Twelve Head are Better than One

Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 1 October 1997
Last Updated On 1 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

I needed an NPC encounter which would be dangerous, would challenge the party and which would really annoy them. I came up with Heidi.

Heidi is a Hydra, daughter of the Great Hydra of Dragon Pass and a nasty piece of work. She has also been allied by Ralzakark as a priest of Primal Chaos and acts as one of his controlled beasts. She is his favourite pet.

Heidiís main claims to fame, apart from being a Hydra, are her chaos features. She IS extremely dangerous and has extra features to prove it.

Chaos Features

Heidi is extremely dangerous.
Heidiís Venom is twice as powerful as it would normally be.
Heidi can spit her venom from each head once per round instead of physically attacking with the head. The spit has a range of her STR in metres and an attack chance of POWx5%.
Any hit location completely immersed in water heals completely at the end of the round, unless Heidi is dead. (Obviously, having a weapon impaled in the wound prevents such healing.)
Heidi is confusing and knocks 100% off any attacks against her.

I canít remember Heidiís exact statistics, but I know that she had a POW of around 30 and so had 60 point Acid Venom. She had a good STR, CON, SIZ and HPs were enchanted up, so she had double general hit points and double hit points in the body and tail. Her heads had armouring enchantment. She was a tank and was one of Ralzakarkís most potent weapons.

The party first met Heidi when she was sent to attack them and to prevent them from going to somewhere in Dorastor. I canít remember where they were going, but they had to pass by a particular pond. Guess where Heidi was?

She stuck he heads out of the water and looked at the party. They laughed and ran along the bank, thinking they could outrun her. She looked at them and spat a dozen globs of acid, hitting most of the party. Now, there was no member of the party who would be killed by the Acid/Venom attack, but all hated losing armour. Fortunately, one shot hit Derak and critted - went straight through his armour and didnít do a point of damage. Fortunately he resisted the poison and was hit in a vital location which just failed to kill him. The party responded with a short and devastating burst of missile fire, knocking most of the heads out. Down Heidi went, then up she came fully healed with twice the heads she used to have. This was very funny, anyway I laughed. I canít remember the players laughing much, though.

Nobody dared face up to Heidi as anyone who got close was covered in Hydra spit before getting near enough to attack her. In the end, Deark was so annoyed at the partyís craven behaviour that he took his Gold Dagger (Hydra blood is corrosive and would burn iron or lead away, I play that Gold is unaffected) stripped off his armour and got Brankist to Teleport him near to Heidi. Into the water he went and under went most of Heidiís heads. There was an almighty battle where Derak managed to kill Heidi by impaling her body with the dagger, pushing through her skin and finally killing her on Total Hits, all the while dodging and parrying the heads. (I was generous and allowed him to push on the dagger, dodge and parry with his lead fist). Derak walked out of the pond with Vigour keeping him alive. He had managed to be Heroic to stay conscious (I played that you could go to - +ve HP without dying but you went unconscious) and crawled out. He had used all his Heal Bodies, Poison Purge, Heal Wounds and most of his Magic Points in the effort but had killed a Hydra in single combat underwater armed only with a Dagger. This was an impressive deed.

When the party met Heidi again, she was in a river and swam away when Derak went to jump in, but not without dissolving a few locations first. You should have heard Stuart moan that I had brought her back after Derak had killed her. What he hadnít realised was that Ralzakark had gone straight to her and Resurrected her with a traded spell. She was far too good to waste.

The party eventually killed Heidi permanently when they attacked Ralzakark and killed him, at the climax of the Dorastor Campaign. Derak had quested for a Black Stone to Kill Chaos and had gained one. He then threw it at Heidi with Sureshot and a Hunter Divine Intervention to make sue it hit - then he fumbled anyway. Fortunately, Brankist had a Telekinesis spell and use it to push the rock at Heidi. She fell into 1D4 pieces and I was praying for a one, but no, a 3 was rolled. "OK, two of her heads fall off" I ruled, thinking quickly. You should have heard them bitch and moan. Out came the rulebooks as they pointed out that the Stone killed the creature if more than 1 was rolled, they said that they had Quested for the item and had used Divine Intervention deliberately to kill it and that I was being unreasonable AGAIN. I et them stew for a good half hour of moaning before I relented. Well, a GM has to have his fun somewhere, doesnít he?

Anyway, that was the end of Heidi the Hydra. Use her in your campaign, you wonít regret it. Just imagine the party realising that they are about to lose loads of armour and possibly die in the process and canít do a thing about it! Itís loads and loads of fun!!