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.

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