Thursday, October 9, 2014

The creatures of Little Fuzzy

Designing a dragon was fun, but not exactly normative in science fiction. So this time I'm going to try something with more connection to the classic sci-fi literature that forms the foundation of Traveller. 

H Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy series of novels take place on the planet Zarathustra. On Zarathustra, we find several interesting critters, some described in detail some merely mentioned. Here I present my interpretation of these creatures, based on the descriptions given in the first book, Little Fuzzy.
  • Harpies
  • Land Prawns
  • Damnthings
  • Bush-goblins
  • Hobthrushes
  • and, the Fuzzies themselves

Harpies are said to resemble Earth pterodactyls; they can fly, and probably attack with claws. One attempts to make prey of Little Fuzzy, so we can infer that they are carnivorous. 
Duck and cover, people!
Flying Carnivore Pouncer   250 kg  Hits 25/15 no armor  claws & teeth (3D & 3D) A-if surprise F-if surprised  S-2 (flight) 

Land Prawns are described as multi-legged, wearing a hard shell, and having pinching claws, but are small and so not a credible threat to humans. 
Just don't sit on one!
Land Prawn
Omnivore Eater   3kg  Hits 3/3  Mesh armor  claws (2D-2D) A-1 F-4 S-1

Damnthings are the most dangerous creature on Zarathustra. Weighing in near half a ton, they are aggressive horned beasts with moderate intelligence. 
Even the Gauss Rifle won't bring this down in one shot. You have been warned.
Carnivore Killer  500 kg  Hits 32/18  Mesh armor  Horns (4D) A-1 F-8 S-2

Bush-goblins  are not described or encountered in the novel; they are simply mentioned as other creatures of Zarathustra which might present a danger to Fuzzies. I will make them small but aggressive arboreal omnivores. The bush-goblin can climb trees and travel through them.
Aww, isn't that cute?  Yes, until it eats your face.
Omnivore Hunter 6 kg  Hits 4/8  No armor  Claws (1D) A-4 F-8 S-2

Hubthrushes are not described either, but are included in the list of dangerous creatures. Despite the name similarity to an Earth bird, I will not make them flying creatures. Instead they are scavenging quadrupeds that will sometimes do the killing themselves. 

Scavenger Intimidator   50 kg   Hits 16/8  Jack Armor  Teeth(2D) A-3 F-5 S-2

And last but not least, the Little Fuzzies. They are described in the text as being only a foot or so tall, massing 10-12 kg, and being omnivorous. They are covered in soft, silky fur and walk as upright bipeds.

Little Fuzzies
Omnivore Hunters   12 kg Hits 12/10  No Armor  as Blade (2D) A-6 F-4 S-1

Little Fuzzy     Barbarian career    Age ?  Cr 0
Hunting-1, Spear-1, Survival-1

It all really depends upon whether you consider the Fuzzies to be sapient beings, or merely animals.  Read the books if you want to find out.

 Photo credit: Little Fuzzy cover linked from  Animal photos supplied by Pixabay, and are in the public domain.

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