Role-playing reviews

Reviews related to role-playing games, with a focus on Gods & Monsters, and a bit of superhero gaming.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

Giant walking tanks that eat everything in their path

Jerry Stratton, June 18, 2016

Glyptodon

In the March 19, 2016, issue of Science News, Helen Thompson writes about ancient armadillos. Just as armored, although less flexible, than their smaller modern descendants these things could weigh over four tons and be as big as a small car.

What does a 4,000 pound armadillo crush in your campsite? Whatever it wants! What does it eat? Avocados. It just swallows them whole and shits out the seed.

No wonder they were so big. And I’ll bet they tasted pretty good, too. But these creatures could defend themselves with more than just their massive weight. Some of them even had large, mace-like spiked tails. Technically, paleontologists think they used the tail to fight amongst themselves, since the tail seems designed to break the glyptodon’s own bony carapace.

I’m guessing it would work pretty well against metal armor, too. And that anyone wearing plates of metal would be very uncomfortable after their armor became heavily dented, if not punctured, in a fight with one of these massive creatures.

Why would you want to fight them? Well, besides the avocado-fed tastiness, their shells were big enough to provide protection against rain and wind. Other than unreliable evidence for human predation, however, “the evidence for predation on glyptodonts is very scarce”. Not surprising. I would not, in fact, be surprised if most of the human-used glyptodon shells came from already-dead glyptodons.

A village of giant armadillo shells would certainly make an interesting place to visit.

These creatures lived alongside the giant ground sloth (which already appears in the Encounter Guide).

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