Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Somewhere North: Pugs

Pugs are curious things. They are like twisted up halflings, typically short but with proportional limbs. Their faces are difficult to read, as they seem to be permanently screwed-up into disgusted expressions. A pug has floppy dog/rabbit ears jutting out from the sides of its head. Pugs wear furs and skins to keep warm and are moderately intelligent. They construct wooden buildings and are great, natural carpenters.

However they much prefer to take what they can find.

Pugs will settle in any building that they can find to ward against the cold. Out of the mountains and in the south they roam around in small bands and try to stay hidden, sneaking into villages and taking animals – even small children – for food. These small groups are outliers. Further north they teem through the mountains, whole warbands serving under Pug Warlords. Their spiritual leaders sacrifice the impure and the un-pug to draw life and power for greater and more terrible actions. It is rumoured that some of them worship Drazils and Greater Drazils, and make offerings to bring the Final Winter.

Pugs hate halflings and Dwarves. They have never been as far north as the halfling valleys (no-one has, the way is hidden) but they have taken control of some Dwarven buildings and former outposts. It is rumoured that they have found their way in to the Kingdom, but who can say for sure? It is so long since anyone has been to the Kingdom...

They are fearful of the Bridge, and will only cross it under duress or threat from a Warlord.

Around 10% of Pugs can understand human speech.

2/3HD. No armour or leather armour. Will be armed with one of the following: short sword, sling, dagger, club.

Pug Cleric
2/3HD. Leather armour and wielding a carved staff. The staff is a little awkward and big for combat (-1 to hit). A typical cleric will have two 1st level spells.

Pug Warlord
4/5HD. Warlords and their sons are big for Pugs, and can be anything up to four-and-a-half feet in height. They wear inherited chainmail and will usually wield two-handed axes or clubs to show their troops that they are tough. They are often pissed off about something.

Encounters with Pugs
When encountering Pugs in the wild, roll d6:

1-2: Small group.
There are 2d4 pugs, a third of them have 3HD. There will be no particular leader, whichever one has the most hit points will be deemed most fit to lead. Barring strange circumstances they'll have 2d20 silver between them.

3-4. Medium group.
There are 6+3d6 pugs, a third have 3HD. One person in the group will be a cleric. 50% of the time there will be a particularly big pug with 4HD, however it will be wearing leather armour and won't be the son of a warlord. A medium group will have 20+d100 silver.

5. Large group.
20+3d10 pugs in the group. A quarter of them have 3HD, including two clerics. The leader of the group will be a warlord's son, 4HD, wearing chainmail and desperate to prove himself. About a quarter in total will be willing to ride shaggy pigs in to battle, trying to sling enemies. In their booty they will be carrying 4d100 silver and 2d6 gold.

6. Warband.
Potentially, a force to be reckoned with. 50+d100 pugs, a quarter with 3HD. There will be a cleric for every twenty pugs (rounded down). The materials and possessions of the band will be carried on carts/sleds pulled by shaggy pigs. Pugs will ride pigs into a fight. The Pug Warlord in charge will have 5HD and will have two sons with him who have 4HD. A pug warband take their spoils with them in chests: 600+2d100 silver and 3d20 gold.

(Pugs have been met several times in my Somewhere North campaign)

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