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 Post subject: Maru - the man-crocodiles
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:25 pm 
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Here’s one of my old creations to cater to Crow Caller’s wish for more monsters, but first of all I’d like to state that this critter is some six years old; the way I view gaming nowadays, I’d do things differently.

Maru

The Maru is a type of lizardman, taken from a setting where humans have in ancient antiquity rebelled against the despotic dominion of the lizard races and driven them into the remote corners of the world, where a few lizardmen survive in semi-barbarism. Maru are brutal and uncouth, but only somewhat less intelligent than the average human.

The lizardman-subspecies of the Maru are basically erect crocodiles. They look exactly like crocodiles walking on their hind legs and dragging their tail behind them, with the sole exception that their arms and legs are slightly longer than a crocodiles, but still significantly short in relation to their long torso. The results of these short limbs are that Maru are quite slow, and that attacks delivered with their arms lack both the range and power they would normally have. Weapon damage caused by Maru is based upon their ST-1, and the reach of any weapon they wield is decreased by one increment, to a minimum of “Hand”.

An average Maru stands 2 m tall, or slightly less, and measures 3 m to 3.5 m from tip of snout to tip of tail.

Maru do usually walk around erect, but can easily drop to all fours if speed is of the essence. The Move given below is their speed while swimming; walking on all fours, it’s two thirds that value, walking erect just one third. To be able to drop to all fours freely Marus wear simple leather harnesses for what little equipment they carry, usually scarcely more than a weapon.

The Maru are one of the warrior castes of the lizardmen, mainly due to their intense bloodlust. If a Maru is at ease and blood is spilt in his presence, he has to check WP to avoid flying into a berserk rage, exactly as per OBaM p. 15; if they are not at ease but even slightly stressed when the blood is spilt, as for instance in combat, they go berserk automatically and instantly. In this state, their Blood Loss is reduced by 4, Shock is halved and Pain reduced to one third normal, but they may only ever execute offensive maneuvers.

To offset the decreased power of attacks executed with their arms and the decreased range, Maru do almost invariably wield two-handed weapons; as they go berserk almost immediately in any battle, shields would be of little use anyway.

A Maru’s horny hide serves as natural armour. Where the hide is more supple (limbs, belly, throat, underside of tail) it protects like soft leather (Cut 1, Piercing 3, Bashing 1), where it is thicker (head, back and sides of tail and torso) like hardened leather (Cut 3, Piercing 2, Bashing 4).

Like all lizard races, Maru are cold-blooded creatures. In their native tropical and subtropical climates this would only ever affect them in the very coldest of nights, but if they should somehow be exposed to cold, they become sluggish. In this case, AG, WP, Wit, MA and Per are halved, with corresponding effect on all derived attributes.

Its tail helps a Maru to retain its footing – Knockdown is calculated normally and then increased by 1.

ST: 7-9
AG: 3-6
TO: 5-6
EN: 4-5
HT: 3-5

WP: 3-5
Wit: 3-5
MA: 2-4
Soc: 1-3
Per: 2-4

Ref: 3-5
Aim: 2-5
Kdown: 6-8 (+1 from tail included)
Kout: 6-8
Move: 7-10

Proficiency 6-11 for a CP of 9-16

Maru do wield weapons whenever possible, usually two-handed ones, with damage and reach both reduced by 1 due to the Maru’s short arms, but they have also several natural attacks:

Bite: Reach Hand, At TN 7, Dam ST-3 cut, able to worry as per OBaM p. 27
Claws: Reach Hand, At TN 5, Dam ST-4 cut (includes –1 for short arms)
Tail: Reach Short, At TN 6, Dam spec. Used, with a quick twist of the body, to the sides and front, but usually not to the back; causes no damage but counts as Takedown attack as per OBaM p. 29

People unused to fighting anything but humans are easily taken by surprise by a Maru’s tactics of beginning a fight conventionally and then resorting surprisingly to a bite or tail sweep. Unless the opponent has previous experience with a Maru’s way of fighting the Maru has +1 CP for his first sudden bite in any given combat and +2 CP for his first sudden tail sweep, as long as he does not use any of these maneuvers in the first round.

Note: I have found even a single Maru to be quite formidable. Their tactic of suddenly biting for an opponent’s head or sweeping the feet out from under him is insidious, and their habit of fighting as berserks and thus shrugging off damage makes them difficult to overcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Maru - the man-crocodiles
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:35 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
A good monster with a lot of thought put into it, perhaps I missed it but can these things breathe under water or atleast hold their breathe for extended amounts of time like a normal croc?

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Maru - the man-crocodiles
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:48 am 
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Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Crow Caller wrote:
A good monster with a lot of thought put into it, perhaps I missed it but can these things breathe under water or atleast hold their breathe for extended amounts of time like a normal croc?


The latter. The Maru are basically a race of reasonably intelligent crocodiles with slightly longer and more dextrous limbs than normal crocs, so they have a crocodile's nictating membranes over the eyes and the ability to pinch their nostrils shut and hold their breath for extended periods of time.

On Weyrth, they could easily be used as a type of southern troll-spawn, similiar to the Sslassk.

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