Clarification on Animals and Attack (MGT2)

Orrendorf

Mongoose
Hi,

after spending a few hours searching and reading through books an the internet, I learned a lot about animals and encountering them. E.g. I got from a thread from this forum that Initiative might be determined by a simple 2D + Slow/Fast Metabolism (if any). Simple but usable solution, I think.

But I'am stuck with the Attack. Currently I'am working with MGT2-2022 edition (which contains other example animals than MGT2 but the rules seem to be very similar).

My main question is: What is an appropriate attack roll for an animal? I do not seem to detect a pattern here from the Stats and Traits provided. Is it (as per rule) connected to the Attack type? If so, how? And where? Did I say that I love tables?

My side questions are: Is there a complete list of Attack types for MGT2 somewhere? Is the Attack type rather impressionistic ('narrative') and does not have any direct consequence for the mechanics of the game?

For example: The Larker (p. 84) has the Attack type Charge. It's Skills are Athletics (endurance) 2, Athletics (strength) 4, Survival 2. Obviously, English is not my first language so: My dictionary is telling me that "Charge" (in this context) is rather synonomous with "Attack". Hmm. Depending on the situation I would probably go with one of the two Athletics and would interpret Charge as being a large grazer stomping (rather quickly) towards its enemy. OK, that might work, somehow...

Another example. With the Gazaal (p. 87) the situation is: The Attack types are Horns and Trample, the Skills Athletics (endurance), Recon and Survival. I am stuck here. To be honest: The only animal of the little selection that worked for me (with respect to Attack) was the Carthus (p. 86) which has the Attack type Bite and a Melee (natural) Skill. Well, that one is easy...

Maybe I'm overlooking the ovious (a table, some explanation in the Vehicle chapter...). In principal, I like the simplified representation of animals (although I also liked the MGT1 way) with Hit points and Traits although the way the old tables have been reassembled does not seem to be as complete or really consistent (but enough to be usable, I would say).

But solving the Attack problem would give me peace of mind for the moment. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Christoph
 

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Attack type is mostly a narrative thing. Depending on game master and group it can range from “I attack” “I dodge“ to detailed and vivid descriptions of how the action scene unfolds :)

as for attack roll, if they have an attack skill, such as melee (natural) use that skill level as modifier for the attack. Otherwise if I remember the explanation I once got correctly, if an animal lacks attack skill, they strike at -3 just like a traveller. Not every animal is an expert killer, often relying on their bulk and scare tactics to stay safe. If you feel that’s too harsh, perhaps just play the attacks out at DM+0?
 

Reisender

Banded Mongoose
I do have the MGT2e Core Rulebook but not the Updated 2022 version, so I can't help you with examples from that book.
The rulebook gives a basic system, that allows referees to generate animal encounters. A lot of this system has to do with GMs discretion. The attack type is such an example. It describes what the animal uses to attack with. Luckily the old rulebook gives reasonable attack types such as "claw" or "bite". I would interpret "charge" as the animal trying to ram, e.g. with horns, its thick skull or just its body, or even trample over its "victim" using its body weight. If no special damage is listed with the attack type, then the damage is derived from the size.
Unless an animal is absolutely not suited for fighting, it uses just 2d and needs an 8+ hit. I would rarely apply the unskilled DM of -3 when it comes to animals fighting. If the animal is good in fighting it can get a skill associated with its attack type, e.g. Melee(Claw) 2 or Melee(Bite) 1. Maybe an animal is able to shoot a poison dart, then it may get Gun Combat(Poison Dart) 1 for example, with the poison dealing extra damage as desired.
 
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Orrendorf

Mongoose
Thanks for your assessments! I compared MGT1 to MGT2; all example animals from MGT1 are (mutatis mutandis) replicated in MGT2 and -- except for the Skitterer -- it turns out, that MGT2's "Hits" (not that surprisingly) are equal (well, plus/minus 1) to the sum of MGT1's STR, DEX and END for the respective animals. So there might be some basis for a reconstruction of physical characteristics, if necessary. Although I never would have for example recreated MGT1's distribution of values for the Living Net from its 43 Hitpoints in MGT2 :).

Annator: Otherwise if I remember the explanation I once got correctly, if an animal lacks attack skill, they strike at -3 just like a traveller. Not every animal is an expert killer, often relying on their bulk and scare tactics to stay safe. If you feel that’s too harsh, perhaps just play the attacks out at DM+0?

Reisender: Unless an animal is absolutely not suited for fighting, it uses just 2d and needs an 8+ hit. I would rarely apply the unskilled DM of -3 when it comes to animals fighting. If the animal is good in fighting it can get a skill associated with its attack type, e.g. Melee(Claw) 2 or Melee(Bite) 1. Maybe an animal is able to shoot a poison dart, then it may get Gun Combat(Poison Dart) 1 for example, with the poison dealing extra damage as desired.

Both ways sound reasonable to me. I like the idea that not every animal is a killer and so its attacks might be rather weak (and possibly more symbolic than serious). On the other hand, simply adding the missing Skill to be able to quickly resolve the attack is clean and fits nicely into the combat rules. And I somehow agree to "rarely apply the unskilled DM": To presuppose that an annimal might be Unskilled (even in a 'pure mechanical' reading) in the use of its natural outfit does seem a bit odd to me.

Reisender: Luckily the old rulebook gives reasonable attack types such as "claw" or "bite". I would interpret "charge" as the animal trying to ram, e.g. with horns, its thick skull or just its body, or even trample over its "victim" using its body weight. If no special damage is listed with the attack type, then the damage is derived from the size.

Yes, I spent some time here also :). CT, Snapshot, MT, MGT1 are quiet similar and contain the Thrasher (as Attack type) which does not really fit into the categorization. Personally, I find the Animals-rules of TNE the most clean ones: While the typology of animals is identical to that of the previously mentioned editions, this edition defines and describes 12 (combinable) attack types that make much sense and effortlessly allows for animals using Claws, animals using more than one Attack type and even Attacks that shoot Poisoned Projectiles are possible. Well, let's create some ecosystem and look where it leads...

Thanks,
Christoph
 

Saladman

Banded Mongoose
1st edition says "All animals have at least Survival 0, Athletics 0 and Recon 0, and
most will have 1d6 ranks split among these skills, Melee (natural
weapons), and any skills listed in their behaviour." I've always given at least Melee 0 to any creature with anything resembling attack. Unskilled -3 I'd save to represent something with no effective attack thrashing about.
 
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