Friday, October 25, 2013


Edit: Holy crap!  In case you’re keeping track of these things, this is monster #600 for The Daily Bestiary.

When do I get cake?

Tatzlwyrms put the “worm” in wyrm; they are snakelike dragons whose claws are little more than stubs.  At the worldbuilding level, I like them for being evolutionary offshoots of dragons…that, and it’s always nice to have a dragon that isn’t just another adjective slapped in front of the word “dragon.”  At the gaming level, I like them because at CR 2, they’re an excellent first “dragon” for PCs to kill.  And getting a reputation as dragonslayers at only 1st or 2nd level is an excellent way for a party to get into hot water, fast.  *tents fingers in an evil manner*

Local youths revere Sir Bredis, a former crusader turned ranger who brings home tatzlwyrm heads year after year.  But when he fails to return from a hunt, having been brought down by a nest of the beasts, it’s up to his young apprentices and fans to take up his mantle and defend their home against the area’s many boggards, bugbears, and the remaining wyrms.

A kobold tribe’s claim of dragon ancestry is bolstered by their leaders’ mounts: a live tatzlwyrm for their chief and a zombie tatzlwyrm for their witch doctor.

Tatzlwyrms aren’t rare in Wyrm Hollow; if anything, the best word to describe them is rampant.  There is a Wyrm Hunt every year, with prizes to the team that brings home the most heads.  Placing in the competition is a good way to gain the attention of local patrons, as well as an introduction into the local wyrmscourged exiled dwarf and dusk elf communities (see the Advanced Race Guide).

Pathfinder #31 82–83 & Pathfinder Bestiary 3 261

A bit more on the above: In most fantasy societies, I’m guessing there are probably two tiers of dragonslayers.  The top-tier slayers are the real things—heroes tough or crafty enough to bring down a dragon in its prime, about whom legends are quite rightly told. 

Then there’s the second tier.  These aren’t wannabes per se; rather, they are hunters of drakes, newly independent wyrmling or very young dragons, and tatzlwyrms.  And for most communities, that’s all the dragonslayer they need: a single ranger or fighter or group of adventurers within a three-days’ ride tough enough to get the job done.  Such a dragonslayer will have a bit of a reputation, free drinks at most taverns, and a lot of respect.  But when a real dragon or linnorm comes calling, that reputation will have to be lived (or died) up to.  In fact, many an adventure might start with your PCs having the misfortune to arrive in town at the exact same time the village’s previous dragonslayer’s corpse does…

1 comment:

  1. Was trying to think of a way to present dragons in my campaign world without using the real thing, and this is perfect!

    I've also always harbored the belief that most dragon slayers are of the second sort.