Saturday, May 18, 2013

Monsters of the Northern Realms


I enjoy "the grizzlied northern shores" as a playspace. It reminds me of the places I have lived in my own life. It reminds me of other things that I like, such as Winterfell and thinking about what the ride between Winterfell and Castle Black must be like.

So, here are three new monsters to drop into "the northern realms" of your game world. In creating these monsters, to be honest, I have simply borrowed the stats and abilities of some other, published monster and then slightly tweaked them, but again, I love that about this game...that is how monsters are supposed to be made.


ICE OWL
Nothing in the initial appearance of an Ice Owl distinguishes it from any number of other, non-predatory species of owl that are regularly found in high densities throughout the various regions of the northern realms, a fact an Ice Owl will routinely rely upon in attempting to gain an initial advantage in combat. First-hand observers of these beasts claim that an Ice Owl engaged in combat will endeavor first to immobilize its opponent using its ice bolts. Once an opponent has been slowed, the Ice Owl will engage in melee combat.

Ice Owls most otten nest in the upper reaches of the tallest pine trees found in the valley and foothill regions that surround the mountain ranges of the northern realms. They are reputed to hunt at dusk in groups of 3-6.  A perfect specimen of a young owl’s feather, if it could be obtained (which would require somehow scaling the tree, locating the nest, etc.), could easily fetch 25-30 gp, as the feather is rumored to have important alchemical properties.

Ice Owl: HD 4; AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 ice bolts (1d8), 2 claws (1d8), 1 bite (1d6+1); Move 3 (Fly 20); Save 13; AL N; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Flies silently; once per 2 rounds of combat, an Ice Owl may attack a single target with 2 ice bolts (one from each eye) doing 1d8 cold damage each; any player damaged by an Ice Owl must succeed on a saving throw or risk being reduced to half movement for 1d4 rounds of combat.

TRYSEREK
A Tryserek resembles a pre-historic turtle with a maw of fangs where a beak might otherwise be expected to be. The tail of the average adult Tryserek is approximately 5-7 ft. long and made out of bone. The tail ends in a twisted fist of razor-sharp points of bone, each covered in a thin vereen of ice. A Tryserek will always favor an attempt to use its tail to maul its opponent, resorting only to its other attacks when it cannot maul or it is tactically unadvisable to do so. A player mauled by a Tryserek must succeed on a saving throw or lose 1d4 points of DEX for the duration of the succeeding 1d4 rounds (as a result of the shards of ice that remain lodged in the hero’s body, pulsating a cold that tightens his or her muscles and slows his or her response times.

Trysereks are most likely to be found in and around areas of inland water (e.g. northern marshes or swamps, rivers, lakes, etc.) or other damp areas (e.g. a mountain cave). They are not often seen by adventurers and as a result, they have few opportunities to amass significant amounts of gold or treasure. That isolation does mean that whatever treasure a Tryserek does possess will have a 50% chance of being an antiquiy worth 1d4+1 times its value.

Tryserek: HD 8; AC 0 [19]; Atk 1 maul (2d8), 1 bite (1d6); Move 6; Save 6; AL N; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Any player damaged by a Tryserek must succeed on a saving throw or lose 1d4 points of DEX for the duration of the succeeding 1d4 rounds.

NORTHERN DRAKE
Though Northern Drakes are closely related to the dragon family, there remain significant differences between them.  Northern Drakes are, for instance, significantly smaller and significantly thinner than most dragons. Each Northern Drake is covered with scales that shimmer, appearing at times silver, then gray, and then white. The sight of such a creature is so mesmerizing, in fact, that any character who meets the gaze of a Northern Drake must make a saving throw or immediately fall under the effects of a Charm Person spell for the ensuing 1d6 rounds. If a Northern Drake is unable to subdue its opponents through the use of its special ability, it will seek to mix its claw and bite attacks.

In terms of avarice, drakes are nearly identical to dragons. An adventuring company lucky enough to find the hoard of a drake could earn a lifetime in a moment. A rare find, indeed, if you could survive to tell the tale...

Northern Drake: HD 9; AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (2d6+1); Move 18 (Fly 9); Save 6; AL N; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Dazzling gaze (any character who meets the gaze of a Northern Drake, even if only for a moment, must succeed on a saving throw or fall under the effects of a Charm Person spell for the next 1d6 rounds).

WANDERING MONSTERS OF THE NORTH

1d8 Monsters
1 1d2 Yetis
2 2d4 Ice Owls
3 1 Adult White Dragon (5 HD)
4 2d6 Winter Wolves
5 1d2 Trysereks
6 1d4 Northern Drakes
7 2d4 Giant Wolverines
8 2 Polar Bears

As always, let me know if you have any thoughts on any of the above, or if there is anything you want to add in. Always looking for additional content in the comments!

Game on.