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Pigmen of the Imagination


Michael Hopcroft

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How would you buys build a race template for a species of sapient pigs? I don't have culture details yet, but I'm curious about writing them up.

The one question I have is the SIZ, STR and DEX scores. Pigs are bigger and stronger than suburbanites raised on cartoons give them credit for. These "pigmen" would have human mental characteristics,and presumably a few adaptations to life as tool-using bipeds (working hands, and feet big enough to keep them upright, in place of their hooves), but at least in part they'll still be pigs.

The one cultural thing is that they would probably resent pork-eating cultures and people, even if the pigs they ate were just normal, non-sapient livestock. They probably don't particularly care about their "cousins" in the barnyard, but the symbolism is what gets to them.

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Pigs, wild or normal livestock, are bigger (or more massive) and stronger than humans, are fierce omnivores. Wild boars are just as eager to eat the humans as the human hunters are to eat them. They have formidable dental equipment. They are close enough biologically to humans to use some of the same medicines and suffer from similar diseases. Their eyesight is poor but their hearing and sense of smell are excellent. They don't sweat and so have to adopt other means (e.g., wallowing) to cool their bodies in hot temperatures. They are highly intelligent, perhaps smarter than dogs, maybe enough to realize their ultimate fate once they leave the barnyard. They reproduce faster than humans.

Pig-men, then, would be tough, scary opponents: Smart, brawny, touchy, excellent trackers, able to work together in squad-level groups at least, perhaps possessing nasty natural weapons (tusks). They could recognize individual humans at a distance by scent, and possibly human moods as well by the same means. Would they eat other sentient species? Hmmm, tough call.

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Star Trek's Tellarites were also pig-men, but less werewolf-y.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Tellarite

Shorter than humans, higher body temperature, stubborn, love to argue (they consider it fun). An early star-faring race, they were one of the founding members of the United Federation of Planets. Their gift for debate tended to lend them success as politicians.

Edited by seneschal
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RQ6 has a chaos creature called a Boar Man that might be useful to you.

And in OpenQuest 2 there is a creature called Beastman, with a picture of a humanoid boar with hooves. The stats are meant for all kinds of "Hybrids of animals of beasts and men" that "typically take the form of a man with a beast’s head". They are stronger, healthier, larger and less charismatic than humans plus very good in Nature Lore.

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Chaosium RQ had both Tusk Brothers (were-pigs) and more pertinently, the Morokanth. The latter being an sapient, bipedal tapir-like race which lack opposable thumbs on their crude hands. They originally had STR 3d6+6, CON 3d6 and SIZ 3d6+6, with DEX reduced to 2d6+3 reflecting a lack of manual dexterity and very poor weapon skills. Better still they herded and ate men (although only men reduced to animal intellect a bit like those in Planet of the Apes). ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chaosium RQ had both Tusk Brothers (were-pigs) and more pertinently, the Morokanth. The latter being an sapient, bipedal tapir-like race which lack opposable thumbs on their crude hands. They originally had STR 3d6+6, CON 3d6 and SIZ 3d6+6, with DEX reduced to 2d6+3 reflecting a lack of manual dexterity and very poor weapon skills. Better still they herded and ate men (although only men reduced to animal intellect a bit like those in Planet of the Apes). ;)

What sorts of weapons can you use without thumbs?

I wonder what human adventurers would do should they encounter "men reduced to animal intellect"? Would you be able to identify one at a glance?

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It's a misleading statement. They have fingers that can grip across one another like an X. Here's a picture from the cover of Wyrm's Footnotes 9 showing one holding a mace in their X-grip:

30u39kp.png

EDIT: Found a better picture

Edited by NathanIW
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What sorts of weapons can you use without thumbs?

Traditionally, shields, clubs and spears. Maybe nets, if they were tied on.

I wonder what human adventurers would do should they encounter "men reduced to animal intellect"? Would you be able to identify one at a glance?

An Animal Lore (olden RQ skills), or its equivalent, roll should be enough to work out if it is a beast or just a dull human. Of course, if it chews on chaparral bushes or craps inside the tent, then you might have a good idea.

One of the things about herd men, especially in Glorantha, is that they can be awakened as Allied Spirits, or can be given INT to act as familiars. They would still have their herd man diet, but would be intelligent and can speak. They can be a lot harder to spot and can make excellent spies.

Herd Men can also be used in a Planet of the Apes setting, as the dumbed-down humans.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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There is the rather alarming possibility that their victim aren't really devolved after all -- merely oppressed to the point that even speech is forbidden to them, never learning to speak because there is nobody who can teach them. Which would make the Morokanth even more monstrous than cannibal slave-masters already are.

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