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Old 04-13-2019, 06:18 PM
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Default Rules for man's best friend? - Dog and handler rules available somewhere?

Am I missing something?

One of my players asked about the possibility of being a dog handler, like a law enforcement dog and handler team, or explosives sniffer, and so on and so forth.

I looked but couldn't find any rules for such a thing, am I missing it somewhere? Or was it a miss in the game design?

Because in thinking about it I couldn't imagine a better companion in a post-apocalyptic world than a dog. Imagine a small group being able to actually sleep safer because the dog will alert them to any approaching danger usually far sooner than a human posted on watch could.

Thoughts? If there's no official rules, does anyone have house rules for them? Such things like bonuses on alertness, possibilities to detect traps, how much food a dog needs to stay healthy alongside their human companion, combat rules for a trained animal, etc.

Thanks in advance!

~Ty

Last edited by TyCaine; 04-15-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:23 PM
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I don't think that there are any rules pertaining to canine companions. There are combat rules for fighting against quadrupeds but, AFAIK, that's about it.

It's a real oversight, but I reckon that when the games were originally produced, dog-handlers weren't quite as common as they would become (again) during the War on Terror. COIN presents more opportunities for various war dog roles/specialties. In a conventional European land war, c.2000, there wouldn't be much call for military canines. Basically, they'd be used for base security and that's about it (although I suppose some border guard units on both sides of the Iron Curtain would have had working dogs when things kick off).

Hm, a new PC concept is coming to mind...

If someone has the time to work up some homebrewed rules for military doggos, we'd all be much obliged.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:42 AM
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:51 PM
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I could see someone with a taste for history bringing back the dogcart machineguns to make M2, KPV, or NSV HMGs more portable. It's better than trying to haul them around yourself if you don't have the fuel to vehicle-mount them.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:52 PM
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Some (slightly) deeper thoughts around dog stats and sled dogs:

In v2.2, dogs are common animal encounters. They're listed as 25 kilos, To Hit 4, Dam 4, Hits 6, Speed 15/30/60 (walk/trot/run).

From talking with mushers, that's probably pretty good for racing dogs. For freight dogs, size should be doubled to 50 kilos. Using Traveller: The New Era's animal tables, that would double Hits to 12 and have no other mechanical effect.

Racing dogsleds (with just a couple days' food and no real equipment) can travel at run speed. As pack animals, dogs can carry half their weight in saddlebags or pull double their weight on sleds or carts (as appropriate). Either way, they should be restricted to trot speed if they're being used as pack animals; overburdened animals can only travel at walk speed.

Food will be a very important factor. Dogs hunting in winter for 3 hours per day (close enough to a period for me to consider it a period) consume 2600 calories per day. During training, sprint dogs consume 4-5000 calories per day and Inuit endurance dogs up to 12,000 calories per day.

A 2011 study of Yukon Quest teams found that during the first half (which has easier terrain and had better weather that year), the average consumption to maintain weight was 8000 calories per day, while the second half increased to 13800.

Food was 50% fat and 50% protein/carbohydrate, so it would come out to 6.5 calories/gram. That lets us estimate food requirements:

Hunting dog (winter, 1 period - 2600 calories) - 400 grams
Sprint training (4-5000 calories) - 615-770 grams
Endurance training (12000 calories) - 1.85 kilograms
Long-distance racing (good terrain/weather) - 1.23 kilograms
Long-distance racing (bad terrain/weather) - 2.12 kilograms

Note that these are per dog, so a racing sled with 14 dogs is going to need between 18 and 30 kilos of food per day for the dogs, plus water.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:04 PM
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That was awesome information! Thanks for that!

So, based upon those baselines figure an average police dog or military K9, say a German Shepherd or similar, is between 30 and 40 kilos. That puts hits between 7 and 10.

We can probably figure between 500 grams to 1 kilo for food consumption per day based upon stress that day.

Sound about right?

Any thoughts on how the animal could help with awareness checks, detecting traps, night watch / over-watch and so on?
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:38 PM
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I'm not a numbers guy, but I suppose one could build a canine companion PC without too much tinkering- at least in v2.2. Most of the abilities for humans could be applied to dogs (e.g. Charisma = how sociable the dog is) so one could distribute Attribute points as per human char-gen. Then, determine a reasonable number of Skill points based on the dog's age and then distribute them to skills a military working dog would probably have, like observation, tracking, swimming, climbing, stealth, and UMA (or AMA since one could consider teeth to be a weapon) and voila!

Excavation = digging
Interrogation = intimidation of subject being interrogated by human handler
Scrounging = sniffing out foodstuffs, explosives, or contraband
Medical (Diagnosis) = I've read that some dogs have been trained to detect cancerous tumors.

A simpler solution would be for a handler's K9 companion to just lower difficult levels for their handlers' applicable skill checks (e.g. observation, tracking, scrounging, etc.).

The more I think about this, the more I want to play a character with a canine companion.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
The more I think about this, the more I want to play a character with a canine companion.
Major Po's unit in my last campaign had a US Army MP dog handler, but she arrived without a dog and Major Po wouldn't let her have one, so I never bothered working out stats and skills.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I'm not a numbers guy, but I suppose one could build a canine companion PC without too much tinkering- at least in v2.2. Most of the abilities for humans could be applied to dogs (e.g. Charisma = how sociable the dog is) so one could distribute Attribute points as per human char-gen. Then, determine a reasonable number of Skill points based on the dog's age and then distribute them to skills a military working dog would probably have, like observation, tracking, swimming, climbing, stealth, and UMA (or AMA since one could consider teeth to be a weapon) and voila!
An interesting approach, there's something to this I think...
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:55 PM
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Major Po's unit in my last campaign had a US Army MP dog handler, but she arrived without a dog and Major Po wouldn't let her have one, so I never bothered working out stats and skills.
Just when I thought Major Po couldn't be any more bastardly...
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:49 PM
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As a player, I would not have lasted long in any game with Major Po or his player because Major Po is exactly the kind of character that would cause me to plot the murder of a fellow PC. So many of his actions were worthy of a bullet to the back of his head that I would have no hesitation or guilt feelings about killing him.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
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Just when I thought Major Po couldn't be any more bastardly...
Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
As a player, I would not have lasted long in any game with Major Po or his player because Major Po is exactly the kind of character that would cause me to plot the murder of a fellow PC. So many of his actions were worthy of a bullet to the back of his head that I would have no hesitation or guilt feelings about killing him.
I can't disagree with any of that
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I'm not a numbers guy, but I suppose one could build a canine companion PC without too much tinkering- at least in v2.2. Most of the abilities for humans could be applied to dogs (e.g. Charisma = how sociable the dog is) so one could distribute Attribute points as per human char-gen. Then, determine a reasonable number of Skill points based on the dog's age and then distribute them to skills a military working dog would probably have, like observation, tracking, swimming, climbing, stealth, and UMA (or AMA since one could consider teeth to be a weapon) and voila!

Excavation = digging
Interrogation = intimidation of subject being interrogated by a human handler
Scrounging = sniffing out foodstuffs, explosives, or contraband
Medical (Diagnosis) = I've read that some dogs have been trained to detect cancerous tumors.

A simpler solution would be for a handler's K9 companion to just lower difficulty levels for their handlers' applicable skill checks (e.g. observation, tracking, scrounging, etc.).

The more I think about this, the more I want to play a character with a canine companion.
In addition to Skills, I'd give them stats too.

A dog can detect a threat by sound at roughly 10 Times the range a human can detect it. Thus the reason the "Hushpuppy" was invented.

They can track by smell if you have something the person you want to be tracked has handled or worn.

They are good at intimidation

They can follow some fairly complex field (or OJT) training or adapt to fairly complex commands on the fly. I take the Dog's INT and add the Handler's Animal Handling Skill to achieve a target number that the Handler must roll under to get the dog to do something they weren't trained to do initially.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:14 PM
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Harnmaster has good dog training and command rules (and stat blocks for a variety of breeds) that are easily converted to T2K, particularly 1st ed T2K as they're both percentile systems.

The Columbia Games Dogs article is available for purchase as a stand-alone on their website, or through DriveThruRPG. Five bucks.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
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Harnmaster has good dog training and command rules (and stat blocks for a variety of breeds) that are easily converted to T2K, particularly 1st ed T2K as they're both percentile systems.

The Columbia Games Dogs article is available for purchase as a stand-alone on their website, or through DriveThruRPG. Five bucks.
Columbia Games also has PDF previews of Dogs and their Bestiary.
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