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Discussion Lets Talk Beastmen and Lizardmen

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    There is no doubt that Lizardmen would want to wipe out Beastmen and visa versa. I just don't see them as frequent foes. I can't imagine Lizardmen traveling to the Old World to take on Beastmen and I can't picture Beastmen sailing or marching to Lustria or the Southlands.

    The Beastmen are the only Force of Destruction that reproduces in a fairly normal way (not counting the Fallen, Warriors of Chaos, Dark Elves, and Chaos Dwarfs are basically extensions of their parent force of Order). They don't grow from spores, they aren't spawned exogenically from the Chaos Realm, they don't come from pools. Males and females copulate and they have offspring. Yes, Skaven do that do but females are a small percentage of the population and a small number of females ends up spawning hundreds of young each. Even if Beastmen females have litters, even Beastmen females are slightly less than half the population (Tolkien and traditional D&D Dwarves have men outnumber women 2:1 by birth stat statistics). A few Beastmen are mutated humans who flee or are driven out of their own society but they are a small minority. Most Beastmen reproduce in a relatively human way relatively mundane way.

    Why did I bring this up? Unlike the Orcs and Goblins, Skaven, Greenskins, or Daemons, a concentrated effort could permanently wipe out Beastmen at least one in area.

    They are either the Chaos A-List because of all the Chaos powers, they are actually chaotic. Alternatively they are the B (or C-) Listers because they don't really plan sweeping offensives. They don't accept formal challenges or receive dubious gifts on the level of the Warriors of Chaos. They aren't pure Chaos the way Daemons are. They just kind of attack everything near them on a regular basis. They rarely have sweeping mega-offensives like the rest of the Forces of Destruction.

    The Beastmen are an annoyance to the Empire, and the Greenskins, and Cathay and Brettonians, etc. They come out in a vast herd, break a bunch of stuff and then are beaten back. The Empire and Brettonia and the others can't really make a serious go of taking the Beastmen out for good because they are out of their element in the forests. That pattern does not exactly work in Lustria or the Southlands. Really the Lizardmen should at worst be on equal footing for using the terrain in the jungle than Beastmen. Reviewing the red point above, Lizardmen could probably wipe out jungle Beastmen with relative ease. The Beastmen can't retreat to the trees to regroup and repopulate the way they can in the Empire and the rest of the human dominated lands.

    If Beastmen a recurring foe for the Lizardmen, they probably dwell outside the jungle utilizing terrain the Lizardmen are out of their element in.

    Props to @Tlac'Natai the Observer for coming up with this before I did. While T-man's desert Lizard can survive the desert, they don't dominate it like they do the jungles. They can't wipe out their local Beastmen menace.

    There is a counter example. If the Beastmen have an arch-nemesis, it's the Wood Elves. I find it somewhat pathetic that the Wood Elves for all their power cannot wipe out the Beastmen of Athel Loren, particualrly since the Beastmen waste a lot of their effort attack Brettonia or the nearest Dwarf hold. But the Beastmen in and around Athel Loren have Morghur reborn every few centuries. That basically represents the only time the four Chaos Gods toss the Beastmen any meaningful aid. So we can excuse the Wood Elves for their failure to eradicate the local Beastmen.


    Beastmen are not an original creation of Games Workshop. They are inspired heavily by Greek mythology. Satyrs, Centaurs, Harpies, Minotaur, and giant mutant boars. Sometimes this transition is less than perfect. Gors and Centigors love alcohol but unlike their inspirational forebears of Greek myth, they are too stupid and unfocused to brew their own booze.

    Greek mythology loves shades of grey and double edged swords. Poseidon represented the helpful friendly sea that sped ships on their way and allowed fishermen to feed their family. He's also the hungry sea that devours ships and kills people with storms. Centaurs and satyrs represent the positive and negative aspects of animals and the natural world. They are dangerous and wild, but they are also are wise and sometimes helpful. Not in the Warhammer world, the Beastmen are unrepentant monsters one and all. Thankfully, they are less prone to interspecies rape than Classical Satyrs and Centaurs. Good call Games Workshop!

    Most Beastmen are part goat. Lets look at Satyrs some more. So Satyrs vary in Greek myths as mad destroyers, fun party guys, wise advisors, aids to farmers, hopeless romantics, predatory rapists, and a bunch of other things. Gors and Ungors are buff killing machines. While they aren't prone to rape (or if they are, leave that out of the stories you post on L-O please), but they do share the Classical Satyrs virility with their own kind. That's why they are the dominant sub-group in the Beasts of Chaos. Consciously or not, Games Workshops writers also folded in Medieval Christian symbolism. Goats and goat-men were associate with Satan. This pulls the Beastmen farther away from the friendly aspects of Satyrs and moves them to true Chaos.

    Why am I covering this? Goats, cows, and horses are not native to the Americas. Sure they spread to Africa quickly (or came from North Africa and spread to Europe) but the Southlands are closer to a lost cousin of the Lustria (aka the Amazon) then they are analagous to the actual central African rain forest. Even though goats, cows, and horses are common in southern Africa and the Americas today, these regions do not have as deep a cultural image for horses, cows, and goats and myth and legend is very important when determining aspects of a fantasy world.

    If Beastmen a recurring foe for the Lizardmen, they probably should be based on different animals than the "normal" Beastmen.

    Props to @Tlac'Natai the Observer for coming up with this before I did. The Coyote Beastmen not only look different than the mainstream Beastmen, they act different too. I like @Warden 's idea of using Camasotz. They wouldn't logically be able to wield massive armies of batmen but they are sneaky enough that they could probably avoid concentrated attempts by Lizardmen to wipe them out. I'd probably avoid reptilian Beastmen, that would get confusing. Also that would violate the Fimir's standing trademarks. I would avoid Rats too for obvious. Jaguarmen are dicey, only include them if you want to up the blasphemy angle. For best results, dig into Native American or Central African folklore for evil human/animal hybrids, but if you are lazy, pick animals you don't like.

    Going for the Southlands/Africa, Lion Beastmen would not be a good view. We view lions as noble beings in Western folklore. So make the savannahs inhabited by Hyena Beastmen. Actually Dungeons and Dragons has those, they are called Gnolls and Flinds (Flinds are the same monster basically, just smarter and stronger). Or maybe not. There is a giant savannah between the Sahara Desert and the Central African Rainforest but in the Warhammer world, it's implied if not stated that the jungles basically instantly give way to a harsh desert. Ouch. While you may have New World desert Beastmen, I can't imagine Southlands desert Beastmen coping with low quantities of water and massive hostile armies of self regenerating undead.

    Don't be missing goats so much you go for Lustrian Llama based Beastmen. They'd be too adorable to be threatening. South of the the jungle or in the Not-Andes mountains probably go with wolves, bears, or some kind of mountain goat (which would be different personality wise from those based loosely on domesticated European goats). Maybe Deer or Elk, or Antok based Beastmen.

    Lustria doesn't really need another faction with massed armies but if you really wanted massed armies of Beastmen fighting Lizardmen in Lustria, my vote is insect based Beastmen. That would drastically change the equation as they would probably be able to breed much quicker than their goat based counterparts but that would provide an explanation for how the Lizardmen haven't bested them yet. It also adds extra blasphemy, if say like mosquito they spawn in water. Kind of like Skinks and Saurus, only you know with actual copulation, ewwww. Then you'd have to come up with an explanation on why the Lizardmen are not overwhelmed by Chaos in their home turf. That's why I plan to stick with camasotz and similar small numbers of cunning hit and run critters. Assuming I write in Beastmen south of the border at all.


    Anyway those are my thoughts, feel free to add your own or dispute my points or suggestions. Or you can just click "like" without adding to the conversation. Or make a cheap pun or silly picture without adding to the conversation. How did I get so cranky?
     
  2. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    I was thinking of doing the Canadian version of The Bounty, with Eli-Nesz being more of a mounty, and changing the goat/sheep beastmen to moose. Which would bring up rut season, which can be very dangerous, it would cause challenges and imply some physical violation, especially tonwarriors carrying trophies or covered in blood of Moosemen. Otters or Beavers would be alright too for an aquatic fight. Or a platypus. They are pretty chaotic already, so they would work well for beastmen.

    Also cranky judgement on how others interact with the forum just promotes more crankiness.
     
  3. eron12
    Saurus

    eron12 Member

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    I wouldn't discount llama beastmen. They spit and are aggressive enough to be used as guard animals. I think you could also branch out into some of the North American megafauna.
     
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  4. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    ./\__/\
    [ ¤. .¤ ]
    ../|....|\___/ L
    . / / \ \ ..../__\

    I clicked like and drew a terrifying axe wielding cat-beast god. Who knows what will happen Tomborrow?

    Can I be excused from the serious discussion?


    Reading the above led to thoughts of giraffe based beasts and others just as ludicrous. I think goat kind is widespread enough on all continents (bar Australia) for there to be legitimate herds of similar kind wherever it is convenient. It saves needing to go into great detail explaining your water buffalo or bison herd.

    I think the BM army had limited numbers of cattle-kind - minotaurs, and some of the monsters, and centigors, although horse based could have a different platform without compromising their savagery. Leaving those out for a New World BM story wouldn't destroy the feel of the enemy.

    @Tlac'Natai the Observer's Coyote headed beasts, the Apisi - do they exist in fluff somewhere else? Even if not, they feel right because of the jackal headed Egyptian deity giving them a recognisable visual form.

    Having said That, I think the BM being largely based on what were domestic herbivores gone wild strikes a good thematic chord - last night's lamb cutlets is today's bloodthirsty reprisal. For that reason I would shy away from using a carnivore as a base, And Big cats and wolf packs are already a threat without resorting to chaos inspired sentience.

    I've read somewhere that the Southern Continent with its collapsed warp gate and overlap with the realm of Chaos has the largest concentration of beastmen anywhere. They just aren't a threat because they are confined by sea. I have an unreleased comic of the beasts of the frozen South somewhere. I also had a chat with a young writer on L-O sometime about a story based on the Southern tip off lustria where a credible threat was an ice bridge to Antarctica. I hope that the author hasn't abandoned the idea. But if they have, I would like to steal it and write my own story.

    Now I will cycle back to Scalenex's points in red.

    Could they be locally eradicated? I perceive the LM to be just hanging on against organised external threats. A costly campaign against a guerilla force (gorilla beastmen, anyone?) may not be the priority. And sites of arcane power may create hubs of BM activity which will just recur anyway.

    Having their own biome? Agreed, but there are plenty to go around.


    Based on different animals?. OK, since you brought it up, this is my take on Antarctic Beastmen.
    [​IMG]
    This proves you aren't the only one thinking about this and you now have some more strikethrough wish fulfillment

    I also have plans for insecty beasts in the Bobiverse. One because I have run out of distinct chaos factions to besiege every major city on the empire therefore I will be using xenomorphs (effectively) More beast than man and justifying a city burning all of its crops rather than provide cover for the bugs to approach.

    The other is because of the GW description of the Jabberslythe.
    It reminded me of a very scary, poorly described encounter with a bio-mecho-insectoid from Terry Brook' Sword of Shannara. I would like to use something equally unusual and creepy.


    So, Beastmen...
    Geopolitical threat to Lustria and the Southlands? Similar to orcs, Probably not.
    Personal threat? Yes, very much so.
    Threat to the Great Plan? More of an irritant.
    Affront to the Great Plan? Oh, my word yes. Drop everything and exterminate on sight. Unless you are @Tlac'Natai the Observer.
     
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  5. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    The Australians could always use the Bunyip as a beastmen type. Hanging around in swamps and whatnot lends to a good enemy for the jungles of Lustria. You could have a wide range of descriptions for them.
     
  6. Tlac'Natai the Observer
    Cold One

    Tlac'Natai the Observer Active Member

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    I always thought that Beastmen had multiple methods of bolstering their numbers; one being intercourse as we know it, but the other one that I'm fond of is the Dark Gods or the Winds twisting any being into a bestial form. In my story that introduces the coyote headed Apisi, I explain that it's the behavior of the coyote that catches the attention of the Dark Gods and they bestow their favor on the coyote by essentially giving them thumbs haha. I agree, Bob, that their original form is more fun to think about if they're an herbivore, and since making my Beastmen based off of coyotes, I wish I would have gone with that first idea instead. BUT, I'm sticking to it, and my reasoning goes like this; if men can perform horrible acts that grab the attention of the Dark Gods, then so too can savage beasts. Here's a direct quote from my introduction to the nemisis Apisi, "...these coyotes are granted the gifts of chaotic birth into a Beastman. Most are born after a particularly savage kill; latching on and ripping side to side, killing the target on the spot and concentrating the blood into a small pool. Some have been known to be born after the coyote empties it's bowels in the same area too often. Others, born for having a large pack, with all the adolescent males kicked out." Here I'm alluding to Khorne, Nurgle, and Slaanesh respectively. The main character was blessed by Tzeentch (he just LOVED the way this coyote was stalking an elk).

    Also in my long story, I do show that the Beastmen are having trouble hanging onto their territory, and are at risk of losing their hunting grounds (essentially the same thing as their breeding ground). I haven't fully explained it yet, but when these coyotes are "randomly" born, they aren't born into the safety of a camp or anything like that; they are born in the wilderness, and the shamans of the pack have to sense the birth and lead the pack to go find and "jump in" the new Beastman. SO, if these Beastmen are born into a territory that isn't dominated by their brethren, they easily get singled out and eliminated by whoever else owns the territory. I mean, the Beastmen would never fully be eradicated because they can always manifest out of basically nothing, but a threat to the establishment? No, not until there are a bunch of these guys. The shamans are the true glue that hold together the Apisi Beastmen in my stories, not so much the Beastlord, they just lead raids.
     
  7. Warden
    Skink Priest

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Great Stuff!

    Beastmen in Lustria-

    I am definitely a fan of my Camazotz idea of course: large, scary bat-like beastmen that hunt in the night. The jaguar-beastmen would be interesting but I agree they would be hard to pull off. I am pretty sure the symbol for the old one Huanchi is a jaguar. BUT it would be interesting to see some bloodthirsty jaguar-beastmen running around, they would be seen as abominations of the worst kind by the Lizardmen. Imagine seeing one of their most important and holy spirit-animals, corrupted by chaos??

    The idea of insect-beastmen is also interesting, how would that be pulled off? I am almost afraid it would be too alien for a non 40K universe, but maybe I am wrong? Too close to tyrannids?

    Beastmen in the Southlands-

    I am far from my books at the moment, but I could have sworn their was a mention of beastmen living in the Southlands who looked like giant apes/gorrillas. They were very good at avoiding Lizardmen patrols by climbing into the trees and hiding high in the canopies when outnumbered. I feel like even if they couldn't meet the Lizardmen one-for-one they would be the perfect jungle ambushers. Even terradons would have a hard time tracking them through the heavy jungle canopies.
     
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  8. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    These are all quite good, I like the insect idea quite a bit, maybe an ant or bee like structure, only disorganized. I am thinking Inferno from transformers beast wars. A little off, always calling megatron his queen and playing with fire.

    But we certainly like to apply a lot of order to the supposed Chaos. Why not mix and match. Some gorilla units, some bat units, some bug units, some giraffes, and why not throw in a bunyip and jackalope while you're at it. The Jackalope could be the queen of your fire ant men. They are supposed to be chaos, make it chaotic and don't stick to all one type of beast.
     
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  9. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    I don't know a whole lot about Beastmen save from their occasional use as a whipping boy in other army's stories, but they do feature quite a lot in the Gotrek and Felix novels. In Gotrek and Felix most beastmen are the typical Gor - a goat/human hybrid. In one book I recall one of the leaders of a beastmen party had a moose like head with antlers shaped like the rune of Khone. Mutated humans often featured in Beastmen forces too, with snake people and reptillian features being pretty common.

    In one of the old army books (I think beastmen) I remember reading about tiger-based beastmen. I think they were Slaaneshi? Now with Silver Tower we finally see what a Tzaangor looks like - and he's a birdy! Avian beastmen are quite cool and the models are very imposing.

    Warden's idea of ape-beastmen is also really cool. Some crazy violent ape people, kinda like the white apes in Congo. Scary stuff!
     
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  10. Rednax
    Cold One

    Rednax Active Member

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    don't you mean Tombo?


    The idea of different diverse groups of beast men is intriguing, and in one of the BRB's during the fluff/history part is was said that 'man turned to beast and beast turned to man' (or something like that). So I can see plenty of beasty variations but for most of them, I think sticking to herding mammals is just fine.
    how terrifying would a herd of buffalo/beastmen be?
     
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  11. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Insects-based beastmen is a cool idea. Just think to Goldblum's "the fly". Fast, strong, nasty and disgusting.
    I can easily see Nurgle's scheming behind such a variety of beastmen.

    Or ants. Think to those army ants: they are sufficiently terrifying at ant size...
     
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  12. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Beastmen in LUSTRIA? Nope. Wiped out long ago (if they ever existed).

    The Beastmanish homelands are Bretonnia, Empire, Estalia, Border Princes...

    ...just like the Woodelfs are found only in one forest.
    ~~~~~
    Warden's notion of Ape themed 'Beastmen' is both puzzling and interesting. (I even have figures from a defunct game called: Hundred Kingdoms.) But how is a simian themed Beastman army different from a straight up Monkey-Gorilla army?

    I saw some figures once that were converted from plastic ogre bodies and plastic boar heads. Those could work as Southlands Jungle Beastmen. They could employ Gorillas in the same niche as a regular Beastman army employs 50x50mm base monsters. Also, there is scope for a Kong-like giant gorilla replacing one of the big, big, monsters. Cape buffalo/bison as Minotaurians too.

    Anyway Southlands sure, LUSTRIA (why does my autocorrupt keep making that ALL CAPS?) nope, nope, nope. Just no.
     
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  13. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    As is not unusual, my brain was late to the party with this discussion.

    If we shy away from Scalenex's original point (how would BM work in Lustria / the Sounthlands) for a minute, there are probably only a couple of authory sort of questions for any faction.
    1. Does X always need to be the antagonist? Can X be seen from a sympathetic point of view?
    2. How can X be portrayed as a credible, tension building threat? Are they a mini-boss or the end-game?
    Question 1. is the interesting one for me. If the enemy is motivated by right and justice (from their own point of view) how much more committed will they be? Might the heroes of niceness experience doubt about their own motivations?

    Question 2. comes back to the set up - it's your world so you can manipulate geography / history / species / ley-lines / whatever to give the enemy at least a thin chance of success. Except for Skaven. They don't deserve a leg up.



    For me, I see no practical difference between Daemons of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos and Beastmen - they have the purest set of motivations in the WHFB world. Yes, there might be some personal ambition, long held grudges and a pitiful lack of discipline to cause some diversions, but ultimately they know what the end game is (take that, Lizardmen)

    As for credible threat, I've tackled the BM in much the same way as O+G. Think of the match ups. In a one on one match up between gor and skink, who is fiercer? What about, who is faster between a bestigor and saurus warrior? Who is more savage between a kroxigor and minotaur? Now add an unlimited supply of very committed nutcase beastmen against a non-breeding limited supply of lizards. In the long run, the Great Plan is secure, but those local lizardmen might not live to see it fulfilled.

    I've only written 5 pitched battles (all the others were skirmishes, at best) - Ogres vs Dark Elves, Ogres and Lizards (with the help of at least 2 gods) vs Daemons, Empire Vs Empire and Beasts vs Empire twice (Scourge of the Empire chapters 3-10). Despite the comedic sequences in the second Battle of Altdorf, those beasts were only defeated by their allies failing to open a gate, A defended wall, TWO sets of Empire Cavalry, a lizard in drag and the indirect intervention of at least one Empire god or possibly all of them.

    I take beastmen seriously. They are scary. I will have them as main protagonists in a planned future story.


    I hear Pendrake's point about Lustria being off limits to a significant beast army - complacency. That will only last as long as until Scalenex needs some variety in his homegrown enemies. Then you are going to see a lot of named beast characters throwing themselves against the spears of Klodorex. It won't go well.
     
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  14. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    See, this would be great Chaos Kong vs. The Dread Saurian. Just an epic Kaiju battle of the greatest proportions. All while this is happening, fighting to keep the beastmen from destroying the jungle. There is a lot of potential with Beastmen, with any race really, but these just seem like a ton of fun to write.
    Even Lizard beastmen. That would be the most chaotic. At first confusion, then a sense of betrayal. You can forego this idea for fimir if you want, but I think that Lizard beastmen would be more of an effective threat. A sort of myrmecomorphy, or perhaps tiliquamorphy (if I have my terms correct) where the hunters mimic the prey well enough to get deep inside. Really would make for an interesting battle and story line.
     
  15. Otzi'mandias
    Ripperdactil

    Otzi'mandias Well-Known Member

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    Lizard Beastmen=Dragon Ogres?
    The Lizard bit is raptor, I admit, but imagine the response of the Lizardmen when they first came across them.
     
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  16. Warden
    Skink Priest

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I think the Dragon-ogres share more in common with the ancient dragons and the Lizardmen. The Dragon Ogres were supposed to be some of the original inhabitants, gone over to the "chaos" side long before the polar warp gates collapsed, fighting ancient and bloody wars against the dragons during the centuries prior to the old ones even arriving at the planet.

    What I would think is more likely that the Lizardmen came from ancient Lizard/Dragon/Dinosaur primogenitor races that used to live in the Warhammer world before the Old Ones arrived and used their original stock to biologically engineer the saurus, skink, and kroxigor castes.
     
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  17. Otzi'mandias
    Ripperdactil

    Otzi'mandias Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I'm not too familiar with the Dragon Ogre fluff, so I'll take your word for it.
    I would have to disagree there. I think that they were the result of the Old Ones messing about with the genetics of a ostrich/emu type bird. There's just something so disappointing about the idea of the Lizardmen being not brand new to the world, just mutated off something similar. But thats just my opinion.
     
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  18. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    I have no idea about dragon Ogres.
    I don't know, I like the idea of scientists coming down, looking at the species on hand and going, I can improve this. I mean that makes the old ones more like Skaven. Which is fair, had they designed the Slann better, they wouldn't have contemplated until time ran out and the world got destroyed.
    The Old ones were basically just really slow skaven. World destruction through sheer incompetence.
    The Horned rat is an old one. Probably.
    The Skaven used to be just an offshoot of the beasts. When the other beastmen saw the rats of NIMH destroying themselves with technology, they were like, nah, we will just destroy things the old fashioned way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
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  19. gb2098
    Skink

    gb2098 Member

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    Apologies for the thread necromancy, but for Lustrian Beastmen, perhaps look at Cenozoic mammals from South America? the Pleistocene especially has a lot of potential for unique beastmen, like the trunk nosed ungulate Macrauchenia or the Giant Sloth Megatherium. Perhaps some are built like the rhino-hippo like Toxodon or the heavily armored Glyptodon. Avian beastmen might well take after the Terror Birds. many of these animals might live in Lustria, alongside the big saurians, or more likely in those regions where the large carnivorous Saurians can't survive as well climate wise, and the beastmen might well live alongside these animals that they take after, perhaps even use them in their armies in some way.

    it is also worth directing attention to modern south american mammals like the Capybara and Tapir as potential basis for beastmen varieties.
     
  20. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Warhammer Fantasy lore has bird creatures that Skinks ride around the city temple city of Oxytl called the Culchan.

    It's possible that both the Beasts of Chaos and the Lizardmen could use their own Culchans. Much like how the Lizardmen and Dark Elves both utilize Cold Ones.

    If I were developing a model line for jungle Beastmen, I would definitely want to include Pleistocene rhinos.

    [​IMG]
     

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