Creatures and Equipment

Introduction

This chapter describes how to create races and creatures for your game. In addition, since they are so important, the chapter describes how to create equipment for your players to use. Most of the sections on creature development in this chapter are for the GM. The equipment designs may be developed by players, subject to the aproval of the GM.

GM Section: The Basic Nature of a Creature or Race

This first choice begins to define the creature in your mind:

What kind of creature is it?

How does the creature gain its nuttition:

How do such creatures organize:

Player Section: The Basic Nature of Equipment

Similar to creatures, you must decide on the description and nature of the equipment you want. Note that all equipment has an abstract measure of how complicated it is, called the Cost Factor, this begins at 1. The first choice is what kind of equipment is it?

All equipment is based on an abstract measure of complexity called its Cost Factor. This starts out at 0. For example, a dagger and a sword are intended to be melee weapons. Throwing knives, and the bow and arrow are ranged weapons. Shields and chainmail are armor. A smith's hammer is a tool, a wagon is a vehicle, a high-speed computer is other equipment.

GM Section: Appearance of the Creature or Race

Here you define the size, weight, and general appearance of the creature. Every 2 meters in length/height adds 1 to the running cost. Every size more than a meter in width or thickness adds one to the cost. Every 200 kilograms of weight adds 1 to the cost.

Game Scale Size Weight Cost
Very Small 1 cm 1 gm -64
Small 10 cm 100 gm -32
Normal 1 m 10 kg 0
Medium 10 m 1000 kg 32
Large 100 m 100 tonnes 64
Huge 1000 m 10 kt 96
Grand 10 km 1000 kt 128

Some creatures are very large, or very small. Rather than deal with rediculous numbers that would be involved, we simply change scales. The scale is determined by the units you use to measure things (see the table on the previous page). If a creature is 20 centimeters long, it is small-scale; if it is 3 meters long it is normal-scale; if it is 15 meters long it is medium-scale; etc. Apply the listed cost to the total cost.

Player Section: Appearance of the Equipment

Describe the physical appearance of the equipment, including size and weight. The Cost Factor will be based on the size, weight, and complexity of the equipment. The base Cost Factor is calculated as if the size of the equipment were in the normal scale. For every half meter or less of length, width, and height add one. For every kilogram or less of weight add one. For every set of ten separate parts add one.

GM Section: Creature/Racial Abilities

You must now develop a list of abilities common to all of this kind of creature. Consult the chapter Abilities for details on how to do this.

Player Section: Equipment Attributes

All equipment has attributes that are important for its use in the game. Each ability of the weapon will be an attribute, usually at 0. Well-made items will grant a bonus. Each bonus will increase the cost factor as if the ability were purchased with HP.

In addition to this all equipment will have a Breaking Factor (BF). This is equal to the Cost factor due to size and weight, less the Cost Factor modifier for the number of parts. Equipment can be made harder to break, and thus increase its BF. This must be purchased as though buying it with extreme HP, increasing the Cost Factor by that number of HP. Here are some examples:

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Breaking Factor is rolled as an ability whenever the equipment might have been damaged. Subtract the damage done to it. If the result is a negative number, subtract that from the current BF. If the result is positive, then the item is damaged, but will continue to function. If the result is 0 or below, the item breaks.

GM Section: Combat Capabilities of the Creature/Race

Attacks of the Creature

Think about the nature and description of your creature. If the creature reasonably possesses one or more natural weapon, then you must choose a level of damage for it. Think about the scale of the weapon. We determine all damage within a Game Scale as if it were transformed to the Normal scale. For example we convert a 10 meter long dragon into a 1 meter long dragon and scale the weapons accordingly. If the scaled weapon is a few centimeters long (including limb length), then it will do Light damage (see the chapter Combat in the Adventure for details), if it is up to half a meter long it will do Medium damage, if it is up to a meter long then it will do Heavy damage, if it is up to two meters long it will do Extreme damage, if the weapon is up to three meters long it will do Great damage, and if the weapon is longer than that it will do Tremendous damage. The cost additions for each class of weapon are: Light damage = +1, Medium damage = +2, Heavy damage = +4, Extreme damage = +8, Great damage = +16, Tremendous damage = +32.

We then convert the creature back to its full scale, but the weapons still do the stated damage within that scale. The differences appear when crossing scales; the highest damage from one scale (Tremendous) is the lowest damage (Light) for the next higher scale and vice-versa.

Ranged attacks work in much the same way. In addition, and again basing it on the Normal, for every 10 meters of range add 1 to the cost of the attack.

Strike damage has no extra cost, cut damage is half cost (to a minimum of 1), and thrust damage is double cost.

Poisoned, venomous, or disease-based attacks (see the chapter Game Mechanics for details) cost 1 per lesser effect, 2 per greater effect, 3 per day of duration, 5 for each add to the resistance roll, and the percentage chance of death has a cost equal to that chance multiplied by 20.

Fantastic creatures are not restricted to damage by the size of their weaponry. But the costs are the same. Fantastic creatures can do damage on higher scales, with each scale jump costing 32.

Psychic damage has the normal cost. Magical damage is on the Medium scale. Spirit-level damage is on the Large scale. Divine-level damage is on the Huge scale.

Note that each individual attack of a particular damage level increases the cost by that damage level.

Correspondingly the cost for larger-scale damage increases: For each size category increase the cost for damage and weapons is increased as if tremendous damage were being added. Smaller scale-beings have their cost reduced by the cost for Tremendous damage for each size-category. Thus Light damage in the huge scale would cost +1 for Light damage, +32 for tremendous damage in the medium scale, +32 for tremendous damage in the large scale, +32 for tremendous damage in the huge scale, for a total of +97 to the cost of the creature.

Defenses of the Creature

Begin by determining if the creature has any intrinsic armor. If the creature has intrinsic armor, decide about how hard it is. If the skin is soft and supple then give it no armor rating, if the skin is leathery give it a Light armor rating, if the skin is considered very tough give it a Medium armor rating, if the skin is hard (possibly shell-like) give it a Heavy armor. Light armor adds 1. Medium armor adds 2, and Heavy armor adds 4. Extreme armor adds 8. Great armor adds 16. Tremendous armor adds 32. Fantastic creatures are not limited as to the level of their armor.

Psychic armor has the cost of normal armor. In addition to the normal protection, it offers protection from psychic attack. Magical armor is one the Medium scale and protects against magical damage in addition to Medium-scale damage. Magical armor also makes the target invulnerable to normal weapons of less than three grades of damage higher than the grade of armor (Light magical armor provides Light protection from magical attacks and provides complete protection from Normal-scale or psychic attacks up to—and including—Extreme damage). Spiritual armor is on the Large-scale and makes the target completely invulnerable to Normal-scale and psychic damage and protects from Medium-scale and magical damage up the three levels higher than the level of armor. Divine armor is one the Huge-scale and makes the wearer invulnerable to all Normal-scale, Medium-scale, psychic, and magical damage, and all Large-scale and spiritual damage of three levels higher than the level of armor, and it protects from Huge-scale and divine damage as normal.

The damage capacity is determined as in character design: PF + 1 for every 2 height (taking scale into account) + 1 for every 200 weight (taking scale into account).

Fantastic creatures can add to their damage capacity by one for every 3 added to their cost.

Fantastic creatures can be immune to things: for every lesser immunity (immune to swords, immune to lightning, immune to spider venom, etc.) add 10 to the cost; for every major immunity (immune to all non-magical weapons, immune to heat attacks, immune to being crushed, etc.) add 50 to the cost; for every fantastic immunity (immune to one grade of mgic damage (light), immune to psychic damage, immune to death magic, etc.) add 100 to the cost.

Correspondingly the cost for larger-scale armor increases: For each size category increase the cost for armor is increased as if tremendous armor were being added. Smaller scale-beings have their cost reduced by the cost for Tremendous protection for each size-category. Thus Light protection in the huge scale would cost +1 for Light armor, +32 for tremendous armor in the medium scale, +32 for tremendous armor in the large scale, +32 for tremendous armor in the huge scale, for a total of +97 to the cost of the creature.

Player Section: Combat Capabilities of Equipment

For melee weapons the Base Damage is based upon the size of the weapon as if it were in normal scale. Any weapon a few centimeters (though less than half a meter) in length will do Light Damage. Any weapon between half a meter and a meter in length will do Medium Damage. Any weapon from a meter up to a meter and a half in length will do Heavy Damage. Any weapon from a meter and a half to three meters in length will do Extreme Damage. Any weapon up to six meters in length will do Great Damage. Any weapon longer than that will do Tremendous Damage. Choose the mode of attack that makes the most sense for the weapon (Strike, Cut, or Thrust). There may be other factors that can add damage: If the weapon has spikes or flanges (+1 or +2 damage and cost factor), the weapon is heavy for its size (+1 to +2 to damage and cost factor), the weapon is light for its size (-1 to -2 the damage and cost factor), the weapon extends from a chain or cord of some kind (+2 to +4 damage and +1 or +2 to cost factor), the weapon consists of many elements (like a double-bladed dagger, or a many headed flail; +1 to +3 to damage and cost factor), or the weapon is made out of a very hard material (+2 to +4 to damage and cost factor).

The length of time to make an attack or parry with a melee weapon will be determined by the size of the weapon in relation to the size of the race wielding it. Divide the BF (not including any bonuses) by the Damage Capacity of whomever is wielding the weapon. This is the number of seconds required to make an attack with the weapon. If you chose the weapon to be heavy for its size, treat the weapon as though its Base Cost were increased by 1 or 2, dependeing on the damage increase chosen. The time to attack can be reduced by half by making the weapon well balanced, this will increase the cost by half.

For ranged weapons we first determine their range. If the weapon is a missile propelled by being thrown then the maximum effective range will be 2 x Damage Capacity of the thrower x (1 + PF of the character), thus the effective throwing range for each individual will be different. If the weapon is a sling-type then the range will be 25 x length of the weapon in meters. If the weapon is of any other kind, just state the range in meters. For every 100 meters of effective range add (to a minimum of 100 meters) one to the Cost Factor of the weapon.

The Base Damage of a missile that is neither spring nor explosively propelled is based upon the length of the projectile: a few centimeters (though less than half a meter) and/or much less than a kilogram does Light Damage, a projectile up to half a meter in length and/or up to a quarter of a kilogram does Medium Damage, a projectile up to a meter in length and/or up to a half a kilogram does Heavy Damage, a projectile up to 3 meters in length and/or up to a kilogram does Extreme Damage, a projectile up to 5 meters in length and/or up to 2 kilograms does Great Damage, and a projectile more than 5 meters in length or more than 2 kilograms does Tremendous Damage. Now choose the mode of attack which makes the most sense for the projectile (Strike, Cut, or Thrust). If the missile is spring propelled use the above guidance, but add +1 to the damage for every 10 meters of maximum range (with the damage dropping by a grade out to 75% of the maximum range). If the missile is explosively propelled the damage should be chosen in a reasonable way (a small handgun might be rated as doing Heavy Damage). If the weapon is directed energy, choose whatever you want the damage to be.

The length of time required to make an attack for a non-explosively propelled missile weapon will be determined by the length of the weapon in relation to the length of the limb wielding it. The time to attack with a thrown weapon can be reduced by half by making the weapon well balanced, this will increase the cost by half. Divide the length of the weapon (in meters) times ten by the Damage Capacity of the character, round to the nearest half. This is the number of seconds required to make an attack.

The Base Protection of flexible armor is Light and rigid armor is Medium. If the armor is made of metal flexible armor becomes Medium and rigid metal armor is Heavy protection. You can increase the Protection of armor by one grade for each multiple of the Cost Factor. The chainmail from the previous example would have a protection of Medium, this can be increased to Extreme (two increases) for an additional 22 Cost, thus the new cost factor is 33. Significant numbers of plates increase the protection by one grade (Light to Medium, Medium to Heavy, etc.) for each multiple of the Cost Factor.

The parry bonus for a shield is a base of 5, +5 for every additional meter (based on the normal scale) of size.

The length of time required to make a parry will be determined by the size of the shield in relation to the size of the race wielding it. Divide the BF by the Damage Capacity of whomever is wielding the shield. This is the number of seconds required to make a parry with the shield.

Here are the combat characteristics of the equipment so far:

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GM Section: Other Game Aspects of the Creature/Race

Movement

Think about what kinds of movement the creature should be capable of. Determine how many kilometers per hour the race can walk or coast, then double or more (for a cost of 1 per additional multiplier beyond doubling) when it is going fast.

Determine the average speed factor of the creature by taking the average of PF, MA, IN and IU. If it seems too low for what the creature is capable of, you can increase the speed factor by one for adding 3.

Life Span

Determine the lengths of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle-age, and old age for the creature.

1-10 years: 0 cost, 11-25 years: +1, up to an additional 5 years: +1, immortality costs 100 per age category.

Environs

You must now decide where this creature can be found; there is no cost for this, it is a matter of choice.

Population

You must first decide whether your creation will be ubiquitous, common, uncommon, or rare. This generates a number that we will call the Rarity. For a rare creature the Rarity is 5000, for uncommon this number is 50000, and for common this number is 500000, and for ubiquitous it is 5000000. Divide the rarity by the cost of the creature and drop all fractions. This is the total population in your world.

Uses of the Cost

The cost of the creature not only determines the population, but it also determines the difficulty of getting one in a magical conjuration, or the HP cost of getting one as a pet during a preadventure, or the like. Divide the cost the cost by 100, this is the cost of an individual (to a minimum of 1 HP, add the cost of any non-standard or elevated abilities the specific creature has).

Examples of Creatures

Borigonian

The race will be mundane, omnivorous, social, and common. We will call this race the Borigonians. The cost of this race so far is (base: 1, omnivorous +2) 3.

The Borigonians are normal-scale beings 1.5 meters tall, 80 kilogram humanoids with pointed ears, fair or brown hair, and green or gray eyes. The current cost is now (cost to now: 3, 1.5 meters tall +1, 80 kilogram weight +1) 5.

The Borigonians have the attributes: PF: 2, MA: 2, IN: 3, IU: 0, PY: 0, MP: 0. The current cost is (cost to now: 5, PF +2, MA +2, IN: +3) 12.

The Borigonians have a racial language given to them by the gods. All members of the race can read and write in this language since it is spiritually a part of them.

The Borigonians spend a good deal of time out on the plains and have learned to survive there. The recent trend towards urbanization might cause this skill to disappear one day.

Abilities:
Literacy (b) (IN)
Plains Survival (b) (IN)
The new cost of the race is (Prior cost: 12, 2 basic skills +2) 14.

The Borigonians have no special attacks. They can kick for medium damage, and they can punch for light damage. The new cost is (Old cost: 14, 1 light damage attacks +1, medium damage attack +2) 17.

The Borigonians have no special defenses. Their damage capacity is normally 3. There is no change in the cost of 17.

The Borigonians have a walking rate of 4 kilometers per hour. They run at twice their walking rate, 8 kilometers per hour. The average speed factor of a Borigonian is 1. There is no change in the cost of 17.

The Childhood for a Borigonian is 12 years long. Adolescence is 7 years long. Adulthood is 21 years long. Middle-age is 30 years long. Old age is 60 years long. The normal life expectancy of a Borigonian is thus 140 years. The new cost is (Old cost: 18, childhood +1, adulthood +1, middle-age +2, old age: +7) 28. This is the final cost of the Borigonian.

The Borigonian is normally found in the plains, some can be found in forests and highlands.

Since Borigonians are common, the rarity is 500,000. We divide this by the cost of 28. The result is a total population of 17,857.

Karanangap

This is an example of creating a hunting animal. This will be a mundane animal. HP Cost: 1
This will be a carnivorous animal. HP Cost: 1 (2 total)
This will be a hunting animal. HP Cost: 2 total
The animal is three meters long and 1.5 meters tall, weighing in at 400 kilograms, it appears as a light brown feline with dark brown or black spots over its coat, they have green eyes that catch the light. HP Cost: 5 (7 total)
The animal has PF: 3, MA: 1, IU: 1 and the rest 0. HP Cost: 5 (12 total)
The animal requires Hunting and Tracking, it has claws and a bite attack, it can attack by leaping, it can see in the dark and has both keen vision and smell. It can sneak up on its prey and then attack by surprise. It is also capable of very fast speeds for short times. It has great strength and can ignore pain.
Its abilities are:

Basic Abilities Difficult Abilities
Bite (MA) 5 Hunting & Tracking (IU) 5
Claw (MA) 5 Leaping Attack (PF) 3
Keen Vision 3 Stealth and Concealment (IU) 3
Night Vision 3
Pain Capacity (PF) 3
Sense of Smell 3
Sprinting (PF) 4
Strength (PF) 4

HP Cost: 41 (53 total)
The animal has two claw attacks doing heavy striking damage and a bite attack doing heavy thrusting damage. A successful leaping attack allows for 4 claw attacks to strike simultaneously on 4 separate areas of the body (or two in the thorax and two elsewhere), these attacks do heavy striking damage each. HP Cost: 28 (81 total)
The animal has a soft skin which acts like Light armor. Normal damage capacity is 8. HP Cost: 1 (82 total)
The animal has a walking speed of 4 kilometers per hour, and a running speed of 48 kilometers per hour. HP Cost: 11 (93 total)
Average speed factor is 4 (2 from attributes +2 increase). HP Cost: 6 (99 total).
The animal has the following age categories: Childhood 1 year, Adolescence 2 years, Adulthood 10 years, Middle-age 13 years, and Old age 26 years for a total life span of 52 years. HP Cost: 5 (104 total). Total cost: 104
The animal is found in the plains of Borigon.
They are uncommon, so there are about 408 Karanangap in the plains of the world of Borigon.

Karandar

This is an example of an herbivorous forager.
This will be a mundane animal. HP Cost: 1.
This will be an herbivorous animal. HP Cost: 0 (1 total).
This will be an foraging animal. HP Cost: 1 total.
The animal is 2 meters long, 2 meter high, weighs 100 kilograms, and it is a chubby brown mammal with long slender legs and tusks for defense. HP Cost: 3 (4 total).
The animal has PF: 2, MA: 2, IU: 2 and the rest 0. HP Cost: 6 (10 total).
This animal is required to have Survival (Terrain Type), and we will choose forest. It has a keen sense of smell. It can charge at an opponent with its tusks. It can run very fast if required. It is very strong and can pull down small trees to get at their fruit. Its skills are:
Basic Abilites:
Charge Tusk Attack (MA) 4
Sense of Smell 4
Sprinting (PF) 4
Strength (PF) 5
Survival (Forest) (IU) 4
HP Cost: 17 (27 total).
This animal has a single charge attack with its tusks, doing two heavy thrusts in the same area of the body. HP Cost: 8 (35 total).
This animal has a leathery hide for Medium armor. Damage capacity is 5. HP Cost: 2 (37 total).
This animal has a walking speed of 3 kilometers per round and a running speed of 45 kilometers per round. HP Cost: 14 (51 total)
Average speed factor is 3 (1 from attributes +2 increase). HP Cost: 6 (57 total).
This animal has the following age categories: Childhood 2 years, Adolescence 2 years, Adulthood 11 years, Middle-age 15 years, Old-age 30 years for a life span of 60 years. HP Cost: 6 (63 total). Total cost: 63.
This animal is found in the plains, woods, and low hills of Borigon.
This is a common animal and there are around 7,937 Karandar in the plains and forests of the world of Borigon.

Ricethandar

This is an example of a fantastic creature.
This will be a fantastic creature. HP Cost: 2.
This will be a carnivore. HP Cost: 1 (3 total).
This will be a hunting beast. HP Cost: 3 total.
This creature is 4 meters long, 2 meters wide, weighs 200 kilograms, is bright green, has a snakelike neck and head, it has a tail with a stinging spike at its tip, and has leathery bat-like wings. HP Cost: 4 (7 total).
The creature has PF: 4, MA: 3, IN: 2, IU: 2, MP: 1, and PY: 0. HP Cost: 12 (19 total).
This creature is required to have Hunting & Tracking. It can strike with its claws, a bite, its poison stinged tail, and a magical energy blast from its eyes. It also has a spell reflection power; if successful, the power of the incoming spell is reflected back onto the caster. The creature is capable of magic and utilizes the spirit-pact ritual of air elementals. The creature is capable of long-duration flying. The beast is immensely strong and can take enormous blows without complaint. This creature possesses incredible vision. Its abilities are:

Basic Abilities Difficult Abilities Extreme Abilities
Bite (MA) 5 Hunting & Tracking (IN) 5 Magical Energy Blast (MP) 2
Claw (MA) 5 Air Elemental Pact Rituals (MP) 2 Spell Reflection (MP) 2
Keen Vision 3
Long-Distance Flying (PF) 5
Pain Capacity (PF) 5
Stingered Tail (MA) 5
Strength (PF) 5

HP Cost: 57 (76 total)
This creature can strike with its two claws doing Extreme damage, it can bite for Great thrusting damage, it can also tail lash for Extreme thrusting damage. Alternately it can perform its magical energy blast from its eyes for Heavy magical damage out to 50 meters.
HP Cost: 66 (142 total)
The creature has an iron like hide which is Heavy magical armor. Damage capacity is 12 (normal damage capacity is 8, +4 due to its fantastic nature). HP Cost: 20 (162 total)
The creature has walking speed of 5 kilometers per hour, a running speed of 10 kilometers per hour, a coasting speed of 10 kilometers per hour, and a flying speed of 80 kilometers per hour. HP Cost: 7 (169 total).
Average speed factor: 6 (3 from attribute, +3 increase). HP Cost: 9 (178 total).

The creature is immortal. HP Cost: 500 (678 total). Total cost: 678
The creature is found in the high mountains of Borigon, though it can be encountered anywhere due to its flight capability.
There are 73 Ricethandar in the mountains of the world of Borigon.

Player Section: Other Game Aspects of the Equipment

The length of time required to make the equipment is a matter of choice, some equipment is simple and can be made in less than a day, others can take a year or more to make. Make the choice based on the size of the equipment, its capabilities, and the level of technology available to make it (an Iron-Age society will take several days to make a decent sword, where a technology with matter fabricators might be able to turn them out by the dozen every minute). The cost of the equipment is modified by the time it takes to make; for every day the daily salary of the weapon-crafter must be added to the cost of the weapon. The time is increased by a number of days equal to any quality above average.

Assign a difficulty to make the equipment based on the principle qualities possessed by the equipment and modified by the base cost factor. Light damage adds nothing to difficulty, Medium damage adds 1, Heavy damage adds 2, Extreme damage adds 4, Great damage adds 8, and Tremendous damage adds 16. All ability or damage increase the difficulty by the damage increase. The difficulty is also increased by half if a weapon is well balanced. This number is directly reduced by the time it takes to make the weapon in days (the difficulty can never be easier than 0). The difficulty can also be reduced by increasing the cost of the equipment by two for every point of difficulty reduced.

For example:

Player Section: Inventing New Equipment and Making Modifications to Existing Equipment

If a character has Craft skills or similar abilities, they might be able to modify or invent new equipment. Modification of existing equipment is always at least a challenging task. It may take days to years in order to modify something; that decision will be up to the GM. Modifying equipment will require some sort of skill roll, the result will be the equivalent of 1/3 HPs for the skill attempt being modified. For example, a success of three would increase your chance to hit with a modified sword by +1.

Inventing new equipment is also at least challenging, and usually takes at least several days. A good way to approach invention is to require a roll every week during the invention process, the result will be the number of elements of the design that the inventor has figures out less one (that one will be a design flaw that the GM decides on the spot). Design flaws can be discovered if the inventor chooses, without being told, to spend one of more of their design elements to find them. It consts one design element to find one flaw. In the first design attempt no elements can be used to locate flaws.

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