Monday, 21 January 2013

A Brave New World #2: Lore Of The Land

Fur and scales? Why not!
Making the familiar fresh again was a topic that I hit upon in my last post and, since then I have a little more time to think about the idea. In particular, to think about my concept of "Hell Hounds" and, how they play into the world that I want to create.

In order to do this, I took a look at the lore surrounding Hell Hounds, in order to map out the defining characteristics that make said hound, hellish. A re-occurring theme is fire. They breathe fire, are immune to fire and the associations with hell and fire no doubt has more than a small part to play in their name sake.

My game worlds all about balance though, so the Hell Hounds aren't getting what is often described as an immunity to fire without an extreme penalty when it comes to water. So, I have decided that even the smallest of splashes are like acid to them and highly toxic, with some misguided priest along the ways thinking the reaction to his holy water came from their hellish nature and, not simply the water itself.. Yup, misinformation is the thing that legends are made of.

So, if they're allergic to water, what do they drink?

That was a tricky one! In the end I came up with two possible answers, one of which was blood. Which was all well and good but, I actually prefer the idea of lava. Yeah, lava!

These pups have a quite literal immunity to fire, so with all the minerals flowing through the molten magma, lava is like gruel to these doggies! Also, if a passing adventurer happened to spy one spitting it's lunch up, it would certainly seem like it was spewing fire (which mine don't by nature, they're just BIG dogs with an immunity to flames that happen to live deep in the bowels of the earth).

With the main points covered, I'd say that's mission accomplished! The hell hounds will seem familiar enough to any group that they will identify them on the spot but, the actual lore has been altered significantly. They're just over-sized canines that live deep in the earth and have adapted to do so.. They sure sound like hell hounds though don't they?


  1. Very cool...I liken this to a AD&D book that came out that really set the stage for this sort of thing...

    'Van Richton's Guide to Vampires'

    Some vampires are affected by he sun, some aren't. Some are affected by Garlic, others aren't. You encounter a vampire and you learn right away, all vampires can be different, just like anything else.

    Same thing here - kudos - it is a hell hound, just not one you think you knew about.

    1. Thanks Jerry. That's exactly the reaction I was going for. :0).