Saturday, 19 December 2009

Saturday Night Fight Club - the Call of the Wild

Giant Wolverine vs. Brown Bear

It is said that bears respect the ferocity of the wolverine. Let’s find out why….

Brown bear

HD 5+5 (average hp 27.5)
3 atts
If a paw hits with an 18 or more, the hug begins, with 2-12 additional damage.
THAC0 – 15, therefore to hit the wolverine, it needs an 11

Note that the brown bear will fight for 1-4 melee rounds after reaching 0 to –8hp.

Giant wolverine

HD 4+4 (average hp 22)
3 attacks

THAC0 – 15 - to hit the bear it needs a 9 but it gets +4 to hit, so it’ll only need a 5. Crikey – that’s good.

Musk as per giant skunk – 2” wide by 2” high by 6” long – save vs. poison or be blinded for 1-8 hours, even if save is made, creature affected will retreat for a full move and lose 50% of Str and Dex for 28 turns due to nausea. Eeewww!

Ferocity in combat gives them +4 on the to hit rolls (but not on damage, fortunately).

The regular wolverine has one hit die less, and an armour class of 5. The damage from attacks is only slightly lower than their giant relatives. These guys are nasty and I’m surprised that we’ve never had a were-wolverine lycanthrope combo before.

There’s always a first time…


Frequency: Very rare
No. appearing: 1
AC: 4
Move: 12”
Hit dice: 4+2
Percentage in lair: 20%
Treasure type: C
No of attacks: 3
Damage per attack: 1-6/1-6/1-10
Special attack: Surprise on 1-4 on a d6 , +4 on to hit rolls due to ferocity or the werewolverine can opt for two attacks per round at normal to hit.
Special defences: Only hit by silver or +1 magic weapons.
Magic resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: NE
Size: M

The werewolverine is a feared and destructive lycanthrope. It never has to check morale and will attack till dead. It will take on virtually anything and this tendency to attack is often its undoing as it will go for opponents who can do it serious damage.
Its human form will typically be some kind of assassin, thug or hired killer, who uses the strengths that the animal transformation gives him to carry out his evil work. They will often have some sort of psychotic tendencies that manifest in their human form as sadism or a love of excessive violence.
It is unlikely that the victims of a werewolverine will survive the attack and become one themselves, as this monster leaves little of salvageable quality afterwards.
The werewolverine will also have an ability to resist cold, due to its wintry habitat.

The human form may well have some ranger hunting abilities that come with the lycanthropy. Probably surprised 1 out of 6
Outdoor tracking 75%
For every creature above 1 in the party being tracked +1%
For every 24 hours that have elapsed between making the track and the tracking taking place -15%
For each hour of precipitation -25%

The werewolverine also has the ability to cause an effect in animals that is the same as Cause Fear (1st level cleric spell) – the animal has a chance to save vs. this effect but at –2 on the die.

After several months of lycanthropy, the werewolverine will acquire the ability, whilst in human form to cause unease in humans of its own level and below. This will manifest as a desire on the part of those affected not to remain within 20’ of the werewolverine. Removal to another room will cancel the effect.

The human form will also acquire an insatiable hunger for fresh meat a week before its transformation is due. This becomes increasingly hard to resist (save vs. CON on the 1st night, and
2nd night CON - 2
3rd night CON - 4
4th night CON - 6
5th night CON - 8
6th night CON - 10
7th night CON – 12

If the roll is failed, the victim needs to save vs. WIS in order to overcome the desire to hunt. If he does save, he will seek out a butcher’s or other place where raw meat may be found. If he fails, he succumbs to the desire to hunt his meat down while it is still alive.

In the initial stages of this form of lycanthropy, the victim may still keep their essential character traits, but as the disease progresses, the conflict between the animal urges and the human side of their nature becomes ever more pronounced. Often, this will lead to a form of insanity in which the bestial nature finally wins, or – if the victim is sufficiently strong-willed – they manage to kill themselves.

This form of lycanthropy can often spell doom for paladins and good clerics, unless they voluntarily submit to incarceration (although this can only be done in the very early stages, before the victim’s human personality grows to like the feelings that it is now experiencing) and a lengthy curing process (see p.22 of the DMG)

Any humanoid creature bitten by a lycanthrope for damage equal to or greater than 50% of its total potential but not actually killed or eaten is infected by the disease of lycanthropy. If the person is carrying belladonna, there is a 25% chance that this will cure the infection if eaten within 1 hour. Note that this infusion will incapacitate the person for 1-4 days and there is a 1% chance of the poison in it killing the creature. Otherwise, a Cure Disease spell from a 12th or higher level Patriarch must be placed upon the creature within 3 days or it will become a lycanthrope within 7-14 days.

Trial by combat

Okay, so let’s get fighting.

Round 1

Bear’s attacks, 12, 14 and 12 – all three hit. Damage of 4, 4 and 8 (lucky bite). Total of 16 damage.

Wolverine attacks 6, 16 and 6 – all three hit. Damage of 3, 5 and 2 (unlucky bite). Total of 10 damage.

Round 2
The bear is down to 17hp, the wolverine to 6

Bear’s attacks, 2, 4 and 9 – all three miss.

Wolverine attacks 9, 9 and 4 – claws hit, bite misses. Damage of 3 and 3. Total of 6 damage.

Round 3 – the bear is down to 11hp, the wolverine is still at 6

Bear’s attacks, 16, 16 and 13 – all three hit. Damage of 1, 2 and 8 (lucky bite). Total of 11 damage.

Wolverine attacks 10, 7 and 13 – all three hit. Damage of 2, 4 and 6. Total of 12 damage.

So at the end of that brief but bloody combat, the wolverine is dead and the bear is at –1. It will be dead in 1-4 rounds.

Okay, so let’s run that again to see if the outcome is representative.

Round 1

Bear’s attacks, 15, 17 and 18 – all three hit. Damage of 5, 4 and 6 (lucky bite). Total of 15 damage.

Wolverine attacks 9, 9 and 15 – all three hit. Damage of 3, 5 and 4 . Total of 12 damage.

Round 2

Bear’s attacks, 10, 6 and 5 – all three miss.

Wolverine attacks 12, 19 and 16 – all three hit. Damage of 2, 3 and 7 . Total of 12 damage.

At the end of round 2, the bear is down to 3hp and the wolverine to 7hp.

Round 3

Bear’s attacks, 15, 4 and 8 – one claw hits. Damage of 1 – unlucky swipe. Total of 1 damage.

Wolverine attacks 7, 3 and 15 – claw and bite hit. Damage of 3 and 3. Total of 6 damage.

The bear is now down to –3 but he rolls a 4 on the d4 and fights on for another four rounds. This guy won’t be beaten.

Round 4 (first of the bear’s minus rounds)

Bear’s attacks, 4, 19 and 14 – claw and bite hit and he gets his hug damage. Damage of 3, 2 and 6. Total of 11 damage.

Wolverine attacks 16, 15 and 18 – all three hit. Damage of 3, 5 and 3. Total of 11 damage.

Okay, so the wolverine is now torn and crushed in the bear’s grasp, having gone to –4. The bear is now at –14 so I’m ruling that he is effectively torn so badly that he bleeds to death there and then. Besides, he’s made his point.

So, we’ve run it twice and the result is the same – both are dead by the end of round 3 or 4 at the latest. I would say therefore that the wolverine’s tendency to attack whatever the size of its opponent makes it indeed a fearsome adversary. Only the brown bear’s ability to fight on after reaching zero hit points gives it much of a chance against the wolverine, whose ferocity and sheer bloody-mindedness mean it should be avoided at all costs. Especially if the moon is full.


  1. Great Fight! And the very idea of the were-wolverine, should make player's crap their pants!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, James. Strangely enough, for a feature that's usually so popular, the response this week has been rather muted, even though I threw in a new monster. Maybe folks are busy. Anyway, on the plus side, you should be able to run the were-wolverine without anyone having the faintest idea what it is.

  3. And there was me thinking werebears were the hardest lycanthropes around......Werebear vs Werewolverine might be interesting ......

  4. Excellent match up. Yes, it's a busy week (and not the just because of the holidays).

  5. Awesome match up. I especially like the Werewolverine!