Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let the Blink Dog Eat!

I came across this image last year during an unrelated google image search and I kept it, cause I liked it and thought it might be useful in the future. And so it is.
There is a 2004 date in the corner, but the artists name is illegible, so I have no idea who created it, or where it first appeared.

I was rolling old newspapers for fire-starters and came across that saying, "Let the Big Dog Eat!" It was probably a basket ball reference, you can't escape that crap in Indiana.
Anyway, it got stuck in my head, like slogans do, whether you like them or not, and later,as I was reading in the old Monster Manual it attached itself to the Blink Dog entry, and there you go.

Let the Blink Dog Eat!

I like blink dogs. They're one of those just-for-D&D monsters created for the game which has no literary, or mythological ancestors. Like the owlbear, the gelatinous cube, the rust monster, and the Bulette. These monsters are purely D&D and they have that slightly off-kilter flavor that so characterizes the early game. At least, I think so.
Blink dogs never seemed to get the play that most of the other monsters did, though. It might be because they're lawful good, and so unlikely to be adversarial. Or it might have been the name, blink dog. It's just not very threatening. You can't say the word, "blink" and make it sound ominous.

So, I thought, what can I do to make blink dogs more of a worthy encounter?

Answer, cross breed them with Hell Hounds!

Flare Wolf.

Frequency: Very rare
No. appearing: 1-6
Armor class: 4
Move: 12"
Hit Dice: 5-7
% in lair: 25%
Treasure type: C
No. of attacks: 1
Damage/attack: 2-8
Special attacks: From rear 50% of the time, breath fire.
Special defenses: Teleporting.
Magic Resistance: Standard.
Intelligence: Average.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral (evil)
Size: M (4' at the shoulder, 200 lbs)
Psionic ability: nil

A Flare Wolf is not actually a wolf at all. It is, in fact, a creature created by the inter breeding of blink dogs and hell hounds. Whether or not this happened, "naturally", or by wizardly meddling is unknown. What is known is that these monsters are deadly, and a plague on any land unlucky enough to host them.

Flare wolves possess the blink dogs limited teleportation power, and use it in the same way during an attack. A flare wolf will teleport to the attack from as far as medium range, with a 50% chance of appearing directly behind the victim. There is a 50/50 chance that the flare wolf will either bite, or breath fire as would a hell hound.
Fiery breath does 1 point of damage per hit die, plus a 30% chance of any flammable material worn or carried by the target, catching fire. Fire damage caused by, say, a burning cloak, will be determined by the Game Master separately.

A flare wolf moves with the stealth of a hell hound, they surprise on a roll of 1-4 out of 6.
Most often, a flare wolf will stalk it's victims unnoticed, and then attack by teleporting to melee range at a moment when the target creature is at a disadvantage of some sort.

A flare wolf appears as a huge, shaggy and wolfish, hound, with fiery, glowing red eyes, and with black teeth and lolling tongue. Their fur is rusty black, and when they teleport, they are engulfed in a flare of lurid red fire, and brimstone reeking smoke.

Flare Wolves are most often encountered singly, but sometimes form small packs. A pack of these monsters is a terror, and will strip a land of livestock and peasantry in short order.


The Badger King said...

Great googoly moogoloy, is this an awesome idea! COnsider it stolen! YOINK!

E.G.Palmer said...

Thank you, Badger King! I feel gratified when my monsters are released into the wild and successfully infest other game worlds!

If anyone uses one of my monsters with good results, please let me know. I'd love to hear about it!

Inkwyrm said...

Mmpf. I'm a pathfinder kid, but my setting and mechanics are so homebrewed that there's nothing left of DnD, really.

But Hellhound + Blink Dog? YES. I've noticed you have a thing for canines.

What I want to do with this though, is create a two-headed Winter Wolf/Flare Wolf combination that breathes freezing mists and fire . . . so the party can't see and then it starts teleporting around in the freezing mist to make the party think it's fighting a bunch of creatures.

I'd call it a Hailhound.