Blog or Treat: The Pack Hound

By The Literate Programmer, Fri 28 October 2016, in category Gurps

Blog or Treat, GURPS, Monster, Powers

Jules looked over his shoulder. The feeling of being watched had kept growing stronger over the past few minutes. He was sure that he shook the last of his pursuers when he entered the moor, but still he felt watched.

The moorlands. He'd heard the villagers talk about them almost as if they were alive, and the creatures that they claimed lived in the moors? He smirked to himself. Well, if it kept them from pursuing them until tomorrow morning, he'd be getting clean away. Though, that fog that rolled in just now would slow him down, too.

What was that? Something moved at the edge of his vision. There it is! A wolf, no... a whole pack was circling him!
He drew his sword. Damn those bastards, they never said anything about wolves!
Perhaps he could scare them off, however. Wolves weren't exactly known for hunting down humans. Groups of humans, anyway. Still, he had to try. He swung at the nearest wolf - and nearly fell over, as his blade encountered no resistance whatsoever. What the hell?! An illusion?

Then something attacked him from behind.

The Pack Hound

Background

A Pack Hound is a wild dog who has somehow acquired magical powers. Tapping into some primal instincts, its magic powers ensure that it always has a pack to hunt with - or so its prey thinks.

In reality, its magic allows it to create the illusion of a pack of dogs: Noises, fleeting glimpses of nearby dogs and, when pressed, actual short-lived copies of itself.

I'm going to try creating this creature and its powers on three power levels, to accomodate different power levels of PCs. The base will be the Timber Wolf from the GURPS Basic Set. This is the first time I've tried creating something on multiple power levels and using GURPS Powers, so any feedback is appreciated!

This idea came up during a bit of brainstorming / shooting the breeze on the GURPS Discord channel, which is a lot of fun. Go check it out ;)

"Realistic"

ST 10; DX 12; IQ 4; HT 12
HP 10; FP 12;
Will 11; Per 14; Speed 6; Dodge 9; Move 9
SM 0; 100 lbs.
Damage: 1d-2 cut

Traits: Discriminatory Smell; DR 1; Night Vision 2; Quadruped; Sharp Teeth; Temperature Tolerance 1; Wild Animal

Wild Animal: Bestial [-10]; Cannot Speak [-15]; Hidebound [-5]; Taboo Trait (Fixed IQ) [0]
Quadruped: Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5]; Horizontal [-10]; No Fine Manipulators [-30]

Skills: Brawling-14; Tracking-14, Artist (Illusion)-4, TA (Brawling Grapple/Leg)-12, Stealth-12

Powers:
Pack Hunter 2: +2 to (Artist(Illusion), Fright Checks, IQ rolls for illusions) [10]

The Pack is always there: Illusion (Independence +40%, Area Effect 3(16yds) +150%, Reliable 10 +50%, Extended Duration +300%) [160]

There's never just one: Allies (Summonable +100%, Group of 5 x4, Minion +50%, Sympathy -10%, Constantly x4, Takes Recharge(5') -30%) [34]

"Cinematic"

ST 14; DX 12; IQ 4; HT 12
HP 14; FP 12;
Will 11; Per 14; Speed 6; Dodge 9; Move 9
SM 0; 100 lbs.
Damage: 1d cut

Traits: Discriminatory Smell; DR 3; Night Vision 2; Quadruped; Sharp Teeth; Temperature Tolerance 1; Wild Animal, Born Biter 1

Wild Animal: Bestial [-10]; Cannot Speak [-15]; Hidebound [-5]; Taboo Trait (Fixed IQ) [0] Quadruped: Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5]; Horizontal [-10]; No Fine Manipulators [-30]

Skills: Brawling-14; Tracking-14, Artist (Illusion)-4, TA (Brawling Grapple/Leg&Arm)-12, TA (Brawling Bite/Neck)-12, Stealth-14

Powers:
Pack Hunter 2: +2 to (Artist(Illusion), Fright Checks, IQ rolls for illusions) [10]

The Pack is always there: Illusion (Independence +40%, Area Effect 3(16yds) +150%, Reliable 10 +50%, Extended Duration +300%) [160]

There's never just one: Allies (Summonable +100%, Group of 5 x4, Minion +50%, Sympathy -10%, Constantly x4, Takes Recharge(5') -30%) [37]

Hunters in the fog: Obscure 4 (Defensive +50%, Always On -50%, Area Effect 4(16yds) +200%) [24]

"Monster Hunters"

ST 20; DX 16; IQ 4; HT 14
HP 20; FP 14;
Will 11; Per 14; Speed 7.5; Dodge 12; Move 10
SM 0; 100 lbs.
Striking ST: +4 Damage: 2d cut

Traits and Advantages: Discriminatory Smell; DR 3; Night Vision 2; Quadruped; Sharp Teeth; Temperature Tolerance 1; Wild Animal, Born Biter 1, Enhanced Dodge 2

Wild Animal: Bestial [-10]; Cannot Speak [-15]; Hidebound [-5]; Taboo Trait (Fixed IQ) [0] Quadruped: Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5]; Horizontal [-10]; No Fine Manipulators [-30]

Skills: Brawling-18; Tracking-14, Artist (Illusion)-4, TA (Brawling Grapple/Leg&Arm)-16, TA (Brawling Bite/Neck)-16, Stealth-18

Powers:
Pack Hunter 4: +4 to (Artist(Illusion), Fright Checks, IQ rolls for illusions) [20]

The Pack is always there: Illusion (Independence +40%, Area Effect 3(16yds) +150%, Reliable 10 +50%, Extended Duration +300%) [160]

There's never just one: Allies (Summonable +100%, Group of 5 x4, Minion +50%, Sympathy -10%, Constantly x4, Takes Recharge(5') -30%) [37]

Hunters in the fog: Obscure 6 (Defensive +50%, Always On -50%, Area Effect 4(16yds) +200%) [36]

Powering up

There are several ways to power up the Pack Hound, if you think it isn't quite scary enough. One could play up the fog that they create and give them something similar to Misty Step, a short-range teleport through the fog.

If they aren't lethal enough for your tastes, upgrading their bite so they don't take damage from an armed parry or giving them skills to wrench limbs is a realistic way to do so. Throwing realism further out the window, giving the illusory pack the Stigmata enhancement would allow them to inflict damage on the Pack Hounds victims. Unless a small army showed up to hunt the Pack Hound, it would now truly always outnumber its foes.

Update: It's been pointed out to me that a good idea might be to enlarge the area of the fog greatly. With just 3 more levels, it would cover 128yds, which looks like a good realistic fog bank. Pushing it up two more levels, to 512yds gives the targets plenty of time to get used to the fog, thinking it's harmless, before the Pack Hound reaches them.

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