Buffalo image.jpgBuffalo chart.jpgLarge mammals dwelling upon the steppe of North America, not occurring naturally in the Old World (for water buffalo, see Gnu). They are nomadic grazers and travel in herds, which may be up to 100 times larger than the number shown appearing on the right. Females and young will be found travelling together in a large herd; a male herd will be nearby and will typically be, in size, only a third as large.

Buffalo are normally diffident and timid (see below). If they charge, however, they will drop their heads and strike with the full weight of their bodies, causing 4-24 damage if they hit. Stunned defenders will be trampled. Trampling damage is only 1-4, but as buffalo tend to move very closely together, if one chooses to charge they will all break into a run in the same direction. An individual caught by a herd will take trampling damage from each fifth member of the herd: this would mean that a herd of 30, following the lead buffalo, would result in 6d4 damage.

As well, defenders who are not stunned should be considered a target for the fifth buffalo of the herd, which would then mean trampling by the remaining buffalo (minus the first five) or potentially another charging attack by the tenth buffalo. For game purposes, limit the number of attacks per round to three charges and 12d4 trampling damage; per herd. Thereafter, even if the herd is larger than 60 members, consider that the herd either begins to move in a different direction or merely goes around the prone defender. The defender should remain still until the herd passes ~ but if the defender takes any action to provoke another charge by the passing stampede, then have the next group of buffalo charge (up to 3 times) and trample again (up to 12 times).

Encounters

#1 (diffident):if approached at all, the buffalo will simply stroll away at two hexes a round; there is a 5 in 6 chance that if approached at a slow walking speed (no faster than 3 hexes a round), then the animal will even allow a stranger to calmly lay a hand upon its immense body. After a few rounds, the animal will trot at half speed to a distance of 16-25 hexes. If a 6 is rolled, the animal will lope off for ten rounds at a run of 24 hexes/round. If attacked, there is a 5 in 6 chance it will break into a full run; on a 6, the animal will attempt to trample.

#2 (timid):if approached to within 9-16 hexes, the buffalo will flee until it is separated by 70-80 hexes from the threat it has encountered. Note that the creature will become quite agitated if approached to within 30 hexes . . . but it will not break until it is approached more closely or if it is attacked. The animal will avoid a clean miss, but if a missile hits its hide (better than AC 10 but not sufficient to hit AC 7) or actually causes damage, then the animal will flee as soon as it is able to do so.


See Bestiary