Creatures of Night and Shadow

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The species listed here are primarily connected with night and shadow and the Powers of Darkness. Other creatures that may be nocturnal hunters or may be at their most powerful at night are included elsewhere. Only the following species are affected by magic that calls, communicates with, or controls Creatures of Night and Shadow.


Bat

Natural Habitat 
Caverns, Jungle, Rural, Woods
Frequency  
Uncommon
Number 
1-400 (100)
Description
Bats are rodents with leathery wings. They are greyish-black in colour. They are found in dark places as they are afraid of light and fire.
Abilities
Bats can determine directions in the dark by emitting high frequency "pips" which reflect off of the surrounding walls. They have no magical abilities or other special talents and are not tool users.
Movement Rates 
Flying: 500
PS: 2-3 MD: None AG: 18-21 MA: None EN: 1-2 FT: 2-3
WP: 6-8 PC: 14-17 PB: 7-9 TMR: 10 NA: None
Weapons
A bat may bite. A character bitten by a bat has a 10% chance of contracting rabies or some other loathsome disease as well as infection.

Bite: BC 40%, [D – 7], Close, Rank 0.


Dire Wolf

Natural Habitat 
Highlands, Rural, Woods
Frequency 
Rare
Number 
1-10 (3)
Description
Dire wolves are wolves the size of ponies. Dire wolves will be in league with the Powers of Darkness and will have almost human intelligence. Their corpses disappear back into hell (from which they are said to have sprung originally) if they are killed.
Abilities
Dire wolves have no special abilities but they are exceptional trackers. They also never forget a smell. They may possess knowledge of a limited number of spells of the College of Ensorcelments and Enchantments or the College of the Sorceries of the Mind.
Movement 
Rates Running: 400
PS: 22-25 MD: 24-26 AG: 18-22 MA: 8-12 EN: 20-23 FT: 25-30
WP: 8-12 PC: 19-23 PB: 4-8 TMR: 8 NA: Fur absorbs 5 DP
Weapons
Dire wolves may bite.

Bite: BC 60%, [D + 6], Melee & Close, Rank 0.


Doppelganger

Natural Habitat 
Caverns, Rural, Woods
Frequency 
Very Rare
Number 
1-8 (1)
Description
In their natural form, doppelgangers appear humanoid, with thin arms, and sharp teeth and claws. They have thick, rubbery, grey skin, and glowing eyes.
Comments
Once a doppelganger has imitated someone, they will try to kill that individual, attacking by surprise. They will then replace that individual until they try the same manoeuvre with another member of the party.
Abilities
Doppelgangers have the ability to form themselves to look and act like any humanoid creature that is approximately their size and body weight (100-250 lb.). Even the clothes and equipment of a person can be imitated, although magical properties will not, of course, adhere to the duplicates. See the rules governing detecting illusions in the College of Illusions. Doppelgangers read the minds of the people they will later imitate so as to learn things they will need to know to duplicate the person properly. Their mind reading is more complete than Telepathy, for they learn the non-magical skills of the creature they are imitating (at two ranks lower).
Movement Rates 
Running: 250
PS: 12-16 MD: 14-17 AG: 16-18 MA: 20-25 EN: 8-10 FT: 15-20
WP: 22-25 PC: 15-17 PB: 4-8 TMR: 5 NA: Skin absorbs 4 DP
Weapons
Dopplegangers may bite in their natural form.

Once having imitated something, they fight as it does, using the same weapons at a Rank two less than the creature they are imitating. Bite: BC 50%, [D + 3], Close, Rank 0.


Rat

Natural Habitat 
Anywhere
Frequency 
Common
Number 
1-100 (12)
Description
Usually about eight inches long, these animals can be any combination of shades of black, white, or brown. Some larger strains of rats can grow to 18 inches (with corresponding increase in the damage they can do and their Base Chance of biting during Close Combat - see below).
Comments
Rats are not tool-users, but they can dig holes and gnaw through substances as hard as sandstone and lead, given enough time. When in combat they tend to head for the eyes and other unprotected areas, so the armour protection Rating of characters defending against rats should be reduced by three or four points. A character has a 10% chance of contracting a disease if they are in contact with rats for any period of time. If a rat bites a character, increase chance of infection by 20.
Abilities
Rats have no special talents, skills, or magical abilities.
Movement Rates 
Running: 100
PS: 4-6 MD: 15-20 AG: 15-20 MA: None EN: 1-2 FT: 2-3
WP: 8-16 PC: 17-20 PB: 4-8 TMR: 2 NA: None
Weapons
Rats may bite.

Bite: BC 75%, [D – 7], Close, Rank 0.


Weres

Comments

Weres are humans or humanoids who are afflicted with a specific disease: Lycanthropy. They are adversely affected by the full moon and on nights when the moon is full they change shape, becoming one of 5 types of creature. The were may become a bear, boar, tiger, snake or wolf.

The actual type of beast the character becomes will depend on the type of beast from which they contracted their illness. The only way that a character can become a lycanthrope is if they are damaged by the bite of a lycanthrope in beast form. The victim will then during the next full moon (and all succeeding full moons) assume the shape of the beast that bit them (wolf, snake, etc.). If a character is killed by a lycanthrope, they do not become a lycanthrope; instead, they usually become dinner.

A lycanthrope in were form is always a beast. They have the characteristics of the strongest specimen of the species whose form they have assumed. A werewolf would have the highest possible characteristics for a dire wolf, for example. A were-snake assumes the form of a python, but with the bile (and venom) of the king cobra. Were-bears, were-boars and were-tigers will have the highest possible characteristics for their type of beast.

When in their beast form, weres are semi-intelligent. Their human side is suppressed and the character is played by the GM. Weres are primarily concerned with feeding and simple survival. They will spend the entire period when the moon is full either laid up in a lair or hunting. They will attack the character's friends as readily as any other prey. Once a were returns to their normal human shape, they will be enfeebled for [D + 4] hours, desiring only to sleep. Upon waking, they will usually remember what they did in beast form.

A character can only be cured of Lycanthropy by removing the major curse as if it had a Magical Aptitude of 20. When in beast form, a were can only be harmed or killed by magic or by silvered weapons. Pre-pubescent and post-menopausal individuals never suffer the effects of Lycanthropy (though they may contract the disease).