Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Pseudoblepas, Nerglid

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Pseudoblepas and the Nerglid.

The Nerglid are a race of warlike beings who wish to display their supremacy over humanoids by defeating them in combat.  They focus on humans, but will pick any mammalian humanoid race (and if those are unavailable, they'll move to reptiles).  This may have something to do with their supposed fungal ancestry, but then again, who knows?

For that matter, their fungal nature is not immediately apparent; their suits of armor come complete with face masks that resemble humans.  Their masks are made of a strange, rare metal (scholars suspect either they have an extraplanar supply or their homelands are rife with the stuff).

They show no quarter in combat, although they are intelligent, and can sometimes be convinced to avoid fighting to the death.  Although that might involve determining what they want, and nobody has quite figured out that mystery.  Yet.

As an aside to adventurers: when he isn't blathering about "microphytes" and "phagœktoplasmotic macrosciaphytes" (further information on the latter is available here), Baron Lee van Hook has promised a reward to anyone who can bring living specimens, dead remains, and strange masks to him.  Interested parties are directed to the University of the Study of the Arcane Arts and Sciences in Duchy Jepson, located on the Sorrowfell Plains.

The Nerglid use polearms in combat, typically tending toward halberds and glaives.  This particular specimen uses a halberd (or something similar enough in design to be called a halberd), to great effect.  In combat, he typically opens by savagely mauling somebody with Impale.  He then alternates between Halberd and Halberd Sweep as appropriate, typically using Halberd to menace individuals, and Halberd Sweep to menace groups.  (The Nerglid are also typically mounted on Pseudoblepas; in such a case, he uses Mounted Leap in lieu of Halberd whenever he is able.)

As noted, Nerglid are usually mounted on Pseudoblepas.  These creatures are extremely docile things that resemble a largish dinosaur with lobster claws and webbed feet.  They move primarily by hopping, like kangaroos, and tend to look rather comical.

Don't be fooled.  They are extremely vicious when mounted, and the Nerglid are adept at using their rhythmic hopping motions to inflict devastating strikes.

This specimen represents a fairly typical Pseudoblepas.  It will Claw or Tail Lash as its rider wields its halberd.  A Pseudoblepas without a rider will typically stop attacking and will move to a safe place (behind a rock, at the edge of the battlefield, basically anywhere that removes it from the main thrust of combat); if it is bloodied, it will flee.

It is possible for a player character to use a Pseudoblepas as a mount, although it is more likely that one would be obtained as war spoils rather than purchased.  The Nerglid raise them specially, and the likelihood of finding one on the open market is slim.  A Pseudoblepas whose rider is killed can probably be retrained with the application of the "Handle/Train Animal" function of the Nature skill, (Player's Handbook, pg. 186, or Rules Compendium, pg. 149), likely as part of a skill challenge.  I'd recommend a Complexity 1 skill challenge as they're fairly docile and easily trained.


  1. Your right about the Pseudoblepas; they're fairly docile and have to be 'trained' to be of any use in combat, a process that can take a lot of work. The creatures can be eaten safely, if steamed or poached. The meat resembles crab after a fashion and is slightly salty. The Nerglids are very unlikely to sell one of their mounts, but then if the fortunes of war shift against them and they are in dire need of could happen.

    Never hire Nerglid mercenaries. It's a bad, bad idea. Reasonable cavalry units, but terrible when it comes to following orders. They will break off from an engagement to indulge in looting and wanton mayhem at the first good opportunity.

    Some Nerglid have learned how to drain fluids from mammalian victims and use this to restore their hit points in a semi-vampiric form of regeneration. So far this is a rare talent, and those who've picked-up the ability re not in a hurry to teach anyone else.

  2. Some Nerglid have learned how to drain fluids from mammalian victims and use this to restore their hit points in a semi-vampiric form of regeneration.

    That's awful. I mean, I love it, but it's awful.

  3. Yep. It makes a nasty sound, too. Real gross. Very effective in motivating dithering players to do something before it's too late...and you can never quite have enough stuff like that on hand.

    Some Nerglid have become quack healers who do the whole bleeding thing like old barbers, only they claim better rates of success...weird thing is, some of them do get rather startling results, but it's more the result of cross-contamination and the slightly rejuvenative properties of the Nerglids fluids passing across into their victims. If someone, say a PC working for the barbers, were to figure this out, if could get difficult for the Nerglid to remain at large, as the barbers will surely seek to round them up as fast as they can in order to corner the new market on Nerglid tonics...


Print Friendly