CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Things That Don't Go Bump In The Night

Goodness In The Moonlight

Illustration by Luis Perez
Through history man has feared the night and monsters have been linked with the darkness. This is apparent in some of the traditional monsters like vampires which fear the sun, and werewolves whose change is brought on by the fullness of the moon. But not all things that make their home in the world after the sun goes down are evil, and today we’re going to look at some of those friendlier faces you might find after the sun slinks over the horizon.

So you’ve chased your players with angry ghosts, snarling trolls, and some of the worst undead you can find all though the night. But now you want to give them a reprieve, a safe haven from the more grotesque and brutal things brought out by the setting of the sun. There are creatures from as small as fey to as powerful as gods that make the moonlight their home. But which ones will fit your setting?

Golarion itself has nine divine beings that have the moon or the night in their portfolio. Of these only three are evil, giving a large portion of the night to good or neutral beings. I’ve already done some write ups on followers of Tanagaar and Ketephys but members of the churches of any of these moon-bathed deities can be the perfect respite for your players. The vigilant protectors of Tanagaar, or the tenders of the spirit world Tsukiyo of the Tian deities, or the Empyreal Lord Ashava may lend succor to your bedraggled party.

Speaking of spirits, the shaman class has opened up the idea that there is more to the spirit world than just vengeful ghosts and haunts. Although they have yet to really expand upon this (and I hope they do) some third party products already have. With spirits and lonely spirits being in the portfolio of two of the good gods of the moon, if you are going straight Paizo then Ghosts are going to fit the bill. Since the Ghost template doesn’t change the alignment of a creature a wandering spirit may very well lead your players away from danger, and not even know she’s dead. These kinds of spirits can also be helpful in moving your plot forward so you can really play around with them if you like.

One of my favorite goodly—although mischievous—creatures which lend aid to PCs are faeries. Although they tend to be reclusive the fey, especially pixies, have a deep-seated curiosity. Although none of the fey Eldest have night or the moon in their portfolio, these minor godlings as well as the creatures under their purview may be a welcome sight when the slavering beasts are coming in the darkness. She may not want to talk to the PCs but a dryad may use her mastery of the forest to disguise their trail. Brownies might leave something behind in camp that is useful while everyone is asleep. There is much the wee folk can do to aide your players without even being seen.

Although werewolves are often known for their evil ways not all lycanthropes are. The oft misunderstood werebear is a perfect guardian of the night time. Deadly to their enemies, which includes many of the other were-beasts, they are known to be friendly to lost travelers and many are worshipers of the Empyreal Lord Ashava. Strictly speaking not all of any lycanthropes are evil, so even a werewolf that has managed to keep his feral heart tamed could be a nighttime aid to your party.

So when you’re running your game of terror and constant peril, remember to give your players a brief respite. A friendly face after being chased through the woods by lord-knows-what can add some great role-playing opportunities. No matter what kind of creature you use, make sure every bump isn’t some murderous creature. And make sure your players aren’t the shoot first and ask questions later type.

What creatures have you used to aid your party in times of distress? Have you ever presented them with creatures that are normally evil but in that instance were allies? How have you presented the night to your players throughout your campaigns?

Like many writers, for me the night is an inspiring time. If the CRB has inspired you the way the moon and darkness inspires me, please consider contributing to my Patreon. If you’d like to converse further join the CRB communities on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, and Twitter. My inbox is always open on all platforms.

The opening illustration was created by a fine artist Luis Perez. You can find him on Twitter and on Instagram at luisperezart.

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