The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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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 Xania View Post
    Not the most original thing ever but half-orcs are actually domesticated orcs rather than hybrids, they are also much thinner than they are usually portrayed, because it came to my mind after seeing how people was trying to smooth the Skyrim orcs features. If they are not as smart as others is just because their owners find them more cute like that.
    Ohhh, I like this. Maybe halflings could be domesticated gnomes with the magic and weirdness bred out of them. Or gnomes could be elves made to look cuter? I dunno.
    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.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    Ohhh, I like this. Maybe halflings could be domesticated gnomes with the magic and weirdness bred out of them. Or gnomes could be elves made to look cuter? I dunno.

    Oh! Those are nice.
    I don't know wich one to choose either, maybe they started being gnomes as pocket elves and the magic and weirdeness were removed later?
    Last edited by Xania; 2019-01-23 at 01:23 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xania View Post
    Oh! Those are nice.
    I don't know wich one to choose either, maybe they started being gnomes as pocket elves and the magic and weirdeness were removed later?
    I love the name "pocket elves".

    Hobgoblins could easily be domesticated bugbears, bred to be well organized soldiers in exchange for some of their physical strength. Maybe the hobgoblins were bugbears who did this to themselves in some sort of eugenics program.
    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.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Kobold

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    I can't decide on what I'm going to do with all the races, so I'll make these broad categories and stick with 'em.

    The Bound (working name) are those who can be ritually bound to a particular location, which grants them immortality (otherwise they live about as long as humans) but takes away their freedom to move from said location. Elves and dwarves are the most common type of Bound.

    Hollows are those born without souls. Some constantly reincarnate, while others remain tied to their physical form for eternity, even when it rots to dust.

    Beastfolk (working name) are a very broad group of those who combine human and animal traits, and include shapeshifters, lycanthropes, orcs, goblins, ogres, etc.

    I'm either going to make halflings a type of Bound or make them human-Bound hybrids.
    Last edited by Sizzlefoot; 2019-01-24 at 07:35 PM.
    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.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    I love the name "pocket elves".

    Hobgoblins could easily be domesticated bugbears, bred to be well organized soldiers in exchange for some of their physical strength. Maybe the hobgoblins were bugbears who did this to themselves in some sort of eugenics program.

    Haha... Sounds monster-pet enough, i think
    Perfect for me, half-ogres could have done the same ^^

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Kobold

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    I might base the ogres off of Japanese oni- colorful skin, a single horn, and a surprising skill with sorcery.

    Maybe the horn is used to break out of their eggs?
    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.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Don't really know why but i imagine oni living in an alternative plane, never thought something like them could born from eggs though, but the horn for it makes sense and they are more alien like that.

    Hill Giants for me were the standard huge dwarf-like giant, like Beorn or the one from Harry Potter, rather than a big neanderthal.

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xania View Post
    Don't really know why but i imagine oni living in an alternative plane, never thought something like them could born from eggs though, but the horn for it makes sense and they are more alien like that.

    Hill Giants for me were the standard huge dwarf-like giant, like Beorn or the one from Harry Potter, rather than a big neanderthal.
    This sounds far better than ogres-but-bigger.

    If I don't make gnomes rock people, they might actually eat rocks, hence their common nickname, the "rockeaters".
    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 - #189
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    With those examples hill giants should have a good aligment aswell.

    I was about to make gnomes the norse dwarves, though making them made of rock sounds like one of the best things to do with them, maybe derros should get the dwarf tittle.

    Renamed as "mogwais", pathfinder style goblins appear sometimes after a heavy rain, for some unknown combination.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Flumph

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    Does mogwai have any meaning in your setting/irl?

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    Does mogwai have any meaning in your setting/irl?

    Yes, irl they are from Chinese myths, i think the meaning was not always "bad spirit", "monster" or "demon" but is how is often translated.
    Have not thought in a meaning for my setting but it could be something like "rain imps" or "lost fairy".
    Last edited by Xania; 2019-01-26 at 05:11 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Kobold

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    Hmm. If one bases orcs off of pigs, then what if they only get a bad wrap because the plant-based elves don't like them eating their plant "friends"?
    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.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    I'm considering reinterpreting orcs as pig-spirits myself for a setting loosely inspired by Irish mythology* and more general Gaelic folklore. Orc means pig/wild boar in Gaelic and later the Latin word Orcus was shortened to Orc and came to be used as a generic term for monsters/demons which is where Tolkien got it from, so I've been getting this image in my head of them being woodland boar spirits that trick hunters into trying to kill them before revealing their deception and attacking the hunter. And of course pig faced orcs are a common if old fashioned depiction common to modern fantasy.

    The basic idea I've got is that when the tribes of spirits/fey/magical men were driven from the surface and forced to live underground and underwater by the tribes of mortal men some spirits refused to go with their kinsmen and instead took on bestial forms in order to cheat the oaths that locked their people away from the world. The Orcs took the form of twisted boars whose hooves were replaced with human hands and whose breath was sour poison mist and swore to guard their lands from the intrusions of man even after the war between the two had ended. Orcs can return to their true form while underground, in burrows, barrows or caves, revealing themselves as the proud but cruel warriors who fought mankind for land. Proper tribute can appease them long enough to hunt safely in their territory, but any men they catch who have not offered them tribute are run down, gored and throttled and dragged back to their burrows to be hung from nearby trees as a warning.


    *Certain concepts to do with the Tuatha De Danaan, Fir Bolg and so on as former human peoples of Ireland that came and went through migrations and wars being a major influence, indeed European tribal migrations in general being an influence, the Fey living underground as a result of 'evenly' dividing the world between them and the victorious humans in a war.

    After a conversation with my brother I'm thinking of having Kelpies and Selkies be the same sort of being as Orcs but with different emotions/animals. Kelpies being rage/vengeance and liking to drown people and Selkies being sorrowful beings who long to walk the lands they once ruled but can only do so occasionally. Not sure if I'll try to import the more modern west Scottish Boobrie shapeshifter as well.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Yesterday I got an idea to spice up arcanaloths from D&D. In Planescape, their are the lawyers and accountants of the yugoloth mercenary armies and always try ti rip people off with the contracts they make, and arranging to switch sides whenever it benefits their profits. That works for Planescape, but in campaigns in which fiends are more hellish monsters than humans with horns, an evil accountant isn't that useful a creature. Unfortunately, they don't have any outstanding abilities in 5th edition, being basically just wizards who can cast disguise self and invisibility and use telepathy at will.

    My new take on them is to make them the Shadows from Babylon 5. They never personally interact with mortals. Instead they let a mortal servant do all the talking, while they watch from nearby, hidden through invisibility or an illusory disguise. And constantly tell the servant what to say with their telepathy. If exposed, they turn out to behave in such alien ways that ordinary conversations with them are impossible.
    They still offer their hellish troops as mercenaries, but they really don't care about the money. Which is why their servants have seemingly limitless funds for bribes or whatever things they might need in the material world to further their goals. In fact, their rates are amazingly cheap for how well they get every job done. Doesn't matter how broke you are, when they offer their services, you can always afford it. But it's really just that people would get too suspicious if they would offer their services for free. Because when you are not the customet, then you are the product. What they are really after is to target promissing and ambitious low ranking leaders and helping them deal with whatever difficult task they have been given by their superiors. Their success makes them rise in rank and station, and with that the expectations by the other leaders also increase. At that point the arcanaloths start making their own requests for favors in return for their continued assistance. Their business partners have little choice in giving them whatever they want, or they would be exposed as being frauds without any real power who have made their realm or organization a vassal of hell.
    And this is how the arcanaloth give the ultroloths footholds in the material world.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    The one ability of Arcanaloths that has always intrigued me the most was one that I only read about once, and it must have been a pretty off-hand mention, because not only haven't I been able to find it again, it's also basically never used anywhere:

    They can cheat themselves into callings. When a mortal calls up some other fiend, or even some non-fiend creatures, a prepared Arcanaloth can intercept the calling and insert themselves. That, plus a disguise, means that a mortal thinks they might be calling up a spirit of knowledge for information, but might instead get an Arcanaloth who will then cruelly manipulate them.

    Now, doing that to a PC is a bit dickish and I wouldn't do it. "Haha, you thought you called an angel to help you fight the evil lich, but instead, you got an arcanaloth who is backstabbing you in the boss fight!". Nah. But if that happened to an NPC? Great plot hook! A well-meaning seer is calling up an oracle spirit, or the underground freedom fighters are summoning eladrin to help them, but instead, they get a fiend who is manipulating them to Hades' ends.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  16. - Top - End - #196
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The one ability of Arcanaloths that has always intrigued me the most was one that I only read about once, and it must have been a pretty off-hand mention, because not only haven't I been able to find it again, it's also basically never used anywhere:

    They can cheat themselves into callings. When a mortal calls up some other fiend, or even some non-fiend creatures, a prepared Arcanaloth can intercept the calling and insert themselves. That, plus a disguise, means that a mortal thinks they might be calling up a spirit of knowledge for information, but might instead get an Arcanaloth who will then cruelly manipulate them.

    Now, doing that to a PC is a bit dickish and I wouldn't do it. "Haha, you thought you called an angel to help you fight the evil lich, but instead, you got an arcanaloth who is backstabbing you in the boss fight!". Nah. But if that happened to an NPC? Great plot hook! A well-meaning seer is calling up an oracle spirit, or the underground freedom fighters are summoning eladrin to help them, but instead, they get a fiend who is manipulating them to Hades' ends.
    Pretty sure there was a devil that could do that in 3.5.

    It is a good niche for fiends though, fits better than the kill/maim/burn/repeat a lot default to.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Eh, I don't think that fits the Yugoloth anyway. Their lower ranks are quite brutish, but the higher up you get, the more they seem to be into trickery, secrets and fear, instead of warfare.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    I dunno, even among the higher echelons I always got the impression there's still a strong vibe of 'stab first, ask questions later.' Might be because most of my Yugoloth familiarity is from monster manuals, but they seem to be in a similar boat to the Baatezu, with even the guys presented as schemers and manipulators being more geared to just stabbing people.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Ah, well, that's one thing where the third edition sources really are worthless. 3E had no idea what to do with the Yugoloths compared to older sources, especially Planescape. But I mean, just look at them. Ultroloths are created when an Arcanaloth ritualistically flays off his own face, to erase his name from the multiverse. The current Oinoloth took the job by walking up to the last Oinoloth and whispering a secret in his ear that was so terrible, he immediately stepped down and went into exile. They claim to have started the blood war as an experiment, because they wanted to see how different shades of evil turned out. Though that may be a lie. They are certainly playing both sides against each other to keep it going.

    They are destructive, sure, but more in a "nihilistic mad science" way than in a "enjoys stabbing things" way. They do seem to enjoy watching others suffer and despair, but in a quite cold, detached way.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Yora's Avatar

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    The problem with Planescape is that all the fluff is about their relationship to devils and demons. Which is nice fiction, but how does that relate to the PCs?
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    A fair point. A good idea to brainstorm here, perhaps.

    So, what do the Yugoloth do that could involve the PCs.

    The low level ones are basically boring. Mince-meat soldiers. But then, so are the lowest levels of pretty much all outsider races.

    Let's consider the higher ranks: Arcanaloths, Ultroloths and Marraenoloths.

    The Marraenoloth
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    The Marraenoloth has a very well-defined, mythologically resonant role. They ferry souls. The PCs would meet them when trying to cross into the underworld, or out of it., Maybe they would be looking for their own Teiresias, a special soul they have to pull from some deep level of hell. And the Marraenoloth can get them their, for a price.
    I mean, it works, it can add some creepy flavour, but the question with these guys is: what exactly is their agency? How are they more than slightly creepy busy drivers?

    Arcanaloth
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    They seem to occupy the same tricksterish role as a lot of mid-range fiends. They can disguise themselves, they are very knowledgeable, they have ways of getting to the mortal world. I'd use them as the grey eminence behind some conflict, maybe. There's rebels and the government, the PCs may join one or the other, find out that the other side is not as bad as they look, and their side is worse than they thougth, and that both sides seem to be operating on terrible misconceptions against each other. Only to find out that both sides are being played by the same fiend in disguise, maybe not even for any especially terrible goal. They just enjoy senseless conflict.

    Alternatively, I'd set them up as the approachable fiend. Like A'kin. Creepily friendly. Easy to summon. Too easy. Why is that scroll that describes how to summon an Arcanaloth present in every library the PCs visit? Because someone scatters them around. Again, a certain trickster function. They freely hand out dark knowledge, but the PCs will know not to trust them.

    One thing that was at least interesting in third edition, though I didn't like the execution that much, was those... what were they called? Weapon yugoloth, something. Basically possessed items that the Yugoloth sold. Having the Yugoloth treat their lesser fiends as literal objects and trade commodities is an interesting approach. Perhaps they do that quite commonly. They gather souls, transform them into lesser 'loths and experiment on them. The useful ones are made into higher level 'loths, the failures into weapons to be sold off to mortals. Or furniture, vehicles, anything, really. I could imagine a loth having quite some glee at the idea that half his possessions are ensouled and suffering.

    Ultroloth
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    I'll just come down and say that I never really liked any of the interpretations they got in any editions. A lot of good hints at fluff role, really terrible execution. Take the thing with no face. Did that ever really play into anything? No. These should be almost ridiculously shadowy and secretive. Perhaps immune to name magic, or binding, or divination. If Vecna can do it, why not them? One of these days, I'll have to rewrite them, at a power level equal to a balor or a pit fiend. But sneakier. The things about them that every entry mentions are: their underlings fear them too much to work against them, they are mysterious, they are incredibly well-informed and always seem to know everything that's going on. That seem to me to be the attributes of a campaign-ender bad guy.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2019-01-28 at 11:42 AM.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Yora's Avatar

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    A marraenaloth is not just a creepy bus driver. It's a creepy taxi driver, and it always leaves the clock running. The whole time you are travelling with them you are dreading the rising bill that is coming, and progress seems always dreadfully slow.
    The big question is what currency they collect in.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Lizardfolk

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    Kobolds are fey born from the spirits of dead miners. They are afraid of the dark, so they will steal the lamps and candles of miners or adventurers if they don't have one. The offering of light to Kobolds is a daily ritual for individuals underground (they are rarely there to take them though.) If a Kobold finds an offering it will lead the miners/adventurers to any treasure they know of and remove any underground poison gas that they find.

    Kobold's are not malicious by nature and often sound like children, visibly they look like short rat-men who can turn invisible. Injuring a Kobold is considered a great mistake as all Kobolds will now be hostile and blow out your lights at inopportune times.

    The last sight of many a new adventurer is a Kobold skipping down a corridor at great speed with their torch in hand, disappearing around a corner and leaving them lost in the dark forever.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Kobolds are fey born from the spirits of dead miners. They are afraid of the dark, so they will steal the lamps and candles of miners or adventurers if they don't have one. The offering of light to Kobolds is a daily ritual for individuals underground (they are rarely there to take them though.) If a Kobold finds an offering it will lead the miners/adventurers to any treasure they know of and remove any underground poison gas that they find.

    Kobold's are not malicious by nature and often sound like children, visibly they look like short rat-men who can turn invisible. Injuring a Kobold is considered a great mistake as all Kobolds will now be hostile and blow out your lights at inopportune times.

    The last sight of many a new adventurer is a Kobold skipping down a corridor at great speed with their torch in hand, disappearing around a corner and leaving them lost in the dark forever.
    I guess I have one more reason to have those 100 candles on me.

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Halflings are like eternally young cockney street urchins

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Halflings are like eternally young cockney street urchins
    Lost boys, la Peter Pan?
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Drow could be only a despective term used by elves to call elven communities that have turned nasty, wich happens more often than it can look, since elves are as common and have the same tendency to fall to temptations as in the Silmarillion.

    Maybe only orogs are as evil and violent as orcs are said to be, other kinds being much less dangerous and for that reason are often hunted down by fake heroes.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Kobold

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

    Ohh, what if all of the nonhuman races were descended from non-primate animals? Orcs from boars, gnolls from hyenas, halflings from mice, dwarves from badgers?

    Maybe one could make an exception for giants, who are descended from magically cursed/blessed humans?

    Trolls are amphibians?

    We could add in plants, too.
    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.

  29. - Top - End - #209
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    In the fiery pits of Hell
    Gender
    Male

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

    Refluffing the races to fit in a sci-fi setting could be fun. So far I have the rylato (use elf stats), pterodactyl-like ne'er-do-wells who first invented modern energy weapons, the chyrzkkli (dragonborn), blue-colored insectoid warriors with the ability to project a blast of psionic power (breath weapon), the stodex (dwarves), muscular, hairless, very broad and stocky humanoids who can sense various types of energy, the kuakuate (gnomes) who are mushroom-people whose "illusions" are brought on by hallucinogens their bodies naturally generate, and the munans (halflings), who resemble intelligent upright 2-3 foot tall mice. I suppose magic would be fluffed as psychic powers. Maybe paladins and clerics serve powerful corporations who give them cybernetic implants which enhance the psionics present in all life forms.
    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 - #210
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    One thing that was at least interesting in third edition, though I didn't like the execution that much, was those... what were they called? Weapon yugoloth, something.
    "Battleloths" from Dragon Magazine issue 306


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Halflings are like eternally young cockney street urchins
    Lost boys, la Peter Pan?
    More like urban fey. Or possibly chibi drawings

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