Animal Retainer

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Animal Retainer

Animal Retainer requests should be put in via the +req/animal switch

xxxxxThis merit may be take by a character with any template. This is for animals that fight for/with you, just like a standard retainer. Pets or animals that won't fight for you aren't covered by this merit. This is for mundane animals; familiars, hedgebeasts, Supernal Companions, Fae Mounts, etc., follow their own individual merits.

xxxxxThe prerequisite for this merit is a minimum Animal Ken rating of • - ••••• based on the type of animal owned; common domesticated animals require Animal Ken •; rare domesticated animals require Animal Ken ••; exotic animals require Animal Ken •••; +• if it's an exotic animal that is also predatory; +• if the animal is Exceptional.

xxxxxAll exotic animals have a minimum Resource rating the character must possess to be able to take care of them appropriately enough for this Merit to function; that minimum is equal to the final Merit rating -1 (an exotic animal at ••• would require a minimum of Resources ••).

xxxxxPolice K-9's and Search, Rescue K-9's, and Protection K-9's are, by default, required to be 'Exceptional'.

xxxxxPlease put in requests to your sphere staff via normal +xpreq; make sure your stats note is set on yourself, e.g. +note me/Bob - Tiger Animal Retainer=These are Bob's stats

xxxxxNOTE: Some stats were taken directly from nWoD source material. There used to be a page we linked to, but since they moved everything around it's not there anymore. We're looking for it.

SAMPLE OF NOTE This is an idea of what your note should look like when you place it on yourself. +Note command +note me/<AnimalName> - Animal Retainer=<Body of Text goes here.>

A male Yellow Lab named Doc wearing a Service Dog vest.
Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 4, Resolve 3, Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2, Presence 3, Manipulation 1, Composure 3
Skills: Athletics (Running) 3, Brawl 2 (Grappling), Intimidation 1, Stealth 1, Survival (Tracking) 3
Merits: Trained Observer 3
Willpower: 6
Initiative: 6
Defense: 7

Speed: 11 (species factor 6)
Size: 3
Health: 5

Bite: 0(L); DP: 4
Lockjaw Grapple: 0(L); DP: 5


Rank 1 - Animal Size 1 and/or 2.
•• Rank 2 - Animal Size 3 and/or 4.
••• Rank 3 - Animal Size 5+.
•+ Exotic - •+ If the animal is classed as exotic; trait will be mentioned on the animal.
•+ Exceptional - •+ If the animal is better than average; this means that the player gets an additional amount of XP to spend on the animal equal to the final rating of the Merit x 10.

xxxxxThere are two versions of Exceptional available:

xxxxxExceptional by Nature - This simply means you have the pick of the litter. The animal is bigger, stronger, faster, ect and your XP is spent in buffing their attributes and skills.

xxxxxExceptional by Training - This simply means you have an animal that has been specially trained: and xp can be spent on buffing attributes, skills, and buying merits that pertain to the type of training that reflects your animals training. Examples include Police K-9', Search and Rescue K-9's, Protection K-9', Drug K-9's, Tracking and Trailing K-9's, and Search and Seizure K-9'.

xxxxxThese are mechanically the same, just think about why/how your animal is exceptional and stat accordingly.

•+ Ghouled - •+ If the animal is ghouled by a vampire. This replaces and overrides the Exceptional; you cannot have both on the same animal.

Approved Merits

This is a list of the Merits we are willing to approve for Animal Retainers to possess. NML staff might still deny a Merit for a certain animal if they feel that it is not appropriate for said animal, but we will keep as open a mind as possible; that said, please don't insist once a decision has been made. Furthermore, if it's not on the list, it won't be approved. Period.

Danger Sense (••) God Machine Chronicles p. 162
Fast Reflexes (• to •••) [Dexterity 3 or Wits 3] God Machine Chronicles p. 162
Language (•) God Machine Chronicles p. 163
Trained Observer (• or •••) [Wits 2 or Composure 3] God Machine Chronicle p. 164
Demolisher (• to •••) [Strength 3 or Intelligence 3] God Machine Chronicles p. 164
Fleet of Foot (• to •••) [Athletics 2] God Machine Chronicles p. 165
Fresh Start(•) [Fast Reflexes 2] The World of Darkness p. 112
Hardy [Stamina 3] (• to •••) God Machine Chronicles p. 165
Iron Stamina (• to •••) [Stamina 3 or Resolve 3] God Machine Chronicles p. 165
Parkour (• to •••••, Style) [Dexterity 3, Athletics 2] God Machine Chronicles, p. 165
Perfect Stillness (•) [Stealth 1] Rites of Spring p. 94
Quick Healer (••••) [Stamina 4] The World of Darkness p. 113
Spelunker (• to •••••, Style) [Dexterity 3, Athletics 3] Book of the Dead p. 92
Strong Back (•) [Strength 2] The World of Darkness p. 113


You can find stats for Animal Retainers in the following sub-pages:

  • Common
    • Cat (House, Maine Coon), Dog (Small, Medium, Large, Huge), Horse (Common, Pony, Draft).
  • Rare
    • Crow, Toad, Deer, Owl, Raven, Falcon, Goat, Bat, Ferret, Weasel, Rabbit.
  • Exotic
    • Elephant, Chimpanzee, Bear, Wolf, Fox, Cat (Great), Snake (Venomous), Pygmy Marmoset, Shark.