Recently our friends at Shadow Accord created a ruling for handling service animals at game. We feel it’s an excellent ruling and will be implementing a similar model for NoneSuch games. Here’s the announcement from Shadow Accord Rules team, with some changes for how it might work for us:
“As service animals are not player characters, they may not interact with powers in a mechanical sense. However, being that this can create various unusual circumstances with certain powers it is determined that service animals shall behave as a carried in-game item for purposes of determining their state while the player responsible for them is utilizing the
Cloak power or while in the Umbra. powers of invisibility.
What this means is:
While the player is using
Cloak or Cloak Gathering invisibility, their service animal is considered to be cloaked as anything that player is carrying/wearing. While the player is in the Umbra, their service animal is considered as much in the umbra as anything that player is carrying/wearing. We don’t have an Umbra, but Force Spirits will follow this same rule.
Note: To avoid breaking game mechanics and immersion, the following stipulations must be observed in these instances:
1. The player must keep the animal’s leash in hand during the duration of the power/umbral presence.
2. The player may not store in-game items on their service animal.
to circumvent the need for a power allowing them to pick up items from the Realm while in the Umbra.
3. Other players should understand that if the service animal’s player drops the leash, or something else occurs to cause them to lose momentary contact with their service animal, the animal’s status should be considered unchanged. (They will remain Cloaked/Umbral while the player remedies the situation)”.
Thank you to Shadow Accord for creating such clear and conscientious guidelines for welcoming all abilities of play in their game. You’re an inspiration.