My players, in the past have come across a batch of 6! griffon eggs after a successful raid of a lair. One of the players wanted to raise and train them, so I had them track down a griffon trainer in the big Class II market nearest them. They handed them over with the agreement of a monthly stipend... aaaaannnd... we completely forgot about it and lost track of it.
Until now... as I decided to open up Lairs & Encounters and taught myself everythiing I need to know about griffon training. I think I got the gist of it, but I have a number of questions. The trainer has Animal Training Griffons and is a one-man operation (the only qualified person in the city that can train griffons).
1. Griffons eggs take 3 months before they hatch to children (fledglings.. I love the diminutive names for monsters). I'm assuming in this time nothing happens execpt care for the eggs (no supply cost required, but the player is paying to keep the eggs safe and in the best condition to hatch).
2. At fledgling, I roll 2d4+2 (+2 for griffon TM). This determines the number of tricks each griffon can learn. For the role of war mount 8 tricks are needed and for the role of mount, 5. I rolled 5,6,7,7,6,7. Does a trainer know the number of tricks each griffon can learn? I assume yes, the trainer can judge the disposition of the creature and determine to what extent it can be trained, but it is not clear.
3. Training period for a griffon is 3 months. So it takes 3 months to tame them. Then it takes 3 months for the first trick. Then it takes 1.5 months for each additional trick (assuming they are fledglings). Total time to train as a war mount = 3(tame) + 3(1st trick) + (1.5 * 7 tricks) = 16.5 months.
4. None of the griffons are capable of being trained as war mounts UNLESS the trainer "monster whispers". Is it possible for a trainer to tame all 6 and then "monster whisper" one for training? Or must the trainer "monster whisper" from the taming process.
5. If the trainer "monster whispers", what happens to the other griffons? I assume they age in their pens and begin to approach adolescence. So, if the the trainer "monster whispers", he will begin training the second griffon as an adolescent and training times will double. Looks like it is better to just train one, maybe two as a war mount and sell the rest.
6. The trainer can also just train the 6 griffons to just be mounts. The role for griffons, according to the chart is a War Mount and have a trained value of 30,000. If these griffons were only mounts, what would their trained value be? (maybe 5/8ths? ... 5 tricks vs. 8 tricks?).
7. Assuming they are trained as mounts. Who can ride them? I'm assuming they will train them as mounts as a means of transportation. The adventuring proficiency specifically calls out training in riding horses, however the Riding proficiency states that it is not necessary to simply ride a domesticated animal under non-combat conditions. Lairs & Encounters describes a Mount as "A proficeint character(one with Adventuring, Animal Training, Beast Friendship, or Riding proficiency) can safely control a ridden moutn outside of battle." It looks like L&E specifies that characters with just Adventuring can ride flying griffons without any additional proficiency investment?
8. What happens if the characters decide to sell the griffons? If they have them trained and then sell them, do they gain XP for the sale? If they just sell the eggs or fledglings untrained, do they get XP? My gut feeling is to treat them like magic items, if they take the eggs and train them without gaining use of them, they get XP if they sell, otherwise if they use them to go all Clash of the Titans, they wouldn't. This does make capturing and rearing monster babies pretty lucrative, XP wise.
I guess this went pretty long, I hope it makes sense. Let me know if I got anything wrong.