Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Thurstle Island: Surface Encounters in the Ancient City

Stats as bugbear.

Despite their fearsome reputation, the White Apes of the Ancient City are reclusive and intellectual. 

Unknown to Thurstle Island's vikings, the apes are a failed experiment of the City's builders
  • They were supposed to be a military force. Although strong and agile they proved too independent and insufficiently warlike. They just want to be left alone to debate philosophy and take long naps.
  • Their pelts are incredibly warm. Vikings highly prize fur-suits made from their hides. 
    • If you have a lot of gold, you can buy one in the camp
    • The apes do not like to see people wearing their skins.
  • After being hunted by the Vikings for years, the apes have become reluctant experts in trap-building and ambushes. The ruins are covered in their cleverly constructed snares, pits and deadfalls. They are amply supplied with glass weapons
If characters encounter them:
  • They expect to be hunted, but if convinced a group is friendly, they will be kind in return.
    • They know the ruins well and could be valuable allies. 
  • Their tactical modus operandi is to throw stones and javelins and then retreat behind deadly traps.
  • They prefer to lead predators to an intruders trail rather than attack directly.
From Aos' Metal Earth

Search the Hairy Ape Corpse (multiple options in case of re-roll): 

  1. Glass knife / spear / axe
  2. Bundle of d6 glass-tipped javelins.
  3. Shovel / mattock /  mallet and spikes
  4. Spool of wire / noose / trigger mechanism for trap
  5. Bag of glass shards / broken weapon points / bone spikes
  6. Tube of strong glue / powerful solvent
  7. Cure-all gel / bandages
  8. Binoculars / caltrops
  9. Flask of poison / Roc attractant perfume
  10. Thumper device: attracts ice snakes
  11. Book of poetry - heals 1d4 hp, on a successful intelligence check during a rest, works until you fail one) / Philosophy monograph - on a successful intelligence check during a rest, gain a point of inspiration, can only be attempted once
  12. Ancient weapon
    1. Confusion Grenade: As confusion spell in 10' radius
    2. Flame Canister: As burning hands spell, works only once
    3. Mist Emitter: Flesh eating fog, d8 damage per round, sensitive to wind.
    4. Paralysis Wand: As hold person spell. d4 charges

Ice Snakes: 

Engraving by Toshihiko Ikeda

Bursting from a snow drift, an Ice Snake will disgorge a small swarm of babies before swallowing a victim and burrowing back into the snow.

  • This is a re-skin of Arnold K's excellent Hungry Coffin.
  • Instead of the damage immunities of the original, the Ice snake has regeneration.
  • Actions: Chomp for d10 damage. Swallow target. Burrow. Disgorge d10 babies.
  • Swallowed targets take a d6 damage on their turn and can attempt to break free with a difficult strength or dexterity check. 
    • Once a target has been swallowed, the snake will try to burrow back into the ice. It can be excavated with 1d6+1 standard actions of digging. Shovels/picks etc. double this speed.
    • While under the ice, any swallowed person cannot get out.
    • When uncovered, the snake is stunned for 1 round.
  • Rage Gland: The snake's brain can be rendered to produce Berzerker Salts.
    • Berzerker Salts are an illicit drug that allow a character to rage per barbarian class.
    • Highly addictive, repeated use can lead to mental degradation, cannibalism etc.
    • The feral berzerkers of the ruins have over-indulged and lost their humanity.
    • The smuggler gang cooks Salts, they'll pay handsomely for Snake brains.
  • Snake bite infections can lead to Feral madness. 
Babies: Stats as normal snake etc.

Feral Berzerkers

Overindulgence in bezerker salts or the consumption of snake flesh makes people go wild. Like a cocktail of fantasy-PCP and anabolic steroids. Derivative of John Arendt's berzerkers.

The island's smuggler gang deliberately infects people and harvests the resulting monstrosities to produce more drugs. The druids regard these creatures as abominations and occupationally send hunting parties into the ruins to exterminate them. The cult's dark benefactor is teaching them techniques to control these crazed cannibals as thralls.

Level 1: Feral Berzeker
  • Stats as berzerker. Run in packs and hunt other people as food. Strong, fast, careless. 
  • As decay progresses, they stop wearing clothes, their teeth elongate and hands become claws.
Keith Lord
Level 2: Wendigo
  • Stats as ghoul. Begin to avoid sunlight, always naked. Ravenous for human flesh.
  • Nocturnal and will try to drag away stragglers or the unwary.
  • Uses their paralyzing secretions to immobilize people as they feed.
    • This is a variant of the rage juice that fully locks up a person's muscles. Use of berzerker salts builds resistance.
    • Can be harvested to create rigor-mortis poisons and if diluted, analgesics
Jordu Schell
Level 3: Roid Ogre
  • Stats as ogre or troll. Solitary, resistant to damage and able to jump tremendous distances.
  • Muscles overdevelop grotesquely. Enormous boils full of rage-pus form on their bodies. 
  • Each roid-ogre is a cornucopia of berzerker drugs and lock-jaw poisons.
    • If players prove themselves formidable, the Smugglers will try to recruit them to harvest Ogres
  • Their attacks are VERY likely to cause infection. This can lead to Feral madness

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