Threat Assessment: The Bantha

There’s a number of dangerous creatures out there, and any one of them could pose a threat to your hero when they least expect it.  For this installment of Threat Assessment, we’ll be taking a look at a creature that can be encountered across the galaxy, has just as frequently having adapted itself to its environment, and is so common that even in the highly unlikely case of someone having never actually seen one will know roughly what it looks like.

Bantha_NEGAS

Ornery Tusken Raider optional

Bantha (Henchman)
Game
: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta

Characteristics
Brawn 6
Agility 2
Intellect 1
Cunning 1
Presence 1
Willpower 1

Skills
Resilience 3, Survival 2, Brawl 1

Abilities
Beast of Burden (triple Brawn to determine Encumbrance threshold), Trample (Upgrade Brawl once if attacking after having spent a maneuver to engage the target)

Soak/Defense: 9/0
Wound Threshold: 25
Silhouette: 2
Equipment: Horns (Brawl, Engaged, Damage 7, Crit 5, Knockdown)

Background: Banthas can be found on just about any planet that is capable of supporting life, and are so common and well known by so many sentient species that their name is used in numerous proverbs and children’s stories; many a parent has come to dread requests for “Little Lost Bantha” when raising their young.  Part of the reason for the bantha being so widely known is its amazing ability to survive in some of the most extreme environments, making them useful as transportation, beasts of burden, and even herd animals.  There are a surprising number of bantha sub-species to be found across the galaxy, each having adapted to the peculiar needs of its environment, such as the white-furred banthas of Nelvaan being able to endure arctic temperatures or the Kashyyyk grayclimber having developed actual hands for use in climbing, with subterranean and even aquatic versions having been observed.  If Humans are the most widespread and adaptable of the sentient species of the galaxy then the humble bantha is their animal kingdom counterpart.

Design Notes: Fun little fact: During the point that we were working on Unknown Regions, had I not mentioned to Rodney Thompson that I didn’t recall seeing banthas in any of the other Saga Edition books or web articles, the game might have gone its entire run without these semi-iconic creatures ever making an appearance.  While we only see banthas on Tatooine, mostly as the Sand People’s rides in A New Hope, the EU has taken the bantha and run with it.

In the case of banthas that had adapted to fit certain ecological niches, simply give it an ability to negate setback dice, such as an arctic bantha being able to negate up to two Setback dice from cold environments, or subterranean banthas negating two Setback dice from concealment caused by a lack of light.  Banthas that have evolved to deal with moving around in an usual environment might instead not suffer the penalties of moving through difficult terrain of a particular type, such as the grayclimber not being impeded by thick under grown or tree branches, or the Tatooine bantha not being impeded by shifting sand.

Image courtesy of Wookieepedia.

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