Monday, August 13, 2012

HMS Apollyon - Monsters I - Crayhound (updated)

Below is  a creature from the HMS Apollyon.  I recently used these monsters, I think to fairly good effect.  They managed to lure the party into their ambush spot and launched a surprise attack from multiple sides - but unfortunately for the hounds they rolled terribly and five Lvl. 1 adventures took down five hounds (A sleep spell and magic missile helped) fairly quickly.  Still, I think crayhounds are a successful monster - uncanny, a little different, but simple enough in concept to be a good opponent for early forays into the Apollyon and later become a nuisance random encounter.  I justify putting the crayhound's stats up because they are a commonly known menace, with abilities that are general knowledge amongst scavengers.

(B/X or Labyrinth Lord)

No Enc. 1D6/
(6 - 25)
Movement: (40')
Hit Dice: 2
Damage: 1D6
Save: F2
Hoard Class:XII
XP: 38

(Apollyon House Rules/ OD&D)
No Enc.: 1D6 (hunting pack)/1D6 per HD of Matriarch (Den)
Movement: (5) [fast]
Armor Class: 15
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2spc (Claw/Claw)
Attack Bonus: +3
Save: F2
Morale: 10
Hoard: Metals/coins/imperishables

Crayhounds, a species of hybrid monstrosity created by generations of the vessel's natural magical warping and various repercussions of the forbidden magics practiced aboard the HMS Apollyon.  They appear as large muscular dogs, only terribly transformed with a pair of crayfish claws and crustacean head growing from the dog's shoulders.  The crayfish body continues down the hound's back and provides sturdy armor for much of the beast.  Crayhounds have rudimentary intelligence and a pack like structure that make them exceptionally dangerous. Crayhounds cannot be tamed without magical compulsion as they hate all non-cray life which they delight in killing and eating.  Crayhounds themselves, especially the claws are excellent salt boiled, steamed or grilled in the shell, and a good sized craydog claw will fetch 50GP fresh or 20GP canned.

Crushing Claws: Crayhounds' claws are enormously strong and capable of sheering through even the bulkhead steel of the Apollyon, because of this strength, the armor worn by scavengers provides a small obstacle to crayhound claws.

B/X: All crayhound attacks are at a 2 point AC penalty to their targets.
OD&D: All worn armor (except boilermail) is treated as a maximum of AC 15 by craydog claws

Mimicry: Crayhounds are natural mimics and have an uncanny ability to copy the voices of those they have heard.  Most crayhounds will find a particular phrase they especially like and use it to lure intelligent prey.

Trap Setter: The intelligence of crayhounds is coupled with a predatory cunning, and they have sufficient manual skill to set simple traps such as pits and dead falls with their claws.  A pack of hounds will set traps around its lair and sometimes along hunting trails where they will use their mimicry ability to lure victims into the trapped area.

Entropic Sport: Crayhounds are creatures tainted by the decay of the Apollyon, and forged by the energies of Pandemonium's seas as they leech through the hull.  While mostly beasts, they can be turned by the ordered energies of the Ship Spirits, but only imperfectly (turn as if +1 HD)

Matriarchs: Craydogs create lairs when thier packs become large enough, usually near or within large pieces of the ship's machinery (power rooms, pump systems, elevator batteries, ordinators), where they begin to shred and destory bulkheads and internal fixtures, almost as if disassembling the vessel from within.   These lairs will usually contain at least one matriarch as well as a whelping chamber, stuffed with decaying meat, where the black glistening orbs of craydog eggs cluster on the walls like poisoned oil droplets, and small clear shelled craypups squirm, feast and snap on the filthy floor.  Packs of crayhounds will be led by 1-2 larger breeding matriarchs, who are somewhat more intelligent and will oversee trapping the lair, birth a multitude of craydogs and direct the packs attacks with a great deal of cruel cunning.

In B/X Craydog Matriarchs will have 3-8HD, AC 4/16, Atks 3 (2-16/2-16/1D8), SV F3-8, Morale 10
In OD&D Craydog Matriarchs are 3-8HD, AC12*, Atks 3 (2D6/2D6/1D6+flurry(2)**), SV F3-8, Morale 10 *Craydog Matriarchs have one point of damage reduction per HD - in damage reduction is reduced by one per melee attack made against the matriarch previously in that round. **for every melee attacker above two facing the matriarch she gets a free responsive attack.  On a successful attack this does 1D6/2 damage and will stun the enemy for one round unless a save vs. wands is successful.


  1. Cool monster and a great illustration.

  2. Thanks Trey! I think these creatures managed to disorient and disturb a bit - that they felt monstrous.

    As to the illustration, I just bought a mess of grey Pitt pens and drew this right quick to test them out. Larger pieces were also attempted this weekend and should be up soon.