[The Workshop] Big, Nasty Savage Worlds Monsters

In the workshop, we play with game mechanics. Hacks, add-ons, modules, subsystems, and house rules.

So Savage Worlds has this funny little divide in the mechanics: There are two types of entities in the entire world. There are Wild Cards, and there are Extras. Extras go down in one wound, Wild Cards go down in three. Three or One. There’s nothing else. Adding wounds beyond three, or giving an Extra more wounds, is a cardinal sin of Savage Worlds hacking because it mucks with the mechanics so much. You’re going to significantly slow down the speed of play – which is one of Savage Worlds’ primary strengths.

So how, then, do you deal with a creature so vast, so immense, or so vicious that representing it as a Wild Card with a titanic size bonus just isn’t going to cut it? How do you even begin to challenge Legendary Characters? I’ve got what I think is the easiest solution for that.

You break that monster up into discrete pieces. Make certain pieces of it a Wild Card, certain pieces an Extra, and stat them out individually. Have them operate in a reasonable way given the way you’re abstracting it all. Bam, giant monster. Think of it like an encounter with an evil necromancer. You’ve got the necromancer, and you’ve got the necromancer’s skeleton minions. They’re really just part of one whole.

Consider a Kraken. You’ve got the main body of the beast, giant eyes and toothy maw. You’ve also got all the tentacles, lashing about and smacking unfortunate sailors into the sea, or grabbing them and throwing them into the beast’s mouth. Really, it’s not that different from the necromancer and skeletons.

[WC] The Kraken
These beasts of the sea are notorious for attacking ships and devouring every man on board, before dragging the unfortunate vessel below. If not driven off. They have rubbery grey flesh, two titanic yellow eyes, and a massive toothy maw on their underside.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d8, Strength d12+6, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Swimming d12
Pace 3; Parry 6; Toughness 13
Special Abilities
-Aquatic: Pace 12
-Body Slam: Str+d4
-Size +5: The body of a Kraken is over 20′ long and weighs roughly 3,500 pounds.
-Giant Maw: A Kraken that hits a pinned target with a raise has drawn the creature into its maw. It deals Str+d10 Damage and the creature is now pinned within the maw. The pinned opponent may attempt to escape the maw on her action, which requires a raise on an Agility or Strength roll. If the creature doesn’t escape, it automatically takes damage from the Maw on the next round. A creature killed in the Maw is devoured whole immediately, with no chance of survival.

Kraken’s Tentacle
These long rubbery tentacles are covered in barnacles and suckers. A kraken has anywhere from six to thirty six tentacles. Or more.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Swimming d12
Pace 5; Parry 6; Toughness 9
Special Abilities
-Aquatic: Pace 8
-Attached: A Kraken’s tentacle cannot move more than thirty yards from the monster’s main body. Additionally, any character standing directly between the monster and its tentacle can attack the tentacle in ranged or melee combat.
-Size +2: While these tentacles can be as long as 100 feet, they rarely weigh more than 1000 pounds.
-Smash: Str+d4
-Snag: A Tentacle that hits with a raise automatically grabs its opponent in lieu of dealing extra damage. Additionally, a tentacle can drag pinned opponents its pace with a successful opposed strength roll. Do this to drag vulnerable player characters to the creature’s maw!

If you use Miniatures in play, use one larger to represent the beast, and smaller markers to represent the positions of its tentacles! Don’t forget to have those tentacles come exploding in through walls and portholes. If you’re feeling really creative, make a couple extra tough and strong larger tentacles to mix in.

And there y’all have it. It’s a pretty simple concept that at the table comes off pretty cool. Plus, it gives the characters a sense that the monster is so big, it gets to have multiple stat blocks. Truly a titanic foe!

Can you think of any other systems this idea works great with?

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