I came across this image at DeviantArt via my friend Bryan and thought it was amazing. This guy has some serious skill, you can view more of his art work at: http://el-grimlock.deviantart.com/gallery/
The Gorilla King (for use in Old School Hack)
The Gorilla King sits upon his throne, deep within the jungle. His kingdom controls a large portion of the western jungle of Chuth. He is an intelligent and resourceful fellow, he will be kind but distrusting of any visitors to his kingdom. He surrounds himself with a gaggle of lower ape followers (treat as minions) and at any one time will have d4 special guards (guards with 3 hit points and a shield) to protect him.
Treat as a “Bad Guy” with 7 hit points and the following talents:
– Aura of Awesome (constant). The Gorilla King’s presence is overpowering and causes all in the same arena to suffer a -2 penalty to all Daring and Commitment checks.
– Chest Thump (per-arena). By pounding on his chest and roaring, the Gorilla King presents a formidable and terrifying opponent, all opponents in the same arena must make a successful check vs Commitment with an additional (see above) -2. Failure forces the character to spend the next round attempting to flee the arena (must spend the next turn performing a Move to leave the arena). As an added bonus, the roar will call d6 Royal Guards (minions) to come to the Gorilla King’s aid, they arrive in three rounds.
– Massive Bash (per-arena). With it’s massive arms and strength, the Gorilla King can smash an opponent, causing them to be stunned and unable to perform an Attack or Move action if they have no acted thus far in the round. Additionally, they will be unable to perform those actions the following round.
– Gentleman’s Intellect (constant). The Gorilla King is a surprisingly knowledgable fellow and will know a single important fact about any topic the players might ask it. This can relate to unknown secrets or places or persons, forgotten lore, and any other adventure aiding topic the players inquire about.
– Rod of Empowerment (per-arena). The staff the King carries allows him to effectively steal one talent from any person within his arena. Counts as his attack for that round and requires a normal to hit roll. When he steals the talent a bright bluish glow emanates from the gem at the top and flows out to the target. The target will instantly lose on hit point and lose the use of the selected talent for the rest of the encounter. The King will have access to this talent immediately and be able to use it once.
The Gorilla King brings up an interesting idea of creatures of our world that can be used fantastically to create interesting situations in our games. The ape is a perfect example that seems common in pulpy games, yet fails to appear in most fantasy games, I know recently I read of one gamer’s love for baboons, but I have rarely came across another ape playing a major part in a fantasy game, which is strange given the fact they do appear in the pulpy, yet very influential Conan stories. Howard produces some excellent pulp fantasy stories and certainly we can think of his stories as core elements of the fantasy genre, I would guess right behind the master influentialist Tolkien. Yet many of his ideas seem to have failed to come across to the majority of gamers, perhaps this is the popularity of Tolkien’s writing over Howard’s. Either way, there is gold in them thar stories!
Perhaps I will add a gorilla king to my next Old School Hack game. Has anyone used gorillas or apes to great effect in their games?