Squaredeal Sten Posted March 26 Report Share Posted March 26 (edited) I have GM’d and also played against vanilla scorpion men as depicted in the Bestiary pages 104-105, and found them suitable and dangerous opponents for new characters: If you run 1 scorp vs. 1 fairly new Adventurer the scorps have the edge of a second (sting) attack plus poison, and are really dangerous. But now GMing for essentially a rune level party, a squad of these – or a squad drawn from the RQ2 supplement Creatures of Chaos 1 – dies pretty easily. (In the latter case, it doesn’t help the poor Chaotics that their RQ2 supplement weapons skills are below the example that the Bestiary shows, so review and boost those when running RQiG). So tell me whether the following makes sense to you and is consistent with the background: I took another look at Cults of Terror pages 33-37 with a view to making a scorpion man horde, or at least a platoon, and here is the scheme I came up with: ‘1) The scorpion men will organize according to the Bagog ‘s pyramidal hierarchy, with about three to five lay members (sword fodder) per initiate and four or five initiates per Rune Lord. Thus a platoon of about 17-31. 2) The lay scorpion men will have skills of 35-50%, know Mobility or Heal 3, and that’s about it . Only their roughly 35% chance of a Chaotic feature makes them really dangerous. 3) The initiates will have at least one weapon skill above 50%, know Mobility & Healing 3,Ironhand, Protection 2. Occasionally another spirit magic spell or two, assuming they have devoured some hapless human(s). No Rune magic (though that may change when the Bagog entry in Cults of Glorantha come out next year.). But they will average a point or two greater POW due to natural selection in the devouring game. 4) The Bagog Rune Lords will be truly dangerous: First, they are likely to have more spirit magic: Darkwall, Healing up to 6, and Protection 4. Second, they can have Rune spells . And although most of the Bagog magic is unimpressive, the big prize spell is Carapace, a 2 pointer which combined with Protection can make the Rune lord near impenetrable. Your scorpion Rune Lords should never leave home without it because it even protects their tails against being cut off in parried sting attempts. The next best Rune spell, Venom Boosting, does make the sting a little more deadly but does not increase its penetrating power, so he is still relying on 2D6 to penetrate the human’s armor and magic - in other words a low probability event against iron armor. Summoning a small darkness elemental, Shield, and Multispell are all useful. Third, they will have weapons skills of 90%(+), making them competitive with high level humans even though the scorp is still likely to only have a club. Fourth they will have an allied spirit to cast healing as a first priority and then other magic. This spirit’s MPs will be especially valuable as the RL himself has POW constrained by the low species maximum. 5) Of course the Bagog Rune Lords may also have looted human weapons. These will only have a slight damage advantage over a large club, but will be more durable. And who knows, your scorp may have picked up something horrendous like a Great Ax, though he should have a much lower skill than with his club due to only gaining the first 25% of the devoured former owner’s skill. 6) Finally the Rune Lords should have an even higher chance of a chaotic feature and better POW, just because of natural selection. 7) It seems to me that the scorpion man horde should operate in platoons: Against an enemy in open order, the platoon will: Deploy with a skirmish line of 12 lay level slingers supervised and healed by three initiates, and behind them a hard knot of the Rune lord, two initiates, and about eight lay members. With their chitinous skin they should win or break even in most slinging fights. If enemy go down early the skirmishers seize them for later devouring. Meanwhile the hard knot picks out a leading enemy and rushes him using Mobility, may try for knockbacks, and will outnumber him heavily if he doesn’t have close left and right hand supporters. Against an enemy in close order / shield wall they should be much less effective because the scorpion men’s chaotic inclination will make it unlikely that they drill themselves, so will not be in phalanx themselves (and they are unlikely to have shields anyway). But against this close order enemy they should extend their line and try to overlap the human phalanx. If there are enough scorpion men a Cannae should result as the humans’ flanks collapse and their center moves forward. Against an enemy in rough terrain the scorpion men should exploit their multilegged climbing advantage and try to jump down from trees and boulders onto the humans. Scorps also will unexpectedly swarm up walls and slopes that humans would have a hard time climbing. Edited March 26 by Squaredeal Sten spelling / typing Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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