Stats for animal companion

Quick question I don’t own a monster burner only gold revised and the codex… does anyone know what stats I should use for a characters wolf-hound animal companion?

I do an awful lot of eyeballing what makes sense, using Human as the base.

An average Human has Stats of 4, and a scattering of skills, with their “job” skill being at 4.

On 4 dice, you can expect to average 2 successes, which is the difficulty of what you’d be expected to do in your “day job” (BWG page 15).

So, a wolf-hound companion is…

  • probably a bit more perceptive than a Human… say… Per 4 or 5, with a Trait like… erm… Keen Smell and Keen Hearing (let’s say +2D to Per when that Trait applies). I don’t tend to go heavy on high Stats if a Trait might boost it. In this case, if it’s Hearing-based, you’re looking at potentially 7 dice, which might feel a bit high.

  • Will isn’t going to be particularly high (2 or 3?). In fact, I wonder whether I might add a Trait about that… maybe Skittish, or Prone to Barking?

  • Speed might be a touch higher (5?), as them being able to run after game is key.

  • Power is probably a bit lower than a Human (3 perhaps).

  • Forte is average, I’d guess? Say 3 or 4?

  • Stride… faster/longer than Human and even Elves, but not in the same realm as a horse, so, say 9?

  • Tracking seems pretty key, so maybe B3 or B4 Tracking? I’d guess that Keen Smell might work with this, so I can have a low Tracking, and the Trait means I’m rolling at +2D.

  • Other Traits… well, Loyal seems neat (Loyal Belief: “this human is my everything. I will be their constant companion and live for their smile.”).

Do I need much else? Possibly not.

Maybe a fun Instinct or two, if that makes sense? How about “Bark when I am surprised” or “Always beg for food when the two-legs are eating”?

The main thing that I have in mind is that the Players’ characters are the important ones. I’d not want to overshadow someone (BWG p204).

A companion animal is a source of occasional support and fun, rather than “Lassie Solves the Adventure”.

If you want to go down that route more, I’d suggest having someone play the wolfhound as their character?

In our current game, Sluice (our Halfling wizard) is in the process of acquiring a familiar. They’ve got a stray cat that was (at one point) possessed by a ghost. Now they’re working on Enchantments to forge a strong link with them.

They have a Belief about it, and continue to work away at it.

What Stats have I assigned the cat at present? None.

In time, I can see us needing to come up with a few “knowns” about them.

So, there might be a small fistful of Skills we’d want to determine about them (Mousing B4, Stealthy B5, Climbing B6… Ghost-Wise B1).

As a wizard who enchants, Sluice will want to know what sort of Traits he might be able to extract from his cat familiar. We’ll give it some thought then, but I can already see Traits like Cat-Eyes, Keen Hearing, Sleepy, Stealthy as the Night (C-O for Stealthy?), Skittish.

But, for now, our nameless stray moggy is there (or not), and a character into which Sluice is investing time, energy and compassion.

We’ll work out what we need, as we need it!

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Huh. The Creature Codex PDF is no longer on BWHQ’s website?

Creature codex PDG???

PDF. Sorry. It was a document you could download BWHQ, a piece of the Monster Burner statting out various little creatures – dogs, cows, greater seraphim, that sort of thing.

Check out Burning Rogues in the appendices, BWG p. 562. It gives really good advice for how to stat characters according to how important the information will be in your game. In other words, you probably don’t need the stats for your wolfhound. You can just jot down what you need when you need it and once you hit critical mass (when you can see the seams between your notes), then you can give them a full write-up.

In any case, I like making stat blocks, so here’s my take on a young wolfhound that’s more of a pet than a hunting hound, which you are free to use:

A Young Wolfhound

Belief: My human is everything to me. Traits: Carnivore, Shedding, Flea-Bitten, Loyal, Hound’s Ears (+1D Perception, Hunting, Observation), Large Hound’s Form (three and a half feet tall at the shoulder, Stride 10, quadruple Ob penalty for anything requiring hands), Hound’s Instinct (Hesitation options: Stand and Growl, Drop and Whimper, Run Yowling, Submit), Hound’s Jaws (Pow 1, WS 3, Shortest; may Lock & Strike), Hound’s Nose (+1D Perception, Hunting, Scent Tracking). Stats: Will B2, Per B4 (B6), Agi B2, Spd B5, Pow B4, For B4. Attributes: MW B10, Hea B4, Refl B4, Steel B3, Hes 8, Str 10. Circles B1, master’s circles. Resources B0. Skills: Bite B2, Digging B3, Human-wise B3, Hunting B4, Prey-wise B2, Scent Tracking B3.

I chose Stride 10 because Great Wolves have Stride 11 and a wolfhound is much smaller than a great wolf, but still a very large hound. I’d go down to Stride 9 for anything about as large, but less houndish. Stride 8 is good for the average “dog” dog, I agree with Mark’s instinct there. Itty bitty dogs maybe have Stride 7.

And thank you for suggesting the Loyal trait, Mark!

Thanks for the correction, Quincy!

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Great Wolves have Stride 11.

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Thank you that’s really cool