So how do we add the big guys? Last week I published the diminutives family and thought about how they could be considered “small” and the great birds “large”. When reading the early access of Pugmire, however, I noticed that they intentionally made corgis and great danes both medium creatures, despite their immense size difference. I decided to keep that idea going, allowing both diminutives and great birds to remain “medium sized”.
EDIT: I was recently told by Eddy Webb that the dogs (and birds) are indeed different sizes, but that he intentionally left out size as a factor for the rules. It’s the narrative that allows them to be different in size. It seems to me that it might be easy for a GM to rule that birds and dogs do mechanically range from small to medium. It’s already there in the narrative, but it’s up to us to determine if that moves to the mechanical.
My other conundrum was their tendency to be flightless. Ostriches, Emus, and Cassowary (as well as turkey for the most part) fall into this category so if someone wanted to play as one, I just couldn’t see them as also having flight. So I added the additional base speed. This won’t allow them to outrun a flying bird, but they’re most definitely into combat first.
I hope by now I’m showing ways in which birds can fall into different categories. I can easily see a Condor (Scavenger) or Bald Eagle (Raptor) being a Great Bird.
Great birds are birds who are usually large and mostly flightless. They usually take on the roles of workers, smiths, and fighters. Their exceptional amount of HP makes them ideal for jobs that are particularly dangerous. This has earned them a bit more respect within the community as they’re often viewed as indispensable to bird society. Players that choose this family may decide on a flightless bird, and lose the ability to fly, instead gaining a +10 to their base speed.
Examples: Ostrich, Emu, Cassowary, Swan, Shoebill
Ability Bonus: +2 to Constitution
First Trick: Fowl Beast
Great Bird Tricks:
The Great bird with this trick may ignore the penalties that come with wearing any armor.
The Great Bird with this trick can easily maintain an opponent’s attention. Great Birds with this trick gain +1 attack against any creature that did not attack it last turn. This bonus applies to surprise rounds.
The Great Bird with this trick, may use her Constitution modifier in place of her Charisma modifier for all Charisma skills (but not Charisma saving throws).
The Great Bird with this trick may use any two-handed non-reach weapon with one hand, or one “large” reach weapon.
The Great Bird with this trick may treat her unarmed melee as lethal damage and may add 1d4 to all attacks.
The Great Bird with this trick receives a 1d4 bonus to all non-combat strength checks and saving throws.
The Great Bird with this trick may shrug off an amount of damage each day. When an opponent deals damage to a Great Bird, she may decide to reduce that damage by one or more HP. The amount of HP that she can spend per day is her Constitution modifier plus her level (minimum 1).