Are Moles Blind?

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    • Are Moles Blind?

      Moles are lumped together with things like Prairie Dogs and Chipmunks in the new template (Which does kind of bug me as they aren't very similar to those animals at all) Since one of my most important characters in my fiction is a Female Mole I have some questions like...Do Moles specifically get venomous saliva? And do they have unique vision disabilities that Prairie Dogs and Chipmunks don't have?
    • Hello there and thanks for this most excellent question.

      In all cases when we present animal templates they are given in broad and general terms to allow for changes to be made by Game masters or players themselves with the permission of the Game Master. In cases in which one finds that the guidelines laid out by the creators of this game do not match with the ideas one may have concerning a particular species of animal (usually after much research and investigation into the physical characteristics and habits of a particular type of animal) changes should be made in order to create a new template that is specific for whichever animal is in question. In our attempt to cover as many animals as possible we are unable to list every creature and its abilities individually and in these cases we encourage ambitious players like yourself to give us a hand by using our guidelines to help you create the type of animal which you desire. This is normally done by choosing the closest animal to the one you are wanting to create (as a reference) and making slight alterations to its Template, using the information located in the Basic Compendium Appendix page 326-328, titled Creating New Animal Templates.

      Once you have created the new animal template and made sure the points used to create the new template are all correct, the player must then forward the results to your particular game master for final approval. If you like, I would be happy to review your template if you are so moved to create one specifically for the Mole. I think it is an excellent exercise in learning the math which the creators of the game have so painstakingly sought to create to keep each animal balanced, and ensure that every animal type is represented in a fair and unbiased way. I hope to see how you will choose to breath uniqueness into the new template and encourage you to visit us again on this forum if you encounter any difficulty with this task.

      As always, we here at SHARD would like to thank you for your enthusiasm and continued presence in our community, and with our products we will continue to strive to make this game all that any of our fans desire, and much much more, in the hopes that all of us may continue to be entertained by the art of role-playing for many many years to come! :thumbup:
    • Teenage Mutant Sarpah wrote:

      Thanks, I should tell you I am straight up TERRIBLE at math so I think I would have to ask someone else about that, I remember the vulture template and how Old Wold Vultures had no sense of smell thus for them tracking scent was removed
      That's correct... And though we tried to provide such details for all the different species when possible (plus alternatives when some sub-species had such traits while others didn't), we often made choices to leave such details out (or at the discretion of the GM to add or the player to request) in situations where the trait or animal ability could not be verified in most of the subspecies, such as toxic saliva with moles...

      For instance, to quote a specific site discussing poisonous mammals... "It is suspected that other mammals also produce toxic saliva similarly, as the European mole (Talpa europaea) and other species of shrew, but there are no conclusive studies." Further investigation indicated that shrews commonly DO possess toxic saliva, whereas moles generally do not (or if any do, it is merely a few subspecies as opposed to many)... In these cases, it is up to the player to discuss with their GM whether to add such an ability or not to their personal character... The American mole, for instance, appears to have non-toxic saliva, but in some case the European mole seems to have slightly-paralytic saliva... However, it is important to note that the degree of toxicity is much less than that of solenodons and shrews (whose Templates DO indicate toxicity), and as a result we decided that this level wouldn't even register as a "1" on the Shard poison/venom levels, and thus shouldn't be a part of the template itself.

      The same goes with mole eyesight... Contrary to popular belief, moles aren't actually "blind"... Moles may be seriously short-sighted and some (a few sub-species) even have skin covering their eyes. But in various findings, scientists reveal that moles’ eyes are better than expected and that they can see light even when their eyes are permanently shut (which is rare). Remember that any of the various Animal Templates we present reflect human-like Zoics, not merely the base Earth animal itself... As such, we have provided the suggestion of "Poor Eyesight" as a Zoic Disadvantage, which was primarily for the sake of moles...

      When creating the Animal Templates we chose, in a limited number of cases, to add species together under the same template in situations where the weight/size was similar for the end-resulting Zoics, the general Animal Abilities were similar, and the general Talents and Racial Drawbacks were similar enough,...even if the animals seem somewhat different from one another from a physiological standpoint... As such, gophers, chipmunks, prairie-dogs, and moles all get to be on the same Template because, when blended with human physiology, they all end up falling in the same size-range, they all end up having similar abilities to dig, gnaw, use cheek pouches, and have wide peripheral vision, and lastly....since they all tend to live and burrow underground, there's a potential for any of them to have Poor Eyesight as a suggestion...

      As for mole jánah in Dárdünah specifically, consider them to feel much more like Mole from "Wind in the Willows" when you meet them (except with more of a Hindu flair than a European set of sensibilities)... Their eyesight would be as poor as the Animal Template suggests, and only if you really, really felt that toxic saliva should come into play should you consider adding it... If you do, it would be like a shrew's, and as mild as it could be made and still be meaningfully listed...

      Hopefully this helps you understand why we created this specific Template the way we did...


      Scottie ^^