Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Tribes of Monstrous Men

Outside of the civilized lands, deep within the Wild places, are tribes of monstrous men. Similar to us in some ways, but very different in others. Today, I will detail a few.

Kobold Patrol!


The tiny, dog-like humanoids who hole up in abandoned mines, tunnels, and dungeons, laying devious traps to compensate for their small stature. When compared with the other denizens of their chosen living spaces, kobolds are relatively small and weak.

Because of this, kobolds will often ally themselves with larger creatures, offering them food, wealth, or otherwise in exchange for protection. Due to their symbiotic relationships with such dangerous creatures, the leader of a group of kobolds will not be the strongest, but the most clever.



No-one knows for sure where the pig-faced barbarians known as Orcs came from. Some believe that the Orcs were once human warriors. Soldiers for whom their entire lives were battle, and when those battles ended, they had nothing else to do. So they kept fighting. The restless warriors gave in to their primal natures, living only to fight, pillage, and revel. And slowly, they were changed into Orcs.

Orcs are fueled by a volatile mixture of testosterone and adrenaline. They live to fight. Often orcs can be found in nomadic warbands that raid the occasional human settlement for resources or just to get their energy out. If you ever encounter such a group in the wilderness, a good way to avoid being turned into a bleeding pin cushion is to give them a reason to fight each other instead of you.

Orcs can usually be reasoned with, but if someone draws a weapon, it's like throwing a bucket of chum into shark-infested waters.

Troglodyte Ambush

Troglodytes (or just Trogs) are lizard-men who dwell in dank caves and foetid swamps. They revel in filth and muck, gorging themselves on slime-pickled corpses and rotten fish. Their skin secretes a stinking slime they use to coat their weapons and combine with all manner of foul ingredients found in the flora and fauna of their cave systems to mix creative and deadly poisons. Many an enterprising and morally bankrupt sorcerer has traded with trogs, exchanging captured prisoners for their choice alchemical ingredients.

Troglodytes live in symbiosis with the oozes and slimes that slither around in dungeon depths. They feed the oozes until they grow fat enough that excess slime sloughs off that they can eat. Troglodytes, surprisingly, are seemingly immune to the flesh melting properties of most oozes.

Trogs often do not wear armor, as their slimy scales protect them like thick leather and because wearing armor would hinder their uncanny ability to change their color to blend in with their environment. 

Gnoll Raiders


The ravenous, dog-headed gnolls are creatures of Chaos. One could reason with an orc or a kobold, but gnolls have no reason. This might make them seem like mere cackling beasts, but they exhibit a sinister intelligence.

When gnolls raid a village they do not simply kill to take what they want and leave, they do not raid to survive, they raid because they want you to suffer. They torture and maim. They set fire to houses with families locked inside. They drink the blood from freshly severed heads and gnaw on the bones of children. And they laugh while they do it.

This brutality is not exclusive to their human victims. Gnolls will habitually eat their own at slightest sign of weakness. Unlike the kobolds, the gnoll leader will be the biggest, strongest, and most ruthless member of the group.

It is because of their evil nature that gnolls are associated with many superstitions. It is a commonly held belief that a child born while gnolls laugh will grow up to become a murderer. Not only that, but bits of gnoll are integral reagents in many black magics. For example, gnoll hide is used to create the many magical belts and capes that allow men to transform into wolves in the old legends. Gnolls are also known to keep wargs as mounts or as attack dogs, as witches do.


  1. Man, you are hard to track down. Good job with Black Wyrm. Go send Bryce your email address

  2. I love the art, and the way you envision these staple fantasy RPG monsters.

    Just stopped by to say I'm running the Blackwyrm mini-campaign on the OSR Pick-Up Games Discord server ( every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 Central (-5). Having a blast! Loving it!

    In only 19 pages, you've given us a whole world to explore. Your writing is concise and evocative—*not* minimalist.

    This truly *feels* like an adventure rather than a series of dungeons where players are killing monsters and taking their stuff to get GP for XP.

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you! It's always nice to hear feedback on the adventures (especially when it's this good). I hope your game continues to go well!