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[Peach] Homebrew Familiar: Malfic Horse

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  • [Peach] Homebrew Familiar: Malfic Horse

    This is a derivative of Accelerator’s original idea:

    MALFIC HORSE (Resources 4)

    A horse interbred with sorcerous treatments, plants from Malfeas, and the mixture of demon blood within their bloodlines. The horses often have a strange, glossy sheen to their coats and an aggressive demeanor rather dissimilar to ordinary horses. The beasts can eat meat, thorny bushes, grass, and are far less vulnerable than most horses (no colic, no broken legs). Underneath their skin are a network of brass wires that blunt any strike, leaving nothing but a minor cut. Malfic horses are harder to tame (+1 difficulty) and only the most skilled and fearless riders can control them. But command over a coterie of them is a game-changer for war. Malfic horses charge into pikes and shieldwalls without fear, and when spurred to do so smash armour with brass hooves or incinerate unfortunate saps with the fires of hell. Their eyes glow in the darkness, and they gallop at speeds unthinkable for most mortal creatures. Malfic horses do not breed true, their biologies often rendering them sterile. A favourite export of husbandry-favoring sorcerers and thaumaturges.


    Malfic Horse – Familiar ***

    Creation has many strange mounts: the Simhata Lion-Horses, the Metagalapan Riding Hawk, and the fabled Elemental Horses of Pangu. But few beasts create such divided opinions as the so-called Malfic Horses.

    These beasts, tainted with demonic ancestry and by sorcerous treatments, are weaned on a diet of mother’s milk and demon-blood and raised on a diet of strange Malfean metallic-vegetation. The horses often have a strange, glossy sheen to their coats and an aggressive demeanor rather dissimilar to ordinary horses.

    The tainted Creatures can thrive perfectly well on the strange vegetation of Malfeas (or the metals of Creation), but they crave the taste of flesh and hot blood. If denied meat, they will take to eating the vegetation of Creation: thorny bushes are a favorite, but the horses will gnaw on wooden structures, mouthfuls of dirt and gravel, and (even) grass, oats, hay, and sugar cubes.

    A Malfic Horse is far less vulnerable than most horses to disease and infirmity. Underneath their skin are a network of brass wires that blunt any strike, leaving nothing but a minor cut. Malfic horses are harder to tame, especially when hungry, and only the most skilled and fearless riders can control them. But command over a coterie of them is a game-changer for war. Malfic horses charge into pikes and shieldwalls without fear, and when spurred to do so smash armor with brass hooves or incinerate unfortunate saps with the fires of hell. Their eyes glow in the darkness, and they gallop at speeds unthinkable for most mortal creatures.

    As hybrids of mortal Creatures and demonic Essence, demons and Immaculates alike consider the horses inauspicious – despite their obvious usefulness in war. Any respectable Dynast would shun their use as a perversion of the Perfected Hierarchy, though with the looming Civil War many have quietly abandoned those scruples. The horses are favorites of wealthy Scavenger Lords, independent Exigents, and the most terrifying Lunar warlords. Malfic horses do not breed true, their biologies rendering them sterile. A favorite export of husbandry-favoring sorcerers and thaumaturges: the beasts can reliably be reproduced by those who know the techniques and, so long as one takes precautions against being eaten, their sale can be immensely profitable.

    Essence: 2; Willpower: 6; Join Battle: 6 dice (see Predator’s Hunger)
    Personal Motes: 20

    Health Levels: -0x3/-1x3/-2x3/-4x2/Incap. If “merely” hunting for meat, a feral Malfic Horse will flee after taking 7+ levels of damage. A trained horse never flees if deliberately driven into battle.


    Speed Bonus: +4


    Actions: Feats of Strength: 9 dice (may attempt Strength 5 feats); Intimidate: 8 dice; Resist Poison/Illness: 11 dice; Senses/Tracking: 7 dice.


    Resolve 5, Guile 2


    Combat
    Attack (Bite): 9 dice (Damage 16, minimum 3). A Malfic Horse’s bite can easily puncture armor, allowing it to make piercing attacks (Corebook, page 586).
    Attack (Kick): 10 dice (Damage 14, minimum 2)


    Combat Movement: 13 dice (See Swift Hooved)


    Evasion 5, Parry 3
    Soak/Hardness: 14/8


    Special Attacks


    Brutal Kick: Smaller enemies that take 5+ damage from the horse’s withering kick attacks are knocked back one range band and fall prone.
    Savaging Maw: Any decisive bite attack that the Malfic Horse makes against an enemy who is prone or in Initiative Crash adds extra successes to the damage roll.


    Merits


    Brass Body: Withering attacks cannot drop a Malfic Horse below 1 Initiative unless they have a post-soak damage of 10 dice (although attackers can still gain the full amount of Initiative damage dealt) or are made by a creature of Legendary Size. Decisive attacks cannot deal more than (3 + attacker’s Strength) levels of damage to the Malfic Horse with a single attack, not counting any levels of damage added by Charms or other magic, unless made by Creatures of Legendary Size.
    Fearless: Malfic Horses do not feel fear. They treat any influence inciting fear as Unacceptable, unless faced with magic such as the Dawn anima power. Battlegroups of Malfic Horses have Perfect Morale.
    Impenetrable Armor: The minimum damage of any withering attack made against the Malfic Horse is reduced by one die, to a minimum of zero.
    Predator’s Hunger: Whenever a Malfic Horse rolls Join Battle against an enemy it could conceivably eat, if it has not eaten within the last day or more, it may reroll any 1s until they fail to appear. A horse’s master can train it to apply this Merit to all Join Battle rolls as a latent ability by conditioning it to associate battle with being given free rein to devour his enemies.
    Unnatural Steed: Malfic Horses apply the double 9s rule on all combat movement rolls. Outside of combat, they may run at 30 miles an hour for up to ten hours a day. Whilst they have demonic ancestry, Malfic Horses are magical beasts, not demons: they may be trained as if they were animals (unlocking Latent Abilities as appropriate, see Corebook page 554) and are treated as animals for the purposes of Exalted Charms (and for unlocking Magical Abilities).

    Offensive Charms

    Principle of Motion (10m, 1wp; Reflexive; Instant; Essence 2): The Malfic Horse moves with blinding speed, taking a flurry without the usual restrictions — it can flurry two of the same action if desired, and it ignores the usual penalties to dice pools and Defense.
    Spit Fire (5m; Simple; Instant; Decisive-only; Essence 2): A Malfic Horse may spit flames at its enemies. This is a decisive attack that can target enemies out to medium range, with an attack roll of eight dice. An enemy damaged by the attack is set ablaze, taking one die of lethal damage each turn until they find a way to extinguish themselves. This damage ignores hardness.

    Miscellaneous Charms

    Hurry Home (10m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Malfic Horse fades away and vanishes on its next turn, drawn instantly to its master’s side. This Charm must be unlocked as a Magical Ability (but the cost is paid by the Horse, not its master).

    ****

    Closer to Accelerator's original idea as a Resources 4 purchase (maybe Familiar 2), would be to remove the Charms and drop the Essence score back to 1, drop the Brass Body merit, and reduce Soak/Hardness by 4 each (10/4). Which is probably better if you're introducing these in play and leave the above version for folks spending character creation dots -- have them as Exceptional Awakened Essence versions.

    ****

    Changelog

    Synapse suggests lowering Intimidation and raising Senses. Agreed: -2/+2.
    Synapse suggests lowering Soak/Hardness. Eh. It's supposed to be a mount, you're not supposed to attack it. And a Siege Lizard is sitting on 20/10. You could drop it to 12/7 (8/3 for Familiar 2) if you wanted to tune this down a little but I'm not feeling it. If you're taking a mount, you could be riding on a Tyrant Lizard (which has a lot more Soak) or an Agata (which carries two and FLYS) or a freakin' Sky Titan. Getting a decent amount of defense out of your mount seems fine to me: YMMV.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 02-06-2021, 12:59 PM.


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.
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