Thursday, March 19, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Bulette

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.

Bulette Bulette, Magma
Climate/Terrain Any Underground Any Underground
Frequency Very Rare Very Rare
Organization Solitary Solitary
Activity Cycle Any Any
Diet Carnivore Carnivore
Intelligence Animal (1) Animal (1)
Treasure Nil Nil
Alignment Neutral Neutral
No. Appearing 1-2 1
Armor Class -2/4/6 -2/4/6
Movement 14 (3) 14 (3)
Hit Dice 9 9
Thac0 11 11
No. of Attacks 3 3
Damage/ Attack 4-48/3-18/3-18 4-48/3-18/3-18
Special Attack 8' jump8' jump, Breath Weapon
Special DefenseNil Immunity to Fire & Magma
Magic Resistance Nil Nil
Size L (9 1/2' tall. 12' long) L (9 1/2' tall. 12' long)
Morale Steady (11) Steady (11)
XP Value 4,000 7,000

The bulette (pronounced Boo-lay) is a terrifying predator that lives only to eat. The bulette is universally shunned, even by other monsters.
A standard bulette’s head and hind portions are gray-brown, and they are covered with plates and scales ranging from gray-yellow to brown-orange. Nails and teeth are dull ivory. The area around the eyes is brown-black, the eyes are yellowish and the pupils are blue green.
A magma bulette’s head and hind portions are red-black, and they are covered with plates and scales that are the same color. Nails and teeth are dull ivory. The eyes are black and the pupils glow red.
A bulette will attack anything it regards as edible. The only things that it refuses to eat are kanks and fordorran. The bulette is always hungry, and is constantly roaming its territory in search of food. When burrowing underground, the landshark relies on vibrations to detect prey. When it senses something edible (i.e., senses movement), the bulette breaks to the surface crest first and begin its attack. They bite for 4d12 points of damage. The landshark is stupid, mean, and fearless. The size, strength, and numbers of its opponents mean nothing. The bulette always attacks, choosing as its target the easiest or closest prey. When attacking, the bulette employs its large jaw and front feet. The landshark can jump up to 8 feet with blinding speed, and does this to escape if cornered or injured. While in the air, the bulette strikes with all four feet, causing 3d6 points of damage for all feet. The landshark has two vulnerable areas: the shell under its crest is only AC 6 (but it is only raised during intense combat), and the region of the bulette’s eyes is AC 4, but this is a small oval area about 8 inches across.
Magma bulettes attack as normal bulettes, but also have a breathweapon. Magma bulettes are able to spout a jet of magma from their mouths to a range of 40 feet. The jet of molten rock inflicts 5d10 points of damage, save vs. breath weapon for half damage. The bulette may use its breath weapon every 1d4 rounds. In addition, magma bulettes are immune to all heat damage, including magical fire and magma attacks.

Fortunately for the Tablelands, the bulette is a solitary animal, although mated pairs (very rare) will share the same territory. In addition, many other predators rarely share a territory with a bulette for fear of being eaten. The bulette has no lair, preferring to wander over its territory, above and below ground, burrowing down beneath the soil to rest. Since their appetites are so voracious, each one has a large territory that can range up to 30 square miles. Bulettes consume their victims, clothing, weapons, and all, and the powerful acids in the stomach quickly digest the armor, weapons, and magical items of their victims. They are not above nibbling on chests or sacks of coins either, the bulette motto being eat first and think later. When everything in the territory is eaten, the bulette will move on in search of a new territory. The sole criteria for a suitable territory is the availability of food, so a bulette will occasionally stake out a new territory near settlements and terrorize the residents.
Very little is known of the life cycle of the bulette. They presumably hatch from eggs, but no young have ever been found, though small bulettes of 6 Hit Dice have been killed. It may be that the bulette is hatched from very small eggs, with few young surviving to maturity.

The bulette has a devastating effect on the ecosystem of any area it inhabits. Literally nothing that moves is safe from it – man, animal, or monster. In the process of hunting and roaming, the landshark will uproot trees of considerable size. In hilly and rocky regions, the underground movements of the bulette can start small landslides. Some giants move off in search of greener and safer pastures when a bulette appears. A bulette can turn a peaceful farming community into a wasteland in a few short weeks, for no sane human or demihuman will remain in a region where a bulette has been sighted.
There is only one known benefit to the existence of the bulette: The large plates behind its head make superb shields, and skilled smiths can fashion them into shields of +1 to +3 in value. Some also claim that the soil through which a bulette has passed becomes imbued with magical, rock-dissolving properties. Many would argue, however, that these benefits are scarcely worth the price.

No comments:

Post a Comment