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    Default Constitution of little animals

    Hey guys!

    One of my player's character has a cat and I'm trying to write down its stats. My player intend to bring him in a D&D like adventure and, after all, it will be very funny to have some combats with it!

    This is a cat, so it is supposed to have few hit points because it is little. But here, I noticed a problem with the rules. Little creatures, to have few hit points, also have a low Constitution score. See the venomous snake description for instance (Big Golden Book, page 338).

    For Hit points, this is not a problem. But it is for all the rest. Because it means that little creatures are necessary sickly. Feeble Stamina, feeble resistance to poisons, feeble resistance to illnesses, etc.

    I a snake, or a cat, or any other little creatures necessarily supposed to be much sicklier than a human? Aren't creatures who survive in wilderness without any medicine not supposed to be healthier than humans, to the contrary?

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    Since all animals are able to survive in their specific environments I usually give them
    a Constitution of 10 for everything relating to their health. For example, the snow owls
    in my arctic Asornok setting have Con 6/10, with the 10 used for Stamina rolls.
    "Mind like parachute, function only when open."
    (Charlie Chan)

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    Yeah Gollum, you're onto something.

    In old RQ, most creatures had a CON of 3D6. THat is they could range the gamut of health the way humans do. But with RQ3/BRP the SIZ scale was expanded a bit, and CON was adjusted to help reflect the greater hit points and resistance of larger creatures, and, conversely the lower hit points and resistance of smaller creatures.

    I did a bit on math on this but the simply answer is that CON (and STR) vary at 3/rd the rate of SIZ. Or, basically, an average animal's CON score should be about 3/rds it SIZ. Give or take a few points. So if you cat is SIZ 3, a CON and STR of 2 are about right.

    Truthfully, small critters shouldn't be this unhealthy, but that's the quick fix. IMO the correct fix would be to replace the BRP formula for hit points with something that is sort of reverse the RQ 1-2 hit point formula. THat is Hit Points = SIZ plus a modifier for CON (1-3 = -3 4-6=-2 7-9= -1 13-15= +1, 16-18= +2, etc.
    Smiley when you say that.

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    To be fair, small animals will have less resistance to human-sized doses of poison or drugs. Arguably they also have less resistance to cold due to the square-cube law, which is why small animals in cold climates have heavier fur or feathers.

    Hm, this could get complicated.
    Frank
    "A hidden corridor! Fortunately it was labeled!" -- Sadie Doyle, "Beyond Belief: Sarcophagus Now", The Thrilling Adventure Hour

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    Wow... Three answers in so little time! Thank you very much.

    So, yes, after thinking a bit more about it, I came to the conclusion that a low Constitution score was not necessarily a bad idea. And I especially thought about poisons. The same dose of venom absolutely don't have the same effect on a rat than on an elephant! I didn't think at all about cold, however. I just didn't know that little creatures were more sensitive to it. Thank you for this data.

    Thank you for the math about the relation between variation of Size and variation of Constitution too. It will be very helpful.

    And finally, for all what you said, I think that the best solution is to split the Constitution score for little creature as well as very big ones... Indeed, it simplifies things a lot: when the creature is supposed to be more sensitive (poison, hit points...), you use the lower score. And when the creature is not supposed to be more sensitive, you use the higher one. A rat will suffer much farther from a given dose of poison than an elephant, but he won't necessarily have more chance to get an indigestion.

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    If it helps, here is the write up on Cats from CoC's Dreamlands.

    Cats
    STR 1d3
    CON 2d6
    SIZ 1
    INT 2d6+6
    POW 2d6+6
    DEX 2d6+24
    Move 10

    Weapons: Bite 30%, 1d4-db
    Claw 40%, 1d3-db
    Rip 80%, 2d3-db

    Armor: none

    Spells: able to leap through space to other worlds.

    Sanity Loss: it costs no sanity to see a cat.

    Habitat: Cities and the Dreamlands Moon.
    70/420

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    It helps, thank you. 2d6+24 for DEX? Wow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    To be fair, small animals will have less resistance to human-sized doses of poison or drugs. Arguably they also have less resistance to cold due to the square-cube law, which is why small animals in cold climates have heavier fur or feathers.

    Hm, this could get complicated.
    Not really. That's what SIZ is for. What some of us have been suggesting is using hit points instead of CON for resistance against toxins. That way you factor it for greater mass (SIZ).
    Smiley when you say that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atgxtg View Post
    Not really. That's what SIZ is for. What some of us have been suggesting is using hit points instead of CON for resistance against toxins. That way you factor it for greater mass (SIZ).
    Another good solution, yes. And some RPG, like GURPS, even decided to base Hit Points directly on strength...

    But, in my humble opinion, the split CON score is still the best solution. It allow to have to numbers: one when there is no difference between a little and a bigger creature (like illness, resistance to fatigue while running, walking very long distances...) and another one where the size is a difference. Using SIZ or another stat may be a very good solution, but it is still a bit strange... "Make a stamina roll" is more logical than "Make a size/Hit Point roll".

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