Thursday, January 16, 2014

Harrow Home Bestiary

Here's the start of the Harrow Home bestiary file.  I expect to update this post as I add monsters.  It's starting with coverage for some of the random encounters in the surface ruins.

Acolytes
AC as Leather, MV 12, HD 1, Atk 1, Damage 1-6, ML 7, AL C.  1-8 appearing.  These unholy pilgrims from the far countryside have donned black robes and cowls as they approach Harrow Home, seeking the diabolic shrines in the dungeon depths.  If there's more than four of them, roll a D10 to determine the level of the leader ( 1-4 = 2nd level leader, 5-7 = 3rd level leader, 8-9 = 4th level leader, 10 = fifth level leader).  Any treasure they carry is incidental.

Angry Villagers
AC as Unarmored, MV 12, HD 0, Atk 1, Damage 1-6, ML 5, AL N.  1-20 appearing.  A mob of angry townsfolk here to find a missing villager.   -2 to reaction rolls as they assume anyone near Harrow Home is "with them".

Bandits
AC as Leather, MV 12, HD 1, Atk 1, Damage 1-6, ML 8, AL C.  1-8 appearing.  Bandits near Harrow Home are filling the role of robbers, kidnappers, or grave robbers.  They're happy to rob, kidnap, or kill anyone they run into (if they think they can take them).  They'll have a mix of clubs, crossbows, pistols, and rapiers.

Bandits, Reavers
AC as Leather, MV 12, HD 1 + 1, Atk 1, Damage 1-8, ML 12, AL C.  1-8 appearing.  Reavers are bandits who have joined the Thurman Gang and taken on The Mark of the Beast (a claw-like scar on the chest).  They never check morale and get +2 to hit in combat.  Thurman's Reavers prefer heavy melee weapons - axes, mauls, and archaic swords.

Living Dead
AC as No Armor, MV 6, HD 2, Atk 1, Damage 1-8, ML 12, AL C.  1-8 appearing.  Living dead always attack last in the round.  They are human "zombies" created by subjugating their will through a magical substance, Zombie Powder.  They can't be Turned by clerics and don't have standard undead immunities.

Traders
AC as Leather, MV 12, HD 1, Atk 1, Damage 1-6, ML 7, AL N.  1-8 appearing.  A trader is a merchant guiding a pack mule or horse and wagon; all other members of the group are bodyguards.  Traders represent smugglers and unscrupulous merchants dealing goods to the inhabitants of Harrow Home.  [ I'll need to come up with a typical trade goods table to identify what they might be carrying… ]

Samples Encounters
Encounters with low level humans tend to appear the same on paper - there's not much to differentiate them from a stats perspective.  The trick is to (attempt) to cobble together interesting characters.  Here are some sample encounters from the bestiary list.  (Reavers will be detailed with the first dungeon level).

Sample Acolyte - William Barrett (leader)
Charismatic and striking, "Bloody Bill" was a sea dog decades ago in the time of Drake and the Spanish Armada.  He trades on old war stories.  He wears an eye patch and has a limp.  He uses his personal magnetism to lead groups of naïve followers to Harrow Home to pay homage to Old Scratch with him.  They usually don't leave when he leaves.

Sample Bandits
Ludlowe and Potts, Esquires
Ludlowe is a bully and Potts his sycophantic side kick.  Anyone else with them is rabble looking to get paid for their gruesome labors.  They rob graves and drive a wagon of corpses to sell to the mountebank in the dungeon cellars.  They have improvised weapons and shovels, but Ludlowe owns a pistol.

The Watkins Gang
John Watkins is young and illiterate, but makes up for it in ruthlessness.  He takes commissions from the Thurmans to perform kidnappings around the countryside.  Luckily, other people in the gang can read the descriptions of the marks!  No guns here  - clubs and knives only.

Tim Bodger's Boys
Bodger is a freeloader and prefers easy jobs, ambushes, and shortcuts.  He and his gang tend to drink their earnings away at the first opportunity.  Knives, bows, and Bodger owns a sword.

Sample Traders
Samuel Parsons
Parsons owns the Four Bells Trader, a London shop specializing in strange ingredients and rare imports from the continent.  He enjoys the high premium paid by Harrow Home's masters, and stays in the nicer inns when he travels north.  His bodyguards will be well armed with pistols and muskets, riding horses while Parsons rides on the wagon alongside a driver.

Richard Childs
Slick Dick climbs into the moors from the northern coast, his wagons laden with goods smuggled through places like Whitby or Robin Hood's Bay.  He has the personality of a snake oil salesman and tries to trick or con during encounters.  His merchant sign hanging off his wagon is the Two Black Dogs.