Sunday, August 21, 2011

[My Take On]... Cockatrices

Cockatrices are created by wizards to serve as monstrous guardians. A cockatrice is made by coaxing a hen to brood on a basilisk’s egg. When the egg hatches, a cockatrice chick emerges. The first living person it sees will become its master. It takes about a year to reach its full size – about five feet tall. It does not lay eggs or produce any offspring.
A cockatrice is alert and fast moving. It crows loudly when strangers come near. It may make several false charges to scare off intruders before darting at them with its forked tongue, which can turn a person to stone at a touch. Anyone sneaking up from the side or rear of a cockatrice can be hit by its spurred claws and scaly, lashing tail. The tail does not remove Luck but scores a knockback similar to the warrior power of the same name.

If the cockatrice scores one or more successes with its tongue attack, you must make a Resist roll and score at least an equal number of successes to avoid being turned to stone. An undo magic or restore spell will return a victim to normal – but be quick about it, because cockatrices peck away at their victims and consume them one grain of stone at a time. (The first indication a cockatrice is near may be the sound of its beak chiseling away at a petrified victim).

Story ideas:
Egg Run: stealing an egg from a basilisk is a challenge in itself. Wizards pay top gold for these eggs, and may hire adventurers to get them from a wild basilisk so that a cockatrice can be created.

Loyal Beyond the Grave: A cockatrice is very long-lived, like many reptiles. It may outlive its master by a century or more. Adventurers may find one guarding its master’s tomb or tower, long after the wizard who created it has passed away.

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