Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Incomprehensible Virility of Goatmen

The Beastmen (Druhok)

The beastmen of the isles are surrounded with more misconceptions than any other race.  Their name for themselves is druhok.  In combat, they're known for being tough-as-hell to kill.

They all have large horns and a sloping face and large antlers, but these are defined more-or-less randomly during organogenesis.  Sometimes this chaotic process produces results that are similar to elk or deer, but their faces just as often resemble not other animal.  They aren't hairy, which makes the bestial face look a bit odd.

Beastmen are incomprehensibly virile.  They can certainly impregnate any mammal, and quite a few non-mammals.  Smaller mammals give birth to skewed little halfbreeds that are usually sterile and sometimes have small horns of their own.  (Animals in their homelands sometimes feature horns for this reason.)  Larger mammals actually produce genetically normal beastmen, so in theory, a solitary beastman could buy a cow and repopulate.

And it's not just the usual methods of transmission.  Even their blood and spit carry their seed, and fertilization can occur like catching a cold (aside from the more traditional vectors).  After warring with beastmen, soldiers are advised to wash their hands before returning to their wives.

Druhok warbands on extended campaigns sometimes travel with herds of goats that they use for food, recreation, and procreation.  Druhok warbands are bad news.  Sometimes they go on world tours.  Twenty years later, the warband that returns home contains only a few original members and quite a lot of their children.  Also lots of plunder.  Also a shit-ton of goats.

When a druhok is born, it resembles a baby goat or lamb.  After about six years, the young druhok quickly metamorphizes into their adult forms.  It's a more awkward puberty than most.  It's also a good reason to only buy your baby goats from licensed sellers.

Druhoks remember their childhood, when they walked on four legs and could only bleat.  For this reason, many of them empathize with horses, deer, goats, sheep, etc.  It doesn't stop them from hunting, but they treat baby farm animals very well, and some are uncomfortable watching someone abuse a horse.

Beastmen lack a nimble tongue and full lips. Their language is a mixture of grunts, barks, and hand signals.  It's a complex language full of nuance, metaphor, and epic poems.

Culture and Women

Back home, they build cramped towns filled with fountains and arcades.  They sail between the islands on outrigger canoes, study astrology+astronomy, and worship in hot springs.  Their cover their kings and queens with ribbons and bells, and brew vast amounts of wine.  They're a bit misogynistic, as you might suspect.  Most come from big families.  Most have a few dead siblings that they quietly honor by setting out bowls of water in quiet places, and then letting it evaporate.

Most people don't know about druhok women.  Unlike the males, they lose most of their animal affections during their metamorphosis, so that they perfectly resemble humans in adulthood. They still speak in grunts and waves, though (although they can learn other languages).  Also, they retain their cloven feet and their unguligrade legs add 6" to their height.  They still have goat eyes, too.

Only the women can ever learn to be magic-users, since the males can't pronounce words. The women also fulfill the religious niches.  It's consider vulgar in their society for women to arm themselves, and so the women that do must use "non-weapons" like flat, bladed shovels and big kitchen knives (sometimes with a hilt).  A beastman would blush and faint if he saw a woman fighting with a broadsword.

Stereotypes of beastmen usually begin and end with the goat stuff, but in private, beastmen are laconic, frugal, and xenophobic.  They love wine, music, and dance.  They aren't especially lusty (except for the soldiers).

  • +1 Con, -1 Cha
  • Men can't speak or wear helmets; women can't wear shoes.
  • Can survive just fine on grass and leaves, although they must eat a lot of it.
  • Men can gore/butt with their horns when they charge.  1d6+Str damage.
  • Women can easily run through rocky terrain and steep hillsides. While you're hammering pitons they're jogging up.  They can climb non-vertical surfaces without using their hands.
  • If they have Cha 13+, die from an injury and roll under half their charisma on a d20, they instead survive with 1 hit point.  This doesn't work if their head is cut off or something.
And you know that Beastman warlords have, like, 16 charisma. 

Other races: part 1 part 2

1 comment:

  1. Love them. I have just the spot in my world for these guys.