|Optional Metatypes, part 2: Gargoyles (long)
|Thu, 3 Jul 1997 17:25:56 -0400
up your game.
First up is one that was discussed on the mailing list a while back, the
Gargoyles from the Disney Cartoon. These can be a challenge to play,
because while they are fairly powerful beings, they have a severe weakness
in that they turn to stone during the day to "sleep". Play them with
caution, and hope that you can trust your chummers.
Author's note: Gargoyles are still a subject of dispute among scientists
around the world. Some refuse to even believe they are anything more than
myth, despite numerous reportings and photos. No one is sure exactly where
they come from, though the general consensus is that they are not a
"goblinized" form of human like Orks, trolls, Elves and Dwarves are, nor
are they an awakened form of animal, like the basilisk or the hell-hound.
Theories connect the Gargoyles with the gargoyles from North America and
Europe presented in patterson's Guide, but no solid connection has been
made, as several traits are missing between the two, such as intelligence
and the Stone Hibernation.
I've had the chance to talk with several Gargoyles from the Seattle area,
so I know they do exist. There are several interesting traits that almost
seem racial, rather than based on their society.
Gargoyles are very territorial, for one thing. they will "adopt" an area
to be their home. Most Gargoyles consider themselves to be Protectors of
their homes, and have a strong sense of right and wrong, and of honor. One
Gargoyle did admit that their are Rogues out there that have no honor, but
these are considered Clanless and to be outcasts, and the enemies of
They also have a strong sense of Family, and Clan. Most Gargoyles live
with their clan their entire life, with very few exceptions. When a clan
grows too large, it will split into two clans, each clan having strong ties
to each other. All Gargoyles consider each other family, with the
exception of the Rogues, and clans can often call upon each other for help.
Gargoyls can wield magic with ease. However, there are no indications of
Physical Adepts among the gargoyles, and most gargoyles consider cyberware
to be an abomination, and from what I understood, cyberware and bioware is
not compatible with the Gargoyles Stone Sleep.
Another note is a distinct dislike in modern weapons. Gargoyles have
natural claws, and will often use ancient weapons, such as swords and
staves if they wield a weapon at all. Rarely do gargoyles wield guns.
Identification: While Gargoyles vary vastly in size and in shape, There
are primarily two types of Gargoyle.
One is a Canine like Gargoyle. theya re fairly intelligent and strong, but
not as intelligent as a human and lacking any sort of speech capability.
It weighs around 300 pounds in it's flesh form, is quick, very strong, and
very loyal to it's "clan" of Gargoyles.
The second is the more common and Humanoid Gargoyle. These always stand
upright, like a human, and possess a pair of wings that enable it to glide,
despite it's bulk. However, for whatever reason, the appearence and
placement of the Gargole wings can vary greatly.
The more common appearences for a Gargoyle is a semi-demonic looking face,
sometimes with horns. The wings are often leathery in appearence, similar
to Dragon Wings, though these as well vary, and are sometimes membranes
btween the arm and torso of the gargoly, or even feathered and bird like.
Tails are a common trait of Gargoyles, though not every gargoyle has them.
Skin color also varies wildly, though is usually a darker color. Deep
reds, blues and grey's are common, though almost every color has been
They have a variable number of teeth, ranging from 20 to 48, with fairly
sharp and slightly elongated canines.
Most have hair like humans, but this too is variable, as are most
characteristic. Some are hairless, while others are covered in fur, or
The Humanoid Gargoyles range in size from several feet tall, to seven feet
tall, with substantial bulk do to their muscle mass. Despite rumours,
however, theya re not made of stone, at least not at night. During the
daylight hours, however, they transform into a stone-ike substance that is
very much like granite.
Habitat: Gargoyles most often prefer to "sleep" in their stone form on
rooftops, looking much like their namesakes, the traditional Gargoyle
Statue. hwoever, during the night, in their flesh form, they can reside
almost anywhere, though they do prefer large, open structures, usually on
the top of large buildings.
Habits: As noted above, Gargoyles are active during the night only. From
sun-up to sundown, they are trapped in a Stone Hibernation. This
transformation is not reliant on being in sunlight, as even gargoyles
underground away from any sunlight still tranforms. This has led
scientists to believe the transformation is magical in nature.
Their life span is, as of yet, unverified, though it is estimated to be
Gargoyles lay eggs, which take around 2 years to hatch.
Young: Female Gargoyles can lay between 1 and 8 eggs, though the average
is three. Puberty occurs when the gargoyle is around 18 to 20 years.
Commentary: No one is sure where gargoyles came from. they ahve just been
appearing in greater and greater numbers since the Awakening. They are
still quite rare, and usually live in "Broods", or what they call
Clans are usually between 6 and 12 members, though this number varies
greatly, as does most things about these creatures.
There are 3 playable types of Gargoyles: The Small, Medium, and Large
Gargoyle. Each has different advantages and disadvantages to them, so I'll
cover them in turn. The Canine Gargoyle is not a playable character, but
can make an interesting NPC. Canine Gargoyles are not pets, and no
Gargoyle would consider them as such. Tehy are simply a different type of
Small Gargoyles -- These are the Smallest and weakest of the Gargoyles.
however, they are also the fastest and the smartes of the gargoyles. most
Gargoyle Mages come from this category. These gargoyles are usually
between 2 and 4 feet tall.
Advantages: +2d6 initiative, +2 Quickness, +2 Intelligence, +1 Charisma,
Lowlight vision, Gliding
Disadvantages: -3 Body, -2 Strength, Stone Hibernation, Bioware/Cyberware
Medium Gargoyles: This is where the majority of Gargoyles fit in. These
are usually between 4 and 6 feet tall.
Advantages: +2d6 Initiative, Lowlight Vision, Gliding
Disadvantages: Stone Hibernation, Bioware/Cyberware restrictions.
Large Gargoyles: These are the rarest of all the gargoyles. They are also
usually the leaders of their clans, and are powerful warriors.
Advantages: +1d6 Initiative, +1 Body, +1 Strength, Lowlight Vision, Gliding
Disadvantages: -1 Quickness, -1 Intelligence, Stone Hibernation, Bio/Cyber
Gliding: gargoyles can fly, after a manner, by gliding on air currents.
They cannot actually fly, though, so must launch themselves from above the
ground, usually off a building or such. While flying, their Quickness
multiplier is 3.
Stone Hibernation: Wherever they are in the world, gargyles will transorm
into stone from as soon as the sun rises to just when it sets. This
transformation is not dependant on sunlight, and will occur even if the
Gargoyle is somewhere that Sunlight can not penetrate. This is a magical
transformation, and cannot be prevented except through magical means (i.e.,
the enchanted amulets Worn by the gargoyles in the Amzon in one episode).
The Stone that the gargoyles turn into is very resilient and tough. Treat
it as having a barrier rating of 16.
Bioware/Cyberware Restrictions: Gargoyles are very magical in nature, and
because of this, combind with their transformation into stone each day,
they are unable to alter their body structure in anyway, as the new body
part will not transform, and can cause problems, especially in the case of
(NOTE: In case someone wants to bring it up, Coldstone was a special case.
he was built from the remains of three shattered gargoylkes and brought
back to life with magic. In essence, he was Cybermanced with Blood Magic.
He doesn't count.)
Magic Note: Gargoyle can be magicians, and are usually Hermetic in
tradition, though not always. Phys Ad powers are VERY rare in Gargoyles
and should not be allowed in PC Gargoyles, as combined with their already
powerful natural abilities (Especially the natural Initiative bonuses),
they can be quite abusive. this is also the main reason for disallowing
The gargoyle can be a powerful Charcater, and as with all my Optional
Metatypes, should only be allowed into a game with care. They can present
a terrific new flavor to a game, and can be great fun to role-play.
However, they can easily be abused by the local Munchkins (Though one dork
with a hammer can take care of them during the day:)), so use them with
Bull, aka Steven Ratkovich, aka Rak, aka a lot of others! :]
The Offical Celebrity Shadowrn Mailing List Welcome Ork Decker!
Fearless Leader of the Star Wars Mailing List
List Flunky of ShadowCreations, creators of the Newbies Guide,
in production now!
HOME PAGE: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3604/home.html
"Gen Con, here I come!"