05 June 2015

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 03 - Mounts, Part 3

This is the third 4E Anatomy of a Creature, an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.

Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

This is the third entry in the Anatomy of a Creature series for Earthdawn Fourth Edition (ED4). The overall goal here is to present new material to the community as a whole and get feedback on the various creatures and new development directions. Popular entries may one day see publication, while those which are less so will not clutter precious page count.


Based on comments and requests, the first series will focus on introducing some new mounts to the game. This set of mounts is generally larger, angrier versions of more normal animals which are now (barely in some cases) suitable to be used as mounts.

If there is something you do (or do not) like, let me know in the comments.


Cat, Battle
Battle cats are the result of a great of selective breeding using tigers and troajins as a basis, but a number of other great cats were likely involved in the process as well. These large cats were bred to be feline mounts suitable for larger riders than their troajin cousins. The final result is suitable for the original purposes, but they are still difficult to manage and fickle compared to their more docile ancestors, though a far sight from tiger relations.
They come in colorations similar to tigers and troajins, but also in black and white and even a green with orange stripes variety has been seen.
Battle cats are suitable as mounts for elves, humans, orks, and t’skrangs, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX:    7          Initiative:                 11        Unconsciousness:   44
STR:    9          Physical Defense:   12        Death Rating:           52
TOU:   8          Mystic Defense:       11        Wound Threshold: 12
PER:    6          Social Defense:        11        Knockdown:             13
WIL:    6          Physical Armor:       5          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   6          Mystic Armor:          3         
Movement:   16
Actions: 1; Bite: 13 (14), Claws: 13 (13)
Powers:
Ambush (5): When attacking from surprise, battle cats gain a +5 bonus to their Initiative, and Attack and Damage tests. This may not be combined with Surprise Strike.
Climbing (11): As the skill.
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Low-Light Vision
Great Leap (10)
Stealthy Stride (11): As the skill.
Stubborn: Talents and abilities used to control, tame, or train a battle cat require an additional success.
Special Maneuvers:
Pounce (Battle Cat): If the battle cat reached its opponent with a leap and the opponent isn’t too much larger, the battle cat may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat): The attacker may spend two additional successes to sufficiently enrage the battle cat and guarantee he will be the sole target of its next attack(s). If there are multiple instances of this special maneuver, only the most recent has any use.

Elk, Tundra
Prior to the Scourge, wild tundra elk could be found in the northern reaches of Barsaive as they migrated south during the winter months. The climate changes in the province following the Scourge has resulted in only small pockets of them remaining, and those which had been kept during the hundreds of years of darkness.
These tall, majestic creatures are docile unless provoked, in which case they can quickly become a force of nature to the average Namegiver. They have incredibly soft double coats to protect them from the harsh cold of the more northern climes, which are starkly colored in black and white. These coats are prized for their beauty, texture, and warmth with those who can afford them.
Every tundra elk, both female and male, bears an impressive set of antlers on top of their head. The antlers for male tundra elk have tines, while the antlers on the females do not. Regardless of tines, both sets of antlers are sharp and dangerous. Unlike other elk, tundra elk do not seasonally shed their antlers.
Tundra elk are suitable as mounts for dwarfs, elves, humans, orks, t’skrang, and trolls, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX:    6          Initiative:                 8          Unconsciousness:   47
STR:    10        Physical Defense:   11        Death Rating:           56
TOU:   9          Mystic Defense:       10        Wound Threshold: 13
PER:    6          Social Defense:        11        Knockdown:             14
WIL:    7          Physical Armor:       6          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   6          Mystic Armor:          4
Movement:   18
Actions: 1; Antlers: 12 (14), Trample: 12 (12)
Powers:
Charge (5): The tundra elk may move up to twice its Movement and make a single attack. If the tundra elk moves over its base Movement, it gains a +5 bonus to the Attack and Damage test. This ability may not be used while the tundra elk has a rider.
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)
Resist Pain (2): The tundra elk ignores 2 Wounds for penalties.
Stubborn: Talents and abilities used to control, tame, or train a tundra elk require an additional success.
Special Maneuvers:
Goring Charge (Tundra Elk, Charge): The tundra elk may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.
Overrun (Tundra Elk, Trample): The tundra elk may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target if the target has a lower Strength Step. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.
Loot: Horns and pelt worth 4D6x10 silver pieces (worth Legend Points).

Terror Bird
These creatures are large, flightless birds with absolutely vicious dispositions. Terror birds are over eight feet tall and weigh over 500 pounds with long necks and stubby wings. Their coloration is mottled with black, browns, and white, and slashes of red on their heads and the edges of their wings. Between their speed, scythe-like blades on their feet, and pointy teeth, terror birds live up to their name for anything which encounters a group of them on the plains of Barsaive. Luckily their populations have been in steady decline for a variety of reasons, including the popularity of their delicious eggs.
Once raised in the wild, it is virtually impossible to turn a terror bird into a suitable companion outside of powerful magic. Even those raised from an egg would be considered “challenging” by even the most experienced animal handler. Despite this, they are popular with some ork scorchers overly fond of hit and run tactics.
Terror birds are suitable as mounts for elves, humans, orks, and t’skrangs, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)
DEX:    8          Initiative:                 12        Unconsciousness:   36
STR:    8          Physical Defense:   11        Death Rating:           43
TOU:   7          Mystic Defense:       9          Wound Threshold: 10
PER:    6          Social Defense:        11        Knockdown:             10
WIL:    6          Physical Armor:       2          Recovery Tests:      2
CHA:   6          Mystic Armor:          3
Movement:   22
Actions: 1; Bite: 12 (14), Claws x2: 12 (16)
Powers:
Charge (5): The terror bird may move up to twice its Movement and make a single attack. If the terror bird moves over its base Movement, it gains a +5 bonus to the Attack and Damage test. This ability may not be used while the terror bird has a rider.
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Sight] (2)
Great Leap (12)
Rushing Attack: Terror bird may split movement without penalty. This ability may not be used if the terror bird has a rider.
Willful: Talents and abilities used to dominate, control, tame, or train a terror bird require one additional success.
Special Maneuvers:
Pounce (Terror Bird): If the terror bird reached its opponent with a leap and the opponent isn’t too much larger, the terror bird may spend an additional success to cause a Knockdown test against the target. The Difficulty Number is the Attack test result.
Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat): The attacker may spend two additional successes to sufficiently enrage the terror bird and guarantee he will be the sole target of its next attack(s). If there are multiple instances of this special maneuver, only the most recent has any use.
Loot: Feathers worth D6×10 silver pieces, and eggs worth 20 silver pieces each (all worth Legend Points).

Wolf, Dire
At some point in the past, someone decided they needed a giant wolf which could be ridden. It was probably a dog lover who was upset with all of the different riding cats which are available, while there was a distinct lack of riding canines. Let’s assume this hypothetical person is a she for non-specific reasons. “No more”, she almost certainly declared to no one in particular and set about gathering the largest wolves which could be found and breeding them to make even bigger wolves, and then breeding those to make even bigger wolves still and so on and so forth until she got some really freaking big wolves.
This was probably when she took a step back and marveled at her huge, ill-tempered wolves and contemplated making them more pliable. After an incident which everyone vowed to never speak of again, she set about domesticating them. A little. Because they still need to be riding wolves, not really-big-dogs-with-floppy-ears-and-love-in-their-eyes-which-can-be-ridden-and-snuggled. To remind herself of this, she called them dire wolves.
Sometime later, they were both excessively large and were less inclined to be non-specifically violent because we all agreed to never speak of it again back in the previous paragraph. Dire wolves are popular with dog lovers who are looking for both a challenge and a mount in the “still pretty dangerous” category.
Dire wolves are suitable as mounts for elves, humans, orks, and t’skrangs, and as animal companions.

Challenge: Novice (Fourth Circle)
DEX:    7          Initiative:                 11        Unconsciousness:   44
STR:    8          Physical Defense:   11        Death Rating:           52
TOU:   8          Mystic Defense:       11        Wound Threshold: 12
PER:    7          Social Defense:        11        Knockdown:             12
WIL:    6          Physical Armor:       5          Recovery Tests:      3
CHA:   6          Mystic Armor:          3
Movement:   16
Actions: 1; Bite: 13 (14)
Powers:
Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)
Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2): Tracking
Resist Pain (2): The dire wolf ignores 2 Wounds for penalties.
Surprise Strike (5): As the skill.
Stubborn: Talents and abilities used to control, tame, or train dire wolves require an additional success.
Tracking (10): As the skill.
Special Maneuvers:
Hamstring (Dire Wolf): The dire wolf may spend an additional success from an Attack test to halve the opponent’s Movement until the end of the next round. If the attack causes a Wound, the reduction lasts until the Wound is healed.
Loot: Skin worth 1d6x10 silver pieces.