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I'll admit I've never played D&D, but my friends want me to join a game for a special event and so there's a first time for everything. I want to model my character after Perrin Aybara from the Wheel of Time series. In other words, I want some command over wolves.

We're playing level three with no leveling up to keep things simple. What can be accomplished to this end and how? I thought maybe I could have Wolf as one of my languages and max out my Diplomacy skill, but I don't really know what this would enable.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What sources can be used to build the character? Is wealth typical for level 3? Any idea of the adventure that's going to take place, such as setting, theme, or primary opposition? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey Um I'm not sure what you mean about sources or wealth, exactly, but the goal is to break into Valhalla. That's all I know. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 2:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Did the DM provide you with any guidance for building a character? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 2:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ He kind of walked me through it... It's my first time. He did say he would be willing to accept Wolf as a language even if it is not RAW. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 2:29

2 Answers 2

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In Core, Druid 3 or Ranger 3 will both work tolerably well for this, using their Wild Empathy features to make Diplomacy checks at 1d20+level+Cha (instead of the usual 1d20+ranks+feats+Cha, which can very easily be several points higher). (There is no Wolf language by default, although the Druid has a first-level spell that allows them to magically bypass the need for a language to talk to animals.) A creature can be made helpful with Diplomacy, and will then potentially take some risks to help out the PC. Unfortunately, this requires a fairly high check result of 40 given the usual wild animal attitude of unfriendly. That would be very difficult to achieve at level 3 without serious optimization skill.

Instead, you might have to compromise by using the Druid's Animal Companion and summoning spells to get wolves (1d3 at level 3; 1d4+1 at level 5; get Extend Spell to make SNA I last somewhat longer but with just one wolf). That's not exactly like Perrin, but Wheel of Time is a fairly high-powered series: several of the characters are probably level 4 or 5 by the end of the first book, and things just keep going up from there until Rand is throwing around epic magic.

Conceivably, you could ask your DM for a homebrew feat to make this better, but working out the details is a bit sticky, so if your DM doesn't have a lot of experience in the system it's better to avoid this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nitpick: wild empathy does not actually use Diplomacy checks! It uses character level plus charisma mod. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Apr 24, 2016 at 3:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanB: Well, they are Diplomacy checks, but you're right that I should mention one of the reasons the check is so hard to meet. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Apr 24, 2016 at 3:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that druids get Summon Nature's Ally I at first level, and at third level they can cast Summon Nature's Ally II which can summon one wolf (or other creature from the Summon NA II list) or 1d3 animals from the Summon NA I list. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2016 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude: I kinda did, but I've linked SNA II just in case. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Apr 25, 2016 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE I think you've got a mix-up in your answer, as SNA II gives 1 wolf (or other animal from the II list) OR 1d3 animals from the SNA I list at Druid level 3 . \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2016 at 19:27
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In the absence of house rules, you probably want to be a druid. They get the speak with animals spell, and they get an animal companion which can be a wolf. Rangers get those abilities too but not until fourth level.

Rangers and druids both get a "wild empathy" power which lets them influence animals. Although this power works like a Diplomacy check, it doesn't actually use your Diplomacy skill, so it's quite difficult to get a high roll with it.

On the other hand, if your DM is letting you take "wolf" as a language, being a druid becomes less important. Druids are the hardest character to play, because you have to manage your own character and your list of spells and your animal companion. From that perspective, you might want to be a ranger or barbarian, even though they're a little less wolfy, to get a character that is easier to play.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Worg, however, is, undeniably, an official language, and worgs are like wolves, right? Further, mist wolves (Dragon #293 91) "speak the language of wolves," as do, presumably, other wolves. (Hey, I like D&D 3.X language trivia; y'know, things like a valid yet obscure alternative to Drow Sign Language is Neh-thalggu if you have tentacles on your head.) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 12:39

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