Animals biting damage
Here is another thread about animals... Yes, that is the first time I pay enough attention to them to need their full stats. And the answers to my previous thread about little creatures constitution were so bright (thanks to everyone) that I don't hesitate to post this new one.
So, here we are...
Though there is no doubt than the amount of damage inflicted by a character is linked to his strength (I prefer standing a little child punch in the stomach than the one of a 7' and 300 lbs muscle man), the damage bonus system sometimes gives very strange results.
A horse (big golden book page 336), for instance, is far much stronger than a wolf (big golden book page 340). No doubt with that. So, logically, he has a huger damage bonus (horse: +2D6; wolf: None) And as long as it is for kicks, there is no problem with that. A wolf kick may harm, but not as much as a horse's hoof blow.
But now, suppose that our horse bites. He does much more damage than the wolf!
- Horse biting damage: 1D3 + 1/2 DB = 1D3 + 1D6. Range, 2 to 9; average 5 to 6.
- Wolf biting damage: 1D8 + 1/2 DB = 1D8. Range 1 to 8; average 4 to 5.
I do agree with the fact that a horse biting can be harmful. It can even sever a finger. But this still has nothing to do with a wolf's bite! Wolves kill with their jaws. Horses don't.
Yes, but horses don't bite you on the throat do they? Well not any horses that I've encountered...shudder. :(
Originally Posted by Gollum
I'd have no problem with allowing Wolves full DB on their bite damage - the entry regarding Damage Bonus at the beginning of that chapter clearly suggests that if the GM regards a creatures strength as playing a significant role in an attack they can allow a full DB...
I'd have to agree with this. Giving wolves their full DB on bite attacks would be prudent since their bites naturally are so deadly. Not that a horses can't be harmful, but a wolf is more trained to hunt/kill with their bites than a horse is.
Originally Posted by NickMiddleton
Originally Posted by Conrad
Sorry, tell that to my Laundry group that had one PC lose his ear, one get trampled to death, one get a chunk out of his buttocks and one who lost much of his face.
True, the creature weren't exactly a horse but a juvenile Equoid (uprated a bit from basic horse stats).
Thank you again for these very fast answers.
Some notes, though…
Of course, horses rarely attack throat, unlike wolves (except outstanding ones like those living in the quite strange world of Laundry! ;D). But the problem precisely arises when the GM doesn't use hit locations – which is what I do.
As soon as hit locations are used, the problem is quite solved. The horse will bite a finger, an ear, the nose, or something like that, and it will be severed. That's perfectly realistic.
Now, if hit locations are not used, the horse can kill an average man with only two or three bites. Not just severely harm him. But really kill him. Which becomes not only unrealistic but also unbelievable.
In reality, horses bite a lot. Especially savage ones. And they do it one again each other. If their biting was so powerful, they would surely bite wolves… and win the fight.
So, one solution could be, as said above, to use full Damage Bonus for wolves.
But Damage Bonus for wolves is None, so it wouldn't change anything. And using full Damage Bonus for carnivores would have another unexpected impact: it would make the tiger's bite, for instance, as powerful as an assault rifle (1D10 + 1D6 vs 2D6 + 2; average result 9). Brief, predators would become more dangerous than they are supposed to be…
Another solution would be to systematically use the pulling blow rule for herbivores' bite… But the question would inevitably be: why? A horse in a life or death situation would certainly bite as strongly as he can…
May be the main difference between horses and wolves is simply their skill level. A horse can do a lot of damage when biting, but does not do it as often and naturally as a wolf and in any way are not as good as wolves in biting.
Yes, I thought about it... But the problem still remains during the game (even if it corrects things in the statistical average of results).
The horse bite a character... Critical success. Oh my! 9 points of damage and armor is ignored! That's not anymore a horse but a terrible monster!
Edit: note that if the horse was biting a dog or even a wolf, he right killed him in only one bite! =| "Every knight around makes a sanity roll... And the horse owner a difficult one, please!", said the GM.
In Stormbringer 5th horses do 1d10 damage, no db, Wolves 1d8+db... still, average wolves do less damage. I would simply give no db to bite atacks and vary damage according to size and bite quality. So a BGB horse bite would do 1d3 and a wolf bite 1d8.
Gollum, maybe Erasmus and I should get you to join our bestiary project?
The problem with the bite here is that while horses are stronger than wolves, the muscles horse use to bite are not at strong as those wolves use to bite. Plus, horses are herbivores and their teeth and designed to grind and mush vegetable matter, while wolves are carnivores and their teeth are designed to tear flesh and kill prey.
IMO, the solution is to reduce the horse's bite damage. Something like just using db in d3's might fix this. I just don't see a horse bite doing much more damage than a light mace, tops.