I couldn’t resist the numerous puns in this title. Sue me.
This is the first installment of the Weekly Encounter, and my first update in a while. This week, I’ll be sharing a new creature that can be inserted into a Star Wars Saga game. As I was poking through the d20 Radio forums earlier this week, I found a cry for help from a member asking if there were any stats for the Boma, a creature native to Dxun, the jungle planet of Onderon and the location of tomb of the ancient Sith Lord, Freedon Nadd. After looking through the books and then the Wizards of the Coast website, I hadn’t found an entry for the Boma, so I decided to sit down and hash out a stat block, looking to the Star Wars Miniatures piece for inspiration. Here is what I came up with.
Boma – CL 9
Large Beast 10
Init +10; Senses Perception +4
Defenses Ref 15 (flat-footed 15), Fort 16, Will 9
hp 105; Thresh 21
Speed 8 squares
Melee gore +9* (1d8+15) or
Melee gore +11* (1d8+20) with Powerful Charge or
Melee bite +9* (1d8+15)
Fighting Space 2×2; Reach 2 squares
Atk Options Bantha Rush, Charging Assault, Improved Bantha Rush, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Savage Charge
Abilities Str 24, Dex 10, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 8, Cha 3
Feats Bantha Rush, Improved Bantha Rush, Power Attack, Powerful Charge
Skills Initiative +10
* includes 5 points of Power Attack
Charging Assault –The Boma can move up to twice it’s speed and make an attack at the end of the charge. In addition, they also treat their Strength score as being 4 points higher for the purposes of the Bantha Rush feat. All other rules for charging apply as normal.
Savage Charge –The Boma may use it’s Bantha Rush feat to knock an opponent into a solid object, dealing 1d6+7 points of damage. Additionally, the Boma can elect to not shove an opponent, and make a bite attack as a free action at a +2 to the attack roll against the target.
When looking at the miniature’s stats, I noticed the creature keyed around two abilities, Savage, and Charging Assault. With that in mind, I located a few feats that would help to augment the charge action, and then started batting around ideas to include as special abilities for the Boma to further augment his charge and make him a memorable – and more dangerous – foe. The savage nature of the beast is reflected in it’s ability to wantonly toss about foes that it has hit with it’s gore attack, throwing them into walls, trees, or simply pinning them where they stand and further savaging them with its sharp teeth. They work best in open areas without a lot of cover or difficult terrain where they can make full use of their charge actions and lots of space for them to move past their foes and wheel about to serve up a second helping of pain.
Presented below is how I would include the Boma into an encounter with other foes in order to present an interesting challenge to a party of PCs.
Encounter: Between the Hammer and Anvil – EL 13
2 Bomas (Presented above)
1 Rancor (Star Wars Saga Edition Core Rulebook pg 276)
1 Force Witch (Human Noble 7/Force Adept 4)
Give your encounter area lots of open room for the Rancor and Bomas to maneuver in. The Bomas would do best to try and circle the PCs and get behind them in an attempt to try and charge and use their Bantha Rush ability to shove them into the Rancor’s reach. Unfortunately for the Rancor, the forced movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, but by playing around with the Initiative chart through readied and held actions, this could lead to some devastating combos.
The Force Witch is the wild card in this encounter. She works best from a controller/leader aspect. Take a look at the Dathomiri Witch talent tree found in the Star Wars Saga Edition Core Rulebook, specifically the Charm Beast and Command Beast talents that allow you to treat a wild animal that you’ve managed to shift to either indifferent or friendly as a domesticated creature, which allows you to spend a Force Point to take advantage of the Bonded Mount talent from the Force Adept’s Beastwarden Talent Tree found in the Jedi Academy Training Manual. Now perched high atop her Rancor mount (who is suddenly harder to hit because of the empathic bond created by the talent), she can toss about Force powers with impunity, also benefiting from the cover her mount provides to her (not to mention being out of the range of melee characters who could ruin her day real quick). Load her up with Force powers that she can use from a range and suddenly the PCs have a lot to contend with, and a couple of creatures that can soak up some serious damage while dishing out a heck of a lot themselves.
I could easily see introducing the Force Witch as a recurring villain early on the campaign, working under the employ of the BBEG and constantly harassing the PCs with her newest “pet” that she subverted to her will and commanded to kill the party. An encounter of this magnitude would be a fitting climax to her role in the campaign, should the PCs decide to end her meddling once and for all or if they decide to go another (possibly more virtuous) result. If you don’t want to go for that route, than this encounter could just as easily serve as a “guard post” or “advance sentry” unit for a conclave of powerful dark side users who can command the attentions of powerful wild beasts(such as the Nightsisters of Dathomir).
Anyway you look at it, this could be a very challenging encounter for any group of PCs if played right. So, enjoy, Gamer Nation. I’ll be back next week with another installment of the Weekly Encounter.