The Hunter

I’m kind of setting myself up for failure in the long run with all these encounters. Sooner or later I’ll have nothing left to make but stats, and those take me longer than encounters.

Summary: A crazy hermit lives out here with several vicious pets. He thinks of himself as a great hunter, and of man as the most dangerous game.

Discovery: The hunter has left various pit, net, and bear traps lying about the hex. When rolling for a random encounter in this hex, roll 1d10 twice (or at the same time, if they’re of distinct colors). If the first roll is anything but a 10, use the second roll to determine the random encounter as normal.

If the first roll is a 1-3, it’s a net trap. If characters fail a Challenging(+0) Awareness test, they stumble into a net and are caught suspended in the air. If at least one character succeeds, they can yell a warning to the others and dive out of the way. The first is automatic, the second requires a successful Ordinary(+10) Dodge check. Anyone who hears the warning can make a Difficult(-10) Dodge check to avoid the net. Anyone who’s standing at least five meters behind the lead member of the group succeeds automatically. The net is made from perfectly ordinary rope and will not be difficult to escape if characters have any knives, chainblades, or other small and maneuverable weapons. With a chainsword, they must succeed on a standard attack to maneuver the chainsword into position to cut the net without cutting any friends. If they fail, they accidentally cut and deal damage to a friend. Due to the cramped quarters of the net, the accidental target cannot roll Dodge, nor can they Parry unless they have a small weapon (like a chainblade) to parry with, and even then they are at a -30 penalty. A character not caught in the net can climb a nearby tree (if they’re in a hurry (for example, if the hunter has shown up and started shooting) it’s an Ordinary(+10) Athletics check, but if they can take their time success is automatic) and cut everyone down automatically. The four meter drop will inflict some damage as normal.

If the first roll is a 4-6, it’s a bear trap. All characters make a Challenging(+0) Awareness check. If the character at the front of the group (use whoever has the highest Athletics score if there is no predetermined marching order) succeeds, the trap is averted completely. If the character at the front fails, but another succeeds, they can shout a warning, and the character at front can make a Difficult(-10) Dodge check to avoid the trap before it’s too late. If the lead character steps into the trap, they immediately take 2d10 rending damage with the tearing quality to a randomly determined leg (roll 1d10, 1-5 left leg, 6-10 right leg). If at least one point of damage gets through toughness and armour, the trap automatically triggers Righteous Fury and applies the effect of a 1d5 roll on the appropriate critical damage chart. As with regular Righteous Fury rolls, this does not actually cause critical damage. A single full action by anyone with functioning thumbs is enough to remove the trap from a victim’s foot, and likewise it takes only a half-action to pull up the stake, allowing the trap to be carried around and set, with another full action, at another location.

If the first roll is 7-9, it’s a pit trap. All characters must make a Challenging(+0) Awareness check. If the two characters at the front of the group (use whichever two have the highest Athletics score if there is no predetermined marching order) both succeed, the trap is averted completely. Any character at the front who succeeds without being warned must make a Hard(-20) Dodge check to avoid the trap. If anyone else in the party makes the original Awareness check, they can shout a warning, and the difficulty of the Dodge check is reduced to Challenging(+0). Anyone who fails the Dodge check falls 3 meters into the pit and takes the usual 1d10+3 impact damage to a random hit location, and then additionally takes 1d10+3 rending damage with the Primitive(8) trait (as though hit by a spear wielded by someone with an S bonus of 3) from the spikes set at the bottom of the trap. The spikes hit a random body part, but the part must be the same as or adjacent to the part hit by the fall. The attacks are counted separately, so Toughness does apply twice, and while falling damage ignores armour, the spikes do not.

Regardless of which trap is triggered, the hunter will come by in 2d10 hours to finish off anyone caught in it with his sniper rifle.

Exploration: The hunter is no slouch when it comes to stalking prey, but he travels with a lot of pets and that makes tracking him relatively easy. A Very Hard(-30) Survival check will reveal the prints of the hunter himself, but it takes only a Challenging(+0) Survival check to discover that a wolf, a bear, and an alligator have all been leaving tracks in the area, which is a pretty weird combination. Either set of tracks will lead back to the hunter’s lair.

The characters may also deduce that the hunter must check his traps regularly, and stake out the area. They can each roll Stealth opposed to the hunter’s Awareness and Awareness opposed to the hunter’s Stealth. If the hunter detects a hiding character without being detected himself, he will open fire with his sniper rifle. This will reveal his position, although he’ll be about fifty meters away (he’d like to be as far away as possible, but intervening trees means he can’t line up a shot from any further). If the hunter detects at least one character and vice-versa, then combat begins as normal, although characters who have not detected the hunter will not know where he is unless someone who has detected the hunter informs them, and if they just shout the hunter’s location, the shouting character will give away their own location to the hunter. If neither the hunter nor the characters detect one another, then the hunter will reveal himself to examine the trap and all characters can get a free round of dakka before regular combat starts. The hunter will be accompanied by his bear, alligator, wolf, and hawk.

The characters might also track the hunter based on the materials he’s used to construct his traps. It’s a Very Hard(-30) Common Lore (Vestitas) check to match the wood used in the spikes on the pit trap to certain trees and know which parts of the hex those trees actually grow in. There’s plenty of groves of that particular type of tree in the hex, but if the characters spend 1d10*5 hours searching the area, they’ll find the hunter’s lair eventually.

Confrontation: The hunter’s lair is just a tent and a campfire. If the characters track him back here, he’ll be present with his pets, a bear, an alligator, a hawk, and three wolves. If they come here while the hunter is out, only the two wolves will be left behind to guard the tent. The hunter has an aggressive personality and a starting Disposition of 15. He despises social contact in general, although it is possible he might be swayed by the prospect of hunting humans outside the borders of his hex.

Rewards: Any bear traps recovered might make for useful traps, but they suffer from the problem that they’re maybe 35 cm across at the maximum, which means even someone who steps right on the square where they’re placed gets to make an Awareness check to avoid it. If they’re not in a fight at the time, any allies they have can also make Awareness checks to shout a warning, granting the victim a Dodge check as well (using the same rules as when the players walk into the trap on a 4-6 encounter roll). Each bear trap does give a +20 bonus to Survival checks made to acquire food while hexcrawling, but the characters must circle back to their traps at the end of the day to use them, which means they can’t use any speed to move hexes or even make progress towards leaving a hex with a high speed cost to leave (like a swamp). The bear traps are indefinitely reusable in case any characters decide to take up hermitage themselves, though.

On the off-chance that the characters successfully persuade the hunter to join them, there’s that, too.

The main reward is that 1d10 days after the hunter’s demise, local wildlife have triggered all of his traps, and since there is no one left to reset them, they will no longer trigger when characters are walking through the area.

 

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