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Optimize it! Bird animal companion


Advice


Every time I play something with an animal companion, I tend to always lean towards the Large creatures with high Str. However I'd love to see a useful BIRD companion to shake things up.

Bird Companion:
10 HD
Stats: Str 16, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
+9 Nat Armor (24 AC)
Feats: 5, + Multiattack (bite, talon x2)
Free ability score increase x2

The only way I can see it doing decent damage is taking Weapon Finesse, throwing an agile AoMF on it, maybe permanent reduce animal...
How to make flying creatures awesome??


iirc as a human you can take the huntsmaster feat, which treats you as +1 level for your companion's stuff, and it applies to birds (as well as horses, dogs, and another that slips my mind). it also grants handle animal bonuses for the selected animal, but that is slightly less important.


Andoran falconry feat from the Inner Sea Guide would boost your feathered friend.


Death From Above feat. Gives an ungodly bonus to hit if attacking from above. Have the bird fly up first round, swoop down on a low armored opponent, etc, etc.

Sczarni

Just get a Roc.


Looks like you have some free feats.. you need this chain:
Dodge, Mobility, Spring attack.
Mix in Death From Above and you are set.
Might want to go with Weapon Finesse and pump Dex instead of STR?

You will need to use the 4th level stat increase to get Int up to 3 so you can go outside of the Animal only feats for Death from Above.

You shouldn't need to take Multi-attack since none of the attacks are listed as secondary? (oh you are adding in the free from 9th...)

Marathon Voter Season 8

BltzKrg242 wrote:

Looks like you have some free feats.. you need this chain:

Dodge, Mobility, Spring attack.

Flyby attack does the same thing for one feat.

Marathon Voter Season 6

Be small.

Use Permanent Reduce Person on yourself and use it as a mount.

Archery from bird back could be rather epic.


mplindustries wrote:
BltzKrg242 wrote:

Looks like you have some free feats.. you need this chain:

Dodge, Mobility, Spring attack.
Flyby attack does the same thing for one feat.

not true... flyby attack wont prevent an AOO...


And that AOO prevention is the whole point with a fragile Animal Companion.

Flyby Attack (Monster)

This creature can make an attack before and after it moves while flying.

Prerequisite: Fly speed.

Benefit: When flying, the creature can take a move action and another standard action at any point during the move. The creature cannot take a second move action during a round when it makes a flyby attack.

Normal: Without this feat, the creature takes a standard action either before or after its move.


mplindustries wrote:
BltzKrg242 wrote:

Looks like you have some free feats.. you need this chain:

Dodge, Mobility, Spring attack.
Flyby attack does the same thing for one feat.

Not quite the same.

Flyby Attack provokes AOO. Spring Attack does not.

Flyby Attack allows for any standard action with the move. Spring attack allows only a melee attack.

Spring Attack is good if your critter does not have reach.
Flyby is good if you want it to use other actions beyond melee attacking whilst zipping by.

Mileage varies.


Using the chain I outlined before, your critter can dive bomb in, with a good chance of hitting, and then be back in the air with out taking a hit.
And you get a spiffy +1 AC against any and all pesky attacks AND if anything ever gets close you can have your critter retreat/attack someone else with additional +4 to AC vs that AOO.

Flyby attack CAN do the same but that AOO can take them out pretty quickly.


Play on orc that alternativ favorit class bonus will gant you a +6 damage to all attacks

Silver Crusade

If its a Ranger's bird, it has the advantage of sharing his Favored Enemy bonus's, which can make it pretty crazy. Couple that with a Aasimar who uses the Celestial Servant feat to give it smite...you wouldn't have to worry much about the foe being there to retaliate.

Definitely build with Weapon Finesse and Agile AoMF. I'm also a big fan of custom barding(ex:mithril chain shirt), built such that it has no Armor check penalty, allowing them to use it without proficiency and no negatives.

I had a Druid with a bird, but I focused it into a Stealth/Disarm machine, which ended up being hilarious cause it'd snatch a foes weapon, then fly into some cover and disappear.


There's a ranger Archetype that allows a special trick at 6th level that gives 4X crits and 2d4 attacks.

Be aware that Hero Lab let's you select it even if you don't meet the criteria...


ossian666 wrote:
Just get a Roc.

Which defeats the entire purpose of using a not-large companion :P

Forgot about the custom barding, thats a good tip! I'll have to try and sneak Celestial in there for the DR10/evil and Smite as well. And SR... how does this only cost one feat?!

I'd love to go the disarm route, but I'd be scared of getting the thing killed when it provokes an attack every time (animals can't get combat expertise, not even close to enough Int!)

The character I'm specifically building with an animal companion is SGG's Magister, which I'm using to build an homage to the Fochlucan Lyrist (3.5, CA). So no ranger stuff, no archery.

Caster with an animal companion, pewpew. Investing 3 feats (Magister Companion, Boon Companion, and Celestial Servant) so it better be worth it :) Might even take Huntmaster if I have room in my build (which is not looking good).

Not really a fan of Death From Above, 1 feat to give +3 on an aerial charge.. /shrug. It's attack bonus should be good enough with Greater Magic Fang.

Sczarni

Put Rhino Hide Armor on it and then you will always use it to charge.


would spring attack stop the rider from provoking if the animal companion is using the feat? how would that work? i would think a rider would provoke normally in that case, if so is there any way to stop it? i wouldn't think RAW would allow the rider to use his own spring attack simultaneously, if he had it


Take the falconer ranger archetype. You get a fully-leveled bird companion that gets a few unique tricks from level 1.


But that is at 1/2 HP until 4th...


Well it's better than not having one at all, and it saves you a feat on boon companion.


BltzKrg242 wrote:

And that AOO prevention is the whole point with a fragile Animal Companion.

Flyby Attack (Monster)

This creature can make an attack before and after it moves while flying.

Prerequisite: Fly speed.

Benefit: When flying, the creature can take a move action and another standard action at any point during the move. The creature cannot take a second move action during a round when it makes a flyby attack.

Normal: Without this feat, the creature takes a standard action either before or after its move.

again - it doent say - any where - that the movement wont provoke...

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

**casts Raise Thread**

Bird companion can be made pretty good, if you invest i it:

#1: At 4th level, us the option to take +2 Dex & Con instead of the listed upgrade. Sticking with that means weapon finesse stays good and you just get more AC / Initiative & reflex for your evasion. Net attack roll goes up instead of down ;-)

ALSO...

#2: Get it an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists (4k gp), it will now add its Dex to damage instead of strength (should be a +5 dex mod or more by 4th, if you follow advice #1 above.)

#3: Consider being human, and taking the "Eye for Talent" alternate racial ability --gives up your bonus feat for +2 Dex to your bird, and you get a bonus on Sense Motive or something. That's another +1 to hit / ac / reflex / initiative / dmg (with Agile).

OR it could be +2 Int to start with an Int of 4... that's 6 more Tricks, and you can have your bird take -any- feat from level 1... How about juicy ones like Death From Above? Additional Traits? Flanking Foil? etc...

OR, ALTERNATIVELY: Be an Aasimar which allows you to take the Celestial Servant feat --gives your bird the simple Celestial Creature template: Darkvision, scaling damage reduction & elemental resistances, and Smite Evil 1/day... lol!!

#4: If you're open to multiclassing, you could consider:

Hunter dip 2 levels: May seem redundant but a free Precise Shot feat for you (if ranged) or Outflank for both you and Bird (if melee) is nice, and so is ability to give your bird +2 all day to any physical stay, and hey also you get Resist Energy as a 1st level spell --bonus! Also, if you do this you can use some of your animal's tricks to teach it special Skirmisher Ranger abilities... like Entangling Strike, Tripping Strike, etc... That's pretty boss.

OR SIMILARLY: Sacred Huntmaster archtype for Inquisitor would give you Hunter style Animal Companion option for thos Skirmisher tricks (but not the Animal Focus buff).

ALSO If you push Hunter to 3rd level you get more options like either Teamwork feats with Bird or the Divine Hunter archtype: So humans can now make bird celestial anyway (and still get their +2 bird stat from Eye for Talent), OR, Aasimar can use Celestial Servant to make bird Celestial AND ALSO use Divine Hunter 3rd to make Bird Fiendish at same time... crazy but legal RAW. So bird now has scaling resist to all 4 elements and his DR is both Good & Evil (aka +5 weapon or Smite is only way past his DR.)

OTHER IDEA: Another wierd dip is Huntmaster Cavalier. At 3rd level their Bird gets to make free Dirty Trick checks on every attack, from a limited set: Deafened or Dazzled, but, if target already Dazzled (say from your Death from Above partial charge in the Surprise round) then bird can do Blinded.

...That's strong. Especially if they also have Skirmisher tricks like Entangle and Trip. That means at 4th level, in round 1 or 2 of combat the bird has made 1 target Blind, Deaf, Dazzled, Tripped and Entangled off of 3 or 4 attacks. And done damage 1d3/4 +5 or +6 like 3 or 4 times. That makes the summoner's Eidolon look like a chode, and the other druid's boring Big Cat look like a Big P__sy. lol...

#5: Feats & Traits:

Trait: Blackthorn Rancher (regional). Take this to give your bird +3 Hp at 1st level. Gives you bonus to handle Animal as well.

Trait: Deadeye Bowman. Take this (and worship Erastil) to ignore soft cover from your Bird or your party meat shield... err... fighter, so you can shoot lots of Abundant Ammo Trip Arrows, Tangleshot Arrows and maybe even Pheromone Arrows (if anyone in your party has Scent) from a safe distance, without the Pesky -4 to hit. Works best paired with Precise Shot from Hunter 2nd.

Feat: Andoran Falconry (aka Master of Falcons). Requires Animal Affinity (sigh) but gives choice of bonuses to Bird. Best: +2 morale to Will saves if you took Totem Guide (since Bird lost Devotion in that case), or, +1 morale to attack rolls... IF you then give Bird Additional Traits feat and give it trait: Adopted: Half Orc (menacing or whatever it's called racial trait that adds +1 to damage whenever you have morale bonus for attacking... which is 100% of the time for your bird ;-)

Spirits Gift (non PFS only): Best feat for anyone with an animal companion. Probably use the DR 5 option most days at low level, though the 24 hours Blur is great too if you have Bird invest in stealth (effectively Hide in Plain Sight... yes, it's true, with 1 feat you take your Bird becomes a better Shadow dancer than the damned prestige class.)

Hunmaster: Requires being Human, Half-elf, half-orc or Aasimar (w/ Scion of Humanity alt trait): +1 effective level for your Bird companion, which unlike Boon companion or similar feats THIS CAN raise level past PC a actual level.

Evolved Companion (non-PFS again): this breaks the game. Avoid it unless you need revenge on a sh__-talking melee party member or whatever... in which case, reach on you bird is nice, as are all the other broken summoner options.

Totem Beast: Scaling +2/4/6 to a stat of your choice for your Bird. Sweet!

===

There's more you can do than this,
but this should get you started.

Enjoy.

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