Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ACKS Monster: Barghest (with Domains at War stats)

Via WoTC.
It ought to be a rule that any converted monster for ACKS also include it's D@W stats.

The Barghest originally appeared in Dragon #26. I offer a slightly simpler version here for ACKS, with
a bit of a different ecology. I'm going to be using this guy later in a different project.

In smoking sulfurous rifts in a broken, distant planet reside the barghest, a fiercely solitary sort of daemon ruling various dominated servitors with despotic terror. Occasionally, however, barghest spawn; the litter, always numbering six; is sent off to other realms to survive or not, as the case may be.

Barghest are natural shapeshifters; able to appear as either a large goblinoid, or a somewhat goblinoid-looking large wolf or warg. In their goblin forms, barghest are indistinguishable from other goblins by other humanoids, aside from a yellow glow in the eyes when excited. Goblinoids, however, instinctively recognize them. Barghest among goblinoid tribes are given a high status, and often worshiped - goblinoids see them as a higher form of life that particularly vicious and cruel members of their kind can be reincarnated into, if they are deserving. The entire subculture of the goblinoid warg rider is based off of this belief.

Barghest feed on human souls (though they may eat the bodies as well, for the taste); they often come to dominate goblinoid tribes who ply the barghest with sacrifices in exchange for protection from outside threats and safety from the barghest itself. As they consume, they grow; eventually seeking passage back to their blasted world in order to begin their adulthood.

Barghest are able to perform the following magic at will, once per round: shapechange, into either their canine or goblinoid form; alter self as the spell; levitate, as the spell;  misdirection, as the spell below; and project image, as the spell below.

In addition, once per day they may cast charm (person or monster); dimension door; or emotion, as the spell below.

In canine form, the barghest is a supernatural tracker; succeeding with a proficiency throw of 1+. It moves at double it's normal movement rate; may naturally pass without trace, and can hide in shadows or natural surroundings on a throw of 5+. While they may utilize alter self to appear more like a dog of this world; natural dogs will fear and despise the barghest, attacking at every opportunity.

Barghest may only be damaged by magical weapons. If struck by magical fire, they take no damage, but if they fail their save versus the effect they are instantly hurled back to their native world.

They keep no treasure while on this world; but when found, are often with goblinoid tribes who will.


% In Lair: 40%

Dungeon Enc: Solitary, or with Goblin Gang/Warband (60%)
Wilderness Enc: Solitary, or with Goblin Warband/Village (60%)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: -  90' (30') (goblin form); 180' (60') (canine form)
Armor Class: 7/9/11
Hit Dice: 6+1**/9+2**/12+3**
Attacks: Claw or by Weapon (goblin form), Bite (canine form)
Damage: 2d4+1 / 2d4+2 / 2d4+3 or by weapon.
Save: F6/F9/F12
Morale: +4
Treasure Type: None
XP: 820/1900/3000
Size: M/L/L

Domains At War Unit Statistics

Notes: as per the monster description Barghest do not accumulate treasure, the wages are there as a convenience. Barghest serving an army would expect to be paid in the souls of captured prisoners, much like carnivorous troops - the values here are for a wolf of the same size. Assume prisoners provide their own base XP value in gold pieces for the "strength" of their soul. A particularly generous DM may allow the resultant de-souled corpse to feed regular carnivorous troops.

BR was calculated at the highest movement rates.

Level:  Mage 4
Range:  10 ft/ level
Duration:  Until concentration ceases

By casting this spell, the mage is able to instill in others with one of four powerful emotions, each with a different effect, as described below. The emanation reaches a sphere 30' in radius. A successful save vs. Spells negates any effect.

Fear:  If the mage chooses to instill fear, the spell’s effect is similar to that of the fear spell, but with a –2 penalty applied to saving throws.
Hate:  If the mage instills hate, the targets gain a +2 to saving throws, attacks, and damage.
Hopelessness:  The mage causes despair in the target creatures, who will wander sadly away or surrender in the face of a challenge such as a combat.
Rage:  Creatures affected by rage attack at +1, gain a damage bonus of +3, and gain a bonus of 5 temporary hit points. Temporary hit points are lost first if the creature incurs damage. The affected creature will not willingly retreat from any combat or any opponents.

Domains At War:
The spell has an effective range of 1 hex per 6 caster levels at company scale.

Fear: As stated in D@W:Battles for the Fear spell, with the -2 save penalty. If the unit fails a save vs Spells, it immediately becomes disordered and loses 1/2 of it's UHP. The unit is disordered until the effect is dispelled, the unit leaves the battlemap, or 15 rounds have elapsed. If the effect is dispelled within 1 round, the unit regains it's lost UHP.
At Platoon scale, this acts as the Fear spell - the entire unit is affected. At battalion scale, 1/8 of the unit's UHP is lost. There is no effect at the brigade scale.
Hate:  Affected units gains a +2 to attack throws and saving throws at platoon scale. At company scale, the bonus is +1. There is no effect at larger scales.
Hopelessness: As the Fear effect. At platoon scale, the unit begins to retreat towards it's edge of the battlemap at it's marching rate.
Rage: At platoon scale, affected units gain a +1 to attack throws. Units with 2 or fewer attacks gains an additional attack roll. The next single hit scored against the unit is ignored. The unit ignores any morale check resulting in recoil or rout, and may not withdraw. This has no effect at larger scales.

Level:  Mage 2
Range:  30 ft
Duration:  1 round/ level

This spell is cast upon an object or creature to mislead any form of divination spells. If the caster or user of the divination magic fails a saving throw, he or she will obtain a false result from the divination; a lie will be detected as truth, the wrong alignment perceived, the wrong location divined, etc.

Domains At War:
This spell can be used to foil reconnaissance, but the timing must be right, or the effect must be imbued into an item. It follows the same guidelines for the nondetection spell, though it will provide false results rather than no results.

Project Image
Level:  Mage 6
Range:  10 ft/ level
Duration:  1 round/ level

This spell creates an illusory duplicate of the magic user in another place within the spell’s range. The image must remain visible to the caster or the spell will end. Much like a mirror image, the projected image mimics all the caster’s movements, but it is not affected by attacks of any kind. The image possesses an arcane link to the caster; if desired, the mage can cast spells that originate at the image rather than at the caster, as if the image, rather than the mage, cast the spell. Thus, the effective range of an attack spell can be increased, or a spell that would ordinarily center on the caster could be brought into effect around the projected image.

Domains At War:
The spell has an effective range of 1 hex per 6 caster levels at company scale. This may also be used to increase the apparent size of an army for reconnaissance purposes, if every member of the unit can cast the spell/activate an item.

All spells and spell text complements of OSRIC.


  1. It's fun seeing how different your ACKS Barghest is from mine own.


  2. That's all Dragon #26/1E.

    The "returned to home by magical fire" threw me for a bit, but if it's kept a secret can be a lot of fun. (which is probably why it was taken out of 3E, not sure about it's stats in 2E).

    I grew extra fond of it when I realized that in the D@W context, this unit is going to just rip through units of normal men, but with the proper preparation of a 5th level Mage or two it's a very expensive glass jaw.