Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Bug politics

The Lost City gang did a lot of damage to the bizarre insectiods they've been fighting.  So much, in fact, that the Trignotarbs decided that the group were worth recruiting for their own purposes.

As it turns out, they are an endangered species and likely to become an extinct one if their old queen doesn't step down.  If they can persuade the adventurers to help out with that little problem, gratitude is on the way.  It has already been established that this gratitude will not take the form of turning them into Trignotarbs.

The reason I'm bringing this episode up is this.  All too often, monsters are played as dumb building blocks.  Lumps of mobile xp if you like.  Which is true up to a point.  But sometimes it's nice to ring the changes and when the stat blocks support it, I'll do just that.

The Trignotarbs are smart.  They are well aware when they're out of their depth.  I could see no reason whatever for them to fight to the death when their main raison d'etre is to survive.  It's true that as parasitic wasp things they do this by laying eggs in a sentient host and awaiting results, but from their perspective, that's a gift, not an ordeal.

It's fun playing creatures that technically can be regarded as bad guy monsters yet have a quite legitimate agenda.  A bizarre and not particularly pleasant one to our eyes, but valid.

An uneasy alliance is being formed and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.


  1. Very good point. While monsters strictly as obstacles is ok, if that's the only way their ever used, the range of possible adventures really suffers.

  2. Agreed.

    As you say, if monsters are only ever things to hit, it puts big limits on how far the players can affect the world they inhabit. I like actions to have consequences.