Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Creative Uses for the Handle Animal Skill

In a previous post, I've talked about the importance of variety in your game (Ensuring GM Variety).  However, it can be difficult to come up with new and interesting ways to use some skills.  Here are 7 creative ways to confront your players with the Handle Animal Skill.

Bad Alarm Dog:  Gee, it sure would be great if we could get into the mansion without the guard dog raising an alarm.  Just throwing them a steak won’t do it.  Somebody has to pacify the dog.  DC 25, with a modifier based on the quality of any treats you have brought, +1 to +5.

A Boy and his Dogs:  A street urchin has learned to take control of a pack of wild dogs, and he attacks you with them!  You may either fight against the odds, or take full round actions to make handle animals checks.  A 12 stuns the nearest dog for one round, and every additional three points that you get on your check stuns an additional dog.  Stunning a dog for two rounds in a row will cause him to lose interest in fighting.  If there are no dogs left, the boy gives up.  Be careful though!  Killing the boy will send any remaining dogs into a rage, giving them each +2 strength and +2 constitution.

 The Dog and his Keys:  Prison, yet again.  The guard has left the keys dangling tantalizingly on a hook that is protected from low level spells such as mage hand.  However, the guard’s dog is wandering about the prison.  Can you convince the animal to get the keys?  DC 25.

              Follow the Scent:  The murderer left few clues, but he did leave a sock with a particular odor.  Nobody in the party has noses this keen, but the town bloodhound could certainly use it to track. The only question is, can you communicate well enough to convince the dog to do it?!  DC 10 if the hound is trained, DC 25 if he is not.

              The Friendly Pod:  Well, you and your party have found yourself, for one reason or another out at sea without a boat.  You will drown before long … but here comes a pod of dolphins!  They seem friendly enough.  Make a DC 15 check to convince the dolphins to take your crew to shore (followED by a DC 10 ride check to stay on!)

The Turncoat Gorilla:  An enemy has trained some wild beast to fight for him.  And yet, you look into the beast’s eyes, and see that he has been mistreated.  Make a Handle Animal check to convince the gorilla to switch sides.  A DC 20 Check will break him loose of his mental chains and convince him to attack his master.

Your Rival’s Rodeo:  Your Rival is prancing down the street on his magnificent, well trained stallion.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if the jerk was thrown and wound up in the mud?  You’re going to try to subtly agitate the horse, in ways that only a true animal handler knows.  Make a handle animal check versus your Rival’s ride check to get the horse to buck him!

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