We sent out the pre-art layout proof for the Earthdawn Companion to Kickstarter backers last week, and they’ve been going through it to catch typos and other errors so we can have the book as clean as possible before going to press.

As they’ve been doing this, final art has been getting delivered. As this week’s preview I’m going to share one of the new pieces, and the creature that goes along with it. Among the new creatures created for this book we’ve expanded some categories of Horror. In this case, detailing higher-powered varieties of gnasher. Generally speaking, gnashers are a more mindless variety of horror, more interested in physical death and destruction rather than the emotional and psychological torture of their more intelligent kin.

So enjoy this preview of the crackjaw, and come back next week when I’ll shift to something new. You might call it my passion project.

Crackjaw Gnasher by Don Higgins

Gnasher, Crackjaw

There is nothing subtle about crackjaw gnashers, even by gnasher standards. They exist simply to consume and nothing else. Crackjaw gnashers are enormous, 6 yards tall, with a  disproportionately large maw filled with very many teeth, attached to a long, flexible neck. An even longer, spiked tongue extends and drips a terrible corrosive fluid. They are vaguely bipedal with a reclining posture and long forelimbs. Two slender arms that end in long spikes extend from their midsection. These are used to spear prey and drop them into the second mouth located in the Horrors’ stomach.

Like all gnashers, crackjaws travel in packs. It is uncommon to see more than a handful of them together, instead roaming with other gnasher types, or in the retinue of more intelligent Horrors.

Challenge: Warden (Ninth Circle)

Dex: 8 Initiative: 8 Unconsciousness: 105
Str: 16 Physical Def: 15 Death Rating: 119
Tou: 14 Mystic Def: 19 Wound Thresh: 21
Per: 6 Social Def: 14 Knockdown: 18
Wil: 8 Physical Arm: 11 Recovery Tests: 5
Cha: 4 Mystic Arm: 9 Karma: 7 (28)
  • Movement: 16
  • Actions: 4; Bite (lower mouth): 24 (28), Bite (upper mouth): 25 (27), Claws x2: 26 (26) Spikes x2: 28 (24), Tongue: 29 (22)


  • Awareness (10)
  • Corrosive Fluid (14): Opponents are affected by the crackjaw’s corrosive fluid under the following conditions: they are adjacent and cause the crackjaw a Wound, suffer damage from the crackjaw gnasher’s upper mouth or tongue, are entangled or grappled by its tongue, or swallowed. When affected, the opponent’s Physical Armor is reduced by 1. Thread items are never destroyed by this effect. If the target does not have any Physical Armor to reduce, they take Step 14 damage instead. This power can only affect each target once per round.
  • Digest (23): A swallowed target gets to meet the crackjaw’s internal grinder and corrosive fluids. The target takes Step 23/Physical damage at the beginning of each round before Initiative is determined.
  • Harvest Energy (17, Free): The crackjaw gnasher can only use this power to regain Karma when feasting on living flesh. If it is a Namegiver, the Horror gains an additional Karma point, and gains a point if the test fails.
  • Immune to Fear
  • Long Tongue: The crackjaw gnasher’s tongue has a range of 8 yards and is an entangling weapon.
  • Physical Nature: The crackjaw gnasher exists in the physical world.
  • Skewered (Standard): The crackjaw gnasher uses the Swallow Whole special maneuver on a target it started its turn grappling with a spike.

Special Maneuvers

  • Grab and Bite (Crackjaw gnasher)
  • Cut Free (Opponent): The opponent may spend an additional success on an Attack test to attempt to free a swallowed target. If the attack causes a Wound, a swallowed target escapes. If there is more than one swallowed target, determine who escapes randomly.
  • Overpower (Crackjaw gnasher, close combat): The crackjaw gnasher may spend two additional successes on an Attack test to force the target to make a Knockdown test against a Difficulty Number equal to the Attack test result. If the test fails, the target is knocked down and knocked back a number of yards equal to the total number of successes on the Attack test.
  • Provoke (Opponent, close combat)
  • Pry Loose (Opponent, close combat)
  • Swallow Whole (Crackjaw gnasher, Bite [lower mouth]): The crackjaw can spend two additional successes on an Attack test to swallow the target. The target may escape the crackjaw’s insides by making a successful Attack test with a bladed weapon against the crackjaw’s Physical Defense, or casting a spell that causes damage reduced by Physical Armor against the crackjaw’s Mystic Defense, and inflicting a Wound. Attack and Damage tests from weapons larger than Size 2 have a penalty equal to the weapon’s size. The target is Harried while swallowed.