Monday, April 13, 2009

Needs more extinct critters.

Leafing my way through the critter section of the Rules Cyclopedia (the Red Box is not quite so useful for this), I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the selection of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, extinct mammals and other ancient critters.

Same old same old: sabretoothed tigers, cave bears ... triceratops, tyrannosaurs ... Why not some variety? How about Elasmotherium, or Andewsarchus, or Hatzegopteryx? Or trilobites? Or Microraptor -- it's a midget Velociraptor with wings on arms and legs like a biplane, how could it not be cool?

There's not enough variety, and frankly the ones they do have there are in desperate need for some overhauling. Especially the dinosaurs -- and seeing as such lovely books as Gregory Paul's Predatory Dinosaurs of the World were published in the second half of the 80s ... well.

I just may have to revamp and add to the extinct critter lists.

10 comments:

trollsmyth said...

And while you're at it, can you give them better names. Yes, I know, those are the proper names, but they don't fit the setting at all.

But any and all of these would be perfect for my games. I already have phorusrhacids and smilodons.

kaeosdad said...

4e calls dinosaurs drakes. They give them stupid names though like rage drake and guard drake...

taichara said...

@trollsmyth:

And while you're at it, can you give them better names. Yes, I know, those are the proper names, but they don't fit the setting at all.

The critter posted here as the (admittedly aerial and not aquatic) macal -- more properly known as an anomalarocaridid -- would like to assure you that I at least try ;3


But any and all of these would be perfect for my games. I already have phorusrhacids and smilodons.

What do you call the phorusrhacids and smilodons, by the by --?


@kaeosdad:

4e calls dinosaurs drakes. They give them stupid names though like rage drake and guard drake...

Alas, I already have a slate of drakes that I have to rename if I use the RC drakes. (or rename the RC drakes.) I'll need something different for the dinosaurs.

Which is just as well, because dinosaurs don't look much like drakes to me *grins*

Chris said...

I've used Dougal Dixon's The New Dinosaurs for oddball creatures since about 199*.

The BBC's excellent "Walking With Dinosaurs/Beasts/Monsters" series are good source too.

taichara said...

@Chris:

I've used Dougal Dixon's The New Dinosaurs for oddball creatures since about 199*.

I do rather like that one, though his After Man appeals to me more; but for the time being I'm thinking of writing up real beasties. Just very dead ones ;3


The BBC's excellent "Walking With Dinosaurs/Beasts/Monsters" series are good source too.

This is true ~

trollsmyth said...

What do you call the phorusrhacids and smilodons, by the by --?

I call smilodons sabre-toothed tigers, since it's something everyone will recognize and it's a cool name to boot.

Unfortunately, I've named the phousrhacids "kimimutsch". "Terror birds" just sounds silly in my ears. I created "kimimutsch" by slamming together some Mayan words, as Mayan is the model for the lizard folk tongue, and the lizard folk have been the most successful empire builders in my world to date.

noisms said...

Trollsmyth speaks truth. Sabre-tooth tiger and such like are much better than the Greek-based real-world dinosaur names (most of which are clumsily named after geographical locations or the people who discovered them).

taichara said...

@trollsmyth:

I call smilodons sabre-toothed tigers, since it's something everyone will recognize and it's a cool name to boot.

Fair enough ;3


Unfortunately, I've named the phousrhacids "kimimutsch". "Terror birds" just sounds silly in my ears. I created "kimimutsch" by slamming together some Mayan words, as Mayan is the model for the lizard folk tongue, and the lizard folk have been the most successful empire builders in my world to date.

Why unfortunately, if the name makes sense in your campaign?


@noisms:

Trollsmyth speaks truth. Sabre-tooth tiger and such like are much better than the Greek-based real-world dinosaur names (most of which are clumsily named after geographical locations or the people who discovered them).

*points to first response in thread above*

As my example given was meant to indicate, I do try to rename critters as needed; even if it is often just a mangled syllable or two from the original. ;3

trollsmyth said...

Why unfortunately, if the name makes sense in your campaign?

The name isn't very sticky. Luckily, I'm playing online, so it's easy to have the name stored in the clipboard if I'll need it a lot. But it's easy to misspell. ;p

Oddysey said...

Eberron has fantasy names for a bunch of dinosaurs; there's a list in the core Eberron book, and a bigger list in the MM3. (Dinosaurs are a big deal in Eberron: halflings ride them.)

And naming stuff is hard, especially if it's a name the PCs are going to use a lot. I definitely appreciate the ability to easily look up/copy names in Trollsmyth's game; in my Traveller game, there's one NPC who my players have renamed "Bajeezus" because the name I gave him was so awful.