Critters and Monsters
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“Critter” is an affectionate name for the animals in TUG. Critters come in all shapes and sizes and are uniquely varied to exist in each biome found throughout the world.
A critter can fall into one of three categories:
- Predator, which is any critter that hunts other critters for food
- Prey, which refers to any critter that happens to fall into the category of food for another critter
- Other, which includes any critter that does not fall into a typical predator-prey relationship
When defining a critter’s type, more is needed than just calling it a “predator”, “prey” or something else. Critters have visual identifiers to better define their type and behavior. For example, prey will appear in herds and near grazing areas, or may be the singular skittish beast foraging in the woods, always on the lookout for bigger critters wanting to make them a quick snack. These behavioral cues play a huge part for the Seed when they are hunting for food, or hoping to trap the more dangerous critters: predators. Predators will be seen cautiously stalking their prey or viciously guarding their territory. They may be found lurking in tall grasses, or hoarding their kill in a cave den. Knowing these behaviors is a matter between life and death for the wary Seed. Not watching out for the signs, and wandering into what is thought to be an unoccupied cave could turn out to be a very bad mistake!
In addition to where they will roam, critters will also be defined by how they move and what type of decisions they make in their daily routines. As previously mentioned, moving in herds is one of these basic movement behaviors that most prey will follow when moving through a grazing area. Prey using this herd behavior graze in a general area and will remain within range of the rest of the herd. A variation on this behavior is flocking. This style of movement is more commonly found in birds, but any critter that relies on a lead animal defining its actions can be considered part of a flock and will follow that lead’s actions and spacing amongst flock mates. Finally, we have patrolling critters. This behavior is most common of predators who pace from spot to spot, looking for prey or guarding their territory. Critters on patrol are always on the lookout for opportunities to chase down prey, or a chance to take on anyone that threatens their territory.
Mythological beasts and monsters in our world attribute their origins to common animals described in fantastical ways, and the monsters of TUG share that same heritage. When you encounter a monster in TUG, its behaviors and appearance might remind you of some other critters you have encountered... but don’t be fooled, these creatures are far stranger than their critter origin!
Whether it is a leviathan terrorizing the water or a thunderbird in the skies signalling ominous weather conditions, the monsters of TUG will be incredibly varied. But don’t expect every monster to just be a conquest waiting to happen; much like their mythological cousins, monsters in TUG will also exist as keepers of lore or bearers of luck (or ill fortune for the unlucky few)!