Archive for category Monster of the Day

Mundane Freaks from the Medieval Bestiary: The Hyena

Sometimes it’s easy to skip over the normal every day creatures in life, in part because we’re used to them and also in part because we don’t grow up with mythology surrounding them. The campaign wiki give us stats on the average every day hyena and then a giant version. A nice mean pack animal to throw at our players sure, but what about the mythology that surrounds hyenas? This is where the medieval bestiary comes in with its entry on hyenas. In particular two pieces of lore make for excellent RPG fodder. First and foremost is the note that a hyena’s eye (or stomach) may carry a stone that allows a person to predict the future if placed under the tongue. The second and perhaps more intriguing is the rumor that a hyena might circle the outside of a home or village calling a person’s name and killing those that investigate. Combine with the rumor that they dig up graves and consume the corpses and you have a classic mysterious disappearances and grave robbing without the classic were-beast, vampire or zombie. Just a simple hyena, a perfectly mundane freak.

P.S. Be sure you check out the sources listed below the main entry for other tidbits such as hyenas paralyzing other animals with its gaze.

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Monster of the Day: Corpse Crow

Inspired by a creature inĀ InuYasha, the corpse crow would probably make a great addition to your next undead / horror encounter.

Corpse Crow

Hit Dice: 1
Armor Class: 8 [11]
Attacks: Bite (1d6), Burrow (1d4)
Saving Throw: 17
Special: Possession (see below), Immunities
Move: 4/18 (flying)
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

Though not very tough, these creatures of nightmares are deadly foes and not to be taken lightly. Corpse crows survive by feasting on the corpses of their victims. A hit from a crow requires a saving throw to avoid having the crow burrow into the victim’s chest, consuming the heart. It will take a corpse crow 1 round per level or HD of the victim to burrow to the heart, and the burrowing can only be stopped by killing the crow. If the crow completes its painful advance or kills its victim before completion, the corpse crow gains possession and control over the victim’s body at half HP and -2 to attacks. If the body a corpse crow inhabits is destroyed, the crow will escape the body and seek a new victim.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License except where included material is licensed under the OGL in which case that material remains licensed under the OGL.

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