Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Four "10 Monster Settings"

I really liked the idea of this challenge by 3toadstools and decided I'd take a go at this! #tenmonstersetting

TL;DR Setting 2 and setting 4 are my favorites, but let me know what you think!

So I've decided I'm going to do a few of these, each using bestiaries from different games. I wanted games that are somewhat Kitchen Sink fantasy, but with some kind of twist, and then develop a new setting with a more narrow focus. For any given setting, I roll a random number to pick a monster (with possibly some vetos), and try to assign it to a role from the below list, and if I can't figure out how to make any available role fit without radically changing the monster, then scroll through until I find the next best fit.

This list is based on Chris Hall's suggestion in the linked 3toadstools post, except that rather than mythological being specific to monsters from real-world mythology, instead I'm interpreting it as being that the monster must fit into some kind of metaphysical, mythological, or divine aspect of the setting.

There are a few bestiaries in particular that I love, but that feel already so unique, or so singular or cohesive in their vision, that I didn't think it made sense to use them for this challenge (as much as I would have liked to). Those include (but are not limited to) Fire on the Velvet Horizon, Veins of the Earth, and Lusus Naturae.

Also, I really wanted to do a scifi setting, but none of the scifi books I own seem to have actual bestiaries :(. Most of the enemies are just humanoids, or random roll tables, which I think makes sense for a spacefaring campaign especially, but is still a little disappointing. Any suggestions for a scifi bestiary would be appreciated!

Since I couldn't find a scifi bestiary to my liking and already did two science fantasy settings, I decided to compromise and do a fourth setting with elements from Gamma World, Spelljammer, and the Gith from Planescape / Forgotten Realms. Given that the other two science fantasy settings lean more on the fantasy side, I figure one leaning on the scifi side would be novel enough.

In addition to picking 10 monsters based on the list below, I also explain why I chose the bestiaries that I did, provide a brief description of the setting, and then a more detailed setting description after the monster lists.

In a few cases, I included additional creatures besides just what I rolled for, but I tried to keep it all fairly tight in scope.

Semi-intelligent humanoid:
Undead:
Ancient Fey:
Giant/Ogre/Troll:
Great Wyrm / Lizard:
Aerial:
Lurks in the Water:
Extradimensional:
Mythological:
Foul Crawly Underworld Thing:


Setting 1: Dying Zothique
Source: Ninth World Bestiary 1, Ninth World Bestiary 2
Inspiration: I love the cypher system and the numenera setting. I think it's a really cool kitchen-sink science fantasy setting, but if there's one complaint I have, it's that it's just a little too unfocused. I don't necessarily mind it in the sense that I only run my own settings anyway, so it's more a toolbox for inspiration, but I think the lack of any kind of cohesion or through-line arguably keeps it from being a "classic" setting, even if it's intentionally done that way so that GMs can make their own through-lines. So I attempted to remedy that here by coming up with a more narrow setting using elements from the Ninth World Bestiaries.
Brief Description: Even further in the future of Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique Cycle, a Stonepunk world that has basically devolved into the stone age, with some technomagical artifacts of prior eras.

Semi-intelligent humanoidGrush (Mutated morlocks)
Undead: Rorathik (blue cloud transforms humanoids into blue Predator-like super-killers)
Ancient Fey: Roummos (purple insect cloud-like extra-dimensional space, reinterpreted as insectoid pixie cloud)
Giant/Ogre/Troll: Culova Protectors (Spider humanoids)
Great Wyrm / Lizard: Terror Bird (T-Rex bird)
Aerial: Navarac (Man-sized flying lizards with moth-like patterned wings and two sets of vertically-positioned black eyes around their wide, crocodile-like toothy jaws)
Lurks in the Water: Kroth (mult-legged, multi-eyed, mossy, amphibious ambush predator with sticky digestive enzyme on it's stone-like back)
Extradimensional: Erulian (floating brain with one cyclops eye and brainstem-like appendage)
Mythological: Torlethis Companion (Eel-like symbiants that give humanoids supernatural physical abilities as well as the ability to summon dazzling bursts of holy light, viewed as angel-like stigma)
Foul Crawly Underworld Thing: Jesanthum (Wildflower Panther reinterpreted as fungus)

Setting Description:

It is the far, far future, on the last habitable continent in the world, Zothique. Whereas human civilization as we know it has continually advanced, Zothique has continually regressed. Once a technological wonder, little by little it receded, into a superstitious world of swords and sorcery, and eventually to little more than stones and savagery.

There is a tear in the fabric of the world, where things from another universe leak into our own like a diffusive membrane. The tear brings with it life energy that had been lost in Zothique, and so massive dinosaur-like creatures and other monstrosities of life have evolved. The amphibious kroth lurk in the primordial swamps, the jesanthum packs stalk the caves and dark places, the navarac scout in the skies, and much of humanity has split off into the monstrous, mutated grush and other abhumans. Worst of all are the terror birds, like the T-Rex of the far ancient past. For as dangerous as the world is, for as out-classed as humanity has become, there is life, at least, something which had been thought long lost in the world of Zothique.

Then, there are the outsiders. The roummos, the insectoid manifestation of the tear itself, a purple pixie cloud of life energy and mutation, are the triggers of primal fear, like the spiders and serpents of the past. Those who do not flee become rorathik; blue-skinned monstrous abhumans with four-pronged jaws filled with rows of teeth, the ultimate hunter-killers, mind-controlled by the floating extra-dimensional cyclops brains known as the erulians.

Most of the surviving humanity is at the mercy of nature and those from outside, surviving as psychic-slaves to the erulians, or at the mercy of the culova protectors; hulking, cunning but simple-minded, predatory spider-men that spare humanity, at the cost of the occasional sacrifice.

And then there are the wizard-kind, those blessed with a torlethis companion. While some believe that these eel-like symbiants that provide supernatural physical abilities and dazzling powers of holy light, are themselves outsiders, this is considered taboo. Humanity believes in the altruism of the companions, because they must, if they have any hope of surviving, and those blessed are revered as heroes and demi-gods. Whereas most humans wield crude stone, the wizard-kind have the innate ability to carve and smooth the stones, to channel magical abilities through them, and slowly they work to bring civilization back to humanity.


Setting 2: Record of Machine War
Source: Anima Beyond Fantasy: Those Who Walked Amongst Us
Inspiration: Unfortunately, this system is no longer available on drivethrurpg, but if I remember correctly, it was an interesting collaboration between a Spanish creator and a Japanese creator. The game itself wasn't really to my tastes, waaay too crunchy, but the setting was very interesting, with a rich and politically-oriented mythology. It's kind of a science-fantasy setting, but much less overtly than Numenera. Anima felt consistent to me with Japanese versions of western medieval fantasy, where it has some of the tropes of traditional fantasy, but isn't afraid to put its own spin on things, add its own ideas, or randomly throw in science fiction elements.
Brief Description: Gothic horror science fantasy, somewhat inspired by the Diablo videogames, but could also be compared to Castlevania. There are heavenly and demonic factions, including a "second-wave" of fallen angels, and the factions are all morally ambiguous. I imagine it as being a medieval-esque setting, but could also work as a modern surrealist urban fantasy thing as well.

Semi-intelligent humanoid: Children of Baal (bat-like humanoids who have passed through the Gate of Hell)
UndeadType-005 (alchemically enhanced super-zombies with bone weapons)
Ancient FeyShinigami (valkyries of hell)
Giant/Ogre/TrollHumbaba (monstrous stone golems connected by floating rocks with long horns and spikes)
Great Wyrm / LizardLord of the Dead / Beast of Beleth (draconic-demonic skeletons with humanoid head, scythe-appendages, sharp ankh-like tale, long horns, covered in spikes)
AerialGlobe Frog (basketball-sized green and blue frog-like creatures with lizard wings that can inflate their belly to take flight)
Lurks in the WaterBalzak (ancient amphibious reptilian humanoids with chitinous plates, frond-like appendages on their backs, and elongated, creepy, mask-like faces)
Extradimensional: Etrian Gnosis (swirling black void with many arms and a glowing blue-indigo eye at the center)
MythologicalPraetorian (angelic insectoid cyborgs created by the queen bee-like Machine God)
Foul Crawly Underworld ThingLapsia (spider-flowers)

Setting Description: 

The All Father had many children, long before humanity, but his favored son was not one of his creation, but one adopted by his primordial foes. Loki the frost giant, Loki the trickster, Loki the cunning.

Loki, who defied the All Father, who gave humanity wit, and knowledge. Loki, who taught humanity the ways of fire.

Loki, who went to war with All Father, perhaps justly, but nonetheless failed. Loki, ruling the netherworld in his incarnation Hela, who threatens the tree of life with knowledge in his incarnation Jormungandr, who taught humanity the strength of social order in his incarnation Fenris.

The humans have all but eradicated the Frost Giants, and Loki's demons, and the beasts. They war now with the balzak, the amphibians of the swamplands, worthless to humanity except for extraction of magical essence. Their globe frogs and lapsia flower creations a guerrilla nuisance more than anything else. They hunt the remaining humbaba golems left behind by the Frost Giants for sport. Loki's remaining lords of the dead in the middle realm, the Beasts of Beleth, are the only true opponents to human civilization left (here be dragons).

Meanwhile, all is not well in heaven. Athena, the favored of All Father's children after the fall of Loki, the goddess of craft and wisdom, showed such promise. As sharp as Loki, but decidedly slower, and contemplative. Only once, Athena overstepped, she built a machine she could not control. It was supposed to be a gate to the netherworld, an attempt to open communication with Loki and bring peace to the lower and higher realms. Instead, she opened the gate to the Null, the Etrian Gnosis. Her soul was sucked from her physical vessel, into the vacuum of Null, leaving her little more than a cold, heartless machine.

And so now Athena, the inadvertent Machine Goddess, lives only to replicate, to spread homogeneity, to craft war for its own sake, for the base thrill of destruction, to fill the absence of soul with hot animal urges, underneath her cold metal exterior. She has come to the middle realm, a true threat humanity is not prepared for. She reanimates the dead with her alchemically enhanced Type-005 bio-machine zombies. Her angelic, insectoid praetorians are harbingers of destruction, every bit a match for the Beasts of Beleth.

Loki, seeing the carnage, has reopened Baal, the gate of hell, flooding the world with Baal's demonic children, and the shinigami death valkyries, to revel in the carnage.

Clearly out-classed, some believe it would behoove humanity to discuss an alliance with Loki, who must also be threatened by the Machine Goddess. Of course, Loki is known for his arrogance, in addition to his cunning, and would likely take offense at the claim that he could only defeat the Machine Goddess with the assistance of humanity. And of course, there are still many humans who do not believe in peace, who seek to continue to war with the balzak even as Loki's devils return and the Machine Goddess brings metal terror to the middle realm. Will arrogance and violence be the hubris of the organic and divine alike, or will cool heads prevail?


Setting 3: Oceans & Orkas
Source:
Zweihander
Inspiration: I wanted at least one setting that felt a little more rooted in traditional fantasy (even if it's really more so rooted specifically in Warhammer). The system is a bit too crunchy for my tastes, although seems functional enough, and the setting was more interesting than I expected it to be, but warhammer / 40K has always impressed me whenever I dig into it.
Brief Description: Despite the fact that I chose Zweihander to do a more traditional fantasy setting, I actually think Record of Machine War ended up fitting that bill already, and with these monsters, I thought it made more sense to do more of a pre-industrial naval / pirate fantasy setting. I'm imagining the main human kingdom being like the Spanish or Portuguese. Despite leaning into the fantasy of naval travel, the world is still Grim & Perilous in Warhammer / Zweihander fashion.

Semi-intelligent humanoid: Kobold Fanatic (goblin assassins)
Undead: Havoc Conjurer (abyssal, infernal humanoids in black robes)
Ancient Fey: Fomori Huscarl (chitinous humanoids with insect mandibles and cyclopean eyes)
Giant/Ogre/Troll: Bog Thing / Grey Men (mossy swamp monsters)
Great Wyrm / Lizard: Hydra (giant many-headed fire-breathing reptiles)
Aerial: Air Sylph (insectoid pixies)
Lurks in the Water: Siabra (reptilian sea-elves)
Extradimensional: Tlaloc (technomagically advanced frog-men)
Mythological: Zoatar (gorilla-centaurs, an ancient people that have mostly passed on to the Overworld)
Foul Crawly Underworld Thing: Filthy Nightmare (massive slug-like creatures wreathed in flies)

Setting Description:

While the kingdom itself prospers, the commoners do not. Crime is rampant, and one must be harsh in order to survive. Whether seeking the riches of the oceans for a better life, or conscripted against their will, many choose to abandon the land, serving as sailors or privateers working nominally to better the kingdom.

In the open oceans, they face pirates (or become pirates themselves), the monstrous orkas and their unassuming, serpentine kobold fanatic companions, and the Wild Hunt of the siabra, the dark elves of the sea.

They face other threats as well, like the insectoid swarms of air sylphs in migration, the massive sea slug monsters known as filthy nightmares that portend the outbreak of disease, the chitinous monster-men of the depths known as the fomori, their huscarl warriors, and the abyssal havoc conjurers that harness the geothermal power of deep ocean infernos, servants of Mother Hydra and King Dagon, the god-royalty of the fomori and all creatures of the depths.

So far the kingdom has only claimed one island colony, on the other side of the world. They continue to struggle against the threats of nature on the island, like the bog things and grey men of the swamps, or the native tribes of zoatar. However, the nearby continent is the home of the tlaloc, technomagically advanced frog-men, who do not take kindly to the encroaching apes from across the ocean...


Setting 4: Song of Astralad (Song of the Astral War)
Source: Gamma World 4e, Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix I, Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II
Inspiration: I wanted a true scifi bestiary but couldn't find a good one, and I wanted to do something with Gamma World and Spelljamers (and the Gith) but already had two science fantasy settings, so I figured I'd combine these left-overs into a more scifi-oriented science fantasy setting.
Brief Description: This is basically the Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy of these settings. The most significant feature is that the gith, rather than humans, are the primary species.

Semi-intelligent humanoid: Lensman (beholder humanoids with simian body, starfish-like arms and legs, tentacle sprouting from back, big eye in torso, toothy maw underneath)
Undead: Bionoid (necro-cyborg rastipede / gith hybrids)
Ancient Fey: Rastipede (intelligent insectoid-humanoids with bipedal upper body and arthropoid lower body)
Giant/Ogre/Troll: Hoop (large, monstrous rabbit-men)
Great Wyrm / Lizard: Blight (large white wyrm with draconic face and wings capable of invisibility and producing flashes of blinding / stunning light)
Aerial: Space Swine (boar griffon)
Lurks in the Water: Fens (fish-men that can transform into fish-like birds capable of space travel)
Extradimensional: Astro Sphinx (lion body, bronze scales, black bat wings, humanoid front limbs, head like a goat skull with thin layer of skin, empty eye sockets with small pupils of violet light)
Mythological: Yexil (intelligent orange-furred lion-bats with human-hand pincers at the ends of their wings, insectoid mandibles, and the ability to shoot lasers from their eyes, claim to be harbingers of the space gods)
Foul Crawly Underworld Thing: Asteroid Spider (globular body, ten legs, wormy eye-like sensory organs)

Setting Description:

The gith lost their homeworld long ago, having been taken from their world and ensalved by the illithids. Countless generations later, the physically hardened and psionically advanced gith rebelled, becoming the war-like githyanki. They freed themselves from the illithid, and built up their warships in the astral plane. Within the astral plane, civilizations harden from existential threats within crystal spheres, manifestations of their psionic will, sustained in the phlogisten aether of mind and matter.

The githyanki god-queen is an immortal necro-cyborg lich, in a political marriage to Tiamat, the multi-headed queen of red dragons (although it is an open secret that they are, in fact, deeply in love). Together they have bred the Duthka'Gith, red dragon-githyanki hybrids.

The githyanki have become slavers themselves, incorporating the psidhe (psionic fey) rastipedes into their empire, working them to death and then mutating their exoskeletons into necro-cyborg bionoid power armors.

With their army of red dragons, githyanki psych-sorcerers, bionoids, hoop and badder mercenaries, and Duthka'Gith elite troopers, the githyanki were able not only to maintain their independence, but to hunt the illithids seemingly to extinction, and conquer a galaxy-wide swath of the astral plane.

Many of the githyanki suffer under the cruelty of the empire as well, and although the god-queen clutches her empire tightly, rebellion is not unheard of. There are space smugglers, pirates, and vigilantes, who do what they can to free the astral-galaxy, riding the phlogisten waves in stealthy ships.

These rebels must fend against beasts of space such as the stalker-predator asteroid spiders, herds of aggressive space swine, murders of draconic blights, and gangs of beholder lensman.

The rebels are led by the githzerai, an order of gith monks and templars who wield the psionically-powered silver astral swords, capable of cutting the cord between living things and the aether itself.

They seek to organize the thri-keen, mortal cousins of the rastipedes, the giff, the hippopotamus people with the only military able to match the githyanki, the physically weak but hardy and mobile fish-men known as fens, and even the crimelord-slaver neogi, in order to overthrow the evil empire.

The tragedy of it all, is that for all the unforgivable things the empire has done, trapped in her phylactory is a loving, merciful soul, the soul that empowered the god-queen in the first place. Tiamat, too, is not truly evil, she simply has no context for mortal concerns. Long ago, as she first learned the concept of love from the god-queen, there was a possibility that all of dragon-kind would change for the better. But something happened, something that changed the god-queen forever, and set her down a dark path. And so Tiamat put those feelings behind her, a novelty to be forgotten.

Meanwhile, within the phlogisten aether, there is another war, between the extra-dimensional astro sphinxes and the yexil, the self-purported harbingers of the space gods, a celestial war on a scale beyond the comprehension of githyanki or giffs or any of the other phlogisten-faring peoples. If they have any hope of surviving in the middle of this war of gods, they'll need to put their own differences aside and raise a unifying crystal sphere of pure psionic love.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Mechs & Monstrosities Hack for Tunnels & Trolls

Intro


The intro to the M&M Hack is significantly longer than the hack itself, if you just want the mechanics, skip to the M&M Hack Section.

As I discuss in my TNT cheatsheet / houserules / impressions post (I'm referring to Tunnels & Trolls as TNT now rather than T&T, because it's way cooler), I'm really digging this system.

One thing in particular that I like is how combat works. Briefly, the way it works is that both sides roll their dice, and the difference in values determines who takes how much damage. Now on the one hand, games with flexible dice pools, opposed rolls, and exception-cases on those opposed rolls are really difficult to conceptualize in terms of probability distributions, which is really annoying because I love thinking about and tinkering with probabilities in tabletop RPGs

That being said, I like how opposed rolls can add tactical depth to combat, while still being fairly simple and rules-light. For instance, ranged weapons in TNT generally add fewer dice than melee weapons, and warriors don't get their bonus dice when they use ranged weapons. However, ranged weapons have a chance to deal damage even on a failed opposed roll, giving them a unique tactical role and one that I think makes practical and narrative sense. There is also a mechanic called spite damage, where any 6 on a die counts as 1 spite damage, which is also damage that can bypass a failed opposed roll. In other words, the more dice you have, the more dangerous you are, even if the probabilities suggest you will lose more opposed rolls against an opponent than win.

Tabletop RPGs with any degree of tactical granularity often struggle with combat at scale, either just making large structures, mechs, or kaiju-sized monsters massively powerful, limiting their use-case (and fun) in mixed-scale combat, or not allowing actions at different scales to directly interact at all. 

Numenera Destiny has some cool settlement building mechanics that I've talked a little bit about, but they also had some mechanics for conflict at scale. In their case, players and other individual-scale characters can't directly interact with characters at settlement-scale (defined as settlements and hordes), but they have various abilities or roleplay objectives that allow them to buff/debuff or in some other way indirectly affect settlements or hordes, or they can get these affects by achieving objectives. 

However, I think a TNT-style opposed roll with a bypass mechanic, as with ranged weapons and spite damage, could be an effective way to handle cross-scale massive combat directly.

So if you want to face off against mechs and titans and kaiju in TNT, here's my M&M Hack (this time we're going back to ampersand because candy)!

Final NOTE: This has not been tested, and probably will need some tweaking, but I think the core idea is solid.

********************************************************************************

M&M Hack

  • Massive creatures always deal at minimum their personal adds in damage against non-massive creatures, even if they lose the opposed roll, unless the opponent(s) roll solely to defend.

That's it! And below are a few optional rules:

  • Massive creatures have twice the HP, dice, and adds for their MR as a normal creature. 
  • Non-massive characters can spend two adventure points (if using the SoftMax Hack where AP are roleplay tokens) to bypass the minimum damage, but only if they can justify it given a unique circumstance such as a narrative or environmental factor.
  • Alternatively, they can bypass minimum damage by achieving some secondary objective.

********************************************************************************

Discussion


The core mechanic of the M&M hack makes it so that massive creatures are not just extraordinarily high MR creatures; they are a unique threat. Even a relatively low MR massive creature can be a threat to a relatively high-level party. Even if the party could defeat the monster(s) in direct combat, they are encouraged to tread carefully.

For instance, an MR 9 creature would have 9 adds (if using the optional rule to double HP/dice/adds for MR), meaning that while they would only have 2 damage dice, they will always deal a minimum of 9 damage. This is essentially a level 1 monster, but considering that a starting character will only have around 10 HP on average, and given the slow rate at which HP is gained (derived from CON, so current CON * 10 XP cost per unit increase), even what is essentially a peak level 1 monster (MR 0-9 being roughly level 1) will be dangerous even to experienced adventurers. 

The optional rule to give massive creatures double the HP, dice, and adds for their MR is also meant to reinforce the idea that massive creatures are something special. You could just as easily ignore this mechanic, and give a massive creature normal stats and choose MR accordingly, but I think this rule of thumb reinforces the idea that massive creatures are more powerful, while still allowing you to apply a roughly similar logic to how you choose what MR to make your massive creatures. So if you have an idea of how your party can hold up against an MR 4 creature, that gives you somewhat of a sense of how they can hold up against an MR 4 massive creature (but again, you could just as easily make the massive creature MR 8 without this optional rule for a similar effect).

The optional rules for bypassing the minimum damage are meant to encourage GMs to design massive combat encounters in interesting ways with various environmental factors like difficult terrain, dangerous falling debris, obstructive civilian NPCs chaotically fleeing for their lives, etc., and encouraging players to interact with this environment. The core mechanic isn't just a matter of logistics, but also narrative framing, and the two should go hand-in-hand. A massive creature is more dangerous because they are massive, but narratively this could be reflected as their sheer size making them unavoidable, or it could that the debris, destruction, and general chaos they leave in their wake is nearly unavoidable, or it could be having to deal with rioters and opportunists along the way. So even if the party is strong, they need to find high ground, or get away from the crowd, or find the indestructible magic shelter, or get the civilians to cooperate, or something like that, if they stand any chance against the massive creature. 

Because I'm trying to make my Aquarian Dawn campaign a little more grounded, I don't know if I'll end up using this mechanic too soon (although knowing me it'll devolve into gonzo soon enough). If I do, it will likely be that the massive creature is intentionally way outside their weight-class, rendering these mechanics more or less moot, and focusing more on the massive creature as an environmental hazard and vehicle to tell a "grounded" story about disasters. These mechanics might be a better fit for facing off against MADs, or the Meat-Hive Mecha of the "Bees" of the Blue Moon, or the spawn of Mother at the Gate, all from my Phantasmos setting, or for gravity-bending naval / aquatic / aerial combat between pirates, privateers, massive monsters, and technomagical ships in Vortekka

Some of those are really old posts that may or may not actually hold up to my current standards 0.o...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Aquarian Dawn: Dwarves

If elves in Aquarian Dawn are a little different, dwarves are a lot different. Maybe even more different than the titular Aquarians themselves. If you'd like to learn more about my Aquarian Dawn campaign, check out my Tunnels & Trolls Hack / Cheatsheet / Impressions  (featured on Ynas Midgard's Excellence from the Blogosphere (March-April)), or my campaign scenario.

I ended up writing a lot more for this than the elves, now I feel like I need to do a redux on the elves now 0.o!

I realize that these seem so different from "traditional" fantasy dwarves that you might wonder why I call them dwarves at all. I'm not saying they're perfect by any means, but I promise you the decisions I made aren't totally random, and there are various bits of authorial intent and subtext for why they are the way they are, although I would encourage you to theorize about it for yourself (and share) rather than ask me. I am a firm believer that reader response is just as important if not more so than authorial intent, so tell me what you think!


The dwarves were once not so different from humans. Some believe the dwarves once were humans (although this is highly contested). They were an ancient people, a practical people, who understood systems, but only insomuch as understanding the system led to prosperity. They became smiths, engineers, and eventually merchants and financiers. But they never quite saw the big picture of the world. They were terrible at politics and interpersonal relations; always so focused on the practical, and no matter how much they prospered, when the butterflies King Oberon and Queen Titania fought and flapped their wings and chaos ensued, they found themselves at the mercy of elves, or humans, or fey, or whichever other creature came to prominence in a given era.

Eventually, miraculously, they changed. They were a practical people, a harsh people. As the High Age receded, the elves were all but gone, and the humans were destroying themselves, but the dwarves would survive, even if it meant finally changing. They dragged themselves out of their caves, many of them anyway, and climbed the tallest mountains, and wandered the tundras and deserts, and all the other harsh places humans couldn't survive. They reached a meditative symbiosis, in these tough places, their bodies adapting to their environments, their minds changing as a reaction to their new forms, and they learned, finally, to think about their place in the cosmos.

The dwarves of today are not, can not, be well understood by humans, although communication is still possible. The dwarves belief system is based on the Cosmic Reticulum, a world tree, a deterministic theory of the universe that can be explained as a system, like a series of interacting fractal models, and they seek to understand it. Their pantheon is the trinity of the Fairy King Oberon, Fairy Queen Titania, and the Formless Sleeper Tsathoggua. The myths surrounding this trinity reflect interpersonal relationships, often gender identity, sexuality, and familial structure, with the Fairy King usually representing Masculinity and Binary Sexuality (heterosexual vs. homosexual), Titania representing Femininity and Pan-sexuality, and the black ichor of Tsathoggua representing natural/biological functions, reproduction, adaptation, identity, and lucidity. They are a tool for understanding system dynamics in general, and how to recognize dysfunction. They are gods to be pitied as much as praised. They are like the nodes in a graph network, and it is the edges, the relations between those nodes, that truly matter. From a human perspective, one might argue that this reticular cosmos is just another manifestation of the practical, grounded thinking of the dwarves, on a metaphysical scale. Perhaps they have changed less than one might think.

There are primarily two kinds of dwarves that players may encounter in a campaign set in Howlston. These descriptions are for "baseline" dwarves of their kind, but their biology varies significantly on an individualistic level, as each dwarf's biology varies significantly as they adapt to their environment, like a lesser version of espers.

The Mountain Dwarves have uncannily round bodies, like an inflated lung, with pale skin and umber fur or hair. They have three fingers and toes on each hand and foot, a visor-like protrusion and membrane covering their large round eyes, and a mouth and nose like a saiga antelope, which they use to filter the air (or extract oxygen from water or from thin environments), moderate temperature, and communicate through nasally howls. Despite their uncanny appearance, their skeletons look very humanoid, just warped and compressed within an inhuman body.

The Duergar (sometimes referred to as Cave Dwarves or Gray Dwarves) never quite gave up the subterranean. They are an off-shoot of the mountain dwarves, but have chosen to live inside the mountains. They are pale, virtually translucent, with no eyes or mostly vestigial red eyes. The black ichor, the devil water that courses through the veins of all dwarves visible as it courses through their veins, giving them the appearance of the Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua who they praise and pity. Except for their humanoid skeletons, they are loose in form, moving more like frogs or octopi, and have no qualms with breaking bones to fit through tight spaces. Their noses are upturned, appearing mutilated like the face of a bat. Their arms have a membrane like a wyvern, for swimming, but can also be adapted for flight or gliding. The rare duergar to adapt to the world of light often become colorful; their translucent skin becoming opalescent and their wings developing colors and patterns like a butterfly.

It is difficult for dwarves to communicate with other humanoids. They do not think of or describe time linearly, but more like one would describe the spatial dimensions. They tend not to have strong self-identities or other-identities, instead focusing on the relations between individuals, or clusters of individuals as a symbolic unit within the larger system of the universe. Their consciousness is dream-like compared to humans, internally coherent but otherwordly. The duergar, especially, act in a way that appears more like animal than human, or like a highly inebriated human. They are intelligent, but not in any way a human could really understand.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Superheroes and Villains as Fantasy Species

This post was inspired by one of my 5 minute challenges, and consists of 100 superheroes or supervillains, re-imagined as fantasy species.

I tried to impose a "soft rule" on myself that I wouldn't just take species from superhero settings whole-sale, e.g. Kree, Skrulls, Thanagarians, etc., but there are a few where the superhero I based it on is so emblematic of the species that it's effectively a post for that species.

I also tried to make these species that could have GLOG classes or other kinds of mechanics made for them to be PCs fairly easily, although definitely several of them would work much better as NPC species or monsters.

A few of these are more like character classes than species, but I tried to keep it mostly in-line with species.

Notable absences: I haven't done anything (yet) with TMNT, Power Rangers, or One Punch Man. Maybe those will get added into the next version!

A few people contributed to this project and I'd like to thank them and note their entries. Apologies in advance if I miss or mis-attribute some. If you'd like to contribute, post in the comments or shoot me a message, as I may expand this list in the future! If you have an idea for a character that already shows up on this list, that's ok too!

GalacticNomad:
Sluggoths
Bufonids
Orbheads
Multiple Men
Deathstrikes

Bacontime:
Hiveminds
Newts
Greybois
Grues

Chort (contributed names):
Arachnoids
Sluggoths
Bufonids
Marrowlocks (suggested morlocks, inspired me to make it a portmanteau)

Haven't written javascript in a while actually, so hopefully this works. If you catch any bugs please let me know in the comments and I'll try to fix it asap!

Select Superhero Fantasy Species


Click through the list of superhero fantasy species:
Go to species by number (1 through 100):
Pick a random species





Full Table


IndexNameInspirationDescription
1!Agent "!"They are pointedly unable to attract attention, up until the point that they cause direct harm, or by touch or direct eye contact. They tend to dress garishly, to magically or chiurgically modify their bodies for visual effect. One ! replaced his entire torso with a cage containing an obnoxiously loud mechanical bird. They are not born, but created. Middle children, spurned lovers, unrecognized artists, and most of all, the desperate and destitute. All they want is to be noticed. Most are harmless, although some have learned to harness their curse to serve as the ultimate spies, assassins, and saboteurs.
2AkhlutiansGang Orca (Kugo Sakamata)They are were-orcas. In their orca form, they are large, superhumanly strong, fast, and durable, and can produce sonic waves that can be either destructive or paralyzing. They tend to travel in nomadic packs, often derogatorily referred to as gangs. They are not innately good or evil, although they often have a bad reputation given their fearsome abilities and hunter instincts.
3AngelsAngel/Archangel/ThanagariansExcept for their wings, they are indistinguishable from humans. Elite angel warriors, known as archangels, wear a lightweight armor of Nth metal or some other holy metal. Stored within their wings are Nth metal feather flachettes, which serve both as protection for their wings, and as deadly weapons which make the wings razor-sharp and can also be launched as chaotic projectiles. Additionally, many archangels carry Nth metal maces.
4AnnihilusAnnihilusMetallic insectoid creatures of great cosmic power, from another dimension known as the Negative Zone. They have antanae that channel cosmic energy, and can be torn off and wielded as cosmic control rods. They build up their forces until they are large enough and powerful enough to breach the membrane of reality, flowing out like a wave, wrecking havoc like a tsunami. The king, known as The Annihilus, can be killed, halting the Wave. However, he will be reborn, and when he comes of age, the Annihilation Wave will reorganize around him.
5ArachnoidsSpider-Man (Peter Parker) and Man-SpiderSpider-people known for their poor humor, poor luck, great power, and sense of responsibility. They have six arms, six eyes in rows of two, and two sets of horn/fangs along the sides of their faces. It is said that they are the result of an alchemical experiment gone wrong...
6Assembler SpritesCreati (Momo Yaoyorozu)Their navels contain a portal to some pocket dimension. Items stored in the pocket dimension are deconstructed, and new objects can be constructed and retrieved. While a seemingly incredible power, it does have two major limitations. The first being that they must have the appropriate materials to construct an item in the first place. The second being that they must have a sophisticated knowledge of the thing they're trying to build. For this reason, assembler sprites are studious and industrious, and their society as a whole is wealthy.
7AuriklesAuriklesDemi-god neanderthals (or dwarves, depending on the setting / preference) cross-bred with the gods of the Fourth World. Generally they have mild super-physical abilities, but some also have unique powers stemming from the Fourth World pantheon.
8B'Wana BeastsAnimal Man / B'Wana BeastBeast-men nature spirits with the ability to access The Red, a plane of the metaphysical concept of animal life, able to adopt abilities of any non-magical animal that exists in the world. They also have the ability to fuse two or more non-magical animals into natural chimeras, in some cases creating viable new species that, despite their appearance or biological origins, are technically natural and not magical or aberrant.
9BanesBaneThey have externalized veins extending from their back into their neck, coarsing green venom through their blood, pumping up their muscles to massive proportions. They are superhumanly strong, even more so when they trigger their venom, but also intelligent and cunning.
10Beast-menBeast (Hank McCoy)They have vaguely ape-like and feline-like features, and blue (or sometimes gray) fur. In addition to their physical prowess, they are also incredibly bright. However, while generally pleasant and well-meaning, they sometimes lack social grace
11Black MistlingsKurogiriWhile The Nameless Mist and The Darkness are mostly known for their asexual offspring Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath respectively, they also bore a child together, the Black Mist, which itself spawned an entire eldritch species, the black mistlings. They are shadow-like entities, like black and purple flame barely contained in humanoid form. The full extent of their powers are unknown, but they generally serve in a subordinate role to those who dabble in dark arts. The abilities they manifest for the sake of mortals are warp gates, bends and folds in reality which serve to teleport individuals long distances. However, it is believed that they contain dark magics and reality warping abilities far beyond mere teleportation.
12BlobsBlob (Fred Dukes)When a massive mutagenic troll eats a certain kind of slime, it transforms into a blob. They are outrageously obese, yet surprisingly spry. Their bodies defy gravity, and can absorb most shock and reflect/deflect/bounce most physical attacks.Their greatest (only?) vulnerability is their anger and ignorance.
13BrainiacsBrainiac (Vril Dox)Green-skinned necroborgs; they use black science and magic to reproduce, and then necrotize their young. The most powerful and eldest brainiacs abandon their souls altogether, becoming liches. They prize knowledge above all else, and spurn change, which invalidates knowledge and adds the dimension of time to the already monolithic task of cataloguing all information in the universe. They travel from world to world or plane to plane, destroying all civilization in their path, except for a single city, which they store in a phylactory-like soulstone.
14BufonidsToad (Mortimer Toynbee)Mostly human looking. Large, strong legs that allow them to leap long distances and squat for long periods of time. Amphibious. They have webbed hands and feet, and gills, though you'd have to check carefully. Disgustingly long, prehensile tongue.
15Cloaked OnesCloak (Tyrone Johnson)Negatives wearing a black cloak made of the energies of the darkforce dimension. They are powerful darkforce mystics, capable of long-range extra-dimensional teleportation through the darkforce, controlling shadows, and warping reality with darkforce energy to induce insanity in non-negatives.
16ClockmenClock King (mainly Temple Fugate)Time elementals. They are unassuming in appearance, like an average-sized, middle-aged bald man in a suit and hat, the only hint of their true nature their round lenses that reflect what appears to be a ticking clock with accurate time (but... that can't be...). Without time their is no mortality, no scarcity, no causality, and so the time elementals are often as much portents of danger as they are protectors. They spend most of their time (pun intended) in elaborate games of spycraft, political intrigue, and puzzles in order to undermine each other, with each reaching to attain the state of Clock King. In their true form they have blue or green skin covered in clocks, with a clock for a face. The Clock King wears a gold or green cape, boots, gloves, and a royal bejeweled gold and red crown.
17CollosiCollosus (Piotr Rasputin)They are large (although not as large as their name might imply), and have metallic skin. They are known for being simple and good-natured, and for their appreciation of art and poetry.
18CreepersCreeper (Jack Ryder)They are to Harlequins as Green Hobgoblins are to Green Goblins. They have yellow skin, green head hair, and long red body hair that grows over their shoulders and upper back like a mane, coat, or cape. Despite maintaining humanoid size and lacking the infernal magics of Green Hobgoblins, they are near equals in strength and superior in speed and agility, and have a freeze-response inducing laugh. Although less cunning than the super-insane Harlequins, they are more capable of hiding amongst humans than Green Hobgoblins.
19CyclopsiCyclops (Scott Summers)Surprisingly slim for their size, at least until adulthood. They are most recognizable for their ruby-quartz eyes which can project force beams. They have excellent vision and visuospatial abilities, and although rigid in their thinking and prone to extremism, are known for being excellent tacticians.
20DaredevilsDaredevil (Matt Murdock)A species of demon, devil, or tiefling with red skin and short devil horns, with blood-red orbs where their eyes should be. Although blind, they have a super sonar or radar-like sense. They are prone to risk-taking, acrobatics, and violence, although they are not necessarily evil. In fact, they are a religious and judicial people, in contrast to their appearance and surface demeanor.
21Dark KnightBatman / Black Knight / Shining KnightThe Dark Knights are templars or paladins, avatars of justice borne from crime and tragedy. There is generally only one true Dark Knight at any time on any one world. They are usually not supernaturally powerful, but are the metaphysical peak of their species, to the point of being demigod-like in their feats of accomplishment. The Dark Knight was seeded in the Fourth World by the king of the New Gods of Apokolips, Darkseid, as his anti-paladin champion of anti-life, empowered by the ebony blade. The first Dark Knight, Barbatos the Demon King, was thwarted by the Shining Knight Tlano of the planet Zur-En-Arrh, empowered by the Archwizard Merlin. In his moment of defeat, Barbatos pierced Tlano with the ebony blade, their blood mixed with the omega-beams powering the sword, fusing their essence throughout spacetime as the metaphysical concept of the Dark Knight. Throughout time and many worlds, agents of Darkseid known as the Black Glove, and agents of Merlin known on this world as The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas, have fought to find, or create, the next Dark Knight, or turn them to their cause. As a rule, the Dark Knight must be born from tragedy and/or hardship, and must be someone dedicated to justice, but tempted by vengeance. They do not necessarily have to wield the ebony blade, as it is an inherent part of their being, and some spurn lethal violence altogether. They often dress in black or gray armor and a black cape and cowl reminiscent of a bat.
22DeathstrikesLady DeathstrikeLithe and agile humanoids. Their bones are near impossible to break, and their hands have long, sharp talons instead of fingers.
23DecayedTomura ShigarakiTheir shriveled, dull-colored skin and gray hair give them an elderly or skeletal appearance. Anything they touch with all five fingers on a given hand will rapidly decay. Most of their kind are quick to anger and vengeful by nature. However, some good decayed exist. These decayed often cut off their pinky finger on their dominant hand, rendering their abilities useless on that hand, as a sign of good faith.
24DesperosDesperoPsionic beings born from the "Flame of Py'tar". They manifest as a third (or Nth) eye on an intelligent being, first as a demonic familiar, and eventually overtaking the being. In addition to their psionic abilities, they also maintain the abilities of the species they co-opt. The original species overtaken by the despero are a human-like species with superhuman strength and the ability to manipulate their own biology. They have red skin, sharp lizard-like teeth, pointed ears, no hair, and a tall fin along the top of their heads.
25Elongated OnesElongated Man / Mister Fantastic / Plastic ManFey creatures of great intellect and deduction, and often also tricksters. They can stretch any part of their body to extreme proportions, giving them superhuman durability, and the more powerful ones can stretch and fold themselves to the point of being nearly shapeshifters. Some practice the art of brain contortion, stretching and folding their own mind for even greater intellectual abilities.
26FacelessThe Question (Vic Sage) / RorschachMysterious, obsessive, spiritual creatures, human-like except for their lack of face. They are able to produce a false face, to disguise themselves and live among humans as it serves them. While most are socially awkward and live at the fringe of human society (if they attempt to integrate at all), some learn to mimic human social mores and can pretend to be exemplars of human charisma, like a sociopath. Although spiritual, they are impressionable, more often a follower than a leader of their faith, and prone to cognitive dissonance between their beliefs and actual behaviors. Their obsessive nature makes them well-suited for detective work, but given their social awkwardness, tend to work as private investigators rather than serving the kingdom directly.
27FeralsWolverine / Sabretooth / etc.Druidic nature spirits, the existential distillation of animalism from civilization. They generally have superhuman senses, strength, speed, durability, claws and fangs (sometimes retractable bone claws), incredible hunting and fighting abilities, and above all, an incredible healing factor. Some ferals, usually kidnapped against their will, have had a magical "cold iron" known as adamantium bonded to their skeleton, somewhat dampening their healing factor, but giving them a powerful asset against fey and other magical or supernaturally-durable beings.
28FlashFlash (mainly Wally West)Fey-creatures from the plane of the Flashforce, a "speed dimension". They are generally good-natured and altruistic protectors, known for their humor and optimism. They are the fastest creatures in the multiverse, so fast that they can vibrate their molecuels through not just physical space but also time, other planes/dimensions, and other universes. Because their speed derives from the very metaphysical concept, they are not subject to the normal physical rules of movement like acceleration. In other words, their punches aren't supernaturally strong per se, but also they can stop instantly and can carry people in movement without flaying them against the air. They often have red or yellow skin, but sometimes human skin tones. They have short bolts of lightning at sprouting from the sides of their heads that leave a lightning flash-like trace when they move at superspeed.
29FlexosFlex MentalloMassive men, like bodybuilders. Although hypermasculine sometimes to a fault, they are generally positivist, supportive, proactive, and well-meaning. They have the rare ability to cast magic by channeling sheer "mind-over-matter" will, by flexing their massive muscles using the martial art Mentalloism. It is not clear what flexos actually are; if they are some kind of fey, or humanoid offshoot, or if one can become a flexo through the master of Mentalloism.
30FrozenMr. Freeze (Victor Fries)Cold, emotionless wights. They use ice magics to freeze everything in their path, with the goal of terraforming the world into a frozen wasteland. They are said to have been created by a powerful, vengeful wizard, long ago, who suffered a great tragedy, and chose to bury his emotions under a thick sheet of ice.
31Ghost RidersGhost RiderSpirits of Vengeance, granted undeath by a powerful arch-demon. They are skeletons covered in flame, with superhuman strength and durability, infernal magic, and they are effectively immortal unless exorcized. Even if they are destroyed, they will eventually regenerate. Any who look into the eyes of a Ghost Rider and are judged guilty are petrified and turn to ash. They often maintain their intelligence and identity from life, unless they were formed from the combined essence of many vengeful spirits. They wield chains wrapped around their arms that they can set aflame. They ride beasts such as nightmares and hellhounds, or infernally-powered machines. They generally work alone, wandering around committing random acts of vengeance within their domain. In rare cases, they are compelled by the arch-demon to organize against a community or even an entire civilization.
32Golboosters and SkeetersBooster Gold (Michael Carter) and SkeetsThey come from the future, and are always found as a pair. Skeeters are egg-shaped creatures of some kind of magic metal or stone (like an ioun stone), and contain a vast store of knowledge (as well as surprisingly potent magical armaments). Goldboosters are blue-skinned with gold star-like spots, or gold-skinned with blue star-like spots, and have large orangeish-gold orbs for eyes. They have energy and force projection powers and flight. While skeeters attempt to keep any details about the future a secret, goldboosters have a habit of revealing information they should not. Nonetheless, the information they provide is often condradictory and uneducated, and therefore not of much use. Although usually well-meaning, these pairs usually came to the past by accident, or as the result of some kind of trouble.
33Gorillas of Gorilla CityGorilla Grodd / Gorilla CitySuper-intelligent, super-strong gorillas. Some also have psychic abilities, but usually require a psionic focus such as a psionic helmet. They also have the ability to absorb the memories and intelligent of other creatures by consuming them alive.
34Grape GoblinsGrape Juice (Minoru Mineta)Dark purple goblins with grape-like protrusions growing on their head. They can pop off the grapes, which are supernaturally adhesive and can take several hours before dissolving. They are immune to their own grapes, and resistant to other grape goblins' grapes, and can use the elastic grapes to trampoline themselves. They are known for being lewd, crude, selfish, and cowardly.
35Green GoblinsGreen Goblin (Norman Osborn)While many goblins are green, only the greenest of goblins are Green Goblins (which is ironic since they tend to wear purple as a status symbol). They are often much larger than regular goblins, more like hobgoblins in size and supernatural abilities, and can disguise themselves as humanoids. They are master gadgeteers, best known for their explosive alchemical pumpkin bombs and alchemagical goblin gliders, although some are fighters who wear heavy armors, their faces covered in goblin-faced masks. More than anything else, more than their gadgets or greenness, most of all they are known for their madness.
36Green HobgoblinsUltimate Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)The greenest and maddest of Green Goblins (or sometimes a special hobgoblin) ascend to Green Hobgoblin. They are large creatures, more like trolls or bugbears, with small spikes along their shoulders and long horns on their heads. Like Green Goblins, they are able to disguise themselves as humanoids, but their severe rage and madness makes this more difficult. They rely less on alchemical gadgets, and more on there superhuman abilities, regeneration, and natural infernal chaos magics.
37GreyboisGrey BoyMonochrome imps slightly unstuck by time. Can revert themselves several seconds when injured, or startled, or when they step in some mud. But their memories are reversed too, leading them to never really develop a sense of caution, and are easily tricked.
38GrimmlinsThe Thing (Ben Grimm)Brash, boisterous, large, ugly rock-people. Their skin is covered with plates of a strong, orange rock-like substance. They came to this world on cosmic rays.
39GruesGrueSurrounded by clouds of thick black smoke. Grues emit this smoke from their body, and see using wavelengths that penetrate the smoke. They often make a living by playing up the 'terrifying monster hiding in the dark' thing, but they're typically kind-hearted and have strong familial bonds.
40GrundiesSolomon GrundyHulking undead brutes, generally associated with swamps. They have a simple, child-like intelligence, and maintain only vague memories of their mortal life. They seem to be corruptions of plant elementals, a protector of the circle of life altered by undeath, but perhaps they serve a grander celestial purpose even as they are...
41HarlequinsJoker / Harley QuinnA rare subset of Green Goblins with albinism (although they sometimes maintain green hair and eyes). Although they lack the super strength of other Green Goblins, they have even greater super agility and dexterity. Most of all, their manic, hyper-focused form of super-insanity make them often the most dangerous of their kind. They are often killed while young, as even other Green Goblins fear them. They also have a habit of either murdering each other, or developing unhealthy abusive relationships, making them even more rare, and the survivors even more dangerous.
42HivemindsSkitter (Taylor Hebert)Swarm of small buglike creatures which surround a small chitonous humanoid 'queen'. The group acts as one organism, with the swarm acting as the sense organs and manipulators of the queen. Strictly speaking, these creatures aren't full hiveminds, due to the central brain acting as an administrative hub.
43HulksHulk (Bruce Banner)They are large, have green skin, rippling muscles, vaguely ape-like faces, and odd proportions; they are as much monster as man. They have superhuman strength, speed, durability, and rapid healing. Some have human intelligence, but most are child-like, overwhelmed by anger, and desire only to smash!
44IcemenIceman (Bobby Drake)Ice elementals that appear like living snowmen or ice sculptures. They have the ability to produce large quantities of snow and ice, even creating fast-moving ice slides for traversal. They are known for their humor and humanity, despite their great power.
45InvisiblesInvisible Woman (Susan Storm)They are invisible, and also have the ability to bend and compress light into forcefields and force constructs.
46Iron MenIron Man (Tony Stark)A type of warforged, said to be descended from a single creator, or at least from their designs. Although they come in various sizes, shapes, features, and colors, most have a human figure, a flat mask with simple features for a face, are red and gold in color, and harness a unique blue energy. They are known for their industriousness, callous arrogance, and charm, all of which are exceptional features for a warforged. In fact, most of the warforged are hollow and contain an organic host, sworn to secrecy, who wear the Iron Man as an armor. In these cases, the warforged intelligence merely assists the host.
47Jeanists / GenoansBest Jeanist (Tsunagu Hakamata)The Genoans are a type of dwarf born from cotton, their skin like indigo-white or blue denim. They have learned to make denim clothing, and proliferate its glory. They have been most successful in spreading the word of the denim pants known as jeans. Jeanists are denim-smiths, usually genoan, who wear magically-enhanced denim from head to toe, and have the ability to manipulate the threads of clothing (especially but not limited to denim).
48Key-MenKeyGray-skinned fey creatures with ten senses activated by their "psycho-chemicals". They are masters of biochemistry, and use their super-senses to access higher planes like a metaphysical key. They tend to wear or carry key symbology, use lock and key-related puns, and range from good-natured tricksters to out-right fiends.
49Living GhostsGhostMysterious and uncanny creatures. They are definitely not undead, but it is otherwise not known if they are mortals, fey, demons, aberrants, extraterrestrials, or something else. They are spindly, almost skeletal, with clawed hands, and somewhat arthropodic faces. They can turn invisible, but still be physical, or take on an ethereal form, but not both at the same time. Additionally, they are genius-level tinkerers and lockpickers/hackers, and tend to carry various technological or alchemical gadgets. For a high price, they can be summoned to serve some mercenary purpose, but otherwise little is known about them. It is unknown if they have a society, if they have personal or societal goals, or what if anything they require for survival.
50LockjawsLockjawThey look like large, almost monstrous bulldogs, with tuning forks on their heads. It's not totally clear how intelligent they are, but they are generally subservient, like dogs. They have the ability to teleport over long distances, and can teleport others with them by touch.
51MagnetosMagneto (Erik Lehnsherr)Powerful creatures able to manipulate electromagnetic fields and control metals. They generally appear as humanoids wearing a unique helmet, but the magneto is actually the helmet, the body is practically vestigial. They are immune to psychic influence, although if removed from their body, the body may be psychically influenced. If their body is destroyed, the magneto can steal the body of another humanoid by covering their head and manipulating the electromagnetic field of their brains, although most find the loss of their body freeing and instead wear the bodies of metal golems. They come from a place where they and other magical creatures and mutants were persecuted, and are generally hostile towards humans and other mundane humanoids.
52MarrowlocksMarrow (Sarah Rushman)Violent and borderline feral. They are covered in plates of bone and sharp bony protrusions. They can rapidly grow and project bone which they use as weapons.
53MartiansMartian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz)Green men with psionic and shape-shifting abilities, and an unfortunate aversion to fire. They are said to be refugees from a nearby world.
54MarvelsMarvel Girl (Jean Grey)Psionic fey creatures, whose telepathic and telekinetic powers manifest with a pink-colored energy. Collectively, they tap into a great cosmic power known as the phoenix force, a primordial god or even greater existential entity of destruction and rebirth.
55MojosMojoLarge, fat creatures with no spines, yellowish skin and eyes, lizard-like teeth and tongues, and white hair (often in dreadlocks). They use constructs that look like medieval torture devices (or cybernetics, if sci-fi setting) to move. They are sleazy, greedy, gluttonous creatures obsessed with mindless entertainment. Many run gladiator pits, theater troupes, and other forms of entertainment. They see themselves as auteurs, but all of their works are trite.
56MoonfishMoonfishA type of Deep One, a fish-like human with shiny, scaly gray skin and sharp teeth. They are ravenous cannabilistic creatures, more like zombies than humans, although they still can be somewhat reasoned with. They have the ability to rapidly grow their teeth as piercing weapons that can bend, curve, shrink, wrap around objects, and so on.
57MoonstonesMoonstone (Karla Sofen)Any mortal creature in the possession of a particular ioun stone referred to as a moonstone take on this moniker (of what moon it is not known). The moonstone hovers around their heads and bodies, providing them gravity and light-bending powers. The stones have some kind of abstract intelligence and communicate with their hosts on the astral plane, often providing them mental health aid. However, the moonstones are selfish, and not above manipulating their hosts to serve their ends, even at the expense of their host.
58Multiple MenMultiple ManThey look like a man... the same man, from whom they are all descended, if that's the correct word. Their lore says that one who finds father can (and most likely will) become part of him. This has them divided into two sects. One believes the destiny of every multiple man is to join Father. Members of the other value their individuality and fear him as an all-consuming demon that looks just like them. ANYONE could be Father.
59NegativesMister Negative (Martin Li)A general term for any creature that has been warped by the energies of the darkforce dimension. They appear as a photo-negative of their original selves. They generally have enhanced abilities, as well as the ability to project darkforce energy that appears like black lightning.
60NewtsNewter, from WormSlender orange skinned bipeds with long tails and sticky hands and feet. Their sweat and blood are potent fast-acting hallucinogens to most other species.
61NightcrawlersNightcrawler (Kurt Wagner)Demons who emigrated from their fire and brimstone, limbo-like dimension. They have dark indigo-blue velvety fur, long three-fingered hands and long two-toed feet, a prehensile tail with a spade at the end, and yellow eyes. In addition to superhuman agility, dexterity, and flexibility, they can also teleport over short distances by travelling through their limbo dimension. Despite their appearance and nature, they are generally moral beings and followers of positivist religions. While moral, they are not above flirtation, and are known for their charm and adventurous spirit.
62Nitro-HobsKatsuki BakugoOverly aggressive, hot-headed hobgoblins with yellow skin and spiky protrusions on their scalp. Their sweat is explosive, which they have learned to harness in martial combat. They are excellent fighters, but poor warriors, as they often fail to stay in rank or work as a team. Additionally, while their sweat has many profitable industrial applications, they repeatedly fail to leverage this asset.
63NobodiesMr. Nobody (Eric Morden)They appear as two-dimensional, slim, blocky shadows, with an empty space in their chest in the shape of a heart. They have a certain detached, fey-like hypersanity, and limited reality warping magics. Each nobody has a painting like that of Dorian Grey. If they are ever killed, they return to their painting for some time until they can regenerate. If their painting is destroyed, they die... unless the painting can be perfectly reproduced.
64NoumuNoumuAlchemically-reanimated monstrosities, hulking black avian tengu with stripes of red scars where flesh was sown together, no wings, sharp teeth behind their beaks, and eyes embedded in exposed brains. They were created by some dark lord long ago and are massively powerful, mostly mindless soldiers of evil. However, there are known cases of intelligent High Noumu, who are generally less powerful, as much of their power drawing from their mindlessness in some way), but have been known to serve as agents for good. A rare subset of High Noumu attain a True Neutral nirvana-like state, becoming demi-god or god-like beings.
65NygmasRiddler (Edward Nigma) / ArcadeLeprechauns from a fairy-dimension known as Murderworld. They have pale skin, red hair, and tend to wear green, purple, or white suits and carry canes with a question mark-shaped handle. The canes are magic rods, and the handles can also be detached and used as a wand, wielded like a videogame controller. They are geniuses, and in particular are masters of puzzles, riddles, mysteries, wordplay, cryptography, and game design. Although not very physically imposing, their genius intellect, cunning, magical abilities, and dangerous dimension have honed their physical abilities and fighting skills. The smartest, strongest, and most cunning amass territory in murderworld, which they use to build various labyrinths of deadly games, for personal security and for fun. Their greatest weakness is their arrogance, often leading them to underestimate their enemies. Their second greatest weakness is their obsessive-compulsive behaviors, particularly as they pertain to giving away clues and secrets to their own games. They are not innately evil, and some even act for the sake of good, but most act selfishly and malevolently. They usually become obsessed with some single person or group, tormenting them with deadly games, sometimes transporting them to their own labyrinth in murderworld.
66OctaviansDoctor Octopus (Otto Octavius) / 2099The descendents of atlanteans, deep ones, or some other ancient underwater species, or possibly one of their experiments. They are like human-octopi hybrids, with superhuman abilities allowing them to survive the pressures of the deep ocean, and the ability to breath underwater or on land. They have four long, prehensile, semi-autonomous octopus tentacles that sprout from their backs. They are known for their autism spectrum-like personality traits, great intelligence, and air of superiority.
67Omega RedsOmega Red (Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich)Parademonic abominations of anti-life created by Darkseid, the king of the New Gods of the Fourth World on his home planet Apokolips. Their skin is an unnatural white, their hair gold, and their eyes red. They have retractable tentacles which they can project from the underside of their wrists, made of a nearly unbrakeable living metal, in addition to supernatural physical abilities and regeneration. They are Darkseid's anti-life supersoldiers, embodying his philosophy of anti-life fully. They wear red armor, and either a red headband, mask, or armband, with the omega symbol facing the outside, and a version of the anti-life equation written on the inside.
68OrbheadsRuby ThursdayCrystalline orbs, slightly larger than a human head. Perfectly spherical. Actually very, very advance parasitic androids. They have the ability to sprout tentacles at will; they are prehensile and also serve as means of locomotion. They consume human lifeforce to subsist. Parasitic entities, they wrap their tentacles around a victim's face, suffocate, and then behead them. The tentacles then wrap themselves around the neck-stump and fuse with it, eventually "melting" into it. The victim's head is absorbed into the sphere. The whole body then becomes a "host" to the orbhead. It feeds off of the hosts sexual energy. Abilities: Tentacles are malleable. Can stretch and take different shapes (fists, weapons, etc). When fully charged, able to project energy beams (from the orb).
69Pantheon of the Fourth WorldFourth WorldA pantheon that exists on its own plane known as the Fourth World, the descendents of the old gods of a prior world. Clerics and paladins of the New Gods pray to the New Gods of New Genesis, and gain special powers associated with whichever specific New God they take as their patron. Likewise, witches, warlocks, and anti-paladins pray to the New Gods of Apokolips.
70Penguin-FolkPenguin (Oswald Cobblepot)Their culture can best be described as gaudy; an uncultured attempt to mimic cultured folk, like a funhouse mirror reflection of Victorian England. This is not to say that the penguin-folk are dull or unintelligent, in fact they are quite clever, cunning, and crafty. Nonetheless, they lack tact, they laugh loudly and in an annoying squak, they have no regard for table manners, and no shame around bodily functions (for better or worse).
71PinkiesPinky (Mina Ashido)Spritely fey with fuzzy pink hair, lilac skin, black eyes with gold irises, and curled horns. They can excrete an acidic substance in large quantities that can be either corrosive or sticky. They tend to be light-hearted and excitable.
72PlexMarvel Boy (Noh-Varr)A green slime symbiant from another world (or possibly another plane or universe) that absorbs knowledge, memories, and personalities. When a Plex merges with a host (usually through consumption), the host's skin turns blue and hair turns light gray or white. In addition to accessing the knowledge of the Plex, the hosts gain various abilities, including supernatural strength, speed, agility, dexterity, and flexibility, conscious control of neurological impulses and autonomic body functions, "White Run" active consciousness suppression, hallucinogenic saliva, the ability to digest any substance, the ability to scale most surfaces (even smooth surfaces), and knowledge of advanced alchemy and magics.
73PunishersFrank Castle (Punisher)They are vengeful undead who, like vampires, can pass as their original species. Although nominally they are un-born from some terrible tragedy upon their death, it has been found that those who become punishers were often violent or even monstrous in life. Their undeath seems to be an un-natural result of their own nature rather than the effect of a higher (or lower) power. In addition to the advantages (and disadvantages) that generally come with undeath, they are also master tacticians and competent with all kinds of weapons, traps, and various kinds of fighting styles. They are not especially powerful, but their hyper-focus, determination, and cunning make them a true threat.
74PygsProfessor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin)It is unclear if they are fey creatures wearing life-like pig masks, or if they actually have pig heads. They're weird like that. They speak in well-constructed syntax but heavily broken semantics. They seem chaotic and insane, but there is a certain poetry in them, even if the poetry is in the chaos. They are highly skilled sculptors, and in particular they are known for producing the most life-like and sophisticated, albeit uncanny, golems.
75RobinsRobin / NightwingTengu, either long-nosed humanoids or avians, with primarily red feathers/skin, and yellow, green, and black markings. They are acrobatic, inquisitive, and excellent finesse fighters. Elite robin warriors known as nightwings paint or dye themselves in black and blue, and train in a ninpo style that grants them limited invisibility.
76ScarecrowsScarecrow (Jonathan Crane)Some are actual, walking scarecrows, while others appear more humanoid, with a scarecrow mask over their face. In either case, they have an obsession with fear. It courses through their blood and seeps from their pores, but they also concoct various potions, gases, and brews to spread the fear further.
77Shadow TenguTsukuyomi (Fumikage Tokoyami)Black-feathered tengu, always of the avian kind. They can project a black spirit beast known as their dark shadow from their body that has an independent consciousness. Dark shadows are less powerful in lighter environments, but also more tame. In the dark they become significantly more powerful, but harder to control. For this reason, shadow tengu culture places a strong emphasis on discipline and stoicism.
78SheedaKlarion the Witch BoyBlue, green, or teal-skinned fey, dressed like American Pilgrims, with a natural affinity towards dark magics and time magics, which manifest in an orange aura. They also have a relationship with a type of demon known as the horigal, and can transform into were-horigal, taking on monstrous, vaguely animal-like forms. They are from the far future, near the end of the universe. They tend to live in secret enclaves underground, draining a place of its time.
79Silver SurfersSilver Surfer (Norrin Radd)Celestial beings who serve as harbingers for hungry gods. They are covered in a liquid silver sheen, and ride surfboards of the same material that allow them to fly through the air, traverse open waters or below the water, and even through the stars. They are incredibly powerful demi-gods, but for as powerful as they are, their powers pale in comparison to the gods they serve...
80SinisterMr. Sinister (Nathaniel Essex)They have pure white skin and red gems on their foreheads. Although each sinister seems to behave autonomously (and some even believe themselves to be truly autonomous), they unconsciously serve a sapient collective consciousness. In addition to heightened physical abilities and advanced intellect, they also have limited telepathy between other sinisters, including a limited pool of shared knowledge.
81SluggothsMaggott (forgotten 90's X-Man)People with skin black like polished onyx. They have no internal digestive system, but instead rely on foot-long, black, three-eyed maggots that crawl out of their mouth, feed, and then return to provide them with sustenance. The maggots can eat almost any substance and imbue the Maggotling (?) with some of its essence.
82SolariansSunfire (Shiro Yoshida)Long ago, they fought in a devastating war in an age of advanced magic. They were attacked by a powerful spell, harnessing the energies of the sun itself. Although their civilization was devastated in the attack, they have since learned to harness the solar energies inside them, granting them powerful fire magics on par with any fire elemental.
83Somnius ElvesNegative Man / SleepwalkSome elves chose to leave the mortal realm at the end of their high age, to return to the gods. Others stayed behind, ingratiating themselves within nature. Others still took the middle path. The Somnius elves exist in a liminal state, partway between realms, like a lucid dream. The more "awake" they are, the easier it is for them to communicate and interact with the world, although they are physically weak as if fatigued, and nervous like an insomniac. The more "asleep" they are, they develop enhanced strength, and magical abilities such as flight, magical energy blasts, psionics, and intangibility, but their "soul-self" does not always behave rationally and cannot easily be communicated with. As they bare their soul-self, they are enveloped in a black void-like negative-space, crackling with lightning.
84SongbirdsSongbird (Melissa Gold)White and pink tengu, some are like songbird avians, while others are human-like with dove-white skin, pink hair, and a long pink nose. They have low-level superspeed, advanced sound/voice mimicry, and various kinds of sound-based magics and other special abilities.
85Spotted OnesSpot (Jonathan Ohnn)Negative that appears mostly white, with black spots, and simplified facial features as if they were wearing a mask. They have the ability to open flat disc-like portals for short-range extra-dimensional travel through the darkforce dimension.
86StarroStarroStarfish-like creatures with a large eye in the center. They have a natural affinity for psionics, and can mind control other species by wrapping around them. They are a hive species, except with kings instead of queens. The starro kings are massive, kaiju-sized beings. The smaller starro are often mobilized to infiltrate and parasitize a community, with the kings being called in from the heavens only when subversion proves ineffective.
87SunspotsSunspot (Roberto da Costa)Solar-elementals covered in black flame like a corona effect. They have flight and superhuman strength, and the ability to project solar fire and heat. They come from an advanced civilization living within the sun as god- or demigod-like beings, and usually come to the world with vast wealth, for the purpose of enacting some grand plan. They are bold, cocky, hot-blooded (pun intended), natural leaders, with the kind of immaturity and naivete common of immortals who have never faced adversity. Nonetheless, they are generally well-meaning and virtuous, even if it takes some adversity before they come into their own.
88Swamp ThingsSwamp Thing (Alec Holland)Large sapient plant creatures vaguely in the shape of a person, covered in slime and moss. They are swamp elementals, protectors of nature and plant-life generally, but especially swamps and marshes. In addition to great strength, durability, and regeneration, they can change their form, burrow into the ground and instantly transport to another natural place with plantlife, and produce fruit from their body with nutritious, healing, psychedelic, poisonous, or other properties. Their power varies by how much nature exists around them or in the world altogether.
89SymbiotesVenom, Carnage, etc.Inky, slimy, semi-intelligent alien or aberrant creatures, related to (possibly the origin of) mimics. They attach to a host organism, usually one under some kind of conflict or duress, and provide them with advanced strength, speed, agility, durability, super-senses, and other abilities. The symbiote can hide under the host's skin, or wrap itself over the host, giving it a monstrous appearance. Although they are prone to aggressive emotions and bringing out the baser instincts of their hosts, they are not necessarily evil. Their greatest vulnerability is to loud noises.
90T'ChallaBlack Panther (T'Challa)Humans from an ancient, advanced civilization known as Wakanda, with the ability to take on a superhuman were-panther form. They utilize a rare magical metal called vibranium, which exists in large quantities only within their kingdom, to power their magical creations.
91Templars of the Green LanternGreen LanternThose who are fearless, with the strongest will, and a sense of justice, are chosen by the gods to serve as Templars of the Green Lantern. They are given a magic ring that transforms overlays a magical emerald-green color onto their clothing with the symbol of the lantern and a domino mask over their face. The ring can be used to create force-constructs of a greenish energy, limited only by their imagination.
92The Fog / Danny the StreetThe Fog / Danny the StreetA magic dream-dust collective intelligence. It existentially deconstructs intelligent lifeforms, adding their consciousness to its virtual reality neural network. Within The Fog, the inhabitants live in various layered realities like heavens or hells, connected by a living space known as Danny the Street, who some believe is the original entity of The Fog.
93ThorsStorm (Ororo Monroe) / Thor (Odinson)They can channel the storms, harnessing power greater than the atom bomb. They are few in number, and are often treated as gods or demigods (and may in fact be gods or demigods).
94Tip of the TonguesThe Quiz / Sister GrimmA magical gremlin, the most famous their kind being the artist formerly known as Rumplestiltskin (whose powers were inversely proportional to the number of people who knew his true name, hence the problem...). The particulars of their magics vary, but are usually inversely proportional to the amount of secret knowledge they hold over others. Some can cast any spell that they have never been known to cast before, while others can cast any spell one has not considered at all. Despite being "gremlins", they are not necessarily pint-sized, nor ugly. Some even dress as pretty young witches, or conceal their appearance behind conspicuous yellow plague doctor suits covered in question marks.
95TorchbornHuman Torch (Jim Hammond)A type of warforged, fire golem, or possibly a flame elemental or flame spirit. They have human-like intelligence and characteristics, and generally strive to integrate into civilization. They are surrounded by flames, which they can project, and also harness for flight.
96TorchmenHuman Torch (Johnny Storm)They are surrounded by flames, which they can project, and also harness for flight. They are known for their "fiery" personalities, cockiness, and general immaturity.
97Troll HomonculiTentacole (Mezo Shoji)The alchemically-derived spawn of the adaptive and regenerative troll. They are large creatures with two arm-like tentacles above each real arm, connected by webbing, the ends of which can transform into various organs. Despite their gruesome origins, they are generally intelligent and kind-hearted creatures.
98Ultra-HumanitesUltra-HumaniteWhite-furred super-intelligent, super-strong gorilla-men with psychic powers. Their massive brains push against their skulls like a bulbous protrusion, thick veins feeding the hungry mass.
99Wonder WomenWonder WomanDemi-god golems sculpted from enchanted clay by the gods themselves. They are both sides of human passion; warrior and peacemaker, rebel and judge, leaders and followers. They live on a magically enshrouded utopian island, venturing out only by their own whims, or occasionally at the request of the gods, to serve some mission as protectors or enforcers. They are known for their lasso of truth, an unbreakable shining lasso that compels any in its hold to tell the absolute truth.
100Yankee Doodle DandiesJohn DandyThey face on their head is blank, but additional faces hover around them, representing the current peoples of their home. The more peoples, the more faces. They are something like an anti-fey, an anti-magical being of order, of the nation. They become more powerful with more faces, but also the many faces often bicker and have contradictory intentions, and so it requires greater disciple, usually of an intellectual or abstract nature, to come to terms with them all. Some Yankees embrace their faces, reaching nirvana-like demi god-hood. Others dismiss all but one or two faces; preferring the simplicity and uniformity and ease of power, over the greatness that would come from careful reflection.