Friday, July 13, 2018

How to create a Giant Snail for Dungeon Crawl Classics part 2

Part 1 was explaining the problem; that is, there is no published giant snails for DCC RPG. 

What the hell is that about?

Giant Snails should be a creature in every Monster Manual or Bestiary ever made, but no... no love for giant snails.

Anyway, I'm going to make one for you, right here, right now!

First, I'll take from what I have already.

Flail Snail (ADnD)
AC:4, -8 to hit body due to it's speed in retracting into the shell.
Move: 3"
HD: 4-6 (one HD per tentacle) Note: any hit to the body kills the creature.
No. of Attacks: 1 per tentacle
Damage per Attack: 1-8
Intelligence: low
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Large (8 feet high, shell weighs 250 lbs)
Special: Immune to fire (normal and magic) and poison. When target of a spell; 40% spell malfunction, 30% normal function, 20% spell failure, 10% reflected back at caster.


Slug, Underdark (DCC RPG)
Initiative: -6
Attack: Acidic Touch +3 melee (1d4 damage plus slime)
AC: 18
HD: 3d6
Move: 10'
Action dice: 1d20
Special: Slime
Saves: Fort +5, Ref -6, Will -2
Alignment: Chaotic 

Well, shoot... these are very different! How will I ever work them together??? Oh woe is me!

Just kidding. Someone already thought of that shizz. 

Using the DCC Monster Helper PDF from the above awesome site, I'm considering the Flail Snail to be of the Vermin persuasion. So that means...

Flail Snail
Initiative: +1
Attack: Smash +3 melee (d8 damage per tentacle)
AC: this is a judgement call, since the Monster Helper does zilch with Armor Class. I figure an 18 due to the shell is appropriate.
HD: 4-6, one per tentacle
Speed: This is tricky. I found this page that has a comparison chart. My math ain't too good, but it seems like a Flail Snail would only move 3 feet per round. Which is really damn slow!
Action Dice: 4-6 d20 (hey, why not?)
Fortitude: +4
Reflex: +1
Will: +1
Special: Same as before. There really isn't any thing to convert. 

Alright. So now I have a Flail Snail and a creepy underdark slug, DCC ready, so lets get down to business!

Giant Snail (Wild)
Initiative: -6
Attack: none. Snails do not attack, even to defend themselves.
AC: 18
HD: 2
Speed: 5 feet
Action Dice: 1d20
Fortitude: +3
Reflex: -5
Willpower: -2

The average wild giant snail is more of a nuisance than a monster. It leaves a slime trail, but nothing special. But now that we have a base, we can do so much more!

Giant Snail (hauler)Initiative: -6
Attack: none
AC: 18
HD: 6
Speed: 5 feet
Action Die: d20
Fort: +4
Ref: -6
Will: -2
The Hauler is used by sentients as a beast of burden to haul cargo to and fro. It is much larger than the wild giant snail but maintains the same speed. A Hauler snail can carry half as much cargo as an ox, but has the advantages of a much smoother ride, much better ability to climb steep inclines, and they are far more docile and easy-going. Haulers leave a pretty wide and thick trail of slippery slime. Walking behind one will force a Reflex save of DC 15 to avoid slipping and falling comedically in snail slime. However, other snails following the slime trail of a Hauler will see their speed increase by 25%. A hauler's slime trail will linger for up to 8 hours in ideal conditions (night time, high humidity), but will last only a half hour in daylight.

Giant Snail (Singer)Initiative: -3
Attack: none
AC: 15
HD: 1 (d6)
Speed: 10 ft
Action die: 1d20
Fort: +4
Ref: -3
Will: -1
The Singing giant snail is a popular household pet. Its shell comes in a wide variety of color combinations and breeders are always coming out with new colorations (that get more and more expensive). It gets its name because the snail sings when it is happy; sort of like how a cat purrs. Singers are the most intelligent of the snails, but that doesn't mean much. They are also the least slimey and the most tolerant to lower humidity and dry places. 

Giant Snail (Speeder)Initiative: 0
Attack: none
AC: 16
HD: 2
Speed: 20 ft
Action die: 1d20
Fort: +3
Ref: -2
Will: -2
Speeders are the fastest snails. They can not carry as much cargo as a Hauler, but are able to carry about 50 lbs of stuff strapped to their shells, and still travel nearly as fast as a human. For this reason they are most often employed by messenger services. Like their cousins, Speeders are docile, but eat far more vegetation than the other snails due to their higher metabolism. Speeders exude a thick slippery slime, similar to haulers, but their trail is much smaller and dries much more quickly (3 hours in ideal conditions, 10 minutes in daylight)

So there ya go. A Flail Snail, A wild snail, a labor snail, a pet snail, and a fast snail. Give me a shout if you use them and how they do in your game. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to create a Giant Snail for Dungeon Crawl Classics part 1

For the setting I'm creating, giant snails are an important part of the ecology for one particular area. So, I opened up my DCC rulebook to the bestiary and... no giant snail. Okay, well I'll just convert one from some other edition of DnD! Right?

  • ADnD Monster Manual? nope. 
  • ADnD MM Two? nope. 
  • ADnD Fiend Folio??? There is the Flail Snail but that's not really a giant snail. It's a magical goofy snail. 
  • Critters, Creatures & Denizens by J.A. Rhodes-Gloor? no giant snails. 
  • Palladium's Monsters and Animals 2nd edition? No giant snails. 
  • Basic Dungeons and Dragon's Creature Catalogue? nothing
  • Castles and Crusades' Monsters and Treasure? Nada
  • 5th edition DnD Monster Manual??? Zero, zilch, zip.
  • TMNT After the Bomb: Mutants in Avalon? The only RPG I've found that uses giant snails, and is the actual inspiration for me wanting to use them in Strathos.  

Apparently, Giant Snails are non-existent in a wide swath of tabletop RPGs over the last 50 years. What the hell???

So I've been researching snail ecology and behavior in order to create Giant Snails for my campaign.

I have some criteria I must meet that is more or less setting-specific
  • They must fit a niche within their natural habitat.
  • They must have abilities that make them desirable as beasts of burden over other choices of animal (like horses or oxen).

The campaign area these Giant Snails will call home is heavily forested with giant trees like Redwood's. It would be considered a temperate rain forest. Essentially the Pacific Northwest of North America.

Giant snails have the ability to haul cargo strapped to their shells, and can move easily over the broken terrain of the forest floor. They can also climb vertically up the trunks of the trees - potentially to safety from dangers on the forest floor.

Giant Snails are docile and never attack, even in self-defense. Making them safe to have around children.

Snails come in a rather large variety. Some eat fungus, some eat decaying plant matter, some eat fresh vegetation, and some eat other snails! So, my giant snails should also share these aspects, as well as more fantastic attributes since this is a fantasy game;

  • Generic Wild snail - feeds on fungus, including intelligent fungoids
  • Cargo snail - for hauling cargo
  • Speed snail - faster than a cargo snail but can't carry very much
  • War snail - might as well use the Flail Snail for this.
  • Singing snail - smallest of the giants, kept as a pet. Sings like a song bird. Wide variety of colorations. 

Now that I've determined what I want with the Giant Snail, and how it fits into the game world, the next step is to figure out stats for it. That will be in part 2.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Hundred States Generator

So while working on the Strathos setting one day, I thought, "Man, this would go quicker if I used a random table to generate kingdoms for the Hundred States area." So I looked and looked and couldn't find a generator on the internet for building kingdoms! Lots of dungeon generators, lots of name generators, but no kingdom generators.

So I made one.

Actually, I made two!

The first is divided into seven parts.

  1. Type (Kingdom, Regency, Union, Collective, Principality, Duchy, etc)
  2. Name; Names are kept simple. How it is named is up to you, the user of the document. For example, rolling a 7 and reading straight across can give you the Enlightened Republic of Ibesh, or the Enlightened Ibesh Republic, or the Republic of Enlightened Ibesh.
  3. Title of Ruler; Roleplaying games always have a hard-on for naming rulers, as if the player-characters would be on a first name basis with the ruler of a kingdom. However, the title of a ruler adds flavor and inspires ideas as to the nature of the kingdom. 
  4. Type of Government; is it a feudal kingdom? an anarcho-socialist collective? A matriarchal plutocracy? 
  5. Economy; what is the economy based on? wines? sheep's wool? beans? silver mining? beer brewing? 
  6. At War With; what other state is this one at war with?
  7. Allied With; what other state is this one allied with? 

You can either roll once and use everything in a row to make a kingdom, or roll separately for each column. In this way, you can make thousands of different states.

The second kingdom generator is a bit different. It too has seven columns.

  1. Kingdom Type; basically the same as the first document.
  2. Name A; along with the next column, these two columns combine to make more possible names for your nation-state.
  3. Name B
  4. Title of Ruler
  5. Type of Government
  6. Language; this was the big change. I decided I wanted to Hundred States to be the vestiges of the Old Elbonian Empire, which united many smaller nations and tribes under one banner. When that fell apart, the people balkanized and formed their own communities based on shared cultural and language heritage. 
  7. Economy

Since creating these documents, I have made some changes to the setting, but I thought I would share them with anyone interested in using a handy Random Kingdom Generator.