|Minotaurs in red and blue suits|
I've said before that this blog is supposedly apolitical. However, we're about to have an election over here in Thailand, site of Fantasy Gamebook HQ, and over the past month or more the residents of Bangkok have been treated to an onslaught of campaign posters, some dull and some, as you can see, completely freaky.
The Yellow Shirts, or Peoples' Alliance for Democracy, realising that they cannot capture the popular mandate, have elected for a 'Vote No' campaign, reasoning that all politicians, presumably themselves excluded, are corrupt carpet-baggers who should be kept away from parliament at all costs.
As a result they've come up with a brilliant series of posters unflatteringly comparing politicians to a range of hideous beasts. (Personally, I'm feeling a bit sorry for the beasts!) Anyway, on a completely unrelated tangent, these posters offer us an unparalleled glimpse of what real fantasy Beastmen, say from the Fighting Fantasy world of Titan, might actually look like. And so, I give you:
The Beastmen of Bangkok
[SKILL 5 STAMINA 5; 1 Attack; Blowgun (as per Dagger plus Poison) or Club]
A primitive tribe of dog-headed humanoids, BLOGS live only in the depths of the Forest of Fiends in central Allansia. Here they are greatly feared for their practice of head-hunting and preying on human travellers, whose flesh they cook in large cauldrons. Blogs are skilled trackers, moving silently though the trees before using poison darts fired from blowguns to bring down their victims with a minimum of fuss (Livingstone, 1988).
[SKILL 10 STAMINA 10; 2 Attacks; Club and Large Bite]
Rare, if not unknown from Titan, CROCODILE MEN have been recorded haphazardly from other locations (Morris, Gallagher & Bambra, 1986; Bennie, 1990). Primitive carnivorous fiends with a tendency to bite first and digest later, these scaly brutes are usually found living in small clan-groups in the deepest parts of the Swamplands of Silur Cha. Some are known to join the legions of the Lizard Men Empire, but they tend to form their own units of shock troops, often in the company of Mutant Lizard Men, owing to their unpredictable nature.
[SKILL 8 STAMINA 8; 1 Attack; Spear, Sword or Crossbow]
Unlike more primitive examples from other worlds (e.g. Moldvay, 1981; Morris & Johnson, 2008), the LIZARD MEN of Titan are a terrifying race who rule a sprawling empire centred on the Swamplands of Silur Cha. Their military ingenuity is legendary, as is their slavish devotion to a host of foul deities such as the Demon Prince Ishtra and the Lizard God Suthis Cha. When they finally sack the city of Vymorna following a long siege, then the rest of the southern lands will likely fall to their savage legions and living reptilian war machines (Gascoigne, 1988).
[SKILL 9 STAMINA 9; 2 Attacks; Large Fist, Battle-axe or Club]
The large hairy bull-headed humanoids known as MINOTAURS are found on all three continents of Titan, usually at the heart of an underground labyrinth or a maze-like series of tunnels (Gascoigne & Tamlyn, 1989). Recent studies have indicated the presence of a cow-headed variant from Femphrey, known as the Mooncalf (see Green, 2009), and it may be that buffalo-headed versions of Minotaurs might be found in more tropical climes, such as Arantis and the lands of the Glimmering Sea (as seen above).
[SKILL 7 STAMINA 7; 1 Attack; Club or Dagger]
A recent discovery resembling a man-sized monkey (Green, 2006), MONKEY MEN are believed to originate from the palm-fringed islands that dot the Black Ocean of southern Titan. Little is known of their society and beliefs, but it is thought that they may be related to the Scurrellors of the Cloudhigh Forest of western Khul, and the Wood Reavers of Far Analand (Wright, unpublished).
[SKILL 9 STAMINA 5; 1 Attack, Large Teeth]
Not to be confused with their more powerful Weretiger brethren (Gascoigne, 1985), TIGER MEN have a fairly patchy record from Titan. We do know that Shanzikuul, the Master of Chaos, kept a harem of Tiger Women in his lair beneath the ruined city of Kabesh (Martin, 1990). Also, from the far future of Titan City, the entourage of Marcus Buletta (also known as Dr Macabre the mad surgeon and pharmacist robber), numbers a Tiger Man among its members (Jackson, 1985), from which the above stats have been extrapolated.
This wraps up our pre-election coverage from Bangkok, Thailand. We hope you enjoyed the show and remember:
"VOTE NO = VOTE BEASTMAN!"
Bennie, S. (1990). Old Empires. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, Inc.
Gascoigne, M. (1985). Out of the Pit. London: Puffin Books.
Gascoigne, M. (1988). Battleblade Warrior. London: Puffin Books.
Gascoigne, M., & Tamlyn, P. (1989). Dungeoneer: Advanced Fighting Fantasy. London: Puffin Books.
Green, J. (2006). Bloodbones. Cambridge: Wizard Books.
Green, J. (2009). Stormslayer. Cambridge: Wizard Books.
Jackson, S. (1985). Appointment with F.E.A.R. London: Puffin Books.
Livingstone, I. (1988). Armies of Death. London: Puffin Books.
Martin, K. (1990). Master of Chaos. London: Puffin Books.
Moldvay, T. (1981). Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Adventure Game: Basic Rulebook. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Hobbies, Inc.
Morris, D., & Johnson, O. (2008). Dragon Warriors Bestiary. London: Magnum Opus Press.
Morris, G., Gallagher, P., & Bambra, J. (1986). Creature Catalogue. Cambridge: TSR UK Ltd.
Wright, A. (2010). The Ascent of Man. Unpublished Fighting Fantazine article.