Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

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JVWest
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Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:42 pm

Hi all!

I've been working on a funny animals game for a while (anthropomorphic, or cartoon critters). But in recent months I've decided to go with an OGL game rather than the original system I came up with. Having discovered just how awesome BFRPG is I thought it would be a good fit for my style.

The link below takes you to a pdf of the work-in-progress. Most of this was hammered out this morning and I have not given it a solid editing. I just wanted to share what I'm doing and see if anyone in the BFRPG community has an interest in this rather niche genre. I realize it is not everyone's cup of tea, but I happen to be a huge fan of it. Blame it on Captain Carrot.

Again, this is merely a rough draft and is only a small representation of what will be the final listing of animal races. I added a couple of rules changes to accommodate cartoon critters, most notably a different size chart and a different way of handling size differentials between characters.

Anyway, check it out here:

http://www.jwarts.com/fightinganimalstest.pdf

James
JVWest
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:45 pm

And I apologize for the typos. I'm reading it now and I already spotted 2 on a single page. Editing! :D
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SmootRK
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:52 am

Cannot say I am huge fan of the idea of cartoon gaming (as in Toon! or Bugs Bunny/Tom & Jerry stuff), but I have a bit of interest in something rather "Redwall-ish". Looks like some interesting stuff. :)
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JVWest
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:18 pm

Thanks.

Yeah, I don't really play Toon-style either. I like Toon, but that's not really the vibe I'm going for.

I know it's a bit confusing because I refer to these types of characters as "funny animals". But that's only because that term is sort of standard in the comix world. Funny or not funny, they're "funny animals".

What I'm going for is straightforward fantasy dungeon crawling adventure. But with talking animals as the characters instead of humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings.

There have been other games tackling this but I'm not aware of any that are specifically old school and OGL. All the ones I know of have their own original systems. I thought it would be nice to see one with straight up classes, AC, hit points, and the whole nine yards.
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LibraryLass
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:20 am

I actually like the odd Toon thing, but this sounds even more interesting now that you've clarified. I've always really dug fantasy settings with anthropomorphic animal races.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:08 am

Hi James, glad you made it over.

Yeah, Funny Animal is a term for the style and psychology of the characters - essentially human characters with funny heads and personality quirks. You can tell quite a range of stories with this style, not always 'funny': Loony Toons... Cerebus... Maus...

This is a good start. I like the mix of requirements and modifiers here. The special abilities definitely fit the flavor of the animals. Even if I wasn't running an anthropomorphics game, this makes a great resource for new beast races... or to feed some of those Basic Future ideas. I also like the class ability inclusions - Ravens having magic, for instance. Will we see rodents with thief skills? I also love your writing style here.

There are a couple of tweaks you might want to look at:

Base AC in BFRPG is 11. Everyone gets +1 BAB at 1st level, so this makes the numbers work out right for 10+ hitting an unarmored target. Are you looking at natural AC as additive or replacing: would the armadillo (Nat AC 14) benefit at all from leather armor (AC 13)? Would he have higher AC in chain (AC 15) than, say, a chicken? I like the size-difference modifier on the to-hit. This saves having to add Bonus to AC vs. Large opponents as a specific racial trait. I'm wondering if that would be a good mechanic for altering carrying capacity for different sizes, adding/subtracting a percentage, or adding to your strength modifier for carrying capacity. Whatever formula you come up with, you'll probably want to make a chart showing the encumbrance limits by strength for each size.

I'm worried about Minimum d8 HD being too high for any races below Huge. d8 is the Fighter hit die. d6 min, or maybe upping HD would be options to consider. Are you considering class restrictions by species? That might also fix some elements.

On the topic of dice, watch the tooth-n-claw damage. Cheetah has TnC of 1d8 - the same as a longsword. Why would a cheetah... or bear... or crocodile arm themselves with anything smaller than a two-handed sword? If you want to keep the emphasis on fantasy fighting, dial the TnC back a level: 1d3 (which is the normal unarmed strike damage - only here it's not subdual since, y'know, fangs), 1d4 (built in dagger), 1d6 (dangerous beast, huge natural weapons). Save the higher dice for attacks with limitations: Only on a charge, requires successful grapple, penalty to hit or to AC for awkward position, exhausting, etc.


Please, keep going on this!
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SmootRK
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:27 pm

I agree with Joe to minimize or often just eliminate some of the Bite and Claw attacks... they are anthropomorphic and use equipment for the most part.

Personally, I would focus in on a subset of creatures... for instance, in Redwall the primary characters are mostly rodent and/or small woodland creatures.
Another sort of sub-setting might be African/Safari oriented, where everyone is Lions, Zebra, Rhino, etc. Lego-Chima takes this approach.
Yet another sort of sub-setting could be all Bear oriented (Polar, Grizzly, Black Bears as the main races, pitted against some antagonist race(s)).

While some size/ability equalization is good for a game/setting, I think it would be odd to have Mouse vs Rhino fights. The mismatch goes beyond just the mechanics. Some "Thematic grouping" would be best in my mind.
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LibraryLass
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:24 am

There's another word besides Funny Animal you could use, but you're not gonna like it...

Unlike Smoot, I say the more variety the merrier-- I agree restricting natural weapon damage is a definitely good plan, though. You could try to adjust the size range to keep them in the halfling-ogre range, though. The Narnia movies did that with Reepicheep, certainly.
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JVWest
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:32 am

LibraryLass wrote:There's another word besides Funny Animal you could use, but you're not gonna like it...

Unlike Smoot, I say the more variety the merrier-- I agree restricting natural weapon damage is a definitely good plan, though. You could try to adjust the size range to keep them in the halfling-ogre range, though. The Narnia movies did that with Reepicheep, certainly.
Hah. Yeah, I'm very familiar with the word of which you speak. I use it as a descriptor just like I'm using every other word for this genre but I won't use it as a primary descriptor. Too much baggage.
JVWest
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Re: Basic Fighting Animals! (Test)

Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:42 am

Thank you all for the great feedback.

I've been working on a stand alone game called Rabbits & Rangers for quite a while and I developed an original system for it. I focused pretty heavily on the size differential because I do want a mouse to fight a rhino. The mouse would be greatly outmatched but its size would give it a huge advantage in terms of escaping or surviving the battle.

Basically the point is I want players to be able to choose just about any kind of animal and play it as a PC without worrying too much about the size issue...but I want the size issue to be a real in-game thing to be dealt with. And I think the size differential rule kinda works.

On the subject of TnC damage I'll have to look more closely at that. This was a first-pass draft so I might have overdid it. But at the same time, I'm also working from slightly different assumptions that might be common for BFRPG. I might have to adjust my thinking to better fit the BFRPG style.

For example, I never bought the idea that a dagger only does 1d4 damage. I always go 1d6 when I'm running D&D or any of the OGL type games. As an aside, I've always loved the idea of playing a character that uses daggers as a primary weapon but I hated the fact that hey did such wimp damage. Anyway, that's a tangent.

I'll take a second look at TnC damage.
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