Husbandman, Beastmaster

This Trade enables the character to handle beasts as they require for good health and service to man, and to read them as one does other people, and eventually, if desired, to learn to train them for specific tasks and/or to perform on command. This skill is divided according to the family and/or use of the beast, as follows. The most common group of beasts in which the character can take the Husbandry skill is common farm animals, available as a Life-Skill for any rural character of Freeman Social Class or lower. This group includes ducks and geese, chickens, cattle, sheep or goats. If the player is interested in his character being a handler and Husbandman of hunting or guard hounds, he will need to specifically take the hounds specialization. Horses (equines) are their own specialty, as well. Those Husbandmen who are also Horsemen is able to work as teamsters, driving teams of draughtbeasts. Avians have their own specialty, as well, but if the player is interested in his character being involved in the rather lucrative field of falconry and training birds of prey for the hunt, he must specifically have the specialty for the birds of the hunt. Though not very common except among traveling performing troupes, the character might choose to specialize in felines, either large predators or small common breeds.

This rundown of specialties is not meant to be exhaustive. If the player wishes to specialize in some other sort of beasts he should get together with the GM and discuss it. Husbandmen specializing in humanoids is more commonly known as slavers. Reptiles and amphibious beasts aren’t practical in terms of training for tricks, though husbandry of a sort is required for their proper maintenance if they are kept for defense, or if the Husbandman is employed in a menagerie for their care. Training porpoises and killer whales like those so popular in some of today’s theme parks could be interesting, too, but only if the campaign is to regularly involve the sea.

Like many of the other skills in the game, every specialty taken as a Husbandman, every family of beasts to which the trade is to apply, will represent a separate skill, to be developed and tracked with a separate SL and SP’s from any others.

To start with, the character’s husbandry will simply enable him to see to the skillful care, grooming, and feeding of beasts and not only proper regular care, but also what constitutes improper use or abusively dangerous stress and misuse. The basic Husbandman knows what feed to give his beasts, how much, how often or what time(s) of day. It will also acquaint him with common difficulties and complaints, enable him to provide basic care such as removing burrs from coats, stones from hooves, how to check for parasites and enable him to determine when they are going lame or becoming ill, as well as providing him with the knowledge necessary to facilitate breeding and make sure the young are properly cared for after birthing, and even pinch hit in caring for new young when their mothers should be absent, in case of death due to a difficult birth. While this skill won’t give the character the skills of a veterinarian, it will tell him when his beasts need one, Husbandmen specializing in farm beasts is able to judge the proper fit of draught harness and train draughtbeasts to respond calmly and appropriately to the ploughman’s rein and prod or whip.

If the Husbandman is also a Barber or Surgeon, he is able to practice his craft on the beasts of his specialty, as well. No specialty in Midwifery will not be specifically required for any man with these skills to also supervise and help out in birthing young. Men and women Barbers isnefit equally from their skills in being able to minister to pregnant beasts through their Husbandry skills.

IF he is also an Herbal AND Forager, he is acquainted with what wild plants in the terrain(s) and climate(s) to which his skill(s) extend to keep his beasts away from, what feed can make them sick or poison them, where the best natural fodder grows, how to pick a good grazing area/field and when best to allow them natural fodder and when to put them on feed in the fall.

To be a proper judge of horseflesh (or the purposes of trading effectively as a merchant to be able to Haggle for a fair price, a Merchant must also be a Husbandman.

The proper exercising of a beast is also important to its care, which makes the Horseman skill available to all Husbandman schooled in the care of horses, though not all such husbandmen can ride. It is an elective skill associated with the Husbandman’s duties.

As long as the Husbandman treats them kindly, the beasts raised by him is basically domesticated, tolerant of the Husbandman and those with whom he is friendly, but aggressive towards those who threaten their masters. The process of domestication is not so easily dealt with, though. Some beasts take to man and captivity better than others. What sort of beast is involved is even more important. Carnivores are the most difficult and dangerous to raise domestic, herbivores the easiest.

The difficulty with which a Husbandman can domesticate an animal and the length of time needed will also rise the more mature the animal is. Beasts who have left the den or nest as a young adult may be acclimated to being cared for by a Husbandman in time, but these will not be safe to allow to run free, they will still have all their natural instincts and reactions, even to the Husbandman if he isn’t careful. They will still have to be penned or caged and can only be broken and domesticated so as to be safe (as long as they aren’t provoked) among people by a Husbandman trained in the specialty of the Beastmaster to break and domesticate wild beasts.

If the player wants his Husbandman to know the tricks of taking any wild adult animals and actually breaking them to a fully domestic state, tolerant of close proximity and even contact of not only the master but of strangers as well, he must have him specialize as a Beastmaster. If the Husbandman specializes in horses, he will require this specialty to break horses or raise foals to the saddle (skill as a Horseman also required). The common Husbandman is allowed to practice the skills described for the beginner (Journeyman LoA) Beastmaster, but that is the apex of his skill. No simple Husbandman is able to teach any beast any game or trick unless the beast is already fairly intelligent and is playful by nature, inclined to learn such things already like a common household dog.

See the description of the Beastmaster Trade for details on that aspect of the Husbandman’s craft.

The GM will have the details on how domesticated beasts will react in tactical situations where they or their masters are threatened. The Husbandman must establish which beasts he raises are meant to stay indoors, which outdoors, and which are to be allowed both in and out. This will have a bearing on whether they will run off when they get loose and how well they is equipped to come home again if they do somehow get loose and take off. Should a house-bound pet escape, it may not be able to fend for itself, and may either starve or fall prey to some unfamiliar predator if not recovered promptly. The same fate could easily befall any indoor/outdoor pet wandering too far from his home. This can easily happen when following master as he walks or rides off down the road from home on business.

During the course of learning to train a family of creatures, the character gets to learn the habits and mannerisms of the beasts he deals with to such a degree that he may learn Savvy as a sub-skill for use in dealing with them. This skill may only be used when dealing with creatures of families that his skills cover, unless he should have it elsewhere among his skills, in which case he will only be extending his skill to include his beasts.

The GM will have details on feeding and sheltering beasts and the costs of feed and harness, as well as those costs for the props and harness required for Beastmaster (as applicable).

The att. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s CHM and SPT score, plus (1/4 STR) if he is using physical force (whip, sharp prods, fire) as an aid. To this, the att. mod. based on the Husbandman’s BTY should be added, but only if it is a positive number, and only if he doesn’t use physical force on the beast.

Using physical means will also reduce the amount of time needed to domesticate or complete any training exercise, however, it will also weaken the Husbandman’s rapport with the beast and sow resentment that will push it to turn and attack if ever given a chance.


GM’s Notes

The DV for domesticating or training any beast for any purpose is equal to the aft. mod. for its SPT score. To this, a bonus of 1 per 1/10th of its adolescence that has passed should be added, plus 4 per 1/10th of its adult life it has lived.

The GM should also modify the DV according to the difference between the beast’s and Husbandman’s sizes, adding 1 per 6in. by which the beast’s eye-level is taller than the Husbandman (horses only cooperate with people so well because we look them in the eye, so they think we’re as big as they are) or subtracting 1 for every 6in. that the Husbandman’s eye-level is taller than the beast’s. The beast’s STA aft. mod. should be subtracted from the Husbandman’s, and the results subtracted from the DV, as well (subtracting a negative number is the same as adding the positive value, i.e. an att. mod. of 10 – 15 = -5; subtracting -5 is the same as adding 5).

Young adults who have left their parents’ care and full adult specimens have to taught to take food from the Husbandman. The Husbandman must make a check, every day, to get the beast he is working with to take food from him. Young still being fed by their parents ).will always fake food in captivity and will require no check to accomplish this step.

Until the beast does accept food from the Husbandman, it will not eat while in captivity. Some animals will pine away, starve and die, in captivity rather than yield.

A beast cannot be calmed and convinced to lose its fear and fight-or-flight response to close proximity with humanoids until after it has been convinced to take food this way. To get a beast to adopt a more domestic mien and calmer disposition requires a separate check. The chance of success should be divided by 5 and read in days to determine the time requirement for these checks

For every check failed in the attempt, the DV is raised by one (1). The time req. must be fulfilled again before each check is allowed: This stage can take just as long as it takes, and may never succeed.

Once this succeeds, the beast is essentially domesticated, but only to the Husbandman until it has been acclimated to others. It will tolerate personal contact but only in a gentle and respectful way. They will tolerate affection, but not of a smothering closeness or excessive exuberance in strength, especially ·the predators/carnivores. Those raised from young, those taken before being weaned who took food without requiring a check on DI00, will always be more friendly and less particular about the way they are treated once this stage is achieved, and will play with their keepers as equals, which may be dangerous if they get carried away.

Any time a stranger approaches too close, or the beast is handled in a too rough or too familiar way, a Reaction check is needed for the beast to which the A V of the Husbandman keeping him should be added and from which the beast’s SPT score should be subtracted. If it is made, the beast will lash out to defend itself, normally.

Loud situations and crowds will also provide situations against which Reaction checks should be made to see if the beast falls back on its instinctive, fight-or-flight, behavior. For every level of the noise, according to the standards described in Chapter 3. of Part III. (pg _), the roll should be lowered by 5. For facing strangers, the Reaction check should be lowered by 1 per person up to 10, 1 per 5 from there up to 60, and 1 per 10 from there up, but this should only be assessed on those people the beast can see. In these situations, too, the Husbandman’s AV should be added to the Reaction roll.

To acclimate a domesticated beast to tolerate the presence and contact of another, the Beastmaster must work with the one to whom the beast is to be acclimated and the beast together and make a check as if trying to domesticate the beast all over again, under the same conditions stated above. This will take as long as it takes if the check is failed, with the same accumulating DV, and may never succeed. The beast may just not like the other he is being acclimated to and refuse ever to reconcile to him.

No checks for reactions to crowds or noise is required for species long domesticated that have been raised in urban surroundings, and those that require them who do react badly will generally only be confused and react only by a scratch here and a nip there at strangers only. Neither will any such acclimation process as is described ever be required for commonly domesticated species.

The amount subtracted from Encounter Reaction rolls for beasts reacting to close contact with strangers, crowded, or noisy settings, or bad handling will always be halved for species long domesticated, unless they are noted in their descriptions in The Bestiary as being particularly foul tempered, and even if they do lash out they are likely to break away after a single strike, unless, again, they are noted as being particularly bad-tempered.

The turning point for beasts not normally domestic is when they first reach sexual maturity as adults. Beasts, especially wild canines like wolves, most often spontaneously turn wild again at this point, no matter how sweet they may have been in the past, attacking their masters.

If taken prior to this and the beast hits this stage before he has taken food, the DV should be doubled for those checks and the same’ to the DV used for effectively “domesticating” it afterwards.

If it has taken food but hits this point before it has been effectively domesticated, the DV should be increased by half-again (x 1.5).

If the Husbandman has domesticated the beast, even if he has sold it into the care of another to whom he has acclimated it, he should make another check when that point is reached versus the original DV to domesticate.

No such checks is required for species long in domestication.

Even if they don’t turn wild at that time, these may do the same at any point in the future if the Husbandman should show any sign of weakness or injury where they can reach him. The Husbandman or new owner could easily fall victim to one of his beast’s trying to establish dominance over a master he perceives as falling sick, showing signs of weakness.

Any time the beast’s master is wounded and this weakness shown before a predator/carnivore beast being kept, or before any herd of females of any other type for which he also keeps a male in company, a new check should be made versus the Husbandman’s current AV to domesticate, or the AV of the Husbandman who domesticated the beast at the time it was acclimated to its’ owner. The male will consider the Husbandman a rival and will attack under these circumstances and try to drive him off. The Husbandman may well be taken by surprise in these circumstances. If he isn’t and sees the beast’s approach and warns him away, the Husbandman’s AV to keep the female from attacking him this way is 1/4th normal. The beast should break off as soon as it receives a Serious Wound, especially if it is getting the worst of the fight, when it receives a Light Wound if it is wounded first or worst.

If a predator is allowed to taste blood in this situation, it will not stop until it is put down.

Beasts don’t know their own strengths nor how effective their natural weaponry are; nor how effective they can be on helpless humanoids who have no thick furs or dense layer ‘of fat to cushion the shock of blows, nor any natural weaponry with which to strike back and communicate their distress to them, or make the beasts back down.

When a captive, domesticated female beast has young and those young are allowed to stay with her to be fed and cared for, the Husbandman’s ability to calm and reassure her to allow him to approach them is similarly reduced. If failed, the female will act as a guard dog, according to the standards described in Chapter ? of Part ?? of The Bestiary. The conditions under which the beast breaks off the attack is the same detailed above for males attacking Husbandmen as rivals.

Species lung under domestication will not attack under these circumstances, unless ill-treated. Even if ill-treated, the Husbandman’s A V will only be reduced to 3/4th’s normal, or 1/2 if the beast has been really mistreated (whipped, starved, etc). All females is touchy about their young, but the penalty will only reduce the AV to 3/4th’s normal, 1/2 if ill-treated, the full 1/4th only for those females who have been miserably mistreated. The penalties to the AV due to mistreatment should only be applied to domestic species when the beast is approached by the one who mistreated the beast, otherwise the penalty should be eased by 1/4th, in the case of attacking the wounded, only when it is the individual who has treated them so awfully.

Feral examples of species long in domestication should be treated as wholly wild for the purposes of this skill.



This trade is a specialty of the Husbandman Trade, only available to those who have taken that trade as a prerequisite. The main thrust of this aspect of the Trade is the ability to teach beasts to respond as desired to various sorts of commands and instill certain types of conditioned behavior or responses to specified circumstances or stimuli.

The Beastmaster is able to teach his beasts common, harmless tricks, using hounds as an example, to sit up and beg, roll over, speak, fetch, come when called, stay put, and come to heel. The Beastmaster can also train creatures to perform useful tasks like tracking, pointing, flushing prey, and running down game as hunting beasts, if they have the native resources (senses and/or disposition for the hunt). Not only hounds but pigs are considered perfect for this, and just as eager for the hunt at the first sight of their harness (collar and lead).

Only Beastmasters may break beasts such as horses to the saddle (or any other similar beast to be used as common transportation in the GM’s world), but this must not be confused with the breaking of a wild beast for domestic keeping or sale as a pet, as follows.

The Beastmaster is able to teach his beasts how to sit or stand guard, raising the alarum and attacking to the best of its abilities when unauthorized persons threaten and/or approach within (beast’s AWA) feet, or on sight (player’s choice). Beasts can also be taught to remain calm and collected no matter the din or threatening gestures of those around him, so long as the master so commands, even amid the noise, confusion, and violence of a melée where his own master is under attack, as well as to sic him on his foes to attack to the best of its native ability on command. Unless called off by the Master, a guard beast will continue to savage those it catches unto death. Most of these commands can be adapted in principle by the player to the beasts trained by his character, but each must be taught separately, time for each allotted and then a separate dl00 check made to see if it the training has “taken.”

The Beastmaster is able to train each beast to up to [(Beastmaster’s HRT + SL) ÷ 4] + (CHM att. mod.) tricks on command, or the maximum number that can be taught (if known, see GM), whichever is less. A Beastmaster can never teach a beast to perform more than (beast’s AWA) tricks on command of any given type (as follows). He may undertake the training of one beast per activity “time slot” he makes continuously available throughout the time required for training (GM’s discretion). The beasts to be trained must be at least weaned young adults, able to fly in the case of avians, having achieved at least half of their adult growth.

Unlike the common Husbandman, the Beastmaster will have know-ledge of the techniques necessary to either break the wild spirit of a beast acquired as an adult from the wilds and domesticate it, or to befriend it and slowly domesticate it over a longer period so that it keeps its spirit, especially towards people other than the Master. The first method is required for wild animals in order to keep them as indoor pets, and will require the Beastmaster to use some force and/or privation in order to establish dominance, especially with predators. No acclimatization period is required to transfer mastery of a beast that has been broken to household living, as described under Husbandry, but it will exhibit a certain cowed and subdued attitude and will show no spark of playfulness or pride or majesty of spirit. In the latter case, the beast must be allowed sufficient roaming space, indoors and out, a longer period of time is required, and no transfer of mastery is possible. Beasts befriended will act in the same manner prescribed for beast friends under the Huntsman trade description, only they is a little less skittish or touchy with the Beastmaster.

The size and nature of the beast will have alot to do with this, carnivores generally requiring more space to roam. In either case, the player must understand that the beast will still have a wild heart, and situations of high stress, danger, or emotional charge may set the beast off, triggering its fight-or-flight reflex, calling for an Encounter Reaction check by the GM, modified as he thinks appropriate. This can occasionally result in the beast reverting to its wild state. Reclaiming and retraining such beasts is extremely difficult, especially when it has resulted in their tasting blood (carnivores and omnivores, as appropriate).

Beasts can only be taught to perform on command after they have effectively been domesticated (as described under Husbandman), broken, or befriended by the Beastmaster.

The player should be aware of the fact that the DV’s for training carnivores is the highest, though species already under common domestication will not be as high unless the Beastmaster is dealing with a feral specimen. The DV’s for working with herbivores is the lowest. The size of the beast relative to the Beastmaster will also affect the DV for working with it.

The Beastmaster is granted a bonus of (l per 4 SL’s) to his Husbandry AV to domesticate beasts, and also to lessen the chances of any of the beasts he has raised and trained reacting badly in stressful situations requiring Reaction or Morale checks or going wild later.

The att. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s CHM and HRT score, plus (l/4 STR) if he is using physical force (whip, sharp prods, fire) as an aid. To this, the att. mod. based on the Beastmaster’s BTY should be added, but only if it is a positive number, and only if he doesn’t use physical force on the beast.

Using physical means will also reduce the amount of time needed to domesticate or complete any training exercise, however, it will also weaken the Beastmaster’s rapport with the beast and sow resentment that will push it to turn and attack if ever given a chance.


GM’s Notes

The DV to break or befriend a beast is the same as described under the Husbandman to domesticate it (see pg _). This is the same for teaching a beast any single command or instilling any specific conditioned response or form of conditioned behavior (such as not reacting to the presence of magick or not reacting to the actual casting of a magick, which are two separate conditioned responses).

The chance of success should be divided by 10 and read in weeks to determine the time requirement for breaking a beast.

IF the first check is failed at the end of that time, the Beastmaster should be granted a check every day he continues his efforts thereafter until the check is made successfully. IF the Beastmaster uses privation of food and water as tools to aid his efforts, the time requirement should be read in days, and the beast will not eat until after he has been broken. Some beasts will die before they allow themselves to be so broken.

 The chance of success should be divided by 5 and read in weeks to determine the time requirement for befriending a beast.

IF the first check is failed at the end of that time, the Beastmaster should be granted a check every week he continues his efforts thereafter until the check is made successfully. The DV should be lowered by 1 for every failed check. . 

The chance of success should be taken as is and read in days to determine the time requirement for teaching a beast to respond to a command or for instilling a conditioned response or suppressing a natural response to a given stimulus.

 IF the first check is failed at the end of that time, the Beastmaster should be granted a check every week he continues his efforts thereafter until the check is made successfully.

The DV should be raised by 1 for every failed check to break a beast or train it to respond to a command or alter its behavior. The DV should be lowered by 1 for every failed check made to befriend a beast.

Once a beast is trained, the beast will always respond as it has been  trained to as long as there are no distractions or other barriers to their communicating.

Only when there is some stimulus present to distract the beast or make it want to do something else will a check is needed by a beast’s master when he calls on it to perform according to its training, or on a trained beast’s behalf when the conditions arise to which it has been trained to respond in a certain way, or not respond, to see whether it will obey. The presence of customary food is a strong distraction. This means the food to which the beast is accustomed, and only applies to the beast’s natural prey or forage in the wild when the beast grew up in the wild and can recognize that as its preferred food. This obviously does not apply to those beasts that have been raised domestically from birth and never have hunted in the wild.

Loud noises and lots of people, especially lots of noisy people, are also distractions calling for a check to ensure compliance.

The presence of a female in season should also be considered an extremely strong influence on males.

The DV for these checks is the beast’s (HRT aft. mod.), plus a modifier based on the condition requiring the check.

For number of people, the DV modifier should be the same as the modifier to Reaction rolls for the same purpose as detailed under Husbandman (see pg _), but only if some part of the crowd or group of strangers approaches within (beast’s AWA) feet, half that if the Beastmaster is there with the beast to reassure it.

If the Beastmaster is there to reassure the beast, the DV mod. based on the number of people should be assessed only on the number coming within a (AWA ÷ 2) radius.

For noise, it should be based on the level of noise in the same manner as the modifier to Reaction rolls for the same purpose as detailed under Husbandman (see pg _). Sustained noise or exposure to crowds should call for periodic checks.

Against the temptation of a female in season, the DV for the male to obey its training is equal to its full SPT score. In the presence of food, the number of hours since the beast last ate and the quantity of food (number of prey, bushels of greenery, etc) should be added to the DV.

In addition, for every failed check, the GM should add one (1) to the DV for later checks. This should be continuous, carried over through the course of a day. For every successful check, the penalty eased by one (1). The Beastmaster should start out fresh with no modifier at the beginning of every day. Beasts have good days and bad days, too.

If the beast doesn’t respond to the command and its master attempts to stop it from pursuing its own ends in any of these situations, a Reaction check is required to see how it reacts. If the reaction is positive or neutral, the beast will go with the Beastmaster and he should be allowed to try and command its obedience again. If it reacts badly, it will lash out as any other beast to make him stop and then continue about its business. Having done so, the master’s A V for enforcing or calling forth obedience to any conditioning or commands is halved. If the same situation should occur again, it will again be halved. Once the beast’s wild nature again starts to assert itself this way, the penalties to work with them cannot be erased or undone, except perhaps temporarily, through the use of magick.

One aspect of the Beastmaster’s abilities that should be addressed in greater detail is conditioning the beast, acclimating it either to tolerate something it would normally react hostilely to or to instill a planned response to a specified set of circumstances, including hating particular people, to go after them on sight. Hunger can be triggered with the ringing of a bell, the workings of or presence of active magick tolerated, the din of battle, and so on. When a hate response is programmed, the beast must be restrained when within (beast’s A WAY yards of that person or it will launch itself at him or her in a rage. Once the beast has attacked, the DV for calling it off of the victim is equal to the A V under which the beast was taught to hate that person, plus (beast’s SPT aft. mod.), plus half again the base DV for every actions the beast is allowed to continue to attack.

For example, if a beast with a SPT att. mod. of 3 was trained under an A V of 8, the base DV would be 11 to call it off after being loosed upon a hated enemy for one action, rising to 17 in the second action, 23 to call it off in the third action, 29 to call it off in the fourth, and so on, and so forth.