5. Creatures, foes and other misfortunes
In this section we will discuss several of the creatures that your players are likely to encounter in their travails on Gushémal. That means giving a short description of the creature itself, a few hints at its habits and strategies, as well as including the stats for the GRPG. By this it differs from the Bestiary you can find on out website (or download from there); the Bestiary offers you more atmospheric information rather than the dry and technical data you will find here.
As a GM, we recommend that you read the relevant articles in the Bestiary to get a better idea on how to present each of the creatures. (Note: Some of the creatures in this chapter may not yet have gotten a treatment in the Bestiary. That will follow at a later time.)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we will add new creatures irregularly. For that, you will need to check out our website at http://www.gushemal.com; in the section of the Game Master’s Guide, you will find new additions. (We also announce them on the homepage, so you’ll have an indication when something new comes up. You might also wish to subscribe to our newsletter which will also announce such additions. Simply send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will receive a confirmation message and receive the newsletter from that point onward.)
The Game Master’s Guide itself won’t be updated for a while yet. The next edition is probably due somewhere around July 2001; until then we will be adding pages to the website and posting short PDF add-ons on the site. Check out the download section at http://www.gushemal.com/si/download.htm!
First of all, though, additional creatures will appear in the module B1 The Courier’s Oath, which is due to be released in April 2001.
One of our major issues in GRPG is to give the game masters out there the freedom to develop their own creations – and inform us of them. (If you come up with great stuff, we would feel privileged to incorporate them into GRPG. Of course you would be named as the creator.)
So feel (very) free to generate your own creatures. If you would notify us of them, make sure to include some detailed descriptions of both the creature’s appearance and its habits.
In some cases you will find that your creatures deviate from the hit zone tables defined in 4.6. Hit Zones. If that happens, you need to develop your own hit zones and the according table. Fortunately, that isn’t as difficult as it appears at first.
What you need to do first is to define which major body parts the creature has. These are the hit zones.
Then you need to define the percentage of hit points the body part is assigned. (Remember for this that in the regular scheme, the head has 10% of the overall hit points.) For this, consider two factors: (1) How big is the body part, i.e. what is its percentage of the overall body mass? (2) How important is the body part to the creature; e.g. the head is a rather vital body part?
Now let’s head for the tables:
For each percentage point of hit points, the body part has to appear once in the table. For instance, if a hit zone has been assigned 10%, it has to appear 10 times in the table.
You need not worry about the points or hit zones being arrayed next to each other, but you must take care that the overall sum of the hit zones does not exceed 100%.
* the type of bear varies with the climate
These are all animals below the size of a small dog or a racoon. Ordinarily they pose no threat at all to the characters and can hardly qualify as opponents.
Nonetheless they can be attacked (e.g. for food), and the following stats apply:
There is only one hit zone. The number of hit points ranges from 1 to 10. (You may use a 1d10; but you should take the size into account, i.e. a mouse should average 1 hit point while a racoon should average about 10 hit points.)
They have an attack penalty of –20.
Their attack value is 25. They can cause a maximum of 1 hit point of damage.
A character receives 5 EP for killing a small animal on the hunt.
Orcs are a primitve, humanoid race. They commonly live in caves and are comparable to neanderthals in their behavior and appearance.
The creatures are hairy, flatnosed and have tusk-like teeth in their lower jaw. They can grow roughly as tall as humans but are generally a little stronger.
Orcs have been driven from most areas by humans and have by now taken refuge in mountainous areas, which means they are rarely encountered elsewhere. Only in peripheral areas and mountain regions can they become troublesome to humans, and sometimes become regular plagues.
They generally live in clans of up to 150 individuals. Since they are a highly aggressive species which not only attacks members of other races but also other clans, that number is rarely exceeded.
Orcs often use very primitive weapons (most often fashioned from stone). Nonetheless they use metal weapons and better armors whenever they can steal them in raids.
Their only long-range weapons are spears; the art of archery clearly eludes them.
When large groups attack, they prefer to rush their enemies.
Skeletons are undead creatures which have been re-animated by magical means. The skeleton of the deceased reassembles and can execute simple tasks or fight with a weapon. Since practically any race can be reanimated, the size and appearance of skeletons varies greatly.
The magical powers behind their reanimation are not necessarily evil in origin. Ordinarily no trace of the dead person’s identity remains, as the soul has long since travelled on to the next life. (There are exceptions, and those are clearly evil.)
Skeletons are brainless, emotionless creatures without any will of their own. They are mentally controlled by their creators and mindlessly execute their orders.
Oftentimes they are not immediately animated by the spell, but rather they lie dormant until a trigger event activates them and makes them run through the orders placed on them. Therefore they are excellent guards of treasures which still function after centuries.
Skeletons execute their orders mindlessly and relentlessly. If they are told to attack a target, they will do so until they succeed or are destroyed. In this matter they use any weapons they have been given. They might also use armor. (Read the relevant sections in Chapter 7 of the Player’s Handbook.)
Skeletons are destroyed by decimating the hit points in their torso or skull.
Ratpeople are about five feet tall, walk upright. Covered by thick gray fur, their upper body seems stunted compared to their legs.
The hindlegs are much too big in comparison to allow these creatures any kind of walk like ordinary people. Rather they shuffle along, half skipping, half walking.
Its jumping where the ratpeople truly excel in. Propelled by their hindlegs, they can cover large distances (about 6 – 8 yards in an ordinary jump, up to 12 when they put a lot of effort into it). That is what they prefer to do, and when the tribe is travelling, there will be a bunch of ratpeople leaping through the forest.
Their arms are very short, compared to their entire body, but they have claws and although their reach is minimal, they can cut pretty well when they get close.
Far more dangerous are their snouts, ratlike in apperance (hence the name), with an elongated snout that features sharp fangs and two short tusks set along the snout. Each of the tusks functions like a dagger, with the fangs adding more damage to the attack.
Ratpeople have two attacks per round, one for the arms and one for the snout.
Due to the low reach of their arms, that attack gets a modifier of –20 on the attack value. (Meaning that it’s a lot tougher to get through someone’s personal defenses that way.)
* The damage is done to the torso. The character needs to roll a check against his strength attribute with a modifier of –30 in order to try to escape from the choke hold. If he fails the check, he remains in the hold and will receive another set of damage in the next round. The character can try once per round to escape the hold.
Like skeletons, zombies are undead which have been animated by magical means. Unlike skeletons, zombies are created from recently deceased people. They look, as one might imagine, like walking dead people which still decay and rot.
Zombies are supernaturally strong, but they move very slowly. It’s easy to run away from a zombie, but the creature needs neither sleep nor any rest period. Since they have no will of their own and execute orders as mindlessly as skeletons, a zombie might pursue someone relentlessly day and night. Since the victim will have to sleep, even at its slow speed.
Being reanimated does not stop the zombies from decomposing, and therefore they don’t last forever. After about 2 years they fall apart.
Zombies fight in a very simple manner. They punch with the extreme strength of their fists, or they try to catch their victim in a choke hold.
If you quickly need a spread of hit points, refer to the table below to choose a good set.
wish to use a random factor, roll 1d10+9 and select a set from the row for
the Head values.