Ragnarok: Age of Wolves Bonus Material - Drakkar as Independent Monsters!!

Clint Staples

Drakkar are quadrupedal draconic creatures, larger than horses and far more dangerous. They are of limited intellect, acting primarily to ensure their own survival, but sometimes have sufficiently developed mental faculties to think abstractly about the future, their own security, the need to dominate and to acquire riches and power.

In R:AW Core, Drakkar are available as optional mounts for powerful characters. One character in the campaign laid out in Ragnarok: Age of Wolves is Eirik Wyrmson, who gained the services of Blacktusk, a drakkar, in exchange for his oaths of loyalty to Hrorfang, the Grim Death, sire of Blacktusk.

But what if you want to use drakkar as monsters in their own right, rather than as mere mounts of lesser beings. Here are rules for Drakkar as independent monsters.

 

The Life of the Drakkar:

Most drakkar never leave the lairs of their sires or dames, where they are killed for any number of reasons – ranging from the hunger of the parent, the instinct of the wyrm to dominate its environment, or simple spite. Only a few wyrms see drakkar as anything but an annoyance. These usually will use them to expand their power, granting them tiny amounts of their wyrmic essence in exchange for obedience. Even then, the majority of drakkar die young.

The few to survive learn the lessons of their sires, that dominance means survival. Some rebel in the hope of seizing an established territory and the hoard of the wyrm. Few of these survive the attempt. Others flee or are driven away. Those who have served long enough to gain sufficient “essence” leave with the Elemental Affinity of their sire or dame. Even more rarely, they might leave with further powers, but typically such talents as firespitting is developed once the drakkar is exiled.

Occasionally drakkar are given as prizes to favored mortal Wyrmfostren. Thus begins a battle of wills long in its resolution, as the wyrmfostren attempts to curb the dominant instincts of the drakkar, and then train it to purpose, often as a riding beast.

Exiled drakkar, whether they fled or were driven out, are generally concerned with finding their own lairs – far from those of their parent, who will kill them should they return or encroach on territory. Such an exile will usually seek out a cave or similar, driving out or killing any other occupants, and live a solitary existence as the dominant predators in the area. Though usually not intelligent, they possess much of their ancestral acquisitiveness, and often collect jewels, artifacts or other attractive valuables from prey who possessed them. Many tales of dragons and such that originate among men actually refer to drakkar.

Rarely, a clutch of drakkar will form bonds that survive their perilous upbringing, and when driven forth, form a pack of truly horrible destructiveness. One of the clutch, usually the oldest and strongest, will establish dominance and rule the pack of subordinates with singular cruelty. 

 

Restrictions on fielding Drakkar:

Drakkar will never accept another drakkar of equal status, and often kill and die in battles for supremacy over others. Named Character Drakkar will only ever ally with other drakkar of lesser rank. So Hero Rank Drakkar will accept Elite characters or drakkar mounts – which are essentially of Veteran quality. But two Hero Rank Drakkar cannot be fielded together. Lesser ranking drakkar have , by definition, been successfully dominated and incorporated into the “pack” of the dominant drakkar.

Drakkar of similar backgrounds are competitive enough. Those which have differing Elemental Affinities will fight to the death or to drive off the loser. So Drakkar will only ever associate with drakkar of the same elemental affinity of with those who have no particular elemental affinity. 

Few men will follow a drakkar, even during the Age of Wolves there are not many so desperate and so cruel. Brigands and Trollborn make up the majority of a Drakkar led warband. A Wyrmfostren who survived their rebellion against the wyrm who took their oath of service are rare but possible, and such a hero could well rise to dominate even a potent drakkar.

 

Named Characters: Each Drakkar with sufficient motivation to act on their own are Named Characters and roll a Wyrd Die in their Dice Pool. Give each drakkar not acting as a mount its own Name.

Rank: 3: Hero, or 2: Elite: Especially potent drakkar would be of Hero rank, but an “average” Drakkar is a fearsome and deadly foe indeed.

Race and Type: Monster: Drakkar (Large)

 

Move 10”/ Charge 1d6+6                   Defense: 15                Health: 4 Hero, 3 if Elite

 

Attacks:

  • Drakkar Bite: Class 2, To Hit bonus: Rank+2, OK 16-Rank

Special:

  • Drakkar: Drakkar are slower than horses, but Tougher, and especially eager to fight (-2” Move, +2” Charge). As mounts, they add 2 Health to their Rider.
  • Horses are frightened of Drakkar, so cavalry do not gain a charge bonus against Drakkar, or drakkar mounted warriors.
  • Drakkar that are not being ridden can fight at their full potential. As Mounts, their Bite is: Drakkar Bite: Class 2, +2 to Hit, OK 16

 

Additional Drakkar Powers:

Drakkar in R:AW Core do not possess any of the abilities below, and are representative of an “average” drakkar just coming into its power – either granted to a heroic character as a mount or allying with one of its own accord. But drakkar that are strong-willed enough to act independently could well have greater abilities, drawn from those below:

Elemental Affinity:

Drakkar are decended from wyrms that possess an affinity for a single element (fire wyrms, water wyrms, etc). Named Drakkar Characters possess the elemental affinity of their parent (Fire, Ice, Storm, etc) which grants them +2 Defense against attacks incorporating that element.

Example:

Ranvig, the Named Character drakkar offspring of the sae-orm known as Whalesbane in the whispered tales of mortal seafarers, has a Defense of 15 against most attacks, but a Defense of 17 against Water attacks.

 

Elemental Abilities:

Drakkar that have an Elemental Affinity might also have one or more of the abilities below, based on the same element.

  • Drakkar born of fire wyrms gain:

Firespitting:  Range: 6”          Attack: Rank +1           TN: Target Defense

You spit forth a blast of flame at a single target within range, inflicting a Wound and scoring an Outright Kill on a 15. If you roll a Wyrd Failure, your ability is exhausted for the rest of the battle.

Note: Backtusk, Eirik Wyrmson’s mount, is born of Hrorfang, a fire wyrm. It may be that Blacktusk will gain Elemental Affinity (Fire) and then learn Firespitting as he matures.

 

  • Drakkar born of storm wyrms gain:

Stormlash: Range 6” Short, 12” Long    Attack: Rank+1 Short, Rank+0 Long  TN: Target Defense

A creature with this ability can attack at short range at up to 6” and at long range up to 12”. You cannot inflict an Outright Kill, but if you Match with a Wyrd Success, you can spend the bonus die to add another target somewhere within the same range and roll to hit again. A Wyrd Success on further rolls can grant bonus dice, but not further attacks. If you roll a Wyrd Failure, your ability is exhausted for the rest of the battle.

  • Drakkar born of a water wyrm can Swim.
  • Drakkar born of an earthen wyrm gain the Heroic Ability: Hide in Cover.
  • Drakkar born of an ice wyrm gains Ice Stride.

 

Waterspout: Rank x Rank squares: No Range       Attack: Rank       TN: Target Defense

You vomit forth a gout of water in an area of the listed size, originating in an adjacent square in your front Arc. The force of the water forces those within its area to Evade (Roll their Move or less on 2d6) or fall prone (Those affected fight at -1 to Hit and Defense until they rise next Movement Phase). The watery blast does no damage, but it acts as normal water in most ways and will quench any fire it covers. If you roll a Wyrd Failure, your ability is exhausted for the rest of the battle.

 

Stonespitting: Rank x Rank squares: No Range       Attack: Rank     TN: Target Defense

You vomit forth a hail of stones in an area of the listed size, originating in an adjacent square in your front Arc. The stones inflict a Wound on a hit, but with no Outright Kill chance. If you roll a Wyrd Failure, your ability is exhausted for the rest of the battle.

 

Frost Breath: Rank x Rank squares: No Range       Attack: Rank      TN: Target Defense

You exhale a cloud of intense cold in an area of the listed size, originating in an adjacent square in your front Arc. The cold does not wound, but those Hit lose 1d6 from their Move and Charge distance for their next Movement Phase. If you roll a Wyrd Failure, your ability is exhausted for the rest of the battle.

 

 

The Pack of Baeleygr

Spawned from an unknown stone wyrm living to the north of Nerike, Baeleygr survived by unrivaled viciousness to those weaker and unfailing subservience to his dame. Finally he fled the north, taking several of his weaker siblings. His pack struck a number of Svear settlements on the north of Lake Vanir before skirting the western shore and attacking outlying steads and sheepfolds among the Vastrgautar.

Then the Great Winter refused to give up its hold on Midgard, and Baeleygr’s pack began to starve. At first they had their pick of sheep and game, and of men. Then the weakest youngest member of the pack was killed, and the pack could not let the body go to waste. Moving into the lake country south of Lake Vanir brought into conflict with men once more, as well as against renegade Alfar and the meretrolls of the upland tarns. Another sibling was slain, and Baeleygr saw his pack threaten to fragment. He roared and bit them back under his control, and went to the meretrolls not to feed or fight, but to offer alliance. Some of the lesser trolls, kept constantly hungry by those more powerful, left their marshes and meres for the promise of full bellies. Human outlaws and brigands, forced out of their caves by the predations of the pack had little choice between fight alongside the drakkar or feeding them.

 

The Pack: Use the statblock above for the pack, adding Rank bonuses and listed abilities as appropriate.

Baeleygr: Earth Drakkar Hero – Rank 3, (Large), Earth Affinity, Hide in Cover, Stonespitting.

Thorn: Earth Drakkar Elite – Rank 2, (Large), Earth Affiinity, Hide in Cover.

Regin: Drakkar Elite – Rank 2, (Large).

 

Meretrolls:

Lesser Meretrolls: As R:AW Core.

 

Outlaws:

Siggyr Baresark: Berserker Named Character Veteran - Rank 1. As Berserker in R:AW Core, but rolls Wyrd Die.

Berserkers: Veteran - Rank 1. As R:AW Core.

Brigands: Regular - Rank  0, Javelin or Bow. As R:AW Core.

 

Baeleygr's Pack has taken over a small settlement after having slain or driven off its former inhabitants. Baeleygr lives in the main hall, having ripped open the fron door to allow his bulk. HIs underlings lair where they may and are not terribly alert to attack from outside. The Berserkers and trolls bully the brigands, the drakkar bully th eberserkers and trolls, and Baeleygr bullies everyone. Of course, the livestock is also long gone, run off or consumed, but the brigands and trolls hunt, and the entre pack marauds regularly. They are terrible neighbors, and anyone nearby has either fled or lives ih fear and hatred of them.