Use Ordinary Animals in Character Development, Adventure Design, and Worldbuilding
Let’s be honest and admit that ordinary animals don’t get the love they deserve in fantasy roleplaying games. In fiction, as in real life, we love a cute cat or a precocious dog. They’ve got personality. Other beasts, like horses, rabbits, and monkeys, get a lot of affection. At the table, though, they don’t fight at well as monsters and magical creatures. They’re neither worthy opponents in combat, or useful allies. Since many roleplaying games lean heavily toward a battle dynamic, our feathered, finned, and furry friends get overlooked.
One way to fix that is to incorporate beasts into the worldbuilding. People ride animals, raise livestock, and keep pets. Throughout history, beasts have been used for labor, for sport, and for meat. There are any number of items, from leather to spell components, that rely on animal by-products.
Then there are the inevitable ethical concerns about how these beasts are treated. Fantasy is filled with hunters and farmers, but it also has many characters that are friends to the animals. Some can even talk to beasts, and have them as boon companions. This should set up all sorts of political, religious, and cultural conflicts that go far beyond combat.
In this book, we’ll show you how to utilize regular, mundane animals in your worldbuilding endeavors. You’ll see how they can influence character, setting, and story elements. By the end, you’ll understand how to make beasts into an essential, useful, and entertaining part of your campaign.