In our tour of interesting locations, we find ourselves amid the nodding flowers and prickly thorns of someone’s garden. Or perhaps the garden belongs to nobody. That is your call! Again, these items are left in plain sight, and you can use them as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.
All heroes need foes to vanquish. Myths from a variety of ancient cultures involve people overcoming great odds to save their loved ones, to fight against the whims of gods, and to defeat the minions of those gods. This article introduces foes from classic tales of Greek mythology to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age system. Some will seem familiar. Some will have a different twist than you may have seen previously in other fantasy roleplaying games. They can be used as is for many campaign settings or you can re-skin them for use in Thedas.
I have tried to keep to the classical characteristics of the monsters described below as opposed to regurgitate characteristics shown in other roleplaying games. However, the recorded myths involving these monsters vary, and in some cases I have taken some poetic license in combining or leaving out some of the characteristics from myth.
The phoenix awaits you beyond the jump.
“Bring it here!”
“Bring what here, master?”
“I’m not going to argue with you, cockroach, nor engage in tittle-tattle with a creature unable to beat a slug at snap or a hedgehog at cribbage. I’m referring to the thing you just put in the cupboard.”
“Oh that, ’tis nothing master, just some stray kitten I found.”
“I see, then let me have it.”
“Yes, master, here it is.”
“Kitten, you say. How odd. I thought they normally had four legs. Tell me, how would you describe this kitten of yours?”
“Unpleasing to the eye.”
“I see, and how many legs would you say it had?”
“Thirteen. Yes, I must confess, slimeslave, that I have yet to hear of any kitten with thirteen legs, pale flesh, and two heads. Not to mention the wings. You’ve been at my transmutation spellbook again haven’t you?”
“If I said yes would you punish me less for being honest master?”
Anyone can have a cuddly kitten, a funny gerbil, or pet snake. These creatures are commonplace, but what kind of animals might appear in a pet shop where a manticore is a common sight, or in a world that breeds chokers and gibbering mouthers? Such places would surely have more exotic creatures than a slobbering collie dog or a purring fat cat.
Here is a list of exotic pets, together with a brief description if necessary. These creatures can become the basis for odd familiars, or even odder animal companions, the stuff of menageries or the servings at table. Some are less exotic and more tragic, some may defy logic, and others may in fact be fake. Some are very real, yet to look at them you’d think someone would have to make them up. Have fun with all of them, and be prepared to be surprised about just which are real and which are fantasy.
Sometimes the campaign takes you into areas that are scenic and rather wet. In this case, let’s take a look at some interesting things you might find in a grotto. Again, these items are left in plain sight, and you can use them as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.
The Deep Delvers
The Deep Delvers began their existence as a small group of magic-users, somewhat drunk, who’d wondered what they would actually do with their magic. One of them, in a burst of inspiration, noted that a lot of animals somehow detected things by using sound, so what if they did the same thing? Except instead of finding their way around, they figured out how to “hear” different materials through sound magic and started looking for treasure and valuables? The idea turned out to be oddly successful as a few of the members went up to the mountains to look for gold (and other valuable minerals) while others of the group decided to try to map dungeons from afar by using a sort of magical echolocation. It quickly proved to be impractical to totally map a dungeon from the outside, but they could usually manage at least the first few rooms. The end result was a surprisingly detailed mapping system for the early parts of ruins and the like. Money started to trade hands, and though the Deep Delvers have never been very numerous, they’ve done quite decent business by alerting adventurers to early traps that could be found by discovering the shapes of areas (pits, hidden boulders, and so on). Like many magic-users, the Deep Delvers jealously guard the details of their spells, and few outside their group know precisely how they manage to do what they do. They usually get along fairly well with dwarves.