Specialists / The Beastmaster

Prerequisites: Hunter 4 required. You need at least six points divided between Peasant and Rider. You must have an animal-related wise. Note that “animal” and “beast” in the benefit descriptions below refers to mundane birds or mammals. Snakes, insects and other creatures are noted separately.

Level 1

Stablehand: You know how to mend fences and perform grunt work. Take one advance in both Carpenter and Laborer.

Level 2

Crack the Whip: Gain +1D to Defend and Feint when wielding a whip or goad-like implement.

Rough Living: You may recover from either Sick or Injured (but not both) when staying in the stables.

Level 3

Beast Speech: You can speak and understand the low speech of one type of creature: birds, burrowing mammals, predators, herd animals, aquatic mammals, serpents or insects.

Level 4

Soothe: Your words and gestures can soothe the savage beast. Make a Will test with an obstacle equal to the beast’s Nature, -1s for each rank by which the beast’s Might exceeds your own. This is a spell-like effect and does not cost a turn. Success causes the beast to become complacent (but not friendly). Record the margin of success when this ability is used. At the beginning of each phase after the beast was soothed, the beast tests its Nature and gains +1D for each rank by which its Might exceeds your own. Its obstacle is equal to your margin of success. Success means the beast shakes off your influence. If your margin of success was 0, the beast recovers at the end of the phase it was soothed.

Level 5

Animal Companion: You acquire a trained animal companion. Choose one:

  • Hound: helps with Hunter and Scout tests; +1D to Maneuver if used as a weapon in a conflict.

  • Hawk: helps with Hunter and Scout tests; +1D to Feint if used as a weapon in a conflict.

  • Sneak: a trained monkey, housecat, ferret or rat can help with Criminal tests, fetch small objects and may be stowed as a pack 1 item or ride on your shoulder. They cannot fight for or with you.

If used during a fight, your companion may be lost, injured or killed as part of a compromise. A new companion must be acquired and trained. To train a hound or hawk, test Hunter against the animal’s Nature of 2. Success trains the animal to hunt, scout or fight (i.e. as a weapon in a kill, capture or drive off conflict). Each new skill requires a separate Hunter test. To train a sneak, test Peasant against the animal’s Nature of 2. Success means it can follow simple commands to stay, follow, steal and hide.

Beast Companion: You gain the trust of a wild beast. Choose one:

  • Dire Wolf: helps with Hunter and Scout tests; +1s to any action during fight conflicts. Test Rider to use as a mount.

  • Bear: helps with Hunter and Scavenger tests; adds +1 to your Might during fight conflicts. Test Rider to use as a mount.

  • Other: GM’s discretion. Typically helps with two skills, may be ridden and grants +1s or +1 Might during conflicts. For example, an elephant grants +1 Might, helps with Laborer and Pathfinder and may serve as a mount with a Rider test. Nature may not be higher than 5.

Wild beasts are much harder to train than animal companions. Not only must the beast be found and then captured, a Nature of 5 makes them much more difficult to train, and they remain wild. On a twist, beasts will shake off their training and either disobey your commands to help, flee your presence or attack you!

Level 6

Beast Sight: You can see through the eyes of beasts. Make a Will test with an obstacle equal to the beast’s Nature, -1s for each rank by which the beast’s Might exceeds your own. If successful, you see through its eyes, though you cannot control its actions.

Level 7

Call of the Wild: You may summon native beasts to aid you in a fight. Make an obstacle 3 Will test. Success summons a beast to fight by your side. A margin of success between 1-3 allows you to summon that mean creatures of the same type (for a total of 4 creatures). Each beast adds +1 to your starting disposition and each must be assigned 1 point of disposition.  This bonus disposition does not count as part of the team’s disposition for the purpose of determining a compromise. Beasts are the first to be knocked out and may not be brought back. They help with actions that use Fighter, Hunter or Health but may not act on their own.

Level 8

Vengeance: Once per adventure phase, if any beast (friend or foe!) is killed or knocked out of a fight conflict, gain the angry condition and add +1 to your own disposition. This bonus does not count as part of your original disposition for the purpose of determining a compromise.

Level 9

Heroic Ability: Choose a beast (horses, wolves, bears, dogs, birds, etc.). When using any of your skills to interact with that type of beast, be they friend or foe, your skills succeed on a roll of 3-6.

Level 10

Dragon Master: You may use any of your beastmaster benefits on dragons or re-write your heroic ability and the name of this benefit to refer to a different type of magical beast (griffons, unicorns, krakens, etc.).

Battle Companion: Your companion gains the following any two of the following three abilities:

  • Growth: Your companion becomes dire-sized or giant-sized for one phase per session. While enlarged, increase its Nature by +2 and Might by +1.

  • Intelligence: Your animal companion gains human-like intelligence and the ability to speak.

  • Reincarnation: If slain, your companion will dissipate and reform in 2d6 turns. As an extra-planar creature, it may be banished by clerics and magicians. Its true nature is easily discerned using Supernal Vision.