Monday, April 26, 2021

OSR: Quaggoths


from D&D 4E
HD 1
AR 1 [Natural Armor]
Atk Fist or Melee Weapon (1d6+2) or Thrown Weapon (1d4+1)
Mor 14
Saves 7 or less

Sneaky: Quaggoths get +2 to all stealth checks, unless they are somehow impaired from moving with their usual agility or something else is preventing them from hiding as well as they normally do.

Strongarm: Quaggoths have a STR of 16(+2).  They add this bonus to all checks made to climb, grapple or do anything relating to strength.  If a Quaggoth grapples a creature and succeeds on a STR contest against that creature, the Quaggoth can smash the creature into a tree, wall or the ground, automatically doing 1d6 damage to that creature.  Alternatively, a Quaggoth can dislocate a creature's limb after succeeding on a STR contest.  This limb is rendered useless until someone succeeds on a COG check to put the limb back in its normal place. 

Horrible Howl: Quaggoths can pound their chests and unleash loud cries which echo for miles.  If a Quaggoth is in danger or needs reinforcements, it will unleash one of these cries, which will signal to other nearby Quaggoths that someone needs help.

- Sneak up on a target if possible
- Attack in a rush of fists
- Use 'Strongarm' against well armored enemies
- Have courage and never surrender

Of all the Savage Races, the Quaggoths might be the ones that have fallen the lowest.  They are a race of borderline feral, degenerated predators who live primarily in deep jungles and underground caves.  Though largely forgotten by history, they live on in dark tales by travelers and merchants alike, who tell of the remains they leave behind and the gruesome tokens they build to mark their territory.

Quaggoths are enormous, simian creatures, resembling the great apes in terms of stature.  They walk on their knuckles, loping along at all fours.  They can stand up on two legs, but only do so for short periods of time or when required.  They have three-fingered hands with opposable thumbs and covered in thick fur.  Forest Quaggoths tend to have fur of a light, tawny brown, sometimes speckled with dark spots.  Cave Quaggoths tend to have light-colored or white fur.  Their foreheads are sloping and they have pronounced lips and extended muzzles.  When angered, you will hear them beat their chests or pound their tools on the ground and see their enormous fangs flash. 

In terms of strength and agility, Quaggoths are powerful creatures.  On all fours, they can move quite quickly and in short bursts, can catch prey much faster than themselves- though they cannot maintain such speeds for long.  Should a deer or elk escape from their initial charge, the Quaggoths likely won't be able to catch it.  Their strength is also nothing to sneeze at- Quaggoths possess powerful grips and sufficient muscular strength that they can easily break bones and dislocated limbs.  The primary way they fight is grabbing a creature and slamming it into something hard, such as the ground, before pouncing on it and smashing it with both fists until it can't move.

Quaggoths do not usually use weapons- they often do not have need for them.  But when they do, these weapons are excessively primitive, usually bones sharpened into points, stone handaxes or simple stone hammers held in the hand.  Quaggoth's primary ranged weapons are these stones, or rabbit sticks which they use to primarily catch small game they cannot chase down.  

Quaggoths are also known to throw their own feces at creatures, which they use to drive away creatures they don't feel like they can fight, usually a superior predator such as Wyvern, Manticore or Dragon.  A lone Quaggoth might also do this to mark something as prey, by leaving a scent that can be easily tracked by other Quaggoths.

Quaggoths can be very sneaky, they approach their prey by stealth, creeping along and surrounding their prey, before launching a sudden and violent assault.  However, stealth is not their only option.  If they cannot sneak up on an opponent or are seen, they scream and charge en-masse, a thundering wave of muscule and fur that drags down any foe and rips them to shreds.  

from D&D 2E

Quaggoth "Society":

Quaggoths normally live in tribes of 50 to 200 hundred individuals.  These tribes are excessively primitive, practicing no agriculture, using only the simplest of stone tools and building no shelters for themselves, with the exception of simple wooden lean-tos in the forest.  Most Quaggoths prefer to live in caves.  Some tribes use fire, but some have forgotten how to do even this.  Even if they do have fire, however, they tend to sleep together in big piles, with smaller members cuddling with larger ones. 

Quaggoth tribes are generally lead by the Alpha, who is the strongest and largest male.  The Alpha rules through fear, and not just the fear he incites in his rivals, but also through fear of the outside world.  A successful Alpha will continually remind his tribe of the dangers of the outside world, and how he protects them.  These Alphas work closely with the Thonot, a Quaggoth word that means "Wise".

Quaggoth Alpha:

As Quaggoth, but +2 HD and +1 AR.
His attacks do 1d8+2 damage.
He also gains the following ability:

Thundering Bellow: When a Quaggoth Alpha roars in the presence of non-Quaggoths, or Quaggoths not of his tribe, those creatures must save.  Creatures who have been badly injured, taken a Horrible Wound or watched a companion take the same make their save with disadvantage.  On a failed save, those creatures become frightened and take 1d6 COG damage a round they are still in combat with the Quaggoth Alpha.  If this COG damage reduces a creature to 0 COG, that creature flees in terror and gains the Conviction, "I am terrified of the Quaggoths and will not return to their territory unless I absolutely have to."  Once a creature has been sufficiently separated from the Quaggoth Alpha, COG damage repairs itself at a rate of 1 point per day.

- Make a sneak attack
- Use 'Thundering Bellow'
- Attack those who refuse to flee or look vulnerable
- Fight to drive the enemy off, not necessarily to kill

To customize a Quaggoth Alpha, roll on the table below:

What makes this Alpha special?


1- Throwing ability.  This Alpha has a talent for throwing things.  When he throws a throwable weapon, such as a rock, it does 1d6+1 damage.
2- Abnormal Strength.  This Alpha is powerfully built and towers over his brethren.  He automatically grapples on a hit, and has a STR of 18(+3).
3- Scarred Hide.  This Alpha is marked by scars from many victories.  He has AR 3.
4- Predator's Cunning.  The Alpha can identify a creature's strength (HD, AR, attack bonus) with one look.  This Alpha prefers to lure weaker creatures into traps and then pounce.
5- Blood-Thirst.  The Alpha has a taste for battle.  As an action, the Alpha can fly into a rage.  While raging, the Alpha takes half damage from non-magical weapons.  The Alpha must attack each round, if he doesn't, he stops raging.  He can also end the rage by himself as a free action.  When the Alpha stops raging, he gets -4 to attacks until he can rest for at least 10 minutes.
6- Huntsman.  The Alpha is extremely good at tracking prey and has a +4 to any roll made to find traces of creatures, such as footprints, spilled blood, residual scents, etc.  This Alpha prefers to track his prey over long distances, attacking them several times to deny them rest and weaken them before going in for the kill.

from D&D 1E

The Thonot is the medicine man, the shaman, and often, the keeper of the Tribe's history.  Since Quaggoths have no writing, their histories only extend to the grandparents of the living generation.  Anything before that is lost to the abyss of time.  They largely believe the world is new, only a couple of generations older than they are.  The idea of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years is utterly inconceivable to them.

Quaggoths also believe the world is a terrifying, dangerous place.  There are only three types of creatures in the Quaggoth's world.  There are animals, which are food.  This includes fish, birds, deer, and anything else the Quaggoths can catch and eat.  Some animals are too powerful to easily eat, but they are still clearly animals.  A bear is still an animal, even if it can kill a Quaggoth with relative ease.  Then there are the Quaggoths themselves- they call themselves "Dohua", which means people.  They consider themselves the only race, the only sentient creatures in the world. 

The only other type of creature in the Quaggoth world are the Spirits.  Spirits take many forms to them, from immaterial and ethereal to much more solid.  Most of the time the Spirits lurk unseen, deciding everything.  Quaggoths live in fear of the vengeance of the Spirits, and sing hymns and make sacrifices to them to appease them.  To them, Spirits are not good or evil, but mercurial and unpredictable- sometimes they help, and sometimes they harm.  A Thonot's duty is to interpret the will of the Spirits and advise the Alpha on what is to be done to appease them.

Sometimes, however, the Spirits take other forms.  They clothe themselves in flesh and walk through the Quaggoth's territory, carrying glittering tools and clothing themselves in strange, soft materials that do not seem to come from any plant the Quaggoths can recognize.  Some of these Spirits are large and powerful, more like great animals, while others are smaller than even the Quaggoths.  

But many of these spirits, despite their unassuming size, wield terrible power.  As such, when Spirits of this kind are discovered, the Quaggoths immediately report it to the Thonot.  The Thonot will then withdraw and consult with the Spirits, to find out what is to be done about these strangers.

What Spirit watches over this Tribe?  And what do they advise?


1- A Nature Spirit.  Wild and savage creatures who despise civilization.  They order the Quaggoths to destroy the intruders, as they are bad spirits who will bring corruption and death upon the Quaggoths.
2- Ancestral Ghosts.  The ancient dead, they order the Quaggoths to keep an eye on these strangers, but not to risk the safety of the tribe and fight only if necessary.  These ancestors know the true danger that such flesh-clad spirits can pose.
3- A Benevolent Spirit.  This Spirit cares for the Quaggoths and will warn them to stay away from these strangers, who are a definite danger to them. 
4- A Chaos Spirit.  This Spirit may only care about itself, or it may admire the Quaggoths for the freedom they have that more civilized folk lack.  As such, it tells them to 1dX [1= Kill the intruders and sacrifice them; 2= If the intruders threaten their territory or steal their game, attack and eat them; 3= To avoid the intruders; 4= To steal the intruder's tools and destroy them, as they are an insult to the Spirit.]
5- A Law Spirit.  This Spirit admires the Quaggoth's primitive, orderly society, free of restrictions and united through purpose.  This Spirit seeks to maintain the Quaggoth society in a form of stasis, and will do whatever it can to prevent change from occurring to the tribe.  It will protect and coddle the tribe to keep them from developing.
6- An Evil Spirit.  This Spirit found the Quaggoths and intends to use them for its own purposes.  It will probably pretend to be benevolent, but views the Quaggoths only as tools. 

Quaggoth Thonot:

As Quaggoth, but +1 HD.
He also gains the following ability:

Spirit Pact: The Thonot has made a pact with a Spirit, exchanging service for power.  Depending on what Spirits watch over a Tribe, the Quaggoth Thonot might have a number of possible magical abilities.  To see what ability the Thonot might have gained, roll on the table below.

- As normal Quaggoth, but varies depending on the Spirit Pact the Thonot made

To customize a Quaggoth Thonot, roll on the table below:

What pact did the Thonot make?


1- In exchange for being able to transform one hand into a giant crab claw that can snip off fingers and cut through spear shafts with ease (1d8 sharp), the Thonot murdered and cannibalized a dear friend.
2- In exchange for being able to, 1/Day, erect walls of earth 10' tall and up to 20' long, the Thonot sneaks into a town once a year to steal a brick or stone used to build a house.
3- In exchange for being able to create balls of fire that do 1d6 damage, the Thonot horribly scarred himself with fire.
4- In exchange for being able to create clouds of near-impenetrable darkness (30' long by up to 30' wide by 10' high) 1/Day, the Thonot sacrifices a small animal every full moon.
5- In exchange for being able to turn invisible, the Thonot told the Spirit his secret name (thus giving it power over him).
6- In exchange for being able to speak the languages of the birds of the air, beasts of the field and the crawling things, the Thonot gave up his ability to call loud enough to be heard by his brethren.  If he is ever alone, he will not be able to call for help.
7- In exchange for being able to control wild plants, the Thonot regularly hunts down and kills lawful creatures, offering them as human sacrifices.
8- In exchange for being able to call down a Spirit to come to the aid of the tribe, the Thonot pledged half his life each time he calls the Spirit.

Thonots are also known to receive prophetic dreams full of omens.  These dreams reveal information about the past, present and future.  Sometimes they are full of dire warnings, such as of the invasion of a rival tribe of primitives, of the arrival of strange spirits from beyond the edge of the world, of the coming shortage of prey- but sometimes they also reveal events from the past, such as how the previous Thonot died or how to protect against something the current Tribesmen have forgotten.  

But sometimes, the Thonot is plagued by bizarre nightmares where he sees Quaggoths like himself walking about, their fur elegant and groomed, covered in wrappings made of colorful leaves from some enormous plant.  These Quaggoths speak a tongue he does not know and command powers he cannot imagine.  They live in great stone houses or caves full of glittering crystals, with soft floors made of fur and hot like the insides of some terrible beast.  These dreams confuse him and the Thonot always wakes in a fright, unable to comprehend what he has seen.

artist unknown
Quaggoth Plot Hooks:


1- A group of miners recently discovered a cave network while looking for new veins to mine.  In this cave they discovered large amounts of silver and jewels.  But shortly thereafter, the next crew of miners that went to explore the caves and scout for minerals failed to return.  The search party that was sent after them only found a pool of fresh blood outside the entrance to the caves, before they lost their nerve to go on.  Go and rescue the miners, please, before the Quaggoths eat them.
2- The party is seeking the entrance to a tomb, said to be filled with the riches of a long-vanished kingdom.  But while traveling through the wilderness when a Spirit appears before them and tells them to take an alternate route, as the valley they are heading through is inhabited by dangerous creatures who will harm them.  The Spirit tells them there is another entrance nearby, but it is in the territory of a powerful monster, such as a Chimera or a Cyclops.  If the players ignore the warnings of the Spirit, they risk running into the tribe of Quaggoths which calls the valley home. 
3- The circus is in town, and it has a new creature for the freakshow, an Ape-man!  This creature resembles an Ape, but is strange in appearance.  Come see it for only 2 imperial coppers!  However, unbeknowest to the owner of the circus, the Ape-man he has captured is a Quaggoth, and a group of warriors from that tribe are stealthily pursuing the circus, waiting for the right chance to free their kinsmen and wreak bloody revenge upon the kidnapper.
4- An evil spirit in disguise appears to an important man in town and tells him that it needs him to do something such as reclaim a lost ruin for civilization.  However, this is actually a trap, as that ruin is within Quaggoth territory.  The Spirit will warn the Quaggoths of what is coming, and they will be waiting for any expedition that comes.
5- As above, but the Spirit is only trying to incite conflict and doesn't care if the Quaggoth wins.  Alternatively, the Spirit may want something from either the Quaggoths or the civilized folk, and the conflict it is inciting is just a ruse to cover up the Spirit's true agenda.
6- An important person was supposed to arrive by ship, but then a storm came through and the ship never arrived.  You are hired to go out to sea and see if the person is alive, and if not, to return with proof they died.  Your patron hired a captain and chartered a ship, and the captain thinks the best place to look is near a small island chain that is often used as a way-point by sailors.  Most of the islands are largely uninhabited, except for the tribe of Quaggoths who live in the hills.  Whenever castaways come to this island, the Quaggoths descend from the hills to abduct them, before offering them as sacrifices to their bloody Gods and then eating them.  The person you are looking for may be running loose on the island, but will soon be captured and if not rescued, sacrificed and eaten.    

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