Beastmen

Beastmen come in many shapes and sizes; their chaotic nature means they are of an almost infite variety. There are some larger and slightly more homogenous groups, however, and these have been given names by the human tribes which are still in common usage. All beastmen are aligned with Chaos; a few very rare number of outcasts or isolated communities may control their beastial natures and act in more civilized manners, but their allegiance is in their blood and not so easily removed.

COMMON BEASTMEN
NAME #ATT LEVEL MOVE SIZE NUMBER TREASURE TYPICAL EQUIPMENT
Brood 1 1 50′ S 2-12 B/I Hand Weapon OR spear, bow (1/2) OR shield
Bray 1 2 40′ M 2-8 B/II Hand Weapon & shield OR Great Weapon, hides (+1)
Bray, shaman 1 3 40′ M 1 B/II Spear, hides (+1)
Bray, chief 1 5 40′ M 1 B/III Great Weapon, hides (+1) (or magic items)
Taurun 2 5 40′ L 1-3 B/II

BROOD are minor beastmen, often very twisted by their bestial parts, hunched and perverted and with limited intellect. They are easily dominated by the larger Bray and are seldom found alone. They are little more than slaves in Beastman society, and their morale is terrible; if their Bray leaders fall, they are sure to scatter. The Brood in a single area typically display the same animal traits (see below) which might modify their statistics and abilities slightly.

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BRAY are the powerful warrior caste among the Beastmen. They are the same species as Brood, but their chaotic and bestial nature is more pure leaving them taller, stronger and smarter, with an intellect approaching that of a human. Bray are lazy and boorish creatures, but fierce warriors who often lead raids into human lands to steal cattle, abduct fair young men or women or to simply kill and burn in the name of their Dragon gods. The Bray in a given area are usually of the same animalistic nature as each other, but not always, and frequently Bray of one animal nature dominate Brood of an entirely different one.

BRAY SHAMANS are devoted to worship of the Old Dragons, a practice almost unheard of among the other intelligent races. It is unclear if and how these dragons can answer prayers in a meaningful way; these shamans do use magic, but it appears to be of a sorcerous nature. They have all the powers of a 3rd level Magician with 5 randomly determined spells.

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BRAY CHIEFS are the warlords and chieftains of their people; very few of these creatures remain alive, but at this power these beings do not appear to age normally and thus some of them have been around for a very long time (these ancient individuals should be granted anywhere from 1-3 additional levels). Many of them carry magical treasures or wield magical weapons (as per the treasure rules, they are apt enough to use any items they possess not specifically restricted to Magicians).

TAURUN are rare among the beastmen; an individual whose nature is so powerful it makes them grow to a huge size (around 12′ tall is the norm, but this varies widely). Unfortunately, most higher intellectual function shrinks with it, and these beasts remain among their lesser brethren serving as laborers and bodyguards. They attack twice in combat, using huge fists, horns, beaks, claws or whichever natural weaponry their chaotic nature has bestowed them with.

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ANIMAL NATURE

Beastmen are hybrids of men and beast, in essence; their chaotic nature means they are both less and more than that, and they are able to breed amongst themselves indiscriminately as well as breeding true with humans and sometimes even with animals. In an area, tribe or clan of these creatures, one or possibly two traits usually hold sway due to inbreeding and natural selection based on the environment. Below are some examples, although many more possibilities exist.

BEASTMEN ANIMAL NATURE
2D6 ANIMAL NOTES
2 Snake 1/3 poison bite (D6)
3 Lizard Swim, skin as Leather
4 Sheep
5 Rodent One size-category smaller
6 Feline Dexterity
7 Goat
8 Dog Constitution and tracking
9 Elk Movement +10′
10 Cattle Skin as Leather
11 Bird Wings and flight
12 Bear One size-category larger
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Item breakage in Pits & Perils

I like resource management; I think that’s been made fairly obvious on this blog (consider for example the latest post about Hits in P&P). So far, however, I’ve not included item breakage; I didn’t find a system I found suitable since I want things to move fast at the table when the dice are rolling. Now, however, I think I finally got the formula about right, at least for Pits & Perils and its 2D6 mechanics.

As usual, there’s a lot of inspiration here from a number of seriously good blogs (in this case, check out Last Gasp Grimoire’s rules section and also Necropraxis). These systems are also thought-out for a D20 game, which may suit many of you better.

Now, on to the mechanics. Very much intentionally, they build upon using rolls already being made in the system; this has been a requirement from the get-go. Adding “durability rolls” was something I really wanted to steer clear of, especially in the middle of combat. Also, note that these are not limited to weapons and armor; any reusable tools can break, like a crowbar, lock picks or a rope.

BREAKAGE

Breakage is the term for when an item’s quality worsens by one step. This occurs when the item is used and a natural “2” is rolled (snake eyes). If the item is FRAGILE (in my game, this is a property given to improvised weapons, most spears and clubs and some similar items), then this range is increased by one to a natural 2-3. If the item is of POOR quality (see below), the same thing occurs, and thus an item where both these factors are true will suffer a further deterioration on a roll of 2-4.

For armor and other passively used items, breakage occurs in a slightly different way; the breakage range is reversed. Thus, if a creature wearing armor is attacked with a roll of a natural 12, the quality of that armor is reduced by one step. Otherwise, the process is identical. When using a shield AND wearing armor, the affected character chooses which item is reduced in quality unless he/she has an item which is fragile or in POOR condition; in that case, the increased breakage range is applied and that item must be chosen to deteriorate.

QUALITY

The quality of an item is broken down into four levels.

QUALITY DESCRIPTION
High Of superior workmanship, magical item.
Normal Standard, undamaged item.
Poor Worn, damaged, bent, bad workmanship. +1 to Breakage range.
Broken Useless, reduced to pieces. Repair or reforging may be possible (GM’s call).

REPAIRING

Repairing an item up to its original quality (improving quality generally is a more complicated matter, usually handled best by buying a new item) is a Non-combat action which requires the right skill or access to a blacksmith, clothier or similar NPC which will normally be considered skilled at the process. The exakt time requirement, difficulty and cost is outlined below.

QUALITY REQUIREMENTS
FROM TO TOOLS TIME MATERIALS
Broken Poor Workshop or smithy Days/weeks 1/10 of item’s value
Poor Normal Craft tools Turns/hours (camp) Normally none
Normal High Workshop or smithy Hours/days 1%%/100 of item’s value

For magical items, the requirements would probably be more complicated; so far, the situation hasn’t arisen, but I think having a Magician’s workshop becomes an additional requirement as per above, and there would probably be an additional fee to pay for his/her help.