Monday, May 16, 2016

Encounter: Dire Pelican

So, I'm doing some research for a dungeon, and I need some monstrous pelicans; giant monstrous
Dalmatian Pelican,
largest breed of pelican
pelicans. You know, according to the wikipedia article, they were believed to stab their own breast to feed their young if they couldn't catch fish for them? Weird. In any case, let me see if I can come up with something that will work for a campaign I'm developing for, and a target of, let's say, 50 CER.


First off, let's take a look at things that can inspire us online. From the GURPS wiki, we have a character sheet for an Axe Beak, from Basic Set, we have the Wild Animal, meta-trait, and from Pyramid 3/76 we have a frog that can crush opponents in its mouth. Natural Encyclopedia also has a bird template (mostly, winged flight, and no fine manipulators). The version of dire pelican I'm statting will also have poisonous claws. I also like the idea of giving the Pelican the Born Biter feature from Martial Arts, page 115.

Putting Stuff Together

I've put some sharp feet and a sharp beak on our pelican, and a constriction attack and DX+2 Brawling and Wrestling.  It also has flight, doubling its speed. Let's see how strong this thing is right now to start.
Attack Skill2Active Defense0
Affliction2Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points0Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)12Total Protective Rating (PR)0
So off the bat, we have almost a quarter of our budget absorbed. Let's add a lot more ST to represent the bigness of this guy, and some HT and DX.

Attack Skill4Active Defense4
Affliction12Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points2Hit Points10
Total Offensive Rating (OR)36Total Protective Rating (PR)16
Ok, so this pelican is a bit too strong now, and it is still missing one feature I want, and that is poisoned claws, and a bit of DR. So 1 DR from thick fur (feathers really) and 5 ablative DR on the beak, and an affliction of -2 DX, IQ, and Nausea from the poisonous feet.
Attack Skill4Active Defense4
Affliction17Damage Resistance2
Fatigue Points2Hit Points10
Total Offensive Rating (OR)40Total Protective Rating (PR)16
So, the budget is slightly overblown by 6 points. Let's make the move 3 less, just because we can, and because FP isn't very important in a fighting capacity, we will take one FP away.

Attack Skill4Active Defense4
Affliction17Damage Resistance2
Fatigue Points1Hit Points10
Total Offensive Rating (OR)36Total Protective Rating (PR)16
Now we are at 52, not too bad. The Pelican also has two important flaws that can be taken advantage of in the form of a weak will and lowish Fatigue. Let's put these stats together now.

ST: 20HP: 20Speed: 6
DX: 4Will: 10Move: G6A9
IQ: 4Per: 10
HT: 12FP: 11SM: +1
Dodge: 8Parry: 10DR: 1 (Feathers) and 5 (Beak, Semi-Ablative)
Claws (14): Reach C-1, 2d+1 cutting, Follow Up Poison
Claw Poison (HT-3): Contact Agent, IQ-2, DX-2, Nausea, Lasts for an hour. In a day, roll against HT-3 again. Failure incurs more severe effects as GM deems appropriate as the wound has become infected. Suggestions include vomiting, fever, and hallucinations which will last for 2 days.
Peck (14): Reach C,1, 2d piercing +
Chomp (14): Reach C,1, Grapple with mouth, counts as two handed due to Born-Biter.
Crunch (N/A): If the pelican has someone in its jaws it can perform a constriction attack, A Quick contest of effective strength 22 versus the best of the target's ST or HT. This is not a free action, but the pelican can continue fighting other targets while devouring another.
Traits: Berserk(6), Bird, Built in Fishing Equipment, Claws, Sharp (Feet); Constriction Attack, Gluttony (9), Gregarious, No Fine Manipulators, Teeth, Sharp Beak
Feature: Born Biter
Skills: Brawling-14, Fishing - 14 Survival (Coast) - 16, Survival (Lake) - 16, Wrestling-14
Class: Dire Animal
Notes: Born Biter means that it's beak can grapple easily, but is also unusually easy to hit. Check Martial Arts, p. 115. Can be baited due to Gluttony. If 15 rations or 20 lbs of fish is thrown, roll against Gluttony to see if it goes after the food. This Self Control roll can be made more difficult with a quick contest of Cooking versus Will for preparing the fish or rations expertly, or Naturalist versus Will to know the most delicious parts to provide the Dire Pelican.
Pelicans have been uplifted in folklore as sacrificially loving parents. If adventurers distress hatchlings or encroach on the eggs of the pelicans, even by accident, they are liable to go into a berserk frenzy.
Nests are liable to have shinies, but also have eggs. Use disguise (animals) and stealth to approach carefully without disturbing the parents, and Search-5 to find something. Success is a roll on the jewel or weapons treasure table, GMs choice, critical success is both, failure by less than 2 is nothing found, failure by more is being noticed. Critical Failure is being noticed while your hand is trapped in the material of the nest.

Other Thoughts

I think having a youngling/hatchling's stats would be helpful as well, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader. My guess, take off 5-10 ST and change SM to make it so that the bite grapple doesn't count as a two handed grapple. I was inspired to write up a pelican because I want to do a GURPSish version of this dungeon for a tutorial, but I don't like the poisonous spines being in the bill, so I moved them to the feet.

Image Attribution

By Doug Janson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...