Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dogs aboard the HMS Apollyon

Dogs are among the most common beast in the human controlled area of the HMS Apollyon, and many breeds of dog have adapted and mutated within the hull to become dangerous predators. Players may purchase war dogs and scent hounds in the Rustgates, and perhaps find a witch hound or Hunter if they know the right person, but even these relatively simple breeds require a certain level of skill to handle in mass.  An adventurer can generally handle 2 HD of beasts before they will become unruly, while an animal handler can safely control 2+level HD of beasts.

It is noteworthy that below are just examples of dog breeds.  Other races and factions within Sterntown and the hull use different species, including crabs, giant rats, squid and hyenas.

A monstrous dog - specifically Woola from the recent John Cater Movie

 Vic - 25 GP per 1/2 HD -  A "Trap Dog" or "Dog Bomb" - A Scavenger's best friend, Vic's are small murderous beasts that can be used to set traps or thrown into the faces of enemies.  See here for a full description.

HD 1/2-2* AC 7 ATK 1 DAM 1D8** MV 10'/30' tossed/charge SMO 12 V F1
*Special - All Vics attack as 2HD creatures (THAC0 18)
**Special - Furious Grip, Upon a successful attack a Vic will latch on hitting automatically each round until dislodged by a successful grapple or attack doing more than 4 HP of damage.  Additionally a creature with a furious Vic gnawing on it strikes at a -3 to any but the Vic.

Pack Hound - 100 GP - Large (Approximately 250 Lbs/5' Tall), docile and study dogs, pack hounds can carry up to 500lbs each and an animal used for general work in stern town.  They pull dogcarts, power treadmills and provide a lot of the city's muscle power.  Pack hounds aren't fighters, their heads are disproportionately small and they have been bread for docility - as such despite their large size they will only fight is trapped, and then badly.

HD 4* AC 8 ATK1 DAM 1D4 MV 30' MO 5 SV F1
*Fights as a 1HD creature

War Dog - 25 GP Large dogs, some looking similar to the war dogs bred in other worlds, and others in strange colors or with odd features that indicate an unnatural lineage.

HD 1 AC 7 ATK1 DAM 1D8 MV 40' MO 10 SV F1

Scent Hound - 50GP Generally small or mid-sized breeds bred for tracking ability rather than ferocity, scent hounds are capable of tracking almost any person or scent they are presented with through most environments.  Running water, or water over a few feet deep will often throw off hounds

HD 1-1 AC 8 ATK1 DAM 1D6-1 MV 40' MO 6 SV F0
Special: Can track by scent

Witch Hound - 100 GP Mid sized war dogs that can detect magic by scent, are highly resistant to spells and have a natural dislike for magic casters or creatures.  Most are splotchy white beasts with square heads and strong jaws, though not as well muscled or as strong as most breed of war-dog. Witch Hounds'  eyes appear small, blind, and are completely lacking in some of the most well bred specimens. The best Witch hounds are also resistant or immune to arcane magic, and rare hounds even reflect some spells cast upon them back at the caster.  These magic reflecting hounds invariably glow softly in a variety of colors.

HD 1 AC 7 ATK1 DAM 1D6 MV 40' MO 8 SV C2
Special: All Witch Hounds can detect magic with 40'

Cost modifier for Witch Hounds:
Tracks as a Scent Hound x2 basic cost
Magic  Resistant (30%) x2 basic cost
Magic Immune x6 basic cost
Magic Immune/Reflective (25%) x12 basic cost

Hunter Sapsali  - 120 GP  Sapsali are a breed of war dog that has been specifically bred to track and hunt specific targets.  If a trained hunter is given a scent and told to hunt, the dog will follow the target tirelessly, seeking to kill it, notify others of the targets presence with its otherworldly howls or return to lead its master to the target.  The breed's most notable physical feature is it's long gripping paws that allow it to climb ladders and other surfaces with surprising agility (CLIMB 2 in 6).  A few Sapsali also have strange chameleon-like ability to blend into their surroundings, others are venomous, and all are unnaturally silent, moving with practiced stealth (STEALTH 3 in 6). 

HD 1 AC 7 ATK1 DAM 1D8 MV 40' MO 8 SV F1
Special: Climb 2, Stealth 2, Can track by scent.

Cost modifier for Sapsali Hunters
Intelligent (INT 6) x2 basic cost
Chameleon skin (Stealth 5 in 6) x5 basic cost
Venomous (Save of Die if under 3HD) x12 basic cost

Warp Hounds - 800 GP Warp Hounds are terrifyingly intelligent large dogs with the uncanny ability to move through parallel universes in the same way as powerful sorcerers.  In appearance they are frightful hairless beasts (though some wear clothes), who can be recognized by their distorted skulls.  Warp Hounds brains are enormous, and their heads appear to be almost completely made up of  knobby cranium, itself striated with the lines of the brain's convolutions.  Beneath the massive skull, the Warp Hounds' tiny glowing eyes glare with malign intelligence and a wide mouth filled with rows of shark like teeth leers, slobbering and distorted by the beast's oversized skull.  Warp Hounds are intelligent (Int 5), but some are exceptionally bright (up to about Int 15) and all have the natural ability to move through the space between universes, emerging behind enemies to nip and then dart away again.  Rare Warp Hounds, especially the more intelligent one can grow to enormous size, 5' or more at the shoulder.  Of course a predatory pack animal, smarter than most men and capable of bending reality cannot be controlled in a normal manner and is more an ally than pet.

 HD 2 AC 5 ATK1* DAM 1D8 MV 40'/Blink 60' MO 10 SVF2
 *First Attack is at +4 hit x3 damage due to blinking effect.

Cost modifier for Warp Hounds
Intelligent (INT 3D6-2, can speak via telepathy if bonded) x3 basic cost (Sold only as puppies)
Giant and Intelligent (INT 3D6-2, can speak via telepathy if bonded HD 5, AC 4, DAM 2D6, SV F5) x10 basic cost (Sold only as puppies)
Giant x10 basic cost (HD 5, AC 4, DAM 2D6, SV F5)

Monstrous Dogs - 1,000+ GP Breed of Dogs up to 8' tall at the shoulder have been created aboard the Apollyon through magical experiment, crossbreeding with otherworldy entities and cruder techniques such as mechanical augmentation or muscle grafting.  These monstrous creatures are sometimes completely unrecognizable as dogs.  Common breeds include the Plated Mee Khun, with thick elephant like flaps of skin protecting it's face, neck and flanks and the horned Malumute, whose jutting over sized teeth are only some of the breeds many spike like bone growths, providing both armor and an additional offense.  All Monstrous Dogs are special creatures, and should be designed as such.  A few Cost modifiers are to be found below, but they are more flavor then an exhaustive list.

HD 4 AC 5 ATK1 DAM 1D8 MV 40' MO 10 SVF4
Many have special abilities including stunning charges, or additional damage from locking jaws.

Cost modifiers for Monstrous Dogs
Huge x2 basic cost(per HD over 4)
Armored with bone or thick skin x2 basic cost (per AC under 5/over 15)
Dangerous Attacks x2 basic cost (per extra D6)
Multiple Attacks x4 basic cost (per extra attack)
Charge x2 basic cost (x2 damage, stun target on first attack)
Maul x4 basic cost (Natural 20 kills anything under dog's HD instantly)
Locking Jaws x2 basic cost (On successful attack does auto hit each round, with 2 point AC penalty)
Spiked x4 basic cost (Successful melee hit against dog does 1D6 to attacker on failed save vs. paralysis)

Otherworldly Dogs - 5,000+ GP Some animal handlers, especially those in the service of the more established warlocks of 1st Class, have trained or partnered with monstrous otherworldly dogs traded for from outsiders with unknown coin.  The most common of these are Hellhounds, but other breeds such as the liquid metal Mercury Hunter and multi-head Cerberus Bull are also seen in the guard packs of more impressive mansions Uptown. Each of these beast is unique, but they are often in the 5 - 12 HD range and some are as large as elephants.  Weapon immunities, multiple heads (and attacks), spell like effects and high intelligence are common.


Uptown Hell Mastiff
Large black dogs with eyes that spark and crackle like embers.  These creatures can track by scent, may dimension door through walls and are both sadistic and intelligent.  They must be bounded by pact or special glyphs or they will wander seeking to spread misery and terror.  It is rumored that they will not attack (unless ordered to, or ordered to guard an area) a person who does not show fear.

HD 5 AC 4 ATK1 DAM 1D8* MV 50' MO 10 SV CL5
Detect invisible or hidden on a 4 in 6.
* Special Attack - may breath fire every 1D6 rounds in 20' long, 10' wide cone, damage equal to current HP,  save vs. Breath for 1/2 damage
*Special Attack - on initial encounter with hell hound or pack, barking causes fear as spell with a -2 to the save for every hell dog present beyond the first.

Diabolical Lap Dog
Small dogs from the courts off hell, often possessing bright red, brass or black hair that grows in absurd patterns or colors.  While frequently strangely adorable (giant, wide set coal like eyes, jaunty spikes and spines and comical proportions) these toy dogs are still dangerous, capable of breathing fire in the same manner as their larger cousins and far more agile.  They are much dumber than larger diabolical breeds, but fiercely loyal to their masters, cruel and lacking any sense of fear.

HD 3 AC 3 ATK 2* DAM 1D6* MV 50' MO 13 SV CL 3
* Special Attack - may breath fire every 1D6 rounds at up to two targets in melee, damage equal to current HP,  save vs. Breath for 1/2 damage


  1. A lot of neat detail here. As a general blogosphere note, it seems like longer posts are coming back into vogue.

    Also, would these guys fit into Apolloyon's canine taxonomy?

    1. I do mention the "Mercury Hunter" - an otherworldy dog used by those passengers who have packs with the lawful neutral domains of The Bronze Men of Ptah.

    2. So you do! I missed that one.