Sunday, January 27, 2013

Training Dogs in GURPS

This article is prompted by one of the character in my current campaign. The rules on training animals in BS:Campaign pp.458-459. 

Base Dog

Great Dane
ST 9; DX 11; IQ 4; HT 12
Will: 10; Per 12; Speed 5.75; Dodge 8; Move 10
SM +0; 150 lb

Traits: Chummy, Loyal, Discriminatory Smell, Domestic Animal, Quadruped, Sharp Teeth, Pacificism (Self-defense), Gluttony, 

Untrained Skills:
  • Brawling-10 [1] (Dex/A)
  • Tracking-11 [1] (Per/A) 
  • Survival-13 [4] (Per/A)
  • IQ2 : (Only for wild animals) "Come Eat", "Don't attack me"
  • IQ3 : (Single step tasks) Such as pull, stop, tolerate people, increase Mount skill (horse),  
  • IQ4 : (Multi-steps tasks) Fetch, Sit, Stay, attack, increase Will be 1 (can only be done once), increase tracking, brawling, etc.
All tricks count as a character point, unless it is a skill which cost as much as the skill would. Animal can't learn on their own and must be instructed. Animal handling serves as teaching skills. Treat all tricks as long tasks with a base cost of 200 hours of taught learning per point. Each hour of teaching triggers a Animal Handling roll, with the number of hours deducted from the margin of success.  There should be no more than 4 hours of active teaching per day. 

If you don't like to roll, or the exact timing is not important: here are the hours gained for each level of Animal Handling. Handling-10: 0.5 hr/hr (400 hours), Handling-11: 1.5hr/hr (130hrs), Handling-12 2.5hr/hr (80 hrs), Handling-13 (60 hours), Handling-14 (45 hours), Handling-15 (36 hours), etc A long task can never go into negative hours. However, this implies that Handling-9 teacher just can't teach anything to their animals. All combat training done without an assistant or some training facilities is done at -2.

Can an untrained Dog Attack to defend his owner?
Without the trained trick "attack", their disadvantage Pacificism (self-defense) would prevent them from attacking on demand. They will growl and hover around aggressive people, which can be intimidating and cause a minor distraction to the attackers, but will assume a full defense stance. If an attacker strikes or holds his owner, they will attempt a grapple (with their mouths) and a slam (large dogs only) as a full attack until the attacker backs down or flee. Use DX for grappling, it makes no sense to have a separate wrestling skill for dogs. The grapple counts as a strike if successful (because of the teeth). They will flee if they suffer a wound, trained attack dogs will not flee until ordered unless they suffer a major wound (at which point they need to succeed a will check). Multiple dogs will attempt to swarm from all possible directions so as to go for the arms, then legs, and eventually the head if the target is prone or kneeling.

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