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phiwum 02-08-2021 10:36 AM

Gargoyle hunting
Hey ho.

I've been thinking about gargoyle gallbladders, as one does. I'm figuring that some folk must go a-hunting for these things, though at $50 per, it's not a very lucrative endeavor. Gargoyles are also pretty darned tough, with natural armor, ridiculously good HTH damage and the ability to drop on the party wizard with impunity (assuming, of course, you've found a wizard so desperate that he'd join on a hunt).

I'm considering a little side story involving a group of such hunters (which is a nicer word than murderers). I don't want the group to be too large and I want their prospects for monetary gain to be reasonable. Perhaps there's a group of gargoyles that are temporarily lightly defended. Maybe the warriors are away. Let's suppose only the womenfolk (my gargoyles are patriarchical I guess) and the urchins are left behind with two guards. Still, untrained gargoyles have a 2d punch in HTH and so a garden-variety gargoyle is a tough beast. To make the hunt worthwhile, you need to get several of these in one go.

How could you do it? I've thought about netting at the entrance of their cave, but I'm not sure that gargoyles ought to be cave dwellers. Seems to me that they're comfortable on an apex in the elements. As well, forcing them out of the cave into the netting is not all that easy. Lone gargoyles are easily defeated by a small number of folks, but it would take a lot of time in the mountains to find enough for a profit. There's already a considerable cost in getting into the mountains so one or two gallbladders isn't worth a several day journey. (Gates would solve this problem, but I'm thinking of a group of down and out desperate hunters, not someone with the financial wherewithal to create a gate for long term financial gain.)

So, how would you do it? A small band of hunters, say no more than six, have learned of a lightly defended settlement of gargoyles and they want to cash in. What's your plan? (And no offense intended, but goblin witches aren't fitting into my picture here...)


hcobb 02-08-2021 10:58 AM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
Wizard inside a cave cast Calling. Gate at the entrance of the cave whisks gargoyles off to the kill room.

Here's my more mundane take on hunting for alchemists:

phiwum 02-08-2021 12:16 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2366284)
Wizard inside a cave cast Calling. Gate at the entrance of the cave whisks gargoyles off to the kill room.

Here's my more mundane take on hunting for alchemists:

Wizards capable of creating gates aren't the kind of desperate degenerates that murder gargoyles for a pittance in my world. I guess I should have said so.

Calling is a good way to hunt most anything, to be sure. Same IQ as Create Gate (IQ 15), which still doesn't fit the way I was going with this hunting party, but it only costs 5 ST to cast. Perhaps I'll consider a skid row high IQ wizard learning to earn a bit of cash with a small group of fighters.

I'm a little surprised that Calling works on intelligent beings.

Inside a cave is good, too, since it nerfs the gargoyle's flight benefits. You'd usually get only one gargoyle at a time (usually), so the party can be smaller. The spell description is unclear on what happens when the Called critter is attacked. I'd reckon that breaks the effect if the attack is at the general location of the wizard, allowing a gargoyle to escape if the ambush is triggered outside the cave.

I appreciate pointing me at Calling, which is a spell I had forgotten. That is hunting made easy. Beats a varmint call.

hcobb 02-08-2021 12:39 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
Great Voice + Gargoyle Tongue + various Word of Command spells?

phiwum 02-08-2021 12:56 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2366296)
Great Voice + Gargoyle Tongue + various Word of Command spells?

Not sure what I can do to convince you that IQ 20 wizards in my world have more efficient means of earning coin than gargoyle hunting. I'm thinking a young but bright wizard with a serious drinking problem might be tempted to go on an odd job like this.

hcobb 02-08-2021 01:41 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
I suspect that most gallbladders are from gargoyle children that wander away from the next and get poached. That and gargoyle PCs who insist on going into towns full of itchy trigger fingers.

At least the gargoyles can get $300 for each fresh human head in revenge.

phiwum 02-08-2021 01:53 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
The ease of killing gargoyle hatchlings is one reason I thought of raiding a small hamlet. But I am now leaning towards the use of Calling, though I wasn't planning on having a wizard in this party.

larsdangly 02-08-2021 03:09 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
I think these questions are best resolved by real-play experiment rather than white-room suggestions. Present your players with a motive for killing or capturing gargoyles and see what they come up with. It is possible they will devote 10 years to developing an IQ 20 wizard with the right mix of spells. But I think it is more likely they will come up with something more straightforward that they can put into practice then and there.

warhorse11h 02-08-2021 03:10 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
I think a good adventure can be had here. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the $50 per gallbladder price though. As many others have stated in these forums, the magic item price lists are generalities and frequently undervalue the price of ingredients, etc. The price can realistically be whatever you as the GM need it to be. Perhaps there is a wizard who has crafted a new recipe for a potion and has found a use for lots of gargoyle gallbladders and has turned them suddenly into a very scarce commodity. Could give you a ready market for your bladders and a mage to supply needed assistance for your hunters even if he doesn't go with them. Have fun with it.

JohnPaulB 02-08-2021 03:38 PM

Re: Gargoyle hunting
TFT's The Forest Lords of Dihad (Metagaming) had a short adventure on this topic.

Its on page 20 The Gargoyle Connection. Certain faction of the Wizard Guild is trying to corner the market on Gargoyle gall-bladders. Your group is hired to get some. You are given a location and off you go.

Its 5 pages long with map of cave.

Looked intriguing.

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