Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:15 am Post subject: War animals
Here is a look at different real world animals used in actual war. These are not fantasy creatures but could be adapted easily.
Animal Handling rules- Handling trained animals doesn't need a special power and is assumed to be in the trainers background so just let them make common knowledge rolls on how to handle animals as needed. Beast master and Beast Bond edges may enhance their abilities but is not needed.
Horses-The Faithful steed. Everyone knows about horses and how useful they are. So I'll skip to important bits. If horses are an important part of the setting let them level up like other ally extras.
Horse Suggested Edges-
Alert, Quick, Strong back(lets horse carry more stuff or an extra size 0 rider), Dodge.
New edge- Old faithful
Requirement-Owner has Beast Bond
The horse with this edge is the trust steed. It will always come if you whistle, safely catch you if you jump off a balcony like in Zorro movies, and maybe even drag your incapacitated butt from the battlefield if your defeated. Only helps you, not your party mates.
Equipment- We will assume the Barding in the book is full plate.
Chain Barding- Essentially a chain blanket down to the knees of the horse with a hole cut for the saddle. Provides same coverage as barding but only grants +2 armor instead of +3. It has half the weight and cost of normal barding.
Hoof Blades- Horseshoes made with thin blades. Increases horse kick damage by one die type. Example a war horse does str+d6 damage instead of str+d4. Cost the same as a dagger so a full set would cost four daggers.
Dogs-The classic canine companion used for hunting, security, and even war. Almost anyone can use a common knowledge roll to care for a pet dog. War dogs have the same stats of regular dogs and tend to fight with their masters in small packs. They use ticks and group tactics to gain the advantage on foes. A GM could increase their fighting die by a step to show their extra viciousness.
Equipment- Though rare their has been armor for dogs. This is impractical and most settings give them a collar with enchanted powers for protection.
Elephant- Found in the pulp GM toolkit. Elephants have been used as living siege engines in war. You can load one up with a rider and a couple of archers with the steady hands edge and have the elephant trample the enemy and make them crap their pants. Of course the problem with elephants is their huge logistics cost.
Birds- Usually their are two birds in war. Falcons and pigeons. Falcons was used by the knights of yore and many others as hunting companions and trackers. While pigeons have been used to deliver messages. If one side of a mass battle has birds and the other doesn't then the side with birds get a small bonus for having better communication.
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