Thursday, October 3, 2019

Campaign Design - Base Classes: Animal Companions

Animal Companions

Druids, outdoormen, and rangers may have an animal companion. An animal companion is different from a normal animal of its kind in many ways. An animal companion is superior to a normal animal of its kind and has special powers based upon its master's effective druid level, as described below. A character of sufficiently high level in the druid, outdoorsman, or ranger classes can select her animal companion from the animal companion list.

Animal Companion Table
Class Level
Bonus Hit Dice
Natural Armor Adjustment
Strength/Dexterity Adjustment
Bonus Tricks
1st - 2nd
Link, Share Spells
3rd - 5th
6th - 8th
9th - 11th
12th - 14th
15th - 17th
Improved Evasion
18th - 20th

Animal Companion Basics
Use the base statistics for a creature of the companion’s kind, but make the following changes.

Class Level: The character’s effective druid level. Druid, outdoorsman, and ranger class levels stack with one another for the purpose of determining the companion’s abilities and the alternative lists available to the character.

Bonus Hit Dice: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Remember that extra Hit Dice improve the animal companion’s base attack and base save bonuses. An animal companion’s base attack bonus is the same as that of a druid of a level equal to the animal’s Hit Dice. An animal companion has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s Hit Dice). An animal companion gains additional skill points and feats for bonus Hit Dice as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.

Natural Armor Adjustment: The number noted here is an improvement to the animal companion’s existing natural armor bonus.

Strength/Dexterity Adjustment: Add this value to the animal companion’s Strength and Dexterity scores.

Bonus Tricks: The value given in this column is the total number of "bonus" tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the animal companion's master might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill). These bonus tricks don’t require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don’t count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The animal companion;s master selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can’t be changed.

Link (Ex): An animal companion's master can handle her animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if she doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. The animal companion's master gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

Share Spells (Ex): At the option of the animal companion's master option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts upon herself also affect her animal companion. The animal companion must be within 5 feet of her at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the animal companion if the companion moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the animal again, even if it returns to the master before the duration expires.

Additionally, the animal companion's master may cast a spell with a target of "You" on her animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. An animal companion's master and her animal companion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (animal).

Evasion (Ex): If an animal companion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.

Devotion (Ex): An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

Multiattack: An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a -5 penalty.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an animal companion takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.

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