Carves are integral to the series. After an intense hunt with a fierce monster, there's nothing better than finally getting to carve off a few materials to craft that weapon or armor piece you've been wanting. The payoff matters. So, what would a fanon Monster be without carves of its own?
Carves are essential to making a monster. However, it isn't always easy, especially if you want to emulate the official style of the games. Here are some examples and tips to how to improve your carves.
Choosing Your Carves
First, consider what kind of monster you are creating (e.g. Neopteron, Flying Wyvern, Leviathan, etc.), as this will influence what you can carve off it. Unless your monster's an outlier, a wyvern generally won't drop fur, and a Neopteron scales. Then, consider your monster's physiology. Is it feathery, scaly, or furred? Does it have horns and claws? What element does it use?
- Miscellaneous Part*
- Sturdy Shell
* Not every conceivable carve has its own icon; in fact, a good number of them don't. Instead, they use this icon. Don't feel discouraged if you think of a carve that doesn't have an icon! Just use this.
** Despite the name, these are exclusive to Carapaceon monsters. For other monsters, use the Carapace icon.
Writing descriptions can be tricky, but a good rule to follow is to make sure that there isn't a dissonance between the material's description and the monster's difficulty. If you're fighting a lowly creature, you shouldn't say its claws are the stuff that rend the skies in song and tales.
Low Rank descriptions are usually mundane; they can describe the material literally, outline its uses in society, or inform the reader a little about the monster. Step it up in High Rank descriptions; get a little more creative, maybe mention the material's rarity, its quality over the low rank equivalent. In G-Rank, feel free to get poetic. You want the imaginary player to feel accomplished, that the material matches the peril at which it was gotten. Wyverns usually get more poetic or legendary treatment than Fanged Beasts.
Use a thesaurus to broaden your vocabulary if you feel a normal word is too bland.
Across the Ranks
Quests come in three difficulties: Low Rank, High Rank, and G-Rank, in order of rising difficulty. Common monsters appear throughout all three ranks, but stronger monsters may not appear until High Rank or even G-Rank. Therefore, consider the strength of your monster, as it will affect your carves.
The same monster across multiple ranks has different drops (e.g., Rathalos in High Rank has different carves from Low Rank). These aren't always new materials though; for most carves, their "nature" does not change. A scaly monster will still drop its scales in higher ranks, but their name and description will be different than before. Therefore, the icon of the carve, no matter what its name changes to, does not change. For instance, Shells are renamed Carapaces in High Rank, but the icon does not change to the Carapace icon; it remains the Shell icon.
Materials follow a naming scheme up the ranks. Here's some basic carve progression* from Low Rank to G-Rank, from left to right:
- General Body Parts
- Claw > Claw+ > Hardclaw
- Ear > Ear+ > Auricle
- Fang > Fang+ > Hardfang
- Fin > Fin+ > [Great/Grand]fin
- Hide > Hide+ > Piel
- Horn > Horn+ > Hardhorn
- Pelt > Pelt+ > Fur
- Scale > Scale+ > Shard
- Shell > Carapace > Cortex
- Tail > Tail+ > Lash
- Webbing > Wing > Fellwing
- Tear > Large Tear > Large Tear
- Flame Sac > Inferno Sac > Conflagrant Sac
- Frost Sac > Freezer Sac > Cryo Sac
- Electro Sac > Thunder Sac > Lightning Sac
- Aqua Sac > Torrent Sac > Flood Sac
- Paralysis Sac > Paralysis Sac > Omniplegia Sac
- Poison Sac > Toxin Sac > Deadly Poison Sac
- Screamer Sac > Screamer Sac > Screamer Sac*
- Sleep Sac > Sleep Sac > Coma Sac
* Most stronger monsters do not have Screamer Sacs, despite their stronger roars.
The carve progression shown here isn't absolute. In fact, there are many exceptions to it. For example, the Gore Magala possesses "Ripclaws" which become "Shredders" in G-Rank; while every Seregios-specific carve has a unique name, found nowhere else in the game. This progression system is more of a generality, a sort of metaphorical "mode" if you familiar with math terminology. If you want to assign a carve a unique name, feel free to do so! It might spice up your monster's identity.
If at all possible, use the tabber system to separate your Low Rank, High Rank, and G-Rank carves. Not only is it more convenient and saves on space on your page, but keeping your carves in the same places while you're changing their names and descriptions helps to better identify them.
Putting It Together
Here's an example, taken from the Kumori page.