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Old 12-17-2020, 01:52 PM   #21
Kromm
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post

In reality, there are very few people at TL4 in the modern day. Even the least sophisticated rural villages in Africa and India have cell phone towers that provide communications to the majority of the population (and probably Internet access), and used cell phones from the developed world are cheap enough that even beggars have them. Despite being desperately poor, these are TL8 societies, and it is a lack of wealth rather than a lack of technological sophistication that hinders them.
The game disagrees with you.

A society with some TL8 gadgets isn't a TL8 society; it's a lower-TL society with gadgets. Transhuman Space went into it in more detail, and an upcoming supplement will discuss it more, but in brief:

The world average is TL4 or perhaps TL5; it's just that the world's cutting edge is TL8, so the TL4 parts have TL5-8 gadgets, the TL5 parts have TL6-8 gadgets, the TL6 parts have TL7-8 gadgets, and the TL7 parts have TL8 gadgets. But to "be TL8," the majority of your gadgets have to be nominally TL8. Don't mistake the absence of the specific visuals of late-medieval Europe or Steam Age London for the absence of TL4 or TL5 realities.

Privileged people living in high-tech societies tend to forget that they don't define the average, and tend to see the presence of their benevolence toward lower-TL regions as proof that they've raised the TL there. They haven't. The single biggest marker is probably "What's the modifier to aging rolls where you live?" (p. B444). If you're rolling against HT+1 rather than HT+5, your society is probably TL4 and not TL8, whatever gadgets you have.
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:57 PM   #22
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Animals can be a threat even if there is no direct combat.
Food supplies can get raided.
Draft animals can be spooked

Animals are part of the environment, treating them as such can add a lot of depth or challenge to wilderness adventure and travel.

Wolves can keep people from sleeping. Does the party camp at a location that has signs of a large predator nearby?
How do you relax after seeing a mountain lion briefly twice in last two days.
Tangling with a bolshey herbivore in a swamp is a great way for all your gear to get wet.
Anyone who has been walking and had a hidden bird explode from its nest can attest to the reaction they can provoke.

Who knows what creepy crawlies you can discover while climbing a steep cliff face.

Making animals an interesting addition and even a threat doesn't require extra stats, in some cases just consider how they can make an adventurers life more "interesting"
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:00 PM   #23
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The game disagrees with you. A society with some TL8 gadgets isn't a TL8 society; it's a lower-TL society with gadgets.
I don't recall the game actually defining what it meant, at least in anything currently published (GURPS Traveller did, but that's 3e).

Realistically, third world countries have a mix of technologies that can't accurately be described as a single TL.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:08 PM   #24
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In reality, there are very few people at TL4 in the modern day. Even the least sophisticated rural villages in Africa and India have cell phone towers that provide communications to the majority of the population (and probably Internet access), and used cell phones from the developed world are cheap enough that even beggars have them. Despite being desperately poor, these are TL8 societies, and it is a lack of wealth rather than a lack of technological sophistication that hinders them.
Austrailia
99.4% of the population has cell coverage.
24% of the land area has cell coverage.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:32 PM   #25
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

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Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
W And some predators such as some bears can fight on and be deadly even when shot.
As long as you're being careful around animals there are a number of large herbivores you should be careful of. The Cape Buffalo probably tops the list.

For most of us they're a rather easily avoided threat but "Don't trespass in the dangerous animal's habitat" is a broadly applicable principle. I guess that leads to a "Lure your players into doing something stupid like going swimming with alligators." way to arranging dangerous animal encounters. However, you can easily get into areas where any encounter is going to be non-survivable.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:34 PM   #26
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

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Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
Before the rock was thrown in the video, the cat hesitated slightly, and looked a bit away.
As soon as I saw that, I thought, "She's reached the edge of her territory, and will soon run back," which is exactly what she did.
I honestly think the rock thrown shortly after she left her territory made little difference.
There's a wolf scene in Walking Dead World Beyond simialr to that: wolf has taken up residencei n an old school but seems to just stay guarding a doorway (they guess there's cubs there but never see them)

The wolves in the school were sort of a red herring though. They made a big deal about a mysterious animal dragging off a walker and eating it, then coming to break into the gym... but then you never see'm again =/
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:35 PM   #27
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

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Even the least sophisticated rural villages in Africa and India have cell phone towers that provide communications to the majority of the population (and probably Internet access), and used cell phones from the developed world are cheap enough that even beggars have them.
I live in the United States of America, outside of a city. My Internet goes down about once a month, sometimes for two or three days. There are apparently no other options out here, except possibly a company that requires a two-year contract.

I can make and receive calls on my cell phone about one out of every two or three tries; I sometimes have to walk around the property to get reception. I usually got voice mails half an hour to an hour later; sometimes I get them the next day.

A neighbor has a different carrier, which costs quite a bit more but works a little better. Still, fairly often they can't make or receive calls. If either one of us tries to make a cell phone call from the nearest market, which is pretty near the city offices, it almost never works. There's an area with a couple businesses about five miles from there where, as far as I know, nobody can get cell phone service.

I would be curious to know the rural villages where beggars can afford cell phone service.

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Animals can be a threat even if there is no direct combat...Who knows what creepy crawlies you can discover while climbing a steep cliff face.
Not too long ago, I saw a raccoon in the process of pulling a large bag of cat food out of what I thought was a raccoon-proof container.

And good point about the "creepy crawlies." An armed commando could be taken down by an insect bite (or at least be terribly inconvenienced).
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:36 PM   #28
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

I've found that players are often way MORE terrified of animals than they should be. Almost comically so. I'm not sure if this is PTSD from other RPGs, or something else, but this makes animals fun, often confusing, opponents in my games.

In one horror game, I had a small alligator lounging outside a swampy manor. The players were terrified of the thing. Even though they probably could have teamed up on it, scared it away, etc, they spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to deal with it. It more than served its purpose. (And in one session, a player critically failed his leap up the manor stairs to avoid the thing, faceplanting right in front of it...)

I think if the alligator was instead a fully armed special ops agent guarding the door with a high-powered rifle, the players would have shrugged and just dealt with it with less caution.

In that same game, I put a mildly poisonous snake down an old toilet the players had to reach into. The threat came from not seeing the thing until it was too late and its debilitating effects, not from the raw damage it output.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:50 PM   #29
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

There have been several modern incidents in which animals have reportedly posed a threat to fit persons of combatant-age and not just lost children.

One is the incident of wolf packs attacking the soldiers on the eastern battlefields of WWI.
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/ins...sians-wwi.html

Another incident is the lions hunting railroad workers in Africa.
https://www.fieldmuseum.org/blog/tsavo-lions

Another well-known incident is the shark attack on the survivors of the USS Indianapolis.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...tory-25715092/

Another noted incident was the reported attack on a Japanese force by crocodiles at Ramree Island in 1945.
https://www.historynet.com/ramree-battle-crocodiles.htm

These incidents tend to be sensationalized. Of course, even in these extreme cases, where predators attacked soldiers, the number of those killed is not known for certain and the likely result is that the wounded were targeted by the attack and likely the ones most susceptible to becoming prey.

By most any definition, these incidents were horrific. Kromm and others have addressed the idea of competency as a moderating device in horror RPGs. A GM could also use the same situations as in these historical attacks to disadvantage the PCs -- namely have the attacks at night, have the PCs outnumbered by the animals, and have the PCs suffering from crippling wounds, disease, blood loss, fatigue, illness, etc. In addition, in many of these situations, the prey was unarmed, or at least, limited ammunition/weaponry to hand. There's no reason you couldn't use any of these to raise tension and make the encounter dangerous.

On top of this, these were all animals acting in an unusually aggressive way, one might say driven by the scent of blood and flesh into a pack/group feeding frenzy. I think this is still true, but a few years ago I recall reading that the most dangerous animal in the US to humans (outside of deer vs. car encounters) is dog attacks (which kill around 50 people a year, about 50x that of bears -- and it may be that cow and horse accidents kill more than dogs). In many cases, dogs attack humans when they are in groups (and excitable) and aroused by food or prey response. Just some things to consider to make the man vs. beast conflict work.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:51 PM   #30
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

You can always give the animal rabies. Though that's likely either a moderate inconvenience (rabies shots or equivalent magic/tech available) or a death sentence (not).
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