Friday, 5 April 2013

Creature: Wilizards

Someone from another universe, perhaps a universe like ours, would see a saurian-like creature such as the Wilizard and think "that's a chubby sort of little velociraptor without the sharp claws; a bit fatter like a T-Rex but definitely a smaller dinosaur." As the Wilizard is not native to these parts, and is more readily found in the lands around Wetham, the chances of you seeing one are slim.

And probably just as well.

People who study such things don't know what has happened; a few hundred years ago Wilizards were simple pack predators, hunting, sometimes scavenging. They were nowhere near the top of the food chain, but at around four feet in height, with sharp teeth and a tail to help them balance running on two legs they were at least on the middle rungs of the ladder.

No longer.

Recently Wilizards have been showing greater levels of intelligence than simple pack-hunting animals. They track prey and wait until nightfall before striking. They pretend to play dead so that others investigate. They - somehow - construct crude pit traps and lie in wait for the unwary to fall in. Not all of these tactics are well executed, but more often than not they allow the opportunity for a Wilizard to bring something down, be it a man or beast. Scholars are trying to determine from old museum artifacts whether they have always had opposable claws...

Wilizard (pronounced "why-lizz-ard")

AC: Leather. 2HD. Attack with d6 bite (or see below) and are usually encountered in packs of 2+d6.
Wilizard scales are different patterns of green and brown; when still, they can blend in quite well in undergrowth and forests.

When randomly encountered, roll a d10 to see what tactic they are using.
1. They attack the party head on, running towards them in a group.
2. The party is at the centre of an encircling of Wilizards who charge in.
3. The party is at the centre of an encircling group of Wilizards that make themselves known and then slowly stalk in, hooting and snarling.
4. A Wilizard lies in the path playing dead. It and the other Wilizards hidden nearby attack if the "dead" one is investigated.
5. A crude spike trap, very easy to spot. Four feet deep with half a dozen two foot sharp wooden stakes underneath. Wilizards wait nearby.
6. Two Wilizards seem to be fighting each other quite viciously; they are only play-fighting and wrestling as a distraction. The rest of the Wilizards sneak up behind any observers.
7. A steady stream of fist-sized rocks are flung at the party suddenly. 25% chance that a rock will have to be defended against (hit-check). A rock does d3 damage. After a minute half of the Wilizards will run at the party. If the party runs they will be chased by Wilizards, who will mob anyone who has been injured.
8. A series of well-concealed snares on the ground. A WIS check or search to spot and avoid. If caught, a DEX check to free. If anyone is caught a clanging sound will be heard (snares are connected to a crude bell in a tree) and Wilizards will run and arrive in d6 rounds.
9. A group of a dozen trees has a small field in the centre. Each tree has been painted in rough pigments, strange markings that look like language and pictograms. Half of the trees have Wilizards concealed in them, ready to jump down on people who stop to look at the markings.
10. Damn. Roll a d6. On a 1-5 there are twice as many Wilizards as previously rolled. On a 6 there are three times as many. Either way, half of the number have crude staffs (d6, -1 to hit), a quarter have stone daggers (d4, -1 to hit), one has a short bow (d6 damage, +1 to hit, four arrows) and the rest are unarmed. They are painted up with pigments that blend in convincingly with the terrain. They are arranged in a simple three group formation, with their archer well protected by staffs and knives. They will wait until potential prey - say a party of adventurers - is roughly between them all, and then the archer will fire an arrow and call out "HA!" to signal the attack.

Some merchants arrived in Wetham several months ago saying that they had seen Wilizards fashioning shields from wood, but they must have been mistaken...


  1. I love these; not only are they an interesting take on lizardmen, they're dripping with story potential.

    1. Thanks Kelvin. I started writing them simply as pack-predators. Then added the random attack pattern. As I was writing up though I just thought "what if they've not always been like this?"

      I was toying with the idea of a modifier too, each time they are encountered add a +1 modifier to the d10 roll for future encounters - that way maybe the wilizards are "evolving"...