To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: (TFT) Monster Creation From: "David Michael Grouchy II" <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 22:09:26 CDT Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com
Gigamax first tried tattoos. Instead of enchanting armor or an item, a person could be tattooed. The enchantment could never be stolen. Then he noticed side effects from ink seeping into the blood over time. At this point he wondered if an enchantment could be inherited. Thus it could multiply. Of course he was no where near that point yet. The shapeshifting spell as it already exists can be used to make intelligent monsters out of almost anything. Of course after the monster is killed it would revert back to a poor little cat or nuisance creature that it was before. An effective method if one only needs a monster for a few days. Another way of making monsters is through disguise. They only come out at night. Not even mage sight can penetrate their masks. No one knows who they really are. This kind of monster only works if one can control when the first one will be killed or captured. That's where to lay the real horror. Then one skeleton, zombie, elemental, or demon will make everyone think that all of the disguises hide more of the same. One can get a kind of multiplication out of one magical creature this way, but it is not really a self powered monster. Self powered enchantments generally cost ten times as much as regular ones. The tattoo spell cost generally the same as a regular item enchantment did. Maybe it was time to invent something like a self powered tattoo also. A tattoo isn't going to work. Its not something that can be inherited. Lets see if there is any evidence that the Mnoren had this kind of technology, but first a quick stab a AD&D. It wasn't a game that was fair to the monsters. Players in AD&D start with up to ten sometimes fourteen hit points. The poor old monsters only get a maximum of 8. That's a huge discrepancy in the players favor. A game has to be fair to both sides. TFT is very strong in this area. Fair to both sides is a method I use to test games and rules within games. For instance, if I am talking about creating monsters with the existing magic item enchantment table then I should be able to deconstruct the existing monsters using the same table. Three existing TFT rules are brought in and used to determine cost. First the tables for buying and selling horses are used to value the creatures' attributes. Second the enchantment table is used to price any special effects the creature has. And lastly the Job table to determine their talent and spell values. There are two exceptions: multiply the total attribute value by the characters' IQ (instead of x10 for anything 7 IQ or over), and multipy the job pay by 52 weeks to get a standard year. Following are three samples.
ST x 10 DX2 MA x 3 Total x IQ +Enchantment cost +Talent and Spell cost. For humanoid races with variable point alocation use this order DX 1st remainder IQ 2nd remainder ST divides evenly Man 10,11,11,10 100 121 +30 251 x 11 2,761 no enchantments no manditory talents Man with running 10,11,11,12 100 121 +36 257 x 11 2,827 no enchantments Running (job of town laborer $5 x 52 weeks = 260) 3,087 Sasquatch 18,14,10,12 180 196 +36 412 x12 4,944 2points of fur armor = $2,000 armor enchantment Acute Hearing, Silent Movement, Naturalist, Tracking, and Tactics (Forester $30 x 52) = 1,560 6,504
Now here are more examples. These are presented without all the math, just the grand totals. It the case of an interesting enchantment it has been listed.
OGRE $2,064 CAT ¾ of a blur $3,648 OCTOPUS (2 pt armor enchant, self powered eyes behind) $36,490 APEP (22 hexes of darkness, self powered dark vision, 3 pt armor, ¾ of a blur) $83,562 WRAITH (base cost of a man, self powered insubstantial) $422,761 LESSOR DEMON (3 pt armor, self powered teleport(20 hex)) $3,013,704 GREATOR DEMON (4 pt armor, self powered long distance teleport (20 fatigue))$10,027,920
So it seems to me that if the existing price rules can be used to deconstruct a creature, then the same rules may be fair to create a new creature. As a GM I have never allowed the ability to create monsters fall into the hands of the players. If I did the magical laboratory required would cost ten times as much. A cool one hundred thousand just to get started.
David Michael Grouchy II
MONSTER CREATION (pt. 2 Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 15:26:36 -0600 ed.)
"The area of Monster Building is generally a Chaotic leaning but anyone can get the Monster to "DO GOOD". However a Failure will result in loss of Popularity."
Dave Arneson, First Fantasy Campaign, Page 76
Curse: Through the use of a strong enough curse one could make any creature into just a nuisance creature. A nuisance being anything with low ST,DX, or IQ. To be doubly cursed would be to have below 7 in two attributes. This is beastly. Triple curse, low in all three, is monsterous. The thing would probably be killed by a fall off of its porch. For this reason curse is not an effective way for making monsters. If the GM will let one curse a specific talent or spell, instead of an attribute, then monster creation is possible. For instance a person with a cursed charisma would be disliked and attacked frequently.
Shapeshifting: The problem with shape shifting is that while it can turn someone into any known monster, it can?t be used to create some kind of new monster. Even worse is the fact that shapeshifting them into a demon does not give them infinite MA, or an attribute total greater than the one they had. The most effective use of shapeshifting in monster creation is to make a simulacra. Something that looks exactly like person one wishes to send them against. This startles and alarms players.
Subjective deconstructionism: My Psychologist friend says this is brain washing, my Islamic friend says it is the making of a Hashisian or assasin, and Britanic.com says it is the relationship of mythology to place . . .
"The monster symbolizes the strangeness and awesomeness occurring when a new land or space is occupied. The "monster" of the place is the undifferentiated character of the space and must be immobilized before the new space can be established."
An example of creating an ogre, would be to make its old mythology true in some location. Ogres are know for eating people. Thus canibalism reintroduced as a cultural norm. To make canibalism not taboo, one would have to have theologian.
Cryptozoology: The use of half-breeds to make radically new creatures. For instance to make a feather snake, I suggest the roc, and the apep. Take the starting attributes of each race and average them. For something like a Chimera, take three races and average them. This takes two generations. Animal to human transplants: A great ape?s heart in a man. The claws of a eagle on a goblins hands. In this type of monster creation, only one attribute is averaged like ST with the ape, or HTH with the goblin. This requires an Alchemist lab, as many many healing poitions are needed.
David Michael Grouchy II