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Bestiary Submit your favorite original creatures for others to use in their own Traveller campaigns.

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Old April 8th, 2020, 06:07 AM
Kamingusu Kamingusu is offline
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Default Focaline Tree Rats--missing data from CT JTAS #10

I bought the digest of the old CT JTAS volumes 1-24 on drivethroughRPG. Sadly, there is one page missing, in Issue #10 page 40. This describes Focaline Tree Rats. I remember something about these creatures from my grognard days and wanted to see them again, but only the second page of the JTAS article is in the scan.

They were unable to find a scan of the missing page. Does anyone else have the missing info on Focaline Tree Rats?!?
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Old April 8th, 2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamingusu View Post
I bought the digest of the old CT JTAS volumes 1-24 on drivethroughRPG. Sadly, there is one page missing, in Issue #10 page 40. This describes Focaline Tree Rats. I remember something about these creatures from my grognard days and wanted to see them again, but only the second page of the JTAS article is in the scan.

They were unable to find a scan of the missing page. Does anyone else have the missing info on Focaline Tree Rats?!?
I have the issue and can scan it but the Imperial Museum of Art (Image Gallery) is currently closed. Oh, who needs scanning tech when you have good old typing skills . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTAS #10 page 40
The Bestiary

Tree Rat

(Abdor var.)

The Forcaline Tree Rat is a small rodent-like creature native to Focaline (in the Aramis subsector). It weights 3-4 kilograms, and measures 79-80 cm in length. Two thirds of its length is tail. Tree rats have a red-brown fur covering the entire body except for the soles of their paws. Some specimens are shaded more to a deep chocolate brown or maroon. Tree rats seem sable to adapt very quickly to temperature changes, and exposure to cold weather for more than a week results in their growing a thicker and rougher coat. Though they physically resemble terrestrial rodent types, tree rats have longer legs, feet adapted to grasping, and a prehensile tail that all help them in their arboreal habitats. This tail allow tree rats to easily pick up small objects and hang from tree limbs using their tail alone (most tree rats sleep in this fashion). In the wild, tree rats use their tails to carry food to treetop nests, to retrieve food dropped into areas that cannot otherwise be reached with paws, and in combat, either to free their other limbs for the fight or to grab a small opponent and dislodge it from its perch on a limb. They are omnivores, and have very sharp teeth that they use to pierce thick fruit skins (or unwary fingers!). They are quite intelligent (about the same level as most small Terran monkeys) and have an elaborate social structure in natural environments.
On their homeworlds, tree rats are looked upon with a mixture of dislike . . .
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Old April 10th, 2020, 03:16 PM
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Talking Thanks!

That is perfect! Many thanks and excellent typing skills saved the day yet again.
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Old April 30th, 2020, 12:28 PM
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A couple of details that bothered me long ago about these "Shipboard pets" were the similarity in size--but oddly so.

Focaline Tree-rats are 70-80 cm (2/3 tail) at 3-4 kg, so about 1/2 or 2/3 cat mass yet nearly as long as a cat.

Beakers are 60-75 cm (1/2 tail) at 2-3 kg, so about 1/2 cat mass, yet comparable to cats in overall length.

So similar in size, yet so light compared to earth animals. But smaller than the terrestrial mini-tigers, so might be less effective at dealing with larger vermin, like ship-board rats. It just seemed a bit off to me. But maybe that's me . . .
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Old May 3rd, 2020, 09:01 PM
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A ferret the same length as a cat will be significantly lighter, as their torso is smaller in diameter.

What's so unusual about other species also being less-strongly/solidly-built than Felis Catus?
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Old May 5th, 2020, 10:41 AM
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A ferret the same length as a cat will be significantly lighter, as their torso is smaller in diameter.

What's so unusual about other species also being less-strongly/solidly-built than Felis Catus?
Not so much that--as that they are so similar to one another. Two early "canon" ship pets that similar? it just always seemed odd.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 05:12 AM
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Not to me.

Pets are chosen for their characteristics - and shipboard pets will need to be small, low-intake/low-waste, and preferably able to help defend the ship vs small pests.

That tends to drive the crew to choose similar types of creatures for their pets.
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Old June 23rd, 2020, 07:41 PM
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Based on the characteristics of Focaline, I cranked out a design for the Tree Rat that is pretty close to published data using my T5.10 BeastMaker app for iOS:

The Tree Rat of Focaline

The Tree Rat is a walker that inhabits forest terrain on Focaline.

It is a typical sized, running speed, typical strength omnivore gatherer.

The Tree Rat is classified as HBS-T-LN-LN-M with bilateral symmetry consisting of a head with brain and senses, torso, front limbs consisting of 2 legs, rear limbs consisting of 2 legs, and a prehensile tail. It uses paws for manipulation and Its weapon is its mouth.

The body has a bony interior covered with a furry pelt which has an armor value of 0. Interior fluids are blood.

Based on its very thin profile, standard density, and typical size the Tree Rat is about 75 cm tall, 3486.57 cm³, and 3.5 kg.

Normally, it moves at around 10kph, with an endurance of around 3 hours.

It is edible and tasty.

The Tree Rat is trainable. The odds of training the beast to defer to authority are formidable. The odds of getting the beast to obey commands are formidable. The odds of teaching the beast to perform a simple task are difficult.

Niche: Omnivore
Type: Gatherer
Size: Typical
Locomotion: Walker

Attack: 9
Flee: 8

Body Structure: Bilateral
HBS-T-LN(2)-LN(2)-M
Skeleton: Bony Interior
Fluids: Blood
Skin: Furry Pelt
Manipulators: Paws
Weapon: Mouth
Armor: 0
Edible: Yes
Tasty

Profile: Very Thin
Height: 75 cm
Width: 6.8 cm
Depth: 6.8 cm
Density: Standard
Volume: 3486.57 cm³
Mass: 3.5 kg

Speed: Run
Endurance: 3 hours
Strength: Typical
Attack Damage: 0 Blow

Trainable
Defer: Formidable
Obey: Formidable
Learn Simple Task: Difficult
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