Sunday, January 25, 2015

Animals of Fletnern

In the previous post, I mentioned that simply saying "horses" is not a sufficient answer. So what are you to do? Well, I thought about horses (and related animals) when I was first crafting my world of Fletnern. Link to this page to see some of the animals I established. Obviously this is not all of them. In fact, I have charts for most of the regions of the world listing the various different types of animals there. Each area need predators (including an apex predator who is often a "monster"), as well as herbivores that do not entirely interfere with each other and other prey animals. It was fun for me to do this a couple of times, but trying to get this done for all the regions has proven more work than I have found the time (and will) for. For example - where I have marsupials, there are no wolves, only animals based on some of the extinct marsupial carnivores. Also, since my Central Plains region has relatively few wooded areas, I felt deer animals (including moose or elk) were the wrong way to go, but I wanted the Barons of the Council to be big game hunters, so I moved the kudo into the Central Plains. No reason I can't do that in my world. It makes for a little bit of fun confusion, plus, and this is great for most of you GMs: If you can say to the players, "No, there are no deer in the Central Plains. The major hunting animal in the Central Plains is the various kudo, " then your players get the feeling (right or wrong) that you know everything about your world and they get a little impressed or intimidated. OK, probably an exaggeration, but it is kind of impressive when you know stuff like that. It makes the whole thing that much more real.

Why did I do all of this? First, because I was sick of people saying they wanted to buy a “draft” horse. Could a Clydesdale be a draft horse or a war horse? and if so, why were they different prices? (well training etc., but that is not what this one is about) But also (second), I was working on the continent of Hughijen and needed to explain why the dragons could survive around the Dragon Lakes. At first I said they were raiding the Anglic regions for cattle, but that did not entirely make sense. Eventually the Angles would move their ranches farther and farther from the Lakes in order to make it too far for the dragons to range for food. (Which they did.) And the idea of dragons eating mountain goats annoyed me to no end. It seemed undignified. Well, the region is known as “the Dragon Lakes”, so are they fishing those lakes? Why not? Honestly, it was on my honeymoon (in Alaska) that I saw what can only be described as a vortex of eagles - probably 90-120 - circling together and taking turns diving into one area and coming out with fish. There must have been a massive school of fish right there, because the eagles (some bald, some golden, many I could not identify from the distance) just kept hitting it and then flying off with fish. Why couldn’t the dragons do that too? OK, not the vortex thing, just getting tons of fish. But I did have to add some big freshwater fish to the lake, but with a little study on Lake Superior, that was pretty easy.

OK - for you gold farmers out there who see absolutely no point to this post: Here is what you can take away from figuring out what the dragons eat: You now can figure out where they fly to hunt (from their caves to the lakes). You can now figure out that an old dragon (let’s say sick because we know that other game thinks elderly dragons are unstoppable) unable to compete with the others for fish might be forced to move his lair into the Anglic cattle regions, making him a target of the next adventuring party. (This really makes me think of Shere Khan. If you haven’t actually read Jungle Book - you don’t know what you’re missing. I love Disney, but the book is phenomenal and not necessarily for kids.) Since you know what the dragons are eating, you can sort of think of some of the treasure and garbage that would be found in their lairs - fish bones, perhaps caviar that might still be fresh enough to be of value, fresh water pearls, are there any fresh water monsters in your game?, don’t forget that there probably would be some mountain goats and their horns, etc. left here too, because of geography, in Fletnern, this leads to the strong possibility of a unicorn horn or two as well. I know I keep pounding on the idea, but figuring out the mundane really does set you up to know things that spawn adventures and help you while you’re writing them!

1 comment:

  1. I did not think this deserved an extra post, since it seems I have three posts from one start, but notice the way I keep ending my sentences in prepositions? I have heard people say that this is indicative of the fact that I grew up in the Midwest, maybe even the northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin area. I don’t notice it, but it might stand out to you guys, especially those of you from Canada or the UK. No, I have not developed these types of regional dialects for Fletnern, but it would be really cool if you did stuff like that for your world. I have (as GM) assumed that these things existed and allowed really smart guys to use it: The bartender asks you if you’re from the Triad, because the only folks who pronounce that word like that are all from the Triad. Anyway, that’s why Locality skills in Legend Quest aid in Language skills.