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Old May 3rd, 2019, 04:16 PM
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Question How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Matt and I were discussing some material I wrote for JTAS defining the "collopha": a 100,000 ton land animal, which is specifically supposed to be able to haul crashed spaceships to a downport, and its game stats. One of the questions was, what level of Athletics (strength) should it have? He agreed to let me crowdsource it - so I turn the question to you.

This is only about the game mechanics. "How can such a large creature exist" is off-topic for this thread: this is also setting up how a robot this large, or any other non-ship/vehicle this large, would be reflected in game mechanics. It is suspected that this article may be cited as precedent for how to handle other large things in Mongoose's ruleset, such as construction equipment at a starport.

As this is needed for something intended for publication soon, I request an exception to the normal policy of this forum and ask that discussion end next Friday, May 10th 2019. At least, discussion that will matter for defining what goes into this specific JTAS article.
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Old May 4th, 2019, 12:44 AM
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A man can pull a railroad train car on level tracks ... the issue is force necessary to overcome friction. If the crashed spaceship can be lifted with an air cushion or grav plate to generate no drag, then it requires very little strength. If a 1000 dTon Starship crashed on it’s belly and is being dragged across the ground like a house, then the force required is almost unimaginable (from a biological/mechanical perspective). If it has wheels, then it falls between those two extremes.

So do you have more details on exactly what you propose?
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Old May 4th, 2019, 01:10 AM
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As a starting point, Draft animals can pull logs weighing about half their body weight.

A 1600 lb horse can pull a 750 lb log.
A 5 ton elephant can pull a 3 ton log.

Your 100,000 ton animal should be able to drag a 50,000 ton “log”.

(If you are interested, logging animals are changed out every 1/4 mile.)
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Old May 4th, 2019, 05:02 AM
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Even with a grav plate, a single human could not move a 100 ton ship (let alone a 100,000 ton ship) at any significant speed. But I am thinking a grav sled would often be used (especially for larger spacecraft), with one of the challenges being to haul the wreck onto the sled in the first place.

What about ranking Gigantic? Gigantic 1 (which anything with just "Gigantic" has) could carry about 100 tons with no effort, 200 tons with a Bane to physical actions, and push or pull (with a sled for long distances) up to 1,000 tons. Each level multiplies this 10-fold. Each level also multiplies Hits, damage, and Armour (if any) by 10, and applies any other differences between Spaceship scale (which Gigantic 1 things exist at) and Ground scale. (For instance, a Traveller gets DM+2 to hit a spacecraft or a Gigantic 1 thing, and so gets DM+4 to hit a Gigantic 2 thing. Likewise, just as spacecraft and Gigantic 1 things ignore AP from Ground scale weapons, Gigantic 2 things ignore AP from Spacecraft scale weapons.)
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Old May 4th, 2019, 05:15 AM
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I can understand how in a science fantasy setting you can have any sized land animal you like, but in a setting based on science fiction there are limits to how large an animal can get to. Dune's sandworms are another example of fantastic beasts in a science fiction setting, but at least their ecology is explained. Food, water and oxygen limits and all that.

That said to model such a creature do what the vehicle and ship rules do - use a different scale with a conversion factor.

The normal rules cater for normal animals, so for the really big stuff you want a really big scale. Such megafauna would interact with each other - and starships - on the same scale, but against normal sized creatures/vehicles they would inflict much more damage.

If you want stats then add a not that STR and END are megascale. I'd have to tinker to get the scaling right.

edit - yup something like your gigantic scaling would work, it allows for different tiers of megafauna:
normal scale - up to dino sized and just a little bit bigger (note ocean dwelling creatures can be much larger than land based stuff)
mega - sandworm and up
giga - your proposed beastie
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Old May 4th, 2019, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
I can understand how in a science fantasy setting you can have any sized land animal you like, but in a setting based on science fiction there are limits to how large an animal can get to. Dune's sandworms are another example of fantastic beasts in a science fiction setting, but at least their ecology is explained. Food, water and oxygen limits and all that.
Rest assured, the article (within what limited length there is) pays some attention to this.

But this thread is about the game mechanics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
That said to model such a creature do what the vehicle and ship rules do - use a different scale with a conversion factor.
Yeah, this seems to be the consensus so far. Given what I posted, the collopha would be Gigantic 4.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 05:37 AM
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Assigning standard character physical attributes to anything past about 1000 kg is going to get silly results.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Assigning standard character physical attributes to anything past about 1000 kg is going to get silly results.
Which is why I start using square, cube, and quad roots for increases.

Also, how built up is the typical area around one of your starports when this beastie appears dragging your space ship through the area. At a first approximation I come up with something about 1000 feet or so long, at least 100 feet wide, and about 100 feet tall. If wider than 100 feet, the creature can be lower. As it is, it is going to leave one enormous trail behind it.

Have you really thought this through, with all of the implications of such a creature in a game?
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Old May 6th, 2019, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Assigning standard character physical attributes to anything past about 1000 kg is going to get silly results.
Which is why I start using square, cube, and quad roots for increases.

Also, how built up is the typical area around one of your starports when this beastie appears dragging your space ship through the area. At a first approximation I come up with something about 1000 feet or so long, at least 100 feet wide, and about 100 feet tall. If wider than 100 feet, the creature can be lower. As it is, it is going to leave one enormous trail behind it.

Have you really thought this through, with all of the implications of such a creature in a game?
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Old May 6th, 2019, 04:05 AM
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I very much doubt he can explain how it gets enough food, water and oxygen, how it moves its own mass without breaking its own body apart etc. without a totally implausible handwave.
A quick google of the physical limit to land animal size throws up some pretty inescapable physics - energy requirements, heat management, etc.
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