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  • Very Large Horrors

    I recently asked about this issue in regards to a character idea I had whose Horror was a train (thanks for the nightmares, Amazing Stories), but I seem to have stumbled onto a broader issue concerning size and Horrors that represent things like giants and sea monsters.

    Specifically, there's no way to actually have the kind of size necessary to justify the descriptions of these things.

    Take a Makara whose Horror is a whale-like deep sea beast. There's descriptive text in the book about creatures like this causing huge waves and capsizing ships, but by the rules as written there's no way your Horror can be anywhere close to the size of even a real life whale, let alone a monster whale from a person's nightmares.

    If your base size is 6, assuming you're already Giant, and your Lair is 3, then the biggest your Horror can be, according to the sidebar, is size 12. That's the size of a car, not even close to the size of a whale.

    The Looming Presence atavism seems to suggest a much larger Horror, but as worded it specifically says it only affects perception of your size, not actual size. It seems like a common sense house rule to have it affect the Horror's actual size, but strictly as written that's not what it says.

    Has anyone else found this to be an issue? Do you just hand-wave it?

  • #2
    I'd handwave it by saying that dreams tend to screw with people's perceptions, and work on its own logic outside physical constraints.

    The whale-Horror, for instance, might only be as big as... whatever a Size 6-10 animal is in real life. But when it cruises around the neighborhood's dreamscape to cause nightmares, people see it as Moby Dick.

    I admit though, this handwave does not take into context what happens when a Hero barges into the Lair to kill the whale, or when the Beast overlaps his Lair on the physical world to assume his whale-form for a brief moment. Hallucinations induced by supernatural nightmare creatures still seem like what I'd come up, but still.


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      You could simply say that the Size which you generate from your normal size and the Lair reflects the amount of power the Beast can channel - how much of your Size actually matters in mechanical terms - while the Horror itself can appear to be whatever size you like. It's just that when interacting with the world - apart from possibly with regards to fitting inside something - the Horror counts as being whatever mechanical size it is.


      Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Abattoirista View Post
        I recently asked about this issue in regards to a character idea I had whose Horror was a train (thanks for the nightmares, Amazing Stories), but I seem to have stumbled onto a broader issue concerning size and Horrors that represent things like giants and sea monsters.

        Specifically, there's no way to actually have the kind of size necessary to justify the descriptions of these things.

        Take a Makara whose Horror is a whale-like deep sea beast. There's descriptive text in the book about creatures like this causing huge waves and capsizing ships, but by the rules as written there's no way your Horror can be anywhere close to the size of even a real life whale, let alone a monster whale from a person's nightmares.

        If your base size is 6, assuming you're already Giant, and your Lair is 3, then the biggest your Horror can be, according to the sidebar, is size 12. That's the size of a car, not even close to the size of a whale.

        The Looming Presence atavism seems to suggest a much larger Horror, but as worded it specifically says it only affects perception of your size, not actual size. It seems like a common sense house rule to have it affect the Horror's actual size, but strictly as written that's not what it says.

        Has anyone else found this to be an issue? Do you just hand-wave it?
        To be fair size in chronicles is pretty hard to define example of this is dark eras

        Bear size 7
        Elephant size 15

        Or even In chronicles main book
        Limousine size 20
        Suv size 15

        I'd agree with hermit or ajf eighter handwave it or say that the horror can only be this big via being in his lair
        Last edited by reaperfrost8; 12-26-2016, 12:04 PM.

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        • #5
          Considering how your size plays an affect on your Health, I think a literal whale-sized Beast would be extremely over powered. They might have three or even four times as many health boxes as any other splat in the game, especially if they're causing waves like that.


          Personally, I'd say that the natural disasters being caused are the result of Nightmares and Atavisms being used, but the Beast's victims mistake them to be something else. I mean, after all, how many details do you remember clearly after waking up from a dream?

          Or, since you're talking about a Makara, you could chalk their size up to an old fisherman's tale. Those things always seem to get bigger every time they tell it.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 12-26-2016, 01:34 PM.

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          • #6
            The only thing I can think to do is handwave it, but it still represents a huge disconnect between the fluff in the book, which talks about capsizing ships and towering over humans, and the mechanics which really don't bear that out.

            All I can figure is that they always seem bigger than they are, as per Looming Presence, but that takes a lot of the cool factor out of being a giant. In that case, you aren't really a giant, you're just kind of a big guy with illusions and tricks to make up the difference. Not as cool.

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            • #7
              I was debating on granting satiety expenditure bonus of looming presence's size to Horror's size, and +5 for advanced giant. With Giant, Advanced Giant, and Looming Presence, and Lair 3, your beast could therefore reach to size 17- a pretty decent pump.
              Last edited by ArchonAres; 12-26-2016, 06:09 PM.

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              • #8
                I guess you just have to handwave it. It's not super important to me that Beasts based on huge creatures have more health or even numerically large size, it just feels like an even greater suspension of disbelief to have a Makara the size of a car who nonetheless is supposed to believably be capable of wrecking ships. Especially if you have a Looming Size, in which case you can have a scenario where people get this impression of your Horror as something absolutely gigantic, but then they actually enter your Lair and the Horror in person is much smaller.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abattoirista View Post
                  I guess you just have to handwave it. It's not super important to me that Beasts based on huge creatures have more health or even numerically large size, it just feels like an even greater suspension of disbelief to have a Makara the size of a car who nonetheless is supposed to believably be capable of wrecking ships. Especially if you have a Looming Size, in which case you can have a scenario where people get this impression of your Horror as something absolutely gigantic, but then they actually enter your Lair and the Horror in person is much smaller.
                  I can believe a horror the size of a car can wreck especially if he has the right atavism or nightmares

                  Example
                  Give a horror Looming Presence for size

                  Cylopean strength which give the person the ability to move/lift anything that does not exceed
                  size × lair + 1

                  Titanic blow ignore durability by stamina + lair

                  And thats without satiety expenditure or horror stats

                  I don't think a person who just entered this beast lair is lair is gonna care about the size of a beast if it can you know still destroy a ship.

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                  • #10
                    Why increase the size when size doesn't increase your horrors health boxes?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by reaperfrost8 View Post

                      I can believe a horror the size of a car can wreck especially if he has the right atavism or nightmares

                      Example
                      Give a horror Looming Presence for size

                      Cylopean strength which give the person the ability to move/lift anything that does not exceed
                      size × lair + 1

                      Titanic blow ignore durability by stamina + lair

                      And thats without satiety expenditure or horror stats

                      I don't think a person who just entered this beast lair is lair is gonna care about the size of a beast if it can you know still destroy a ship.

                      You make a very good point about the capability of such a Beast. I'm probably just overthinking it. I just noticed what seems to be a bit of a disconnect between all the fluff about vast sea monsters and giants and stuff, and what appears to be actually a pretty limited range of actual size. You're right, though. I doubt a person is going to pause in the midst of being crushed to reflect on how he sort of imagined the Beast would be bigger.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wrequis View Post
                        Why increase the size when size doesn't increase your horrors health boxes?

                        Just coolness. At least for my dollar, actual health dots from size don't matter as much a being able to lay credible claim to mythical bigness.

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                        • #13
                          I think I calculated a maximum Size of 18 at Lair 10 once before. At this time, there were no examples of anything at Size 20. My group had no clue what to use, since Size is, to be blunt, entirely abstract and arbitrary. Is that kaiju sized, or not? Who knows?

                          In the end, my group said that it should have the potential to be giant-monster sized at roughly Size 15, and we went with that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
                            You could simply say that the Size which you generate from your normal size and the Lair reflects the amount of power the Beast can channel - how much of your Size actually matters in mechanical terms - while the Horror itself can appear to be whatever size you like. It's just that when interacting with the world - apart from possibly with regards to fitting inside something - the Horror counts as being whatever mechanical size it is.

                            That's how I ran with it the one time I did a beast game. Your beast can be so large that within it's lair it's basically the size of the observable universe, but it's mechanically size 5 because nothing's been done by the beast to upgrade its size. Which does make it quite entertaining when a beast the size of a person suplexes a beast that is the size of a skyscraper on steroids with the same effort as they could a normal person.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Abattoirista View Post
                              The only thing I can think to do is handwave it, but it still represents a huge disconnect between the fluff in the book, which talks about capsizing ships and towering over humans, and the mechanics which really don't bear that out.

                              All I can figure is that they always seem bigger than they are, as per Looming Presence, but that takes a lot of the cool factor out of being a giant. In that case, you aren't really a giant, you're just kind of a big guy with illusions and tricks to make up the difference. Not as cool.


                              Keep in mind that even with the basic Giant merit, your character is somewhere between 7 to 8 feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds. Unless everybody in the city is a professional basket ball player / body builder / morbidly obese, you're going to be at least a foot and a half taller than everybody else. But as stated earlier, the character's actual size may just be purely cosmetic, while their real power lies in the use of Atavisms and Nightmares. Some narratives from the book depict Beasts as being able to manipulate the weather itself, which could theoretically produce waves capable of capsizing ships, or winds strong enough to topple houses.
                              Last edited by Nyrufa; 12-27-2016, 10:55 PM.

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