Showing posts with label Monster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monster. Show all posts

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Jart

Since my game has unusual characters, I want to have unusual monsters. The Jart is just one of many strange beasts they encountered. 

Jart

FREQUENCY: Rare  
NO. APPEARING : 1-1,000
ARMOR CLASS: 9
MOVE: 24"/6"
HIT DICE: 1, 1 hp.
0/0 IN LIAR: 0%
TREASURE TYPE : None
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE ATTACK: 1 hp.
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Swarm
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Not subject to mind control, charm, etc. 
MAGIC RESISTANCE : Standard
INTELLIGENCE: Low
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic evil
SIZE: Small (4" inches)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/ Defense Mades: Nil

These creatures are clearly constructs resembling birds. They have one green eye which glows at night. The beak, tail and tips of the wings appear to be some sort of thin metal, while the rest of the Jart feels like paper. 

Jarts have a peculiar means of flight, they cannot fly higher than 12 feet from the ground and will not come within 5 feet of another Jart or a barrier. The ground must be rock, dirt, mud, etc. They fly between trees rather than over them. They cannot cross water deeper than 10 feet. Individuals fly very fast and are very maneuverable. A swarm of Jarts moves very slowly despite their individual maneuverability. They also avoid smoke, fire, clouds and fog. A Jart struck by any source of fire or heat will burst into flames. Jarts do not get saving throws vs. fire. Hitting an individual Jart with a missile or thrown weapon is a called shot and is done at a -4. 

All encounters start with just one Jart, unless a swarm is already in progress. Jarts always attack last in the round. The initial Jart will attempt to "taste" a target, which requires a to hit roll. This does one point of damage. Once the Jart has a sample of the target, it will leave the area as quick as possible. Sampling or tasting allows the Jart to track that creature for 2 hours without error. Withing 1d6 rounds, the Jart will return with more companions. They will attempt to taste all creatures in the area, ignoring the first creature sampled. The number appearing will be equal to the number of humanoids and animals.   

Once all targets have been sampled, they will again leave for 1d6 rounds. At the end of this period, roll a percentile die.There is a 25% chance that a swarm of Jarts numbering up to 1000 will appear. 

A Jart swarm covers an area of 36" in game scale. Jarts do not like to enter structures do to the tight spaces, but can enter open spaces like barns or other large structures. 

Characters who have been tasted or sampled inside the swarm will be attacked once per round for 1d6 points of damage. Due to their odd swarming pattern, characters may save vs. breath weapon for half damage. 

Characters who have not been sampled will be sampled by the swarm. An attempt to sample a character will only occur once per round and only at the end of the round, which causes a one round pause in attacks. Characters will note that the swarm will cease all attacks in the round after a sampling and the whole swarm will pull back for that round to communicate with itself. There is a 50% chance that the swarm will leave at this point. 

When a character uses a weapon on the swarm, any weapon including fists and missiles, it will do maximum damage every time as they are hitting more than one Jart per round. If a character is completely surrounded, all attacks are at a +4. Lit torches will do 1d6 points of damage per round and prevent the swarm from attacking the wielder. Fireball will destroy three Jarts for every point of damage rolled. A lightning bolt in the swarm will have a globe effect, like being used under water. This also does double damage to the swarm (but not to other creatures). Magic Missiles also have a curious effect on them, they do double damage and will destroy one Jart per point of damage rolled. The Magic Missile will also open a path through the swarm for one round. 

If a swarm takes more than 200 of damage, they will retreat and regroup. There is a 25% chance that they will give up pursuit. If not, they will fly away from the area for 1d6 rounds before returning. If more than 400 points of damage occur, the swarm will attempt to flee.  

Jarts must remain within 12 feet of rock or dirt to fly. However, they cannot get closer than 2 feet to any object. Jarts have no ability to crawl, swim or walk. This may create strange situations where the they cannot pursue creatures up trees or up wooden stairs, ropes or ladders, but can chase people up hills or up stone stairs. Jarts cannot cross water deeper than 10 feet. They have trouble entering windows and partially closed doors. Jarts will avoid nets, ropes, and other structures that could allow them to be captured. They can only be captured by tricky or magical means. This will never occur by accident. 

Should one be captured, it will crumble like dried paper in 24 hours. If Find Familiar is cast on it within this time period, it will fall under the control of the spell caster and will take instructions. Instructions are limited to follow, find a person, or rest. If issued the order "Find", the Jart will search a six mile radius and return, successful or not. It can then lead the caster to the target if it was found. There is a 1 in 20 chance the Jart will run afoul of something that can destroy it while searching. The magic user will be aware of this, but will not know any details of the destruction. The Jart is not actually a familiar and there is no consequence if it is destroyed. 

XP is awarded only if the swarm is driven off or destroyed. The XP value of the swarm is 400 for being driven off and 1000 if the whole swarm is destroyed. If a swarm appears, but leaves instead of attacking, the award is halved to 200. Catching one is worth 100 XP and casting find familiar on one results in 200 XP award. 

First Born, Unicorn

My players have demanded some unusual characters. Based on their options, I believe that AD&D is the way to go. Page 21 of the DMG offers some advice for these unusual characters. 

I started with the Unicorn Stats from Monster Manual. AC: 2, HD: 4+4, Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d12, +2 to hit dice on a charge, charge damage is 2d12. They are immune to poison, surprise on 1-5, detect opponents out to 24", they save vs. magic as an 11th level Magic User. 

The DMG suggest limits. Cool. Limit one: The best unicorns are equal to 11th level magic users. Limit 2: The best unicorns have 4+4 hit dice at max level which equates to 36 hp.

I like those numbers. If I take 36 and divide by 11, that gives me 3.27 which is close the to average of a 1d6. The one issue I have with this is, unicorns are big animals so 1d6 at first level is too small. I'll give them the basic 1d8 for monsters and fighters at level one, but then drop the die to 1d4 for subsequent levels. Without Consitution bonuses, this will max out at 48 hp. This is a third better than the monster version, but since D&D has always had "superior" versions of standard monsters, I can work with this. 

AC is tricky. I could do a scale like monks, but decided against it. Unicorns start with AC 2 and keep that number their whole life. To balance this, I will adjust the amount of damage and attacks by level and not allow them to wear barding. At low levels they can't attack with their horns because they have an aversion to touch. As they age, they learn how to use the horn as a weapon. Also, all attacks improve as they progress through levels. Initially, they start with 1 attack per round, but later on they can get in two kicks per round. Major attacks with the horn and the bucking kick are limited to once per round. 

Since they are magical and sneaky, they will have the ability to move silently like thieves, cast spells as a natural ability and lay hands like paladins. 

I was going to type out everything, but I think a schedule will do. 



Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Skin Wolf Golem

The Skin Golem or more commonly named, "The Skin Wolf" is a unique creation of the Coven of Ash.

The witches of the Coven of Ash wear these pelts as a stole or cape, which conveys the Skin Wolf's armor class to the wearer. The Coven of Ash tends to use the largest martens as Skin Wolves, which has 9 hit points. Wolves are not common in the area. Theoretically, any fur bearing mundane animal can be used to create a Skin Wolf, such as a weasel, a bear, dog or actual wolf. The witches of the Coven of Ash have tried to make gnoll, elf and human skin golems, but it doesn't work. It also does not work on giant variants of mundane animals like Worgs, Giant Weasels or Elk. The name "Skin Wolf" is colloquial, it isn't actually description of what they are made of. The humans of Empire are aware of these creatures and are terrified by them.

If a victim survives an attack by Skin Wolves, they will notice a particular smell about them which will alert them to future attacks and foils surprise one third of the time. Note: this also applies to the witches themselves if they are wearing one. The number of Skin Wolves appearing is always equal to the number of witches. These golems are only useful to the creator, they are powerless in other people's hands. 

Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1-3
Armor Class: 7
Move: 18"
Hit Dice: Equal the living creature's hit dice.
% in lair: 100%
Treasure Type: Nil
Number of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 1d4/1d4/1d4
Special Attacks: See Below
Special Defenses: See Below
Magical Resistance: See Below
Intelligence: Non Intelligent
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Various
Psionic Ability: Nil
 Attack/Defense: Nil/Nil

Skin Golems are relatively low level golems, which require a pelt and skull, special incense and the following spells: Friends, Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, and Fly. It requires a minimum of a 6th level caster and a piece of incense valued at ten times the number of hit points the golem will have. The pelt and skull must be pristine. It requires one day to create a skin golem with the materials on hand. Hit Points are determined by the size of the animal, but the living creature must have had at least one hit die.

The creation process requires gluing the pelt to the skull which looks far from natural. Sometimes the ears and eyes don't line up between the pelt and skull. Also, the witch may choose to dye the pelt to either be stylish or fearsome. The Coven of Ash has a tendency to consume the flesh of the animal, however this is an alarming life-style choice and is not a part of the ritual of creation.

The Skin Wolf is a weapon of terror. They fly up to 30 feet from the ground and sound like a bullroarer in motion. They can strike up to 3 different targets, once each along their 24" per round flight path. They target the people closest to the witch first and work outwards. They are very maneuverable, but cannot flip end for end and require momentum to do damage. Therefore they tend to strike 3 different targets in one round, not the same person over and over again. Since they are simply flying pelts, they cannot grab, bite or otherwise manipulate objects. They can knock things over which makes noise and a mess. On a natural 20, they hit so hard that they knock the victim down rather than doing double damage.

The witch can choose to directly order the skin wolf to attack a single target, however, this limits the Skin Wolf to one attack and only allows a strike on a target the witch can actually see. It also precludes the witch from casting spells or making their own attacks. If  a witch feels like they are in control of the combat, they will make gestures like they are direct control of the Skin Wolf to terrify victims. If a witch is invisible and wearing a Skin Wolf, issuing it commands counts as an attack and ends the invisibility for both. Skin Wolves cannot be silenced or turned invisible, it defeats their terrifying purpose.

If the Skin Wolf is not engaged in combat, the witch can see and hear (not smell) what the pelt can perceive. Usually, the witch will place the Skin Wolf someplace to watch an area not command it to fly around looking for targets, however that can be done, too.

They have a special defense, bolts and arrows do only 1 point of damage per hit. Also, grenade-like weapons have a -4 to hit and they can dodge splashes. This is not true of thrown daggers, darts and other hefty weapons. They do full damage.

Holy water does 1d3 points of damage. It is often more effective to pour the holy water on one's self than try to make a grenade like attack as this damages the Skin Wolf every time it successfully lands a hit.