Biweekly Monster-Castorid (AD&D)

BeaversFREQUENCY: Rare
NO. APPEARING: 4-40
ARMOR CLASS: 6 (5)
MOVE: 6″//12″
HIT DICE: 2
% IN LAIR: 60%
TREASURE TYPE: Individuals K; D, I, S in lair
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-4/1-6
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Weapon
SPECIAL DEFENSE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
INTELLIGENCE: Semi-Low
ALIGNMENT: Neutral-Lawful Good
SIZE: M (5’+ tall)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
      Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

Art Credit: Nicolas de Fer (1646-1720)

Castorids live in family groups or tribes on mighty rivers and lakes where they very intentionally grow marshlands and ponds in which to make their living. Appearing like bipedal beavers, they are often equipped with weapons and sometimes even armor as other humanoids. Like beavers, they build dams and lodges with entrances underwater. They will eat leaves, roots, grass, and bark to sustain themselves in lean times, but they prefer to eat a little richer, growing water logged crops such as rice, leeks, and onions as well as fishing with both net and rod. They are phenomenal fishermen and know the best fishing spots in their territory.

One in four castorids will be a patriarch armed with spear and shield. Another one in four will wield short bows and one in four will have clubs. When unarmed, they can attack with a vicious bite (as a javelin). Armed or unarmed, they can attack with their powerful tails (1-4/1-3 club). 

They never stray far from the lair where they keep their treasure. They are willing to use their treasure to buy off threats to their home, but if they are suspicious such a deal will be betrayed, they will not hesitate to fight to defend their home, retreating elsewhere if necessary.

Male and female castorids are equally suited to combat and their young mature quickly. For each 4 encountered, there will be a 10% chance that the lodge contains 2-12 young kits which fight as halflings if desperate. Beavers are common pets who help to produce their dams and dens and there is a 50% chance they have 1-4 giant beavers they use as pack animals, workers, and rarely mounts. They speak their own language and sylvan.

Castorids are generally distrustful of others, if respectful and accommodating. They are friendly with gnomes and like to compare their industry to their lazing halflings neighbors, with whom they are not unlikely to be fishing companions and/or rivals. They tolerate elves and dwarves.

Beavers are so awesome. I’m afraid I haven’t done all of their many features justice with these guys, but they are fun as a wilderness option. In Rick Stump’s clone, I would allow them to be henchmen as fighters, soldiers, man-at-arms, and scouts.

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