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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Swimming and Monsters...

    Obviously (I hope) an Iron Golem can't swim. Equally obviously (I hope) an Elf or an Orc can, with training, just like Humans.

    But what to do with "other" cases, where the MM doesn't specify a swim speed?

    For example, can a Treant swim? A Skeleton? A Dwarf??

    As I read the RAW... If you just take the "Swim" skill at face value, an Iron Golem can make an untrained swim check at +11 (Str:33) and take ten to swim along happily at 10'/round with no chance to sink...

    Similarly, a toad (described as an amphibian) lists no swim speed, so it makes an untrained swim check at -5 (Str:1) and will be reasonably likely to drown in even mildly rough waters (i.e. DC 15 -- fail 95% of checks).

    Aside from adding DM-ruled bonuses and penalties to obvious cases like these... am I missing some more reasonable rule somewhere?

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    ExHunterEmerald's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    I'd houserule density rules for float/sinking.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    No rules otherwise that I remember but I'm surprised the toad doesn't have a racial bonus to swim (although its a toad so I can see how it would get overlooked).

    I'd suggest a general rule based on type. Can they swim (make swim checks):

    Humanoid - yes
    Animal - yes
    Construct - no
    Undead - no
    Plant - yes
    Abberation - your guess is as good as mine
    etc...

    I'm sure there are exceptions but as a general rule of thumb it might work.
    Last edited by Steve_the_ERB; 2007-03-14 at 09:40 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Leon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    The Iron Golem would be better of just walking along the bottom - unless it was really deep
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    Ranis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Thank you sir! I am introducing the swimming Iron Golem army now.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    For undead, it really varies by specific creature.

    A standard trope is the undead crew of a sunken ship. Would be pretty silly if they couldn't swim.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Why should undead sailors need to be capable of swimming? Historically, many sailors couldn't swim. Not much point in it when shore is too far away and the ship is unlikely to do much searching in any type of weather. Life was cheap back then...I wouldn't value unlife any higher.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    does stormwrack say something about this ?
    first place i'd look for stuff like this, but i'm afb right now...

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    As I mentioned in the thread that inspired this one, the D&D toad is based around the typical toad that dwells in dry environments, such as deserts. They kind of toad that, once it reaches adulthood, spends almost no time in water. As such, it makes sense that it wouldn't have a swim speed. Though I will admit, even that kind of toad should probably at least be allowed to use its Dexterity modifier in place of its Strength modifier for Swim checks.

    Second, the iron golem may be able to Take 10, but that's only when it is not being threatened or in an otherwise stressful situation. A creature with a swim speed can always take 10. Such a creature also gets a racial bonus to its swim speed and typically has a base swim speed much better than what it would have with the typical use of the swim skill.

    As to sinking... Well, that kind of stuff is just left up to DM fiat.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raum View Post
    Why should undead sailors need to be capable of swimming? Historically, many sailors couldn't swim. Not much point in it when shore is too far away and the ship is unlikely to do much searching in any type of weather. Life was cheap back then...I wouldn't value unlife any higher.

    Is this really the case? I've read that there was a superstition that 'preparing for shipwreck' by learning how to swim was bad luck, but it still surprises me that most sailors wouldn't know.

    Seems like there would be plenty of non-sinking situations,e.g., being swept overboard, going out in a longboat,or moving cargo to/from a ship that could land you in the water.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Lacedons are Ghouls with a Swim speed. An orc could take the swim skill but probably can't.

    Islanders and shallow water fisherman can probably swim. High Seas Sailors don't expect you to survive if you go overboard in a storm. Depending on how knowledgable they were about Hyperthermia they might not survive even if they got out of the sea.

    I'd use common sense for Iron Golems but I wouldn't say no to all constructs. Horses can swim so those Horse-legged Inevitables might be able to. Most animals are quite good swimmers, even Elephants and Tigers.

    The Frog has trouble moving 5 ft. in 6 seconds, it doesn't need a Swim speed. Just the Jump skill.
    Last edited by Closet_Skeleton; 2007-03-14 at 11:58 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    As stated above, toads live in dry climates. Frogs, relative to the toad, live in or around water their whole life, or at the very least in wet environments like a rain forest.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Killing Catgirls, I want to say that you could easily design an iron golem that could swim... or at least stay afloat.

    Then again, I'm not completely sure how our ginormous boats made out of pure metal stay afloat nowdays. :P But if you did whatever they do to an Iron golem, and have it spread out its weight...
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    that golem would would look like a giant salat bowl with legs and bad odor ^^

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Weight alone is not the issue, it is volume. The amount of open volume inside a ship determines how much weight and cargo it can carry. This is why ships that fill with water sink(water is heavier than air, so reduces the lifting of the ship).

    A hollow Iron Golem, if designed properly, could float. If you could pierce it and make a hole, it would start to sink quickly. One strong hit and its back to walking on the bottom.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    is there a cork golem somewhere ?

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    Killing Catgirls, I want to say that you could easily design an iron golem that could swim... or at least stay afloat.

    Then again, I'm not completely sure how our ginormous boats made out of pure metal stay afloat nowdays. :P But if you did whatever they do to an Iron golem, and have it spread out its weight...
    Our boats are very, very, very hollow.

    For example, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers weigh roughly 97,000 tons. They are over 300 meters long and 40 meters wide. Since they are a lot more than eight meters tall, that means that they are much bigger than an equivalent volume of seawater, which means that they float even though they are made almost entirely out of metal that weighs several times as much per unit volume as water.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roethke View Post
    Is this really the case? I've read that there was a superstition that 'preparing for shipwreck' by learning how to swim was bad luck, but it still surprises me that most sailors wouldn't know.
    It does depend on the era, but most references I've seen for the Age of Discovery (late 1400's to early 1700's) state most sailors couldn't swim.

    Seems like there would be plenty of non-sinking situations,e.g., being swept overboard, going out in a longboat,or moving cargo to/from a ship that could land you in the water.
    It didn't have to be a non-sinking situation. Even today, a large ship is unlikely to turn around for a man overboard...they slow down and send a launch back. It's time consuming and potentially hazardous to turn a ship. And a few hundred years ago, life of common laborers was cheap. A captain might send a boat back for someone overboard or he might decide the water / weather / whatever conditions prevented it and write the sailor off as lost. Remember, this was an era where even small infractions were punished by flogging, the captains could get away with almost any punishment with few questions, and individual rights of a commoner weren't even a consideration.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    The German army in the 1940s experimented with amphibious tanks (amphibious being a big word for welding up all the holes on the tank, running a rubber tube up, and filling it with a tank crew you didn't particularly like) and ran into a serious problem- the tanks were too buoyant. Despite being designed for nothing like mass-to-volume ratio and with 6 inches of steel plate over most of it, it still displaced enough water to bob over the bottom enough to remove all traction ability.

    The Iron Golem is the tank of DnD, so it is very conceivable that it would lose enough of its effective mass to buoyancy to swim with its massive strength and arms. Of course, it is only slightly better than the most unskilled aquatic creature with its +8 racial bonus.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    The Allies had a similar program that made Sherman tanks that were buoyant and had a propeller. They were used in D-day, and those few that made it ashore were very effective. Most were lost because the channel was to rough, though.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    I'm so tempted to introduce hollow iron golems with fish-tails instead of legs next time my group hangs around the water too long...

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Demented's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    If the golems have a swim bladder, it would be frighteningly easy for them to grab and drown PCs....
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    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    But how long would an aquatic iron golem last before corrosion set in?
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Clementx View Post
    The German army in the 1940s experimented with amphibious tanks (amphibious being a big word for welding up all the holes on the tank, running a rubber tube up, and filling it with a tank crew you didn't particularly like) and ran into a serious problem- the tanks were too buoyant. Despite being designed for nothing like mass-to-volume ratio and with 6 inches of steel plate over most of it, it still displaced enough water to bob over the bottom enough to remove all traction ability.

    The Iron Golem is the tank of DnD, so it is very conceivable that it would lose enough of its effective mass to buoyancy to swim with its massive strength and arms. Of course, it is only slightly better than the most unskilled aquatic creature with its +8 racial bonus.
    of course an iron golem doesn't have a space inside it for a tank crew. I think a metal golem designed to swim would have to be statted out as weaker, and with less damage resistance than a standard iron golem, due to the need to put air pockets inside. the standard golem is build SOLID, not hollow.

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    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by silvermesh View Post
    the standard golem is build SOLID, not hollow.
    Don't see anything in the RAW that says this.

    And I may be misremembering, but I think someone once did the math based on the weight of the golem, it's size, and density of iron, and found that the golems would have to be hollow. Assuming that iron in this fantasy world would maintain its real-world density, of course.
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by kellandros View Post
    A hollow Iron Golem, if designed properly, could float. If you could pierce it and make a hole, it would start to sink quickly. One strong hit and its back to walking on the bottom.
    it wouldn't really be an iron golem at that point though; if it's hollow enough to have enough buoyancy to float then it won't be as tough as a regular iron golem.

    They don't breath though so it wouldn't drown, so it could walk around on the bottom just fine; or just pick up someone on a boat and jump overboard with them to drown them.

    back on the OP's post:

    "For example, can a Treant swim? A Skeleton? A Dwarf??"
    -Treants are pretty similar to trees and they're pretty solid... if they are as dense as live oak (it wouldn't float), then they aren't going to swim very well if at all. If they're more similar to a lighter type of wood then they can probably swim; and a balsa Treant would be so buoyant that they would float too high to swim very well.
    -Dwarves are generally denser than humans; it wouldn't be too far fetched from a fluff standpoint to give them a penalty to swimming or disallow them from swimming at all (Like in Rosenberg's Guardian's of the Flame series).
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2007-03-15 at 09:28 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    I always rule that Iron golems are hollow, but they are not airtight sealed and, thus, sink like a battleship full of holes.

    An airtight seal on a golem would tend to require it be immobile or, at the very least, break with the first few points of damage to render that seal useless.
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    A skeleton shouldn't be able to swim. It lacks buoyancy and even if it's humanoid it lacks effective means of propulsion. (Like paddling with a stick)
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    Leon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    A skeleton shouldn't be able to swim. It lacks buoyancy and even if it's humanoid it lacks effective means of propulsion. (Like paddling with a stick)
    Why swim when you can shamble along the bottom and climb up anchor ropes
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    Default Re: Swimming and Monsters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr Windrider View Post
    But how long would an aquatic iron golem last before corrosion set in?
    Hundreds of years if it stayed under the water.

    Corrosion is oxidisation. Without air you have to rely on the oxygen dissolved in the water, and that would take a while.
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