✪ Animal Companion [Survival]
Your character has cultivated a close companion from the animal kingdom. This companion is designed using the companion rules (see page XX), with a few changes and limitations.
Animal companions are designed using four advances. This companion operates only with a “physical” scope, and must spend at least two of its advances on “Skilled” or “Quality”. Any “Skilled” advances must be taken from a short list: Athletics, Fists, Might, Stealth, and Survival. You may take only one skill outside of that list, within reason, as based on the animal type. A raccoon might have Sleight of Hand, representing its ability to perform fine manipulation; a lion might have Intimidation (this is unsubtle, and not considered a violation of the physical scope). If the animal is of an appropriate size, this creature may be ridden as a mount, at +1 to Survival.
If the companion is a mount, such as a horse, or a more exotic beast that has been persuaded to allow you to ride it, you may use that mount’s Athletics skill instead of Survival in order to ride it. Athletics would also be used to pour on the speed when the rider is too busy to “steer” the animal himself.
✪ Animal Friend [Survival]
Pick a particular type of animal (cats, rodents, horses or the like). Your character is capable of communicating with animals of that type, and moreover, they are likely to be favorably inclined towards him, granting a +2 when interacting with the specified animal type.
This doesn’t connote a special level of intelligence on the part of the animal, so the communication may be relatively simple. When relevant, the character uses Animal Handling in lieu of any social skill when dealing with these animals.
✪ Call of the Wild [Survival]
Requires Animal Friend
Calling out in a “native” voice, your character is able to summon nearby friendly creatures. A number of creatures up to the amount of shifts generated by Survival roll (against Mediocre) will heed the call (x10 if the creatures are small, like rats or cats, x100 for vermin like roaches). Only creatures affected by the Animal Friend (or King of the Beasts) stunt may respond.
✪ King of the Beasts [Survival]
Requires Animal Friend
This stunt functions as Animal Friend does, but the character may speak to an entire broad category of animals, rather than just one type.
For purposes of this ability there are three main categories – creatures from or from near the sea (fish, whales, seabirds), creatures from the land (dogs, primates, cats, birds) and vermin (bugs, rats and other small scuttling things).
There is loose overlap between these categories – pigeons are in all three – and the GM is encouraged to be generous in her interpretation.
✪ Due North [Survival]
Your character’s natural talent for navigation is such that he rarely gets lost. He always knows which direction north is, flawlessly, even underground, without a compass or stars to guide him. He gets a +2 knowledge bonus whenever trying to find his way out of a place (using Survival), and faces no familiarity penalties to his efforts to navigate.
✪ Tracker [Survival]
Your character is skilled at tracking, and can infer a great deal of information from a trail. When studying tracks, the character may roll Survival.
Each shift from this roll spent thereafter gives the character one piece of information about the person or creature being tracked (such as weight, how they were moving, and so on). Normally, Survival can’t be used to track something, leaving such attempts at a Mediocre default.
✪ Hands Free [Survival]
You can do all sorts of things from the back of your horse (or other mount). Riding your animal never causes a supplemental action penalty when you’re doing something else from the saddle, whether you’re rolling Survival as the primary skill or another.
✪ Hell Bent for Leather [Survival]
You know how to get the best speed out of your mount. Any sprint action you take using Survival while mounted is done at +2.
If you’re using your mount’s Athletics skill instead (as with an Animal Companion mount, above), the +2 is applied to the mount’s Athletics roll.
You must be an active participant in driving your mount forward in order to receive this bonus, in such a case. The benefit doesn’t apply if you’re, say, in the saddle, but unconscious.
✪ Ride Anything [Survival]
If it can be ridden like a riding beast, you can ride it. You suffer no penalties or increased difficulty for a lack of familiarity, no matter how strange the mount, be it dinosaur, mechanical spider-robot, or Martian bird of prey.
✪ Breaking it In [Survival]
You’re skilled at breaking in new mounts. Normally, breaking in a mount is a conflict between rider and steed. The rider is making social attacks (using Survival vs. Resolve) on the animal while the animal is making Athletics or Might vs. Survival physical attacks on the rider. When one party is finally taken out, takes a consequence, or concedes, either the animal is broken or the rider is thrown. Whatever the net result, the animal’s composure track clears immediately.
Your character receives a +2 on all efforts to break in a new mount. If successful, he gets a +1 to all Survival rolls on a creature he has broken for the duration of that session.