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2/25/2015 9:13 am  #1


Centaurs

So, I'm looking for a monster . . .

Hyperborea, as written, does not have centaurs. I like that many of typical AD&D monsters have been removed, so I have never had a problem with this at all. I'm prepping for use a largish encounter area (Chris Kutalik's Slumbering Ursine Dunes) that my group might go back to many times (who knows what they'll do?), and, as written, one of the main hench-groups in it is composed of centaurs. These fit the plot well--neutral with chaotic tendencies, they're serving a powerful but not terribly observant CG power and have become fairly unruly and selfish. All fits fine with typical centaurism, I'd say. But . . . I'm just not sure I want to put centaurs in Hyperborea. There's no real reason not to, I guess. They're a creature out of myth, and there are plenty of Hellenic resonances in Hyperborea. But for some reason I'm hesitant to do so.

So . . . anyone have any suggestions for a substitute? Ape-men are too brutal, I think. Possibly a desert variant of lizard-men could work. Minotaurs and Fomorians are too powerful; same for men of Leng (though I considered this!). I'm contemplating cave-men, though that might go too far in dropping the mythical flavor. A bunch of 2nd-lvl. fighters also seems a bit much. Bird-men are too weak. I suppose I could make something up of roughly the same toughness, but I don't know that I want to take the time!

Anyway, I figured I'd throw the issue out to you all.

Any thoughts?

 

2/25/2015 6:48 pm  #2


Re: Centaurs

You could use a group of low-level (perhaps degenerated) snake-men; they even live in the desert.  Another possibility would be to give character levels to bird-men to make them tougher.  Or maybe "abominable dune-men" with brown fur (in other words, Sasquatches - really surly ones too). http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (2/25/2015 7:05 pm)


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

2/25/2015 9:21 pm  #3


Re: Centaurs

I played in the Hill Cantons campaign with Chris K and during the time the Centaurs were encountered in the dunes (via google+). They were a lot of fun to parlay with. Neutral but slanting towards haughty..


I filled my palace with deadly traps so trap admirers will come and visit me

AFS magazine - pulp literature meets old school gaming http://hallsoftizunthane.blogspot.com/
 

2/25/2015 10:53 pm  #4


Re: Centaurs

Nice, Scaly! I backed the Kickstarter so have the print version and the PDF to play with.

I've been thinking I'll place the dunes at the settlement dot "south" of Larchmere Yys on the narrow bay there. I Apollonian character of Larchmere Yys fits, and it's a good location for the players to venture on to the Zakath Desert, Zangeiros, or Dagon Bay if such thoughts grab them.

We've been playing a good bit in a megadungeon. At first I thought I would make it so that entrances to this dungeon might appear wherever they ventured in Hyperborea. Now I'm thinking I might need to make it so that they sometimes *exit* to farflung areas if we're ever going to get out of Brigands Bay! So this will be the first of those. I'm fitting it in with a series of encounter areas that randomly appear in the ruins on the way to and from the dungeon (as discussed in this thread). So I'm adding the Slumbering Ursine Dunes and A Red and Pleasant Land to that mix. Also, lotus-women.

I'm now thinking I *might* leave them as centaurs, the last/only of their kind in Hyperborea (clearly, the Kimmerians would have slughtered them all). Fits with the "Master" to have given them refuge and jobs and also why he might let them indulge in some petty extortion. And this gives my players a chance to be a part of the extinction event of a charismatic megafauna--I know they'd appreciate that.

Edit: Though the idea of tough bird-men is appealing. I had a lot of fun with them in the early games of AS&SH (ripping off Blackadder23's game!).

Last edited by Handy Haversack (2/25/2015 10:54 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

2/26/2015 9:55 am  #5


Re: Centaurs

Well, if you don't want centaurs and it's a desert setting maybe a human/camel cross? You centaur like stats but have them be some form of camelid. Heck, they can even have some bedouin like tribal thing going on as well.

I like the idea of snake/lizard men of some sort. There are species that are indigenous to a desert environment.


What? Me worry?
 

2/26/2015 10:09 am  #6


Re: Centaurs

Buzzard-men in a desert setting afford an opportunity for humorous grotesquerie - e.g., they could be munching "roadkill on a stick" while parleying with the PCs.

Although come to think of it, almost everything affords me an opportunity for humorous grotesquerie...


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

2/26/2015 10:56 am  #7


Re: Centaurs

Blackadder23 wrote:

Buzzard-men in a desert setting afford an opportunity for humorous grotesquerie - e.g., they could be munching "roadkill on a stick" while parleying with the PCs.

Although come to think of it, almost everything affords me an opportunity for humorous grotesquerie...

"And then the princess pulls off her face and reveals that she was you the whole time!" I'm beginning to get how your mind works, I think!

I think at some point I will come up with a dry-setting lizard-man (gila-monster type!) but not for this context. Maybe if they go to Zakath. I've come around to the centaurs being the last of their kind on Hyperborea. I think they will be extra annoying to the Kimmerians in the party. I'm hoping the cataphract gets drunk and tries to make a deal with one.

     Thread Starter
 

2/26/2015 11:05 am  #8


Re: Centaurs

Handy Haversack wrote:

"And then the princess pulls off her face and reveals that she was you the whole time!" I'm beginning to get how your mind works, I think!

I would also have accepted "The princess pulls off her face and reveals a blood-slicked screaming skull."

Last edited by Blackadder23 (2/26/2015 11:06 am)


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

2/27/2015 5:15 am  #9


Re: Centaurs

I could imagine surly hill centaurs, tactiturn and onerous, as likely to eat you for walking through their territory as they are to befriend you. 

 

2/27/2015 8:32 am  #10


Re: Centaurs

Rastus_Burne wrote:

I could imagine surly hill centaurs, tactiturn and onerous, as likely to eat you for walking through their territory as they are to befriend you. 

Now all I can think of is the time on Seinfeld that Kramer fed the horse Beefaroni. "Rusty!"

I've decided to keep them as centaurs. If you know the adventure, you'll know there are also anthropomorphic bear soldiers. In the author's campaign world, these are a whole class of this region. I think for Hyperborea, I'll once more make these among the last of their kind. Medved, the Master, in my conception, is becoming something of a nostalgic collector of mortal things, possibly because divinity is close for him. Even in the description of his home, he's clearly a bit of a hoarder! (Astonishing Hoarders of Hyperborea would be a creepy reality show; "This room seems to be full of human heads, though they are oddly earless.")

Thanks for the ideas, all! A big help.

     Thread Starter
 

2/27/2015 3:15 pm  #11


Re: Centaurs

I think centaurs fit well in Hyperborea; I don't know why I didn't include them. I would just roll with them.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

2/27/2015 6:34 pm  #12


Re: Centaurs

Handy Haversack wrote:

Rastus_Burne wrote:

I could imagine surly hill centaurs, tactiturn and onerous, as likely to eat you for walking through their territory as they are to befriend you. 

Now all I can think of is the time on Seinfeld that Kramer fed the horse Beefaroni. "Rusty!"

Heh. I just watched that again on youtube so I was certain of what you were talking about. Kramer...what a guy.

That looks like a pretty interesting adventure/setting. Just had a squiz on drivethrurpg. 
 

 

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