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.

Hit Points (once again)

The discussion about Hit Points seems to be never ending among those of us who play D&D; are they stamina, luck, injuries, skill? I’m not too worried with the discussion, actually; they are a resource which wards off death, and although that might sound dry that suffices for me as a GM. I do not, however, like all aspects of how that resource is managed. The all-or-nothing approach of most D&D versions is simple, but adds little of interest to managing wounds and risk. I’ve toyed with other versions, but so far I’ve been very hesitant because most solutions add complexity to combat, which (although fairly simple in LotFP) tends to be the most mechanical part of the game.

Then I started reading up on and planning a campaign in Pits & Perils, and the match with my concept system was suddenly far better! The lower amount of Hit Points (or simply Hits, here) makes the math work much better, at least to me. Most concepts in this system would probably work with D&D as well, though. I went ahead and included rules for being Felled (struck down to zero Hits or below); I myself don’t mind making that mean certain death, but my players are soft this way…

So, here goes; my system. This is how it has been used so far in my Pits & Perils game, which does not mean any in-depth playtesting, but my players have been very positive. Any commentary on my side is done in italics.

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Hits versus Wounds

If a character rests after having lost a number of Hits, she will be able to recover from half of them. The remainder, however, are converted into Wounds. These are more long-lasting injuries, exhaustion and other ailments that will not be cured by a simple rest. For game purposes, resting a Turn (10 rounds) without interruption allows a character to remove all Hits suffered. However, half of these Hits (rounded down) are converted into Wounds. These Wounds are noted alongside Hits suffered on the character sheet, and for all intents and purposes count as damage in the same way as Hits do; they are only different in matters of recovery, as they are not affected by a simple rest.

This does add complexity, and tracking two numbers. The benefit is that any calculations are done after combat, not while combat is happening. Also, the math is pretty simple. And yes, it’s possible to “game” this system by resting only when you’ve suffered an odd number of Hits; that’s intentional, and also slightly risky.

Recovering Wounds

A character will recover 1 Wound from a full night’s uninterrupted rest. For this to be possible on the road, the camp must be well set by a competent Outdoorsman. If a character rests a full day in a bed or in similar environs (a wilderness camp will not do for these purposes), 2 Wounds can be recovered per day. These recovery rates assume that a full ration can be consumed and that water is available. A spellcaster’s HEAL spell will cure Wounds, but will always first cure any suffered Hits (thus making magical healing more effective if used in the calm after a fight, although that is not always a tactical option).

This recovery rate is fairly quick, because I like it that way, but it could be tweaked to be far worse for a realistic approach, especially if you’re not going to use the Injury rules below.

Death and dismemberment

For any but the most important NPCs or monsters, suffering damage from Hits and/or Wounds totaling more than your Total Hits means death. For PCs, and possibly key persona as determined by the GM, this need not be the case; they are simply Felled. A character which is Felled is out of the action completely for the duration of the encounter. If her companions flee or retreat, then she is at the mercy of the enemy and may or may not be revived (usually, she will instead be eaten). Otherwise, a character can be revived once the immediate danger is over, which takes one Turn. A notable exception is if the character is slain by immolation, disintegration or other similarly destructive means (at the GM’s adjudication) or if the damage was too severe (beyond 3 more than Total Hits).

When a character is revived, she must roll 2D6 on the Felled table below to determine her fate. She must deduct one from her roll for each point of damage she has suffered beyond her Total Hits (if any). If revived using magical healing, she modifies the roll with the difference between her total damage and her Total Hits after the spell has taken effect (positive or negative).

Now, these rules do add complexity, although once again only outside of combat. They can also serve to make magical healing or a Cleric even more important; whether that is a good or bad thing.

FELLED TABLE
2D6 RESULT
-5 Slain
6-7 Dismemberment
8 Grievous injury (4 IP)
9 Severe injury (3 IP)
10 Bad injury (2 IP)
11 Fleshwound (1 IP)
12+ Fine

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After revival, the character counts as having Rested as per the rules above, with half the Hits suffered converted into Wounds.

INJURY POINTS (IP) represent serious injuries; they count as Wounds and thus towards total damage. More importantly, they also give the character a negative modifier to any roll made which requires physical activity or concentration equal to one per IP, hamper movement rate på 10′ per IP (meaning armor may sometimes need to be removed) and raise the cost of any Magician spells by +1 SP per IP. Injuries resulting in IP take a very long time to heal; a character must spend at least one month in complete rest per point for them to go away. A Cleric can remedy the situation a lot faster, but a casting of the HEAL spell still only removes one single Injury Point.

DISMEMBERMENT represents permanent injury of some sort. For starters, they come with a Grievous Injury (4 IP) representing time needed to recover from them, but they also require a roll on the table below. In the case of odd injury sources (acid, fire etc) the GM will have to adapt the result below to make it fit the fiction (but the effect should remain the same). Severed legs are assumed to be replaced in some fashion, for arms/hands this is more optional.

DISMEMBERMENT TABLE
2D6 RESULT PERMANENT EFFECT
2 Ruptured lung -1 to all physical activity
3 Severed leg -20′ Movement, -1/-2 to certain rolls (GM’s call)
4 Severed foot -10′ Movement
5 Shattered bones Lose 2 Total Hits
6 Lasting ache Lose 1 Total Hit
7 Scarring Distinctive feature
8 Lost fingers -1 to Fine Manipulation (lockpicks, stealing etc)
9 Lost eye -1 to Missile Attack Dice and Searching
10 Severed hand Only 1h weapons, shield still OK
11 Severed arm Only 1h weapons, -1/-2 to certain rolls (GM’s call)
12 Skull crack -1 to all social/mental rolls, +1 SP cost for Magician