Alright so I know I say the same thing about many of our entries but I truly am really excited to talk about this one. Big plans for these guys in my home game, don’t tell my players. Without further ado, let us discuss…
Right off the bat I’ll tell you that what has me excited for these creatures isn’t necessarily their stats so let’s just get those out of the way, shall we?
Mongrelfolk have a -2 CHA as well as a -1 INT and DEX. Their WIS is a +0 with only slightly better STR at +1. Their highest stat is a very mediocre +2 to CON.
Mongrelfok are considered medium humanoids of any alignment. They have an AC of 11, a reduced speed of 20ft and a hit pool of 4d8+8.
In terms of attack actions, these creatures do get access to a bite-dagger multiattack as well as a Claw attack option. As stated before, however, my interested in Mongrelfolk is not due to their lackluster stats or attacks but rather because of their Extraordinary Feature.
Each of these creatures have a specific unique feature to them that you can determine by rolling dice (or just choosing your favorite ones). Some of the choices offered by the official statblock include Amphibiousness, Darkvision, Flight, Keen Hearing and Smell, Spiderclimb, Standing Leap, Tow-Heads, and Mimicry.
But how did these creature become what they are? Well, according to their lore Mongrefolk are actually humanoids that have undergone horrific magical transformations after which their bodies become bizarre combinations of features from various beasts. They retain only a fraction of their original being. What once was a Hafling now shares more in common with a mouse or a lizard, with their limbs ending in crustacean like pincers. The beauty (or not so beauty) of these creatures is that their appearance varies immensely in the most grotesque ways possible.
In fact, these creatures are so badly put together that most of them end up with an unusual gait and reduced mobility, or even so deformed that they struggle to breathe normally.
In terms of personality, these creatures are often skittish and do their best to hide their strange bodies from the rest, some of them even managing to live within civilization under the noses of other races. Although some of them prefer to live among other civilized races by keeping their most distinguishable features hidden, many take to forests or ruins instead and form small communities there.
Unlike hags, these creatures are keenly aware of their ugliness and often go as far as using their despicable appearances to further their survival. Both because and despite of their harsh upbringing, Mongrelfolk tend to be very accepting of other races.
So we have a very interesting race of monsters who are as varied in their appearances as they are in their way of living. If you’re playing Curse of Strahd, worry not as these creatures are already a part of the module. If on the other hand you wish to incorporate them into a different module or even into your own campaign setting, consider some of the following options:
Perhaps the player characters run into them in the most unexpected of places. What if a well known or powerful individual in your game turns out to be a Mongrelfolk? It could be that they entrust the players with safely delivering their unfortunate newborn progeny somewhere safe where the infant won’t be judge for their appearance.
If that’s not quite up your speed how about having the the party stumble into small tribe of these creatures, a lost civilization of sorts, and the players must convince them to help?… or really just about any kind of interaction you would like for them to have with these creatures.
It could even be that the players need to work alongside a group of these creatures to take down a local villain. Will your players help the Mongrelfolk take vengeance on the Wizard who cause their affliction? Will they aid them in finding a cure?
Regardless of what you choose, I think the most fun part will be to play up the oddities and different behaviors that Mongrelfolk have. Make sure that you do them justice by describing their strange gaits and mannerisms. If by the end of the session you haven’t weirded out at least some of your players then make sure to make them even stranger next time!
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