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[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Monstrous Manual [Part V, Spr~ ?]

Which are the best Nasty Lower Planar Entity Gang?

  • Baatezu

    Votes: 31 29.5%
  • Tanar'ri

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Yuguloth

    Votes: 39 37.1%

  • Total voters
    105
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sim_james

Hello Mr. Horus!
I have a lingering fondness for Wemics, due entirely to a pack of Monster Manual cards that I once found in a game store. The concept behind these cards was brilliant; a decent-sized full colour illo on the front, and 1st edition stats on the back. Ostensibly this was so the players could look at a picture of the monster without giving away any game info - even the name! Your DM could hold up the beholder card and everybody would say "Oooh, what's this comical-looking critter? Let's take a closer look."

Anyway, the picture of the Wemic was pretty good.
 

Celisasu

The donuts speak to me!
I think a GM I played under used Wemics once. We just killed them and took their stuff. I forget why. Then again lots of random monsters just sort of appeared trying to kill us(hey, we were young and inexperienced at the time) so the default reaction to anything that wasn't a PC race in that campaign tended to be "Kill it, take it's stuff." So much killing. It was like a never ending slaughter. I think the GM was trying out all the centaur races then as in that same adventure we also killed centaur and lamia and yuan-ti. Some other stuff too but I forget what it was.

Oh if only I had a Dark Sun halfling back in the day in that campaign. He'd have been a true connisieur of fine meats.

But overall Wemic=Boring.
 

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
(In this case, Wemics are a lot like a FF monster called a Felinaur.)
*gag*

I would not have thought it possible to come up with a worse linguistic abomination than "leotaur" or "leontaur". But, there it is.

And that's what good I've got to say about Wemics. "At least they didn't name it a 'leontaur'."
 

JRM

Registered User
Validated User
Wemic

Wemics are another one of those monsters it's very easy to forget about if you don't make a habit of regular MM perusal. I tend to put them in that category which we might loosely term "Creatures which you could do something interesting with if you had the time and inclination, but I'm not sure I have either of those."
I remember thinking something similar when I first saw the Wemic in the 1st edition Monster Manual II. I like the look of Wemics, but they just don't have much in the way of interesting habits or abilities to hang some adventure on.

They don't give much indication as to how Wemics typically react to adventurers and other stranger, although the references to them hiring out as guides and charging tolls for safe passage through their territory suggests a willingness to negotiate with non-Wemic sapients rather than eat them.

I guess we could make something up ourselves!

Hmmm... maybe Wemics, being mostly cat, spend a lot of time snoozing, so their culture places great importance on sleep and dreaming. There are plenty of real-world anthropological models to be drawn from. Perhaps bad dreams are a sign of witchcraft, which may require a Wemic witchdoctor to deal with. A Wemic Chieftain or King's dreams may be interpreted as prophecies of the health or future of their pride/clan and its territory. A wemic warrior who dreams of a task may feel bound to fulfill it. If this "quest dream" includes the assistance or malevolence of humanoid strangers, a passing band of adventurers like the PCs can easily get tied up in it.

Otherwise, there is rather bland and uninspired stuff like:

Mating occurs at any time of year. The female bears a litter of one to three cubs in ten months. The cubs are born with a camouflage pattern of black spots; these fade within two months. Wemic cubs are playful and curious; they possess few instincts and thus must learn everything. Cubs are born with 1 HD and gain 2 HD each year. They reach maturity at age 3.
I know this sort of thing can be interesting if done well, but really, this isn't. Give me something I can use beyond "excellent trackers and guides", for Christ's sake
I sympathize. The only obvious plot-hook I can see there is the clichéd "rescue the nosy childcub who's gone where he oughtn't to" and the "Wemic NPC who was an over-curious cub who got carried off into a distant land".

Hmm, the latter makes me wonder about making the lost Wemic cub a prince tricked into fleeing his land, then doing an AD&D adventure that's a cross between King Solomon's Mines and The Lion King...
 

JRM

Registered User
Validated User
*gag*

I would not have thought it possible to come up with a worse linguistic abomination than "leotaur" or "leontaur". But, there it is.

And that's what good I've got to say about Wemics. "At least they didn't name it a 'leontaur'."
I feel your pain.:eek:

Calling them something like leocentaurs would be more tolerable. There are classical sources which called horse-centaurs Hippokentauroi, and donkey-centaurs Onokentauroi (from "Hippo-" for horse and "Ono-" for donkey), so slapping a "Leo-" onto -kentauroi could give you something that looks like a Wemic.

A "leotaur" should be something that's half-lion, half-bull. I'm sure there's a mythical monster somewhere around that looks like that. Perhaps the AD&D version is the result of a Minotaur mating with a Wemic, creating a terrible man-eating monstrosity with a lion's speed and claws, a bull's horns, and the mighty torso and thews of a giant human.

Hmm, now I want to stat one up...:D
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
^ "Leokentauroi". Might have to remember that. At the very least, it's a great name for a Mazes & Minotaurs monster.
I know this sort of thing can be interesting if done well, but really, this isn't. Give me something I can use beyond "excellent trackers and guides", for Christ's sake!
Honestly, that looks like the author just copied the lion entry from a popular animal encyclopedia. Biology and ecology is fine, but scads of dry information on litter size and gestation length isn't as useful as plot hooks.

Didn't Steven Brust have a cat-centaur one of his Vlad Taltos novels? I remember something about Vlad and one of the cat-a-taur-o-tails telling each other jokes while Morrolan looked on, exasperated. They were crossing the plains on the way to the Paths of the Dead.

There's also a whole webpage dedicated to the wemic.
 
The Wemic gives themselves well to the "proud and lawful barbarian tribe" vibe. I could well imagine a barbarian kingdom that rules the plains - where the Wemic work together with the humans as long as their culture is respected but get truly ferocious when they consider it violated. And their customs are easily violated...
 
Actually, I have a theory about why they're the only race without the "descended from an ancient people" hook. They're not descended from them, and in fact they're not descended from anybody. They're a completely new race no more than a generation or two old at the start of your campaign. Wemics are composed of researchers of all those ancient cultures who grew to revere them. This either triggered a long-sleeping god who awakened and "blessed" them with a new form, or they voluntarily used magic to take on that new form themselves. This also might explain why their HD is so high for being just generic lion-taurs, or why they emphasize their lion sides so much.
 

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Calling them something like leocentaurs would be more tolerable. There are classical sources which called horse-centaurs Hippokentauroi, and donkey-centaurs Onokentauroi (from "Hippo-" for horse and "Ono-" for donkey), so slapping a "Leo-" onto -kentauroi could give you something that looks like a Wemic.

A "leotaur" should be something that's half-lion, half-bull. I'm sure there's a mythical monster somewhere around that looks like that. Perhaps the AD&D version is the result of a Minotaur mating with a Wemic, creating a terrible man-eating monstrosity with a lion's speed and claws, a bull's horns, and the mighty torso and thews of a giant human.
Yes, exactly this. One thousand times this. If they're going to use Latin-ish or Greek-ish names, they should've done the (marginal) homework necessary to make them not sound like baboons taking a stab at Shakespear. At least 'Wemic' doesn't carry in the baboon baggage.

Also, 'thews' is a word that just needs to get used more.

... generic lion-taurs...
WRYYY!!!
 

Mr. Teapot

Registered User
Validated User
Actually, I have a theory about why they're the only race without the "descended from an ancient people" hook. They're not descended from them, and in fact they're not descended from anybody. They're a completely new race no more than a generation or two old at the start of your campaign. Wemics are composed of researchers of all those ancient cultures who grew to revere them. This either triggered a long-sleeping god who awakened and "blessed" them with a new form, or they voluntarily used magic to take on that new form themselves. This also might explain why their HD is so high for being just generic lion-taurs, or why they emphasize their lion sides so much.
This is good, since the "fallen civilization" thing gets over used, and new races have their own interesting stories and plots to tell.

Perhaps wemics developed from a tribe of druids who revered the lion god, and so spent much or all their time wildshaped into large cats. And eventually, they got stuck halfway between man and beast. Now they claim that their new form is the blessing of the lion god, and don't want to go back to being shapeshifting humans. Or do they? Perhaps a subset of wemics wants back in humanoid or animal form. Perhaps the lion god doesn't really favor them, and is annoyed by their blasphemy and sends plagues upon the wemics. How do the other druidic orders respond to a new race of sapient catmen?
 
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