11 thoughts on “Question about the Ranger that came up last night.”

  1. The companion only takes damage in the fiction. It has no HPs or things like those. There is also an advanced move (Man’s Best Friend, p. 133) by whom you can let your companion take damage instead of you, in that case the companion become unable to help you until recovery.

  2. This is a move against the ranger. I run that he can defy the danger of his pet getting hurt. It can be wounded and out of the fight, wounded and down (may need health or healing) or it could be dead and the Ranger may need a new critter to train to companion status. Depends on how the ranger is using the animal (is he just having it go in willy nilly) and what sort of damage you’re looking at.

  3. There’s a move that says “use up their resources”—the animal companion is totally a resource. Unless they’re giving you the most golden of opportunities I wouldn’t permanently take it away, but wounds, captivity, giving in to animal instincts, etc are all good options.

    Part of the reason for no HP is that a dead faithful dog is way sadder to me than a dead ranger. I think I’m just weird.

  4. I’m totally aligned with Sage LaTorra. One of the dumber issues about D&D (3.0-3-5) was the fact if you were a Ranger your animal companion was always at risk of life even for the more futile reason. I appreciated the way taken by Dungeon World.

  5. Well let me ask you fine folks this then, how often do your ranger PCs put their animal companions in harms way? My friend wanted a bear companion so of course his instinct at level 1 was to have the bear constantly in the think of things attacking. I had him use Hack and Slash to represent the bear. Maybe that’s why I wanted him to have HP.

    My instinct is to make sure the bear isn’t just minor flavor text for the player, because the player is excited about the bear. 

  6. Each pet has a downside. Ferocious pets have 2. What are his?

    And your call is fine. The reason you add ferocity is because you’re fighting side-to-side here.  If he’s firing arrows while the bear charges, that’s a volley.  You can do damage to the ranger in that scenario you described just fine.  Or on a 10+ you can say the bear takes a hit but it’s completely superficial just to play up the fiction of teamwork and pet importance.

  7. Yes, exactly! I meant to come back and comment on this part earlier: pets have weaknesses, which are an excellent thing to keep in mind when making moves, presenting tough choices, etc.

    So a bear might be savage? Slow too, perhaps?

    On a miss maybe the bear goes savage and just starts mauling a dead corpse, tearing it apart and eating bits.

    On a 7–9 on hack and slash maybe the counter-attack is to get out of range. The bear’s so slow it’s going to have a hard time keeping up with (say) a mobile kobold.

  8. The struggle inherent in the companion is that they are just that – not gear or mind-controlled minions. They have their own instincts and drives. Reminding the Ranger of that will make the companion seem much more vital and interesting.

  9. Excellent suggestions. I think his weakness was frightening but I really didn’t play that up. I think when we play this again we can work in the animal companion more smoothly.  

  10. The Ranger exists in a dual state – they are civilized races in uncivilized roles – the animal companion should exist to highlight and illustrate that dualism.  It’s the externalized animal nature.  When the Ranger visits a city, his animal companion will likely cause all kinds of attention and complication for him.  Or, he could leave it behind in the woods, but that would be like leaving a limb behind, you know?

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