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View Full Version : [CUTE}Evaluation Process: Animal Lover [class]



Yuki Akuma
2006-10-16, 03:00 AM
As outlined in the Evaluation Methodology thread, this thread is for discussing, editing and evaluation the Animal Lover base class for Project C.U.T.E.

The animal lover was designed as a sort of cross between a ranger and a monk. The animal lover is primarily a secondary fighter and tertiary caster; most of her spells will only affect her animal companion, giving it that extra boost. With the right skills and feats, however, the animal lover can also make a perfect tracker.

And without further ado...

The Animal Lover
Animal lovers, as the name suggests, love all animals. They're the kids who'll be content to sit in the back yard and play with the squirrels, insects and birds all day. They're the kids who never seem to be attacked by that nasty dog two doors down. Their utter love for all things furry can be somewhat disconcerting, but if you need someone to talk to the animals, the animal lover's your kid.
Adventures: Animal lovers do everything out of love for animals, and adventuring is no exception. They may do it to find the pet they've always wanted, or perhaps to save a poor little puppy from the clutches of a witch. Really, no one's quite sure what goes through an animal lover's mind sometimes.
Characteristics: Animal lovers have a deep connection with all things fluffy, scaly, feathery... anything animalistic, at any rate. They are also rather animalistic in and of themselves.
Alignment: Animal lovers try to emulate animals in all sorts of ways. As such, an animal lover must always be neutral in regards to at least one aspect of her alignment.
Religion: Animal lovers tend towards more natural forms of worship. Many just stick to worshipping the animals they love so much.
Background: Animal lovers can find their devotion to all things furry in quite a number of ways. Some were accidentally left overnight at the park, while others spend most of their time in the garden watching the animals run around and steal food.
Races: Elves are, naturally, the most likely to become animal lovers, although quite a few humans and children of other races do, as well. Members of the savage races tend to hammer the idea that animals are merely food into their young, so they are rather unlikely to produce an animal lover.
Other classes: Animal lovers tend to stick to people like them a lot, and seem to have trouble getting along with other humanoids. They value companionship, though, especially that of a strong protector like a whiner or a storybook hero.
Role: Animal lovers shine when they have animals to interact with. With their animal companion ability, that is quite often. Animal lovers are prone to getting into the thick of things, as well, and aren't afraid to fight tooth and nail like their animal friends. Animal lovers also have limited spellcasting ability, but none of that healing stuff those other animal-focused classes have, no sir...

{table]

Level
BaB
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special


1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Tooth 'n' Nail (1d2)


2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3



3rd
+2
+3
+1
+3
Animal Companion


4th
+3
+4
+1
+4



5th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Animal Friend, Tooth 'n' Nail (1d3)


6th
+4
+5
+2
+5



7th
+5
+5
+2
+5



8th
+6/+1
+6
+2
+6



9th
+6/+1
+6
+3
+6



10th
+7/+2
+7
+3
+7
Summon Beasties 1/day, Tooth 'n' Nail (1d4)


11th
+8/+3
+7
+3
+7



12th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8



13th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8
Summon Beasties 2/day


14th
+10/+5
+9
+4
+9



15th
+11/+6/+1
+9
+5
+9
Summon Beasties (Creeping Doom), Tooth 'n' Nail (1d6)


16th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10
Summon Beasties 3/day


17th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10



18th
+13/+8/+3
+11
+6
+11



19th
+14/+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
Summon Beasties 4/day


20th
+15/+10/+5
+12
+6
+12
Tooth 'n' Nail (1d8)

[/table]
Animal Lover spells per day
{table]

Level
1st
2nd
3rd
4th


1st
-
-
-
-


2nd
-
-
-
-


3rd
-
-
-
-


4th
0
-
-
-


5th
0
-
-
-


6th
1
-
-
-


7th
1
-
-
-


8th
1
0
-
-


9th
1
0
-
-


10th
1
1
-
-


11th
1
1
0
-


12th
1
1
1
-


13th
1
1
1
-


14th
2
1
1
0


15th
2
1
1
1


16th
2
2
1
1


17th
2
2
2
1


18th
3
2
2
1


19th
3
3
3
2


20th
3
3
3
3

[/table]
Game Rule Information
Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability to animal lovers, followed closely by Wisdom. Charisma aids them in convincing their animal friends to do what they want them to do, and Wisdom is the key ability for their spells.
Alignment: Any neutral
Hit die: d8

Class skills
The animal lover's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Here Doggy! (Cha), Hold It (Con), Imagine (Wis), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skills points at first level: [4 + Int modifier] * 4
Skill points at every other level: 4 + Int modifier

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Animal lovers are proficient with all simple weapons, light and medium armour, and with shields. Animal lovers face a special restriction, however: they cannot wear any armour, or clothing for that matter, made out of an animal's hide. If they do, they lose access to all class abilities (except for weapon and armour proficiencies), as well as spellcasting, for twenty-four hours.
Tooth 'n' Nail: At first level, an animal lover gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. In addition, an animal lover can choose to deal either slashing damage (by scratching) or piercing damage (by biting) instead of the usual blugeoning damage.
At fifth level, and every five levels thereafter, the animal lover's damage die for their unarmed strike is increased as if they were one size larger than they are, but only when dealing slashing or piercing damage. (The dice give in the table are for Small-sized Animal Lovers.)
Animal Companion At third level, an animal lover gains an animal companion. Her druid level is treated as being equal to her animal lover level + her Charisma modifier.
Spells: Beginning at 4th level, an animal lover gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the animal lover spell list. An animal must choose and prepare her spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, an animal must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an animal loverís spell is 10 + the spell level + the animal loverís Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an animal lover can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment follows the same pattern as the Ranger's. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score.
Through 3rd level, an animal has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is one-half her animal lover level.
Animal Friend: An animal lover of at least fifth level may use the Here Doggy! skill in place of Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information and Intimidate when dealing with animals and magical beasts. This ability may be used to improve the attitude of an animal or magical beast with an Intelligence score of 2 or lower, like the druid's Wild Empathy ability.
In addition, an animal lover gains a +1 circumstance bonus to her AC against attacks made by animals, elementals, fey and magical beasts, as well as those made by other animal friends and nature lovers such as druids. This bonus increases to +2 at level ten, and improves by +1 at every fourth level thereafter.
Summon Beasties Starting at tenth level, an animal friend may use Summon Swarm as a spell-like ability useable once per day. Her caster level is equal to her animal lover level.
At thirteenth level and every three levels thereafter, an animal lover gets an extra use of this ability per day.
At fifteenth level, an animal lover can instead choose to use Creeping Doom, although she is still able to use Summon Swarm.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-16, 05:15 AM
Right. First order of business...

I think Tooth 'n' Nail should do more damage, now that I actually look at it.. 1d2 at level 1? :o

LoopyZebra
2006-10-16, 09:47 AM
I haven't looked at what CUTE has in terms of equipment, but I'm assuming there's got to be something this character could pick up to do more damage. That said, as it is now, Tooth n' Nail is kinda lame.

Also, the part about an animal's hide (Armor Proficiency) needs to be clarified. Does it include things like wool, or just fur and leather?

Fax Celestis
2006-10-16, 12:41 PM
Tooth'n'Nail should probably be 1d4/1d6/1d8/1d10/1d12 progression.

Why Summon Swarm and Creeping Doom? Why not Summon Nature's Ally (class level/2)? To me, that'd make more sense.

Finally, no Knowledge (Nature)?

belboz
2006-10-16, 01:30 PM
So, a question and a suggestion. The suggestion is probably way too radical, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

Although we don't have the animal lover spell list yet, I take it that (with some fluff changes) it's going to be *essentially* those components of the Druid spell list that deal with Animal:

Level 1: Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Detect Animals (like DAoP, but can't be used to detect plants), Hide from Animals, Magic Fang, SPeak with Animals, SNA I

Level 2: Animal Messenger, Animal Trance, Reduce Animal, SNA II, and *possibly* Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Owl's Wisdom, Eagle's Splendor and Fox's cunning (not druid spells, but...), and Spider Climb

Level 3: Dominate Animal, Greater Magic Fang, SNA III

Level 4: Giant Vermin, Repel Vermin, SNA IV

Just a draft list; we might want to use a totally separate system, but it's a thought.

----------------

Now the wild idea. Somehow, when I look at the Animal Lover, and compare it to the other classes we have, I get a "one of these things is not like the other" feel. It doesn't feel, to me, like it fits a "childlike archetype" to the extent the others do...perhaps because it's so rooted in an ability (affinity with animals) that a small child might *really* have, rather than imagine.

The suggestion to consider would be transforming this into a 10-level PrC, intended to be enterable at, say, Level 5. Say, "Here Doggy!" 8 ranks, Cha 13 as prerequisites. As a PrC, it'd need to be a bit more powerful, but that could easily be done by squeezing some of the abilities into a narrower range. (For example, starting with spells at L.1), something like:

{table]

Level
BaB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special


1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Tooth and Nail 1d3


2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3
Animal Companion


3rd
+2
+3
+1
+3
Tooth and Nail 1d4


4th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Animal Friend, Summon Beasties 1x/day


5th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Tooth and Nail 1d6


6th
+4
+5
+2
+5
Summon Beasties 2x/day


7th
+5
+5
+2
+5
Tooth and Nail 1d8


8th
+6/+1
+6
+2
+6
Summon Beasties (Creeping Doom)


9th
+6/+1
+6
+3
+6
Tooth and Nail 1d10


10th
+6/+1
+7
+3
+7
Summon Beasties 3x/day

[/table]

{table]

Level
1st
2nd
3rd
4th


1st
1
-
-
-


2nd
1
0
-
-


3rd
1
1
-
-


4th
1
1
0
-


5th
1
1
1
-


6th
2
1
1
0


7th
2
1
1
1


8th
2
2
1
1


9th
2
2
2
1


10th
3
2
2
1

[/table]

If that seems a bit overpowered at the end, remember that this is really a level *15* character, not a level 10 (because CL 6 is the first CL you can take in this class).

Fax Celestis
2006-10-16, 01:39 PM
...you know, I think he's got a point.

Randomman413
2006-10-16, 05:07 PM
So, if it were a prestige class, the animal lover would get a level 2+ CHA modifier animal companion at character level 7 at the earliest? That doesn't seem very useful at all...
What other classes can use the Here, Doggy! skill?

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-16, 05:09 PM
There aren't any other classes with the Here Doggy! skill. I don't think it's a good idea to make this a prestige class, anyway...

Mephibosheth
2006-10-16, 05:19 PM
Initially I was attracted to the idea of a Animal Lover PrC, but I agree with Yuki that it should be a base class. Like he said, there's no other class that uses Here Doggy!, and it doesn't really seem like a continuation of the abilities of any of our other classes.

Mephibosheth

belboz
2006-10-16, 05:43 PM
Hmm...

1) What if the "Here Doggy" requirement was changed to just 4 ranks, so that the requirement could be met by a level 5 character taking ranks cross-class? Yeah, it's a pretty inefficient use of skill points, but most PrCs have inefficient combos to balance the (generally better progression) they provide, no?

2) In re the utility of the Animal Companion: A 2nd-level AL (minimum CL 7) would get an animal companion as a 3rd-level druid. That's *almost* as good as a 7th-level ranger's, and it will improve faster. If the AL has Cha 14+, they'll already match the ranger at the same CL (and beat him/her at Cha 16+).

3) Are PrCs always the extension of existing abilities? The Shadowdancer? The Dragon Deciple? The Horizon Walker?

Elrosth
2006-10-16, 06:44 PM
As outlined in the Evaluation Methodology thread, this thread is for discussing, editing and evaluation the Storybook Hero base class for Project C.U.T.E.
Just a quick spelling error. I only got to skim, so I'll hold off on comments for now.

Fax Celestis
2006-10-16, 08:07 PM
Now, about my questions.

LoopyZebra
2006-10-17, 11:53 PM
Fax's suggestions make sense, particualrly those about replacing the swarms. However, Knowledge: Nature allows for knowledge checks on plants, ecosystems, etc. which the Animal Lover would have no clue about. Perhaps, instead, they could have a class feature which allows for Knowledge checks specifically related to animals and plays like a Bardic Knowledge ability (or some such)? Might be a little off-flavor, though.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 12:27 AM
I'm conflicted.

I like the Animal Lover. I really like precisely becuase it presents an ability that isn't purely restricted to an imaginary world; children really are good with animals. It's one of the main things people will mention if you press them to name things kids are good at. I think that's a really interesting idea, and for that reason, I think the Animal Lover is an interesting base class.

That said, in its current form, its abilities could be easily compressed into ten levels- and that's a sign to me that if we're going to keep it a base class (and I think, for the reason stated above, that we should) we'll be needing to flesh out the abilities and flavor of the class as appropriate....I've got a few (very few) ideas of my own on that score, but since I'm relatively unfamilar with this class and its influences, I'm probably not the best person to overhaul it.

So....summary, I think we should change a lot, but I think it should stay a base class.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 10:16 AM
More abilities wouldn't go amiss. I dind't give them many because of the spellcasting, but now that I look at it..

Does anyone have any ideas, other than making Tooth 'n' Nail stronger?

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 10:21 AM
I was thinking some form of (probably defensive) ability that relies on their animal companion's ferocious protection of them.

More well-developed:
All fours:
The Animal Lover can move about using their hands and feet equally for locomotion.
Their carrying capacity is increased to that of a quadraped of their size.
They gain a +10ft enhancement to their speed.
An Animal Lover can still use their hands to manipulate objects when not using them for locomotion.

Just a thought, and it relies partly on my fuzzy understanding that quadrapeds have a higher carrying capacity than bipeds, which is...probably...true.

Mephibosheth
2006-10-18, 10:34 AM
Another option would be a bastardized form of Wild Shape. I'm sure that kids the world over have pretended to be animals, and an Animal Lover would most certainly appreciate that kind of imagination. I don't think we should use normal Wild Shape, but some sort of hybrid form could work. Maybe we could have each Animal Lover pick their favorite animal, and they can change into increasingly powerful versions of that animal. For example, an Animal Lover that likes puppies could change into a dog, then a riding dog, then a wolf, then a worg (or similar), then a dire wolf.

Just a thought.

Mephibosheth

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 10:40 AM
Hey, you two, quit stealing abilities from my Wild Child PrC. :P

I suppose we could just roll Wild Child into Animal lover and be done with it, although Wild Child was really more about 'being' an animal than just really liking them..

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 10:44 AM
I don't really like the idea of physical emulation...maybe something like Totem barbarians, wherein the Animal Lover choose their favorite animal and gradually gains ability score, skill and bonus feat benefits appropriate to that animal?

Also maybe attack forms that are usually animal-only, like pounce, rend, etc.?

Mephibosheth
2006-10-18, 10:49 AM
That was my thought, too. I guess I didn't make it clear enough. I envision kids running around on all fours and emulating the behavior of their favorite animals, not actually changing into them (though there could be cosmetic changes, especially in the deep imaginal).

Mephibosheth

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 10:54 AM
That was my thought, too. *I guess I didn't make it clear enough. *I envision kids running around on all fours and emulating the behavior of their favorite animals, not actually changing into them (though there could be cosmetic changes, especially in the deep imaginal).

Mephibosheth
Ahhh, gotcha. That sounds just about perfect, then.

Yuki, I did like the wild child, but it seems to me the obvious route to go with making the Animal Lover base-class worthy is one of two:

1. Animal-related abilities that allow the Animal Lover to take on animalistic traits, as the Wild Child does.

2. Some sort of leadership thing where they lead a small army of animals that love them back.

Number one seems easier to me. And there may be other things that are obvious to others (while my thoughts may not be as obvious to another perspective).

Regardless...a degree of rolling-together of Wild Child and Animal Lover might work.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 10:58 AM
..I love the second idea. Having a sort of network of small forest critters, with one or two large animal companions, would be a fun ability to have.

...Basically, leadership with animals, but..

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 11:00 AM
..I love the second idea. Having a sort of network of small forest critters, with one or two large animal companions, would be a fun ability to have.

...Basically, leadership with animals, but..
Wellll, we did run into the problem of that kind of ability being hard to judge as over or under powered before, and how difficult it is to scale with level.

But I do like a kid with squirrel scouts, dog guardians, cat ace-in-the-hole combatants...

If you can figure out a way to keep this from getting unweildy, and a way to scale it by level, I'll support it.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 11:20 AM
Perhaps have it as an extension of the Animal Friend class feature. Instead of them gaining specirfic animal companions, they can walk into an area and be automatically 'friends' with a certain number of animals in the area.

Perhaps the animals could act as if they already know the Animal Lover, and the Animal Lover would find them familiar... or something, I dunno.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 11:32 AM
Perhaps have it as an extension of the Animal Friend class feature. Instead of them gaining specirfic animal companions, they can walk into an area and be automatically 'friends' with a certain number of animals in the area.

Perhaps the animals could act as if they already know the Animal Lover, and the Animal Lover would find them familiar... or something, I dunno.
Of course, that assumes there are animals in any given area....

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 11:48 AM
Of course, that assumes there are animals in any given area....

In the biological sense there most certainly would be animals in any area the PCs themselves could survive. :P

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 11:58 AM
In the biological sense there most certainly would be animals in any area the PCs themselves could survive. :P
I suppose that depends how broadly we define 'animal'. But I suppose you do have a point.

Take a crack at statting out this proposed ability of yours, why doncha.

Fax Celestis
2006-10-18, 12:35 PM
Funny. I did that already. (http://www.corporation.walagata.com/fax/wiki/index.php/Animal_Trainer)

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 12:55 PM
Funny. I did that already. (http://www.corporation.walagata.com/fax/wiki/index.php/Animal_Trainer)
Well, by jiminy!

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 01:14 PM
Do you mind if we blatently steal it, Fax?

belboz
2006-10-18, 01:54 PM
Wow. Yeah, I really like that, Fax.

OK, another radical question: Pretty much all of the Animal Trainer's abilities seem (fluff-wise) appropriate to the Animal Lover, with the exception of Nature Sense (and the fact that, from a CUTE perspective, the Animal Trainer is a full spellcaster).

So: What if (given both Fax's and Yuki's approval, of course) we were to take the Animal Trainer and do the following:

Replace the skill list and weapon/armor proficiencies with the Animal Lover's current one
Replace the spell progression with the Animal Lover's current one, and change the spell list
Remove the Nature Sense ability
Possibly remove Animal Familiarity
Change the spell empowerment progression of the Animal Companions (possibly to Animal Lover's highest spell level - 1; that is, 1st-level spells at CL 8, 2nd-level spells at level 11, and 3rd-level spells at CL 14)
Add the Animal Friend ability

and made that the Animal Lover? Summon Beasties really seems to be covered by the spellcasting, and Tooth 'n' Nail seems more appropriate to the Wild Child, no? Just in general "leading animals" strikes me more as the fantastic version of an (ordinary) animal-loving child than does "fighting like an animal".

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 02:04 PM
...Hm. Well, I can see how that would work, although I'd still like Animal Lovers to at least get the 1d2 version at first level..

Fax Celestis
2006-10-18, 02:14 PM
Do what you will with the Trainer; it's free for alterations.

Going that route, however, I would suggest perhaps using the spell-less variant listed below the original; that'd remove the spellcasting issue. Furthermore, removing Nature Sense and Animal Familiarity (and replacing them with Tooth 'n Nail and Animal Friend) might give us just what we're looking for.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2006-10-18, 08:42 PM
Hm....I like the spell-less version, especially with tooth n' nail and animal friend.

I really like Belboz's version, too....but, I don't really see this as a spellcasting class so much nowadays.

So, yeah, you guys have got my reccomendatin. Yuki, what do you think? It's yours.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-18, 08:47 PM
..Well, I'd like to keep the spellcasting, really.

belboz
2006-10-29, 12:52 AM
So, um...I think *most* of us have found the new forums now. Shall we continue?

I'm pretty neutral between the spellful and spell-less version, so I'm inclined to defer to the creator on this (so long as the actual spell progression is nerfed a bit from the Animal Trainer, to be less than full progression by CUTE standards).

I'm still *not* neutral about Tooth and Nail (I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense with the "Animal Lover" concept), but I also don't think it's a really big deal, particularly if the damage progression is low enough to make it emergency-only.

Elrosth
2006-10-29, 08:41 PM
Yeah. I think it should keep spellcasting. Be back on later, trying to find all my PbP threads at the moment

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-30, 04:01 AM
..Yeah, okay, no Tooth 'n' Nail. Maybe a feat, instead... the CUTE version of Improved Unarmed Strike and/or Combat Martial Arts, I suppose?

belboz
2006-10-30, 07:43 PM
That sounds good. Although, again, there's (if we decide to accept it) the Wild Child PrC...Tooth 'n' Nail would be a great class ability for that.

Yuki Akuma
2006-10-31, 07:45 AM
Monks seem to manage having Unarmed Strike as a class ability even though there's an Improved Unarmed Strike feat that anyone else can take.

belboz
2006-10-31, 01:21 PM
Fair 'nuff.

Elrosth
2006-11-03, 12:05 AM
Ugh. I want to go over the old stuff to refresh where we were on this class, but the tables are too much for me. I think we might need some maintainance to get our stuff compatable with the new forum before we do much more.

belboz
2006-11-06, 04:46 PM
Well, the current direction of this class seems so dramatically different from the original that a new table would probably be in order anyway, even if we didn't have to change over to new forum codes.

Here's my current understanding of the class. Yuki, please correct me if this is wrong.

---

OK, this is now updated with everything I think we've decided.

The Animal Lover
Animal lovers, as the name suggests, love all animals. They're the kids who'll be content to sit in the back yard and play with the squirrels, insects and birds all day. They're the kids who never seem to be attacked by that nasty dog two doors down. Their utter love for all things furry can be somewhat disconcerting, but if you need someone to talk to the animals, the animal lover's your kid.
Abilities: Wisdom is necessary for an animal lover's spellcasting, while a high Charisma will help out with his/her Animal Leadership ability and a number of critical class skills.
Adventures: Animal lovers do everything out of love for animals, and adventuring is no exception. They may do it to find the pet they've always wanted, or perhaps to save a poor little puppy from the clutches of a witch. Really, no one's quite sure what goes through an animal lover's mind sometimes.
Characteristics: Animal lovers have a deep connection with all things fluffy, scaly, feathery... anything animalistic, at any rate. They are also rather animalistic in and of themselves.
Alignment: Animal lovers try to emulate animals in all sorts of ways. As such, an animal lover must always be neutral in regards to at least one aspect of her alignment.
Religion: Animal lovers tend towards more natural forms of worship. Many just stick to worshipping the animals they love so much.
Background: Animal lovers can find their devotion to all things furry in quite a number of ways. Some were accidentally left overnight at the park, while others spend most of their time in the garden watching the animals run around and steal food.
Races: Elves are, naturally, the most likely to become animal lovers, although quite a few humans and children of other races do, as well. Members of the savage races tend to hammer the idea that animals are merely food into their young, so they are rather unlikely to produce an animal lover.
Other classes: Animal lovers tend to stick to people like them a lot, and seem to have trouble getting along with other humanoids. They value companionship, though, especially that of a strong protector like a whiner or a storybook hero.
Role: Animal lovers shine when they have animals to interact with. With their animal companion ability, that is quite often. Animal lovers also have limited spellcasting ability, but none of that healing stuff those other animal-focused classes have, no sir...

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1st|2nd|3rd|4th
1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|A Way with Animals|-|-|-|-
2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|-|-|-|-|-
3rd|+2|+3|+1|+3|Animal Leadership|-|-|-|-
4th|+3|+4|+1|+4|-|0|-|-|-
5th|+3|+4|+1|+4|Talk to the Animals, Animal Friend|0|-|-|-
6th|+4|+5|+2|+5|Animal Telepathy (25', 1 animal) |1|-|-|
7th|+5|+5|+2|+5|-|1|-|-|-
8th|+6/+1|+6|+2|+6|-|1|0|-|-
9th|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Animal Telepathy (50', 2 animals) |1|0|-|-
10th|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|-|1|1|-|-
11th|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|-|1|1|0|-
12th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Animal Telepathy (75', 3 animals)|1|1|1|-
13th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|-|1|1|1|-
14th|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9|Strengthening|2|1|1|0
15th|+10/+5|+9|+5|+9|Animal Telepathy (100', 4 animals)|2|1|1|1
16th|+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+10|-|2|2|1|1
17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|-|2|2|2|1
18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Animal Telepathy (150', 5 animals) |3|2|2|1
19th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Force of Nature|3|3|3|2
20th|+14/+9/+4|+12|+6|+12|-|3|3|3|3[/table]

Class skills
The animal lover's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Here Doggy! (Cha), Hold It (Con), Imagine (Wis), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skills points at first level: [4 + Int modifier] * 4
Skill points at every other level: 4 + Int modifier
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Animal lovers are proficient with all simple weapons, light and medium armour, and with shields. Animal lovers face a special restriction, however: they cannot wear any armour, or clothing for that matter, made out of an animal's hide. If they do, they lose access to all class abilities (except for weapon and armour proficiencies), as well as spellcasting, for twenty-four hours.
Spells (Im): Beginning at 4th level, an animal lover gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the animal lover spell list. An animal must choose and prepare her spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, an animal must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an animal loverís spell is 10 + the spell level + the animal loverís Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an animal lover can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment follows the same pattern as the Ranger's. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score.
Through 3rd level, an animal lover has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is one-half her animal lover level.
A Way with Animals (Ex, Re): An animal lover adds their class level to all Here Doggy! checks, and training times are cut in half.
Animal Leadership (Ex, Re/Im): At 3rd level, the Animal Lover gains the service of an animal companion, and later of animal followers. This ability acts like the Leadership feat, with the following exceptions:

The companion animal and all followers must be of the Animal type, unless the Animal Lover has the "Strengthening" class feature (see below)
The companion progresses according to its own chart. See "The Animal Lover's Animal Companion," below
For purposes of determining followers, use the Leadership chart, but subsitute HD for levels.
The Animal Lover instinctively knows the state of his or her companion and followers.The Animal lover can choose either real or imaginary animals as a companion or followers. However, there are some requirements on real animals:

They must be preexisting animals that live within 10 miles of the animal lover's home
The companion and followers lose all extra HD and special abilities when not in areas of Imaginal influence
The animal lover does not instinctively know the state of his or her companion and followers, if they are not in areas of Imaginal influence Although most of the animal lover's abilities to communicate with his/her animals do not function in the real world, the companion and followers are still generally loyal to the animal lover, in much the way that an unintelligent but loyal pack hunter is loyal to the pack leader.

Talk to the Animals (Ex, Im): At 5th level, an animal lover is considered to be permanently under the effect of a speak with animals spell. This effect is not magical and cannot be dispelled.
Animal Friend (Ex, Im): An animal lover of at least fifth level may use the Here Doggy! skill in place of Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information and Intimidate when dealing with animals and magical beasts. This ability may be used to improve the attitude of an animal or magical beast with an Intelligence score of 2 or lower, like the druid's Wild Empathy ability.
In addition, an animal lover gains a +1 circumstance bonus to her AC against attacks made by animals, elementals, fey and magical beasts, as well as those made by other animal friends and nature lovers such as druids. This bonus increases to +2 at level ten, and improves by +1 at every fourth level thereafter.
Animal Telepathy (Su, Im):At 6th level, an animal lover can have a telepathic link with any of his followers within 25'. Activating or deactivating the link is a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. At 9th level, this improves to 50' and two animals. At 12th level, this improves to 75' and three animals. At 15th level, this improves to 100' and four animals. At 18th level, this improves to 150' and five animals.
Strengthening (Ex, Im):At 14th level, the animal lover may include unintelligent (Int 1-2) magical beasts of the appropriate HD in his followers or as his companion.
Force of Nature (Ex, Re/Im): At 19th level, the animal lover gains a second animal companion. This secondary animal companion advances as the primary companion of an Animal Lover 2 levels lower.

The Animal Lover's Companion

At third level, the animal lover gains the services of an animal companion, which can be any creature with the Animal type. The companion's abilities are determined by the chart below. The companion creature's base HD must be equal to or less than that listed in the table. If less, the creature gains HD to match the listed score.

At 14th level, the animal lover can instead have a companion of the Magical Beast type, as long as its Int score is 2 or lower and its base HD are less than or equal to that listed in the table.

At 19th level, the animal lover gains a second animal companion. This companion is treated as if the animal lover were 2 levels lower.
{table=head]Animal Lover Level|HD|ACBonus|Ability Bonus|Special
3rd|1|+0|+0|-
4th|2|+0|+0|-
5th|3|+0|+0|Telepathic Link
6th|4|+1|+0|-
7th|5|+1|+0|-
8th|6|+1|+1|Evasion
9th|7|+2|+1|-
10th|8|+2|+1|Multiattack
11th|9|+3|+1|Empower with Spells (1st)
12th|10|+3|+1|Improved Evasion
13th|11|+4|+2|-
14th|12|+4|+2|Empower with Spells (2nd)
15th|13|+5|+2|Improved Natural Attack
16th|14|+5|+2|-
17th|15|+6|+2|-
18th|16|+6|+3|-
19th|17|+6|+3|-
20th|18|+7|+3|Improved Natural Attack [/table]

Telepathic Link (Su, Im): At 5th level, the animal lover is in telepathic contact with his/her animal companion, as long as they are within 10 miles of one another.
Empower with Spells (Su, Im): At 11th level, the animal lover may empower his companion with a first-level spell, once per day. At 14th level, the animal lover may choose a second-level spell instead.
Evasion, Improved Evasion, Multiattack, and Improved Natural Attack (Ex, Im): as the feats.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-06, 04:57 PM
... Zzzz.... *snort* *wakes up* Guh! Wha-?

... Eh. Sorry about completely ignoring this for the past coupla days/weeks, guys.

belboz
2006-11-06, 05:11 PM
OK, a couple of things I just noticed after posting that.

1) There are no 0-level spell slots. Is that deliberate? Spells based on, say, Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, and an animal-limited version of Cure Minor Wounds all seem appropriate, especially the last one.

2) The animal companion (from the Animal Trainer) is considerably buffed up from the AL's original animal companion (despite losing a fair number of spell empowerment levels), in addition to coming in 2 levels earlier. I *think* this is OK, given that the AT has lost some abilities. But maybe moving Animal Leadership to 3rd level, and delaying all the Animal Companion features except spell empowerment by 2 levels, would work better. I'd worry about a very undistinguished 1st-level character in that case, though--no spells, no special abilities, just a middling BaB. Maybe another 1st level ability instead? Or move Animal Husbandry up to level 1?

3) Some of the skills will need tweaking, of course, to make them CUTE. For example, Animal Husbandry should probably be called something else, and should apply to Here Doggy! rather than Handle Animal.

Fax Celestis
2006-11-06, 06:45 PM
Swapping Animal Husbandry wityh Animal Leadership may be apt. No 0th-level spells was indeed correct: neither paladins nor rangers receive them either.

belboz
2006-11-06, 08:30 PM
OK, cool. Leaving leadership to 3rd level, and moving out the first Imp. Nat. Attack 1 level (to spread things out a bit more evenly) would make the companion progression:

ANIMAL LOVER COMPANION PROGRESSION
{table=head]Trainer Level|HD|ACBonus|Ability Bonus|Special
3rd|1|+0|+0|Empathic Link
4th|2|+0|+0|-
5th|3|+0|+0|Telepathic Link
6th|4|+1|+0|-
7th|5|+1|+0|-
8th|6|+1|+1|Evasion
9th|7|+2|+1|-
10th|8|+2|+1|Multiattack
11th|9|+3|+1|Empower with Spells (1st)
12th|10|+3|+1|Improved Evasion
13th|11|+4|+2|-
14th|12|+4|+2|Empower with Spells (2nd)
15th|13|+5|+2|Improved Natural Attack
16th|14|+5|+2|-
17th|15|+6|+2|-
18th|16|+6|+3|-
19th|17|+6|+3|-
20th|18|+7|+3|Improved Natural Attack
[/table]

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-07, 11:45 AM
That looks fine to me.

belboz
2006-11-07, 03:07 PM
OK; I've edited my earlier post to include these changes.

Mephibosheth
2006-11-09, 12:29 PM
So, is this done? Is it vote time? Also, I hate to impose, Belboz or Yuki, but could someone post a complete, full, updated version, complete with ability descriptions and everything? I will confess I got a little bit behind on this one.

Mephibosheth

belboz
2006-11-10, 05:18 PM
OK, how's that? (See post #43.) Is that all correct?

I made two changes--some slight changes to Animal Leadership, largely to make the AL's charisma matter, and the names of a couple of abilities to "cutify" them.

Also, I know we're not currently designing spell lists, but I assume we want a vague idea of what spells *might* look like. Here's a list of spells I assume might (in a cutified version) make it into the AL spell list (possibly in addition to some totally new spells). Please comment.

Level 1:
Create Water, Cure Light Wounds (animals only), Detect Poison, Purify Food and Drink, Summon Nature's Ally I, Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Detect Animals, Hide from Animals, Magic Fang, Speak with Animals, Animal Messenger
Level 2:
Hold Animal, Summon Nature's Ally II, Animal Trance, Recude Animal, Lesser Restoration (Animals only), Summon Swarm, Delay Poison (on Animals or from Animal venom only)
Level 3:
Create Food and Water, Cure Moderate Wounds (Animals and Magical Beasts), Remove Disease (Animals and Magical Beasts), Dominate Animal, Greater Magic Fang, Neutralize Poison (on Animals or Magical Beasts or from their venom only), Summon Nature's Ally III, Repel Vermin, Giant Vermin
Level 4:
Animal Growth, Cure Serious Wounds (Animals and Magical Beasts), Summon Nature's Ally IV

Does that sound about right, at least for starters? Should limited spells be dropped down a level, so that, say, the limited Cure Moderate Wounds is 2nd level, and a limited Cure Critical Wounds becomes available as a 4th-level spell? They are notably less powerful if they're limited by type. Should the spells all be "animals only until caster level 7 (that is, AL level 14), then animals and magical beasts?

Oh, and one more question. Who, other than the animal lover, can the companion/followers communicate with? Each other? Creatures of the same species? All creatures of the same type (animals and later unintelligent magical beasts)? Somewhere in between (mammals to mammals, birds to birds, and so on)? Nobody?

Fax Celestis
2006-11-11, 02:38 PM
The intention was for the animal companion to be able to telepathically communicate with the animal lover, and communicate normally otherwise.

As for the spells, drop them a level. I was considering saying "add awaken to the spell list", but that's terribly non-cute.

Beyond that, I think it looks good.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-11, 03:08 PM
The intention was for the animal companion to be able to telepathically communicate with the animal lover, and communicate normally otherwise.

As for the spells, drop them a level. I was considering saying "add awaken to the spell list", but that's terribly non-cute.

Beyond that, I think it looks good.

Yeah, we need to make a spell that does sort of the same thing but maybe adds the Fairytale Animal template or some such, instead. :smalltongue:

belboz
2006-11-11, 03:18 PM
OK. That leaves us with:

L.1:
Create Water, Cure Light Wounds*, Detect Poison, Purify Food and Drink, Summon Nature's Ally I, Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Detect Animals, Hide from Animals, Magic Fang, Speak with Animals, Animal Messenger, Lesser Restoration*, Delay Poison**

L.2:
Hold Animal, Summon Nature's Ally II, Animal Trance, Recude Animal, Summon Swarm, Cure Moderate Wounds*, Remove Disease*, Neutralize Poison**

L.3:
Create Food and Water, Dominate Animal, Greater Magic Fang, Summon Nature's Ally III, Repel Vermin, Giant Vermin, Cure Serious Wounds*

L.4:
Animal Growth, Summon Nature's Ally IV, Mass Cure Light Wounds*, Cure Critical Wounds*

*These restricted versions function only on animals for Caster Level<7 (AL level 14). Starting at CL 7, they also function on magical beasts.
**These restricted versions function on either animals or to delay/neutralize animal venom for CL<7. Starting at CL 7, they also function on magical beasts and to delay/neutralize magical beast venom.

Oh, and one more thought: How about simply determining animal followers via the leadership chart, substituting HD for class level?

Ed: I like th e fairytale-animal spell, but we might want o be careful with it, since adding the FA template is, I think, more powerful than awaken. Maybe limit it to a max HD? And itr should be L.4.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-11, 03:25 PM
You do know, of course, that we now need a feat to let Animal Lover spells target humanoids, too. Perhaps one that targets all "natural" creatures (so, no undead, constructs, abberations or outsiders, but it would work on humanoids, monstrous humanoids, fey, giants and so on?)...

Just a thought.

belboz
2006-11-11, 04:30 PM
Funny, the more obvious feat from my perspective would be one that includes fey and elementals. But either would work.

If it applies to humanoids, it should be metamagic +1 to spell level, since for most purposes, it makes them into non-restricted versions of the spell, which are a level higher.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-11, 04:32 PM
Funny, the more obvious feat from my perspective would be one that includes fey and elementals. But either would work.

If it applies to humanoids, it should be metamagic +1 to spell level, since for most purposes, it makes them into non-restricted versions of the spell, which are a level higher.

Sounds about right to me. The name could be something like "People Are Animals Too!".. :smallwink:

Fax Celestis
2006-11-11, 04:35 PM
I tried determining followers according to the leadership chart originally, but you ended up with ten million squirrels and one moderately useful animal.

Elrosth
2006-11-11, 09:32 PM
Since when are ten million squirrels not useful?

belboz
2006-11-11, 09:43 PM
Yeah, I'm sort of with Elsroth here. I mean, creatures of 1/3 your level in HD aren't going to be that useful in combat *anyway*, right? And for anything but combat, I'd rather have 150 squirrels than 4 tigers any day.

Or, for less rural settings, think of having 150 miscellaneous cats, dogs, and rodents--that's every pet within a few miles, probably, plus some "uninvited guests"--under your control. You'll know a *lot* about what's going on.

Ooh, or 150 birds. Put *that* in your Tracking feat and smoke it.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-12, 04:40 AM
Now, of course, we have to work out whether these animals have to be IMaginal animals, or if they can be real ones as well.

belboz
2006-11-12, 03:25 PM
Hmm...good question.

Obviously, in most campaigns, magical beasts are going to have a rough time getting into the "real world," except under very special circumstances, like bleed-through areas. The exception is campaigns where the "real world" actually has magical beasts.

The Animal Companion...well, if it's a base 1-or-less-HD domestic animal, I don't see any problem with it having a real existence and just gaining its *enhancements* in the imagination. Hard to do that with an elephant (except in an India-based campaign), though.

Followers...OK, here's my thoughts. They can be real and/or imaginal animals (unless they're magical beasts, in which case they can't normally enter a non-magical real world). They're well-disposed to the Animal Lover even in the real world (unlikely to attack, likely to be affectionate towards, etc). Normally wild animals (like, say, the aforementioned squirrels) who follow the AL will allow him/her to approach them and even pick them up. A normally dangerous wolf or mountain lion might accept petting, and even attack someone who really obviously threatens the AL right in front of them (much like a loyal dog). But Talk to the Animals, the Empathy component of Animal Leadership, and Animal Telepathy don't work outside the imaginal, so it's hard to use them to do anything really cool except in imaginary circumstances.

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-12, 03:40 PM
Hmm... that sounds good.

Heh. I know a few kids who could get away with picking up a squirrel...

belboz
2006-11-12, 10:43 PM
OK, edited the post. Note the new ability designations:

Im ("imaginary"): Designates abilities that only function in the Border or Deep Imaginal, or in areas of special Imaginal influence.
Re ("real"): Designates abilities that function in the real world.
Re/Im: Designates abilities that partially function in the real world, but have additional function in the Border or Deep Imaginal, or in areas of special Imaginal influence. See the ability description for details.

Pretty much all Sp and Su abilities are Im; Ex abilities may be Im, Re, or Im/Re.

belboz
2006-11-15, 12:07 AM
So, are we ready for a vote? This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1518891&postcount=43)is the version we'd be voting on. The spell list (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1539741&postcount=54) is not, in its details, part of the vote (we'll be doing spells later); in considering your votes, just use it as a "the spells will have about this power level and be mostly useful in roughly the same type of circumstances" guideline for examining balance.

That's pending Yuki's approval, of course. Yuki, let us know if you want to go ahead with the vote.

Get votes in to me (via PM) by 48 hours after (and if) Yuki gives the go-ahead. I'll post the results within 48 more hours.

To review, you'll be voting for one of four categories:
A) "Core CUTE." High-quality, well-balanced, would fit with almost any version of CUTE. Compatible with all currently established core CUTE.
B) "Official CUTE Supplement." High-quality and well-balanced, but might not fit with the visions of a substantial portion of CUTE DMs. Compatible with all currently established core CUTE, but might not be compatible with other things from category B.
C) "Optional CUTE Supplement." Interesting and worthwhile, but with quality or balance issues.
D) Not admitted to CUTE.

Please vote for whatever level you think is most appropriate; I believe our vote-tabulating system should prevent any benefit from "strategic voting."

Yuki Akuma
2006-11-16, 04:06 AM
..OH! Right, yeah! Yeah, I think it's fine. Go ahead and vote, guys.

belboz
2006-11-16, 12:57 PM
Woohoo!

For those of you who haven't already voted, get your votes to me by 1:06 AM PST (GMT -8) on Saturday, Nov. 18.

We should also start thinking about what class we want to do next. We'd wanted to so the Scaredycat, but I haven't heard from storybookhero since he said he'd look at it and get back to me, so I think that we might need a surrogate if we're going to do that one. Any volunteers? Or preferences for a different base class?

Fax Celestis
2006-11-16, 02:36 PM
Ooh! Ooh! The Prodigy!

belboz
2006-11-19, 12:04 AM
With a final tally of 3-1-0-0, the Animal Lover is Core CUTE. (Huzzah!)

Fax, I didn't hear any objections, so I say we go with it. Would you do the honors of starting a thread for the Prodigy?