Saturday, November 26, 2016

Adventure Thoughts III

This time I'll be going over various adventures from Palladium Books After the Bomb series. I played a lot of games in the setting, some good, some bad. I still maintain that this has some of the best rules for mutant animals of any RPG out there.

Many of the adventure scenarios in ATB only really require modification to game mechanics and personal GM setting to be used with Mutant Future.
A lot of the adventures in ATB are dictated by the overall setting of the book, the anti-muntant pure human "Empire of Humanity" (with it's high technology), their sorta allied mutant dogs "New Kennel," the "free mutant animal" nation of Cardania, rodent mobsters of Philly, nomadic anti-human tribes of "Free Cattle," bird kingdom of Bird Island, swamp region of "Gatorland", "Wolf Barbarians" (though I felt that "Boar's Town" and its Bear Cult was a wasted idea), even a brief nod toward New York gangs, etc. While I have no real problems with the setting, for ATB at least, in my preferred Post Apocalyptic setting, I prefer an earlier state of post apocalypse, where city-states and surviving communities haven't yet started the rise of kingdoms and empires, though wandering raiders, tribals, and marauders may have large tracts of territory. I feel that this setup allows the PCs a bit more freedom in the direction they go, rather than stumbling from petty kingdom to petty kingdom and dealing with each along the way. Really mostly personal preference.
Note: Though I specify the 1st edition of the book for the purpose of these adventures, they appeared, with some minor text formatting changes in ATB2E.

Gun Bunnies & Zombies
A somewhat usable adventure, with some notable locations and rumors included. Thought the lack of mentioned map makes it somewhat more difficult to use. The plot is basically searching for a "zombie"-making facility as well as possible weapons caches, with a survivalist/militant group of mutant rabbits added into the mix. Considering the forces arrayed against the PCs, I felt the payoff (some minor parts, equipment, and maybe fuel oil) was kind of weak.

A Journey to Boar's Town
I felt this adventure, billed as "introductory" was a somewhat useful idea, but had a weak execution, more like an idea for an adventure. Also another adventure that could have benefited from a map. Unlike the previous adventure, the payout is potentially quite big (access to a pre-apocalyptic library and possibly a way to de-mutate mutant animals). Really should have had a town layout for Boston with some additional encounters, possible caches, red herrings, other factions, as well as an order of battle for the final battle.

Clem's Big Adventure
One of the few adventures included that I never actually ran. The premise never really did much for me because it felt more like a pre-apocalyptic TMNT adventure than something post apocalyptic (ironic given how easily I buy into the ant-themed side quest "Those!" in Fallout 3). Maybe it's just that fire breathing ants are a more interesting foe than "warrior" ants.

Aerial Supremacy
This adventure I've run a time or two, mostly in my younger, more impressionable days. It almost plays out like a game version of the old movie Firefox (no doubt intentionally), though with the added complication of a loosely allied band of scavengers who all seem to be in it for themselves and will no doubt turn on each other given the right motivation.

The Power of Ali Komani
This is almost a James Bond-type adventure, where the PCs race to stop the evil mastermind from unleashing his scheme for world domination. Another adventure where I felt a map (with more details than the main ATB map provides) would have been an immense aid to play, also some quick settlement generation tables would have helped the GM tremendously. Not a bad adventure, especially if you tie it into some of the other space-tech themed adventures for ATB (see Mutants in Orbit).

The Rodent Plague
Another James Bond/Superspy type adventure, though the name makes no real sense, since the nominal "plague" affects all mutant animals. Could have used maps of course, possibly a rumor table, and really has the least post apocalyptic feel of any adventure in the book.

Possibly one of my most favorite entries in the ATB line for the TMNT RPG (Down Under comes in pretty high as well). I think the setting for this, while a bit sparser than that of ATB (1E), comes a lot closer to my preferred "just starting to build kingdoms & empires" post apocalyptic feel than ATB (1E). While the vehicle construction rules give a fairly decent toolkit for Road Warrior-style post apocalyptic action, I always felt that there were some features missing (more junk/scrap inventions, and (oddly enough) racing game features (nitrous and the like). I did feel that the Road Hogs themselves were a little off, with being led by a mutant feline, and I felt that this was a good chance to introduce other mutant swine, like warthogs, wild boars, and peccaries/javelinas. I also never really bought into the East Coast faction influence in the region. One also has to wonder how much of the Fallout series' New California Republic was influenced by the New Americorp faction of this book. (I think the idea of mixing the two settings, faction-wise would really help things a lot, more new gangs to deal with, and other groups that aren't humans or mutant animals.) On the downside, there are two communities mentioned on the map (the Seal Republic and Dolphin Free States) with no apparent real details or sufficient support to really do anything with. Aquatic type mutants are given as octopi, sea turtles, sea lions, true seals, whales, and walruses; leaving out awesome options like sharks, crabs, lobster, rays, eels, or other fish in general. In summary, this book has one of the best potentials of the ATB line, but is missing just enough information to be somewhat frustrating. Definitely could have used a sequal.

Mail Call!
This introductory adventure is generally designed to make the vehicle rules be used in play. The premise is simple and straight-forward, and the PCs get a vehicle (or vehicles) out of the deal. Not bad for what it does, but kind of exists in a vacuum for long term play, unless linked with other adventures (see below).

On the Road Again
I always felt that this was part two of the adventure Mail Call!, with the PCs basically celebrating their win or drowning their sorrows at their loss in that adventure, when, *BANG* it's time to introduce the vehicle combat system (and main villain faction of the setting). For starting a campaign in the setting you might as well just run these two adventures together, even if you're using your own or another system's vehicle rules.

South of the Border
This is a somewhat odd duck for the adventures in the book, taking place generally outside the given setting of the south west coastal area of the former US. While not given a map, the GM is instructed to check a road atlas of the areas involved, which is at least something. The biggest failure though, is that the GM is also instructed that, "The journey of almost 1,460 miles can easily provide for a long-term, Road Hog campaign all by itself. GMs should feel free to create whole new towns, countries, bandit territories or whatever they fancy." No **** there is a whole missing adventure right there, which makes no ******* sense to drop in the middle of another adventure, especially one that is essentially time-sensitive. The joke bit about "Bakersfield" being just down the road, with the hook dropping NPCs ending up in California (again how, since there's a whole campaign in that journey) because they're stupider than a bag of rocks just kills this whole adventure as something playable without a ton of work for the GM. I'll give some, minor, props in that gas and travel is discussed (though the lack of alternate routes means no PC planning, just follow the railroad tracks). After a long journey just to get there, with no way short of A-Team plot coupons to actually get there in time to do anything (seriously, it would take a long time for the dumbnamic duo to get to Cali, and then get a group to go back with them, rendering the whole scenario asinine), at least the payment (35,000 worth of gold coins) is somewhat decent.

Road Hogs: Gang War!
I like the concept of this adventure (though it falls more in the superspy genre than post apocalyptic), but it always comes across as more of a bare-bones adventure idea with some detailed notes than something usable by the GM without a lot of work.

I actually have to specify this, since this booklet was included in the ATB/TMNT Game Shield product release, and not included with Mutants of the Yucatan. It also replicates some material from that book. I haven't actually done a lot with the adventures in the Yucatan setting, with one exception, since the in-depth look at the setting factions and regions tends provided pretty good adventure material rather than most of the adventures themselves.

Run the PCs through a pre-apocalypse theme park? Where do I sign up? This is pretty much the only Yucatan adventure I run, and with some work one could easily use this as the basis for other theme parks, such as dinosaurs, 'cowboys and indians,' vikings, ninjas, pirates, samurai, romans, greeks, medieval knights, etc. I suppose this is one of the adventures where not including a map may actually be beneficial (just grab any amusement/theme park map, put in the features of your choice, and off you go).

Temple Crisis
This sorta-part-two (to Aztec-Land) 'adventure' is a pseudo-dungeon crawl, without a map of course, that basically boils down to a railroad of read alouds and reactions. Don't bother, there's nothing really of value in this one.

I've had some fun with this setting, not much, because I prefer the other world settings more, but it is still better than the Rifts coverage of England. Oddly, despite the inclusion of steam power, this setting doesn't really reflect the Victorian era steampunk feel. Instead you kind of get King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, with some sort of odd French pure human group with the unlikely name of "saxons" (yeah, different spelling, but supposed to the same thing....except the historical Saxons were Germanic, not French, for that you'd want the more appropriate Normans of Normandy (French-Viking descended group)), though I suppose the post-Roman Britain where the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms developed is the aim of the author. Speaking of which, while I thought the kingdoms of the setting were fairly workable, I think the Heptarchy of the pre-Norman Anglo-Saxon era would have been more appropriate (East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Mercia, Northumbria, Sussex and Wessex). Also, while playing the King Arthur thing is kinda fun, I would have preferred some Robin Hood & Ivanhoe type stuff as well.

Firepower and Ice
Basically a war between two kingdoms, that the PCs have to act as a recon unit for. I never really used this adventure, but I suppose it's playable.

The Crystal Cave
(Shouldn't this be "The Crystal Maze"?) More of an encounter plot coupon than a real adventure, as it is supposed to introduce the PCs to Merlin, and possibly act as a means of introducing non-local PCs to the setting.

The New King
Yup, find King Arthur and bring him back to be crowned. Runs fairly well with good advice on how to handle different things in the adventure.

Dungeons and Druids
A somewhat short adventure in the King Arthur line, basically a political mission that ends in a jailbreak. I would say that it is kind of railroady, but somewhat sensibly so, and does allow for things to go off the rails.

The Tournament
Next in the King Arthur adventure line is this knightly tournament (with some political machinations in the background). Considering that this adventure takes place in Nottingham, er Nottinam, this would have been the perfect way to include Robin Hood and Ivanhoe elements for further adventures. Of course, a GM would need a Prince John figure (not to mentions the Sheriff of Nottingham, Guy of Gisborne, Maid Marian, Merry Men, and maybe King Richard, etc.) to possibly contest for the throne (or be the incumbent, as a Prince John type (of the Robin Hood type, not historical) would be more likely to resist King Arthur's overtures than other available NPCs).

Other Stuff
While there are some other adventure ideas (aside from the upcoming war with the SAECSNs) listed (including a bit on Robin Hood), the King Arthur quest line takes up most of the adventure material, and kind of feels lacking in that there is no overall adventure for uniting the kingdoms into one over-kingdom.

Another of my top ATB series books, though the setting kind of feels like ATB (1E) down south, with a larger area. The big bad pure human empire this time is Jakarta (not included on the map) arrayed against a variety of mutant animal kingdoms. Mutant animal species included are the common fare one would expect from Australia of course, so that's a high point right there. With the exception of Tassieland (Tasmania), there is really very little setting detail, mostly a lot of cryptic hints. Despite the existence of airships, there isn't a whole lot that really connects the big bads to the good guys, as there's an entire continent and some seas in between them, which kind of makes conquest type stuff difficult and implausible.

Zepplins to the Rescue!
Airship stern chase to basically introduce airship rules and combat to the PCs. Not much here really.

Dreamtime Walkabout
Introduces a supernatural element to the setting. While I've run Zepplins to the Rescue!, I haven't seen any need for this skirmish to be run.

The Jakartan Bio-Weapons
Easily my most favorite adventure from MDU, since this one has plant monsters to deal with, and I love me some plant creatures. The hook and payoff of this adventure however, is pretty setting specific which means some changes there might be necessary.

While somewhat useful for post apocalyptic space, Luna, and Mars settings, there is only a little here of use for terrestrial Mutant Future games.

Basically space based, plays well, but not really post apocalyptic.

Cold War
Another space adventure, with a superspy feel (though not James Bond levels).

The Rescue of Chicken Little
While this is a spy type mission based on Earth, it is mostly a lead in (in James Bond fashion) to the next adventure. Again, like some of the ATB (1E) adventures, this is less post apocalyptic and while it could be reworked into a standard rescue mission or kidnap recovery adventure, the payoff would need to be reworked a bit.

Operation Shuttle
I always felt that this adventure, despite the way it's written, was more of an excuse to get the PCs into space so they could go on space adventures. With some work, one could use this adventure in Mutant Future, but the hook, goal, and possibly factions would likely change. Cargo cultist worshipers of the shuttle and/or rocket which they inadvertently end up activating, space crazy groups or extraterrestrial contact groups could also be involved. Really needs a good space complex map to help the GM though.

Adventure Ideas
Space stuff, might be somewhat usable, but these are basically just seeds of adventures.

While there are quite a few good adventures in the various TMNT line books, many of them don't really work for a post apocalyptic setting.

Some of the adventures included in TMNT&OS can be converted to a post apocalyptic setting with a little work. The first is Caesar's Weasels, obviously a band mutant raiders/thieves on a looting spree that must be stopped. The Terror Bears seemed to be popular enough to show up in more than one adventure (and they do look cool), but I've never really warmed to them as a villainous group; however they could be included as foes in a post apocalyptic setting easily enough. Lastly, Terror on Rural Route 5, which basically boils down to 'terrorists' holding a bunch of children from a rural school hostage, is easily adapted to having the raider group of your choice grab the kids and hole up in a ruined building and demand tribute from nearby settlements.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Adventure Thoughts II

Thoughts on Twilight 2000 adventures for use with Mutant Future.
I've been looking at different post apocalyptic game adventures for material I can use in Mutant Future games (hopefully without having to do a lot of rework to make an adventure playable). This time I thought I'd dig up some old Twilight 2000 adventures that I enjoyed back in the day and see what I could use from them.
First, some general caveats. Twilight 2000's setting has some basic assumptions that set the stage for their adventures. One of the biggest concerns is that most T2K adventures are geared toward overcoming the limitations of not having adequate supplies for the parties. This means that quite a bit of the material in these adventures is oriented toward how much and what type of equipment, especially the important aspects like water, food, ammunition, fuel, and medical supplies, can be acquired. Most of the time this methodology is tied into the game mechanics (which are fairly decent and workable) concerning scavenging, buying, and trading for supplies. The other basic assumptions of T2K tie more into the ideas that the PCs are either trying to survive or taking orders from some entity trying to rebuild (or conquer). This latter aspect can be kept or dumped as the GM desires when using these for Mutant Future or other post apocalyptic games.
Another general aspect of these modules is that they generally have some key features of utility that can be fairly easily transferred to other games without much work. First is that many of these have fairly good random encounter tables which can easily have substitutes of a more mutant nature plugged into them with very little work. On the downside, the same basic random encounter table is often replicated multiple times with minor variations of little note throughout each module, taking up often valuable space that could have been better used to flesh out the sandbox-like adventure settings. Second, the aforementioned scavenging/acquiring of parts and equipment sections, while quite workable, will probably need to be modified for the system of choice, especially if the GM isn't keen on keeping track of all the breakdowns and failures that the T2K system uses. The third item of note is the NPC motivation mechanics. T2K uses a motivation table based on the results of drawing two cards from a standard playing card deck, so GMs wishing to use this method will need to have the core rules in order to refer to the results. The last key feature is the extended use of rumor 'tables' (generally a list of regional rumors, with NPCs noting which rumors they produce and what methods work in getting those rumors. While the system is fairly usable for the adventures, there's often little outright false rumors, usually they're partially true or fully true, depending on the rumor. Some more 'red herring' or 'useless trivia' type rumors added to the list would further enhance their playability.

Airlords of the Ozarks
The basic premise of this adventure is that a quasi-religious group of militants, having acquired lighter-than-air and ultralight aircraft, have begun expanding their territory of control in the region of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, have a macguffin with which to defeat their military (MilGov) enemies, and all the associated baggage with their plans and doctrines. The basic concept is easy to modify, simply by making the group either pure human supremacists or pro-mutant (of whatever type) fanatics. The basic framework of the adventure is also fairly easy to move to any mountainous type region one would want to use. I do have to admit, the 'aircraft' information did seem a little light, fully supporting the given plot, but not quite giving enough material for the GM to easily provide alternate aircraft ideas and concepts to modify the specifics of the adventure. I'd probably also recommend adding some other racial factions to the mix to help develop the plot better, by giving the main opponent tiered goals in which communities they want to dominate or destroy.

Allegheny Uprising
By dropping everything but the most basic premise of this adventure, a lost government cache that everyone who knows about it is out to get, you can make a quite usable hexcrawl with the premise of a treasure hunt as the goal. Other than that, this one would probably require quite a bit more work to do anything with.

Armies of the Night
This adventure actually has some good plot points that can be used or ignored as desired; take a census of NYC, establish a presence in NYC for the party's employer (or affiliated group), find out what happened to previous expeditions with the same basic orders, find out where a shipment of gold disappeared to, set up and/or license salvaging operations. That's a lot of stuff that probably won't all be accomplished, but provides tons of useful directions to take. While a lot of useful big city, equipment caches, subway/underground notes, and NPC information is included, the total coverage of the NYC area is kind of lacking. Especially frustrating is the constant reference to the "Armies of the Night" of the title, yet little real utility, as there are only about 17 gangs or so detailed (Mau Maus, Disciples, Simbas, Suicides, Los Reyes, Los Cuchillos, Los Diablos, Los Borinquehos, Los Discipulos del Muerto, Hizzoner the Mayor's forces, Cherokees, Black Hand, Dragon Lords, the Duke's Militia; Harbor Pirates, Ferrymen, Easters, and Hudson Vikings), with little to go on for generating or using more. The inclusion of "Dements" though was a nice touch. While this is fairly useful for generating post apocalyptic ruined city adventures, it really needs more fleshing out on gangs (some random tables would help here), and probably more random tables for the various caches discussed. More information on the greater NYC area would have been useful too (especially since some of the information is dated due to when it was published).

City of Angels
This is a bit more disappointing than Armies of the Night, as the adventure included is pretty lame (deliver a letter to some guy's family, then end up having to hunt down family members that have been taken). The support material is also only fair, with the same limitations in gang presence as Armies of Night (only moreso). However this is somewhat offset by having some other factions (communities and the Mexican invasion forces) present in the region. There is some useful stuff to mine here, but it really needs another source to get some playability. I recommend Road Hogs from the After the Bomb/TMNT line, doing some mix and match (and fixing the Mexican equipment to less "soviet era" junk and more in line with what they actually use), and going from there.

Pirates of the Vistula
This is probably my favorite adventure for T2K, I totally loved the idea of traveling a river and the types of things you encounter along the way, all Huck Finn n' stuff, but with guns and explosives. While overall, T2K's 'aquatic' adventures are pretty lacking (mostly from reusing the same material from this adventure), you could probably incorporate the few other ideas found is such adventures as Gateway to the Spanish Main, Boomer, Mediterranean Cruise, Red Star/Lone Star, and The Last Submarine. This adventure is also fairly easy to transpose to any other large river system of your choice.

The Free City of Krakow
Another classic favorite, mostly for the intrigue presented in the city. With some work and name changes, you could use this as the basis for city-based adventures, though I'd probably grab Armies of the Night for some additional city structure, information, and random table goodness.

The Ruins of Warsaw
The 'sequel' to Pirates of the Vistula (itself a sort of sequel to Free City of Krakow), this is really only usable in it's basic idea of banding survivor groups together in order to stop the conquest of a post apocalyptic warlord.

Urban Guerilla
While a weaker adventure setting than Airlords of the Ozarks, this entry in the "New America" line was still a bit better than any of the other entries for usability. Otherwise similar to Airlords or Ruins of Warsaw with it's 'stop the conquest' of a "bad guy" group theme.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Plethora of Owlbears

I'll admit, I've never really been fond of owlbears, mostly it's the artistic depictions of owlbears that I've seen (I find many of them lame and uninspiring), despite the interesting chimeric mix of an owl and a bear (which has a certain 'cool' factor just from the idea). However, after reading Stranger Owlbears, I became intrigued with the idea of making different versions of owlbears based mostly on mixing and matching different types of owls and bears and seeing what bizarre variant owlbears I could come up with. For the basic owlbear, I'm going with the assumption that the species involved are the Common Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos) and Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo). I'm using Labyrinth Lords stats for ease of use.

Banshee Owlbear
With the head of a Fearful Owl and the body of an Asian Black Bear, the Banshee Owlbear is smaller than a Basic Owlbear. With a white facial disc of an owl, marked by black patches around the reddish-orange eyes, and the slender, lightly-built body of a black-furred bear, the Banshee Owlbear stand about 6 feet tall and weighs up to 450 pounds. These creatures can be found inhabiting forested hill regions. Banshee Owlbears are notable for their ability to emit a human-like scream which instills terror in all who hear it. Any being within 30' when the Banshee Owlbear screams must save versus petrification/paralyzation or be stricken with paralyzing fear for 1d4 rounds.
AL N, MV 120’, AC 5, HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d4+1/1d4+1/1d6, SV L2, ML 9, HC XXII, XP 135

Burrowing Owlbear
A magical hybrid crossing the head of a Burrowing Owl and the body of an American (Grizzly) Brown Bear, this Owlbear species can be found inhabiting caves and burrows in grassland regions. They have white eyebrows highlighting their yellow-colored eyes and brown fur tipped with grey as well as a notable hump on their shoulders. Burrowing Owlbears are slightly lighter and thinner than Basic Owlbears, still reaching up to 8 feet in height, but only weighing up to 1000 pounds. This lightness allows them to run faster than a Basic Owlbear. These Owlbears also have excellent nightvision and are rarely encountered during the day.
AL N, MV 150’, AC 5, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d8, SV L3, ML 9, HC XIX, XP 350

Care Owlbear
Having the head of a Common Barn-Owl and the body of a Sun Bear, this owlbear species is imbued with magical powers. Their coats are generally black, though they can range to reddish or gray and are marked by a distinctly heart-shaped patch on their breast which is generally colored in a highly contrasting basic color, such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple; their heart-shaped facial disc is pure white in color and displays their pink-colored eyes. With a height of up to 5 feet and weight of up to 200 pounds, this is the smallest of the owlbear species. Care Owlbears are typically found in pastoral wooded hill regions where they feed on honeycomb and honey produced by giant bees. Their magical ability manifests as a glowing aura from their heart-shaped breast patch which all beings in a 30' radius must save vs spells or be calmed, automatically losing initiative, suffering a -2 to hit and damage, receiving no DEX bonus to AC.
AL L, MV 90’, AC 6, HD 3, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d4/1d4/1d6, SV L1, ML 7, HC XVI, XP 65

Elf Owlbear
Also known as the Desert Revenant, this owlbear species has the head of an Elf Owl and the body of an American Black Bear. They can be found in areas of desert with high concentrations of flora, such as near an oasis or underground aquifer. Their coats range in color from black to gray; their heads are dominated by their golden eyes. Despite their desert habitat, they have quite large builds, and can reach up to 7 feet in height and weights up to 900 pounds. While being smaller than a Basic Owlbear they have great strength and are one of the most intelligent of the owlbear species, able to use and manipulate simple tools and weapons. While they have strength and intelligence, they are one of the most cowardly of the owlbear species, rarely fighting determined or tough-looking opponents. If attacked, they have the ability to Feign Death as per the Magic-User Spell for 4d4 rounds.
AL N, MV 120’, AC 6, HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite, or weapon), DG 1d6/1d6/1d8 (or by weapon), SV L2, ML 6, HC XXI, XP 135

Fishing Owlbear
Unlike other species of owlbear, there are four subspecies of Fishing Owlbears; Swamp Fishers, Forest Fishers, Lake Fishers, and Polar Fishers. All the subspecies are of the same basic stock, fusing the head of a Fishing Owl with the body of a Himalayan Red Bear, notable for having heads with prominent, scraggly-looking ear tufts, golden-yellow eyes, and dark grey beaks. The primary difference in subspecies is their habitat and coat coloring. Swamp Fishers are found in marshy or swampy regions, with slow-moving, stagnant waters and have olive or greenish coats streaked with dull yellow. Forest Fishers can be found in forested river valleys along the banks of swift-moving streams and rivers and have brownish coats with rust colored streaks. Lake Fishers are primarily found in low-lying regions dominated by river deltas, riverine lakes, rice paddies, and canals and are distinguished by their black or dark brown coats streaked with yellow-brown, tawny, or buff colors. Polar Fishers inhabit glacial mountain areas and arctic regions and have white coats streaked with light grey or pale blue. A full-grown Fishing Owlbear is typically 7 feet tall and weighs up to 1,500 pounds with proportionally longer limbs and a more powerful build than basic owlbears. Fishing Owlbears generally prefer aquatic or amphibious prey, primarily dining on giant fish, giant crabs and lobsters, alligators and crocodiles, hippos, giant frogs, toads and turtles; if hungry enough however, they will scavenge carrion of any creature, and may attack land animals, birds, or other creatures for food.
AL N, MV 120’ (Swim 60'), AC 5, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d8, SV L3, ML 9, HC XIV, XP 200

Ghost Owlbear
This species of owlbear has the head of a Snowy Owl and the body of a Polar Bear. Obviously in this case, their coats are snow white in color, however their eyes are also completely white, having no irises or other colors present. In addition, Ghost Owlbears have an extremely oversized, white colored beak. They are the largest species of owlbear, standing up to 12 feet tall and weighing up to 2500 pounds. Because of their coloration and special features in their fur and feet, they are completely camouflaged and silent in snowy environments, surprising on a roll of 1-5 on a d6. Additionally, magic has given them eyes capable of seeing thermal emanations up to 90 feet away, allowing them to hunt in the darkest of night or during otherwise blinding snowstorms. Because of their thick coats, they are immune to cold based attacks. Unlike basic owlbears, or even bears in general, they do not have a hug attack, instead, their oversized beaks allow them to swallow prey up to man-sized on an attack roll of 18+ (natural roll). Swallowed prey suffers 1d6+3 points of acid damage per round as the digestive juices start to work.
AL C, MV 120’, AC 3, HD 9, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 2d6/2d6/1d10, SV L5, ML 9, HC XV, XP 3100

Great Horned Owlbear
Having the head of a Great Horned Owl and the body of a Kodiak Bear, this species of owlbear is the second largest, generally meanest, and distinguished by having two large horns, reminiscent of a Texas Longhorn steer or giant minotaur, inspiring rumors that this species actually mixes three different creatures. Their coats range in color from dark brown to blond or orange; their beaks are a flat black color and their eyes are a deep gold that glow with a demonic light. The are up to 10 feet tall and weigh up to 2000 pounds. While they can gore with their horns, they prefer a charging attack that first spits the victim on the horns then tosses them high up into the air. If the Great Horned Owlbear rolls a natural 18 or better on a charge attack, they have successfully spitted the target and thrown them 1d4x10 feet into the air. The victim takes an additional 1d6 damage for each 10' they are thrown into the air from falling from that height.
AL C, MV 120’, AC 4, HD 7, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite or gore), DG 1d8/1d8/1d8 or 1d10, SV L4, ML 10, HC XX, XP 440

Laughing Owlbear
A variant species of owlbear with the head of a Laughing Owl and the body of an undetermined bear species. They have grey coats which feature either stripes or spots of red, brown, or black color; their facial discs feature a lighter shade of grey, dark orange eyes, and a grey beak. Like Basic Owlbears, they are up to 8 feet tall and 1500 pounds weight. Unlike Basic Owlbears however, they are primarily scavengers and prefer to attack by biting their prey. They are one of the most vocal of the owlbear species, emitting a variety of different chuckling, grunting, groaning, giggling, laughing, and howling sounds.
AL N, MV 120’, AC 5, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d6/1d6/1d10, SV L3, ML 9, HC XX, XP 200

Naked Owlbear
While Naked Owlbears retain the same basic hybridization of Eurasian Eagle-Owl and Common Brown Bear as the Basic Owlbear, they have no fur or feathers covering their body, appearing as gaunt, horrifying versions of standard owlbears. The emaciated looking bodies combined with an alien-looking head dominated by large eyes and a large beak result in many observers mistaking this species as an undead monstrosity of some sort. While they stand as tall as Basic Owlbears, their lack of body covering means that they only weigh up to about 1300 pounds or so. They otherwise attack and act as Basic Owlbears.
This body... ...with this head
AL N, MV 120’, AC 7, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d8, SV L3, ML 9, HC XX, XP 200

Panda Owlbear
Also known as the Ghost-Faced or Racoon Owlbear, this species of owlbear combines the head of a White-Faced Owl with the body of a Giant Panda. Their coats are white, with black patches on the legs, arms, shoulders, and tail; their facial discs are white, with a black border, black, tufted ears, and black spots or a black, racoon-like mask around the large orange-colored eyes. They stand as tall as 6 feet and weigh up to 450 pounds. Unlike most other species of owlbear, Panda Owlbears are primarily herbivorous, consuming wild fruits, vegetables and bamboo. They are aided in foraging by having opposable thumbs, unlike other owlbear species. Panda Owlbears are also one of the least aggressive species of owlbear, rarely attacking humanoids. They can be found in forested regions and often lair in hollow trees and rock crevices.
AL L, MV 120’, AC 5, HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d4+1/1d4+1/1d6, SV L2, ML 8, HC XXII, XP 80

Shambling Owlbear
This species of owlbear has the head of a Papuan hawk-owl and the body of a Sloth Bear. Shambling Owlbear shaggy and unkempt coats are completely black, with a rust-colored V- or Y-shaped mark on the chest, and are thicker on the shoulders and back, often forming a mane; their small facial discs are lighter colored, with white eyebrows and black streaks, lemon yellow eyes and a black or dark grey beak. They stand up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 450 pounds. Typically found in lowland forests and savanna. Shambling Owlbears, despite the name, are quite capable of climbing and swimming. While they are primarily insectivorous, they do not get along with other creatures, especially predators, and will defend their territory aggressively against intruders they encounter. While they do not hug like Basic Owlbears, on an attack roll of 18 or more, they will have successfully locked their beak onto a victim and will maul the victim for an additional 2d4 points of damage.
AL N, MV 120’ (Swim 60'), AC 5, HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d4+1/1d4+1/1d6, SV L2, ML 9, HC VIII, IX, XIV, XP 80

The Urstrix is a magical hybrid that appears more like a true chimeric version of the creature known as "owl bear" than the Basic Owlbear. It has the body, tail, and back legs of a Common Brown Bear; the head and wings of an Eurasian Eagle-Owl; and an owl's talons as its front feet. Their coats range in color from brown-black to yellowish brown; their beaks are a dull ivory color. A full-grown male measures up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. The broad, brownish-black wings emerge from the Urstrix's back and span 60' or more. Like most owls, Urstrix are completely silent while flying, surprising prey on a roll of 1-4 on a d6.
AL C, MV 120’ (Fly 360'), AC 5, HD 7, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d12, SV L4, ML 9, HC XVIII, XP 440