This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!  (Read 270 times)

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2798
    • View Profile
Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« on: May 04, 2021, 09:01:23 PM »
Greetings!

With your typical fantastic world, there is magic everywhere, spellcasters, magic environments, magical monsters and so on. In thinking about this, and the potential effects magic may have on a world in general, have you considered magical effects on farm animals? Your normal cows, goats, sheep, pigs and chicken. Of course, one could also consider any number of animals, birds, and fish. Turkeys, vultures, eels, weasels, apes, and more.

How has magic affected normal or domesticated animals in your world?

For example, in my own world of Thandor, I have the Gomiyev Boar, Jhaandiya Storm Bison, and the Sebbari Chicken.

Gomiyev Boar--Gomiyev Boars are larger and more fierce than standard boars, though they are also intelligent and malevolent. Gomiyev Boars speak their own language, and also share a form of limited telepathy amongst themselves. Gomiyev Boars embrace a deep hatred towards humans in particular, but also other humanoids such as Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. Gomiyev Boars travel the wilderness in packs, and lurk, watching humans and waiting for opportunities to kill, eat, and otherwise cause chaos and fear amongst humanoid populations. Packs of Gomiyev Boars often gather together so as to make coordinated attacks on isolated farmsteads and rural villages. Gomiyev Boars also make alliances with bands of evil humanoids, dark witches, and other such forces so as to further strengthen their resistance against the advance of civilization. Gomiyev Boars have two sets of powerful tusks, and have large feet, with 6 coal-black toes.

Jhaandiya Storm Bison--Jhaandiya Storm Bison are immense creatures, roughly the size of a rhinoceros. The Jhaandiya Storm Bison are resistant to lightning and thunder damage. The Jhaandiya Bison cause bludgeoning and thunder damage against opponents that are struck by their hoof attack, or that are trampled. Jhaandiya Bison fur have strands of glimmering, silver blue hair, which gives the creatures a distinctive, semi-sparkling appearance.

Sebbari Chicken--The Sebbari Chicken are a breed of chickens that have gold coloured eyes, dark auburn coloured feathers, and large, milk-white legs and feet. Sebbari Chickens are often larger than standard chickens, and strong. Sebbari Chickens are comfortable in cold, icy environments, and have advantage on all cold-related saving throws. Sebbari Chickens are largely omnivorous, and are very rugged creatures. Sebbari Chickens are often domesticated, especially by barbarian tribes living throughout cold, northern forests.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1878
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 11:02:54 PM »
The Vampire Hunter D novels has a number of weird mutant farm animals

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14898
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 03:00:19 AM »
In Dragon Storm this sort of thing was the norm since pretty much anything could be twisted by the warp and tox contamination and mutate into some horror. A few have sorta-kinda stabalized into new breeds. Others are just random victims of the necros spread of the taint.

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 09:31:37 AM »
The Gamma World game might also be useful for coming up with new critter variants of animals.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14898
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 04:05:27 PM »
Was going to mention Gamma World, but its not a fantasy setting. But you can port over mutations fairly easy.

Also consider just renaming existing critters to fit this. A gorgon is some magic induced bull, as is a catoblepas for example. Cocatrice, and so on.
Eberron seems to run on this and is what they mean really when they say any race or monster from D&D is possible because... magic! rather than because these are stable genetic stock.

Similar to the draconians in Dragonlance and drakes in Neverwinter. They are not natural and are created via magic and dragon eggs.

Dragon had for 3e an article on various ways animals can end up corrupted or radically changed by magic. Including Unicorns driven totally insane after having their horns harvested and becoming Bloodlances as the blood from the wound forms a saber-like horn.

I'd have to dig it out but Red Steel setting might also have elements of this as animals likely can end up corrupted by cynnabar as well. And Neverwinter had this whole Black Ice thing that corrupted anything that came into contact with it too long. Similar to Red Steel.

Theres also been a few articles on this in older editions of Dragon.

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 05:40:58 PM »
Was going to mention Gamma World, but its not a fantasy setting. But you can port over mutations fairly easy.

Also consider just renaming existing critters to fit this. A gorgon is some magic induced bull, as is a catoblepas for example. Cocatrice, and so on.
Eberron seems to run on this and is what they mean really when they say any race or monster from D&D is possible because... magic! rather than because these are stable genetic stock.

Similar to the draconians in Dragonlance and drakes in Neverwinter. They are not natural and are created via magic and dragon eggs.

Dragon had for 3e an article on various ways animals can end up corrupted or radically changed by magic. Including Unicorns driven totally insane after having their horns harvested and becoming Bloodlances as the blood from the wound forms a saber-like horn.

I'd have to dig it out but Red Steel setting might also have elements of this as animals likely can end up corrupted by cynnabar as well. And Neverwinter had this whole Black Ice thing that corrupted anything that came into contact with it too long. Similar to Red Steel.

Theres also been a few articles on this in older editions of Dragon.
Dragon #130 had a flying carnivorous agave sword plant. I think you can pillage Gamma World for ideas and not run into too many issues in a fantasy setting :D

Mishihari

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • M
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 06:49:54 PM »
Greetings!
Gomiyev Boar--Gomiyev Boars are larger and more fierce than standard boars, though they are also intelligent and malevolent. Gomiyev Boars speak their own language, and also share a form of limited telepathy amongst themselves. Gomiyev Boars embrace a deep hatred towards humans in particular, but also other humanoids such as Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. Gomiyev Boars travel the wilderness in packs, and lurk, watching humans and waiting for opportunities to kill, eat, and otherwise cause chaos and fear amongst humanoid populations. Packs of Gomiyev Boars often gather together so as to make coordinated attacks on isolated farmsteads and rural villages. Gomiyev Boars also make alliances with bands of evil humanoids, dark witches, and other such forces so as to further strengthen their resistance against the advance of civilization. Gomiyev Boars have two sets of powerful tusks, and have large feet, with 6 coal-black toes.


If these guys came from domesticated pigs, you can hardly blame them for hating humans.  I don't think we would care for another race that kept us imprisoned and raised us for food either.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14898
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 07:11:54 PM »
Dragon #130 had a flying carnivorous agave sword plant. I think you can pillage Gamma World for ideas and not run into too many issues in a fantasy setting :D

I did mention at the start porting over mutations. And AD&D has that little section on crossing over between the two for shi-fi/post-apoc meets fantasy.

Try again please.

Pat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 2764
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 07:48:55 PM »
Was going to mention Gamma World, but its not a fantasy setting. But you can port over mutations fairly easy.
That's a good point. I've certainly ported over critters from Gamma World, but it tends to make D&D feel like Gamma World. But just porting over a few mutations here and here would do a good job of making D&D feel like a fantasy world without making it completely gonzo. A lot of the plant mutations, in particular, would be great. Instead of giving plants a half a dozen, give them one, maybe two

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2798
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 07:58:42 PM »
Greetings!
Gomiyev Boar--Gomiyev Boars are larger and more fierce than standard boars, though they are also intelligent and malevolent. Gomiyev Boars speak their own language, and also share a form of limited telepathy amongst themselves. Gomiyev Boars embrace a deep hatred towards humans in particular, but also other humanoids such as Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. Gomiyev Boars travel the wilderness in packs, and lurk, watching humans and waiting for opportunities to kill, eat, and otherwise cause chaos and fear amongst humanoid populations. Packs of Gomiyev Boars often gather together so as to make coordinated attacks on isolated farmsteads and rural villages. Gomiyev Boars also make alliances with bands of evil humanoids, dark witches, and other such forces so as to further strengthen their resistance against the advance of civilization. Gomiyev Boars have two sets of powerful tusks, and have large feet, with 6 coal-black toes.


If these guys came from domesticated pigs, you can hardly blame them for hating humans.  I don't think we would care for another race that kept us imprisoned and raised us for food either.

Greetings!

Yes, indeed, my friend! I thought, "Hmmm...what if a group of boars were mutated, and gained superior intellect, and their nature was malevolent, infused with a kind of racial memory of always being hunted, imprisoned, and slaughtered by humans?" I kept having these visions of groups of boars lurking in the forest, watching humans working a farm nearby. The boar's gaze full of hatred and rage...and then, several of them speaking amongst themselves, whispering together about a scheme to catch the humans by surprise, biting and tearing into them relentlessly...the young boys being flung into the air...a woman trampled under their feet as she screams...the triumphant boars forcing their way into the farm house, eating everything in reach...guzzling a large urn of milk. Satisfied with the silence of their victory, save for the dying moans of a few victims bleeding out, the savage boars gather together, and head off into the forest.

Then I thought, what if there were hundreds of evil, malevolent boars? Or thousands of them, out in the wilderness? Scheming against humanity and civilization. *Laughing*

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 08:19:06 PM »
Dragon #130 had a flying carnivorous agave sword plant. I think you can pillage Gamma World for ideas and not run into too many issues in a fantasy setting :D

I did mention at the start porting over mutations. And AD&D has that little section on crossing over between the two for shi-fi/post-apoc meets fantasy.

Try again please.
Calm down lol.

Pat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 2764
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 09:12:13 PM »
There are plenty of wondrous animals to steal ideas from, in various legends. On the boar theme, how about the Aetolian boar from Greek myth? (Memorably reinvoked in Zelazny's This Immortal as the Black Boar of Thessaly.)

Quote from: Ovid
    A dreadful boar.—His burning, bloodshot eyes
    seemed coals of living fire, and his rough neck
    was knotted with stiff muscles, and thick-set
    with bristles like sharp spikes. A seething froth
    dripped on his shoulders, and his tusks
    were like the spoils of Ind [India]. Discordant roars
    reverberated from his hideous jaws;
    and lightning—belched forth from his horrid throat—
    scorched the green fields.
Eyes of flame, spikes protecting his neck, tusks the size of an elephant's, and lighting breath. And so ferocious, it drove the people of the countryside to seek shelter behind the walls of the city, as if besieged.

Though the most interesting parts of the story aren't the boar itself, but the intrigue surrounding it. The boar didn't just happen, it was sent to plague a region. By a god, who was pissed off because the king forgot to honor her in an annual rite.  In response, the king sent out messengers to seek out those who would try their hand at slaying the beast, and earning its hide and tusks as trophies. One of the heroes is a savage huntress representing the scorned god, another is the son of the king, and there were assorted other kings and princes, and others that were just heroes.

A long list of petty, mean, and stupid things happened during the hunt. Before it even ensued, most of the heroes, driven by jealousy and prejudice, refused to hunt with the huntress. Though ultimately, they were won over by the besotted prince. During and after the hunt, many heroes turned on each other, trying to keep the spoils to themselves. Accidents happened, like the hero who inadvertently killed yet another king, who happened to be his father in law, and thus had to flee.

Ultimately, the huntress took first blood, and the prince slew the boar. But out of love and honor, gave the spoils to the huntress. Which precipitated another fight, because of the sons of another king claimed that if the prince refused to accept the spoils, it belonged to them by right of birth. In a fit of pique, the prince slew the sons of the other king. But his mother was sister to the other king's sons, so she magically killed her own son in return. All of which was due to the god's meddling, in order to get revenge against the king.

Even after it died, the boar's hide was taken to a temple where it rotted and shed hair and bristles in majestic glory. The tusks were taken by a great empire, and one was broken.

To turn that into a game scenario, start with criers, rumors, or posts on billboards that notify the PCs of a great event. Bring in all kinds of heroes and adversaries the PCs have met or heard rumor of, including NPCs of high stature. Have a celebration before the hunt, where the PCs can ask questions, observe, spy, and otherwise figure out who else is there, and open and secret motivations, including conflicts. They might spot liaisons or suspicious gatherings, overhear plans of ambush, see spells being cast, and so on. Then have at least one incident happen that night, to demonstrate, even to the less perceptive PCs, that hidden trouble boils beneath the surface of the gala.

In the morning, have the hunt. The hunters split into various bands, which head off in different directions, based on different guesses about the location of the beast (drop hints enroute or the night before). Some bands hunt. Others try to hinder other parties, setting traps or trying to lead them astray, with magic or mundane skills. Others shadow other bands, hoping to steal the kill. Some even ambush. Mix in the cultists of the offended god, who are there at their god's behest, not to directly attack, but to use magic and mundane wiles to stir up trouble and aggravate tensions.

The PCs might be attacked, run across an encounter, run across the aftermath of an encounter, stumble on a tragedy, and may even be asked to bear witness or make a judgment. And, if they choose correctly, they might run across the beast. The fight of course attracts the other hunters, bringing in the PCs as needed, and ultimately leading to a multi-sided conflict. The different factions make attacks of opportunity, usually at least plausibly deniable, at their rivals. This might escalate into outright attacks, if sufficiently provoked or magically infuriated by the cultists. In general, make it a mess of a mass melee. Treat the boar as a boss monster, with enough hp, defenses, and the ability to attack groups or multiple opponents to make it a formidable foe even in the face of Lancester's law. Maybe even have a horde of thunder piglets, or the land turning against the hunters, or lighting from the sky, or sylphs or other spirits coming to its defense. It might even be spontaneously resurrected several times, in a blast of lightning.

Then even after the boar is killed, they still contest the spoils, making up arguments and excuses that are variously valid. The PCs can take sides, stay neutral, or try to make peace. But most resolutions will involve the spoils being separated, and where they will be taken depends on the NPCs (or the PCs) who gain the goods. First blood and the killing strike should be the strongest arguments.

However they're distributed, the ideal is to make the trophies them long-standing fixtures of the campaign. Have them staged in important locations, like in the hall of a mighty lord, on the altar of a great temple, above the gates of a grand guild, or so on. Give them magical powers, but make them more domain-level than personal -- the PCs can't wield them as weapons or armor, for instance. But they might dispel the clouds in the hex around them or bring rain in drought; or maybe they can be rubbed to endow magical properties on items; or perhaps they ward a great area against certain creatures; and so on. Wherever they go, have them affect the course of the campaign.

Still rough; the factions are still vague ideas rather than concrete. But hopefully, you get the idea.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 09:16:28 PM by Pat »

HappyDaze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 3298
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2021, 11:12:44 AM »
Wait...

Gamma World isn't fantasy?

Well, it's not really science fiction either, so...

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1878
    • View Profile
Re: Magic Affecting Normal Animals!
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 11:41:10 AM »
Wait...

Gamma World isn't fantasy?

Well, it's not really science fiction either, so...
Back in the 80s writers were plenty willing to mix the two. That’s why we got D&D adventures about exploring crashed spaceships.