Monday Monster: Buggane

Monday Monster: Buggane

The creature rose from the ruins of the church roof it had just crushed in spite. It was huge – a gangling hairy thing, with sharp nails and claws, its face a skirmish of eyes and bristle and teeth cowering beneath three curved horns.

‘Dost thou see this big body of mine? Roared the buggane.

Oh, we had found the Dormin devil, and wished we hadn’t.

Buggane CR 3

N large humanoid
Init +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Feat); Senses Low-light vision; Listen +3, Spot +3

AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 15
(+3 Dex,+6 natural, -1 size)
hp 13 (3d8)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +3

Spd 40 ft
Melee longspear +4 (1d8+4/x3) or
      scythe +4 (2d4+4/x4) or
      gore +4 (1d8+4)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Rage, double damage against objects

Before Combat A buggane that is not part of a Great Hunt stalks its prey using its natural step ability, attempting to gain surprise and catch its opponents flat-footed
During Combat A buggane fights with great ferocity, using a combination of spear and its dangerous head gore. In a Great Hunt the Buggane is armed with a scythe and attacks solely with that. The buggane only attacks offending structures when it is safe to do so.
Morale A Great Hunt operates without morale and fights to the end, a buggane generally is less reticent about escape and will flee into cover when reduced to 5 hit points or less

Abilities Str 16, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; Grp +9
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will
Skills Climb +9, Hide +5, Listen +6, Spot +6
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ Natural chameleon, natural step, low-light vision

Alternate Form (Su): A buggane is able to alter its shape at will as a free action. This ability functions as a polymorph spell (caster level 7th) except that the buggane does not regain hit points from changing shape. A buggane can assume the form of any Medium or Large animal. Often the buggane will use its ability to appear as a harmless cow or sheep. During Great Hunts the buggane appear as great boars or slavering wolverines.

Double Damage against Objects (Ex): A buggane that makes a full attack against an object or structure with its gore attack deals double damage.

Natural Chameleon (Ex): A buggane that is within any area of natural cover (such as a forest, briars or tall grass) gains +10 to its hide skill.

Natural Step (Ex): A buggane can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars and similar terrain) at his full speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. If the undergrowth has been magically manipulated to impede motion it is still affected.

Rage (Ex): If taking part in a Great Hunt (q.v.) the buggane gains the ability to enter a rage in the same way that a barbarian does. The rage ability is a free action that can be used three times per day, but only once in any given combat. The buggane temporarily increases its Strength and Constitution by +4, and gives it a +2 bonus to Will saves at a cost of –2 to its Armor Class. The buggane at this time has the following statistics:
      AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 13
      (+3 Dex,+6 natural, -1 size, -2 rage)
      hp 19 (3d8+6)
      Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +3
      Melee longspear +6 (1d8+5/x3) or
      scythe +6 (2d4+5/x4) or
      gore +6 (1d8+5)
The rage lasts 3 rounds, at the end of the rage the buggane is fatigued (-2penalty to Dexterity, -2 penalty to Strength, can’t run or charge).

Fearful Calling (Ex): When together in a Great Hunt, buggane make a fearful yammering and calling that causes fear in those who hear it. Anyone within 120 feet of a Great Hunt must make a Will save (DC 12) or be affected as though by a cause fear spell (caster level 3rd). This ability has a particularly powerful effect upon animals, which make the save at –4. Animal companions and familiars make the save at no penalty, and a paladin’s warhorse is unaffected by this attack.

Environment Temperate forest
Organization Solitary, Brotherhood (2-6) or Great Hunt (7-30 buggane plus 2-4 dire wolverines, led by a Tri-Horned King with 1d6+3 levels of ranger)
Treasure Double standard
Alignment N
Advancement By character class
Favored Class Ranger

A buggane is a large humanoid creature covered in wrinkles, with sharp claws and cloven feet. Some have tattered (but non-functional) wings, others have ragged manes. Its bloated head has three curved horns, its skin is crimson. The buggane resembles, and is often mistaken for, a devil.

Because of its devilish appearance it has been hunted wherever it has been encountered, and the tales of humanoids of all kinds are rich with stories of hunting of buggane – from the human ‘fell hunt on all-Hallows eve’, the elvish ‘pursuit of the strange man,’ and the orcish Kharg’an’fghargh – the ‘beating of the wrinkled ones.’

The buggane worship nature gods and cannot abide any other temple (good or evil) to be erected. Their most ancient tales tell of the persecution the buggane received at the hands of ministers and their flocks, and of the burnings by witches and devil-worshipers – annoyed at the discovery that their devil is false.

If the buggane find such a place of worship they do all in their power to destroy it, particularly if it is under construction, an opportunity they foresee to prevent their enemies gathering their god’s powers before they start.

Buggane Lore
Knowledge (Local) DC Result
10 Also called He-Goats, these creatures resemble devils and are hunted because of it.

15 They hate temples of all sorts as they see them as sanctuaries to those who hunt them.

20 Buggane occasionally gather together in a Great Hunt. These hunts typically form to defend some buggane stronghold from ‘civilization’ and occasionally wilderness outposts such as mines are the subject of their hatred.

25 Because of their nature and appearance buggane are hunted by religious groups or mistaken for true devils. Their young are much prized by traveling shows due to their devilish appearance and such young often fetch more than 1,000 gp.

Buggane Lairs
Bugganes dwell in deep forests far away from prying eyes; when civilization spreads these lairs are subject to incursions. The buggane will occasionally they will fight back.

A typical buggane will lair in an easily defensible thicket of briars or a dense forest where approach is easily heard. Their homes resemble thatched cottages built around great trees and with several floors. Great collectors, a buggane will never throw anything away, and tribes and elders have huge collections of both junk and treasure. They place revere the objects used in Great Hunts — particularly the ceremonial scythes, which are handed down from father to son and often have magical powers.

Buggane leave their homes and form wandering gypsy bands who forage as they move, driving their livestock with them and carrying their huge collection of personal objects along as well.

Buggane Young
Because of their devilish appearance, unscrupulous hunters seek out immature buggane to enslave in traveling fairs and shows. Young brought up among humans are called hollow by their kin and often fall into madness. Buggane young are unaggressive and can easily be cowed by cruel masters. Such a child can fetch up to 1,000 gp from the right buyer.

The abduction of buggane young often triggers a Great Hunt.

The Great Hunt
‘When the night rings with the sounds of howling and rattling of chains beware my lad, for the buggane are out’a huntin.’

Galloping and clanging, making unearthly noises, rattling chains, roaring, wearing horns and with blazing eyes, the Great Hunt is a terror to behold. Bugganes in Great Hunts arm themselves with ceremonial scythes carved from dead wood collected deep in forests and handed down from father to son for generations. Many of these scthyes have magical powers. A minimum of 8 buggane are required to form a Great Hunt, and during this time they gain special powers. Once a hunt is formed the powers remain until it or its enemies are destroyed, and the special powers remain even if only one buggane from the hunt is left alive to fight on.

These are considered a second class of buggane by their kin; they are hermits who are drawn to a place to serve a ghost, perpetuate a legend or take up the arms of a murderer. These buggane have sworn away from taking part in the Great Hunt and lead a solitary existance, occasionally earning a living as a guide to travellers.

Buggane in Legends
As a shape-changing goblin, the buggane has its origin in Manx tales (from the Isle of Man, a small island off the coast of England).
Here are two short tales of legendary Manx buggane, though there are many others.

The Buggane of St. Trinian’s
The Buggane of Glen Meay Waterfall

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Open Game License for Buggane

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