Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bestiary: Slive

Without a doubt, my favorite contemporary fantasy author is Jim Butcher. And if you've read his Codex Alera series, you're familiar with slives. For those who haven't read the books: Slives are nasty, poisonous lizards - and while the hero of the books, Tavi, only encounters them rarely (once, as I recall), they do serve as the standard insult of the series. Any detestable person is referred to as a slive, rather than a snake, jerk, a-hole, dingleberry, or douche-canoe.

What I like about slives, with regard to my Kimatarthi campaign, is that they are fantastic creatures, but not overtly magical. So I thought I'd give them some D6 stats and steal them for the game. I don't think Jim would mind, since I know he's an avid gamer himself, but I hope his publisher isn't a douche-canoe, and just sees it as free publicity. So what do we know about slives from the books?
  • They have long, supple bodies covered in dark scales, and are nearly as long as an adolescent boy is tall. 
  • They have fangs coated in "a thick yellow liquid" that is a slow-acting, sleep-inducing poison.
  • Slives live in groups, and any creature bitten by one is likely to be devoured alive by a swarm. 
  • Slives are not quick, but apparently they are determined hunters. A person may outrun one, but she had best keep running for a few days, just to make sure the slive has given up the chase.
  • They can be found both in the wilderness and in urban areas, making dens in dead logs and garbage heaps.

I think the following stats would work.


Agility 1D: dodge 2D, fighting 2D
Coordination: 1D
Physique 6D: running 7D, stamina 8D
Intellect: 1D
Acumen 3D: search 4D, tracking 7D
Charisma 1D: intimidation 5D, mettle 3D

Strength Damage: 2D
Move: 7
Hit Points: 7

Natural abilities: cold-blooded (lethargic Aspect, or +7 to all actions until warmed up); bite +1D; venom (injected on successful bite, roll stamina to determine number of rounds before losing consciousness).

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