Saturday, January 30, 2016

What the hell is a tarakk?

Last session, I briefly mentioned my players killed a tarakk. I didn't explain what a tarakk is. I'll do that and give some stats. It plainly isn't my creation; mine either have simple names (e.g., hellshot) or are in a constructed language (e.g., ōkanrôyos). I'm sure "tarakk" came about because Dave Hargraves thought it sounded cool.

Tarakks appear in Welcome to Skull Tower, I think on page 63 if you actually have a copy. I have the Arduin Grimoire Trilogy PDF, which gives page ranges, and I did some deduction of how much a page in the Trilogy was in the original (it's a 2:1 ratio, though I can't remember which had denser pages at the moment). Arduin, for those who don't know, was an early fan add-on to D&D, and was over-the-top, with classes going into the hundreds of levels. It was a little like Rifts for D&D, if you think about it. It's monsters are in the same vein; air sharks are the first one. They're exactly what's on the tin.

Tarakks, Arduin stats:


HD: 3+1 to 9+1 AC: 3 Speed: 9” (12” charge)
DEX: 7 – 14 Number: d6 Size: same as giant horned lizard
Attacks: Tarakk attack with 2 claws for d4 to d12 each, 1 bite for d12 to 3d12, or 1 breath of fire (a cone 30’ to 90’ long and 5’ to 15’ wide) that is equal in damage to its own hit dice. Once per day, it can “shoot” its 6d10 spearhead sized/shaped spiny scales in all directions, each hitting like a light catapult shot.
Looks: A cross between a dragon and a giant horned toad (lizard), it is wingless, and can change color like a chameleon.
Notes: They are 100% fireproof, and not very Intelligent (3 to 8). Their favorite food is horseflesh. Its fiery breath is usable 4 times daily, but only every 3rd melee turn. They are known to lie 50% of the time. 

The one chained to the treasure chest wasn't a big one, so here are its GURPS stats:


A cross between a dragon and a big horned toad, it is wingless, and can change its hue like a chameleon. 

ST: 7HP: 7Speed: 5.50
DX: 10Will: 10Move: 4
IQ: 3Per: 10Weight: 60 lbs.
HT: 12FP: 12SM: 0
Dodge: 8Parry: n/aDR: 3

Bite (13): 1d-3 cutting. Reach C.
Claws (13): 1d-3 cutting. Reach C.
Fire Breath (13): 1-yard-wide × 10-yard-long cone of fire does 1d burning. Ten-second recharge between shots.
Spines (9): 1d-2 impaling to anyone in close combat; this is a free attack each turn at +2 to those attacking from behind. Reach C. Once a day, the tarakk may shoot its spines at everyone in a 1-yard radius at skill 13. It then needs a full day for its spines to regenerate, so it can no longer use them in close combat for that time. 

Traits:  Acute Taste and Smell 4; Breath Control 3; Chameleon 5; Cold-Blooded (50°); Discriminatory Smell; DR 30 (Limited, Heat/Fire); Enhanced Move 0.5 (Ground Move 6; Costs Fatigue, 2 FP); Quadruped; Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-13; Climbing-10; Innate Attack (Breath)-13; Innate Attack (Projectile)- 13; Stealth-10 (Becomes 15 if moving or 20 if not): Swimming-13.
Class: Dire Animal.
Notes: It loves to eat horses, and will attack them first. From Welcome to Skull Tower, p. 63. 

I figured that something with an effective Stealth-20 is going to get a first blast if it can figure something's coming. It was waiting to unleash its spines when it died; everyone had swarmed around it in its last second.

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