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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 55 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Parazoology... So, what's gnu?  (Read 4355 times)
Almathea
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« on: December 29, 2008, 09:33:45 PM »

Hello,

I'm about to kick off my first Fae Noir campaign and I'm puzzled when it comes to parazoology. I was already thinking of adding some paranormal creatures and beings, such as a unicorn shape-shifted into human form and a human with Giant blood. Also, one of my players chose that skill, so I'd like to be able to describe what he knows. I've read the paragraph on page 56, and... that seems to be about all I can find. So, in no particular order:

1. Other than dragons, vampires and other undead, and giants (and presumably unicorns, as there's one in the artwork), are all mythical creatures fair game for inclusion? I was thinking of adding basilisks, wyverns, wendigos, phoenixes and others. Are there any favorites you had in mind that I didn't mention?

2. Why are vampires and undead classified under parazoology? Wouldn't they fit better under infernals? Do you see them as being particularly controllable by or vulnerable to those with Faith? What about Conjuration and Enchantment?

3. Do you have any sample stats for these creatures? Just how powerful is a dragon anyway?

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Almathea
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JustinB
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 11:35:55 AM »

Hi Almathea,

1. As far as I'm concerned, any mythological creature is fair game for inclusion in a campaign. The fae are supposed to encompass a variety of different (often mistaken) interpretations of faerie peoples by different cultures, but actual magical animal myths are considered to be largely "true" in the game world.
Oh man, I love me some griffins, centaurs, water women (the kind who drown people)...
And the old interpretation of dragons as hideously corrupt creatures.

2. Vampires and the undead are classified under parazoology because they're not wholly spirit beings, so they got lumped into that skill. You could certainly allow players to have knowledge of the undead through a study of infernals, though. A reasonable optional skill could cover specifically infernals and the undead with a skill name of something like "The Unholy" or whatever.
The undead are definitely vulnerable to Miracles (there should be a number of examples specifically describing this in the Miracle Effects table). Additionally, blessed weapons are usually the best way for a character without Faith to harm the undead as these punch through their normal inhuman fortitude. Blessing weapons should also be covered on the Miracle Effects table.
In Amazing Arcana there are a bunch of example undead and the book goes into more detail on magic's relationship to the undead. Because the undead are, in some sense, powered by magic and evil spirits, they are vulnerable to a few Conjuration spells. If you want, I can dig them up and message them to you. Enchantment operates on the undead as with any other being unless the particular critter is somehow immune to an effect. Zombies, for example, having low Willpower are very vulnerable to Enchantments.

3. Because of space considerations, the core book focusses on statting out the fae and giving the information necessary to do a campaign focussed on an urban environment and the core themes of FN. There was originally an entire extra chapter of various critter stats, but this took the book to well over 300 pages, so it got split up, with most spirit stats and the undead being put into Amazing Arcana and mythological creature stats slated for the Arcadia sourcebook.
I can certainly toss you stats on any specific critters you want.
Dragons and Giants are set as the two most physically powerful creatures of faerie. Giants are strongest and dragons best armored. I'd have to look at the files at home, but I recall dragons being only really vulnerable to machine guns and artillery.
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JustinB
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 11:40:12 AM »

Oh, almost forgot, I've always thought the vegetable lamb and the barnacle goose are absolutely hilarious. Like some of the best things ever.

Barnacle Goose: Some medieval people thought that migrating geese actually started life as barnacles because they didn't see the nests. This is totally true in faerie.

Vegetable Lamb: Sheep that are born from seed pods on a tree, they're attached by umbilical cords and starve to death after they eat all the forage within reach of their tether. Also a real species in faerie.
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Almathea
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Posts: 4


« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 03:29:27 PM »

Dear JustinB,

Thanks so much for all the information! I think I've got a better grasp of how the undead fit into this setting now. Part-spiritual and part-creature means they'll be just that much harder for my players to deal with... <insert maniacal laughter here> I also like your ideas on mythological creatures. I definitely think my players should run into a um, flock? arbor? of vegetable lambs.

I would love to hear more specifics about giants. How strong is "strongest among creatures"? And what kind of society do they have? To paraphrase Into the Woods, the only thing more frightening than a giant is a giant's wife.

Take care, and Happy New Year,
Almathea
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JustinB
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 12:18:29 PM »

Almathea,
Just wanted to let you know I saw this and just need to get the stat info when I'm at home (and not doing my usual work-time web-browsing), which is why I've been holding off answering.

Giant society, as I think of it, isn't much of a society at all. They're mostly solitary or live in tiny villages in remote areas. I think introducing a variety of personalities (as is done in mythology) for giants is also good, with some being helpful and others being cannibalistic. I prefer the image of the giant lording over a castle or living in cooperation/antagonism with a human or tuatha village to that of the shaggy giant cannibal. After all, that's kind of what unseelie ogres are for.
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Almathea
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 06:33:16 AM »

Dear JustinB,

Very true... Describing giants as a varied species will make it more difficult for my three (!) players who took parazoology to know what to expect when they find themselves on the trail of a suspect of unusual size. The first game session, which involved the acquisition of a haunted nightclub, went very well. My players are having a great time, therefore so am I :-)
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JustinB
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 01:12:17 PM »

Dear JustinB,

Very true... Describing giants as a varied species will make it more difficult for my three (!) players who took parazoology to know what to expect when they find themselves on the trail of a suspect of unusual size. The first game session, which involved the acquisition of a haunted nightclub, went very well. My players are having a great time, therefore so am I :-)

That is... wow. I don't think more than one of our group ever even looked at that skill.
Glad to hear your first session went well!
Below are the (projected) stats for giants. They may go through some changes before final publishing, but this is roughly what I've been thinking of setting them at. The average giant is supposed to be 15-20 feet tall and although many of them claim to be fae, they have none of the usual bonuses or penalties and aren't considered fae by pretty much anyone else.

    Agility: 2
    Strength: 13
    Toughness: 10
    Speed: 4
    Looks: 4
    Intelligence: 4
    Willpower: 4
    Perception: 2

Wound Table:
    3 Mortal, 4D, 5V, 6L, 7S

Skills:

    Fisticuffs: 6
    Prowl: 1
    Athletics: 1
    Heroics: 10

Special Abilities:

    Movement Speed of X 10: Giants are very large and they move faster than
you or I.

    Base Damage: Base damage from a giant’s punch or kick is 3V Stun with a reach of 1.

    Club Damage: Base damage from a giant’s club is 1V and has a reach of
2. This takes into account Strength and size. Giants mostly use clubs as it is
difficult to make a sword large enough for a giant to wield. It would be
possible, but usually undesirable, to do so using modern technology.

    Natural Armor: Giants don’t so much have natural armor as they are
simply so big that many attacks which would affect a smaller being don’t
hurt them at all. They have the equivalent of armor with a rating of
3V against all attacks other than poison gas which must be applied in
appropriately sized doses to have its normal effect.
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Almathea
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 06:16:13 AM »

Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.... 13 Strength, 10 Toughness! You know, during character creation I had a couple of players jokingly ask me if they could take Panzer as a skill. Naturally, it didn't suit my game's context, so I replied in kind that while they were welcome to take the skill, I wouldn't let them have a tank. I'm afraid my players will remind me of this exchange when they meet their first giant :-)

I appreciate the fact that giants don't have fae bonuses or penalties, and that while they think they're fae few else do. You're giving me some good ideas for a "king of the hill" (legend concept, not the TV show) type character. My game's set here in Montreal, so I think I might have a community of fauns report a very big problem interfering with their vineyard in the foothills east of the city. One of my players decided that his (human) PI character has an albino faun girlfriend, so she's a natural story hook for this kind of thing. Did I mention we're weird, even by gamer standards? But you knew that from the Parazoology ;-) Thanks so much for your help!
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JustinB
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 12:37:37 PM »

Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.... 13 Strength, 10 Toughness! You know, during character creation I had a couple of players jokingly ask me if they could take Panzer as a skill. Naturally, it didn't suit my game's context, so I replied in kind that while they were welcome to take the skill, I wouldn't let them have a tank. I'm afraid my players will remind me of this exchange when they meet their first giant :-)

I appreciate the fact that giants don't have fae bonuses or penalties, and that while they think they're fae few else do. You're giving me some good ideas for a "king of the hill" (legend concept, not the TV show) type character. My game's set here in Montreal, so I think I might have a community of fauns report a very big problem interfering with their vineyard in the foothills east of the city. One of my players decided that his (human) PI character has an albino faun girlfriend, so she's a natural story hook for this kind of thing. Did I mention we're weird, even by gamer standards? But you knew that from the Parazoology ;-) Thanks so much for your help!

Heh, like I said, giants are supposed to end up being the strongest things out there. Note that the lack of armor means that they can be taken down with heavy pistols or better guns, though it's significantly harder than with a human. Of course, if you want to armor a giant up, that's your decision...

Fun stuff. I'd be interested to hear the story of how your PC hooked up with a female faun. I bet the other fauns are jealous as hell is she's at all loyal to the character.
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