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A creature that has been in my campaign for a long, long time...
Knockerby Colin Davidson
Movement Rate: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage by weapon: -1
Number Appearing: 4d4 (1d6x10)
Save As: Normal Man
Treasure Type: J+K (Special)
XP Value: 5
Knockers are humanoids, around 3' tall and can be any one of numerous bright colours, typically being the shade of any local metal ores. For example where iron is common they are often rust, with flecks of gold as if of pyrite, where copper is common they usually take on a blue tinge, etc. Where there are multiple ores present a group can take on an array of hues, some even glowing when there are radioactive ores to be found locally. They typically inhabit mines and caves, where they prefer to steal (rather than mine) metal ores to refine and produce a range of often quite inexplicable and exotic tools. The use of such tools always makes sense to a knocker, but rarely does to members of other races.
Knockers are chaotic but not malicious, and rarely seek out trouble with other races but will, if they feel their homes are encroached on or threatened, set traps to defend their lairs. Such traps typically take on the form of dangerous ores and poisonous materials that will harm others but to which they seem immune. They can, however, be persuaded to leave miners alone if food and drink are left for them, and a wise miner will often have his initials baked onto his pasty crust to be discarded for the knockers, so that they can see who is feeding them. If confronted directly, knockers will always seek to flee before risking a fight, and will use small cracks and craw ways to escape, re-group, and set devilish traps for their adversaries.
Knockers seem to have no tribal system. There are no known examples of knocker children, there are no identifiable chieftains. A group of more than 10 will have a shaman (of up to level 12), and a group of more than 20 will have a wokan (also up to level 12).