Thursday, December 27, 2012

DCC Donnerstag: War Dogs for Everyone

As I mentioned in this post, the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad group picked up some war dogs last time they were in Mustertown. At the time, I didn't think much about stats for these dogs beyond just giving them some hit dice and an armor class. I had the guys roll on Zak's awesome chart of doggy craziness to see what breeds of dogs they had available to them and from there I made some minor modifications to the super basic stats I had come up with and now, I give you the toolkit I used to figure out just what war dogs can do.

War Dog

Init +0; Atk +0 bite melee (1d4 damage); AC 11; HD 1d8; MV 40'; Act 1d20; Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +1; AL L.

On this basic dog chasis, the Judge can build all sorts of unique dog breeds by just rolling on Zak's chart and making some slight alterations to the template. For example, +Edgar Johnson really liked the sound of the War Pug he rolled up (and now calls "Steve" for some reason), so I needed some logical boosts and nerfs to stats to reflect just what a War Pug should be capable of. Being smaller and more nimble than most other war dogs, ol' Steve got +1 to AC (12) and Reflex (+1 now), but took a two die-chain penalty to HD (now 1d6 instead of 1d8). Finally, I changed the Action dice to be 1d20 or 2d14; thus, the war pug could choose to make one much more accurate attack or two wild & crazy attacks. Guess which of those two Edgar picks every time? Here's the finalized version of the war pug

Steve the War Pug

Init +1; Atk +0 bite melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 40'; Act 1d20 or 2d14; Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1; AL L.

By the same token, Mr. +Wayne Snyder picked up a North Wessex (might have to work on that name) Egg-Sucking Hound. Besides being terribly proficient at sucking eggs, the North Wessex is able to detect lycanthropes somehow, granting the dog a Special Property: Detects lycanthropes (perfect accuracy). No other bonuses or anything, just the ability to always know if there's lycanthropes around.

The same sorts of logic can be applied to every result on Zak's table. Many results beef up the damage (to, say 1d6) or AC (to 15 or so), but some are more nebulous (like the war pug) and need interpretation. The Judge might rule that the "utterly unremarkable" result means that the dog is just as-written. He might, however, rule that the dog is so utterly remarkable that people might have a hard time remembering it and might ascribe any number of doglike traits to it that it may or may not possess; it's just this dog, you know?
A funny-looking dog might require a low-DC Will save or spend 1d3 rounds laughing uncontrollably at the sight. Stuff like that. If there's a result for it on Zak's chart and the player decides to actually buy the funny-looking dog, why not give it an effect?

In the Metal Gods campaign, all war dogs cost 25 sp; in the Game of Taps, it would be 25 gp.