Hellgate Keep & The Scourged Legion
|Symbol of the Scourged Legion|
The 2E adventure Hellgate Keep introduced us to tanarukka (the plural of tanarukk), tanar'ri-blooded orcs spawned in the dungeons of the titular fortress. These were the basic troops of the Grintharke the balor and later formed the basis of the Scourged Legion - Grintharke and the Scourged Legion both have a role to play in my Neverwinter campaign, particularly if the PCs choose to seek out Gauntlgrym.
They were roughly as powerful as ogres pre-4E; in 4E, they become mid- to late-Paragon threats. I'm returning them to 5th-level, much as they had 5 hit dice in 2E and 3.xE.
I have a few tanarukk miniatures - maybe 4? - which were inspired by this picture by Wayne Reynolds:
|Tanarukk & Fey'ri|
As fey'ri will also be playing a role in my Neverwinter campaign, this picture will definitely become known to my players as well.
The ideas are largely stolen from the 4E version of the tanarukk - brutal rampage, abyssal fury (originally indominatable fury) and death burst (originally avenging fire but the name changed to match the similar power of the balor) - while variable resistance was simply copied from other 4E demons.
The pre-4E versions had a bite attack; I changed that to demonic hunger - it's still a bite attack - to boost the tanarukk's damage when bloodied and also to give it a chance to gain temporary hit points, something that could work well in combination with abyssal fury in terms of boosting its staying power (although 5 temporary hit points is going to disappear quickly). I am concerned that the size of the close burst for the death burst power may be too high; close burst 1 or 3 is probably more appropriate.
But my favourite power is brutal rampage. I think it's a perfect power for a brute, particularly one with demonic origins. I can't wait to see these in play.
Edit: For comparison purposes, here's a copy of a stat block from August 2009 that I did for a tanarukk with the same role and level. Thanks to the vagaries of Blogger, I can't centre it without it simply randomly appearing elsewhere in this post, nor can I add these comments after the stat block. While I definitely prefer my newer version - and don't even recall making the earlier stat block! - I like the slam/grab/bite combination, no doubt inspired by the fact that the miniature is grasping its axe with one hand and has the other hand free (not that this explains why I armed the monster with a falchion).