Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rothaube (Red Bestiary)

"Red Hood"

No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d4)
Alignment: Any Evil
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2d4+
Attacks: 1 (Weapon or spell)
Damage: 1d4 or weapon (+poison)
Save: F1
Morale: 5

Tiny twisted little degenerates, the Rothaube (lit."Red Hood") prowl the back alleys of run-down towns or sometimes they can be met as they caper and prance along certain gloomy by-roads along the fringes of settled areas. Best not to cross their path though.

Rothaube move silently like thieves or Bugbears, strike suddenly and often times by surprise, and are expert in the fine art of backstabbery (they advance as thieves, assassins or dual-classed magic user/assassins).

But it is not their steely knives, their eerie stalking talents, nor their penchant for slitting throats that have garnered these wicked, bloodthirsty little beasts their much deserved evil reputation. What strikes fear into those unfortunate enough to encounter the Rothaube is their ability to cause Sleep Paralysis, enter their victims dreamstate and mutilate, torment and torture them horribly. And the Rothaube have a penchant for inflicting suffering.

Sleep Paralysis: Not quite a spell in-and-of-itself, this weird ability allows the Rothuabe to inflict paralysis upon anyone already asleep, much like how a Ghoul immobilizes its victims. This effect persists for as long as the victim continues to fail to Save every 2d4 turns.

Invade Dreamstate: Rothaube have the innate psychic ability to trespass upon the dreams of their victims, allowing them to inflict hideous torments upon their victims. Using this ability allows the Rothaube to destroy one point of CON, one point of WIS, or one Hit Die; this effect only becomes permanent on the third night of their 'visiting' a victim. The target does gain a Save to avoid the loss becoming permanent. Failing this Save results in the victim aging 1d20 years. In addition, those affected by the Rothaube's unkindly attentions cannot recover hit points, nor heal any wounds during the time they are affected.

Oneiric Torment: A Rothaube has the uncanny ability to convert all physical damage they cause with their weapons to fade away, as if nothing happened at all, until the victim goes to sleep, at which point all the damage accrues all at once. Should the victim Save, this damage remains only physical. If they fail, the damage affects their WIS or CON, destroying 1 point of either attribute per 8 points of damage inflicted by the Rothaube. Often this is only temporary, though there are cases where the damage was so severe as to be permanent. In any case, recovery from this sort of thing is difficult, often requiring professional care, possibly hygienic confinement, or possibly the utilization of radical medical techniques, sorcery or the care of a knowledgeable Midwife. Those who have suffered from such an assault on their person by the Rothaube retain something of a connection to the vile little miscreants, allowing them to Detect Rothaube within 120' as a special ability. And yes, of course, this works both ways. When the Rothaube mark a victim, they stay marked.

Rothaube prefer Charm Person, Sleep, ESP, Knock, SlowHold Person, and Feeblemind over all other common spells. They will grant a potential victim a temporary reprieve in exchange for a scroll or spell-book containing any of these spells. Of course such bartering with the Rothaube is a capital offense in most civilized places...


  1. Definitely unsettling, and unusual for the interactions too. The marking is an idea that could be used more widely, and here suggests a paranoia in the victim. The concept and colour remind me loosely of Don't Look Now, and the image is very creepy, especially those eyes - the difference in colour gives the impression of movement...

    1. This was an experiment, a new approach in making the illustration of the monster by painting into a clipped-out image taken from one of our photos. It was a fun process. We'll probably do more along these lines in the near future.

      As to the creature itself, it is a creepy little thing, easy to overlook or disregard as not too terribly powerful or threatening, until after you've gotten a taste of what they can really do...then it's a bit too late...

      These nasty little things will strike a bargain, in fact they prefer to make deals over battling bigger-folk, but they are shrewd, ruthless and combine the business instincts of Rumpelstiltskin with Donald Trump in all the worst ways...


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