23 May 2013

HOUND OF VULTAASH (DEMON)

Init +5
Melee Atk
 • punch +6 (1d6+4)
 • bite +5 (1d4+1)
 • sword-arm +7 (1d8+2)
 • jelly-hand +4 (1d4+2 heat)
Ranged Atk
 • thrown rock +4 (1d6+6)
 • sonic shriek (3d6+3, see below)
 • seekers +7 (2d10, see below)
 • tracking mites +4 (vs. 'touch' AC; special)
AC 18
HD 10d10+10
MV 50
Act 2d20
SP damage ablation, seeker bombs, tracking mites, ultravision 80'
Fort +9
Ref +5
Will +6
AL C

This beast is the metaphorical right-hand of the destroyer demon-god, Vultaash, and precedes him upon any world he aims to destroy. The Hound's purpose is to weaken the opposition to Vultaash's coming, by eliminating beings or sources of power from the world before the demon-god arrives. Even if the Hound cannot overcome powerful denizens of a world, all information gathered by the demon-thing is transmitted directly to Vultaash, no matter how many worlds may separate the Hound from his master.

The Hound stands nine-feet tall, and has been changed and mutated over the millennia by the many worlds it has visited and helped destroy. It has also been thus rewarded with numerous powers. It is an intelligent creature and uses its powers to the best of its ability. its goal is to evaluate and destroy (if it can). But once it has good intelligence on an opponent, if the opponent seems capable of killing the Hound, it won't risk itself to eliminate that opponent, content that the important knowledge now rests with Vultaash himself.

To be useful to Vultaash as a gauge of opposition, the Hound can ablate damage each round it is engaged in combat. The amount of damage the creature can ignore is lower each subsequent round, until it reaches a point that it is taking the full damage dealt to it. The Hound can ignore damage from any source as follows: 21 points in round one, 18 points in round two, 15 points in round three, and so on, until it can ignore only 3 points of damage in round seven, and on round eight it begins taking full damage whatever the source. Thus a fireball that caused 25 damage in round one, would only deal 4 damage to the Hound's hp (if he failed the Save). That same fireball in round five would cause the Hound to lose 16 hp (again, if he failed the Save). So long as the beast is alive, this ability re-sets within one hour after the end of a skirmish.

It has a semi-gelatinous arm and hand that burns mortal flesh on contact. Anchored into this arm is a sword-like blade; it is rare that it can employ this blade at the same time as its burning touch. Once the hand hits, it takes a Strength check vs. DC 16 to break free. The Hound can also choose to disengage his grip as a free action, if he sees fit.

Its mechanical shoulder regenerates up to three deposits of tracking mites. When deployed (at will, by mental command) these mites, tinier than the tiniest terrestrial fly, will swarm an area and attach themselves to any mobile creatures. The Hound can than track these creatures easily later, knowing the exact direction, distance and elevation to reach them. The mites can even provide information on barriers crossed since attaching themselves to their hosts, although they cannot provide any information on changes that have occurred in the meantime (e.g., if the host enters a cave and seals it off, the mites can report as much; if the host leaves the cave entrance open, but two days later an ogre collapses the cave entrance, the mites cannot convey this to the Hound.). The mites can operate for 1d8+10 days before slowly losing transmission range over another 2d6 days, whereupon they cease to function.

The "tail" of the Hound (which is actually an extension of its head-spine) ends with a structure that is both its main sensory organ and where it grows additional weapons. There are five large thorn-like objects growing around the sensory pod. These can be launched individually, collectively or in any number. They can be aimed at a specific target, exploding to deal 2d10 damage to that target and 1d10 to any adjacent targets. However, the Hound tends more to using these weapons tactically. They can be launched and made to hover at any point the Hound chooses, moving 100 feet per round. They will then explode upon being approached, dealing primary damage to those who set it off, and the lower amount of damage to anyone who may be a bit further back. In this way the Hound can block exits, or limit access to control panels, fallen comrades or the like.

Opponents may wish to sever the tail of the beast, if they notice it seems to 'notice' events first, even before the Hound's body turns to react, or even just if they notice the seeker bombs being launched from the tail. The Hound can regrow a severed tail within 1d3 days, adjusted up by one if the damage dealt in severing it was above the average of the roll. If the Hound's sensory pod is severed, adjust attacks, damage, Reflex saves and initiative by -4; reduce movement by 20; tracking mites are unaffected; deployed seeker bombs are unaffected; un-deployed seeker bombs become inert.

The Hound's sonic shriek attack affects a wide line, 80 feet by 15 feet wide, doing half damage to those who make the Will Save vs. DC 14. Those failing the Save will also be deafened for 1d4-1 rounds (minimum 0). After making this sonic attack, the Hound must wait 3d5 rounds before using it again.

The Hound does have some weaknesses, owing to its haphazard amalgamation. The creature is top-heavy, and thus slightly easier to trip or to topple over than a comparably sized creature. Targeting its metal-and-gelatinous arm with effects like severe cold or heat may do additional damage and/or render the arm temporarily useless. Its gelatinous hand has limited ability to manipulate objects.

The Hound does not fear death, because when Vultaash is manifest, it can re-summoned back into existence by the will of Vultaash. But it does fear failing Vultaash in its task...

The Hound of Vultaash can be used in conjunction with my entry into the 2013 One Page Dungeon Contest... Arena of Blood.