Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Kreekou

I recently stumbled across another cool source for bestiary art: the speculative evolution community. Here scientists and artists team up to imagine what future species might be like or what species could have evolved in an alternative evolutionary history. It's cool stuff. The first pic that caught my attention was the moora, which is imagined as an arctic-dwelling bird.  So, I gave it some D6 stats and a story. Thus, I give you... 

The Kreekou

The kreekou: Because your campaign needs a vicious bird to roam the tundra. (Osmatar)

The kreekou is an extraordinarily large, flightless bird that inhabits the tundra and permafrost. It is uniquely adapted to the frozen lands. Its greasy and matted feathers keep it warm, while the fatty hump on its back allows it to survive for weeks at a time between feedings. The kreekou prowls the tundra, feeding on whatever it can find: animal or vegetable, living or dead. While it is primarily a scavenger, it can also be a ferocious hunter, especially when hungry.

I had been without food for three nights before the blizzard finally abated. The morning sun brought hope and relative warmth. But when I suddenly heard that hungry call – kaaarrreeekooo! – I knew one of us would eat that day.

        – From Tales of The Frozen Wastes

The kreekou itself is not a particularly bold creature. Under normal circumstances, it would just as well avoid a fight in favor of a meal that won’t fight back. Yet it can be persistent when sufficiently hungry. When forced to fight, it will close as quickly as possible, using its massive body to its benefit. Its bony, claw-like wings are normally used to prod frozen carrion, but they are equally good at pinning prey to the ice while its sharp break snaps away large chunks of living flesh.

Agility: 2D: dodge 3D, fighting 6D
Coordination: 1D
Physique: 6D, stamina 5D
Acumen: 4D: search 5D, tracking 5D
Charisma: 1D: intimidation 6D, mettle 1D+2, persistence 5D

Strength Damage 2D

Hit points: 30

Slam – 1D a successful attack has a chance of knocking the target to the ground
Stab – 1D+2 the kreekou will attempt to stab any prone target and pin it to the ground. Any attack that does X damage to a prone target
Bite – 2D while it will first try to eat anything it has pinned down, the bite can be directed at any target

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wild Spaces in Civilization

Several nights ago, we were driving home through the Park when we were forced to detour. A half dozen police cars with lights blazing had converged, closing the road and diverting all traffic through another neighborhood. It was obviously not a fender-bender or a kitten stuck in a tree; something serious had gone down. All of this happened just a few hundred meters from our home, which got me thinking about the juxtaposition of Civilization and Wild Spaces.

This is about as Jungian as an archetype can be: Civilization is the safe place and Wild Spaces are where bad things live. This has been done a million ways, and there are a million new and interesting ways to do it. Hill Cantons, for example, has a dramatic and interesting take on it.

What the detour got me thinking about is how close these worlds can be while being completely distinct. There are borders between these realms, and the Wild can live right there in the middle of Civilization. It could be a matter of leaving the city walls, or passing the last light in the park. Crossing those borders means one world bleeds into the other. And when the words collide, adventure happens.

So here are some Wild Spaces to inject into your Civilization without the need for players to travel for days to some remote Lost World crater.


A beautiful park, where no one can hear you scream. (Beteabondieu)


Even in the day, it's still filled with dead things. (Trey Ratcliff)


Sometimes, the wild comes for you. (Sunpig)

Abandoned building

Trespassers welcome! We're hungry! (Jan Bommes)

Other side of the tracks

Sometimes you just end up pretty far from your turf.

Under the bridge

Under the bridge downtown, that's where I drew some blood. (BriYYZ)


Yeah. Don't go there. (lordlucan)