The 100-gold Leopard problem.


Pathfinder Society

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Animals, Large or smaller, from Ultimate Equipment are legitimate purchases. Including "Cat, Hunting". 100 gp. You look up the entry, and see that it buys you a Cheetah or Leopard.

A Leopard does 16.5 damage on a charge (with a +6 attack bonus) +Grab. It has 19 Hit points. A starting character can buy this.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Dark Archive

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Sometimes I can handle it, sometimes I cant.

Dark Archive

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From the entry, it's not trained for combat, so it would require a DC 20 Handle Animal check to teach it to attack, and you could only train it a number of times per session equal to your ranks in Handle Animal. Personally, I do Handle Animal only at the end of a session.

Let's see how this plays out!

So in the first session, your beastmaster has an untrained cat. How's your Handle Animal skill? You need to hit a DC 25 to get it to do anything, and it's a full-round action each time you try! Anyway, you get past that so you can teach it 'Attack' as its first trick known.

By the start of your second session, your beastmaster has taught it the Attack trick. It can now attack things and nothing else. It will do a decent amount of damage, but don't try to take it anywhere scary without that DC 25 push to make it heel. Don't try to leave it anywhere interesting either, as it may just run off chasing screaming townsfolk. Lastly, don't try to get it to attack anything unnatural, because it won't! Moving on, let's make sure it follows us by teaching it to heel.

By your third session, you've managed to get the kitty to follow you into scary dungeons, and you can get it to attack things, all with a move action spent to make a (relatively) easy DC 10 or DC 12 Handle Animal check. I hope you don't encounter undead, because kitty still won't listen to you without that DC 25.

By level 2, you have taught the little guy three tricks, and they are likely Attack, Attack, and Heel. I really hope the kitty doesn't get crit at any time, or your hard work is down the toilet. Furthermore, kitty's usefulness window is shrinking: by the time you get to the 3-4 sub-tier, his numbers are looking a lot worse. By the time you're at 4-5, he's the equivalent of a summoned monster.

With a lot of effort, you can make it pretty scary. I don't view it as a problem, necessarily. Have you seen this at work? Did a player go through the training steps, and is the kitty being controlled by the GM (as NPCs should be controlled)?


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Could you just train the cat for the general purpose of combat, giving it six tricks with just one roll?

Dark Archive

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As written in the FAQ, nope. One rank = one trick, and the general purpose includes six tricks. The time limit of six weeks for the general purpose training is there to show that you are essentially training your animal six times.

I didn't mention this in my last post, but your character ALSO needs to invest themselves in Handle Animal in order to manage the DC 20 training check.

Let's take a fighter at level 1. He gets Handle Animal as a class skill, and with a rank and a 10 charisma (generous for a fighter) can pull off +4. With the training harness from the ARG he can get a +6, which means he cannot reliably train his animal to attack. To do that, he could invest Skill Focus and a 12 charisma, or another combination of feats, traits and stats. However, that's resources he's using to make use of that 100 gp leopard.

I will still call it a powerful option for someone who is dedicated to the task. Overpowered? Possibly, with a permissive GM and an adventure that doesn't force the leopard to need tricks like Heel and Stay.

The Exchange

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well, it's still worse than "Bison, combat trained" from Animal archive. AC 17 42 HP and hits +11 for 2d6+15.
Luckily it comes in 25gp cheaper at only 75, and it's combat trained.

Dark Archive

The prices for the bison (CR 4, 75 gp) and the aurochs (CR 2, 450 gp) look mixed up. We should take another look at them, and perhaps remove quite a few of the combat trained ones from general purchase.


Thanks for the heads up on the FAQ.

I have a player who regularly tries to bring a trained constrictor snake to the table.

Dark Archive

Keep in mind that if the player has the animal companion class feature, then their first animal companion comes fully trained. The character also gets a +4 bonus to Handle Animal with their bonded companion, and can handle them as a free action.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
From the entry, it's not trained for combat, so it would require a DC 20 Handle Animal check to teach it to attack

From the entry in UE, it's trained for hunting. That means: "An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track."

Except for Flank and Attack Unnatural Creatures, that's all you'll ever want.

Dark Archive

Pupsocket wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
From the entry, it's not trained for combat, so it would require a DC 20 Handle Animal check to teach it to attack

From the entry in UE, it's trained for hunting. That means: "An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track."

Except for Flank and Attack Unnatural Creatures, that's all you'll ever want.

Arguable. Expect table variation. Most other animals specifically mention what they are trained for, and this one mentions in an off-hand way that it's trained for hunting? Note that the dire bat on the same page of Ultimate Equipment specifically calls out the combat-trained version.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:


Arguable. Expect table variation. Most other animals specifically mention what they are trained for, and this one mentions in an off-hand way that it's trained for hunting? Note that the dire bat on the same page of Ultimate Equipment specifically calls out the combat-trained version.

Absent a strong argument otherwise, an off-hand mention is as valid as a specification.

If you're arguing that sloppily written material is invalid, half the entire PF line is right down the toilet.


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BTW, Adam, when I'm running a table and someone shows up with a leopard like that, the answer is "LOL no, and you can report that to the Venture-Captain after we're done here". But the rules do support it.


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I see you dislike people using written material legally


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CWheezy wrote:
I see you dislike people using written material legally

So tell me, wisest of wise men: Should tier 1-2 scenarios assume that everyone brings a leopard? That no-one brings one? Should all scenarios have animal-removing obstacles?


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Pupsocket wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
I see you dislike people using written material legally
So tell me, wisest of wise men: Should tier 1-2 scenarios assume that everyone brings a leopard? That no-one brings one? Should all scenarios have animal-removing obstacles?

While I believe anyone can see the balance issues here, balance is not the job of a table GM to enforce or tweak rules to fit. That is upto the campaign management (who i'm sure will errata this at some point).

While in home brew campaigns you can add/remove rules as you see fit, that is not the case of PFS scenarios. One of the core principles of PFS play is that players and GM's can expect consistant rules where ever they go.

Disregarding them is just demonstrating a beligerant approach and completely against the principles of PFS play.

As a GM, all you can ensure is that the player using such a creature has a purchased copy of the appropriate resource with them.


Tinculin wrote:

While I believe anyone can see the balance issues here, balance is not the job of a table GM to enforce or tweak rules to fit. That is upto the campaign management (who i'm sure will errata this at some point).

Hence, this thread. Furthermore, this shouldn't even be a Society issue; some lazy-eyed writer at Paizo made a transcription error (missing a zero) when compiling Ultimate Equipment from earlier sources, and it should be fixed by errata.

Scarab Sages

100 gold isn't too little or too much. I think Adam summed it up.

If a player wants to play it, let them. Just make sure to follow handle animal rules. ..which will result with most characters wasting 3 rounds to get the cat to do something. It all works out, I think.


Zauron13 wrote:

100 gold isn't too little or too much. I think Adam summed it up.

If a player wants to play it, let them. Just make sure to follow handle animal rules. ..which will result with most characters wasting 3 rounds to get the cat to do something. It all works out, I think.

Except that you and he are both wrong; the animal comes with the tricks it needs.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Pupsocket wrote:
Zauron13 wrote:

100 gold isn't too little or too much. I think Adam summed it up.

If a player wants to play it, let them. Just make sure to follow handle animal rules. ..which will result with most characters wasting 3 rounds to get the cat to do something. It all works out, I think.

Except that you and he are both wrong; the animal comes with the tricks it needs.

Which you still have to spend move actions TRYING to get it to do, which won't necessarily be reliable.

Scarab Sages

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I level 1 druid has a more reliable animal than this, I'd think. Even if it comes with tricks.

I can see not wanting a player to use it, but its not the uberpowerful thing you'd expect in my opinion.


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Pupsocket wrote:
Except that you and he are both wrong; the animal comes with the tricks it needs.

In YOUR interpretation of the rule they are wrong.

I actually read it the same as Mergy. All other combat-trained animals are called out specifically. It knows to hunt instinctively, but not to obey commands from a human(oid).

So, as Mergy said, expect table variation until it is FAQ'd or Errata'd.

Lantern Lodge

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Heh, you think the leopard is bad? Your fully combat trained tiger is a mere 2PP away. My group was very proud of that discovery as we rode our tiger's coat tails to glory playing up tier. They stayed damn useful well into level 9.


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Pupsocket wrote:


So tell me, wisest of wise men: Should tier 1-2 scenarios assume that everyone brings a leopard? That no-one brings one? Should all scenarios have animal-removing obstacles?

This is not relevant to allowing the players to play legal combos.

If you bring something legal to a table and are not allowed to play it because the gm dislikes something seems like the wrong idea to bring to a community campaign.

What is your response to not letting players do what is allowed by paizo? "I know better so go play somewhere else!"?

EDIT: There is a local player with a tiger as well, and he is level 2. It has been totally fine, since he isn't built for handle animal.

If you want to make the animal be useless play temple of empyreal enlightenment or something

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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CHeeezy wrote:
f you want to make the animal be useless play temple of empyreal enlightenment or something

Hehhee.. we got the cavalier a scroll of spider climb and walked the horse up and in.

Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

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Since those animals don´t get levels, don´t they get very vulnerable over time? I mean in the end it´s more like an expendable resource if they die at one point. You would have to buy a new one and train it again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Purchase price of the animal does NOT include training.

Also keep in mind that while this tactic may seem awesome for lowbie characters who aren't going to have such money to spend, these critters aren't getting any more durable as the threat level of your challenges rises.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

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True, they don't level. Two of my characters had dogs to carry their gear. Then they got haversacks, and the dogs became flanking buddies. Then the dogs got horribly slaughtered when someone actually targeted them. But they each soaked up 2 or 3 hits that could have been on the PC. Not bad for a 25gp guard dog.

Lantern Lodge

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LazarX wrote:

Purchase price of the animal does NOT include training.

Also keep in mind that while this tactic may seem awesome for lowbie characters who aren't going to have such money to spend, these critters aren't getting any more durable as the threat level of your challenges rises.

That statement is only sometimes accurate. You will note that the 500 gp tiger from the animal archive is specifically called out as combat-trained. In it's description, this is specifically verified again.

It is correct that they are front heavy, however. But if you are willing to toss some healing their way, you might be surprised just how long they hang in there. Especially when each member of your party of 4 has one. :p


I would just like to point out one thing i didn't see in the thread, which is

you must have at least 1 rank in handle animal to train an animal (the only non trained use for that skill is to get an animal to do something it is already trained to do.)

i believe the 3d6 damage to everything in a 10 foot burst for only 50g is much more powerful to a 1st level character than a leopard.


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How about riding dogs. Those things suck. They completely unbalance Tier 1-2 scenarios.


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Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive wrote:

OTHER ANIMALS
The following reared animals don't fit into one of the
aforementioned categories, but can still be purchased by
sellers who have access to them. Some may be purchased
already combat-trained at the GM's discretion, and
typically cost an amount equal to 1-1/2 x the price of the
standard animal.

That is the section that has the leopard in it. The section for riding animals lists an untrained cost and a combat trained cost. The rules already exist. So if you want a combat trained leopard it costs 150 GP.

Dark Archive

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I don't think I'm misreading the rules. Check out the chart of available animals in Ultimate Equipment. There are some that have brackets indicating they have a training package, and the hunting cat doesn't have those. Therefore, no tricks.

However, a few people have mentioned the larger problem of just how cheap it is to purchase a combat-trained animal. This is the issue that should be discussed I think, because the gamebreaking nature of a bison or tiger is really not in the spirit of Society play.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

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Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
That is the section that has the leopard in it. The section for riding animals lists an untrained cost and a combat trained cost. The rules already exist. So if you want a combat trained leopard it costs 150 GP.

Since it states this

Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive Pg. 15 wrote:
Some may be purchased already combat-trained at the GM's discretion, and typically cost an amount equal to 1-1/2 x the price of the standard animal.

It is not legal in PFS to buy combat trained animals using that rule unless already listed as being combat trained or listed with the adjust cost for combat trained (Riding Animals on pg. 14).

Statements that say "GM's discretion" require Mike to make that discretion which currently he has not in additional resources for Animal Archive.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive wrote:

OTHER ANIMALS
The following reared animals don't fit into one of the
aforementioned categories, but can still be purchased by
sellers who have access to them. Some may be purchased
already combat-trained at the GM's discretion, and
typically cost an amount equal to 1-1/2 x the price of the
standard animal.

That is the section that has the leopard in it. The section for riding animals lists an untrained cost and a combat trained cost. The rules already exist. So if you want a combat trained leopard it costs 150 GP.

Except in Pathfinder Society you can't do that. Your options are to purchase the animals off the list.


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OP, Still agreeing with Mergy on this one.

And honestly, namecalling and personal attacks are uncalled for. I'm sad that you don't agree with me, but I at least haven't been rude about it.

Actually, so far, the majority of posters have agreed. So once again, expect table variation until FAQ/errata

Dark Archive

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In any case, I think the bigger problem is a combat-trained bison for 75 gp. How many level 1 characters can show up with a CR 4 encounter following their commands?

The Exchange

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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

I don't think I'm misreading the rules. Check out the chart of available animals in Ultimate Equipment. There are some that have brackets indicating they have a training package, and the hunting cat doesn't have those. Therefore, no tricks.

However, a few people have mentioned the larger problem of just how cheap it is to purchase a combat-trained animal. This is the issue that should be discussed I think, because the gamebreaking nature of a bison or tiger is really not in the spirit of Society play.

This +1

just for fun, I pit a few encounters from season 4 against the bison. I assumed a successful handle animal each round, but it also had no PCs.

The bison kept winning. it clearly can't beat any "siege" type encounters, since it can't really climb something, but it'll maul most first level parties to death.


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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
In any case, I think the bigger problem is a combat-trained bison for 75 gp. How many level 1 characters can show up with a CR 4 encounter following their commands?

Oh wow. Just looked up the bison. Trample for 2d6+12 at a DC 20 reflex for half. At level 1, as soon as the bison's initiative comes up you just trample everything and win the encounter. That is a crazy effective use of 75 GP.

Dark Archive

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Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
In any case, I think the bigger problem is a combat-trained bison for 75 gp. How many level 1 characters can show up with a CR 4 encounter following their commands?
Oh wow. Just looked up the bison. Trample for 2d6+12 at a DC 20 reflex for half. At level 1, as soon as the bison's initiative comes up you just trample everything and win the encounter. That is a crazy effective use of 75 GP.

I'm pretty sure it's a misprint. If you swap the cost of the aurochs with the bison, they both seem a lot more reasonable. However, I'm still wary of player exploitation.

Silver Crusade

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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
In any case, I think the bigger problem is a combat-trained bison for 75 gp. How many level 1 characters can show up with a CR 4 encounter following their commands?
Oh wow. Just looked up the bison. Trample for 2d6+12 at a DC 20 reflex for half. At level 1, as soon as the bison's initiative comes up you just trample everything and win the encounter. That is a crazy effective use of 75 GP.
I'm pretty sure it's a misprint. If you swap the cost of the aurochs with the bison, they both seem a lot more reasonable. However, I'm still wary of player exploitation.

I'm tempted to spring this on some of my local GM's just to see what they do. >:)


Pupsocket wrote:
BTW, Adam, when I'm running a table and someone shows up with a leopard like that, the answer is "LOL no, and you can report that to the Venture-Captain after we're done here". But the rules do support it.

... and I totally would, because this is organized play, and that's not your call. Go start a home game if you want to be able to ignore rules.

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed some posts. Personal insults do not help the conversation.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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Note to self: Play Ranger with Tigers, Bison, ... and Bears.

<.<
>.>

Oh my.

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