Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dire & Giant Weasels

I feel like giant weasels were a big deal in D&D 3.0/3.5—they basically made halfling paladins possible (and awesome!).  So I’m surprised it took till the Reign of Winter Adventure Path for them to make it into Pathfinder.  They’re here now, though, and ready for animal companion duty!  (Or even mount duty, if your GM looks kindly upon halflings, as all saintly GMs do.)

Meanwhile, dire weasels are even bigger and more aggressive than their smaller giant kin (…which I admit is a confusing sentence).  Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer points out that weasels must consume 40% of their body weight a day—which makes the Large dire weasels truly terrifying, both for the amount of food they need to consume and for how efficient they are in getting it (with abilities like compression, grab, and blood drain).  And should you hit one?  You now have a very angry (thanks to blood rage) dire beast on your hands.  Good luck!

Looking for their first adventure, a band of novice warriors finds it: in the trees.  A grippli town needs help defending itself from giant pine martens, who happen to find the frogfolk delicious.  The adventurers’ job is made more difficult by a wayang rogue with shadow magic who takes advantage of the confusion to rob the gripplis’ homes while the villagers are out keeping watch for the martens.

Adventurers hole up in a keep as hobgoblins surround them.  If they can hold out for four days, help will find them.  (Alternately, they can find the secret door leading to the caves beneath the keep.)  After spending the first night trying unsuccessfully to batter down the doors or scale the walls, the hobgoblins try a new tactic: They send ravenous dire weasels to flush the party out.  If there is a hidden hole into the fortress, the dire weasels will find it.

A pipefox becomes curious about a young traveling spellcaster…and even more curious about the books he’s carrying.  Seeking to test the abilities of the spellcaster and his friends, the pipefox lures giant weasels into their campsite. The magical beast watches eagerly to see what magic the adventurers use and whether or not the spellcaster leaves his books unattended (in which case the pipefox will try to make off with one of the slimmer volumes).  If the books ever appear to be in danger from the weasels, the pipefox will intervene to save them.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #67 82–83 & Pathfinder Bestiary 4 275

Wayne Reynolds’s halfling on a giant weasel cover for Dragon #292 is one of my favorites from that era.  (Also check out this blog post for thoughts that cover inspired.)

Speaking of which, that issue might be worth checking out if you see it lying around (and the PDF is easy to find online). It’s wilderness-themed, with barbarian multiclass combinations, four saurial PC races (the Forgotten Realms’ dinosaur-men) tweaked for 3.0, druid spells and PC archetypes, a decent elf hunter prestige class, and evil plant monsters.  It also has a fantasy RPG write-up of Edo (medieval Tokyo) for you historical fantasy fans. 

If you’re a comic book fan or a podcast fan, be sure to tune in tomorrow—something bizarre happened to me on the Internet that I’ll be throwing up a link to.  Also, David Fanany asked me a Mystara question that has an easy answer and a complicated answer, so naturally I’ll be serving up at least one or the other.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving!

In conclusion: Take me to the weasels!


  1. That issue of Dragon was the first I owned and I hadn't missed one until Paizo lost their rights and it faded out of physical existence. The cover was seriously badass.

  2. That Reynolds cover . . . my Lord. I'm going to make that into a custom portrait for Mazzy Fentan in my Baldur's Gate install. From now on that is what she looks like in my head (as if you needed another reason to love her).

    Also, for some reason I now want to run a Redwall-themed Pathfinder campaign.

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