This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue.
Editor’s note: This started as a project that the author’s daughter was involved in, “a hedgehog a day”, to pass the time during restrictions due to the coronavirus. The author offered to do a Traveller hedgehog for the project, and later on expanded it to what you see here.
A spiny mammal of the family Erinaceidae. There are many species throughout Charted Space with E. vulgaris the most common in the Spinward Marches on worlds with forest, woodland and hedgerow biomes. Typically they mass between 0.5kg and 1.3kg and are most known for their nocturnal habits and defensive ability to curl up tightly. This is due to two large muscles in their backs which control the position of their spines which are hollow keratin to reduce weight. In the wild, most hedgehogs will hibernate for several months a year. Gestation is usually a little over a month with litters of 2D6-2. Weaned after another month or so, they reach sexual maturity in a year and may live for 1D6 years; or 1D6+4 years in captivity. True omnivores, they will eat small invertebrates, small vertebrates, fruit and vegetables. On some worlds they have been known to eat fungi and even small snakes or beetles. They have a remarkable ability, given their size, to tolerate venom and toxins.
One unusual subspecies, E. vulgaris viridis, familiarly called “Collinson’s Kirpi”, after the Imperial naturalist, Sarah Collinson, that first identified the subspecies, is fairly common on some Daryen worlds. While the general E. vulgaris specimen will sport coloration ranging from white to reds, greys, and browns, E. vulgaris viridis, as its Linnaean name implies, sports a distinct green coloration. (The name kirpi for the hedgehog occurs in many Turkic languages; there is a fairly large Turkish/Solomani minority in the Daryen confederation.)
All hedgehogs, when disease-free, may be kept as pets, used as a food source and some starship captains have used them successfully to reduce vermin infestations. In captivity, they should not be overfed as they will tend towards obesity.
Editor’s Note: Although the “default” presentations differ for versions of Traveller prior to Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition, all appear to be broadly compatible with the Classic Traveller table format, and that format is used.
Stats presented here apply to all hedgehogs, not just Collinson’s Kirpi
|Hedgehog||Eater||1kg||3/1||Spines||1 claws, teeth||A9F9S1|
Mongoose Traveller – 1st Edition
|Athletics (dexterity) 1, Melee (claws & teeth) 1, Recon 1, Stealth 1|
|Claws & Teeth (1d6), Spines (1). Number encountered: 1d3|
|Nocturnal omnivorous woodland creatures with spines.|
Mongoose Traveller – 2nd Edition
|SKILLS||Athletics (dexterity) 1, Melee (claws & teeth) 1, Recon 1, Stealth 1|
|ATTACKS||Bite (1D-3) + Claws (1D-3)|
|TRAITS||Armour (+1), Diseased (Routine, 1D-3, 1D days), Heightened Senses, Slow Metabolism (-1), Small (-3)|
|BEAST ENCOUNTER TABLE||Grav Mod=||Atm Mod=||Environ DM=|
|O||1-3||Small||Walk||Weak||Walk||Eater||4||6||½ - 1kg|
|Edibility: Marginal with an Unusual
Trainability: Defer= Difficult, Obey=Formidable, LST Trainable=Staggering.
|Hedgehogs can usually be trained to use a litter tray or to curl up on demand; some have been trained to choose a ‘correct’ food source against their own preference.|
|Name||Type||Mass||Hits||Armor||Wounds & Weapons||Action|
|Hedgehog||Eater||1kg||1/0||None*||claws and teeth 2||A9F9S1|
* treat spines as jack - 1 which can inflict another point of damage
Attack will only be for creatures no larger than the hedgehog. It may flee but is most likely to curl into a tight ball.
NB: The MegaTraveller rules don’t actually give an example of how to lay out an animal encounter table despite the rules for constructing one. There are a couple of examples on page 67 of Hard Times which switch Weapons and Armour (as shown here) from the rules.
Traveller: The New Era
|Eater||1kg||1||1D6×½||claws and teeth||8||5||-|
|Name||Type||Size||St/LB||AC/AR||Attacks & Damage||AFS||S/D/C||F/R/W|
|Hedgehog||Eater||Diminutive (1kg)||3/3||xxx||Claws/Bite||A9 F9 S1||1/5/1||+0/+4/+0|
Marc Miller’s Traveller (t4)
|Hedgehog||Eater||1kg||3/0||none||1||claws/teeth||A9 F9 S1|
1kg Eater (omnivore), Woods Walker, 151181, #1d3
Athletics-1, Melee Combat (natural weapons)-1, Recon-1
Claws and Teeth (1d6); Spines (1); Speed: 6
ST 3; DX 12; IQ 3; HT 9
Will 3; Per 4; Speed 3; Dodge 6; Move 3.
SM -6; 2lbs
Traits: Discriminatory Smell; Flexibility; Gluttony; Quadruped; Sharp
Claws; Sharp Teeth; Spines (short); Wild Animal. During hibernation:
Reduced Consumption 4.
Skills: Brawling-10; Stealth-12; Survival-12. b