Friday, December 28, 2018

Monster & Animal Species

I don't have the lifetime I need to write up all
the monsters that don't exist in my world.
I hope you can forgive me posting content that I've recently put up on the wiki.  Truth be told, the wiki is getting far less attention than it used to get, so I begin to think the internet is tired of it.  If I leave it there and never print it here, I think very few people would know about it.

And what the heck, it is still work of mine one way or the other.

The following is a list in progress of species in my game world (which a reader asked about last week, I think it was Ozymandias).  This is a partial list, reliably including monsters up to the Ds taht I've added to the wiki.  I'll be updating this table as I add more monsters to the wiki.  Last year about this time I set a goal of 50 monsters for 2018.  I'll be matching that number this year.  If I keep up that pace, I'll finish my monster lists when I'm, what, 66 y.o.?  Heh.  Anyway, expect to see a lot of monsters on the blog during the next couple of months.

Some monsters are based on Earth terms for living animals and others are creations solely for fantasy role-play.  Animal species are relevant to various sage abilities and sometimes for the creation of magical potions, scrolls, wands and other like items, as the bodily fluids of species can sometimes be exchanged for another like creature.

List of Species

Bat: a species of flying mammal, often appearing in very large numbers.  Docile species are insectivores or fruit-eaters and will attack only if disturbed.  More aggressive species have been known to attack large mammals for blood or as a source for meat.
List: bat (giant)

Bear: omnivorous mammals found on every continent except Africa and Australia.  These creatures have large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, small rounded ears, shaggy hair, paws with five claws and short tails.  Food usually depends upon what is available in the bear's environment.  Hunted for their meat and fur.  Caged bears of smaller species are often kept as a source for entertainment.
List: bear (black) ~ bear (brown) ~ bear (cave)

Beast: supernatural hybrids, sometimes part human, often destructive and malevolent in nature.  The existence of beasts has been the result of both magical experimentation and inter-planar contact, where some beasts have emerged on Earth through divine intervention.  Most beasts created in laboratories are born sterile ~ but the means of their creation has become known, so that the same beasts do tend to appear, having either escaped or been freed.  Some notable beasts, always originating on another plane of existence, are unique in form.  See Beasts (sage study).
Dragons: dragon huakinthos ~ dragonis malignans
Ordinary beasts: ankheg ~ basilisk ~ behemoth ~ beholder ~ bird of Tyaa ~ bulette ~ carrion crawler ~ catoblepas ~ centaur ~ chimera ~ cockatrice ~ couatl ~ displacer beast ~ dragonne ~ eye of the deep ~ gorgon ~ griffon ~ harpy ~ hell hound ~ hippocampus ~ hippogriff ~ hydra ~ invisible stalker ~ ki-rin ~ lamia ~ lammasu ~ leucrotta ~ leviathan ~ lurker above ~ manticore ~ medusa ~ minotaur ~ morkoth ~ nightmare ~ otyugh ~ owlbear ~ pegasus ~ peryton ~ remorhaz ~ roper ~ rust monster ~ salamander ~ satyr ~ sea lion ~ shambling mound ~ shedu ~ slithering tracker ~ sphinx ~ stirge ~ trapper ~ treant ~ turtle (dragon) ~ umber hulk ~ unicorn ~ wyvern ~ xorn

Unique beasts: Apep ~ Bahamut ~ Blodug-Hofi ~ Cerberus ~ Dahak ~ Fenris ~ Flame Snake ~ Freke & Gere ~ Garm ~ Gullin-Bursti ~ Hugin & Munin ~ Indra's Elephant ~ Jormungandr ~ Ma Yuan ~ Minions of Set ~ Pack of the Wild Hunt ~ Peacock of Karttikeya ~ Phoenix ~ Sleipner ~ Tanngrisner & Tanngjost ~ Thunder Bird ~ Tiamat ~ White Eagle of Zeus ~ Yama's Water Buffalo

Bovine: cloven-hoofed, ruminant mammals, with all males possessing two or more horns and in many species with females that possess horns also.  Bovids are typically diurnal, with social activity and feeding usually peak during dawn and dusk.  While small bovids forage in dense and closed habitat, larger species feed on high-fiber vegetation in open grasslands.  Many bovids have been domesticated, while their leather, meat and wool is sought after.
Links: antelope (sable) ~ buffalo ~ cattle (domestic) ~ cattle (wild)

Camelid: large, strictly herbivorous mammals with slender necks and long legs.  Due to their body structure, camelids have to lie down by resting on their knees with their legs tucked underneath their bodies.  Camelids do not have hooves, they have two-toed feet with toenail and soft, leathery foot pads.  When they walk, both legs on the same side of the body move simultaneously.  Camelids long enough for human beings to ride have a typical swaying motion.
Links: alpaca ~ camel (wild)

Chthonic: 
typically malevolent semi-divine beings whose origin tends towards the lower planes of existence, widely ranging in type and form.  Chthonic creatures are often associated with subterranean realms and places, but also with places that terrify and mortify the senses.
Demons: manes
Devils: lemure

Crocodile: large, solidly built reptiles that include alligators and caimans, with long flattened snouts and laterally compressed tails.  Their eyes, ears and nostrils are located on the tops of their heads.  They can swim well and can move on land in a "high walk" or "low walk," while smaller species can even gallop.  Their skins are thick and covered with non-overlapping scales.  They have peg-like teeth and a powerful bite.  They are hunted for skins and for meat.
Links: crocodile (common, deinosuchus & saltwater)

Faerie: enchanted humanoids usually with some natural magic ability dwelling in sylvan lands which exist largely through the caretaking and concern of powerful members of the species.  Similar but unrelated to Apollonian semi-divine beings, with a considerable presence throughout those outer planes associated with peace, happiness or contentment.  Often, faeries are concerned with the well-being of persons deemed worthy in their eyes.
Links: brownie ~ mite

Feline: 
also cats, carnivorous mammals with adaptations for stalking, ambush and short pursuit hunting.  With graceful and muscular bodies, strong forelimbs, a powerful bite and retractable claws, cats often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.  Some cats have been domesticated.  Often hunted for skins.
Links: cheetah

Fish: aquatic animals with gills and bound to a water environment, either salt-water or fresh.  Fish are usually non-intelligent and voracious eaters of creatures smaller than themselves.  They are abundant and often appear in very large groups, which can make them dangerous even against larger prey.  Common fish are sought after as an important food source.  There are numerous sub-species.
Ray-finned fish: barracuda

Flightless Bird:  these animals are birds that do not have the ability to fly.  Body shape tends towards long legs, necks and large heads, though exceptions ~ notably penguins ~ challenge this norm.  Flightless birds tend to attack with beaks and feet, the latter often including vicious claws.  Flightless birds are treasured for their decorative feathers, meat and skins; many species have been domesticated.
Links: axe beak ~ moa ~ ostrich ~ rhea

Hemitheioc: neutral to benevolent divine beings, less than demi-gods, whose origin tends towards the upper planes of existence, widely ranging in type and form.  Hemitheioc creatures are associated with aiding mortal beings, often with generosity and guidance.  Far less commonly seen than malevolent divine beings, hemitheioc beings take pains to work through emissaries, signs and other subtle means, preferring not to reveal themselves if not absolutely necessary.  As such, their measures are more difficult to identify and counteract.
Links: djinni

Humanoid: a highly disparate collection of normal-sized, intelligent, communal upright-walking beings typically with a head, two legs and two arms, though exceptions exist.  Includes both benevolent races seeking providence for the largest number and malicious, warlike races bent on world domination and control.  The most dangerous are those in control of large political regions.  Does not include giants.
Demi-human races: dwarf ~ elf
Goblin-associated races: bugbear

Insect: creatures with a chitinous exoskeleton, pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and antennae.  Most insects that comprise monster forms are giant in form, a spontaneous evolutionary condition that predates the human discovery of magic and is therefore attributed to wild magic.  The effect produces a limited-levitation effect that lightens the weight of the insect so that it is able to support itself on legs or even fly.  Some giant insects can walk on water or swim.  Insects may be solitary or live in large organized colonies.  Some are known to swarm.  The diversity of insects precludes further generalizations.
Links: ant (giant black) ~ ant (giant bull) ~ ant (giant carpenter) ~ beetle (giant bombadier) ~ beetle (giant fire) ~ beetle (giant rhinocerous) ~ beetle (giant stag) ~ beetle (giant water) ~ centipede (giant)

Primate: a collection of primitive humanoids, possessed of low intelligence and related to humans.  While some larger species are earth-bound, all species possess adaptations for climbing trees.  Small species will leap from tree to tree or swing between branches.  Walking movement includes upright on two limbs or modified knuckle walking.  Highly social in family or larger groups. Most species live in tropical rainforests.
Links: ape (carnivorous) ~ ape (gorilla) ~ baboon (mandrill)

Pudding: a form of slime mold thats secrete acid from their tissues that is capable of dissolving flesh, cellulose or metal, depending on the species.  See Slime Molds (list).
Links: pudding (black)


Rhinocerous: herbivorous large mammals, some that can be counted as megafauna exceeding three tons in weight.  Rhinos typically have one or two horns, though exceptions exist.  Leafy material is preferred.  Horns have been sought after as a source of medicine and magic.  Rhinos have a reputation for being highly aggressive.
Links: baluchitherium

Rodent: mammals characterized by a single pair of incisors on the upper and lower jaws.  Found in vast numbers on all continents and in all habitats.  Rabid and often associated with disease, many rodent species are considered invasive pets, eating and spoiling stored food, destroying buildings and threatening crops and water sources.  Rodents also serve as a source of food, as pets and as attack animals.
Links: beaver (common & castoroides)

Swine: even-toed hoofed mammals noted for their intelligence as animals. Though usually feeding on vegetable matter, swine are ominivorous and can be highly aggressive as predators.  Some form prominent tusks that can be very dangerous.  Swine are hunted for their skins, meat and fat, which can be rendered to make lard or candles.
Links: boar (common wild & hylochloerus) ~ boar (warthog)

Therapod: bipedal reptiles characterized by hollow bones and three-toed limbs, usually carnivorous though some herbivores and omnivores are included in the species.  Distantly related to birds.  Therapods typically possess blade-like teeth with serrated edges.
Links: bonesnapper

Weasel: carnivorous mammals with short legs, short round ears and thick fur.  Weasels tend to be solitary, nocturnal and do eat vegetable matter.  Most can swim and are comfortable in the water.  Even the smallest species are noted for their viciousness.  Many species are sought after for their furs.  Some species have been domesticated.
Links: badger (common & chamitataxus)

See Bestiary

7 comments:

Behold said...

Sadly the giant ant(carpenter) links to giant ant(bull).

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you! Fixed.

Pandred said...

I keep an eye on the wiki for material to pillage, and occasionally you surprise me with an unannounced update.

I think a little fanfare might just help spur interest in general. At least I get quite a lot of use out of it.

Rob Schwarz said...

Somehow I got the impression the wiki was going away. I'm not sure how I got that impression but perhaps you should have a look, just in case.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Last year I transferred the whole wiki to a new address:

https://tao-dndwiki.blogspot.com/2018/02/general-index.html

Ozymandias said...

I can see various influences in your classification. It seems yourey approaching the topic from the perspective of a sage in your world, i.e. this is how they would organize their understanding of these creatures.

3rd Edition provided creature types and subtypes. The system does not hold a diagetic framework, however, and is fairly uninspiring (once you get past the purely mechanical nature).

This is a fantastic insight. Thank you.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, that's right. I'm thinking, how would someone who has no real understanding of modern biology group these monsters? The grouping is based more on behaviour and external features than on biology.