Friday, July 9, 2010

Medieval Bestiary - Part Five

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Melusines appear to be exceptionally beautiful young women that, in place of legs, possess two mermaid-like tails. Melusines live in rivers and lakes. They crave the companionship of men, but are easily insulted if not given proper respect. The offspring of unions between humans and melusine are always melusines if female, or future magic-users if male. Melusines are fierce protectors of their children. Melusines can polymorph themselves at will into human females or small bronze dragons. One day per week they must assume their natural form and must submerge themselves in water.

Melusine: HD 2; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d4); Move 6 (Swim 12); Save 16; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Polymorph.

The monoceros is an animal of the savanna often mistaken for a unicorn. It has the face of a sheep, the body of a stag, the rear feet of a goose, the tail of a dog and a long horn growing from its head. They are expert at spearing fish from rivers with their long horns. Although a monoceros horn has no efficacy against poison, it is worth approximately 20 gp on the open market.

Monoceros: HD 3; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 gore (1d10); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None.

Monopod (Sciapod)
The monopodes are dwarves with one leg and a massive foot. They live in sunny highlands and use their foot as an umbrella when they take their afternoon naps. Monopodes are extremely strong (+2 to hit and damage) and they can control animals (as charm monster, but up to 6 animals). Monopods are as skilled at blacksmithing as other dwarves. They wear chainmail hauberks in combat and wield heavy maces and spears. Monopod tribes are led by 3 HD chieftains wearing platemail. The chieftain’s bride is always a druid. The chieftain will be guarded by four 3 HD bodyguards.

Monopod: HD 1; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 kick (1d8) or 1 weapon (1d6); Move 9; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

This odd creature from medieval bestiaries has the body of a hair, the tail of a squirrel and a boar’s tusks. The muscaliet is about the size of a large dog. It’s body gives off a blistering heat that eventually kills the tree in which it builds its nest. Muscaliets are not terribly aggressive, but they do respond violently to threats and attacks. The muscaliet is surrounded by a 10 ft radius of intense heat. Creatures within the heat aura of a muscaliet suffer 1d3 points of damage each round. People in metal armor or wielding metal weapons suffer an additional point of damage each round.

Muscaliet: HD 1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 gore (1d4); Move 15; Save 17; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Heat.

Musimon (Tytron)
The musimon is a cross between a goat and sheep, having the feet and body of a goat and the head and wool of a ram. The creature has four horns on its head, two curved like a ram and two straight like a goat. Musimons are incredibly strong and will quickly charge creatures that approach their herd. Their gaze acts as a hold person spell on a single creature or a cause fear spell on up to 10 creatures. In any case, a saving throw is allowed to avoid the effect.

Musimon: HD 4; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 butt/gore (2d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Gaze attack.

The myrmecoleon has the body of a giant ant and the head of a lion. Because the lion head is only attracted to eating meat and the ant body is designed for digesting grain, the creature is usually in a foul mood. Like giant ants, they inject a poison with their bite attack. The poison does 2d6 points of damage if a saving throw is failed, 1d4 points of damage if the saving throw succeeds.

Myrmecoleon: HD 5; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d8 + poison); Move 18; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Poison.

Panthera (Pantere, Love Cervere)
Pantheras are intelligent, supernatural felines with iridescent coats and sweet-smelling breath. Pantheras are roughly the size and shape of a leopard. They spend most of their time sleeping in their caves, but emerge once or twice a week to hunt. Pantheras are lawful creatures that will not attack non-chaotic creatures unless seriously provoked. Panthera females are capable of breeding only once, so the breed is quite rare.

Pantheras have a breath weapon that can be used three times each day. The panthera’s breath is a cloud of perfume that fills a 20 ft radius centered on the panthera. Any creature except dragons that breathes this perfume must make a saving throw or be affected as by a charm monster spell. Dragon, on the other hand, are affected as though by a fear spell. Spells like stinking cloud or a troglodytes maliferous odor are neutralized in a 30 foot radius around a panthera. A panthera’s hide, if reasonably intact, retains this property and thus is quite vauable. If a panthera successfully bites a victim, it gains two additional attacks with its rear claws.

Panthera: HD 7; AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claw (1d4) and 1 bite (1d6); Move 12; Save 9; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Breath weapon, rear claws.

The parandrus resembled a shaggy ox with cloven hooves and a large rack of antlers. Although unintelligent, the parandrus is capable of changing its color and shape. A parandrus will change its color as a means of camouflage, surprising on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6. In general, a parandrus that surprises will choose to flee, rather than attack. If forced to fight, the creature is capable of changing itself into any natural and supernatural beast. The parandrus can change shape each round and still attack.

Parandrus: HD 4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 gore (1d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Change shape.

A peluda is a river beast that resembled a giant, green porcupine. Its body is covered by stinger-tipped tentacles that can be made erect like quills. It also has the neck, head and tail of a serpent and the legs and feet of a tortoise. The peluda is capable of attacking with its poisonous stingers. Any creature in melee combat with the beast is subject to 1d3 stinger attacks each round. Each stinger inflicts 1d4 points of damage, or half that if the victim succeeds on a saving throw. The creature can also fire off one stinger each round as a missile attack with a range of 60 feet. A peluda has one of three possible breath weapons. The first is poisonous gas, like that of a green dragon. The second is a fiery breath, like that of a red dragon. The third is a gout of acid, like a black dragon. Each peluda will have one of these breath weapons, which it can use three times per day, inflicting 6d6 points of damage.

Peluda: HD 8; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 bite (2d6), tentacles (see above); Move 9 (Swim 15); Save 8; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Breath weapon, poison tentacles, only harmed by magic weapons, magic resistance 15%.

1 comment:

  1. I think I may have had a muscaliet in the palm tree in my backyard...


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