No game night this week, which means I’ve been trying to finish people’s character sheets and what’s happening next Tuesday. Progress so far on those? Character sheets are done bar one – I need to create a female, Elven monk for one of my players. Today I’ll be sorting out the elf and what’s happening on Tuesday. But for now I want to talk about animals, specifically those a Druid might have as an animal companion or one that someone might own and “control” using Handle Animal.

No animal character sheets

What I could have really done with yesterday were character sheets specifically for animals that might be a part of the group. It wasn’t entirely clear when it came to stats, just what animals had filled in and how they had them filled in differently. It was difficult trying to fit in what applied to them on the humanoid sheets, but not impossible.

The process of filling in an animal companion, followed by a trained animal did show me that they are two very different beasts (couldn’t resist). Take the case of the party druid’s wolf. Animal companion means that the wolf gets a bunch of cool stuff from being connected with the druid and generally has better stats, it can also learn two “tricks” (which I’ve now come to think of as animal only feats) and it can learn a feat, albeit one from a set list. And of course the wolf will level-up with the druid.

A different beast

Pathfinder horse diary entry 4On the other hand we have a light warhorse that I’ve put together for the party’s fighter. This was perhaps the trickiest to deal with. Apart from having to hunt down the horse listing in the Bestiary rule book (prices for horses and some of their gear is mentioned in Core, but their stats aren’t) in order to find out what the default stats are, I had to keep cross checking everything with Core as I filled-in the horse’s sheet. Thankfully the horse is combat trained, so it doesn’t take a penalty on its hoof attack, but it’s a light horse and so it has a lower carrying limit than a heavy horse – but nowhere properly talks about how different levels of encumbrance affect a horse and its speed. Entries like this on the Paizo forums haven’t really helped clear up matters. The best I’ve been able to determine is that the horse in question is not over-encumbered when carrying its rider and all their stuff, plus its own armor, saddle, bridle and whatnot.

Due to becoming extremely fed-up with the lack of clarity in rules for so many parts of Pathfinder I have come to the stage where if I can’t find a logical answer for a problem in under fifteen minutes, I’ll provide my own. Obviously, as the GM of this campaign that is my prerogative, however it still means I’m worried that I’ll break something when trying to get difficulty checks sorted. In the case of the horse, as it isn’t over-encumbered (it isn’t carrying its maximum load) it’ll move at normal speed under my attempt to deal with the lack of insight on this.

Next steps

I’m going to be spending much of today figuring out how the first session will start and the basic path it will follow on Tuesday. It’s going to be a long day.