Stand half as tall as a man at the shoulder and as heavy as a small horse, dire swine are animals not to be triffled with. They are covered with coarse, wiry hair that generally thins as the swine age. Most come in shades of brown, though black, gray, red, and white are not uncommon. The head is large and the jaw well equiped for consuming plant matter, roots, nuts, and the ocassional animal that crosses their path wrong. Male swine grow tusks as long as a man's hand and both genders have thick and very durable skulls.
The Beast of the Fold
Dire Swine are most commonly found in tropical and semi-tropical forests where they are foragers, eating insects, fruits, nuts, and the roots of various plants. In some cases, the swine will hunt and kill living prey to add protein to their diet though this is rare outside of lean food times. Druids, rangers, and Elves are able to communicate in a limited fashion with dire swine, though the porcine behemoths can be ill-tempered and as dangerous as wolves when provoked.
Attempts have been made to domesticate the large and robust dire swine to human use, but all have failed. By nature, the swine are solitary or travel in small family groups. In rare circumstances, herd, or sounders will form, but this is dangerous as when this occurs the swine are much more predisposed to hunting rather than foraging. Magical means can be used to 'control' a dire pig, but such efforts are seldom worth the cost of the magics used.
As mentioned above, a druid, ranger, or elf of the forest can take a solitary dire pig as a companion much as a wizard takes a familiar but there is no innate magical bond formed, merely a sympathetic understanding of nature.
Amok, Amok, Amok - A village has become the target of a larger and aggressive sounder of dire swine. The fields have been devastated and some livestock has been killed. The peasants cower in their huts never knowing if the swine will upon them dine. The PCs must deal with 20 to 30 dire swine, be it combating them, luring them away, or some other method. A great idea for a low level party.
The Green Druid
As above, the village is being assaulted by dire swine, but the cause is a radical druid who wants the village gone as it is, in his opinion, too close to a sacred grove. The PCs must face not only the giant swine, but also a armed and dangerous druid who has been in the green a bit too long.
Breakfast of Champions
One night, as the PCs fail to set up a watch, a few dire swine meander into their camp. The PCs awaken to find the swine rooting through their packs, muching on the grain and other special feed for their horses and anything else the pigs might think tasty. If the PCs dont over-react, the swine will move on and cause no more problems. If they shout, the largest of the swine, the male, will become angry and start attacking the noise-makers.
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? Responses (5)
A hog with attitude.
I like the plot hooks, especially the Green Druid hook. I love antagonists that are not evil, their outlook is just different.
Another thing that could be added to it; perhaps some of the local men are vandalizing the holy cairn that lies nearby. I mean there are a million things you can do with that hook.
I also like the Dire Swine, but I think your hooks really gave more flavor to the post.
Solidly done critter. I'll be adding this to the encounters on the Unseen Fortress for sure!
nice Scras. Love pigs, in all their sinister glory!
This is about as interesting as big pigs can be.