Runequest Thursday #97 - Acid Dogs of the Clanking Ruin!

Clint Staples

Adventuring in the Clanking Ruin is ongoing, as you can find out in detail by reading To Tweak the Nose of the Red Goddess, parts One and Two! Part three will be available next week. 

But for this week, I wanted to flesh out the inhabitants of the Ruin a bit, so here is one of the more common threats in the outer ruin. Though not as deadly individually as the Manchines, they are rarely encountered in small numbers. They are cunning scavengers and predators, with the ability to wear their prey down, or rather dissolve them a bit at a time.

 

Acid Dogs are the mutated survivors of the family pets and guard animals of the ancient inhabitants of the Machine City. Living on the poisoned ground of the Clanking Ruin for centuries has altered them such that feral packs of six or more individuals roam the ruins scavenging for whatever they can catch. Al though they reek of Chaos, they rarely have chaotic features beyond their inherent mutated nature.

In combat, acid dogs behave much like the pack hunters they once were, seeking to baffle enemies with their numbers and overwhelm them with attacks from the flank and rear. Those animals to the front of an enemy will usually not attack, Evading against any attacks on them. Those behind will attempt to bite or lash with the long tongues (which can extend up to 3 yards), weakening or gripping enemies. At that point, the rest of the pack will attack ferociously to bring down the hampered prey. Survivors of Acid Dog attacks often are covered in acid burns and have lost weapons and armor to their acid splash or saliva.

Packs prowl the outer ruins in family units, which include the young. Immature members stay out of the fighting, and will flee if the adults are killed. Though not a great threat individually, it is extremely rare to encounter only one acid dog. The statblock above allows for a pack of 6, but larger packs are possible. If you wish to randomize, roll 1d6 x 1d6 for numbers, not including young. If you have large numbers of acid dogs, you may wish to not use their hit locations. In such a case, any wound of 6 points of more will make one flee.