Don't Fear the Pincer
The Babbling Bane shared his comments about mounts. I offered kobolds mounted on battle lobsters. Then, thinking about it in Chimera terms, I opted for newtlings on giant crayfish:
Newtling (Lvl 0)
Movement Rate: 8±1d4 (swim 12±1d4)
Wound Limit: 2 (S)
Defence: 1 (+2)
Abilities: Fight +0, Shoot +1, Sneak +2
Attacks: 1 javelin +1(IM +1, Dmg 1d4; Rng (2”)); 1 bite +0 (IM +1, Dmg 1d4)
Special: Nimble, Wallwalker, Venom✝
Frequency: Uncommon (4d6)
Newtlings are 2’ tall, bipedal salamanders who dwell in humid caves or rainy jungles. Newtlings make basic tools for hunting and defence; they fashion armour from the leathery shells of reptile eggs, which they steal for food and to reduce competition whenever possible. In battle, their bite can inject a mild toxin (RR: TN 8 or Dmg 1d4), though against non-animal foes, they wield miniature javelins, which they can hurl at opponents or carry into melee. Newtlings undergo the life stages common to amphibians; there may be species variations based on red efts, spotted salamanders, or others.
Battle Lobster (Lvl 2)
Movement Rate: 12±1d6 (8±1d4 while mounted)
Wound Limit: 3 (M)
Defence: 3 (+1)
Abilities: Athletics +2
Attacks: 2 pincers +2 (IM +0, Dmg 1d6)
Morale: 14 (12 while mounted)
Frequency: Rare (1d4+1)
Battle lobsters are giant crayfish bred by newtlings as mounts. They are habitually poked and half-starved to keep them aggressive. In battle, newtlings use the lobsters’ long antennae as reins and thus maintain tight control over movement and direction. When confronted, a mounted battle lobster brandishes its pincers to keep an enemy at bay, giving the rider an opportunity to hurls javelins at various targets whilst being protected from frontal melee attacks (a battle lobster carries 1d4 loads of javelins in quivers lashed to its carapace).
As point of fact, these were created in just a few minutes with the Chimera Create-A-Beastie guidelines.
My head is down, but not in shame. I've been working hard on a new way of doing Chimera that I think will be useful for both you and me. I don't want to reveal too much, for fear of being scooped by my many industry rivals , but suffice to say that it will allow me to release material much faster, allow you to edit what I release, and give both of us the flexibility to customise the game to our little d20-shaped hearts' content.
The downside, if any, is that this will appeal more to those who use their laptops at the gaming table, though dead-tree versions are certainly possible. Personally, I do like dead trees at the table, but only for encounter notes and jotting down bits of information here and there. We've seen rule systems grow from hard-bound tomes to PDFs. But the trend toward electronic will continue to the point that it becomes the default format, growing beyond PDFs with the option of self-editing and the question of printing left to the consumer (who may use a Lulu, Staples, the colour printer at the office, or the ol' reliable deskjet at home).
Anyway, this is my Alvin Toffler moment, and we'll see what happens. Bottom line, however, is that it'll be easier for me and useful for all; truth be told, that's a good starting point for any publisher. Expect this to blow your mind in early January 2012.
- Even my tombstone will be sarcastic...