Friday, February 10, 2012

Beast of the Week: Spearfinger

OK, last week's Beast of the Week was definitely not for everyone (although with a name swap it could be a nice challenging baddie for upper level characters without the silliness).  This week I go back to my mythology/legends for inspiration, and pulled up a Cherokee ogress/witch, the Spearfinger.

AC: -1 (21)
HD: 4*
Move: 120 (40)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d10+1
No. Appearing: 1-3 (1-4)
Save As: Fighter 4
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: B
Alignment: Chaotic
XP: 125

Spearfingers are ogre-like hags with hulking forms and scraggly, tangled black hair.  They have a long bony finger on their right hands, which stabs like a lance or spear.  They wear a dress made of stone (some say it is their skin that is stone), which renders them immune to attacks by normal weapons.  Even magical weapons have difficulty piercing their stone armor.  Spearfingers skulk around the outskirts of mountain villages or other rural communities, seeking victims - often children - to capture.  They have a great love for livers, and will often eat only the liver of a slain victim.  In order to draw unsuspecting victims into the wilds, they use ventriloquism, as the spell, at will.  In bare, rocky terrain, they blend in with the natural habitat, allowing them to surprise on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6.


  1. Interesting. Save for the detail about the stone protection, the concept is very close to that of the Philippine aswang. Makes me wonder why viscera-eaters are so prevalent in folklore the world over.

    1. Really, there are a lot of common threads in mythology. Everybody does flood stories, everybody does ghosts, everybody does wizards and witches, several cultures have vampires, several have shape-shifters.

      Scientists would argue psychology whereas occultists would argue a common origin to all the tales.

  2. Bonus points for referencing Spearfinger. Not only is American Indian folklore underrepresented, but Spearfinger is just awesome.

    Even though I read it a couple of months ago, I was recently contemplating this article and the prospect of running an American Colonial era D&D game. I find the prospect of adventurers caught between European folklore and American Indian folklore fascinating.

  3. @Dariel, not sure, but even modern "urban legend" is full of stories of the person who wakes up after a night of drinking to find someone's stolen their kidney to sell on the black market. It's definitely something that strikes a chord of horror with us.

    @S.P., sounds like a cool campaign.