Dog, Saluqi

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Dog, Saluqi
Climate/Terrain:Any arid land
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Semi (2-4)
No. Appearing:3d4
Armor Class:7
Hit Dice:2
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Overbearing
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:S (3' tall)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:120

Saluqi are the greyhounds of the desert, known for their hunting skills, favored by the jann. They are sleek black animals with gray markings, thin whiplike bodies, and long narrow heads. Their pedigrees are rigorously maintained, allowing owners to breed only from the finest stock.

Combat: These natural desert hounds hunt by sight rather than by smell, and they prefer to stay in packs rather than hunt alone or in scattered lines. Their blurring-fast speed allows saluqi a -2 modifier to their initiative rolls. The hounds have infravision to a 120-foot range, and they can faultlessly track quarry by its heat trail if it has passed over ground within the past three turns.

Saluqi hounds are also known for their ability to bring down opponents by attacking en masse. This overbearing attack is resolved by a single attack roll against AC 10, allowing only modifiers for Dexterity and magical pluses of armor or other protective devices. There must be a minimum of four hounds for the overbearing attack, and each hound over four gives the pack an additional +1 attack modifier. If successful, the hounds knock their opponent to the ground, and unless a saving throw vs. petrification is successful, the opponent is stunned and cannot take any action that round. To rise, a victim must spend a full round doing nothing but regaining his footing in the midst of the pack. All attempts at spellcasting are ruined by the pack, regardless of whether the overbearing attack succeeds.

After the initial overbearing attack, such a victim is attacked by individual members of the pack with +4 modified to the hounds' attack rolls and no Dexterity adjustment for the victim's AC. Some packs have also been trained to hold down their foes; this requires that two dogs score successful hits on their downed opponent. If the dogs succeed, the victim still must spend a full round to stand up, but he must also make a successful Strength check with a -1 penalty for each dog that hits. Failure indicates the victim was dragged back down.

Habitat/Society: Saluqi are a carefully bred strain of hounds, and they are almost always found in the care of a huntsman who has trained them from birth. They respond to a number of standardized calls: “Attack, guard, return, pursue and return, fetch, stay”, and “hold” are among the most common.

Saluqi do not flourish if they spend too much time in the sun; nomads keep them in tents during the hottest part of the day. Wild packs usually live near some cave or overhanging shelter, where they can retreat from the burning sun.

Ecology: Saluqi greyhounds hunt small game and are good at flushing antelope or other grazing animals from cover. Wild packs of saluqi do exist, but they are extremely rare, as the jann hunt these mutts and neuter them, then give them as gifts to other desert tribesmen.

Jungle Hound

It is said that a related breed of hound has been created by jungle dwellers. These hounds use similar tactics, but are much better at tracking by smell than by sight - so much so that they can follow a trail up to a week old. They are smaller than the saluqi hounds, with orange and yellow patches of fur dappling their dark coats instead of gray.