For some time now I’ve wanted to rework some standard monsters into more ‘Teratic form’. I need a break from the Echelon Reference Series, if only for a few days, so I thought I’d take a run at some.
There are four primary points to remember in these adaptations.
- They are inhuman. It is not enough to make them look different, there must be something other about them. This otherness does not need to be horrifying, but it has to stand out as not human.
- Grounded in the setting. The monsters in the core rules (any core rules, really) tend to be written to be somewhat generic, so they can be readily applied in many campaigns and settings. Teratic monsters have at least an implied setting — I may not know where the Forest of Kirela is, but I know you can find hilljacks there… unless they find you first.
- There is nothing quite like them. Each monster (or group of like monsters may share some characteristics with others, but there is something that makes them stand apart from even the others they are similar to.
- Identifiable even when not present. Whether it’s the spoor they leave behind, the nature of the wounds they leave on their victims, or the omens of their coming, there are signs that they have been or will be present.
I had originally planned to focus on one creature type at a time, but I think instead I will pick a theme and build around that, probably using multiple monster types. This gives me a little more freedom to pick while I’m getting a feel for the process, then I may decide to narrow my focus.
So, since my imagination needs help, I have some random ideas to get me started.
Thirty Small Gods
- Aza, Queen who Slithers in the Night
- Wuela, Musician of Revenge
- Krakashta, Summoner of the Seas
- Tseesh, Fire of Sorrow
- Ptosheshtua, Worm of the Midnight Dark
- Yashta, Hawk of the Seasons
- Qua-Quoshtu, Redeemer of Nightmares
- Mashta, Saint of War
- Yor-Tua, Rider of the Deep
- Krakak, Dragon of the Sands
- Hulimai, Sword of Fear
- Aela, Servitor in the Pathways Below
- Ravakles, Guardian of the Forgotten
- Ada, Arbitrator who is Blind
- Zitara, Echo of the Underworld
- Kirela, Hunter of Judgment
- Samoth, Weaver who Sleeps
- Hadesh, Thief of the Sands
- Tol’ao, Keeper of the Seas
- Yolonos, Speaker of Winter
- Ziela, Saint of Nightmares
- Tsatan, Dragon of Judgment
- Tholzeph, Speaker of the Abyss
- Dira-Pheth, Serpent of Mercy
- Tolela, Echo of the Full Moon
- Zulena, Overlord in the Pathways Below
- Tsashta, Singer who is Blind
- Luneshtua, Thief of the Stars
- Tsak, Herald in Darkness
- Quartoa, Weaver in the High Tower
I’ll have to think about these and what they might mean, since the meanings do not have to be obvious.
I should also generate some other elements (locations, customs, beliefs) but unfortunately my portable library drive is broken and my books are at home. I’ll have to come back to that.