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Druid Animal Companions and Barding


Rules Questions


Historically (1st, 2nd ed.) the druid armor limitations have been portrayed as an ethical choice. (They shun metal works) At least that's the vibe i've always gotten.
The question came up in my campaign.. specifically a halfling druid with a riding dog for her companion... if there is a limitation on what kind of material a druid can use for barding on their animal companion.

Is there? rule wise?
The idea of a druid that refuses to wear metal armor decking her mount out in chain mail seems kind of silly to me. The player thinks so too, but i don't want to put restrictions on her unnecessarily


Cinderfist wrote:

if there is a limitation on what kind of material a druid can use for barding on their animal companion.

Is there? rule wise?
The idea of a druid that refuses to wear metal armor decking her mount out in chain mail seems kind of silly to me. The player thinks so too, but i don't want to put restrictions on her unnecessarily

No limitations.

Neither is there a limitation on the fighter friend adventuring with the druid on what they wear.

-James

Andoran

Cinderfist wrote:

Historically (1st, 2nd ed.) the druid armor limitations have been portrayed as an ethical choice. (They shun metal works) At least that's the vibe i've always gotten.

The question came up in my campaign.. specifically a halfling druid with a riding dog for her companion... if there is a limitation on what kind of material a druid can use for barding on their animal companion.

Is there? rule wise?
The idea of a druid that refuses to wear metal armor decking her mount out in chain mail seems kind of silly to me. The player thinks so too, but i don't want to put restrictions on her unnecessarily

From an RP aspect I would have to say there would be no way a reasonable druid would dress his pet in metal. You are the one making the decisions for the animal, at least until you get it to the point where it has 3 int.

Think about it, if you are a vegan, you wont feed your pets steak or other animals.

Mechanically speaking there is no designation that you cannot do so. The RAW does not indicate that you could not, may have to do with the fact that ranger uses the same animal companion rules as a druid if he so chooses to.


That's pretty much the way I was thinking. I wouldn't bat an eye at a Ranger dressing his pet in metal.
But with the druid...yeah it seems like an ethics violation.

which then brings me to ponder...do they make vegetarian pet food for vegans that have pet cats?? those poor kitties!

As for what james maissen was saying above.. sure but the druid isn't dressing his warrior friend.. though if he was, he might shun metal. Heck i could easily see the druid messing with the warrior much like a vegan would a friend chomping into a burger. "oh ew how can you wear that!"
"think of the poor ore that was tortured so you could wear it...?!?" maybe not... lol

Cheliax

Cinderfist wrote:

That's pretty much the way I was thinking. I wouldn't bat an eye at a Ranger dressing his pet in metal.

But with the druid...yeah it seems like an ethics violation.

which then brings me to ponder...do they make vegetarian pet food for vegans that have pet cats?? those poor kitties!

As for what james maissen was saying above.. sure but the druid isn't dressing his warrior friend.. though if he was, he might shun metal. Heck i could easily see the druid messing with the warrior much like a vegan would a friend chomping into a burger. "oh ew how can you wear that!"
"think of the poor ore that was tortured so you could wear it...?!?" maybe not... lol

Actually, it completely depends on your campaign world. It doesn't say why the druid loses any supernatural/spell abilites for 24 hours, just that they do. Maybe it interferes with their connection to the world around them. Maybe they entity that grants them their power dislikes it. Either way, the druid considers the animal companion his friend. I don't know about you, but I want to keep my friends safe. Even if I had an issue with it, I wouldn't deny my friend the use of something that could keep him safe( as long as no one else was effected by it ). Having friends requires you to accept their choices. If my druid was a vegan I certainly wouldn't try to prevent my Lion companion from eating meat.

Osirion

Totally legal. If you awaken your Companion (or the GM allows you to raise it's Int score to 3 at 4 HD) and it takes a level in Druid, *then* it will have a problem.

And, until this thread prompted me to go check, I had no idea that there was a subgroup of vegans who fed their cats 'vegan cat food' that can cause sickness, nervous disorders, bladder infection and a painful death.

Wow.

Taldor

There's no prohibition, but I'd say it's considered the height of tacky in druid circles.

"Come brothers and sisters, let us bask in the grace of the moon's light and drink from the spri-"

chang chang chang chang

"Ah, hello Lini...and Droogami. I'm glad you could make it. Please join us."

chang chang chang chang

"Gozreh preserve us."


Cinderfist wrote:


As for what james maissen was saying above.. sure but the druid isn't dressing his warrior friend..

But by association he is condoning his actions.

I think that if you want to take such a stand, that you shouldn't just do it to your poor animal, but rather voice your opinions like those horrible paladins do in their gleamy mean and METAL full plate! ;)

If you want to play the druid as believing that wearing metal armor is somehow taboo for all people (rather than just consecrated druids) then I say play it up! You shouldn't limit it to your animal companion.

Now that said, I don't see why it needs to be viewed that way. You have many examples in history of such restrictions only on clergy rather than upon all lay worshipers (let alone non-believers). I don't think that Priests in the middle ages would have got very far trying to get everyone to avoid marriage...

I see the druid restrictions as something along those lines. Notice that they will freely use metal tools and weapons. They might lack proficiency in some, but are given others like the scimitar... So I don't see it as any kind of 'vegan' analogy unless you know many that choose to be vegans for ethical reasons and yet say still wear fur!

-James

Andoran

Draeke Raefel wrote:


Actually, it completely depends on your campaign world. It doesn't say why the druid loses any supernatural/spell abilites for 24 hours, just that they do. Maybe it interferes with their connection to the world around them. Maybe they entity that grants them their power dislikes it. Either way, the druid considers the animal companion his friend. I don't know about you, but I want to keep my friends safe. Even if I had an issue with it, I wouldn't deny my friend the use of something that could keep him safe( as long as no one else was effected by it ). Having friends requires you to accept their choices. If my druid was a vegan I certainly wouldn't try to prevent my Lion companion from eating meat.

I see what you mean, but the animal gains these abilities because of the connection they have with the druid, and is by extension a part of the characters themselves.

On the note of awakening however, those animals no longer serve the druid, would then lose all normal abilities granted them by the animal companion chart and would then be required to be adjusted to the corresponding animal advancement equal to the number of HD they have at the time of the awakening (Which sucks to do by the way) minus one. The last HD would then be given a level in druid. Would make for a REALLY interesting backup for a character in the case that the character dies.
Say you cast awaken/contingency (The master druid's death) and pick up the old animal companion who would then be awakened in the case of the player death.
Pretty awesome to think about actually.

Osirion

Themetricsystem wrote:

The last HD would then be given a level in druid. Would make for a REALLY interesting backup for a character in the case that the character dies.

Say you cast awaken/contingency (The master druid's death) and pick up the old animal companion who would then be awakened in the case of the player death.
Pretty awesome to think about actually.

That is a pretty hot idea.

I've had a recurring NPC in a Freeport game that was a Familiar that had 'outlived' his master (his master was in Temporal Stasis or something, but he didn't know that...), and had picked up a level of Wizard (and still had a few magic items, including a Ring of Invisibility and some low-charge wands). The NPC would fly around invisibly and ran his own spy network among the street people, since nobody knew what he looked like (or that he was a bird), only that he seemed to be able to be anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes, and that nobody could see him, and would only hear his voice coming down from the rafters or rooftops... The PC Druid's companion was the only one whose Notice checks (pre-Pathfinder, but we still used combined skills for Listen + Spot) was enough to know when he was around, and he would drop notes for the party, when he wanted to steer them towards a plot point that fit his agenda.

Having a Paladin's special steed somehow survive the death of his master and 'choose' his squire (or some random worthy farmboy nearby) to become the next 1st level Paladin he serves could be fun as well.

Osirion

Well, the druid is condoning a fighter wearing fullplate by associating with him :)

Druids are prohibited from wearing metal armor and metal shields, but can use whatever metal weapons they want.

In my opinion, this says of the pathfinder druid *I don't have an aversion to metal, but being encased in it screws up my connection to the land, so I just say no."

Of course, other people think differently, and it's all good. World flavor has significant bearing on why druids don't wear armor. Mechanically speaking, there's nothing against suiting your companion up in adamantite if you're so suited.

Andoran

there is always, darken wood or dragon hide


Well by RaW there is no such restriction. The animal companion is a separate entity from the druid.

In terms of theme and character mentaliy it entirely depends on the reason metal interferes with the druid (which is intentionally vague in the rules). If it is an ethical consideration and wearing metal angers nature, then this is probably not something the druid would allow. But if the reason the druid loses their powers for 24 hours is more practical, like in some lore contact with metal would weaken druids. It is the physical interaction that causes the loss, not some breech of ethics. In that case it is more like an alergy then anything else. You wouldnt deprive your pet monkey bananas just because you yourself are alergic to them would you?


"I see the druid restrictions as something along those lines. Notice that they will freely use metal tools and weapons. They might lack proficiency in some, but are given others like the scimitar... So I don't see it as any kind of 'vegan' analogy unless you know many that choose to be vegans for ethical reasons and yet say still wear fur!"

-James

I think the reason that they can use metal weapons and tools is simply because the "stone age" versions of those items come with some heavy penalties.

The stone weapons for example out of 3.5 were give a -4 to hit and damage, wether or not you knew how to use them. It was said that it was a quality issue. I think to balance it out they simple allowed the Druid class to use metal weapons.

As to the subject at hand I would agree that a druid who dresses up his pet in metal is in bad taste and doesn't really fit the "spirit" of the Druid class. That being said, if they want to do it I would say let them, or come up with hide barding or something similar so they wont be mocked by the druid community.

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