Thursday, July 14, 2011

Biological killing machines of entertainment

Last week's poll tells me there is a lot of game masters visiting this site, but only a fraction of the visitors bothered to answer. I might have been a little too insistent with making the readers go through with it, but I primarily suspect people are just as tired of internet polls as I am. : )

Here is a creature now, entirely void of special abilities and mysterious powers. It is simply another dangerous creature to throw in when action is needed. Perhaps its background and general bad-ass nature may still inject a bit of inspiration and produce some interesting encounters. If not, I hope the visuals will make up for the lack of exotics.

Finally, I'd like to say I've been in a period where my energy to answer emails have been next to none. I have of course treated potential clients with much care, but otherwise I've been rather neglectful. I still very much appreciate your comments and ideas, and read your input carefully. Hopefully, I'll get back to you at a later hour, but if not, know that I take your feed-back to heart and greatly value your support.


CATEGORY: Mammal (bred)
TERRAIN: Any (temperate to tropical)
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 11 feet (330 cm) long without tail

AGILITY: 25-28
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 4, Swimming x 2
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The bony, teeth-like spikes, and partially thick leathery armour of the Ardhamma body, protects it from scratches and minor attacks. The great horn upon its head is used to steer off spears and stabbing weapons, while the hardened bony areas of its lower front legs keeps its claws cutting and ripping even in the midst of daggers and swords.

1 HORN: 1-8
1 BITE: 1-8
2 CLAWS: 2-6
(If a Long Sword causes 1-8 points of damage)

The Ardhamma knows how to use all of its weapons with efficiency and deadly dexterity. Unlike many other creatures, and despite its aggressive character, it takes time to avoid and skilfully parry attacks thrown at it. It can rise up upon its hind legs supported by its heavy tail, but usually keeps a low profile, close to the ground, minimizing its vulnerable areas, and moving swiftly on all fours. With great grace its jumps, rolls, spins, dodges and charges, all the while with its scythe of a tail whistling high and low through the air.

When a culture falls so does the walls of its prisons. A civilization might crumble, but its legacy remains. In the lower levels, in the pit fighting arenas of the old world, the darker side of entertainment industry flourished and gave birth. Tired of lions, starved canines, and bears, the audience demanded new horrors unleashed upon the combatants and slaves fuelling their thrills. So races were crossed, new experiments of breeding commenced, and with the amount of gold pumped in, results came quickly.

Shaped and bred entirely for killing, the Ardhamma was the perfect combination of agility, speed, and strength. Its powerful tail, lashing about in a blur of blood and separated limbs, was the finest, but not its only means of slaying – a commercial success, both feared and readily celebrated. In the chaos of the great wars that followed, brave and ruthless men tamed these beasts, and made them guard their strongholds, but some were left to roam the wild. As these multiplied and chopped themselves a place amongst the more natural inhabitants of nature, peace came, but now with a new cause to nightmare established. Where most wild beasts shy away from human settlements and beings, the Ardhamma were created to kill at the mere sight of them.

Fortunately the Ardhamma have no tendency for cooperation. They move with individual intent, and prefer a solitary existence. Tamed specimens may suffer the company of one or two more Ardhamma creatures, but in larger groups rivalry will result in carnage.

There are no female Ardhamma, but the artificial nature of the beasts ensures unaltered offspring to emerge from the wombs of impregnated lions and great wolves. The creatures make their lairs in caves and dungeons, or in any other place similar to the dark cellars of their origins. They move comfortably through all terrains, at any hour of day, but avoid cold and snow. They live for 30 years, fear basically nothing, are great swimmers, and eat all things that move. They may sneak upon their victims with great skill, or jump down upon them from higher ground. They are cunning in all situations of fighting, but show no other signs of intelligence. They may roar loudly, though not as deeply, as a lion, but remain utterly silent when the situation calls for it. In other words; sometimes a frightened victim is an easier kill, while at other times, stealth is the more lethal approach.

(Check out more creatures in the 'Creature Archive' menu to the left.)

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister