Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Beasts of a Wakened Wilderness

An Osric reference for anthropomorphic adventures
Written and Illustrated by M. A. Packer
Introduction
After ages of war and terrible mischief, nearly all of the larger beasts have vanished from the land, leaving only the small, scurrying beasts to eke out livings in a vast and untamed world.  Still, lingering effects from the old ages permeate the unexplored regions where only brave adventurers dare to roam, with sword and sorcery as their defense against the unknown.  In this light tome, players and GMs will find the basics of what they need to play in settings where woodland creatures, rather than demihumans, embark on daring quests to raise towns and castles, scour caves and ruins, and slay heinous monsters.

What is Needed
To use this supplement, players and GMs will need the OSRIC rules set and the Expansion to OSRIC.  Apart from this, players and GMs will need character sheets, pencils, reliable erasers and a full set of polyhedral dice.

The “Races”

The following section includes the most common and easily playable of all woodland things.  In order to help players visualize their characters, the animals have been proportioned within three categories: small, medium and large.  For example, mice and shrews are comparably smaller than other races, as halflings and gnomes are in the Osric rules.  Likewise, squirrels, rabbits, rats and members of the weasel family are bunched together into a medium category.  Similarly, badgers and tortoises fall into the large category.  Potential players and GMs should also note that there are no level caps for the different beasts, however players should consult with the GM beforehand in case he or she wishes to place caps on how far PCs can level.

Mouse
Shortest and among the most cunning of the woodland creatures.  Mice typically build their homes out in the great planes where they farm rice and grain.  Larger beasts consider them hopelessly curious as they often go about poking their noses any place that seems interesting.  Adventuring parties value them for their shorter size and ability to get into places too small for larger beasts.
Summary of Mouse Racial Abilities:
+1 dexterity, -1 strength
AC score reduced by -1 due to size, 6 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Prairie-wind
Permitted Class Options:
Fighter, Thief, Monk, Bard
Surprise
1-4/d6 chance of surprising a foe while wearing light or no armor and traveling alone
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              3/16
                Dexterity             8/19
                Constitution       3/17
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               3/18

    Charisma             4/18

Shrew
As with mice, but with greater focus and magical aptitude.  Shrews will build homes near mouse communities, but typically prefer rockier terrain with ample shade.  They tend to have more laid back personalities compared to mice, but can be very stubborn when faced with change.
Summary of Shrew Racial Abilities:
+1 wisdom, -1 strength
AC score reduced by -1 due to size, 6 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), High-cliff
Permitted Class Options:
Fighter, Thief, Druid, Ranger
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              3/16
                Dexterity             4/18
                Constitution       3/18
                Intelligence        5/17
    Wisdom               8/19

    Charisma             5/18

Rat
Larger than a mouse and even more intelligent.  Rats live wherever they can, in whatever terrain bears them the most fruits.  They are outgoing and love challenges, often putting themselves in even compromising situations if it promises any kind of return.
Summary of Rat Racial Abilities:
+1 intelligence, -1 charisma
Able to tread water for one day straight, 12 movement rate
always have a 15% chance to climb walls, even if not a thief (does not stack with thief skill).
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Prairie-wind
Infravision:
60ft
Permitted Class Options:
                Assassin, Fighter, Magic User, Cleric
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              5/18
                Dexterity             4/18
                Constitution       3/18
                Intelligence        5/19
    Wisdom               8/18
    Charisma             3/18

Ship Rat
Even bigger than a common rat, though not quite so agile.  Ship Rats prefer the seas and eke out their living with rough work.  They are much calmer than normal rats, unless faced with danger whereupon they turn savage and fight relentlessly to protect themselves and their companions.
Summary of Ship Rat Racial Abilities:
+1 constitution, -1 dexterity
Able to tread water for four days straight, 10 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Sea-wave
Infravision:
60ft
Permitted Class Options:
                Assassin, Fighter, Ranger, Monk
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              6/18
                Dexterity             3/17
                Constitution       10/19
                Intelligence        5/18
    Wisdom               4/18
    Charisma             3/18

Hedgehog
Stout beasts with backs covered in stubby quills.  Hedgehogs live in hilly lands where they delve out shallow hovels.  They are fond of relaxing whenever possible and typically avoid confrontation, but will stand fast by comrades in the face of danger.
Summary of Hedgehog Racial Abilities:
+1 constitution, -1 dexterity
Able to roll into a ball, reducing AC by -2 and dealing 1d2 damage to melee attacks, both while rolled in a ball and when attacked from behind, 8 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Hill-roll
Permitted Class Options:
                Fighter, Cleric, Druid, Magic-user
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             3/17
                Constitution       10/19
                Intelligence        6/18
    Wisdom               6/18

    Charisma             3/18

Mole
Short-sighted beasts with powerful digging claws.  Moles live wherever there is soft soil for them to cultivate into whatever shapes their minds can conceive.  They are always on the move, working tirelessly and often become uninterested in the world around them until they have finished their task.
Summary of Mole Racial Abilities:
+1 constitution, -1 charisma
Able to detect depth/slope while underground, 8 movement rate (4 digging through soft soil)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Deep-ground
Darkvision:
60ft
Permitted Class Options:
                Cleric, Fighter, Illusionist, Monk
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              6/18
                Dexterity             3/17
                Constitution       10/19
                Intelligence        3/18
    Wisdom               4/18

    Charisma             3/17

Otter
Charming beast with keen agility while underwater.  Otters can be a joy to be around, but when angered, they will go to great lengths to confront the source of any disturbance.
Summary of Otter Racial Abilities:
+1 charisma, -1 wisdom
10 movement rate (14 underwater)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Sea-wave
Permitted Class Options:
                Fighter, Illusionist, Bard, Paladin
Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             10/19
                Constitution       4/18
                Intelligence        5/18
    Wisdom               3/17

    Charisma             6/18

Ferret/Weasel/Ermine/Stoat
Curious and highly impressionable creatures who rival rats in terms of their desire to seek out new places and conquer new horizons.
Summary of Weasel Racial Abilities:
+1 dexterity, -1 wisdom
12 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), High-cliff
Infravision:
60ft
Permitted Class Options:
                Assassin, Fighter, Thief, Bard
                Social Creatures:
                Gain 2 additional languages
Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             6/18
                Constitution       3/18
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               3/17

    Charisma             10/19

Badger
Slower, but bigger and stronger than all the others, badgers typically prefer to live alone and often encapsulate their wanderlusts by retiring in a stronghold, which they have raised with their own paws.
Summary of Badger Racial Abilities:
+1 strength, +1 constitution, -1 intelligence, -1 wisdom
10 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Deep-ground
Sense of Smell
Able to detect living things or fragrant food from 30 spaces away, providing a +1 reaction on surprise rolls
Infravision:
60ft
Permitted Class Options:
                Fighter, Cleric, Paladin, Ranger
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              12/19
                Dexterity             5/18
                Constitution       8/18
                Intelligence        3/17
    Wisdom               3/17

    Charisma             4/18
Rabbit/Hare
Fast and alert beasts with a strong sense of duty, both to themselves and to those they travel with.  Rabbits and hares often take it upon themselves to keep a watchful eye on the land and alert other beasts whenever danger approaches.
Summary of Rabbit Racial Abilities:
+1 dexterity, -1 constitution
14 movement rate, 6 jump distance (6 horizontal, 4 vertical)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Hill-roll
Permitted Class Options:
                Fighter, Magic User, Paladin, Monk
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             10/19
                Constitution       3/17
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               5/18

    Charisma             6/18

Squirrel
Fidgety and nimble masters of the great trees.  While not the most reasonable, they are masters of vertical surfaces and can maneuver themselves through nearly any elevated terrain.
Summary of Squirrel Racial Abilities:
+1 dexterity, -1 wisdom
Able to climb any rough surface (thief skill set to 90%), 12 movement rate (10 climbing speed)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Tree-hollow
Permitted Class Options:
                Assassin, Druid, Fighter, Ranger
Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             8/19
                Constitution       5/18
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               3/17
                   Charisma             3/18

Tortoise
Strong and slow reptiles with dense shells and strong limbs.  They aren’t especially fond of fur-clad beasts, but will usually overlook this mild prejudice if there is anything to gain.
Summary of Tortoise Racial Abilities:
+2 constitution, -2 dexterity
AC score reduced by -2 due to shell, 6 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Desert-scorch
Permitted Class Options:
                Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Magic-user
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              5/18
                Dexterity             3/16
                Constitution       12/19
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               5/18
    Charisma             3/18

Turtle
Smaller than their tortoise cousins, turtles hold similar regard to fur-clads, but tend to be slightly more agreeable.
Summary of Turtle Racial Abilities:
+1 constitution, -1 dexterity
AC score reduced by -1 due to shell, 7 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), River-flow
Permitted Class Options:
                Cleric, Fighter, Illusionist, Bard
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              5/18
                Dexterity             3/17
                Constitution       12/18
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               5/18

    Charisma             3/18

Frog
Perceptive amphibians with quick reflexes, frogs enjoy sitting back and observing for a while, but will quickly intervene in situations where action is called for.
Summary of Frog Racial Abilities:
+1 dexterity, -1 intelligence
Able to breathe underwater, 10 movement rate (12 underwater)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), River-flow
Permitted Class Options:
                Assassin, Druid, Fighter, Illusionist
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              3/18
                Dexterity             8/19
                Constitution       4/18
                Intelligence        3/17
    Wisdom               5/18

    Charisma             5/18

Toad
As with frogs, but slower and bearing poisonous skin.
Summary of Toad Racial Abilities:
+1 strength, -1 charisma
Able to breathe underwater, 8 movement rate (10 underwater)
If bitten from behind, target must make a save vs. poison (see rules for poison)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Soggy-mire
Permitted Class Options:
                Fighter, Illusionist, Magic User, Cleric
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             3/18
                Constitution       6/18
                Intelligence        11/19
    Wisdom               5/18

    Charisma             3/17

Salamander
Stout amphibians with tails.  They enjoy taking their time, sometimes even in the heat of battle.  They pick and choose their priorities and sometimes even depart for more interesting places if left unfulfilled.
Summary of Salamander Racial Abilities:
+1 wisdom, -1 strength
AC score reduced by -1 due to size, Able to breathe underwater, 6 movement rate
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), River-flow
Permitted Class Options:
                Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              3/17
                Dexterity             5/18
                Constitution       4/18
                Intelligence        4/18
    Wisdom               10/19

    Charisma             5/18

Lizard
Fast and alert reptiles with protective scales and short tempers.  Lizards will hold grudges until death and may even deviate from the party if they see opportunities to pursue old vendettas.
Summary of Mole Racial Abilities:
+1 constitutoin, -1 wisdom
12 movement rate
Able to attack foes at their back with their tails (-2 to hit, 1d4 damage + str mod)
Primary Languages:
Chitter (common), Desert-scorch
Permitted Class Options:
                Cleric, Fighter, Magic User, Ranger
                Racial Limitations:
                Strength              4/18
                Dexterity             9/19
                Constitution       5/18
                Intelligence        3/17
    Wisdom               10/19

    Charisma             3/17

Other Creatures
There are many other creatures in the woodlands, but these are more concerned with their own affairs and almost never set out on adventures, (most cannot even craft or wield weapons or armor of any kind).  Birds will often work alongside woodland beats, but usually for a price and some fewer, such as ravens and crows, will perform special deeds for different beasts’ communities in exchange for services, such as the building of towns and perches.  Larger animals like cows and goats have been successfully domesticated, and unintelligent, flightless birds are often used as mounts.

If players and GMs wish to add more animals they should keep in mind that larger, intelligent animals, such as dogs and lions, may prove unbalanced compared to smaller woodland creatures, so it is suggested that these forms of beasts be left out.  Animals of similar size, such as beavers, raccoons, wolverines, etc. may be added and assigned some of the stats of similar creatures and appropriate special qualities.  For example, a wolverine may have the same abilities and qualities of a badger, a beaver may have the same stats as an otter, only with a slower movement rate and an ability to chew through wood, etc.

The World in Brief
The lands, trees are colossal, animals that eat meat typically only eat fish and insects, but some evil few eat other creatures and are considered cannibals.

Villains consist of a group of creatures who have shaved off their fur as part of occult practices intended to restore evil power that was used by ancient titans who once ruled the planet, but who had become so tainted that the gods removed them and placed woodland beats as stewards over the world.  Ancient castles and dungeons built by the titans cover the world and are full of dark monsters.

Languages
                Chitter (common)            spoken by all creatures
                Tree-hollow                       spoken by creatures living in forests and jungles
                Deep-ground                     spoken by creatures that live deep underground
                Prairie-wind                       spoken by creatures that live in valleys and meadows
                Sea-wave                            spoken by creatures that live in the oceans or seas
                Soggy-mire                         spoken by creatures that live in swamps and bogs
                High-cliff                              spoken by creatures that live in the mountains
                Sky-wail                               spoken by creatures that fly through the air
                Hill-roll                                  spoken by creatures that live in hilly lands
                Desert-scorch                    spoken by creatures that live in hot deserts
                River-flow                           spoken by creatures that live in rivers and streams
                Bitter-frost                         spoken by creatures that live in the frozen tundra

Food and other Supplies
While woodland creatures bear the intellect of humans in this campaign, herding animals, such as cows and goats, are their usual mundane selves and are regularly tamed and cared for by smarter beasts.  This means that certain food and other products come from these animals.  While most woodland creatures abstain from the flesh of such animals it is not uncommon for them to acquire milk and leather.
                Bundled Timothy              healthy, succulent hay, for herbivores                    Costs 1 copper
                Cheeses                               fragrant and delicious. for omnivores                      Costs 2 coppers
                Dried Fruit and Nuts       sweet and nutritious, for omnivores                        Costs 2 coppers
                Dried Fishes                       brittle and filling, for carnivores                                 Costs 3 coppers
                Roasted Hoppers             crunchy and full of protein, for carnivores             Costs 2 coppers
                Wheat Cakes                      baked and dried to last, for omnivores                   Costs 2 coppers
                Pouch of Greens              best eaten fresh, for herbivores                                Costs 1 copper
                Pouch of Dried Corn        hard yet satisfying, for omnivores                             Costs 3 coppers

Mounts and special services
Faerdecok           large riding rooster trained for combat.  These use the stats of the Warhorse, but attacks are renamed to talons and pecking where appropriate.
Wayscrathe        Light riding fowl trained for quick travel.  These use the stats of the light horse and, as with the Faerdecok, rename attacks where appropriate.
Malitoise             Tusked tortoises of a large size, which lack the intelligence of other wakened reptiles, but serve as terrible mounts.  These use the stats of the Anklyosaurus as listed in the Dinosaur section of OSRIC, only the damage listed, rather than coming from a club comes instead from the tusks of the Malitoise.

Religious followings
The following powerful spirits guide the lands and serve as individual beacons to a variety of beasts.
                LG           Glory Light, represented by a white, right side up sword
                NG         Security, represented by a tall tower
                CG          Festivals, represented by a flute tied with colored ribbons
                LN           Earth, represented by mountains
                NN         Death, represented by an hour glass
                CN          Storms, represented by rainclouds and wind
                LE            Greed, represented by a dagger impaling a pouch of coins
                NE          Deception, represented by a black and silver harlequin mask
                CE           Hateful Dark, represented by a dark, upside down sword
                                L= lawful, N= neutral, C= chaotic, G= good, and E=evil

Restrictions on Magic and Monsters
Monsters can come from just about any mythos except for humanoids, dogs, cats, wolves, etc.  Magic is the same, except for spells that summon animals or people; these summon elemental terrain spirits instead, which have the same stats as the conjured animals in terms of HD, etc.  Likewise, spells that refer to humans or humanoids, such as “hold person”, should be appropriately renamed to “hold beast”.

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