Monday, December 29, 2014

Stuffed Crocodile Stats

Stats for a necromantically-animated stuffed crocodile for Warhammer 3rd:

Minor Spoilers: As mentioned in my previous post, about half of the needed stats and rules for this monster appear in The Enemy Within, where it's part of an optional encounter. I took the stats they provided there, and extrapolated further, filling in the holes by comparing it to existing Beast and Undead monster stats.  Here's a summary of my thought process:

  • I gave it Fear, Dead Earnest and the immunity to crits because Skeletons have all those things. I figured being made of stuffed lizard-leather was close enough to being all bones.
  • I went with Fear 2 (instead of the Skeleton's awkward Fear rating that changes based on the situation) because it was just more elegant, and because I liked the math of "Undead + Gator = Extra Scary". Note that Fear 2 is not particularly worrisome that deep into The Enemy Within.
  • Night Vision is common to both Beasts and Undead. Nearly every official monster of either category has it.
  • Instinctive is on most Beasts, but it was a last-minute inclusion right before I clicked "save", and may be unnecessary or illogical for an Undead Beast. If it bugs you, just ignore it.
  • I gave it Swift because I thought that keyworded ability was same as the movement ability granted to this monster in the published Campaign. However, my reminder text on Swift is actually inaccurate. I realize now you could technically use Swift to load a gun or do something other than move. Tomorrow I will blog a bit about Swift and Fast and how they differ, and a simple house-rule that will fix both of them.
  • The card presented above is rather more dangerous than a Skeleton, Zombie, Crypt Ghoul, or Giant Wolf, a little tougher than a Boar, and about on par with a Tomb Banshee or a Cairn Wraith. Those comparisons are how I settled on the Threat rating of 4 (which is the level of the Boar, Banshee, and Wraith, if I recall correctly). 
  • I gave it one bonus melee attack action, because not all of the basic attacks for Beasts or Undead fit the notion of a crocodile.
  • I was originally thinking brainless Undead shouldn't have Cunning, but there's actually several examples in the game that do, so I grudgingly added it.

Those are almost exactly the stats I used when running the adventure. My original draft (just drawn up on a post-it note an hour before the session when I realized the stat-block was incomplete) was missing Instinctive and had no Cunning, but those changes make almost zero difference in the context of the original encounter (where the players are unlikely to hide from it).  Other than those minor tweaks, it's been tested in actual play and worked pretty well. IIRC, the bonus Melee action I used was one normally associated with Crypt Ghouls.

Update: Here's some possible card backs for it, depending on whether you want to focus on the creepy dead eyes and gaping mouth, or show your players how it's hanging from the ceiling in the adventure in question.

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