Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Bird

There are many creatures for the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit.


Bird Type #AP AC MV HD THAC0 #AT Dam/AT Morale XP Value
Blood Hawk 4-15 7 1, Fl 24 (B) 1+1 19 3 1-4/1-4/1-6 Steady (11) 120
Condor 1-2 5 3, Fl 24 (D) 3+3 17 1 2-5 Average (8-10) 175
Eagle, Giant 1-20 7 3, Fl 48 (D) 4 17 3 1-6/1-6/2-12 Elite (13) 420
Eagle, Wild 5-12 6 1, Fl 30 (C) 1+3 19 3 1-2/1-2/1 Average (9) 175
Falcon 1-2 5 1, Fl 36 (B) 1-1 20 3 1/1/1 Unsteady (6) 65
Flightless Bird 2-20 7 18 1-3 1-2 HD: 19
3 HD: 17
1 1 HD: 1-4
2 HD: 1-6
3 HD: 1-8
Average (8-10) 1 HD: 15
2 HD: 35
3 HD: 65
Grouse 1-12 9 8, Fl 12 (D) 1 20 1 1 Unsteady (5-7) 35
Hawk, Large 1-2 6 1, Fl 33 (B) 1 19 3 1-2/1-2/1 Average (9) 65
Nighthawk 1-8 5 2, FL 24 (B) 2+3 17 3 1-4/1-4/1-8 Elite (13) 175
Owl 1 (2) 5 1, Fl 27 (D) 1 19 3 1-2/1-2/1 Unsteady (5-7) 65
Owl, Giant 2-5 6 3, Fl 18 (E) 4 17 3 2-8/2-8/2-5 Steady (11-12) 270
Owl, Talking 1 3 1, Fl 36 (C) 2+2 19 3 1-4/1-4/1-2 Champion (15) 975
Pathrunner 1-6 7 16, Fl 12 (D) 1-2hp 20 1 1 Steady (11-12) 65
Raven/ Crow 4-32 7 1, Fl 36 (B) 1-2hp 20 1 1 Average (8-10) 15
Raven, Giant 4-16 4 3, Fl 18 (D) 3+2 17 1 3-6 Elite (13-14) 175
Raven, Huge 2-8 6 1, Fl 27 (C) 1-1 20 1 1-2 Steady (11-12) 35
Thrasher 1-6 8 1, FL 28 (B) 1-2hp 20 1 1 Steady (11-12) 15
Thrasher, Giant 1-4 6 2, FL 24 (C) 3+3 17 1 2-8 Elite (13-14) 120
Vulture 4-24 6 3, Fl 27 (E) 1+1 19 1 1-2 Unsteady (5-7) 65
Vulture, Giant 2-12 7 3, Fl 24 (D) 2+2 19 1 1-4 Average (8-10) 120
Vulture, Psionic 1-4 6 3, Fl 27 (E) 1+3 18 1 1-2 Average (8-10) 175

Avians, whether psionic or mundane in nature, are very interesting creatures. Their unique physiology sets them apart from all other life, and their grace and ferocity have earned them a place of respect and adoration in the tales of many races.

Blood Hawk
Blood hawks hunt in flocks and are fond of humanoids. They continue to attack humans even if the melee has gone against them. Male blood hawks kill humans not only for food but also for gems, which they use to line their nests as an allurement to females.

Condors measure three to six feet and have a wingspan of 13 to 20 feet. They rarely land except to feed – they even sleep in flight. Condor eggs and hatchlings are worth 30-60 cp. They can be trained to act as spotters or retrievers. Halflings can train them as aerial mounts. Used in this way, they can carry 80 pounds, either held in their claws or riding atop their backs.

An eagle typically attacks from great heights, letting gravity hurtle it toward its prey. If an eagle dives more than 100 feet, its diving speed is double its normal flying speed and the eagle is restricted to attacking with its claws. These high-speed attacks gain a +2 attack bonus and double damage. Eagles are never surprised because of their exceptional eyesight and hearing. Eagles mate for life and, since they nest in one spot, it is easy to identify places where eagles are normally present. On occasion, in an area of rich feeding, 1d8+4 eagles are encountered instead of the normal individual or pair. Eagles generally hunt rodents and other small animals. Eagles also feed on the carrion of recently killed creatures. Eagles only attack humanoids if starving.

Eagle, Giant
Giant eagles stand 10 feet tall and have wing spans of up to 20 feet. They share the coloration and fighting methods of their smaller cousins. However, if a giant eagle dives more than 50 feet, it adds +4 to its attack roll and doubles its claw damage.
Giant eagles have exceptional eyesight and hearing and cannot be surprised except at night or in their lair, and then only 10% of the time. Far more social than normal eagles, up to 20 nests can be found in the same area, one nest for each mated pair. Giant eagles can be trained as mounts for man-sized and smaller creatures, and their eggs sell for 500 to 800 cp.

Falcons are smaller, swifter, and more maneuverable than hawks. These birds of prey are easily trained and are preferred by hunters over hawks. Trained falcons sell for around 1,000 cp each.

Flightless Bird
These avians are typified by the ostrich, emu, and rhea. Although they share many of the physiological adaptations that enable other birds to take wing and break the bonds of earth, they are unable to fly. They are similar to the crodlu, erdlu, and erdland, but have feathers.
The ostrich is the largest and strongest, standing 8 feet tall and weighing 300 pounds. The animal’s small head and short, flat beak are perched atop a long, featherless neck. The ostrich is able to run at 40 miles per hour. If forced to fight, an ostrich uses its legs to deliver a kick that inflicts 1d8 points of damage.
The emu reaches 6 feet high and 130 pounds. Unlike those of their larger cousins, the wings of an emu are rudimentary appendages hidden beneath their coarse, hair-like feathers.
The rhea resembles a small ostrich, standing 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds. The differences between the two species lie in the structure of the feet and the tail feathers. Ostriches have two toes, while rheas have three, and ostriches have elegant, flowing tail plumes, while the rhea’s are far shorter. Long feathers on the bird’s sides swoop down to cover the stunted tail feathers.

A ground dwelling bird that inhabits rocky badlands and mountainous regions. Grouse stand 2½ feet tall, with a wingspan of up to 4 feet, and can weigh up to 16 pounds. The body feathers of the grouse are dark grey to dark brown, while the breast feathers are white and black stripped. Grouse can fly, but prefer to stay on the ground, as they are clumsy fliers.
The grouse is an omnivore and will raid food stores, if they are not protected sufficiently. They will tear open bags and open unsecured containers. This raiding behavior is a real threat to travelers and may take place at any time during the day or night.
Grouse only lay eggs after mating, so they are not kept as livestock. Grouse may be eaten and provide up to 25% of their body weight in meat.

Hawks have wingspans up to 5 feet. They attack in plummeting dives, usually from a height of 100 feet or more. This dive gives them a +2 attack bonus, enabling their talons to inflict double damage. Hawks cannot attack with their beaks during the round in which they use a dive attack. After the initial dive, hawks fight by biting and pecking with their beaks, tearing at their opponents with their talons. Hawks target eyes and they have a 25% probability of striking an eye whenever its beak strikes. Opponents struck in the eye are blinded for 1dl0 rounds and have a 10% chance of losing the use of the eye. Because of their superior eyesight, hawks can never be surprised. Any intruder threatening the nest is attacked, regardless of size. If taken young and trained by an expert, hawks can be taught to hunt. Fledglings bring 500 cp and trained hawks sell for as much as 1,200 cp.

Shadow hawk
Shadow hawks are larger, more aggressive versions of normal hawks. They have wingspans up to 9 feet, are black and dark brown, and are nocturnal. They attack in plummeting dives, usually from a height of 50 feet or more. This dive gives them a +2 attack bonus, enabling their talons to inflict double damage. Shadow hawks cannot attack with their beaks during the round in which they use a dive attack. After the initial dive, shadow hawks fight by biting and pecking with their beaks, tearing at their opponents with their talons. Shadow hawks inject poison into their victim with a successful beak attack. Their poison is type D.
Shadow hawks have excellent scotopic vision and can never be surprised at night. Any intruder threatening their nest is attacked, regardless of size. Shadow hawks cannot be trained.

Owls hunt rodents, small lizards, and insects, attacking humans only when frightened (or commanded through supernatural means). They have 120’ infravision and quadruple normal hearing. They fly in total silence, giving their prey a -6 penalty to their surprise rolls. Owls cannot be surprised during hours of dusk and darkness; during daylight hours, their eye sight is worse than that of humans, suffering a -3 on their surprise roll if discovered in their daylight roosting place. Owls attack with sharp talons and hooked beaks. If they swoop from a height of 50 feet or more, each attack is +2 and inflicts double damage, but no beak attack is possible.

Owl, Giant
These nocturnal creatures inhabit very wild areas, preying on rodents, large game birds, and rabbits. They are too large to gain swoop bonuses but can fly in nearly perfect silence; opponents suffer a -6 on their surprise roll. Giant owls may be friendly toward humans, though they are naturally suspicious. Parents will fight anything that threatens their young. Eggs sell for 100 cp and hatchlings sell for 200 cp.

Owl, Talking
Talking owls appear as ordinary owls, but speak seven languages common to the area in which they live. Their role is to serve and advise champions of good causes on dangerous quests, which they do for 1d3 weeks if treated kindly on the first encounter; a talking owl uses their aura sight to determine a champions alignment. Talking owls once served druids in protecting the land, but were targeted and nearly brought to extinction by the sorcerer kings. There are still bounties in the city-states for dead talking owls, which can be confirmed after examining the dead owls brain.
Talking owls can use psionics, powers may vary, but they almost always have the aura sight psionic power. They have a wisdom score of 21.
Psionic Summary
Level: 3
Dis/Sci/Dev: 2/2/7
Attack/Defense: 1/2
Score: 16
PSPs: 86
Clairsentient: Aura Sight, All-Round Vision, Danger Sense, Poison Sense
Telepathic: Mindlink, Contact, Id Insinuation, Invincible Foes, Life Detection

A ground dwelling bird that inhabits rocky badland, scrub plain, and stony barren regions. Pathrunners are quite small, standing 1 foot tall and weighing up to 1 pound. The feathers of the pathrunner are black-brown and white-streaked. Pathrunners can fly, but prefer to stay on the ground. They will fly to escape predators.
The pathrunner  is an omnivore and gathers all its required water from its diet. Pathrunners wouldn't be dangerous to humanoid travelers, except for its psionic ability to cause targets to become distracted. The pathrunner itself is little threat, but may provide the opportunity for another creature to surprise the target.
Pathrunner can make a cooing sound that shatters the target‘s mental defenses and opens their mind to psionic contact. To make contact, the Pathrunner must be within 100 feet of their intended target. When the pathrunner coos, the victim must make a saving throw vs. spell. If successful, the target ignores the coo and can’t be affected by it for 12 hours. Failure means the target’s mental defenses collapse and the pathrunner can attempt to use it's daydream psionic power, with a power score of 14.
Pathrunners may be eaten, but only provide 4oz of meat per bird. However, pathrunner meat provides a temporary boost of 1d4 PSPs to the eater for 24 hours.

Raven (Crow)
Ravens and crows are often mistaken as bad omens by superstitious farmers and peasants. They attack with strong claws and their long, sharp beaks. Ravens employ a grab and peck approach to combat. These birds are 10% likely to attack an opponent's eyes. If successful, the attack causes the opponent to lose an eye. All birds of this type travel in flocks. Any encountered solo are actually scouts. As soon as they see any approaching creature, the scouts give warning cries and maintain a safe distance to keep track of them. Because of the scouts, ravens cannot be surprised during daylight conditions.

Raven, Giant
Giant ravens are both pugnacious and easily trained (if raised from fledglings), and are often used as guards and messengers. Giant ravens grow to be nearly 5 feet in height and weigh 45 pounds. They can be used as mounts by Halflings.

Raven, Huge
Huge ravens have malicious dispositions. These birds are 15% likely to attack an opponent's eyes. If successful, the attack causes the opponent to lose an eye. Huge ravens grow to be only 2 to 3 feet in height.

The thrasher is a small brown bird with a long, black, sickle-shaped beak. Thrashers are only 12 inches long, with a third of their length being their tail. Thrashers are omnivores, with their diet mainly consist of insects. The only real danger thrashers present to humanoid travelers is their habit of raiding and spoiling unattended food and water.

Thrasher, Giant
Giant thrashers are a much larger version of their smaller cousins. Unlike their smaller cousins, giant thrashers are a real threat to travelers. They attack humanoids, using their sickle-shaped beak to inflict 2d4 points of damage. They will also attack food and water stores. Their favorite humanoid prey are thri-kreen.

Vultures are scavengers that search the skies for injured or dead creatures to feed upon. They measure 2 to 3 feet long with a wingspan of up to 7 feet. Greasy blue-black feathers cover the torso and wings; its pink head is bald. Vultures are cowards, and will wait until an intended meal stops moving. If six or more vultures are present, they may attack a weakly moving victim. If the victim defends itself, the vultures move out of reach but maintain their deathwatch. Creatures that are unconscious, dead, or magically sleeping or held are potential meals. If the surviving combatants are further than 20 feet from the fallen creatures, the vultures alight and begin feeding. Because of their diet, vultures have developed a natural resistance to disease and organic toxins.

Vulture, Giant
Giant vultures measure 3 to 5 feet. Domesticated giant vultures can be trained to associate specific species (i.e., as humanoids) with food, hence the birds concentrate on locating those creatures. Giant vulture eggs and hatchlings are worth 30-60 cp.

Vulture, Psionic 
Psionic vultures appear and act like ordinary vultures, but are more willing to engage wounded prey. They travel with groups of ordinary vultures and appear indistinguishable from them. What really sets them apart is their ability to use psionics.
Psionic Summary
Level: 3
Dis/Sci/Dev: 2/2/7
Attack/Defense: 2/3
Score: 14
PSPs: 80
Psychometabolic: Shadow-form, Accelerate, Chameleon Power, Displacement, Enhanced Strength
Telepathic: Mindlink, Contact, Ego Whip, Id Insinuation

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