Written by: James S.
A Yeti is a fearsome, snow-dwelling creature found in various tabletop role-playing games, including Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Prepare for an exciting encounter with this wintry adversary using the "Cave Temple - Broken Statue" Czepeku battlemap, and consider the following key elements:
- Sacrifice NPCs to ramp up the peril and put the players in a sticky situation.
- The Yeti’s hunting strategy follows a distinct pattern, which it repeats again and again
- Let the players figure that out, then let them invent a way to thwart it.
- Don’t change the Yeti’s behaviour; let the players outsmart it.
Yetis have a sense of smell akin to that of a shark. They can detect the scent of prey on the air from miles away—even the slightest whiff of a campfire, of cooking, of warm-blooded creatures huddling from the cold, a single drop of blood. Any of these can bring the abominable snowmen hurtling across the mountain peaks. But if you’re being followed by a Yeti, you won’t know until the blizzard begins to howl. Or is that the Yeti itself, its blood-curdling cry carried on the wind?
Until then, it stalks from a distance. Unsettlingly clever, it watches and waits, perhaps hidden in a snowdrift, lurking in the lee of some great crag, or perhaps using snowfall itself as an obscuring veil. Then at the perfect moment, it springs its ambush, leaping into a run, bounding towards its target like an avalanche.
To set up for this encounter, have the players form part of a guard for a caravan as it makes its way through a deep and treacherous mountain pass (yaks, nomads, packs of supplies, all of that) and the temple on the map makes a convenient stopping place. Or, even better, heavy snows have obscured the path ahead, and someone must go and scout for a new one. But the weather is deteriorating, and before long, a blizzard descends.
In what follows, the Yeti will follow its instinctive hunting strategy. Let the players see the same thing repeatedly. Or if a player gives a decent knowledge check, tell them a little about its behaviour. Let them try to out-think the Yeti and beat it at its own game.
Its hunting strategy goes like this:
- It will always attack the most poorly defended group. The Yeti is clever enough to know this unless the players actively try to dupe it.
- It will always approach from cover, and in a snowy mountain environment, the Yeti has freakishly good stealth for such a large creature.
- It will always attack when the group is preoccupied. Unless the players are there and are extremely watchful, it should strike with surprise.
- Because the Yeti can use all of its attacks and abilities in one turn, it will try to strike like lightning to immediately overwhelm and kill a single target.
- Once it has killed a single target, it will immediately snatch up the body and carry it away.
- It will scale difficult surfaces to aid its escape and hinder any attempts to follow it.
- The Yeti will hide its prize in a cave or on a mountain peak, then seek another from the same group.
One body at a time, the Yeti builds a pile of food that will last the winter. In this way, entire herds of livestock have been known to disappear in a single night. Sometimes multiple Yetis come to dine, and then even the Yetis themselves are on the menu.
If the Yeti targets a different group than that of the players, don’t be afraid to sacrifice as many yaks and caravaneers as you need to paint a really gruesome picture when the players find the scene. There should be signs of total carnage, blood-stained snow, scattered tracks, and yaks running wide-eyed from the horror.
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