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Magnapocryphe
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Actually, what IS a monster or a demon?

Fri 15 Mar 2019, 20:22

Hello!

I'm back, and I'm back another anoying question... XD

[Edit : about demons, jump to here]

What is actually a monster?

A monster is said to be "breaking" the law of the nature. hum...

I get it for demons, aberrations (handmade like misgrowns, nightwargs, etc.), undeads.

But why a geant or a dragon is a monster? They are creature, ancient but here "normal".
I mean, they are animals or intelligent creatures, but why monster?
Same question for the Gray bear..

On the other hand, why saurians or whiners are NOT monster in this case...

"monster" tastes like a "rule label" used to define some antagonist, but not really fitting the setting.

Is a monster defined by its aggressivity? it doesn't fit for Ent, and some demons.
Is a monster defined by its lethality? it doesn't fit with animals that can be lethal too : viper? scorpio? anaconda?
Is a monster defined by all PLUS rarity? why not if considering the demon like a group, but it fits again for some animals.

Then the case of demons is another question I'll ask tomorrow ^^

This question is important regarding rules. Indeed, all rules about animals (taming, driving, druidism), ask for a sharply defined word.
Can I try to tame a gray bear? If I can, why not? Same question for dragon, wyrms, etc.

If they are not animals, the problem is solved.
Then the question about the border between both groups is to be defined, or I wasn't able to see it. Then please, explain where am I wrong ? :-)
Last edited by Magnapocryphe on Sat 16 Mar 2019, 13:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Valyar
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 09:31

For me it is purely from system point of view, I am pretty sure that this is not the answer you look for, as this post is in the "Setting" section of the forum :)

A monster is entry in the bestiary to which the normal system rules for PC/NPC (attack pool, "hit points" and etc) does not apply for mechanical reasons in combat. It not only makes them more challenging, as the Strength does not reduce their attack pool, but also they are taken into account when you calculate the XP at the end of the session.
There are monsters that are stated that behave as NPC in their stat block like the undead. I think this is good choice, as this type of creature seems common in the Ravenlands: In Hollows they are non-aggressive, unless you go into the crypts. In Hexenwald they are stated as confused and wonder around to find the source of their resurrection. Even the ones in Weatherstone are not fully aware that they are dead and non-hostile unless you take the sword or try to bash them. :D
 
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Magnapocryphe
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 10:03

I'll tell you're, you're answer is not as useless as you think! ^^

I've such a "setting" Au of thinking that i forgot the explanation you're quoting!

Thus, you may be right...
Then it makes me think about it, and i conclude that Monster is really a "rule label" that is pasted on cosmogonic types of créature:
- Aberrations : those that break the rules of nature, explaining why weak undeads are considered as 'challenging creatures' while unaggressive, lightly destructive or easily defeated
- dire animals
- intelligent beings with huge destructive potentiel, but that are not Always aggressive (giant, dragons, etc)

I think such an explanation is the closest to coherence in the World of FL.

Actually, the answer i was not looking for is something like "you're the GM state for your will, that's just a rule that needs no more explanation" (AD&D way of thinking). It's a state of mind in which we are not at my table, and the FL setting is really precisely written, then i don't consider that it's just another oldschool hexcrawling.
Be sure i like AD&D but FL is far more written, and i don't want some "shut up it's Magic" explanation ^^

Then your answer is really accurate! Thank you! :-D
If you see the Buddha on the road,
Kill the Buddha.
 
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Brior
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 11:53

A monster is said to be "breaking" the law of the nature. hum...

I get it for demons, aberrations (handmade like misgrowns, nightwargs, etc.), undeads.
My take on demons is actually just that: a being that doesn't belong (according to ”nature” and/or godly plans). I don't see it apply to ”monsters” in general. A ”monster” to me is something living that seriously threatens me and what I hold dear, which makes for instance humans monsters to whiners. Now technically a monster may be defined differently in the rules, but this is my general view of the concept. Undead wouldn't be demons to me since they belong, but have been twisted.
 
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Magnapocryphe
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 12:26

I totally agree with you about demons.
A Demon is an out-world, out-planned creature, hus, that doesn't belong to this plan.

About creature, my question is precisely about the technical meaning of "monster" VS the world.
To me, the mechanics of the game must have some catch with reality of the world to build coherence in it.

And the technical word defines a part of the GM BOok in which you can find animals, demons, former unrare intelligents beings, etc.
But the problem to me is to distinguish what is truly a monster, regarding the world, an technically defined. ^^
I'm okay with the fact that in the world, the word "monster" defines manythings regarding the person who uses it, even demons why not.

But the technical world "Monster", what does it truly include from the world? that's in short, my wonder...
In the world, we can find two things, basically : intelligent being (I'll call them sentients), and animals.
But as there are undeads, demons, handmade creatures (misgrown, etc.) that doesn't fit to both type, I need a third type that I call Aberrations containing all.

And this allows me to consider:
- dragons, giants, etc. as Sentients (some are monsters, those most dangerous or destructive)
- gray bear, giant squids, etc. as Animals (some are monsters, those most dangerous or destructive)
- harpies, minotaurs, etc. as Aberrations (all are monsters, they break the law of nature)

My problem is mostly that if find confusing the blurred line between both "in world meaning" and "rule meaning" of the same world Monster.
And as spells, skills, uses the world in a technical way, it's important to know if a gray bear or a giant squid is an animal or not. Because as a druid, I can use Beast Master on a gray bear or not. Wether it is an animal or not (technically).

And the problem is the same with demons.
They are creature from outer world.
But, they are also defined as creature made from Mog.
My problem is, what about abyss worm or insectoids? They are not from Churmog, and not made with mog, but they are from another plan.
Here again, there is an "in world" definition : "They are creature from outer world."
And a technical one : creature from Churmog.
This make Bloodlings not demons, just creatures from outter world.
This question could just be a side question about "my view on the world", but it leads to a technical question too : as a druid, which creatures am I able to banish with the spell Banish Demon?

I've chosen to merge both definitions for demons, and then the Banish demon works on ALL creature fron an outer plan.
The reason why I made this choice is taken from the setting (always my compass to answer rules question) :
Druids defend laws of Nature. Then, their spells are not made toward creature form this, or this, plan. They are made to banish creature that don't belong to this plan. Druids made theirs spell from what they know, thir world, not what that want to fight (this plan, plus this plan, plu this plan, etc.). Then, insectoids abyssworms, etc could be banished.

But their is a difference of nature between an abyss worms, and a demon from churmog. One is a specie of a world, then breed and give birth, and colonize a part of the world : it's impossible to get rid of them, even with banish spell. The other, is a unique creature from churmog, in which nature seems to be truly different (immortality like Merigall, etc.), then you can get rid of one demon because of that (but others dwell outside...).

I'm not sure to be clear ^^' if not, don't hesitate to correct me or ask me to go further ;-)
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Brior
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 12:41

Here again, there is an "in world" definition : "They are creature from outer world."
And a technical one : creature from Churmog.
This make Bloodlings not demons, just creatures from outter world.
I see your point but must leave the rule issues to others.
Just one thing (whatever it says in the rules): Churmog is ONE source world of demons, where for instance Krasylla, Merigall, Eyle and Goder come from, beings made out of mog. The bloodlings and other demonic beings may come from other worlds, be totally different and still be demons. I picture that demonic nexus aren't necessarily stable but may flip from world to world at the other end of the juncture.
 
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Magnapocryphe
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sat 16 Mar 2019, 13:06

Just one thing (whatever it says in the rules): Churmog is ONE source world of demons, where for instance Krasylla, Merigall, Eyle and Goder come from, beings made out of mog. The bloodlings and other demonic beings may come from other worlds, be totally different and still be demons. I picture that demonic nexus aren't necessarily stable but may flip from world to world at the other end of the juncture.
XD you will find i'm dumb... I'm sorry in advance.
When you say demon, I hear your above definition : creature from another plan/world.
Then it's okay for me. Bloodlings are always demons to me, since they are from another plan, but not from mog. In fact, they breed and give birth to a descendance, they are more like a weird specie of a weird world. No problem to me ^^
But if you use the world demon to point as something precise that is not "creature of another world", then can you explain the meaning you're giving to the word please?
I just make a special case on Churmog because the bestiary links directly Demons to Mog and Churmog. Then it makes a Demon (technically speaking), a creature from Churmog, and made of Mog. ;-) that's the reason of my question ;-) but to me, the setting always prevales the rules, that are made to enlight it.
thank you very much for sharing your thoughts about your work, it's great to talk with an author of the game!
If you see the Buddha on the road,
Kill the Buddha.
 
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Brior
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster?

Sun 17 Mar 2019, 10:43

XD you will find i'm dumb... I'm sorry in advance.
When you say demon, I hear your above definition : creature from another plan/world.
Then it's okay for me. Bloodlings are always demons to me, since they are from another plan, but not from mog. In fact, they breed and give birth to a descendance, they are more like a weird specie of a weird world. No problem to me ^^
But if you use the world demon to point as something precise that is not "creature of another world", then can you explain the meaning you're giving to the word please?
I just make a special case on Churmog because the bestiary links directly Demons to Mog and Churmog. Then it makes a Demon (technically speaking), a creature from Churmog, and made of Mog. ;-) that's the reason of my question ;-) but to me, the setting always prevales the rules, that are made to enlight it.
thank you very much for sharing your thoughts about your work, it's great to talk with an author of the game!
I'm not sure what you're after here M, but I don't think you're dumb in any case. I personally didn't write the rules, so I can't vouch for the use of the word ”demon” there. To me it's basically a label that may be disputed and mean different things in-game depending on perspective, although I stand for my general view. If a species blended in and bred for several generations in a foreign world they probably woudn't be labeled demons anymore and indeed, ordinary kins in Ravenland might have demonic origin far back.
 
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Valyar
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster or a demon?

Sun 17 Mar 2019, 11:28

I think the way D&D handles the monsters, devils, demons, aberrations and etc is good example. Everything is semantics here and we can keep debating but the truth is - there is no right or wrong answer, just different interpretation.
 
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Brior
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Re: Actually, what IS a monster or a demon?

Sun 17 Mar 2019, 16:09

I think the way D&D handles the monsters, devils, demons, aberrations and etc is good example. Everything is semantics here and we can keep debating but the truth is - there is no right or wrong answer, just different interpretation.
You're right. What I try to avoid though, is to use the concept ”demon” in the context of the Abrahamitic religions. That is, I try to avoid monotheistic views and a given ”good” vs ”bad”.
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