Monday, December 14, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Caw-Caw

No. Enc.: 1 flock (consisting of 1d100 Caw-Caws)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Fly: 140' (60')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: Hit points equal to No. Enc.; HD = HP/5, rounded up
Attacks: 1 (multiple pecks)
Damage: 1d12
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Horde Class: None

The Caw-caw is a miniature version of the common crow or raven. It is a small black bird, about 4 inches in wingspan, about the size of a large butterfly. The Caw-caw gets its name from the "caw-caw" call it makes. A single Caw-caw by itself is hardly a threat. However, the Caw-caw always travels in an insect-like swarm. The birds stay in constant contact with each other through its metaconcert mutation. For all practical purposes, the Mutant Lord should treat a Caw-caw flock as one large entity consisting of 1d100 individual Caw-caws.

When attacking, a Caw-caw flock will engulf a victim in a swirling mass. The numerous pecks of the many Caw-caws will do 1d12 hit points of damage. Since each Caw-caw has only 1 hit point, the entire flock's hit point total is equal to the number number encountered. Since they travel in a tight mass, a successful hit will "kill" as many Caw-caws as the amount of damage rolled. (For example: A flock of 30 Caw-caws is hit for 6 points of damage. Six are killed, and there will be 24 Caw-caws remaining in the flock.) When rolling for their attack, take the Caw-caws' current hit point total and divide by 5, rounding up, for their HD "total." Therefore a flock of 40 Caw-caws will attack as an 8 HD creature. If a party kills 15 of them during a round of combat, the flock will be down to 25 hit points and will therefore attack as a 5 HD creature during the next round of combat.

Because of the strong mental unity of these birds, the flock has the ability to "bounce" mental attacks back upon an attacker through a form of mind reflection. It is not a wise idea to try to drive them off with mental abilities since this could be disastrous for the PC.

Caw-caws live as one unit in large trees or in multiple ground nests. If a PC sees a large mass of small black birds approaching, it best to hide and wait for them to pass. There's a reason a flock of Caw-caws is referred to as a "murder."

Mutations: metaconcert, mind reflection


  1. What HD would you have the flock attack as on the to hit chart? Perhaps 1 HD for ever 5 birds, so a flock of 20 would attack as a 4 HD creature?

    I like these guys, they will be making an appearance in my swamp of doom.

  2. Good point. 1 HD for every 5 birds, rounding up. I shall update the post.

  3. Good call there. Swarm monsters are always a bit fiddly in most systems and if done wrong can be waaaaaay too nasty or too wimpy.