The Lonesome Road
|Climate/Terrain:||Temperate to subtropical woodlands|
|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Damage/Attack:||1d4+1 or by weapon|
|Special Defenses:||+1 or Dogwood to Hit, Feign Death|
|Size:||M (6’ tall)|
A werepossum in human aspect usually appears to be a lawless, unstable individual, such as a arrogant thief, or cackling, toothless old man. They dress as well as their simple means allow, which is normally not very well. In beast aspect, a werepossum resembles an ordinary, if chunky, opossum. In their hybrid aspect, the werepossum reveals its true, startling shape. The build becomes thicker, except for the thin, too-short legs and arms. The hands and feet bear tiny, hooked nails and ratlike digits. The werepossum’s head grows an opossum’s snout, ears, and toothy leer, although the eyes and facial structure remain disturbingly human. The creature sprouts a naked, prehensile tail, and its skin becomes covered in silvery-grey fur.
Werepossums can speak Common and, occasionally, other tongues as well, but lack a language of their own.
Combat: Werepossums prefer to avoid combat if at all possible, but will defend themselves if forced to. A werepossum in human or hybrid aspect may fight with a weapon, in which case they favor daggers or swords. Alternately, a werepossum can bite in its hybrid form for 1d4+1 points of damage. In hybrid aspect, a werepossum can also use a handful of thief abilities. The creature may pick pockets, move silently, and hide in shadows all at 70% chance, and climb walls at a 90% chance. The beast aspect of a werepossum is far too weak to be used effectively in most combat situations, but is often utilized for stealth and escape.
Werepossums rarely attack other beings outright, except when hunting for the sentient flesh they crave. When they do hunt, werepossums try to minimize the risk to themselves by selecting isolated, weak targets such as wanderers, petty criminals, or lost children. They tend to flee when faced with more formidable opponents. This does not mean that an encounter with a werepossum will end with the creature’s flight. On the contrary, a werepossum which has been cowed into escape will inevitably follow its attackers. The creature will plague its opponents with mean-spirited pranks and distractions by using its thief abilities and any magical items in its possession.
Werepossums have a unique ability to feign death similar to the wizard spell of the same name. A werepossum may assume this state instantaneously at any time it wishes, but requires one full round to rouse itself back to “life”. The werepossum is clever in its use of this ability, and will normally employ it in combat to realistic effect. For instance, the werepossum may crumble to the ground, pretending that a blow from an opponent’s weapons dealt it a mortal wound. An experienced hunter may note that a “slain” werepossum does not revert to its human aspect, but most are not so observant. A werepossum will use the first available opportunity to rise and flee when its opponents become disinterested or distracted. Since there is a risk that the werepossum’s attackers may destroy its unresponsive “corpse” quickly, the werepossum only uses its feign death ability if normal escape is impossible.
Werepossums can only be harmed by magical weapons of +1 or greater enchantment, or by a weapon constructed from dogwood. A werepossum’s bite carries a 2% chance per hp of damage inflicted of infecting the victim with lycanthropy.
Habitat/Society: Werepossums are enigmatic lycanthropes, to say the least. Solitary and aimless, they normally live on the outskirts of human settlements. Their “lairs” are actually just out-of-the-way locales where they can sleep in peace. They steal almost everything they need to survive, and can be quite resourceful in their use of normal society’s refuse and cast-offs. They are crafty beings, who enjoy tormenting people with carefully-engineered misfortunes and pranks. Most werepossums are regarded by local villagers as spooky drifters with a lousy sense of humor.
Although they do not (or cannot) use wizardly magic themselves, werepossums are quite fond of magical items, and normally have a handful of favorite enchanted trinkets in their possession at any one time. They favor practical, single-use items such as potions and scrolls. The amount of trouble a werepossum can stir up with a simple potion of invisibility or ventriloquism is astonishing. They can use any unrestricted magical item, as well as those intended specifically for thieves.
Werepossum matings are impersonal and little-understood, but the female is left with the burden of caring for the young. Female werepossums rear their large litters in their beast aspect, and the young appear to be normal opossums until quite mature (thankfully – embryonic marsupial-men being a tad too gruesome to contemplate). Despite the large number of young born in a litter (6-10), mortality is apparently quite high during the first few years.
Werepossums actually enjoy their outcast status and make it a point to not get along with anyone. Other werecreatures are treated with equal hateful glee as humanity, if not a tad more. Thus, werepossums have almost no allies, and count practically everyone as at least half-hearted enemies. Wererats, in particular, absolutely despise werepossums, and kill them on sight.
Ecology: Werepossums can survive on just about any sustenance known to man – and some man is better off not knowing about – but they do enjoy sentient flesh. They would be mere scavengers off of human civilization if not for their incredibly malicious tendencies. Their “jokes” tend to cross the line from annoying to downright deadly.
The Lonesome Road
Last Modified: February 05, 2014, 21:17:34 GMT
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