Monday, June 2, 2014

Hill Cantons Bestiary: The War-Ocelot

One of the most fun parts of writing up the Slumbering Ursine Dunes mini-sandbox has been putting together the now lengthy(ish) bestiary in the back. The booklet will have 15 unique monsters stuffed into it (that is if I have the willpower to stop cramming more in with each editing iteration).

One of the things I have tried to do throughout the campaign with mixed results is introduce a menagerie of new critters to challenge and amuse players with. Some have a foot in a fantasy reflected Slavic mythology, others have more than a bit of the gonzo (or just plain dumb) in them.

The War-Ocelot is one of the few that mixes a bit of all of them.

No. Enc.: 1d10
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 150’ (50’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6 bite, 1d8 helmet spike
Save: D2
Morale: 9

When the Boreans threw down their spears
And sprinkled Zem with their tears
Did Svat smile his work to see?
Did He who made the flumph make thee?
- The Ocelyt by Vilem of the Lake

The twin brother-heroes of the Old Pahr, Vlko and Romuilak the Lupine were the first to bring the dreaded cats of the steppes to this part of the world. With their horde of druzhinas, reverse centaurs and yes war-ocelots they carved a kingdom out of the black peaks and bottomlands of the South a thousand years ago. With such an entrance the war-ocelot demurely snarled into the pages of collected history—before vanishing anew along with that time-misted kingdom.

Centuries of selective breeding by Pahr nomads of their most beloved semi-feral ocelots had raised the adorable spotted critters into a bellicose, semi-intelligent companion. Bigger boned and wiry their feline frames were increasingly capable of sporting first elaborate harnesses and later full armored arrays complete with long piercing horn (not pictured in the transitional period array above).

War-ocelots are rarely encountered without their humans who they look upon as gullible marks who will dish out food and provide the empty boxes that make for prime napping in exchange for so little.


  1. Nice kitty--been a fan of ocelots since discovering Honey West a while back...

  2. That poem is one of your best so far.

  3. Thanks. I'm glad at least once person got that dumb joke.

  4. Who will win? Willpower or the monsters?

  5. Nice armor. Looks Indian. It's interesting how words get around a world, as ocelot comes from the Nahuatl "Ocelotl". We've had all sorts of confusion in Mesoamerican games about whether people are talking about smaller feline predators or jaguars when this term is used, as it has different meanings to different folks.