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Animals and Training


rust

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Okay, third attempt - third time lucky, they say ... :lol:

Here is a short first draft for a spot rule for the training of animals, a spot rule I need

for the dolphineers and dolphins of my Varun setting:

Animals with fixed INT can be trained with the (new) Animal Handling skill, a Communica-

tion skill with a Base Chance of 05 % and the specific species as a specialty, in my case

Animal Handling (Dolphin).

Each animal can learn a number of tasks or "tricks" equivalent to its INT value, so an ave-

rage dolphin with an INT of 8 can learn up to 8 different tasks, with each task a simple

activity like "Bring Item", "Carry Item to the Base", and so on.

The difficulty and required time of the training also depends on the INT value of the spe-

cific animal.

I am not yet sure how to handle this, but I am thinking along the lines of taking the INT of

the animal as a bonus for the Animal Handling skill. For example, a dolphin trainer with an

Animal Handling (Dolphin) skill of 45 % would add the dolphin's INT of 8 to get a success

chance of 53 %.

As for the time, I think that one attempt to teach one task per week could be plausible

enough to use it. For example, to teach a dolphin of INT 8 all the 8 tasks it can learn would

take at least 8 weeks, provided all of the trainer's rolls would be successes.

Please let me know what you think about this - Thank you. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Considering how many trick people are able to teach dogs INT 5, I think the limit might be too low.

Perhaps the number of tricks and INT could affect the difficulty in teaching tricks. So up to 1/2 INT is easy, un tp INT normal and over INT Difficult?

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Considering how many trick people are able to teach dogs INT 5, I think the limit might be too low.

Perhaps the number of tricks and INT could affect the difficulty in teaching tricks. So up to 1/2 INT is easy, un tp INT normal and over INT Difficult?

Yes, I think you are right, eight tasks / tricks for a trained dolphin is really not much.

It seems I will either have to use your proposal or to define more general tasks in-

stead of individual "tricks". The latter would have the advantage to require only one

difficulty, but I am not sure whether I will be able to come up with eight logical and

useful tasks ... something like "Transport", "Rescue", "Protect Area" and thelike.

Edit.:

After thinking about it, the 8 tasks could perhaps look like this:

Basic Commands ("Come", "Wait", "Go", "Take", "Give", etc.)

Attack Creature

Protect Person

Guard Area

Search Person

Rescue Person

Transport Item

Deliver Message

Edited by rust

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Another option would be to set the training difficulty by animal type (some are easier to train than others).

Even so often, the GM could make a Knowledge roll (INTx5%) to see it if remembered all it's tricks. A number of tricks up to the creatures INT could be "protected" and safe from being forgotten. Failure means the creature forgot 1 trick, and fumble means it forgot all tricks over the INT protection limit.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Even so often, the GM could make a Knowledge roll (INTx5%) to see it if remembered all it's tricks. A number of tricks up to the creatures INT could be "protected" and safe from being forgotten. Failure means the creature forgot 1 trick, and fumble means it forgot all tricks over the INT protection limit.

Yep, or I could connect the animal's INT with the tasks and treat them as skills.

For example, the tasks up to the animal's INT get a skill of INT x 10 (in the case

of a dolphin 80 %), all tasks above the animal's INT get INT x 5 (40 % in the

case of a dolphin).

It seems I will have to playtest the different ideas to find the one that works

best.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Yep, or I could connect the animal's INT with the tasks and treat them as skills.

For example, the tasks up to the animal's INT get a skill of INT x 10 (in the case

of a dolphin 80 %), all tasks above the animal's INT get INT x 5 (40 % in the

case of a dolphin).

Oooh, I like that. Very RQish.

Speaking of which. I can send you the Animla Handling info from RQ3 if you don't have it. There might be something in it that might be useful for you.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I added a set of simple rules for the training of animals in Classic Fantasy. Nothing fancy but they may be of use.

Animal Training (01): This skill is used to train an animal; for example teaching a dog to sit, fetch, stay, or heel; horses may be broken to a rider or taught simple tricks etc. It generally requires one Animal Training roll per day while teaching a trick, and the time required is typically 8 days minus the animal’s INT. A special success can reduce the training time by 1 day while a critical reduces it by 2 (minimum of 1 day of training). If the creature cannot normally be trained, (because it is wild, like a wolf, or is a cat or reptile, for example) the roll becomes Difficult. Most animals may learn two “tricks” for each point of INT they possess.

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What happens with an animal with INT 9+?

Is the time a minimum of 1 day, or can they learn 2 tricks a day, or what?

That sounds fair. To be honest, I did a quick look through RQ and BRP and didn't see a fixed INT over 7. With a baboon INT 6, and a Gorilla INT 7, I figured once you get over that your moving into the realm of human intelligence and therefore non-fixed. But I may have missed an animal with a greater fixed INT as it was a last minute addition.

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That sounds fair. To be honest, I did a quick look through RQ and BRP and didn't see a fixed INT over 7. With a baboon INT 6, and a Gorilla INT 7, I figured once you get over that your moving into the realm of human intelligence and therefore non-fixed. But I may have missed an animal with a greater fixed INT as it was a last minute addition.

fixed INT dolphins and dragons.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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fixed INT dolphins and dragons.

So which would be better in your opinion?

Changing the time required to 10 days minus the animals INT to learn a "trick". Minimum of 1 day.

or...

Keeping it at 8 days and having each "day" below zero, an extra trick per day.

Keep in mind that I don't plan on changing the mechanics of the rule becouse I like them, but can easily make a change

that minor for the next printing.

Rod

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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Well, since Dragons have a fixed INT of 10 the 10 days minus would need to be higher. Also, there is always the problem of what to do if some critter comes along with a higher INT. Or you could just say there is a minimum time of 1 day regardless on INT.

The latter is probably the better long term solution. Besides, if a dragon is nearly as intelligent as a man (with INT 10) it probably can learn to "fetch", "roll over", "fly right" and "don't eat the guests" in one day.Oh, and you might want to phase it for INT over 7, so that INT 7 and INT 8 don't have the same training time.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I took a different approach in my treatment of training dogs (http://basicroleplaying.com/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=111).

I viewed each animal “profession” as having a required Animal Handling skill, and than the trainer would raise an animal in the profession over time. Each profession then has associated animal abilities, some of which might require an animal handling roll in order to evoke from the animal, while others were just simplified away to a skill bonus (getting a blood hound on to a scent trail required a roll, while a good sheep dog just gives a bonus to your shepherding skill).

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One thing to keep in mind when training Animals its easier to train social animals then those that live solitiary lives.A wolf and a tiger might have the same intelligence but the wolf is program by instinct to follow the alpha wolfs direction, while a tiger is program to take orders from no one.

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Indeed. Having just finished the basic descriptions of all the native creatures of Varun,

I have realized that there will be an unpleasant surprise for the colonists: Not a single

one of those species has the potential to be domesticated or trained for any useful

purpose - their biochemistry makes them useless as food, and their lack of social in-

stincts makes them untrainable.

On the other hand, this could well become a nice adventure hook, for example as the

reason for expeditions to other worlds to look for creatures that could survive on Varun

and serve as livestock, trained anmals or pets: "Go and bring us a number of 'aquatic

cows' or 'aquatic sheep', and we urgently need them the day before yesterday ...".

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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