Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#41
Irukanju are worth considering. 

Although their venom is not lethal, it's so painful that victims sometimes die from the pain. There's no antivenom, and it only pass by itself after a month or two. Assuming it's a faction or society that doesn't care about torture, I'd imagine a were-irukanji would be more efficient than anything else at taking prisoners for example. 

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#42
I would look into Earth at the equivalent terrain you plan the setting to take place in. Animals all fill niches and it's a very much rock paper scissors game of life and it would make sense for the characters to take inspiration from the local environment on what they shifted into. If your main character is a traveler, think about where they came from terrain wise. 

In general though I would say boar. They can eat almost anything, are extremely tough, and have decent senses, all of which would appeal to a fighter or traveler.

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#44

BridgerCampbellCannon Wrote: Were-microbes like were-omoebas or were-bacteria. They’d be virtually undetectable by all other organisms and would be capable of causing mass pandemonium like pandemics or diseases at triple the speed and virility.
Main problem with that is amoebas, bacterial and fungal microbes don't have anything approaching consciousness or sentience which would enable them to be controlled in the first place, and it's also a point of contention whether viruses count as living organisms at all (though they could well be cultivated by Alchimerists in the creation/'blending' of different pathogens to create truly horrific super-pathogens, if this were an ultra-edgy grim-dark apocalyptic setting- think along the lines of the utterly incurable, 100% fatal rabies virus hybridized with the nigh-unkillable, hyper-infectious and immune amnesia inducing measles virus, then just imagine the consequences of such a super-pandemic being released upon any world). Might still make a good basis for a different, fairly original premise for a fantasy world zombie apocalypse though- certainly worth saving for another day.

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#45


Ariana Wrote: I will be a biology nerd and say tardigrades (water bears). The things are not pretty or majestic, but virtually unkillable. Here a bit of info:


Quote:
  • Temperature – tardigrades can survive:
    • A few minutes at 151 °C (304 °F)[56]
    • 30 years at −20 °C (−4 °F)[57]
    • A few days at −200 °C (−328 °F; 73 K)[56]
    • A few minutes at −272 °C (−458 °F; 1 K)[58]
  • Pressure – they can withstand the extremely low pressure of a vacuum and also very high pressures, more than 1,200 times atmospheric pressure. Some species can also withstand pressure of 6,000 atmospheres, which is nearly six times the pressure of water in the deepest ocean trench, the Mariana Trench.[24]
  • Impacts – tardigrades can survive impacts up to about 900 meters per second, and momentary shock pressures up to about 1.14 gigapascals.[60]
  • Dehydration – the longest that living tardigrades have been shown to survive in a dry state is nearly 10 years,[43][44]although there is one report of leg movement, not generally considered "survival",[61]in a 120-year-old specimen from dried moss.[62]When exposed to extremely low temperatures, their body composition goes from 85% water to only 3%. Because water expands upon freezing, dehydration ensures the tardigrades’ tissues are not ruptured by the expansion of freezing ice.[63]
  • Radiation – tardigrades can withstand 1,000 times more radiation than other animals,[64]median lethal doses of 5,000 Gy (of gamma rays) and 6,200 Gy (of heavy ions) in hydrated animals (5 to 10 Gy could be fatal to a human).[65]The only explanation found in earlier experiments for this ability was that their lowered water state provides fewer reactants for ionizing radiation.[65]However, subsequent research found that tardigrades, when hydrated, still remain highly resistant to shortwave UV radiation in comparison to other animals, and that one factor for this is their efficient ability to repair damage to their DNA resulting from that exposure.[66]
(Wikipedia)



Could work, for a supremely paranoid character who's concerned about the simple matter of their own survival above all else. Problem with the tardigrades, though, is that they pull all these things off predominantly via their peerless hibernation abilities. Deprived of their hibernation abilities (as an Alchimerist in this setting would be, reliant upon retaining their consciousness to maintain their transformations), how much else would the tardigrade were-form actually be good for?

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#46

XIII-X Wrote: If the animals in question magically grew to a sufficient size to be terrifying toward a human at the very least, then insects & arachnids without question.

There is no terrestrial animal alive that would be more terrifying than a were spider/mantis/centipede/hornet/scorpion/katydid/camel spider/vinegaroon etc.

Not a single one. Any one of these creatures if they could feasibly survive at parity size to any mammalian or reptilian predator would absolutely dominate.

Well, that was one of the considerations I had in mind when coming up with the system, on account of just how OP inter-phylum were-creatures and chimeras could potentially be. Would it just be insects and arachnids though? Or could other arthropods like myriapods (of which the centipede is one) and crustaceans rival them- particularly when partial transformations are possible, and when oceanic and terrestrial animals can potentially be custom-blended together to create a fully oceanic, amphibious or fully terrestrial hybrid/were-creature as required?

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#57
Most powerful?

The were-flea! Infect the entire world in a short span of time. Bring whole civilizations to their knees!

Most useful?

Depends on the task and setting. For example, a were-spider could be useful in a textiles factory, or in a job requiring multiple hands. Were-cows could make a great dairy empire. Were-hyenas could become the world's most highly sought-after mercenaries. Were-mastiffs could become some of the best bodyguards. Were-rabbits could make for great instant labor force/cannon fodder, but you would need some kind of insidious culling mechanism o keep the population stable

You get the picture

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#58

KaapstadMK Wrote: Most powerful?

The were-flea! Infect the entire world in a short span of time. Bring whole civilizations to their knees!

Most useful?

Depends on the task and setting. For example, a were-spider could be useful in a textiles factory, or in a job requiring multiple hands. Were-cows could make a great dairy empire. Were-hyenas could become the world's most highly sought-after mercenaries. Were-mastiffs could become some of the best bodyguards. Were-rabbits could make for great instant labor force/cannon fodder, but you would need some kind of insidious culling mechanism o keep the population stable

You get the picture


The flea wasn't the real killer, it was a vector. Yersinia Pestis, the bacterium lodged in its stomach, came out as the flea choked and vomited. It would be a miserable life to choke on your own vomit all the time. 

For were animals I'd probably say centipede. They're sick af

Re: Which real-life animals do you think would make for the most powerful, original and/or useful were-creatu (...)

#60

KaapstadMK Wrote: Oh, i know. In this case it's a vector for lycanthropy


Interesting...

Funny enough my story is directly about "what would happen if diseases from our world got flung over into a fantasy world?" 

And I think fleas would definitely work, it'd go gangbusters. Mostly, fleas would go with rats and rats would go with ships. I think the real gigabrain vector would be mosquitoes - fast nymph>adult, tons of eggs, needs only still waters, huge range cause of flying, and doesn't implode on infection. Anopheles isn't even required, it's just the only one that carries the plasmodium we need, but hey its fantasy, it could be anything.