Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monstrous Monday Addendum: Necropolis Spearhound

Here's one for the adversarial GM in us all.  It's going to suck for the players.


Hit Dice:  5+5
Armor Class:  15
Attacks:  1 spear (1d8+3)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Wounding spear, telepathic harassment, tracking, prey scent, immune to spells that affect the mind, cause sleep, and charms
Movement:  12
Challenge Level/XP:  8/800

The Necropolis of Voor is many things.  It is a dungeon, a mountain, and a grave site for the extinct Voori people.  Rumors of vast wealth and forgotten knowledge draw adventurers and treasure-seekers from far and wide, but very few ever make it out of the mountain's depths alive.  This is because the Necropolis seems to "awaken" to intrusion, becoming more and more deadly the closer adventurers come to its heart.  Truly, it is semi-sentient and insidious, and has the power to raise the dead and put them to its defense, a power given to it long ago by the sorcerers of Voor to protect their honored dead.

When something important is taken from the mountain, or interlopers who manage to escape with their lives remain too near the Necropolis after they leave its depths, the spearhounds, who appear much as any skeletal undead, are dispatched to retrieve the stolen items and capture or kill those who entered Voor without permission.  Killed and captured treasure-seekers are always returned to the depths of the Necropolis to become part of its retinue of undead guardians, becoming spearhounds themselves if they are destroyed by the horrible sickness the spears of these creatures inflict.

When the victim of a spearhound is wounded by its spear, which is fashioned of one piece of black iron, the wound is immediately more painful than it should be, bestowing a cold, stinging sensation under the typical pain of a normal spear wound.  This is the beginning of the curse the wounds inflicted by one of these spears carry.  The wound cannot be healed by normal or magical means while the spearhound who inflicted it still lives, and if the initial encounter is not immediately fatal and escape is managed, there is a 50% chance each day that the wound grows worse, inflicting another 1d8+3 points of damage that cannot be healed if the spearhound is not destroyed.  After its destruction the wound is free of the curse and can be healed.  If the character dies because of this wound, he will rise as a spearhound himself in 1d6 days, during which he will rot at an exponential pace and he cannot be brought back to life by other means.

While a character is cursed by the spearhound's wound, the spearhound haunts his mind by telepathy, made possible by the curse of the wound.  Visions of decay, death, and the hound itself haunt the character randomly and will be of a highly disturbing nature.  This activity will manifest 1d4 hours after escaping from a spearhound, and is represented in game terms as a -2 to all saving throws that would normally be modified by Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.  This limited telepathy does not allow the spearhound to determine where the victim is hiding or how hurt he is, but it will know if the victim dies.

Escaping the spearhounds will not be easy for their victim.  They are able to track their quarry, much like a ranger, with a 95% chance of success day-to-day (only one roll is necessary per day for them to stay on the trail).  They are also able, while a character is under their curse, to detect them by scent at a range of 200 feet.  They can pinpoint the scent to within 20 feet of where the character is hiding.

Destroying the spearhound who inflicted the cursed wound will free anyone who is afflicted by it, and all telepathic harassment will cease.  No character may be cursed by more than one spearhound at a time, although his pursuit may be carried out by several spearhounds working as a unit.  Note that to anyone but a spearhound, the black iron spears are simply regular weapons and cannot be used in the same way by a character.

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