As many of you know, I root about on the 4chan a lot. Good old /tg/ and I have had many the fight. This is born of one of them.
So some fine chap in a thread about assorted villainy posted an image of Maleficent and claimed that she was “the only” Disney villain that could be translated into a reasonable threat to a D&D party, let alone a proper “campaign” villain. Bull. Shit. Quite beyond the obvious – wicked (and noble) stepmother/sisters: a moderate-level Wizard with a minimum of Poison and Alter Self, a scrying device, and troops at her beck and call.. you have the beasts.
Now, this is based on the literary source.. but the Big D’s onscreen presentation of him is still consistent with Kipling, staggeringly. I statted him out in about 15 minutes, and he’s even suitable for a Modern campaign..
Beast King: Dire Tiger.
AC: 5 (hide and speed)
Move: 10″ + 5″ Jump
TT: nil (see below)
#attacks: Claw/Claw/Bite (2d4/2d4/1d12)
Special: Surprise on 1-4 on 1d6 , +2 to saving throws vs. Magic (Wisdom), thief abilities. No magic resistance.
Shere Khan is a dark legend of the forest, a great tiger with a taste for Manflesh and a fondness for destruction unmatched by his animalistic kin. He demands human sacrifice on a fairly regular schedule from villages in his domain, which is quite large. Unwary adventurers, hearing the tale of an “intelligent” tiger hunting and manipulating the local populace, might suspect a weretiger or Rakshasa. The truth is, Khan is “merely” a paragon of his kind, and Lord of the forest – should his subjects refuse to give him pleasing offerings, he will wreak a terrifying retribution upon them. He is petty, vengeful, and cunning, preferring to follow his prey and strike when the moment is ripe.
When travelling in natural terrain, his exceptional stealth allows him to surprise a party on a 1-4 on a D6: he is only surprised on a 1. Shere Khan has the following Thief abilities: Hide in Shadows 40%, Move Silently 60%, Climb Walls 95%, and Backstab (Triple damage). He may also Rake (if he lands both Claw attacks, he may forgo his Bite attack and Rake with his hind claws for 2d4/2d4 damage)
When encountering a party in his demense, Khan will more than likely attempt to kill them if they appear to be a threat. If they offer slaves or one of their own as tribute, he will allow them to pass unmolested – but this is a grossly evil act. If there appear to be spellcasters in the party, Khan will single them out in his initial attacks, leaping on one from ambush (consider this a Charge if using the optional rules from 2e) before savagely mauling him – on a successful surprise roll, the target is Backstabbed, for triple damage. On the next round, Khan will fade into the underbrush using his Thief abilities and wait for another opportunity. His cunning allows him to create distractions, and he will attempt to force magic-users to waste their spells if he is unable to kill them in the initial strike – often waiting hours to strike again if a spell has no obvious effect.
Shere Khan is deathly and instinctually afraid of fire, a fact that irritates him deeply.
The Hide of Shere Khan:
If harvested and properly prepared, Shere Khan’s hide will serve as a powerful symbol to the denizens of the forest (Human and some animals) – the bearer/wearer will be considered the new King of the Forest, and treated as such. Note that the locals may still consider offering humans to a PC bearing the Hide. The Hide offers an AC of 7 if worn intact. It can be prepared with the proper spells into an armor which grants an AC of 5 and the ability to use Thieving skills while wearing it as though it were ordinary clothing: it loses its other properties. Shere Khan has no other treasure: only flesh and power interest him. Finally, players should remember – Shere Khan is the King of the Forest – but the Forest selects her rulers, not the hand of Man….