Genegrafting, Genetic Engineering, and Anthropomorphics in d20, Part II

   Avian – and Chiropteran (Bat) – genegrafts, anthropomorphs, and hybrids, are possible under the game rules. More practically, however, they’re mostly undesirable, at least in comparison to other selections. Their major advantage is flight – and they give up a lot to get it. Those sacrifices usually include mass and strength, durability, solid bones, the ability to carry equipment, the ability to wear clothing and armor, and manipulative forelimbs. In most “realistic” worlds, a flyer with the kind of mass needed to support a sapient brain would never get off the ground. Even in less realistic worlds, most characters will want to use their arms for something other than flight – and many will want armor.

   Fortunately, while there are a lot of different kinds of birds, and an incredible number of different kinds of bats, in d20 game terms no one really cares which type of fruit or insect or other minor specialization a particular species has. Ergo, we can simply use a few of the “best” birds and bats as sources, and leave the rest up to cosmetic styling.

   The following character point totals assume that such characters have Specialized flight; it won’t work with a medium or heavy load, if the arms are restrained, or if the character is holding something heavy. In addition, they’re assumed to be suffering a -3 disadvantage; they have light bones and can suffer disabling injuries somewhat more readily than other characters.

Creature CP HD Attribute Adjustments: NA NW Scent Move Skills and Special Modifiers
Bat* 29 1 Str -2, Dex +6, Con +2 1d4 No Fly 20 +4 Spot, Listen (both Specialized, dependent on sonar-based Blindsense), Blindsense 20′
Crane* 31 1 Str +2, Dex +4, Con +0 +1 1d4 No Fly 30 +8 Balance
Eagle* 31 1 Str +2, Dex +2, Con +2 +1 1d4 No Fly 30 +8 Spot
Ostrich 31 2 Str +2, Dex +0, Con +2 +2 1d8 Yes +10 +4 Spot, Balance, Jump, Adept
Owl* 31 1 Str +0, Dex +2, Con +2 +2 1d4 No Fly 30 +8 Listen, Spot, Move Silently, Adept

   “Yeah, well – I may not be as powerful as you are, but at least I’m not taking an ECL penalty!”

   Ursines and Procyonoids include bears, giant pandas, raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, ringtails and cacomistles – but for our purposes, they’re pretty much defined by just a few members and characteristics. They’re relatively short-legged omnivores, thickly furred, tolerably formidable in a fight, and surprisingly adept at certain skills… Technically, I really ought to include seals, sea lions, and walruses in this category – but I’m going to put them down with the rest of the marine animals for conveniences sake.

Creature CP HD Attribute Adjustments: NA NW Scent Move Skills and Special Modifiers
Bear 54 3 Str +8, Dex +2, Con +4 +2 1d4 Yes   +4 Swim
Raccoon* 48 1 Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2 +1 1d4 Yes   +4 Open Locks, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, Pick Pockets, Climb, and Swim. Adept.
Ringtail* 45 1 Str +2, Dex +6, Con +0 +1 1d4 Yes +10 +8 Climb, Jump, +4 Spot, Listen, Adept

   “What makes you so crazy skilled Marchan?” “Hey, can I help it if my ancestors were notorious for getting into anything and stealing stuff no matter how other people tried to keep it safe?”

   Our next group – pigs, hippopotami, elephants, and rhinoceroses – really belongs with the rest of the bovines and equines, but they’re physically distinctive enough to break them out on their own. In game terms, however, there isn’t that much of a distinction between them. They’re all large, solid, capable of charging and inflicting quite a lot of damage on anything that upsets them, and are occasionally known to stomp on things.

   It is, however, interesting to note that the hippopotamus is one of the most dangerous animals around; they’re fiercely territorial, one of the most aggressive animals towards humans in the world, can outrun humans over a modest distance, and kill a lot more people than lions and crocodiles combined. They can’t swim as adults due to a lack of buoyancy, but do push off the bottom to get to the surface and breathe.

   In actual game statistics terms, the Rhino is by far the most powerful; while that’s mostly an artifact of the size categories, in Eclipse that simply means that they cost more points.

Creature CP HD Attribute Adjustments: NA NW Scent Move Skills and Special Modifiers
Pig/Hippo 49 3 Str +4, Dex +0, Con +6 +6 1d8 Yes Ferocity (Pig), Hold Breath (Hippo).
Elephant* 43 5 Str +4, Dex +4, Con +2 +4 1d8 Yes  
Rhino* 63 5 Str +8, Dex +2, Con +6 +5 1d8 No Powerful Charge (Double).

   “How do you stop a rhinoceros from charging? You take away his credit card! Get it? NO! It was funny! It was a joke! No! Don’t! AAAAGGGHHH!”

   Due to a bit of a time crunch and some computer problems, I’ll have to continue with a part III, instead of finishing up today.

One Response

  1. […] Genetic Engineering, and Anthropomorphics in d20: Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part […]

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