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RESEARCHING CREATURES

Researching a creature and learning its weaknesses will increase the likelihood of victory in the ultimate confrontation.

A hero can uncover secrets about a particular creature or type of creature through research. The success of any such endeavor is measured with Research skill checks.

Researching a creature takes 1d4 hours plus an additional 1d4 hours if the creature is unique or has traits unlike other members of its species. The type of information gleaned in this amount of time depends on the hero's Research check result, as shown below.

Type of Information Research Check DC
Type Traits
Reveals a creature's type and any traits common to that type.15
Species Traits
Reveals a specific creature's species traits.20
Unique Traits
Reveals the unique attributes and weaknesses (if any) of a specific creature.25

Creature Weaknesses

Although a creature's type and species determine many of its traits and abilities, GMs are encouraged to alter a creature's physiology, behavior, abilities, tactics, and defenses when it serves the story or to confound players who think they know everything about their opponents.

The rules provided allow GMs to build custom monsters and ascribe special qualities to them. When designing a creature, the GM should also think of ways the creature can be defeated. From the heroes' point of view, a creature's weaknesses are more important than its abilities. Assigning weaknesses to creatures gives under-powered or poorly equipped heroes a fighting chance.

Table: Sources of Weakness lists many sources to which a creature may be vulnerable. A source can be a specific object, location, substance, sound, sensation, or activity. How the creature interacts with a source of weakness is left up to the GM, although most sources must be in close proximity to the creature (if not touching the creature) to affect it. GMs may roll randomly on the table, choose a source that suits the creature, or devise their own.

Source Effects

After determining a creature's source of weakness, the GM needs to decide how the creature reacts when confronted by the source. Pick an effect that seems appropriate for the creature and the source.

A creature gets either a Fortitude or Will saving throw to overcome or resist the source of weakness; the DC of the save varies depending on the source's strength:

Strength of SourceSave DC
Easily resistible10
Moderate15
Strong20
Overpowering25

Creatures usually react to a source of weakness in one of six ways:

 

Addiction: The creature is compelled to ingest, imbibe, or inhale the source. The source must be within 5 feet of the creature to affect it. On a successful Will save, the creature negates the compulsion. On a failed save, the creature spends a full-round action indulging its addiction, then may resume normal actions while suffering one or more of the following effects (GM's choice):

Each effect lasts 1d4 hours. Even creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are susceptible to a source-induced addiction.

 

Attraction: The creature is compelled to move as fast as it can toward the source. On a successful Will save, the creature resists the compulsion. On a failed save, the creature moves toward the source at its maximum speed, taking the safest and most direct route. Once it reaches the source, the compelled creature seeks to possess it. If the source isn't something the creature can easily possess, it gets a new save every round to break the compulsion.

Even creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are susceptible to a source-induced attraction.

 

Aversion: The creature finds the source repellant. On a failed save, the creature cannot approach or remain within 1d4 x10 feet of it. In the case of traveling sounds, the creature moves away from the source as fast as it can, stopping only when it can no longer hear it. On a successful Will save, the creature overcomes its aversion and may approach the source freely.

A repelled creature that cannot move the requisite distance from the source suffers one or more of the following effects (GM's choice):

Each effect lasts until the creature leaves the affected area and for 1d4 rounds afterward. Even creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are susceptible to a source-induced aversion.

 

Fascination: The creature finds the source fascinating and ceases all attacks and movement upon seeing, hearing, smelling, or otherwise perceiving it. On a successful Will save, the creature negates the fascination and can act normally. On a failed Will save, the creature can take no actions, and foes gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls against the creature. Any time the creature is attacked or takes damage, it gets a new save to negate the fascination. Otherwise, the fascination lasts as long as the creature can see, hear, smell, or otherwise perceive the source.

Even creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are susceptible to a source-induced fascination.

 

Fear: The creature is frightened by the source. If it fails its Will save, the creature flees from the source as fast as it can. If unable to flee, the creature takes a -2 morale penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws. On a successful save, the creature overcomes the fear and can approach the source or otherwise act without penalty.

Even creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are susceptible to a source-induced fear.

 

Harm: Contact with the source or proximity to the source harms the creature in some fashion. On a successful Fortitude save, the creature negates the effect or, in the case of instant death or disintegration, takes damage instead. GMs may choose one of the following effects or invent their own:

Even creatures immune to effects that require Fortitude saves are susceptible to source-induced harm.

Table: Sources of Weakness
d%Source
01Alcohol or moonshine
02Amber
03Animated cartoons
04Archways
05-06Bells or chimes
07Books written by William Blake
08Bunnies
09-10Cancerous organs
11Carbonated soft drinks
12-13Cats
14Chrome
15-16Classical music
17Clocks
18Clowns
19Cocaine
20-21Country music
22-23Crosses or crucifixes
24Crows
25Dogs
26Elvis Presley memorabilia
27Fast cars
28Fast foods
29-30Fluorescent lights
31Games of chance
32Gold or iron pyrite (fool's gold)
33Grave dirt
34-35Heavy metal music
36-37Holy symbols
38-39Holy water
40Hospitals
41Ice cream
42Insecticide (DDT)
43Jack o'-lanterns
44Keys
45-46Laughter of children
47Laundry detergent
48Lavender
49Lilac-scented candles
50Mathematical equations
51Morphine
52-53Nerve gas
54Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
55Novocaine
56-57Number "8"
58Pearls
59Penicillin
60Photo flashes
61-62Plastic or vinyl
63-64Played violin or electric guitar
65Playgrounds
66-67Plutonium
68Poppies
69Pulsing strobe lights
70-71Radiation
72Radio waves
73Rubber
74Running water
75-76Silver
77Sodium benzoate (food preservative)
78-79Sodium chloride (salt)
80-81Specific phrase or word
82Specific song
83Spoken Latin
84Stuffed animals
85Sumerian or Egyptian hieroglyphs
86-87Sunlight
88-89The Bible
90Tinfoil
91-92Toxic waste
93-94Triangles
95Television infomercials
96Television static
97-98White rice
99-100X-rays