Shadow World & Monsters

I am playing a (now) 3rd level Druid in a Shadow World game. We started out in Haalkitaine and then traveled southwards towards a place called Swink.

So far, excluding the humanoid races, giant rats, harpies, goblins, and we are on the hunt for trolls.

The humanoids that have fallen to the fighters’ blades have been dwarves, elves, and humans.

We have experienced one essence storm, from a distance, but at the moment, absolutely nothing has jumped out at me, literally or figuratively, to tell me what is special about Shadow World.

In my own game, I have been homebrewing a world on the hoof, as we play. I decided that the world doesn’t have cows, the niche as common farm animal for food, milk, and leather is filled by something called an Ootan. They are rather like a buffalo or bison but without the horns. It is a tiny change, but it makes creates a significant difference. You do not want to stampede a herd of Ootan, even less than you would want to stampede cattle. Barns are bigger as well, and you get really big steaks.

Chickens have been replaced by Duka, they are your typical farmyard poultry but they mimic like parrots.

So far, in Shadow World, I am not getting anything that is making me think the world is any more special than Greyhawk.

I have played one previous campaign in SW and eventually we came across some high tech, in an underground wizards compound, we also eventually encountered Navigators, but these things came very late in the game.

I am assuming that they are not common? They certainly haven’t been in my explorations so far.

I think the biggest disappointment has been the monsters. Harpies, Goblins and Trolls are just standard fantasy fayre. Surely, SW has something that is uniquely SW and at the same time a viable challenge for a party of 3rd and 4th level characters?

What makes players fall in love with Shadow World?

4 Replies to “Shadow World & Monsters”

  1. Harpies are not, to my knowledge, part of Shadow World.
    Goblins and Trolls are mentioned sometimes but are never relevant in the storyline except for some bulk of some evil army.
    I have never used goblins nor trolls (definitively not harpies!) in decades of GMing in Kulthea.
    Maybe some module that is sold by ICE but not sanctioned by Terry does have those general creatures from Middle Earth, and that’s what your GM is using.
    As soon as any party of adventurers settles out from their rural towns, Navigators and Essaence Storms and Loremasters are something that happens. The gods are very much involved in the affair of the World, and there are soooo many ruins around that you’re bound to find some unexplored place with ancient relics to claim.
    Gently direct your GM to the latest amazing supplements like Xa-Ar, Emer III and Green Gryphon Inn.
    If you are not battling one the Messengers, planning to throw out the Quaidu, and don’t count Kuluku or Lotana as your friends in 3 sessions, ask for your money back =D
    … also… Dragonlords!!!!

    1. Then there’s the artificial beings. Like Shards. They don’t tend to be encountered at low levels. Or, at least, encountered for very long.

      Goblins are normally called murlogi and I think trogli are the closest troll equivalent. Harpies are not mentioned at all in the Master Atlas.

  2. You are right I think that many of the really distinctive things come at higher level: Heralds of Night; Dragonlords; Agothu; Lorgalis; etc.

    At low level though, I can think of several distinctive elements:

    Garks come to mind. As do Sea Krall. Aside from these creatures that can be found througout Kuthea, each region also has quite distinctive creatures (even if your GM hasn’t put them up against them yet).

    I also appreciate the much more realistic approach to languages (i.e. not all humans who ever lived spoke a Common language despite being separated by continents and aeons), as well as the distinctive races. Is no one in your party a Duranaki, or a Ky’taari, or a Vorloi or Sohleugir?

    Herbs are distinctive as well. SW has an extensive list.

    I like the Navigators, but I also love the Loremasters. There’s no reason you couldn’t run into them at low level either.

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