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Old 08-17-2016, 01:04 AM   #1
Roh
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default SM measurements and tails

I'm stating out a sapient species I made GURPS Space. It turned out to be small but luckily at least the top end of small. All of 10 inches long. But then it ended up being winged. And reading flight winged I get the impression that your wing span is not what you use for SM length. But then.. He also ended up with no limbs beyond a tail. So, do I count his tail in that 10 inches cutting his actual size in half effectively? It's a constricting, prehensile tail actually so I am imagining it should probably be near the length of its actually body so yeah. If I include the tail that makes the body where all the organs are 5 inches long.
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

Nah, don't include the tail in the 10 inches. 10 inches is SM -5, so even with a 2 inch tail you've got the same SM. But, since a tail is much smaller in two dimensions than it is in one, I'm not even sure I'd count it for SM purposes. Your little flying snakes need all 10 of their inches for their organs.

Or are they like beholders with tails? We need details here.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

Very narrow objects/creatures will have lower SM than mere length would suggest. I know it's so for "blocky" characters sometimes having +1 to SM.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

For a biped or quadruped, you can usually disregard the tail for purposes of calculating SM, but a legless creature implies that the "tail" is actually part of the the main body, rather than a limb, so you're looking at something more like a snake than a monkey. I'd do it that way - you've got something like a winged snake, so there really isn't a clear line between "body" and "tail."
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

One thing I'm curious about is whether to count the tail as part of the SM when it comes to Theropods.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:32 AM   #6
Roh
 
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

Considering the tails functions it is probably as long as the body its self. I guess it really would be counted in the SM. Thanks for the comments!
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

OK, so ideally SM should be the SM of the character's torso. If the character has enough - and/or large enough - fiddly bits (head+neck, arms, legs, tails, tentacles, wings, etc), this might be able to add to the SM, but with a special note. So, a theropod might get +1 SM from its tail, while a bird gets +1 SM from its wings, but this only applies when the target profile includes the tail/wings (so you need to be targeting the theropod more-or-less from the side, and the bird needs to be flying or otherwise have its wings spread), and on any hit that would miss without this bonus, the attack will hit whichever fiddly bit(s) caused the bonus. A winged theropod, for example, might just get a total +1 SM from both wings and tail, and on any attack with MoS 0 you'd roll randomly to see if you hit the wings or tail. For a randomly generated creature, I'd probably have the randomly-generated SM go for torso*, then work out if the fiddly bits are important later. In this particular case, however, you really sound like you have a winged snake, so I'd just build a winged snake. Well, unless some other results have made it clear this isn't a winged snake, anyway.

*I haven't used Space's random generator, so I don't know exactly how it spits out the results, but from what you've described it sounds like it actually gives you a length, and possibly width, in inches. In that case, I'd probably scale a human to that size, then use the dimensions his torso would have (it'll be the same SM, after all, thanks to the boxiness) to determine the dimensions. This basically works out as "multiply height by 0.6, width by 0.8" to determine torso dimensions.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
One thing I'm curious about is whether to count the tail as part of the SM when it comes to Theropods.
For animals, I usually just use the spaceships rules for SM as a guideline. Top end estimates for T. rex are about 10 tons, so SM +4. Since most real world animals are pretty close to the same density, it generally works out. Make allowances for fantasy gas-bag fliers and other radically different body densities.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

This is just one of the many reasons I prefer basing SM, mostly if not entirely, on "three dimensional" mass rather than any one dimension like height/length.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:45 PM   #10
Kilmore
 
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Default Re: SM measurements and tails

The best way to figure this out is to work out how easy this thing is to hit sitting still. Is it as hard to hit as a soda can (-7), or a 2-liter bottle (-5)?
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