Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Microlite20: Hirelings: Dogs In The Dungeon

Another old-school element that has been lost to the wayside - the use of trained animals in dungeon crawling. I mean, sure, the Druid has their Animal Companion, and the Ranger can no doubt train up a few animals in his spare time, but back in the day, animals were prized as extra luggage handlers (and loot-carriers), and as valuable parts of tactical combat - as well as being capable of a few other tricks.

These animals follow the same rules for my previous Hireling stat-blocks. Here, cost reflects the purchasing of an animal already trained for a life of dungeoneering. They normally consume either half-rations (for smaller breeds), a full count of rations, or twice that for larger or unusual breeds.

Mundane Breeds

These animals are clever, but not intelligent - if needed, consider them to have a MIND score of 2. They can be trained to perform specific actions using a series of MIND+Survival rolls, over as long as the GM sees fit, with bonuses (and a shorter timespan) for clever techniques.

Small But Vicious Dog
The Small But Vicious Dog has been a staple of fantasy gaming since WFRP. Now you too can own a psychotic pet who might be more capable in a fight than you are!
STR -2 DEX +1
Skills - Survival +2, Subterfuge +1
Bite +1 - 1d3-1
HP - 3   AC - 14
Special - the SBVD is particularly effective against Small opponents - it can latch onto them (+2 to-hit) and begin tearing at them, causing 1d3 damage every round it remains attached (STR+Phys vs the attack roll to break free).
Cost - 2gp
Breeds - Dungeon Terrier, Halfling Harrier, Goblin Shaker, Kurathi Rustler

Hunting Dog
These animals are of a variety of breeds, but they have one thing in common - an exceptional sense of smell. They are bred to hunt smaller animals, and to find those who wish to escape - city guards the land over use these dogs when searching for escaped convicts.
Skills - Survival +5, Subterfuge +2
Bite +1 - 1d4
HP - 5 AC - 10
Special - while they are great at tracking just about anything, some are bred and specially trained to locate certain types of creatures (like Orcs) or specific plants (like truffles or medicinal herbs). These Hunting Dogs get an extra +2 bonus to any rolls to locate the target of their training.
Cost - 5gp
Breeds - Setter, Bloodhound, Tracker, Watchman's Friend

These large animals are bred for battle - they are a mix of wild wolves and large tamed dogs. This lends them a temper to be feared, and a ferocity that strikes fear into even the hardest of men.
STR +1 DEX +1
Skills - Survival +1, Physical +3
Bite +3 - 1d4+2
HP - 6   AC - 12
Special - the Wolfhound can Trip opponents (-2 to hit), and once down, can pin them down (STR+Phys vs STR+Phys each round) and attack their vitals, causing 1d4+2 damage every round they are attached.
Cost - 10gp
Breeds - Varag, Krynnish Warhound, Snarling Marshdog

Mountain Dog
Sometimes referred to as "Bearhounds", these huge dogs were originally bred as guardians for mountain temples. Now, they are mainly used for their prowess as watchdogs, and their skill in battle.
STR +2 DEX -1
Skills - Survival +3, Physical +3
Bite +3 - 1d6+3
HP - 10   AC - 12
Special - the Mountain Dog is adept as sensing trouble, and can hear opponents from 100ft away (adjust as conditions change). It will inform its master through a low growl when it senses trouble.
Cost - 20gp
Breeds - Chi-Tzu, Chow Chow, Guardian, Cata

Exotic Breeds

These animals might have strange parentage, unusual abilities, or might just be outright supernatural. Expect to pay top dollar for these pets, but they can more than make that money back.

The Goblinhound is a strange creature - many theorise they are dogs which have been bred with Worgs (or perhaps Barghest), creating a lithe, cruel-looking creature with a startling intelligence, and an insatiable hunger for the flesh on intelligent creatures.
STR +1 DEX +1 MIND +1
Skills - Survival +2, Subterfuge +3, Physical +1
Bite +2 - 1d6+1, Claw +2 - 1d4+2
HP - 20   AC - 16
Special - the Goblinhound can understand spoken language, though it cannot communicate or read. These animals do not need as much training as others (though they will not tolerate abuse) and can carry out incredibly complex orders - they are almost as intelligent as most people. Additionally, for every 2HD of flesh the Goblinhound consumes, it gains a +1 bonus to its STR and DEX scores (to a max of +3) for 1 hour/2HD eaten.
(For the purposes of the Goblinhound's Special Ability, regular rats and small birds count as 1/4HD, and larger animals like chickens 1/2HD. The GM is the arbirtrator of what HD value non-statted animals have.)
Cost - 100gp on the open market, 50gp straight from a Goblin breeder.

Possibly the result of some weird cross of dragon and dog, these animals are great companions for dungeon adventurers. They have markedly scaly skin, and sleek, almost feline features, as well as a few features from their ancestor (spiked plates for Red, large, curved horns for Black, etc). Some are seen in the employ of Kobolds and Dragons, as watchdogs and guardians.
STR +2 MIND +1
Skills - Survival +3, Subterfuge +2, Physical +2
Bite +3 - 1d6+2 Claw +2 - 1d4+2
HP - 20   AC - 16
Special - Drakes are bred to show traits from certain breeds of dragon, and all have a breath weapon (+3, 1d8) which they can use a number of times a day equal to their STR bonus. The damage caused by this matches the breed of dragon they most resemble (so, Fire for Red/Gold, Acid for Black, etc.) They can also cause Fear (as the spell) with their bark 3/day.
Cost - 200gp on the open market, or possibly worth a favour for a Dragon. Kobolds see these animals as sacred, and will not sell them.

No comments:

Post a Comment