf, and things just get worse.

And what's scarier than realizing your darling little brother is the beast that's been eating the sheep you're supposed to be protecting?

DracoDei
2015-05-27, 01:55 PM
Kelpies. They would take the form of a horse and entice children to ride, then immediately dive into the nearest body of water, drown them, eat them, and throw their entrails on shore. Rather than a bogeyman under the bed (a way to keep children from wandering at night), they were a warning against wandering out of doors and strangers.
Noted. I think kelpies would tend to be Fae, although the "Magical Beast" catagory could also fit them.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/bogeyman
Another fae... *yawn*.

In Hackmaster, bugbears require the heart of a child for the females to become fertile.
An argument for "Monsterous Humanoid", which... just so happens to fall under the same category of Knowledge as Fae, and thus doesn't happen to change much. Still, given where I located this thread I can hardly object to your kind attempt to be helpful!

I could have missed it, but I am surprised if nobody has yet mentioned "wolves."

Wolves are a classic Big Bad of fairy tales.
Yes, reference intended.
And children are among the most likely humans to actually be targetted, because they're so small and generally helpless. (Wolves usually avoid grown humans because humans are one of the most dangerous things to a wolf out there.) But they're perfect as monsters, too: close enough to the warm, cuddly, friendly, heroic dog to evoke a sense of betrayal and wrongness over their size and more frightening demeanors and features; able to "see in the dark" and very good at hiding and moving quietly; big and scary enough to be dangerous alone, and yet known to travel in packs...
Right... mundane wolves are definitely in. With both "Little pig, little pig let me in" and "Where are you going with that basket little girl?", I'm going to say that TALKING wolves are also "a thing" which would make them "Magical Beasts" by D&D's standards. That means that Knowledge[Arcana] may be a solid choice to include.


Add in the metaphysical characteristics sometimes associated, or go full-on werewolf, and things just get worse.
Oddly enough, werewolves are still considered humanoids, just with the [Shapeshifter] subtype.

Hmmm... giving them bonuses against things that AREN'T humanoid, but can shapeshift to LOOK like a humanoid could be a good option to provide them?


And what's scarier than realizing your darling little brother is the beast that's been eating the sheep you're supposed to be protecting?
He's eaten your little sister and/or parents.

AzraelX
2015-05-27, 04:35 PM
Another fae... *yawn*.
You asked for a physical description of a specific monster (ie, "boogeyman"), and I provided you one, complete with stats and ecology. What difference does it make if that version of the monster is also fey? Pretty sure "being fey" isn't part of their physical description, and you could just ignore it.

Segev
2015-05-27, 04:47 PM
I'm getting the impression - though I am not finding explicit statement - that what the OP is looking for at this point is more information as to what Creature Types include such things, so he can determine what various Knowledge skills will tell players who have them and roll them.

Mandragola
2015-05-27, 04:48 PM
L5R had this pretty horrible monster. It was a daemon that substituted itself for the nanny, then ate up the sprogs.

Hawkstar
2015-05-27, 05:49 PM
I'm getting the impression - though I am not finding explicit statement - that what the OP is looking for at this point is more information as to what Creature Types include such things, so he can determine what various Knowledge skills will tell players who have them and roll them.

Why do Creature Type and Knowledge skills have to be so closely intertwined? (That's something I've always hated about 3.5's Knowledge skills - Why is Knowledge: Religion so blind and deaf to Celestials and Fiends? Why is Knowledge: Nature oblivious to Catfolk, Gnolls, Goblins, and Kobolds? Why the hell is there a Dragonwrought-shaped hole around kobolds in Knowledge: Nature, and a Kobold-shaped void around Dragonwrought Kobolds in Knowledge: Arcana?).

Instead, just use the assorted monsters that are suggested, and what they are (Fey, Monstrous Humanoid, Fiend, Magical Creature, Dragon, Undead, etc) shouldn't matter so much as how they interact with the relevant knowledge skills.

Telonius
2015-05-27, 06:49 PM
Oh, I have one for Constructs. Specifically, Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifles. It's well-known that they have a psychic ability that causes children to shoot out their own eyes.

An Ur-Priest might list Archons and Angels, but that's probably not what you had in mind.

TinyMushroom
2015-05-27, 08:11 PM
How about Changelings? Except instead of their fluff as humanoids who happen to be able to shapeshift take something closer to their original folklore. There's certainly something scary about being replaced without anyone being able to tell the difference.

GungHo
2015-05-28, 08:38 AM
The Aswang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswang) is specifically used to terrorize Filipino kids. There are a lot of regional variations on the theme in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indochina, and Indonesia. Some are undead. Some are shapeshifters. Some are undead shapeshifters. Some are aberrations.

Telonius
2015-05-28, 11:28 AM
Besides the usual "break your mother's back" result, stepping on a crack was supposed to cause bears to eat a child.

DigoDragon
2015-05-28, 02:51 PM
How weird are we allowed to go?

Yara-ma-yha-who is a demonic creature that preys on children, from Aboriginal legends.

Coca is a Hispanic bugbear ghost-monster that eats and kidnaps naughty kids.

Whipfather, a psychotic human Santa Claus enslaved in chains after he killed three children. His job is to travel with Santa and deliver coal and beatings to bad children.

Mark Hall
2015-05-28, 02:55 PM
Whipfather, a psychotic human Santa Claus enslaved in chains after he killed three children. His job is to travel with Santa and deliver coal and beatings to bad children.

Similar to Krampus and a few other varieties.

Jacob.Tyr
2015-05-28, 07:28 PM
My favorite is Ebu Gogo, but in 3.x they're probably just halflings. I'm unclear if they ate children, or kidnapped them and made them work in their kitchens.

Nevertheless, interesting case where local folklore matched up eerily with archaeology.

The list of creature types that include something that eats children is literally all of the creature types.

@Hawkstar: That bugs the crap out of me. I know it would overlap with planes, but why don't religious folk get to know anything about their own theologies? If demons and angels were real beings that we had concrete proof of, I would assume a fricking priest would know what they were.

DracoDei
2015-05-28, 08:01 PM
You asked for a physical description of a specific monster (ie, "boogeyman"), and I provided you one, complete with stats and ecology. What difference does it make if that version of the monster is also fey? Pretty sure "being fey" isn't part of their physical description, and you could just ignore it.
See Segev's comment.

I'm getting the impression - though I am not finding explicit statement - that what the OP is looking for at this point is more information as to what Creature Types include such things, so he can determine what various Knowledge skills will tell players who have them and roll them.
This is about a CLASS a thing that a character can have as their training/skillset. The class hunts things that hunt children*. As such I'm wondering if certain Knowledge skills should be class skills versus the harder to learn cross-class skills.

*Specifically by turning into a child, initially without losing too much of their combat effectiveness, and eventually they are actually more effective in that form.

Since I was after myth/legend/folklore, rather than monster manual entries, and wanted to NOT restrict myself to those respondents with knowledge of the D&D system, I originally tried to phrase the question in a system-neutral way. This may have proved to be a mistake.

To repeat an earlier thing I said:
The ones I'm currently uncertain about, and the creature types they apply to, and other reasons for potentially including are:

Arcana:

Creature Types:
Constructs: Beyond the one scene in the original movie of Frankenstein, I'm not recalling much that relates to this.
Dragons: Generally go for nubile virgins, not prepubescient ones...
Magical beasts: This might count if we can find enough examples in myth and OLD stories, or if we count "Monster's Inc." and the like. I actually think that there should be some examples here, but I can't think of many SPECIFIC ones.
Non-Creature Relevance:
Seems relevant to "the dark and mysterious woods" that is central to many faerie-tales, and other such things.


Dungeoneering:

Creature Types:
Aberrations: Again, this seems like it should be rife with examples, but I'm getting surprisingly few.
Oozes: Too dumb to be picky about their prey, but I suppose that their hunting strategies might make them more likely for a child to run afoul of them in some cases?
Non-Creature Relevance:
Kidnapped creatures being kept in a cavern seems thematic, so this would help this character class find their way into and out of such areas safely.

Religion:

Creature Types:
Undead: Can't think of any examples beyond the idea of certain ghosts targeting children in movies and books: Poltergeist, The Lady in Black (might be the name of the movie, the creature, or neither), and the ghost that was causing a lot of crib death in one of the Dresden Files books.

Non-Creature Relevance:
Evil cults might go in for sacrificing children? Certainly has historical precedence in real-world religions.


The planes:

Creature Types:
Outsiders: Fiends that "will get you if you are a bad child"? Seems plausible, but again I'm drawing a blank for specific examples.
Elementals: Probably not, but someone might surprise me.

Non-Creature Relevance:
Fey Realms are often depicted as being on another plane. Plus the Ethereal makes for a good place for ambush hunters to work from, and might allow moving through walls to get at a sleeping child?


L5R had this pretty horrible monster. It was a daemon that substituted itself for the nanny, then ate up the sprogs.
Sounds interesting?

Why do Creature Type and Knowledge skills have to be so closely intertwined? (That's something I've always hated about 3.5's Knowledge skills - Why is Knowledge: Religion so blind and deaf to Celestials and Fiends? Why is Knowledge: Nature oblivious to Catfolk, Gnolls, Goblins, and Kobolds? Why the hell is there a Dragonwrought-shaped hole around kobolds in Knowledge: Nature, and a Kobold-shaped void around Dragonwrought Kobolds in Knowledge: Arcana?).

Instead, just use the assorted monsters that are suggested, and what they are (Fey, Monstrous Humanoid, Fiend, Magical Creature, Dragon, Undead, etc) shouldn't matter so much as how they interact with the relevant knowledge skills.
Well, I DID mention the possibility of hacking together a unique Knowledge[Things that Often Prey on Children] that would cut across the pre-existing catagories at one point in this thread...

Do you think I should just do that? Or rather, to suggest it as an option to Game Masters allowing this class?

I do agree that putting Angels and Devils in a separate skill from Religion is very odd and some of your other mentions may be good ones too, but... that is the way the game is written and I'm doing a class here, not a system re-write.

Oh, I have one for Constructs. Specifically, Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifles. It's well-known that they have a psychic ability that causes children to shoot out their own eyes.
*Snerk*

I like your sense of humor!

An Ur-Priest might list Archons and Angels, but that's probably not what you had in mind.
Nope, not what I had in mind.

How about Changelings? Except instead of their fluff as humanoids who happen to be able to shapeshift take something closer to their original folklore. There's certainly something scary about being replaced without anyone being able to tell the difference.
Which puts them back a fae. Which is very much covered, going to be covered, was probably the first thing I made sure was covered, and will never not be covered at least as far as the sorts of fae that would replace a child or otherwise tend to target them.

erikun
2015-05-29, 09:10 AM
what sorts of creatures prey on children by preference?
All of them, probably. I mean, when it's the choice between a big strong wary human with a pointy stick and a small weak gullible human with maybe a small rock, most things are going to go after the easier target. I can probably think of a few which would prefer going after the adult human - vampires and rust monsters spring to mind - but for the most part, a child would probably be a more tempting target.

If we want to look at a creature which is specifically known for attacking or hunting children, though, it's probably a bit more narrow of a definition. We're likely looking at an urban/suburban creature, or at least one native to a nearby forest which doesn't leave. If it's a wild creature which just came into the city, it would probalby make a large enough ruckus that the townsfolk would know to keep the children safe. It's also probably stealthy, so that it doesn't attract attention from adults. I would guess that it likely has some form of mimicry, at least so that it sounds somewhat human and can attract a child. It is probably roughly human-sized, so that it has an easy time with catching a child but would have difficulty with an adult.

It probably isn't something which crawls into windows and kidnaps, either. That would either be something which targets adults (vampires, who can first a full adult just fine) or something which targets just infants that can't fight back (there are a lot of these, too).


This is about a CLASS a thing that a character can have as their training/skillset. The class hunts things that hunt children*. As such I'm wondering if certain Knowledge skills should be class skills versus the harder to learn cross-class skills.
Knowledge: Local and possibly Gather Information are likely going to be the best information skills, assuming D&D3e. As mentioned above, outside the rare forest beast which grabs children who play where they shouldn't, most children-hunters are going to be urban predators thanks to that being where all the children are. Something like a bonus to urban tracking would be welcome as well, at it would allow the class to track down where these things are and where they are going. Skills or abilities which would get through the deception, either with good perception or just a bonus to avoid mimicry, would be beneficial at identifying the creature.

If you are considering the class to be taken by gnome/halfling characters with the intent of posing as children, then some general defenses against getting attacked would be good as well. Something like a bonus to avoid being grappled or bound by a larger opponent, or bonuses to escape being grappled or bound. They might also possess some sort of surprise-strike or much better attacks when fighting a larger opponent that is grabbing them.

Plus, several of those abilities would be handy even if the class isn't specifically hunting child-killers. Gather Information is a good practical skills, urban tracking is handy against thieves as against killers, and bonuses against large grapplers is something that most characters can benefit from.

Segev
2015-05-29, 10:32 AM
Perhaps it would be easier to start with the list of all creature Types, and then pick the ones that would not have members which qualify:

Aberration Type
Animal Type
Construct Type
Dragon Type
Elemental Type
Fey Type
Giant Type
Humanoid Type
Magical Beast Type
Monstrous Humanoid Type
Ooze Type
Outsider Type
Plant Type
Undead Type
Vermin Type


Of these, Dragon, Elemental, and Ooze seem the only two that would have truly no members who engage in child-predation. (Even "dragon" is stretchable: princesses can be kids, right? And kids are edible. But that's more a generic "eats people" thing.) Elementals...anything that is likely to qualify is more likely a fey. Oozes don't really "prey" so much as "get stumbled into."

Giants may work; do hags kidnap kids? Does Jack being oft portrayed as a boy-child on the cusp of manhood qualify giants as "preying on children?"

Constructs have "creepy dolls," so they qualify.

Even Vermin have some folklore about certain kinds going after kids, if only because the diseases they spread being more likely to kill a child than a grown-up.

So, candidates for NOT being on your list of class skills:

Dragon
Elemental
Giant
Ooze

Maglubiyet
2015-05-29, 11:12 AM
So, candidates for NOT being on your list of class skills:

Dragon
Elemental
Giant
Ooze

Wasn't IT, from Stephen King's book/movie IT, some kind of amorphous ooze? Not folklore, but that thing specialized in eating children.

Bard1cKnowledge
2015-05-30, 12:33 AM
Chubacabras, those thing prey on kids all the time :P

Seto
2015-05-30, 04:58 AM
Why not just create a custom unorthodox ability (defined with the DM), something like "Can use knowledge skills untrained and with a +5 bonus if and only if the use pertains to children-eating creatures" ?

VexingFool
2015-05-30, 05:24 AM
Shtriga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shtriga)

#Supernatural

Telonius
2015-05-30, 07:58 AM
Wasn't IT, from Stephen King's book/movie IT, some kind of amorphous ooze? Not folklore, but that thing specialized in eating children.

IT was basically a boggart (in the Harry Potter sense) - IT was whatever you feared most. If I had to, I'd probably peg it as an Aberration (given its Cthulhu-esque/alien background).

Segev
2015-05-30, 11:45 AM
My favorite use of the Boggart is in a HP fanfic called "Oh no, not again!" The premise is that 23-year-old Harry stepped through the veil of death, and woke up back in his 11-year-old body and time, with a chance to live through things again. Hillarity ensues.

Due to how Harry behaves, when Neville is faced by a Boggart for the first time, the form it takes is...Harry Potter as Minister of Magic. He does such things as abolish Mondays, and then give House Elves every (now non-existent) Monday off.

Jeivar
2015-05-30, 11:55 AM
{{scrubbed}}

Reltzik
2015-05-30, 12:19 PM
Don't forget adults. :smallfrown:

{{scrubbed}}

Seto
2015-05-30, 12:24 PM
My favorite use of the Boggart is in a HP fanfic called "Oh no, not again!" The premise is that 23-year-old Harry stepped through the veil of death, and woke up back in his 11-year-old body and time, with a chance to live through things again. Hillarity ensues.

Due to how Harry behaves, when Neville is faced by a Boggart for the first time, the form it takes is...Harry Potter as Minister of Magic. He does such things as abolish Mondays, and then give House Elves every (now non-existent) Monday off.

Do you have a name or a link for that ? :)

Scarlet Knight
2015-05-30, 12:27 PM
Vampires seem to enjoy children if the original "Dracula" is a source.

Segev
2015-05-30, 01:25 PM
Do you have a name or a link for that ? :)

No link at the moment (due to restrictions on this particular network's site access), but if you google for "oh no not again harry potter," the first chapter is the first link. It's on fanfiction.net.

TeChameleon
2015-05-30, 04:57 PM
Don't forget the classic fairy-tale archetype of the magical trickster/being/person who demanded payment for services in the form of children, like Rumpelstiltskin and the unnamed(?) witch from Rapunzel (dubbed 'Mother Gothel' in Tangled, dunno if the name has an older origin than that or not). They're probably already covered under humanoid or monstrous humanoid, but I don't think I saw them mentioned.

In all honesty, though, I'd just throw down a list of all the ones that you think can be justified, and let the DMs judge if they want to houserule them out. A lot of the creature types can have people look at them and go 'okay, yeah, I can see that', even if you can't come up with a specific example off the top of your head, or even if you can't come up with a specific example after a fair bit of work/crowdsourcing.

For whatever little it's worth, in my games, the only ones that I (probably) wouldn't allow would be Elementals, Dragons, Oozes, and Plants (pretty sure even Giants had something of a history of taking children).

Hrm... just to spitball something, maybe it would be easier to give them a Ranger-style favoured enemy? Would likely be simpler than trying to figure out that entire list

Shadowsend
2015-05-30, 05:24 PM
I think Segev answered it. I think the bigger issue is what you as a DM want to focus on for bogeymonsters...as most of the legends are based on 1. Fear of the Unknown 2. Dangers of the Wilds/Waters/Forests 3. Dangers of isolation/deviation from normalcy

Fae can be interesting or boring depending on how you have them operate.

Scheming Wizard
2015-06-04, 12:43 AM
The two monsters that come to my mind immediately are the Julajimus that somebody already pointed out from the Monster Manual 2 and the Splinterwaif from the Monster Manual 3. Both specifically target children at the exclusion of other prey, but otherwise they are quite different from one another. The Julajimus is a huge monster that looks like a giant baboon, but has the ability to polymorph into a tiny creature like a kitten or a rabbit. Children adopt these stray but cute animals as pets even though their parents tell them not to. The children then keep the pets in secret. At night the Julajimus polymorphs back into its real form and feeds on their new owner. The thing that always got me about the Julajimus is how strong it is. It is a CR 12 preying on 1/4 CR commoners. Imagine a low level party that goes to investigate missing children suddenly faced with something that can totally wipe them.

The Splinterwaif is also interesting it is CR 2 and looks like a plant person. It is actually a fey. They live in inner cities and turn children into thorny bushes. They don't eat the bushes, but they do hide in them. I always thought it would be a fun low level adventure for the party to be in a city looking into missing children and you keep describing strange foliage growing in town, and seeing how long it took them to put two and two together. Most players ignore scenery description unless it is something exciting. The party could also go on a quest to unpolymorph the shrubs back into children.

Segev
2015-06-04, 01:10 PM
Now I want to see the pseudonatural (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/pseudonaturalCreature.htm) human child who adopts a julajimu and a normal child who adopts a Gray Render. They fight crime. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyFightCrime)

DracoDei
2015-06-04, 02:08 PM
My multi-quoting got a bit muddled, so I'm just going to put these two at the top:

Why not just create a custom unorthodox ability (defined with the DM), something like "Can use knowledge skills untrained and with a +5 bonus if and only if the use pertains to children-eating creatures" ?
I was already considering a "custom unorthodox" SKILL, but a static bonus isn't looking very good here... maybe if it scaled by level, but at that point I really do prefer making it an actual skill that the player can put points into or not as they prefer. I realize that that might feel like a "kludge" to some, but to me the flexiability is a very good thing.

But... the problem comes up that if I have had a VERY hard time getting through to people about EXACTLY what I'm talking about here, despite spending multiple pages on it, how am I going to boil that down to a few sentences for GMs and players?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

How weird are we allowed to go?

Yara-ma-yha-who is a demonic creature that preys on children, from Aboriginal legends.

Coca is a Hispanic bugbear ghost-monster that eats and kidnaps naughty kids.

Whipfather, a psychotic human Santa Claus enslaved in chains after he killed three children. His job is to travel with Santa and deliver coal and beatings to bad children.
Weird is great!

Now back to quotes that might actually be in chronological order.


All of them, probably. I mean, when it's the choice between a big strong wary human with a pointy stick and a small weak gullible human with maybe a small rock, most things are going to go after the easier target. I can probably think of a few which would prefer going after the adult human - vampires and rust monsters spring to mind - but for the most part, a child would probably be a more tempting target.
The more I think about it, the more I find this argument an intelligent one and highly relevant to what these guys DO, if not so much to what they STUDY.


If we want to look at a creature which is specifically known for attacking or hunting children, though, it's probably a bit more narrow of a definition.
Yeah, that!

We're likely looking at an urban/suburban creature, or at least one native to a nearby forest which doesn't leave. If it's a wild creature which just came into the city, it would probalby make a large enough ruckus that the townsfolk would know to keep the children safe. It's also probably stealthy, so that it doesn't attract attention from adults. I would guess that it likely has some form of mimicry, at least so that it sounds somewhat human and can attract a child. It is probably roughly human-sized, so that it has an easy time with catching a child but would have difficulty with an adult.
"difficulty with an adult" seems to be heading in the wrong direction normally. Some of this class's targets might have that motivation, but many more would not.


The wolf from "Little Red Riding Hood" would qualify, and even the fact that he didn't attack Red immediately before moving on to her grandmother could be justified by preferring his prey as off-guard as possible, and/or playing the odds that he MIGHT not be able to get into the house by himself and thus MIGHT need to wait for the door to open for Red. "The Three Little Pigs" could qualify as children with a bit of a stretch since I think they had just left their parent's household at the start of the story, and the word "little". If so, then The Big Bad Wolf's motivation of "simple hunger" qualifies, and I believe in at least one version he dies after going down the chimney either into the fire or a pot of boiling liquid, thus demonstrating the utility of going after less wary prey even more strongly than the basic "straw/sticks vs stone" thing.


The classic changeling thing... may have more motivation attached to it. I vaguely remember something about the human child being more beautiful than the fae one for which it was swapped?

As far as I know, there really isn't much definition of the motivations of the witch in "Hansel and Gretal"**, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper, or a Julajimus. They don't go after children because children are easy prey, they go after children because they simply want to, and they reasons for those wants are left curiously undefined when one stops to think about it. A mythographer**/fabulist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fable) could probably go on at great length about what those characters' targeting of children says about the cultures that created those stories and/or the lessons those stories were meant to teach, but if you asked that same mythographer about what the in-character motivations I'd say there is at-least a 50/50 chance that the response would be something along the lines of "That isn't part of the story, and the fact that it isn't tells us a lot about the people writing the story, for instance we can deduce that <continues to expound on the details>."
*Although it isn't too hard to imagine that since I think she was blind in some versions that children would be an easier source of meat than laying traps for animals if all she could conjure or create by more mundane means was candy.
**Upon checking Wikipedia before first posting this the article for "Mythology" uses the word "mythographer" but also tries to make clear that mythos are a different, if often overlapping category, from fables, legends, folktales, fairy tales, anecdotes, or fiction. For these purposes I mean any and all of the above except for perhaps "fiction" or the more modern stuff.

It probably isn't something which crawls into windows and kidnaps, either. That would either be something which targets adults (vampires, who can first a full adult just fine) or something which targets just infants that can't fight back (there are a lot of these, too).
At higher levels a member of this class will probably be able to transform into an infant while still retaining combat effectiveness...


Knowledge: Local
Indeed! (Been on the list from the start.)

and possibly Gather Information are likely going to be the best information skills, assuming D&D3e.
*Checks class*
Thank you! Thank you! Don't know how in the world I missed that!
*Adds skill*

As mentioned above, outside the rare forest beast which grabs children who play where they shouldn't,
Rare in D&D monster manuals, extremely common in stories.

most children-hunters are going to be urban predators thanks to that being where all the children are.
This is completely logical from a POV of logistics, but also has way too many exceptions in faerie tales/fables/whatever for me to apply it as a restriction when designing the class. As an argument for including certain skills or class features, that is appropriate.

Something like a bonus to urban tracking would be welcome as well,
Eh, maybe as a feat or ACF or something... or maybe just a bonus to tracking children? That would take the Bogey-Hunter to at least where the initial meeting happened, and I suspect a lot of the monsters in question can get children to follow along willingly).

at it would allow the class to track down where these things are and where they are going. Skills or abilities which would get through the deception, either with good perception or just a bonus to avoid mimicry, would be beneficial at identifying the creature.
Already covered I think:

Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive on the skill list
Paladin's Detect Evil at first level (I may move this to a later level)
True Seeing on spell list



If you are considering the class to be taken by gnome/halfling characters with the intent of posing as children,
Well, technically, yes, but since I've been focusing so much on the monster categories here I can very much understand how you could miss my brief mention of their most iconic ability:
At 1st level they can turn into a child version of themselves. Functions as Reduce Person plus a perfect physical disguise mechanically, but without the dex bonus.

This will scale with levels, allowing them to:

assume different faces, at first within their own race, then across races (these require Disguise rolls, albeit with the usual +10 bonus for transformative magic),
Get some or all of the dexterity bonuses from the size reduction.
Get smaller and smaller sizes. Eventually you could have a human turning into a grig infant (Fine size), although for balance reasons that might be or high-level + a feat, and/or epic levels without a feat.
Weapon Finesse at 3rd level (replaced with another feat if they already had it, which many would).
Might add favored enemy damage bonus, either against all species that fit the criterion I've been trying* to describe in this thread, or along the ranger's own catagories, but with selecting your own race definitely not being limited by alignment. This is a good-only class anyway.
*With marginal success for a lot of the play-grounder's here apparently.



then some general defenses against getting attacked would be good as well. Something like a bonus to avoid being grappled or bound by a larger opponent, or bonuses to escape being grappled or bound.
Escape Artist and Open Lock are on the skill list, plus, eventually, size bonuses to dexterity boosting those.

Charisma to AC while in child-form, making the touch attack slightly harder (not that most grappling baddies won't have enough strength and BAB to make the grab pretty easily anyway... maybe give them an additional bonus against melee touch attacks at later levels?).

They might also possess some sort of surprise-strike or much better attacks when fighting a larger opponent that is grabbing them.
1st level: Monk's unarmed strike (and perhaps Flurry of Blows) while in child-form, backed up by full BAB. Yes, I know that REDUCING size is bad for this, but combined with everything else the class gets, I think it is reasonable.
Much later levels: When transforming can make (mithril) full-plate look and feel like typical children's clothes, and that wooden sword/stick is actually a fully functional greatsword that they purchased. All magical auras of equipment and (buff) spells are disguised as per magic aura.

If I need more than that I'll grant them something like sudden strike I suppose.


Plus, several of those abilities would be handy even if the class isn't specifically hunting child-killers. Gather Information is a good practical skills, urban tracking is handy against thieves as against killers, and bonuses against large grapplers is something that most characters can benefit from.


Don't forget the classic fairy-tale archetype of the magical trickster/being/person who demanded payment for services in the form of children, like Rumpelstiltskin and the unnamed(?) witch from Rapunzel (dubbed 'Mother Gothel' in Tangled, dunno if the name has an older origin than that or not). They're probably already covered under humanoid or monstrous humanoid, but I don't think I saw them mentioned.
Good points. Rumpelstiltskin had occurred to me. But yeah, monsterous/humanoid, and fae would probably cover those.


In all honesty, though, I'd just throw down a list of all the ones that you think can be justified, and let the DMs judge if they want to houserule them out.
The class is more likely to get accepted into a game if it is written with ADDING them being the "optional version" rather than REMOVING them. This class is already getting casting up to 6th spell level, full BAB, and many class abilities.

A lot of the creature types can have people look at them and go 'okay, yeah, I can see that', even if you can't come up with a specific example off the top of your head, or even if you can't come up with a specific example after a fair bit of work/crowdsourcing.
Very true...

For whatever little it's worth, in my games, the only ones that I (probably) wouldn't allow would be Elementals, Dragons, Oozes, and Plants (pretty sure even Giants had something of a history of taking children).
Except that if you look at the Knowledge skills (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/knowledge.htm), that still gives them every knowledge skill that covers a creature type. Devils that make off with bad children fall under the same skill as Elementals, Dragons with Magical beasts, Oozes with Aberrations, and Plants with Fae.

Which just makes me think that offering two options for knowledge skills, one of which grants every sub-skill that applies to a creature type, and one that creates a new skill that cuts across creature types would be the way to go.

Hrm... just to spitball something, maybe it would be easier to give them a Ranger-style favoured enemy? Would likely be simpler than trying to figure out that entire list
Except that, bizarrely enough, Favored Enemy bonuses don't apply to knowledge skills. Perhaps because rangers only get dungeoneering, geography, and nature?

Easy enough to fix in this case, although I'm wary of adding more class features... although for a damage boost it could be good?

I think Segev answered it. I think the bigger issue is what you as a DM want to focus on for bogeymonsters...as most of the legends are based on 1. Fear of the Unknown 2. Dangers of the Wilds/Waters/Forests 3. Dangers of isolation/deviation from normalcy

Fae can be interesting or boring depending on how you have them operate.
I never said that fae were boring in a game, I just said that they were already covered, definitely covered, always have been covered, can we pretty please not have any more examples?

The two monsters that come to my mind immediately are the Julajimus that somebody already pointed out from the Monster Manual 2 and the Splinterwaif from the Monster Manual 3. Both specifically target children at the exclusion of other prey, but otherwise they are quite different from one another. The Julajimus is a huge monster that looks like a giant baboon, but has the ability to polymorph into a tiny creature like a kitten or a rabbit. Children adopt these stray but cute animals as pets even though their parents tell them not to. The children then keep the pets in secret. At night the Julajimus polymorphs back into its real form and feeds on their new owner. The thing that always got me about the Julajimus is how strong it is. It is a CR 12 preying on 1/4 CR commoners. Imagine a low level party that goes to investigate missing children suddenly faced with something that can totally wipe them.

The Splinterwaif is also interesting it is CR 2 and looks like a plant person. It is actually a fey. They live in inner cities and turn children into thorny bushes. They don't eat the bushes, but they do hide in them. I always thought it would be a fun low level adventure for the party to be in a city looking into missing children and you keep describing strange foliage growing in town, and seeing how long it took them to put two and two together. Most players ignore scenery description unless it is something exciting. The party could also go on a quest to unpolymorph the shrubs back into children.
Both are interesting possibilities, especially the second.

<Snip>

So, candidates for NOT being on your list of class skills:

Dragon
Elemental
Giant
Ooze
See above notes about how creature types map to a smaller set of knowledge skills.

Now I want to see the pseudonatural (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/pseudonaturalCreature.htm) human child who adopts a julajimu and a normal child who adopts a Gray Render. They fight crime. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyFightCrime)
1.) Amusing!
2.) There is actually an RPG for that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_and_Other_Childish_Things)...

erikun
2015-06-05, 03:12 PM
This is completely logical from a POV of logistics, but also has way too many exceptions in faerie tales/fables/whatever for me to apply it as a restriction when designing the class. As an argument for including certain skills or class features, that is appropriate.

Eh, maybe as a feat or ACF or something... or maybe just a bonus to tracking children? That would take the Bogey-Hunter to at least where the initial meeting happened, and I suspect a lot of the monsters in question can get children to follow along willingly).

Already covered I think:

Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive on the skill list
Paladin's Detect Evil at first level (I may move this to a later level)
True Seeing on spell list

I was thinking more abilities that would help the Bogey-Hunter class to track down monsters which are most likely to attack children.

Urban Terrain Mastery (think Horizon Walker (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/horizonWalker.htm)) can hand out a bunch of bonuses for encountering a bogey inside a city, from tracking bonuses to sense motive to combat bonuses. They can be useful in other situations too, and aren't limited to just tracking and attacking monsters. There is also Urban Tracking (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rangerVariantUrbanRang er) if simply getting the Track feat isn't enough. Survival would need to be a skill as well, depending on system, unless you want to tie the feat to a character level somehow.

I might also recommend a bonus to saves vs illusions and saves vs enchantment, as opposed to just some spells which grant benefits. After all, the character might encounter illusions from further away than 120 feet (think seeing a figure on an empty street) and illusions come in auditory, as well. It would be far more beneficial for them to be able to potentially identify and get through all illusions, rather than just seeing through the ones close enough to them.

Perhaps a special ability that would grant the class the ability to know what a particular enchantment spell or effect was going to have them do, along with making the caster think it succeeded? Again, quite useful against something that might try to charm or paralyze children, although also still useful outside that niche.

DracoDei
2015-06-05, 04:14 PM
I was thinking more abilities that would help the Bogey-Hunter class to track down monsters which are most likely to attack children.
Well, being their own bait helps a lot with that...


Urban Terrain Mastery (think Horizon Walker (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/horizonWalker.htm)) can hand out a bunch of bonuses for encountering a bogey inside a city, from tracking bonuses to sense motive to combat bonuses. They can be useful in other situations too, and aren't limited to just tracking and attacking monsters. There is also Urban Tracking (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rangerVariantUrbanRang er) if simply getting the Track feat isn't enough. Survival would need to be a skill as well, depending on system, unless you want to tie the feat to a character level somehow.

I had already given them survival, given how important forests and other wilderness areas are in the sorts of stories I'm thinking of for part of my inspiration.

I'll probably let them pick one or the other of Track and Urban Tracking.


I might also recommend a bonus to saves vs illusions and saves vs enchantment, as opposed to just some spells which grant benefits.
*Looks at class*
Yeah, I see I just flat-out gave them divine grace in addition to cleric saves. That may have been a bit much.

After all, the character might encounter illusions from further away than 120 feet (think seeing a figure on an empty street) and illusions come in auditory, as well. It would be far more beneficial for them to be able to potentially identify and get through all illusions, rather than just seeing through the ones close enough to them.
Well, I think both fit the flavor.


Perhaps a special ability that would grant the class the ability to know what a particular enchantment spell or effect was going to have them do, along with making the caster think it succeeded? Again, quite useful against something that might try to charm or paralyze children, although also still useful outside that niche.
Sounds good!

Beleriphon
2015-06-07, 10:53 AM
Japanese yōkai (rough translation is spirit or ghost) sometimes prey specifically on children. One example is the Aobōzu which kidnaps children. Kitsune can be mischevious, especially around children. If you need a good selection check out the movie Spirited Away for other Japanese critters.

SimonMoon6
2015-06-07, 11:49 AM
T
The Splinterwaif is also interesting it is CR 2 and looks like a plant person. It is actually a fey. They live in inner cities and turn children into thorny bushes. They don't eat the bushes, but they do hide in them. I always thought it would be a fun low level adventure for the party to be in a city looking into missing children and you keep describing strange foliage growing in town, and seeing how long it took them to put two and two together. Most players ignore scenery description unless it is something exciting. The party could also go on a quest to unpolymorph the shrubs back into children.

What I imagine would happen with any group I've ever DM-ed for:

"Huh, the children are disappearing and these bushes start appearing? The bushes must be responsible. Let's kill the bushes!"

Blake Hannon
2015-06-09, 05:00 AM
I've got the monster for you, OP. Its influenced by the Baubau demon, and also by a fourth edition creature called a Banderhobb.

Its a skeletal, jack-o-lantern faced humanoid covered in adhesive black slime. It blends in very well in the darkness and is stealthy, but it has two abilities that make it really dangerous.

The first is called "doorway of darkness." This ability lets it teleport at will, with infinite range, as long as the starting and destination points are 1) completely dark, and 2) not being observed by any sentient being. This means that the monster can appear inside closets, under beds, in basement cellars, in hollow trees, and any other place where children fear monsters emerging from.

The second is "slimy embrace." If it grabs a Medium or smaller creature, it can try to suck it down into its own black slime (similar to a Swallow Whole ability). If it succeeds, the victim is absorbed into an extradimensional space within the monster, kept in stasis until the monster chooses to release it. It can carry one prisoner at a time.

So, basically, it can appear in the closet, sneak out, engulf the sleeping child, go back into the closet, and teleport back to its lair to release the child for...whatever it captures children for. Either slaves or food, I would imagine, and probably at the behest of a more powerful evil being who created or summoned the abductors.

DracoDei
2015-06-09, 07:17 AM
I've got the monster for you, OP. Its influenced by the Baubau demon, and also by a fourth edition creature called a Banderhobb.

Its a skeletal, jack-o-lantern faced humanoid covered in adhesive black slime. It blends in very well in the darkness and is stealthy, but it has two abilities that make it really dangerous.

The first is called "doorway of darkness." This ability lets it teleport at will, with infinite range, as long as the starting and destination points are 1) completely dark, and 2) not being observed by any sentient being. This means that the monster can appear inside closets, under beds, in basement cellars, in hollow trees, and any other place where children fear monsters emerging from.

The second is "slimy embrace." If it grabs a Medium or smaller creature, it can try to suck it down into its own black slime (similar to a Swallow Whole ability). If it succeeds, the victim is absorbed into an extradimensional space within the monster, kept in stasis until the monster chooses to release it. It can carry one prisoner at a time.

So, basically, it can appear in the closet, sneak out, engulf the sleeping child, go back into the closet, and teleport back to its lair to release the child for...whatever it captures children for. Either slaves or food, I would imagine, and probably at the behest of a more powerful evil being who created or summoned the abductors.
Did you make that up yourself?

What is the source?

Blake Hannon
2015-06-09, 09:05 AM
Did you make that up yourself?

What is the source?

Its somewhat inspired by the baubau demon and by the banderhob (from the fourth edition MM3), but the final product is an original creation yes.

DracoDei
2015-06-09, 01:42 PM
Its somewhat inspired by the baubau demon and by the banderhob (from the fourth edition MM3), but the final product is an original creation yes.
*sighs*

Not your fault... probably should edit the OP. But that doesn't count then. If I wanted new monsters I could brew at least a few up myself fairly easily.

This is all about precedent, and its implications for class design.

Please do post your completed monster with all stats in the Homebrew forums though!

Blake Hannon
2015-06-09, 03:26 PM
*sighs*

Not your fault... probably should edit the OP. But that doesn't count then. If I wanted new monsters I could brew at least a few up myself fairly easily.

This is all about precedent, and its implications for class design.

Please do post your completed monster with all stats in the Homebrew forums though!

Ah, my apologies.

You should really look up the banderhobb though. Its where I got the idea for the "swallow children whole for transportation" ability.