Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creatures of the Basic set pt.2

More thoughts on the bestiary from the Moldvay Basic set:

Bat:
Comes in two flavours:
Normal- regular bats who fly around characters and cause confusion, they are very likely to flee unless they are summoned or controlled.
Giant- they do 1-4 dmg and only have 2 HD so they aren't too giant really but i guess alot bigger than a regular bat. There is a chance they are Giant Vampire bats and thus suck blood and can cause vampirism, a neat little touch.

I'm going to try to use normal bats more often. Even if they can't actually attack I think they work really well as a "dressing", it makes alot of sense for them to be in a dungeon anyway.

Bear:
The bears in the basic set are on par with the weakest dragons, I think that says alot right there. All bears have a "hug" ability that causes 2d8 extra damage if both paw attacks hit the same target, it is this ability that really makes bears lethal.

Black- the regular bear, not too threatening but a good companion for a druid. Also perfect for being a campsite invader, punish the players for not storing their food properly.

Grizzly- Now we are talking, these guys are scary. Although I might use the polar bear stats for a papa or mama grizzly.

Polar- The main reason characters should avoid cold regions.

Cave- These 15ft tall killing machines are coming for your blood- really- "If hungry, they will follow a track of blood until they have eaten." so you better not walk around with unbandaged wounds in bear country.

Beetle:
Although I think fire beetles are lame, oil beetles and especially tiger beetles are pretty cool. I think they are an interesting alternative to some of the more conventional fantasy dungeon monsters.

Berserker:
I never really liked these dudes until quite recently, they have a really cool description in the 5th ed playtest that changed the way I think of them.  So barbaric Germanic tribesmen they are! Picts and such. Great for populating the wilderness as "wildlings" and giving PC barbarians a place to come from.

Boar:
Another useful if not terribly exciting addition. Great for hunting and eating at feasts. You can use these same stats for a deer buck if you want.


Bugbear:
I hate the name, I hate the concept. My goblins aren't hairy so they sure as hell won't have giant hairy cousins. In a game where an Owl Bear is a owl-bear hybrid animal bugbears just cause confusion. I don't use bugbears, they don't exist in my gameworld.


Carrion Crawler:
A really cool concept. I would leave as is. I love creatures like the crawler and gelatinous cube because of their role as waste disposal in the dungeon environment.

-More to come. Cheers! 

2 comments:

  1. Yes, Cave Bears aren't a thing to sneeze at. I tried explaining to one of my players that "Speak to Animals" doesn't guarantee friendship, and sadly the cave bear he tried it with eviscerated him after giving him fair warning.

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  2. I like bugbears as spooky boogie men. In my game(s) they can hide and sneak amazingly well popping up almost anywhere something could hide. A big hairy goblin under the bed is rather surprising.

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