Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monsters of Batmania

Some of the weird monsters than inhabit Batmania:

Gumnut eyes, also known as beholders, are ferocious creatures that float through the air and fire various beams from their terrible eyes. They are spawned from eyeball gums, which superficially resemble other trees until they have grown to a certain size. The gumnuts of these trees grow larger and larger, eventually dropping off to form a new beholder. The beholder completes its life cycle by exploding into seeds after it is killed. These barbed seeds can bore through earth, leather and flesh to find a suitable place to grow. The Kulin people rightly consider this plant a menace and will burn any eyeball gums that they find.

Orcs are creatures of mud. They are generated spontaneously in the warm depths of the Yarra River, to come crawling out under the moon and drag themselves into dark caves. They are filthy creatures that defile their living space with feces and oils that drip from their skin. When one place is too vile to live in, they will move on to another. An orc's corpse will dissolve into mud within three days of death. However, if the body is left to dry in the sun it will become hollow and hard. This corpse can be fashioned into tough but brittle armour (AC strong as platemail, but on a critical hit the armour is shattered.)

Kobolds are humanoids with the bodies of young boys and the heads of dingoes. They live together in warrens where they communicate in a language of high-pitching yipping. At night they dance around bonfires in their own strange corroborrees, though none can say why. It is well known that kobolds suffer from chronic obsession and paranoia. They compulsively build primitive traps of all kinds in and around their warrens. Over time, the warren becomes crowded with traps until the kobolds begin to get killed by them. After the death count grows too high, the kobolds dismiss the warren as 'bad country' and relocate to a new home. The empty trap-filled warren is left behind.

Giants, also known as yowies, are huge hairy men who dwell in the upper slopes of the Dandenong Ranges. They are superficially similar to the hill giants of old Albion; other races, such as the fire and frost giants, are not found in Terra Australis. Like the Kulin, the yowies follow complex kinship systems, which in the yowies' case are based around order of precedence on cliff-passes. Many trails on the mountains are too narrow for more than one yowie to walk abreast, so when two yowies meet one must turn around and go back. They will often spend days locked in legal discussion to determine who must turn back, even if there is an easy passing-place within a few yards. If the yowies' discussion goes on for one full turning of the moon, they will be turned to stone.

Gnolls reside exclusively on the island of Van Diemen's Land. They are humanoids with heads that resemble the Tasmanian Devil. Their favoured tactic is to lie under mounds of wet leaves and burst out suddenly to surprise their victims. Rather than tattooing themselves, the gnolls shave off their hair in patterns that describe their kinship, country and line of descent. The most insane gnolls will even shave explosive runes into their backs so that they can never be snuck up on. The shamans of their tribes are shaved completely from head to toe.

Goblins are creatures of the paperbark trees. Their skin is white and papery, and is constantly peeling off in the same manner as a snake's skin. They live amongst paperbarks and treat the trees as their totems. However, they hate the 'knobble-bark' of other trees and are often seen chopping down or burning any flora that does not have the right kind of bark. When dissecting a goblin's body, one will find no flesh, only layer after layer of papery skin down to the bones. It is said that under the skin of the goblins, everything they have ever seen and done is recorded. Goblin shamans have their spells inscribed under the skin on the back of their head.


  1. I've often wondered why there isn't more Australasian fantasy - I've found your two Batmania posts interesting and I hope you make more.

  2. Thanks! I have a few more ideas for the setting that I'll type up sooner or later. Don't know when or if I'll ever get a chance to run it, though.

  3. For more idea mining there are some old Monsters and Manuals blog posts about Lovecraftian Australia, maybe worth taking a look at. I like the reinterpretation of the critters, especially making the kobold love for trap-making irrational/pathological rather than clever.

  4. That's a good find. I'll probably make use of those classes that noisms wrote up. I especially like his idea of protective body paint; I was puzzling for a long time over how to make Aboriginal characters viable without them having to suit up in plate armour.