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By quarkstomperquarkstomper

The Hodag is a legendary creature found in the North Woods of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is about seven feet long (just over 2m) and lizard-like, with a large head with horns growing from its temples; large fangs, green eyes and a row of spikes running down its spine to its powerful tail. Despite having a lizard-like body, the beast is covered with short, black hair. It’s nostrils spout smoke and flame and the creature emits an odor like a “combination of buzzard meat and skunk perfume.”

ST: 14 HP: 14 Speed: 4.0
DX: 11 Will: 12 Move: 4
IQ: 4 Per: 10
HT: 13 FP: 13 SM: 1
Dodge: Parry: DR: 3

Claw (Brawling): 1d cr.
Bite (Brawling): 1d cut
Tail Strike (Brawling): 1d cr

Traits: Sharp Teeth; Blunt Claws; Quadruped; Wild Animal; Damage Resistance 3; Striker (tail; clumsy); Fur; Affliction: Irritant (Bad Smell); Innate Attack: Burning (1d, Close range only, limited use 2x per day)
Skills: Brawling-13;
Class: Animal
Notes: Characters getting close to a Hodag suffer -1 to combat skills due to their eyes watering from it's bad smell and must roll vs. HT-1 to avoid nausea. The description of the Hodag does not specifically say that it can 'express' it's bad smell the way that a skunk can. If so, any character hit by the stink attack must roll vs. HT-2 to avoid retching and will smell like Hodag until he can find a way to wash it off. I hear tomato juice works for that.

The Hodag's Burning Attack represents the guts of flame and smoke said to come from its nostrils. It is mostly an intimidation display, but can do damage if you're close enough. But if you're that close, it will probably just bite you.


The Hodag can be scaled up or down to the GM's tastes. The classic Rhinelander Hodag is said to be seven feet long, but I'm partial to smaller ones the size of a Rotweiller which can be house-trained. Once they get bigger than seven feet, they start resembling dragons, except ornerier and stupider.

Adventure Ideas

  • Hodags fit best in the North Woods of the American Great Lakes region, where they were born.
  • They can fit in a traditional medieval fantasy setting, but then you'll probably want to figure out what relation they have to dragons.
  • They can also be chimeras, created by mad genetic science. (Or by a wizard)