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Hey look, its a wolf.

Discussion in 'Research' started by Aidan of the tavern, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. OK folks, I've got a sequence I need to edit, where my group is camping and at night they get ambushed by wolves.

    Basically I'm not too sure what I'm doing, and any tips or hints would be good. By the way there's a total of 6 people camping, 5 asleep, 1 on watch. How many wolves would there need to be for them to be bold enough to attack? By the way, wolf is just a template, it can be any big dog really. Also how would they attack? At the moment I think I've just got them in a circling ring or something, with several at a time darting out to attack, and alternating. I think I got that idea from the Monster Manual (LOL) so if anyone knows anything more accurate I look forward to learning.
  2. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

    If you're having any 'natural' animal attacking, you need to take a couple things for granted:

    1) Most animals are afraid of fire. If they have a fire burning in their camp, then to be attacked by wolves is really, really odd.

    2) Generally the only two things that can cause otherwise-sane 'natural' animals to attack is A) They are starving or B) Their offspring are threatened.

    As to the numbers... not sure. I only know the basics of their behavior, so all I can say is if they are attacking human beings they are probably really hungry.

    Also, I cringe every time someone mentions getting info from a D&D source. As a general rule, that's not a good idea. ;) Not for anything that the real world shares, at least.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I believe there's a third, they could have rabies, but I haven't done the research on it. In a fantasy setting, you could create a similar disease that would get you the precise effect you want, like infecting a group. But of course, if they're rabid, they wouldn't be "smart" about their attacks. They'd just be vicious.

    ((edit)) Strictly speaking, on second reading I guess that wouldn't qualify as "otherwise-sane." Still, it could be an option.
  4. San Cidolfus

    San Cidolfus Troubadour

    D&D is indeed terrible source material if you're trying to be realistic. I love me some D&D, but they promote mythology and fun first and foremost. Factually, wolves don't attack people. They're extremely skittish around humans; they don't even like to approach, and won't even eat out of person's hand unless somewhat domesticated, let alone take a bite out of said hand. Any animal defending their young will step in, of course, but wolf pups stay at home. Your characters would have to be camping in a musty den surrounded by yelping, terrified puppies. I think your dudes would notice they were trespassing.

    Now half-breeds are a different story. Wolf-dog mixes don't have the timidity of pure wolves because they have that domesticity bred into them, and they also tend to be larger than our lupine friends. They can be dangerous, but not so much more than any other large dog breed.

    If an animal does have rabies, yeah, it'll attack, but if it's a social pack animal like a wolf then the rest of the pack will drive it off. Critters with rabies end up dying alone and crazy.

    If I were you, I'd do a fantasy critter with a lupine build. It's more fun anyway if you get to make up an odd trait, like a mind-bleeding howl or an infectious bite or something.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  5. Thanks people, I think just checked the D&D book to see how Dire Wolves attack, but I won't be doing that again:). I think I'll go with San's idea and build me an animal. Cheers.
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Build another animal, that's the way to go I think.

    But I wanted to add, there is a phenomenon with some older animals, large carnivores like tigers or bears, getting too slow to track their ordinary prey, and they eventually turn on humans. The thing that's noteworthy, though, is that once it happens, they get hooked; humans become regular prey for that animal until some hunter puts it down.

    If you build an animal, you may still want to apply similar circumstances. You're not writing D&D, after all. Some readers do appreciate more believable ecosystems.
  7. The Grey Sage

    The Grey Sage Troubadour

    On top of what Devor is saying, you'll need to build a species to whom the rules stated above don't apply. I gather you are looking for a pack of creatures to attack the unsuspecting group, but since most mammals who fall into the 'pack' system would fall into the whole {scared of fire, no reason to attack but hunger/protection}.

    I think you should probably mess with the gene pool a little. Do they have to be mammals? Where are these travelers? Forest, Desert, or Mountian? It all depends on general compatibility. Frankly, for what you're looking for, you might want to create more bloodthirsty animals than 'just big dogs'.
  8. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I would create a unique type of wolf, possibly human altered(sci or magic) to be more aggressive that escaped?

    Not sure, maybe look up Dingo's? I think they are more aggressive then typical wolves.

    AD&D/D&D is a great place to get an idea, maybe to check on how they used the being in their world. IMO there is no bad place to get input. That said, do not use monsters from the monster manuals or fiend folio directly. Just like don't write about a D&D adventure, it just doesn't write well. You can be inspired by an event in a game, but make it real not just retelling the game. I believe most adventures in D&D were inspired by various writings, so it is a circle. Also D&D is created for a balanced game world. While life is balanced too, it is not so cut and dried as the D&D world.

    I would guess, 3 to 1 (or more) ratio of wolves to people, and a strong Alpha to motivate the group into such an action. rabies would work, but as others have said, rabies is an anti-social disease. When in a group the sick animal is as likely to attack a fellow pack-mate, as a human. Thats why the rabid animal is booted from the pack.
    Aidan of the tavern likes this.
  9. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    A little about canine history....
    Scientists surmise that humans never domesticated the dog, but it was an animal which domesticated itself. How? Easy, wolves are afraid of people naturally, and would not come near human settlements, even to eat scraps and garbage. Wolves have a timid nature, and the few individuals that were brave enough to hang around the humans bred and probably within a few generations, began exhibiting traits unlike their other wild cousins.

    With that assumption (and it has been studied at a fox farm in Russia), I'd say either create a new sort of animal, or make it feral dogs. I once spoke to an old woman who remembered back in the 60's when there was a pack of turned-out dogs in the town I grew up in (sort of in the country). After they killed a child in a yard the men of the town all went out and shot them. Dogs, though omnivorous and opportunistic eaters, are not the trained hunters that wolves are, and are much more likely to be hungry enough to attack humans, as they have no natural fear of people.
    Hybrids, either wolf or coyote would also be a good choice, because they can be very unpredictable. I think you're looking for unstable animals, not natural ones.

    If you want more information about the scientific study, PM me.
    Aidan of the tavern likes this.
  10. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    ooh, I like Devor's idea about a bear. Now a bear could scare the tar out of a group of 5, and that would really stir things up!

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