Elemental Hounds

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2007

Edited by Mario Butter for The Guild Companion

"Their breath weapon is a snarl of crimson flame"

Statistical Information

Level 6 Special Abilities Affinity (see below); Breath Weapon (see below); Enhanced Scent; Nightvision; Survival Instinct; Tough Hide (Minor)
Hits 123
Size Medium
Movement 16 Stats St: 75 (5) Co: 75 (7) Ag: 75 (7) Qu: 75(11) SD: 75(5) In: 75(5) Re: 75 (5) Pr:75 (5) PP: 20
Initiative 20
Defensive Bonus 72 RR Stamina 54; Will 50; Magic 50
Attacks 83 M-Puncture;
75 Breath Weapon
Treasure - - -
#Encountered 2-20 Culture -
Outlook Hostile Important Skills Perception 42; Stalking & Hiding 42; Tracking: 40
Lifestyle Pack

Description

The Elemental Hounds are related to the mundane wolves that prowl the northern forests and wastes. Like their natural counterparts, Elemental Hounds are deadly predators that live and hunt in packs. Unlike ordinary wolves, Elemental Hounds are magical fusions of mortal flesh with elemental energy, granting them innate abilities such as elemental breath weapons and an affinity with their chosen element. Each Elemental Hound has an affinity with a single element; a pack will only accept members of its own breed and will fight without mercy against all other breeds.

Fire Hounds are marked by glowing red eyes and coppery fur; their breath weapon is a snarl of crimson flame. Ice Hounds have snow white fur and blue eyes; their breath weapon is a chilling howl of ice. Night Hounds have midnight-black fur and coal-black eyes; their breath weapon is a torrent of corrosive acid. Stone Hounds have grey fur and eyes of granite; their breath weapon manifests as a bolt of invisible force. Storm Hounds have brown fur and green eyes; their breath weapon manifests as a miniature bolt of lightning.

Combat

The Elemental Hounds use pack tactics to track and hunt down their prey. The pack will coordinate its attacks, splitting up into smaller groups so that some hounds can drive their large game into the waiting maws of their pack mates, or using overwhelming numbers against even more perilous monsters. Elemental Hounds show no fear in battle.

Fire Hounds

Breath Weapon (Fire): A Fire Hound may breathe fire. Treat this as an Elemental Bolt (Fire), including all relevant scaling options. The Fire Hound must expend power points to use the breath weapon but there is no chance of it failing.

Elemental Affinity (Fire): When struck by an attack using Fire/Heat, the Fire Hound is healed a number of Concussion Hits equal to the damage done. Cold attacks do x2 damage to the Fire Hound.

Ice Hounds

Breath Weapon (Water): An Ice Hound may unleash a blast of freezing water. Treat this as an Elemental Bolt (Water), including all relevant scaling options. The Ice Hound must expend power points to use the breath weapon but there is no chance of it failing.

Elemental Affinity (Ice): When struck by an attack using Water/Cold, the Ice Hound is healed a number of Concussion Hits equal to the damage done. Fire/Heat attacks do x2 damage to the Ice Hound.

Night Hounds

Breath Weapon (Acid): A Night Hound may unleash a bolt of corrosive acid. Treat this as an Acid Bolt, including all relevant scaling options. The Night Hound must expend power points to use the breath weapon but there is no chance of it failing.

Acid Affinity: When struck by an attack using the External Poison critical table, the Night Hound is healed a number of Concussion Hits equal to the damage done.

Stone Hounds

Breath Weapon (Earth): A Stone Hound may unleash a blast of unseen force. Treat this as an Elemental Bolt (Earth), including all relevant scaling options. The Stone Hound must expend power points to use the breath weapon but there is no chance of it failing.

Elemental Affinity (Earth): When struck by an attack using Earth/Impact, the Stone Hound is healed a number of Concussion Hits equal to the damage done. Electrical attacks do x2 damage to the Stone Hound.

Storm Hounds

Breath Weapon (Air): A Storm Hound may unleash a bolt of lightning. Treat this as an Elemental Bolt (Air), including all relevant scaling options. The Storm Hound must expend power points to use the breath weapon but there is no chance of it failing.

Elemental Affinity (Air): When struck by an attack using Air/Electrical, the Storm Hound is healed a number of Concussion Hits equal to the damage done. Impact attacks do x2 damage to the Storm Hound.

Myths & Misconceptions

Scholars disagree as to the origins of the true Elemental Hounds. Some conjecture that the Hounds' lupine ancestors strayed into the elemental planes and were imbued with elemental energy in some freakish accident. Others believe that the Lords of the Elemental Planes captured ordinary wolves and deliberately created the original Fire, Ice , Stone and Storm Hounds, releasing some of them back into the normal plane of reality.

With regard to the Night Hounds, there is no such disagreement. The Night Hounds were deliberately bred by the Demon Princes to serve as vicious guardians for their most loyal sorcerous servants on earth. When the dark mages were vanquished, a few of the Night Hounds escaped and now survive masterless in the wilderness.

Treasures

The Elemental Hounds have no interest in collecting treasure. Gold, jewellery, objects, etc., are simply inedible detritus to the Hounds - adventurers with hardy stomachs might find valuable spoils among the remains of humanoid victims of the packs.

Encounters

The Elemental Hounds will normally be encountered in the deep wilderness, though hunger can drive them towards farmlands. Fire Hounds claim territories near volcanoes, active or extinct. Ice Hounds dwell in the frozen tundra, Stone Hounds seek out hilly and rough terrain, while Storm Hounds prefer forests. Night Hounds linger in regions once befouled with dark magics.

Author's Note:

Elemental Hounds were inspired by the Elemental Birds entry of Monsters: A Field Guide and are a HARP transformation of the Zephyr Hounds found in Rolemaster's Creatures & Monsters.