Saturday, March 7, 2020

Beast-Kin of OtherSPORE

The beastkin of OtherSPORE include the Celestial Inuas (more generically called "Kreatures"), the Liminal Pooka and Selkies (among others, collectively called "Therians"), and the Chthonian Beasties.  Among these, the various Therians are the most widely understood of the shape-changers.  Inuas and Beasties are more exotic, particularly in the forms they take.

Totem Background

Beastkin kith are are among those eligible to take the Totem background--the others being the dragonkin (kamuii), elementalkin (most inanimae), and elfkin (gillhe-dhu, satyrs, sidhe, and related kith).  Use the background as described in the Players Guide.  Sample plant and rock totems can be found both in that book and in Immortal Eyes: Shadows on the Hill.  Totems from Werewolf: The Apocalypse ("Garou" totems) are also available to these characters--but divide the background trait costs in half (rounding up).  An otherkin's totem will be connected to their fey mien in some fashion--though maybe not in an obvious way.  Be sure to explain your character's connection to his or her totem.

As described in the Players Guide and Shadows on the Hill, totems help a character to enter Otherworld--though the various traditions of the kith may have their own way of identifying this plane ("High Hunting Ground," "Umbra," etc.).  Only otherkin with the Totem background may directly enter the Otherworld from anywhere; others are bound to natural portals and crossroads.

Inuas (aka. Kreatures)

Inuas are "holy" beastkin tied to Celeste.  Their alternate name, kreatures, is a creative translation of hayyoth--"living creatures/beings" of the Book of Ezekiel and Book of Revelations.  These beastkin can learn a few different animal forms, and are more susceptible to environmental pollutants.  Among the animal forms available for them to learn are the creatures of myth, such as unicorns or wyverns (but not "full" dragons).  They are also able to combine the features of known forms to create hybrid forms like the griffon (eagle and wildcat) or jackalope (hare and pronghorn); most winged hybrids from myth were the daemonic predecessors of the inuas.  Elders/grumps are even able to combine human features into their hybrid forms (sphinxes, manticores, shedu, etc.).

Inuas generally follow the rules as written for the kith in the Player's Guide.  Follow the OtherSPORE standard rules for character creation, however, and choose any two legacies as Nature and Demeanor; the Totem background is available to any beastkin, dragonkin, elementalkin, or elfkin.

Beasties

Beasties are the "unholy" beastkin of Chthonia.  Their animal-like forms are more unnatural than those of Inuas or Therians--often combining the elements of multiple animals in horrific ways.  These combinations are different than those of the inuas:  firstly, their hybrids are the only forms the beasties know; secondly, the rely on the traits of "chthonian" (below-the-surface) animals such as fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and insects; and thirdly, commonly accepted rules of physical structure (such as bilateral symmetry or a distinction between plants and animals) can be ignored.  Beastie animal forms are terrifying to behold, for anyone.

Beasties generally follow the rules as written for the kith in The Shadow Court.  Follow the OtherSPORE standard rules for character creation, however, and choose any two legacies as Nature and Demeanor; the Totem background is available to any beastkin, dragonkin, elementalkin, or elfkin.

Therians (inc. Pooka, Selkies. etc.)

Therians of Limbo demonstrate the most variety among the beastkin.  Counted among their kind are both the trickster Pooka and skin-changing Selkies, among others.  In all cases, theians are limited to a single, natural animal form.  

The therian sub-kith are generally distinguished from each other by their frailties--though these are accompanied by a particular birthright:
  • Naguals are viscous and mutable, having the Ferocity and Lunacy traits (see below).  They represent the common "werewolf" of European folklore, and similar beings of Meso-American legend; they are stereotyped as being cursed and/or devilish.  They commonly take the forms of carnivorous or scavenging mammals (wolves, cats, tigers, rats, bats, etc.).
  • Pooka are tricksters, having the Confident and Lies traits.  They are also known as bakemono or obake in Japan--while specific animal form are also called by specific names (bakeneko, inugami, kitsune, mujina, etc.).
  • Selkies are water-dwelling skin-changers, having the Ocean's Grace and Seal Skin traits (see Immortal Eyes: The Toybox).  Though named for those who take seal (or similar) form, other water-based animal forms are common (such as waterfowl Swanmays, who may be swans, ducks, geese, etc.).  Any animal with an affinity for the water may be a "selkie"--inuding fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals (selkie), and birds (swanmays).
  • Yunwi Amai'yine'hi are water people, having the Stir the Waters and Snare of the Hunter traits (see the Player's Guide).  Like selkies, these therians take the forms of animals dwelling in or near the water--though they specifically have control over the waters themselves, and not over mundanes who live near it.  A variation of these would be an air people who take the forms of birds--having power over the air instead of the water, while still being subject to a hunter's snares.
Though these are the most common birthright/frailty pairings, it could be possible for a theiran to "mix and match."  This is not suggested as the norm for a theiran character--but is allowable to achieve a particular concept.  Sirens could be one example of this: having the form of an aquatic animal, they have the selkie birthright of Ocean's Grace and the yunwi amai'yine'hi frailty of Snare of the Hunter.
Therians generally follow the rules as written for the Pooka kith in Changeling: The Dreaming--applying traits as noted above.  Follow the OtherSPORE standard rules for character creation, however, and choose any two legacies as Nature and Demeanor; the Totem background is available to any beastkin, dragonkin, elementalkin, or elfkin.

Alternate Therian Traits

Traits for the new new therian variants can be found below.

Ferocity (Naugual Birthright) - The animal forms of Naguals are more fierce and combative than other therians.  While in animal form, a nagual gains an additional dot in Strength and Dexterity, even if this raises these Trait above 5.  This extra strength or dexterity does not function in the presence of mundanes unless the nagual has called upon the Wyrd.

Lunacy (Nagual Frailty) - While a nagual can maintain control of his or her for like other therians, they lose that control at particular times.  For the nagual, the night of a full moon takes that control from them--all nagual transform into their animal forms upon moonrise the night of a full moon, and do no revert to humanoid form until the moon sets; this transformation does not cost Glamour.  On the nights before and after the full moon, the nagual may also lose control--roll against your Willpower traits; if the roll fails, control over shape-changing is lost as if it was the night of the full moon.  A Willpower roll mus be made for each night before or after a full moon individually.

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