Monday, November 26, 2012


What is it about Southeast Asian/Oceanic countries and their separating monsters?  Whatever it is, it’s pretty cool. 

The manananggal is similar to the slightly better known penanggalen, only instead of being a separating head trailing entrails, it’s a separating torso with batlike wings.  For game purposes, the main distinction is that the penanggalen is a template monster, better suited to serving as an NPC and scalable according to level, whereas the manananggal is a straight-up CR 7 beast.  Its vulnerability to light blades gives your party’s rogues, bards, duelists, and other light-on-their feet types a chance to shine in combat, and its obsession with pregnant women offers some dark plot material. 

Best of all, you can choose to play up either their foreignness or their similarity to vampires.  The manananggal can be a torso-detaching surprise welcome to Western-style adventurers (or even more cosmopolitan Eastern parties) on their first visit to the islands.  But with bat wings and a hatred of garlic, they’ll fit into a classic Gothic Transylvanian setting just as easily.

A tiefling adventuress needs help defeating a manananggal that is preying on local pregnant women, draining them of their blood.  She has an ulterior motive, however—as a priestess of the demon queen of stillbirths and deformities, she is secretly outraged that the manananggal has been feasting on women whose births were destined to be tiefling and half-demon spawn in her dark mistress’s image.

No house in Rostoyovar is ever without a garlic braid hung by the door.  Vampires rule the mountain nights, spawn of the vampire count Lord Premotyev.  But as the count is jealous and cautious, he only rarely sires true vampiric children.  Rather, he imparts only a fraction of his gift, breeding bestial vampire spawn and the dreaded “wing witches” whose ticking calls are more dreaded than any wolf howl.

A dueling society that is often dismissed as a fraternity of layabouts and dandies (and worse yet, lends its approval and trousers to female inverts), the Twilight Blades are known both for their skill at swordplay and their refusal to follow the norms for said swordplay.  Their reluctance to engage in duels of honor per Martine custom (and their chair-toppling, curtain-ripping acrobatics when forced to do so) has many onlookers brand them as cowards to boot.  In reality, they are fierce fighters, defending Martine’s innumerable bridges and skyways from the manananggals and vargouilles that plague the canal city’s nights.  Their nocturnal habits cause them to be up all hours, to sleep late, and they see no point in fighting duels with humans when they serve the greater good in secret—an attitude the society’s twin leaders, Tito Vigoli and his boyish sister Titania, loudly encourage.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 190

Radio show time!  Long-time readers/listeners know that the musical quality of my shows and the technical quality are inversely proportional.  So get ready for some awesome: Blood Diamonds remixes Ellie Goulding, Flock of Dimes channels Robyn, and I…muddle through as best I can.  Seriously, though, this one’s a keeper, so download it!  

(Music starts at 4:12. If the feed skips, load in Firefox or Chrome, Save As an mp3, enjoy in iTunes for best results.)

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