D&D Basic Monsters: Mastiff

Today's monster is not of the fantastic sort, but a mastiff - a large guard dog. The drawing is loosely based on a mix between a Bull Masiff and an English Mastiff. Not a timid little lapdog, these magnificent beasts normally weigh between 70 and 90 kg (150 to 200 lbs.), with a shoulder height of roughly 75 cm (30 inches). Their use as guard and war dogs might go back as far as Roman or even Assyrian times.

Back in 3rd edition the idea of halfling dog riders were quite common (they even had their own prestige class). While it was never really specified what kind of dog these halfling cavaliers used, it would probably have been a fairly big breed, like the masitff or similar.


Estebon said...

It's a little... weak. I mean, a wolf against a war mastiff should be scared and at disadvantage unless the wolf is in a pack.

Eldecrynn LeCorbeau said...

That's true, but these are the official stats (every monster here (so far) are from the free online basic rules: http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/DMBasicRulesV05.pdf).

One option, I suppose, is to use these stats for "normal" dogs, while propper war hounds have stats akin to the wolf (possibly minus the pack tactics) but with 14 or 15 strenght.

Eldecrynn LeCorbeau said...

For instance:

War Dog
Medium Beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 19 (3d8+6)
Speed 40 ft
14(+2) 12(+1) 14(+2) 3(-4) 12(+1) 7(-2)
Skills Perception +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages -
Challenge 1/4
Keen Hearing and Smell. The war hound has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing and smell.
Bite.Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft, one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage. If the target is a creature it must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Isaac Fox said...

Wolves can't wear armour, or carry an angry halfling/gnome to beat its enemies with a stick/.

Parker Jennings said...

I concur with the opinion that the mastiff is a bit underpowered. Personally I'd award it the higher strength and hp stats and go with pack tactics as well. I mean, who says the dog has to rode solo