If a magus uses Creo Animal rituals to create animals, is it possible to freely decide things like their gender? As far as I could make out the rules don't really specify. With Creo Animal you get a perfect specimen of whatever type of beast you conjure into being, but it says nothing about whether it's male or female. Should it be random, maybe, or determined by a Finesse roll?
I see no reason why the maga couldn't pick the gender of the beast created. My only caveat is that no one use this to "game" the system. I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but I seem to remember some animals being of one gender only, and creating the other gender just wouldn't work.
I think this is covered under the Rego Craft magic rules,in HoH:S, somewhere. But for my money -
Generally speaking, you can specify the "accidental properties" (like gender, color, and so on) at will, within reason. However, precise or elaborate choices ("a gleaming-chestnut coat with a perfect white star in the middle of the head") may require Finesse.
This seems to be an odd thing for the Rego Craft rules to cover.
Rego Craft Magic (as with Creo rituals where "constructed" things, items, or devices are concerned) relies on Finesse rolls. The conjuration of natural things, including living things, does not require a finesse roll.
But I agree, that if you're looking for something specific (such as an exact copy of a horse to replace the bishop's favourite mount that you accidentally killed when botching your Intellego Animal spont) may well require a finesse roll. But that's really specific and is down to the storyguide. By and large, as long as you conjuring an average and arbitrary example of the type, I don't think you need a finesse roll.
Just seen Richard point out that Creo creates perfect examples of a type, which trumps my "average and arbitrary". And he's right, of course. What you get is an ideal specimen.
If it doesn't exist in nature in that form, what is created is not that animal. Thus, it's a whole new species.
Page 60, an Int+Finesse roll is needed "to add detail, making the creation particularly beautiful or suited to the task". The reason it's there is that it is the Creo Magic part of "Creating Beautiful Things", a short piece just before the Rego Magic section begins.
The core rule book says that you only need Int + Finesse rolls when making "artificial" things with Creo magic. So, yes, creating a particularly beautiful statue of an animal via CrTe might require a Finesse roll. But, creating natural things (like an actual animal) with Creo magic doesn't require Finesse rolls. Creo magic always produces perfect examples of natural things.