Thursday, February 7, 2013

Monster Breeding Part One (An Optional Rule for Labyrinth Lord)

The following is adapted from the article “Monsters, Magic & Menageries” by John McKeown, originally published in Imagine #21. The rules below have been tweaked and simplified based on personal taste. I highly recommend looking at the original article as well.

Want to watch hippogriffs do the nasty and sell their eggs for a tidy profit? The following systems provide guidelines not just for producing baby monsters, but for creating new forms of life altogether.

Care and Feeding Your Unholy Horror

Breeding stock must be housed, handled, and fed. Associated costs below:

Feed: 1 GP / week per HD (possibly more if special diet restrictions)
Handler: 10 GP / month for regular animals, 50 GP / month for monster specialists
Housing: 5 GP / week for dog-sized, 10 GP / week for man-sized, 20 GP / week for horse-sized, and so on. Monsters that have special housing requirements (liquid environments, heated, chilled, etc.) may cost much more.

Making Monster Babies

Reproduction cycles vary wildly. Each critter will have the following traits:

1. Breeding season (time of year and frequency)
2. Fertility rate (percentage chance of successful breeding)
3. Period of pregnancy
4. Litter size
5. Mothering Period (no new pregnancy)
6. Age of Maturity

These traits will be determined by the LL, probably by hastily making some shit up when you ask. If the LL feels like hosing you for some more cash, you may have to pay a sage to tell you.

Could This Move Any Slower?

Impatient breeders may be interested in the following spells:

Animal Magnetism
Level: 2
Duration: 1 breeding season
Range: touch

Animal Magnetism increases the chances of two creatures mating successfully by 5% per level of the MU. It may be cast once per pair per mating season.

Age Animal
Level: 3
Duration: permanent
Range: touch

Age Animal instantly ages an animal by one year per level of the MU (although they may choose to shorten this amount). While it can be used on any creature, the ritual involved requires a full hour of preparation. Once the spell is cast, the MU must make a savings throw vs spells or age one month for every year the animal has aged.

In part two we will look at crossbreeding incompatible species, and in part three we will examine the use of magical mutations to create entirely unknown species. Finally, in part four we will list potential mutations and defects that can arise.
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