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Old 05-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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Originally Posted by Raekai View Post
You guys both rock! And I think I might just have to make a separate category for the giant fire-breathing lizards! Or acid-breathing... Lightning-breathing... Ya know how it goes. I think it will be smoother for me in the long run! Thanks for the advice!

Now I'm excited for Ogre! Simply because the sooner Ogre gets here, the sooner GURPS gets here!
There are two schools of thought about dragons:

1) Dragons are smart, ancient, eldritch creatures who are near immortal and indestructible. Typically powerful with magic (or psi or whatever).

2) Dragons are a rapacious virus on the land. They eat everything in sight, kill everything in sight, etc.

The first time is probably great for a typical fantasy setting while the second is probably better for DF-style games.

Ogre is going to be great. I personally can't wait. :-) Getting new GURPS stuff will be pretty cool too.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

GURPS Fantasy offered a classification of types of monsters. But you have to bear in mind that the GURPS Fantasy treatment views "monster" as distinct from "animal": An animal belongs to a species, but a monster is something inherently abnormal that in effect is its own unique species. Given that, GURPS Fantasy has around half a dozen broad general variants of "abnormality."

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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There are two schools of thought about dragons:

1) Dragons are smart, ancient, eldritch creatures who are near immortal and indestructible. Typically powerful with magic (or psi or whatever).

2) Dragons are a rapacious virus on the land. They eat everything in sight, kill everything in sight, etc.

The first time is probably great for a typical fantasy setting while the second is probably better for DF-style games.
Or you can go the D&D route in which case the answer is "they're both!" Occasionally at the same time, but just as frequently you can have some dragons that are in category one and some (called Drakes or something else, usually) in category two.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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Or you can go the D&D route in which case the answer is "they're both!" Occasionally at the same time, but just as frequently you can have some dragons that are in category one and some (called Drakes or something else, usually) in category two.
Ahh yes the true dragon/worm approach. That can actually work quite well too. Good point.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:51 AM   #15
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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Does anyone have any working/workable/decent/reasonable subclass systems for monsters? For example: Mundane is pretty broad so you could divide it into Dragon, Humanoid, etc. It would be similar to the way that Animal is technically divided into Vermin, Fish, Reptile, Bird, Mammal for spells.
It's not obvious that Dragons should be classified as Mundane in most fantasy worlds. They're huge, yet don't eat all that much for their size. They can fly, which seems to violate physics. They can breathe fire.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
Kromm
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

I don't think that dragons would be a unified "species" in classic kitchen-sink fantasy. In Dungeon Fantasy terms, there would be:
  • Animal (Dire): Dumb crocs, lizards, and snakes capable of breathing fire or otherwise doing the impossible thanks to magic.*
  • Animal (Giant): Huge, dumb lizards and snakes, their size and vast dietary needs curbed by magic.*
  • Demon: Winged, fire-breathing creatures from Hell, both intelligent and Evil.†
  • Divine Servitor: As Demon, but Good.‡
  • Faerie: Serpents of pure magic. I'd classify the intelligent versions of the things listed under Animal (Dire), Animal (Giant), and Hybrid here.
  • Hybrid: Various dumb reptilian things that happen to have wings and flight thanks to magic.*
  • Mundane: Leftover dinosaurs of all descriptions.
  • Spirit: Various primal urges given visuals that somebody would describe as "dragon."


* Remember that being magical doesn't change being an animal in this genre! The acid spider, flesh-eating ape, foul bat, frost snake, and triger are all dire animals, despite having impossible anatomy and weird powers. In many cases, all magical powers do is add the word "dire" in front or justify a made-up name like "gryphon." The unusual trait that changes something from animal to not-animal is sapience, not magic as such.

† The proper origin of dragons in Western mythology, actually, and what I'd recommend for the huge, treasure-hording, people-eating monsters of fantasy.

‡ The usual "good" version of the classic dragon, found mainly in Chinese and Mesoamerican myth, but also in kitchen-sink fantasy that insists that the demonic kind have a nice-guy counterpart.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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[*]Demon: Winged, fire-breathing creatures from Hell, both intelligent and Evil.†[*]Divine Servitor: As Demon, but Good.‡[*]

† The proper origin of dragons in Western mythology, actually, and what I'd recommend for the huge, treasure-hording, people-eating monsters of fantasy.

‡ The usual "good" version of the classic dragon, found mainly in Chinese and Mesoamerican myth, but also in kitchen-sink fantasy that insists that the demonic kind have a nice-guy counterpart.
That does make me wonder why Half-Infernal and Half-Celestials have weird supernatural markers that make them count as "unholy" or "holy" but Dragon-Blood do not.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:38 PM   #18
Kromm
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That does make me wonder why Half-Infernal and Half-Celestials have weird supernatural markers that make them count as "unholy" or "holy" but Dragon-Blood do not.
Mostly because dragon-blooded aren't descended from demonic or divine dragons, but are animals "uplifted" by dragons. The dragons chose to work in their image, but it's pretty clear from the description that dragon-blooded are to dragons as humans are to humanoid gods.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:07 AM   #19
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Quick Question: Monster Classes and Subclasses

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I don't think that dragons would be a unified "species" in classic kitchen-sink fantasy.
Ars Magica similarly has dragon-kinds from the various supernatural Realms: Infernal Dragons, Faerie Dragons and Magical Dragons. I'm not sure if they have Divine Dragons too, but it wouldn't surprise me much.
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