Monday 11 August 2014

W is for Walrus

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Having foolishly messed up the obvious, and not used my post on the Wampler as my “W is for…” post, I give you the humble walrus.  These mammals, closely related to true seals, runs between 1,800 and 3,700 pounds for a male for a Pacific walrus, with occasionally larger one’s showing up.  

Wikipedia tells us that “In 1909, a walrus hide weighing 500 kg (1,100 lb) was collected from an enormous bull in Franz Josef Land, while in August 1910, Jack Woodson shot a 4.9 m (16 ft) long walrus, harvesting its 450 kg (1,000 lb) hide. Since a walrus's hide usually accounts for about 20% of its body weight, the total body mass of these two giants is estimated to have been at least 2,300 kg (5,000 lb).” 

Atlantic walruses are a bit smaller, the males clocking in at an average 2,000 pounds. That’s still plenty big.

One source claims walruses can reach 3,527 pounds!

Some walruses hunt seals, and there have been stories of walruses hunting humans as well, folklore from regions in which these mammals are common. A walrus can take down a fur seal far larger than the average human, and in the excellent BBC Planet Earth documentary series, you can see how a polar bear fares against a walrus colony.  

In the real world, people have hunted walruses for food, skins, oil, and ivory. In the fantasy world of Dungeon Crawl Classics, far more aggressive hunting walruses may exist, hunting the hunters in turn. The red walruses of the Blood Ice, for instance, are as much a menace as they are a resource. A spirit-driven walrus may hunt people because it is compelled by the evil that possesses it.

Walrus: Init +0; Atk Bite +3 melee (2d6+4) or flipper +0 melee (1d4+4) or crush +2 melee (1d8+4); AC 15; HD 5d8+5, HP 26; MV 15’ or swim 40’; Act 1d20; SP ignores first 10 points of cold damage from any source; SV Fort +8, Ref –3, Will +2; AL N.

Giant walrus: Init –2; Atk Bite +6 melee (2d12+4) or flipper +4 melee (2d8+4); AC 17; HD 15d8+15, HP 75; MV 30’ or swim 50’; Act 2d20; SP crush 5d12 damage to all in 10’ x 10’ area (Ref DC 8 avoids), immune to cold; SV Fort +16, Ref –4, Will +6; AL N.
CONTEST:  The Scrimshaw Rod

This is a rod made of walrus tusk ivory, carved with scrimshaw figures. Post a description, including what it does, in the Comments, below. Use the rules system of your choice; just indicate what it is. It needs to be your own work. 

By posting, you grant permission to treat your entry as Open Gaming Content with the copyright notice “Whatever you named the item, by whatever name appears in your comment, copyright © 2014”.  Example, “Scrimshaw rod, by Raven Crowking, copyright © 2014”.

Contest ends on 1 September 2014. At that time, two winners will be announced. One will be the item I pick as the (subjectively) “best” of those offered; the other will be random-rolled from the remainder. Each winner will receive a complimentary pdf of any Purple Duck Games or Mystic Bull product I have worked on, which I will provide.

In addition, I will work the “best” entry into FT 2: The Portsmouth Mermaid (converted to DCC, if necessary), properly credited, and I will send the author of that entry a free pdf and print copy of the module when it is released.


  1. IVORY HORN OF THE ANGAKKUIT (general summary only)
    General: The hollowed scrimshaw tusk of the walrus is enchanted as a magical instrument by an angakkuq to emit commands, and other communications used in a colony of said species. Small holes in the tusk are bored into various scenes symbolizing the types of commands the rod produces when used.


    The scrimshaw flute carved from a remnant of Teh'Chutin's tusk still contains much of his ancient power. The flute grants +3 to spellchecks when held by a spellcaster or any character from a polar region. When the flute is blown, any creature 8 HD or lower from a non-polar region must roll a Willpower save DC 10 or become enthralled by the song of the flute for 1d4 hours. Any creature from a polar region who hears the song of the flute 8 HD or lower will instantly be enthralled and do the user's bidding for 1d24 hours, even willing to sacrifice their own lives to follow the user’s commands. Creatures 8 HD or higher from a polar region must roll a Willpower save DC 15 or become enthralled by the flute, but can roll subsequent Willpower DC 17 saves every hour to deny the user's biddings.

    Blowing the flute has a 2% chance to summon 1d8 frost demons, who will attempt to seize back the scrimshaw rod, disappearing into the nether once the flute is back in their possession. Placing any part of the flute into clear water causes it to instantly freeze into a 1' x 1' solid ice for 1d30 minutes.

    Howling Frost Demons (1d6): Init +3; Atk rending claws +4 melee (1d8+2); Frost Aura (see below)*, AC 18; HD 3d6, MV 50', Act 1d20; SV Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +8; AL C, immune to non magical weapons, fire magic automatically causes full damage.

    *Frost Aura: The frost demons continually project an aura of cold with a 5' radius around them, causing 1 point of agility damage each round a character is in close combat with the demon. A character in close combat can roll a fortitude check of DC 13 to resist the frost effects.