1) Cube Square law- Increase in size has a cubic increase in volume. For every doubling of size, there is a 2 to the third increase in mass. If we take a approximate 2 meter tall human that weights 100 Kgs, then 4 meter tall human would weigh 800 Kgs. An 8 meter tall weights 6400 Kgs. This square to the cubic holds for most bilaterally symetrical creatures that have a main axis to double. So it works for just about every animal except squid/ octipi, but they have a smiliar law.
2) Most creatures can lift their own body weight. So while an Elephant seems strong, if you shrunk him down to a human size, he would be able to lift barely 100Kgs. An 800 lb animal should be able to pull/ lift 800 lbs easily (more when pulling, because rest friction). Hence the reason why there are very few tiny draft animals.
3) Muscle Tissue has the same tensile strength be it for huge creatures or small ones. I believe the number of 200 newtons per decameter, but I can't find a good source for that. So yes insects can lift a huge mass with one .1mm of tissue, realtive to their size. An Elephant can life several tons because it has several meters of muscle tissue supporting its lift.
4) Giant Insects don't happen in the real world for two reasons.
a) The exo skeletonal carpaces are so heavy that they would collapse under their own weight. Excluding that, after about 1 meter/3 feet in size, there is no way muscle tissue contained inside of it could move it.
b) Energy and oxygen burdens are too great at larger scales. Insects don't have real lungs, so they can not extract enough 02 to support their energy needs.
All this aside: You Dog Sized Spider-ish creature (which would have a light external carpace and an internal skeleton) would be about as strong as a Dog. Your Brown Bear sized spider woudld be about as strong as a brown bear, maybe even less (bears have an incredible strength to mass ratio). of course the spider would be more viscious as it has more armor and sharper claws.
For the record: Most spiders lift 40 times their own weight. Wolf Spider and other conventional large spiders (tarantulas) can lift only 12 times their own mass. Increased mass, increased internal weight to move, not a proportionally increase of muscle mass. These are numbers off my head, but I have seen them enough other places that I feel comfortable with them.
Of course we game in fantasy worlds, so giants don't sink in the ground and can move normally. Giant insects are the size of trucks. Guys get bit by radioative/ magical spiders and stick to walls and lift 30 times their own mass. Go to Comment
Quote from: "Scrasamax"
This is why he is the master, Grasshopper
He is the master of Google-Fu
Actually this one did not require Google-Fu (or very little). This one is directly the result of too much time watching educational TV, Nature programs, leafing through dictionaries, and of course actually paying attention in class. (Actually most of the information applied to this subject came from Comic Books and a couple of really bad insect movies.) I have found over my (long) life that knowing a little something about almost everything can save your bacon and make your life much easier.
Besides if you know a little bit about everything, you can make really cool game worlds that have great verisimilitude. That is what you need... the illusion of completeness. That is what the settings that great novels have. So that is what I want in my game worlds. Go to Comment
What is annoying me is that people are voting low on these pieces, just because they don't mangle adventurers. Not every creature in the environment is a "human effecting monster". Many have other purposes. That is what this thread is about. So yes, these are not detailed entomological write ups, but these are "extras" and "minor players" in the campaign. Go to Comment
Yes, at one time of the history there were GIANT BUGS. That period in the Mesozoic period. The era was predicated on the shift from carbon diaoxide prevolence (which killed off most lifeforms of the previous era) to oxygen. The oxygen was produced by the mega-ferns and other plants. (Remember all those science class pictures showing huge odd looking, they came from this period.) This hyper oxygenated atmosphere was highly flamable and electrically charged. (Ozone layer as we know it was developing at this time.) Thus any lightning streak, let alone strike, would set the region on fire, with an airborn firestorm.
So if O2 levels reached high enough again, bugs will be able to gather enough O2 to grow to larger sizes.
Where did the 02 go? Atmospheric oxygen is removed by many living things. Immense amounts went into the shells of microscopic marine invertebrates during the Mesozoic. It is mostly locked up as limestone and chalk. The oxygen is presumed to be locked up, mainly as oxides and carbonates in sedimentary rock, or in solution in water and trapped in ice. Which is of course, melting. You know we did have some humungous spiders last year...
However, if you don't have flamable air and your bugs don't have lungs (in which case it is not a bug), it requires magic or something to keep them alive. Go to Comment
Okay I am torn between the "ewww" and the really cool.
There should be some mythology related to the beetle. People who don't completely understand the beetle's cycle might blame some demonic creature impregnating people. (Between the delerium and the beetle birth... it sound practically supernatural). So tyhere should be some mythical demon thing that attacks virigns in these cultures. Go to Comment
Green Squirts Beetle
This is a small green beetle with a metalic exoskeleton. This beetle is also a parasite. It feeds off of sleeping animals puntruing their skin and suckingblood from them. It has a special venom that makes the area they bite completely numb so that you cant even feel the bite. Unfortunately this venom also causes waht is known as teh green squirts. Lets just say that the person soils their underwear with green stuff without meaning too.
Constant exposure to the venom causes sever stomach and intestine cramps along with acting as a laxative.
Boil Swarm Ants
These are small brown ants that look harmless at first. They have regualr nests like normal small ants. The only difference is that they are more aggressive. If you so much as get withing a 3 inch radius of thier home they will attack you. A boil developed whereever they happen to byte (just dont get one down your pants ) This is because the venom in there bite causes the boil.
The Love Bees
Peace full bees that are black with red strips. They are exactly like normal bees with one exception. There sting causes the person to love everyone for a week. Seriously the person they sting spend a week loving everythign around them, in a nostaligic state of bliss where everything seems perfect and lovely.
Exactly like Love bees only bigger and they are almost completely red with jsut two black strips. They are very aggressive and will sting anything that comes near there next. Unfortunately they love to nest in towns and an invastation has been none to turn a hostile town into a peaceful one. Go to Comment
These lay their eggs in meat that is not kept as clean as it should be. When the PC eats the meat, the tapeworm settles in his stomach to feed. Like any good parasite, it never intentionaly kills it's host. When it gets to a certain size, it begins to make a noisy mating call that sounds like humming, that means that when the PC is asleep, a tiny insect will fly down the PC's throat and mate. Mated singing tapeworms produce winged versions. The humming can be heard from several feet away.
If the PC covers his/her mouth, the song will come out from the PC's bottom unless that is corked.
The singing tapeworm can be removed by any decent healing potion, or by certain herbs Go to Comment
A Lantern Bug is the size of a man's hand,has wings and glows with a greenish light at night to attract moths and other insects to it. If it is fed now and then with small pieces of meat, it, or sometimes more then one bug, will hover above a person's head and provide light. Two or more bugs together will provide enougth light to see by.The bug's bites are painful and itchy but not normally dangerous and they only bite anything bigger then themselves in self defense. If trapped in something and used as a captive light source, they die within twelve hours if they are not fed and watered. Go to Comment
Most insects, if they land on a wound, will infect it or worse. Cleaner Flies are the oppisite. They eat infected flesh, fungus/fungal spores, and parasites, but leave undamaged flesh and uninfected wounds alone. They are three inches long and covered wih red and white stripes, and are seen next to often highly dangerous creatures,even going into their jaws to clean their teeth without fear. One was once seen hovering beside a large spider, eating grubs that had burrowed into the spider's back. It is said that spiders will set a Cleaner Fly loose from their webs instead of eating it. Go to Comment
These foot long insects live around the caves of dragons and other large beasts of prey, and are red and white in colour with large jaws and iridescent wings. Far from being dangerous, they prey only on pests.They eat parasites,be they lice and that kind of thing, or athlete's foot fungus,although in the latter case they may eat a small amount of flesh as well, to destroy the roots of the fungus.They never harm a host on purpose except in self defence, and very few things will prey on them.Giant spiders have been known to free such flies from their webs,as the flies are so good at freeing the spiders of parasites. Go to Comment
Other interesting insects would be ones with some useful features.
A variation of the shelac beetle could have its carapices become sticky when heated; several hundred of these can be combined into armour pieces.
Special spellbook or scroll paper can be made from a type of paper wasp nest. This paper is tough, and readily accepts magic, far more than normal paper or vellum.
A NightGuardian mantis can be trained to become accustomed to one person, or a group. It not only eats mosquitos at night, but emits a shrill warning noise when a strange person or beast approaches.
Jewel Wraiths are shiny & ornamental insects with a wide variety of colouration & patterns. They are considered quite beautiful. The insect is highly poisonous, but is a very docile & slow plant eater, quite content to stay attached to a warm body as jewelry, provided it is kept sated on leafy vegetables each day--usually eaten nocturnally & sleeping attached to clothing during the day.
The Manna Bug is a desert-dwelling insect that secretes a nutritious substance overnight. This can be harvested early in the morning, enough to keep a large group fed & healthy for weeks at a time. (This one is based on a real insect.) Go to Comment
Here's something else to ponder, since the maximum weight issue for insect exoskeletons are based on weight rather than mass, that maximum changes in proportion to gravity. Thus, on Mars, insects could grow to three times the size--imagine dragonflys with two meter wingspans... Go to Comment
Ok. I am responding to this one a little late. Thanks Moon... that hurt my head for a few minutse but I think I broke through the barrier called the english language and uinderstood most of what you said.
I will keep that in mind. I may in fact alter my creatures based off the concepts you wrote above. Go to Comment
I know that there are inherent physics problems with doing things as said in this post, but since we're all suspending our sense of disbelief when considering extra-large creatures anyways, lets let our simplistic imaginations do the work for us.
Well, assuming that such a thing is even possible (which it isn't without magic or illusion), one would probably be able to take the strength that an animal or insect might normally have and multiply it by how large it grew.
A normal ant is said to be able to pick up 50x it's body weight. So if an ant were able to grow to ten times the size of normal, it's strength would be ten times as great as normal, making it able to pick up 500x it's own weight. So, if you wished to know how much a spider could pick up at 8', simply figure out what the size difference is, how much it can normally lift, then multiply the two together for your result.
Simplistic? Yes, but will it work in a fantasy setting without too many problems? Most likely. Go to Comment
Quote from: "Chaosmark" A normal ant is said to be able to pick up 50x it's body weight. So if an ant were able to grow to ten times the size of normal, it's strength would be ten times as great as normal, making it able to pick up 500x it's own weight. So, if you wished to know how much a spider could pick up at 8', simply figure out what the size difference is, how much it can normally lift, then multiply the two together for your result.
Simplistic? Yes, but will it work in a fantasy setting without too many problems? Most likely.
Ack. No. The reason an ant can pick up 50x its own bodyweight has to do with the fact that muscular power becomes exponentially greater the smaller the creature. That's also the reason that a human being may be able to pick up his own body weight, but an elephant would find the same task impossible.
If you really want to figure out how strong an 8' long spider would be, compare it to a real life animal. Say, a tiger. An 8 foot tiger could physically drag or push about 800 pounds of sliding material with its entire body. With some logical reasoning, you could assume that the legs of an 8' long spider could push/pull about 100 pounds max. Go to Comment
Next time you're contemplating a horse variation, but don't want to get too dramatic, how about a Zorse? An offspring of a zebra stallion and horse mare. In nature they are infertile, but in a fantasy world, not necessarily. They are also known to be extremely cantankerous.
"It soon became apparent that zorses are not the most easiest of the equine family to get along with." -- Trainer Pat Parelli, on working with zorses