OneDnD Ardlings, Shifter and Hengeyokai as different variations on animal people

Lojaan

Adventurer
Most Greek/Roman gods turn into animals at some point or another or at least have "favored" animals (peacocks and cows for Hera, bulls and eagles for Zeus, owls for Athena, horses for Poseidon, leopards for Dionysus, etc). It's not the same as being drawn with animal heads, but it's pretty close.

Then there's also The Morrigan with ravens, Loki with snakes, and lots of other examples of gods/spirits from European mythologies transforming into or having strong connections with animals.
Sure in Western myth and religions the god have afinities with animals, and often turn into animals. That is not what is being discussed. What we are talking about is very specifically the portrayal of gods as "humans with animal heads". I'm having trouble finding any examples of this in western culture.
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Ugh. Let's just make Egyptian gods from real life a playable species. No thank you. Leave the real world religions alone please.

People get the difference in taking a species from myth like saytrs, or elves and making them playable is different to taking the actual gods yeah?
Okay, it doesn't need to be Egyptian.

Ganesha, Narasimha, Sun Wukong, Zhū Bāijè, Niú Mówáng, Camamotz, the Dresden Codex animal persons, ThunderCats, Jinnalaluo, Street Sharks, Dakuwaga, Kamapua'a, Garuda, the Seven Apkallu, Tengu, Saint Christopher, Gwrgi Garwlwyd (in some depictions), the healfhundingas of the Nowell Codex, Marco Polo's racist and fantastical accounts of cvnocephalic peooles in the Andaman Islands, Chris Colombus's racist and fantastical accounts of cynocephalv among the Taino, cynocephalic characters in the Alexander Romances, hundreds of childrens books with animal headed humans, Cernunnos the Horned God, Pamola, Kitsune/Inari in some traditions (human with a Kitsune mask-like face and nine tails), various semi-furry takes on yōkai in anime and manga and folkore, PAZUZUUUUUUUUUUUUU…

My point is that theriocephaly is a worldwide concept. It's not just Egypt.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
The minotaur is very specifically both a monster and a curse (on the king his father) so that very much doesn't count in this respect.

I can't find anything about St Christopher with an animal head. What animal head is he portrayed with?
Dog. See attached. Common in Eastern Orthodox tradition.
 

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Lojaan

Adventurer
U
Okay, it doesn't need to be Egyptian.

Ganesha, Narasimha, Sun Wukong, Zhū Bāijè, Niú Mówáng, Camamotz, the Dresden Codex animal persons, ThunderCats, Jinnalaluo, Street Sharks, Dakuwaga, Kamapua'a, Garuda, the Seven Apkallu, Tengu, Saint Christopher, Gwrgi Garwlwyd (in some depictions), the healfhundingas of the Nowell Codex, Marco Polo's racist and fantastical accounts of cvnocephalic peooles in the Andaman Islands, Chris Colombus's racist and fantastical accounts of cynocephalv among the Taino, cynocephalic characters in the Alexander Romances, hundreds of childrens books with animal headed humans, Cernunnos the Horned God, Pamola, Kitsune/Inari in some traditions (human with a Kitsune mask-like face and nine tails), various semi-furry takes on yōkai in anime and manga and folkore, PAZUZUUUUUUUUUUUUU…

My point is that theriocephaly is a worldwide concept. It's not just Egypt.
Uh the fact that you included "racist and fantastical accounts" twice in that doesn't fill me with confidence.

We're not talking about theriocephaly. We're talking about how people are talking about "animal headed gods" are universal and they very much do not seem to be.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
U

Uh the fact that you included "racist and fantastical accounts" twice in that doesn't fill me with confidence.

We're not talking about theriocephaly. We're talking about how people are talking about "animal headed gods" are universal and they very much do not seem to be.
Yeah, I included those because I scraped right from the cynocephaly page on Wikipedia and couched that because these Europeans likely were associating different-looking peoples they encountered with the LEGENDS of cynocephaly they had heard for thousands of years.

But go ahead and ignore the other samples I brought up. Nearly every culture has some form of animal hybrid deity or pantheon, and MANY demigods and folk heroes and gods from all over the world are depicted with almost entirely human bodies but animal heads. It's not just Egypt; Egyptian theriocephaly is just the most well-known to the Egypt-crazed Euroamerican audience.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Wow.

You gotta agree that this is pretty niche tho hey?
Beowulf and Cu Cullain were often depicted with dog or wolfs heads. It's pretty common in Eurasian myth.

Raven who Brought Light to the World is usually depicted as a man with wings and a raven head.

Coyote who Canoes is usually depicted as a man with a coyote head in a canoe.

Classic depictions of Mesoamerican Gods are as often theriocephalic as they are not.

Many Japanese Kami and Buddhist and Hindu and East Asian deities…

Aboriginal Australian dreamingtime animal people, various Polynesian gods, I can go on and on and on…
 

mellored

Hero
Ardlings are Egyptian Gods that look like these attachments. Note the differences from extant D&D species, which lack the very-humanlike bodies. These look like agents of the Gods rather than natural or fey peoples - ex Aarakocra, Lizardfolk, Jackalweres, Yuan-Ti, and Tabaxi, for comparison.
When did a God become a race?

Can I play as a Ilmater, or Shiva?
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Sure in Western myth and religions the god have afinities with animals, and often turn into animals. That is not what is being discussed. What we are talking about is very specifically the portrayal of gods as "humans with animal heads". I'm having trouble finding any examples of this in western culture.
Okay. Does Reynard the Fox count?
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
Yeah but you keep reinforcing my point - nearly all of these are non western myth.

The western stuff is "a person who is sometimes depicted as having an animal head, sometimes" and we only have a handful of examples.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
When did a God become a race?

Can I play as a Ilmater, or Shiva?

I assume if your DM let's you, although I'm not sure why one would jump to that instead of the poster having left a word out (maybe "like Egyptian gods"), especially given that they then say "These look like agents of the Gods rather than natural or fey peoples."
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Yeah but you keep reinforcing my point - nearly all of these are non western myth.

The western stuff is "a person who is sometimes depicted as having an animal head, sometimes" and we only have a handful of examples.

Edit: Missed the part where you explicitly wanted animal headed gods. Given the universality of animal heads in general in myth and folklore, it feels like making more godlike beings with them isn't particularly squashing any real world faiths to me. ymmv

-----

See cat person above from Germany.

See section on Western Middle ages at Cynocephaly - Wikipedia

Nuutti Pukki from Finland nuuttipukki – whytodayisbrilliant

And I'm assuming Google will turn up more from Europe if there is a specific number of examples we need.
 
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mellored

Hero
I assume if your DM let's you, although I'm not sure why one would jump to that instead of the poster having left a word out (maybe "like Egyptian gods"), especially given that they then say "These look like agents of the Gods rather than natural or fey peoples."
Humans with animals heads never looked like agents of gods to me.

I mean, they could certainly be clerics. But I don't see anything inherently divine about a bird head. No more than a boar head being a barbarians.
 

I mean, they could certainly be clerics. But I don't see anything inherently divine about a bird head. No more than a boar head being a barbarians.
Aside from the fact D&D's had animal angels for yonks (Guardinals), It is showing they are part of two worlds. Not constrained to just humanity or just being an animal

Sphinx were similar but in a different direction, hence the human head on an animal body
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I much prefer the shifter - lycanthrope angle far better than the celestial - ardling angle. I just think it has a more compelling potential. For me the key is being to think of this ancestry being linked into the world in some meaningful cultural and historical way so that it enables PC build on it - rather than the PC in question being a rare weird animal person.
 


I much prefer the shifter - lycanthrope angle far better than the celestial - ardling angle. I just think it has a more compelling potential. For me the key is being to think of this ancestry being linked into the world in some meaningful cultural and historical way so that it enables PC build on it - rather than the PC in question being a rare weird animal person.

I kind of like the tie to Beast Lords particularly. I still want aasimar in the PHB.
 

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