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Collar of the True Companion (UE)?


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Weird little item that I spot 3 big questions with.

I'm going to assume this is NOT supposed to cause a Schrodinger's Intelligence Boost (the boost disqualifies a creature from benifiting from the boost, which means it stops working, which means they do qualify which means they get the boost which means they don't qualify ect) and that the boost from the collar doesn't shut itself off?

Does the collar, when worn for 24 hours, provide virtual skill points like other int boosters (there's no clause in int boosting items that stops them from giving a whole new skill when an actual increase to int wouldn't give a new skill point)?

Is the Awaken effect exempt from "An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount." or is the name completely wrong?


The skill points for animal companions don't take intelligence into account for determining skill points until they hit an int of 10. I don't see any reason to believe a non-companion animal would be any better off, so, no skill bonus

I also don't see any reason to assume this would be exempt for the usual rules on how Awaken works. The idea is just, you like your pet so much that you're giving them human-like intelligence and free will, after which point they aren't your loyal pet anymore, just a friend who'd likely be inclined to keep hanging out with you, not a class feature.


Skill points from items don't work like skill points from a natural int increase though.


Bump. I think he actually makes a good point.


The items doesn't say it gives skill points, and Animal Companions don't use intelligence to determine their skill points (generally speaking), so this item would have no effect on Skill points.

If you wanted to house rule it, and I were GM, I would say fine, your animal companion gets his class bonus plus his int mod in skill points per HD. The Collar grants +2 intelligence, so the most you could have would be 4 intelligence, which is a -3. So your animal companion would lose 3 skill points per HD. if I were feeling particularly sadistic, vengeful, or annoyed I would force your Companion to take negative ranks. Then again, my group rarely let's me take the big chair for some reason.


@Jay: there is a minimum of 1/HD in the rules for skill points, but you are right for animals 4 INT still does not give more than 1 skill per HD so adding skills to the item is unnecessary.

this collar is an interesting tool to enforce temporary feeblemindedness on NPCs, though.

PRD - Monster Creation wrote:
As long as a creature has an Intelligence of at least 1, it gains a minimum of 1 skill point per Hit Die.


Sorry for necroposting, but I need some clarifications: do I apply Awaken spell in all ways? Seems me really strange that a "true companion item" let my companion goes away, and furthermore nerf him. I mean, a 7th level druid has a large companion, with 6 hd. You love him so much that you made him going down to 4 hd, medium size (or even less), with a -2 str/dex, -4 natural armor, no more evasion, -1 to hit and ST, one less feats. All for 7-8 cha and 10-11 int...

Why in the world do I need to spend 10k gp when with a 3125 gp scroll I can do the exact same thing in 1 day? Just because no ST? generally speaking, it's not a so high ST, and I could buy 2 scrolls and still take less gold and times.

Seriously, what's the point?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Collar of the True Companion

I think that after 24 hours, the animal gets virtual skill points. However, after the animals wears it for a week, they loos them since the item is now non-magical. A non-animal would get them and after a week be feebleminded, but still have the skill.

As to the awaken aspect, the spell states:
the creature is raised to humanlike sentience, as though by the awaken spell
This is an increase in mental ability, not hit die, and not a casting of the awaken spell. Their intelligence becomes the result of the 3d6 roll (which is better than the 1-2 they had before) and +1d3 charisma. They are still animals, and still valid targets for an awaken spell. They are also still candidates for being an animal companion.

If you use the awaken spell, their intelligence changed again to the result of the 3d6 roll and they gain another 1d3 charisma and 2 HD. They loose the animal type and loose being a companion.

If you use this on an AC, they do gain the stat changes after a week in addition to the AC bonuses.

Note, that this is not an item designed for an AC, but for a special animal.
believed that there were animals who possessed spirits worthy of elevation

/cevah


Cevah wrote:

I think that after 24 hours, the animal gets virtual skill points. However, after the animals wears it for a week, they loos them since the item is now non-magical. A non-animal would get them and after a week be feebleminded, but still have the skill.

Skill points are not a prob, until he get at least 10 int he still have 1 point/hd.

Quote:

As to the awaken aspect, the spell states:

the creature is raised to humanlike sentience, as though by the awaken spell
This is an increase in mental ability, not hit die, and not a casting of the awaken spell. Their intelligence becomes the result of the 3d6 roll (which is better than the 1-2 they had before) and +1d3 charisma. They are still animals, and still valid targets for an awaken spell. They are also still candidates for being an animal companion.

If you use the awaken spell, their intelligence changed again to the result of the 3d6 roll and they gain another 1d3 charisma and 2 HD. They loose the animal type and loose being a companion.

If you use this on an AC, they do gain the stat changes after a week in addition to the AC bonuses.

That's what I thought until I read this topic. Exactly what "is raised to humanlike sentience as per awaken spell"? What is part of "humanlike sentience" and what's not?

Quote:

Note, that this is not an item designed for an AC, but for a special animal.

believed that there were animals who possessed spirits worthy of elevation

/cevah

To a druid or a ranger or a whatever that own an animal companion, it's special for him. It's a deep bond. Which druid wouldn't like to give an high int to his AC, after a long live togheter? What animal is more worthy of elevation than a loyal companion that stand with you even against its own nature?


"as though by the awaken spell" should be taken as if casting the awaken spell. Without instructions to only apply part of the spell you should apply all of it.

Part of me would like to see all enhancement bonuses to intelligence come with a preset skill like headbands. Without that yeah, no increased skill ranks unless int increases above 10.


dragonhunterq wrote:
"as though by the awaken spell" should be taken as if casting the awaken spell. Without instructions to only apply part of the spell you should apply all of it.

No it should not be as though the spell was cast. You are specifically only getting the mental bonus and not the physical bonus of the spell.

The instruction you missed is just before in the text: raised to humanlike sentience. This is what the item does, not cast the awaken spell. How does it raise to humanlike sentience? It does it just like the spell would, for the part of the spell that affects mental stats.

/cevah


Awaken wrote:
You awaken a tree or animal to human-like sentience.

It doesn't say "...to human like sentience, oh! and gain some HD as well". The spell doesn't parse between the mental and physical effects the entire thing is involved in the awakening.


The difference between a humanoid and an animal is the limitation to 1-2 Int and their type. Not their Hit Die. Raising to human like sentience means bypassing that 1-2 Int limit. Merely adding HD does not let them have it. Therefore the item only changes their mental stats. A very strict reading would be only their Int stat.

How does this work? See the spell awaken. This indicates you use the mechanics in the awaken spell for making the change to the stat. It does not mean you use the spell as though casting it.

If the RAI was to also give the HD, then why did they not say it affects the animal as the spell awaken? Since they only say ot affects the sentience, then it clearly does not do all the spell indicates. This is why I say it does not do the HD part. Neither does it change the creature type. Which is why you can cast awaken on it later, or continue to use it as an AC.

/cevah


Sorry for the necro, but this is an interesting topic. This is assuming Cevah's stance is the one the GM rules, what would this mean for the animal companion? They are now sentient, but by bypassing the Awaken rules, still technically eligible for being a companion. Does that mean that, though the animal is now smart, it still must follow the animal companion rules? Could it take class levels now, making the AC a psuedo cohort?

These kind of questions are the reasons why I feel most GMs would rule like dragonhunterq and just say it equals a casting of Awaken, but I'm curious how GMs would handle an AC that has 6-20 Int.


Companions don't get xp, so don't gain levels, so cannot take classes.


Kiern wrote:
This is assuming Cevah's stance is the one the GM rules

With respect to Cevah, I would consider that a mistake on the part of the GM. The item is clearly intended to duplicate the effects of awaken. The spell is already a bit confusing; piecemealing its effects would create a lot of weird rules interactions.

As for Intelligence alone, an animal companion can already get sapient levels of intelligence through ability score advancement and magic items. The ramifications thereof are covered in this Paizo blog post.


I think the general idea behind this item is that you're supposed to remember to take the darned thing off your companion before a week has passed.

What I would probably do in the case of mounts is wait until I have 18,500gp and then buy the collar, a Scarlet and Blue ioun stone, and a wayfinder. First, put the collar on the mount. The mount now has the required INT to activate the ioun stone (you'll give it to them to "hold" in their mouth, then release into the wayfinder you have ready). Tuck the wayfinder in the mount's saddlebags, then remove the necklace and stash it in a safe place for later use. The mount remains at INT3+ and can activate other items while the ioun stone is hidden from enemy view. As an added bonus, that wayfinder/ioun combo resonates a +1 will save.)

The other possible use of the collar is to permit the companion to take feats it wouldn't normally be qualified for. You slip the collar on before you level, level yourself and your companion, then take it off. The feats are not lost (per the same rules that a PC enjoys when various items are shut off or removed). It's super cheesy metagamy, however. (I can easily see a GM dictating that feats take a full seven days minimum to learn in his home game, and that prerequisites be continuously present.)

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