Taming Animals

One of my players has a ranger-style companion and he want to tame 1 or more wolves, but reading both A&A and RoP:M (where the rules for this task are published) I've noted 2 inconsistency:

  1. the Magic Might for a mundane animal is 1 + Confidence Score in A&A, while in RoP:M is 1 + (2 x Confidence Score);

  2. in A&A it's written that Animal Ken is added to the Taming Total for tame the animal, while in RoP:M it's written the contrary (Animal Ken does not provide any bonus, but can be used to roleplay a social interaction with the beast).

What rules do I use?


Both books were written at approximately the same time, if I remember correctly. I followed the RoP:M rules when writing the A&A section, and either made an error or the RoP:M rules changed after I finished A&A. Probably the former.

I'd use the rules in RoP:M.

Matt Ryan

I would use a mix. 1+confx2 sounds right, BUT Animal Ken shoulod be there IMO. After all it is easier to tame something that can understand you, I guess.... Animal handling is part of the formula as well I guess. I have none of those books, so take that at full powered peasant's parma.


You guess right ... and I am oriented in using the same configuration you said (1 + 2xConfidence & Anmal Ken adds in the formula), but I was curious if there were any official errata.

Thanks for the answers,

You can add it if you like, of course.

However, when I wrote the ROP:Magic taming rules I excluded Animal Ken, because animals do not have intellect (according to the game). This is why animals have a Cunning characteristic instead of an Intelligence one. If the animal has no intellect, then even if they can understand you via Animal Ken, then you can't reason with them.

Even if you could reason with the animal, all that you would achieve is an animal who is acting tamed because you convinced him that this was a good idea. He has not become tamed. So, if the animal later encounters a better argument that it is a good idea to act wild then he will.

Take, for example, a wolf which you want to use to guard a flock of sheep. You can tame the wolf so that it is now a part of his nature to obey your order to not eat the flock. Alternatively, you can use Animal Ken to convince him that he should not eat the flock. Then, what happens if the wolf runs out of other prey and is starving? I think that the tamed wolf is more likely to continue to refrain from eating the flock. Whereas, the wolf who was only convinced via Animal Ken will think "sod this, and who was that guy in a pointy hat anyway", and now do what seems natural to him --- i.e. eat the sheep. Of course, probably the tamed wolf will eventually eat the sheep too, but I think he will hold out much longer than the wild wolf that is only acting tame.

So, that's why I think that Animal Ken is of little value in trying to tame animals.


Interesting to see how things got developed. Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:



Sounds like Animal Ken is not Animal Empathy, an ability that appears in some other games, even if it would be easy to lump the two together. AK allows one to "talk" to animals, which is fairly powerful in and of itself. AE would be more of a connection to animals, without the fully functional communication.

In 4th edition and, IIRC 3rd, Animal Ken was animal empathy.

Yes. Only in 5th it has become an equivalent to Castillian or Low German (a language).


Which means AK is either totally useless because 99+% of animals have Cunning instead of Int or for some odd reason a better degree of communication does absolutely nothing to improve "animal training"?

Whyever should you reason with an animal just because you can communicate better with it?
One of the trickiest parts of training animals is to get across what exactly you want them to do, which AK should help immensly with. Cunning or Int is irrelevant (or does all domesticated animals suddenly spawn Int scores? ).

Sorry but i cant see even a shred of logic in your argument...
If you´re trying to tame an animal, adding better communication to the process can do nothing but help.