(Illustration come from artist Brynn Metheney’s webpage and is © Paizo Publishing.)
I’m not sure who decided fantasy role-playing needed a panther with the tail of an ankylosaurus and a name straight out of Digimon. But thanks to Bestiary 5, we have one: the digmaul.*
The editors/art directors made the smart choice of putting Brynn Metheney on art detail. Metheney really commits to fantasy animals, which is crucial for selling them as believable. Muscle structure in particular seems to be her specialty, along with smart attention to the fur/feather/scaly nodules of her beasts. She even knows when to go off-script. In this case, she gives us a lynx-like creature instead of the “cougarlike cat” of the flavor text, which at first seems like a misstep…until you realize how well the lynx’s pointed tufts and flared ruff complement the spikes on the other end. It’s a genius move.
The end result is a cat I want to see in my game. The digmaul is an ambush predator whose bone-crushing tail gives it the ability to maim and dispatch creatures that would ordinarily be out of its weight class, like bison, aurochs, and even the smaller dinosaurs and megafauna. But that bite/claw/claw/tail attack will do just as well against adventurers.
And there’s even a subspecies (with a glyptodon tail, no less)! I assume silvercats are the more mountainous or polar variety…particularly as scree, ice, or snow would make the silvercats’ bull rush attacks even more effective.
*All joking aside, digmauls and silvercats are part of a unique group of American cryptids collectively referred to as (I’m not kidding) fearsome critters. Go down this Wiki wormhole and get inspired for your next frontier campaign!
Adventurers are trying to find a reclusive tribe of gripplis engaged in headhunting and necromancy. They believe they are following the sound of the gripplis’ drums, when it fact they’re being stalked by a mated pair of digmauls pounding logs to warn each other of two-legged intruders.
A portal in a dungeon takes adventurers to a cave mouth in an arctic wasteland. If they venture into the icy wilderness, they come across footprints that seem to depict an animal and a humanoid stalking each other. A wikkawak and a silvercat have been hunting each other for over a day straight, each determined to feast on the flesh of the other. They will not take interruptions kindly.
Young adventurers accompany their novice druid friend to visit another druid at his hermitage. When they get there, they discover the druid, barely out of his novitiate period himself, has been devoured by a digmaul…and the cat is still lurking in the area. Assuming the adventurers survive meeting the predator, when they return to report the hermit’s death to his druidic circle, they find themselves framed for his murder. What is going on?
—Pathfinder Bestiary 5 82
Last night’s show was all about pity sex. Wait, no! It was about Pity Sex. And Eskimeaux. And Seratones. And all kinds of other great music, including a higher than usual dose of folk and twang. Stream/download it here and do your Wednesday right—this is a good one.
(The mic levels seem a bit low. Sorry about that. Link good till Monday, 5/9, at midnight.)