2011-06-04

The Headless Giant (Xíngtiān 刑天)

Note: This post is the first in a series of 'blog swapping' posts I'll be doing with Scott, the author of the excellent Trollish Delver blog.
The Xíngtiān is a creature from the Chinese classic bestiary, the Shānhǎi Jīng. The latter is a very old book whose creatures do not feature prominently in Chinese fiction. This is why the Xíngtiān does not appear in The Celestial Empire. However, the Xíngtiān has recently undergone a surge in popularity in China because of its appearance in a number of on-line adventure games (see here and there). As a consequence, I have decided to make it available for Celestial Empire campaigns.

The Xíngtiān is a very ancient humanoid who predates even the most ancient Chinese chronicles. It is mentioned as an adversary in the battles fought by the Yellow Emperor in pre-dynastic times. It is told that the Xíngtiān challenged the Yellow Emperor for a duel; in the ensuing fight, the Yellow Emperor beheaded the giant humanoid. However, the blow did not kill the Xíngtiān; the monster fled without its head. From that time on, it used its nipples as eyes, and its navel as a mouth. According to the Shānhǎi Jīng, the Xíngtiān fights with an axe and a shield.

Characteristics:
STR 4D6+6 (20), CON 4D6 (14), SIZ 4D6+6 (20), INT 3D6 (10-11), POW 3D6 (10-11), DEX 3D6 (10-11), APP 1D6 (3-4).
Move: 10, Hit Points: 17, Damage Bonus: +1D6, Armour: 0.
Allegiance: Heterodoxy 5D4+5
Morale: Leader.
Skills: Climb 35%, Dodge 25%, Jump 30%, Knowledge (Region [Mountains]) 75%, Listen 25%, Science (Natural History) 20%, Spot 30%, Stealth 25%, Track 60%.
Spells: If the Xíngtiān has an INT greater than 12 it knows the following Battle Magic spells: Befuddle, Dispel, Heal, Mobility, Protection, with a skill value of 30%.
Attacks:
Giant axe 55%, damage: 2D8+2+db (bleeding)
Long Shield
Special defence:
Swallows weapon: whenever the Xíngtiān is hit in the Abdomen, it may swallow the weapon of its attacker on a successful STR vs STR roll on the Resistance table. Damage is still inflicted though.

Hit Location table
1D20 | Hit Location | Hit Point Value
1-5 | Right Leg | 1/3 total HP
6-10 | Left Leg | 1/3 total HP
11-13 | Abdomen | 2/5 total HP
14 | Chest | 1/2 total HP
15-17 | Right Arm | 1/4 total HP
18-20 | Left Arm | 1/4 total HP

Please go and check out Scott's T&T version of the Xíngtiān now. I'm amazed at how he's captured the monster's peculiarities using T&T's system.

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