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Old 11-27-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
Adelus
 
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Default [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

This has come up a few times already on the forums, usually saying that giant things can just plain do it as a consequence of their size, and that smaller things for whom it'd be unrealistic can pull it off with Constriction Attack with Engulfing and internal innate attacks to represent crushing and acid damage.

That said, there were a few things I was wondering how to model or move over from the D&D version of the Swallow Whole feat/ability:

1) Stomach capacity. In D&D usually this is related to size category; usually (but not always) it seems something can eat 2 of something two size categories below it, or 8 of the next smaller, and so on and so forth. How would you figure this out for a creature in GURPS? Something based on the SM of the stomach specifically? I imagine basing it strictly on the creature's size would give weird results when comparing a man-eater plant or a giant frog to something like a giant or dragon who aren't the same kind of walking stomach as the others. While one could ad-hoc it for enemies, knowing how to do it could be helpful for PCs that play unusual races or shapeshift/wild shape into something like a T-rex or such.

1.5) Additionally, what advantages/disadvantages would best model increasing or decreasing this from the species norm?

2) Being able to swallow in the first place. Limited form of Stretching? What SM does a creature's mouth have to effectively be?

3) While silly, it is true to the rules and genre conventions that after slicing yourself out of a creatures stomach, its wound closes via "muscular action" or some other nonsense. Worth bothering with this? Probably just a setting switch, or limited niche form of regeneration/a perk level benefit.

Thanks for any responses.

Last edited by Adelus; 11-27-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

The standard formula is:
1 size category in D&D = 2SM in GURPS.

So, 2 size modifiers to swallow whole in D&D means 4 size modifiers in GURPS, If the information is correct I say, because it seems doubtful a standard human being could eat whole a baby.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
The standard formula is:
1 size category in D&D = 2SM in GURPS.

So, 2 size modifiers to swallow whole in D&D means 4 size modifiers in GURPS, If the information is correct I say, because it seems doubtful a standard human being could eat whole a baby.
Oh, of course. But most creatures with the Swallow Whole feat tend to be built for the act, while large things that could conceivably do it based on size alone rarely get the ability.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by Adelus View Post
Oh, of course. But most creatures with the Swallow Whole feat tend to be built for the act, while large things that could conceivably do it based on size alone rarely get the ability.
Wait, so there's a feat who makes you able to do that, it's not automatic? You should've said that on your first post.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
Wait, so there's a feat who makes you able to do that, it's not automatic? You should've said that on your first post.
My apologies; I falsely assumed that people might be familiar with the original D&D terminology and rules. I'm going to revise the first post to fix that a little.

But yes. Its odd; certain creatures are easily big enough to do it, but lack the ability - and there doesn't really seem to be any real underlying reason to how the ability is applied. Stomach capacity seems mostly to follow that kind of pattern, but other things like crushing/acid damage per round differ.

Also revising to add an additional question up at the top.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelus View Post
1) Stomach capacity. In D&D usually this is related to size category; usually (but not always) it seems something can eat 2 of something two size categories below it, or 8 of the next smaller, and so on and so forth. How would you figure this out for a creature in GURPS? Something based on the SM of the stomach specifically? I imagine basing it strictly on the creature's size would give weird results when comparing a man-eater plant or a giant frog to something like a giant or dragon who aren't the same kind of walking stomach as the others. While one could ad-hoc it for enemies, knowing how to do it could be helpful for PCs that play unusual races or shapeshift/wild shape into something like a T-rex or such.

1.5) Additionally, what advantages/disadvantages would best model increasing or decreasing this from the species norm?
It's mostly about esophagus design. Anything designed to swallow prey whole will simply have a wider esophagus, and probably some decent muscles within to get food down faster. I'd probably call it a feature, or maybe Elastic Skin (Neck Only).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelus View Post
2) Being able to swallow in the first place. Limited form of Stretching? What SM does a creature's mouth have to effectively be?
Target's SM minimum, preferable SM+1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelus View Post
3) While silly, it is true to the rules and genre conventions that after slicing yourself out of a creatures stomach, its wound closes via "muscular action" or some other nonsense. Worth bothering with this? Probably just a setting switch, or limited niche form of regeneration/a perk level benefit.
If the HP loss from injury remains, it's a perk. If not, it's limited Regeneration.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
It's mostly about esophagus design. Anything designed to swallow prey whole will simply have a wider esophagus, and probably some decent muscles within to get food down faster. I'd probably call it a feature, or maybe Elastic Skin (Neck Only).
That could work. I was thinking of using a limited form of Stretching to a certain degree.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Target's SM minimum, preferable SM+1.
I can see this being problematic in certain cases, like if a creature devours its prey long-ways over several turns, like a snake or dragon might. It might not be able to fit a whole person inside its mouth, but so long as it can get wide enough to accept the shoulders it might be able to eat them.

EDIT: Just realized you were probably talking about total creature SM, not just its mouth or throat. Nevermind that, then! And in the case it eats something bigger than it, that's probably a call for Stretching or maybe even Growth.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
If the HP loss from injury remains, it's a perk. If not, it's limited Regeneration.
This seems about right. Even the perk can be very helpful if the monster has eaten more than one delver, since the damage from one's escape won't permit others to get out too (which seems to be the intention of the rule in D&D).
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

Might be able to model the Swallow Whole feat on the Born Biter feature out of Martial Arts, which effectively increases the character's SM for purposes of determining how large a part of his opponent he can fit in his mouth.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by Adelus View Post
I can see this being problematic in certain cases, like if a creature devours its prey long-ways over several turns, like a snake or dragon might. It might not be able to fit a whole person inside its mouth, but so long as it can get wide enough to accept the shoulders it might be able to eat them.

EDIT: Just realized you were probably talking about total creature SM, not just its mouth or throat. Nevermind that, then! And in the case it eats something bigger than it, that's probably a call for Stretching or maybe even Growth.
Yep. Snakes only need to stretch their mouth/throat to match their prey's *smallest* dimension for SM, as opposed to the usual *largest* dimension. The same is likely true for dragons, giant frogs, and other creatures that tend to swallow things whole.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: [D&D Adaptation Question] Swallow Whole rules and mechanics?

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Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
Might be able to model the Swallow Whole feat on the Born Biter feature out of Martial Arts, which effectively increases the character's SM for purposes of determining how large a part of his opponent he can fit in his mouth.
Thanks! I forgot about this bit from MA. Is it in the main book or a supplement?

For modeling capacity, we can just use the 1 Size Category = 2 SM approximation gilbertocarlos mentioned. Intermediate SMs would count as 2/3rds of the next SM, since they're roughly around 66%/70%. As for adjusting that, as mentioned before, maybe a limitation on Stretching to represent being able to hold more than their body would normally allow? And maybe a disadvantage for the opposite?
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