Runequest Thursday #161 - The River Mammoth!

Clint Staples

River Mammoth

 

 

Location

Melee

Ranged

Armour

Hit Points

STR

60

R. Hind Leg

1-3

1-2

6

16

CON

24

L. Hind Leg

4-6

3-4

6

16

SIZ

64

Hindquarters

7-19

5-9

6

20

DEX

10

Forequarters

10-13

10-14

6

20

INT

6

R. Front Leg

14-16

15-16

6

16

POW

13

L. Front Leg

17-19

17-18

6

16

Actions

2

Head

20

19-20

6

18

Move

11

 

 

 

 

 

SR

+12

 

 

 

 

 

HP

72

 

 

 

 

 

Traits: Trunk, Throw, Trample

Skills: Athletics 60%, Brawn 80%, Manipulation 60%, Perception 65%, Persistence 49%, Resilience 88%

Attacks          Reach    Attack             Damage          Maneuver 

Trunk              2                                                          Throw

Gore                2          50%                 2d6+2d8          Impale

Trample          0          35%                 1d10+2d12      Sunder

 

Trunk – In or out of combat, mammoths can lift or manipulate items up to half their own SIZ, with a Manipulation check. Mammoths can Grip opponents with their trunk, effectively immobilizing them and then attempting to throw them on a special result. The throw occurs automatically unless the target can escape escape by rolling its DEX or STR x3%. On a success, the target falls adjacent to the mammoth On a special success, the target may land on its feet, or choose to clamber onto the back of the mammoth. An attacker so placed, can attack on any turn it can make an Athletics success as a Minor Action. The Mammoth can attack a “rider” with its trunk.

  • A successful throw hurls the victim is thrown 3D6 yards and inflicts 3d6 damage to a single location (Armor is half value round down).
  • Targets of a Trunk attack may Evade.

 

Gore – Mammoth tusks can slam into a foe, but are also powerful impaling weapons. If a foe is Impaled, the next turn, the mammoth will toss its head, throwing the target, as above. If the target succeeds on its Athletics Check, it remains impaled. If unsuccessful or if unconscious, the victim is thrown as above, but suffers 2d6 damage to the impaled location (armor does not apply) as the tusk is forcibly withdrawn.

 

Trample – A mammoth will not trample on purpose unless trained, but might do so inadvertently if a creature is between it and its goal.

 

Training a Mammoth – The Skills Ride (ideally Ride: Elephant) and Teaching would allow a dedicated, brave and extremely hardy individual to domesticate a mammoth, but the process would be fraught with peril and expense. Effective training would require months, and even a young mammoth eats as much as several horses. However, at the end of the training period, a river mammoth could function as a working animal of incredible power and versatility. It would take more time to turn the working mammoth into a war mammoth, but the battlefield potential of a fifteen foot tall, twenty thousand pound warbeast, boggle the mind. Of course, tack, “saddle” and armor for such a creature would be heavy and expensive (At least 6 times the weight and expense for all such).   

 

An alternative or addition to normal training would be to find the River Mammoth Spirit Lord and convince it to teach the magical method of domestication. This may not be any safer or easier, but might be faster, as it might allow full grown mammoths to be taken as allied spirits or similar, should the Mammoth Spirit Lord find a supplicant worthy.

River Mammoths are larger than the better known woolly mammoths that wander the North of Genertela. They also do not share its heavy coat, being covered only in a very thin layer of bristly stubble that makes their loose, wrinkly hide appear hairless at any distance. A mature bull can grow to be fifteen feet in height, and weigh more than 20,000 pounds.

Small herds of these creatures wander the River of Cradles region, effectively going where they will, but generally staying close to water, and preferring to avoid people. Other herd animals often keep their company, because mammoths are vigilant and intimidate all but the most devoted of predators.

Older females rule bands of mothers and immature offspring, and are canny survivors who can live 50 years or more. Males are cast out upon reaching maturity, and bulls, young and old wander alone for much of their lives, occasionally banding together into bachelor herds when food and water a plentiful, or when obvious danger threatens.  

River mammoths fear little under normal circumstances, but they are not aggressive outside of mating season or in protection of their young. They are intelligent animals, and can communicate of great distances by audible and subsonic calls. Female clan rulers recognize their own offspring, even bulls form whom they have ben parted for decades, and will accept them as occasional visitors, but will refuse to mate with them.

Other than brave bands of Praxians and other humanoids, few creatures hunt mammoths, dragons, wyrms, and other such powerful predators being the exception. Gryphons and daggerfangs have been known to attack unguarded young.