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Old 02-05-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
thrash
 
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Default Animals in Striker

I'm drawing a blank: was there ever a detailed treatment of animals as combatants in Striker? Maybe in Challenge or White Dwarf?

Rule 45 discusses only the use of animals for transportation. Animal weapons (horns, etc.) appear in the melee weapons table. I'm not seeing anything that says how to attack them or apply damage, however. The regular damage tables distinguish between personnel, weapons, and vehicles, but it's not clear to me that a horse (or turkey, or T. rex, for that matter) should be as easy to damage as a person or hovercraft, even after accounting for armor factor.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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I'm drawing a blank: was there ever a detailed treatment of animals as combatants in Striker? Maybe in Challenge or White Dwarf?
. . .
Several classic adventures include animals and rules about them. I can think of these:
Twilight's Peak
Nomads of the World Ocean
Safari Ship
Mission on Mithril
Chamax Plague
Horde
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Animals in Striker

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Several classic adventures include animals and rules about them.
These all use the straight Book 3 animal rules. I'm looking for rules for combat with animals in the Striker or Azhanti High Lightning systems. AHL has the Blobs, but they are clearly more of a game artifact and not a good model for more normal creatures.

Now, this does remind me that there was an article called "Hunting Bugs, Striker and Chamax Plague/Horde" by John Marshal in JTAS #17 that may be what I'm looking for. I'll check it out when I get home to my books.

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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it's not clear to me that a horse (or turkey, or T. rex, for that matter) should be as easy to damage as a person or hovercraft, even after accounting for armor factor.
I'm pretty sure that, within the limitations of Striker, that would just be represented as an armor factor. Striker doesn't really distinguish between armor and structure.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Animals in Striker

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I'm pretty sure that, within the limitations of Striker, that would just be represented as an armor factor. Striker doesn't really distinguish between armor and structure.
I've thought so myself, but there are some nuances to work out. In particular, how does the armor factor due to mass interact game-mechanically with added armor (for an ankylosaur, say)? You can't just use the Armor Combination Table or you get flaky results like a human (presumably AF 0 for mass) in mesh (AF 2) having a combined AF of 9 instead of only 2.

I can come up with something if necessary, but I'm hoping the work has already been done somewhere.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:11 PM   #6
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How about using Megatraveller rules for animals? I recall that most of the MT stats were derived from Striker, so you might be able to port the animal stats back in return.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:56 PM   #7
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I've thought so myself, but there are some nuances to work out. In particular, how does the armor factor due to mass interact game-mechanically with added armor (for an ankylosaur, say)? You can't just use the Armor Combination Table or you get flaky results like a human (presumably AF 0 for mass) in mesh (AF 2) having a combined AF of 9 instead of only 2.
You'd really have to change the armor scaling below AF 10 and then renormalize armor.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Animals in Striker

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Now, this does remind me that there was an article called "Hunting Bugs, Striker and Chamax Plague/Horde" by John Marshal in JTAS #17 that may be what I'm looking for. I'll check it out when I get home to my books.
Well, that didn't help. The author treats Chamax hunters as humans with cloth armor, with the ability to ignore light wounds. That's not entirely inappropriate, given they are about half average human mass, but doesn't lead to a more general solution.

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How about using Megatraveller rules for animals? I recall that most of the MT stats were derived from Striker, so you might be able to port the animal stats back in return.
(Had to dig out my print books from storage, since I never bought the MT CD-ROM...)

No, it appears that the treatment of animals in MT is pretty much the same as CT -- hit points and dice of damage -- with a few of the values changed. The reason I'm using (a simplified version of) Striker is to avoid hit points altogether and have only qualitative damage levels.

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You'd really have to change the armor scaling below AF 10 and then renormalize armor.
Maybe. I don't mind the linear (vs. exponential) values for light armor; I can think of a couple of good rationalizations for keeping them.

It would probably be fine for my purposes to treat the armor factor from mass (mass factor?) as a DM, rather than a separate layer of armor. Then I could scale from the Animal Sizes and Weaponry table in Book 3 (p. 33). A human has effectively 4D/2D hits and masses 100 kg. A 3200 kg animal has 8D/4D hits; doubling armor thickness in Striker is a +8 armor factor. This leads to a table something like:

Code:
kg	AF
0.5	-12
0.8	-11
1	-10
2	-9
3	-8
5	-7
7	-6
12	-5
18	-4
27	-3
42	-2
65	-1
100	0
150	1
240	2
360	3
600	4
900	5
1350	6
2100	7
3200	8
5000	9
7500	10
12000	11
18000	12
28000	13
44000	14
65000	15
100000	16
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Old 01-08-2023, 06:18 PM   #9
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I'm drawing a blank: was there ever a detailed treatment of animals as combatants in Striker? Maybe in Challenge or White Dwarf?
To answer my own question, even if it has been a while:

There was an article, "Swords on Deck: Exotic Weapons and Animal Attacks," by Paul Montgomery Crabaugh in Different Worlds #18 (p. 7).

His approach was to add the animal weapon types to the AHL melee weapons table, and then add a DM for Penetration scaled linearly based on the creature's Book 3 hit points. The number of Serious wounds required to kill the creature is also scaled by its Book 3 hit points.
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Old 01-14-2023, 12:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Animals in Striker

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Originally Posted by thrash View Post
To answer my own question, even if it has been a while:

There was an article, "Swords on Deck: Exotic Weapons and Animal Attacks," by Paul Montgomery Crabaugh in Different Worlds #18 (p. 7).

His approach was to add the animal weapon types to the AHL melee weapons table, and then add a DM for Penetration scaled linearly based on the creature's Book 3 hit points. The number of Serious wounds required to kill the creature is also scaled by its Book 3 hit points.
I converted my Traveller campaign to use STRIKER values soon after it came out and used it relatively raw for NPCs and animals (though with PCs I had a conversion system so that SW/Death wasn't so arbitrary). Ignoring house rules, STRIKER (unlike the earlier AHL from Crabaugh's article) actually DID cover the animal weapons and give Pen values for claws, teeth, fists, thrashers, stingers, etc. on the same table that covered blades and so on, so I just used those.

Allowing big creatures to get extra SWs is perhaps problematic for STRIKER rules as written, as STRIKER does not differentiate between, say, a 500 kg motorcycle, a 10 ton truck, and a 250 ton grav tank in terms of ability to sustain damage: if you give them the same armor value, they're all as tough. Mind you, the design rules make it much easier to armor up something big.... To stay compatible with the system, I'd generally just make it so that big things should be built with a higher minimum armor. With that in mind, I'd just give big animals intrinsic armor values, or extra bonuses to their existing armor value, based on their mass, and do the same with penetration. Rather than using the existing wounds and damage numbers for weapons, I'd go back to the table and just look up the mass value, and then use that to generate a uniform armor and penetration modifier that is added to the basic modifiers for their generated armor and weapon type.

The Book 3 animal progression of HPs is clearly semi-logarithmic, much like Striker and AHL, so Paul Crabaugh's use of it was quite reasonable. Looking at the Book 3 Animal Sizes and Weaponry Table I'd actually be inclined to examine the Weight of the animal in the second column, and take the corresponding *first* die number from the hits column, and subtract 4, and use that that as a modifier to penetration and armor value. This gives a zero value for things in the 50 kg range. (I considered adding the both the first and second columns together, but giving the scaling in Striker that is clearly excessive; it would make horse-sized animals as resistant to damage as a man in modern body armor. But if you want tougher animals with more differentiation consider adding both hit dies to gether and subtracting 6 instead of using one die and subtracting 4).

Thus, a 50 kg animal has 4D for hits, so I would assume such a thing has 4 - 4 = +0 to penetration and +0 to armor. On the other hand, a 3 kg animal with hits 1D would get 1-4 = -3, and thus -3 armor and -3 to penetration (cumulative with its attack's penetration). I would treat negative armor values I would use the absolute value of this as a bonus to penetration rolls, e.g., when a 3 kg animal is hit, I'd add +3 to the 2d6 penetration roll.
Using this system, it means a horse at 800 kg is 5D, so it is +1 to armor value (innate toughness) and +1 penetration with hooves, but a 40,000 kg monster like a good-sized dinosaur is 16D for hits and so +12 to penetration and Armor Value 12, and can take down someone in TL13 battledress or stomp the heck out of a lightly-protected vehicle.
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Last edited by David L Pulver; 01-14-2023 at 12:14 AM.
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