A specialised pole-arm created specifically with the purpose of incapacitating bi-pedal, humanoid creatures with non-lethal force, so that they can be captured alive, and mostly unscathed. Many armed and judicial forces will maintain a small collection of Creature Catchers within their stores, primarily to facilitate the transportation of criminals. The Creature Catchers long reach means that it is very useful for moving, or restricting the movements of dangerous criminals, all the while keeping their wielders safe from harm. However, few military or law enforcement forces openly carry Creature Catchers, or deploy them to actively capture miscreants, mostly because these forces have not dedicated enough time training their soldiers and officers how to use them, for the weapon to be of any use against a target that is not already restrained or placid. Bounty hunters have also been known to utilise Creature Catchers, so that they can bring back their quarry alive, and thereby get a greater payment for their services. Whilst Creature Catchers have been integrated into law enforcement arsenals, it is most closely associated with slavers and the slave trade. Parties of slavers will always be obvious thanks to their bearing of this weapon, and many of them have become very proficient in its use, both offensively and defensively. Perhaps the most well know utilisers of the Creature Catcher are The Kin of Sabratha, who have refined the use of the Creature Catcher into a fine art. The association of Creature Catchers with slavers means that those who carry them will generally be avoided by most honest folk.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
Creature Catchers can vary in form and appearance, but the most common form they take is of a pole-arm, with a shaft of between 5.5-6ft, topped by a nearly complete circle of metal, with a single opening flanked by straight metal struts. These metal struts have thinner, flexible metal strips that are attached to the ends of the struts, and that face back into the opening, almost completely closing it off. Inside the circle of metal, there is normally a row of short, blunt metal spikes, designed to be uncomfortable and restrictive rather than lethal. The butt end of the shaft will normally be equipped with a spike, or simplified spear head, so that a Creature Catcher can be used as a lethal weapon if need be. From an operational point of view, the head of Creature Catcher is large enough so that it can pass around the neck of most bi-pedal, humanoid creatures, as well as around limbs. When it is used to incapacitate a creature, the wielder of the Creature Catcher will thrust their weapon at the neck, or limb of an assailant they wish to incapacitate. If their thrust is on target, and not evaded, then the neck will move down the opening, pushing the flexible metal strips aside to allow passage, and will then move into the circle of metal. The flexible metal strips will return to their original position, trapping the victim’s neck or limb within the metal circle. This then allows the wielder to restrict their targets movements, incapacitate them and keep them from further violence, all the while keeping the wielder at a safe distance.
Martial melee weapon, two-handed. When using the Creature Catcher head deals 1d4 + STR modifier bludgeoning damage. When using the butt-spike deals 1d6+ STR modifier. On a successful hit with the Creature Catcher head, the wielder can attempt to grapple their opponent. The wielder can choose to not cause damage to their opponent in order to gain advantage on this grapple attempt. On a successful grapple, the wielder will gain advantage on all subsequent attempts to break the grapple, until they choose to end the effect.