Harvesting by Creature Type
A monster buffet as envision by Bing Image Creator.

Here is a first pass at what consequences players should expect for harvesting by creature type. I will likely come back and do a little more organization, but I think this should give you a good starting point.

Salvage is a game mechanic from Lairs of Etharis. I’ll be referring to the idea as harvesting. I noted in my previous article, I have some concerns about the way they do it, but I think it’s a fun mechanic.

  • Aberration – Only other aberrations are likely to take issue with the killing of aberrations. Even then, they are likely to be concerned with their own kind. Aberrations do have a tendency to contaminate with their otherworldliness. PCs bearing visible products of aberrations are likely to find themselves unwelcome and ostracized by most other beings. Beasts may be fearful of them as well.
  • Beasts – Outside of cultures with moral prohibitions against killing animals, players are unlikely to experience repercussions for harvesting animal parts. Fey beings, druids and rangers may object to unnecessary taking of animals from their domains.
  • Celestial – As servants of the gods, killing and desecrating the body of these beings is especially consequential. Unlike the harvesting of most other beings, this deed cannot be easily hidden. The gods may or may not be omniscient, but they almost certainly know what happens to their servants. Killing a celestial being is likely to draw reprisals from paladins and clerics aligned with the respective god. Truly heinous acts are likely to draw the attention of more powerful beings from the celestial realms. Good and lawful societies will ostracize those they know to have angered the gods. Even if they are not pious, they will do so out of self-preservation. All that said, if you want to impress the bad guys, this is a good way to do it!
  • Constructs – Simple constructs are soulless machines. Salvaging parts from their remains is unlikely to affect the party’s reputation. The creators and owners of these constructs may feel differently. More sophisticated constructs, like warforged, may be viewed as humanoids by societies. Harvesting these beings would be treated similar to the harvesting of parts from humanoids.
  • Dragons – The consequences of slaying dragons to harvest body parts would be dependent on the type of dragon. Few will shed tears for the vicious chromatic dragons. Metallic dragons and gem dragons are likely to provoke more of a response. Killing a metallic dragon would be similar in consequence to killing celestial. The fey would likely take a dim view of killing gem dragons. All dragons are likely to be antagonized by the harvesting of dragon body parts as an affront to the majesty and dignity of dragons. This is true regardless of the alignment of a given dragon.
  • Elemental, Monstrosity, Ooze – All of these beings are general nuisances. Players will likely be viewed as heroic for killing them. The use of their bodies in crafting is unlikely to draw any concern.
  • Fiend – On the mortal plane, killing demons and devils is likely to be viewed as an unalloyed good. What you do with the body parts isn’t likely to matter. Celesitals, paladins and clerics will be positively predisposed to fiend slayers. Due to the enmity between demons and devils, they will likely be approving of even the most depraved actions taken against each other. It should also be remembered that fiends killed outside of their home planes are not truly dead. They are likely to seek revenge if they have the opportunity.
  • Fey – Humanoids are likely to respond negatively to the killing and harvesting of the fey. Some fey are good luck. Others are know to be helpful but quick to anger. Still others are vicious and brutal. Either way, people won’t want you attracting their attention. While fey beings may not have as much insight into the world as the gods, they are likely to have eyes everywhere. They are likely to avenge the deaths of other fey regardless of alignment, especially in cases of bodily desecration. Much as with dragons, this would be seen as an affront to the dignity of all fey.
  • Giant – Giants are a bit close to humanoids for comfort. They big and scary and known to be vengeful as well. Probably keep the stuff you make from their bodies on the down low from humanoids.
  • Humanoid – Crafting from the bodies of humanoid beings is generally taboo. This is true even if the creatures would typically have an evil alignment. It’s not easy to tell the parts of one humanoid from another. That trinket you crafted from goblin bones could just as easily have been made from a child. All good and/or lawful humanoid societies will have contempt for this practice.
  • Plant – There aren’t many plant-type creatures that will inspire sympathy or concern. I hate to say you can have a free pass for killing whole type of creatures. If that’s going to be true, these are the ones.


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