12 December 2016

THE DAMNED THING

Init +3
Melee Atk
 • claw +8 (1d6+2)
 • bite +6 (2d4+2)
AC 14+
HD 5d12+6
MV 40
Act 2d20
SP invisible, absolute stealth, AC variance, rake
Fort +8
Ref +9
Will +4
AL C

The Damned Thing is a large, ferocious creature, invisible to men's eyes (and those of Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Zorbits, and other humanoid creatures). It is content to live it's life alone in the wilderness, but reacts violently if disturbed. And being invisible, it can be difficult to not disturb it.

Owing to the creature's invisible nature, it's Armor Class is variable. If it is facing off with only one opponent, it's AC is higher on average than if a dozen men are in melee with it. If that one opponent can get in their attacks in close proximity, each successive attack will have an easier chance to hit, as will the successive attacks of those dozen men. The Thing's AC changes as follows:

Attack Since
Thing Moved       AC Bonus
1st               1d12
2nd               1d10
3rd-4th           1d8
5th-6th           1d7
7th-9th           1d5
10th+             1d3

Thus, if the single opponent attacks twice in a round (or if new Initiative results mean that they attack twice before the Damned Thing acts again), on their first attack, the creature has an AC of from 15-26, while against the second attack the creature has an AC from 15-24. If a dozen men each have one attack after the creature has acted, the first of them attacks against an AC from 15-26, while "down the line" the eighth of them attacks versus an AC of 15-19.

This simulates "zeroing in" on exactly where the creature is, and what it is shaped like. The Judge is encouraged to drop an extra step or two down the chart for appropriate area effect attacks. For affects that "can't miss" but still need to be targeted at something, consider adding the AC Bonus Die to a Saving Throw, or using the AC Bonus Die in other ways to reflect how difficult it is to target the Thing. Similarly, if the Damned Thing is found in a field of wheat, start the process two or three steps down the chart, to simulate the fact that the "hole" in the wheat gives the creature's location away (though does not reveal it's entire outline).

If the Damned Thing should be caught by surprise use only it's base AC for defense.

If the creature should attack with both claw attacks at once against one target, and both attacks land successfully, it can immediately make a third claw attack against that target.

The creature is completely and utterly silent in all cases and in all of it's actions.


Drawn from the story of the same name by Ambrose Bierce.