While they were never heavily used by Tolkien, Howard or Moorcock (and thus never made it into what most neckbeards today would consider "proper fantasy"), intelligent/talking animals and/or animals exhibiting the ability to turn into humans (especially traditional "trickster" types such as cats, foxes, rats and certain birds) have been a staple of fairytales and regional folklore for countless generations (including some more recent literature, like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Chronicles or Narnia - or even, arguably, parts of the Hobbit). How comes so few fantasy roleplaying games so much as acknowledge their existence? I know you're all going to shout "furry" here because that's the relevant buzzward, but could that really be it? I mean, I've never met one. I haven't even met a person who has, and I hang out almost exclusively with the type of people you'd think would. I keep hearing about them on the internet, but all that gives me is the impression that the problem is blown catastrophically out of proportion.
So if it's not furries, what is it? Fear of a game appearing "childish" (because talking owls are obviously for kids, unlike elves and gnomes)? The difficulty of involving such a character with the typical adventuring party (what about those animals that can take human form? It's a neat gimmick, and playing an animal who happens to have a human body at the moment seems to me like a far more interesting roleplaying opportunity than "short, hairy midget human")? What about as NPCs?
I mean, I've just finished watching The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe with my brother and you got to admit, this is pretty strange when you think about it.
We had a talking octopus as an Oracle once. He was called Paul for obvious reasons.
I think a reason is the whole food thing.
Also it's usually, especially in cartoons, done to be cutesy and adorable and its usually annoying as balls.
Most modern thing I can think of in terms of books would be either Belgaraid or Wind on Fire.
Instead of sounding like you're butthurt about the lack of intelligent animals in mainstream fantasy gaming, how about you sell us on the idea? Convince us why we should be as into it as you are, instead of sounding like a little bitch holding /tg/ responsible for not popularizing your very specific fairytale favourite.
There are tons of fantasy role-playing games that include stuff like familiars, were-people and similar shenanigans, but the simple truth is that a swan or whatever that can turn human isn't very fucking interesting.
On top of that, it's hard to relate to an animal who turns into a person, so they're not a really great subject for a role-playing character. All the magic kind of goes out of it when you think about the fact that your sometimes person intelligent animal creature spends most of it's time crapping in the woods, getting flea bites and trying not to get eaten.
It's just one of those mythological concepts that blew people away way back when
>Omg what if the fox turns into a person and like, outfoxes us all? And steals our kids or something?
But it's not very exciting compared to wizards and dragons.
I wish there was more Fantasy with squirrels. Squirrels are cool.
In freeform PHB game (it's a traditional, long-running, genre-crossing and frequently hopping game on a community I frequent), I played an elflike charlatan/illusionist/fairytale hero. He was charming, dashing, alluring, romantic and mysterious. I played shit up: he wore gorgeous, 18th century style clothing, spat one-liners while fighting with a rapier, always had some charming (but ultimately pretty useless) magical trinket to give a lady, etc. Even so, while describing him, I always kept inserting fox-related imagery wherever I could, both appearance and behavior-wise. There was something foxy about his smile. His nose was sometimes somehow like a fox's snout. His elfin ears were pointy and erect, like a fox's. He paced around and his glamorous longcoat swished behind him like a fox's tail.
The more he used his magic, or the more iron people put next to him (the other players didn't know this: I made them understand through the evidence) the less appealing the descriptions became. Foxes can be mysterious and beautiful, but the less glamorous he was, the more I described him as mangy, shaggy, scruffy, feral, rabid, filthy.
Of course, he ultimately turned out to be a magical talking fox, out for blood. Incidentally, he kept faking romantic interest (really, an intention to eat) the character of a very obnoxious player whom I know in real-life. She kept inserting references to her characters breasts in every single post of hers. Couldn't go a minute without mentioning how big and soft and round they were. It got on my nerves.
Fox thought of her as a cow. Lots of delicious, fatty flesh. The player fell for the cheesy fairy romance shtick like it was nothing.
Sadly, the other players killed my character with an iron sword before I could eat the "cow".
Because the first thing most players would probably do (or at least what most GMs think most players would probably do) if they encountered a wise talking animal would be to kill it.
Semi-related; I do plan on including a location in my next fantasy game called the Forest of Talking Trees.
Three guesses what they'll find in here.
I've seen plenty of foxes in my life, but only one ever ate a cow. Don't know how exactly it killed her but she was sick and old, so I'm imagining it just did somehow.
For all the love people give them, foxes are fucking shitheads. They're literally big forest rats. Fucking shame we can't shoot them anymore.
Foxes don't normally go for large prey. Chickens, rabbits, shit like that. They don't have the physical strength to bring down something like a deer, much less a cow, and they don't hunt in packs like some creatures that might. It's a very opportunistic animal. It'll eat fruits and vegetables when it finds them, eat small animals when it finds those, and carrion when there's nothing else left.
>So if it's not furries, what is it?
It is more underutilization, either due to overuse of alternates or rejection of use to avoid being labelled things such a "furry" or "weebo," rather than lack of acknowledgement.
A talking lion does nothing a dragon cannot do equally well or better.
A shapeshifting fox/cat/crane will draw accusations of being taken from an anime/manga and therefore is "weebo."
>animals exhibiting the ability to turn into humans
Is this supposed to be distinct from humans that turn into animals?