Planescape

Hordling

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Hordling
Climate/Terrain:Gray Waste
Frequency:Common (Prime, rare)
Organization:Solitary
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Carnivore
Intelligence:Semi- to average (2-10)
Treasure:Nil
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:1-6 (Prime 1)
Armor Class:3, 2, 1, or 0
Movement:6, 9, 12, or 15 (D with wings)
Hit Dice:6+3, 7+2, 8+1, or 9
THAC0:6+3 HD: 15
7+2 and 8+1 HD: 13
9 HD: 11
No. of Attacks:By hordling type
Damage/Attack:See below
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:0%, 5%, 15%, or 30%
Size:S, M, or L
Morale:Unsteady (5-7)
XP Value:Varies by hordling

Hordlings are the uncounted hordes of the Gray Wastes. They form the majority of the population of that plane. They vary widely in size and appearance. Some are large, some small; some humanoid, some animal-like, some amorphous; some have wings or tentacles. No two look exactly alike, and they have no standard means of communication.

Combat: Choose each hordling’s characteristics as the situation requires. These tables present traits that pertain to combat and flight. Other tables (below) give the appearance of individual hordlings. Choose AC, movement rate, Hit Dice, magic resistance, and size from this table, or roll ld4 for each characteristic:

RollACMVHDMRSZ
1366+30S
2297+25%M
31128+115%L
1015930%H

Choose physical attributes as desired; the lists below suggest typical attributes. Some attributes enhance combat ability, and are labeled with a parenthetical lower case letter, further explained in the Combat section.

Arms1 (1), 2 (2-5), 4 (6)Legs2 (1-4) 3(5) 4(6)
1multi-jointed1long, thin
2telescoping (doubled reach)2short, bowed
3short, thick3short, massive
4long, thin4springing (20' range)
5trunk-like5hopping (10’, any direction)
6tentacles6telescoping (can add 50% height)
Hands/ExtremetiesFeet/Extremeties
1large, thick-fingered (g)1prehensile toes, long
2clawed (h)2full hoofed (m)
3taloned (i)3
4pincered (j)4clawed (0)
5barbed (k)5suckered
6knobbed(1)6full webbed (swim at normal speed)
BackTail
1humped1long, prehensile
2hunched2short
3knobbed mane3long
4bristle-maned4long, clubbed (j)
5fan-winged5long, barbed (k)
6bat-winged6none

Fan-winged hordlings fly 18 (maximum ground speed 9). Batwinged hordlings fly 12 (maximum ground speed 12). Hordlings with hands, tentacles, or prehensile toes or tail can use weapons.

StrengthMouth (Large(1-4), Huge(5-6))
117 (+1/+1)protruding tusks [a)
218 (+1/+2)many small fangs (b)

3|18/50 (+1/+3)|long canines (c)#4|18/75 (+2/+3)|small tusks (d)#5|18/00 (+3/+6)|crushing teeth (e)#6|19 (+3/+7)|saw-toothed (e)

Having created a hordling, assign its attacks according to its mouth, arm, tail, and leg attributes. The following table provides examples.

Attack Table – Damage
atusks: small 1d4; large 2d4; huge 2d6
bfangs: small 1d6; large 1d8
clong canines: large 1d6; huge 1d8
dsmall tusks: large 1d8; huge 1d10
ecrushing teeth: large 1d4+2; huge 1d4+3
fsaw-toothed: large 1d3 (1d4 per round thereafter) huge 1d4 (1d6 per round thereafter)
gblow: one hit 1d4 + strength; two hits strangle for 2d4 + strength
hclaw: 1d4+1
italon: 1d6
jpincer: 1d4
kbarb: 1 per round and stuck fast (Strength check to escape)
lknob or club tail: 1d3
mfull hoof: 1d2
nsplayed hoof 1d3

For example, a hordling with two claws, crushing teeth, and a strength of 18/00 would attack at +3 and do 2-5+6/2-5+6/3-6+6.

A hordling may also have special attacks (10%, chance) or defenses (20% chance). These tables list the abilities; roll randomly or choose:

Special Attacks Table
1Breath works as a small stinking cloud vs. one opponent in a 3’ range.
2Gaze works as a ray of enfeeblement vs. one opponent in a 5’ range.
3Legs can trip one opponent in melee as a trip spell.
4Sound emanation works as a fumble spell against one opponent in a 5‘ range.
5Double attacks for 1 round once per turn.
6Acidic spittle missile once per turn (10‘ range, 2d4 damage)
Special Defenses Table
1Hit only by +2 or better magical weapons.
2Immune to fire and acid attacks.
3Immune to cold, gas, and poison attacks.
4Immune to electrical and magic missile attacks.
5Unaffected by illusions and mental attacks (charm, etc.).
6Regenerates 1d4+1 hp per turn.

Hordlings have infravision to 120’. Treat hordlings as having 5 Hit Dice for purposes of clerical turning of undead.

Habitat/Society: There are an infinite number of hordlings on the infinite layers of the Abyss. They have no purpose or organization.

Hordlings are petty and vile. They roam the Gray Waste, attacking those weaker than themselves. They sometimes serve under strong leaders, but few leaders maintain hordlings for long, for they are unruly, untrustworthy, and chaotic.

Occasionally, evil mages summon hordlings to do their bidding. Normal summonings always produce a single hordling. The only known way to summon more than a single hordling into the Prime Material Plane is the Bringer of doom, a strange device created by arcane magic during the Age of Doom.

The Bringer of Doom: So distant in the past is the Age of Doom that it cannot even be conceived of by mortals. This was a time of great lamenting, for the beings of that age had discovered magic and sciences too powerful to handle. Their passions overcame their sense and, in a wave of power, the race destroyed itself, leaving behind no remnant, save one.

The Bringer of doom is a small box with a strange, circular red gem set in its lid. If the gem is touched and depressed, the box itself explodes in a blinding flash. So great is the force of the blast that everything within 100’ (including the user and the item itself) is destroyed utterly.

The explosion opens a temporary, one-way rift to the Gray Waste from which 100-1,000 hordlings pour forth and destroy everything they encounter. Rarely (10% chance) some other, greater fiend comes through the rift as well. The Bringer of doom always reforms, to be discovered some time later.

One account of the Bringer comes from a scrap of parchment found in the Desert of Yin, near the blasted tower of the evil mage Althabazzerid.

“We have set up magical circles of protection, but we don’t know how long we can keep them up. I hope that my observations may be of help to my fellow researchers of the Mages’ Guild of MakBran. The assault against the black tower went well, the elven archers easily destroying Althabazzerid’s undead army while we dealt with his dragon allies. We had closed in and were in the midst of magical combat when Althabazzerid himself appeared on the tower’s battlements, protected by a multicolored sphere of light. He raised a small box in his left hand, and perhaps pressed a button on it – hard to tell from our vantage point.

“At once there was a deafening blast, and the wizard and his tower were destroyed. A huge hole in space opened, and we could see into the dismal spaces of the Gray Wastes. A great crowd of horrid beings – a more fantastic mix of humans, beasts, and fiends cannot be imagined – began moving into our world. Some walked, some hopped, some dragged their deformed bodies along. They gibbered and screamed. Some spat fire, or gas, or acid. Some were horned, others bore tentacles. More and more came, destroying the elves by sheer press of numbers. They attacked without plan or strategy, yet their horrid deformations allowed them many advantages.

“Then a great fiend flew out from the darkened sky of the Gray Wastes. It has assaulted unceasingly since then. Soon our magics will fail, and we will die either at the hands of the fiend or the press of the horde of darkness…”

Ecology: Hordlings devour whatever they destroy, usually other hordlings. That there is otherwise no readily available food supply on the Lower Planes makes the endless, relatively weak hordlings common prey for more powerful beings.

The physical appearance of a hordling may become important in play. The following list offers typical features, but many others are possible.

ColorHeadHead Adornment
1black-brown1wedge-shaped1bald
2russet-red2conical2mane
4olive-green4spherical4lumps
5blue-purple5cubical5spikes (2-8)
6gray-white6ovoid6horns (1-4)
NeckNose
1thick1wide, protruding
2thin2slits only
3long3hanging snout
4thrust forward4long, pointed
5snaky5large, many warts
6none apparent6beaked
EarsOverall Visage
1large, pointed1gibbering, drooling
2small, pointed2glaring, menacing
3drooping3twitching, crawling
4large, fanlike4wrinkled, seamed
5huge, humaniod5hanging, flaccid
6none6rotting, tattered

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 11:59:07 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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