Sunday, May 30, 2021

OSR: Birds and their Feathery ilk

by Ricardo Lima

Mundane Birds:

1d20

1- Parrots steal words.  If a parrot flies overhead while you are talking, it can steal the words you are speaking.  You can no longer say those words until they pass through the parrot's body.  If you attempt to say them, you will be physically unable to and your brain will hurt you to prevent a tearing of the soul.
2- Crows cannot tell lies, but always try to deceive with deceptive wording and vaguery.
3- Ravens can see the future and utter prophecy.  If you bribe them, one can give you a warning or prediction about the immediate future.
4- Robins herald the coming of Spring and are the sworn enemies of Winter.  They attack Spirits of Winter and are the allies of the Geese.
5- Songbirds, when they sing, are actually singing war-songs and marcher ballads.  Druids and wild beasts almost never retreat if they can hear the singing of song-birds.
6- Gulls are able to sense the presence of gold and other valuables.  They will help you with this ability, for snacks.
7- Owls are aliens, immigrants from the Moon that are stranded here on Earth.  They are despised by all other birds.  They can speak, but only languages spoken on the Moon.
8- Storks who have no eggs of their own are known to kidnap babies, but usually return them, often to the wrong parents.
9- Ducks are sex-fiends.  Duck meat is rich and is known to be an aphrodisiac.  Duck blood is also the primary ingredient of a potion of perversion.
10- Flamingos protect themselves from predation by secreting pheremones that inhibit higher-brain activity, making all those around them get as dumb as they are.  Eventually creatures get the message or forget how to breathe and die.
11- Pigeons are extremely loyal and easy to train.
12- Raptors are bound by codes of honor and if you aid one, it will owe you a debt.  This especially applies to Eagles, which the lesser Lords of small birds, and can command other birds to aid it in battle, usually other Raptors.
13- Ostriches easily fall in love with humanoids.  Though strong, they are easily seduced by humanoids.   
14- Emus are killing machines.  They are strong as ostriches, but have interest in making friends.  They are extremely territorial and will gut anything dangerous-looking in their territory.  They are also called Scythe-Birds.
15- Pelicans are merchants and will exchange the fish in their mouth for other things that Pelicans value- usually food/other things a Pelican cannot obtain by itself.  Pelicans love bread, cheese and sausages. 
16- Wood-peckers' beaks can punch through stone or metal, given enough time.  They can be trained to chip through such items and are often trained by criminals to help them escape from jail.  Artisans also train them to carve wood into unusual shapes and patterns.
17- Starlings, when moving as part of a flock, can hypnotize larger prey to give themselves time to escape.  Hunters of starlings, when they see a flock taking flight, blind-fold themselves and start loosing arrows into the air.  Some dumber creatures, such as dogs, are immune to the hypnotic effects of a Murmuration.
18- Sparrows can talk to trees and are often contracted by trees to protect them from insects.  They also sometimes act as interpreters for Sages or Druids.
19- Swans are fearless.  If you are bitten by a Swan, you will absorb some of the Swan's fear, while it steals some of your courage.  This excess fear will be filtered out of your body by your liver within a day, but for the moment, you will be more cowardly.
20- Geese are the prized prey of Spirits of Winter, as the Geese can sense the presence of such Spirits and always flee before-hand.  If you need to please a Spirit or creature aligned with Winter, a goose is always an excellent gift.  Geese are also impatient and short-tempered, as they have usually lived lives free from any real problems.  

by

Royal Robin

Number Appearing: 1, 1d4 if the Winter Folk or Undead associated with Winter are attacking a location in large numbers.
Alignment: Neutral Good
Languages: None, they understand the lingua franca and other popular dialects, but cannot speak.
Treasure: Their eggs are extremely valuable, either to raise in a city so the Royal Robin will protect that city when it grows up; or to eat, which is something only done by evil beings.

Winter is not just associated with cold and darkness because of the weather, but because when it comes, the power of Life is actually weakened.  It is no coincidence that the Queen of Air and Darkness is the cruelest of the Folkish Sovereigns and is often linked with cults that revere Death or the Gods of Always Winter.  When the sun grows weak or is concealed by thick clouds, the foulest of the Folk emerge from their snow-dusted domains in the distant mountains amid ice storms and howling blizzards to descend into the lowlands and the warm country to steal away children and inflict their cruel desires on the unsuspecting. 

So when these creatures first began to terrorize the races of mortals, they prayed for deliverance, and the Simurgh, Queen of Birds, heard them.  She blessed some of Robin's offspring, giving them greater size and then, with the permission of the Gods, collected fire from the sun and gave it to them to drink.  Thus she created the Royal Robins.  Royal Robins are large birds, most as big as mules with large wingspans.  Their feathers are golden and white, often speckled with brown or black and their breasts are red as hot blood.  They wear crowns of steam and smoke that are only dimly visible except when the air is cool and command flames, able to dive through them without being burned and direct them to devour their enemies.

Royal Robins fight for the hot-blooded creatures of Spring and wage eternal war against the Folk of the Winter Court and those creatures who use the snow and ice to hide from the sun.  They are valiant and courageous, but not always kind.  They tend towards arrogance and foolishness, especially in battle.  Few are even willing to consider the possibility of defeat.  If one comes to your aid, it will likely expect you to praise it effusively, and will be disappointed if you don't.

Statblock: 


Royal Robin
HD 3
AR none
Atk Beak and Talons (1d6+1/1d6+1)
Mor 14
Saves 10 or less
Immune to Fire and Fire Damage

Flyer: Robin Barons can fly.  When in the air, Robin Barons get +2 to AR and +4 to initiative.  They cannot hover and must continue flying in order to stay in the air. 

Flaming Aura: A Robin Baron can ignite itself, covering itself in a coat of flames.  This causes it to do +1d6 fire damage when it successfully hits with a melee attack.  Additionally, creatures within 5' while the Robin Baron is on fire take 1d6 fire damage.  If the flames around it's body are extinguished, either because of 'Meteor Strike' or because of any other reason, the Robin Baron cannot ignite itself for 1d4 rounds.

Heat Wave: If on fire, a Robin Baron can extend the flames around it's body, firing burning projectiles at any creature within 100'.  These fiery projectiles do 1d6 fire damage and ignore non-magical or non-specialist armor.

Meteor Strike: A Robin Baron can, if on fire, crash down upon the ground.  This causes any creature directly underneath them when they land to take 2d6 bludgeoning damage.  Additionally, that creature and any other creature within 30' takes 2d6 fire damage, save for half, as an explosion ripples out from the point of impact. 

Tactics:
- Ignite self, descend with 'Meteor Strike'
- Savage the survivors in melee
- Only retreat and use 'Heat Wave' if the enemy is much stronger than yo

artist unknown

Doom Eyes

Number Appearing: 1d4
Alignment: True Neutral
Languages: None, they are unintelligent, but can understand some phrases and are talented mimics.
Treasure: They have glands in their head that can be used to create potions of clairvoyance, which are valuable to Sages trained in Alchemy.

The Doom Eyes are huge, grim birds with dark heads and lusterless feathers.  They have flaps of skin hanging from below their beaks like turkeys and their eyes are huge, watery blue and penetrating.  Peasants tell many dark stories about them, claiming they serve Death and come to steal the souls of babies who have yet to be born, which is why miscarriages happen.  If you see one, it also means that you're going to die soon, so people avoid them whenever possible. 

Sadly, that last superstition is actually true.  The older cousin of the Vulture, Doom Eyes can not only see the dead from a long way off, but from before they even die.  They are able to see the future, giving them knowledge of imminent deaths and other tragedies, which they come to be the first to eat the carrion there.  As such, when a Doom Eye shows up, it is a sign that something really bad is about to happen, and if more than one shows up, there's likely to be a bloodbath or a disaster.

Despite this, Doom Eyes are not evil.  They are just clever beasts granted magical knowledge which they use to find food for themselves.  They can repeat phrases if they spend enough time around people, but the stories of them speaking grim prophecies and mocking people as they die are not true. 

Doom Eyes are sometimes taken in by Sages and other creatures with need of knowledge of the future.  They can be tamed, though it can still harm it's owner for no reason, even after years of good behavior.  This is usually due to the fact that it is a beast, or perhaps it is because the Doom Eyes saw how it's master would die and did not want to defy the whims of fate.

Statblock:

Doom Eyes
HD 2
AR 4 [Foreknowledge]
Atk Beak (1d6 sharp + Transferable Visions) or Evil Eye
Mor 10
Saves 9 or less

Flyer: Doom Eyes can fly.  When in the air, they get +2 to AR and +4 to initiative.  They cannot hover and must continue flying in order to stay in the air. 

Grim Clairvoyance: Doom Eyes are constantly inundated with visions of the future.  These visions are usually grim omens, mostly of how those they can see will die and when they are likely to.  This gives a Doom Eyes foreknowledge of the future.  This also gives them knowledge of how the creatures around them will die, and if forced to fight, Doom Eyes are smart enough to exploit that knowledge for their own gain.  

Transferable Visions: Any creature whose flesh is damaged by a Doom Eyes' beak must save.  On a failed save, the creature collapses in a stupor for 1d10 minutes as visions of the future rush through their head.  These creatures will naturally recover with a vague, and usually unhelpful, prophecy about the immediate future.  Creatures who pass their save are instead granted the Doom Eyes' clairvoyance for 1d10 minutes.  This gives +1d4 to Attack and Defense rolls, but it also causes the target to take +1d6 damage from the source destined to kill them.  To see what source of damage is likely to kill you, roll on the table below.

What kills you?

1d8

1- Impalement.  Spears, lances, stakes or etc do +1d6 damage to you for the duration.
2- Chopped up.  Swords, axes, and anything else that cuts does +1d6 damage for the duration.
3- Smashing.  Hammers, maces and other blunt weapons do +1d6 damage to you for the duration.
4- Crushing.  Falling boulders, Giants and other large monsters with clubs, being trampled by a horse, all these sources do +1d6 damage for the duration.
5- Burning.  Sources of fire do +1d6 damage to you for the duration.
6- Drowning.  Because of the visions, you'll likely panic, which will make you drown faster.
7- Poisoning.  Sources of poison damage, such as snakes, poisoned arrows and assassins spiking your drinks, do +1d6 damage for the duration.
8- Magic.  Someone casts a spell on you that kills you- this can either be a direct damage spell or a instant death effect.  You have disadvantage on your save against spells for the duration.

Evil Eye: As an action, a Doom Eyes can look at a creature.  That creature must save.  On a failed save, the creature takes 1d8 necrotic damage and any open wounds it has become infected.  A creature is considered to have open wounds if it has taken HP damage and hasn't rested or received magical healing since.  Creatures at 50% or lower HP make this save at disadvantage.

Tactics:
- Attack with beak and fly away
- Use 'Evil Eye' on the wounded
- Retreat if survivors are not significantly injured or pose a threat

artist unknown

Bone-Eater Birds

Number Appearing: 1d6 (1 is a lone scout, any more is a hunting party)
Alignment: True Neutral
Languages: None
Treasure: Their nests are littered with shiny trinkets left behind by previous victims.  Anything made of cloth is likely torn to shreds to make bedding, but gold, jewels and metal is used to decorate nests.

Bone-Eater Birds are huge, flightless birds the size of men with broad shoulders and huge wings rippling with muscles beneath brown and white feathers.  They have crude hands near the end of their wings like a bat, and are able to use these to grab items and use tools.  They also walk on these hands like chimpanzees, but can stand up and walk like men if necessary, though they prefer the former.  They have rounded beaks like a macaw, and these beaks give them their name, as they are strong enough to crush the shells of large creatures and the armor of civilized folk.  They can also use their beaks to break bone, which they do to harm prey and enemies, as well as to get at the tasty marrow inside. 

Bone-Eater Birds are smart enough to use tools, able to construct crude weapons and armor for themselves, though only after they see other, more intelligent creatures doing the same.  They do not speak and do not understand language, but do communicate through a wide variety of calls, including clicks, whistles and screeches.  The only other thing they build are their nests.  These nests do not usually exist year round, most of the time Bone-Eater Birds live in caves, grottoes or in thick groves of trees in crude shelters.  But during mating season, males will build nests out of logs, sticks and other materials they can find, sometimes including the blood-stained garments taken from creatures they have slain.  They then decorate these nests with shiny objects, usually rocks and naturally occuring crystals, but in any place where the Bone-Eaters have been preying on civilized folk this will also include jewelry, coins and other items. 

Female Bone-Eaters will choose the male with the most shiny objects and join him inside the nest.  The more shiny objects a male has, the stronger he appears, so he will be able to obtain more females.  For this reason, Bone-Eaters become especially dangerous during the mating season, as young males range far and wide, looking for the shiniest objects to adorn their nests with.      

Statblock:

Bone-Eater Birds
HD 1d3+2
AR 1d4-1 [Fragile Bone Armor]
Atk Bone-Crushing Beak (1d8-4, ignore armor) or Crude Bone Weapon (1d6+2)
Mor (10+1 per additional Bone-Eater and +X equal to their highest AR)
Saves (7+HD) or less

Bone-Crushing Beak: The Bone-Eater's beak can crush armor and bone like it isn't there, smashing it apart.  If a Bone-Eater attacks a creature wearing Armor or with a shield successfully hits it, that armor's AR is reduced by the damage dealt.  If this damage reduces that armor's AR to 0, the armor is destroyed.  Additionally, a Bone-Eater can target a creature's limbs.  If it does, it does CON damage instead of HP damage.  Should a Bone-Eater do enough CON damage to a creature to reduce it to 0 CON, the Bone-Eater smashes that creature's bone and bites off one of that creature's limbs.  That creature will immediately begin suffering the effects of a broken bone.

Fragile Armor: Bone-Eater Bird armor is made of bones and strung together with scavenged or stolen rope, twine and leather taken from the clothing of victims.  Should the armor or a Bone-Eater wearing it take any fire damage, it falls apart.  It can also be easily cut apart by someone with an accurate cut.

Tactics:
- Charge in, gang up on a creature
- Crush armor, bite that creature's limbs off, then kill it
- Scare away the others and take the corpse back to the nest to loot and eat
- Avoid dangerous targets, but be somewhat overconfident

by
Note: This next one is a little "questionable", so if your players are not comfortable with this stuff, feel free to not include them.

Man-Snatcher Fowl

Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil - Just the worst
Languages: The Lingua Franca
Treasure: Back at it's lair, you will find wine, silk cushions and fine fabrics, expensive rugs, perfumes and scented oils and jewelry.  If it has any magic weapons, they are carried with it.  It carries the best weapons it has, anything else is sold or hidden somewhere.  You will also find elaborate restraints here, chains and shackles and collars and leashes.  Additionally, to those who know the secret of it's slime, the Fowl's slime is extremely valuable. 

Man-Snatcher Fowls are what happens when a large bird and a Demon love each other very much.  Or at least, that's what they must be.  In truth, the origin of these mysterious beasts is unknown.  No one knows what they actually come about, though most assume it definitely involves demons or evil spirits at some point.  Man-Snatchers are tall, bird-like creatures that resemble Gralei, but they are hunched and twisted, betraying their likely origin as that of a beast.  They are also much more colorful than Gralei, their plumage being lurid hues of green, pink, blue or yellow.  They wear clothes that do not impede their ability to fly, favoring thin robes they can discard or sleeveless tunics.  They are also fond of showing off their stolen wealth, adorning their clawed fingers with rings and draping themselves in belts of gold medallions.  When in dangerous situations, they wear armor, wrapping themselves in whatever bits they can get to fit their distorted bodies.

Man-Snatchers are named as they are for several reasons.  Firstly, because they have the ability to steal a man's strength, thus to "steal" his manhood.  Luckily, this theft is temporary, and any man who has his strength stolen usually has it returned.  The second, and primary reason, is that they kidnap men and carry them off, and those men are never seen again.  Most people assume those men are then killed and eaten, as those men are almost never found.  But the real reason lies in the secret of the Man-Snatcher's slime.  The green-blue sludge that these creatures can secrete transforms men into women.  Man-Snatchers use this ability to transform anything they capture into a potential bride, which is then spirited away to the Man-Snatcher's lair.

That lair will usually be in some kind of cave, but could also be in an abandoned fortress or castle, or some other ruin now occupied.  They will find it stuffed full of stolen finery, lush carpets to cover up the rotting floorboards, tapestries to keep the draft out and cover up the places where peasants took stones from the walls to build things, as well as other expensive goods.  The Man-Snatcher spares no expense for his brides, of which he has many.  He will keep most of them locked in cages or chained to the wall while he is gone, as most of them do not want to be there.

Man-Snatcher Fowls like to think of themselves as sophisticated and enlightened.  They hate to be rough with their brides, but they will, should the situation demand it.  But mostly they prefer to pretend that the "women" they have brought home are not captives, but are instead there of their own free will.  Anyone willing to entertain this notion will find them to be courteous hosts- but never forget what they truly are.  

Statblock:

Man-Snatcher Fowl
HD 1d4+2
AR 3 [Scavenged Armor]
Atk Weapon (1d6+1/1d6+1)
Mor
Saves

Flyer: Man-Snatcher Fowl can fly.  When in the air, they get +2 to AR and +4 to initiative.  They cannot hover and must continue flying in order to stay in the air.  The Man-Snatcher cannot fly if it is wearing medium or heavy armor. 

Strength Siphon: By touching a creature, a Man-Snatcher Fowl can cause that creature to take 1d6 STR damage.  This also gives that creature a -1 penalty to attacks, STR checks and saving throws.  This bonus stacks.  Meanwhile, the Man-Snatcher Fowl gets a +1 bonus to STR checks, saving throws, Attack and Defense rolls and damage per time it uses this ability.  STR damage done this way is undone when the Man-Snatcher Fowl releases the magical hex, which it can do as a free action, or when it next goes to sleep or otherwise loses consciousness.       

Womanizing Slime: As an action, a Man-Snatcher Fowl can unleash a cone of slime that drenches all creatures within 15' of it.  This slime does 2d6 DEX damage, save for half.  Those with shields can save to avoid all damage.  The slime is animated and will slowly seek to swallow up and cover any living creature it touches, doing 1d6 DEX damage to that creature per round.  The slime can be scraped off as an action, which restores 1d6 DEX, burned by hot fire, washed away by large amounts of water or destroyed by any acid, even weak ones like lemon juice.  Should a creature be reduced to 0 DEX by this slime, it covers them and forms a cocoon around them.  After a brief amount of time, the cocoon cracks and the creature within can exit the cocoon.  If the creature was a male when cocooned, it will now be transformed into a female of it's species.  If the creature was female when cocooned, it instead takes 1d6 permanent stat damage to a random stat and has that many points added to CHA (max 18(+3)).  Once used, the Man-Snatcher Fowl must wait 1d4 rounds to use Womanizing Slime again. 

The Man-Snatcher Fowl can produce slime that reverses the effect of it's ordinary slime, though it is loathe to do so. 

Tactics:
- Hit the ranged attackers at range
- Fly in, drain the melee attackers, drench them in slime, fly out
- Be as annoying as possible

To customize a Man-Snatcher Foul, roll on the tables below:

What does the Man-Snatcher protect itself with?

1d4

1- Medium Armor.  The armor grants 3 AR and is designed to be easily taken off, so the Man-Snatcher can easily take to the air. 
2- Light Armor.  The Armor grants 2 AR and the Man-Snatcher can still fly wearing it.  The armor is a tightly-woven silk garment, capable of stopping an arrow, but also flammable.
3- A shield.  Can be splintered to reduce an incoming attack's damage by 1d12, but this destroys it. 
4- A magic robe.  The robe produces an anti-magnetic field.  When activated, as a free action, any creature who approaches within 10' must save or be blown backwards 15' and knocked prone.  Creatures get a penalty to their save equal to X, where X is the amount of metal items they are carrying on their person.  The robe can function like this for 10 minutes per day, before it cannot be used.  It can also be used to levitate the user, but this draws from the same pool of time.

How does the Man-Snatcher fight?

1d6

1- With a bow and arrow.  Does 1d6+STR damage.  Besides normal arrows the Man-Snatcher also has 1d4 [1= Arrows coated in pitch, ready to be lit; 2= Arrows dipped in poisons that knock creatures out; 3= Arrows coated in halluciogens; 4= Magic Arrows.]
2- With a sling.  Does 1d6+STR damage.  Besides normal stones, the Man-Snatcher also carries 1d4 [1= Steel balls that do 1d8+STR damage, but bounce off metal armor or shields; 2= Small pots full of acid; 3= Small pots full of flammable liquid; 4= Tiny clay pots with poisonous scorpions in them.] 
3- With a wand or staff.  It is a 1d2 [1= Wand; 2= Staff,] that converts mana into 1dX [1= Acid; 2= Necrotic energy; 3= Ice; 4= Force.]
4- With a sword.  The sword is 1d3 [1= Masterwork; 2= An abused weapon that desperately needs maintenance (if cleaned it reveals itself to be a relic of another era; 3= A ceremonial sword that breaks on a "20" or a "1".]
5- With a magic ring.  The ring allows the wearer to turn his fingers into black snakes.  If the Man-Snatcher hits with an unarmed strike (d4+STR), the ring transforms his fingers into snakes and bite the target, doing 1d8 additional necrotic damage.  The Man-Snatcher can then have the snakes bit him to restore him that much HP, or he can have them bite someone else.  The ring can do this 3/Day.  The Man-Snatcher also carries a normal melee weapon.
6- With a magic weapon.  The Man-Snatcher carries a magical axe called Heartbreak that, 1/Day, if it has injured someone can drain that person's emotions, stealing their fear, sorrow or rage.  Then, whenever the wearer wishes, he can release those emotions in a blast that targets one creature- causing that creature to save or be overcome with a flood of emotion, or he can release it in a general wave, which affects everyone within 50' in a lesser way.   

Does the Man-Snatcher have any accomplices?

1d8

1- A Yith Hound.  A dog with the face of a man and a body that can transform into dark smoke.  A Folk.  Can speak but not lie.  Creepy and sorrowful, but very loyal. 
2- A Displacer Beast.  Cold-hearted, sadistic and always hungry.  Only fear of retaliation keeps it from devouring the Man-Snatcher's brides.
3- 1d10 vicious dogs.  Simple beasts, but unfriendly and always hungry.  The brides held captive there have been told the Man-Snatcher will feed them to the dogs, should he grow displeased with them.
4- An Evil Spirit (of the Land).  The Spirit has found a kindred spirit in the Man-Snatcher, who has made a pact with the Spirit.
5- 1d20+4 bandits.  They are promised brides of their own, but do not know the secret of the Man-Snatcher's women, as they are forbidden from seeing them.  Not very loyal and will abandon him should you make a better offer.
6- A Harpy.  Guards the women and unintentionally tortures them with her songs.  Those who refuse to praise her are tortured intentionally.
7- A Yagra.  Pretending to be friends with the women, though she won't let them leave, and the Man-Snatcher.  Plotting to kill the women and the Man-Snatcher when the time is right or when she gets bored.
8- 1d12 Mockeries.  The mockeries were created by a long-dead artificer and serve the Man-Snatcher as if he was that Artificer.  The Mockeries include among their ranks several Mock-Guards, a Mock-Butler, a Mock-Chef and a Mock-Dog.  If you stole the control egg, the entire household of Mockeries would be yours to command. 

by Jonathan Kuo

Cinnamon Finch and Harvester Bird

Cinnamon Finches are small red-brown birds slightly larger than normal Finches that lay delicious brown eggs.  They are considered a rare delicacy in the Equatorial lands, with birds going for impressive sums and the eggs of the same going for even larger amounts.  Many an adventurer has made a pretty penny hawking Cinnamon Finch eggs to the right buyer.  This is because of the taste, of course, but also because of how difficult it is to find such eggs.  That's not to say it is difficult to find Cinnamon Finches- in some areas, they are extremely common.  No, there are two reasons why they are difficult to find.  Firstly, the Cinnamon Finch only nests on a type of tree known for its spiny, unappetizing leaves that only grows in the middle of the sprawling grasslands.  Secondly, it's because of the Harvester Bird. 

Harvester Birds are absolutely massive beasts, the largest approaching fourty feet tall, with even smaller ones rising to twenty or more feet.  These birds rise to the same height as Giants, with many of them rising even higher.  These birds are large enough to grab a horse in their beak and break it's neck with a single quick thrash.  Harvester Birds roam the vast grasslands of the Equatorial lands, devouring large animals and drinking rivers dry.  Their name comes from their beaks, which are long and sharp as the blades of a scythe, not that such sharpness is usually necessary, as the Harvester Bird's bite is strong enough to snap most bones like dry twigs.  They are terrible beasts, possessing the strength of an elephant with the cruel savagery of a chicken.

The Cinnamon Finch and the Harvester Bird have a symbiotic relationship that is commonly known about, with flocks of the Finches resting on the Harvester Bird's back and neck.  The finches wake the Harvester Bird and alert it of danger.  Additionally, they protect the Harvester Bird's eggs from parasites that like to burrow through the shell to eat the unborn bird inside.  Meanwhile, the Harvester Bird serves as a walking deterrent for the finches and a constant source of prey for the Finches, in the form of the parasites on it's body, to the insects it stirs up when it walks somewhere.  The finches also return the favor by marking anything that threatens them or their nest with their dust, which Harvester Birds have learned to track for miles.  So if you have been marked by a Cinnamon Finch, you should immediately wash or burn the smell of yourself, as if you don't, you could very easily find that it's Harvest time.      

(Cinnamon Finch)
Number Appearing: 1d20
Alignment: True Neutral
Languages: None
Treasure: The birds are delicious if cooked properly and the eggs are valuable and tasty.

(Harvester Bird)
Number Appearing: 1 (thank the gods)
Alignment: True Neutral
Languages: None
Treasure: Shattered weapons and armor, as well as any other valuables its' last victims had

Statblock(s):

Cinnamon Finch
HD 0 - 1 HP
AR none
Atk Spice Dust
Mor 7
Saves 7 or less

Flyer: Cinnamon Finches can fly.  When in flight, this gives them +4 to AR and +10 to initiative.  They cannot hover. 

Spice Dust: The Cinnamon Finch can, by flying over a creature, sprinkle in fine powder that gives off an extremely strong smell.  Additionally, any creature sprinkled in this powder must save or lose as an action as he starts sneezing furiously.  The dust can be burned- but it causes a creature to take +1 fire damage per time they have been hit with Spice Dust. 

Tactics:
- Sprinkle a creature in Spice Dust
- Fly away

Harvester Bird
HD 8
AR 3 [Natural Armor]
Atk Beak (1d12) + Claw (1d8+2)
Mor 15
Saves 13 or less

Great Jaws: If a Harvester Bird bites a creature, that creature is automatically grappled.  The Harvester Bird can then, by sacrificing it's beak attack on its turn, do 1d8 damage to that creature on it's turn.  If the Harvester Bird is injured on the turn immediately preceding it's own, the creature caught in its mouth has advantage on it's STR check to break the grapple and escape.

Giant Creature: The Harvester Bird has a STR of 19(+4) and gets a +2 bonus to all STR checks made against a Medium creature, such as in an opposing grapple check, but -2 to any DEX checks or saves against an ability from a Medium creature. 

Tactics:
- Grab the biggest or strongest looking creature, grab and shake
- Throw them, pick up the next strongest, repeat as necessary
- Wait until they run away then eat the slain 

by Jonathan Hunt

Rocs

Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: True Neutral
Languages: None
Treasure: Roc Eggs are an extremely rare and expensive delicacy, and many of their body parts are valuable to alchemists and Sages.  Their talons also can be used to make extremely dangerous weapons and their egg shells can be made into light armor if you know how.

Stone-Crest Eagles are large birds that prey upon other birds, fish, monkeys and basically anything else they can kill.  They hatch from black and white spotted eggs and their parents are known to mate for life, with most only taking another mate if the other dies.  There is little notable about these Eagles except for a single obscure fact- Stone-Crest Eagles never, ever stop growing.  Additionally, these remarkable birds do not age. 

As such, though they start the size of normal eagles, Stone-Crest Eagles will keep growing.  After 5 years, they are the largest type of Eagle in the world.  After ten, they are the size of horses and easily able to abduct humans.  At 20 years, they stop eating humans because they aren't worth the effort, moving on to cows, horses and wildebeest.  At 30 years, they gobble down entire herds of wild horses and cast long shadows with their wings.  At 50 years, Rocs snatch Elephants like rabbits and duel with Dragons for control of mountain ranges. 

The oldest known Roc is believed to be the one that accompanied the Raging Dawn* Druid Circle who waged war on the Persimmon Teacup Confederation in the lands of the Handsome Men for 40 years, before eventually being hunted down and killed by a coalition of forces that included warriors from the nearby Mohraji Desert, the Free Cities of the Bathwater [Sea] and hundreds of Handsome Men households, including two Perfect Princes.  That Druid Circle had a Roc which the Archdruid had protected when it was an egg, and it is believed to have been at least 90 years ago.  That Roc, known as Blackwing, blocked out the sun when it flew by and fed almost exclusively on giant sharks, whales and wurms.

Finally, one other note.  Rocs, or Stone-Crest Eagles, become sexually mature at 2 years and lay eggs once a year, assuming a mated pair.  And they never stop.  Stone-Crest Eagles lay eggs once a year, no matter what size they are.  And their eggs are proportional.  An egg laid by a three year old Stone-Crest is the size of a normal eagle.  One laid by a seven year old eagle is the size of a watermelon, one laid by a 15 year old eagle is as big as a man in the fetal position and a 24 year old Roc's Egg is as big as a pony and weighs about as much.  It is said that the bigger the egg, the better it tastes, with stone-crest eggs being sour and Roc eggs being the nectar of the Gods, but it's not like that's a common opinion, as very few people have ever eaten Roc eggs and lived to tell about it.  Many people will claim to have eaten Roc eggs, especially adventurers, but most of those people are probably pulling your leg.

Also, as the eagles grow, their body parts become more and more saturated with mana.  When they are just normal eagles, they are essentially indistinguishable from others, but as they grow their body parts become more charged.  Many parts of a Roc's body would be valuable to an alchemist or a Sage, their talons and beaks can be used to make weapons and even the discarded shells their young hatch from can be easily made into light, magical armor.    

Statblock:

Roc
HD 1d20
AR Varies, see below
Atk Varies, see below
Mor 5+HD (max 17)
Saves (7+HD) or less (max 15)

Flyer: Rocs can fly.  When in the air, they get +2 AR and +4 to initiative, unless they have 8 or more HD.  At that point, they do not receive an AR bonus from flying.

Great Claws: If a Roc successfully hits a creature with a Claw attack, that creature is automatically grappled.

Swallow: If a Roc has 8 or more HD and has a creature grappled, it can attempt to swallow that creature.  That creature may make a STR check against the Roc's STR check or he may make a DEX check with disadvantage.  On a failed check, that creature is swallowed whole.  Swallowed creatures are blinded and grappled and cannot do anything that requires large or precise movements.  They also take 1d6 acid damage a round.  If the Roc takes 10 or more damage as the result of an attack, the Roc must save.  On a failed save, the Roc spits up the creature it swallowed.  Rocs can also choose to spit up creatures as a free action on their turns. 

Fear of Storms: The only thing Rocs fear besides Dragons and Sphinxes is lightning.  As such, when faced with lightning or if it hears a large boom that could be mistaken for thunder, Rocs must immediately check morale with disadvantage.  The only time they won't is when defending a mate, their nest or their eggs. 

Tactics:
- Ignore any creature much smaller than you unless it is very annoying
- Pick someone up, fly up high, drop them
- If that doesn't work, hit them with your claws
- Don't fear anything much smaller than you, unless it has magical powers or starts throwing around lightning

To determine a Roc's strength, consult the table below:

How big is it?


1-3 HD: Big as a man.  AR 0.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d8).
4-7: Big as a pony.  AR 1.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d8) + (1d6+2).
8-12: Big as an elephant.  AR 1.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d10) + (1d8+1).
13-15: Big as an house.  AR 2.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d10) + (1d8+2).
16-17: Big as a church.  AR 2.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d12) + (1d10).
18: Big as a 3-story building.  AR 3.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d12) + (1d10+2).
19: Big as a 5-story building.  AR 4.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d20) + (1d12+2).
20: Big as a seven-story building.  AR 5.  Atk Beak and Claws (1d20+2/1d20+2).

by Scrap Princess

Bedlam Birds

Number Appearing: 2d6+2
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca, plus they are talented mimics
Treasure: The only treasure they have is the satisfaction you'll feel when you kill them.

The worst creatures that have ever dared to exist.  Bedlam Birds are small birds, about the size of turkeys, who hop and scamper along.  Their beaks are long and pointed, covered in a triangular pattern that makes it look like they are constantly leering at you, with these smug grins on their faces.  Their plumage is black and grey, and usually splattered with filth.  They are clumsy fliers, but move quickly and stealthily along the ground.  They also have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs, with which they can inject a poison that causes both agonizing pain and induces psychosis in those who are exposed to enough of it. 

Bedlam Birds are intelligent and utterly sadistic.  They love to torture creatures, springing along with black mirth in their hearts.  They will isolate lone travelers, calling to them in fake voices, asking them for help, yelling insults and finally mimicking the traveler's voice, throwing his own cries for mercy back at him.  They will break into farms at the edges of villages, drive the parents insane and leave the children to fend for themselves.  When the children try to flee, the Bedlam Birds then pounce and kill them too.  They love to target the vulnerable, such as those traumatized by war or tormented by evil spirits.  They roam shanty-towns at the dead of night, seeking victims.

Bedlam Birds have the amazing ability to be able to detect when someone is observing them, no matter how far away that person is.  As such, they are amazing at sneaking around.  They maintain stealth for as long as possible, only letting themselves be seen by those who will not be believed.  They seek to drive their prey to the point of madness, making them crazy with fear.  They use their ability to mimic voices to torment and confuse opponents and then go in for the kill.

Everyone hates Bedlam Birds.  Genocides and wars have been halted because a nest of Bedlam Birds has been discovered, or a Malignity of them has been found taking advantage of the chaos.  The birds are utterly despicable.  The only good thing Bedlam Birds do is that they refuse to aid even the fellow slaves of darkness.  They will sometimes do what asked when ordered to, under penalty of death, but refuse in all other circumstances, unless they plan to cooperate and betray their target later, as a joke.  They will do anything to survive.  They are humble creatures, willing to denigrate themselves, to say and do anything in order to live.  Do not trust a word from their beaks.

The only creature Bedlam Birds can tolerate are each other, everything else is regarded as a target for sadistic fun.  As such, whenever they are found, people try their best to exterminate them.  Yet somehow, no matter how many of them we kill, they still exist.  And perhaps that is their worst crime.       

Statblock:

Bedlam Bird
HD 1
AR none
Atk Poison Spurs (1d4 + 1d6 COG)
Mor 11
Saves 7 or less

Poison Spurs: Exposure to the Bedlam Bird's poison does damage to the mind.  If the COG damage from the poison reduces a creature to 0 COG, that creature goes permanently insane.  Only a powerful antidote or magical healing involving 3 or more MD can purge the poison from the system and restore the target's sanity.

Sense Attention: Bedlam Birds can sense when someone is looking at them or listening to them, no matter how well concealed that creature is.

Sneaky: Bedlam Birds get +2 to all stealth checks, or +4 in low-light conditions.

Mimicry: Bedlam Birds can mimic any sound they have heard- from the voices or calls of other creatures to other sounds, such as the rasp of metal on leather or that of a bowstring being pulled back.  If you succeed on a COG save or check, you might be able to determine the sound comes from a different source.

Tactics:
- Let themselves be seen by children and old people who will not be believed
- Drive one insane and leave them for the others
- Maintain stealth for as long as possible
- Lie about everything
- Do anything to live
- Be horrible, horrible, horrible things

artist unknown

No comments:

Post a Comment