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  • Reversal of the rules about pet advancement

    In SWD, creatures with animal intelligence don't advance as allies unless you gain them from an Edge. So if you buy or find a dog as a pet during normal play, it won't advance -- but if you gain your dog from Beast Master, it will advance.

    In SWADE, the restriction about animal intelligence appears to have been dropped, while the Beast Master Edge now explicitly states that the animal companion doesn't advance in rank or abilities (although you can take the Edge again to boost it).

    So if I understand correctly, the ruling has flipped around: Your dog will now advance if you buy or find it during normal play, but not if you gain it from Beast Master. Does anyone know what the reasoning was for this change? Has there been any discussion about it that I might have missed?
    My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

  • #2
    My taking from that rule is that normal pets do not advance and those pets from Beast Master Edge can advance if you buy the edge again.

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    • #3
      I suspect Mogge is correct about the current rules intention, especially now that Experience no longer exists.
      I'm unaware of any discussion on the topic of animal allies and advancement, in the Adventure edition.

      I will note that, like any NPC, the GM can award Advancements as they deem appropriate. There are no restrictions based upon intellect or type, just the GM's evaluation of the significance of the character's participation.
      Originally posted by page 54
      Allies & Advancement
      Followers and other allies who stay with the party for extended periods can improve their abilities as well.
      At the end of a game session in which the allies had a significant role (usually by participating in combat, but GM’s call), Advance them just as you would the player characters.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mogge View Post
        My taking from that rule is that normal pets do not advance...
        From which rule, though? SWD explicitly stated that "Creatures with animal intelligence do not typically Advance as Allies—this only happens if the animal is gained via an Edge". However, SWADE has removed that sentence from the end of the paragraph (the rest of the paragraph is almost the same, with just some minor rewording, so I can only assume the sentence about advancement was intentionally deleted).
        My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
          From which rule, though?
          It is impossible for a rulebook to list every scenario that does NOT apply. If something is not in the rules, it is safest to assume that it wasn't meant to be in the rules.

          The new rulebook DOES gives rules for animal advancement, though, specifically through the Beast Master Edge, so the simple answer is to follow those. If an animal doesn't have a Beast Master to advance it, it doesn't advance.

          That said, a GM always has discretion to make up house rules if it is important to the setting, but keep in mind that if animals advance without a player using the Beast Master Edge, that it makes the Beast Master edge useless.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ozymandias View Post
            It is impossible for a rulebook to list every scenario that does NOT apply. If something is not in the rules, it is safest to assume that it wasn't meant to be in the rules.
            Correct, but this goes further. It's not just "not in the rules", it's a special exception that was defined on page 135 of SWD (and page 145 of SWEX before that), but which has been explicitly removed from that same paragraph in SWADE. In other words, PEG took it out of the rulebook.

            Originally posted by Ozymandias View Post
            The new rulebook DOES gives rules for animal advancement, though, specifically through the Beast Master Edge, so the simple answer is to follow those. If an animal doesn't have a Beast Master to advance it, it doesn't advance.
            You can't really extrapolate rules that way, as Edges frequently include special exceptions to the normal rules.

            However SWADE does give rules for animal advancement: It states that allies which have a significant role will advance in the same way as PCs (page 54), and later in the book it defines "animal companions" as a type of ally (page 202).

            Originally posted by Ozymandias View Post
            That said, a GM always has discretion to make up house rules if it is important to the setting, but keep in mind that if animals advance without a player using the Beast Master Edge, that it makes the Beast Master edge useless.
            The question here is not about house rules, but about the reason for changing the RAW.

            This change does not make Beast Master useless (particularly with the Wild Card upgrade option), but it does strike me as odd.
            My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
              This change does not make Beast Master useless (particularly with the Wild Card upgrade option), but it does strike me as odd.
              Odd how? They removed a restriction on the GM's ability to have some kinds of allies Advance.
              That strikes me as entirely reasonable and in keeping with the design principles of Savage Worlds.

              Beast Master doesn't restrict the GM from giving Advances to animal companions. It does provide a limited option for the player to give an Advance to an animal companion, and the replacement animal(s).
              I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
                Odd how? They removed a restriction on the GM's ability to have some kinds of allies Advance.
                Odd because they've reversed the way advancement works for pets. It used to be that animal companions only advanced if you gained them from Beast Master (or some other Edge). Now, animal companions advance like other allies, unless you gained them from Beast Master.

                I don't think this is a big deal (particularly as Extras are pretty fragile), but I was curious if any explanation had been given for the reversal.
                My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

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                • ValhallaGH
                  ValhallaGH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  While it has definitely changed, saying it's "reversed" seems inaccurate and misleading. Ally animals all Advance the same way - GM fiat - but companions from Beast Master can also be improved by taking more Beast Master. That last also improves any replacement companions, creatures that would not have the earned Advances of their predecessors.

                • Zadmar
                  Zadmar commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Beast Master says that "The beast is an Extra and doesn’t Advance in Rank or abilities."

                  That's why I described it as a reversal.

                  OLD: Beast Master pets advance like allies, other pets do not.

                  NEW: Beast Master pets don't advance like allies, other pets do.

                • ValhallaGH
                  ValhallaGH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Alright, I can understand why you chose that phrasing. I'll not bring up the point again.

              • #9
                Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
                Correct, but this goes further. It's not just "not in the rules", it's a special exception that was defined on page 135 of SWD (and page 145 of SWEX before that), but which has been explicitly removed from that same paragraph in SWADE. In other words, PEG took it out of the rulebook.
                Those are old versions of the rules and are no longer relevant. Period. If you want to know the SWADE rules, use the SWADE book.

                As to why they felt a need to clarify that something wasn't allowed previously... who knows. For whatever reason they felt that clarification was no longer needed.

                Comment


                • Lord Lance
                  Lord Lance commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Here in Italy we have an adage: "Chiedere è lecito, rispondere è cortesia."
                  Translated it's something like: "Asking is allowed, replying/answering is polite."
                  So I think Zadmar can ask about that reason, and Pinnacle should answer, if they like/want, 'cause this is an official forum about this game. There's no better place to ask for the reasoning behind a new choice.
                  Finally, Thanks to our previous thousand of questions, the rules evolved, new edition came to life, and wrongs/weird mechanics were fixed/upgraded. SWADE is a good example, A LOT of things in it are (imho) the direct evolution of the chat we had here in this forum for years.

              • #10
                Originally posted by Ozymandias View Post
                Those are old versions of the rules and are no longer relevant.
                They are relevent for showing that the rule was intentionally removed.

                Originally posted by Ozymandias View Post
                For whatever reason they felt that clarification was no longer needed.
                I was just curious if anyone knew know what the reasoning was for the change, that's all. I've not followed all the discussions, and wasn't sure if it had already been covered.
                My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

                Comment


                • #11
                  I would guess the reason for the reversal is to consolidate what it means to be an "ally", treating animal allies with the same reverance as human allies. That's good news for the animals, as it now incentivizes the chararacters to try to keep them alive during a fight.

                  And even though the Beast Master Edge takes away the GM's liberty to Advance the chosen animal, it gives that ability directly to the player. The animal can be Advanced even if it played no significant role in the session. That is a pretty powerful tool, especially considering that it's also retroactive should a companion ever be lost. The player can have the companion sit on the sidelines until they feel the beast is sufficiently leveled enough to join the fight. In the meantime, it's fetch-quests for you, ol' boy.

                  Comment


                  • Deskepticon
                    Deskepticon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Freemage Hmm, maybe... except Beast Master can give you a loyal ally at Novice Rank that gets replaced if it dies. Sidekicks aren't replaced... and you need to wait almost the entire campaign before you qualify for one.

                    I'm not refuting that Sidekick gives you more bang for your buck; I'm just saying I don't think the two Edges are entirely equatable. Beast Master seems to pay-off in the long run, even if you never take it a second time.

                    Even so, you can burn an Advance to give your wolf/dog Brawny and outfit it with some armor to boost it's resiliency. Even if it dies another Brawny wolf will appear after a week or two. (Just be sure to get that armor back.)

                  • Freemage
                    Freemage commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Deskepticon Or, again, I can wait until Legendary and take a single Followers or Sidekick Edge:

                    Now, if you want Beast Master to become master of the pack, Followers by Legendary means you can have a full boat of Leadership Edges to make them way more effective, or you can have... five dogs.

                    If you want a competent companion, the Sidekick is still the better option, because you'll have the full boat of personal Advances for yourself as well as the Novice Wildcard build for your Sidekick.

                    And of course, from that point, both the Follower and the Sidekick Advance on their own.

                    Beastmaster is really only going to be attractive for a low-level campaign, one that stops before you get to Legendary (and doesn't use Born A Hero). At that point, you end up with a reason to take Beastmaster.

                  • Deskepticon
                    Deskepticon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Freemage Oh, I agree 100% that either Followers or Sidekick is better than Beast Master as far as Edge value. My point was that you're comparing a Legendary Edge with a Novice Edge. There's four Ranks worth of gameplay inbetween these Edges, holding any number of situations that may (or may not) have the same utility as a two or three character Advancements.
                    _______

                    I suppose if you think Beast Master is too weak, you could allow the GM to Advance the companion just like any other ally, but also allow the player to spend an Advance to improve it. Not sure how to handle it should the creature die, but I'm thinking for every player Advance the beast has, it retains one GM Advance too. This would essentially double the value of each Advance the player uses.

                • #12
                  This is a side-thought, but are there any restrictions to how an Advance can be spent on an animal companion gained through Beast Master? I mean, can you give it AB Gifted to have a "familiar-type" creature?

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                  • SteelDraco
                    SteelDraco commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Beast Master doesn't give any provisions for giving Edges to your animal companions, so no, you can't do that. You can increase...

                    * The number of pets you have
                    * One Trait (Attributes or Skills)
                    * Maximum Size of your pets
                    * One pet becomes a Wild Card (if you're Legendary)

                    Bit of a miss, IMO. Giving animals appropriate Edges is way more useful than a one-trait bump, almost all the time. I'm thinking about changing the second one to something like "Your pet now advances as a normal Ally" so that you can improve your pets over time and have more freedom in what to give them.
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