Friday 8 September 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #236: Red Dogs

Six hexes northwest, four north of Alakran.


A marker for several clans of wild dogs, 12-36 strong, who roam a roughly 12-mile radius in this zone. We can model these desert canines on the diurnal South Asian dhole. Reddish-coated and almost fox-like, they are found in hunting packs of 3-5 half the time, and the rest of the time in their full clan. These dogs utter cooing sounds while maneuvering and loud yelps when attacking. If their lair is found, it is an underearth den with one or more chambers, and yes, 25% chance of some incidental treasure, you looting ghouls.

Despite being a traditional part of wilderness encounters, dogs like these really are more part of local color than a serious encounter, if played with an eye to their actual behavior. Maybe they are a threat to battered survivors of a larger battle, or to near-dead individuals left alone while their companions foolishly seek help. Otherwise, a group of these dholes is more likely to watch from a distance, and flee wisely if adventurers make a sudden move on them looking for experience points.

The local villagers hate and fear these dogs, but refrain from exterminating them out of rumors of a "special one" who lurks among them -- a crossbreed with a werecreature, demon, or even dragon, depending on who you ask.

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