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A Spot Rule for Hunting ?


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Another one of those minor problems of my Thule setting ... :)

According to the rules I am using for this campaign, the ones from the German Call of Cthulhu

supplement "Mittelalter" ("Medieval Age"), a crossbow does a damage of 2D6, which becomes

a maximum of 24 for the best possible critical hit.

Looking at the creatures I have designed so far, this is not enough to kill some of the bigger

ones among them, from reindeer through musk oxen to the bigger species of seals, because

these often have more than 24 hit points.

However, I do not want to make a normal hunt a major affair in this campaign, and a hunter

should be able to down a reindeer or a musk oxen with a single, aimed, well placed crossbow

bolt. I seem to have missed any rule that could help with this, so I am tempted to make my

own one:

Any hit that causes more damage than 50 % of an animal's hit points will kill the animal after a

short while (bleeding, etc.), the hunter only has to follow his fleeing wounded prey until it falls

and can then give it a coup de grace.

Does this work, or did I miss something important ?

Thank you. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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24 Hit Points gives 10 points in the FQ/HQ, so you only need to do 10 + AP to take it down.

So, having Hit Locations is the way to go.

Otherwise, shoot it and chase it, waiting for it to die, or shoot it several times. A single hunter does not take down a bear or walrus on his own, he needs a group of hunters to wear it down or surround it.

I suppose the Major Wound rules might work, but I never use them.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Killing a musk oxen with a crossbow would be pretty hard work. Not that I've tried, but I can only imagine.

But I don't think I'm too far out on the historically correct treebranch if I say that big game hunters don't work unprepared or alone. What one crossbow-bolt fails to do, 4-5 bolts and a well-laid trap might be able to pull off.

Apart from that, the major wound-mechanic makes sense. A good hit might not kill an animal outright, but the bleeding and weakening might. Of course, you'd have to track it down, maybe even run it down. Or run away from it...

Edit: Or what he said..

Edited by kaddawang
too slow
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Thank you, soltakss and kaddawang. :)

A single hunter does not take down a bear or walrus on his own, he needs a group of hunters to wear it down or surround it.

Yes, I was only thinking of slightly smaller prey, like reindeer and up to musk oxen. A polar

bear or a walrus would indeed require a well prepared team of hunters, they are big, dan-

gerous and (like seals) likely to flee into the water when they are wounded.

Ah, the Major Wound rules - I completely forgot about them, and the Call of Cthulhu rules I

use as the base system for this campaign do not have them.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I have done a good bit of bow hunting over the years and there is no way I would take modern archery equipment much less historical bows (crossbows) and arrows against major game. I know of people who have taken moose (Alces alces) with a bow and they are lucky fools. A single hunter putting a crossbow bolt into something like a muskox would be trampled into the ground and the muskox might or might not die of infection in a week or two.

My spot rule for hunting animals is that damage below low 1/2 the animals HP is non-fatal, start tracking and hope for a second shot. Damage above 1/2 HP is fatal, but not immediate - figure the animal will run 10m + 10m per damage/HP difference (10 points to a 18 HP animal means 90m run and the chance to loose the animal). Even a "kill shot" will see the animal run a short distance. Last season I put a broad hit perfectly through heart and lungs of a mid size mule dear (Odocoileus hemionus) and he still went 8m into a thicket before expiring. I have had animals that took a "good hit" go 100m+. Only way to drop them where they stand is a head/upper spine shot and those aren't going to work with a bow.

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Thank you very much for the informations. :)

A single hunter putting a crossbow bolt into something like a muskox would be trampled into the ground and the muskox might or might not die of infection in a week or two.

It seems I have to re-evaluate musk oxen. =|

From the descriptions in Wikipedia and elsewhere I had got the impression that they are just

"double-sized heavy sheep", smaller than a reindeer (120 cm high, 150 cm long), but with mo-

re body mass (280 kg), and therefore I thought that they would be not much more difficult

game then reindeer.

My spot rule for hunting animals is that damage below low 1/2 the animals HP is non-fatal, start tracking and hope for a second shot. Damage above 1/2 HP is fatal, but not immediate - figure the animal will run 10m + 10m per damage/HP difference (10 points to a 18 HP animal means 90m run and the chance to loose the animal). Even a "kill shot" will see the animal run a short distance.

Thank you for this rule. The fact that the wounded animal will flee is no serious problem in

this setting, since the tundra does not offer many places to get out of sight of the hunter. Un-

less the animal flees into the water, the hunter can follow and find it.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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That's what hunters used to do. They'd wound an animal and track it until it fell. If they had dogs they'd harry it until it dropped through exhaustion and blood loss. Not a heroic kill, but very effective.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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That's what hunters used to do. They'd wound an animal and track it until it fell. If they had dogs they'd harry it until it dropped through exhaustion and blood loss. Not a heroic kill, but very effective.

Well, if it was good enough for the real world, it is certainly good enough for my setting ... ;)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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If you wanted to reduce those types of events to a single roll, you could go with a Knowledge (Survival) skill roll and allow the 'hunter' to gather enough food for n number of people depending on how successful the roll. Course the n value is dependent on how long the hunter is engaged in hunting/gathering as well as the success of the roll.

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If you wanted to reduce those types of events to a single roll, you could go with a Knowledge (Survival) skill roll and allow the 'hunter' to gather enough food for n number of people depending on how successful the roll. Course the n value is dependent on how long the hunter is engaged in hunting/gathering as well as the success of the roll.

Thank you for a good idea. :)

This could indeed help to make hunting an "off" or background task whenever it is not a part of

an adventure. And with different n values for different terrain, regions and seasons and some

added colour ("No, no valuable walrus tusks from hunting in the hills ...") the players would still

get some basic options to make decisions for their characters, if they want.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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The way I see hunting in a game is that it's either important enough to play out fully, using the whole range of spotting, tracking, hiding and shooting (or spearing) activities including miniatures and tree models, or it doesn't really matter to the game and just becomes an abstract background event.

Never really had to use it, but you could make it into a roll (either a new skill or based on an average of related skills, or maybe just an Idea roll), with the degree of success determining how much game is bagged. A fumble means nothing, or maybe an injury or other mishap; a failure means nothing or not enough to make up for the effort; a success means enough to keep the group fed or make a profit on hides/ivory/etc.; a special means more than enough - they could skip the next hunt if they wished, or treat the excess as profit; and a critical means something unusual - they managed to bag a large quantity of meat (and will be busy butchering and preserving for a while) or a rare and valuable beast (maybe they even captured it alive, if the intent is to sell it rather than eat it).

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The way I see hunting in a game is that it's either important enough to play out fully, using the whole range of spotting, tracking, hiding and shooting (or spearing) activities including miniatures and tree models, or it doesn't really matter to the game and just becomes an abstract background event.

This is my usual approach, too. :)

However, on Thule farming is hardly possible because of the climate, so herding, fishing and

hunting remain as the only reliable sources of food (and trade goods) and the most important

everyday activities of the colonists.

Therefore I would like to make it an important part of the characters' activities, too, and since

herding and fishing do not offer that many adventuring opportunities, and the characters will be

among the few "professional weapon users" of the colony, it will be hunting for them.

I intend to start with some detailed hunting expeditions, allowing the characters to develop the

new hunting methods required to hunt the local animals, then to move to the simplified system

for a while, and finally to treat hunting as a background event once the characters have deve-

loped some routine.

Never really had to use it, but you could make it into a roll (either a new skill or based on an average of related skills, or maybe just an Idea roll), with the degree of success determining how much game is bagged. A fumble means nothing, or maybe an injury or other mishap; a failure means nothing or not enough to make up for the effort; a success means enough to keep the group fed or make a profit on hides/ivory/etc.; a special means more than enough - they could skip the next hunt if they wished, or treat the excess as profit; and a critical means something unusual - they managed to bag a large quantity of meat (and will be busy butchering and preserving for a while) or a rare and valuable beast (maybe they even captured it alive, if the intent is to sell it rather than eat it).

Thank you very much for a good idea. :)

Together with notes on terrain, region and season to modify the difficulty and give an idea of

what can be hunted, this is just the simplified system I need: The players still have to make de-

cisions for their characters, and there is the opportunity for events to make things a bit more

interesting ("You have overhunted that part of the coast, the seals have moved ..."), but the ac-

tual hunting does not take much time, just a single die roll.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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However, on Thule farming is hardly possible because of the climate, so herding, fishing and

hunting remain as the only reliable sources of food (and trade goods) and the most important

everyday activities of the colonists.

The climate was warmer than it is today - look at the Medieval Warm Period for more information. Thule might not be as warm and hospitable as, say, Europe, but you could grow crops around the coast, for some of the year at least. Livestock would survive there, too, especially hardy northern types.

Sure, it wouldn't support the whole community, but there again neither would hunting.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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The climate was warmer than it is today - look at the Medieval Warm Period for more information. Thule might not be as warm and hospitable as, say, Europe, but you could grow crops around the coast, for some of the year at least. Livestock would survive there, too, especially hardy northern types.

Sure, it wouldn't support the whole community, but there again neither would hunting.

Indeed, some farming should be possible, although a Norwegian source from the 13th century

reports that only the richest settlers could afford to grow crops, while most of the Greenlanders

did not even know what bread was (an obvious exaggeration, because archaeologists found a

number of handmills).

As for hunting, the archaeologists claim that about 60 % of the meat used by the Greenlanders

came from hunting (45 % seal, 10 % caribou, 5 % other animals) and 40 % from herding. So,

while hunting surely was not the only source of food, it seems to have been a very important

one.

But my real interest in hunting is of course that it is suitable for a number of small adventures,

both for the hunting itself and for the events that can be connected with it (e.g. encounters with

natives, discoveries of resources, etc.), while farming, fishing and herding are much less play-

able. ;)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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