Month: July, 2014

“No wonder there’s not too much life out there yet.”

Nathan Taylor reminds us:

A new paper using data from NASA’s Kepler telescope came out recently, estimating that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor Earth-sized planets. This is a big increase over previous estimates. It’s very cool work. Love it. But the news spin was predictable…

The existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (henceforth ETIs, or just ETs) is normally discussed in the context of the Fermi Paradox, which Wikipedia describes as “the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity’s lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.” Now I’m a strong advocate for there being no ETs in our galaxy, as explained in this recent post. In fact I’ve gotten so tired of hearing about ETs I’ve started thinking of it as “Carl Sagan Syndrome.”

…Recall from my previous post how we have three wildly disparate time scales in play: millions, billions and trillions. Rounding to the nearest 20, we have:

  1. Time for intelligent life to fill a galaxy: super short 20 million years
  2. Time for intelligent life to evolve in a galaxy: moderate 20 billion years
  3. Time of universe to keep having stars: super long 20 trillion years

The first perspective shift is to step back in time, and realize the universe is very young. With 20 trillion years of star generation ahead, the universe has only covered 13.7 billion years or roughly .07% of its life span. Compare this to a person who expects to live 70 years, and you’d get .07% * 70 years = roughly 18 days. So in human terms the universe is a three week old baby. No wonder there’s not too much life out there yet.

Beautiful. And related mostly in a free-association kind of way is Charles Stross on Earth habitability and astonishing metaphors.


Labyrinth Lord (AEC) Creatures by HD

Following up on the Labyrinth Lord Creatures by HD, here’s an index for the Advanced Edition Companion. This is not necessarily the best metric of creature power, of course, and the gas spore (1 hp) is an object lesson in why. AEC has a lot more creatures of variable HD, and I was interested to see the balor (8+ HD) and marilith (7+ HD) demons. Also, I’ve not included unique creatures such as the demon lords Astarot (23 HD), Jubilex (21 HD), Orcus (22 HD), the archdevils Amon (22 HD), Baal (21 HD), Geryon (23 HD), or the multiheaded chromatic dragon (18 HD).

1 hp: gas spore (1 creature)

1d4 hp: brownie, ear seeker, eye (floating), jackal, leprechaun (5 creatures)

1-1 HD: eel (sea) (1 creature)

1 HD: elf (deep), flightless bird (emu), frog (giant), frog (giant poisonous), piercer (5 creatures)

1+ HD: baboon, badger (normal), dog (wild), dwarf (duergar), frog (giant killer) (5 creatures)

2 HD: eel (electric), elf (drow), flightless bird (rhea), frog (giant), homunculus, locathah, piercer, pseudo-dragon, strangle weed, tick (giant) (10 creatures)

2+ HD: devil (imp), dog (war), sahuagin, toad (giant, poisonous) (4 creatures)

3 HD: ankheg, ape (chimpanzee), axe beak, badger (giant), demon (quasit), devil (lemure), flightless bird (ostrich), frog (giant), fungi (violet), hyena (normal), nymph, piercer, sea hag, strangle weed, tick (giant), triton, wolverine (ordinary) (17 creatures)

3+ HD: boar (warthog) (1 creature)

4 HD: ankheg, eagle (giant), ghast, hippocampus, jackalwere, owl (giant), piercer, strangle weed, tick (giant), wasp (giant) (10 creatures)

4+ HD: ape (gorilla), crayfish (giant), wolverine (giant), yeti (4 creatures)

5 HD: ankheg, ape (man-eating), beetle (giant, boring), eel (giant), hyena (giant), satyr, slithering tracker, toad (giant, ice) (8 creatures)

5+ HD: devil (horned), ogre mage, spider (phase) (3 creatures)

6 HD: ankheg, demon (succubus/incubus), otyugh (standard), wolf (winter) (4 creatures)

6+ HD: wind walker, devil (erinyes), nightmare (3 creatures)

7 HD: ankheg, beetle (giant, stag), dragon (brass), groaning spirit (banshee), mimic (young), naga (water), otyugh (standard), rakshasa, remorhaz (9 creatures)

7+ HD: demon (babau), demon (marilith), lammasu, xorn (4 creatures)

8 HD: ankheg, demon (vrock), devil (barbed), dragon (copper), naga (water), night hag, mimic (young), otyugh (standard), remorhaz, shambling mound, sphinx (gynosphinx) (11 creatures)

8+ HD: demon (balor) (1 creature)

9 HD: bulette, couatl, demon (hezrou), devil (bone), dragon (bronze), dragonne, golem (flesh), lamia, mimic (old), naga (spirit), otyugh (advanced), remorhaz, shambling mound, sphinx (hieracosphinx), will-o-wisp (15 creatures)

10 HD: demon (glabrezu), dragon (silver), eye of the deep, eye of terror, ghost, lurker above, naga (spirit), mimic (old), otyugh (advanced), remorhaz, roper, shambling mound, shark (giant), sphinx (criosphinx), turtle (giant, snapping) (15 creatures)

11 HD: demon (nalfeshnee), devil (ice), eye of the deep, eye of terror, golem (clay), naga (guardian), otyugh (advanced), remorhaz, roper, shambling mound, shark (giant) (11 creatures)

12 HD: beetle (giant, rhinoceros), eye of the deep, eye of terror, lich, naga (guardian), otyugh (advanced), shark (giant), slug (giant), remorhaz, roper, sphinx (androsphinx), trapper (12 creatures)

13 HD: devil (pit fiend), remorhaz, shark (giant) (3 creatures)

14 HD: eye (tentacled), golem (stone), remorhaz, shark (giant) (4 creatures)

15 HD: eye (tentacled), shark (giant), turtle (giant, sea) (3 creatures)

16 HD: aerial servant, eye (tentacled) (2 creatures)

17 HD: titan (1 creature)

18 HD: golem (iron), titan (2 creatures)

19-22 HD: titan (1 creature)

Labyrinth Lord Creatures by HD

Indices are the best. Retro-clone/OSR games probably need a cross-RPG monster database, but an index will serve. This one covers just the Labyrinth Lord core book, not the Advanced Edition Companion or other books.

1 hp: bat (normal), rat (ordinary), rot grub (3 creatures)

1d4 hp: bee (giant killer), centipede (giant), hawk (ordinary), rat (giant), kobold, sprite (6 creatures)

1-1 HD: goblin, halfling (2 creatures)

1 HD: dwarf, gnome, herd animals (antelope, deer, goats), men (brigand), men (pirate), men (merchant), men (nomad), merfolk, morlock, nixie, orc, pixie, pterodactyl, shrew (giant), skeleton, snake (spitting cobra), stirge (17 creatures)

1+ HD: beetle (giant, fire), elf, ferret (giant), hobgoblin, men (berserker) (5 creatures)

2 HD: baboon (higher), bat (giant), beetle (giant, spitting), camel, crocodile (ordinary), dryad, fly (giant carnivorous), ghoul, gnoll, green slime, herd animals (antelope, deer, goats), horse (riding), insect swarm, locust (subterranean), mule, neanderthal, shark (bull), snake (pit viper), spider (giant, crab spider), troglodyte, yellow mold, zombie (22 creatures)

2+ HD: golem (wood), lizardfolk, pegasus, shadow, toad (giant), wolf (ordinary) (6 creatures)

3 HD: boar, crab (giant), gray ooze, harpy, hell hound, herd animals (caribou, cattle, oxen), horse (war), horse (draft), insect swarm, lycanthrope (wererat), shrieker, snake (sea snake), spider (giant, black widow), statue (animate, crystal), throghrin, wight, beetle (giant, carnivorous) (17 creatures)

3+ HD: bugbear, carcass scavenger, cat (large, mountain lion), fish (giant, piranha), hawk (giant), hippogriff, lizard (giant, gecko) (7 creatures)

4 HD: centaur, ant (giant), ape (albino), bear (black), blink dog, doppelganger, cat (large, panther), gargoyle, gelatinous cube, hell hound, herd animals (buffalo, elk, moose), insect swarm, lycanthrope (werewolf), medusa, rhinoceros (ordinary), scorpion (giant), shark (mako), snake (giant rattler), spider (giant, tarantula), statue (animate, iron), unicorn, wraith (22 creatures)

4+ HD: lizard (giant, draco), lycanthrope (wereboar), ogre, rhagodessa (giant), weasel (giant), wolf (dire) (6 creatures)

5 HD: bear (grizzly), cat (large, lion), cockatrice, hell hound, hydra (5-headed), lizard (giant, horned chameleon), lycanthrope (weretiger), ochre jelly, owl bear, pterodactyl (pteranodon), rust monster, snake (giant python), statue (animate, stone) (13 creatures)

5+ HD: fish (giant, rockfish), mummy (2 creatures)

6 HD: bear (polar), cat (large, tiger), crocodile (large), dragon (white), gray worm, hell hound, hydra (6-headed), leech (giant), lizard (giant, tuatara), lycanthrope (werebear), minotaur, phase tiger, roc (small), sea serpent, spectre, whale (killer) (16 creatures)

6+ HD: basilisk, manticore, troll (3 creatures)

7 HD: bear (cave), dragon (black), griffon, hell hound, hydra (7-headed), squid (giant), vampire, wyvern (7 creatures)

7+ HD: djinni (1 creature)

8 HD: cat (large, sabre-tooth tiger), dragon (green), dragon (sea), elemental (air), elemental (earth), elemental (fire), elemental (water), giant (hill), golem (bone), gorgon, hydra (8-headed), invisible stalker, octopus (giant), rhinoceros (woolly), salamander (flame), shark (great white), treant, vampire (17 creatures)

8+ HD: fish (giant, catfish) (1 creature)

9 HD: chimera, demon boar, dragon (blue), elephant, giant (stone), hydra (9-headed), vampire (7 creatures)

10 HD: black pudding, dragon (red), efreeti, ettin, golem (amber), hydra (10-headed) (6 creatures)

10+ HD: fish (giant, sturgeon), giant (frost) (2 creatures)

11 HD: dragon (gold), hydra (11-headed), stegosaurus, triceratops (4 creatures)

11+ HD: giant (fire) (1 creature)

12 HD: elemental (air), elemental (earth), elemental (fire), elemental (water), hydra (12-headed), roc (large), salamander (frost), titanothere, whale (narwhal) (9 creatures)

12+ HD: giant (cloud) (1 creature)

13 HD: cyclops (1 creature)

15 HD: crocodile (giant), giant (storm), mastodon, purple worm (4 creatures)

16 HD: elemental (air), elemental (earth), elemental (fire), elemental (water) (4 creatures)

20 HD: golem (bronze), tyrannosaurus rex (2 creatures)

30 HD: dragon turtle (1 creature)

36 HD: roc (giant), whale (sperm) (2 creatures)