Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Real Monsters

I am a monster movie fan. I was glued to the TV as a kid for every Saturday creature feature. Frankenstein, zombies, Dracula, werewolves, even the mummy, but also Godzilla, King Kong and the big guys. It’s not that I really loved the monsters, but I loved the fantasy action movies.

So I think most of us have the human sized monsters in our fantasy games, but what about the giants? The honest answer when it comes to Legend Quest at least is that giant monsters don’t fit. I don’t know how I could incorporate King Kong vs. human sized characters. Sure, I could give him an Endurance (and therefore Life’s Blood or whatever you want to call hits to kill) that was monumental, but how do I handle him attacking? I tend to think that instead of giving a giant monster huge points, he/it should instead have a type of armor (call it thick skin) that would prevent most human sized weapons from affecting him. In the same vein, I could make it extremely difficult for such a giant to hit a human sized opponent. Imagine you grabbing a fly out of the air - kind of the same thing.

The thing is, I do have these problems already. What happens when pixies shoot their bows at humans? But in some cases, it’s not a matter of picking at flies. If King Kong swipes his arm across a roof top and there are people on the rooftop - he doesn’t have to be as precise anymore. Now he can utilize his great strength and anyone in the way is going to die. That doesn’t make for great role-playing scenarios - players don’t like their enemy constantly getting one-shot kills. But to a point, I have to figure it out.

When it comes to dragons, I think the scale is still one of strength vs. strength. Sure, dragons are vastly bigger than humans, but it isn’t on such a scale that the dragons could easily fail to notice the humans. LQ dragons are around 30’ long, so humans are still 20% of their size. I still might want to make certain dragon attacks a little harder to land. If it had a piercing tail spike or even a bite it might be tougher, but slashing attacks with its claws should utilize the creature’s great strength and even be allowed to hit multiple human sized enemies.

FYI - In the first King Kong movie, the stop action guys admit that depending on which scene you’re watching, Kong was between 18’ and 70’. They intentionally altered his height for the right amount of drama. So, how do I figure out what to do with that?

I’m going to work on this a bit - probably even playtesting some of the modifiers. Years ago I added an optional rule for size adjustments to accuracy, but we used them most often for things like hitting an apple at 100 paces, not pixies or dragons. I intend to share the full rules here before we publish the Omnibus edition of Legend Quest, but sometimes things move at different speeds than I would like. Honestly this probably belongs more in the realm of Monsters & Other Menaces, but I’m sure we can make it work!

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