Animal Companions!

Finding and Capturing Animal Companions

One does not survive the wildlands or the deep and dark places of the world without learning the ways of beasts and animals. However, it is entirely another thing to gain their friendship. Still, miles beyond the walls of civilization it is not uncommon to find those who travel with animal companions. These unusual unions are formed in one of three ways: Wilderness Traps, Capture Conflicts, or stumbling (foolishly) into their breeding grounds.

Wilderness Traps

Characters can use the factors for Wilderness Traps under the Hunter skill to capture potential animal companions. Animals caught this way are found Hungry and Thirsty, Afraid, Angry, and Exhausted.

Conflict: Capture Animal Companion

Use the standard rules for Capture conflicts with the follow changes

[li] Replace the Fighter skill with Animal Husbandry (see below)
[/li][li] The person attempting to capture the animal must be the conflict captain
[/li][li] Only the conflict captain can script Attack and Feint actions
[/li][li] Humanoids cannot be captured as animal companions
[/li][li] Spells and items which increase your Order of Might will allow you to capture animals and monsters beyond your normal control

Hush, Little Baby

It is a fool who enters the breeding ground of an animal willingly, but only those with a death wish try to make off with one of the young. Should a character ever attempt to remove the young from their nest, they must succeed at an Animal Husbandry test with an Ob equal to its Nature plus Order of Might in order to stop it crying for its mother.

Twist: The mother returns in a fit of Rage. Go to Kill conflict.

Animal Husbandry

Those with Animal Husbandry can train, command, and placate animals. Before a captured animal can be trained or commanded, the character must first form a bond with it.

Characters can use rations or food as supplies for Animal Husbandry tests.

Suggested Help: Hunter
Beginner’s Luck for Animal Husbandry: Will

Factors for Forming a Bond

Use the animal’s Order of Might as the base obstacle, plus the below:

Method of Capture: Hush Little Baby, Wilderness Traps, Capture Conflict

Types of Bonds

The kind of bond you form with your animal affects how easily it is trained as well as how willing it is to listen to your commands. If you meet the obstacle, the bond between you and your animal companion is Ambivalent. If you exceed or fail the obstacle by 1, your bond is Trustful or Resentful. Finally, if you fail by 2 or more, that bond is Loyal or Hostile. These penalties and bonuses apply to all attempts to train or command your animal companion.

Hostile: -1s
Resentful: -1D
Ambivalent: -
Trustful: +1D
Loyal: +1s

Characters may attempt to change the bond with their animal companion once once per Winter phase at +1 Lifestyle cost. The obstacle for this test is equal to the animal companion’s Order of Might. Use any bonuses or penalties the existing bond may provide.

Factors for Training Your Animal Companion

The base obstacle for training your animal companion is its Nature, plus any of applicable factors below

New Tricks: Begin Learning New Skill, Make One Skill a Specialty, Wear Armor, Mold Instinct, Mold Nature

Location: Camp, Town, Right Here in the Middle of Danger

Order of Might: If your animal companion’s Order of Might score is higher than yours, add the difference to all training obstacles.

Factors for Commanding Your Animal Companion

Action: A simple one-word command, enter a conflict for the first time, an action with multiple steps

Nature: Inside of Nature, Outside of Nature

Location: immediate Area, a nearby location, somewhere far away

Order of Might: If your animal companion’s Order of Might score is higher than yours, add the difference to all commanding obstacles.

Animal Companions in Play

Treat animal companions as monsters for the purposes of creating a statblock. Add a space for the kind of bond the companion and its master share.

Skills: Animal companions do not learn skills the way adventurers do. Instead, they develop natural features into tools and weapons to aid their master. To begin learning a skill, the animal must first receive training from its master. It’s training is complete once the animal advances its nature to the next rank. Mark the name of skill on its stat block with a +1D bonus. The GM determines which conflicts it/actions it applies to. An animal may only learn one skill at a time.

Newborn and infant animals begin play with no skills. All rolls are made using nature.

Specialization: The animal’s master may work to elevate one skill to that of a specialty. After receiving advanced training from its master and the animal advances its Nature one rank, it may change the +1D bonus to a +1s. No other skills may be learned during this time. Once an animal is taught a specialization, it cannot be changed.

Animals in Conflicts: An animal companion follows the same rules for conflicts that adventurers do.

Conditions: Animals follow the same rules for earning and suffering the effects of conditions, with the following changes:

[li] While Angry, an animal companion may not benefit from its skills with the exception of a specialization.[/ul]
Recovery: An animal companion gets one free recovery test during the camp or town phase. Further attempts at recovery can be made using Animal Husbandry plus any bonues or penalties for bonds if its master spends a check. For Injured or Sick, the animal must receive treatment from someone with the Healer skill or use its one free check.

Nature and Instincts: These are set by the GM. Characters may attempt to mold these through training to suit their needs.