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  1. #21

    Re: Animal Characters

    You seem to have a very specific idea of what a "better dog" is.
    I'm not sure why you say that. The traits I listed for a dog class were just what's already in the dog write-up in the Monster Manual: Good Fort and Ref Saves; Listen, Spot, Swim, and Wilderness Lore skills; the Trip quasi-feat. I then extrapolated a bit, thinking of Feats appropriate for a dog -- real police dogs disarm suspects with a bite to the arm, for instance -- and real Skills appropriate for a dog.

    That's what I meant by a "better dog". I like the idea of an Owl Sorcerer or a Wolf Druid, but I also like the idea of a Faithful Hound who isn't anything more than a "better dog".

    Not all dogs are particularly tough, or especially good trackers, or any better in a fight than "run up and bite it", etc.
    Well, right. I only need a dog class for a high-level PC dog, an epic dog, a Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin.

    To get exactly what you want, you'd have to essentially devise a separate character class for every breed of dog you wish to include.
    Or I can give them a wide enough list of Class Skills and Bonus Feats that they can just choose the appropriate ones.

 

  • #22
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    Make 'em a Monk!

    I suppose you could have them advance as a beast or a magical beast, too. I mean, they are awakened (making them something of a magical beast).

    Very intriguing idea.
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  • #23
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    /me reads the initial post again and wonders how it could be seen as market research...?
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  • #24
    Well mmadsen I don't care if this is market research (which I honestly don't think it is) To answer your question I have allowed an awakened riding dog into my campaign as an NPC. I originally let it advance in monk (thinking the unarmed attacks were appropriate ) but when he was forced to make an alignment change due to a deck of many things I switched him to sorceror. I have also considered letting him advance as a psion, but since there is already a spion in my campaign I felt the niche was already filled. As far as sorceror goes I let the dog cast without expensive components and somatic features I let slide with tail movement. Over all though I cannot say I have enjoyed the character, but I think that is because I really haven't given him enough detail. I had thought of ascending him and giving him the animal portfolio just to get rid of him.

  • #25
    Originally posted by Harlock
    Well mmadsen I don't care if this is market research (which I honestly don't think it is) To answer your question I have allowed an awakened riding dog into my campaign as an NPC. I originally let it advance in monk (thinking the unarmed attacks were appropriate ) but when he was forced to make an alignment change due to a deck of many things I switched him to sorceror. I have also considered letting him advance as a psion, but since there is already a spion in my campaign I felt the niche was already filled. As far as sorceror goes I let the dog cast without expensive components and somatic features I let slide with tail movement. Over all though I cannot say I have enjoyed the character, but I think that is because I really haven't given him enough detail. I had thought of ascending him and giving him the animal portfolio just to get rid of him.
    Indeed, and then when misfortune befell your characters, they could attribute them to acts of dog.

    Sorry.

  • #26

    Re: Re: Animal Characters

    Originally posted by mmadsen
    That's what I meant by a "better dog". I like the idea of an Owl Sorcerer or a Wolf Druid, but I also like the idea of a Faithful Hound who isn't anything more than a "better dog".
    Well, an Awakened dog, as a Magical Beast, has d10 Hit Dice, figher BAB, and good Fortitude and Reflex saves. On top of that, you wish to add a large class skill list, relatively high skill points, and a bunch of bonus combat-related feats? Somehow, it seems off to me that a plain-vanilla, ordinary dog would be, Hit Die for Hit Die, better in combat than the Fighter, and additionally sport a skill list to rival that of a bard or rogue.

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  • #27

    Re: Animal Characters

    Well, an Awakened dog, as a Magical Beast, has d10 Hit Dice, figher BAB, and good Fortitude and Reflex saves.
    Does it? According to the Awaken entry, "An awakened animal gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Charisma, and +2 HD." I don't see anything about the Animal becoming a Magical Beast (even if that makes sense), and other Animals that become Magical Beasts (familiars, Paladins' mounts) don't gain the properties of a Magical Beast (besides the new classification).

    (I was planning on allowing a 1st-level Awakened Dog to start with just one (d8) Hit Die.)

    On top of that, you wish to add a large class skill list, relatively high skill points, and a bunch of bonus combat-related feats? Somehow, it seems off to me that a plain-vanilla, ordinary dog would be, Hit Die for Hit Die, better in combat than the Fighter, and additionally sport a skill list to rival that of a bard or rogue.
    Why would it be better in combat than a Fighter when it has a dog's Animal BAB, Hit Dice, and Saves (analogous to a Cleric's)? And what's so fantastic about four Skill points per level?

    If I proposed a human class that was a variant Fighter with a worse BAB (as Cleric), worse HD (as Cleric), four Skill points, and two Good Saves, would that seem overpowered?

  • #28
    When my daughter wanted to try D&D the DM allowed her to play a talking cat.
    By the way, that's very cool -- that your daughter wanted to play, and that the DM had her play a talking cat.
    Last edited by mmadsen; Monday, 13th May, 2002 at 03:27 AM.

  • #29

    Re: Re: Animal Characters

    Originally posted by mmadsen
    Why would it be better in combat than a Fighter when it has a dog's Animal BAB, Hit Dice, and Saves (analogous to a Cleric's)?
    I believe it's been errata'd that Awakened animals are Magical Beasts. Even if the spell doesn't change their stats at that particular moment, their current type affects advancement if you're allowing them to advance in HD non-classed - and Magical Beast advancement is right up there with fighter, save for feats and skill points. Throw in bonus feats and decent skill points and they'll have everything a Fighter has, plus a couple more skill points per level and an extra "good" save. This is what I thought you intended. If you're just using the Animal advancement, it's different.

    - Sir Bob.

  • #30

    Re: Animal Characters

    ...Magical Beast advancement is right up there with fighter, save for feats and skill points.
    The Magical Beast seems designed for challenging (but easy to run) monsters. I was looking not so much for something powerful enough, but for something on par with a normal character class that would allow an animal to excel at "animal stuff". That's why I wanted decent Skill points and a few "animal" Feats. For instance, Improved Grapple would let a terrier bite and hang on. I think that would be more fun than just biting every turn.

    What other Feats might fit a heroic dog?

    Alertness
    Armor Proficiency -- so he can wear a studded leather vest
    Combat Reflexes
    Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack
    Endurance
    Improved Disarm, Improved Trip -- without Expertise
    Improved Initiative
    Lightning Reflexes
    Improved Bull Rush -- only for a "riding" dog
    Run
    Skill Focus -- on dog skill
    Toughness
    Track -- no need, since they already have Scent
    Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization -- with Bite, obviously

    You could probably have some fun with favored-enemy type Feats aimed at cats, rats (for terriers), badgers (for dachshunds), etc.

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