The first response I got when I asked about awesome monsters from the old D&D line (B/X or BECMI or RC) referenced the aranea, which made it into the SRD, and the rakasta. I wanted to slap myself in the forehead. The rakasta were one my old favorites from that line. How could I forget the rakasta?
Thus are born the smilodars of Blood & Treasure. They should be compatible with most old school clones.
|Smilodon by Charles Knight|
Neutral Medium Humanoid, Average Intelligence; Hunting Band (1d8) or Tribe (80 + 50% + 1d4 x 5 smilodons)
HD 2; AC 12; ATK 1 clawed gauntlet (1d4) and/or spear (1d6) or throwing axe (1d6) or bite (1d4); MV 30 (Leap 15); Save F 12, R 15, W 15; XP 100; Special: Leap into combat.
The smilodar are cat-headed men and women with tawny fur and sabre-teeth. They dwell in steppes and sometimes on the edges of deserts, hunting prey and raiding nearby human and demi-human settlements. While they bear no particular ill will towards most, smilodars have an innate hatred of gnolls and attack them on sight. Smilodars stand about 7 feet tall. They speak their own language and that of large, predatory cats, and might also learn Common, Gnoll and Goblin.
A typical smilodar warrior wears a leather loincloth and carries a clawed metal gauntlet (1d4 damage), spear and a throwing axe or four javelins.
Elite smilodar warriors are mounted on the backs of semi-domesticated smilodons. They fashion leather saddles that allow them to lock their hind-claws into leather flaps and thus ride using only one hand to steady themselves. Smilodars control their mounts with sounds and scents rather than reins.
In combat, smilodars can leap from their mounts, covering up to 15 feet and attacking as though making a charge. Their mounts then fight in concert with their masters, who can attack with spear and clawed gauntlet each round with a -2 penalty to hit with each. If disarmed, they can still bite for 1d4 points of damage.
SMILODARS AS CHARACTERS
Smilodars tend to come from primitive backwaters and lost lands. They adjust their starting ability scores as follows: Strength +1, Constitution +1, Intelligence -1. Smilodars retain the leaping ability of their monstrous cousins, essentially using it as a charge attack that does not require them to move at least 30 feet. As with all charges, they suffer the normal penalty to AC when charging. Smilodars can multi-class as barbarian/clerics and barbarian/thieves. They speak Smilodar and the language of large, predatory cats, and might also choose to learn Common, Elf, Gnoll and Goblin.