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Old 07-03-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default K9 enemies...

I'm wondering something about K9s and tabletop RPGs... Why do we almost never see K9s as enemies in published adventures? Hell, even computers games with enemy K9s are rare... The Fallout series, the Modern Warfare games, early Wolfenstein games (didn't play the more modern ones), the Splinter Cell series... The are a few strategy games where attack dogs are trainable units (the Red Alert series is the first that comes to mind), but dogs as enemies are rare...

It seems weird to me now that I think about it...
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

They had quite savage prison dogs in War and Remembrance. That one never goes light on authenticity in Holocaust scenes.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Why do we almost never see K9s as enemies in published adventures?
They're good dogs, Brent.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

You're forgetting Woof3D.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

Domestic dogs (and domestic cats) are popular pets. Turning them to enemies is often a strong "ick" factor.

This is especially true of situations where killing them is requisite.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Domestic dogs (and domestic cats) are popular pets. Turning them to enemies is often a strong "ick" factor.

This is especially true of situations where killing them is requisite.
Do attack dogs (that is, dogs bred and trained for combat by a military force) triggers that instinctive reaction too?
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

I'm guessing that in most heroic fantasy, dogs make for quite a dull enemy. In a realistic setting, they are a lot more dangerous than a lot of people give them credit for (and surprisingly hard to shoot).

I suspect computer games tend to neglect them as it's hard to make the human opponents dumb enough to support the stealth mechanics without having to introduce dogs that might as well be deaf and anosmic. Although there are definitely dogs in the Fallout Games and Deus Ex had them in at least one mission.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Do attack dogs (that is, dogs bred and trained for combat by a military force) triggers that instinctive reaction too?
When you see a dog, you see the dog, not the training, so yes. This is a cultural thing which has varied over time, but it's particularly strong these days. The first reaction to seeing any dog, in many people, will be to want to make friends with it. Any training it may have had is a subtle intellectual distinction which has to be taken on, and it won't erase the fundamental belief in dogs as, at the core, inherently friendly companions. They're seen as essentially benevolent, and if they're hostile, it's because they're legitimately defending someone or they've been misled by a bad human. On some level, many people see all dogs as good dogs.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Do attack dogs (that is, dogs bred and trained for combat by a military force) triggers that instinctive reaction too?
I don't think the military would have much need for dogs for combat. The one time I remember it being done was the Russian canine kamikazes and that was a flop. Now as tracking animals, bomb techs, or base security that is a different matter.

But yes even attack dogs can trigger affection. It is a running gag in both Magnum's how Zeus and Apollo like everyone but Magnum (despite their affable nature they can be quite good security dogs at times but this is TV).

VC counter-recon forces used to use dogs. American scouts had various disguises or distractions to keep their noses occupied and it was an interesting contest in wits. As a lot of PCs will be Americans, naturally they will find that an interesting role.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: K9 enemies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
When you see a dog, you see the dog, not the training, so yes. This is a cultural thing which has varied over time, but it's particularly strong these days. The first reaction to seeing any dog, in many people, will be to want to make friends with it. Any training it may have had is a subtle intellectual distinction which has to be taken on, and it won't erase the fundamental belief in dogs as, at the core, inherently friendly companions. They're seen as essentially benevolent, and if they're hostile, it's because they're legitimately defending someone or they've been misled by a bad human. On some level, many people see all dogs as good dogs.
One of the things that makes the wholesale slaughter of dogs in the Fallout series acceptable is that most of them have been horribly mutated, both by radiation (Mongrels) and FEV exposure (Mutant Hounds). Neither one looks particularly like a dog any more - Mongrels are rail-thin with scattered, ratty fur and no lips covering the teeth, and Mutant Hounds are green and hairless (like their Super Mutant masters) and somewhat resemble giant pit bulls on steroids.

There are a few normal-looking dogs around, but in general they're either heroic (Dogmeat in various incarnations) or potential pets (if you have the dogs mod for Fallout 4, available in the Creation Club). The Legion in New Vegas have "dogs", but in appearance they're more like wolves and don't seem to trigger the same instincts in humans who play the games.
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