This week, we’ve got a humdinger of a contest. It couldn’t be closer if two of the same monster were fighting each other, so without further ado, let’s meet the contestants. First into the ring is a creature with the head of a bull, the body of a man, who strikes fear into the hearts of men….
No, not that one. This one…
HD 6+3 average hp 30
Atts 2 (butt or bite) or by weapon
Damage 2-8 or 1-4 or large axe 2-12 damage - yeah, I think he'll be using that one.
Special defences: Surprised only on a 1
THAC0 13, so he’ll hit the Lizard on an 8
And up against him, a leftover from the age of the dinosaurs, a time when if your name didn’t end in Saurus, you weren’t getting into Club Supremacy…
"Grrr...my cousin is a Basilisk!"
HD 6 average hp 27
Damage per attack 2-12
THAC0 13 so it’ll hit Bully on a 7
If it rolls a 20 to hit, it has clamped its jaws on to its victim and will do double damage (a natural critical)
But wait, I hear you cry. Right next door to the subterranean lizard is a Minotaur Lizard, would this not have been a more appropriate opponent? Well, it’s got more hit dice, does more damage and a better armour class…
Okay, I’ll pit them against each other at the end of the fight for your jaded appetites, you bunch of sybarites, you.
So now it’s time for Trial by Combat!
Bully is only surprised on a 1, it says, so I wonder, shall we check to see if he’s surprised by finding a Subterranean Lizard UNDER THE GROUND?
Okay, so it’s reaction time. Bully rolls a 2, Liz rolls a 1.
Bully swings with that axe, gets a 10. It’s a hit, and he rolls his 2d6 to see how much damage that BIG axe does. It’s a stonking 9.
Is the lizard perturbed? I don’t know; what does a perturbed lizard look like?
She must be slightly perturbed because with a 5, she’s just missed Bully.
Well, at the end of round 1, Bully has yet to bleed, whilst Liz is on 18hp.
Ding ding, round 2.
Reaction rolls, and this time Liz gets a 6, whilst Bully is on 3.
That d20 is not serving Liz well tonight; a 6 to hit and those supposedly lethal jaws bite on empty air.
Bully swings the axe again, and with a 17, hits home. Another nine damage. If this carries on the way it’s been going, we’ll have to have a rematch.
End of round 2, Liz is limping on 9 and Bully is wound-free on 30 still.
Both Liz and Bully roll 1 on their reactions. I’m not sure what they were waiting for; perhaps a new d20 in Liz’s case. With a 9, the lizard has finally managed to get some beef for dinner. A cracking 10 damage brings Bully down to 20. But does Bully have an answer for that one?
17 – I’ve not seen such good axe work since Iron Maiden last played Wembley…
Unfortunately, the d6 let him down and he inflicts just 3 damage on Liz.
End of that round and Liz is on 6 and Bully is now on 20.
Round 4 – it’s all still to play for (who am I trying to kid?)
Bully rolls a 3 to Liz’s 2. Bully swings the axe…
It’s a 10 – he’s nothing if not consistent. And with 7 damage, he sends the lizard packing.
Okay, so we might as well have a second helping before the main course arrives…
Round 1 –
Let’s see if Liz’s luck with the d20 has changed. Reaction rolls, if you please…
Bully rolls a 4, Liz is behind on 2.
Bully gets an 11 to hit, and does a respectable 8 damage.
At last the wind of d20 change is blowing and Liz gets a 15 to hit. The damage weigh in at 6, which is not great but not bad either.
Liz is on 19 and Bully on 24.
Liz and Bully both roll 4 for reaction. Liz gets a 9 and Bully gets an 18. He really is rolling some cracking d20s tonight – I don’t think he’s actually missed. That might stand him in good stead later.
And guess what – they both do 7 damage, which is exactly the average of 2d6.
End of round 2, Liz is on 12, Bully on 17.
Liz is a scaly blur with a 6 reaction, Bully slightly more sluggish with a 2
Liz rolls a 9 again, damage of 8.
Bully lets fly with the axe and with all the predictability of a tax rise, he hits with a 14. His damage is 6 and so, at the end of Round 3, we have
Liz on 6hp and Bully on 9.
Surely Bully’s dice luck can’t last forever. Let’s see with the arrival of…
Liz and Bully both get 2 on the reaction, so it might be that they’ll kill each other.
Liz gets a 12 on the d20 and does damage of 11 – that’ll take Bully out. However, before he goes, the horny one gets one last roll of the dice and with a 4, he actually misses, for the first time in either of these two bouts…
So there we have it. One-all and it seems that with two such evenly-matched creatures, it’s all down to the dice luck. Bully had it all going for him in that one, with only one missed hit.
So now, it’s time for the after-dinner entertainment. You’ve finished off the chicken in a basket, had a glass of house white, the lights are dimmed and some rather naff 70s disco music comes on the PA system.
It’s time for Saturday Night Fight Club Extra!
We know Bully’s stats, but here is the Mike Tyson of the lizard world…
HD 8 (36 average hp)
Damage per attack 2-12/2-12/3-18
THAC0 of 12 which means he’ll hit Bully on a 6.
A roll of 20 indicates that the lizard has seized its prey firmly in its mouth and can bite it again next round with no chance of attack from its victim.
Okay, round 1
Big Minnie rolls a 1 on the reaction, Bully rolls a 3.
In swings the axe, and with a 15, he hits. Damage of 7. The crowd goes wild.
I can’t believe this – Big Minnie has rolled a 4, a 3 and an 8!
And what’s worse, the damage from that bite comes out at only 7.
So, end of round 1 and Bully is on 23, whilst Big Minnie is on 29. That’s not much of a gap. Let’s see what happens in
Bully rolls a 5, Big Minnie rolls a 2.
Bully hefts his axe but his luck deserts him as a 1 comes up. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t roll another one.
Could this be where the tide turns for our bull-headed contender?
Big Minnie rolls the to hits…
One claw, one bite make bloody contact with Bully.
7 and 12 – that’s a stonking 19.
End of round 2 and Bully is on 4, while Big Minnie is on 29.
Round 3 reactions.
Bully gets a 5 and Big Minnie has to make do with a 1.
Bully clips it with a 9, but only gets a 4 in damage. It looks like Game Over for the mad axeman…
15,6,12 – all three attacks hit home. If you are of a squeamish disposition, look away now…
5, 3, 9 – total of 17. It could have been a lot higher but 17 is high enough.
Well, we should give a round of applause for Bully, who really gave it his all for that last fight. Even if he’d hit on every round and done average damage, he’d still have only done 21 damage to the minotaur lizard, who could have taken that sort of pounding for another two rounds and still been on 1hp.
In my opinion, one of the interesting features of SNFC is the way that the obscure monsters get their chance in the limelight. How often have players actually come up against a minotaur lizard before? And yet, they are truly fearsome opponents, capable of dishing out an AVERAGE 24hp of damage per round. They’ve got a THAC0 of 12, which means that even on AC2, a character is going to get hit about 50% of the time. Worryingly, the Monster Manual tells us that we will encounter 1-8 of these terrors but at least they’ve only got a 6” movement rate, so you’ve got plenty of chance to outrun them.
I wonder what would happen if a normal party went up against the minotaur lizard? I’m going to get me a vivarium and start breeding them now for use in my next dungeon, mwa-ha-ha-ha!
I’ve not come up with a combo for next week yet, so I’m open to suggestions.
Strange Stars Review Roundout - GusL over at the *Dungeon of Signs* wrote a thorough review of *Strange Stars OSR* yesterday that you should read if you haven't. You should also stay to...
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