Welcome to the new Menagerie Cards series on Continuing Mission! Ever need creatures to threaten your crew on the spur of the moment, but don’t have time to plan out their stats? Fear no more. The Menagerie Cards will allow you to mix-and-match and create a monster quickly.
There are three kinds of Menagerie Cards:
- Evolution (type of physiology)
- includes Control, Daring, Command, Conn, Focuses, and a special rule;
- illustrated with a creature image.
- Predation (methods of attack)
- includes Traits, Fitness, Insight, Security, Engineering, Stress, Resistance, and two attacks;
- illustrated with a creature skeleton.
- Ethology (creature behaviour)
- includes NPC category, Presence, Reason, Science, Medicine, Values, and another special rule;
- illustrated with a creature silhouette.
Pick one of each kind, and you have your creature! Some combinations may take creative license from the GM, but that’s a feature, not a bug – and might even inspire you to come up with interesting ecologies.
For this first release, to get you started, I include four of each kind of Menagerie Cards, for 4 x 4 x 4 = 64 possible permutations of a creature. Simply print, cut, and shuffle each stack. They are roughly 3″ x 5″, so you can paste or print them on standard index cards.
Set 1: Vespoid / Constrictor / Solitary Creature
- The Vespoid Evolution suggests a wasp-like creature.
- The Constrictor Predation indicates a choking and crushing attack.
- The Solitary Creature Ethology refers to a creature that prefers to hunt and live alone.
Set 2: Tyrannoid / Carnivore / Cooperator Pack Hunter
- The Tyrannoid Evolution suggests a creature resembling a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but may also be used for other dinosaur-like creatures.
- The Carnivore Predation indicates a meat-eater.
- The Cooperator Pack Hunter Ethology refers to a creatures that hunt together and learn from each other.
Set 3: Crustaceoid / Omnivore / Scavenger Pack Hunter
- The Crustaceoid Evolution suggests a lobster-like or crab-like creature.
- The Omnivore Predation indicates a creature that eats both meat and plants, like a boar.
- The Scavenger Pack Hunter Ethology refers to a creature that prefers to live and hunt in groups, but is fine with letting other creatures make the kill, while they feed on the remains.
Set 4: Bovoid / Envenomator / Caching Creature
- The Bovoid Evolution suggests an ox-like creature.
- The Envenomator Predation indicates that poison may be injected by fang or stinger. You may add Intense to the fangs, if it makes more sense, to simulate poison, and you can drop the stinger if it doesn’t fit your concept of the overall creature.
- The Caching Creature Ethology refers to a creature that likes to create caches of food or other treasures.
All Menagerie Cards should be fully compatible with each other. I plan to release two sets each Sunday, for a total of 20 sets. Once all 20 have been released, that should give you 20 x 20 x 20 = 8,000 possible creature permutations!
Use this link to find all the cards in the series so far.
I just went through a roller coaster. I had that instant fury when i saw that someone did something that’s been on my idea list for a year…
Then I had that feeling when someone else’s idea was twenty times better than any idea you’ve had.
Are we going to get non-predatory options too? At least herbivores?
Everything from herbivores, insectivores, ram feeders, psychic predators, hypnotic defenders, etc…eventually.
This is pretty awesome. I’d love to see this concept applied to other RPGs to create more interesting creatures and encounters. That said, I also love how they were stylized for STA. I haven’t dug into Star Trek Adventures yet, but seeing both publishing support and fan support like this for it makes it look even more enticing!