Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)
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From a witch’s black cat to a ranger’s mighty wolf companion or a cavalier’s noble steed, animals have always had a place in fantasy adventuring—but why should only a few classes have all the fun? With the proper training, animals can be invaluable allies for adventurers of all stripes. Whether you’re a scholarly spellcaster looking for a familiar to deliver spells or help turn the pages of your spellbook, or a brawler ready to lead your armored animal into the thick of battle, this book is a treasure trove of rules and advice aimed at helping you and your animal friends get the most out of your fantastic adventures.

Animal Archive presents a player-focused, in-depth discussion of animals and the various roles they can play in your game. Each Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • A complete list of every familiar in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, to make choosing yours quick and convenient.
  • New archetypes like the mad dog barbarian or carnivalist rogue to help classes that haven’t traditionally used animals work with their bestial allies, as well as tips on how every class can employ animals.
  • New animal companions and familiars, from innocuous squirrels and rabbits to bizarre platypuses, armored armadillos, and powerful pandas.
  • Information on which animals are closely associated with the various races and deities of the Pathfinder campaign setting.
  • Tons of new tricks and feats to customize your animals, plus archetypes for animal companions and familiars.
  • New animal equipment, spells, magic items, information about the personalities of magically intelligent animals, and more!

Written by Amanda Hamon, Philip Minchin, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Christina Stiles

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-488-7

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Product Reviews (15)
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****½ (based on 15 ratings)

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Favorite Player Companion to date


I bought the PDF a while back and opened it again last night just to refresh my memory. There is a lot crammed into this very compact volume and at almost every page I think, 'oh, hey, that's cool.'

Just one example is the familiar and animal companion archetypes. They're the logical next step in archetypes but the type I might not necessarily have thought of. At last we can customize what otherwise is a very generic animal ally. The Mad Dog barbarian archetype is another flavorful, of-course! option. Why wouldn't we have companions who rage alongside their masters?

Everything is flavorful, organized, options-heavy, and superbly illustrated (I especially love the cover art). This one is a keeper.

Good resource

****( )

I thought the book was a good buy. I bought the PDF version of it to save a couple of bucks. It did have a lot of good information and includes the very useful "flank" trick and "Boon Companion" feat. The one thing I wish it did have were blank copies of a familiar or companion character sheet. I know there are digital copies available, but this book seemed like it should have been a good source for this.

The Tasmanian Devil is in the details.

***( )( )

Overall I liked it, but there were more than a few problems.

The art was amazing. (I really want to take the poor compsognathus home)

The chart is... wow has this been missing for a long time. About time we got something like this.

The division of belt into belt and belt (saddle) was new and more than a little arbitrary.

The magic item section was the most disappointing. Its barely a page, and most of the items suffer from the usual "its not on the christmas tree so its overpriced" effect. Magical items for critters is almost new ground, i thought they could have done a lot more with this.

The collar of obedience seems useful... but by the time you can afford it most of the animals you'd want to use it on are bigger than large, and for some reason unlike every other neck slot item in the game, this one has resizing limits.

I love the idea of animal archetypes. More variety is good.

The charger seems like a good archetype... but it technically can't do anything as it gives benefits to cavaliers but cavalier mounts can't take it because it replaces an ability they don't have (share spells)

The tricks vary. Bombard is absolutely hilarious and probably the best of the lot. There's a few more that have more than a little overlap with already existing tricks, Like watch and guard or perform and entertain. Some seem to be like rogue tricks where they, by implication, limit what you could otherwise have done with another trick by their existence.

Absolutely loved the new familiars and animal companions, they really should be as diverse as the adventurers that they own. People seem to love the panda bear, and even if i never take a llamma as an animal companion i rejoice to know that somewhere there's a druid with a llama and profession (weaver)

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Animal Archive


Originally posted at, a new idea everyday!

Product: Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive
Producer: Paizo
Price: ~$12
System: Pathfinder
TL;DR-If you have pets, then get this book. 91.25%

Basics: This book adds options, abilities, and types for any character who has a familiar or a animal companion. The book starts off right away with the inner cover discussing the magic items that each type of animal can use. After the standard Player Companion line pages discussing the book's intent, the next section describes what types of animals each race typically works with. Next the book introduces new class archetypes for the rogue, cavalier, and barbarian that use animal companions. Following archetypes, the book add new animal tricks for your companion to learn and new ways to teach tricks to animals. The book then presents new familiars, equipment, and animals to buy in Golarion. The centerfold of the book is six new animals that a PC could take as a companion and the parts of the world where these creatures are found. Following the centerfold, new animal feats and archetypes are discussed for your companions and familiars. The book then presents a section on what happens after you awaken your animal. Like all player pathfinder books, the book adds several spells and magic items, before ending by adding new familiars and animal companion statistics.

Fluff or Story: This book isn't very story heavy. It primary focus is to give you new animal options. What it does have is interesting, but don't look for it to carry the book on that alone. 4/5

Crunch or Mechanics: You want animal crunch? You got animal crunch! Some of the crunch is interesting like the rogue who uses an animal to do sneak attack, but some is left out like what bonuses you get for using tools to train an animal. It's not bad, but some minor things were missing. 4.75/5

Art: This book has a surprising amount of art for primarily being a mechanics book. It's new, and looks like it belongs and is well done. 5/5

Execution: The book has a nice flow, reads quick, and isn't difficult to read. I didn't like that the book repeats some of its mechanics as the book is less than 30 pages. Also, some of the choices of where things were laid out were a bit strange as there are two item sections. 4.5/5

Summary: If you run animals in Pathfinder, you need this book. That's it. It won't really convince you to take up an animal if you're the type of player who doesn't want that complication in his life. If you want to have some fun with an animal companion/familiar, then this book will give you lots of options and makes sure the ideas you have fit into the larger world. It's worth a read for any class that gets an animal pet. 91.25%


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