Monday, April 22, 2024

Dragonbane Kin: Underworld Otter

New illustration kindly provided by Jason Sholtis

Note: The Underworld otter originally appeared in the Operation Unfathomable Players' Guide and was created by Jason Sholtis.

I've already covered the citizen lich and woolly Neanderthal, so here's the Underworld otter, the remaining new race from Operation Unfathomable, reworked for use as a player kin in Dragonbane.

As described in the Players' Guide, Underworld otters are quite literally magically uplifted, semi-humanoid otters:

"Generations ago, the magic user responsible for their creation (Zaracanth, a noted Underworld celebrity) released the otters into the Black Ooze river valley, and callously washed his hands of all responsibility for their fate. The otters quickly adapted to their environment, dwelling in shore caverns and subsisting upon various river oozes and young basking sharks native to the Black Ooze river. Otters, strict carnivores, can and do enjoy the flesh of most animals, including those creatures warped by Chaos and those in an advanced state of decomposition."

Much like the other new player races presented in Operation Unfathomable, Underworld otters do not have a large array of special abilities. They are as comfortable moving on two legs as on all fours, and have some restrictions to wearing armor and learning to use weapons based on their unusual body proportions and lack of material culture. Their main ability is a resistance to the attacks of oozes, a type of monster that is common in D&D-derived games, but much less so in Dragonbane (aside from the Giant Amoeba presented in the Bestiary supplement). As always, the goal is to adapt the spirit of the original to the rules and assumptions of Dragonbane, so here goes.


Underworld Otter
Underworld otters are a magically created kin native to ooze-infested rivers. Comfortable moving on two legs or four, they look nearly identical to mundane river otters, save for being human-sized and having hands rather than paws. Underworld otters are a young kin who are as capable and intelligent as their older brethren, but who have not yet developed a material culture. While
 deadly warriors, they retain the fun-loving frivolity of their ancestors, and never miss an opportunity to propel themselves down an Underworld waterfall, douse themselves in the foulest smelling swamp sloughs, or sample the flavor of monster meats in advanced states of decay.

Ability: Slippery
Willpower Points: 1
By activating this ability, Underworld otters get a boon on a BRAWLING roll for avoiding or escaping a grapple (page 48 in the Rulebook) or other forms of physical restraint. They are immune to the corrosive and poisonous attacks of giant amoebas (page 78 of the Bestiary, no WP required), but not their bludgeoning attacks. In addition, Underworld otters cannot eat plants or fungi, but can always eat raw or even spoiled meat without falling ill (no WP required).

Ability: Webbed Feet
Willpower Points: --
This is identical to the mallard kin ability Webbed Feet (page 12 in the Rulebook).

GM Notes
As presented in the original Operation Unfathomable Players' Guide, Underworld otters can only wear armor specially designed for them at "exorbitant cost." Since they are described as strict carnivores, they can't eat plants, and therefore cannot benefit from foraging (page 103 of the Rulebook). Finally, I would automatically give an Underworld otter the Reckless weakness at the game's start (and regularly remind the player of it) to mimic their "save versus fun" habits from the original write-up.

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