I posted a while back on the Hyperborea Boards about Vhuurmis and Ape-Men. As presented in AS&H, I didn’t see much difference between the two species, and I asked whether Ape-Men and Vhuurmis were redundant.
There were several good responses, and Blackadder23 made an excellent point:
I see the difference as this. Vhuurmis are apish creatures that once ruled Hyperborea and were *this* close to becoming true men. Then the Hyperboreans came and drove them into the darkness, where the Vhuurmis degenerated back into sheer savagery. But they still have some ancestral memory and resentment of their lost status, and hate mankind for it.
Ape-men, on the other hand, are apes who aspire to one day become men, or at least to mock men. Almost the opposite of Vhuurmis, really.
I really like that idea. It’s enough to keep the two monsters separate in theme. However, I also want them to look different – and the Vhuurmis still appear too simian for me. So for Astonishing ACKS, I’m going to use the Yog-Blogsoth imagery for my Vhuurmis:
I’d further differentiate the Vhuurmis by declaring them sexually incompatible with humans. While Ape-Men hybrids do exist, there are no “Half-Vhuurmis” in my Hyperborea. Also, the number of fingers and toes that a Vhuurmis possesses is highly variable.
Vhuurmis Stat Blocks
In terms of game mechanics, the Vhuurmis are similar to ACKS Bugbears. However, Vhuurmi possess the following racial traits instead:
- Special: Infravision 60′, increased damage, shaggy hide (AC:3, +2 on saves vs. cold), Climb Walls (5+), increased encumbrance (13/20/26/52)
The following Vhuurmis subtypes may be encountered:
- Chieftain: MV 90′ (30′), AC:7, HD:7+2 (hp 37), #AT1 (Base Atk 3+), D by weapon +4, Save F7, ML +2, XP 500
- Sub-Chieftain MV 90′ (30′), AC:6, HD:5+1 (hp 29), #AT1 (Base Atk 5+), D by weapon +3, Save F5, ML +1/+2, XP 260
- Champion: MV 90′ (30′), AC:5, HD:4+1 (hp 25), #AT1 (Base Atk 6+), D by weapon +2, Save F4, ML +1/+2, XP 140
- Warrior: MV 90′ (30′), AC:4, HD:3+1 (hp 14), #AT1 (Base Atk 7+), D by weapon +1, Save F3, ML +1/+2, XP 65
- Noncombatant: MV 90′ (30′), AC:3, HD:1+1 (hp 6), #AT1 (Base Atk 9+), D by weapon, Save F1, ML +0/+1, XP 15
- Whelp: MV 60′ (20′), AC:2, HD:½ (hp 2), #AT1 (Base Atk 10+), D by weapon -1, Save NM, ML -2/-1, XP 5
(Note that a “Warrior” represents a standard, default Vhuurmis.)
Some Vhuurmi can become Shamans or Witch Doctors:
- Shaman: MV 90′ (30′), AC:5, HD:4+1 (hp 25), #AT1 (Base Atk 6+), D by weapon +2, Save F4, ML +1/+2, XP 140 + 75/lvl
Standard Vhuurmis traits plus Cleric (Xathoqqua) abilities at level 2d4
- Witch Doctor: MV 90′ (30′), AC:6, HD:5+1 (hp 29), #AT1 (Base Atk 5+), D by weapon +3, Save F5, ML +1/+2, XP 260 + 200/lvl
Standard Vhuurmis traits plus Mage abilities at level 1d4