I'm in the throes of writing a new game in the Theban Tribunal and I've had a brain wave that I want to share and get some feedback/ideas/inspiration on.
I want monster hunting to be a part of my saga and of course Greek mythology has loads of great beasties to bedevil my players with. But rather than give them stats and throw them at the players I want to take a new direction. I want every beast to be unique and require, if not a singular method of defeating it, then at least make combating each different enough that they stick in the memory.
It was the Nemean Lion that Hercules killed that got me thinking this way. The Nemean Lion was immune to the arrows that Hercules fired at it and he was eventually forced to choke it to death. So what if I created creatures that had some pretty powerful resistances, such that taking a cookie-cutter approach to monster hunting would only lead to failure. It would force the PCs to do some research and come up with unique ways to fight these creatures.
Maybe one creature is immune to unliving material like metal and stone, but is vulnerable to living material (or once living material) like wood and animal claws. Maybe another is only vulnerable at certain times, maybe it removes its skin to bath on the full moon and thats the only time it can be harmed. Maybe One creature never drinks because it is deathly afraid of drowning, the only thing that can harm it.
This would transform monster hunting from "gather turb, fling Pilum of Fire" into "research beastie, prepare unique method of killing it, apply unique method". Which is obviously much more work but sounds like it could be more fun.
To make it worth it, since it would almost certainly require some lab time to prepare for, I'm thinking of raising the reward for killing such beasties three ways
- Maybe slightly increase the vis reward
- Increase the social reward, have monster hunters be particularly well regarded by the locals
- Make the bodies of the slain creatures magically very powerful for item enchantment.
This last one really interests me. Imagine a mage wearing the skin of the Nemean Lion, enchanted with all manner of protective spells. Hydra blood maybe makes exceptionally good poisons, etc etc. This could be done with large bonuses to enchanting, although I might need to waive the cap from magic theory on this or the large bonus becomes redundant.