The newbeasts are cyborg animal species, produced through intensive nanotech enhancements and bioengineering, a quixotic project to create animals with the ability to speak and walk like men. Perhaps once intended as amusements or party pieces, these chimera are not well-liked by the common folk of Urth, and many newbeasts make their homes in lonely places on the outskirts of the Hegemony, either living as hermits or with others of their furtive kind. Those inhabiting human settlements often wear masks in imitation of the human face, to symbolically conceal their beasthood.

Newbeasts are, of course, anthropomorphic animal-people, which I introduced to the Vaarn setting mainly because I think they’re fun, and it’s pretty easy for new players to grasp how a dog-person might talk and behave. I see them as grotesque as well as cute: species that were never intended to have human limbs now stand upright, with strange grafted hands instead of paws. Some newbeasts have vox-boxes implanted in their throats, as their mouths cannot form the shapes needed for human speech.

Art by Su Jian

First, roll two d20s to discover what kind of newbeast you are:

4New-LionNew-PorcupineNew-Hyena New-Tiger
12New-CamelNew-KangarooNew-Mandrill New-Duck
Art by Tianhua Xu

Second, roll four d20s to discover your name, colouring, the mask you wear, and something that sets you apart:

1Abandon   WhiteNoneSqueaky Vox-box
2AnzahRustAutarchBooming Vox-box
3Blackchapel VioletFoolMuted Vox-box
4Critch IndigoJudgeSynthetic Eyes
5DolmOchre KnightHeavy Scarring
6Faulkner SilverSageHuman Teeth Necklace
7Fludd GoldenScholarReligious Paraphernalia
8Havoc TanMaidenRitual Scarring
9HildebrandBlackMotherHeavily Tattooed
10HolkBronzeCroneRegular Animal as Pet
11LurchEmeraldMirroredHuman Child as Pet
12Jarl OrangeGlitchingMissing Limb
13ObiahRoseFuriousGold Teeth
14PlutarchAzureJoyfulCriminal Branding
15SySmokeSorrowfulExtensive Jewellery
16Tarceny TaupeAlluringHates Animal It Resembles
17TyphonOliveCrackedLoves Animal It Resembles
18VodalusLazulite BlankWon’t Wear Clothes
19WellbelovedOpalescent PatriarchBelieves Itself Human
20WermouthTurqouiseChildMutation (consult table)
Art by Su Jian

Finally, as is customary, I will use these tables to randomly generate a character. For species I roll New-Raven. As a name I roll Blackchapel, for hue I roll bronze, and for their mask I roll Scholar. The newbeast’s oddity is that they have synthetic eyes. I have trouble imagining a New-Raven named Blackchapel as having anything other than black feathers, so I have decided the ‘bronze’ referred to their scholar’s mask.

I feel from these rolls that Blackchapel was employed in some archive or esoteric college, and that their synthetic eyes were implanted to allow them to more easily read the tiny, cramped writing that covered the poetry cylinders of the extra-solar poet A’e-Ituh-Gu. Nobody knows exactly what Blackchapel read during their examination of the millions of tiny glyphs that cover the poetry cylinders, but they left their archive without a word to anyone, and immediately began to walk towards Vaarn.

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