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Using Creatures as Assets and (Adorable) Companions

The world of Xadia is full of creatures, both friendly and dangerous! This article explores what to do when your players grow attached to certain creatures and want to take them along in their travels.
A blue dragon sleeps in grove

Let’s talk about some of the delightful creatures in the world of Xadia!

If you’re unfamiliar with assets, we talk about them in our Rules Primer and Game Handbook, which will be pertinent to this article because it’s the most likely way a player can use a creature. But I’m getting ahead of myself! First, let’s talk about how cute they are!

Using Creatures as Assets

All fans of The Dragon Prince are familiar with Bait the glow toad. What makes him especially fun for adventuring folks like Ezran is his ability to create a blinding flash in a crisis. It’s helped Bait’s friends escape peril more than once!

It’s important to think of even the smallest creatures as having their own agency in the world of Xadia. Even Ellis’ wolf friend Ava has quite a backstory. Tales of Xadia players should let their Narrators know if they’d like to meet such a creature, and Narrators should be ready to provide them along the way!

In the free tales on our website, The Gloaming Glade and The Lost Oasis, you can encounter all-new canon cuddly critters ranging from woolly pigs to mantigrades! If you need examples of how creatures can interact with the story, definitely give those tales a try.

Some creatures you will come across in Xadia are the sort you’d see on Earth, like horses, but remember that most Xadian creatures have a connection to a certain type of primal magic. When creating original creatures for your game, it’s important to try and incorporate a little creativity in that respect. It might even be fun to incorporate traits from a second Earth creature into this magical creature before you’re done, much as a bog hyena has aquatic adaptations.

Once a player character (PC) bonds to a critter, it only makes sense to let them use that critter as an asset. Just keep an open dialogue with your Narrator on how this works. Not every critter is as powerful, nor as grumpy, as Bait! If you’re looking for a new Xadian creature to use in your game, we’ve got a very special (and cute) new creature to introduce you to, the berry dragon!

The Berry Dragon

Meet the berry dragon. If you love dragons, you’ll love how we’ve expanded the lore surrounding them in Tales of Xadia. This particular little beast’s concept came to me while I was talking to Wonderstorm about how specific the types of new dragons could be. I thought “what about a tiny little Earth magic dragon that can curl up like a little berry? Maybe it even nips on unsuspecting folks’ fingers?”

I had a lot of fun writing about it, but here’s our Art Director Ti Collier to tell you about the illustration process for this tiny bitey boi, and its artist:

Hi there, it’s Ti Collier! 

Hanna Hofer is one of the official concept illustrators for the show. All those pre-generated characters you’re playing had their personal lewks dreamed up by Hanna. As amazing as they are at character design though, they really love digging their claws (heh) into creature design. From the terrifying longneck hillwolves in The Tale of The Lost Oasis to the deceptively cute but mildly creepy mantigrades in The Tale of The Gloaming Glade, Hanna brought their unique personalities to life.

When I read the berry dragon’s description, I immediately knew I wanted it made into art. Hanna was so on board and had a sketch for us within half an hour! Camouflaged as a berry, cute, smol—it was a change of pace from the large, mostly terrifying dragon designs Hanna worked on for us. Dan and I immediately knew we wanted a color version of this to really show how effing adorable it is, and when we showed it to Wonderstorm, they also fell in love!

Inspiration for Your Table

Looking for more Cortex fun? Sign up for the Tales of Xadia newsletter and watch our playthrough of The Gloaming Glade to learn how to play the game! Follow Fandom Tabletop on Twitch to get an alert when new games are in session and get caught up on a few episodes of the story at your leisure on YouTube!