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Old 05-25-2016, 01:39 AM   #1
Tallor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Giraffes are such lanky creatures that I'd consider them SM+2 instead of SM+3 for melee and ranged purposes. I would think that since about 6.5'+ of their body is neck, they'd only have -1-to-hit necks, i.e. Size 1!

What do you think?
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:37 AM   #2
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Pyramid 3/77 has expanded rules for combat at different SM's, including out sized body parts* and I'd say a giraffe's neck counts as an out sized body part!

I agree I'd make Giraffes SM+2 and I think I'd make their Necks SM+4, so yeah that's a net -1 to target the giraffes neck

In fact I think this illustration from the wiki on giraffe's pretty nicely depicts what I'd call a neck of equal size to the rest of the body, one at SM+1 relative size and one at SM+2 relative size!

However one thing, in melee the neck itself might enjoy a height advantage penalising a human size fighter targeting it by -2 (Giraffes average about 5m in total the neck about 2.2m, leaving 2.8m / 9ft of body and leg before the neck starts).

IMO It's going to depend on what the Giraffe is doing at the time, they tend to kick smaller targets, but wallop each other using their heads and necks as flails)


*I think this rule actually has a lot of scope for adjusting targets that don't follow human body proportions.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-25-2016 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Giraffes are actually pretty substantial animals from the side - that neck is very thick front-to-back.
They're weirdly thin from the front, though, and of course they've got spindly knobbly legs. Don't under-estimate the legs, though - the bones are incredibly high density and the hide is amazingly thick and tough. If the bones weren't tough, the legs would break, and if the hide weren't tough, basically the giraffe would have giant swollen elephantine legs as all the blood pooled in it's ankles. Also, lions would eat their legs if they weren't tough :P

They have the Long enhancement on Extra Legs (4 legs), for sure, and I'd definitely use the Pyramid 3/77 rules for an outsized neck. The horns aren't quite ornamental but I'm not sure I'd call them anything better than a Striking Surface perk. They have absolutely brutal battles between each other by using the back(!) of their heads as a mace, thanks to that neck.

But Giraffes really can't whack people on the ground with their neck or head. They just can't - it's absolutely anatomically impossible for them to do, and they have significant behavioral reinforcement against doing it.

There's a giant thick rubber-band tendon running down from their head, all the way down the back of their neck, and attaching to their entire back - this is how they keep their heads in the air. It's effortless to stand with their neck at about a 40 degree angle because of this powerful tendon, which is good because they do that about 22 hours a day.

It's not without penalties though - the long legs make it very very awkward to lower the body down to drink, and that elastic tendon actually fights their efforts to lower their head down to water. It's a huge strain even to get the head level with the body, let alone lower. Watching a giraffe try to get a drink is kinda painful; it's a real production.

It's also pretty crazy for them to try, because giraffes have a huge blood pressure problem - the blood pressure is crazy high to get blood all the way up that neck to their head. But when they put their head down, that crazy high blood pressure slams down into their head. They've got some really great anatomical adaptations to stop this from exploding their brain, tongue, nasal tissues, etc. but it's still very very uncomfortable, and unhealthy to do for any length of time. It also means any wounds to the neck and head bleed like wohah.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:07 AM   #4
Anders
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Giraffe vs giraffe fight.

Ouch. I get neck-ache just from looking at it. I wonder if that qualifies as a head-butt?

Let's see. The necks are 6'6" to 8 feet long and the head must weigh a lot. I would treat the heads as mauls, doing sw+5 cr damage. Of course, they can't attack things on the ground with it... but if something does get in range I would consider it whalloped, and badly.

Last edited by Anders; 05-25-2016 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallor View Post
Giraffes are such lanky creatures that I'd consider them SM+2 instead of SM+3 for melee and ranged purposes. I would think that since about 6.5'+ of their body is neck, they'd only have -1-to-hit necks, i.e. Size 1!

What do you think?
In general, for anything that is particularly long and skinny, a tentacle/rope/snake/etc. I use the width SM+3 for thrusting/bullet/beam weapon/etc. attacks, I use the length SM for swinging attacks.

I get the SM+3 for width because you'd get a +2 for hitting a sphere with a diameter of the same width, and the convention of still hitting when you miss by one on things that are connected to other things (e.g. face) would seem to apply here.

I believe the above is a house rule. If there are official GURPS rules for these kinds of edge cases, I'd be curious to know what they are.

Last edited by Captain Joy; 05-29-2016 at 05:18 AM. Reason: spelling and additions for clarity
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:36 PM   #6
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Giraffes are actually pretty substantial animals from the side - that neck is very thick front-to-back.
They're weirdly thin from the front, though, and of course they've got spindly knobbly legs. Don't under-estimate the legs, though - the bones are incredibly high density and the hide is amazingly thick and tough. If the bones weren't tough, the legs would break, and if the hide weren't tough, basically the giraffe would have giant swollen elephantine legs as all the blood pooled in it's ankles. Also, lions would eat their legs if they weren't tough :P

They have the Long enhancement on Extra Legs (4 legs), for sure, and I'd definitely use the Pyramid 3/77 rules for an outsized neck. The horns aren't quite ornamental but I'm not sure I'd call them anything better than a Striking Surface perk. They have absolutely brutal battles between each other by using the back(!) of their heads as a mace, thanks to that neck.

But Giraffes really can't whack people on the ground with their neck or head. They just can't - it's absolutely anatomically impossible for them to do, and they have significant behavioral reinforcement against doing it.

There's a giant thick rubber-band tendon running down from their head, all the way down the back of their neck, and attaching to their entire back - this is how they keep their heads in the air. It's effortless to stand with their neck at about a 40 degree angle because of this powerful tendon, which is good because they do that about 22 hours a day.

It's not without penalties though - the long legs make it very very awkward to lower the body down to drink, and that elastic tendon actually fights their efforts to lower their head down to water. It's a huge strain even to get the head level with the body, let alone lower. Watching a giraffe try to get a drink is kinda painful; it's a real production.

It's also pretty crazy for them to try, because giraffes have a huge blood pressure problem - the blood pressure is crazy high to get blood all the way up that neck to their head. But when they put their head down, that crazy high blood pressure slams down into their head. They've got some really great anatomical adaptations to stop this from exploding their brain, tongue, nasal tissues, etc. but it's still very very uncomfortable, and unhealthy to do for any length of time. It also means any wounds to the neck and head bleed like wohah.
Yes I remember a doodle in my lecture notes of a giraffe running with it's head down and it's head exploding!


Just to say I wasn't suggesting that they would wack human sized targets with their heads (as you say impossible). Just that the height advantage the neck location would enjoy would depend on what they we're doing, as their necks are long enough to occasionally change relative position enough to matter in that way.


You also raise a good point about front on profile vs. side on profile I'm not sure SM to-hit mods take that into account, (I imagine it would get pretty fiddly)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-27-2016 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 05-26-2016, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
I know that's probably serious and likely rather painful, but the giraffes look hilarious swinging their necks around like that. Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
I believe the above is a house rule. If there are official GURPS rules for these kinds of edge cases, I'd be curious to know what they are.
The official rule is actually to use the object's width for the SM, for any attack, which has never really seemed right to me. Using the length's SM for swing attacks (provided they can be done at an appropriate angle) and using the width's SM+3 seems like a much better option, so I'll be mercilessly stealing that. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Yes I remember a doodle in my lecture notes of a giraffe running with it head down and it's head exploding!
Terminally Ill (1 month or less) [-100] and Negated Disadvantage: Terminally Ill (1 month of less; Pact: Don't lower your head! -5%) [95], for a total of [-5].
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:42 AM   #8
Tallor
 
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Giraffe vs giraffe fight.

Ouch. I get neck-ache just from looking at it. I wonder if that qualifies as a head-butt?

Let's see. The necks are 6'6" to 8 feet long and the head must weigh a lot. I would treat the heads as mauls, doing sw+5 cr damage. Of course, they can't attack things on the ground with it... but if something does get in range I would consider it whalloped, and badly.
Clearly the nation of Harad should have used Giant War Giraffes for a siege!
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:45 AM   #9
Tallor
 
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Default Re: Giraffes -- Long Necks and What To Do About Them

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
...
The official rule is actually to use the object's width for the SM, for any attack, which has never really seemed right to me. Using the length's SM for swing attacks (provided they can be done at an appropriate angle) and using the width's SM+3 seems like a much better option, so I'll be mercilessly stealing that. Thanks!
...
This may solve my question about Targeted Attacks to an undead skeleton's abdomen...
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