23 March 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 46 — Sirrikan

This is the forty-sixth 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.


The last series took a long time to put together. I'm dialing it back a bit so I can finish all the other tasks I need to get done before embarking on another major series.


Sirrikan

It’s common to hear sirrikans referred to as “flying cats,” which is accurate, but doesn’t help distinguish them from other flying cats. Also, if they could understand that label, they would be offended and a murder attempt would follow at some later time, as anyone familiar with sirrikans should expect.

These felines have very dark fur found in black, blue, gray, and purple. Their points (ears, face, paws, and tips of their tail and wings) are a darker color than their body, except for black sirrikans who may possess some combination of a white blaze, paws, and/or belly. Rare sirrikans have a brindle pattern, but some scholars maintain these are a different creature entirely; only black and brown or gray colors are seen on these coats. They’re small, weighing no more than eight pounds, with long, slender builds, big eyes (which come in amber and green), round heads, large ears, and furred wings.

Sirrikans make poor pets for most people. Their special combination of curiosity, flight, and mischievousness means they can rarely be kept out of anywhere, are constantly into something, have little regard for any possessions, and not remotely close to the bare minimum domestication most house cats possess. However, when they choose someone, they are fiercely loyal to that Namegiver and may care little for anyone else. Even their supposed “owner.” This makes even experienced Beastmasters wary of these murderous little creatures, regardless of how adorable they might be (pspspsps).

In the wild, they organize in loose groups called “nuisances,” with each sirrikan establishing and defending their territory which they regularly patrol. Members of the nuisance can move between the territory of their fellows and the whole nuisance may investigate if there is something very interesting. Such as a group of Namegivers who haven’t been properly inspected and attempts on their lives not conducted recently. Not out of a need to kill or because they did anything wrong, but because this is simply what they do. Also, it’s fun.

Resting in sirrikan territory is generally inviting the most adorable kind of trouble and attempts on your life. They’re constantly watching, their eyes gleaming, tails swishing, and wings gently flexing. Unnerving. And adorable. But mostly unnerving. And adorable.

Sirrikans are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Novice (Second Circle)

DEX: 8 Initiative:         10 Unconsciousness: 19

STR: 2 Physical Defense: 11 Death Rating: 22

TOU: 3 Mystic Defense:          9 Wound Threshold: 4

PER: 7 Social Defense:         9 Knockdown: 6

WIL: 6 Physical Armor:         1 Recovery Tests:          1

CHA: 6 Mystic Armor: 2

Movement: 14 (Climbing 6, Flying 16)

Actions: 1; Bite: 9 (12), Claws ×2: 11 (10)

Powers:

Ambush (5)

Awareness (10, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Dive (5)

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Other] (2): Astral Sight, as the talent, Player's Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Sight] (2): Low-light vision

Great Leap (6)

Stealthy Stride (12, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Swooping Attack: The sirrikan may split its movement (Player’s Guide, p. 386) and not suffer any penalties, and doesn’t need to spend Strain.

Willful (1): The sirrikan cannot be given the Awestruck attitude by any ability and may choose to disregard being given the Loyal attitude at their discretion.

Special Maneuvers:

Clip the Wing (Opponent)

Pounce (Sirrikan)

16 March 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 45 — Crab, Rock

This is the forty-fifth 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.


The last series took a long time to put together. I'm dialing it back a bit so I can finish all the other tasks I need to get done before embarking on another major series.


Crab, Rock

Rock crabs are similar to their cave crab cousins in morphology, though have a much wider range. They have the same four legs, horrible pincers, and thick, armored shells. However, dragons consider them less delicious — which is certainly a win for rock crabs — though still a tasty snack, just not one worth drooling over — less of a win. Their legs are quite large in comparison to the spindly cave crab legs, which allows them to jump surprising distances.

These creatures curl into balls which are virtually indistinguishable from boulders. Curiously, their shells make them appear as such even astrally, meaning they’re completely indistinguishable from the surroundings by astral perception until they reveal themselves. Once the prey is ambushed, rock crabs also reveal their generally foul demeanor. Maybe they’re mad their larger cousins get more and better press. The reason hardly matters; they’re perpetually in a bad mood and take it out on whatever is nearby.

Rock crabs are social and typically hunt in groups. Though “hunting” for rock crabs is more like hanging around looking like a bunch of rocks. Little is known about their social structure or them in general as they’re quite difficult to find. It’s more of a “you accidentally stumble on them and they find you” situation. And then it’s all about survival and someone ends up dead. So not so much with the studying. Much to the consternation of scholars.


Challenge: Journeyman (Seventh Circle)

DEX: 8 Initiative:         10 Unconsciousness: 77

STR: 13 Physical Defense: 11 Death Rating: 91

TOU: 14 Mystic Defense:          15 Wound Threshold: 21

PER: 6 Social Defense:         9 Knockdown: 17

WIL: 7 Physical Armor:         15 Recovery Tests:          5

CHA: 3 Mystic Armor: 9

Movement: 16

Actions: 2; Bite: 14 (16), Claws×2: 16 (20)

Powers:

Ambush (10)

Astral Rock: If hiding, the rock crab cannot be detected by astral perception.

Awareness (14, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (4)

Enhanced Sense [Touch] (4): The rock crab may make Awareness Action tests against anything touching the ground within 50 yards.

Fury (4)

Great Leap (10)

Hardened Armor

Steathy Stride (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Willful (2)

Special Maneuvers:

Armor Cutter (Rock Crab, Claws): The rock crab may spend additional successes to reduce the target’s Physical Armor by 1 per success. This doesn’t destroy thread armor.

Crack the Shell (Opponent)

Enrage (Opponent)

Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)

Squeeze the Life (Rock Crab, Claw)

Special Maneuvers: Shells are worth 3D6×10 silver pieces; this determines the size of the pieces.

09 March 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 44 — Asperak

This is the forty-fourth 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.


The last series took a long time to put together. I'm dialing it back a bit so I can finish all the other tasks I need to get done before embarking on another major series.


Asperak

Enormous vipers measuring 30 feet on average and weighing over 500 lbs., asperaks have a mottled brown and green coloration with a distinctive dark brown diamond pattern along their spine. Four brighter green, feathered wings extend out with over a 16-foot wingspan. These dangerous predators have the retractable fangs and venom of vipers, along with the powerful build of a constrictor. What prey could a creature like this possibly hunt? Generally, whatever it damn well pleases.

Asperaks are relentless predators who use their venom to weaken their prey before coiling it up. Since they can take down very large creatures with this method, they have additional teeth to help them take bites to get their meals to a manageable size. Asperaks are known to indulge in snacking well before their quarry is crushed in their coils. They prefer to lay in wait among the foliage for their prey, plummeting down to ambush them. If that doesn’t work, their wings allow them to retreat and gain the advantage over their prey again. This type of harassing attack is what allows them to weaken and wear down opponents well outside of their weight class.

These serpents are very aggressive and extremely patient when it comes to their meals. They’re willing to stalk prey through the trees and wait for it to succumb to their venom before moving in for the kill if it proves to be sufficiently dangerous. Driving them off often provides only temporary respite as they’re more than willing to wait until night falls and their prey is less wary.

Asperaks are suitable as animal companions, just not recommended. They need to be trained not to eat other companions (Namegiver and otherwise) because they simply see the world as their buffet.

Challenge: Journeyman (Sixth Circle)

DEX: 7 Initiative:         9 Unconsciousness: 60

STR: 9 Physical Defense: 14 Death Rating: 70

TOU: 10 Mystic Defense:          13 Wound Threshold: 15

PER: 6 Social Defense:         11 Knockdown: 11

WIL: 6 Physical Armor:         9 Recovery Tests:          3

CHA: 4 Mystic Armor: 6

Movement: 6 (Flying 16)

Actions: 1; Bite: 17 (15, Poison)

Powers:

Ambush (10)

Awareness (12, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Constrict (15, Simple): The grappled opponent takes Step 15 Physical damage.

Dive (10)

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (4)

Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Heat sight

Enhanced Sense [Smell] (4)

Enhanced Sense [Taste] (4)

Ophidian: The asperak cannot be knocked down if it's not in flight.

Poison (16): If the asperak’s bite causes damage, the victim must resist paralytic poison (Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 171). The poison is Step 16 [Onset: 1 round, Interval: 10/2 rounds, Duration: 4 hours]

Steathy Stride (15, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Swooping Attack: The asperak may split its movement (Player’s Guide, p. 386) and not suffer any penalties, and doesn’t need to spend Strain.

Willful (2)

Special Maneuvers:

Clip the Wing (Opponent)

Enrage (Opponent)

Grab and Bite (Asperak, Bite)

Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)

Pry Loose (Opponent, Close Combat)

02 March 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 43 — Snake, Flying

This is the forty-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.


The last series took a long time to put together. I'm dialing it back a bit so I can finish all the other tasks I need to get done before embarking on another major series.


Snake, Flying

Flying snakes are similar to their venomous terrestrial cousins in most ways, except somewhere along the line they grew wings and now they fly. Are they natural, were they created by Therans as some kind of awful prank that got way out of hand, or was it Horrors doing their thing? It doesn’t matter except for assigning blame, but we’re all way past that.

These are flying damn snakes with venom. You are clearly not taking this seriously enough. These vipers aren’t shy and more afraid of you than you are of them. Being very clear: they’re not afraid of you. They want to bite you in the face. Not because they want to eat you, but because they’re just mean and like biting things in the face.

This level of aggression makes even much larger creatures steer clear of these flying danger noodles because who wants the kind of drama that comes with a venomous bite to the face — it’s not hard for it to go poorly no matter how big you are. Behemoths are pretty much the badasses of the waterhole and they stay away from these flying jerks.

Not only do they fly, bite, and inject venom with their retractable fangs, they’re also extra with this really bright red and green plumage to go with their inky black body. It actually looks hella sweet, but don’t tell them that. If you can talk to them, they start going, "Oh, really? Does it? I don't know, sometimes I don't feel like that. Are you sure?" Just fishing for compliments. It's awful. Inflicting them with enough crippling self-doubt to make them unable to fly might be our only hope.

Flying snakes are suitable as animal companions. But you shouldn't.


Challenge: Novice (Third Circle)

DEX: 7 Initiative:         9 Unconsciousness: 27

STR: 4 Physical Defense: 12 Death Rating: 31

TOU: 4 Mystic Defense:          9 Wound Threshold: 6

PER: 6 Social Defense:         8 Knockdown: 6

WIL: 5 Physical Armor:         4 Recovery Tests:          1

CHA: 4 Mystic Armor: 2

Movement: 4 (Flying 16)

Actions: 1; Bite: 14 (11, Poison)

Powers:

Ambush (5)

Awareness (9, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Heat sight

Enhanced Sense [Smell] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Taste] (2)

Ophidian: The flying snake cannot be knocked down if it's not in flight.

Poison (8): If the flying snake’s bite causes damage, the victim must resist damaging poison (Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 171). The poison is Step 7 [Onset: Instant, Interval: 5/1 round]

Steathy Stride (10, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 170.

Swooping Attack: The flying snake may split its movement (Player’s Guide, p. 386) and not suffer any penalties, and doesn’t need to spend Strain.

Special Maneuvers:

Clip the Wing (Opponent)

Enrage (Opponent)

Provoke (Opponent, Close Combat)