Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why, that's a Ridgeback!

The final comments are in from last week's "Weekly What the Heck". The result is the ridgeback, a peaceful and loving animal that just happens to double as a war machine...

I'd like to thank Reverend Mike and greywulf (with special thanks to Reverend Mike for the name) for their ideas, all of which have been mashed together to create:
Ridgebacks are massive lizards covered in long spines. Normally peaceful and loving animals, they are often tamed and used as mounts, but not in the traditional fashion (large spines tend to injure the bum). Instead a dual-bucket saddle is employed, where two riders of relatively equal weight hang off to either side of the ridgeback's spines as it moves. As the beast only possesses a single rear leg, the ride is extremely uncomfortable, to say the least. Archers are trained to take into account its curious hopping gait, leading to their arrows taking a strange rise-and-falling motion in flight.

Level 2 Skirmisher
Ridgeback Loper
XP 125
Large natural beast (mount)
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +3
HP 38; Bloodied 19
AC 16; Fortitude 14, Reflex 15, Will 14
Speed 7
mGore (standard; at-will)
+7 vs. AC; 2d6 + 2 damage.
Hopping Gait (while mounted by a friendly rider of 2nd level or higher; at-will) * Mount
The ridgeback grants its rider(s) a +2 bonus to attack rolls on ranged attacks. If, on its turn, the ridgeback ends its move at least 4 squares away from its starting point, it also grants its rider(s) an extra 1d6 damage on ranged attacks until the start of its next turn.
Alignment Unaligned Languages -
Str 14 (+3) Dex 17 (+4) Wis 14 (+3)
Con 14 (+3) Int 2 (-3) Cha 10 (+1)

Ridgeback Loper Tactics
The ridgeback loper tries to remain out of melee and mobile for as long as possible, so its riders can take full advantage of its hopping gait.

Level 6 Brute
Ridgeback War Machine
XP 250
Huge natural beast (mount)
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +5
HP 89; Bloodied 44
AC 18; Fortitude 19, Reflex 17, Will 17
Speed 6
mGore (standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +9 vs. AC; 2d8 + 4 damage.
MTrample (standard; at-will)
The ridgeback war machine can move up to its speed and enter enemies’ spaces. This movement provokes opportunity attacks, the ridgeback war machine must end its move in an unoccupied space, and if a target scores a critical hit on the ridgeback with its opportunity attack the ridgeback must immediately change direction and avoid that target's space. When it enters an enemy’s space, the ridgeback makes a trample attack: +7 vs. Reflex; 1d8 + 4 damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Hopping Gait (while mounted by a friendly rider of 6th level or higher; at-will) * Mount
The ridgeback grants its rider(s) a +2 bonus to attack rolls on ranged attacks.
Alignment Unaligned Languages -
Str 19 (+7) Dex 15 (+5) Wis 14 (+5)
Con 19 (+7) Int 2 (-1) Cha 10 (+3)

Ridgeback War Machine Tactics
A ridgeback war machine runs back and forth across the battlefield, attempting to trample as many foes as possible while still keeping its riders out of melee where they can use ranged attacks.

Ridgeback Lore
A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check.
DC 15: Though fearsome when charging, a ridgeback can sometimes be turned aside by an attack that strikes its sensitive underbelly.

Encounter Groups
Ridgebacks are almost always encountered serving as mounts to archers. A ridgeback loper can carry two medium-sized humanoids in baskets slung over its sides. A ridgeback war machine can easily carry four medium-sized archers.
Level 2 Encounter (XP 625)
* 1 ridgeback loper (level 2 skirmisher)
* 2 elf archers (level 2 artillery)
* 2 elf scouts (level 2 skirmisher)
Level 7 Encounter (XP 1,550)
* 1 ridgeback war machine (level 6 brute)
* 4 gnoll huntmasters (level 5 artillery)
* 2 gnoll claw fighters (level 6 skirmisher)
Not our greatest creation, IMHO, but I only had two comments to work with... maybe I'll get more this week (hint, hint).


greywulf said...

Hey, I like it :D

Reverend Mike said...

Same here, budday...I'd say mission accomplished if I were me...