Friday, January 22, 2010

Ol' Snagtooth, the White Terror of the Black Hills...

Good Afternoon, All:

I had some fun today writing up some of the lairs for Hammersong's Legacy, and I thought I'd share a fun one with those of you who might be interested.

2028 Ol' Snagtooth, the White Terror of the Black Hills
This small valley is the home of Ol' Snagtooth, a large albino tyrannosaur that terrorizes much of the Black Hills. Time after time, brave adventurers have sought to destroy this fell beast, and some have reported success, only to have Ol' Snagtooth strike again elsewhere in the Black Hills within the next moon. The rumors of treasures found among the discarded remains of those captured by Ol' Snagtooth continues to grow, but the fierce cunning and legendary resilience of the White Terror keeps all but the most intrepid or foolish from attempting to retrieve that lost wealth.

There are a lot of possibilities that I can see for Ol' Snagtooth, which I'll leave to the Referee to determine. Perhaps the albino T-Rex is really just an undead dinosaur, and it reforms and rises again on the new moon after it is supposed slain by adventurers. Or maybe the White Terror is infused with godsblood and now has regenerative powers. Or perhaps there are more than one of the beasts. Or is the beast simply a reincarnated soul, trapped in a most unusual form, which could lead to a spellcasting T-Rex and a very surprised party. Also, is Ol' Snagtooth acting on his own, or is someone directing his actions?

I like entries that spark my imagination, and so I try to write items like that in my background pieces. Any of the scenarios I provided above would make for a very interesting encounter, or even a series of encounters, for a party of adventurers. Heck, just the fact that they're facing a very large albino tyrannosaur is something different enough to hopefully stand out in their memory as a unique element that makes the setting stand out.

Many of the other dozen or so lairs I've created are inspired by ancient mythology, as I wanted to capture that kind of flavor with the well-known lairs of the region. I thought such legendary elements were appropriate in a setting that takes place after a war between the gods. Some, however, were just fun things, like a giant porcupine the size of an eighteen wheeler. That's not the kind of thing you expect to see every day, but should still make for a good and memorable challenge. Of course, the Random Encounter tables for each region will be aimed at more reasonable and commonplace encounters.

So here's a question for you: If you were populating your own version of this kind of post-apocalyptic setting, what kind of lairs would you want to see? Do my thoughts mesh with yours? Or would you have other preferences you'd want to explore? And if so, why?

Thanks in Advance,


James said...

I really like the sound of this and I can't wait to read over the finished product.

I think it is important to have a mixture of 'bizarre' and 'ordinary' lairs - and by that I mean make sure that not every lair has a unique and unusual creature lurking within.

Some 'lairs' could actually be completely abandoned or contain a benevolent 'monster'.

Flynn said...

I'll keep that in mind and review what I've got in place. I may add a few more locations with those as suggestions, just to create a more well-rounded product.

Thanks for the feedback,