Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dire Creatures

In the WOTC books there are these "Dire Creatures" which are bigger and meaner versions of their normal counterparts. They have bony protrusions and have a "feral, prehistoric" look.

Again, you don't need much more than that if all you're doing is a quick table top battle game, so WOTC doesn't give it to you. At least not in the Miniatures Handbook. But, in a 2E campaign, you need to have an intelligent reason for why stuff is and does what it does. Because players will try to figure it out.

Here, in the spirit of Christmas, is my 2E justification and explanation for Dire Creatures in my world. I made a template for it and plunk it into any Monstrous Compendium sheet I make for a dire animal, filling in any animal specific information as needed. Use it if you wish, but give old Shandar some credit. And yes, I know that it is different from 3E information. Duh. That's the whole point of this blog.

Description: The dire version of this animal is identical to the normal animal, save for its enormous size and the presence of jagged bony protrusions extending up and out of its flesh. Dire animals, due to their infusion with tremendous evil energies, are universally Chaotic Evil in alignment and ferociously bad tempered. When encountered, an attack is almost always unavoidable.

Habitat/Society: Dire ____________s, like most dire creatures, tend to be solitary due to the fact that they have often destroyed any others of their kind in the process of becoming what they are. Only in areas where the evil is very great will you find more than one dire creature of any particular species.

Ecology: While no one is certain how dire creatures come to be, whether they emerge from some extra-planer existence, are created by some kind of conjuration or alteration magic, the prevailing theory is that they were once, in fact, normal creatures of their kind but were unusually susceptible to the emanations of evil. This theory has weight given that these types of creatures are almost always encountered in areas where evil rites and magic has been practiced for many years, although it is possible that these creatures are simply drawn to such evil and not created by it. If the theory is true, it is suspected that their solitary nature is a result of having driven off or eaten the other creatures of its kind as the changes were taking place.

Regardless of how these creatures come to be, they are always a sign that not only is there evil in the area in which they are encountered, but that evil is deeply rooted and long-standing, of at least 5 years duration. The greater the number and variety of creatures in an area, correspondingly, the greater the power and scope of the evil.



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