Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messages

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Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messages

Postby Kival » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:33 am

Hi,

I got two related questions. One player in the group will become a warg at some time. If he doesn't die. Anyway, he's a beastfriend from the start and does well with animals. He's already planned to get to his direwolf at a later point but he also got close to a raven. So the question is: How would you handle two animal cohorts? Would you give a +1D bonus for fighting for each one?

I so far thought that the direwolf might just fight on its own and give no bonus while the raven gives a bonus but I'm not sure.

On the other hand I wonder, if the player would be able to sent a message with this one raven even without the quality Master of Ravens?
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kajani » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:10 am

I would say, also there is nothing in the rules, I would be carefull in the case of +2D on fighting (I mean, the benefit of a raven in fight is in my eyes already complicated - he is hardly as helpfull as an dog or wolf or a horse, and much more easy to kill). I would in that case opt for a little house-rule: the raven might help him during combat not so much, but he could also without beeing master of ravens use him for messaging (and perhaps for some smaller tricks). The dire-wolf (if he got one - I mean that should in my eyes be VERY hard to get one, the Stark-wolves were the first south of the Wall for centuries) could get +1D or fight independend... But that is only a personal opinion.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:50 am

Okay, just to get that: The bonus applies only if the animal is *not* fighting on his own, right?

I do agree, that +2D seems a little bit too much. The player has only fighting 3 though and won't go over 4, so it's not ridicilously problematic (nothing like 7 D for fighting....). The ravens assistence in fighting though I can see in distracting the enemy, attacking his eyes, etc. While I can't see the raven fighting on his own, the direwolf surely could do, a +1D might actually be worse compared to letting him fight on his own.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby vonpenguin » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:16 am

Personally I'd rule that you can't take animal cohort twice. Most qualities will say if you can take them several times. Animal cohort isn't just a pet, it's a special bound. But if you allowed it I would say the bonus' don't stack. The benefit would be you'd be more likely to get the bonus, which isn't a special "mode" the animal only has to be adjacent to you, similar to cohort. So if the wolf charged and the raven was still nearby or the raven was off delivering a message when a fight breaks out you aren't out of luck.

Hope that isn't too confusing, going on very little sleep.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kajani » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:55 am

On the other hand, even a warg can have more than one "animal brother", so I think it should be not per se ruled out that someone may have two animal cohorts (although the narrator should also kept in mind how the two react towards EACH OTHER - a wolf and a shadowcat may not like each other from the start, or a horse and any predator).

By the way - I understand how a raven could help, but in that case I would rather place a penalty on the oponent (if -1D or less is up to the narrator to decide) than give the PC +1. You may also think about to made a raven weaker in helping in combat (perhaps he gaves only +1 or +2 or +1B), but he could other than other animal cohorts do additional things from the start (like carrying messages etc.).
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:02 am

vonpenguin wrote:Personally I'd rule that you can't take animal cohort twice. Most qualities will say if you can take them several times. Animal cohort isn't just a pet, it's a special bound. But if you allowed it I would say the bonus' don't stack.


Admittedly it's not yet decided if both should be counted as animal cohort but it makes sense. Also te new rules for Wargs explicitly work that way, that you need to have more than one animal companion to warg into them, except if you even get the higher ability to allow for more than just your close animals.

Just to be sure about that side-debate: The bonus of animal cohort applies only when the animal does not take an own action in the turn, right?


Kajani wrote:On the other hand, even a warg can have more than one "animal brother", so I think it should be not per se ruled out that someone may have two animal cohorts (although the narrator should also kept in mind how the two react towards EACH OTHER - a wolf and a shadowcat may not like each other from the start, or a horse and any predator).


I agree. The raven has a special character anyway ;-). He tends to diss the houses eagle, whom he dislikes a lot. (The eagle is not belonging to any player,´it was a gift to the lord because the houses "crest" (?) is an eagle.

By the way - I understand how a raven could help, but in that case I would rather place a penalty on the oponent (if -1D or less is up to the narrator to decide) than give the PC +1. You may also think about to made a raven weaker in helping in combat (perhaps he gaves only +1 or +2 or +1B), but he could other than other animal cohorts do additional things from the start (like carrying messages etc.).


Ya. I can see that. Or he might be able to make the "Distracting"-maneuver, reducing defense. The problem is rising is rather what happens if there is a situation where both are acting in assistence. It's not the standard, I'm sure the direwolf would be much more likely to fight than the raven but these situations arises and I should be clear about it before it happens.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby vonpenguin » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:07 am

Kival wrote:
Just to be sure about that side-debate: The bonus of animal cohort applies only when the animal does not take an own action in the turn, right?



I see nothing in my copy of the books to indicate that.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby SerJerk » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:22 am

Kival wrote:Also te new rules for Wargs explicitly work that way, that you need to have more than one animal companion to warg into them, except if you even get the higher ability to allow for more than just your close animals.


Actually, the rules specify a single Animal Cohort, not multiple (see Warg). Skinchanger is what makes it so you're "no longer restricted to your Animal Cohort". So I think there's fair evidence that you can only have a single Animal Cohort, though admittedly it isn't completely spelled out this way. But there's no indication anywhere that you should have multiples.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:06 am

SerJerk wrote:
Kival wrote:Also te new rules for Wargs explicitly work that way, that you need to have more than one animal companion to warg into them, except if you even get the higher ability to allow for more than just your close animals.


Actually, the rules specify a single Animal Cohort, not multiple (see Warg). Skinchanger is what makes it so you're "no longer restricted to your Animal Cohort". So I think there's fair evidence that you can only have a single Animal Cohort, though admittedly it isn't completely spelled out this way. But there's no indication anywhere that you should have multiples.


I don't have it at my hands right now but I thought it specifies that a warg can only skinchange with an animal cohort with a hint that to skinchange into another one, you need another animal cohort benefit. Despite the rules I also think the wildling skinchanger seems to be an good example of someone with more than one animal cohort.

The thing is: The character will have the raven AND the direwolf with him at some point. The raven could simply be around without the benefit but he should be somewhat useful (bringing a message home, giving a warning from time to time, maybe even destracting an enemy at one point and later the raven might be a second skinchange option. It just seemed the best idea for me to make both animal cohorts, especially as the player would pay for it more this way.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby SerJerk » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:16 pm

The Skinchanger ability lets you imprint on multiple animals. Nothing actually suggests that you can have multiple Animal Cohorts, though. Even Varamyr Sixskins has only one Animal Cohort.

Having a direwolf and a raven shouldn't be too overpowering, though. If the raven isn't a Cohort, it shouldn't be so obedient or useful - maybe require an Animal Handling check for some of the suggested actions, or make the raven perform certain tasks at a penalty. Remember that even trained messenger ravens still require a quality and a check to get through. It shouldn't be as simple as a whistle or a word to make a raven claw someone's eyes out.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:02 am

SerJerk wrote:The Skinchanger ability lets you imprint on multiple animals. Nothing actually suggests that you can have multiple Animal Cohorts, though. Even Varamyr Sixskins has only one Animal Cohort.


That's strange. I'd view him as having more than just one Animal Cohort.

Having a direwolf and a raven shouldn't be too overpowering, though. If the raven isn't a Cohort, it shouldn't be so obedient or useful - maybe require an Animal Handling check for some of the suggested actions, or make the raven perform certain tasks at a penalty. Remember that even trained messenger ravens still require a quality and a check to get through. It shouldn't be as simple as a whistle or a word to make a raven claw someone's eyes out.


OH, even as Animal Cohort this Raven could not be considered obedient. He is a trained messenger raven btw but got mustered out because he annoyed the maester and the people becoming the message to much...
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Carriker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:47 am

Kival wrote:That's strange. I'd view him as having more than just one Animal Cohort.


If you read Varamyr's narrative, he talks about the first dog he ever warged into, and how much easier it was, how much he really liked that dog, and the like, suggesting that there is a certain level of affinity a warg has for the first creature they bond with. Subsequent beasts are just creatures they've managed to command.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:47 pm

Varamyr does not only warg into random creatures though, he takes the animals with him, they accompany him. It is true though, that he does not really have such a strong connection to his animals...

So "vanilla" ruling is: Only one animal cohort and a Warg can only skinchange with one animal (because no one can have more than one animal cohort?)

Should secondary animals then not be paid for at all via xp/DP?
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Carriker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:10 pm

Kival wrote:Should secondary animals then not be paid for at all via xp/DP?


The new Skinchanger Benefit in the GoT Edition of the core rules addresses wargs capable of seizing control over new animals.
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Re: Two animal cohorts and a question about ravens and messa

Postby Kival » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:18 pm

Carriker wrote:
Kival wrote:Should secondary animals then not be paid for at all via xp/DP?


The new Skinchanger Benefit in the GoT Edition of the core rules addresses wargs capable of seizing control over new animals.


I know. But you do not need to be a skinchanger to use (or even be some kind of friend to) more than one animal. Just wondered how to handle an animal after the "cohort", to which a character might be close. Let's pretend the character had already a strong bond with his animal cohort the direwolf. Rules are clear so far but now the raven arises, the character treats it well and can work with the raven while the maester e.g. can't. So as the character anyway was going to receive a "gift" for his healing of the houses knights in the tourney, he got the raven now, who was more a burden anyway. Now the raven can be an asset, I can even see him aiding in a fight. He's also a clever one so might come useful from time to time (and give the gamemaster an excuse to help the players further, when they are completly stuck and the story isn't evolving at all :green: ) He might not be so obedient but he clearly is an advantage. Is the beastfriend benefit (the player has anyway) enough to compensate it? Or would you require rolls very often? I can see that for trying to train and convince the raven to do something but as he has his own mind it might not really fit. I see him more aiding and helping when he wants usually, not when the character wants it to happen. The only solution I see is allowing for animal handling with charm to increase the disposition with the raven instead of spending the destiny point for the benefit but I'm not so sure about this solution.
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