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Monsterologist

You’ve always been fascinated by the beasts of your world. Dragons, goblins, slimes, cyblight, b-ugz, undead, all of these enthrall you. As a child you would research and record the habits of small creatures, such as bugs or birds. Now, your desire to learn all there is to know about particular monsters has driven you to adventure. Your thirst for knowledge often sees you settled up with haphazard teams and in dangerous situations. Because of this, you have learned how to defend yourself as well as an average adventurer. However, killing any of your research targets, except to dissect them, pains you greatly.

What is it about these monsters that has you so obsessed with them? Are you trying to find out the best way to deal with a threat? Do you want to befriend the monsters or maybe even train them? Are you going to become the authoritative master on some type of beast? Why risk your life just to study the habits of one creature? Think about what your ultimate goal is and work with you GM to make sure you can fully realize this more passive background.

Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: Nets, calligrapher’s supplies, cartographer’s tools

Languages: Common and one language you picked up from the monsters you study.

Equipment: A set of common clothes, a well-worn set of extra durable traveling clothes, a book containing research related to the monsters you have encountered, a letter describing your work in several different languages, a net, a pound of bait, and a small jewel worth 50 gp.

Feature: Monster Mind

You have spent days at a time watching the habits of monsters and have become in tune with their general habits. The more time you spend observing certain types of creatures, the more able you will be to intuit subtle hints about them. You may be able to tell when a creature last ate or slept, when it mated last or when it will again, what its general state of health is, its general mood, how large its family is, and any subtle variations it may have from the rest of its kind. You know the general daily, weekly, and yearly patterns of animals you study. You can give this information away freely, but good monster data does fetch a high price in the right circles.

Variant Feature: Trainer

You are so adept with monsters that even terribly aggressive ones may hesitate to attack you. If you can befriend one, through force, magic, or compassion, it can eventually become a loyal ally. When this happens, you can spend a week with the creature teaching it new tricks and abilities. This could be focusing their latent abilities or teaching them wholly new tricks that unlock power they never knew they had. As long as the creature is under your command, it can use these specialty moves as much as its power allows. Generally, a monster can only be taught around four of these new moves and will forget one if you teach it a fifth. If you set the creature free from your control, it will lose these abilities over time.

Suggested Characteristics

Monsterologists are full of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. They tend to stay out of direct melee with monsters and observe their fighting from a distance. Even in a fight, they relegate the killing to others and take a more defensive or pacifist approach. They are bookish and clever, if sometimes a bit knuckleheaded. Finishing their research often takes top priority, even over their own health and the health of others. They are goal oriented and stay focused when others get lost in thought.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I’m a pacifist at heart and hate any sort of confrontation.
2 The best information can’t be bought. It must be found by exploring.
3 I am obsessed with a specific type of monster and will risk everything to just get close to them.
4 My prestigious upbringing makes me loathe getting myself dirty and I’ll complain about it profusely.
5 I have no pity for the animals I study. They are dangerous creatures and if some must die to understand them, so be it.
6 I tend to want to revisit my favorite monster dens over and over, even if the monsters have long since left or died.
7 The monsters may have it right. I am constantly comparing civilized life to that of the monsters.
8 I’m really just using this as an excuse to hunt down the most exotic monsters for sport.
d6 Ideal
1 Beastly. To understand the monster, I must act like the monster. (Chaos)
2 Master. To train them is my cause. (Any)
3 Circle of Life. There is order to everything, even monsters. We only need to understand the patterns. (Law)
4 Godsend. I need to know as much as I can about this monster to stem the rampant death they cause. (Good)
5 Monstrosity. Once I understand everything about these beasts, it should be a simple matter to improve upon their design and bend them to my will. (Evil)
6 Publisher. Information is the only true form of currency and power. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I’m making a game but need to know more about these creature’s habits to make the rules more realistic.
2 I can’t stand to see my research subjects suffer, even if it is the way of nature.
3 My family is constantly fretting over my safety, but I tend to forget they exist while researching.
4 My hometown is in danger and only I realize these monsters are to blame.
5 I am well respected within my field but am under a lot of pressure to keep publishing interesting data.
6 My party is the only thing keeping me alive. I do whatever I can to make sure they’re happy and healthy.
d6 Flaw
1 Lots of monsters die when I research them. More than a normal adventuring party kill.
2 I’ve made up half of the findings in my research.
3 I’ve hired a lot of bodyguards for my work. Unless you survive a week or more, I’m not going to bother remembering your name.
4 My research is more important than my own life or the lives of those around me.
5 I tend to squander whatever gold my research may bring in.
6 I’m not above torturing a creature to learn more about them.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Lasers & Liches: Tales from the Retroverse - Test Wave 3 Player's MTX Creator(s) Chris Lock, Lluis Abadias Copyright 2021