Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's A Dog's Life

Although there are plenty of mundane, non-speaking dogs in Wampus Country - in use in all the usual ways as guardians, companions, etc - of more interest, perhaps, are the talking dogs.  Numerous subspecies of semi-bipedal sentient dogfolk make their home in Wampus Country; in many cases the different phenotypes also share a culture and consider themselves to be a tribe, clan, or 'pack'.  Regardless, all dogfolk can interbreed with both other breeds of dogfolk, and mundane (non-talking) dogs, leading to a great variety of canine types in the region.  Many dogs are absolute mutts, with a mix of dogfolk and "plain old dog" blood on both sides of their family tree.

The two best-known breeds of dogfolk are the savage Poggles and the honorable Boxtoons, as their interactions with civilized folk are the most polarizing.  Poggles attack merchant caravans and raid farms; Boxtoons, on the other hand, enlist in human armies and work jobs in town.

The best known of the dogfolk are the poggles, who live in substantial numbers in caves and dark forests.  Poggles are quite small, with smashed faces and eyes that appear to be on the precipice of leaping out of the creature's skull; they are generally black and tan.  They are backward, animalistic, and barbaric and can be quite dangerous en masse; however, on occasion one or two poggles are stolen from their pack and attempts are made to 'civilize' them.  While poggles adapt to technology easily and can be intimidated or cajoled into compliance with social norms in the short term, eventually they seem to return to type and degenerate back into vicious little devil-worshiping ankle-biters, as they are in the wild.  Many poggles are indeed Chaotic, and poggle shamans tell tales of a time in the distant past when they, the poggles, ruled the world by secretly influencing and controlling the powerful and wealthy in human society.  Some yearn for a return to a poggle-dominated world.

The squat but brawny Boxtoons do not display the Poggles' natural ability with traps and pitfalls, but they are loyal and friendly and can make great allies.  On many occasions young Boxtoon warriors have signed on as mercenaries, soldiers, or trouble-shooters, and every Boxtoon appreciates a good uniform.  Their pack mentality is strong, inculcating in them a solid sense of hierarchy and duty.  Boxtoon coats are typically black-and-white or a red-brown brindle, although all white Boxtoons are known.  The Boxtoons tend toward Law.

"Stubby" the Bounty Hunter operates between Thistlemarch and Frogport, making money on the small cases human manhunters overlook.
Childless, Mr. & Mrs. Houfbracket left their not-insubstantial wealth to Mr. Houfbracket's loyal valet Snowflake.
This boxtoon, known as "Boatswain Bitey", has served on various rivercraft  for nearly a decade.
Dogfolk look like dumb dogs to those without keen eyes; this has led to unfortunate incidents of oppression.

"...and then I fired muh pistol right at th' critter's face --"
"Yes, Howard, we've all heard the story a hundred times."
The first council meeting of the Inter-Regional Organization for Canine Welfare and Social Progress (Revolutionary Committee); their declared goal was to 'explore advancements toward a unified canine nation according to modern progressive principles'.  Moments after this photograph was taken, the meeting fell into chaos when an anti-progressive poggle threw a basket full of sausage in through a window.
The white Boxtoon on the right demonstrates his breed's famous loyalty by assisting a friend in need.

Note: all Wampus Country dogs count as kobolds for most rules purposes, including "can I play a...?".


  1. Love it. This is both "very D&D" and "very Wampus" at the same time.

    I know you said "as kobolds" but perhaps poggle and boxtoon races-as-classes would be fun?

  2. That'd probably be fun, but I'm not certain they're different enough from 'other stuff' (or each other) to warrant that, unless you added extra archetypal stuff. "Poggle witch-doctor" or "Boxtoon bloodhound" or something, so there were extra fiddly bits. You could certainly mix and match, too - I could see a (rather strange) all-dog party that consisted of a "Poggle witch-doctor" (new class), poodle burglar (kobold thief), and a lumbering St. Bernard (counts-as-dwarf), y'know?

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