Thursday, June 18, 2009

Campaign Snippets: The Island

The Island

One of the better games I've ever run, this featured a war between the elemental forces of fire and ice over an isolated, fantastic version of Iceland, as a foreign tree deity tried to get its foot in the door and eliminate magic from the Island.

I delved into Iceland chic pretty hard for this one. Ambient soundtracks featuring Sigur Ros were prominent. Scandinavian folklore was shamelessly plundered, especially from the early Christian period. I used Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf. In that spirit, here is my take on Grendel. The low-effort art was a gestalt of the art in John Gardener's nihilistic version of Grendel, Where The Wild Things Are, and the often terrible yet occasionally good Grendel comics.

Grendel (large giant)
Caine-cursed, demon-gleeful, man and beast at once.
Init +8, Speed 8
HP 200, bloody 100
AC 20
F +12 R +9 W+9
-Resists: damage reduction 10, electric 10, fire 10
-Vulnerabilities: critical hits 10, unarmed 10

Claws +14, dmg 3d6 +5 (crit 18-20)
Bite +18, dmg4d6+10
-Pounce: Grendel may make a bite and claw attack as a standard action.
-Rend: If both the bite and claw attack hit a target during the same round, that target suffers an additional +12 damage.
-Cleave: When Grendel "drops" an opponent, he may make an immediate Whirlwind attack. This whirlwind attack will not affect any unconscious or dropped creatures.

Special Vulnerabilities: Grendel's damage reduction does not apply against critical hits from any source, nor against unarmed attacks. Critical vulnerability applies to sneak attack damage.

Bloody: When first bloodied during an encounter, Grendel may make an immediate whirlwind attack with a bonus +2 to critical threat range. If a critical hit was what rendered Grendel bloodied, he loses an arm and instead of his extra attack, he can no longer make whirlwind attacks.

Kinslayer Curse: Any creature that participates in killing Grendel must make a Willpower Save (DC 20) or suffer a curse. The curse causes all giants to enjoy a +2 bonus to attack and damage against the character. The curse may be removed via the Remove Curse spell, but additional material components worth 300 gp each are required.

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