Warg

AUTHOR: Josh Kapfer (ReptileJK)

ISSUE: 10:11

 

Attributes

BRG 10 (+2)

NIM 7 (+0)

PER 7 (+0)

STR 10 (+2)*

VIT 10 (+2)*

WIT 4 (+0)

Reactions

STAM +2*

SWIFT +0

WILL +2

WIS +2

 

Defence

10

Size

Large

Courage

 

Health

12

Move

12

Renown

 

 

Edges

none

Flaws

none

Special Abilities

Armour (3), Mount: Steady, Mount: War-trained, Natural weapons (2D6+3, bite), Silent and Cunning Ways, Coordinated Fell Deeds, Vice-like Grip, Flee from Fire, Ill-at-Ease in Trees

Skills

Armed Combat: Natural Weapons (Bite) +6, Intimidate (Fear) +5, Jump +5, Language: Understand Orkish (dialect) +2, Language: Warg-speech +4, Observe (Smell) +4, Run +9, Stealth (Sneak) +9, Track (Scent) +2

 

TN Equivalent

10 (pack of six)

 

Note: Because they are domesticated animals, bred specifically by the Dark Lord to be sub servant and dependent on the resources provided for them by their masterís (the purpose of which is to insure their cooperation and inability to easily escape and survive once escaped), all survival instincts have been purposefully bred out of this species. Therefore, in this incarnation, Wargs have no survival skill listed. Because they look almost identical, nearly all ďwild WargĒ attacks are actually due to hybrid animals.

 

Description

Wargs are the large and fearsome relatives to wolves. Yet, unlike wolves, they are more cumbersome and awkward, unable to move silently as their cousins. What these beasts lack in stalking ability and dexterity, however, they gain in strength. Wargs possess brutish might that suits them well when carrying goblins, and other minions of the Dark Lord, into battle. Another significant difference between Wargs and wolves is that Wargs are not a species of canid found naturally in the wilds of Middle Earth. All have been bred and raised in captivity (under the Dark Lordís watchful eye) for the specific purpose of acting as mounts for his servants and  guardians of his fortresses. The Warg lineage is believed to have begun during the first age with Morgothís great wolf of Angband, Carcharoth, and all Wargs since him have been bred and raised in captivity. Because of this, wargs have no innate survival instinct (i.e. hunting instinct, etc.) and cannot persist outside of captivity. Although fearsome in combat, it is unlikely that these beasts will be encountered in the wild unless one engages in battle with the armies of the Dark Lord.

 

Wargs superficially resemble wolves. They are similar in coloration, for example. However, there are several pronounced differences that allow them to be easily identifiable. Firstly, Wargs are considerably larger than any other canid species (the largest known individual tipping the scales at nearly 350 lbs and over five feet tall at the shoulder). Wargs also have more blunt snouts and wider jaws. Furthermore, they possess large hunched shoulders, which look almost disproportionate to the rest of their bodies, and short, stubby tails. The thickening of fur around the head and shoulders is also more pronounced in Wargs than in wolves, given them an even more menacing appearance. Wargs often possess red, or rusty brown colored eyes.

 

Unique Special Abilities

Silent and Cunning Ways: All wild and fell canids have an extraordinary ability to employ stealth to mask themselves and their scents. They also have an uncanny ability to find track scents over large distances.

Effects: All wild and fell canids automatically receive a +3 to the first Stealth (Sneak) test performed during an attempt to catch something unawares. They also gain a +2 to any Track (Scent) skill one time per day.

 

Coordinated Fell Deeds: The minions of the Dark Lord have essentially domesticated Wargs (see previous sections). Therefore, Wargs have an innate ability to be able to understand the wishes of Goblins, Trolls, and Ringwraiths through vocal and visual cues.

Effects: A Warg-rider or Ringwraith need not necessarily have physical contact with a Warg to persuade it to do its bidding. As long as eye contact is possible, the fell canid can be given subtle voice or hand signal commands. Furthermore, if a Warg is encountered in the wild, one can be almost certain that it is not alone. Thus, every time a seemingly unaccompanied Warg is spotted, roll 2D6 and refer to the table below to see what is traveling with the beast.

 

RESULT OF ROLL

WARG ASSOCIATES

12

None

7-11

1d6+4 Orcs

3-6

1d6-1 Trolls

2

1 Ringwraith

 

Vice-like Grip: Due to the extra set of canines present in their mouths, Wargs and Hybrids have the ability to grab quarry and hold it immobile.

Effects: If a Warg or Hybrid makes a successful attack, the Narrator should determine whether or not the weapon hand of the attacked adventurer is the target by rolling 1D6. If a 4 or greater is the result, the weapon arm is grabbed in the animalís jaws. If this occurs, the weapon arm cannot be freed for 1D6 rounds and the trapped adventurer receives additional damage from the teeth each round that the beast holds him. On a roll of 1-3, the adventurerís off-hand is the target and he is immobilized, but can still attack the beast with his weapon. A successful attack by the adventurer will cause the Warg or Hybrid to release their grip immediately.

 

Flee From Fire: All Wargs and Hybrids fear fire when it is wielded in the hands of an opponent. The reasoning for this is not understood, however, it has a profound effect on these animals.

Effects: When presented with fire (e.g. on the end of a torch or blazing stick) a Warg or Hybrid must make a Willpower Test (TN 7) at the beginning of each round.

 

SUCCESS

EFFECT

Extraordinary

The Warg or Hybrid does not flee unless it chooses to and also receives a +1 to its first attack. Furthermore, it does not need to re-roll to resist fire for 1D6+4 rounds

Superior

The Warg or Hybrid stands its ground and may attack, if it chooses, with no extra bonuses. Furthermore, it does not need to make this test again for 1D6 rounds

Complete

The Warg or Hybrid stands its ground for 1D6 rounds, but will not attack

Marginal or worse

The Warg or Hybrid turns and flees for 1D6 rounds

 

Restrictions: Wargs and Hybrids will not go near a stationary fire (such as a campfire) and will not flee from fire unless they are attacked with it and fail their Willpower test as described previously). Domestic dogs do not fear fire. Furthermore, while wolves will not approach fire, they also will not run from it in the fashion that fell canids will.

 

Ill-at-Ease in Trees: Canids are not physically designed for climbing. Therefore, they cannot climb trees after quarry, no matter how much goading occurs. This is also true of true wolves and dogs. However, what they lack in arboreal prowess, they make up for in patience. Thus, Wargs and Hybrids can wait hours and even days for quarry that is attempting to escape them in trees to come down (or fall down after fainting from lack of sleep, food, or water).

 

Habitat

Wargs are a captive animal and are not found existing on their own in the wild. They are normally found near or within the dwellings of orcs, goblins and other servants of evil. Therefore, you are more likely to find Wargs in the realms dominated by the minions of the Dark Lord (such as Angmar, the northern Misty Mountains, and near Mordor).

 

 

Society

Because they are essentially domesticated animals, Wargs have few social interactions of note. Unlike true wolves, they do not have the instinct to communicate whether they are dominant or subordinate and have no way of forming a social structure. Thus, they display no instinctive pack behavior and no understanding of family dynamics and do not pay any heed to relatives during their daily life (unless one jumps its turn during feeding time). However, this should not be confused with having no means of communicating with conspecifics or handlers. For example, Wargs are able to use vocalizations to denote location, temper, or pain to one another. Furthermore, Wargs have the ability to use vocalizations to express their general mood to their handler, allowing a bond (albeit weak) between master and mount. Despite popular belief, Wargs do not serve their handler out of love and this bond is not one of friendship (as is found in most domestic canids), rather Wargs are slaves who have been bred into servitude. Furthermore, the Dark Lord was clever in breeding out their instinct for survival, but not their instinctive aggressiveness. In doing this, he bred a species that is formidable in combat and loyal, not out of desire, but out of necessity.

 

Because of all these points, true Wargs have very little intraspecific social interaction. For example, in the case of feeding order, the largest male simply attacks those that do not wait their turn. The others do not see him as dominant, only as the one who eats first until he becomes too old and isnít strong enough to defend that right. Breeding is accomplished by separating the larger, stronger males and placing them in breeding pens with larger, stronger females until copulation is complete. At all other times (except during combat), sexes are kept separate to insure that no indiscriminant breeding occurs and that males do not harass pregnant females by attempting to breed when the females are not receptive (which can lead to conflict). Furthermore, females vehemently defend their cubs as males are known to kill juveniles outright (the reasoning for this is unknown) and the two sexes generally do not intermingle well.

 

There are several myths surrounding Wargs that should here be corrected: Wargs are not nocturnal by necessity. In fact, they can readily exist in full daylight with no inhibition. However, it is their goblin handlers that have an innate fear of the sun and, thus, Wargs are rarely seen about unless it is nighttime. Furthermore, Wargs are not evil spirits or phantasms that take the shape of wolves. They are real, corporeal creatures. Finally, Wargs are cannot outrun horses. Yet, most horses (aside from Mearas and Elven Horses) fear them and are easily struck dumb by the presence of the beasts, allowing Wargs to readily catch most horses that they are confronted with. In fact, a Warg is much slower than even a true wolf and can only attain speeds of 25-30 mph at the most. Their longevity is normally 10-12 years.