Underestimating: Herding in RP “Attack of the understated,” is a line from a movie I happen to love called Hello Again. Nowhere is this sentence more true than in UO when you are facing down a shepherdess with a gm herding skill. For the most part those who play the game disregard Herding as useless. They would much rather go with a muscle skill like mysticism or Swordsmanship. Truth be told sometimes it is the skills that support your main in which the most difference can be made. The first time I ever saw this skill used was in the Champ Spawn of Oaks. A member of The Twilight Fellowship came riding through the fray of shadow wisps and centaur looking critters with a horde of Ki-rin behind her. It was a slaughter and in no time, Oaks himself was out and doing battle. If a horde of red and orange cutting through monsters you can barely touch on your own doesn't attract your attention, I don't know what will. As a manner of both fighting and role playing, no one uses this skill better than Sablestorm of Pacific. And it is just this person whose character I mentioned above. Meticulously Sablestorm plans the backgrounds of each of his many shepherds and Shepherdess'. From the Deer tamer to the Slith tamer they are both unique and engaging. He leaves no stone unturned when including the applications of this skill and in his own right, has created an entire section of UO Lore. From the stealth herder in the underworld and their following of wolf spiders to the Evil Druidess with her swarm of raptors killing refugees, the stories are expansive and creatively brilliant. In order to connect it wholly to the character, Sablestorm interweaves druidic lore and the powers of nature associated with it. I would be lying if I said this was the only time this fantastic writer and role player did this. The truth is he has an uncanny way of getting to the most basic of the mystical. “Taping into the magic of nature we establish a bond with the animals.” He said. When I inquired exactly how high the skill had to be to be truly useful he replied that a character of 50 taming and 50 herding can lead an army of Boura into battle. And again, I add that I have seen Boura in full on fighting mode against a horde of green Balron's that EM Kaz had unleashed on us. Herding is one of those pieces of rp that is easy to forget about but can pack one heck of a punch when used correctly. Additionally, for a tamer template herding is relatively easy to work in. Characteristics wise you don't have to look a certain way or play a certain race to include this skill so it is extremely versatile. All it requires is ingenuity and imagination.