Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Rulak

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Rulak.

The Rulak is a fungal creature typically found in remote, lifeless areas such as wastelands and deserts.  Baron Lee van Hook, postulating that the creature is a "carnophyte," would dearly like to study one.  Unfortunately for scholars, such creatures are relatively unknown in the Sorrowfell Plains, although some travelers have claimed to encounter them in the Stonemarch or in the deserts of the isle of Anhak.

Baron Hook has compiled a few reports of the creatures, however, and it seems that they largely exist to reproduce.  Agitation and physical violence against the creatures causes spore production, and these corrosive spores will infect living hosts.  The spores will grow to maturity in an infected host, and the Rulak spore-pods will issue forth from the victim's flesh and fly away to parts unknown.  If the victim survives, recovery is possible, although victims will frequently bear the scars for quite some time.

Unlike many creatures, the Rulak displays a startling lack of self-preservation in combat, as its death fosters its reproduction.  The Rulak will typically swoop from the sky to confront creatures, opening with Ball of Force before shifting to Double Attack.  If forced into melee, it will use Spit-Blast; otherwise, it will attempt to float out of range of foes while using Ball of Force when it is available and Double Attack when it is not.  When it is almost bloodied or dead, it will attempt to occupy a central area in the encounter location so that as many foes will be targeted by Sporulation as possible.  When it is near death, it will do the same thing to target foes with Rupture.

Any creature that is hit by spores and fails its saving throw at the end of the encounter contracts Rulak Spores at stage 1.

Rulak Spores, Level 1 Disease
A thousand tiny spores grow and writhe under your flesh.
Stage 0: The target recovers from the disease.
Stage 1: While affected by this stage, the target takes a -2 penalty to all defenses and loses a healing surge.
Stage 2: While affected by this stage, the target takes a -2 penalty to all attacks and defenses, and loses a healing surge.
Stage 3: The spore-pods burst from the target's flesh.  The target loses all healing surges and moves to Stage 0.
Check: At the end of each extended rest, the target makes an Endurance check if it is at stage 1 or 2.
8 or lower: The stage of the disease increases by one.
9-11: No change.
12 or higher: The stage of the disease decreases by one.
Special: The Cure Disease ritual does not remove the disease; instead, the target cannot roll Endurance during her next extended rest, as she is automatically assumed to have no change in disease progression.  Similarly, a target of the Curse Disease ritual cannot be aided with the Heal skill.  Normal disease progression resumes during the following extended rest.


  1. Replies
    1. That's intentional. It's only really a threat to low-level parties — although higher-level ones may exist — and it mostly attacks at range.

      That having been said, if you have a better idea of its combat role, I'm always open to suggestions.


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