15 June 2022

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Creature 47 — Leopard, Ghost

This is the forty-seventh 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.


Apologies for the breaks between posts. There's a lot to get done and not enough time to do it all.


Leopard, Ghost

At 15 to 20 pounds, these compact, stocky felines are some of the smallest found in the wilds of Barsaive and beyond. However, their comparatively diminutive stature may be deceiving compared to the danger they may present. Ghost leopards have blue eyes and plush, medium-length, white coats with gray points, some also have shadow markings along their bodies. Their tails are exceptionally long and fluffier than the rest of their body. These make them look somewhat like small snow leopards.

They get their name from their ability to turn semi-transparent and become less substantial, though neither invisible nor insubstantial. Their body looks as though it’s made of fog or mist, though their gleaming blue eyes may still be visible. This ability allows them to regain surprise against their prey after an ambush — assuming it didn’t go in the ghost leopard’s favor — escape, or gain access to places they really shouldn’t be able to. It’s this last ability that makes these exceptionally curious cats even more adorable and frustrating in equal measure.

This trait in particular inclines some scholars to believe they’re related to the swamp-dwelling twilight panthers. Their abilities to perceive and affect astral space only provides more evidence of this connection. However, their morphological differences are significant and this could be an example of convergent evolution, rather than a shared ancestor with these traits.

Ghost leopards seem to enjoy the presence of Namegivers, allowing some lucky few to pet their heads and body, enjoying their incredibly soft coats. This privilege is never free and if not given as a reward, one is expected immediately. Over time, this process of rewards for good behavior (and strikes for poor behavior) is used to train promising Namegivers into being appropriate servants for interested ghost leopards.

They’re remarkably intelligent and some scholars believe ghost leopards can understand spoken languages and some show evidence of being able to read. These conjectures are widely met with ridicule and impossible to prove as the ghost leopards resist any attempt to demonstrate their intelligence for an audience. The variety of vocalizations they’re capable of emitting is impressive and they can be combined and extended into something resembling speech in its own way. This allows them to engage in more complex communication with properly trained Namegivers.

Ghost leopards are suitable as animal companions.


Challenge: Journeyman (Sixth Circle)

DEX: 11 Initiative:         16 Unconsciousness: 48

STR: 4 Physical Defense: 14 Death Rating: 54

TOU: 6 Mystic Defense:          12 Wound Threshold: 9

PER: 8 Social Defense:         12 Knockdown: 8

WIL: 7 Physical Armor:         4 Recovery Tests:          2

CHA: 8 Mystic Armor: 4

Movement: 16 (Climbing 6)

Actions: 2; Bite: 14 (16), Claws ×2: 18 (12)

Powers:

Ambush (10)

Astral Attack: Attacks can target Mystic Defense instead of Physical Defense.

Awareness (16, Simple): As the skill, Player’s Guide, p. 129.

Cat's Grace (Simple): The ghost leopard stands up, no test is required.

Enhanced Sense [Hearing] (2)

Enhanced Sense [Other] (4): Astral Sight, as the talent, Player's Guide, p. 129.

Enhanced Sense [Sight]: Low-light vision

Ghostform (Standard): The ghost leopard becomes less substantial and semi-transparent, like their form is now fog. It makes a Stealthy Stride test and disappears from view even if being observed, allowing it to blindside opponents who cannot detect its presence. Attempts to detect it (including Astral Sight and similar) or affect its Physical or Mystic Defense require an additional success. If the ghost leopard attacks while this is active, it ends as they attack and it cannot be used until the next round. While using this power, the ghost leopard may fit through openings that seem far too small for it, though it isn’t intangible or two-dimensional. Just able to get into surprising, seemingly impossible places when you aren’t looking.

Great Leap (10)

Stealthy Stride (18, Simple): As the talent, Player’s Guide, p. 170. This also functions against astral detection

Surprise Strike (10)

Willful (2): The ghost leopard cannot be given the Awestruck attitude by any ability and may choose to disregard being given the Loyal attitude at their discretion.

Special Maneuvers:

Ethereal Attack (Ghost Leopard): The ghost leopard may spend an additional success to affect Mystic Armor instead of Physical Armor.

Pounce (Ghost Leopard)

Loot: Pelt worth 2d6×10 silver pieces.

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