Animal Control

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Typically used with: Charm.

In short: command critters. Those with ranks in Animal Control know how to train domesticated animals with sets of commands. It can also be used to safely drive off an animal encountered in the wild, or otherwise get it to do something. This skill cannot be used with super-intelligent animals, magical creatures, undead animals, or people (no matter how stupid, ugly, or hairy they are). This skill can also be used to affect the disposition of animals in the same way that Negotiate can affect the disposition of humanoids.

Difficulty

As there are several uses for this skill, some examples have been outlined in the table below:

Example DL
Getting an animal to do a command it knows 5
Teaching an animal a normal command 15
Teaching an animal a command that could endanger it, shooing a dangerous wild animal 20
Domesticating a wild animal 20
Getting an animal to attack something unnatural or perform a command it doesn't know 25
Domesticating a wild animal in a day 30
Cruel treatment (overworking, etc.), animal is injured +5
Training

Domesticating ("breaking") a wild animal or teaching a domesticated animal a command usually takes 5–7 days. In the case of domestication, the Animal Control check should be performed at the end of the period. If the check fails, the animal must be worked with for an additional period and the check retried.

An intelligent animal like a rat, cat, or dog can learn several commands, sometimes dozens. Less intelligent animals like lizards can only learn a handful — usually just two or three. A domesticated animal can learn any of the following commands, or new ones with your GM's approval.

These have a DL of 20 to teach

Sick 'Em
The animal will attack whatever you point out, but animals will not attack anything unnatural without extra coaxing.
Guard
The animal will stay and defend itself, you, someone you point out, or an object.
Track
The animal can track by scent (if capable).

These have a DL of 15 to teach

Down
The animal will back off and lay down out of harm's way.
Come
The animal will go to wherever you are.
Fetch
The animal will go get what you point out, or the first thing it sees if no specifics are given. You can point out an object or a person.
Heel
The animal will follow and remain close.
Search
The animal will go where you point and look for anything odd (or something specific if capable of tracking by scent).
Stay
The animal will remain where you point until you return and won't provoke any passersby.
Spellcasting
Just kidding.
Tricks
The animal can perform the usual stupid pet tricks.
Work
The animal will pull or bear a load.
Riding

The Animal Control skill is also used when riding an animal suited for mounted travel or combat. The difficulty for riding maneuvers not listed here should be determined on a situational basis by the GM. Below are a few examples:

Example DL
Steadying your arm for a ranged attack while mounted (1 AP; firing without a steadied arm means a −4 penalty to the Attack Roll) 12
Urge mount to leap (failure results in being thrown) 15
Roll safely from the back of a mount slain in battle 18
Staying on a mount which is panicking or attempting to throw you off 20
Attempting to mount and control a wild animal, bareback 25

Time

Teaching an animal commands takes 5–7 days per command. Interacting with an animal during combat generally takes 4 AP.

Retry

For training, yes. For wild animals, not without spending a fate point because they've usually started to charge.