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Old 12-17-2020, 01:51 PM   #31
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

You can always give the animal rabies. Though that's likely either a moderate inconvenience (rabies shots or equivalent magic/tech available) or a death sentence (not).
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:58 PM   #32
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
As long as you're being careful around animals there are a number of large herbivores you should be careful of. The Cape Buffalo probably tops the list.
I know virtually nothing about the Cape Buffalo; will have to look that up. I live in the midst of cattle, and wouldn't want to mess with a bull--or even an angry cow defending its calf. And I know of a coworker of a relative who didn't believe a moose could turn his car over--until it happened.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I guess that leads to a "Lure your players into doing something stupid like going swimming with alligators."
Aquatic animals be a whole 'nother issue. There are very recent reports of orcas attacking ships (I have to update my awaiting-playtest GURPS book to mention that).

And I was once at the zoo standing right next to the plexiglass or whatever it was that held the water for a crocodile. The reptile was less than two feet away from me on the other side. A worker had a raw chicken on the end of a pole held over the water. The crocodile moved very slowly. Then, suddenly, with no warning I could see, it leapt! It amazed me how fast that thing grabbed that chicken, especially as I was literally less than two feet away. I would certainly hate to have to try to Dodge an attack like that.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:07 PM   #33
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Humans are large, dangerous predators. It's easy to forget in these days of couch potatoes and office jockeys, but a fit human (even unarmed) is a scary thing to fight for any animal of similar or lesser size.

Animals that want to survive will tend to seek unfair fights, because even an injury that doesn't kill you now can kill you later. Either they clearly physically outmatch you (bear vs human), outnumber you, or ambush you.

Having your college student character get their throat ripped open by a solo predator because they decided to do their business in the woods in privacy is perfectly realistic. So is going down to a pack of something.

The equation also changes if the animals are not trying to see tomorrow, it can taken a LOT of hits to make a determined or crazed creature die. The old school version of a suicide bomber was a man with a filthy dagger charging into a crowd and stabbing wildly until killed. No reason a mad or possessed wolf couldn't do the same.
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Last edited by Tyneras; 12-17-2020 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:32 PM   #34
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by safisher View Post
I think this is still true, but a few years ago I recall reading that the most dangerous animal in the US to humans (outside of deer vs. car encounters) is dog attacks (which kill around 50 people a year, about 50x that of bears -- and it may be that cow and horse accidents kill more than dogs). In many cases, dogs attack humans when they are in groups (and excitable) and aroused by food or prey response. Just some things to consider to make the man vs. beast conflict work.
In the US, the most dangerous animal group is bees, wasps, and hornets (usually not split into different types). Worldwide, it's mosquitoes.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:54 PM   #35
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Injuries caused by an animal requiring a doctor in NZ have Dogs at number one, followed by horses, then oddly sheep followed by cattle in the number four spot.
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:55 PM   #36
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Another well-known incident is the shark attack on the survivors of the USS Indianapolis.
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Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes.

Didn’t see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away.

Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks come in and… they rip you to pieces.

You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist.

At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.

Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
Jaws is a great example of an "animal monster" movie. And I doubt any of the three main characters is more than 75 points - maybe Hooper because he's apparently wealthy but that's not very relevant to the movie.
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:03 PM   #37
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

I give animals a circumstantial +2 to just about everything they do. Animals who aren't optimally prepared to deal with humans are probably going to avoid them if they evade or prey on humans they will seek out circumstances that they're most successful and take advantage of what they excel at in an environment that's optimized to them rather than humaning their way through life. About the only exception to this conceit is when humans press animals out of their comfort zone like trying to capture them after they escape a zoo and are in a bewildering environment.
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:10 PM   #38
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Injuries caused by an animal requiring a doctor in NZ have Dogs at number one, followed by horses, then oddly sheep followed by cattle in the number four spot.
This is what I was getting at. Where there are frequent interactions with animals of any type you tend to have accidents associated with those animals. Sheep, cows, and horses are not predators, so they tend to hurt people by trying to get away from them. Dog bites are frequently defensive in nature.
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:27 PM   #39
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Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'll add that a frequent problem with horror games is running them at 150+ points. That suits so-called "fantasy horror" which is really hack 'n' slash with more demons and necromancy, or monster hunters who go after traditional horror monsters like vampires and werewolves . . . neither of which is horror, but rather a hack 'n' slash or action game with elements or window dressing borrowed from horror.
Well, being 150+ points doesn't necessarily mean that the campaign can't be mostly straight Horror.

Any situation where your opponent is vastly superior to you easily turns into straight horror, whether it is a mouse avoiding a house cat, or a human trying to take on an intangible freaky demon which possesses people and possesses terrifying strength.

If the concern is stuff like someone making a "team ninja" and dodge-dancing the demon you can simply f.ex. give it an aura which drains FP based on proximity to the demon. All the guns in the world won't help either if the demon simply leaves the body after the limbs start getting shot off and chases after in smoke-form to possess the PCs. etc. (Just make sure it isn't too unfair. They should have a fair chance to take it down after all...)

Call of Cthulhu is a common example, but it doesn't have to be cosmic horror. Even classic stuff with vampires, werewolves, and witches can all be absolute horror.

Though if people go creating Navy Seals and you throw shambling fragile zombies at them (and the like) then you are playing something quite different from "horror". Worse; if you hack 'n' slash with examples from the above you might surprise he players in a bad. They probably won't like it if they expected to just be able to shoot the werewolf and it turns out to not give a damn about silver and just kills them one by one since they keep shooting and stabbing it waiting for its "hp" to deplete (oops, guess it was wolfsbane it was weak to, shouldn't have skipped the R&D...) /Rant.
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Last edited by RedMattis; 12-17-2020 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:14 PM   #40
Join Date: Dec 2020
Default Re: Make Animals Threatening [Basic]

Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
I live in the United States of America, outside of a city. My Internet goes down about once a month, sometimes for two or three days. There are apparently no other options out here, except possibly a company that requires a two-year contract.

I can make and receive calls on my cell phone about one out of every two or three tries; I sometimes have to walk around the property to get reception. I usually got voice mails half an hour to an hour later; sometimes I get them the next day.

A neighbor has a different carrier, which costs quite a bit more but works a little better. Still, fairly often they can't make or receive calls. If either one of us tries to make a cell phone call from the nearest market, which is pretty near the city offices, it almost never works. There's an area with a couple businesses about five miles from there where, as far as I know, nobody can get cell phone service.

I would be curious to know the rural villages where beggars can afford cell phone service.
I live in one of the more rural areas of germany. Yes I also have sometimes problems with cell phones. As for the beggars with smart phones, that is, at least in africa true. The reason is the disrupted infrstructure there, people started sending their families and relatives money via handy! There is a niche app for that. Sending money by mail is nearly impossible, and the banks in the rural areas are far off, so people started sending money via phone and now it´s quite normal there. Off course most of this smart phones are pre paid. that´s how it started. people loaded their phone and sended some of the cash to another phone, so that the relatives were able to call them.
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