Sunday, June 19, 2011

Random Fauna

In the comments to a recent post --- Ballyfoole Expedition to Afrodesia --- Frank suggested providing the names and descriptions of the plants and animals discovered by the expeditions. So I've been playing around with the idea and have worked up the following tables to generate some of that. Now, I had no intention of trying to make the tables balanced based on actual percentages of various types of plants and animals in Africa or anywhere else for that matter, nor in trying to be all-inclusive or even relatively comprehensive in listing possible types or categories. Consider this a work in progress and open to revision and suggestions.

1. For animals, first determine what type of animal:
table 1 - roll 1d6
1 bird (roll on 1a)
2 mammal (roll on 1b)
3 reptile (roll on 1c)
4 amphibian (roll on 1d)
5 insect (roll on 1e)
6 other (roll on 1f)

Next, break it down further
table 1a - birds - roll 1d6
1 parrot
2 finch
3 songbird (warbler, lark, wren, cuckoo)
4 wader (crane, ibis, heron)
5 fowl (cock/hen, pheasant, pigeon)
6 other (hornbill, sunbird, bee-eater, mousebird, hawk)

table 1b - mammals - roll 1d12
1-2 monkey
3 cat
4-5 rodent
6 civet
7 genet
8 mongoose
9 bat
10 antelope/gazelle
11 hooved animal (table 1ba)
12 other (table 1bb)

table 1ba - roll 1d6
1-2 pig
3 goat/sheep
4 deer
5 bovine
6 equine

table 1bb - roll 1d8
1 fox
2 jackal
3 mole
4 shrew
5 hedgehog
6 hare
7 weasel
8 otter

table 1c - roll 1d6
1-2 lizard (gecko, chameleon, skink, agama, monitor)
3-4 snake
5 turtle
6 crocodile

table 1d - roll 1d6
1-2 frog
3-4 toad
5 newt
6 salamander

table 1e - roll 1d8
1-3 butterfly
4-6 beetle
7 moth
8 grasshopper

table 1f - roll 1d6
1 spider
2 scorpion
3-4 snail/slug
5-6 fish

2. Determine relative general size
table 2 - size - roll 1d10
1 dwarf/pygmy/pocket
2-3 small
4-7 average
8-9 large
10 giant

note: this is relative to average animals of that type. So a giant beetle might only be a few inches long, while a giant otter might be the size of a large dog. It's more of a descriptor than an actual size tied to real units of measurement.

Next determine color patterning
table 3 - roll 1d10
1-2 single solid color
3-4 lighter underneath (roll on normal color table for animal type, and then again on color table 4 and subtract 4 from the die roll. Lighter of the two colors goes underneath - belly, chin, etc.)
5 spotted (large spots like a cheetah or rosettes like a leopard, or other similar large spot-like marks)
6 speckled (small spots)
7 striped across (like a zebra or tiger)
8 striped lengthwise (like a skunk or one stripe on each side like some antelopes)
9 banded (a few wide bands of color)
10 two-toned (like a giant panda or tapir or other)
For 5-10 roll once for primary color and then roll again for the secondary color

table 4 - mammals - roll 1d10, subtracting 4 in desert terrain
-3 white
-2 light tan
-1 light gray
0 pale yellow
1 yellow (like a leopard)
2 orange/tawny (like a tiger or like a lion)
3 red (like a fox)
4 medium tan
5 medium gray
6 medium brown
7 dark gray
8 dark brown
9 black-brown
10 black
Suggestions are just that, suggestions. Interpret color how you like.

table 5 - colors for other animals - for reptiles roll 1d4 for main color; all others roll 1d10
1 black
2 gray
3 brown
4 green
5 blue
6 purple
7 red
8 orange
9 yellow
10 white

Determine tail length
table 6 - tail length - roll 1d6
1 long
2-4 medium (relative to animal type)
5 long
6 none

Determine descriptives based on features and/or terrain
table 7 - distinctive feature - roll 1d20
1 spiny
2 scaled
3 bushy-tailed
4 maned
5 flying (as in gliders)
6 ring-necked
7 tufted (ears)
8 crested
9 bearded/mustached
10 masked
11 ringtailed
12 snubnosed (short-nose for animal type)
13 spectacled
14 webfooted
15-20 distinctively colored feature, roll on table 7a for feature and on color tables 4/5 for color)

table 7a - distinctively colored feature - roll 1d10, subtract 1 for flyers, add 1 for monkeys
0 -wing
1 -breast
2 -belly
3 -footed
4 -tailed
5 -faced
6 -cheek
7 -throat
8 -nose
9 -eared
10 -tongued
11 -handed

table 8 - terrain-based descriptive - roll 1d6 and choose from column that corresponds to terrain; if following a river, roll 1d6, 1-4 use terrain, 5-6 use water column
1 jungle grass mountain desert water
2 jungle grass mountain desert river
3 jungle field          rock         sand(y) river
4 swamp savannah stone sand(y) brook
5 forest savannah cliff         dune           lake
6 tree         veldt cave         dune          pond

This might be over-complicating what is just some "fluff". But for fun I rolled up a few recently discovered animals. These are:
A small flying forest snake, with green and brown stripes running down its length.
A large red-throated swamp crocodile, two-toned in green and yellow.


Fitz-Badger said...

sorry about table 8. can't seem to get it to format the way I want.

abdul666 said...

Brings back fond memories of what -to my surprise!- I discovered in the brown box 'fantasy medieval campaign wargames rules' (D&D).

tradgardmastare said...

Excellent chart with myriad applications...