Animal Companion / Mount - how do they survive the invasion?


Ironfang Invasion


So I'm prepping to start Ironfang, and at least one of my players will be playing with an animal companion (mount actually, with the Players Guide recommended Beast Rider Cavalier). The question becomes, everywhere in town where horses would reside, they are depicted as already being killed by the horde (seemingly a first action tactic). With this in mind, how is it expected that this character's AC somehow survived when no other horses have?

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It hauled flank when the other horses were getting butchered?


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I played Fallout 4 last night and followed around a herd of Albino Radstags that killed everything they came across.

Not the same game obviously, but the point is the same.

Nature finds a way.


The initial Ironfang invasion of Phaendar is effective but not perfect, the following adventures are filled with people who escaped with supplies and other things. I think it makes sense that the PC's AC who is likely a bit better trained or stronger than a standard horse could escape and will make for a nice emotional reunion when he comes trotting up at the edge of town right before the bridge fight.


Another option which is what I did with my PC's animal companion (although this was a druid's wild animal) was to have them find it in the woods after escaping. So I talked with my player and told him he wouldn't be starting the game with an AC but could recruit one after the first session.


Jay wrote:
Another option which is what I did with my PC's animal companion (although this was a druid's wild animal) was to have them find it in the woods after escaping. So I talked with my player and told him he wouldn't be starting the game with an AC but could recruit one after the first session.

That may be what I need to do (a bit stranger with the horse, but it might make sense that some horses escaped a coral in the chaos, and fled across the bridge). It helps a bit in that I am modifying it a bit, and instead of our characters starting as level 1 PC's, I'm starting them as level 3 NPC's (seemed to make more sense in the context of Phaendar, being a town populated almost exclusively by craftsmen). In this individual's case, he's a Warrior 3, with animal and archery focused traits and feats. I was planning on having him own a horse, that later upon retraining one of the NPC levels to Cavalier (beast rider) would become his animal companion.

I suppose I don't even need him to own the horse from the start, but him being the most animal friendly in the party means he'll be able to find and tame the fleeing animal after the bridge battle.


I assumed the following.
No one butchers non-food animals as they are too valuable as a resource.

We have 4 mounted PCs. The father of one of them was the stable master so all 4 horses where in the barn/stable area. Party fought there way there, and have enjoyed being mounted ever since. 3 on horses and one on an owlbear!!

They are now level 11 in book 4 and that will soon stifle there mounted-ness!!


thenovalord wrote:

I assumed the following.

No one butchers non-food animals as they are too valuable as a resource.

We have 4 mounted PCs. The father of one of them was the stable master so all 4 horses where in the barn/stable area. Party fought there way there, and have enjoyed being mounted ever since. 3 on horses and one on an owlbear!!

They are now level 11 in book 4 and that will soon stifle there mounted-ness!!

Except that the story explicitly mentions that the invaders did kill the horses to slaughter them for food later, and even mentions how many provisions a horse meat is worth if the players choose to do the same (or collect from the already killed animals).


Its your game. You could just gloss over that bit! Afterall its for your players, not the writer!

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I imagined that the first 5-10 minutes of the invasion was focused on killing any townsfolk who put up a fight, and taking the rest as slaves. And securing any buildings of importance etc.
Slaughtering animals would be lower on the list of goals the hobgoblins want to accomplish right away. So it is entirely reasonable that some animals were spared regardless of what the text says as long as the party acts quickly and is out of town and over the bridge within 10 minutes or so of the invasion happening.


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Most animals that were there actually escaped. The party members will be doing survival checks to recover the animals for provision points. We had 22 NPC's and after the first week animals outnumbered people. So I would say more animals managed to fled then even the population.


I'm running this and one of my players is playing a dwarven Bard with the Animal Speaker archetype. He chose rams as his first animal and I allowed him to start with 3 of them already trained. (He was using them as pack animals bringing trade from the dwarves to Phaendar.) They started the invasion at the Taproot Inn. The Dwarf was concerned for his ram friends as they were being stalled at The Phaendar Trading Company's animal pens. So that's where the dwarf headed to next. There are supposed to be 3 hobgoblins in the Trade Yard. Instead, I had 2 of them in the animal pens in the process of killing off the animals and the other standing guard/ directing. The rams were standing together defensively and the hobgoblins were approaching them as the players arrived. It provided some tension for the dwarven bard while still allowing him to keep his animal friends if they were successful. As the Pcs approached, the hobgoblins focused on them instead of the animals.


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Jakkedin wrote:
I'm running this and one of my players is playing a dwarven Bard with the Animal Speaker archetype. He chose rams as his first animal and I allowed him to start with 3 of them already trained. (He was using them as pack animals bringing trade from the dwarves to Phaendar.) They started the invasion at the Taproot Inn. The Dwarf was concerned for his ram friends as they were being stalled at The Phaendar Trading Company's animal pens. So that's where the dwarf headed to next. There are supposed to be 3 hobgoblins in the Trade Yard. Instead, I had 2 of them in the animal pens in the process of killing off the animals and the other standing guard/ directing. The rams were standing together defensively and the hobgoblins were approaching them as the players arrived. It provided some tension for the dwarven bard while still allowing him to keep his animal friends if they were successful. As the Pcs approached, the hobgoblins focused on them instead of the animals.

Very nice. I am DMing it for one group and a player for another group. I am teaching DMing, but my character is a Leshy Warden druid gestalted with Green Knight Cavalier (we have been doing gestalt forever). It's pretty fun. :)


Jakkedin wrote:
I'm running this and one of my players is playing a dwarven Bard with the Animal Speaker archetype. He chose rams as his first animal and I allowed him to start with 3 of them already trained. (He was using them as pack animals bringing trade from the dwarves to Phaendar.) They started the invasion at the Taproot Inn. The Dwarf was concerned for his ram friends as they were being stalled at The Phaendar Trading Company's animal pens. So that's where the dwarf headed to next. There are supposed to be 3 hobgoblins in the Trade Yard. Instead, I had 2 of them in the animal pens in the process of killing off the animals and the other standing guard/ directing. The rams were standing together defensively and the hobgoblins were approaching them as the players arrived. It provided some tension for the dwarven bard while still allowing him to keep his animal friends if they were successful. As the Pcs approached, the hobgoblins focused on them instead of the animals.

I do like that one. The character in question is going more druid he thinks, so the need has subsided a bit - but by backstory he's been working as a groom/fletcher for the Chernasardo, so he likely is still interested in saving some critters from the pens.

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