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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    My approach on variant Orcs was to go back to roots on them and rebuild them as Oni/Ogres.

    There's enough odd, strange, and interesting concepts in southeast Asia to make them culturally distinct without retreading the old RPG stereotypes. I started off by going with the more manga-esque Oni appearance- human w/ tiny horns and fangs. Then I added a magically crafted "death mask" since Oni and in general Ogres in asia always seem to be wearing masks and made the masks look like the exaggerated "classic Orc" versions of the Orc wearing it. Then I wrapped up the Mask in their culture- When every orc comes of age, they have to make a pilgrimage to the walking necropolis under my setting's moon of undeath, Necra, where their own death masks are magically formed as Necra attempts to seize control of their body. Once the mask is formed, as long as they have the will power to strip the mask off in time, they gain mastery over it and retain their self and return to their clan as an adult. If they fail to remove the mask in time, they become soulless slaves to Necra, robbed of all personal will. If an orc fails to make this pilgrimage they will find themselves eventually sleep walking towards it, and the older they get the more likely they are to fail the journey.

    The normal Orc society is pretty much a typical nomadic existence, somewhat inspired by the original mongolian source of orcs- Each clan has a Khan, most of the khans are loyal to a Khagan. The actual Orcish society is a melting pot of sorts, mixed in with the orcs are humans, desert elves, centaurs, etc. They follow a large species of moth around with the seasons to farm silk, they use magic to culture lac insects, etc. My setting being a steampunk post-apocalypse setting, they also have a fair chunk of mad max influence with mecha and such, but unlike say, 40k orcs, my setting's orcs produce more refined looking crafts. Both orcs and dwarves use assembly lines, but Orcs are more likely to complicate the design and make the last quarter of construction a personalized artistic process, leading to interesting opinions about Orcish engineering. (Dwarves call it beautiful but fragile toys, gnomes call it overcomplicated junk.)

    Engineering aside, they resemble their traditional origin in that when a Khan or the khagan calls them to war, they pull together a large warband and go tearing around. Typically, most orc clans only form warbands to put down Necratouched orc warbands, but on rare occasion they'll find themselves in conflict with other nomads or another orc clan. Normal orcs will often don their death masks when going to war, signifying they are at a state of war. These warbands cannot be mistaken for Necratouched Orc warbands, because a Necratouched Orc's mask has literally fused with its face and the seams and their eyes glow with necrotic energy.

    Another important culture point is that Orcs will preserve their dead by animating their corpses and keeping their souls as best as possible to keep them away from Necra. This is unsettling to some, but the Orcs consider it their duty to their honored ancestors. The shaman of each clan will preserve the souls of past shaman and khans as intelligent undead, with the current khan often consulting his predecessors for counsel. These fallen Khans often live by a rule- the living govern the living. They will offer advice, but they will not rule because they see Necra as an undead attempting to rule the living, and even in death wish to defy her will.

    The Necratouched orcs instinctively form into warbands and attack nearby settlements the way classic cartoon caricature orcs do. Without souls or wills, they retain their skills and mindlessly use them in accordance with the moon of undeath's will. They aren't dead, but are dead for all intents and purposes, there is no known way to restore a necratouched orc's soul. This pulls up the classic lawful-evil orc end of the pool, and leaves some room for traditional "always evil stupid orc" stories. More powerful necratouched can sometimes grow in size, becoming what would classically be called an ogre, and pretty much all necratouched are capable of ignoring pain to some extent or another.

    So... yeah. That's kinda where I ended up with Orcs. Originally it started as "How do I draw this race and not have them end up looking stupid because of the bulldog jaw." and somewhere along the line it turned into a weird mashup of chinese period drama, Japanese Oni, ancestor worship, mad max, some things I vaguely remember seeing in a Manga (World Embryo?), and WoW's hulked out troll berserkers.
    My Homebrew
    A Return to Exile, a homebrew campaign setting.
    Under Construction: Skills revamp for the Campaign Setting. I need to make a new index thread.



  2. - Top - End - #62
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alent View Post
    My approach on variant Orcs was to go back to roots on them and rebuild them as Oni/Ogres.
    (...)
    So... yeah. That's kinda where I ended up with Orcs. Originally it started as "How do I draw this race and not have them end up looking stupid because of the bulldog jaw." and somewhere along the line it turned into a weird mashup of chinese period drama, Japanese Oni, ancestor worship, mad max, some things I vaguely remember seeing in a Manga (World Embryo?), and WoW's hulked out troll berserkers.
    That's really cool.

    Did you also fit in the D&D "oni" (ogre mage) somewhere?

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by jqavins View Post
    TLoTR shows them as not very bright. That's part of the reason that Saruman created half-orcs (which may also be the origin of the mad wizard creating bizarre creatures stereotype). The AD&D MM listed them, if memory serves, as Low intelligence, which is only one step below Normal (human).

    The green part I've never understood and don't like. I don't know when it happened, but it's post AD&D.
    The green colour, the size and everything else almost looks like somebody got confused and mixed them with the cave troll in Moria, it was the one being described as green if i'm not mistaken.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    That's really cool.

    Did you also fit in the D&D "oni" (ogre mage) somewhere?
    I split it into parts- As far as the actual creature goes, Necra's got intelligent spirits that possess necratouched orcs and command warbands. They favor orcs with shaman levels or casting class levels, and bring regeneration and shapeshifting. Shaman is based loosely on a cross of Warlock and Shadowcaster, so it has at will invocations and per diem invocations based on totem paths with a way to recreate ogre mage casting via specific totem choices. (I just wish I had that class more finished- that description is one sentence removed from being the stub for it on my project wiki.)
    My Homebrew
    A Return to Exile, a homebrew campaign setting.
    Under Construction: Skills revamp for the Campaign Setting. I need to make a new index thread.



  5. - Top - End - #65
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    So Beholders like to watch? :D
    Maybe I should have explained my view on Beholders a little better. I never understood what goals a Beholder should have. I understand that they are paranoid to the point that they prepare for every contingency, xenophobic towards everything, even their own kind and that they have a superiority complex. I understand what Beholders are, but not what they are supposed to do.

    Devils want souls, Vampires need to drink blood, the Tarrasque just eats for a week and then goes to sleep again for a few months, Dragons want gold, Illithids need to eat brains, enslave lesser beings and turn humanoids into other Illithids.

    Beholders are paranoid, xenophobic and they have a superiority complex. They are likely to kill any creature that comes near them. The only thing I could ever imagine that a Beholder would need is solitude, and that wouldn't make for a good adventure. They don't even need other Beholders to reproduce. As they prepare for anything, they know it's easier to just avoid the other sentient beings. The other sentient beings can't really offer them anything they need anyway, so why would they bother?
    Maybe they want servants just to feel superior, except that they already are superior, at least in their minds. I just think that Beholders are too xenophobic to play dr. Doom.

    So the whole hunger games/murder world/mojoverse game is there to feed the ego of Beholders everywhere in the multiverse, without having to interact with real people. Just like reality tv! The producers also get to feel superior because of the ratings. Everybody wins, except for the poor creatures that were harmed during the shooting of the Beholder games.
    In conclusion: Beholders like to watch the suffering of lesser beings to feed their ego.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alent View Post
    I split it into parts- As far as the actual creature goes, Necra's got intelligent spirits that possess necratouched orcs and command warbands. They favor orcs with shaman levels or casting class levels, and bring regeneration and shapeshifting. Shaman is based loosely on a cross of Warlock and Shadowcaster, so it has at will invocations and per diem invocations based on totem paths with a way to recreate ogre mage casting via specific totem choices. (I just wish I had that class more finished- that description is one sentence removed from being the stub for it on my project wiki.)
    Neat.

    Maybe an Ogre-Magi turns blue because of the effect necrotic lunar energy has upon flesh.


    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Maybe I should have explained my view on Beholders a little better. I never understood what goals a Beholder should have. I understand that they are paranoid to the point that they prepare for every contingency, xenophobic towards everything, even their own kind and that they have a superiority complex. I understand what Beholders are, but not what they are supposed to do.

    Devils want souls, Vampires need to drink blood, the Tarrasque just eats for a week and then goes to sleep again for a few months, Dragons want gold, Illithids need to eat brains, enslave lesser beings and turn humanoids into other Illithids.

    Beholders are paranoid, xenophobic and they have a superiority complex. They are likely to kill any creature that comes near them. The only thing I could ever imagine that a Beholder would need is solitude, and that wouldn't make for a good adventure. They don't even need other Beholders to reproduce. As they prepare for anything, they know it's easier to just avoid the other sentient beings. The other sentient beings can't really offer them anything they need anyway, so why would they bother?
    Maybe they want servants just to feel superior, except that they already are superior, at least in their minds. I just think that Beholders are too xenophobic to play dr. Doom.

    So the whole hunger games/murder world/mojoverse game is there to feed the ego of Beholders everywhere in the multiverse, without having to interact with real people. Just like reality tv! The producers also get to feel superior because of the ratings. Everybody wins, except for the poor creatures that were harmed during the shooting of the Beholder games.
    In conclusion: Beholders like to watch the suffering of lesser beings to feed their ego.
    Eberron has its own take on Beholders -- you might pilfer some of their ideas.

    I remember a thing about Neutral Beholders being basically hermits (which might fit your model if a Beholder's desire for company was intrinsically tied to their desire to inflict suffering), and they'd let you go without eating or murdering you if you were able to discuss a topic that interested the Behermit sufficiently.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Maybe I should have explained my view on Beholders a little better. I never understood what goals a Beholder should have. I understand that they are paranoid to the point that they prepare for every contingency, xenophobic towards everything, even their own kind and that they have a superiority complex. I understand what Beholders are, but not what they are supposed to do.

    Devils want souls, Vampires need to drink blood, the Tarrasque just eats for a week and then goes to sleep again for a few months, Dragons want gold, Illithids need to eat brains, enslave lesser beings and turn humanoids into other Illithids.

    Beholders are paranoid, xenophobic and they have a superiority complex. They are likely to kill any creature that comes near them. The only thing I could ever imagine that a Beholder would need is solitude, and that wouldn't make for a good adventure. They don't even need other Beholders to reproduce. As they prepare for anything, they know it's easier to just avoid the other sentient beings. The other sentient beings can't really offer them anything they need anyway, so why would they bother?
    Maybe they want servants just to feel superior, except that they already are superior, at least in their minds. I just think that Beholders are too xenophobic to play dr. Doom.

    So the whole hunger games/murder world/mojoverse game is there to feed the ego of Beholders everywhere in the multiverse, without having to interact with real people. Just like reality tv! The producers also get to feel superior because of the ratings. Everybody wins, except for the poor creatures that were harmed during the shooting of the Beholder games.
    In conclusion: Beholders like to watch the suffering of lesser beings to feed their ego.
    I always played them as hateful but also deeply lonely. They gather slaves and cultists to offset their loneliness, but their disgust and horror at the sight of other beings slowly devours them until they destroy the things they love. The sense of release is palatable, and they spend years or decades alone feeling fine until the loneliness begins to devour them the way their hatred and revulsion did before.

    A beholder getting close to needing a cult might begin turning animals and people into statues and play with them like dolls, making elaborate buildings as "sets" before they give in to the need for real interaction. These give the impression of thousands of abandoned underground towns.

    Basically I play Beholders as tragically mad, being essentially arachnophobes in a world of nothing but sentient spiders. Smart, powerful, tragic and nuts.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alent View Post
    So... yeah. That's kinda where I ended up with Orcs. Originally it started as "How do I draw this race and not have them end up looking stupid because of the bulldog jaw." and somewhere along the line it turned into a weird mashup of chinese period drama, Japanese Oni, ancestor worship, mad max, some things I vaguely remember seeing in a Manga (World Embryo?), and WoW's hulked out troll berserkers.
    This is really cool. Your setting sounds amazing.

    Any other interesting twists on old fantasy races?
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
    Dexterity- 13
    Constitution- 11
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    I've written this like three times, each time less in depth due to stupid computer glitches, so this is gonna be super skimped. I'll gladly elaborate if it's not in the linked thread, but I'm too frustrated to do so in this post again. In most of my settings the main races are really different, but I'm gonna share some of the ones from my Elga setting:

    Humans: Originally from Rethan, the land on the other side of the Sky Splitters, they were expansionist and drove out or exterminated all in their way as they expanded into Elga. They were the hardest hit by Vul's return and The Tempest, which saw the vast majority of them annihilated and what few remained became the three following races:
    • Cecaelians: The cecaelians were a group of nobles, their servants, and a few others who were on holiday at a southern beach when The Tempest began. They submerged themselves in the ocean and became the cecalia. Only the highest echelons know that they were once human and are terrified if the strix find out, but are generally well-meaning, if a bit naive.
    • Slime Children: Remnants of humanity that fled into the underdark and over time became the sentient slimes that live today with no remnants of their past human-ness
    • Haqz: A very small number of humans became submerged in the positive plane due to vul's chaotic emanations, and were changed because of it. They superficially resemble humans, but are now essentially positive energy undead-like creatures.


    Driders: A race of wood elves lived with a race of giant spiders as though they were one race and one people, even bonding with them and finding mates together and raising their young alongside each other. When their champions dealt the killing blow to vul, both races were merged into one race physically, mentally, and spiritually. Very few information exists about the time before The Tempest and some jokingly speculate that the race was once two separate races, with no knowledge of how right they really are.

    Gnolls: A naturally evolved race of hunters and scavengers that were influenced by a god into becoming bloodthirsty savage marauders before The Tempest. Over 90% were then transformed by Vul on accident to be more like humans with their sexual dimorphism kicked up to 11 and found a new god. They struck down their old god when Vul was slain, though the unchanged, dubbed "The Feral", gnolls still worship the dead god.

    Merfolk: Highly xenophobic race that has always lived in the temperate and northern seas but expanded into the southern ones. They routinely extracted "taxes" from fishermen and those who lived on the shore and slaughtered all that trespassed in their waters. They've become far more militaristic with the burgeoning cecalia population pushing them further and further north and have always had a hatred for the race, as they seemingly popped out of nowhere.

    Strix: A race of peaceful, animistic tribes that lived in the southern grasslands along the plateau and forestlines. When humans began invading they were pushed back and systematically genocided. With each tribe and footfall lost, their hatred grew and grew until they fled deep into the coastal mountains, vowing to return and scour humanity from the surface of the world. They returned after 600 years to find a world completely changed. There were only a few races that were even vaguely familiar, not a single place that they could remember, and not a single human in the entire region. They still search, hoping to enact vengeance upon those that had pushed them into their exile so long ago.

    Thri-Kreen: Peaceful, ascetic, religious race of mantisfolk from the northwestern deserts. After Vul's return, they were forced from their homelands as the desert turned into a blighted hellscape of wasteland and cracked earth. Currently, they live in many of the small towns near the plateau or on top of it, hoping to find some form of peace or monasticism there.

    Orcs: In rethan, they come in all flavours. From the mighty northern khans, to the southern scholars, to the western fishermen, and to the central traders. In Elga, however, they come in a single flavour: pest. When Vul erupted from his sealed tomb, all of the tribal leaders made a pact with him: power and strength in exchange for their souls. If Vul would have reigned, they would have been unstoppable as their bodies had become much stronger and durable with massive claws instead of hands and powerful jaws with spear-like tusks. But when Vul died, their minds and souls went with him. They are now little more than brutes that reproduce faster than any other race, barely more intelligent than a cockroach, and attracted to anything that moves or speaks, hoping for food or a mate. Or in the worst cases, both. Most civilized areas have a kill-on-sight approach to orcs for this very reason.

    Oss: Due to a major necromantic anomaly in the central swamplands, a strange lake, situated directly over it, has slowly come into being over many hundreds of generations. This lake is dubbed Ichor Lake, due to the sticky yellow fluid that fills it, and is the spawning pool for many necromantic horrors. This is also the spawning pool for the occasional intelligent skeleton. These intelligent skeletons are called the "Oss" by the other races, and have no memories of their past life, if even there was one in the first place. Strangely enough, Oss exclusively resemble human skeletons and no skeleton of any other race has been found.

    Kobold, Cani-Draconian: A small, cuddly, lovable race that partially evolved alongside the gnolls. They fled to the underdark when the gnolls became too barbaric and have only recently returned after earthquakes caused by the rising mountain range drove sections of the underdark above the surface.

    Kobold, Repti-Draconian: Before the Yuan-Ti empire was returned back into the northern rainforests, they had procured proto-kobolds from the areas near the plateau and experimented on them. When their empire was collapsing around them and they could no longer control the climate as well, their continent-wide rainforests began receding to their original areas, and their slave races had escaped. These kobolds, fled south to the coastal range and build elaborate tunnel networks to confound their former master. Eventually, the strix encountered them and the two worked happily with each other to keep the other safe from each other's boogeymen.

    Puffballs: No one knows where the puffballs come from, only that they appear at random times from a group of standing stones in the southern grasslands. This ring of standing stones withstood The Tempest and are completely impervious to any form of damage or interference. They're a very strange race of creatures, and no one quite knows what to expect from them.

    Luralk: The energies of Vul accidentally created a race of dryad-like doppelgangers that have a very strange reproductive cycle when he passed over the swamplands. Luralk are a plant race with the ability to alter their form in much the same way as an eberron changeling. They sprout from strange coffin-like seeds in the swamplands and over the course of a few years grow to full-size beneath the earth in a function similar to mandrakes. Once fully grown, they emerge from the ground and drink the life force from a mature tree and form a cocoon around themselves that looks like an upside down pitcher plant before molting and becoming highly attractive, feminine creatures that resemble green, plant-like nymphs. They then search for a member of a living, sapient race, before ambushing or seducing them to kill them and take their forms for the purpose of learning all they can to pass on their knowledge to their spawn or merely mating with the person there to produce new seeds. Though they're actually intelligent, and can be very good friends and helpful allies, they're generally seen as a "kill-on-sight" race than anything else.

    Kaaldan: Where the luralk are predatory, asari-like dryads, the kaaldan are more like myconid sages than anything else. Originally an underground race, they fled to the surface for an unknown reason and have developed the ability to withstand sunlight and divine knowledge from it. They exist as helpful mentors, swampland guides, and trusted sources of wisdom from those that can read their messages and understand the meanings behind their empathic spores.

    Lesser Elemental: The lesser elementals are directly linked to Vul and his emergence from his sealed tomb deep within the southern plateau. When he broke free, a crystal comet speared him in the side and filled the crater that was once his cage with the volatile blood of a god of chaos and magic. At random times, vastly powerful storms of magic will sweep the entire plateau. The effects of these storms are varied and impossible to predict. Occasionally, a portal will open up to one of the inner planes and an elemental will be brought forth into the world.

    These elementals rarely last long before departing back to their original world, but occasionally, a special type of elemental will be called forth from the inner lands. These elementals are called the "blood-kin" or "false-men" by their true elemental brethren, and are often discriminated against in the inner planes for what they are. The names they're given are accurate, though, it is hard to tell way immediately. Their existence is only due to Vul's meddling, and by accident even. They are elementals with the blood of humans running through their elemental veins, like reverse genasi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
    The Rest of my Signature
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  10. - Top - End - #70
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Oh right, Gnolls!
    Hyenas are matriarchal. That means that female hyenas are always higher up in the pecking order than any male hyena. Male cubs are forced to leave the pack at some point in their life and join other packs or fend for themself.
    Also, hyenas aren't canines, and female hyenas have a pseudo-penis.

    You can apply this to Gnoll tribes. The matriarchal society isn't the thing that interests me the most. It's the possibility of male Gnolls joining civilizations of other races that interests me.
    To be honest, that resembles a concept I had for a couple of races where a bunch of members of several races deviates from the norm of the race in a somewhat predictable manner. (For example, a savage race with a spark of chaos has members finding inner peace as monks.)

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Oh right, Gnolls!
    Hyenas are matriarchal. That means that female hyenas are always higher up in the pecking order than any male hyena. Male cubs are forced to leave the pack at some point in their life and join other packs or fend for themself.
    Also, hyenas aren't canines, and female hyenas have a pseudo-penis.
    I thought that all of this was common knowledge though?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    You can apply this to Gnoll tribes. The matriarchal society isn't the thing that interests me the most. It's the possibility of male Gnolls joining civilizations of other races that interests me.
    To be honest, that resembles a concept I had for a couple of races where a bunch of members of several races deviates from the norm of the race in a somewhat predictable manner. (For example, a savage race with a spark of chaos has members finding inner peace as monks.)
    Oh yeah, I've used that a lot to explain away civilized gnolls in other settings and games, in this one, however, the civil gnolls are actually one of the 5 major players in the setting.

    Also, on the topic of beholders: I've always run them as a race of madlads that think they're super powerful and the ultimate being ever, but are really just tadpoles in the pond. Should a beholder live for long enough, they eventually metamorphosize into a much more powerful being and from there begin a chain of molting and changing until they hit one of seemingly infinite ends.

    Only a few beholders have ever managed to reach the last stage (The Great Mother of the Abyss, a few elder evils, the original Atropal, etc.) and almost all of the rest were cut down before the first metamorphosis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
    The Rest of my Signature
    My Hombrew

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    If it was common knowledge Yeenoghu would have been a demon princess.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    If it was common knowledge Yeenoghu would have been a demon princess.
    Fair Point I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
    The Rest of my Signature
    My Hombrew

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    If it was common knowledge Yeenoghu would have been a demon princess.
    He's a demon because he's a perversion of the natural laws of the cosmos - a male hyena in charge of something? Ridiculous!

    Also, I really like the "lonely Beholders" the_david and the extensive worldbuilding, Aniikinis.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    This is really cool. Your setting sounds amazing.

    Any other interesting twists on old fantasy races?
    I have a number of them, but Orcs are the most fleshed out. Most of the differences are more subtle and the real twists are in the factions they reside in as a greater whole- My Goblins are enlightened philosophers that walk around in togas and helped kick off a societal reformation that ended the tyrannical rule of a wizard's guild. The story behind how the faction underwent massive change is more interesting than the actual story of the Goblins themselves.

    Another example, my Drow are an asexual race that shapeshifts freely between albino cave elf and albino cave drider forms. They're drastically different than FR Drow in that their isolationism makes sense- they scare children with stories of Dwarves, Humans, and Kobolds with torches and oil to make sure that they don't leave the nests until they're old enough to understand when they should and shouldn't reveal their half-spider forms to people. The traditional Drow infighting comes from fear of expansion- when a colony becomes too large to continue unnoticed, the youngest generations get evicted and told to go find other caves, sometimes they fight for the cave rather than leave it. The majority of them live in the caverns under a trade city that basically uses the caverns as a bomb shelter for when the Lunarain comes overhead, so they're an integral part of keeping the caverns controlled and explored. They also have a natural predisposition to join smuggling groups and crime groups, which sees them get into weird situations involving my version of Beholders. They're not really interesting by themselves, but the Trade City's a huge mishmash of things that don't normally get along in traditional D&D (Dwarves, Kobolds, Drow).

    My Beholders are kind of neat, but that's mostly because I'm planning on publishing the setting on a wiki and I needed to sanitize the product identity from it and Beholders are one of the fastest ways to set off their lawyers. Beyond just being renamed, they ended up being future seeing seven eyed sky serpents that look like a cross between Super Metroid's Crocomire and WoW's Manawyrms with a big furry tuft of hair where the weird head connects to the flying snake body. Their heads are dragonish, with three fly style compound eyes down each side and a gigantic compound eye between the brows like a cyclops. They abuse their precognition abilities to run massive crime syndicates built on organized gambling, and are basically kind of a creepy alien version of Star Wars' Hutts. (I mean, the Hutts are technically aliens, but they think just like greedy humans.) They're a ton of fun to design, my art's been improving, I hope to get drawings done soon.

    Any more detail probably belongs in detailed writings about the setting itself... which should mean "Write more in the wiki!" ^^;;
    My Homebrew
    A Return to Exile, a homebrew campaign setting.
    Under Construction: Skills revamp for the Campaign Setting. I need to make a new index thread.



  16. - Top - End - #76
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Aniikinis's Avatar

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    Thanks rferries, and the "lonely beholders" stuff does actually make a bit of sense with that lens.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    I'll take a stab at this...

    The following sets of creatures are all one race, just at different stages in their lifecycle:
    -Orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, and kobolds
    -naga, yuan-ti, medusae, hydras, and dragons
    -chimerae, manticores, lammasu, sphinxes, griffins
    Hmm. Intriguing.

    I once had an idea where a goblin, after living a few decades, creates a sort of cocoon from a goo secreted out of its skin. If the cosmic force of Law claims it, it hatches as a hobgoblin, while if Chaos claims it it's a bugbear.
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
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    Constitution- 11
    Intelligence- 15
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    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    Hmm. Intriguing.

    I once had an idea where a goblin, after living a few decades, creates a sort of cocoon from a goo secreted out of its skin. If the cosmic force of Law claims it, it hatches as a hobgoblin, while if Chaos claims it it's a bugbear.
    I like it. Could be extrapolated to various other races as well - elves vs drow, even angels vs demons, archons vs eladrin, djinni vs efreeti, etc.

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    I like it. Could be extrapolated to various other races as well - elves vs drow, even angels vs demons, archons vs eladrin, djinni vs efreeti, etc.
    But the twist is that the larval form of angels and demons (or any of those other pairs) is humans.
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
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    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTapeKatar View Post
    For example, in my setting of The Claw, Kobolds are a small, doglike race devoted to serving the Dwarvish city-states, taking inspiration from their origins in folklore as spirits that live in mines and occasionally the home, though more benign than their mythological counterparts. Kobolds live in symbiosis with Dwarves, with it a norm for a Dwarven family to house a Kobold family in their home -- so much so that it is rare to see a dwarf outside of their home without a Kobold alongside them, a sign that the dwarf is in exile or going to war. Kobolds are not strong like Dwarves, nor are they competent at the forge, but they are good at housework, cooking, and to the joy of Dwarves (and anyone on good terms with them) excellent brewers.
    I did something similar. "Civil" kobolds act as house servants to noble families, doing housework, cooking, and cleaning. In exchange, the kobolds feed upon the families' gratitude. All kobolds must feed on the emotions of intelligent humanoids, the stronger the emotions, the better. "Feral" kobolds prefer to rob travelers and, while they rarely actually kill them, they make the think that they'll be killed in order to get the juiciest fear possible out of 'em.
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
    Dexterity- 13
    Constitution- 11
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    Hmm. Intriguing.

    I once had an idea where a goblin, after living a few decades, creates a sort of cocoon from a goo secreted out of its skin. If the cosmic force of Law claims it, it hatches as a hobgoblin, while if Chaos claims it it's a bugbear.
    I like it, although some creature turning into either hobgoblins or goblins sounds better to me.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    All the creatures are in fact slaads except for slaads which are mimics or doppelgangers.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    I did something similar. "Civil" kobolds act as house servants to noble families, doing housework, cooking, and cleaning. In exchange, the kobolds feed upon the families' gratitude. All kobolds must feed on the emotions of intelligent humanoids, the stronger the emotions, the better. "Feral" kobolds prefer to rob travelers and, while they rarely actually kill them, they make the think that they'll be killed in order to get the juiciest fear possible out of 'em.
    One fine sunny day, a group of Feral kobolds discover that people don't fear highway robbery nearly so much as they fear taxes.

    The next day, there are no Feral kobolds anywhere -- they've all become Civil, specifically Civil Servants, and even more specifically they've all become bureaucrats in the Imperial Revenue Service.

    These days, you'll see about 50% of all audits performed by formerly Feral kobolds. They feed on your fear, and they always eat well.

    (The Civil kobolds in the IRS feed on the geysers of gratitude generated simply by the fact that they're not Feral kobolds.)

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    One fine sunny day, a group of Feral kobolds discover that people don't fear highway robbery nearly so much as they fear taxes.

    The next day, there are no Feral kobolds anywhere -- they've all become Civil, specifically Civil Servants, and even more specifically they've all become bureaucrats in the Imperial Revenue Service.

    These days, you'll see about 50% of all audits performed by formerly Feral kobolds. They feed on your fear, and they always eat well.

    (The Civil kobolds in the IRS feed on the geysers of gratitude generated simply by the fact that they're not Feral kobolds.)
    The idea of a little scaly dog-lizard-dragon-man-thing in the IRS deeply disturbs me.
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
    Dexterity- 13
    Constitution- 11
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    The idea of a little scaly dog-lizard-dragon-man-thing in the IRS deeply disturbs me.
    "Let's see, it says here... that you owe approximately... oh my, this is gonna hurt."


    Source: http://orig11.deviantart.net/04cf/f/...ac-d4f2j62.jpg

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    Daemon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    One fine sunny day, a group of Feral kobolds discover that people don't fear highway robbery nearly so much as they fear taxes.

    The next day, there are no Feral kobolds anywhere -- they've all become Civil, specifically Civil Servants, and even more specifically they've all become bureaucrats in the Imperial Revenue Service.

    These days, you'll see about 50% of all audits performed by formerly Feral kobolds. They feed on your fear, and they always eat well.

    (The Civil kobolds in the IRS feed on the geysers of gratitude generated simply by the fact that they're not Feral kobolds.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    The idea of a little scaly dog-lizard-dragon-man-thing in the IRS deeply disturbs me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    "Let's see, it says here... that you owe approximately... oh my, this is gonna hurt."
    This is beautiful. And disturbing. All at the same time.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    This is beautiful. And disturbing. All at the same time.
    Wait until you meet Tucker's Auditors.

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Alternate Creature Interpretations (Feel free to add your own additions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Wait until you meet Tucker's Auditors.
    Now you go too far. Really...too far! Somethings were not meant to be imagined!
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2018-12-05 at 01:46 PM.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
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    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Now you go too far. Really...too far! Somethings were not meant to be imagined!
    There is no "too far" when it's kobolds.
    Easydamus says I'm a neutral half-elf wizard 1/druid 1.
    Strength- 11
    Dexterity- 13
    Constitution- 11
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 12

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    The Sphinx:

    Rather than large creatures with the aspects of a lion, eagle, snake, and woman, the Sphinx is a race of bipedal catfolk, with the "wings" that they are ascribed to have on their backs by outsiders are actually a special article of clothing worn by priests and priestesses of their gods as symbols of their divine influence. The "snake tail" is another such item, but given to warriors as rewards for their cleverness and wit; it is actually a small brass trinket in the shape of a snake's head that many simply wear on their tail, though some have taken to use it as a weapon by giving it fangs and poison.

    Their society is made up of matriarchal clans and city-states composed of the reining High Priestess, her maids and the common priests, the citizens, and the clan's Manticore sect.

    Manticores are the Sphinx's standing army -- those who have sworn to protect their people with no mercy against their foes. Manticores often develop into subcultures within their own clan, due to their violent nature and class separation from the rest of their people. Manticores are not allowed to own land or a house, light herbal incense (though they are allowed to enjoy it if someone else lights it for them), and are not allowed to bask in the sun outside of the presence of a priest who gives them permission, or in the presence of a civilian. As an army, they are given an intense training regimen designed to drag out the more feral parts of their nature. This training lets them go into a berserker rage upon command, allowing their battalions to bravely face foes head on where most other Sphinxes would have resorted to tactics equivalent to those of cave-dwelling goblins. The Manticore sects gain their name from the creature of the same name, a species that has been hunted down in the hope of driving them to extinction. It is said by the Sphinxes' warriors, "We wear the name in prayer that they can never reclaim it for themselves, and hope the monsters rot in hell."
    "My new favorite spell is Ice Knife, because it is a throwing knife made from ice, and a grenade."

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