Sai asked me a while ago if it was possible to tame beasts for The Artifact. The answer was “There should be!” Then we hammered out a basic system to do just that.
What we came up with was that each animal under training should be treated as an NPC that the player would keep track of but the GM would still control.
The animal would learn skills from the trainer. These would be basic skills like Fetch and Sit. The first skill that an animal has to learn is an IQ skill called “Commands”. This is like a language skill. The animal has to check against it to see if it understands that the trainer is speaking to it and to understand which command is being given. If the animal fails, it has no idea you want it to do something so getting this skill high is a priority. This makes dumb animals more difficult to train and slower to advance. Animals that are considered domesticated have a skill cost of one (1) XP per skill advancement. Wild animals have a skill cost of two (2) per advancement. Each command is a skill by itself that must also be learned. So “Attack” is a skill that the animal would learn but it would be an Agility skill that the animal would use when it understands the command.
Each new skill requires at least one week of dedicated training time. Each week an animal is trained they get 1 XP. After the first week of training, as long as the animal practices or uses the new skill, they get 1 XP per week to spend on advancing skills.
Domestic and Wild Animals
There’s a big difference between training a horse and training an alligator. One animal is domesticated, the other is wild but both can be trained.
When attempting to train a domestic animal the PC rolls for their Charisma + Animal Training skill. The first time they attempt this, the animal gets to resist by making a Psyche roll at the same fraction column or lower than the trainer’s roll. If the animal fails the Psyche roll they will obey. After the first failed Psy roll, the animal will listen to the trainer.
Wild animals always check against their Psy for every command, no matter how long they have been trained. This requires a higher Animal Training skill for wild animals to get consistent results out of them.
New Charisma Skill
Animal Taming – <specific> (2)
The character chooses a specific type of animal they want to tame. This skill allows a character to teach skills to a species of animal. This skill is used in Charisma rolls to see if an animal will follow that individual’s training. Also, each week that the trainer makes a successful roll for an animal that animal gains 1 XP that is used to raise one of the animal’s skills.
Possible Animal Skills
There are so many thing that an animal can be taught to do, this is a brief list of skill ideas.