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KotM Fight! Afanc

afanc

Welcome to the King of the Monsters Contest finals: the afanc is finalist 1 of 10. These submissions are left almost entirely as they were received with the exception that all submissions have had minor alterations for proper spelling (not grammar), formatting, and the addition of an image. Let the fight commence!

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Swimming over the placid waters of the immense mountain lake is a monstrous, beaver-like creature of tremendous proportions. Countless bony protuberances emerge from its  neat wet fur like so many rock edges; the disproportionate rodent also has overly long central incisors, sharp claws at the end of its webbed feet, and a very broad, flat leathery tail. All of a sudden, the beast propels itself forwards like some oversized bolt, rushing and thrashing wildly in the direction of the nearest lake’s bank. The gigantic wave thus created escapes from its natural boundaries and continues its headlong course across the forest, devastating everything along its path…

The Afanc, which is also called Addanc, is a kind of giant beaver with a very bad temper that generally lives a solitary existence in a very remote lake or river. The afanc is very territorial and those who approach its’ water plan too closely are sure to incur its terrible wrath. Some pretend that afancs are demons, but this rumor hasn’t ever been proved. Despite their brutal dispositions the afancs are intelligent, capable of speech, and, if the legends are true, quite sensible to the charms of alluring women and equally responsive towards music.

Afanc Level (14 Solo Brute)

Huge natural beast XP 5,000
Initiative +9; Senses Perception +8; darkvision
HP 720; Bloodied 360; see also afanc’s awful trashing
AC 28; Fortitude 28, Reflex 26, Will 28
Saving Throw +5
Speed 4, swim 10
Action Points 2

[M] Bite (standard; at-will)
+17 vs. AC; 3d6 + 6 damage; see also cleave the wood.

[m] Claw (standard; at-will)
+17 vs. AC; 2d8 + 6 damage.

[m] Cleave the Wood (free; at-will)
When the afanc delivers a successful melee attack with its bite it automatically destroys an object made of wood held by the target (weapon, shield, or else), including magical ones.

[m] Crazed Castor (standard; at-will)
The afanc delivers 1d4+1 melee attacks with its claws.

[c] Afanc’s Awful Thrashing (immediate reaction, when first bloodied; encounter)
The afanc immediately rolls over and delivers a frenzied series of attacks. Close blast 1; +13 vs. Reflex; 1d10 + 6 damage, and the target is pushed 3 squares and knocked prone.

[c] Flood the Land (standard; recharge 5, 6)
The afanc makes a charge and must be in the water or cross a body of water in order to use this power; the mammal’s demented movements creates a gigantic wave that sweeps everyone and everything across its path. Close blast 5; +13 vs. Fortitude; 4d10 + 6 damage, and the target is pushed 5 squares, knocked prone, and is stunned (save ends). Miss: Half damage.

Thrall to Beauty and Music
A woman or a bard always has combat advantage against an afanc.

Alignment Chaotic Evil Languages Abyssal, Common
Skills Athletics +19, Endurance +19
Str 25 (+14) Dex 15 (+9) Wis 12 (+8)
Con 24 (+14) Int 12 (+8) Cha 16 (+10)

Afanc Tactics

Afancs are very straightforward in combat. A lone afanc attacks with its’ flood the land power whenever it can, hoping to stun as many opponents as possible before closing in melee to tear apart or drown those still standing. Then, the afanc spends an action point to close the distance between it and its targets, or to deliver another attack swiftly if necessary.

On the other hand, afancs that are under the sway of a charismatic lady or female monster obey her to the best of their abilities. Though brutish and prone to succumb to the machinations of some alluring ladies, afancs aren’t stupid enough to sacrifice themselves in vain however, and withdraw if a combat is utterly lost.

Afanc Lore

A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check.

DC 25: Afancs are solitary creatures, gigantic beavers with impressive girths that affection primeval or retired water plans such as mountain lakes. They are dangerous foes, especially when confronted in their watery environments. Afancs can create enormous waves that can capsize a small raft or rowboat instantly or cause floods when they use their power repetitively.
DC 30: Afancs have a fondness for music, and can be sometimes tamed with a song. They also admire beauty, particularly those of women. Alas, some shapechangers abuse them with their all too seductive, illusory disguises more often than not.

Encounter Groups

Afancs are solitary creatures, but opportunist female monsters often take advantage of their weaknesses’ in order to use them as pet.

Level 16 encounter (XP 7,200)

  • 1 afanc (level 14 solo brute)
  • 1 briar witch dryad (level 13 elite controller)
  • 2 satyr rakes (level 7 skirmisher)

Level 18 encounter (XP 9,000)

  • 1 afanc (level 14 solo brute)
  • 1 death hag (level 18 soldier)
  • 2 quickling zephyrs (level 14 lurker)

The afanc is a lake monster from Whelsh mythology.

14 Replies to "KotM Fight! Afanc"

Jarrod Camiré

December 22, 2009 at 5:55am

Bonjour!

Congratulation to all the finalists! I sincerely hope that the Afanc will find a place in one of your campaigns and bring a good measure of devastation before the heroes show up!

I also take this opportunity to invite you to discover my others articles and my work. Six of my rituals are within the pages of Azagar’s Book of Rituals by Goodman Games, and many of my articles are now available in The Sorcerer’s Scrolls, TSS45. More to come in the next number, TSS46.

In the meantime, enjoy the Afanc’s mayhem!

Jarrod C.

The Last Rogue

December 22, 2009 at 8:17am

Great job. I particularly enjoy the ‘Thrall to Beauty and Music’ weakness.

Stefen

December 22, 2009 at 10:01am

I liked Thrall to Beauty and Music as well. Flood the Land was interesting too, since its something I’ve imagined (or seen in movies) but not sure if I have read in terms of game mechanics.

Adam Daigle

December 22, 2009 at 10:22am

I really dig monsters from folklore.

Trevor Gulliver

December 22, 2009 at 7:32pm

Love this. I can imagine the afanc coming out of the mist to harass a lonely lakeside town or castle.

Wolfgang

December 22, 2009 at 8:05pm

What gets me is how different it is from the 1E D&D version of the afanc, which is some kind of whirlpool fish.

Gary Gygax lied to me, dude!

Jason Dawson

December 22, 2009 at 9:29pm

I really like this monster. My only difficulty is the destruction of items. This should be a limited use power– taking away a character’s magic items is BIG DEAL. Making it an at-will does two things: I think it cheapens the ability’s impact on the players and also hits them way too hard. If the DM is rolling well, the majority of an entire party’s wooden items (weapons, shields, etc) can be obliterated in one encounter. I think that’s too much. IMO it should be a recharge 6 or 5,6 power.

Neal Hebert

December 22, 2009 at 10:00pm

“Thrall to Beauty and Music” is by far the most interesting mechanical tidbit I’ve seen in a few months.

Hydro

December 23, 2009 at 2:29pm

I appreciate interesting weaknesses like this, but basing mechanics on gender always squicks me a little.

Just the same, he would be pretty boring if he were just a giant ill-tempered beaver; his susceptibility to certain charms gives him a lot more character in just a handful of words, and also lends a definite folkloric resonance (I had never heard of an afanc before now, but based on that detail alone it wasn’t hard to guess).

Hydro

December 23, 2009 at 2:46pm

As an aside, I just I mentioned the “Thrall to Beauty and Music” quality to my girlfriend, who then brought up her last character (a bearded, bookish dwarven priestess with a rifle). We both got a kick out of the idea of this vast beast buckling before the “fair lady’s charms”.

Something about the feral awkwardness of the enormous beaver combined with such a quirky (if iconic) weakness really does make for an entertaining image.

Phil Larwood

December 29, 2009 at 5:24am

At last, an afanc that is not a fish and closer to the actual mythological source. Well done!

Xyphoid Process

January 5, 2010 at 9:35pm

I like this monster because there is no creature alive more industrious and simultaneously lethal than the beaver. So a giant dire beaver is awesome.

I would like to run a session involving a druid commanding a team of Afnacs through a prolonged siege, involving the chewing down of trees and building of siege dams, etc.

When I was young I had a copy of the US Army Survival Manual, which instructs hungry forest-wanderers to wait atop the den, then grab the beaver by its tail. Then you have to swing it around so the inertia holds the beast’s wicked front teeth away from your jugular and other parts. Then you swing its head into a tree. So I think you should be able to grab it and make an athletics check against doing this to stun the sucker.

Randy Dorman

January 6, 2010 at 5:53am

Although most of my players are much, much too immature to be suitably frightened by the appearance of a monstrous beaver, I will tell you that I once worked on a field study where I found myself standing in fast-moving (and rising!) water up to my waist, trying to hold on to a survey rod, when a beaver came swimming by within three feet.

Let me tell you, at waist level and at that distance, a big pissed off wet rodent with mammoth orange teeth is all kinds of scary.

steve helt

January 23, 2010 at 10:02am

I had never heard of the afanc until I did some research for a freelance project. The versions I uncovered were all called part beaver, part alligator and part dwarf. It’s good to see such a unique mythological monster getting a little love.

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