The DM may also make exceptions for animal individuals. He may decide, for instance, that a particular squirrel is smart enough to merit a Medium rating rather than the Low rating given on Table 34. Likewise, he may rule that an exceptionally dull wolf deserves no better than a Low rating. In any case, the DM should make such a determination as soon as the follower arrives. A follower's trainability rating should not change once it has been assigned.
The four ratings--Negligible, Low, Medium, and High--are discussed in detail below. Each describes the types of animals encompassed by the rating, the time required to learn tricks and tasks, and the maximum number of tricks and tasks that followers with the rating can learn. For convenience, Table 44 summarizes this information.
Additionally, each description lists several tricks and tasks associated with the rating. The lists don't include all possible tricks and tasks, but a general sample; the DM should use the lists as a basis to determine the difficulty of any other trick or task that the ranger wishes to teach a follower. A follower can learn tricks and tasks associated with all lesser ratings, as well as those associated with its own rating; a Medium trainability follower, for instance, can learn tricks and tasks associated with Negligible, Low, and Medium ratings.
In all other respects, the Alternative method uses the same rules as the Standard method. Only the types and numbers of tricks and tasks, along with the training times, are different.
This category includes animals with little aptitude for learning, such as fish, insects, arachnids, and reptiles. Most of these creatures have Intelligence scores of 0. Followers with negligible trainability can learn only the simplest tricks, such as those requiring movement towards or away from a stimulus. They can't learn tasks. Since some of these creatures are unable to discern sound, the ranger may need to use a bright light (such as a torch) or a broad gesture (a sweep of the hands) instead of a vocal command to get the follower to respond.
A follower with negligible trainability can learn no more than a few (1d4) tricks,
though the DM may decide that a particular animal is not capable of learning Training time is 2d6 weeks per trick.
Sample tricks: The follower moves away from the ranger at maximum speed for 1-4 rounds, then stops.
The follower advances toward ranger at maximum speed, stopping when it comes within a few feet.
The follower stays in place for 2-12 rounds, after which it resumes its normal activity.
The follower aggressively attacks any creature indicated by the ranger. The attacks persist until the ranger breaks the command. Whether a follower fights to the death is up to the DM; in many cases, a follower in danger of losing its life (an animal that has lost half of its hit points) will withdraw. If the ranger commands such an animal to continue its attacks, a morale check may be in order (see the Parting Company section below). Animals that have been attack-trained usually have a base morale of at least 11.