Category talk:Bestiary

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A Rose by any other name...

Picking up on the Orang's conversation on Talk:Apes and Prehumans...

I've been thinking about "Alts" for beasts. E.g. For game purposes, an Impala is a small bouncy deer. I think it should share the same GTN and bestiary write-up as Deer.

I've had two thoughts about how we should do this, not sure which is better or if there is a 3rd option I'm missing:

  1. Add an AKA section to the write-ups for listing other animals that share the same stats and GTN. E.g. ==Deer==... AKA Impala (small bouncy deer found on plains).
  2. Have an entry for the Alt that refers to the main write-up. E.g. ==Impala== Small bouncy deer found on plains. Refer Deer for details.

-- Stephen 16:42, 18 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

  • As I simplified the creature names for the titles, I put straight-out different names in as (also xxxx) below the heading, so at least you can search for them. I think a 2nd level heading (3rd level on some pages) for each name/sub-type will clutter things up to much, and while you can link to them by name, [[Deer|Impala]] works well enough IMO. So I think a semi-standard ;: list is the way to go e.g.
Other Names
Impala, Small bouncy deer found on plains
Reindeer, Large arctic deer

I used Stag as a test and basically added the name and a sentence saying it was a deer and then included the deer page. Are people happy with this solution? --Mandos 09:22, 1 Nov 2007 (NZDT)


Maybe I'll wait until stuff settles down before updating the index again. --Keith 13:13, 19 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

The index is one of the key bits, and really useful. Update it whenever you are ready - I guess more changes depend on people objecting to the GM Guide arrangement of creatures in categories.

Can you confirm that you've finished with moving things? If so, I'll change the index in one hit. If we change anything between categories I expect it will only be a couple of creatures. --Errol 20:01, 19 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Just a thought, if/when we add a Other Names section as per Stephen above, do we add the other names to the Index? I'm divided on this. Also, on adding pictures - they are a nice touch (see Badger), but there are some really bad fantasy pictures, and different people have different judgements on what is good fantasy art(i.e. I'm right, they rest of you are wrong...). --Andreww 19:47, 19 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

On the pictures front there is a plan to fix up wiki images, so I would recommend not putting pics in at the moment and then going wild once the images are in the wiki itself and more flexable in terms of formatting.

--Mandos 07:30, 20 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Continuing the Images discussion there is a US Fish and Wildlife Library where all the images are Public domain, I will add a few images as I go from there. I have also created a Copyright template for the images taken from that library to make it easy to tag them. --Mandos 14:48, 25 Oct 2007 (NZDT)

Classification Discussions


Andrew raises the possibility of moving Yeti (Sasquatch) to Other Humanoids from Apes and Prehumans (note the later is 'Apes' in GM Guide). I suggest taking this further, and moving Neanderthal from Apes as well. Minor point, this impacts Illusion of Metamorphosis (S-11 Illusion) slightly. --Errol 08:36, 20 Dec 2006 (NZDT) --

Neanderthal are non-sentient - Yeti are sentient. Neanderthal should stay with baboons, Yeti with the sentient humanoids. Putting Saurime with the earth dwellers doesn't seem right, as they are partially aquatic. In "other humanoids" with Humans, Yeti? --Andreww 16:28, 20 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Moved from Other Humanoids Discussion to keep such in one place.

Maybe this should become "Beast-men", and include Suarime, Sauhagin (?sp?), Spawn, the southern snake-priests, Yeti, Shapechangers, and Ape-men (humans). Possibly also Merfolk?

See an opinion for some more details of why. I'm still not hapyp with Suarime being earth-folk, and the Spawn, etc. create a nice family grouping. Other Humanoids is a vacuous Category name. --Andreww 11:30, 13 Jan 2007 (NZDT)

I concur. So do we call it Aquatic Humanoids? Does it go in as an Aquatic or a Humanoid? --Mandos 09:19, 1 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

Riding Animals

Elephant. - Great Land Mammal, Riding Beast or both? Or should Riding Beasts be relabelled as Equines? My Preference is for Equines --Mandos 09:30, 25 Oct 2007 (NZDT)


I feel this should be split into Sub-cats of Elementals and the rest, but what group name for the rest do people suggest? --Mandos 13:35, 1 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

Old Conversations

Cats of both varieties

Now we are looking at a different way of generating the pages (See Riding Animals for the example) I am looking for the best way to use the categories.

  1. Place the pages in Cats and then add those to other Cats covering a larger field and then add that to Bestiary.
  2. Add all the small Cats to the Bestiary directly.
  3. Add both the small Cats and each animal page to the Bestiary.
  4. Another idea.

My preference is probably for 3.

Currently we seem to have a bit of a mix and I figure we should work out what we want before I spend lots of time editing things. --Mandos 11:37, 23 Oct 2007 (NZDT)

3 of us talked this over last night, and are going for 3, with the tweak that the Bestiary cat page has the 11 top-level groups as links (rather than sub-cats). This makes it easier to see the top-level groups (eg 'Common Land Mammals'), as they aren't mixed in with smaller groupings (eg 'Small Land Mammals').
Picking up the discussion from Talk:Great Land Mammals, are we having an article _and_ Cat for sub-groupings (eg GLMammals), or just the Cat (with the slight downside of getting the listing of individual creatures in a box at the bottom of the page, after the entries for all the creatures).--Errol 09:43, 24 Oct 2007 (NZDT)
It looks like we are adding categories to the Fae and Riding Animals in one way, and to Small Land Mammals in another way. I can see advantages to either way, and don't know what has been agreed, but the 'articles in' section of the Bestiary Category is going to list some creatures and not others. Consistency. --Andreww 17:26, 24 Oct 2007 (NZDT)
I think Mandos was using Riding Animals as a demo of one of the approaches. I'm 99% sure that the individual creature articles will all be in Cat:Bestiary (and so it acts as a Index). I've emailed him to confirm that we are taking the sub-groupings out of the sub-cat listing of Cat:Bestiary, and hard-coding the groupings and sub-groupings at the top of the Cat:Bestiary page (this will be easy to maintain as changes at this level are rare). So the hard-coding shows the structure, and the article list is the index. --Errol 17:56, 24 Oct 2007 (NZDT)
I did the One before the other and so was still experimenting. The Riding Critters is the correct category methodology and I will be fixing up the other groups to match that.

Ie. The Monsters will be in the Bestiary Cat and their own groups sub cat. The sub cat will be in Bestiary and the page for all the critters will be linked to the bestiary page at the top. --Mandos 06:50, 25 Oct 2007 (NZDT)


I've been looking through the Wiki bestiary as it gets formatted (thanks everyone - Keith, Stephen, Errol, Struan, and anyone else I missed). It's not the same version as the current GM Guide bestiary. In the GM Guide, MD stats have been added for those sections which lacked them, and a few other changes made - e.g. mermaids moved to Fae from Aquatics in line with their sentience, powers, and mythical history. Can we make the two sets consistent - either changing the GM guide doc, or the copy on the Wiki? I'm biased as to which, but consistency (ever the province of small minds) seems desirable here.

Andreww 20:11, 2 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Good point Andrew, I looked at doing an alternative Bestiary Classification page when we first dumped it in, but decided it would take more effort to resolve the differences than I had the energy to spare at the time. Could we have a schedule of the changes (especially the entries moved between classifications) made in the GMG 2005 version please? It probably makes sense to align the Wiki with the GMG 2005, then tweak (or add notes) for anything additional that people notice - for instance, cheetahs should be light-aspected IMO.

--Errol 12:04, 3 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Schedule of Changes? You must be thinking of someone else. I just fiddled until it seemed better. The only way would be to bring up each animal in the Wiki, and compare with the GM guide. I'll see if I can sit down with a highlighter some quiet, obsessive/compulsive evening.

Andreww 15:27, 17 Dec 2006 (NZDT)

Don't you just love the English Language.

I was going to rant about how I hated that someone was perpetrating a spelling mistakem, but thought I'd better check.

Despite the logicalness of Beastiary seeming to be the correct spelling for a Compendium of Beasts, Bestiary is the correct term.

You learn something new every day

Struan 08:52, 16 Sep 2006 (NZST)


We've hit a limit on this category page. Only 200 sub categories and pages are being displayed at a time. This means that 33 of the 35 sub categories are showing, but not Summonables & Undead. Also, every creature >= "Summonables" (e.g. vampire, walrus, wight, wraith) is not listed here.


  1. Someone increases the limit for this category (or the default) from 200 to 300.
  2. We change our categorisation to have less than 200 items in a category.
  3. We click the 'next page' to see the last 24 creatures. I dislike this option a lot.

BTW, Common Avians & Avians need to collapse into one category, or both be shown in the "Bestiary Groupings" section.

--Andreww 00:12, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

  1. Is not a feature of this version of the Wiki software. Plan to upgrade to a new version underway.
  2. As more creatures are added we will end up going over the limit anyway. It only appears really wrong because we are only just over.
  3. No matter what we do realistically this may be something we just have to get used to doing. Although in time it will be click to next page to see another few hundred creatures so it won't seem so bad.

--Mandos 06:44, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

The splitting of sub-categories is especially unhelpful. A short-term approach could be to move the embedded links that are currently in the Articles for sub-groupings (e.g. Felines to the Category page - saves 30-odd entries. Note that slightly strange things happen if you use the embedded links to pages that are in a Category, but the 'higher' page is not explicitly in the same Category. I haven't investigated this fully yet.

I'm unsure that a listing entry for absolutely every variation on a greebly that a GM gets around to writing up in one place is actually the most useful approach, especially if it makes finding common things harder (there's a reason a split the magics out of the main index of the rulebook). Mandos's suggested meet-up would be a good place to discuss.

I noticed the unusual Avians structure (Fantastical Avians kind-of come under them too), but want to investigate the impact on Air Mages before changing it. There's also a reasonable chance that Creatures of Night and Shadow can be broken up (to mammals, fantasticals etc).

--Errol 07:50, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

To be honest I think we are worrying unduly. Once there are more creatures added, which I certainly intend to do as the current choices are both limited and odd, having them across multiple pages will be fine. The option of having less creatures in the bestiary seems bad, the idea of removing the sub-categories from the Category also seems like a bad plan. Merging the Animal lists with the sub categories is not bad but only delays the multi-page issue and isn't a growth focussed solution.

All of us have managed to find the second page. If you are looking for a specific animal you can just go to the page anyway and I don't think this is a major problem at all. If anything we just need to add more creatures so that the second page is filled up a bit.

--Mandos 09:12, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

the idea of removing the sub-categories from the Category also seems like a bad plan. These would be the sub-categories that are already in the structured list (as links to the Aricle pages), then are repeated in alphabetical order immediately below (split across pages), as well as the article pages with the same name that are included in the article list. What's bad about it? If the 'cost' of getting them out of the sub-cat section of the Bestiary Category is adding a manual link back to the Bestiary Category on each Category page, I'm happy to spend the half-hour for the one-time exercise to change it.

There are human-interface reasons why the software limits lists to 200. These can be discussed in a better forum when looking at overall issues like "What's the Bestiary for, anyway?".

Merging the Articles and sub-cats (and/or getting the sub-cats out of the listing) should provide a better way of showing the creatures currently taken into consideration in the rules (things are currently quite arbitary as Mandos notes) while we figure out the best way of handling 1000+ beasties and the multiple ways they can be classified.

--Errol 10:24, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)

Actually the Sub cats are only in the Sub Cat list. All the rest of the links go to the actual list pages. I personally don't think people will use the Bestiary Cat a lot, I think they will go the the pages themselves so I don't think an extra click is a big deal. But if we must shrink things a bit we should copy the article pages into the Sub Cats removing the articles from the main list and keeping the Sub Cats separated out.--Mandos 10:56, 2 Nov 2007 (NZDT)