Thursday, 10 September 2020

EVERYTHING IS A BEAR

First announcement: there's an art-free PDF of PARIAH available for free download on itch.io. You can find it here:

Pariah came with stats for only 3 monsters. There probably should have been more, but then again Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque has some excellent advice:

When in Doubt, Just Use Bears – So, the characters go somewhere you haven't yet prepared and you describe some cool, weird-ass monster that you don't actually have stats for: "At the bottom of the Bone Pit of the Succulent Orb a vast form rises from the sinkhole; its reptilian body glistens with antediluvian slime and its pteroid jaw opens, revealing rows of serrated fangs in what appears to be a most unholy welcome." In situations likes these, I just use the stats for a bear and no one is the wiser. Re-skin appearance, methods of attack, and add special abilities on the fly if you absolutely must...but when in doubt, just use bears.
Don't say "Aww" she's probably just eaten your children.
In case that wasn't sufficient instruction, here's the 4 bears that came with the original B/X re-statted for PARIAH to help you get started. This isn't any discourse, nor is it a discussion of north European palaeolithic bear cults... I'm just providing you with the bare-bones of some monsters to put into your campaign!

Black Bear

HD: 4d8+4
Attack: 2 claws/1 bite
Attack Value: 14 (1d3/1d3/1d6)
Defence: 12
Speed: 40'
No. app: 1d4
Save: By hit dice see below
Morale: 7

A black bear.
Very omnivorous, fond of deep woodlands and thick undergrowth rather than open plains. Less aggressive than other bears.
* * *


Grizzly Bear

HD: 5d8+5
Attack: 2 claws/1 bite
Attack Value: 15 (1d4/1d4/1d8)
Defence: 12
Speed: 40'
No. app: 1d4
Save: By hit dice see below
Morale: 8

A grizzly, brown bear.

The very same that fucked over Leonardo DiCaprio in that meme that was so funny before COVID-19 made everyone realise that the daily grind really was a meme.

* * *

Polar Bear

HD: 6d8+6
Attack: 2 claws/1 bite
Attack Value: 16 (1d6/1d6/1d10)
Defence: 12
Speed: 40'
No. app: 1d2
Save: By hit dice see below
Morale: 8
A very strong look this winter.
Coca-cola drinking faces of the impending environmental catastrophe, one of the few apex predators that's probably more dangerous than you're currently imagining. Golden Compass did these kids a great service.

* * *

Cave Bear

HD: 7d8+7
Attack: 2 claws/1 bite
Attack Value: 15 (1d8/1d8/2d6)
Defence: 13
Speed: 40'
No. app: 1d2
Save: By hit dice see below
Morale: 9

Actual photograph of a real Cave Bear.

Cave bears were creatures so incredibly terrifying and powerful that their population was hunted to extinction by our ancestors., much like the uhh... Scottish lynx (checks notes).

* * *

What makes a encounter interesting is the behaviour of the creature opposite the PCs, not merely its stats.
...but  that's for another day. Right now I'm all about delivering you those lovely meat points, so here's how you can convert your B/X and 5E monsters for your PARIAH campaign.

Converting Monsters from B/X to PARIAH

...is super easy. But if you haven't worked it out, here's how:

HD: This is easy to convert. B/X monsters always use 1d8 (or 1d4 for half HD monsters). You can play around with different dice if you wish (see saves below).

HP: Roll or tot up the mean value (4.5 for each HD). You may want to add on extra HP for ablative armour (see below)

Attack: as written

Attack value:  the number represents what the pariahs need to roll to fend off an attack, with the damage dice given in brackets if they fail that roll. A monster's attack value is equal to 10+HD. You may wish to add additional values for great strength or combat prowess.

Defence: the number a pariah needs to roll to hit the monster in combat. There's a simple way and an easy way:
  • Simple: 19-armour class. An AC 9 creature would have defence 10.
  • Complex: follow the above procedure then think about how much AC is down to the creature's nimbleness and combat ability vs. how much is down to armour. Take away some of the defence score and add that many extra hit points for every hit die to represent how much damage they soak up
    • For the bears I set their defence value as "12" and added 1 extra HP per hit die.

Speed: use the smaller number listed under "movement" (usually in brackets), also make note of special flying or swimming speeds. Use the big number when it's running or travelling at high speed: it's usually triple 

No. app: by the book. Usually there will be values for random encounters and for lairs, pick one.

Save:
 Either use the save tables from B/X ... 

  • use "save vs. dragon's breath" for the "reflex" save
  • "save vs. wands" for "magical devices".
  • Spell saves in PARIAH work more like 5e, so to work out the bonus vs the caster's DC take the listed "save vs spells" value away from 16.
  • "Poison" and "paralysis/petrification" are the same.

...or use the HD save tables below.

Morale: Use the value listed. Morale checks are made with 2d6. 

Converting Monsters from 5E to PARIAH

HD: Use the value provided

HP: Roll or tot up the mean value (4.5 for each HD) and add any bonuses. Do not add any more HP for armour (5e creatures have lots of HP already)

Attack: as written

Attack value:  use the attack bonuses listed for each attack

Defence: add the creature's dexterity bonus to 10

No. app: check the lengthy description for information.

Save:
 Use the HD tables below..

Morale: Be creative. Consider that sometimes a creature's intelligence is more important than its morale, especially if a leader figure has perished. 

PARIAH Saving Throws

The creature's hit die gives a target number for each save. For every hit dice over 1 they get a bonus to that roll.
  • ...a 7d8 cave bear has +6 to their save against poison (or save vs poison = 6)
  • ...a 6d10 anaconda has a +5 save vs paralysis (or save vs paralysis = 7)
  • ...a 24d12 Great Whale has a +23 save vs spell, and all other saves only fail on a natural 1.



1d4
1d6
1d8
1d10
1d12
Death/ Poison
14 
13
12
11
10
Magical Devices 
13
14
15
16
16
Paralysis /Petrification 
13
13
13
12
11
Reflex 
16
15
15
16
17
Spells 
+2 
+1
-
-1
-1

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