Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Venomous Drakesnail: Custom Monster for Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago & Rangers of Shadow Deep

Starting a series of articles today adding some new creatures to the "McCullough" family of games, which currently include Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, and Rangers of Shadow Deep.

This particular model is a rebased, repainted and repurposed Dreamblade figure.  The creature is quite dangerous, and if you use it as a random encounter it should be a "third column" beastie so it doesn't show up often, and always shows up alone.  Building a scenario around hunting treasure in a Drakesnail lair might be a better use for them.

Venomous Drakesnail

The origins of the venomous drakesnail are unclear, with some naturalists claiming they're the result of arcane experimentation gone out of control, many wizards claiming they're a mutation arising from deposits of divine or draconic ichor spilled the Dawn Age, and various priests claiming that they're a divine punishment on the mortal races for their hubris.  What is clear is that no one really wants to take responsibility for their existence and that, while rare, they can be found in many environments across the world.  Drakesnails are large and dangerous predators but thankfully appear to only have animalistic intelligence, and if raised from the egg they can sometimes be trained as guardian beasts by skilled beast handlers.  This is not a safe or reliable process by any means, which contributes to the rarity of skilled beast handlers in the world.  When found in the wild drakesnail lairs are readily identified by the reeking haze of poisonous vapor exhaled by the creature, although thankfully they lack the breath weaponry of true dragons.  They do seem to have an instinctual habit of hording shiny objects including weaponry, coins and gems, all of which act as convenient lures for greedy adventurer types.

M     F     S     A     W     H 
5     +5    +0   14    +4     20

Notes:  Chimera, Immune to Poison, Large, Slow, Two-Headed, Venomous Haze

Drakesnails have some new abilities under their Notes, which have the following game effects.

Chimera:  Chimera is a creature type, ala Animal or Saurian or Demon.  Chimerae are generally creatures that don't quite fit existing types, and often have features of several other mashed together in implausible configurations - like a dragon-snail hybrid.  They do NOT belong to other creature types and so are (for example) not a valid target for spells and effects that work only on Undead, Demons or Animals.

Immune to Poison:  The creature never suffers from the Poisoned condition.

Large:  The creature suffers -2 F when defending against Shooting Attacks, and may have trouble fitting through small openings and into confined spaces..

Slow:  Slow creatures never take more than a single Move action during their activation.  Because it's a snail, that's why.  They can still move and then fight, but cannot double move.

Two-Headed:  When fighting this creature, reduce any bonus for Supporting Figures by two.  For example, if a drakesnail is outnumbered two to one, neither enemy figure receives the +2 they'd normally be eligible for.  If outnumbered three to one, each enemy figure would receive a +2 Supporting Figure bonus rather than the usual +4.

Venomous Haze:  The creature is surrounded by a cloud of toxic gas.  Any model starting its activation within 6" of this creature must make a Will Roll with a target number of 14.  If it fails then it becomes Poisoned.

Venomous drakesanils are generally solitary creatures, so thankfully you shouldn't ever have to face this sort of unpleasantness.