[PnP] Dragon skinning blues...

Tobie Bonahoom bonahoom at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 28 08:20:46 CEST 2007

Well, to start with - and I am sure you have thought of this, however just 
need to bring it up -- this was a Kotothi dragon, so that would make it a 
magical beast, which makes some of the possibilities come to the front of my 

One, anything made from it would have the Kotothi alignment attached to it, 
unless the players can come up with a way to purify it.

Two, Kototh might be a tad pissed off about one of his greater creatures 
being killed  - especially if there was an elf of the Sidh alignment 
involved. He might just do something about it quickly (unless this dragon 
was of no real value to him).

Three, are they going to haul all this hide and scales to a place or build 
the pits and curing and everything right there. As this will take a minimum 
of 30 or 40 days to just get the hide cured and tanned, before making 
anything with it.

Fourth, don't know if you are taking any of the magical properties into 
place here, however because it was as dragon, most of them inherit magical 
affinities that can come into play. With that possibility you could also 
make the curing and armor making faster or harder, with having to have a 
mage helping the out with the process.

Just my quick thoughts on the matter for what you put into this. I would 
definitely have the rest (teeth, bones, talons, blood) be a bit trickier as 
just getting those pieces off the dragon could kill them with some of the 
wild magics that can run through them. Also, I remember too that the blood 
still has properties even though they did not get it from the dragon while 
it was alive.

Tobie Bonahoom

>From: Burton Choinski <bchoinski at comcast.net>
>Reply-To: The Powers and Perils Mailing List <pnp at abroere.xs4all.nl>
>To: The Powers and Perils Mailing List <pnp at abroere.xs4all.nl>
>Subject: [PnP] Dragon skinning blues...
>Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 23:50:23 -0400
>101 ways to skin a dragon...
>Well, the last session was an interesting one, and all sorts of plot  
>undercurrents are springing up.  The players managed to get their 20- 
>Hunfrithi force to the hills west of Caldo without human detection.   They 
>left 10 at the chosen site and headed back with the other 10 to  make a 
>report to the elder.
>On the trip out they been detected by something (they blew their  ambush 
>chance, it made it).  It followed and monitored trhem until  they left the 
>Caldan area.
>When they arrived back, the players noticed an Elder dragon (Kototh)  
>flying high over head, sort of keeping pace with the group, but not  
>Silly players, they decide to taunt it in order to get it down to  where 
>they can attack it.   I have the main warrior character make  his case and 
>make an influence chance ... 01!  Holy crap -- you just  flippled off the 
>dragon and now he's coming in.
>Over the course of the battle the dragon pretty much flew at 100' or  so, 
>huffing up a flame on the main tank.  Now this character has a  very high 
>MDV to begin with (character), plus he is immune to 5  levels of magic as a 
>special (yea, it's gross, but these are our old  80's characters and we 
>decided that if we reupped this once-a-month  game they would be doing big 
>As the battle went on, the tank was getting slowly burnt up.  The elf  was 
>doing his best with the bow and was getting the draggon nibbled  down (side 
>note: this was the first time the new SIZE rules were  really felt and 
>there was quite the heated discussion on it.  see  below).  The dragon was 
>getting weaker, but since it refused to  grapple with an obvious combat 
>monster the tank would be done before  it was.  They gambled on another 
>taunting to get the dragon close  whough for the law wizard to cast a spell 
>-- killing light.
>And they did it.  That kototh dragon had the biggest look of suprise  on 
>it's 3 heads.
>Ok, now they have the dragon and they want to "loot the body".  And  of 
>course, with no rules in the books on this it comes to rule makeup  time.  
>Comments are very welcome, especially since the next game is  this sunday 
>(the 1st).
>Okay, first off we figured this elder dragon was 30' or so.  A lot of  
>that, obviously, is tail and neck.  Nothing to go on for weight, so I  had 
>to play with numbers.
>An eagle scaled to 30' would weigh 12,000#.
>A Komodo dragon scaled to 30' would weigh 10,000#
>A nile crocodile scaled to 30' would be 3,300#
>A salt water croc scled to 30' would be 5,500#.
>Ok, splitting the difference from reptialian and large wingspan bird,  I 
>come up with 7,500# or so.  Looking at it again, and rounding  numbers for 
>taste, we come to 8,800#.  This means that dragons weigh  in at 100#/AHP.
>This all assumes that dragon meat is even edible, much less Kotothi  
>dragons.  Assuming it is, the obvious plan is to preserve what they  can of 
>the "best" meat and sell it as a novelty.  I presume they will  be using 
>the wizard's preservation spell to keep it okay for now  (have to 
>investigate spell limits).
>presumably we are talking top-grade cooks for this.  it looks like  EL20 is 
>about fair for your normal trained cook, with EL40 for a "x2"  cook.  
>Assuming the meat is nothing special I suppose that EL40 is  sufficuent to 
>cook it given the instructions on preparation, but  presumably requires 
>character-class cooks to actually figure out  those instructions of how to 
>cook, season, or otherwise make it  edible.  I guess we can figure on 
>losing at least some of the meat in  experimentation.
>Looking into it online, it looks like herbivores come in with a wide  range 
>of "meat ratios" , but fumbling the numbers a bit and rounding  for ease of 
>use it looks like wild herbivores come in at 25% weight  for meat and 
>domestic herbivores at 50% weight.  The remainder is  waste and non-meat 
>products (bone, blood, intestines. (Domestic is  higher since it is raised 
>for meat).
>From Wik: "Beef is first divided into primal cuts. These are basic  
>sections from which steaks and other subdivisions are cut.When  looking at 
>a diagrams such as the ones below, note that the closer to  the middle 
>back, the more tender the meat is. Since the animal's legs  and neck 
>muscles do the most work, they are the toughest; the meat  becomes 
>progressively more tender as distance from "hoof and horn"  increases."
>One would assume that would normally apply to other animals, but  dragons 
>have a big honking set of wings that impact the area where  the sirloin 
>would be.  I guess by this rule of thumb, the tail meat  is what ends up 
>being the tenderest, with the rest being relatively  tough.  Also, I figure 
>that as a flying beast at least hal it's  weight will be in the huge wings, 
>and there will be hardly anything  usable in that, so cut all yields in 
>With beef, "the good cuts" (Sirloin) end up being 10% of the meat  weight.  
>About another 20% are "fair" cuts (roasts and chuck).  The  rest is stew 
>meat or burger.
>So this 8800# dragon will render 1,100# of meat, of which 110# are  the 
>tenderest cuts and another 220# are decent steaks and roasts.
>Preservation does not indicate a quantity limit -- Give the base time  I 
>assume the original intent was a man-day of food (3FP, or 3#) that  could 
>be preserved for travel. To keep it simple, I suppose we can  figure the 
>effect is a combined value -- at EL4 we have an effect of  32 -- this is 
>one man-day of food preserved untouched for 32 days, or  32 man-days of 
>food left safe and unspoiled for 1 day (even if it's  full of mayo :) or 
>any range in between. Presumably the caster can  refresh the spell each 
>day, so if need be he can spend it all on  quantity, but the time is never 
>less that a full day.
>The tank character is an armorer, so he wants the hide to make  leather 
>armor from.  An elder dragon's AV is 6, but this is on a 30'  beast (of 
>which we can figure that about HALF that is body).  The  question becomes 
>one of "how much of this AV is due to thickness, and  how much is due to 
>As a flying creature, weight does become a premium, so a good portion  of 
>the AV is due to properties of the hide.  many of the larger  reptiles that 
>are ground based seem to hit around AV2, so I can feal  comfortable with 
>have a base of 2 for larger creature (increased for  size, decreased for 
>flight).  If we consider dragon hide to be  scaled, an actual dragon's hide 
>is a lot like scale mail or lamilar  -- AV2 in raw hide, with AV4 in 
>overlapping plates.
>Your average modern cow can be peeled for about 50 square feet of  hide.  
>This is presumably fairly thin and needs to be doubled up when  making 
>leather armor (to get AV1).  When a cow is layed out it's  pretty much a 
>squarish rectangle, but a dragon would be more drawn  out.  Given a main 
>body size of 15', we can probably look at about  25' (body plus some usable 
>tail and necks) by 6', or about 150 square  feet of hide and scale (about 
>triple that of a modern cow, or five  times that of a medieval cow).  It 
>takes about a week to prepare raw  skin into leather, though a process of 
>soaking, scraping, tanning  (often using the brains of the creature as a 
>part of the tanning mix)  and smoking.  Presumably the dragon hide will 
>need a bit more work.   I think a good guess is that it will take at least 
>four times as long  (twice as long for the size and efort to soak and 
>scrape, and twice  as long for the smoke time to cure it). In addition, one 
>will be  going somewhat slower so as to not losen the scales before the 
>hide  is fully cured, so ut the time by another 2 factor to SIX times as  
>long.  My cost estimates have it at 1SC to cure a cow hide into  leather.  
>A dragon hide will presumably require more expensive (and  probably 
>caustic) materials, so I would have it be at least 1GC in  materials as a 
>minimum for the hide alone.  Presumably the scale  would need even more 
>treatment so that they would not loosen from the  hide, so I would up the 
>material cost by 4GC more for the scales for  a minimum total of 5GC.
>Ok, so how much leather is needed?  About 4# of leather go into  leather 
>armor (by the books) which is about 8 square feet of 8oz  leather (8oz per 
>square foot).  Cow hide is easily thich enough for  this, but we obviously 
>have to thicken it up by doubling over when  you make armor. Call it 15 
>square feet of cowhide for leather armor.   If we go by the same rule of 
>thumb, the underlying hide of the dragon  is normally AV1 right off the bat 
>and thick enough to not need  doubling (and in fact cannot be so, since we 
>havethe scales on the  outside). The scales themselves only provide AV3 
>since they are  stiffer and don't provide the coverage they did on a live 
>dragon.  Accounting for waste, call it 10 square feet of hide for AV4  
>dragonscale leather, with a weight of 10# for the hide alone.  Assume  the 
>scales are tough and thin, but with an equal weight, so this  dragonscale 
>armor would weigh 20#.
>Given all that wonderful dragon leather, how long will it take to  form?  
>The underlying hide will take at least twice as long to cut  and sew.  The 
>armorer is not actually cutting the scales (hard as  plate and cannot be 
>hammered or shaped like for metal armors) but  instead cutting out the 
>leather underneath to form the peice, which  is then sewn together much 
>like normal leather armor.
>In my armorer rules I tried to figure out appropriate times to make  armor 
>based on the sale price and material cost.  If an armorer makes  2GC per 
>month then obviously that is the sale price of all his armors  after taking 
>into account materail cost.  By my figuring, leather  armor takes a tad 
>less than a day to make (1SC, with a material cost  of 4CC.  Labor value is 
>6CC.  200CC/30 days is 6.667CC per day).  using the same concept and a few 
>assumptions, we can generate the  numbers we need.
>Assuming a final price of 40GC, and materials value 200x that of  leather 
>(for comparison, steel has a value of 10x that of leather), I  jiggered the 
>material% until the numbers lined up. It works out to  240 days of work to 
>account the armorer's labor costs in order to  justify the 40GC of sale 
>price.  Now this is a special item, so I'm  tweaking the umbers a tad.  
>One, any armorer who can do this is  obviouly skilled enough to justify a 
>greater rate.  If we figure a  rate of 5GC/month, that would assume labor 
>is actually 100 days. But  that still seems awfully long just for cut and 
>sew (essentially)  thick leather.  I'm willing to cut the time by a third 
>(round to 30  days, or one month) to call it a "luxury" peice...any armorer 
>who has  the chance to make it can make one and then relax the next 60 
>That's enough for this tome.  The other items of Question are TEETH  and 
>BONES.  Any suggestions there?
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