Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for... Bees (Giant or otherwise)

When RPGs mention giant bees, that usually means REALLY BIG, as although a real swarm of normal sized bees makes me run like a little girl, you can't really fight something 2-5 cm long with a sword or a bow. Not with much effectiveness.  Better off with a fly-swat.

Mind you, an insect 5 feet long is a little beyond the pale, as they say... How does it fly?

I'm imagining something about 2-3 ft long, that flies with difficulty (kind of like a bumblebee) and has mutant huge flowers, or something equally exotic to feed from.  Not really dangerous by itself, if you can avoid the stinger. But the colonies, with several hundred of these things, and a queen that's a few metres long, are very dangerous places to wander around. They usually occur in open caverns, huge dead trees, under cliff overhangs - terrain that suits them, not humans...

Which is part of the reason I've decided that all healing potions need some sort of honey as a key ingredient.  Normal, weakish healing potions (that peasants use) have normal honey (along with a few other more challenging ingredients) as a base.  The stronger, 'normal' healing potion, that adventurers like to cart around, obviously has Giant Bee honey as the key base ingredient.

In Dragon Warriors, health potions can only be brewed by a sorcerer and the base cost is 200 gold crowns for ingredients.  Other costs I have seen from other systems are around 100 - 200 'gold coins', so that's a good figure.  Even though I usually divide treasures by 10 to 20 times when converting D&D amounts.  I think roleplaying is better when you can't buy everything you want, and sometimes even better when you can't buy everything you need.

Adventuring parties use a fair few potions.  Most seem to be either gifts from satisfied customers or are found in ancient tombs and ruins.  The sanity of drinking the later ones is always a little dodgy... [I'll have to think up a table, taking into account spoilage and fermentation.]  These potions are usually very expensive as they require rare substances and specialised knowledge.  Therefore, making friends with your local temple/alchemist/mage and making an arrangement where you supply some ingredients and get the common potions for cost makes sense for everyone.

Which means that a trip to the Giant Bee Caverns in between adventures should be a lucrative option, which also involves hiding where you are going so the locals don't clean the place out in the meantime...


  1. I'm an item and gold hoarder. I'm always waiting for that special time to use items, or spend the gold.

  2. Giant Bees *shudder* never did like running into things like that during a game, but damn you have to deal with them if you want that honey!

  3. From what I've heard, it's actually the oxygen content in the air that limits the size of flying insects: specifically, when the insect is very large, their respitory systems do not operate at an adequate level to provide oxygen to their bodies during a highly strenuous activity, such as flight. Oxygen concentrations in the Carboniferous age allowed for larger flight capable insects than are found today.

    That said, one has to wonder if the weakness giant insect monsters tend to display toward fire is actually due to some sort of oxygen manufacturing capability said insects have developed to sustain higher motor activities...

  4. Bees are interesting creatures. I like honey, even have some honey greek frozen yogurt in the freezer that is quite tasty. But bees and wasps also annoy me, the buzzing around, ending up in my bathroom, the slight fear of being stung. But like them from a distance.