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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    So, in a setting that I'm working on, I want there to be a number of different-sized bipedal flightless birds running around, both domesticated and wild, in addition to horses/wolves/dogs/cats/bears/etc.

    I wanted the medium and large ones to be alternate mounts, useful in different ways than horses/dogs, but not overshadowing them. I'm having a little trouble with that.

    I've made three kinds of birds:

    Skullcrackers: Sometimes known as "dire chickens"; these small-sized birds have a prominent and powerful beak and are known for their bad tempers. A threat to gnomes, goblins, kobolds, and children. I used the stats for an eagle, upped the str to 12, gave them Improved Natural Attack (Bite), pounce, and two secondary claw attacks, and took away their ability to fly for more than one round. Simple. Done.

    Chocobos: A gnome name for these medium-sized birds, based on the real-life Gastornis and Titanis. They are about 6-7ft tall and are often used as mounts by gnomes. For the stats, I took the riding dog stats and played around with them (I think riding dogs have too high nat armor):
    Spoiler
    Show
    Chocobo
    Medium Animal
    2d8+2 (11 HP)
    init +3
    spd 40ft
    AC 14 (+3 dex, +1 nat)
    +1/+3
    Bite +3 (1d6+3)
    Low-light Vision, Scent, Strong Legs (load capacity as a quadruped), Nimble Movement, Great Leap
    F+4, R+6, W+0
    Str 15, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 8
    *Fleet of Foot, Run
    Balance 9, Jump 10/14, Spot 10
    +6 balance, +6 Spot
    CR 1


    Axebeaks: Basically a larger version of a chocobo, but with a prominent, sharp-edge axe-shaped beak (like a dromornis or kelenken, but with actual "axe"-shaped beaks). I used the stats for heavy warhorses and played around with them, but I also looked at the stats for chocobos in Dragon #323 and axebeaks:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Axebeak
    Large Animal
    4d8+8 (26 HP)
    init +2
    spd 50
    AC 13 (-1 size, +2 dex, +2 nat)
    Bite +6 (2d6+4)
    Claw +1 (1d6+2)
    10ft/10ft
    Low-Light Vision, Scent, Nimble Movement, Great Leap
    F+6, R+6, W+1
    Str 18, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 10
    *Fleet of Foot, Run, Improved Natural Attack (Bite)
    Balance 10, Jump 16/20, Spot 11
    +4 Balance, +6 Spot
    CR 2


    As it stands, the chocobo is bit faster and better at spotting things than the riding dog, but not as good in combat and can't track. The axebeak is better offensively than a horse, but has less toughness/endurance, a lower AC, and can't carry as much.

    I wanted there to be clear distinctions between the birds and normal mounts, each having obvious strengths over the other. So far, I feel like I've failed. I wanted the birds to have more agility and mobility, but less endurance, a lower sprinting speed (I gave the chocobo a higher speed because it was worse at everything else), and less carrying capacity. I don't know how to give them that adroitness that I'm thinking of without resorting to woodland stride or flawless stride (which they really shouldn't have, being plains-dwellers). I don't mind the axebeaks being better offensively than horses, because they pay for it with defense.

    EDIT: So, I came up with a few ideas myself. First off, I'm giving them that "fleet of foot" feet from complete warrior as a bonus feat.

    Nimble Movement: Can ignore two squares of difficult terrain or four squares of slope when determining how far they can move and if they can charge. Normally, you can charge in some places where it's hard to run, like sloped floors or areas that are slippery or covered in scree, but you can't charge through actual difficult terrain (unless you jump over it). Hence, they have a bonus to balance (for running/charging through scree or whatever) and nimble movement to bypass actual difficult terrain and steep slopes when running/charging.

    Great Leap: Can make standing jumps as if running (but does not gain the Run feat bonus).

    Anyone have any ideas? Thoughts? Hopefully, these still don't outshine riding-dogs/horses.
    Last edited by Eladrinblade; 2013-12-11 at 11:30 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Ralcos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Astral Sea
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    All I could say is make them with a +4 Dexterity, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, and make them use encumberance rules for a bipedal creature (Normal quadreped mounts have 4x normal carrying capacity due to size. You can find these rules in the SRD if you wish to see encumberance rules).


    EDIT: I feel that you did a good job. Just make a Battle-Bred version (for those who want a mount that's good in combat; +2 or 3 HD to the mount?). Anyways, my silver pieces.
    Last edited by Ralcos; 2013-12-10 at 06:56 PM.
    Sweet Kobold from Vault 13 by ThePrez1776 !

    "If the powers that be are angry, give them a weapon."

    Homebrew:



  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Teddy Bear Junction

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    Check out Dragon Magazine #323, page 34. You may find it helpful.
    "Bender knows love, and love doesn't share itself with the world. Love is suspicious, love is needy. Love is fearful, love is greedy. My friends, there is no great love without great jealousy!"- Bender Bending Rodriguez

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Eladrinblade View Post
    , but I also looked at the stats for chocobos in Dragon #323 and axebeaks
    Quote Originally Posted by Xaotiq1 View Post
    Check out Dragon Magazine #323, page 34. You may find it helpful.
    Already did.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Teddy Bear Junction

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    :headdesk:
    "Bender knows love, and love doesn't share itself with the world. Love is suspicious, love is needy. Love is fearful, love is greedy. My friends, there is no great love without great jealousy!"- Bender Bending Rodriguez

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralcos View Post
    All I could say is make them with a +4 Dexterity, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, and make them use encumberance rules for a bipedal creature (Normal quadreped mounts have 4x normal carrying capacity due to size. You can find these rules in the SRD if you wish to see encumberance rules).


    EDIT: I feel that you did a good job. Just make a Battle-Bred version (for those who want a mount that's good in combat; +2 or 3 HD to the mount?). Anyways, my silver pieces.
    Hmm. Compared to riding dogs and horses, they have +2 dex and -2 con. The str hit wouldn't make sense in my opinion, as they're already weaker when it comes to carrying capacity (except chocobos - 15 str does not a bipedal mount make). The axebeak does already use the encumbrance rules for a bipedal creature.

    I don't know where Battle-Bred is from, but I don't want to make them any more powerful than they already are - the axebeak compares to a heavy warhorse already. These things are supposed to be comparable to horses; losing some perks and gaining others.

    I just had an idea: I'll give them a large bonus to balance checks - that would let them charge/run over some adverse terrains, the ability to ignore up to two squares of difficult terrain per round (like the PF feat "nimble moves/acrobatic steps"), and a ninja's great leap ability.
    Last edited by Eladrinblade; 2013-12-11 at 04:08 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Ralcos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Astral Sea
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Eladrinblade View Post
    Hmm. Compared to riding dogs and horses, they have +2 dex and -2 con. The str hit wouldn't make sense in my opinion, as they're already weaker when it comes to carrying capacity (except chocobos - 15 str does not a bipedal mount make). The axebeak does already use the encumbrance rules for a bipedal creature.

    I don't know where Battle-Bred is from, but I don't want to make them any more powerful than they already are - the axebeak compares to a heavy warhorse already. These things are supposed to be comparable to horses; losing some perks and gaining others.

    I just had an idea: I'll give them a large bonus to balance checks - that would let them charge/run over some adverse terrains, the ability to ignore up to two squares of difficult terrain per round (like the PF feat "nimble moves/acrobatic steps"), and a ninja's great leap ability.
    I made up the Battle-Bred template...
    Your idea is better for balance anyhow!
    Sweet Kobold from Vault 13 by ThePrez1776 !

    "If the powers that be are angry, give them a weapon."

    Homebrew:



  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Chocobos/Axebeaks/Riding Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralcos View Post
    I made up the Battle-Bred template...
    Your idea is better for balance anyhow!
    Well, thanks anyways, sir!

    I only came up with those ideas while responding to you.
    Last edited by Eladrinblade; 2013-12-11 at 03:03 PM.

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