World of Khoras => General Discussion and Questions => Topic started by: Vertrax on January 10, 2009, 05:57:25 PM

Title: Other creatures
Post by: Vertrax on January 10, 2009, 05:57:25 PM
         Hey david I noticed that in the city of Hearthtown there is an inn called the steel gryphon, the campaign notes of the Jaidor talisman have a reference to an Otyugh, there are tales of vampires in certain ruins, and in the original Avisarr campaign the party were attacked by Vargouille. this is an indication that there are other "fantasy" creatures within Khoras, so the main question is are all other fantasy creatures included in khoras, or only a few select ones?
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: avisarr on January 10, 2009, 11:28:47 PM
The original Avisarr campaign was run a LONG time ago. Back in the days before I started writing Khoras. The first time I ran the Avisarr campaign, we were using the world of Greyhawk. Also, we were playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons - 2nd edition with all of the standard monsters in the 2nd edition Monster Manual (otyughs, varguilles, etc). Therefore you may occasionally see the odd reference to something from Greyhawk or traditional D&D... something that seems out of place or even contradictory. You may find those scattered about the site, especially in the really old stuff like Avisarr. It's no big deal. You can just ignore those references or update them or alter them or do whatever you like.

Does Khoras have all the traditional monsters from mythology? Well, that's up to each game master. If you want to put a pegasus or unicorn or wyvern or vampire in your game, go ahead. Absolutely. It's a big world and there's plenty of room for just about anything you want to add.

In my own games, I tend to mix things up. You'll notice that Khoras does have a lot of traditional monsters - dragons, orcs, trolls, etc. Those are classics. The bread and butter of fantasy. However, I also tend to create a lot of new stuff. For example, instead of a using a standard wyvern, I'll create a new type of creature similar to a wyvern, but with some differences. I do this because I always want to keep the players on their toes. I like to have NEW stuff... stuff they haven't seen... stuff they can't look up in the books. I HATE it when the players know everything about a particular magic item or monster. So I am constantly creating new stuff just to keep them guessing. And from what I've been told, they love it.

In my opinion, suspense, drama, curiosity and discovery are what the game is all about.
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: warpmaster on January 12, 2009, 12:03:34 AM
I'm kinda lucky at the moment as the group i'm DMing for haven't play D&D for over 15 years and don't remember what things do.Its a new experence for them and i'm getting great feedback from my players.
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: avisarr on January 13, 2009, 12:12:00 PM

Regarding players knowing too much about a monster... I'll be honest... I NEVER use standard monsters anymore. I have the monster manual for versions 3 and 3.5 and I haven't bothered using them at all. When it comes to a monster or a magic item or whatever, I always, ALWAYS, take the time to come up with something new. Years ago, I got really sick and tired of that exact scenario that you just mentioned: some player would be able to quote the name of the creature and all of its stats from memory. As a DM, that got very frustrating. So, I slowly started making changes. Now, years later, I never throw anything standard at them. I am playing with very experienced players and yet, they love it. I have heard from them, on more than one occasion, that it takes them back to the earliest days of their gaming careers, when they were just learning the rules. Everything was new. And I think that's how every game should be. The players should still be able to have the sense of wonder and discovery at something new. Frankly, I prefer it this way. The players can't look something up in a book. And encounters aren't spoiled by too much player knowledge. It's more fun for me too, as the DM.

Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: Golanthius on January 13, 2009, 10:29:12 PM
Everything was new. And I think that's how every game should be. The players should still be able to have the sense of wonder and discovery at something new. Frankly, I prefer it this way. The players can't look something up in a book. And encounters aren't spoiled by too much player knowledge. It's more fun for me too, as the DM.

This is exactly why I love playing in Khoras with its unique and numerous fauna. My players are also experienced and they like it when I throw in new creatures for them to discover.
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: tanis on January 17, 2009, 02:12:52 PM
Yeah short of a dragon the Vulhoron is definitely the most bad ass creature in Khoras.
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: Drul Morbok on August 21, 2017, 03:12:33 PM
Actually, I always liked the fact that this site does not generally mention standard creatures, especially those based on mythology, maybe because it fits with my personal decisions and preferences:
I for myself find that, when implementing such creatures and trying to define them, I often find myself caught between repeating the obvious/consense, and forced creativity. It also tends to make players feel a bit more familiar with the unexpected as they should - even if they do not make (valid) assumptions from knowing the Monster Manual, there will be some kind of "ah ok, a manticore" familiarity as soon as scorpion tail, lion head and leather wings are mentionned.

When it comes to elves, dwarves, orcs, trolls, ogres ..., I really do enjoy "forced creativity", i.e. using a well-known concept, but with an interpretation and some tendencies unique to my world.
On the other hand, for skeletons and zombies, there might be nothing wrong about repeating the obvious - they are animated corpses, and this might very well be all there is to be said. For this reason, I'd find it somehow strange if there was an entry for zombies or skeletons - unless of course they'd deviate a great deal from general assumptions. For me it's even more the same for unicorns, minotaurs, manticores.... those names raise certain expectations, and if this site just repeated those, I guess I might feel it as some kind of breach. So I think unless it's a deliberate play on standard assumptions, I think it's better not to get too specific about such creatures and leave open if they actually “exist” (the steel griffon inn could as well be named after an ingame creature of legends).

But this is just my opinion, as I prefer to think of mythological creatures as unique, or at least one unique population of them, having kind of a place in the world and in the story, rather than as “random roll encounters” …for example, if I decided to have gargantuan birds of prey in my game world, I surely would not name them Rocs if all I cared about was challenging stats. I’m also not too thrilled about of the idea of making minotaurs part of the ecosystem – I’d rather replace the bull part with let’s say a stag’s anatomy and give them antlers instead of horns, just to be sure players would not associate the creature with labyrinths.
On the other hand, if some high-security prison had some underground labyrinth with maximum security cells, for my taste it could be adding flavour if this labyrinth was guarded by a minotaur who was rumoured to be always awake, aware of anything happening in the labyrinth and the only one not to get lost in it (but of course in this case, there also would be no fauna entry).

But each to his own….
Title: Re: Other creatures
Post by: David Roomes on August 22, 2017, 03:53:38 PM
Agreed. Classic, mythological monsters (such as the medusa) were created within the context of specific ancient stories. I don't like the way that game companies have tried to shoe-horn these classic monsters into their worlds. Such attempts are often ludicrous and awkward. In various incarnations of D&D games and D&D adventures, medusa have various origin stories, some of which conflict and have, at times, been viewed as an entire self-reproducing species, rather than a single legendary creature. And this is just one example.

That's another reason why I tend to stay away from such mythological monsters and just create my own.