Five Blades of Bahamut: Monsters

July 14, 2008

The fires of the Gods War no longer burned and Erathis had chained her lovers to her will, and before she left to her Palace of the Stars, she left one last gift to the Naratha Empire- the Ritual of Cleansing. A simple rite to remove the spiritual pollution, negative energy and assure the soul freedom after death.

The Naratha Empire had conquered and brought law to the four corners of the world, so all that remained was a final Ritual of Cleansing, to be undertaken by everyone, at one time, to create the perfect world for once and for all.

Just after the ritual had been completed, strangers and strange people from unknown places poured in an unstoppable wave, destroying Neratha forever. The orcs, goblinoids, kobolds and countless other things that were not man nor beast burned the world under the bloodied eye of Gruumsh.

This is common knowledge.

History 15: These creatures do not build self sufficient societies- you do not come across a group that is farming, fishing, hunting and mind it’s own business, they all live as raiders of some sort.

History 20: No one has ever seen their young. It is unknown how they multiply. And, their remains disappear completely after a year and a day.

Religion 25: These things did not appear before the Ritual of Cleansing. Some rumors say some horrible sin must have been purged letting these creatures into the world and bringing down Neratha.

Arcana 30: These are the manifestations of spiritual pollution which has been cleansed away by the Ritual of Cleansing. Certainly, the souls are freed from the burden, but it remains for the living to deal with. Each type is a different form of pollution – Goblins are evil thoughts, Orcs are evil deeds, Hobgoblins are deeds under Evil Laws, Kobolds are good deeds undone, etc.

(Design note: There’s really only two ways to deal with all the sentients who exist to be slaughtered – you either don’t question it or you have a rather nasty moral quandry about what to do with orc babies. This question might not exist if it were not for the fact that D&D up until at least 2nd edition had “non-combatants” listed in modules… So, my only justification for wholesale slaughter? They don’t have kids, they don’t have families, they are, literally monsters. They are not different than robots or zombies, so much in this way.)


  1. Do you need to have “sentients who exist to be slaughtered”?

  2. Hi Kynn,

    Please reread my post. I redefined the typical enemies as non-sentient magical bad energy which humans themselves created, manifest, back to haunt them. Is that sentient?

    Or are you asking do I need enemy types period? D&D is typically a combat focal game. I see a value in having enemy types in D&D, though I’ve always found it deeply problematic how they become coded and overlaid with real world racist tropes.

    I’m showing one way to have enemy types and NOT do that.

    In other games and settings, I’ve played with the idea that typical enemy races aren’t all evil, have complex alliances and societies, etc. In this game, these are not the moral choices the players will be dealing with. So for that reason, I wanted to keep clear enemy races but not have it be this horrible race war, but instead, this horrible example of humanity facing it’s own evil, over and over until it deals with it correctly.

    Much like various isms and injustice – if not resolved, it just keeps biting you in the ass.

  3. This definitely the most interesting way I’ve seen of handling this.

    There’s a lot of mileage to be had from PCs seeking the manifestations of their own sins… Reminds me somewhat of the Full Metal Alchemist anime in that regard.

  4. I remember doing something like this with a setting, and it works quite well if you want a hack-n-slash. You’ve added an interesting dimension in it with the enemy “races” being humanity’s sins.

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