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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

RMA: Oliphaunts (Elephants and Mastodons)

I can stand the sight of worms,
And even microscopic germs,
But technicolor pachyderms,
Are really too much for me!

                                     -"Pink Elephants on Parade"

It's hardly surprising to find that elephants are pretty formidable opponents in D&D. They're big, they're strong, and they basically have SPEARS coming out of their faces. I have rarely seen them in play, though. Elephants –and their prehistoric cousins, the Mastodon– are rare on random encounters. Each only appears a single time (Grassland and Optional: Prehistoric) on the charts. Nevertheless, "modern" elephants are sometimes tamed in certain cultures and can make for an interesting encounter.

aka "The last thing Uncle Ted saw 
after setting off a firecracker on safari."

Elephant (from Cook)

AC: 5 
HD: 9
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 (tusks) or 1 (trample)
Damage: 2d8/2d8 or 4d8
No. App: 0 (1d20)
Save: F5
Morale: 8

First of all, up to twenty in a herd. Secondly, NINE hit dice. Their AC is decent, too. If you tick these things off, you have some heavy work ahead. 

They charge to start with, doing double damage with tusks, so that's potentially sixty-four hit points of damage right there. THEN they start trampling for up to 32 points per attack. Those 9HD means elephants hit often enough, but check this out: Against man-sized or smaller, they get a +4 to attack!!

Mastodons are pretty similar, except tougher (though they deal slightly less damage with their tusks).

Mastodon (from Cook)
AC: 3 
HD: 15
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 (tusks) or 1 (trample)
Damage: 2d6/2d6 or 4d8
No. App: 0 (2d8)
Save: F8
Morale: 8

The best way to deal with either of these creatures as foes? Scare them off. They're herbivores with so-so morale. Just don't be in the way when they stampede in a panic. 

The tusks of these creatures are valuable enough to entice some to take the risks (up to 800gp per). Hooks involving ivory hunters, vengeful druids, and elephant graveyards full of tusks could make for a fine adventure indeed!

1 comment:

  1. An encounter with either of these two beasts could prove deadly indeed. Another fun aspect of throwing something like this at a party, even as a random encounter, is that many people dont realize how scary-deadly elephants can be. In both real life and D&D, these are some creatures to steer clear of!

    Good post!