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timerover51 October 24th, 2017 04:49 AM

Animal Characteristics
How hard and fast in the animal creation chart to be taken? I am working on a bestiary using Terran animals of various types; birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, were I have copyright-free illustrations to accompany the animal.

The problem is using a single die roll to dictate not just size and strength, which somewhat correlate, but also dexterity and endurance. A Size 1 Gray Squirrel will have less dexterity than a Size 4 Porcupine or Koala, and considerably less than a Size 8 Galapagos Tortoise. A Size 5 Wolverine and a Size 5 Penguin have the same dexterity. Then you have the trunk of the elephant, which can pick up a single peanut, but also become a devastating weapon of attack. A Hippos preferred method of attack is it bite, but if attacking a boat in the water, it will come under the boat and overturn it with its sheer mass, then proceed to bite the boat and its former occupants.

The Damage by Strength table for animals goes up to Strength 91+ for 10D6 damage, but the Strength of a Size 20+ 40 Metric Ton creature maxes out at 54 (9D6). Now, I do have very hard data on both Sperm and Finback Whales, somewhere around 30 to 45 tons, sinking ships of up to 60 meters or so by ramming, with the ships sinking very quickly. Sperm Whales also have a variety of attack manners, depending on the target, from ramming to biting to smashing with their flukes to literally jumping on the target.

infojunky November 4th, 2017 05:04 AM

Honestly I use CT's system as the separate statistics system is just too cumbersome.

sfchbryan November 4th, 2017 04:38 PM

The Animal Rules in T20 were OGLed.
You might want to take a look at them. I am adding them to my CE variant.

timerover51 November 4th, 2017 04:48 PM


Originally Posted by sfchbryan (Post 576616)
You might want to take a look at them. I am adding them to my CE variant.

Thanks for the information, but I might just go with a modified form of what CE has, or build my own. I am not sure I want to invest in a copy of T20 just to see the animal generation.

Nathan Brazil November 4th, 2017 05:47 PM

RAW, Cepheus uses Dexterity to reflect hits as well as implied agility/manual dexterity/etc.
As such, I don't like the animal chart as much, so...

I use Alien Traits in my animals which is similar to D20 Special Ablitities. I convert back and forth creatures. I created Alien Traits related to size besides Tiny, Small, (no trait), Large and Huge to provide additional size penalties. So like the d20 names, I have Gargantuan, Colossal and Starship ( aka Epic Level Handbook Colossal+) to give +2, +3 and +4 to hit such animals.

This gives me a bit more wiggle room for Dexterity. Astro the space whale and the Rancor may be deserving a low Dex, being less agile or slow, but Ricky the Gargantuan 10-headed space hydra might be more deserving of a "norrmal level" Dexterity.

timerover51 November 5th, 2017 01:37 AM

I think that what I am going to do is simplify the various tables a bit along with modifying them, and then work up some sample encounter tables based on various Earth environments as a starter.

kilemall November 5th, 2017 12:18 PM

In theory the whole MgT/CE paradigm of skilled 'character-animals' should make for more unique animal encounters, but the conflated tables are a real turnoff for reasons noted above.

Consider the very simple S1/S2/S3/S4 stat of the CT version- in most cases an animal that is faster is also going to have higher dexterity, simply to be able to avoid obstacles and coordinate speed for attack and escape. That doesn't cover say a sessile Filter with dextrous tentacles, but should suffice as a quick guideline.

Another use of the S# stat would be to use that as a measure of how much the animal needs to eat per day to maintain their higher metabolism enabling their speed.

Back of the envelope starting point, 5% of body weight x S#2.

S1 5%
S2 20%
S3 45%
S4 160%

Also means the faster animals are going to be spending their time eating, whether that's a LOT of plants, or other animals.

Perhaps I should try my hand at CE Animal Redux- the skill thing is worthy of development, just not the tables.

timerover51 November 8th, 2017 02:58 AM

First simplification: Reduce the number of animal types to 3; Herbivore, Omnivore, and Carnivore, with Scavenger a subset of Carnivore. There are not that many pure scavengers in the Terra environment, and most carnivores are more than happy to scavenge a meal when one is available. There was just something on the Internet about a tourist ship in the Arctic siting literally hundreds of polar bears feeding on the carcass of a dead whale beached on Wrangel Island. A grizzly is more than willing to feast on a winter-killed moose, while the afterbirth of wildebeest forms a part of the diet of most Serengeti carnivores. The hyena, generally viewed as the epitome of scavenging, actually kills quite a bit of its food. I decided that insectivores would be included under herbivores, as for the most part, the eater is quite a bit larger than the insect. So, giant anteaters will be considered herbivores, that pack quite a wicked punch if you are foolish enough to get it upset.

Second Simplification: I plan on dropping the Animals skills table, along with worrying about dexterity and endurance. Those characteristics can be given in the animal description, and not based on weight.

First Complication: In addition to Amphibian (which ranges from alligator to penguin to polar bear), Flyer, Swimmer (this would include manatees, sea turtles, and jellyfish), and Walker, I will be adding Arboreal (many of the animals of especially the Rainforest are highly Arboreal) and Triphibian (thinking of ducks and geese here, especially the diving birds like cormorant and loon). However, Arboreal would mainly be in forested areas, while triphbians will require a water source, so they would not be on every table.

More to follow.

timerover51 January 15th, 2018 11:36 PM

I decided that an update for this is in order.

Presently, most of my files are on a laptop that is having problems, and I have not gotten access to them as yet. That has slowed things down a bit. However, I did not loose access to the Cepheus Engine Reference Document, so I can still work on things. I just do not have the planet characteristics of the Sword Subsector of the Piper Out Rim Sector.

There will be a fair number of clearly Terran animals in the sector, courtesy of at least three, and maybe more, earlier star-traveling agents. One agent is a group of Great-Grandchildren of Grandfather who saw how things were going and got out before the Ancients War started. Grandfather does not know about them, and they have been keeping a low profile. Do not expect to run into them, however Droyne ruins might be found. Note, they have been busy working on defenses against Grandfather if he does try and bother them, and Grandfather might be in for more than a bit of a shock if he does venture this far out. They have had 300,000 years to work on things.

Next, you have the Krell, also operating about 300,000 years ago. They eliminated themselves shortly before the Great-Grandchildren arrived, so no conflicts occurred. However, they were very curious about the wide range of animals found on Terra, and planted some "zoos". No intelligent beings were collected, as the Krell were a bit cowardly, or at least massively repressed violent feelings, to their detriment. Large sea creatures especially interested them, along with large land beasties.

Then you have the Baldies of Andre Norton, operating about 15,000 years ago. plus or minus a few thousand. They too found the range of Terran life interesting, and also very tough, so mixed populations of Terran and native animals are possible.

Then there appears to have been a group/race/sophont group or groups around much earlier, for which ruins have been found. No dinosaurs from Terra will be encountered, but earlier mammals cannot be overlooked.

And lastly, there are some very "odd" planets out there. Bermuda Triangle anyone?

robject January 16th, 2018 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 575859)
How hard and fast in the animal creation chart to be taken?

Not to be followed slavishly. Used as a randomizer for inspiration.

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