Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kangaroo & Thylacine

Edit: In Safari, the Kappa and Kangaroo entries seem to be mashed up. Try the Tumblr versions here and here.

Marsupials tend to be signifiers of isolated worlds or island realms, à la Australia.  If you show your players a kangaroo, they’re probably going to expect boomerangs and bunyips, too, and that’s a good thing. 

Then again, we’re pretty happy to mix American and European animals (how many times has a raccoon shown up in your version of Sherwood Forest?), so if you want kangaroos to go loping over the same plains as bison and wildebeests, be my guest.  Having the neighboring gnomes farm kangaroos instead of Holsteins is definitely a shift toward the fantastic.

That said, while I can easily see fighting the cat/wolf-like thylacines, I hope kangaroos were only statted up as animal companions (or as game in a wilderness survival scenario).  I don’t know if I want to hang out with players who would hunt them solely for the XP…

More toad-like gripplis sometimes ride kangaroos, referring to them affectionately as “Big Hoppers” to their “Little Hopper” selves.  The often paint the kangaroos to match their own mottled colorings, and some of these paints have magical powers.

Explorers stranded on an island of marsupials find themselves hunted by wolf-like creatures.  Lacking shelter or an ability to outrun the beasts, they take to the trees—only to find their thylacine pursuers are just as much cat as wolf, and the beasts eagerly chase up the branches after them.  The fight disturbs the area’s other arboreal residents: variant Small-sized marsupial gargoyles with rat-like faces.

Adventurers and cities don’t mix easily—even the most good-hearted parties end up breaking a few laws.  After their latest legal dustup, a group of sellswords find themselves transported to an isolated colony.  The new colony is a struggling affair built on the ruins of an old settlement whose inhabitants all disappeared.  A week after the party arrives, one possible reason presents itself: a typhoon strikes, rendering much of the town uninhabitable.  The citizens hope to shelter in the old colony’s abandoned church, but must contend with giant cockroaches within and packs of storm-rattled, hungry thylacines without.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 191

I took that picture.  In Australia!

If you didn’t read yesterday’s post (it went up really late—thanks, 12-hour workday!) be sure to check it out.  Reader Nick’s random rolls resulted in a really fantastic adventure hook I’d love to work into a session.

His rolls for today, on the same charts: Giant cockroaches/New home for displaced people/In a church.  See above.

Want to contribute?  Pick three charts from the GameMastery Guide or your favorite adventures, roll d20s, and Gmail or send me the results.

Also, for fans of my radio show (y’know, both of you), there was an episode this week, but the station website is down so the show didn’t get recorded.  I did make a mix of the playlist, though; I just need time to figure out how best to share it.

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