The tribal peoples of Thule live in a world ruled by beasts both small and great. The predator and prey relationships of Thule’s primeval fauna aren’t matters of mere academic interest—they are the rules for survival in this primeval landscape, harsh truths that are written out anew every day in red ink. Most tribal hunters naturally concern themselves with becoming as skillful and efficient as possible in hunting their primary food sources, and avoiding the most dangerous predators that share their environ- ment. For some peoples, this means taming wild beasts that can find, pursue, or flush out prey that otherwise would be impossible for human hunters to manage alone.
You are a loner, more comfortable in the silent company of a loyal animal friend than among people, who are complicated and unpredictable. You see things in the world around you that most others miss, and possess a seemingly supernatural ability to train animals of all kinds.
Beastfriends are almost always people who come from the barbaric or savage cultures of Thule. Learn- ing how to tame (or at least befriend) wild animals takes many years of observation and a keen under- standing of the world they live in, and those born in civilization simply don’t have the opportunity. Most human beastfriends come from the Dhari or Kalay tribes—the Lomari are too civilized, and the Nimothans view the natural world as a foe to be conquered. Halflings are especially likely to become beastfriends, since many halfling tribes rely heavily on well-trained animals for both hunting and war.
Key Identity: Barbarian, druid, ranger, rogue, halfling.
If you belong to a character class that provides you with an extraordinary animal companion, this narrative provides you with some extra abilities and talents that reflect the unusually large and savage beasts common in the primeval continent. If you are not a druid or ranger, then your animal companion is an ordinary natural creature such as a wild dog, wolf, raptor, or Thulean elk that you tamed and trained with nothing more than patience and tribal lore. Your pet may not be a fearsome warrior like the magical companions of some characters, but it can help you track prey, warn you when it senses danger you can’t see, and maybe catch an enemy off-guard or distract it at a crucial moment.
Beastfriends in the World
Even among your tribe, you are poorly understood. Some superstitious tribes mistake the talents of beastfriends for black magic and drive them out, while others assume that beastfriends are spirits in human shape or simply affected by a peculiar form of madness. Beastfriends often find more respect and friendship outside their home tribes, and are highly prized as trackers and scouts by those who aren’t worried about superstition.
You have few true enemies—beastfriends are relatively rare individuals, and are often inclined to stay out of other people’s business anyway. Your foes are determined by your native tribe, and may include slavers, beastmen, or savage raiding tribes such as the Kyran headhunters.
Personalising the Beastfriend
Beastfriends are most common among peoples that live close to nature—usually, tundra nomads or primitive jungle tribes. The animal you befriend and the tribe you hail from are important parts of your story.
The barbarians of Ammurath sometimes train crested eagles for hunting and war. You were chosen to study this sacred art when you were young, forsaking your clan to join the brother- hood of the eagle-callers. It’s unusual for an eagle-call- er to leave Ammurath; why do you seek adventure in other lands?
You are a halfling of one of the tribes inhabiting the Darayn Peninsula, on the southern shore of the Inner Sea. Beastfriends may be unusual in other lands, but many Daraynian warriors learn the ways of training battle-compan- ions and hunting-beasts; you aren’t all that special in your homeland. In a world filled with dangerous predators and hostile enemy tribes, the animal com- panions of you and your fellow Daraynian warriors help to even the odds in battle.
Not all beastfriends win the loyalty of their animal companions through kind- ness and patience. The lash works too, and in Phoor beastfriends use pain and intimidation to break wild animals to their will. Phoorean packmasters drive bands of vicious hyenas or hungry wolves into battle ahead of their fellow tribesmen, spreading confusion and panic among the tribe’s enemies. Some packmasters choose to sell their services to the sort of employers who aren’t picky about who they hire, as long as they get results.
You don’t tame beasts so much as empathize with them so they gladly do your bidding. Animals provide you more comfort and companionship than people in most circumstances. You find the simple perspective of beasts preferable to the impulsive or distrustful actions of most so-called civilized people.
D&D 5th Edition
Animal Rapport (1st level): You can use the Animal Handling skill to in uence both domesticated and wild animals. In general, you can only guide wild animals toward behavior they might normally exhibit anyway. For example, a successful check might convince a predator to head o in search of easier prey, convince a territorial beast such as a muskox to ignore an intrusion instead of charging, or drive herd animals away from danger. If the wild animal is undecided, the DC of the check is 10. If the animal is committed to the behavior you are trying to change, the DC is 20. If you are dealing with a number of creatures at once (for example, a herd or pack), the DC increases by 5.
Deep Rapport (6th level): When you use the Animal Handling skill, you charm the animal if you succeed. It remains charmed for 24 hours, until you dismiss it or charm a di erent animal, or until you or one of your companions harms it.
Animal Companion (10th level): You gain a loyal servant in the form of a wolf, panther, raptor, or similar animal. is functions like the ranger’s beast companion feature except that you can also choose a Large animal suitable for use as a mount (for exam- ple, a riding horse, warhorse, dire wolf, ulean elk, or giant lizard). Your e ective ranger level is equal to your character level –4. If you are a ranger with a beast companion, you keep your existing companion, but add 2 to your e ective level for determining your companion’s stats.
Skill Bonuses (1st level): You gain a +2 bonus to Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), and Survival skill checks, representing your empathy with animals and your understanding of how and where they live.
Animal Rapport (1st level): You befriend animals small and large during your travels. You can spend a hero point on your turn for one of two effects: you can use a standard action to befriend an animal (functions as charm animal, but the save DC is equal to 13 + your Charisma modifier); alternatively, you can use a hero point in a natural setting to call to the animals in your vicinity. When you do so, animals hoot and holler, small animals scurry around nearby, birds and insects fly in the faces of your enemies, or undertake other sorts of activity you can effectively narrate in your current circumstance. Enemies within 30 feet of you become shaken unless they succeed on a Will Save (DC 10 + 1⁄2 your level). This use of the ability doesn’t work if there are no animals or vermin nearby.
Hero points you spend to perform animal rapport are not permanently expended, and are regained at the end of the day.</strike>
Natural Understanding (6th level): Your beastfriend skill bonus increases to +4.
Lord of the Wild (10th level): You gain a loyal servant in the form of a wolf, great elk, raptor, or similar animal. This functions like the druid animal companion ability (see the “Animal Companions” section in Chapter 3 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook), except that your effective druid level is equal to your level – 4. If you already have an animal companion ability, instead increase your effective druid level by 2 for purposes of your companion’s statistics. If the beast dies, or you release if from its bond, you can recruit a new beast by calling for the beast while spending 24 uninterrupted hours in the new companion’s home environment.