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Author Topic: Tékumelani fauna
Miihkali
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 27
Post Tékumelani fauna
on: February 14, 2015, 09:28

I was wondering if there is some information on the absolute sizes of Tékumelani creatures. We know how tall certain nonhumans tend to be, but are there additional deetails available. Sandy Petersen's RuneQuest conversion for Tékumel could be used as a guideline as the system includes a statistic for size, but I'm not sure if his numbers are correct. (Even though the conversion is pretty good otherwise.) For example, he gives Shunned Ones considerably higher SIZ than for humans. I'd guess a typical Shunned One might have in fact less mass than a typical human even though they are taller. At least they are portrayed very very thin beings, even pathologically so.

As for the other nonhumans, I'd guess Shén might weigh about 1,5 or 2 times as much as a human of its height. Ahoggya probably even more. Tinaliya are probably very lightweight, perhaps something like 10 or 20 kg.

The size of Tékumelani animals could be determined by comparing to a similar real-life animal. For example Chlén appears to be kind of a six-legged Triceratops. According to Wikipedia: "Individual Triceratopes are estimated to have reached about 7.9 to 9.0 m (26.0–29.5 ft) in length, 2.9 to 3.0 m (9.5–9.8 ft) in height, and 6.1–12.0 tonnes (13,000–26,000 lb) in weight." These seem to be plausible numbers for Chlén, too.

How much is known about the diet of Tékumelani beasts? For example, given the fact that there are animals from dozens of worlds many animal breeds might be totally incompatible with each other. I remember A.C. Clarke once writing how a shark-like fish of Europa ate a human and soon afterwards died out of food poisoning.

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 421
Post Re: Tékumelani fauna
on: February 15, 2015, 09:59

The Bethorm creature stats are based on the previously published source material (primarily the Gardasiyal Beastiary). In some cases, measurements are explicitly stated. In other cases, the stats can give a rough guide to the average dimensions of the creatures.

Compare the creature's "Size Mod" score to the descriptions of the "Gigantism" disadvantage and the "Small" advantage. The size rules in the combat section (9.2.1) echo that information.

You can get a sense of how massive a creature may be, within its size rating, by examining its PHYS score. All things being equal, each point of PHYS over 10 would come with a -1 size penalty, and each point of PHYS under 10 would come with a size bonus of +1. So, a creature with a size mod of -1 but a PHYS of only 9 is relatively frail and infirm, despite its size, while a creature with a size mod of 1 but a PHYS of 11 is relatively beefy and fit.

Regarding diet: excellent question! A certain amount of genetic engineering was applied by the Great Ancients, but even so, some creatures are described as 'inedible' while others (such as the Thunru'u) have specific, quirky dietary preferences. I've never seen any comprehensive references on who can eat what, and why; that would be a very helpful resource. In my own games, I've taken to rolling randomly to determine edibility when the PCs consider eating something they've caught.

-Jeff

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 421
Post Re: Tékumelani fauna
on: February 15, 2015, 10:03

One final thing about the size stat in Bethorm: you can estimate a creature's weight by subtracting its size modifier from 10, looking up the result in the Value column on the characteristic table (page 30), and multiplying by 10 kilograms. For example, a Large Krua (size mod -4) weighs 'about' 400 kilograms, or 880 pounds.

-Jeff

GeorgeHamm-
ond
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 12
Post Re: Tékumelani fauna
on: June 12, 2015, 01:22

Re edibility: the world was created by a linguist born in 1920. The idea of biochemical incompatibilities between independently evolved biotas just wasn't part of his vision for the world, and isn't addressed in any of his work. The table in 4.10 of different meat prices is pretty much all he had to say about it.
Pretty much the entire biosphere of Tekumel is an artifact, an artificially created and modified system, so you can decide whatever you want about it. There has been thousands of years of evolution to allow species to learn (consciously or otherwise) what to eat and what not to. Barker in his own writings didn't really get very ecological about "monsters", and the descriptions of most of them don't mention even basic aspects of behavior or reproduction. We are on our own.

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