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The SAVAGE COAST MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM APPENDIX assembles new creatures with abilities unlike any found elsewhere. These creatures dwell in the lands and waters of the Savage Coast an area of hardship and swashbuckling adventure, of an ancient curse and powerful Legacies.
All creatures detailed within this compendium are typical for their type, with the possible exception of individual Legacies. Any DMs who are not familiar with the Savage Coast and the Red Curse should study the basic information offered on the following pages. The SAVAGE COAST Campaign Book gives more details on this unique setting.
Each creature description includes the following information:
CLIMATE/TERRAIN indicates where the creature is most often found. Climates include arctic, subarctic, temperate, and tropical. Typical terrain includes plain/scrub, forest, rough/hill, mountain, swamp, and desert.
FREQUENCY is the likelihood of encountering a creature in a given area. Chances can be adjusted for special areas.
Very rare = 4% chance
Rare = 11% chance
Uncommon = 20% chance
Common = 65% chance
ORGANIZATION describes the general social structure the monster adopts. "Solitary" includes small family groups.
ACTIVITY CYCLE reveals the time of day when the monster is most active. Creatures most active at night may be active at any time in subterranean settings. Activity cycle is a general guide, and exceptions are fairly common.
DIET explains what the creature generally eats. Carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat plants, and omnivores eat either.
INTELLIGENCE is the equivalent of human "I.Q." Certain monsters are instinctively cunning despite low intelligence ratings; such cases are noted in the monster descriptions. Ratings correspond roughly to the following Intelligence ability scores:
Non-intelligent or not rateable
Average (Human) Intelligence
TREASURE refers to the treasure tables in the DUNGEON MASTER Guide (DMG). If individual treasure is indicated, a single creature may carry it (DM's discretion). Major treasures are usually found in the monster's lair, often designated and placed by the DM. Intelligent monsters can use magical items from their treasure, attempting to carry off their most valuable treasures if hard pressed. If treasure is assigned randomly, roll for each type possible. If all rolls fail, no treasure of any type is found. Treasure should be adjusted if only a few monsters are encountered. Large treasures are noted by a parenthetical multiplier (x10, for example), not to be confused with treasure type X. Do not use the tables to place dungeon treasure; numbers encountered underground will be much smaller.
ALIGNMENT reflects the general behaviour of a typical specimen. Exceptions may be encountered.
NO. APPEARING indicates the average size for a wilderness encounter. The DM should alter this to fit the circumstances. This should not be used for dungeon encounters.
ARMOUR CLASS reflects protection due to armour, physical hardiness, magical nature, and reflexes. Humanoids that wear armour will have an unarmoured rating in parentheses. Listed ACs do not include special bonuses noted in the description.
MOVEMENT shows the relative speed rating of the creature. Higher speeds may be possible for short periods. Human, demihuman, and humanoid movement rate is often determined by armour type (unarmoured rates are given in parentheses). Movements in different mediums are abbreviated as follows:
Fl = Fly
Sw = Swim
Br = Burrowing
Wb = Web
Flying creatures will also have a Manoeuvrability Class, rated from A to E. Class A creatures have virtually total command over their movements in the air; they can hover, face any direction in a given round, and attack each round. Class B creatures are very manoeuvrable; they can hover, turn 180 degrees in 1 round, and attack each round. Class C creatures are somewhat agile in they air; they cannot move less than half their movement rate without falling, they can turn up to 90 degrees in 1 round, and they can attack aerially once every 2 rounds. Class D creatures are somewhat slow; they cannot move less than half their movement rate without falling, they can turn only 60 degrees in 1 round, and they can make 1 pass every 3 rounds. Class E creatures include large, clumsy fliers; they cannot move less than half their movement rate without falling, they can turn only 30 degrees in 1 round, and they can make 1 pass every 6 rounds.
HIT DICE determines how many hit points worth of damage a creature can withstand before being killed. Unless
otherwise stated, Hit Dice are 8-sided (1 to 8 hit points). The Hit Dice are rolled and the numbers shown are added to determine the monster's hit points. Some monsters have a hit point spread instead of Hit Dice, and some have additional points added to their Hit Dice. Thus, a creature with 4+4 Hit Dice has 4d8+4 hit points (8 to 36 total). Note that creatures with +3 or more hit points are considered the next higher Hit Die for purposes of attack rolls and saving throws.
Table 1: INITIAL LEGACIES BY REGION
Ball of Fire
THAC0 is the attack roll the monster needs to hit Armour Class 0. This is always a function of Hit Dice except in the case of very large, non-aggressive herbivores (such as dinosaurs). Humans and demihumans always use player character THAC0s, regardless of whether they are player characters or "monsters." THAC0s do not include special bonuses noted in the descriptions.
NUMBER OF ATTACKS represents the basic attacks a monster can make in a melee round, excluding special attacks. Creatures with multiple attacks might have several limbs, raking paws, or even multiple heads.
DAMAGE/ATTACK shows the amount of damage a given attack will inflict. Damage bonuses due to Strength are listed as a bonus following the damage range.
SPECIAL ATTACKS detail attack modes such as dragon breath, magic use, etc. These are explained in the monster description.
SPECIAL DEFENCES are precisely that. They are detailed in the monster description.
MAGIC RESISTANCE gives the percentage chance that magic cast upon the creature will fail to affect it. If the magic penetrates the resistance, the creature is still entitled to any normal saving throw allowed.
SIZE is abbreviated as follows:
T = tiny (2' tall or less)
S = smaller than a typical human (2+'-4')
M = man-sized (4+'-7')
L = larger than man-sized (7+'-12')
H = huge (12+'-25')
G = gargantuan (25')
MORALE is a general rating of how likely the monster is to persevere in the face of adversity or armed opposition. This guideline can be adjusted for individual circumstances. Ratings correspond to the following ranges:
XP VALUE is the number of experience points awarded for defeating (not necessarily killing) the monster. This value is a guideline that can be modified by the DM for the degree of challenge and overall campaign balance.
The Red Curse section defines how the creature is affected by this curse, the Legacies, and Affliction.
Combat describes special combat abilities, arms and armour, and tactics.
Habitat/Society outlines the monster's general behaviour, nature, social structure, and goals.
Ecology describes how the monster fits into the campaign world, gives any useful products or by-products, and presents other miscellaneous information.
The Savage Coast
This long run of coastline is a wild frontier land that suffers under an ancient curse. The following basic information should impart fair knowledge of the curse and its workings. However, much of this information applies more to the monsters of the Savage Coast than the races. Details can be found in The SAVAGE COAST Campaign Book.
Afflictions are the detrimental effects of the Red Curse. When a creature first acquires a Legacy, attribute points are lost. The affected attribute is usually opposite the Legacy gained. For example, if the Legacy increases Strength, the attribute loss would occur in Intelligence. A creature that gains multiple Legacies loses points in multiple attributes. This can cause the creature's death.
After the attribute loss is completed, a physical change begins. This transformation depends on the exact Legacy gained. Typically, it warps the creature's body. If the Legacy grants armoured skin, the Affliction might transform the creature's outer covering into rough scales. If it grants the ability to transform one hand into a weapon, the arm might permanently become a weapon. These changes are usually painful, and the transformation often leaves the creature shunned or even hunted by its peers.
Some races and creatures do not manifest Legacies, while still suffering Afflictions. Intelligent creatures may then seek out a means to evoke the Legacy since the negative effects are already present.
Cinnabryl is a shiny red metal found only within the lands of the Savage Coast. This metal is the most widely used protection against the detrimental effects of the Red Curse. To be completely effective, it must be worn next to the skin.
Nothing can prevent the first attribute point lost due to the Red Curse, but if cinnabryl is worn, all other negative effects are prevented, leaving just the powerful Legacy. Cinnabryl will even reverse any negative effects that have already begun (except the first attribute point lost). However, wearing cinnabryl outside the cursed lands will cause the loss of 1 point of Constitution per day until death occurs; this effect is known as the Red Blight.
Cinnabryl is found in red clay deposits. By more primitive people, these nuggets are worn in wrist bands, slipped in between the leather and the skin. Many others pound the metal into rough amulets. Cinnabryl is easily shaped and is often moulded into quality bracelets, rings, and pendants.
When providing this protection, cinnabryl depletes and eventually becomes red steel. One ounce of the soft metal protects against the curse for one week.
The Haze is a buffer zone around the cursed lands. While still marked with vermeil, these lands are not directly affected by the Red Curse. Those with Legacies who enter this area do not lose these powers, and visitors from other lands do not become cursed. The City-States, Hule, Yavdlom, The Arm of the Immortals, most of Orc's Head Peninsula, and several miles of water around the coast all lie within the Haze.
Legacies are spell-like powers that manifest themselves to any creatures in the cursed lands of the Savage Coast. This one beneficial effect of the Red Curse is still rarely considered positive. The onset lasts about a week, during which time the special ability can be activated once per day. After this, the power is fully active and can be used up to 3 times per day. Some of the Legacies are described below.
Red Steel is among the most coveted substances on the Savage Coast. Half as light as regular steel and just as strong, it is used to craft some of the finest weapons in the world. Its inherent magical quality also allows it to strike creatures only affected by cold iron or magical weapons. Red steel also holds enchantments well; along the Savage Coast, it is the preferred material for crafting magical weapons, armour, and other devices. The trade of red steel is carefully monitored. Various forces strive to keep it within the realm of the Savage Coast, but some of the metal does make it to the outside world.
The Time of Loss and Change occurs after a person or creature acquires a Legacy. When this happens, he gradually loses 2d4 points from a particular ability score (as described in the Affliction entry, above). If the person or creature begins wearing cinnabryl immediately, only 1 point is lost.
In addition to ability loss, Affliction occurs during this time if cinnabryl is not worn. These detrimental effects are also described in detail in "The Curse and the Legacies" chapter of The SAVAGE COAST Campaign Book.
Vermeil is the most obvious manifestation of the curse. This red dust permeates the soil and air, lending a reddish cast to everything in the region. Vermeil gets into everything made here, giving it a permanent reddish tint that remains even after the item is removed from the cursed lands. Because it is in the air, all creatures and races of the area ingest small amounts of it, which affects their skin and hair colour. The more time spent in the area, the more drastic the effects. Gaining a Legacy hastens this colour change.
Vermeil radiates a faint magical aura as well. This accounts for the magical haze that covers the entire Savage Coast and its residents, making the spell detect magic all but worthless. This also affects many other divination spells, such as know alignment, identify, etc.
For a long time, the Red Curse was confined to the Savage Baronies, held in check by the powerful magic of the araneas. Then the Immortals warred amongst each other, and for several days all magic ceased to function. The forces which held the curse back were smashed, and the Red Curse spread along the entire coast. Though its basic nature never changed, the manifestation of Legacies did tend to be different within the new cursed areas. These areas with particular manifestations were termed as "regions" of the curse.
Only the hardy survived this initial onset; the initial attribute loss often killed the weak. During those first chaotic days, it was thought that a great plague was sweeping the coast; many stayed indoors rather than seek out the protection of cinnabryl.
Legacies are now considered a natural event in the life of a Savage Coast resident, and signs of manifestation are watched for as the young mature into adults. A particular Legacy can help to determine a person's fate; Weapon Hand almost always leads to a path of adventuring, while Breathe Water influences a person toward the coast.
The most common monster Legacies are briefly described below. Legacies can be used three times per day, but once one is activated, it must be used immediately. For more information, consult The SAVAGE COAST Campaign Book. In the descriptions, caster refers to the creature using the Legacy. Saving throws are allowed only if noted.
Acid Touch: (Instantaneous) Produces acid in mouth or hands. On successful hit, inflicts 1d4 points of damage plus 1 per Hit Die of the caster.
All-Around Vision: (1 round/level) Creature sprouts extra eye at each temple and two in back of head.
Amber Paralysis: (2 rounds/level) Paralyses any target within 10 yards. Modify save -1 per 3 HD of caster.
Anti-Missile: (1 round/level) non-magical missiles hit caster only on a natural attack roll of 20.
Armour: (1 round/level) AC bonus equal to -1 per 3 Hit Die of caster. Maximum bonus is -5. Lowest AC of -10.
Ball of Fire: (Instantaneous) Throws single flaming ball at opponent with range of thrown dagger. Successful attack inflicts 1d4 points of damage per 3 HD, maximum of 5d4.
Bite: (1 round/level) Caster grows large fangs, which can inflict 1d8 points of damage on a successful attack roll.
Blend: (1 round/level) Outer colouring changes. Caster is 20% undetectable plus 5% per Hit Die, maximum 95%. Penalty of -10% applies if moving.
Burn: (Instantaneous) Flame issues from mouth or hands at a range of HD-1 feet. A successful attack roll causes 1d4 points of damage plus 1 per Hit Die.
Charm: (2 rounds/level) Target within sight (with HD less than or equal to caster) will believe caster to be friendly. Target gets a saving throw.
Chill: (Instantaneous) At range of HD-1 feet, caster inflicts cold damage of 1d4 points of damage plus 1 per HD on a successful attack roll.
Climb: (1 round/level) Caster gains 95% chance to climb.
Crimson Fire: (2 rounds/level) One target per 3 HD (within 10 yards) outlined in red light. Attackers get +2 attack bonus on target in the dark, +1 in twilight or better light.
Cure: (Instantaneous) Heals damage equal to HD+1 in hit points, maximum of 16. Can be split among up to three recipients (including caster) as desired.
Detonate: (Instantaneous) Small object within 10 yards explodes. Fragments cause 1d8 points of damage to anyone within 10 feet.
Dexterity: (1 round/level) Raises caster's Dexterity to 18. If already 18 or higher, grants a +2 bonus, maximum of 25.
Disguise: (3 rounds/level) Alters caster's features. New form must be similar to old one. No special powers gained.
Disintegrate: (Instantaneous) Causes up to one cubic foot of non-living, solid matter to crumble to dust. Magical items get a saving throw. Affected material must be touched.
Displace: (2 rounds/level) If physically hit, caster teleports 10 feet in a random direction, avoiding damage.
Disrupt: (Instantaneous) Red light leaps from caster's hand or eye and causes 1d4 points of damage per 3 HD to any one undead creature on a successful attack roll.
Duplicate: (2 rounds/level) Creates illusory duplicate of caster that remains within 10 yards and can be either controlled or programmed to perform specific functions.
Entangle: (1 round/level) Caster's arms, fingers, or hair grow into tentacles 5 feet long per 3 HD, maximum 25 feet. If entangled, victim must make a bend bars roll to escape.
Feel Magic: (1 round/level) Caster detects and basically identifies the magical emanations of anything touched. Grants 5% chance per level, maximum of 75%.
Fight: (1 round/level) Grants caster a +2 bonus on all attack rolls or the THAC0 of a warrior of equal level.
Fly: (2 rounds/level) Grants caster flight at a rate of 12, manoeuvrability C. For creatures that can already fly, this increases speed by 6, manoeuvrability by 2.
Fog: (1 round/level) Creates stationary fog, 1,000 cubic feet. Limits all vision to 2 feet within fog.
Gas Breath: (1 round/level) Caster exhales poison gas at one target within 5 feet. Successful attack inflicts 1d4 points of damage per 3 HD; magical protection grants save.
Gaseous Form: (1 round/level) Caster becomes gaseous. Movement rate is 3, manoeuvrability B.
Hypnosis: (1 round/level) Caster affects target within 10 yards with an Intelligence of at least 5 and who is able to understand language. Failed save indicates a trance or the effect of a suggestion spell.
Leap: (Instantaneous) Caster can jump forward or up 20 feet, plus 1 foot per HD, maximum of 35 feet.
Luck: (Instantaneous) Caster can re-roll failed saving throw or ability check.
Meld: (2 rounds/level) Caster melds body and up to 100 pounds of possessions into stone, dirt, or wood.
Missile: (Special) Caster releases 1 magical missile per 3 HD for 1d6 points of damage each on a successful attack roll. Release all at once or separately at any targets. Dexterity bonuses apply to attack rolls.
Phantasm: (1 round/level) Caster appears as a horrifying apparition. Opponents must make a successful saving throw vs. spell or flee in fear. Lasts caster's HD in rounds.
Phase: (1 round/level) Adjusts caster's body composition to pass through solid matter. Can keep one item in hand solid.
Poison: (Special) Depending on HD, generates poison that causes sleep, paralysation, damage, or death. Victims can attempt a saving throw vs. poison for half effect.
Proficiency: (2 rounds/level) Grants caster proficiency with any weapon or skill, or adds +2 bonus to existing proficiency.
Projectile: (Special) Caster shoots 2 physical missiles per HD, each doing 1d4 points of damage. Can be fired all at once or one per round. Must make attack roll for each missile.
Red Shield: (2 rounds/level) Generates glowing shield in caster's hand, 1 foot per 3 HD. Shield offers -1 AC bonus.
Red Steel: (1 round/level) Temporarily enchants melee or missile weapon to act as red steel with +1 bonus for every 3 HD of the caster.
Reflect: (1 round/level) Reflects first missile attack, melee attack, or spell that is not area-affecting. Originator of attack must save or suffer the reflected attack.
Regenerate: (Special) Caster regains 1 hit point per HD, at a rate of 1 per round. Can regrow small body parts.
Repel Metal: (1 round/level) Metal weapons cannot hit caster. Metal worn by caster remains in place.
Senses: (2 rounds/level) Grants ultra-sensitive sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
Separation: (2 rounds/level) Bloodlessly and painlessly detaches hand or eye from caster's body which can then act on own. Part reappears automatically.
Shape Stone: (2 rounds/level) Lets caster mould stone with bare hands, 1 cubic foot per 1 to 4 rounds.
Shock: (Instantaneous) Caster electrically shocks a target within HD-1 feet. Inflicts 1d4 points of damage plus 1 per HD of caster. Metal armour is not included in target's AC.
Shoot: (1 round/level) Grants caster either the THAC0 of a warrior of equal level or a +2 on attack rolls. This only applies to attacks using missile weapons.
Silence: (1 round/level) Produces aura of silence around one target. Double duration if used on self, saving throw allowed for others.
Speed: (1 round/level) Allows caster movement at twice normal rate, grants double melee or missile attacks, and bestows a -2 initiative bonus.
Spell Shield: (1 round/level) Grants caster a +1 bonus per 3 HD for saving throws vs. spells, maximum of +5.
Spikes: (1 round/level) Creates sharp spikes over caster's body. Touching caster inflicts 2d4 points of damage. Grants 1d6 extra points of damage for any natural physical attack except bite.
Strength: (1 round/level) Increases caster's Strength to 18/00. If already that high, gives +2 bonus, maximum of 25.
War Cry: (Instantaneous) Range of 10 yards per HD, maximum of 150 yards. Opponent failing saving throw vs. paralysation cannot attack for 1d4 rounds. Immunity to fear does not defend against this.
Weaken: (1 round/level) Target within 10 yards who fails saving throw vs. spell suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and a -1 penalty per die of damage. Strength considered to be 5.
Weapon Hand: (1 round/level) Hand changes shape to resemble normal melee weapon, which causes 1d8 points of damage.
Monsters & The Red Curse
Not all monsters are affected by the Red Curse. The more intelligent a monster, the more likely it is to gain a Legacy and the Affliction that comes with it. Those with Animal Intelligence rarely manifest a Legacy, though they might still be susceptible to the detriments of the curse. Creatures of magical nature resist the curse at varying degrees. Those of high magic such as beholders or unicorns manifest no effect at all from the Red Curse, though they will still gain the colour change. Creatures of a partial magical nature tend to gain Legacies, though often not the negative effects.
Some monsters do utilise cinnabryl to counter Affliction. Creatures of Low or Animal Intelligence must have cinnabryl supplied them by others; few receive such ministrations unless they happen to be a pet or familiar.
Using the aforementioned guidelines, bringing new creatures to the Savage Coast should not be difficult. Determine either one Legacy or a small group of likely Legacies for each monster type. Unless the creature possesses strong magic as part of its nature, it should also suffer Affliction. Creatures from outside the cursed lands will always require cinnabryl.
Technically, any monster could be placed outside the Savage Coast by ignoring the effects of Legacies and Afflictions. They become regular creatures inhabiting some strange part of the world. However, much of what makes these creatures so unique and flavourful will be lost with the abandonment of the SAVAGE COAST setting.
If a creature travels beyond the Haze, its Legacies simply burn out and cease to function after a short time. Only within a few days of the cursed lands' border should monsters retain their Legacies. Lost attribute points (except for the initial one point permanent loss) slowly return. Physical deformation does not reverse but can be reversed by a remove curse spell once the Legacies are gone.
The guidelines above can be used for any creature in the MONSTROUS MANUAL tome. Typically, each Legacy raises the creature 1 HD for purposes of determining Experience Point Values. See Table 31: Creature Experience Point Values in the DMG for details.
The lands associated with the Savage Coast have developed a mixture of feudal government and swashbuckling culture. Any intelligent monsters should be influenced by this culture, adding to the general ambience.
One of the critical elements of this area is the prevalence of panache, which leads to flashy appearances and lots of posturing, even when backing down. Dry wit and a cocky attitude in the face of defeat could influence an opponent enough to allow either a respite or complete withdrawal. Everyone admires spirit.
It is not enough for a monster to simply act in opposition to the adventuring party. There must be elements of daring humour, spiteful jealousy, and romance. Perhaps the creature is bitter because most humanoids have mastered their Afflictions with cinnabryl, while it suffers the full detrimental effect. Perhaps the creature is so hideously deformed that it prizes appearance above all else, forcing adventurers to acknowledge its superior beauty. Perhaps the monster's Legacy gives it a feeling of powerful euphoria, bestowing delusions of grandeur such that the monster lays grand plans to take over the Savage Coast. Give the creature some personality, and characters will respond in turn, creating an atmosphere rich in detail and flavour.