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View Full Version : What monsters mature REALLY slowly? (SoD spoilers)



Fayd
2009-07-20, 01:36 PM
I just read my copy of SoD...and a thought struck me.

The Monster in the Dark doesn't appear to have mentally matured at all in over 29 years. It has the same childlike innocence and mindset now as when it was captured. This made me curious...what sort of monsters have that sort of maturity growth (after typing halfway through this, I remember that ELVES are like this, so there may be a good MANY monsters, but still)...anyway, what did you think? This isn't a "figure out what the MitD is" thread, but just a discussion about the mental age of intelligent monsters.

Optimystik
2009-07-20, 01:53 PM
Are you asking for a list of monsters with long lifespans? Because there's 5 monster manuals and assorted sourcebooks...

We can't even narrow it down to naturally intelligent ones, because we can stick "Awakened" on the front of his species and bam, you get something that can talk and play scrabble.

factotum
2009-07-20, 02:31 PM
And that's assuming the MitD is actually a D&D monster at all--all that Rich has said is that the monster isn't one he invented himself; he's never said that it's come from a D&D sourcebook.

thepsyker
2009-07-20, 02:40 PM
Are you asking for a list of monsters with long lifespans? Because there's 5 monster manuals and assorted sourcebooks...

We can't even narrow it down to naturally intelligent ones, because we can stick "Awakened" on the front of his species and bam, you get something that can talk and play scrabble.
And
seeing as how the hunters that found him were surprised he could talk, the idea that his species is not normally intelligent seems like a good one.

Berserk Monk
2009-07-20, 02:44 PM
I just read my copy of SoD...and a thought struck me.

The Monster in the Dark doesn't appear to have mentally matured at all in over 29 years. It has the same childlike innocence and mindset now as when it was captured. This made me curious...what sort of monsters have that sort of maturity growth (after typing halfway through this, I remember that ELVES are like this, so there may be a good MANY monsters, but still)...anyway, what did you think? This isn't a "figure out what the MitD is" thread, but just a discussion about the mental age of intelligent monsters.

Maybe the MitD just has a childlike mind despite its race/age in accordance to its race. Look at all the character in OotS and tell me they have a normal mental frame.

Acero
2009-07-20, 03:09 PM
I think dragons live 5000+ years, but dont mature for 1000.
orcs die young
no one knows how long goblin live. they all die too early.


Maybe the MitD just has a childlike mind despite its race/age in accordance to its race. Look at all the character in OotS and tell me they have a normal mental frame.

OoTS chars w/ a normal mental frame

Roy
V
Durkon
The king guy
Celia
the police chief at cliffport
hinjo, along w/ most of the saphire guard
haley, Nale and Xykon, to some extent
Redcloak
O-Chul
kazumi and Daigo. they used their names to save their lives
Lien
Captian axe
more I can't name:smallwink:

Skorj
2009-07-20, 09:35 PM
Are you asking for a list of monsters with long lifespans? Because there's 5 monster manuals and assorted sourcebooks...

We can't even narrow it down to naturally intelligent ones, because we can stick "Awakened" on the front of his species and bam, you get something that can talk and play scrabble.

Actually, most of the MMs and sourcebooks can be discounted because they were released after the point where Rich said he knew what the MitD was. The playground has been over those books, as well as the 2E/1E books with a fine tooth comb, and nothing really matches. Nothing seems to match all three of {biological, but with an extreme, frightening appearance}, {normally can't speak}, and {wish-like spell or psionic ability}. The closest guess turned out to have 4 eyes. :smalltongue:

It's almost certainly not a pop-culture reference (because those seem to only be used for throw-away jokes in OOTS), and just about every "out of copyright" monster of any description is a D&D monster in some sourcebook, which doesn't leave much.

I'm sticking with "carnivorous giant space hamster".

Ancalagon
2009-07-21, 03:30 AM
Actually, most of the MMs and sourcebooks can be discounted because they were released after the point where Rich said he knew what the MitD was.

No, D&D with lots and lots of monsters is around since 1974.

Most monsters you find in the 3.5-edition were around in some form earlier than that statement. You do not have all 3.5 MMs available to pick from but ALSO everything that was released over nearly three decades... and Rich has just to change something slightly or add some "pop culture here and there" and we could not recognize the base-monster until it was shown.

busterswd
2009-07-21, 04:27 AM
Well, keep in mind he's also said in mind that once we see it, it should be recognizable, which rules out any homebrew that's too out there. Can't find the exact quote, but check any of the other MiTD speculation threads.

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-07-21, 05:49 AM
Are you asking for a list of monsters with long lifespans? Because there's 5 monster manuals and assorted sourcebooks...
He's not suggesting just long lifespans, but something that matures slowly. It's possible, for example, for a creature to reach physical and mental maturity in 10 years but have a total lifespan of 2,000 years, for example.

Of course, we're assuming the MitD has the capability for a significantly higher mental maturity than has thus far been displayed.


And that's assuming the MitD is actually a D&D monster at all--all that Rich has said is that the monster isn't one he invented himself; he's never said that it's come from a D&D sourcebook.
He also said that we'd be able to guess what it is. Since the D&D forms of most monsters tend to differ significantly from the original source, I doubt he could really suggest we could make an accurate guess with a straight face.

Raging Gene Ray
2009-07-21, 06:04 AM
Elan's in his twenties and still occasionally acts like an eight year old. I'm not sure if normal rates of mental maturation (NRMMs), apply in the OotS-Worldiverse.

mjo625
2009-07-21, 06:10 AM
There are plenty of real world people who behave like they're 8 well into middle age. See Bill O'Reilly.

SadisticFishing
2009-07-21, 06:51 AM
I'm still not sure I understand the idea that people believe it shouldn't be able to speak.

"Oh! And it speaks common!" implies that they didn't know it could speak common. Clearly it's not something very common. Monster knowledge seems to be at an all time low in this world - look at the


Lirian fight MK2

Optimystik
2009-07-21, 09:25 AM
He's not suggesting just long lifespans, but something that matures slowly. It's possible, for example, for a creature to reach physical and mental maturity in 10 years but have a total lifespan of 2,000 years, for example.

Since there is no "mental maturity" stat for most monsters, lifespan is the closest analogue we have. Longer lifespans usually, but not always, mean a longer childhood - we have V's "20 years in diapers" comment from Origin, dragons etc.

factotum
2009-07-21, 02:07 PM
"Oh! And it speaks common!" implies that they didn't know it could speak common. Clearly it's not something very common. Monster knowledge seems to be at an all time low in this world

The hunters are presumably well versed in the sort of creatures they hunt. Conversely, there is absolutely no reason why Lirian, whose speciality was life and nature, would have had any idea about an unnatural abomination like a lich. Even if that weren't the case, you're still making assumptions about one person's knowledge from what we know about a completely different and unrelated person, which to my mind is like criticising the head of NASA for not averting the banking crisis!

Shhalahr Windrider
2009-07-21, 03:38 PM
Since there is no "mental maturity" stat for most monsters, lifespan is the closest analogue we have.
Mental maturity is simply an aspect of mental ability. We have three mental stats. Most of what is considered maturity seems to be represented by Wisdom, with Intelligence making a few contributions.

Furthermore, long-lived races with combat-able youth tend to have their young ones statted differently, see Dragons, so we can see how that sort of thing develops in those cases.

And of course, if the monster is the type with an extended flavor block, we might get an official word in the "Society" section.


Longer lifespans usually, but not always, mean a longer childhood…
No, not really.

In real life, short childhoods are usually more advantageous, regardless of total lifespan. Only intelligent, social creatures with the resources to care for their young can afford long childhoods. Certain species of turtle and tortise, for example, are known for their long lifespans. Yet these creatures must fully care for themselves the moment they hatch. In essence, their newborns are just miniature adults.

It's not the lifespan that indicates maturity so much as the environment.

Ancalagon
2009-07-21, 03:45 PM
Furthermore, long-lived races with combat-able youth tend to have their young ones statted differently, see Dragons, so we can see how that sort of thing develops in those cases.

Uhm... I'm not quite sure, but aren't dragons the only example here?
All other "old" things (starting from elves and ending with demons (not in alphabetical order ;)) do not have any age-progression listed. You COULD apply the player-age-categories, but the differences in there are too low to make a "general" difference (wis going to +2 is nice, but would not explain why something goes from "young child state" to "mature state").
Anyway, aren't dragon's the only example and they are somewhat special anyway. The entire thing is named Dungeons & Dragons after all. :)

SadisticFishing
2009-07-21, 03:48 PM
The hunters are presumably well versed in the sort of creatures they hunt. Conversely, there is absolutely no reason why Lirian, whose speciality was life and nature, would have had any idea about an unnatural abomination like a lich. Even if that weren't the case, you're still making assumptions about one person's knowledge from what we know about a completely different and unrelated person, which to my mind is like criticising the head of NASA for not averting the banking crisis!

Hrm? The hunters are the only ones who've been surprised that it spoke common, no?

And this is something virtually unheard of before. Look at how happy they are to have found one! It's nothing as common as a squirrel.

Druids have knowledge religion, no? I'd figure as a druid, you'd want to raise knowledge of undead to make it easier to deal with them.

Basically, do we have anything resembling evidence that the creature cannot normally speak Common? Not counting the Hunters, as they can too easily be wrong. "Oh, look! It even speaks common! Dragons are cooler than I thought!"

Ancalagon
2009-07-21, 04:07 PM
Hrm? The hunters are the only ones who've been surprised that it spoke common, no?

And this is something virtually unheard of before. Look at how happy they are to have found one! It's nothing as common as a squirrel.

Well, their surprise might be proof for their knowledge: They knew the thing and knew it should not speak common (which raises the question: What powerful, intelligent, rare creature does not speak common as default? A creature that is rare and smart is surely too interesting to interact with to not let it speak common as default).

Skorj
2009-07-21, 06:17 PM
No, D&D with lots and lots of monsters is around since 1974.

Most monsters you find in the 3.5-edition were around in some form earlier than that statement. You do not have all 3.5 MMs available to pick from but ALSO everything that was released over nearly three decades... and Rich has just to change something slightly or add some "pop culture here and there" and we could not recognize the base-monster until it was shown.

Well, you don't have all the 3.5 MMs, as only 1-2 were out at the time. As I pointed out, even the 1E/2E books have been examined in detail by many playgrounders (myself included) without any clear match.

Rich has said not only that the MitD isn't something he made up, but that we would be able to guess the MitD from the clues given. This means is isn't some homebrew variant, and that we're supposed to be able to recognize the base monster.

This is why I believe it has to be something obscure, but recognizable from "D&D culture", not pop-culture. Something like a giant space hamster, which is from a resonably obscure sourcebook, but far more well known than that sourcebook thanks to Minsc and Boo. There are probably a few more likely possibilities that D&D fans would recongnize from computer games or other D&D-related material, but didn't show up in the MMs.

multilis
2009-07-21, 10:51 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_of_Caerbannog

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_to_the_barrier_peaks

ericgrau
2009-07-23, 04:23 AM
Most D&D monsters (and non-monster creatures for that matter) have long lifespans. That doesn't narrow it down very much.

nihil8r
2009-07-23, 07:10 AM
matures slowly? low intelligence? doesn't speak common?

the monster in the darkness is a sequoiadendron. it just all adds up.

BlueWizard
2009-07-24, 10:51 PM
Dragons mature slowly.

Skorj
2009-07-25, 12:04 AM
Dragons mature slowly.

Dragons would also love stew, but they have high mental stats even young, and no one would be surprised that they spoke common. Also, the stomp and wish/AR don't fit so well with the MitDs apparent mental stats for any dragon race, it seems.

BlueWizard
2009-07-25, 02:12 AM
The multitude of dragon varieties have a diet just as diverse.

And the Monster stats are standard, a DM can shift ability scores anyway he wants. Dragons can also be epic spell casters...

All this said, I'm sure MITD is NOT a dragon. :smallcool: