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[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Kara-Tur Monstrous Compendium Appendix

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
#1
Welcome to my next Let's Read! This time, we take on the Kara-Tur Monstrous Compendium Appendix!



Kara-Tur is a Far Eastern by David Cook setting and first appeared in Oriental Adventures. It was the first distinctive AD&D 1e setting (not counting Forgotten Realms articles) and merged with Faerûn once the Forgotten Realms set came out. For AD&D 2e and D&D 3e, Kara-Tur remained part of Abeir-Toril even though the default Oriental Adventures setting for 3e became Rokugan (from Legends of the Five Rings).

Anyway, I hope you're in. :)
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
#4
Bajang



The bajang is a Chaotic Evil lesser spirit. It's the first of the many, many Chaotic human-like creatures this book has to offer. That's not really surprising, as many Kara-Tur monster are malevolent spirits without a society which as thus both Chaotic and Evil.

But back to the bajang. In Malay mythology, the bajang is a demon occupying the body of a dead child. Here, it more of a male version of the hamadryad: It terrorises human settlements near the jungle and has its life force tied to a tree. it can also shapeshift, but rather into a small wildcat than a seductive humanoid. It has no lips, which looks damn creepy in real life and isn't really captured by illustration.

The bajang has six hit dice and 10% magic resistance, but deals only 1d4 points of damage with each of its hands. In the true spirit of Always Chaotic Evil monsters, the bajang never negotiates unless clearly overpowered. If its tree is danger, it will always fight to the end. Also, every single hit by a claw requires a save vs. poison or the victim will suffer a -1 malus to saving throws and attack rolls for the next 1d6+1 rounds. The malus is cumulative, so one or two lucky hits can mess a character pretty badly.

The bajang can also cast a number of spells, including Ghost Light, Steam Breath, Ancient Curse and Transfix. I don't remember even half of those, so I guess they are Kara-Tur or Realms spells.

As you might have guessed, chopping (or burning) down a bajang's tree is an easy method of eliminating it. The tree is usually no more than a mile away from a village for the bajang to terrorise. It will also abduct people.

If killed, the bajang's spirit wanders around and ultimately corrupts another tree, preferably near grim places like a battlefield or the grave of an evil spellcaster. Some bajangs serve evil wu jen (Kara-Tur wizards) as familiars.

Bottom line: Not a bad start. The bajang is suited for a mystery adventure and the tree gives an opportunity for eliminate it in another fashion than just stabbing it until it runs out of hit points. The familiar option only add to this.
 

Crinos

Be inspired!
Validated User
#5
Ah, great to see you got a copy of this afterall.

Anyways, the Bajang was brought back in third edition in the Third Edition Oritental Adventures book (Which was also the book that had the third edition Legend of the Five Rings as an optional setting).

The third edition Bajang picture was actually better than this one. It was certainly creepier:



I mean look at him. What's he doing with that mouse? And what's he got in that bag? Whatever the answers are, they aren't going to be pleasant.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#6
If killed, the bajang's spirit wanders around and ultimately corrupts another tree, preferably near grim places like a battlefield or the grave of an evil spellcaster.
Huh? A spirit of a spirit or the spirit released by the death of its tree?
 
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Crinos

Be inspired!
Validated User
#7
Huh? A spirit of a spirit or the spirit released by the death of its tree?
I think he means that if a Bajang is killed then it just moves to another tree and takes it over.

That could actually make for an interesting crossover: A Dryad comes to the PC's because an evil spirit from a faraway land has taken over her tree and is slowly corrupting it. The Spirit is a Bajang, and if its not stopped the Dryad will be turned into a Bajang as well and they will wreak havoc on the entire forest.
 
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