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Old 07-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #31
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk View Post
I'd want biome based. Desert and mountain creatures, woodlands and plains, etc. Base it off of the survival specialties.
This is a great idea for realistic animals. I could see this as a series, even though I'd probably buy all of them. It also wouldn't be hard to expand it that way. Heck, I'd like to see this format for science fiction and fantasy animals, too.

I am also perfectly willing to buy supplements that collect and organize published stats, especially where there is additional material. I don't know if I'm an outlier in that, but it seems like a value to me to have a particular pdf that will contain an environment-appropriate beast, rather than needing to look between Basic Set, Lands Out of Time, DF 5, the Creatures of the Night series, Fantasy, etc. to find and populate an adventure setting.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #32
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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I think, "The party has to travel across the Alps/the subarctic desert/the plane of Torment. What sort of animals are to be found there?"

[...]

The index already has the animals in alphabetical order, arranging them in alphabetical order again is redundant unless the index is not correctly set up to click through.
Except that still has the duplication issue where as what you're really asking for is appropriate random encounter tables. so just do it like the DnD did it. the encopunter tables as a list format can handel dupicnotation... where as the entrate orgnation can so the optopse way arround Make way more sense
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #33
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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Except that still has the duplication issue where as what you're really asking for is appropriate random encounter tables. so just do it like the DnD did it. the encopunter tables as a list format can handel dupicnotation... where as the entrate orgnation can so the optopse way arround Make way more sense
The truth is there isn't that much variation between large swathes of animals, at least game mechanically. What's the difference between a finch and a sparrow in GURPS? Probably mostly flavor text.

If it were one big book, I'd do encounter tables in the back. If it's going to be separate books, the most useful way to split that up is to do it by biome/survival specialties, IMO, so a GM running a game set in the desert can buy one book and be set. Slap on a brief chapter going into depth on the general environmental conditions in biomes of that type, a la SEALs in Vietnam and their descriptions of jungles, and you'd have a VERY handy little supplement.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #34
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The truth is there isn't that much variation between large swathes of animals, at least game mechanically. What's the difference between a finch and a sparrow in GURPS? Probably mostly flavor text.

If it were one big book, I'd do encounter tables in the back. If it's going to be separate books, the most useful way to split that up is to do it by biome/survival specialties, IMO, so a GM running a game set in the desert can buy one book and be set. Slap on a brief chapter going into depth on the general environmental conditions in biomes of that type, a la SEALs in Vietnam and their descriptions of jungles, and you'd have a VERY handy little supplement.
Totally agreed. I'd also like to see a mixture of real and fictional animals for each survival type, though some fictional/historic animals might deserve their own specific book (for example, one on Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures alone would be just fine, I think).
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #35
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Totally agreed. I'd also like to see a mixture of real and fictional animals for each survival type, though some fictional/historic animals might deserve their own specific book (for example, one on Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures alone would be just fine, I think).
A GURPS Prehistoric Animals book would pretty much transport me back to the best part of my childhood while adding crunchy rules bits that make adult me wondrously happy.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #36
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

You guys do know we have a 4E dinosaur book right?
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #37
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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The truth is there isn't that much variation between large swathes of animals, at least game mechanically. What's the difference between a finch and a sparrow in GURPS? Probably mostly flavor text.
True.

What matters is those abilities that are exotic from our point of view. These tend to be binary. We don't have a spectrum of bird species that fly more or less stealthily. We have owls that fly stealthily and we have non-owls that fly noisily.

And so forth.

The main use of an official Bestiary as I see it, is that it empowers players in player vs GM debates about what special traits animals should have when they are allies (e.g. familiars) or when PCs shapechange into them.

The average GM is likely to think of owls as just being a species of bird, exactly like all other birds in all regards, and will therefore react with hostile scepticism if a player starts talking about how owls have flight characteristics that differ markedly from those of other birds.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #38
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You guys do know we have a 4E dinosaur book right?
I want ALL the animals though. Giant sloths!
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:50 PM   #39
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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...
The average GM is likely to think of owls as just being a species of bird, exactly like all other birds in all regards, and will therefore react with hostile scepticism if a player starts talking about how owls have flight characteristics that differ markedly from those of other birds.
I can see this in the case of an unusually adversarial GM, but I have not encountered too many of those. In fact, I've only played with one, once. I know they're out there, mainly because some folks see a need to take so many measures to rein them in. My own experience has been with GMs who want a fun game that people will want to continue playing.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:28 PM   #40
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Default Re: Bestiary 4e

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I think, "The party has to travel across the Alps/the subarctic desert/the plane of Torment. What sort of animals are to be found there?"
I think, "I want a fox. Where are his stats?" I want them to be between "falcon" and "frog." Why? Because I automatically know to look there.
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Your pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking. PDFs don't have to have "a list in the back", they can have, for example, maps with areas that click through to a collage of animals pictures that click through to the detailed text on the animal.
And that's why you don't need the animals listed by clime. You can get a list somewhere of all arctic animals and, click, it takes me to "polar bear" at the letter "P."
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