Thursday, December 8, 2011
Magical Prehistory Tour
Dinosaurs. Awesome, right? Lots of them, though – hard to keep track, especially when scientists keep changing their darn minds about them (they’re brontosauruses because that name is cooler, and triceratops are so a species of dinosaurs, so shut up scientist man). Here’s a handy dandy guide to basic forms and a few handy “mutations” to keep your players guessing.
Not scientific, but just a quick batch of stats for some basic dino types. And yes - I already know it doesn’t cover everything, just the stuff that pops up most often in old dinosaur movies and the Flintstones.
These are the fellows with the lovely head fringes and horns, like triceratops. Assume the basic ceratopsian is about 30 feet long.
CERATOPSIAN: HD 15; AC 0  front, 5  back; Atk 1 gore (4d8); Move 12; Save 3; CL/XP 15/2900; Special: None.
Technically not dinosaurs, but if they’re on the Flintstones, they’re close enough for me. These are the flyers. The basic pterosaur has a wingspan of about 15 feet and a length of about 5 feet.
PTEROSAUR: HD 5; AC 2 ; Atk 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (2d8); Move 9 (Fly 24); Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: None.
The big boys – quadrupeds with long necks who make little tremors when they walk. Assume that the basic sauropod is around 150 feet long.
SAUROPOD: HD 25; AC 6 ; Atk 1 stomp (4d10); Move 9; Save 3; CL/XP 25/5900; Special: None.
The therapods cover the bipedal carnivores, of which the T-Rex and Velociraptor are now the most famous. Assume that the basic therapod is huge in size (i.e. around 30 feet long). When a therapod bites prey, it grabs the victim in its jaws, shaking and chewing for automatic damage in subsequent rounds. Only victims with shells, bone frills, or spines can avoid the horrendous tearing damage.
THERAPOD: HD 18; AC 4 ; Atk 1 bite (4d8); Move 18; Save 3; CL/XP 19/2400; Special: Chews and tears.
These are the quadruped armored or spiked dinosaurs, like stegosaurus and ankylosaurus. Assume that the basic thyreopheran is about 20 feet long.
THYREOPHERAN: HD 15; AC 2 ; Atk 1 bite (1d8), 1 tail (4d6); Move 9; Save 3; CL/XP 15/2900; Special: None.
No more humdrum dinos for us, my friend. Let’s make them fabulous!
1D30 / MUTATION
1-2 Small and quick – reduce HD by half (and modify saving throws accordingly) and double their speed. In addition, they get a bonus to initiative (how much depends on what you roll, +1 if d6, +2 if d10, +3 if d20; if you roll d8, you’re weird and I just can’t help you). Decrease damage by one dice size.
3 Big and beefy – increase HD by 50%, cut movement in half and if they are at least 60 feet in length they can cause an earthquake (as the spell) once per day in a 100-ft radius. Increase damage by one dice size.
4 Red scales – dinosaur is immune to fire.
5 Blue scales – dinosaur is immune to lightning.
6 White scales – dinosaur is immune to cold.
7 Gold scales – dinosaur is immune to non-magic weapons and +2 to save vs. magic.
8 Black scales – dinosaur surprises on 3 in 6 at night, has darkvision.
9 Woolly – dinosaur has fur. This gives it a +1 bonus to AC and resistance (50%) to cold.
10 Massive Brain – dinosaur has high intelligence and can use a psychic blast (30-ft cone, save or stunned for 1d4 rounds) three times per day.
11 Draconic – as small and quick, plus dinosaur has dragon wings and the flight speed and breath weapon of a random dragon; 1 = Black; 2 = Blue; 3 = Gold; 4 = Green; 5 = Red; 6 = White. Dino-dragons can never speak or cast magic spells.
12 Spitter – can spit poison (30-ft range; save or blinded and 1d6 damage) or belch acid (10-ft cone, 2d6 damage).
13 Leaper - can leap up to 20 feet forward or 10 feet backward. When leaping to attack, treat as a charge.
14 Gorgonoid – has metallic scales as a gorgon; increase AC by +4.
15-16 Horns – has two horns or two extra horns; gains an additional gore attack for 2d6 damage.
17 Manticoroid – has tail spikes that can be fired like those of a manticore for 1d6 points of damage.
18 Displacement – per the mirror image spell (4 additional images), can be used three times per day.
19 Blink – per the blink dog.
20-21 Camouflage – surprises on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6.
22 Stone Cold Awesome – has a petrifying bite, per the cockatrice. Dinosaur can swallow and ingest the stone if a carnivore.
23 Laser eyes – can fire searing beams from eyes three times per day. Range of 60 feet, 3d6 points of damage, ranged attack required.
24 Scream – per the shout spell, usable three times per day.
25 Rider – dinosaur is ridden by a caveman bounty hunter (per dwarf fighter level 1d4+4). Rider wears the equivalent of leather armor and carries a club and three throwing spears.
26 Trill – dinosaur can trill as a remorhaz.
27 Song – dinosaur produces a vibration that causes sleep (as the spell). Usable three times per day.
28 Song – dinosaur produces a vibration that causes a charm monster effect. Usable three times per day.
29 Song – dinosaur produces a vibration that causes a hold monster effect. Usable three times per day.
30 Construct – dinosaur is made of metal and gears. Increase AC by +5. There is a 5% chance it can change its shape to that of a stone giant (also made of metal and gears, AC +5). Constructs are immune to mind effecting spells, poison and disease and take half damage from fire and lightning.
Have any other ideas? Put them in the comments – let’s take this table to 100!
Image from Golden Age Comic Book Stories, by the great Charles Knight.