Saturday 17 April 2010

Saturday Night Fight Club - A Shark's Tale

Look at this picture. It’s amazing – it’s almost as if the authors of the Monster Manual somehow knew that thirty-three years later, I’d invent Saturday Night Fight Club and decided to illustrate tonight’s bout.

So without further ado and with the blessing of Dave Sutherland upon us, let's take a look at tonight's contenders...

Sea Lion

Frequency: Uncommon
No appearing: 3-12
Armour class: 5/3 (head is 5, rest of body is 3)
Move: 18”
Hit dice: 6 (average hit points 27)
% in lair: 20%
No of attacks: 3
Damage/attack: 1-6/1-6/2-12
Special attacks: Nil
Special Defences: Nil
Magic resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Semi
Alignment: N
Size: L

THAC0 13 so he’ll need a 7 to hit the shark


Frequency: Common
No appearing: 3-12
Armour class: 6
Move: 24”
Hit dice: 3-8 – let’s even up the game and give him six also. Same number of average hit points
% in lair: 0%
No of attacks: 1
Damage/attack: 2-5/2-8/3-12 – I guess that this relates to the hit dice. Mr Sealion is going to outclass him utterly if I leave it at 2-8 so let’s up it to 3-12.
Special attacks: Nil
Special Defences: Nil
Magic resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Non
Alignment: N
Size: M to L

THAC0 13 which means to hit the Sealion’s head he’ll need an 8, to hit its body, he’ll need a 10. I’ll use my normal rule for deciding the hits, 20% chance of the head, 80% the body.

I’ve raised Sharky’s damage dice slightly, and because he’s faster in the water than the Sealion, I’ll roll his reaction on a d8 and the Sealion on a d6. That’s sort of fair because it tilts the odds but doesn’t rule out Sealion getting the edge.

Right, round 1

Roll for reaction. Sharky gets a 5, Sealion rolls a 6. There you go. The type of dice made no difference.

Sealion attacks with the old claw/claw/bite – 17,18 and 16 – whew, that’s some rolling. 5 and 3 from the claws, only 2 from the bite.
Sharky swings in to attack – that bite is famous for its damage – just ask Robert Shaw. Let’s see if it’s as dangerous as the stories say.

29% says the body takes the bite. And with an 18, he still hits. Total of 6 damage.

End of round 1 and the hit points are as follows

Sharky 17
Sealion 21

Round 2 and who’s going to served up with chips? Only one way to find out…

Sharky rolls a 5 and this time, Sealion rolls a 3. Is that really a d8 that Sharky’s rolling or a d6 with an identity crisis?

48% says that Sharky hits Sealion’s body again. Let’s see what his to hit roll says

5 means his so-called razor sharp teeth just bounce off the scales.

Amazingly, the Sealion’s attack dice roll 4,3 and 6 – he misses utterly. Might be the 3D effect on Jaws 3…

End of round 2 and the hit points stay the same.

Round 3 and Sharky rolls an 8 for his reaction. Sealion can only manage a 3. Will it make the slightest bit of difference? Let’s see…

57 – so no, it’s a body hit again. Sharky rolls a 16 this round and manages to inflict 8 damage on Sealion who replies with…

5, 4 and 6 – what is this, d20 behaving badly or what?

End of round 3 and the hit points have changed somewhat…

Sharky is still on 17 but Sealion has slumped rather dramatically to 13.

Round 4

Sharky rolls a 5 and Sealion a 4.

Oho…fins away, here goes our sharp-toothed friend again. Roll for hit location and it’s the head this time. Ooh, that’s going to give him a better chance to hit. Hope that d20 behaves itself this round.

Oh dear, it’s only a 3. That d20 – what a tinker, eh?

Sealion swings in for his attacks – 6, 4 and 18 – ooh, thought the d20 was up to its old tricks there. Sealion scores 7 damage and the end of Round 4 is upon us.

Sharky still hanging on in there with 10 and Sealion with 13

Round 5 – the reaction rolls could clinch this one

Sharky rolls a 5, the d8’s favourite number and Sealion rolls a 3

And with a 01, Sharky goes for the head. He rolls…

15 – the d20 has been sent to sit on the naughty step and learned the error of its ways. Sharky’s damage is 8 – that’s bringing Sealion to the perilous state of being one good hit away from death.

But of course he has yet to have his attack – was that high score just a flash in the pan?

5, 16 and 6 – yes, the d20 of doom returns to its bad old ways. One d6 of claw damage gives 6 in total.

End of round 5 and the hit point totals are as follows

Sharky 4
Sealion 5

Surely Round 6 will see the chips ready? It’s all to roll for on the reaction dice

And it’s a tie. Both contenders rolls a 3. How about that? So close that Victor Kiam just bought the die rolls.

We’ll let Sharky go first although it’s not really first. 45% says the body gets the teeth and he picks up the d20…

It’s a 19. Well, unless he’s really unlucky with the dice…

9 damage! Will Sealion scrape home with an honourable draw or…

14,6 and 4 – well, that’s one claw that’s hit home. If he scores less than 4, he’s actually lost this one.

4! Exactly what he needed. It all came down to that last die roll and there it is – death on both sides.

Well, the Sealion in the picture seems to be having much better dice luck than our contender tonight. Must be a better-behaved d20.

I must admit that, like aerial combat, I haven't had much experience with underwater action but, leafing through the MM, some of those sea creatures were pretty scary. Take the shark's bigger prehistoric cousin Megalodon. It goes up to 15HD and does 6-24 damgage, with a chance of swallowing you whole. Here's a rough idea of just how big it was...

We're going to need a bigger boat...

Join us next week, all being well for something a bit different as Conan gets into a fight…with Red Sonja!


  1. Man,
    That would be a helluva fight to see!
    Don't go into the water!!! Nice write up.

  2. But how would the Sea Lion fair against a Sharktopus?

  3. I think I might send you a new d20 forthwith!

    The one you used is obviously cursed -lots B-)

  4. It's how it rolls.

    I might save it and use it when I need really low rolls like attribute saves and such like.

    @Eli - let me have the Sharktopus stats and I think we might have a new fight card!

  5. Well, at least the other sharks are going to feed well tonight.

  6. Everyone dies! Huzzah! Always the best possible outcome in the arena.