Animal Intelligence


Homebrew and House Rules


Does anyone else think that animals should have a wider range of Intelligence? I know that sometimes Wisdom stands in, but realistically some animals on Earth are pretty smart (whales, crows, dolphins, primates) and can learn a lot of things, including the use of tools. But a 1 or 2 limit seems...limiting. Basically it puts all animals at almost the same intelligence level even though they aren't.


Yeah, I've thought this for a long time, but really, when you put the entire world on a scale where vermin (mice) have literally no Intelligence and human average is 10, you have to start generalizing a lot.

Not only that, but intelligence isn't a single factor, there are nine different types of intelligence. The game doesn't reflect that scale, it uses only a single variable.

From a gamist standpoint, I like to be able to put a couple of points into my animal companions' Int score and play it as if they are 'super-intelligent' animals, and put at least one of their skill points into understanding a language my character speaks.

Liberty's Edge

Foghammer wrote:
From a gamist standpoint, I like to be able to put a couple of points into my animal companions' Int score and play it as if they are 'super-intelligent' animals, and put at least one of their skill points into understanding a language my character speaks.

That's how my groups handle it.


Mine too. Animal companions can really slow down combat if you're having to roll handle animal checks every round in addition to whatever skill or attacks they're taking. It's so much simpler to just say "okay, you raise its intelligence, and now it understands those basic commands just as your party members would."

Edit: Fixed a grammatical error. [/twitch]


Marc Radle wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
From a gamist standpoint, I like to be able to put a couple of points into my animal companions' Int score and play it as if they are 'super-intelligent' animals, and put at least one of their skill points into understanding a language my character speaks.
That's how my groups handle it.

Having an Intelligence of 3 is basically this. Its wen you can put skill points into basically anything you want , take any feats you want, and if I'm not mistaken you no longer need the Handle Animal skill because the animal is now smart enough to (kind of) understand what you're saying to it. A 3 represents the most basic vestige of humanoid intelligence, probably like very early cave people (which is why I was annoyed that cave people were a playable race in Frostburn).

Liberty's Edge

Golden-Esque wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
From a gamist standpoint, I like to be able to put a couple of points into my animal companions' Int score and play it as if they are 'super-intelligent' animals, and put at least one of their skill points into understanding a language my character speaks.
That's how my groups handle it.
Having an Intelligence of 3 is basically this. Its wen you can put skill points into basically anything you want , take any feats you want, and if I'm not mistaken you no longer need the Handle Animal skill because the animal is now smart enough to (kind of) understand what you're saying to it. A 3 represents the most basic vestige of humanoid intelligence, probably like very early cave people (which is why I was annoyed that cave people were a playable race in Frostburn).

A great many people play this way (myself included) but according to a recent FAQ blog here on Paizo's site, the developers do not agree. They seem to feel that even if you increase an animal's intelligence to 3 or higher, you still must use handle animal etc. An animal with a 3 intelligence is still just an animal (a smarter than average anmimal, but an animal none the less)


Marc Radle wrote:


A great many people play this way (myself included) but according to a recent FAQ blog here on Paizo's site, the developers do not agree. They seem to feel that even if you increase an animal's intelligence to 3 or higher, you still must use handle animal etc. An animal with a 3 intelligence is still just an animal (a smarter than average anmimal, but an animal none the less)

If this is really the case then it makes the Int limit even weirder. I mean if your argument is going to be 'an animal still needs a handle animal check no matter how smart it is' then there's really no point in limiting animal Int to 2.

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