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  • Animals and Hunting

    I'm planning a game in Victorian-era "Canada", so predictably a good portion of the players picked Gangrel and hunting Moose and such in the guise of wolves for vitae did come up. The thing is, scarcity of feeding grounds is one of the themes I want to instil into the game, and the amount of vitae big animals give (easily around five) is quite high. This is mostly a "problem" for simplified feeding rolls. From a story perspective I'm sure I can bring up complications (werewolves and all kinds of nasty things in the forest), but I'm wondering how one would handle this purely from a mechanical perspective? Should I base the size of animals found on successes rolled on the feeding roll? Just randomize it? Should there be penalties on feeding rolls hunting animals? Perhaps the feeding interval should be higher than the normal 1 hour?

    Looking for some opinions on this matter.

  • #2
    Well, if you're hunting animals, you might injure them. That might lower the effective Vitae they can get out of it. Otherwise, impose appropriate penalties for the type of animal, the area they're hunting in, time of night, etc. With penalties they might need to take more time, or you could increase the time table. I think either idea could work.


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    • #3
      This is why I don't care for feeding rolls. The results always seem artificial to me. Have you tried the diceless feeding rules? They're not perfect, but this seems like the kind of situation where they would be useful.


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      • #4
        I haven't tried them, no, but it might be possible. I'd have to look into it as chasing an animal doesn't necessarily leave as much room for much interaction as, say, chatting up someone in a bar. I'm not going to roll for feeding every time, but sometimes when you've got everyone there for a session and three people say "I want to hunt first", it can be useful to handle it a bit faster if you're not that interested at that time.

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        • #5
          Indeed, they are often a necessary evil. I do think a longer interval time would make a lot of sense.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Unahim View Post
            (easily around five) .
            I'd like to disagree with this part. Size 4-5 animals provide 3 vitae. Each size above that provides one more. So 5 vitae comes from size 7 animal. As far as I know, Moose are what, size 5-6? Finding someone which "easily" has 5 vitae available should not be so trivial...


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Griautis View Post

              I'd like to disagree with this part. Size 4-5 animals provide 3 vitae. Each size above that provides one more. So 5 vitae comes from size 7 animal. As far as I know, Moose are what, size 5-6? Finding someone which "easily" has 5 vitae available should not be so trivial...
              A "horse" is size 7 according to the animal stats we got, and there's types of horses that are bigger, and types of horses that are smaller than a moose, even if you want to argue we shouldn't just be taking the template. We have a template for Deer, but among this category moose are by far the largest. Size 7 seems to fit, so 5 vitae. I agree it should not be trivial to get your hands on this stuff, and I want to develop a fair way to adjucate it, hence the thread for ideas.
              Last edited by Unahim; 07-23-2014, 07:22 PM.

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              • #8
                My thoughts to help press the theme of blood scarcity would be to write up some easily inserted hunting scenes. Obviously the goal should be to make hunting harder then the players might like, while often still supplying the blood.

                While stalking a moose in the evening or early morning the creature is felled by a group of armed hunters, just before the player(s) could reach it.

                While searching for that ever elusive meal ticket the player(s) unknowingly step in front of the yawing mouth of a hungry bears den.

                The player(s) spot a moose only a few dozen yards off the problem is between here and there is Thinfrost lake and even a single misstep will leave the player(s) wet and hungry.

                Tracking the blood scent from their wounded quarry the player(s) rush headlong into their plot specific antagonist.

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                • #9
                  Snow & Fauna: The Moose Hunter Chronicles. I like your ideas. I guess it would just require some abstraction.


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                  • #10
                    Honestly I think you're probably needlessly complicating it. A moose isn't an easy kill. They're aggressive, and it's not unheard of for them to cripple or kill a wolf.
                    Moose are not nocturnal, so if they don't find and kill one in the first hour or so right after sundown or just before sunrise they're out of luck unless they're going to spend the night crashing through the forest trying to find where they sleep.
                    If they're going to imitate wolves, then they're going to harry and kill moose calves, or an old and sick moose thus its not unreasonable to say they don't get full vitae from one.
                    Five vitae split three+ ways isn't overly impressive.
                    If they don't have Survival, I might consider dice penalties but honestly for a straight up roll I probably wouldn't change the mechanics overmuch. Assuming they spend the first three hours after sunset hunting, they may not have caught a moose but they may have managed to find a beaver lodge, or stumbled across a salt lick where a herd of mountain goats were getting their calcium supplement.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Audrey St. John View Post
                      Honestly I think you're probably needlessly complicating it.
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                      There's a lot of good food for thought in the thread. I think a mix of having things occasionally happen during the hunting trips and such things as Audrey described probably make most sense. Out of curiosity, do non-nocturnal, non-hibernating animals stay awake during the night in the winter, when the day is very short? Can't much imagine them all only staying up the 4-6 hours of sunlight there is.

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                      • #12
                        Speaking from firsthand experience, I have actually seen a deer outside along the highway near the GDS around 9:30 pm when we were out looking at Christmas displays but that was one time in over 15 years.
                        My husband and his friend see them occasionally (same general vicinity near the highway) around 4 in the morning while out driving, before sunrise. And I see plenty of rabbits and foxes before sunrise. I'd be inclined to think non-nocturnal animals probably stir shortly before sunrise to instinctively take advantage of the fact that nocturnal predators are in decline. It's easier to spot potential dangers and forage for food when light and the temperature is gradually increasing rather than decreasing.
                        Last edited by Audrey St. John; 07-24-2014, 11:51 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I've read somewhere that during the winter the gains of foraging can be lower than the energy expenditure in bad conditions, so I guess that during the winter it does make sense for them to stop quite fast when it gets too dark, yeah.

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                          • #14
                            Also worth considering is overhunting. The population is much smaller than for humans and also has a lower rate of replenishment, so if you keep hunting the same area every week (once or twice, per person, I would wager) pretty soon (within a year or five?) there just wouldn't BE much worth hunting nearby.
                            Now if there are five vampies hunting around the city, and slowly moving outwards, the circle of "wildlife scarcity" could become pretty large within just a couple of years.

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                            • #15
                              Just don't take enough to kill the larger wildlife outright. If you're low enough Blood Potency and have any amount of Animalism, it should be pretty easy to keep well fed in a time before wildlife depletion really hit its stride hardcore in Canada, even around cities unless you're dealing with the outskirts of someplace like Montreal. Plus, trappers, hunters, gold panners and the native population who generally stuck around where hunting was good in many areas. It's thinner and smaller, sure, but there is a -heavy- amount of overthinking and unecessary details and hyperbole being bandied around here.

                              As is in my city... I get coyotes, foxes, deer, moose, bears and a hell of a lot of jack rabbits among other things around. That's right now, in a capital. Less so the moose wandering through or the bears, but the coyotes are anything but rare (though unlike places like Vancouver, these ones are still afraid of people so you see them less unless you pay attention) and the jackrabbits may as well be pigeons. White-tailed deer are pretty common too; as in, go at night, walk to the outskirt (or even by the local university) and there they are, especially in the wee hours.

                              Also, don't forget those shitting, hissing hellbeasts, Canadian Geese. Size 1? Naw. Bigger. Common. Large numbers. Water fowl are something you don't want to overlook; extra fun when you actually have Animalism 3.

                              Once again there's some hunting hyperbole being bandied about; there are some heavy assumptions being made regarding the "lack of people outside of cities"; if you're dealing with the setting and time you are, hunting itself is less the issue (until you're purely reliant on humans, and even then there's nor eason to make it arbitrarily difficult unless you want a gritty wilderness survival focus) so much as mobility and the seasons; winter is going to be rougher more than anything else and moving on with the herds (keeping up that is). There is still abundant animals active mind you, especially at night when it comes to deer. I understand a lot of people aren't used to this, or cities or small towns that aren't a certain way but... yeah, don't let arbitrary details hamstring you before you get rolling. Exceptions are abundant. Micromanaging arbitrary numbers doesn't add enjoyment to the experience of the players.

                              At the end of the day, what's the focus? A survival simulation? Something else? If you're trying to make it fun and evocative the numbers and dice mods aren't going to amount to much of anything. A series of moose hunting vignettes is gonna get stale pretty quick too from a diceless perspective. Do you want feeding scarce, or do you just want to highlight the more rural feel more?

                              I'd one of the suggestions from B&S in the end; for long spans of time, roll a d10 for amounts, add in any relevant merits for Vitae gained (modify it as per any relevant Disciplines too if ya like that make sense). If it's night by night roughly for scene progression, do the hunting rolls. If you want to account for hunting being extra scarce, use a -3 mod to the night per night, and subtract 2 or 3 from any d10 result if hunting scenes aren't the primary focus that time around. If things are dire, halve any results (rounding down). 1d10 works in most instances anyhow to gauge where people are at and how hungry. If they get an exceptional success while hunting animal prey on the per-night rolls, instead of them calling on a human as a twist, perhaps they find a lush, watering hole, First Nations encapment or a small trading fort they can backtrack to later with ease.

                              Let the PC's contend with those lean times where they have to interact with each other and the rest of the setting on low Vitae reserves; they'll have good and bad stretches. If bad, it'll come more down to direct interactions from a bad hunting roll; no more hunting rolls (been done and reflected mechanically, so don't give them another after, you've already covered it after all) stymies a lot of the "topping up" PCs like to do at times. Reserve the interaction scenes for after those results for when they're out and among humans (don't let them take "breaks" to hunt while doing them, turn to full on RP mode); that way the feeding -has- to be predicated on more direct RP interactions rather than abstracts, and can go any number of ways with interesting results.

                              If ya like In areas, especially near isolated water sources, hunting may get bonuses. In areas where a larger population of First Nations may be around, that too may increase things. Let stumbling upon a trapper or the like be one of those "treats in a pinch" where you see if someone kills the poor bugger, or if they keep them alive, make a deal or who knows what.


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