Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Swords of Mars: Beastmen

Engineered for service by the Witch Kings of Ylum in the Age of Oceans, the Beastmen were originally created as slave labor. Animalistic creatures, the Beastmen tend to be easily cowed by a strong leader, fearful of (and poor at) magic, and prone to clannishness. While this served them well as a servitor race, it has not served them will since the fall of the witch kings.

In the wilds, this tends to make them congregate in fractious tribes led by the strongest and most cunning warlords among their folk, with the weaker and smaller Beastmen falling into line under the strong. This means that it is difficult for Beastmen to form associations that are lasting, undermining their ability to build large social groups. Instead, they tend to move from charismatic leader to charismatic leader. This often means that their clans fight amongst each other and with humans or end up enslaved by powerful human barbarian lords.

In cities, Beastmen quickly become servants to others —mercenaries, servants, laborers, and enforcers. This means that in cities, Beastmen tend to be poor and subject to the will of the powerful.

BEASTMAN, SMALL
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1-1
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: by weapon type
No. Appearing: 2d4 (6d10)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: R (C)
Alignment: Chaotic

BEASTMAN, MEDIUM
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1+1
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: by weapon type
No. Appearing: 1d6 (6d6)
Save As: Fighter: 1
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: D
Alignment: Chaotic

BEASTMAN, LARGE
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3+1
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: By weapon type +1
No. Appearing: 2d4 (5d4)
Save As: Fighter: 3
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: B
Alignment: Chaotic
  • Small Beastmen carry a spear or short bow, and a short sword.
  • Medium Beastmen carry 3 javelins, sword and mace.
  • Large Beastmen carry a two-handed sword.
Beastman swords are crude affairs, essentially clubs made of wood or bone with either volcanic glass or the teeth of dinosaurs embedded along the edges, much like the Aztec macahuitl, the Central American macana,  the tebute shark-tooth sword of the Gilbert Islands, or the Polynesian leiomano shark-tooth club.

Beastman tribes can be very different from one another. You may reflect this by rolling a special trait for each tribe.

BEASTMAN TRAITS TABLE: Roll d20 for Special Tribal Traits (stolen from one of my posts way back...)
  1. Tracking scent.
  2. Echolocation.
  3. Leader is a thief, level 1d4+1
  4. Leader is a magic-user, level 1d4+2
  5. Leader is a cleric, level 1d4+1
  6. Make use of traps and tricks.
  7. Organized tacticians.
  8. Tame and use osquips.
  9. Tame and use giant spiders.
  10. Tame and use stirges.
  11. Tame and use giant beetles.
  12. Skilled guerilla fighters.
  13. Berserkers.
  14. Superstitious.
  15. Eat flesh of PC races.
  16. Headhunters.
  17. Primitive firearms and gunpowder.
  18. Climb walls like spiders.
  19. Camouflage, surprised on 1-4.