Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#45 - Byakhee & Beings from Xiclotl


Described as "not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings," I've yet to actually see a Byakhee portrayed with all of those features. Because they were also said to be "tame, trained," they are generally treated as the mounts of the Mythos.

In the RPG...

Despite being described as domesticated animals in The Festival, Byakhee in Call of Cthulhu have human-ranged INT and POW, so I think it's safe to assume that they are only subservient when affected by a binding spell. When ridden, they can fly their rider anywhere, including interstellar space. Though the Byakhee is immune to the dangers of space itself, this immunity does not transfer to the rider, who would therefore need their own manner of protection (such as Space-Mead). As an enemy, the Byakhee's stats are not crazy-high. It has only 2 Armour, and an average of 14 Hit-Points. It's attack also only does an average of 7 damage, though if it manages to bite its victim, an average of 16 STR will be drained per round. It should be noted that the 7th edition rulebook has slowed Byakhee down a little. The Malleus Monstrorum lists them as having 20 flight, while the rulebook has dropped this down to 16. 

In a video game...

Because of what the ability of flight means for a game, I would be reluctant to include Byakhee as mounts. If it was a large open-world game, then that would be fine, but in any other game, including the ability to ride a Byakhee would probably only work as a means to (uncontrollably) move the player to a new location. As enemies, on the other hand, I think they would work just fine. They are certainly killable, and are sufficiently alien enough that seeing one crash through the roof or window would provide a nice scare for the player.

In a film...

I think Byakhee would make for great movie monsters. The story, The Festival, would itself make a pretty cool short film in my opinion, what with the Crawling Ones and Tulzscha in there as well.

Beings from Xiclotl

The Beings of Xiclotl look like 16-foot high metallic trees, and are enslaved by the Shan as brute labourers.

In the RPG...

Despite their cumbersome appearance, the Beings of Xiclotl are actually quite fearsome. It can use all six of its tentacles simultaneously and grapple its victim/s, so with an attack chance of 50%, the probability of being hit by at least one of the tentacles is 98%. Not only does each tentacle do an average of 8 damage, but once grappled, the victim is then swallowed whole, whereby digestion does an average of 17 damage per round... so unless the Keeper lucks out with their rolls, a typical Investigator doesn't stand a chance. In addition, due to their 8-point armour, bullets won't really affect them much.

In a video game...

The Beings of Xiclotl are pretty tough, but could also provide a decent scare if encountered in the dark woods. It's the 98% chance of near-instant death that puts me off their use, however.

In a film...

On their own, I don't feel the Beings of Xiclotl would be that great as a movie monster, but if used as the labourers of the Shan, I could definitely see them working.

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