Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Boneguard
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 pm

Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:10 pm

Mostly at third draft:

Esteemed Colleague, I have returned from a 12 months journey into the Servos Jungle where I undertook to uncover new species of plants and animals. Now, I will not bore you with all the minute details of this harrowing and dangerous trip as it would take more time than what has been graciously granted to me. Thus, I will jump right into the core of the topic of my Memorandum that I have presented you.
Durkov Farstrider, Beastmaster Scholar


The Servos Jungle is a wild and dangerous place yet full of beauty and unknown secrets to be discovered. One of those newly discovered secrets is a fascinating symbiotic relationship between two of its inhabitants which, surprisingly, can be found a bit everywhere near shaded water.

The first half of the pair is the razor bramble. Growing in large patches, these thorny bushes have razor sharp leaves that give it its name as well as sweet dark-red berries. While it presents a moderate danger to Namegivers, carcasses of animals can and are regularly seen within them, trapped as they try to pass through or attracted by the berries. These carcasses will eventually enrich the soil in which they grow. The razor bramble needs to be approached with care as it will “lash out” or thrash when it senses a prey nearby or in it, thus causing a risk of being entangled just by carelessly walking too close to it.

The second half of the pair is a small flightless aquatic bird that nest within the brambles. The bird, which has been named a vampire penguin, is between 30 and 33 cm (12 and 13 in) tall and usually weighs about 1.5 kg on average (3.3 lb). The head and upper parts are isabelline in colour, with russet-color ear covers fading to white underneath, from the chin to the belly. The dark grey-black beak is 3–4 cm long, the irises pale silvery- or bluish-grey or hazel, and the feet pink above with black soles and webbing. An immature individual will have a shorter bill and lighter upperparts. These penguins are mainly hematophagous, feeding on the blood of the trapped animals, and they help the bramble by providing them with nutrient rich guano. They will supplement their diet with fish, flesh and shellfishes.

While harmless in appearance, these birds seem to be able to attract larger animals, especially predators, towards the bramble and are able to incite the bramble into violent lashing and thrashing with the help of their beak. Thus providing food for both of them. Furthermore, They are quite dangerous in the water, where they are more agile, and for anyone who has the misfortune of sleeping near razor brambles as they will take advantage of the opportunity. Their saliva is both mildly anaesthetic and anticoagulant, aiding them in remaining unnoticed while feeding.

Both of these menaces are known to the Cathan, the jungle T’skrang and the elusive elves of the Servos jungle. They will harvest the berries and use the bramble “branches” to grow new patches and form fences around their villages. The Branches can also be used as a kind of rope fence to form small enclaves for fowls and small animals. They will also hunt the penguins for their meat and their eggs which are considered a delicacy. Interestingly enough, They do not eat the innards claiming that the heart, the tongue, the liver and, especially, the whole digestive tract are prime ingredients in the creation of Blood Charms.

Vampire Pengin
Last edited by Boneguard on Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:39 am

I had to google isabelline! What a great word.

Boneguard
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 pm

Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:54 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:39 am
I had to google isabelline! What a great word.
Indeed. I was reading on penguins on wiki and they mentioned that coloring, and for me it made more sense for jungle penguins to be that shade rather than black.

Boneguard
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Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:17 pm

A bit of tweeking of the text and added the Penguins Stats

Note: This is my first attempt in creating a creature, so it will likely need some adjustment.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm

Looking at the stats, I'm not sure about the Numbing Saliva giving the target Resist Pain 2, meaning they can ignore wounds ... what if the Numbing Saliva just meant Vampire Penguins could make a Stealth Test to keep slurping on you without you noticing? Then Numbing Saliva test to set the TN for noticing they are feeding. Say they can feed on anyone who is unconscious, sleeping, or grappled. Maybe Blood Veins could be a special maneuver - on an extra success on a bite attack they can slurp blood for free until they are noticed or the target moves, Step 4 damage ignoring armor.

The other thing that makes penguins stand out is their grace in the water as compared to their clumsiness on land. Maybe in addition to swimming, they have the ability to move through brambles and brush as though it were water. Anywhere there is enough vegetation to hinder the movement of Namegivers or larger animals, their land movement changes from 2 to 10. Maybe that's too weird?

Boneguard
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Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:25 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm
Looking at the stats, I'm not sure about the Numbing Saliva giving the target Resist Pain 2, meaning they can ignore wounds ... what if the Numbing Saliva just meant Vampire Penguins could make a Stealth Test to keep slurping on you without you noticing? Then Numbing Saliva test to set the TN for noticing they are feeding. Say they can feed on anyone who is unconscious, sleeping, or grappled. Maybe Blood Veins could be a special maneuver - on an extra success on a bite attack they can slurp blood for free until they are noticed or the target moves, Step 4 damage ignoring armor.

The other thing that makes penguins stand out is their grace in the water as compared to their clumsiness on land. Maybe in addition to swimming, they have the ability to move through brambles and brush as though it were water. Anywhere there is enough vegetation to hinder the movement of Namegivers or larger animals, their land movement changes from 2 to 10. Maybe that's too weird?
Both excellent points.

Your ideas for the numbing saliva would fit better what I am aiming for. So definitely something to integrate and update.

For the second point, We could go that route yes, even if we do not go up to 10. Also they eould be able to navigate the brambles without causing any attack, which is also pretty sweet. I'll let is simmer for now.

ragbasti
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Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by ragbasti » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:48 am

Maybe give them a power somewhere along this line:

Bloodbound Bramble: The Vampire Penguin can make themselves at home in a Razor Bramble by sharing part of its life's blood with the plant (2 blood damage).
Once bound, this Razor Bramble experiences rapid growth similar to having been affected by the Thrive Spell and will no longer lash out at the animal.
(Maybe even increase the toughness of the plant)
The Vampire Penguin also gets the Razor Fury ability in connection with this plant.

Razor Fury: Upon being threatened the penguin can incite the Razor Brambles into a violent fury. They will lash out wildly in all directions, or against a target designated by the animal.
They Vampire Penguin makes a Razor Fury (6) test and any success adds a +2 bonus to the Razor Vines attack step for X rounds.

The first one would be how the Penguins create their nests, finding smaller Razor Brambles and literally making them their own. The second one will be why nobody in their right mind would approach a Razor Bramble that has a Vampire Penguin living in it 😅
It also mixes in a little but of Blood Magic

Boneguard
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 pm

Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:15 am

That's actually a neat idea and define their symbiotic relationship in a form of a Blood Pact (which could be done with a small group of penguin too I guess).

And would explain how the penguin can control the brambles.

Thanks

Boneguard
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 pm

Re: Vampire Penguin [Creature]

Post by Boneguard » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:24 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm
Looking at the stats, I'm not sure about the Numbing Saliva giving the target Resist Pain 2, meaning they can ignore wounds ... what if the Numbing Saliva [...]

The other thing that makes penguins stand out is their grace in the water as compared to their clumsiness on land.[...]
ragbasti wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:48 am
Maybe give them a power somewhere along this line:

Bloodbound Bramble: [...]

Razor Fury: [...]
The Vampire penguin has been updated. I've mostly took your ideas as is, with maybe a bit of tweeking.

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