Shapeshifters

Menelaos and the Fishman

"We with a cry sprang up and rushed upon him, locking him in our arms, but the Old Man did not forget the subtlety of his arts. First he turned into a great bearded lion, and then to a serpent, then to a leopard, then to a great boar, and he turned into fluid water, to a tree with towering branches, but we held stiffly onto him with enduring spirit."

— The Odyssey, iv.454-9 (trans., Richard Lattimore)

The heroic Menelaos has been stranded with his crew on the island of Pharos, off the coast of Egypt. Food supplies are running low, and the men fear they will die. But the beautiful sea nymph Eidothea takes pity on them and tells Menelaos what to do: If he and a few of his men can best her father, Proteus, in combat, he will tell them how to escape the island and sail home to Lakedaimon. It won't be easy! Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea, is a powerful shapeshifter. But Menelaos knows a few tricks of his own.

Setup

Player 1 (Menelaos and two of his crew) sets up first. Place Menelaos and two crew members anywhere on the map. Player 2 (Proteus) then starts anywhere on the shore of the lake (the land hexes adjacent to the lake). Proteus is a fishman thaumaturge with full hit points. Menelaos is a human magician, but has 15 hit points. His crew are non-wizards, and have 4 hit points each. Both wizards have full batteries.

Special Rules

Proteus can't use any spells, but can transform normally, except that he can't leave the ground. He can change to a form with air movement, but can't use it.

Menelaos can't transform, but can cast spells, and can use the new spells in the list below. He has +1 added to each attribute (Attack, Defense, Reflex) and moves at 4L/1S (like all good Greek heroes).

Crewmen are just normal sailors, and cannot use any magic at all — no spells, no transforming, and they don't have any charge or battery attributes.

Weapons. Menelaos and his crew all start the scenario armed with sword and shield. These are standard-issue nonmagical weapons, but behave like their magical counterparts in combat. If an armed person takes damage from an attack, roll 1D6 for each item held; on a 1-2 he drops the item. Dropped items stay in the hex and can be picked up by spending 1MP.

New Spells

Interfere. Moves the target wizard's form counter one circle in any direction. Range: 3 hexes. Cost: twice the cost of the path the target moves down, regardless of which way the arrow points.

Stasis. The target wizard cannot transform next turn, though they gain power and pay for maintenance normally. If the wizard can't pay the maintenance, they lose all points and drop down to the node creature of the kingdom they're in, or to their home node if they start on a one-node kingdom. Range: 2 hexes. Cost: the charge amount of the target wizard.

Telekinesis. Moves target wizard one hex on the mapsheet. Ignores terrain. Range: 5 hexes. Cost: 4 points.

(Spells provided by Bruce Glassco, PhD, and Bill Seurer. Thanks, guys.)

Victory

Proteus wins if he kills the three humans. Menelaos' side wins if they defeat Proteus — i.e., reduce him to 0 HP. He won't die, but he'll give up and tell them how to get home.


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