The Chaos Pack



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Created On 20 May 1998
Last Updated On 20 May 1998
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1998

This article first appeared in Pavic Tales #8, a cracking good RQ fanzine when there was nothing else around. I have reproduced it almost verbatim, merely modifying certain statistics for RQ3.

A long while ago, during the Greater Darkness, many people flocked to the banner of Genert in a mighty battle against Chaos. Amongst these was a huntsman whose name has been forgotten by all who live in Glorantha. The huntsman was a son of the Horned Man, first Shaman, and grandson of the God of all dogs. He brought a pack of large, semi-intelligent dogs, a gift from his Grandfather. The huntsman and his pack fought bravely against the Chaos but when they face d the Mutator they finally failed and were irrevocably changed into Chaotic Horrors. Now, they haunt Chaos Nests and certain Chaos realms, hunting down their enemies. If they lose a quarry they will re-appear when their quarry returns to their Chaos realms.

The Chaos Pack may only appear once per day in any particular Chaos area, although they can appear more than once in any single day as long as they appear in different Chaos areas. Certain places mallow them to appear more than once, one of these being the centre of Dorastor, another being the Cacodemon shrine in Snakepipe Hollow.

A member of the Chaos Pack can only be permanently destroyed by being reduced to 0 POW. If they are physically or magically killed then they are dispelled from that area for the rest of the day.

The Huntsman

He is a tall, muscular man wearing mottled grey full plate everywhere. His helmet has stag's horns and has a smooth face with no eye or breathing holes. He carries a forked stick and a long grey whip.

STR 35 CON 21 SIZ 22 INT 25 POW 25 DEX 25 CHA 21
HP 27 Dodge 150% Move 12
1-4 12/18
5-8 12/18
9-11 12/18
12 12/20
13-15 12/16
16-18 12/16
19-20 12/20

Whip SR 1 (1D10 + 3D6) 350%
Forked Stick SR 4 (2D3 + 3D6) 200%/400% (20)

Spells: The Huntsman may cast the following spells at his INT (25) in intensity: Bladesharp, Protection, Mobility, Shimmer, Repair, Dispel Magic. He can automatically Detect Life. Any spirit magic spell cast by him costs 1 MP.

Magic Items

Whip

If the whip is parried it will damage the parrying weapon. If it is not parried it will transmit a magical attack on contact - match POW vs POW, if successful the struck hit location is immobilised and is treated as if it was at 0 HP. The effect lasts until treated by a Cure Chaos Wound or a special First Aid. If the whip scores a special hit it will entangle the struck location and the magical attack will be treated as if the hit location were maimed, perhaps causing death, and can only be treated by a Critical First Aid or a Cure Chaos Wound spell.

Forked Stick

This can only be broken in one blow. If the parry is a special or critical the huntsman can attempt either to break the attacking weapon or to disarm the opponent - roll STR vs weapon's AP to break it or STR vs STR (STRx1.5 if 2 handed) to disarm. It is also a matrix, if the Huntsman expends n MPs his STR is increased by n for the purposes of the Sword Breaking.

The whip and forked stick only work for the Huntsman and lose all powers out of his grasp.

Chaos Features

  1. Turn Blow - the first wound he takes in any manifestation is automatically affected by a Turn Blow, unblockable by magic. The causer of the damage takes the same amount of damage to the same location.
  2. The Huntsman may only be harmed by magic or by runic weapons.
  3. The Huntsman is immune to disease, poison, harmonise, functional incapacitation and the effects of sleep.
  4. He appears confusing and has + 50% Shimmer.
  5. He demoralises allwho attack him in melee, once per round, on a POW vs POW roll.
  6. His spirit attacks after death as a Spirit Warrior, using a whip and forked stick with the above properties.
  7. He spits acid 1D8 times per manifestation, range = POW m, POT = POW, attack chance = POWx5%.
  8. He has vampiric hit locations, so each location has double normal hit points.
  9. On SR 0 of each round, he has a percentage chance equal to all damage taken of regenerating all the damage. If he fumbles the roll he will die.
  10. He can jump his STR in metres horizontally and STR in feet vertically.

His other skills vary between INTx5% and INTx10% depending on the GM's whim.

The Chaos Pack

This consists of 8 Chaos Hounds. Once they have targeted a quarry they start a terrifying baying. Their quarry must make a POWx5% - 20% roll. If they fail the roll they are affected by a POW 20 Fear attack, otherwise they are affected by a POW 20 Demoralise attack. The effect lasts until all the Hounds are dead or until the character can no longer hear them. The Chaos Pack will unerringly follow their quarry through any terrain, no matter how cleverly the quarry disguises his tracks.

Chaos Hounds

These are barguests, large fairy dogs with huge, saucer-like eyes. Anyone striking a Chaos Hound with a melee weapon takes 1D8 CON damage which cannot be stopped by magic. Each round, in addition to their bite attack they can Glare with demoralising effect. They can only be killed by taking twice their hit points (44) in damage or being reduced to 0 HP in their head, forequarters or hindquarters.

STR 24 CON 18 SIZ 24 INT 12 POW 20 DEX 18
HP 22 Move 10 Dodge 50% (50% Shimmer)

Bite (1D8 + 2D6) SR5 100%
Glare (POW vs POW to Demoralise) SR 0

Spells: Protection 4, Ironhand 4, Fanaticism 4, Heal 3

LH Leg 3/14
RH Leg 3/14
HQ 3/18
FQ 3/18
LFL 3/14
RLL 3/14
HEAD 3/16

The Chaos Hounds may bite, glare and dodge each round. The Glare costs no MPs and has the strength of a 1 point Divine Spell.

Each Hound is confusing - 50% shimmer effect.

Each hound has a further 2 chaos features and has a bound POW spirit in its collar.

Hound 1
Turns into a CON affecting wraith after death
Explodes on death doing (2D4)xD6 damage up to 6 m range, half damage up to 13 m.
Spirit POW 13.
Hound 2
The Glare is a Fear attack, not a demoralise.
Those striking the Hound lose 1D10 CON, not 1D8.
Spirit POW 20.
Hound 3
Absorbs all spells cast at it except its own.
Has pitch black skin + 6 armour.
Spirit POW 17.
Hound 4
Poison Touch: if it overcomes CON the victim is paralysed for the duration; if it fails the victim loses POT in DEX for POT - CON rounds, 0 DEX means he collapses in a quivering heap.
Turns into a poison cloud after death, 26m radius with poison as above.
Spirit POW 16.
Hound 5
Can become immaterial 1/day 15 minute duration, appears transparent and can only be harmed by offensive magic.
Can cast Firetooth at will at no MP loss.
Spirit POW 15.
Hound 6
Attracts all ranged spells cast or targeted within 5 metres.
Reflects all spells cast at it, except its own.
Spirit POW 12.
Hound 7
Acid Touch, POT=POW.
Corrosive blood, POT=POW/2, affects all weapons which damage it.
Spirit POW 12.
Hound 8
Regenerates 6 HP in each location every round on SR 0.
Regenerate 6 HP in each location every round on SR 10.
Spirit POW 17.

Tactics

The members of the Chaos Pack are all intelligent and always use the best tactics. They usually pair up against opponents, leaving the Huntsman to deal with any spare enemies. They always cast Ironhand 4 and Protection 4 as they go into combat, so it is very hard to kill them in one blow. As many of their opponents will be demoralised the chances of killing them quickly is reduced. They try to wear down their opponents with CON damage.

In combat the Huntsman is devastating, usually walking with Shimmer 25 or Protection 25 meaning he is hard to hit or to damage. He has Bladesharp 25 on his whip and can devastate those he attacks. He often splits his whip attack against two or three opponents, relying on the magical attack as well as the immense damage dealt out.

General Statement

The Chaos Pack is an extremely dangerous adversary. It should not be used on parties of less than 4 members unless there is adequate time to try and use missile weapons on them or unless there are tall trees nearby to temporarily get out of reach.

It is most amusing to follow up an attack by the Chaos Pack with attacks involving CON affecting wraiths or poisons. Just watch their faces when salamanders attack their weakened CONs.

The Chaotic features may change at the GM's discretion. The number of hounds may also change as the Huntsman gains spiritual allies, although he may not have more hounds than he has POW.