Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bestiary Entry: Scuccahund (Demon Dog)

Scuccahund (Demon Dog)

The superstitious claim it is an ill omen to utter his true name so the Scuccahund has many folk names such as Black Shuck, Old Shuck, or the Black Dog. Some tales describe him as an ill omen: the sight of him signifying the coming death of those who see it. Others tales as a warning that a loved one is in danger, and some tell of him as an avenger bringing justice to the victims of foul murder. Despite these differences all tales agree that he is a huge shadow-black hound with large glowing red eyes. Silent, but for the pad-pad of his paws and scraping of nails. Hearing this is always the first sign that he is on your trail. Then you might glimpse, from the corner of your eyes, a vague shadow following you, a shadow that becomes more solid as it forms into the shape of the hound. He is only ever met on roads, paths, and trails.

Scuccahund: AC: 2 [17]; Hit Dice: 7; Attack: Bite 1d6+1; Special: Dread unto death, incorporeal. Saving Throw: 8; Move: 12 HDE/XP: 10/1200.

When the PC’s hear the pad-pad and scrape of the hound’s paws they feel a sense of dread and a strong urge to run. If they don’t choose to run they must make a ST if they fail they do run. If they make it their next ST is at -1. When the shadow first appears they must make their second ST (at -1) if they fail this they are paralyzed by fear. If they make it the sense of dread and urge to run increases, if they don’t run their next ST is at -2. When the shadow turns into the black hound a third ST (-2) must be made and, paralyzed or not, anyone who fails this ST will die of fear.

The black hound is more shadow than beast and cannot be harmed by mundane weapons.


  1. This is excellent, I love black dog legends. Might have to slip the Scuccahund into my game at some stage. Thanks Lee. :-)

  2. Cheers! How you gonna use it; Avenger or Portent of doom?

  3. Either would be good and I'm not sure which direction I'd go. My initial thought was although I love the whole portent of doom thing, it wouldn't be fair to plan to bump off a PC. But of course it doesn't have to be a PC, it could be a family member of a PC. And of course if the players don't get the message straight away, the black dog reappears and another family member dies, and again and again until the players realise they need to do something about it.

    The Avenger idea would work well where the PCs have killed off a "big baddie", only to find he was just a small cog in a large machine, and his superiors are angry. Or of course killing an evil high priest might mean his god sends the black dog against the offenders, in which case it could become a recurring theme as the players keep coming up against this organisation.