OSR Animal Retainer Classes: Hunting Dogs and Seer Cats

I love the idea of more parties using animals in the dungeon. One memorable hireling in my Castle Xyntillan campaign started with a hunting dog companion, which served well until its gruesome demise. In that spirit, I’ve written up a couple new hireling types, Hunting Dogs and Seer Cats.

Hunting Dog

Hunting Dogs are bred and trained from birth to follow the orders of their handlers and viciously attack their quarries. They are most effective against ordinary humans or small and weak monsters, such as goblins, which they can pin to the ground and immobilize. Hunting Dogs begin with a +1 to Morale in addition to regular Morale scores.

Hunting Dogs may also advance as Thieves up to 3rd level, gaining a HD and a point to AC each time. To do so, they must be granted a half-share of loot and have those funds directed toward their training.

HD 1; HP 5; AC 7 [12]; Atk +1 bite 1d6; Spec pin creature of 1HD or below; AL N.

Seer Cat

Seer Cats are rare creatures born to ordinary housecats, distinguished by an auspicious birthmark like a crescent-moon patch of fur or chimeric eyes. They are non-combatants, but may be brought into the dungeon to seek out secret doors and guard against invisible threats. Seer Cats begin with a -1 to Morale in addition to regular Morale scores.

Seer Cats are not hired or bought; they approach adventuring parties of their own accord, and the appearance of one is considered a lucky sign. They require a half-share of loot to join a party.

HD 0; HP 3; AC 8 [11]; Atk +0 scratch 1; Spec find secret doors 4 in 6, see invisible; AL N.


I really loved this detail.

Also, I’d like (and might do myself) to see less conventional animals in this. Like ravens or rat for scouting or bears for fighters.