Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nature Is Red In Tooth And Claw

One of the all-time best RPG bloggers, Noisms, is back (hopefully for a good long while), which allows me to once again indulge one of my favorite hobbies: stealing ideas from him.

His recent kick is wardog variants, and since my players:

A) Have a wardog fetish, and
B) Are terrible at keeping them alive

I was pleased to see someone putting some effort into spinning some playable depth out of these little balls of numbers I keep forgetting to include when I run combat rounds.

So that's good. On the other hand, deciding which exotic dog to use is definitely something that occurs during the 'shopping phase' of the adventure, which is a phase I usually want to keep as short as possible (watching Kimberly Kane try to decide what to buy is nobody's idea of fun)--so I've taken Noisms dog ideas, thrown in a few of my own, and boiled them down into that universal gaming-dilemma panacea--the d100 chart.

So:

Available Dog Table

A store will generally have d4+1 different wardogs available, drawn from the list below.

Roll d100: Note that in addition to indicating whether you got dog 1-100, the two digits shown on the dice, added together, will be the dog's hit points. i.e. Dog 73 (a Grottsvort terrier) has 10 hit points, Dog 03, (the Ghost Hound) has 3 hit points. The "0" is treated as a 0 for purposes of calculating hit points, not a ten, except in the case of dog 00, which has 20 hit points.

(This table assumes that, unless otherwise noted, dogs have AD&D1 stats: AC 6 or 14 HD 2+2 Damage 2d4. Dogs with more than 18 hit points and Orc Hounds attack as 3hd monsters, any dog with less than 4 hit points and all of Noisms' linked dogs except the Orc Hound attack as 1 hd monsters.)

01 Small but vicious dog. 2 attacks for d6 each. Can be thrown up to 15 feet. Won't mind so long as it lands on something warm, soft, and breathing.

02 Cutpurse pup. Is trained to steal small objects, chew through pack straps, etc. Can steal small objects from a foe's hand on a successful hit roll.

03 Ghost hound. d6 damage. Sees invisible.

04 Basilisk hound. Blind. d6 damage. -2 to hit. Trained to harass prey.

05 Avenillish hound. AC 5/15. d6 damage. Infravision to 10'. Surprised only on a 1. Noisms: "Foes shorter than 2' will be gripped in the dog's jaws and vigorously shaken; on a 'to hit' roll that succeeds by +4 above the required result, double damage is done and the victim must save versus death."

06 Avenillish hound. AC 5. d6 damage. Infravision to 10'. Surprised only on a 1. Noisms: "Foes shorter than 2' will be gripped in the dog's jaws and vigorously shaken; on a 'to hit' roll that succeeds by +4 above the required result, double damage is done and the victim must save versus death."

07 Avenillish hound. AC 5. d6 damage. Infravision to 10'. Surprised only on a 1. Noisms: "Foes shorter than 2' will be gripped in the dog's jaws and vigorously shaken; on a 'to hit' roll that succeeds by +4 above the required result, double damage is done and the victim must save versus death."

08 Has a sort of half-formed siamese twin hanging off it. Extra attack for 1 hp damage. 20% slower than a normal dog.

09 Medical response dog. Can be trained to bring any one specific item to a PC if s/he falls to the ground.

10 Onkawan Vomiting Dog. d6 damage. Vomits at sight of hostiles. Vomit will act as oil slick for d2 foes. Vomit will attract other dogs and rodents.

11 Busking dog. Can do flips, balance items on its nose, etc.

12 Extremely well trained--will obey any order it can understand and never checks morale.

13 Sensitive scenthound. Can smell pheromones and can, in effect, sense hostile intent in humans and halflings--2 in 6 chance.

14 Fast. +1 inititative if the dog attacks this round.

15 Ex-familiar. Barks when magic is present.

16 Witch hunting dog. Can identify familiars, changelings, and possessed or otherwise "unnatural" but seemingly ordinary animals.

17 Thieves guild dog. Never barks.

18 Extra eye. Useless.

19 Warpug. Who knew?

20 Part feyhound. Understands elvish perfectly.

21 Hunting dog. Improves tracking by 25% +5% per extra dog up to a maximum of 50%. -2 to hit.

22 Half price!

23 Gazehound (borzoi, whippet, etc.). Runs 20% faster than an ordinary wardog.

24 Gazehound (borzoi, whippet, etc.). Runs 20% faster than an ordinary wardog.

25 Bred for agility--can snatch arrows and similar-sized missiles out of the air on a to-hit roll superior to the attacker's roll. PC may declare dog's intent as soon as the foe has fired so long as the dog has not acted that turn.

26 Vornheim hexenhund. +2 save vs. magic.

27 East Aachen Weaseler. AC 4/16. (High dex.)

28 East Aachen Weaseler. AC 4/16. (high dex.)

29 Wolfhound. +2 to hit vs. same-size foe.

30 Hunting dog. Improves tracking by 25% +5% per extra dog up to a maximum of 50%. -2 to hit.

31 Pack dog-+1 to hit and damage per other dog that attacks with this one. Maximum +5.

32 Pack dog-+1 to hit and damage per other dog that attacks with this one. Maximum +5.

33 Overgrown raccoon dog. Climbs trees at 1/2 normal speed.

34 Hunting poodle. Swims 25% faster than an ordinary dog.

35 Bred for agility--can snatch arrows and similar-sized missiles out of the air on a to-hit roll superior to the attacker's roll. PC may declare dog's intent as soon as the foe has fired so long as the dog has not acted that turn.

36 Wolfhound. +2 to hit vs. same-size foe.

37 Wolfhound. +2 to hit vs. same-size foe.

38 Dalmatian.

39 Eingrave nineclawed cur. Critical hit removes foe's eye .

40 Hunting dog. Improves tracking by 25% +5% per extra dog up to a maximum of 50%. -2 to hit.

41 This bitch is pregnant. 20% slower than a normal dog but in a month you'll have d6 puppies (from as many fathers, so roll on this chart for each dog)

42 Barclay-from-Sesame-Street-like giant westhighland terrier. Adds +1 to charisma rolls with NPCs.

43 Tongueless. Moves silently as 2nd level thief.

44 Dalmatian.

45 Azumchefe Climbing Dog Climbs at 40'/rnd. Damage 1d6.

46 This appears to be-, and will act as-, an ordinary wardog but is secretly a polymorphed princess named Xellandra from the Empire of Despair.

47 Utterly unremarkable.

48 Ritterhund. Mounted riders must make a roll to avoid being thrown after a ritterhund successfully attacks his or her mount.

49 Ritterhund. Mounted riders must make a roll to avoid being thrown after a ritterhund successfully attacks his or her mount.

50 Hunting poodle. Swims 25% faster than an ordinary dog.

51 Crossbred with a white goblin suicide dog. Physically unable let go of prey after a successful attack, automatically inflicting 2 hp of damage per round after the first bite until pried off.

52 Brindlecoated linklurcher. Will carry a lit torch in its teeth.

53 White-eyed thistlecrobe. Can sense elves and fey at 100'.

54 Azumchefe Climbing Dog Climbs at 40'/rnd. Damage 1d6.

56 Entirely ordinary.

57 Trained by the sisters of Tittivila like a St. Bernard. Will drag unconscious PCs out of harm's way.

58 East Gyoran Bloodhound. Can sense undead at 100'. Enjoys gnawing on raw garlic.

59 Thorvian horbik. Part-livestock dog--trained to howl madly and seek out its masters if horses are disturbed.

60 Illyrian vandal terrier. Successful hit on a humanoid results in a trip attack doing 1d4 and leaving the foe prone.

61 Illyrian vandal terrier. Successful hit on a humanoid results in a trip attack doing 1d4 and leaving the foe prone.

62 Illyrian vandal terrier. Successful hit on a humanoid results in a trip attack doing 1d4 and leaving the foe prone.

63 Circassian hoghunter. Can attack to disarm with a bite to the hand. On a successful to hit roll, the foe takes d4 damage and must roll under constitution to remain armed.

64 Circassian hoghunter. Can attack to disarm with a bite to the hand. On a successful to hit roll, the foe takes d4 damage and must roll under constitution to remain armed.

65 Circassian hoghunter. Can attack to disarm with a bite to the hand. On a successful to hit roll, the foe takes d4 damage and must roll under constitution to remain armed.

66 Carpathian grease-eating dog. Coat resists flame for 2 rounds.

67 Carpathian grease-eating dog. Coat resists flame for 2 rounds.

68 Knows how to turn ordinary doorknobs.

69 Fang Foom Fin. Rare Eastern breed. Imparts wisdom on full moons if treated properly.

70 Truffle hound. 25% chance of finding rare mushrooms in suitable terrain.

71 Truffle hound. 25% chance of finding rare mushrooms in suitable terrain.

72 Truffle hound. 25% chance of finding rare mushrooms in suitable terrain.

73 Grotsvortt terrier. +2 to hit a wounded target if the dog is in striking distance of the wound.

74 Grotsvortt terrier. +2 to hit a wounded target if the dog is in striking distance of the wound.

75 Grotsvortt terrier. +2 to hit a wounded target if the dog is in striking distance of the wound.

76 North Wessex egg-sucking hound. Can smell lycanthropy.

77 North Wessex egg-sucking hound. Can smell lycanthropy.

78 North Wessex egg-sucking hound. Can smell lycanthropy.

79 Tsolyannan hairless. The guy you're buying it from doesn't know it, but this dog's worth 800 gp to the right buyer.

80 Thorveldean weevil-watching dog. Hormone in saliva confuses insects, causing them to attack at -2.

81 Thorveldean weevil-watching dog. Hormone in saliva confuses insects, causing them to attack at -2.

82 Thorveldean weevil-watching dog. Hormone in saliva confuses insects, causing them to attack at -2.

83 Trained by bandits to retrieve gold and precious gems.

84 Trained by bandits to retrieve gold and precious gems.

85 Akhaltsihnske liondog. Massive coat. Will drag and defend up to 90 lbs of equipment/treasure.

86 Akhaltsihnske liondog. Massive coat. Will drag and defend up to 90 lbs of equipment/treasure.

87 Bluenosed pitbull. Rolling a 20 plus at least 6 damage means the target's hand or forelimb has been bit clean off.

88 Half-wolf (at least). +2 damage. Attacks strangers on sight.

89 Half-wolf (at least). +2 damage. Attacks strangers on sight.

90 Pumpkin-eared bristleback. +4 vs. snakes.

91 Funny-looking.

92 Merovingian sea dog. Ritually shaved and tattooed by the barbarous pirates of Chlorr. Can leap 10' and swim at 75% of full speed. Attacks at only -1 while swimming.

93 Merovingian sea dog. Ritually shaved and tattooed by the barbarous pirates of Chlorr. Can leap 10' and swim at 75% of full speed. Attacks at only -1 while swimming.

94 That, my friend, is not a dog. Maybe it's a hyena, or a thylacine. Anyway: 10% slower than normal, double night vision, +1 to damage.

95 Trained halfling riding dog. +3 damage. Moves at full speed even with a rider.

96 Trained halfling riding dog. +3 damage. Moves at full speed even with a rider.

97 Wait, that's not a dog. You're right, it's a warpig. Damage 2-12, 10% slower than a dog. Want it?

98 Orc mastiff (or Goblin-Hunting Mastiff). Detect and track Orcs, invisible to infravision, Price: x 3 normal.

99 Orc mastiff (or Goblin-Hunting Mastiff). Detect and track Orcs, invisible to infravision, Price: x 3 normal.

00 Huge, angry & poorly trained. Takes 1 round to unmuzzle & "point" dog toward foe. 2d4+4 damage.

_________

Dog advancement rule: if a dog survives long enough to see its master level up, that PC may make a wisdom check. Success indicates the dog has gained 1-2 hit points (of the "abstract hp representing increased fighting skill and luck" variety).

18 comments:

  1. I love this sort of cross-pollination creativity. And the pooch-leveling-up mechanic is great! Thanks.

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  2. And, for bonus points, it makes an excellent random encounter chart for the Pathfinder Goblins game (where a great many dogs will be barbecued). This pleases me.

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  3. Love it. "Ex-familiar. Barks when magic is present" is worth the price of admission alone.

    Funny that you thought of the "it's not a dog, it's a war pig" routine too. One of my entries is going to be about a breed of pig which is very much like a dog, bred by goblins.

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  4. 1) I'm amazed you came up with 100. Well, I suppose on this blog I shouldn't be.

    2) Thylacines get my approval.

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  5. This is such a fun table. Everything on it is a interesting result (I especially love cutpurse pup, and ol' 'Double-zero'). Now I also have a wardog fetish.

    Further systems I may write up for myself: dog armor; dog training, tricks, and orders; and minor magic doggy treats. Because we'll need healing treats, at least, to keep these puppies alive. Come to think of it, in a pinch, I'm sure they'll be useful for henchmen too.

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  6. @jesse

    I believe dog armor is canonical AD&D

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  7. Have you ever considered letting a dog level up like a henchman or retainer? If so, what swayed you against it?

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  8. @zzarchov

    frankly it's never come up because dogs die so fast. however, i wouldn't give it the full "level up" complement because essentially it could start to get aesthetically ridiculous fast (10th level dog with 50 hp?) but i don't have any strong "DOn'T DO THIS IT'LL BREAK YOUR GAME!!!!-type objections if other GMs wanna try it

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  9. As a side note, that first dog picture is pretty bad ass.

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  10. I'm going to sound a bit like a shill here, but if you like war dogs, check out the preview for KenzerCo's Hacklopedia of Beasts: http://www.kenzerco.com/free_files/dogs_hacklopedia.pdf

    The dog mauling rules are amazing.

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  11. Something Awful's "Dog Classifieds" feature could be a further inspiration ...

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  12. Uh, I guess this is gonna mark me out as That One Guy, but isn't "dogs with more than 18 HP" just Dog 00? I think maybe tuning it down to 15 HP might still yield a manageable number of powerdogs.

    It's a crazy awesome table, though, thanks!

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  13. @ticktock

    you are right. but i want it at 20hd. if there's a chance of a 1 hd dog, there's should be a chance of a megadog.

    (which sounds like something i will eat as soon as i get back to the states)

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  14. How much you chargey for doggies? I assume you simply off the cuff it with penny, nickel, dime, quarter?

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  15. @scad

    ad&d has wardog prices. 25gp i think.

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  16. You are a genius. Just dropped by to say that. Will be following from now on. :)

    ___
    Cheap international calls

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  17. Suddenly with this and Troll & Flame blog on dog record sheets dungeon dog dealers will be doing good business.

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