A-C aka Apes to Crabs (there are no apes or crabs)
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY!
So I like reading books of monsters and have done since I was a kid, and recently I've been reading the Numenera bestiaries. Tulul has already done a F&F of the core rulebook which you can read here
, but long story short the game is set literally a billion years in the future, countless civilisations have risen and fallen, the world is all full of fucked up technology and magic and magic technology.
So naturally the monsters are pretty wacky. It's Monte Cook's brainfruit, so ideas alternate between really cool and really dumb.
In addition to the monsters' stats and moves, the book tells you what their motivation is, how a GM might use the monster in a game, and what sort of peaceful interaction the players can expect from them. I like this a lot, and I like that a majority of the monsters in this book can potentially be interacted with peacefully if you do it on their terms, regardless of how scary the monster might look.
Now this game uses the Cypher system, which I have never actually played a game of, so I'm gonna be pretty lite on the tactical information. Fortunately it isn't very complex, so I can comment on their moves and such. But this is primarily going to be my judgement of the monsters and how cool they are or not.
Part 1: A-C aka Apes to Crabs (there are no apes or crabs)
Our first boy of the book! These are 15 foot (because they still use the imperial system in the future :usa:) tall robots, housing advanced AIs, who have become very fearful of death over the years. Their primary motivation in this world is to protect themselves and prolong their lives of uuuh prolonging their lives. They're not overtly villainous, just very paranoid, but that can drive them to act like dicks. The description mentions that their paranoia paradoxically drives them to do dangerous shit, like try and break into ancient heavily guarded vaults, just so they can live there. They do not seem very clever imo.
Their powers are hitting people and running away, and it is Level 9 difficulty to befriend them!
The Astraphin Monolith
This thingy is a human-sized stone pillar with a laser beam eye. It also has the most confusing backstory of maybe anything in this book.
Because it's a billion years in the future, someone had to change the sun so it wouldn't kill everyone by turning into a red giant. Changing the sun 'introduced an unknown energy' that mutated the plants who fed on the sun's light. Some of the plants became intelligent, and one of the intelligent plants was the Astraphin. Somehow as well as becoming intelligent they got the power to 'bond with stone' and 'make subtle changes to its molecular structure'. Over an extremely long amount of time (they do not say how long) they can make one of these monoliths, which they can pop up out of the ground like a crazy gun turret.
They do not explain how the ability to reshape stone lets them make the laser eye part, but whatever. This big rock is a dickhead and you can't talk to it, it just wants to laser people. It has a force beam, a psychic beam, a paralysing beam, and a big heat AoE attack. If you kill it, you can steal its laser eye which is very valuable and can be used as a power source or weapon. If you use it as a weapon you only get to use the force beam, for Reasons.
Asshole carnivorous camel from the future! Its skin reflects laser beams and it's ornery as hell and wants to eat people. It's only as intelligent as a camel, and its a difficulty level 6 task to get it to obey any orders. You can't ride on its back because of its fin thing, but you can make the leather of two of them that reflects beams, but only half the time.
The hole in its head whistles in a spooky way as it charges, which is the origin of the totally natural phrase 'Louder than a charging Avatrol'.
You might think from this nice picture and the name that this is the future basilisk, but it is not. This is a crocodile-sized chameleon (i guess that's why he gets the nature scene pic) lizard who hits you with its big tail as a sneak attack that KOs you.
The most notable thing about this is that the Use advice is that the party needs to protect children from being attacked by it, and the Interaction advice is that players can 'use a small child as bait' to lure it into a trap. None of the other text mentions this guy wanting to eat children in particular, so idk what is going on there.
big boy big boy
This is my favourite of this first bunch, a big rowdy boy who is twice as tall as a human, basically the front half of a very large elephant but with tentacles and no eyes. It runs around yelling and smashing shit all day, and it seems to be the Beholder equivalent of Numenera, because it has like 6 different poisons it can switch on the fly into its tentacle stingers. Also like the beholder, this guy isn't just an animal, it knows a whole bunch of languages and can talk! I'll let Monty himself tell you why:
Still, there are deep mysteries regarding this creature. Some people speculate that it is the advanced, adult form of a very different creature—perhaps one that can pass for a human or humanoid so it can interact with and learn from them. Or perhaps the bellowheart is a secondary life stage of a visitant race that dwells amid humans in remote areas, either secretly or overtly. The bellowheart can see in total darkness as if it were day. No one knows how
You can bribe them with food or interesting things to be your friend, but you have to act like they're the boss or they'll stomp on you and yell.
Blitzers are some kind of cyborg who are basically a combo of The Hulk and Bane. You piss them off and they begin to grow to GIANT SIZE and rampage around the place. They get stronger and stronger each round, but they can only rampage for 4 rounds, because on the 5th their body overheats and they die. They only stop rampaging if everyone around them is dead, at which point they shrink back down to normal size and go and try and find a lake or swimming pool to cool off in.
Apparently some of them look like normal people, and don't even know that they're blitzers, but some UNKNOWN ENTITY is abducting people and making them into blitzers for SOME REASON.
Assuming they aren't currently rampaging, you can talk to them. If you catch them pre-rampage they're pissy and easily offended, if you catch them after they're sleepy and confused. which makes it sound like rampaging is their version of jacking off after a hard day.
this guy really TICKS me off
These ticks come in two sizes: the normal tick size, and the BIG BOY TICK SCION. The normal little tick bites you, which you don't notice because of its numbing saliva, and if you go to sleep with it on you it injects you with poison that puts you in a coma. If it drinks blood from you for 10 hours after that it grows into a giant size xenomorph thing who runs around killing cattle and spreading little baby ticks all over. Also you die from it drinking all your blood.
The Uses section is very helpful, it says basically the party goes adventuring in a forest that has a lot of ticks in. Nice.
Its a triceratops who lives in herds and plays music using its magical horns and throat sacs. Also has 'biomechanical eyes'. The suggested use for them is that the players are camping outside and a herd of Calyptors comes over and plays music for them. I think they're a nice idea for a friendly, but strange, animal to give the world an unusual feel. There's just not a lot to say about them, they have normal animal level intelligence.
The Cave Qui are intelligent bat-like creatures, about 1/4 of the size of a human. They're pacifists and socialists, they don't fight each other and they always put the colony first. They also enforce peace on the region where they live, so they are valued by other races as a reliable third party to negotiate peace agreements in conflicts. They dye their fur in fun colours, and although their language is hypersonic and can't be heard by most people, they have invented special instruments that let them speak in normal frequencies.
The sad part is they suffer from a 'curse' which is basically rabies. It makes afflicted individuals become violent, sick, and insane. Any Qui who survives an attack by a cursed Qui will fall under the curse too. The Qui empower certain Qui as 'Wing Judges', who are basically Judge Dredd for Qui suspected of being cursed. Wing Judges dye their fur blood red or black instead of the fun colours that other Qui like.
They don't have too many powers, they basically just attack like real bats, but I think they're a cool little race and very cute.
Chance Moths, unlike real moths, are hive insects. They feed on Numenera radiation (numenera being like relics of lost technology) and inherit some of the effects of the technology they're eating. In gameplay terms this translates to anyone getting stung by them having to roll on a giant d100 effects table.
Some of the effects are nice, you learn skills temporarily or regenerate hitpoints. Others are nasty. Like the moth burrowing into your brain and exploding after a minute kind of nasty, or summoning a mech version of an elder dragon kind of nasty.
It's a 6 foot long bug who eats people who make time anomalies.
They appear in places where time moves more slowly or more quickly than normal, where balls and liquids ﬂow upslope, or where a time traveler has visited.
Johnny Five-Aces better be careful! They can teleport between the normal dimension and their home dimension, and they home in on time anomalies as apparently the only thing they can eat is time travellers. Which doesn't seem like a diet that can sustain a species of giant bugs. Their other ability is uuuh just biting people.
You can make their 'skin' (i dont know if giant bugs have skin so much as a carapace) into a silver cloak that reflects your surroundings, but one hour into the past OOOoooOOooooOOOOooo. I don't know how that's useful, or how a purple bugs exoskeleton turns into a silver skin cloak, probably time magic.
I didn't fuck up the cropping or make it too small thats how it looks in the book
These are cockroach people. You know, because cockroaches survive the apocalypse? They live in caves and farm regular cockroaches, you know, like how humans farm really tiny monkeys? It's kind of weird that regular roaches are around ONE BILLION YEARS in the future. The Coccitan aren't as smart as humans, but they can make stone tools. They have their own language based around pheremones and 'waving their arms around'. Uuuh yeah.
NEXT TIME, ON THE NINE WORLDS BESTIARY: VARIOUS ORGANS IN JARS, MIMICS, THE BULLSQUID FROM HALF-LIFE AFTER TOO MUCH COFFEE, AND SOME BEES!
I did the first 3 letters of the book because there weren't that many of them, and they're mostly pretty boring. D&E have a lot more monsters in them, and it finally gets to some cooler ideas. They're not all giant bugs like this bunch. Some of them are giant bugs, though.
D&E Dorks to Eggs
Original SA post
NINTH WORLD BESTIARY PART 2 - D&E Dorks to Eggs
So one thing I notice this is that only some monsters in this have size comparison charts, like this:
the red ones are the monsters in the entry AND NO THE IMAGE ISNT CRUDELY PHOTOSHOPPED TOGETHER FROM LIKE 5 SOURCE IMAGES WITH A BLUE FILTER OVER IT STOP ASKING
these are uh, artificial jellyfish made by putting a human-sized heart in an artificial jellyfish body. Why? Who does this? Nobody knows. It's not any of the monsters in the picture, they aren't mentioned. They touch people with their tentacles and it 'poisons' them 'via energy pulse'. How this is different to regular poisoning, I don't know. How this monster is different to a regular jellyfish I also don't know. They don't talk or anything, they just sting people.
But it's WEEEEIIIIIRD!
endstage brain freeze
These guys are frozen human heads in creepy robot bodies. They go around kidnapping sexy people and taking them back to their city, which is called Glass, where all the inhabitants are frozen heads, either in big tubes or robot bodies. Their kidnap victims get taken to something called the 'Optero Suite' where they get their head chopped off and replaced by the head of 'Decanted nobility'. I assume the chopped off heads get frozen and made into new Decanted, but it doesn't say. It also doesn't say what the Optero Suite is.
When the nobility get their heads implanted on a human body, they lose all their robot abilities, such as spraying cold air on people once per hour, having very cold hands, and a cloaking field. Nobility just have the stats of a level 1 human, and are an ugly as shit frozen head on a human body.
The Decanted will talk to the PCs, spending extra attention and politeness on the sexier PCs, while disrespecting the ugly or mutant PCs. This is a trick to try and seduce hot people back to the Optero Suite. If they get too hurt they will run away, as they are cowardly immortals.
For all I'm being glib about them I do think these guys are cool, they're like a creepier version of the borg, and I wish there was a pic of one of the fugly heads on a sexy body because it would be funny. Like an unconvincing photoshop come to life.
This is a big robot pinecone that controls a swarm of tiny robot bee things, and it's sole purpose in life is to destroy extremely specific things, not talk to anyone, and be mysterious. It goes around the place terrorising villages, but then turn out to only want to smash all the chimneys in town, kill everyone with green eyes, or just one specific house. It's Twisted as Hell.
That's all there is about it. You can't talk to it, and the Use section just says 'this is a really hard monster for players to fight'. It has lasers and the little bees can attack or repair it or adapt it to damage types.
when doing the time IS doing the crime
It's basically a ghost of someone who got in a dimensional/time travel accident. They teleport around, act crazy, and are hard to hit. They babble on and on in a bunch of different voices at the same time but might say something useful sometimes. To represent how hard it is to hit you have to re-roll any even attack roll you make, and keep the second result. Fun!
This intelligent tree releases spores around it that make anyone affected by them (read: fails their save) decide to take a nap under the tree. When they do so, a root extends from the ground and connects to their brain, which sucks their consciousness into a 'shared dream city of wonder' where everyone else who has ever fallen victim to the tree lives. After about a week their real body dies and rots to feed the tree, but they live on forever inside the tree's dream.
If you disconnect a living body from the tree without asking the tree's permission they die of brain hemorrhaging if they don't make a Might save. To get let free without risk you have to convince the tree's dream avatar, which appears as basically an Ent lady, to let you leave. The problem is most people don't realise they're in a dream, so don't think to ask. Usually someone from outside has to intentonally connect themself to the tree, and come in and tell the person they're dreaming and ask the tree to let them both leave.
The tree doesn't want to do this, it views itself as saving people's lives, because their real bodies will die some day and their minds will be lost. In the dream they're safe and happy, forever. Nothing says they're like tricked into being happy or secretly being abused, it's just a nice place to live.
I like this one a lot, because it's not so much a monster as a well-intentioned piece of ancient bio-tech. It's trying to do a good thing. Apparently the trees originally had the ability to grow new bodies for their inhabitants so they could come and go as they pleased, but exposure to the sun's new fucked up energies mutated that ability out of them.
It's more of a story-enabler than a monster you fight, which is what Numenera claims to be all about, even though 50% of the monsters so far have been various giant bugs you can't talk to or reason with.
It's a bat rat who is also a mimic. Their motivation is 'hunger for humanoid blood and organs'. In my experience blood is a liquid, not humanoid, but the future might be wacky. Just my little joke. They're about dog sized, have skin that can assume different textures and colours, so they look like something someone would want, then SURPRISE ATTACK! They are as intelligent as a six year old, and can speak in jumbled up sentences. Because they're ambush predators, they can tell you about the area they've been watching for a long ass time.
They don't have any special attacks beyond like, biting people, and they fly home if they're injured.
It's a 50 foot tall rhino. That's all it is. The description doesn't even say it's face is entirely made of horns, the artist made that up to make this animal less boring. Everything else just says 'it's a rhino'.
It's a big bug who hunts by smell. It's blind and deaf, but it has retractable tubes in its head that act as little noses, and when it smells something these tubes stretch out of its head and suck people up like Cell from Dragonball Z's tail. Literally, they open up like crazy funnels and crush people. It's also 50 feet tall, because that's the best monster height I guess. It's not smart, it's just a bug you fight.
This guy might look like a cracked-out Bullsquid, but it's actually part of a race of intelligent predators who are lost from their original home, like Buck Rodgers or that other lost guy. They can go invisible, like 50% of the monsters in this book, and can use their tails to burrow through stone backwards using acid. Ok. They can 'phase lock' themselves to go into stasis for up to a million years, so some of them remember previous eras and might have some juicy gossip.
They're voracious monsters, but if you offer to help one locate it's lost home it might be willing to stop its murderous rampapge and talk. Poor guys.
Lava guys who live in lava. They have the intelligence of a child, and when a volcano erupts they come out to torment the countryside, because they're also huge dickheads for no reason other than they think it's fun. They have mysterious origins, and their powers are that they burn you. It does not say what size or shape these guys are, so they could be humanoid demons, they could be a cerberus, I don't know. It would be helpful information to have.
This is why other books have a text description of the monster as well as a picture, and a size stat.
this picture is really great, i love it
This monster is twice the size of a man (this one has a size comparison charge pic) and disguises itself as a tree. It has telepathic powers, and can pinpoint the exact location of anyone it can communicate with, so when they get close it opens up its wings/arms and shoots a whooole fuckload of flying slugs out of its mouth to attack them. The slugs try and land on your head and punch their little proboscis through your skull or ear and steal 3 damage points worth of brain matter.
Once the swarm of slugs has collected 30 points of intellect damage (it doesn't specify a damage type for the 3 damage the slugs deal, weirdly) they all fly back into the Encephalon's mouth and it eats all the brain juice I guess. It can only spit out one swarm per hour, so I guess after the first swarm eats enough brains the monster just fucks off? The book says that if it feels threatened it burrows back into the Earth using its tentacle feet, and I guess i would feel pretty threatened if I had used my only attack I had for an hour.
It doesn't say if the monster is smart or not, just that it can communicate telepathically. There's some flavour text that implies they might be advanced scouts for some kind of posthuman underground society (who devised the weirdest fucking way of eating ever), but it's one of those OOOOooOOOooOO MAYBE THIS IS TRUE mystery bullshit things.
I like the originality and weirdness of this one at least, it's not just replicating the role of something totally normal in a slightly weird way like some of these things are. And the art is great.
Engineered Viral Hosts
top to bottom: tactile host, ocular host, and warrior host
So there's a sentient virus called the Insidious Choir, but it got sick of infecting other species to be its hosts, so it made its own bodies to live in. They're still very infectious, but their goal isn't to infect the world or anything, they just want to explore and make their own society. Their motivation is curiosity (well, apart from the warrior one, whose motivation is defending the others), and if you telepathically talk to them you hear a million billion voices asking 'who is this?' 'what is that?' 'what is this for?'. The tactile hosts are active explorers, the ocular ones just watch things, and the big beetles defend the Insidious Choir's territory and hosts.
If you get infected with the virus you start to transmit all your thoughts and sensory input to the Insidious Choir, and after 7 days it can start to try and control your actions. The book doesn't give the guy any motivation beyond curiosity, so I assume it will just make you read future wikipedia or whatever.
I like these guys, despite the name the Insidious Choir isn't really evil, and its original to see a virus that has decided 'fuck it, I'm done with this infection shit as a lifestyle'.
This is a squid monster who can freeze solid for centuries at a time (I feel like we've heard that one before, maybe 3 or 4 entries up?). When it senses body heat it wakes up and sucks the heat out of your body so you die. If it sucks up enough heat it can make a baby. Unlike the other, more interesting squid monster, this guy is only as intelligent as an regular animal.
It's a big fucked up dog the size of a horse who eats energy fields as well as regular food. It has 'the general intelligence and outlook of Beasts', which I hope means animals and not Beasts from Beast: The Primordial. It doesn't say anything about the dog abusing anyone for fun, so I'm guessing they just decided to switch up how they say 'animal intelligence' for no reason.
Its power is it eats the energy out of your cyphers (spell scrolls) and artifacts (magic wands/staves). It's a rust monster or disenchanter, basically just here to fuck over players by ruining their items. Cool.
Damn its a freakin brain who floats around, damn. They can turn into energy form or physical form. Sometimes six of them combine together into a big monster called an Erulian Master with six eyes and six spines. Their motivation is 'inexplicable' and the normal ones spend their time meditating. They're chill unless you disturb them and wreck up their house, at which point they attack. The Masters are greedy bitches who are literally only interested in talking to you if you have magic items they want. Pricks.
They don't say what their origin story is or where they're from, just 'beyond earth'.
this is the 'some bees' I promised
The best monster of this batch, this guy is a big glass golem who is hollow and full of a swarm of insects. This is a direct quote:
They control the machine through means that look much like scuttling around and doing
typical insect activities.
Their motives are inexplicable, again. They go around the place being rowdy and wrecking up the joint. You can talk to them via telepathy, and they are straightforward to negotiate with, but will become violent if you try to make small talk or ask about their origins. Because Monty Cook didn't want to think of one for them.
NEXT TIME ON NINTH WORLD BESTIARY: FIVE MORE FUCKING GENERIC ANIMALS WHO ACT LIKE ANIMALS, DISNEYS LILO AND STITCH, AND THE DREADED BRAINCHIPPER!
One really funny thing I noticed is that some monsters get a size comparison chart, like this:
But others don't, and I was trying to figure out the link between the ones who didn't. And I did:
The only guys who get size comparison charts are the ones whose art shows their full body, cut out from the background. They make the size comparison chart from the art, and if the art doesn't show the whole body they don't bother. Which would be fine, if they told you how fuckin big the monster is supposed to be on every entry, but they don't.
F&G - Frogs to Goats
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY 3: F&G - Frogs to Goats
This batch has a couple of neat creatures, but sadly it's not till probably the next post that we get some really cool shit.
maw...MAW... help me i'm fallin'
This is a mini black hole surrounded by a region of zero gravity. It can make the air around it electric too. If it gets close to you you start to get all gravitied up and you don't want that. It's sentient, but you can only talk to it if you can talk to machines, and it's only interested in sucking up nice bits of technology. When it dies it explodes, fuck you.
A big fancy lad who can walk through fire and lava and such. They eat rocks and heat em up in a special stomach and then use that somehow to puke super hot acid on people. They're smart, but don't speak languages, and they like the griffin dudes from Harry Potter where you have to respect them and they'll let you ride them. If they do become your mount or your friend, you can give them guns to shoot with their little hands :3.
The fleeeesh pup is a little old place where, we can get to-ge-ther! FLESH PUP HONEY!
Flesh pup! Flesh pup! It's Flesh Pup! These nasty boys are little slimy leech ferrets who can just dive right into your skin, like pouring a glass of water into a lake. Once its inside it forms a cyst and grows more flesh pups inside and feeds on your flesh, but your brain chemistry is changed so you actually like the cyst and look after it. Then when you're drained of all your nutrients, Flesh Pup (tm) bursts out with all the new baby flesh pups.
does NOT resemble any disney properties at all
These are waist-high froggos who can use the trumpets on their head to mimic all sorts of sounds. They jump really high and can glide using their aerodynamic head trumpets. They have a complex communication system but for some reason don't want to talk to anyone else. Their suggested use is to have them jump on the players after a fight and try and eat the creature the party just killed. That's about it, they are cute though.
It's literally just a fucking lion combined with a porcupine. That's all it is. You can tame em, I guess.
Robot balls who fly around CONSTANTLY LASERING. They guard ancient ruins, forgotten instructions, unknown builders, etc etc. They communicate via laser beam pulse and beeping but don't have anything useful to say. They are always lasering, but in a fight they can laser even harder to fuck you up. You encounter them in swarms of 6-12, where they fly in a spherical formation so they can laser in every direction at once.
who put the morm in the morm gemorm gemorm, who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?
It's a pillar of energy filled with screaming faces, and the kids can't get enough of it! It's Gemorm! Sorry, Flesh Pup got me in an advertising mood. Gemorm is immune to physical damage, but can be hurt by all types of energy. It's only attack is the classic Mind Flayer AoE brain blast, and if it kills you your face goes into the pillar. Gemorm constantly broadcasts telepathically to everyone in a short distance of it, but all it says is a bunch of screaming, 'as if a room full of people were simultaneously crushed by a killing weight'. Ask your GM if Gemorm is right for you.
Hmm seems like a good way to run a game, thanks for the advice! Also I just realised that Gemorm is actually called Gemorrn, because fuck you kerning! Gemorm is a better name so I'm not going back and changing it.
They assumed Glacier Slime was so self-explanatory that they didn't even draw a picture of it, and they were right to. Imagine in your head right now what a Glacier Slime would be, and you're absolutely correct.
got my eye on you
These sweet boys are actually a player race in one of the other books, so you know they are probably cool guys. They grow from seed pods underground and are birthed to the surface in groups of 4 or more. They are tough little soldiers and can survive for centuries on just dirt, water, and sunlight. Some of them have the ability to shoot concentrated sunlight from their big eye, so intensely it's like a laser.
Their purpose in life is whatever command they were given, either by the mysterious tree that created them, or anyone talking to them. If they don't have a goal or objective they wither and die, so I guess they hate vacations.
horned up and tryna get some brain
I like this guy a lot because of how blunt it is. It's a robot that chops your brain out and throws it into the wood chipper on its head, and then cums the liquefied brain out of its robot dick in a big arc, 'as if it's broadcasting fertilizer or seeds'. Brain bot can talk, but it mostly just directs people to hold still while it chops their head open. If you ask one what it's goal is, all it will say is "The fruit of our harvest prepares the way" which is pretty spooky.
They are hard to get rid of because they start out as nanobots and build themselves out of 'drit' which I think is techno-dirt, so you can have no brainbots and then suddenly: brainbots.
It's another herd animal, but this one has weird holes in its neck that look like they're threaded to have something screwed into. Sometimes you might run into one who has some kind of tech doodad plugged into its neck, so I guess someone in history times designed these as a combination herd animal and USB charging station.
These guys just future orcs, but they're the first example of a category of creature that I have a problem with in this setting. Numenera has a bunch of species called 'abhumans', who are post human races who for whatever reason just only like to kill humans. It's supposed to be a setting about exploration, where everyone is some kind of far-future posthuman, and you can solve most problems with diplomacy.
So why the fuck are there Always Chaotic Evil races around? All the Abhumans are also ugly, whereas the good guy human offshoots are all pretty. It's bad enough having the weird, racist-connotation-ed chaotic evil races in classic fantasy, but this is a setting where the attitude is supposed to be 'eh, cyborg, alien, dimensional traveller, you're all basically human if you use technology and can talk'.
But then you have a bunch of races that are explicitly evolved from humans, but are just blanket evil degenerates. The description of these guys reads like any racist's description of whichever race they don't like:
It's bad, and I don't think abhumans as a concept belong in a game entirely about far future posthumanity. Even the Morlocks, who all these degenerate future races originate from, were the most intelligent of the two species, and that was written in victorian times.
Sorry to end on kind of a downer, but that's the last guy in G
NEXT TIME: ROBOT PET MINDER, EVIL HEXAGONS, AND I DON'T THINK SPATIAL DIMENSIONS WORK THE WAY YOU THINK THEY DO
IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE H-I-J-K
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY: IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE H-I-J-K
There's relatively few in each of those letters so I am gonna do four this post! Get ready!
dont touch my fuckin cats
It's a robot from the past who herds vegan lions and will fucking destroy you with powerful kicks, spikes, and horns. Don't touch its kitties! If you do it will not stop fighting until you or it are dead, even if you are leaving the kitties alone now. You can't talk to it. Don't touch the kitties.
they all look like the evil virus on the box art of any early 2000s antivirus
Adventurers in History Times went into a vault and got infected by hexagons. They came out and now the hexagon army is trying to infect more people with hexagons to take over the world. Once they take over a region they start to build stuff out of more hexagons, but NOBODY KNOWS what they are building. They can grow weapons on their new cybernetic, hexagon-covered bodies, such as wolverine claws, needle guns, or pods that make hexagon bees that fly around and if you get stung by one it infects you with hexagons.
They can still talk, and refer to each other as 'brother' or 'sister' because theres no gender neutral word for sibling in the year one billion, two thousand and nineteen. But you can't convince them to go against the will of Hex, the hexagon master. Note: the book does not tell you what Hex wants.
Theres a sidebar that wonders what would happen if the hexagons met the virus guys from one of my previous posts. It describes them as both 'viral-like fugue entities interested in domination'. This is interesting because it doesn't say what a 'fugue entity' is, and the entity about the virus guys did not say that they were interested in domination, only in discovery and making a society for themselves.
This book did not read itself.
The Ultimate Bird
The Hontri is a giant bird of prey who has been altered by NANOMACHINES, SON in order to become a 'true winged nightmare'. Apparently the components to create the ultimate bird are a giant head and four very small, thin wings. It worked for Crobat from Pokemon I guess. The NANOMACHINES, SON enable them to regenerate, and talk to each other psychically, and shoot electricity.
And uh, despite the fact they talk telepathically to each other, you can't talk to them, because they're animals (???)
I'm guessing there is no picture because they sent the artist this brief and the artist told them to fuck off. It's a big crystal who shows up where either lots of death, lots of knowledge, or lots of art is. What they do then is shoot people with laser beams, like 1/2 of the monsters in this book. If you try to do telepathy on them they do emotions back at you, and if you ask them what their job is they say a bunch of flashing images that translate to 'we connect life and death'. VERY MYSTERIOUS.
It's a flower that grows into a plant lion and attacks you. It has a long sticky tongue that sticks to you, and it can cough up spores to give you hay fever. I'm pretty tired of all the damn types of lions in this game.
Uh so this one is interesting. One-dimensional aliens keep coming in through portals in space, like creatures that are just literally a line that you can't even see because it has no width or depth. Somehow these crawl around and find each other, and even more somehow they combine together into shapes. This lets them become three dimensional (??????????) somehow and what they do then is look like they are made of k'nex and suck the heat energy out of everyone because they are hungry.
I don't think any of that is how any of that works. Two humans can't just link arms and become four dimensional. Whatever. You can't talk to it at all because it's too mysterious.
you mess with the crabbo you gonna get [roll 1d100 to determine the results of messing with the crabbo]
I really like this one. It's a hermit crab who lives in Numenera artifacts instead of shells. It somehow connects to the artifact and can use those powers to defend itself, and there's a big ol table to roll on to determine what ability it's going to do. It can make holograms, teleport you away, or fuck up and accidentally help you using... helping chemicals... Look, just focus on the cute crab living inside your old macbook.
They are very cute, and you can't talk to them unless they are nesting inside a translation device in which case you can. You'd assume that would mean you can also talk to them with telepathy, but this book can't decide how telepathy works.
big bird has gotten one too many blessings from the chaos gods
So Kanthids are a type of colony creature made of a bunch of fleshy polyps, like some kind of land coral or sea anemone. Or maybe a portugese man o war. What's nasty about it is that they grow on the dead bodies of creatures other Kanthids have killed, and they use the skeleton as a framework for the shape they are going to take. And what's even creepier is the polyps have little open mouths, ringed with cilia, that talk. And everything they say is something the creature whose bones they grow on said in life. Spoooooky.
They're covered in little stingers and they attack by bashing into you so the stingers break off in your flesh. If you get hit three times by one the poison has built up so much you go numb and become paralysed. The kanthid can then feed on your flesh with all its nasty little mouths, then poop some polyps onto your gory bones to grow into a new one.
The suggested use is a future wizard infecting an entire graveyard with these in the hopes that one corpse was a powerful rival wizard and the kanthid will tell him the wizard's secrets.
I think this is a cool and creepy monster, and very original in how it combines an unthinking, fairly simple animal, with some supernatural effects. I think in another gameline this would be a more standard undead creature, or a gibbering mouther type thing, but this is almost like a Junji Ito monster.
These are more abhumans. Instead of being big but stupid and lazy, these are small but tricksy and conniving. They lie, cheat, and steal and try to undermine society. They're also matriarchal, The Most Evil Societal Structure.
I really hate abhumans as a concept.
The Kiprus is another extradimensional dude who is just floating around doing its thing. Nobody knows if there are lots of it or if its all just one individual. It looks like ink in water, and its super corrosive. But it's peaceful, it just wants to look at chemicals that are interesting to it. It can't talk, but it does like to communicate via gestures. It prefers teleporting to fighting, in case you are stupid enough to fight the giant cloud of super acid.
It can teleport anywhere in the world at any time, and can also teleport you anywhere in the world, so just be cool ok?
NEXT TIME ON THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY: I'M STIIIILL IN A DREAAAM, FACE EATEEEEEER
L&M - Limes to Monkeys
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY PART 5 - L&M - Limes to Monkeys
These are gigantic robots who have a portal to a pocket dimension for a face. The pocket dimension contains a place the ancients wanted to preserve and protect, for whatever reason. Apparently the Latos live in the Beyond, or even beyond the Beyond
(fuck off Monty). The Latos are not aggressive by nature but it's difficulty 10 to convince them to let you in to the little realm they protect. If you do piss them off they are able to attack with punches and also Fuck You level mental blasts. They can do a lot of intellect damage to everyone within a mile, even more damage to people within long range (which is I guess closer than a mile), or pick one person and send their brain to an ethereal dimension where one round in the real world = one day there.
if you spend a year of ethereal dimension time you permanently lose a point of intellect, AND have to make a difficulty 10 intellect roll or go 'quite mad'. Not very mad, just quite mad. There are no rules given for going 'quite mad'. You can only be rescued by a telepathic friend, who journeys into your mind to rescue you, 'perhaps combating dream phantoms on the way'. No rules are given for the dream phantoms, and I don't know how they venture into your mind when it was sent to the ethereal dimension.
internet trolls of the year one billion
These are 7 foot tall goat mans who are always found in groups of three and have glowing symbols on their foreheads. They get matched up into groups as babies by their 'dam' (it does not say what a dam is) based on the symbols on their head, which in the correct combinations allow them to connect to global wifi using their horns as antennas. I am not joking. There's a very brief selection of example wingdings symbol combos and the power each gives the monsters:
The text assures us that there are potentially infinite combos, but lists four and has no rules for making up others. I'd have figured that what they would have done is make up a little system like in the videogame Magicka where each symbol is a modifier you combine together to produce an attack, like 'verb adjective noun' or something, so the gm could mix and match stuff and have a little fun that way. like
x = flashing
y = acid
z = spear
But anyway, these guys are motivated by 'destruction', and under interaction it says you are likely to encounter them if you connect to the datasphere (future wifi), which they will use to abuse you by sending threatening ideas and horrible pictures.
So they are goat men who will send you pictures of the goatman. Hell yeah.
It's a big vinegaroon who has holes in its limbs (not pictured) which it can blow air out of to play flute music that disrupts your brain. So it plays the theme music from Mind Maze
. The text describes it as an amblypygid, which is a weird choice, because those are whip spiders and not whip scorpions, and the fact that its the year 1 billion and the thing is 5 feet long would put it in its own order all together.
They're not intelligent, and they live 'Anywhere other than the desert'. So outer space, the ocean floor, a condo in miami, all fair places to find this guy. I'm just being bitchy, I don't hate this guy. It would be a bit more interesting if it was smaller, as the adventure hook they suggest for it is a village of people acting crazy because the flute music is making them insane, which the adventurers have to find the cause for. It would be more fun to have just a lil bunch of whip spiders be the source, instead of giant ones.
A big red lungfish who some people use as mounts. They are conflict-averse and prefer to flee, despite being big and strong. If you kill one the venom in its blood leaks out into the water and fucks you up, which is what you deserve for attacking these peaceful boys. Be nice.
I know we saw part of this pic before but this time it's the snake and not the roach man. These snakes are 14 feet long and have two heads; one real and one ethereal. They are SUPER PSYCHIC and build beautiful glittering cities that for some reason they hide using illusions so nobody else can see them apart from other psychics or guests they let in. They like to disguise themselves as human traders using their psychic powers, and can speak any language. They love to trade, but unfortunately also love the taste of human flesh, so fuck you.
fuck the magmids, i'm tryna hit the magloud
These are mysterious robots of mystery who dig and maintain mysterious tunnels whose walls are engraved with a mysterious dead language. The tunnels meet in mysterious 100-sided nexus chambers where mysterious things happen, like there being no gravity, or some other physical laws are 'out of whack'. If you ask the mysterious robots questions they will ignore you, and if you keep asking they will attack you. They're here to maintain the mysterious tunnels after all, and you're trying to damage the mystery.
we did not buy a bunch of keith thompson art and then think up a much less good backstory for it!!! stop saying that!!!
Whales who live on the surface and only go underwater once every 10 years for mating season. For some reason this makes people think it's a good idea to build their cities on the back of them. Well, I guess 10 years IS enough time to build the entire Eclipse Phase status quo ooooooooooohhhhhhh.
They feed by keeping a big poopy rock (the 'odor stone') in their mouth, then they open up their mouth and the poopy rock attracts a bunch of birds to it, then the whale closes its mouth. Genius in action.
I don't know why this is a monster with stats for fighting it instead of just a minor setting in some splatbook. Whatever I guess.
A standard 'eat and replace' shapechanging monster. You've seen em before, you know em, you love em. These ones are mostly notable for their loot being evil ketchup that lets you turn into anyone you eat. Seriously.
'merkadian' was something from magic the gathering when I was a little kid, I swear
Cyborg death knights fighting a war long since over. If you don't behead them and loot all their items they will regenerate over the course of a day and look even more corpsey. They can talk in the language of their corpse body and claim to be soldiers of the Grand Orbital Territory of Merkadia, a place which no longer exists. If you trick em you might be able to form a brief alliance. They can turn invisible, have a sword, and can 'project a detonation'.
There's a sidebar about a GM INTRUSION
where one of the items the players loot is cursed and begins to infect the player who has it. Metallic veins form on their skin, and their dreams fill with scenes from a war outside the atmosphere. If the player doesn't throw away the item the GM takes control of their character permanently, BECAUSE FUCK YOU IF YOU THOUGHT AN INTERESTING PLOT COULD HAPPEN
. I mean, who would want to roleplay that scenario out and uncover the mysteries of the Grand Orbital Territory of Merkadia, in a setting where it's just chill to be a cyborg from character creation onward?
Monty Cook claims CONSTANTLY in the Numenera books that this is a game about exploration, discovery, and roleplaying, not just combat, but all this shit is written like it's just monsters to fight in a bog-standard dungeon crawler game. It's so annoying. There's a creature in Bestiary 2 who pulls the same trick on people, metamorphosing them into a member of a race who was genocided millions of years ago but keep coming back for revenge. You lose your character on that one too.
Do you remember the cute hermit crab from the last post? This is the same guy, except it can also touch you to give you the Numenera equivalent of ability drain. They're blobby boys who make their home/armour out of numenera bits, and they love to scavenge and eat numenera bits also. It's notable that the description paragraph at the top of the entry describes them as 'Intelligent beings with a fairly good understanding of numenera', but the Interaction entry describes them as only 'relatively intelligent'. They have a fairly good understanding of ancient super-science, but are only relatively intelligent. Ok.
They're peaceful but they get upset if you take their numenera, understandably. It's kind of almost a monster who only makes sense as a combatant in some kind of... standard loot-based dungeon crawler.
There was a gag in an pretty bad episode of Dr Who where this dickhead guy tagged along to the future and got the future version of the internet installed in his head, and snapping his fingers made a little hole open up in his forehead so his brain could connect or whatever. They made that into a creature in this.
They are pretty neat though. They're a player race option in a later book, and they're actually robot brains inside biological bodies. On command they can open up their forehead to reveal a third eye that shoots laser beams and gets level 10 perception and faster reflexes.
Apparently they keep their existence a secret, which I don't really understand, cause you'd figure in this setting a person with a robot third eye would just be assumed to be a cyborg like how everyone else seems to be. It's like a guy trying to pretend not to be an alien while he's in the star wars cantina. Buddy, nobody cares. Get over it. They don't even have a sinister secret person, they're just Some Guys.
It's an ooze whose unique thing is if a few of them are together, anyone caught between them gets hit by bioelectricity that can stun them. It's not very inspiring.
Because this batch is not very inspiring, I'm going to reach ahead in the book to bring out one of my absolute favourites that hopefully will show everyone why I bothered to do this book in the first place. I've vetted the rest that would be in the same group as this guy and there are other good ones in there, so I'm not just robbing Future Peter to pay Past Paul.
look at his friendly face!
Odlarks are big (larger than human) caterpillar guys with 'serene' faces who live together in communities that can be on the surface, underground, or out in space. They're very friendly, and make up for their lack of hands with telekinetic powers. Their technology is all based around organic nanomachines called 'grup' that they culture in big vats. They can make anything out of grup, although whatever it is will end up looking slightly translucent, slightly melted, and will smell of ale. So basically the grup is a kind of nanotech yeast that they culture like a brewery, but the beer it makes is 3D printed goods.
They are curious and intelligent creatures who are happy to talk about any topic, and like to trade their custom made grup items to people. They can use their telekinesis to fly like a wish dragon, and even levitate up to 5 friends with them. They believe they were originally from outer space, but settled on earth some time in the past.
I like the Odlarks a lot, friendly grub people who have their own unique, weird technology, are just interesting and mysterious enough, without having to throw the word 'mysterious' or 'unknown' in there a hundred times. They also fit with the game's overall theme of exploration, and the fact that the world is meant to be this vast and ancient place full of different types of people and technology and ruins. Too many of the creatures in the book feel to me just like straight future palette swaps of stock fantasy monsters. One mysterious ancient robot obeying forgotten orders is the same as another.
But the Odlarks are cute and unique, and I wish they were a player option. You might think they're too bizarre, but on the next batch there is something that IS a player option, that you really wouldn't expect to be one.
NEXT TIME: EVIL BABIES, EVIL PETS, AND EVIL ROCKS! ALSO MORE KEITH THOMPSON ART!
N, O, P, Q - Narwhal to Quokka
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY PART 6 - N, O, P, Q - Narwhal to Quokka
I'm back in action with another 4 short letters. There are some good ones in this batch so strap in and get ready!
the picture is very fucking tiny and looks like its from a different book
Look this is some type of snake that has an insanely complicated life cycle. So there's an egg who gets injected into a corpse, and the egg has two guys inside - the defender and the sleeper. The defender is a worm and the sleeper is a snake. If anyone goes near the egg the defender pops out and attacks, and if the person near the egg is a vertebrate the defender latches onto their spine and mind controls them into defending the egg. After 3 months the defender will have totally eaten its host and then it dies itself.
Some undefined span of time later the sleeper snake wakes up and goes out of the egg to crawl around and bite people. It's basically a 10 foot long snake with a mind flayer face, and they are intelligent. The book says they know many languages, but doesn't say how they learned them given that it just says they live as predators. They're very hungry but you can negotiate with them.
Then after 10 years the snake goes into a cocoon and becomes a Matron, which is the same snake again but bigger (70 feet long). The matron is even smarter and has probably made a bunch of fancy tools that they can put on the end of their tentacles and use. They're very smart and have mysterious motives, but are not immediately violent. They seem like a non-evil version of the Neothelids from the Underdark in forgotten realms.
This one is cool, and is the very bizarre player option I talked about last time. From the pic it just looks like a guy with a weird face, but what this actually is is a futuristic medusa. A nalurus is a human who survived a horrible plague but was left twisted and deformed by it. Instead of a regular face their features have been twisted into a hideous fractal pattern that, when seen by a human being, makes their brain melt out of their head while trying to process what they are seeing.
If you've ever read a short story called BLIT about a 'basilisk' pattern that induces fatal seizures in people who see it, it's literally that but it's someone's face. This is kicked up a notch because your brain literally turns to liquid and runs out of your nose and ears when you see it. It's a pretty deadly monster, which is why it's funny that they made it a player option.
For whatever reason the player descriptor doesn't include the rules for the brain melting disease, but it DOES have a sidebar begging the GM to not let assholes play as this character and then just kill their entire party for fun with brain melting, so I assume the player race has the ability intact. Interestingly the player entry adds some more details to the nalurus, like the fact that it's physiology is so warped that if it looks at its OWN face in a mirror, it will actually heal because seeing the pattern twists its body back to its new baseline.
The nalurus is not evil, but a lot of them are mad from loneliness. They might not know its actually their face that kills people, and think its still the plague germs in their body, so they don't think to wear a mask like the player nalurus does.
suck my diiiiiick i'm a blooooooob!
The Neveri is a dickhead blob who is a total asshole all the god damn time. They literally can't be killed, even if you burn and explode them and scatter the ashes to the four winds, they will still regenerate in a few hours. It's a big piece of shit who only lives to eat people. It has telepathy and it uses this ability to learn parts of nearby beings' languages and then forms a mouth out of its flesh to scream cusses at them. It's kind of like a Shoggoth in that it keeps reforming and shifting shape, but its flesh all billows forth from a core inside it of condensed dead flesh. Destroying this core has no effect on if the Neveri regenerates or not.
The only way to keep one destroyed is to throw it into the sun or something, so it's constantly re-destroyed as it tries to regenerate. Also the suggested GM Intrusion (where the GM does something dickish for no reason but has to give you xp for it) is that the Neveri poops out a little baby at you that sticks to you and controls your mind.
Do not invite the Neveri to your pizza party.
Nibovian Child & Nibovian Companion
The Nibovians are kind of a family of dickhead monsters, we'll be seeing more of them in Bestiary 2. There's an evil dimension called Reeval where everything is made out of worms, and in order to try and understand our dimension they keep sending weird fucked up trick monsters to fuck with us.
In the core book there is one called the Nibovian Wife, which is literally the sex robot from that episode of Rick and Morty. It's an evil yet sexy artificial being that seduces men into having sex with it, then 'opens a transdimensional rift inside its womb, giving an ultraterrestrial creature access to this level of existence'. Which is a very stupid idea.
The first Nibovian in this book is the Nibovian child, which is a little cockney street urchin who looks extra sad. The trick here is that its skin is covered in drugs that make you want to take care of the child to the exclusion of everything else. When you collapse from being so tired from taking care of the child, it makes a cocoon around you and then a new Nibovian child grows inside you and kills you. I don't know why it does this or how doing this helps with any of the worm dimension's goal.
The safest approach to children in Numenera is to shoot first and ask questions later.
The Nibovian companion is basically an ultra-cute pet that makes you want to play with it. The evil trick here is that touching it lets it drain electricity from your body, making you tired. By being cute as hell and doing cute stuff it trains you to play with it more, so it can drain more of your bio electricity. If you don't notice it's draining your energy for 5 days in a row it will try to ultra drain you which does permanent might pool damage to you.
Its stated motivations are 'deception and eternal life', so what the fuck the point of it doing all this is I don't know. The worm dimension is very stupid I guess.
you're hot then you're cold you're yes then you're no you're in then you're out you're up then you're down
A weird biomechanical guy whose behaviour changes with the time of the day. Remember that the day is 28 hours long in numenera, and exactly 50/50 day and night because what are seasons?
The first four hours after sunrise this guy will shoot you with long range lasers then teleport a mile away. The next six hours it will try to inject you with chemicals that cause mutations (that last for a day), then teleports away after successfully injecting one person. The last four hours of daylight it attacks with long range lasers or short range EMPs and will fight to the death.
Then for the first seven hours of night it just stares at you and will defend itself if attacked. The last 7 hours of night it gets talkative, but it won't answer any of your questions. It asks you a lot of questions, saying 'data is needed'. Then it gets bored and wanders off at random.
Sounds like my freakin ex wife!!!
We already did Odlark last post. The Damn Good Grub Boys Who Smell Like Ale. 10/10.
It's the Roper from D&D but boring because it's not even intelligent. It's just a land-based sea anemone thing that tries to eat you. Does a psychic scream when it dies.
i don't understand what this piece of keith thompson art has to do with the monster entry
It's an evil AI that uses nanobot drones to replace the AIs of existing robots with itself. Every robot who gets converted to being part of Peerless claims it's the original Peerless. If you have any machine related character focus or descriptors, Fuck You, because an 'invisible haze of reprogramming nanobots' lets peerless drones ignore your armour. Then if it kills you it takes over your character, cause people love that.
Peerless doesn't talk much, but when it does it refers to itself in the third person and is a total pompous dick.
The text describes these guys as 'tall, space-black humanoids'. I know what they mean but 'space-black' is very funny to me. They're intelligent "phenomena" that appear in energetic areas and eat energy. I don't know why the book put phenomena in scare quotes.
They uh, don't really do much else. They live on energy fields and claim to be from the sun, which according to them is covered in titanic energy cities. Nobody can prove it because it's very hard to go to the sun.
In the book's most outrageous case of 'making up a monster based on a picture we already bought', it's the Progenitor! Big evil mermaids who live to give birth to their babies, who look like electric eels. You know, because there are also eels in the picture. They can swim fast and have psychic powers and swarms of eel babies. Capable of telepathy, but not talkative for whatever reason.
Big, beautiful flying jellyfish who trail their tentacles along the ground to grab things. They are attracted to colourful things because they eat freakin colours! How crazy! If it grabs you your possessions start to turn black, then you start to turn black, then you die of not having no colours no more. The hapax changes colour as it absorbs your colours, which is why they are so beautiful looking. There's a joke in the sidebar about how if this guy is the pygmy one then how big is the regular freakin one! Am I right Guys? Why don't they make the whole plane out of the black box huh?
It's a deadly cat snake. It has a poisonous stinger on its tail and in some cities they make these things fight to the death like cock fighting. They can grow up to 40 feet long, which is weird cause in the picture they don't have any feet.
the blue meth from breaking bad
Living crystals who melt and reform to move. They live on sunlight, and their goal in life is to scratch weird patterns into the earth, and although they are friendly they cannot tell you why they want to do that, only that they do want to do that. Their hearts are prized because they can do different stuff, basically acting as artifacts. So you can kill the friendly crystal boys to steal their hearts for a chance at a random artifact, you dickheads.
brain so good coulda swore you went to college
Quotien are brain guys slightly smaller than humans, but with brains much bigger than a human's. I like them quite a lot because their deal is they are ancient humans who discovered the secret to true immortality. They don't have to eat or drink or breathe, and if even one cell of them is left they regenerate in full with their full consciousness and sense of self and memories intact. The problem is they slowly mutated into these brain guys, and also suffer from the classic 'forsooth, immortality is so boring' problem. Also from the picture i guess their dicks and pussies fell off too.
So now most of them are effectively biological demi-liches, they lie around in dusty ancient vaults dreaming eternity away, all covered in dust and cobwebs. They are usually pissed off because people keep tracking them down to wake them up and ask them trivia questions about the past. However, if you have cool stories or novel experiences for them (like a sex move that doesnt require genitals you can do on them), they will calm down. They float around using their psychic powers, because all brain guys have psychic powers. If you piss em off too much they will make your head explode with long range psychic blasts.
They have a lot of treasure in their house from being really old, but don't be a dick and try to steal it.
I think they're a unique spin on a classic 'type', and i think a Quotien trying to get its groove back would be a cool PC.
NEXT TIME: A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT BUGS AND A DIRT MAN
R&S - Rats to Snakes
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY - PART UUUH 7 - R&S - Rats to Snakes
It's some sand snake men who live underground and have glass powers that they use to make glass cities under the desert. They can also read minds for some reason and also make glass golems. They're abhumans so they are evil and kidnap people and hold them for a really long time then eat them? They'll put you to sleep and then eat your dreams also like a damn gengar.
deployed from the alliteration station
It's a uh robot who deploys to murder you when you touch the wrong stuff. 'A switch that shouldn't have been flipped, a contact that shouldn't have been pressed, or a cypher salvaged from a system best left alone' is what the book says is the trigger. When you do whatever the trigger is you get attacked with a vision of a robot exploding out of a pod full of white stuff in a facility full of more pods full of white stuff, along with the message “For your crime, you have been scheduled for termination. Expect your reaper soon.”
Then uh you get more visions of the next few months showing you the reaper climbing mountains, fording rivers, riding on the back of a camel, as it hunts you down via the datasphere, aka the internet. I guess this is a campaign long threat of a single robot coming to hunt you down to kick your ass.
It's a giant whale thing that's a predator and releases chemicals that make there... be ... less sounds...
Like I said it's predatory, but it likes humans and likes to play with them kind of like a dolphin? Like they rescue people but sometimes capsize boats by getting too boisterous.
People hate these swarms of insect things who fly around and show up wherever there's going to be a disaster. They think the bugs cause the disasters, but what they don't know is they just go to where disasters are going to happen anyway. They can release pheromones that make people freak out and hallucinate whatever the last disaster was the Rocira swarm visited. There's a table of effects for how they react, and the best one is 'Attempt to 'rescue' the nearest creature with whatever means is closest to hand', which I like to imagine someone just grabbing a nearby turtle and sprinting away from combat.
Some people with a recessive gene can understand the other pheromones the Rocira release (although in game terms it's just anyone with intellect 9) and use to communicate, but all they talk about is 'local safety levels' and the locations of imminent disasters. You can catch a few in a cage and use them as a kind of canary setup, which is neat.
I think they're a cool creature cause the recessive gene stuff implies they're some kind of early warning system someone made to protect people, it just got messed up over time and people lost the gene that would let them interact with it.
Chronicles of Rotharik, starring Vin Diesel
It's another abhuman, but this one is weird. Instead of being a weird subrace of humans, these are people who got transformed by mysterious blue mist in the Beyond. They turn into the Predator and kill everything because they're literally Addicted To Murder. They start out just killing everything, but I guess get bored of stepping on ants and throwing bees at the wall so hard they die, and graduate to Hunting The Deadliest Game, eventually going all assassin's creed and trying to take out the mayor cause he has a lot of guards.
They're super strong in stats terms and fight with two weapons like cool guys. But uh they don't have any like ecology or purpose or origin beyond being a scary monster for the players to fight, which to me is like the weakest type of monster in any game. I think they're not offensive like the other abhumans cause they aren't like 'evil degenerate race who is motivated by evil but is cowardly and lazy', but they are just bland.
Rurtalians are a little jelly bean man who was invented so psychic explorers could have a physical body that could take care of itself. A normal body would die if you astral projected out and went on a magical mystery tour for years, but these guys are designed with no psychic essence of their own, so they can keep on walking around and eating food and looking after itself while whoever bound themself to the body is off jacking off in a cloud or w/e.
They're just animals with a distant mind bound to them, like a living lich's phylactery or something, and their main power is a destruction beam they shoot out of their head to melt stuff into food that they eat. Even though they have a super intelligence connect to them they are just animal intelligence level so can't be reasoned with and they will eat you.
These guys don't get a picture which is a shame. They are gigantic (30 foot wingspan) cybernetic crows who spend all day patrolling the sky for shit they want to steal. Locals know how to avoid them, because the Scavrow's engines leave contrails in the air. They have super sensitive camera eyes that can even somehow see stuff inside your pockets, and if they see something they want they broadcast the info of the thing to the entire scavrow hivemind.
From then on they won't rest until they have stolen the thing they want, which could be anything. Shiny stuff, tech stuff, an example the book gives is them stealing a little kid who was good at singing. The only way to avoid them is to go underground. Even if you kill the scavrow who spotted the thing they want to steal, another scavrow will come to try and get it.
Once they have your shit they take it to their flying nest (they don't detail this very much), which could be anywhere from just above the treetops to out in friggin orbit. Once they have stolen your shit they just keep it, because they like it.
I like these guys a lot, because they're like if Skynet was a magpie. A magpie one time irl stole my Battlefield 2 CD because my desk was right by my open window and I had left the CD shiny side up. I was sat super still in my chair and it landed on the window ledge and grabbed the CD which is when I saw it. It got spooked and dropped the CD out of the window as it flew away, but went down and picked it up again before I could get outside. I thought a CD would be too heavy for a bird to carry in its beak but i guess not.
keith thompson art dot com
There are evil priests who turn their slaves into living tools. This guy writes stuff down, and has a cute little bird in a cage above its head who acts as a living dictaphone and also checks his writing, aww :3. I don't know why this is a monster in the book cause it doesn't even have any attacks beyond 'it hits you' and isn't a combat thing. There are no other monsters from this evil priests group in the book so it's not like it's just here for detail.
The only thing I can think of is that they bought all of Keith Thompson's personal art and this was one of them they couldn't really change the story of, and wanted to get their money's worth.
These are timid little ape lions who seek out larger individuals to protect them. They don't care about alignment, so they could equally be friends with a cannibal or a paladin. They are considered lucky charms because they have an unconscious telepathic ability to make their protector stronger or more skilled. In mechanical terms, they can spend a health point to decrease the difficulty of a task by one step. Conveniently they also regenerate one hitpoint per hour. They're clever and loyal, and while they can't speak they can understand some languages.
I think they're cute little guys but would probably cause a lot of envy in a party over who it bonded with.
Evil shadow who kills people for fun. No backstory.
u mess with the blobfish u gonna get stabbed bish
Silver Orphans are the T1000 from Terminator 2, except they're nice. They can still make swords out of their body and whatnot, but only in self defense. Their goal in life is to find an object, which they depict in drawings as a 'vastly complicated spherical object' lying at the bottom of a crater. They can't talk for some reason (except to each other through a mind link), but understand all languages and communicate with gestures and drawings.
They will pay people for help with their search, and if the players help one find news of either the object or of machine intelligences in general, they will make little silver cyphers out of their body-goop as payment. I'm guessing the ball is some kind of supercomputer brain, and the AI is their dad.
It's a giant frog who lives in space but crashes into the Earth as a gigantic meteor when it's looking to Fuck. Skysmasher mating season is a deadly time with everyone just getting wiped out by horned up space toads. They can also fly into the sky at super high speed using their uhhh plasma thrusters, which sets everyone nearby on fire. Or just punch you really hard. They're not super good at aiming their impact though, only able to land between 1 mile to 100 miles of their destination.
The good news for Treasure-Heads is that their eggs are 'rich in the numenera' and you can crack em open to find cyphers. You know how that is, when you break open a crocodiles egg and there's an iphone inside? I think they were designed by a power-mad DM of a previous age, who wanted to make a living version of 'rocks fall and everyone dies'.
Slicer Beetle (tm): It's The ONLY Beetle Who Slices
It's a big fuckin beetle who slices. They have 3 lifestages. The first two are a big beetle who slices. The last stage NO ONE ALIVE HAS EVER SEEN OOOOooOOooOOOoOOOOOoo but people call them Wizens (what) or Suredeaths (what
). Wizens live underground in a nest made of their own sloughed-off intestines and internal organs. Why? I don't know.
This is a picture of a Wizen you apparently see drawn on cave walls sometimes:
No stats are given for the wizen despite 90% of the entry talking about them and not the slicer beetle, who is just a beetle who slices.
Insane The Joker
Slendermans of the Year One Billion, Slidikins are just doing twisted shit all the time, like freaking insane twisted SAW movie shit. They talk about 'the hideous game' a lot which is apparently their raison detre or however you spell that. It involves kidnapping, torture, and murder, because slidikins Live In A Society.
They are annoying to talk to because they have a lot of mouths with very bad voices, and they are contemptuous and haughty, and also because they're twisted sickos they find stuff like physical threats humorous, and concepts like truth and justice to be incomprehensible. The example use of them is that a guy with his eyelids cut off staggers out of an alleyway screaming 'THE MOUTHS! THE MOUTHS!' and the PCs find out that he was involved in Freaking Insane SAW The Movie Shit.
Slidikins hate the face eating dopplegangers, and also fear some monster from the corebook who is called Phimosis or something who do kinda look like a diseased penis:
And talk like this:
So I guess the Slidikins are upset someone else is doing the enigmatic monkey chease weirdo bit better than them?
Slurge (tm): The ONLY Slug with the Great Flavour of Surge Soda
Big super-fast acid slug who melts stuff with acid and loves to eat melted acid stuff. They can produce a bunch of different types of slime, from acid slime all the way to slippery slime that lets them do Tokyo Drift maneuvers.
Trash creatures who evolved out of the landfills of previous eras. They're defensive of their trash realm and can manifest a body out of any nearby trash and let their current one fall to bits. You need to be able to speak to machines to speak to them, and they might be friendly if you bring em some numenera, even if it's all smashed up and broken.
It's a spider made from space or a space made from spider, not sure which. If you get trapped in their web it teleports you to another dimension where the spider eats you. They're very intelligent and telepathic but won't talk to you, and you can use their eyes to see into other dimensions, and their shell to make armour that protects from dimensional fuckery and phase weapons. Boring boring boring monster.
dab on 'em
Spooky, porcelain white smooth abhuman boys who claim to own every corpse in the world according to ancient custom, which might be true. That said, they don't claim every corpse, because sometimes they're just not around or other times they don't want the corpse for some reason. Naturally they eat the corpses, and learn whatever the corpse knew in life from their meal. They sing a dirgelike tune while they gather corpses or eat corpses, so they're like the seven dwarves but goth.
They live in underground communities where they write down all the knowledge they learn on vellum pressed from the skin of the dead. Spooky. They also have a secret dimension made of skeleton bones in one of the other books, where all their communities connect, but they keep that a secret. They're not really violent guys unless you keep them from a corpse they really want, at which point they attack you with BONE BLADES which they lick after they hit you so they can learn your moves by tasting your blood, which manifests as a bonus against you.
Their suggested story use is as an NPC faction to go and ask for knowledge, rather than as combatants, and despite being 'abhumans' they are very civilised. Maybe I'm using too much imagination but it seems like they might be from some prior era and were the official way of preserving knowledge, and have just stuck around ever since then. They seem like a race that would be worth giving a racial descriptor, cause none of the stock descriptors or focuses involve learning stuff from dead people.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS, NEXT TIME ON NINTH WORLD BESTIARY: REALLY JUST A BUNCH OF CRAPPY SHIT, THERE'S LIKE ONE MORE GOOD MONSTER IN THE BOOK AND THE REST ARE BUGS OR DOGS. ONE THING IS CALLED A VAPE THOUGH AND THAT'S FUNNY.
T to Y - Thank to You
Original SA post
THE NINTH WORLD BESTIARY - THE FINAL CHAPTER - T to Y - Thank to You
Let's bang the rest of this sucker out!
no, it's not the death grips song you like
It's a bug dog predator, BUT THIS TIME with a gimmick. The gimmick is they simultaneously see everything happening 30 seconds into the past, the present instant, and 30 seconds into the future. this does not translate into mechanics at all. There is a huge inset box talking about their gimmick and basically saying 'uuuuh GM you figure this one out'. The suggested use is as a way to 'spice up routine combat' which is SOMETHING YOUR GAME ISN'T MEANT TO HAVE MONTY!!!!!!
So for some reason the Terror Bird (a real animal from history times) has been in vogue lately. It's been featured in a lot of games, both tabletop and roleplaying, and a couple of TV shows. Now for some reason it's in Numenera, one billion years in the future. Who brought the giant furious ostrich back to life? It doesn't say. But whoever did do it also gave it the power to do the Screech attack from Pokemon, cause why not?
in our time this guy inhabits shirts at the flea market
The Therivar is a fancy electricity snake whose power is to possess machines and either power them (if the thing is unpowered) or increase how well it works (if it's already powered). People love these gentle snake boys because they are so helpful with machinery, and while they do not talk they do understand language and are interested in inhabiting machines they have never seen before. They can also move at the speed of light, for reasons.
No, it's not a Titanosaur with a lisp, it's Numenera's own tarrasque! Because every setting needs a giant godzilla. The titanothaur in the picture is just one of many variants, they all look like various normal animals combined together only giant. So they're like 50% of the animals in this book, only giant. The example titanothaurs we are treated to are as follows:
- a big lizard with a beetle shell who can do gravity waves
- a completely undescribed monster who can do charge attacks
- a combination cat and lizard who burns like the sun. And yes its fucking name is just 'sun' combined with 'neko'
They have 10x as many hit points as almost anything else, lots of armour, and do a ton of damage. You can't interact with them except for 'luring them with numenera' which seems to be all anyone in the entire setting is interested in. You know like when you go to the jungle and attract in the lions with a busted VCR from a landfill?
scruffy from futurama has fallen on hard times
I don't know if you've ever played 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, but that game had fatalities, only if the surrounding level geometry was too restrictive for the animation you would be teleported to the '50 cent dimension' which was a kind of grey void where 50 Cent stabs people. That is the Trawl's power, but unlike 50 Cent they do not go around looking for the return of their Crystal Skull. What they actually do is stand there all invisible (phased into their dimension) and hold something cool in their hand. Probably some fuckin numenera, that shit is like catnip. When someone tries to take the thing the Trawl grabs their hand and drags them into the 50 Cent Dimension, where it stabs them to death and eats them.
They seem to just exist to fuck the player over for wanting loot, or a tasty looking sandwich. Apparently Trawls like stories, jokes, and riddles though, so if you have a good one you can convince it to let you go. There's also an embarrassingly bad Freddy Kreuger style nursery rhyme about them:
Electric Eel Sharks. They can talk though, and they live in lairs arranged around The Great Egg. The Great Egg is not a really good egg, it's actually a lot of unagran eggs stuck together. They worship it, for some reason. Their main deal is they kidnap people and drop them on the big egg, and the big egg usually sucks them into itself by 'osmosis' and the embryos eat them somehow??? They also had a big civilisation in ancient times, like everyone else.
Valma is a teenager who investigates mysteries with her team of friends and a talking dog. She wears an orange sweater, and can't see without her glasses. But uh no, this thing is actually Obsessive Stalker Siri. If you talk near one they pop to life and start hassling you to talk to them more, if you ignore them they deactivate, but if you make the mistake of talking to them they follow you and hassle you forever. They do have GPS though, and can tell you some cool locations, but if you ever let them feel neglected they will ATTACK! with their weak electrical sting attack. If you ever want to stop talking to them you have to really gently and soothingly break off the conversation or they get upset. Very annoying overall, but they're intended to be annoying so I guess they succeeded in that.
The Vape has nothing to do with vapours at all, or e-cigs, but is actually a 2D wolf thing that runs at you really fast and chops you in half, from the groin upwards. For some reason being cut by them makes you bleed, unlike being cut by anything else. Animal intelligence, etc etc.
It looks like a fucked up shrub, but it's actually a godlike alien being who is basically just a genie. It makes weird, random demands, which if you fulfill you can make a request of it. You have to explain your request super in-detail, and also explain why you want whatever it is you're asking for. The entry mostly just tells the GM to really give the players a hard time, which everyone enjoys. If your plea is successful (which requires a roll on top of everything else because fuck you) the fucked up shrub cloud will use its magical reality warping powers to do the equivalent of a Limited Wish spe- wait sorry I was uh, look it just does whatever the GM wants.
Also you can't hurt it unless your attacks are 'pandimensional', a phrase which I don't think is used anywhere else at all.
It's one of those guard dog statues that comes to life and attacks, only it's in the future and a robot.
It's an evil meme that infects your mind and makes you hit yourself until you die. I am not joking. It acts like a disease, then you have to fight it in the core of your own mind. For some reason knowing philosophy helps you fight it. There's no picture so I found the worst meme. I think they just read about weaponized memes in a Charles Stross book or something so they put it in the game.
A little robot parasite who sucks the energy from nearby machines and can also possess them. They have no attacks of their own but their hacking ability is so powerful that even super AIs freak out about them. They mostly ignore organic creatures, unless you're trying to stop them messing with a machine. Unlike most parasites, they are pretty talkative, and respect intelligence, confidence, and truthfulness, and don't relate to emotions. Pretty high standards, for a robot version of the guy from Animorphs.
this guy's packin'!
Ok now this guy fucking rules. It's a combination woodchipper and meat packing plant who drives around all day looking for suckas to harpoon and reel into its mouth. If you get reeled in, watch the fuck out! You're gonna get chopped up. And when you get chopped up, it poops all the parts of you out, neatly vacuum sealed in little plastic packages. With a little printed label on each one that says like 'Sucka - Liver - 1lb', 'Sucka - Intestines - 15ft', 'Sucka - Brain - 0lbs'. The brain is 0lbs because you were a dumbass for fucking with a meat packing plant on wheels.
The Xacorocax entry has a nice little paragraph of fiction that is pretty unsettling actually, having a guy recount how his friend got sucked into one then pooped out all dissected and separated out into little stay-fresh packages.
If I could play as any one monster from this book it would be the Xacorocax. I wish I had more to say about it because I love it, but it's a short and sweet concept that doesn't need a whole ton of explaining.
Weird looking Tarantula Hawks. They sting things, implant eggs, the young grow on the corpse like flowers, then fly away when they're done eating. It's actually less gross than a real tarantula hawk because these guys kill the thing they fill with eggs, tarantula hawks just paralyse the poor spiders. The whole monster is just a setup for the players to see flowers growing on a corpse then get attacked when they get closer.
A really shitty creature to end the book on, these are big beetles who act like bees. They make hives out of stone using their acid spit, and instead of looking for pollen they hunt for flesh. They have fangs that stick into you like a bee sting and pump acid into your body, which for some reason also kills the bug? Is the acid their blood too? I don't know.
The idea is that the ylaantiv clamps down and never lets go. In fact, the extrusion of the tube guarantees that the creature will die because it begins to pump its own caustic ﬂuid into the victim.
What??? It didn't say if the caustic fluid is their blood or anything in the entry. It also says the workers shape the hive using caustic fluid. Do they die doing it?
The hunters are also supposed to bring the liquified flesh back to the queen and workers to feed them, but they die when they melt flesh, so how do they bring it back to the hive? What is going on???? I feel like I'm having a Damn Stroke.
Well, that's the last of the creatures in the book. The back has a list of stats for some stock high-level human type NPCs, and also some 'People of Renown'. The People of Renown are more detailed NPCs in case you want a cool ally or antagonist for your players. They include stuff like a guy who turned into super heavy mineral stuff (but has gravity control powers to cancel it out), triangle davros, and Keith Thompson Art.
I like the art for triangle davros:
I do not like the art for Girl Professor X:
If there is interest I can do another post about these people of renown, otherwise I will move onto Bestiary 2, or do something left-field like the Eclipse Phase monster manual, assuming that hasn't already had dibs called on it.
I think at times I was a little hard on this book, a lot of the monsters were creative and I liked them, but what this book had going against it was A) the theme of the game and B) what it COULD have been. It's not supposed to be a game about fighting stuff, so having tens of Always Chaotic Evil things is a waste of time, and having a million identical predator animals is a waste of time. If they had stuck to the more interesting and weird side of things it would have been better. I get the feeling it was made in kind of a rush.
Bestiary 2 has a lot more interesting monsters, and all of its art is done specifically for it so there's no more 'making up a backstory for a picture' type monsters. I hope you enjoyed this writeup, even if the quality of each post kind of varied with the monsters in it. Thanks for reading and see you on the next one!