Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fantasy Animal Companions

Animal Companions can even be birdies.
(The Witcher)
There is a proud tradition in both fantasy and reality for people to attach themselves to animals.  Most animals can be found in the World of Darkness and Mage: the Awakening core rulebooks as well as the Skinchangers and Blood of the Wolf supplements.  I won't recreate any of them though I am open to ideas for other species or animal types to include.

All Animal Companions are blessed by their connection to the descendents of the First and thus have double their health levels just like the mortal races.  Normal animals who are not companions do not gain this benefit and have the normal health levels found in their entries.  While some of the animals listed here aren't domesticated in the real world there is no reason why you can't come up with a variation that is.  Perhaps a reptile called the Staccato Dragon is the domestic form of the Komodo Dragon (bonus points as the players will likely expect an actual dragon but the fire from this one's mouth is more the burning sensation of disease).  If you'd like to read more articles from the fantasy world building that inspired this, you can't find it here.

One Dot

The canonical examples for a one dot animal companion are a pet dog (link here); owls (Mage the Awakening, page 316), fox (Blood of the Wolf, page 89, Stamina 3 and Size 2 rather than that listed); toad (Skinchangers, page 39), cat (link here); deer (Skinchangers, page 45); hawk (use Raven statistics from WoD page 203), bats (WoD, page 203), or ferret (link here).

Two Dots

This includes the linx or bobcat (link here), attack dog (WoD, page 203), snakes (Mage the Awakening, page 316), or a horse (WoD, page 203).

Bare-fronted Hoodwink
The Hoodwink is an incredibly quick bird that moves at thrice its expected speed that causes it to have a blurred appearance.  It tends to avoid being seen and tries its best to dart out of sight - seeming to have an almost uncanny ability to sense when it's been noticed.  Use the statistics for the raven but allow it to spend a point of glamour to triple its Species Factor for a scene so long as it is flying at full speed.

Three Dot

This includes the cheetah (link here), puma (link here), wolf (link here), alligators (link here), sun bear (link here), chimpanzee (Skinchangers, page 49), or a skillful horse (WoD, page 203, but with an extra point in two skills it already possesses, Fleet of Foot 3 and Fast Reflexes 1).

Shrike Cat
This feline is covered in hair-like thorns with some long spines extending from its legs and an armored and branching tail.  While not particularly harmful toward humans, it can be spotted by the slashes on cacti made at night which would then be returned to in order to drink the fermented juice amid wild shrieks.  It has the same rules as a bobcat but its spines do an extra point of lethal damage and it has +2 to its Intimidation score due to its shrieks.

Four Dot

This includes lions, leopards, and jaguars (link here), crocodiles (link here), komodo dragon (link here), brown bear and black bear (link here).

Five Dot

Tigers (link here but add 1 Strength, 1 Size, two Athletics, Brawl and Stealth specialties), elephant (Skinchangers, page 44), or Kodiak, Grizzly & Polar Bears (link here).

Are there any I've missed that you would like to see included here?  Let me know and I'll have post a variation up here or create one from scratch.  If you've already developed one, feel free to post it in the comments section below.

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