Monday, November 30, 2009


Here you have the longest post yet. It's basically what the title says: a first draft of the bestiary for Ajsalium. A list of creatures and a very brief description for each. Note that this list doesn't include neither animals nor vermin; that will go in a future post, because right now I'm pretty much fed up of this (it has taken me several days to write). See if you still find some fantasy cliche missing.

Aboleth: Big fish like monster that lives in subterranean lakes of the underworld; has many magical powers with which to slay or enslave.
Abyssal Rat: A very big and ugly rat (six legs, humanoid face), a mutation caused by the exposure to the infernal energies; its low intelligence allows it to master lesser common rats.
Arcane Tree: Tree only in name, according to legend this is a splinter of the ubergod Kronait, a being of divine wisdom that sits in the center of large forest and gives birth to the most beautiful sylvan creatures.
Avernal Boar: Monstrous boar that has been tainted by the infernal corruption and now roams the countryside with its venomous breath.
Banshee: Undead creature, what remains of a wronged female that now "lives" a ghostly existence and is armed with a powerful shattering cry.
Basilisk: Magical reptilian beast with six legs whose best weapon is its gaze, capable of magically turning someone to stone.
Beholder: Coming from the Other Side, this aberration resembles a huge floating sphere with a big central eye and ten smaller eyes atop pendables, each one with dangerous spell like powers.
Celav: An angel, a being of human shape with four white wings, always armed with a divine sword; it lost his home to the demons and devils and has promised to avenge this loss.
Centaur: Sylvan creature, a mix of a horse and a human. Even though not evil, it's fiercely territorial, has an irritable mood and likes drinking too much.
Chimera: Legendary monster of unknown origin, it has the body of a lion, two big eagle wings, and three heads: lion, goat and dragon. A very dangerous being, and impossible to tame.
Chupacabra: This is a small and ugly monster that feeds on goats and other herd animals. Even though it rarely attacks humans, killing their way of living is bad enough.
Cloaker: Weird intelligent creature, shaped like a cloak (hence its name). It dwells in dungeons and other dark subterranean places, dedicated both to killing and its own twisted messianic philosophy.
Cockatrice: A funny looking monster, resembles a big chicken with four legs. But it possesses a gaze that turns victims into stone, and is thus an important peril.
Couatl: An intelligent serpent with many hues and feathered wings, fights the good fight against evil monsters.
Cyclops: A giant humanoid characterized by its single eye in the middle of its face. It's as mean as it's big (and that's much).
Demon, Armageddon Beast: A gargantuan beast of mass destruction, with a dragon like body and seven heads with demonic faces and ten horns, that will be used as the ultimate siege engine in the final battle, the Armageddon.
Demon, Imp: Little demon (between one and two feet tall) with bat wings and tail, almost friendly with humans, amongst which it likes to cause mischief.
Demon, Impregnator: Human sized demon constantly possessed by a sexual frenzy that drives it to try to impregnate mortal females with his tentacles that end in small maws (typically resulting in death).
Demon, Marilith: Powerful general of the armies of Thanatos, it resembles a six armed woman with a big serpent body instead of legs. Its fierceness in battle is only surpassed by its cunning use of military tactics.
Demon, Warrior Demon: Basic foot soldier of Thanatos, a medium sized humanoid with a reptilian look, except for its equine horned head. Not as savage as you would expect from a demon, which makes it a better soldier.
Devil, Bone Devil: The foot soldier of Avernus, it looks like a skeleton with rather thick bones and some tendoms still there. Its the relentless backbone of the devilish armies, an skillful combatant.
Devil, Kyton: Human sized, blue skinned devil, always dressed in black leather and covered with hooks and chains, that it uses for sadistic "games". Surprisingly popular amongst humans, and drows.
Devil, Mandrakes: Very small (one foot tall) and weak devil, yet popular because it's commonly granted as a gift to devil adoring witches, to whom they teach unholy secrets.
Devil, Pit Devil: One of the most powerful devils just below the Archdevils, it's an imposing huge humanoid with reptilian skin and bat wings, that seems to glow with an internal fire, that commands the armies as well as pretty much every devil.
Devil, Succubus: This devil has goat legs, feminine torso and head, small horns and bat wings, but can shapechange to a pure beautiful woman at will. It's an expert seducer tasked with infiltrating the mortal world and corrupting mortals.
Displacer Beast: Magical beast similar to a panther but with two long tentacles sprouting from its back, and the power to instantly change the space it occupies, making it very hard to hit.
Doppelganger: A shapechanger featureless grey skinned humanoid with the power to imitate any person to the last detail, and the bad habit of killing him to steal his life.
Dragon, Aquatic: Neutral and solitaire dragon with fish-like scales of metallic shine and many hues (green and blues predominant) that lives its entire life underwater in oceans or deep seas, and can spit water at high pressure.
Dragon, Black: Evil and mean dragon with black scales and a pale belly that lives in swamps and spits venom.
Dragon, Blue: Evil and arrogant dragon with blue scales and sandy brown wing membranes and belly, that lives in desert areas (mainly in Masiwn), and has an electrical breath.
Dragon, Brown: Neutral, patient and intelligent dragon with small and very smooth brown scales, whose race was created by other dragons to act as intermediaries; breathes a stunning vapour.
Dragon, Fiendish: The most powerful creature ever to roam Ajsalium, it's a dragon that has been corrupted by the infernal taint, and now instead of exterminating infernals enslaves them and establishes itself as their god; the same goes for mortals. It breathes pure hellfire.
Dragon, Gold: Benevolent and very wise dragon, with scales that shine like polished gold, and the ability to breathe fire.
Dragon, Green: Evil and territorial dragon of green scales and pale yellowish belly, that lurks deep in the woods and breather a poisonous vapour.
Dragon, Purple: Neutral but amiable dragon, coloured purple (like pseudodragons) and the ability to turn invisible; it can spit magical force as if it were magic missiles.
Dragon, Red: Evil, vain and cruel dragon with thick red scales, brown belly and dark and purplish wing membranes, that lives in mountaintops and volcanoes and breathes fire.
Dragon, Silver: Benevolent and serious dragon covered in shining silvery scales, who also breathes fire.
Dragon, Spine: Neutral, but rather brutal, dragon of brown gray scales and covered with many spiny protrusions, lacks magical powers but its strongest than any other dragon.
Dragon, White: Evil, aggressive and not too intelligent dragon completely white and with bluish wing membranes that lives in arctic climates and has a chilling cold breath.
Drake: From the draconian family, a drake resembles a horse sized dragon with grey scales and small wings. It has only animal intelligence, and can be trained to serve as a mount.
Drow: An evil elf that that forewent the light of day millennia ago and now live in the underworld, in a matriarchal society obedient to their crazed goddess Tylith.
Elemental, Air: Basically, a gust of wind imbued with a fragment of the evil elemental spirit of air. It's invoked by powerful magicians to to their bidding.
Elemental, Earth: Basically, a piece of earth and rock imbued with a fragment of the evil elemental spirit of earth. It's invoked by powerful magicians to to their bidding.
Elemental, Fire: Basically, a flame imbued with a fragment of the evil elemental spirit of fire. It's invoked by powerful magicians to to their bidding.
Elemental, Water: Basically, a quantity of water imbued with a fragment of the evil elemental spirit of water. It's invoked by powerful magicians to to their bidding.
Ettin: A type of ogre characterized for having two heads. That doesn't make it more intelligent, but at least can always have a second opinion.
Faerie: A gentle and tiny creature resembling a scaled down sylph, that lives in the woods and have magical powers.
Fallen Angel: A former angel that, for multiple reasons, has fallen into a spiral of hatred and violence, losing its previous goodness and becoming a terrifying fiend like monster.
Feyr: An aberration, a mass of tentacles, eyes and mouths, that is born when the leaked essence from the Other Side coalesce around the nightmares of hundreds of people in urban areas.
Fundamental, Air: Lesser variation of an air elemental, usually takes the shape of a bird and lacks any intelligence and malevolence.
Fundamental, Earth: Lesser variation of an earth elemental, usually takes the shape of a small quadruped (i.e. dog, cat) and lacks any intelligence and malevolence.
Fundamental, Fire: Lesser variation of a fire elemental, usually takes the shape of a snake and lacks any intelligence and malevolence.
Fundamental, Water: Lesser variation of a water elemental, usually takes the shape of a fish and lacks any intelligence and malevolence.
Gargoyle: The statue of a fiend like monster that's typically incorporated in large buildings, that due to some cause becomes animated and begins spreading terror.
Gelatinous Cube: As the name implies, a large cube of a transparent gelatinous substance very corrosive, that lives in dungeons and likes trapping and dissolving adventurers.
Genie: Magical being with the ability of granting wishes to whoever freeds it from the objects in which powerful magicians imprison it. But be careful what you wish for.
Ghost: The undead shadow of someone who died before completing some important task, can't get eternal rest until the task is completed; its state may drive it to madness and violence behaviour.
Ghoul: Disgusting humanoid, of ancient human heritage, that lives underground near cemeteries and feeds on corpses.
Giant: As the name implies, a gigantic humanoid (somewhere near ten feet tall) of proportional strength and resistance; not truly evil, but rather territorial, and despises humans, because he thinks they have turned their backs on them.
Giant, Fire: A variant giant magically connected to fire, slightly shorter (eight-nine feet tall); lives inside volcanoes, but when it goes out is for raiding or killing parties.
Giant, Fomorian: Degenerate giant with a disgraced figure and ugly mutations, of short intelligence but plentiful bestiality.
Giant, Frost: Another variation of giants, this one magically tied to cold and frozen environments, and somewhat taller (eleven-twelve feet tall); lives mainly by hunting, and attacks humans on sight.
Giant, Mountaintops: The tallest of the giants (twelve-thirteen feet tall), and one that learns to use some magic; this is the giant race more similar to their titan progenitors, and typically live isolated in the highest mountaintops.
Gnoll: Looks like a human-hyena hybrid, and unfortunately its behaviour seems to come from the hyena part.
Gnome: Little gentle humanoid that live in the woods in a nice Nature respecting society. They are shy and prone to the use of illusions, but can be very amiable too.
Goblin: Little (child sized) ungentle humanoid, descendant from a god that abandoned the orcish pantheon much time ago; despite its small size, it's dark humoured, mean and cruel; in numbers, can get dangerous.
Golem, Clay: A humanoid constructed using clay as the only material, that's animated magically, and will obey its master blindly.
Golem, Flesh: A humanoid constructed with pieces of dead bodies stitched together and animated magically, that will obey its master... unless it goes wild.
Golem, Iron: Similar to a clay golem, but made of pure iron, it's usually constructed for warring purposes; and it's a very effective warrior.
Golem, Stone: Similar to a clay golem, but made of stone; when not moving it resembles a statue, and in fact is usually posed as such guarding some place until it activates to attack intruders.
Grell: It comes from the Outside, and resembles a floating brain with a beak and dangling tentacles. It lives underground, either solitary in dungeons or in small communities in cavern complexes.
Griffon: A monster of legend, it combines a big feline body (leopard or lion) with an eagle's head, wings and front paws. Of predatory nature, yet can be tamed to be used as mount by powerful individuals (common for high ranking warring aristocrats).
Hag: Something more sinister than a witch, its relation to the occult forces has transformed this woman into a nightmarish being that dwells in the darkest parts of the world conducting weird rituals that commonly demand the use of sentient sacrifices.
Harpy: An evil woman-bird hybrid, than originated from a curse long time ago, and now lives in flocks that assault travellers and have a scavenging nature.
Hellhound: As the name implies, it's a hound that originated in the fiendish planes and now can be found in many locales of Ajsalium; it has fire-like fur and can breath fire.
Helmed Horror: A suit of heavy armour animated by eldritch forces that is bent on completing some mission that may have begun centuries ago.
Hydra: It has a huge serpentine body from which erupt numerous snake like heads that can attack all at once, and if severed two grow in its place, making this monster dangerous and difficult to slay.
Hippocampus: Water-bound horse that lives underwater and it's used as a mount by some aquatic races, or even some adventurers.
Hippogriff: A monster similar to a griffon, but slightly smaller and having the body of a horse (instead of a feline); it's less powerful, but also less aggressive.
Hobgoblin: A better evolution of the goblin created by their god (imbuing goblins with human and orcish blood); of human size, strength and intelligence, but the same cruel and mean psychology.
Infernal, Daobelinus: Servitor. A child sized infernal, tasked with most menial labour in Inferno, who also sells its services to mortals, for a prize. Perfectly able to defend itself despite its size.
Infernal, Disghurah: Member of the ruling class, it's a legislator of Inferno. Looks like a tall man dressed in robes except for its odd cone shaped head and diabolic features. Extremely intelligent and versed magic-user.
Infernal, Doom Fiend: The foot soldier of the armies of Inferno. Roughly of human size and shape. It can attack with its claws at close range, or haul small fireballs from a distance.
Infernal, Doom Fiend, Aquatic: This is a variation of the standard doom fiend. By chance or design, it's adapted to aquatic life, with webbed hands and feet and a shark-like fin.
Infernal, Doom Fiend, Flyer: This is a variation of the standard doom fiend. By chance or design, it can fly and inhabit the skies; it has bird-like legs and a beak.
Infernal, Doom Fiend, Lieutenant: A bigger version of the standard doom fiend, almost one head taller, less emaciated and with bony spikes. Similar at close combat, yet its fireballs are stronger.
Infernal, Drahukpion: General of the armies of Inferno. Huge monster with hooven legs, four arms, bat-like wings and enormous horns. Its face is always clouded by darkness. The most powerful infernal, not even rulers dare confront one.
Infernal, Fultaurian: A member of the cavalry from Inferno. Similar to more mundane centaurs, but with a gaunt and hellish twist, and armed with tridents. A unit of them charging is devastating.
Infernal, Heretic: Medium rank infernal that lives as an emissary amongst humans, and spreads heretic ideas amongst them (thus its name), and is charged with assisting black masses.
Infernal, Lost Soul: The petty remains of the people condemned to Inferno in the afterlife. A floating shrieking skull in flames that hurls itself at any living being trying to bite him.
Infernal, Maggot: The mount of choice for doom fiends, a maggot is a quadruped infernal with bony armour and one or two heads. The two headed variant is kept as hunting beasts by the naithels and other powerful infernals.
Infernal, Multimorph Servitor: As the name implies, a servitor. Its polymorphing powers make it a very useful minion able to carry many tasks. They also make it excellent at infiltrating human society, and it's often granted as a gift for high ranking infernal worshippers.
Infernal, Naithel: Captain of the armies of Inferno. Perhaps a former evolution of the doom fiend lieutenant. Eight feet tall and heavily muscular, it can hurl powerful hellfireballs from a distance and finish opponents at close combat with strong smashes.
Infernal, Pain Elemental: Member of the ruling class, it's a magistrate of Inferno. Shaped like a huge floating head with two lance-like arms, it digests the condemned for centuries until only their lost souls remain.
Infernal, Styxian: Member of the ruling class, top enforcer of the law. A weird mix of female humanoid, worm and spider. It combines good fighting capabilities with many strange powers and fierce determination.
Infernal, Varrangoin: An infernal similar to a big bat, psychotic and of dubious intelligence, that's commonly used as shock troops; and every now and then, one can be tamed to serve as mount.
Infernal, Xriadesbes: A being of pure coalesced darkness enclosed in a chitin armour of insect like appearance. It's an assassin that can travel through shadows, disappearing before there's a chance to react.
Infernal, Yrbesnak: A scout for the armies of Inferno. Similar to a doom fiend, but with shorter legs and longer arms, so it can run on all fours; it also has a long neck and a canine head. It can trace the scent of a soul from a world apart.
Kaorti: Formerly a human (or elf) sage that lurked in the Outside to learn its secrets, and was horribly transmuted and disfigured by the entropic chaos; now lives encrusted in a chitin exoskeleton and completely mad trying to bring forth Entropy and the apocalypse.
Kobold: Little (child sized) and lean reptilian humanoid; lives in primitive tribes that adore dragons as gods, and doesn't pose much of a threat unless in big numbers.
Kraken: A monster that plagues sea legends, it's basically a gargantuan squid with high intelligence and malevolence who likes shinking ships.
Leodraco: This race resulted from the union of a legendary lion with a gold dragoness. It seems a big lion with some draconian scales in the paws and an unicorn like horn in the head; its pureness and valour makes it a valued mount for paladins.
Liche: Undead magician, the ultimate necromancer in that has been able to cheat death and continue an immortal un-life. Always evil, and always accompanied by a small horde of undead creatures.
Lizardfolk: Reptilian humanoid (human sized), that lives in swamps and other similar areas and is happy if left alone; can get very aggressive if the tribes' territory is violated, though.
Locathah: Aquatic humanoid, with strong fish like features (grey skin, enormous eyes, palmed hands and feet). Not as technologically advanced as humans, for example, but it has a civilized society, and lives in large underwater cities far from the rest of the world.
Lycanthrope, Wereboar: A human (always male) with the curse to change shape into a boar (or hybrid) with full moon, that is always a disgusting cruel person.
Lycanthrope, Werefox: A human (usually female) with the curse to change shape into a fox (or hybrid) with full moon, that can have any moral tendencies but always with a chaotic twist.
Lycanthrope, Wererat: A human (usually male) with the curse to change shape into a human-rat hybrid with full moon, typically coward and mostly found in urban areas.
Lycanthrope, Werewolf: A human with the curse to change shape into a wolf (or hybrid) with full moon; regardless the psychology of the human form, when transformed it's always a mindless savage killing machine.
Magical Mount: A magical horse devised by dragons during the Long War, this steed can polymorph instantly to better adapt to the environment, even transforming into a pegasus or a hippocampus.
Manticore: A legendary evil monster, it has a big leonine body, human face, bat wings, and a tail that ends in spikes that can be shot at opponents.
Medusa: A medusa looks like a woman except for the terrifying feature that her hair is actually a mass of snakes. It can petrify with a mere gaze. Although not on infernal origin, medusas now live amongst the slithi.
Merfolk: A benevolent sea-dweling creature, with the upper body of a human and lower body of a fish. Every now and then, though, a rogue mermaid may try to seduce a mariner, which always results in disaster.
Mimic: A nightmare for every adventurer, a monster that polymorphs and takes the guise of a piece of loot (usually a chest), and attacks when is least expected.
Mindflayer: Member of a brain-sucking race with great magical powers that originated in a distant plane, lost a war, took refuge in the Outside, and now have come to the underworld of Ajsalium to recreate their society and enslave everyone.
Minotaur: The result of an ancient curse, its a violent monstrosity with the body of a very big and strong human and the head of a bull. They like inhabiting mazes and/or dungeons.
Morghul: Former humans, their worship of fiend lords of death was prized by turning them into a race similar to ghouls, who live in the underworld in company of maggots, slime and darkness.
Mummy: Undead creature mostly found in the empire of Rynath, the animated mummified corpse of a powerful individual buried centuries ago.
Necromancer: An evil magician obsessed with death, uses magical means to reanimate the dead to serve him, and ultimately seeks to cheat death and transform into a liche.
Nehthalggu: An explorer from the Outside, look like a spidery huge brain, and has a horrible way to gain knowledge of a new area: it tears apart the brains from sentient beings and engulfs them, thus absorbing their knowledge.
Nightmare: The evil equivalent of a pegasus, born from the pits of the Lower Planes, it's a flying horse of greasy black skin, flame like mane and tail and a vicious temperament.
Nymph: A sylvan creature that looks like an absolute perfect woman of extreme beauty, so much so that it's blinding staring at her.
Nymph, Driad: A variant of the nymph that lives in woods and has a supernatural connection to trees, amongst which she can teleport at will.
Nymph, Nereid: A variant of the nymph that lives in water bodies, such as lakes, rivers or seas, and can breath and live underwater.
Nymph, Sylph: A variant of the nymph that lives in thin air and expends her whole life floating and flying, possessor of a pair of gorgeous butterfly wings.
Ogre: Distant relative to giants, it's a primitive, ugly, eight-nine feet tall humanoid of aggressive behaviour and questionable culinary tendencies.
Ogre, Demonogre: A mutation of ogres with the infernal taint, its race was created during the Long War to command ogre mercenaries alongside the side of Inferno; now some of them still can be found leading ogre tribes.
Ogre, Oni: A relative to the common ogre, this is a far more intelligent and civilized ogre, with magical training; albeit equally evil, that's mostly found in the kingdoms of Yoone and Yupang, in southern Gorlend.
Owlbear: A creature that resulted from the hybridisation of a bear and an owl, that lives in natural settings and woods and represents a fierce and strong predator.
Pegasus: A creature of legend, a winged horse capable of flying, much sought after as a mount. Its flying capacity is actually magical, so it can fly even when barded and carrying a knight in heavy armour.
Phoenix: Legendary creature resembling an exotic birds with flame coloured feathers, of pure heart, and able to resurrect from the ashes of its corpses, thus rending it immortal.
Piscean: Fish-like humanoid with draconian traits, that's supposed to descend from aquatic dragons, and live deep in oceans fighting any evil water-dwelling creatures, but also exerting tolls from human ships.
Piscean, Ancient: An old piscean, bigger and with darker scales; it's wiser and a true magic user, and leads the pisceans in a council of elders.
Plaguer: Twisted humanoid that carries numerous infectious diseases and spreads them either with its fumes or its claws.
Pseudodragon: A very small dragon (the size of a cat) with purple scales, it seeks expert magicians to live with and become his/her familiar.
Purple Worm: A gargantuan worm covered in purplish scales, that moves underground and suddenly erupts from the ground to swallow full teams of unwary travellers (or adventurers).
Quori: A warrior arrived from the Outside, it has a slight crustacean look and an apparently an innate hatred for all living beings, specially sentient ones, in the minds of which it can enter.
Rakshasa: Looks like a human-tiger hybrid and is vain, egoist and behaves like a decadent aristocrat; it has a supernatural origin and possesses both magical immunities and magical powers.
Redcap: A small twisted fey that has originated in human urban areas that needs to soak its cap in blood periodically in order to stay alive.
Roc: Colossal bird of prey that can easily carry an elephant in its paws; much feared by sailors and travellers, despite the fact it only hunts when hungry.
Rust Monster: A monster with the ability to quickly corrode metal, that it literally eats; the bane for adventurers carrying valuable magical metallic equipment.
Sahuagin: Humanoid but with shark like features and bluish green skin, it's a member of an completely evil sea-dwelling race that maintains a cruel underwater nation.
Salamander, Frost: Reptilian monster adapted to life in extremely cold environments, only found in Nhorbar or mountain regions of the Nordic Kingdoms and Nor-Gorlend; it's skin is so cold that touching it is harmful.
Salamander, Sands: Reptilian monster that has evolved to stand great temperatures, and thus lives in deserts, eating mostly anything it wants, as few creatures can make a stand against a salamander whose mere proximity causes heat damage.
Salamander, Swamp: A reptilian monster, the salamander type that has changed less from the ancient ones; lives in swamps, where little creatures (except for black dragons) can surpass its predatory might.
Satyr: Sylvan creature, not truly a fey but friend of them, with the lower part of a goat and the upper body of a human, that constantly plays music and dances.
Satyr, Hipposatyr: A variant of the satyr, that has two horse legs (instead of the goat ones); they are mostly female, and their dancing is contagious.
Satyxis: Former humans worshippers of Hecate and other fiend ladies, they were granted a new form, and are now a tribe of only women, beautiful and horned, dedicated to piracy across the Inner Sea.
Serpent, Land Serpent: Relative to true dragons, this serpent lives on solid ground and can grow to colossal proportions; for that it must eat unbelievable amounts of food, and due to its malice it prefers it to be sentient.
Serpent, Sea Serpent: A draconian serpent that lives in seas, oceans, and even big enough lakes. It can grow to a gargantuan size, and it's bad mooded and prone to sink any ship that passes nearby.
Serpent, Wind Serpent: This serpent of draconian heritage (that on rare occasions has a pair of wings) passes most of its life flying in the wind; it's a solitary being, but if someone manages to capture it with any harm it can grant him/her a wish as a prize.
Shoggti: Coming from the Outside, looks somewhat like an octopus but made of thick intestines; and that's what they actually are, as this monster is little more than an animal bent on feeding continuously.
Skeleton: An undead, the skeleton of someone buried long ago, now reanimated by a necromancer to do its biding and/or serve as a resilient warrior.
Slithi: Former humans and a now extinct race of serpentfolk, they took fiendish worshipping and were blessed with interbreeding, creating these serpent-man hybrids; common in southern Gorlend and Masiwn.
Slug, Giant: Just a slug, but of gargantuan proportions, which makes it dangerous due to the enormous bulk that could shatter a small house.
Sphinx: Legendary monster most often found in desert areas, has the body of a lion, eagle wings and the head of a woman. It has a superior intellect but also a great dose of malevolence, and attacks travellers unless they can solve a complicated puzzle or mystery.
Sprite: A small fey that typically live in woods in the company of faeries; they can turn invisible, have magical powers and love practical jokes.
Stirge: An overgrown insect that's little more of a nuisance when encountered alone as it feeds on blood like a mosquito; unfortunately, it's usually encountered in very big numbers.
Tarrasque: Only one exists, and according to myth this colossal monster is an unstopable weapon of destruction placed in a slumber somewhere hidden in the world by the gods; the day it awakens, kingdoms will fall.
Tchekrick, Bug: Insectoid humanoid, with two legs and two arms, created by true tchekricks from mishappen larvae to serve mainly as slaves.
Tchekrick, Female: Insectoid humanoid, with four legs and two arms, possessor of magical powers and telepathy, leader of the hive like cities in which this race lives.
Tchekrick, Male: Insectoid humanoid, with four legs and two arms, bigger than a female but under their rule, it's a strong guardian of the hive.
Tharn: His race were former humans that worshipped fiend lords of savagery, they've been granted a stronger and more brutal body and the ability to shapechange to an even bigger and more powerful form, and live in isolated locales across the world.
Titan: The original titans were made by the ubergods to build the whole creation; some chose to stay in Ajsalium after finishing it, yet deprived of most of their power. Even so, a titan is an immortal giant of great power; although it never deals with other races.
Treant: A sentient tree with a humanoid shape that can move and walk, although it doesn't usually do so; it lives deep in the woods, sharing its wisdom with other sylvan races.
Trite: A spider twisted by the powers of Inferno, that has the unsettling shape of an inverted humanoid head on eight legs; when attacking in swarms can pose a serious menace.
Troglodyte: A reptilian humanoid, related to lizardfolk but more gaunt and clearly more primitive, that lives in caverns and is rather aggressive.
Troll: An infamous type of monster, an ogre sized humanoid with greenish skin and thick patches of scarified tissue, that likes eating sentient beings and has tremendous regenerative powers.
Troll, Two-headed: Variant of the common troll, perhaps related to ettins, that has two heads and is more intelligent (the equivalent of a common human), and slightly less savage.
Unicorn: Mythical creature that always lives in uncolonized areas of Nature, and only accepts the company of pure maidens; looks like a white or silver horse with a big horn protruding from its head.
Unlife Ooze: A jet black floating ooze that's actually connected to a planar void, thus sucking into it the life of every being it touches.
Uvuudaum: An abomination from the Outside that looks like a centaur composed of giant wooden fingers (!) dressed with a loose robe adorned with weird symbols; it's a sage that has come to learn of the material plane and its possibilities.
Vampire: Undead humanoid (nearly always former human), with shapechanging and mesmerizing powers, who needs to drink the blood of the living and it's very difficult to kill permanently.
Vampire, Nosferatu: An special kind of vampire, with a disgusting appearance close to that of ghouls, not as powerful as common vampires yet physically stronger.
Vegetal Being: As the name implies it's a giant humanoid of completely vegetal origin (some people think it's an evolution of the treant); it fiercely defends the sanctity of ancient forest, and it's not afraid of killing.
Vyssok: Humanoid draconian, created by brown dragons long time ago to serve as guardians of the sacred dragon burial grounds. Tall, strong, proud and loyal.
Will-o-wisp: Mischievous hazard typical of swamps and similar terrains; it's an assemble of supernatural lights that misguide travellers and directs them toward quicksands and other perils.
Wraith: An incorporeal undead, that is created from the union of darkness and hatred, and relentlessly fights all life.
Wretch: Former humans that worshipped fiend lords, they were the victims of a fiendish joke when they received new twisted bodies supposedly as a gift for their worship but also as a punishment because some fiend deemed them as not worthy enough.
Wyvern: From the draconian family, it's a monster similar to a medium dragon without arms. It lacks true intelligence, but it's strong and bears a poisonous spike in its tail.
Yeti: Strange and violent humanoid of unknown origin, looks like an ogre sized ape with long white fur, and always lives in cold climates and mountains.
Zaratan: A colossal sized turtle, so big that his shell floating above sea level can be mistaken for a small island.
Zombie: A reanimated, somewhat rotten, cadaver. Rather slow and brainless, but it's difficult to kill what's already dead.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Basically what the title says. Some days ago I remembered this magnificent Playstation game (one of the best games ever, in my opinion). And thought it could become a good Necronomicon adventure, as it shares many things with lovecraftian horror: weird town, oppressive atmosphere, strange occultist cult, loneliness of protagonist... For the adventure I'll follow the plot of the game rather literally, as I think it would be difficult to come with something better. That includes having just one single PC (the father of the lost girl), which should provide an interesting gameplay. Or at most, I may include a second PC (the female police officer), that will only play intermittently, keeping the main player wondering whether she's truly a PC and an ally, or a NPC and possible rival. The only thing that still worries me about this adventure is finding a good balance between the bloody and infernal horror from the Silent Hill videogame and the more alien and cosmic horror of Lovecraft. But of course maybe the cult is mixing some yog-sothothery knowledge with typical pseudo-christian imagery...

Monday, November 23, 2009


Last post included many pics... so this one will be another only-text boring post. You know, for balancing things out...

I already said in a previous post that the Arcade Ruleset is to be used in conjunction with miniatures on the tabletop. And that is caused mainly by two reasons.

The first one is that Arcade is derived from rules for a boardgame (Heroquest as the grandfather, Netherhells as the father). And those boardgames are to be used with minis; the use of visual aids is inherent to the game system, and that's been inherited by my Arcade ruleset. Which I consider a good thing, as that allows for the creation of fast-to-play boardgames derived from the generic ruleset; such as a dungeoning and looting one, surviving a zombie horde, or plunging a spaceship from a xeno infestation. Three examples that I hope to develop once the three rpg's, Ajsalium, Necronomicon and Galaxtar, are (more or less) finished.

And the second is the more theoretical one: miniatures can help in maintaining focus during a roleplaying session. In my opinion having a visual image of a character is the first step needed to understanding him/her and immerse in the game. With a miniature you have that visual image and in full three dimensions. The more depth you add to the image, the better the identification with the character can be. And it may even help in keeping in-game, as it's rather typical (at least for my own gaming group) to lose "concentration" on the game and let the minds and conversation fly. When that hapens, having a little representation of your character on the table can help regaining the gaming momentum easier and quicker.

And on this psychological front we too have the more profund impact of the miniatures hobby as a whole. With which I mean mainly the painting of the mini. Believe it or not, that act enhances the connection between the player and the character, because during the hours that the painting sessions last, it's unavoidable that the player will begin thinking about his character, and imagine a psychology and a story for him/her. After all, sometimes just deciding on the colour with which to paint the clothes already implies some affiliation or world view for the character.
The backdrop of all this is that's important for the mini to properly represent the character. To get the most out of a mini in a roleplaying game we must consider it more than just a gaming aid, more than a token. I spend long hours browsing the web in search for the perfect miniatures for the characters I have in mind. Sometimes I am lucky and find them; but there are other times when the process gets reverted, with the mini being the source of inspiration for inventing characters. And most commonly there's a compromise in between, when I find a mini that's close to my previous concept, but not quite exact, and I twist this former idea to better fit the mini. Or converting a mini, although to be honest my modelling skills are rather limited and little more than swapping pieces.

So here was my justification for using miniatures in roleplaying games.
Ah! And they are cool, too. ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


From the previous posts regarding the history of the setting and the adventure seeds, you may have begun to imagine how things are in Galaxtar. Now we are going to visualize it with the help of some minis that I have bought purposely to roleplaying in this scenario.
One of the keys elements is that mankind is the youngest race to conquer space. Despite the huge advancements from present day, humans are in their napkins regarding high technology when compared to other far more established races. I put so much importance in this because it helps getting a hard scifi feeling. Science fiction is usually divided amongst space opera and hard scifi. Clearly, with humans inhabiting different planets, and ships that make hyperspace jumps, Galaxtar has quite a lot of space opera. But, honestly, for roleplaying I prefer the hard scifi approach, as it provides more interesting plots. So I’m trying to walk the thin line in between the two main science fiction streams (as do the Alien or Riddick movies, for example).
And a way to visualize that naïveté is choosing some crude designs. When a new manufacturing field appears, the first designs are usually rather crude, as efficiency is the main (and perhaps only) concern; the use of straight lines and lack of aesthetic values is a typical characteristic. Only after there’s a good grasp of the technical problems involved will aesthetics be incorporated in the design process.

Applying these principles to Galaxtar we come with the first mini, Debra, a science fiction light trooper by Hasslefree Miniatures (link in the sidebar). If you look at her armour, you’ll see it’s made with the straight lines I have talked about, and gives a sense of practicality and utility above all else. Next are the heavy troopers, to represent which I found these excellent CSO Peace Keepers made by Aberrant Games for the Rezolution skirmish wargame. Everything I’ve said above is evident in these little sculpts. Even the mecha (a VASA Pacifier from Urban Mammoth’s Metropolis game), that I just had to buy when I saw it, follows the same guidelines of being made mainly with straight lines and having a somewhat crude looks.
Original paintjob by Dwartist on Fod, Dwart on CMoN
Unmodified original studio paintjob
Original is studio paintjob

And from the small to the big, I am keeping that ethos for spaceships, too, specially military ones. After quite a lot of web browsing I decided to settle with the Full Thrust range of spaceships manufactured by Ground Zero Games to represent the human ships from the Galaxtar setting. What follows is a pair of examples of big military ships, a strike carrier first, and the second is the capital ship, the super-dreadnought.
Original paintjob from GZG's gallery
Original paintjob from GZG's gallery

On the other hand, there are other older races, such as the asgards. For them the designs I envision are different, more refined; and as an example we have this miniature of a Tipako battleship manufactured by Ninja Magic, that I’d use to represent a typical asgardian battleship. There’s a big difference amongst the styles of the ships that helps emphasize the differences amongst the races that build them.
Original is studio paintjob

But there’s more than military guys in Galaxtar (even though they’ll likely have a predominant place as PCs in many adventures). For civilian fashion I’m not going too far fetched; nothing of people dressing in space suits. Doing a bit of theorization, I don't think things will change much from how they are now to the invented future of Galaxtar. The time elapsed is just four centuries, and that's not really much if we compare it to the whole of human history. Science and technology can advance at a fast pace, but social forms always tend to go slower. So the general aspect of most people would be rather similar to present fashion.
The following minis are the ones that will be used to represent the cops of the future, and you’ll see that they are closer to real life cops, even in the colour schemes based on blue and black, than the troopers showed above. The first mini is from Heresy Miniatures (link in sidebar), Sgt. Dove from their science fiction range, with a typical police scheme: black footwear, black pants with red line, and blue jacket. Mostly it’s just the gun and the ear device that looks futuristic. What follows are two minis from Reaper Miniatures, from their Chronoscope range, a Security guard officer and Veronica Blaze, agent of G.U.A.R.D. The first represents a police in a tactical armoured suit; I’m likely to remove the helmeted head and replace it with one of the heads from the Heresy cops, to show they are actually the same characters but with different outfit. The female cop is wearing a different kind of tactical suit, one for stealth operations, with a system that inhibits electronic detection (somewhat like the Ghost in the Shell device commonly used by the protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi). With their more realistic look these characters are better suited for adventures that focus on the hard scifi approach.
Original paintjob by Pete-h on FoD, Peteh on CMoN
Original paintjob by Erin Warfield for Reaper
Original paintjob by Shaun Rice for Reaper

Some of the other characters that will feature in my adventures are mercenaries. The minis will come for diverse sources, as I like a somewhat rag-tag feel for them; yet, using a similar colour scheme will help giving a coherency to the group (they are organized contractors, after all). Said scheme consists mainly of a blue-grey urban camo pattern for the trousers, and black t-shirts and boots. The next minis are Grant from Hasslefree and the Major from Heresy, in which you can see the mercenary outfit I’ve just described. In this case, too, science fiction elements are kept to a minimum, and they are little more than the guns and the kneepads (yes, kneepads are futuristic… or at least I can’t help getting that impression).
Original paintjob by Fatgoblin on FoD & CMoN
Original paintjob by Malebolgia on FoD

Of course, my previous ramblings are not 100% canonical and the ultimate unmovable truth. After all, humans are newbies in space just when compared with the other races from the galaxy; but have actually been there for approximately four centuries. So there’s the possibility that things are starting to evolve, and new, better, and more advanced designs starting to appear. If central Earth authorities are planning a major military take on the galaxy, that surely means the armamentistic business is on the rise. Thus, a possible new light trooper could be the one portrayed by the Union special forces sniper made by Iron Wind Metals as part of the VOR wargame. As you see, he’s more armoured than Debra above, with shoulders, elbows and forearms protected by new armour with more rounded and overlapping shapes, placed over a rubber like inner armour that seems to replace the standard fatigues. The evolution for heavy troopers is the one pictured by an old I-Kore VOID Viridian assault marine sergeant, with an armour that covers almost all the body with a thick armour that still seems to be fairly comfortable to wear and allow for easy movement.
So these minis may end in my Galaxtar drawer, just in case…
Original paintjob by Delthos on CMoN
Original paintjob by Cyril on CMoN

Friday, November 6, 2009


Last month I was either too busy or too tired, and hence I only updated the blog three times. Let's hope that in November I can get some more quality free time and go back to updating weekly.
For today you have a third (and last) post about the lands inhabited by demi-human races, in this case by orcs.

· ISLES OF THE BROKEN SPINE: These islands are located at the south end of the Inner Sea, east of Masiwn and west of Sur-Gorlend. None of them is overly large, but neither are they small (like the ones from Rintolle). They are located in a line, and there was a time when they served as "step stones" to travel from Sur-Gorlend to Masiwn. But since orc tribes colonized the isles, that kind of travel has been interrumped. This archipelago is the closest thing to a kingdom that orcs have ever had, and they are fiercely territorial about it, not allowing anyone else to enter their domains. They don't even like ships traveling near their shores, and random acts of pirate mayhem discourage such routes, forcing ships to sail deeper in the Inner Sea. Internally, orcs have no single government uniting them. Despite that and their warring temperament, they somehow manage to avoid falling in continuous civil wars; orcs work hard to always remember they must save their energies to crush their true enemies: elves, dwarves and humans. The biggest political formation is the tribe, with quite a good bunch of them populating every isle. Also, all orcs feel a weird pride for their own isle, even though their only true affiliation is to the tribe. The island nationalism is usually exposed when orcs group together for "games", such as wrestling, running, weight lifting... Said isles, being big enough, provide almost everything orcs need to live; orcs practice agriculture and farming (they are not that savage), apart from hunting. There's ore too, but orcs never build proper mines like the ones of dwarves (or men), so they deal with little quantities of metal for their very crude blacksmithing; and use quite a lot of wood, that they promptly chop from the woods, that they don't overwork. All in all, orcs live in a much more civilized manner that what most people expect.
The name needs no explanation, as it's in common language. If anything, it shows the lack of subtlety of orcish thinking.

· NHORBAR: This is the big island that lies north of Nor-Gorlend, a place of eternal snow and gelid winds. This is the only other place in Ajsalium where orcs live freely and predominantly. Yet, unlike in the Isles of the Broken Spine where orcs live alone and "pure", Nhorbar is shared with humans. And, truth to be told, after millennia of living together, all humans have some orc blood, and viceversa; effectively, everyone in Nhorbar can be considered a half-orc. The ones that call themselves orcs, are slightly smaller than their southern relatives, and their skin coloration lends more toward grey tones than olive ones. The extreme climate makes agriculture impossible, and farming a very time demanding and difficult task, so hunting is the main activity. All this has prevented nhorbarian orcs from evolving culturally, and live rather primitively (like their "human" neighbours); thus, they compensate their lack of racial purity with a more strict adherence to the orcish traditional way of living. And that means machism, use of violence as the primary way to solve problems, and constant fights against human tribes.
The word Nhorbar is wrongly assumed to be a contraction of north + barbarian. The north part is true, but not the other. "Bar" was an ancient term for coldness, and thus Nhorbar means "the cold from the north". Later, the term "barbarian" was coined from the root "bar", referring to the people that lived in that cold place.