Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Evil badger-deer-hyena-monsters, leucrottas have so much potential.  Want to split the party or pick them off one by one in the dark?  Leucrotta.  Want to beef up gnoll combat?  Leucrotta.  Want a monster the PCs will think is a dumb beast, right up until it calls for reinforcements?  Leucrotta.  And my favorite: Want to scare the bejeezus out of players?  Leucrotta vomit or feces—“It…it’s got chunks of armor in it!”—full of bits of their latest henchman.

Most leucrottas stick to the wilderness, and so encounters are going to be opportunistic predation—the standard PC-on-watch-hears-a-strange-voice setup.  These adventure seeds, however, feature some more ambitious members of the species…

With their intelligence, strength, and powerful bites, leucrottas find it easy to take over gnoll tribes.  Warcaller has it easier than most.  The ambitious leucrotta has studied human tactics, and over time has earned levels as a cavalier (Order of the Cockatrice).  He now leads his gnoll tribe on raids of staggering speed and efficacy.

“The Lethal Leucrotta” reads the sign above Marquis Marcos’s Magnificent Mendicant Menagerie.  Of course it’s not—it’s a crocotta captured in the tribelands of Elba.  When the “Marquis” Marcos’s traveling show stops in a big city, he sometimes arranges for a ventriloquism spell to make the animal talk; in the sticks he doesn’t even bother.  At this latest stopover, the crocotta has attracted more than the usual amount of attention.  A leucrotta that haunts the outskirts of the caravan city has been secretly releasing the crocotta each night to help it hunt.  Meanwhile, a gnoll outcast disguised in the rags of a plague victim visited the menagerie earlier this week and now has his heart set on claiming the crocotta as his own.

The city of Onyxguard is more cosmopolitan than most, with dark folk and wayangs as common in the streets as half-orcs and gutter dwarves.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the half-elf Guildmaster Temm of the Thieves’ Guild is actually only a mouthpiece for the real guildmaster, Temm’s “pet” leucrotta.  It shouldn’t be a surprise—but to most of Razorjaw’s partners in crime (and future victims), it is.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 178

I like leucrottas.  They’re probably on nobody’s list of must-have monsters (waits to be corrected in the comments in 3…2…1…), but when they do show up in a Bestiary/Monster Manual I’m always like, “Oh good!”

Here’s more on them in folklore and in the world’s oldest role-playing game.

Crocottas were hinted at all the way back in the “Gnolls” chapter of Paizo’s Classic Monsters Revisited.

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