Weekly Beastie – Goat King

book-of-hours-goat-kingI have always loved Beast-Men. More than orcs, or goblins, or any other fantasy trope villain, I think Beast-people are a better substitution for abstract, purely evil demons and horrors out of the dark and unforgiving wilderness. That is, perhaps, a blog post all its own, but I often give thought to how such creatures would arise. I think they’re most effective when they spawn sui generis, in strange ways all their own.

Thus when I saw this picture I saw the goat-like weirdness of this monster and figured: Hell, there’s a good source for some Beastmen. Use orc stats for Goat-Men if you want to include them in an adventure with a Goat King – give them a headbutt attack if you’re feeling generous. A Goat King appears most often in an adventure as a sidebar or summoned minion of some other evil – where have the town’s goats gotten off to, and why are they filing into the nearby dungeon or up the nearby mountain?

The inspiration and art for the Goat King come from a 15th Century Book of Hours. It is part of the Public Domain Adventures series, all based on works in the public domain.

A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of the Goat King can be found at DriveThruRPG. You can also support our Weekly Beasties by giving to our Patreon page. The Beastie itself can be found below:

GOAT KING

Large monstrosity, lawful evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 65 (10d8+20)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 21 (+5)  DEX 8 (-1)  CON 15 (+2)  INT 4 (-3)  WIS 12 (+1)  CHA 6 (-2)

Saving Throws Con +4

Damage Resistances poison

Senses darkvision 60ft.

Proficiency Bonus +2

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Charge. If the Goat King moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then its it with a headbutt attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked down.

Actions

Headbutt. Melee Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d12 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
Loathsome Breath (Recharge 5-6). The Goat King exhales a cloud of toxic gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.


When an entire village’s goats disappear overnight, there can be but one explanation. When a siren, deep-throated bleating sounds from the hills, the goats answer the cry of their king. A Goat King is a mysterious creature that traipses through the world, calling its kin from their bondage in human settlements. Goats and men alike can hear their calls for miles, and goats will go to any length to free themselves and flee into the woods to join their King.

A beast the size of a draft horse, verging on some two thousand pounds, combining aspects of goat and dragon. It has a long, reptilian, bisected tail and an odd wattle like a dragon’s wings, with multicolored horns and a flickering serpent’s tongue. Otherwise, its body is much like a goat’s – absent the front legs.

Capable of living on near any sustenance due to its roiling stomach fluids, the Goat King can also exhale those fluids in a searing cloud of toxic gas to kill its foes.
Goats summoned to their king undergo a slow, insidious transformation. Over the course of a few days with the creature, they slowly gain a malign intelligence – rising to the pseudo-awareness of the King itself. Reports from distant lands even say that those creatures which spend enough time – months or years – with the king slowly transform into foul Goat-Men, building a society which is a cruel mockery of a human one. Slaying the goat king immediately reverses the transformation and frees the goats, which usually return to their homes.

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