Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Sorry I haven't anything else to show today.  But this is a fair take on a first monster for 2019.  Many others to come.

A slender bodied large cat with spotted coat, small rounded head and a long spotted tail. Lightly built, the cheetah can outrun almost any other creature over short distances. They are active throughout the day and have adapted many natural ranges throughout Africa, Arabia, Persia and the Indian subcontinent. They are most common upon the savannas and veldts of east and southern Africa.

Carnivores, cheetah prefer to prey upon antelopes and other smaller horned animals ranging from between 51 and 123 lbs. in weight. They have been known to stalk elves and other small humanoids. Cheetahs can take down much larger prey, up to 290 lbs., if necessary.
They can be quite gregarious and can even be trained; pet cheetahs are a favorite companion throughout South Asia, though training them to accept a master means diminishing their aggression. Pet cheetahs do not make good guard animals.

Cheetahs will rarely stand and fight, unless cornered. They prefer to escape. When stalking prey, they will crouch and move slowly upon their intended prey, until getting within 40 hexes (200 feet). This is well out of the range to be detected by most creatures (see stealth). The cheetah will then put on a burst of speed.  The cheetah reaches a speed of 70 mph with less than two action points (about 3.2 seconds); this will effectively cover the distance between when it has hidden itself and its target in less than a round (the cheetah moves at 102 feet per second at its fastest).  The target will be surprised on a 5 in 6; it is entitled to an initiative roll ~ but a successful initiative roll will allow the target only one action point of movement before the cheetah attacks.  For most creatures, this is not enough to run very far or fight back, except with open hand, fist or if the defender has the ability to make a weapon attack with 1 AP.

If the target runs, when the cheetah gains on its target it will attack with its dewclaw first; a hit, regardless of the amount of damage done, will trip the target and dump it to the ground. Because of the cheetah's speed and agility, there is no saving throw. The cheetah's second attack will be its bite; if this hits a dumped target, the damage done by the speed of the strike will be double damage.

See Bestiary


Tardigrade said...

Just checking the math on the movement rates:

40 hex = 200 ft, thus 1 hex = 5 ft.

20 hex/rnd = 100 ft/rnd.

If 1 hex = .6 sec, then 20 hex (1 rnd) = 12 sec. I thought your rounds were 5 or 6 sec each, but let’s assume I misremembered and they are 12 sec.

100 ft in 12 sec = 8.33 ft/sec = 5.7 miles per hour. Seems slow for a running human, let alone cheetah.

If you have a 6 sec round and a cheetah running at a top speed of 65 mph, it should be 572 ft/rnd, or 114 hex/rnd. That’s about .05 sec per hex.

Granted, it may take a full round to get to that speed. National Geographic says they can reach full speed in 3 sec, half a round. If we say 1 round to get up to speed from dead stop, it would cover 57hex in the first round, 114 hex each round thereafter. For 3 seconds, the first round would be a bout 85 hex, 114 hex each round thereafter.

Sorry if I took that too literally. I’m an engineer.

Alexis Smolensk said...

oh, of course you're right. I use this kind of math so little it seems I always make a mistake anymore.

70 mph, not 65, is 369,600 feet per hour; 102 ft. per second; so I forgot to multiply that by 12 seconds because, I don't now, I was sleeping.

So, the cheetah gets within 200 feet. Total disance in a 12 second round would be 1220 feet, so basically it hits with blinding speed. The party victim looks up and bang, the cheetah is there; there wouldn't be any time to roll initiative, not really. You'd need the response time of a gazelle and the party wouldn't have it.

Scary as shit. I'll rewrite the description as soon as I wake up.

Alexis Smolensk said...

This XKCD comic sure seems appropriate today.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The post above has been fixed with Tardigrade's help. Please let me know if I've still left something wrong.