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MarkusWolfe
2010-09-10, 09:50 AM
Hello.

You may have spotted my Tanning Mechanic (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167512) earlier. I know want to construct a mechanic for butchering any creature, and determining how much food it gives.

I know that the Survival/Profession Check depends on size and DR, but don't know of other factors. I don't know if larger or smaller sizes will make it harder, but larger sizes make it take longer.

I know that quadrupeds and larger sizes will provide more food, but I'm not sure what to put down in numbers.

A kukri will be an acceptable tool.

Help guys?

The Vorpal Tribble
2010-09-10, 11:22 AM
I'd say a base medium creature takes an hour to skin at a DC 15 check for useable hide (+5 for hides used in masterwork, and an extra hour to gain). DC 10 to just get the skin off without wasting meat.

Size DC
Colossal 8
Gargantuan 10
Huge 13
Large 14
Medium 15
Small 17
Tiny 18
Diminutive 22
Fine 28

Now, the smaller you get requires more detail, so takes longer, and the bigger the creature the more work is involved.

I'd go...

Colossal - 8 hours
Gargantuan - 4 hours
Huge - 2 hours
Large - hour
Medium - Hour
Small - Hour
Tiny - Half hour
Diminutive - Hour
Fine - 2 hours

MarkusWolfe
2010-09-10, 11:41 AM
I'm sorry; are the size DCs you mentioned including the DC 10 to get the meat off, or are they added to the DC 10?

Alright, that handles 2/3 of it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll try to figure out how many people a cow can feed for one day.....

MarkusWolfe
2010-09-11, 02:21 PM
Alright, back from another part of the internet. This is what I got:



A single cow weighs about 1200 lbs. 400-500 lbs of that is 'edible' meat, or 6400-8000 ounces. A highball estimate for 1st world nations is 6 oz a day, netting 1066-1333 days. American diets post 1950s have ridiculously ballooned out to 12 oz of meat a day, granting 533-666 days. A feast of a single cow would easily feed 500 people.

Keep in mind that this is only servings of meat, in the context of a regular diet where most calories come from other foods.

Depending on the cut, an ounce of beef will range from about 50 to 150 calories, tending toward the low end, and much of that is protein, which means if you're going to use it for energy, your body will lose about 30% of the calories in the conversion.

Half a pound of meat per day is plenty to fill your basic protein needs (and provide various micronutrient benefits), but it generally won't contribute more than about 10-20% of an active person's caloric energy needs.



Modern beef cattle are much beefier than historical breeds, and are fattened much more efficiently before slaughter. Eggs were quite costly up until the last couple of centuries, in the final stages of development of the daily laying hen. In ancient times they were a delicacy, now they are one of the cheapest high-protein foods. Ancient carrots, parsnips, and onions were shriveled little things compared to modern cultivars. Medieval or ancient europeans would never have tasted or even seen corn, tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, chocolate, tobacco, or turkey. Many of today's common spices were, to them, scarce foreign luxuries, and pepper was so costly that it was often counted out corn by corn.



The "smaller people" back then were really just nutritionally deficient (witness the explosion of the size of Japanese people over the last 100 years); even "huge" knights were just 1: better fed, and 2: selected for size out of that pool. Silk and gold were what financed long distance exploration, but the food brought back was ultimately more important.


Trail rations probably wouldn't normally involve a lot of meat unless you were on a very long trip with poor prospects for forage. What you'd want to carry around is mainly fat (such as olive oil or lard/tallow) and dry meal (generally oat or barley meal). They're cheap, ubiquitous staples and will keep your feet moving for a long time with nothing else to eat, and you can supplement them with fresh meat and vegetables along the way as opportunities come up.

Dried meat would generally not be a staple food, and depending on the culture, people might not even know how to make it. In an agricultural culture, it will probably be rather uncommon and costly, if available at all, since they will usually be organized to distribute fresh meat and prefer preservation methods that waste less of the food's nutritional value and flavor (such as smoking combined with cold storage in the winter, salting, and acid or alkaline pickling) but are less suitable to packing.

The ultimate personal ration is pemmican, which is a complete food invented as a way for hunter-gatherers to store food from big kills through the whole winter. It is dried meat and berries pounded into a powder and mixed into tallow. It is more or less nutritionally complete and, when made properly, can last for over 2 years. You only need to eat about a pound per day, and never more than two, to maintain body weight and good condition indefinitely.


Caloric density rule of thumb: each day an active (but not hard laboring or all-day marching) average man needs approximately 1 lb of fat, 2 lbs of grain meal, or 3 lbs of dried meat. (note: an active person can generally not digest the protein in 3 lbs of dried meat, hence "rabbit starvation" where the subject loses weight on an unlimited diet of lean meat, and eating more lean meat only leads to more severe diarrhea)

At maximum workload, double these needs. For a completely sedentary person, halve them. They scale roughly 1-for-1 with body mass (a small woman who weighs half as much needs half as much food, while a large man who weighs twice as much needs twice as much food).

For digestive peace, fat should not greatly exceed half the caloric intake (especially for one adapted to a grain-based diet), but should not be reduced to much less than a quarter, and protein should not exceed one quarter. A complete lack of protein-rich foods will not cause digestive distress, but it will cause gradual wasting and increasing insatiety with cravings, which are corrosive to morale and rationing discipline.

More subtle nutritional deficiencies (aside from salt deficiency, which becomes a pressing concern very quickly if salt is not available) will generally not appear unless the diet is maintained for months without opportunistic feasting or a return to a normal varied diet.


I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Since I suspect that the DM will not be running an ultra-realistic campaign, should I just say '1 cow = 500 days of food for one person' and '1 pig/boar = 100 days of food for a person'?

Also, how will this translate to other animals?

imp_fireball
2010-09-12, 01:35 AM
I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Since I suspect that the DM will not be running an ultra-realistic campaign, should I just say '1 cow = 500 days of food for one person' and '1 pig/boar = 100 days of food for a person'?

Also, how will this translate to other animals?

Meat does tend to go bad (in more ways then one; depending on the environment it can attract big predators like brown bears and wolverines; or rat infestations carrying the plague - all in addition to regular bacterial rot) - so if you're trying to reflect a bunch of stranded individuals making a life for themselves, you'd have to give them time to cure and properly store the meat as well. Curing alone usually can take up to a month depending on the weight, density, etc.

Skill-wise, it'd reflect part of what a butcher does. Also note that a good butcher (higher skill modifier) would get creative and perhaps even invent new techniques on top of old techniques that he already knows from ranks in his profession, since he's just been butchering for that long.

A cow is a pretty large animal - I don't think an animal that large and that tame normally exists in the wild except in the form of herds.

Also, properly breeding animals into stupid, tame domesticated big fat animals like cows takes time.

Also, if you lived in a perfect world wear cow corpses never went bad - nobody would ever starve. Also, the corpse of a dragon could probably feed 100,000 people in one day (a cook could turn the titanium-tough bones of a dragon into soft 'bone pudding' by melting over a very hot furnace; the kind used to melt tungsten normally). :P

And imagine a world of stupid, big fat tame dragons. Dragon mickey Ds. The horror.

MarkusWolfe
2010-09-12, 09:17 AM
^ Thanks for info. Still haven't figured out how to do huge creatures......if I come across a dinosaur on my journeys, I want to kill it and butcher it, and once my party has eaten its fill share the meat with the local village and be looked upon as a great champion.

imp_fireball
2010-09-12, 09:26 AM
^ Thanks for info. Still haven't figured out how to do huge creatures......if I come across a dinosaur on my journeys, I want to kill it and butcher it, and once my party has eaten its fill share the meat with the local village and be looked upon as a great champion.

I suppose if they can lug 60 tons or so of a t-rex back home.

MarkusWolfe
2010-09-12, 09:37 AM
I suppose if they can lug 60 tons or so of a t-rex back home.

was thinking more triceratops.....6.112.0 tonnes. And a tyrannosaur is only 5.4 to 6.8 metric tons (6.0 to 7.5 short tons). Just trying to figure out what percentage of that weight would be edible.