Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge: H is for Humanoids

I've established Orcs exist in my game (by allowing Half-Orcs), but I kind of want to mess around with the concept of the humanoid threat to the island of Greatholm.  I've got an idea for how to handle the threat facing the Elves of the Elshaw, but I wanted to have something different for the rest of the island.  I may have found my solution when I was thinking of F words to use for the Challenge.  It took me longer to write this than anticipated, so I bumped it to H...

According to Wikipedia, the Fir Bolg were the inhabitants of Ireland before the Tuatha De Danann showed up.  Well, the Fir Bolg will be the original inhabitants of Greatholm (in keeping with my tradition of bastardizing different parts of Britain for Greatholm).  The Firbolg in the Monster Manual II (since we're still waiting on Joe to finish the Adventures Dark & Deep Bestiary) are what I have to work with.  At 13+ HD, that's a bit much to have them running around too much.  So, the purest and greatest of the Fir Bolg will match the stats in Monster Manual II, but they aren't the only Fir Bolg running around.

From time immemorial, the Fir Bolg ruled Greatholm.  The many tribes of Moroilean (the Fir Bolg name for the Island) lived and fought amongst each other until the Men of the West and the Men of the North began to appear on the shores of the island.  At first, they proved no serious threat.  As time passed, the humans would not stop coming.  More and more would land upon the island, eventually establishing footholds.  The scourge of humanity would prove as virulent to the Moroilean tribes as they were to other parts of the world, eventually driving them out of the rich plains into the southern hills and mountains and the forests of the northwest.  Their numbers waned to the point of desperation.  The tribes that survived were the ones that decided that if they can't beat humanity, they should join them.  Using their alter self abilities, the Fir Bolg bred with the humans they captured in raids.  The resulting children, while weaker than their parents, bolstered the tribal numbers.

As the blood thinned, so did the understanding that the creatures were Fir Bolg.  Creatures decended from the Fir Bolg eventually were unable to use the alter self abilities and began to be known as "Orcs" due to the regular swine/warthog imagery on their banners and such (Orc is the Fir Bolg word for swine).

Fir Bolg and Orcs (greater and lesser) will appear as large copper-colored humans with dark brown or black hair.  The biggest thing differentiating the different strains is their size.  As they continue to breed with humans, they get more and more human blood in them.

GREATER FIR BOLG
Morale  +8
Number Appearing  1 (5% 1d4 will appear together)
Hit Dice  11d8
Armor Class  2
Move  15"
Magic Resistance  20%
Damage  by weapon type +10 (strength modifier)
Defenses
Attacks per weapon (Attack Rank L, +4 (strength modifier)
Size L (12')
Intelligence Average to Genius
Alignment Chaotic Neutral (Can also tend towards Neutral and the Evil alignments)
Treasure Type VI
Treasure Value 2500 g.p.
Magic Treasure 15% Weapon; 10% Armor
X.P. Value 2000+16/h.p.


Greater Fir Bolg can alter self at will as 11th-level casters.

LESSER FIR BOLG
Morale  +6
Number Appearing  1d4 (5% 4d4 will appear together)
Hit Dice  7d8
Armor Class  4
Move  15"
Magic Resistance  10%
Damage  by weapon type +8 (strength modifier)
Defenses
Attacks per weapon (Attack Rank H, +3 (strength modifier)
Size L (10')
Intelligence Average to Genius
Alignment Chaotic Neutral (Can also tend towards Neutral and the Evil alignments)
Treasure Type VI
Treasure Value 1500 g.p.
Magic Treasure 10% Weapon; 5% Armor
X.P. Value 350+8/h.p.

Lesser Fir Bolg can alter self once per day as 7th-level casters.  


GREATER ORC

Morale  +4
Number Appearing  1d8 (5% 4d8 will appear together)
Hit Dice  4d8
Armor Class  6
Move  12"
Magic Resistance  5%
Damage  by weapon type +6 (strength modifier)
Defenses
Attacks per weapon (Attack Rank G, +3 (strength modifier)
Size L (8')
Intelligence Average to Genius
Alignment Chaotic Neutral (Can also tend towards Neutral and the Evil alignments)
Treasure Type VI
Treasure Value 500 g.p.
Magic Treasure 5% Weapon
X.P. Value 60+4/h.p.

LESSER ORC


Morale  +2
Number Appearing  1d8 (5% 4d8 will appear together)
Hit Dice  1d8
Armor Class  6
Move  12"
Magic Resistance  none
Damage  by weapon type
Defenses
Attacks per weapon (Attack Rank C)
Size M (6')
Intelligence Average to Genius
Alignment Chaotic Neutral (Can also tend towards Neutral and the Evil alignments)
Treasure Type VI
Treasure Value 100 g.p.
Magic Treasure none
X.P. Value 10+1/h.p.