Animal Training SIFRPG
- Training an animal to perform a single task or role requires an Animal Handling (Train) Extended test, requiring a number of successful tests equal to the animal's Will minus Cunning (minimum 1).
- Each test assumes a week of regular training, working with the animal for a few hours every day.
- The Difficulty of this roll is based on the animal's Will rating:
- Will 1: Routine (6)
- Will 2: Challenging (9)
- Will 3: Formidable (12)
- Will 4: Hard (15)
- Will 5: Very Hard (18)
- An animal may learn a number of tricks equal to its Cunning. After that, training each additional trick increases the Difficulty of the task by +3, cumulative.
These individual tricks can often be learned by a variety of animals, who may perform them slightly different from one another. Commanding an animal to use one of these tricks is an Animal Handling test, with the Charm Specialty, unless otherwise noted in the trick.
Some animals may find themselves in situations where they may try and throw off the training in order to react according to their instincts. A dog wishing to bark at something when he's been ordered to be silent, a horse wishing to flee from fire when its been ordered to stay and the like. When the master is present, it is a simple Animal Handling test against the animal's passive Will; if the master is not present, it is the animal's Will test against the master's passive Animal Handling.
- Agility Tests: Dogs, Horses. This trains the animal to perform a variety of leaping and agility tricks. For dogs this is usually leaping through hoops and (for lighter animals) tumbling and flipping. For horses this is often course navigation, leaping fences and the like.
- Attack: Dogs, Horses, Ravens. With this command, the animal will attack any individual that is currently menacing its master. Horses trained to this will lash out with hooves, which is rarely a natural inclination. A rider giving this command from horseback may use the Ride Specialty.
- Bear a Rider: Dogs, Horses. Animals trained to this will bear a rider, with or without saddle. The rider must be of a size and weight that the animal could bear reasonably, of course. No roll is necessary to have the animal perform this function, although all commands given while in the saddle use the Ride Specialty.
- Bear a Burden: Dogs, Horses, Ravens. Animals trained to this trick will bear burdens on their backs or pull wayns and sleighs as appropriate for their size. Ravens trained to this will carry messages tied to their legs without trying to rid themselves of it. All commands given with this skill use the Drive Specialty.
- Charm: Dogs, Horses. Animals trained to this trick will perform any number of trained actions that most people find endearing: bows, counting tricks, eliciting sympathy by drooping ears and sighing and the like. Animals with this trick will also perform basic dance steps to music; animals with both this trick and the Agility Tests trick can perform quite advanced dances.
- Come: Dogs, Horses, Raptors, Ravens. An animal trained to this trick will come when called. Dogs, horses and ravens will answer to their names or a whistle; raptors usually are trained to a bell or whistle.
- Fetch: Dogs, Ravens. The animal will retrieve either something that is thrown by the master, or a specific kind of item that it is trained to, such as food, shiny things, pieces of paper and the like. An animal may be trained to this trick multiple times, each time adding another kind of thing it will fetch.
- Guard: Dogs, Horses. This command causes the animal to either remain in one spot and guard it against everyone it is not familiar with, or to remain with and protect an individual, designated by the master placing that person's hand on the animal's flank while giving the command. An animal with this training issues a vocal warning to those getting too near to it.
- Heel & Stay: Dogs, Horses, Raptors, Ravens. With this command, the animal remains calmly beside the master, remaining with him when either walking or standing still. The animal can also be commanded to remain in one place. Raptors and ravens will follow a master from the air, but cannot be commanded to stay in one place.
- Silence: Dogs, Horses, Raptors. With this command, the animal refrains from making its normal vocalizations. Dogs and horses with this command also actively employ their Stealth to keep from making undue noise by their passage.
- Speak: Ravens. Though all ravens pick up the occasional word here and there, this training teaches a raven a small vocabulary of words that it can use to communicate certain concepts such as hunger, a warning and the like.
- Terrain Traveling: Horses. With this training, a horse is trained to navigate through terrain that it would normally find difficult, such as wetlands or mountains. When in that terrain, the horse's movement is calculated as though it were in one category of terrain better (Deserts, Hills and Light Woods become as Plains, and Mountains, Wetlands and Dense Woods are treated as though they were Deserts, Hills and Light Woods). There are no rolls involved in the use of this kind of training, which becomes second nature to the mount.
- Track: Dogs. When given a strong scent to follow, the dog can follow the trail left by that scent with a Survival test. Each mile of trail requires an additional test. Situations that might throw off or confuse the scent, such as moving into a heavily populated area, a body of water or stronger scents like fire or blood can all force re-tests as well, often at higher Difficulties.
- Wear Barding: Dogs, Horses. The animal is trained to bear armor sized and fitted for its shape. There are no rolls involved in the use of this kind of training, which becomes second nature to the animal.
Unlike other tricks, these are a specific function for the animal, rather than an individual limited command. These are "jobs," as it were, training the animal to the numerous commands and situations necessary to function in this capacity. Each role is considered a single trick, and each roll to teach a role counts as two weeks. No animal may be trained to more than one role.
- Entertainer (+3 Difficulty): Dogs, Horses. The animal is trained to perform in one of many ways: as a show animal of some kind, or performing alongside an entertainer. The animal is assumed to know the Agility Tests and Charm tricks, as well as either the Fetch or Speak trick.
- Falconry Trained (+3 Difficulty): Raptors, Ravens. Birds trained thusly can be used for hunting. Hawks and ravens are launched from the fist to fly out and attack game birds flushed from the surrounding wilds, while falcons and eagles are launched from an aerie and follow the master, watching carefully for any game birds or small game (such as rabbits) that they can strike. These animals are assumed to have the Attack, Fetch and Heel & Stay tricks.
- Farmer (+0 Difficulty): Horses. The animal is trained as a farm animal, for the myriad purposes to which horses are put on the farm. The animal is assumed to know the Bear a Rider and Bear a Burden tricks.
- Guard (+6 Difficulty): Dogs. Trained as guardians, these dogs are often used as household defense. Attack, Come, Guard and Heel & Stay ricks.
- Herder (+3 Difficulty): Dogs. The animal is trained to assist with corralling a herd animal of some kind, patrolling their edges to keep them together and defend against predators. The animal is assumed to know the Come, Guard and Heel & Stay tricks.
- House (+0 Difficulty): Dogs. The animal is trained to live well indoors, well-socialized, quiet and tending to its wastes outdoors rather than inside. The animal is assumed to know the Heel & Stay and Silence tricks.
- Hunter (+6 Difficulty): Dogs. Dogs with this training are taught to be hunting companions, remaining near the master until they are given word to flush out the prey. They range outward, barking to drive larger prey back towards the hunting party. The animal is assumed to have the Attack, Fetch, Heel & Stay and Track tricks.
- Warrior (+6 Difficulty): Dogs, Horses. The animal with this training has been accustomed to the chaos, blood and pain of battle, and will not spook in such situations. Such animals are considered to have the Attack, Guard, Heel & Stay and Wear Barding tricks for dogs, or the Attack, Bear Rider, Guard and Wear Barding tricks for horses.