Our scholars have worked diligently to bring you information on over 80 different types of creatures – from alligators to Zombies. Of course, don’t feel that because we’ve included it in this tome that you need to add every creature to your setting.
Take note that the entries provide information on the typical member of the species, and that’s not always the one that stalwart adventurers will run across. While the entries can serve well as a guide, it’s always worth remembering that any specific creature encountered may have abilities above, below, or outside the norm – perhaps even ones never seen in that species before due to some twist of magical or divine intervention.
We also wish to bring to your attention the following information that is applicable to numerous creatures found in this book.
Animals Vs. Sentient Beings
You’ll notice that game characteristics are given in one of two ways: with natural abilities and with Advantages, Disadvantages, and Special Abilities. This is to help you distinguish between those with animal instincts only (which are the ones with natural abilities) and everyone else.
Remember that, although clever, most animals and some monsters are not as intelligent as Humans are. They don’t actively use skills, though they may have some to represent their unconscious application of them, such as mettle to resist being told what to do. Animals and monsters usually decide on the best course of action that will lead to their own survival unless they are trained otherwise.
Creatures And Their Fear Factor
Animals and similar creatures often try to scare interlopers in their territories, either to weaken them or frighten, them away. To simulate this, the Game Master may have the creature make a threatening gesture and make an intimidation attempt. Since the intimidation attempt is an instinctual reaction, it only may be performed once per encounter, but it affects all who witness it. For example, bears rear and often growl or roar, while a bull stamps its hooves and tosses its horns.
Should the intimidation attempt succeed, the target character or group flees, possibly pursued by the creature if it is hungry or provoked enough.
Some animals, such as cattle and elephants, become even more dangerous when in enraged or frightened as a group. A stampeding herd does standard Strength Damage (with any modifiers for the ability to trample) plus receives +5 to fighting for one round per five to 20 animals in the group. (The larger the animal, the fewer that need to participate to receive this bonus.)
Many of the creatures in this book include a scale value. (Those that don’t have a scale value of zero.) Scale takes into account that large creatures are easier to hit but harder to injure, while small creatures are harder to hit but easier to injure.
Increased Attribute Special Ability
You’ll notice that some creatures have a bonus in parentheses after attributes and Strength Damage values. This number in parentheses indicates the modifier that the creature receives from having the Increased Attribute Special Ability for the related characteristic.
The effects of the Reduce Attribute and the Hindrance: Movement Disadvantages have been figured into the characteristics of the creatures, so do not apply them again.
To keep a sense of balance in a game, Game Master should restrict Animal Control to ordinary creatures (such as birds or cattle) and disallow its use on the more unusual creatures and monsters (such as perytons and giant bats). Additionally, characters many not use Animal Control to hold power over any creature with Advantages, Disadvantages and/or Special Abilities in their write-ups or where otherwise noted.
Monsters and animals (those creatures that Game Masters wouldn’t allow players to take as characters) may have a minimum of 1D in any attribute (generally Intellect and Coordination), but they have no attribute maximum. Use Disadvantages and Special Abilities as inspiration for the game mechanics of various natural abilities for the creature.