Converting "Real World" Animals and Vermin

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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Ok, to start with the tongue attack, here's the tail sweep and the roper adhesive:
SRD said:
Tail Sweep (Ex): This special attack allows a dragon of at least Gargantuan size to sweep with its tail as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 30 feet (or 40 feet for a Colossal dragon), extending from an intersection on the edge of the dragon’s space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are four or more size categories smaller than the dragon. A tail sweep automatically deals the indicated damage plus 1½ times the dragon’s Strength bonus (round down). Affected creatures can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage (DC equal to that of the dragon’s breath weapon).

Drag (Ex): If a roper hits with a strand attack, the strand latches onto the opponent’s body. This deals no damage but drags the stuck opponent 10 feet closer each subsequent round (provoking no attack of opportunity) unless that creature breaks free, which requires a DC 23 Escape Artist check or a DC 19 Strength check. The check DCs are Strength-based, and the Escape Artist DC includes a +4 racial bonus. A roper can draw in a creature within 10 feet of itself and bite with a +4 attack bonus in the same round. A strand has 10 hit points and can be attacked by making a successful sunder attempt. However, attacking a roper’s strand does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the strand is currently attached to a target, the roper takes a -4 penalty on its opposed attack roll to resist the sunder attempt. Severing a strand deals no damage to a roper.

So I'd say that the tongue sweep can affect creatures up to 1 size smaller than the echidna but doesn't do damage other than the adhesive. Ref save to avoid. The roper's drag looks pretty good, but severing the tongue should probably cause some damage. The echidna's tongue is supposed to do 3d6 damage per round; does the value sound good and do you agree it sounds like acid damage?
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
I see no way for it to be any damage other than acid. Although in that case, perhaps we should add acid damage to the initial tongue sweep. Less than 3d6, perhaps. 1d6?

Demiurge out.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Yeah, 1d6 sounds about right.

How about this?

Tongue Sweep (Ex): The giant spiny anteater attacks by sweeping with its tongue as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 20 feet, extending from an intersection on the edge of the anteater's space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are one or more size categories smaller than the anteater. Affected creatures must make a DC X Ref save or become stuck to the tongue (see Drag below) and take 1d6 points of acid damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Drag (Ex): Any creature damaged by the spiny anteater's tongue sweep becomes stuck to the tongue. This deals 3d6 points of acid damage to each attached creature on the anteater's turn each round and drags stuck opponents 5 feet closer each subsequent round (provoking no attack of opportunity) unless that creature breaks free, which requires a DC X Escape Artist check or a DC X Strength check. The check DCs are Constitution-based. The tongue has 10 hit points and can be attacked by making a successful sunder attempt. However, attacking an anteater's tongue does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the tongue is currently attached to a target, the anteater takes a -4 penalty on its opposed attack roll to resist the sunder attempt. Severing the tongue deals 5 hp of damage to the anteater.

I took out the racial bonus to the Escape Artist DC and switched to Con-based. Since this doesn't have a bite attack (yet, anyway), I took out the bit about the bite, also.
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute!

The victims of a giant echidna attack only take 3d6 points of damage per round they're inside its mouth, not on the tongue! That supports the idea that the tongue itself does no damage, and that 3d6 should be represented by some manner of grapple mechanic (either Chew or Swallow Whole).

What do you think, sirs?

Demiurge out.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I was starting to wonder that myself. Here's an alternate version:

Tongue Sweep (Ex): The giant spiny anteater attacks by sweeping with its tongue as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 20 feet, extending from an intersection on the edge of the anteater's space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are one or more size categories smaller than the anteater. Affected creatures must make a DC X Ref save or become stuck to the tongue (see Drag below). The save DC is Constitution-based.

Drag (Ex): Any creature damaged by the spiny anteater's tongue sweep becomes stuck to the tongue. The giant echidna drags stuck opponents 5 feet closer each subsequent round (provoking no attack of opportunity) unless that creature breaks free, which requires a DC X Escape Artist check or a DC X Strength check. The check DCs are Constitution-based. The tongue has 10 hit points and can be attacked by making a successful sunder attempt. However, attacking an anteater's tongue does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the tongue is currently attached to a target, the anteater takes a -4 penalty on its opposed attack roll to resist the sunder attempt. Severing the tongue deals 5 hp of damage to the anteater.

Once a stuck opponent reaches the giant echidna's space, the echidna may make a grapple attempt as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it succeeds, it establishes a hold and can chew. The echidna may hold only one opponent at a time. The others remain stuck to its tongue (unless they escape as detailed above) but are not dragged closer.

Chew (Ex): Each round, a giant echidna deals 3d6 points of bludgeoning and piercing damage to any opponent held in its mouth.

Should there be a racial grapple bonus for the sticky tongue?
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
I say that a +4 racial bonus makes sense. The chewing damage should also incorporate the echidna's Strength score. So 3d6+5. We could theoretically reduce that to 2d6+5, if you're worried about it dealing too much damage.

Demiurge out.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
You're right, +5 for Str. I think the higher damage is ok, since it can't do too much else, but I'm ok with reducing also. Shade, what do you think?
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
All that looks fine.

Added to Homebrews.

Should it have anything on the attack lines, or simply use its tongue sweep?

I just checked the Wikipedia entry for more info.

This is, um, interesting:

The echidnas have a four-headed penis, but only two of the heads are used during mating. The other two heads "shut down" and do not grow in size. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal has sex.

This link gives some more useful information:

Rismiller, who also studies tiger snakes, admits she's obsessed with echidnas. "They're such wonderful, attractive, enigmatic animals. They have a rolling, waddling gait. Their spines make them look formidable, but they're really quite gentle animals. To see their little beaks and their little eyes looking up at you, it's Lord of the Rings all over. You think: 'Here is a wise little gnome.'"

That could be fun to incorporate. ;)

Adult echidnas are roughly the size and weight of newborn humans, but helpless they're not. Their short legs, heavy, backward-pointing rear claws, and broad shoulders are well-suited to powerful digging. Alone among mammals, echidnas can dig straight down, disappearing in minutes. Natural escape artists, echidnas can also dig through wooden garage doors and heavy plastic storage bins. Metal walls are a better deterrent, but they're not unbreachable, as researchers at the University of Melbourne discovered recently. A group of captive echidnas there were confined to a pen with corrugated-iron walls. "After three days," Rismiller says, "the researchers found the drinking bowls had been stacked in a corner, and all the echidnas had climbed out."

It looks like their burrowing will need a special ability allowing them to move through tougher materials.

Aussies may refer to echidnas casually as "porkies," but their spines have little in common with a porcupine's quills. Echidna spines lack barbs and are never thrown from the body. What's more, a porcupine can't use its quills to climb a rock crevice or right itself when upended, as an echidna can. "Echidna spines are actually modified hairs," says Rismiller. "They have a long root that goes into a special muscle layer no other mammal has." The animals can thus move spines individually or in small groups—to protect their heads, for example.

It looks like we'll need the spines/barbed defense we've used for other creatures.

Racial bonus on Climb checks?

Rismiller suspects that spines may aid in the species' survival in an unexpected way. Like other mammals, echidnas are hairy and milk-bearing, but their blood is only lukewarm. An active echidna's innards usually range between 88 and 91.5 degrees F, or 31 to 33 C. (An inactive echidna can be much cooler; to conserve energy, it can go into torpor, letting its body drop to as low as a few degrees above freezing.) "Cold doesn't deter them," says Rismiller, "but if their body temperature rises above 33 Celsius [well below what's normal for humans] heat stress will kill them." Echidnas have no sweat pores, nor do they pant. Might their spines, so deeply embedded in well-vascularized tissue, be capable of dissipating excess heat? The idea for now is conjecture, but Rismiller hopes to pursue it.

No need to save to avoid nonlethal damage in cold environs? Increased damage or more frequent saves vs. heat dangers?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Hmm, I guess that first tidbit can go in flavor if you want. :uhoh:

Improved burrowing is good. It seemed to me, though, that the spines are not barbed, so whatever barbed defense we have should be kind of weak. Maybe even just an improved natural armor bonus. Yes on the Climb bonus. I'd agree on no saves vs cold environments and double damage on a failed save vs hot environment dangers.
 

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