Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Druids Log: Animal companions


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

1 to 50 of 842 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages ****

151 people marked this as a favorite.

Part I

Few things require as much DM adjudication as the diverse and wonderful world of animal companions. Part class feature, part PC, part NPC, Animal companions, their actions and abilities exist in a nebulous intersection of rules, player control, and DM control. So its no surprise that organized play has its own rules about how these non humanoid pathfinders function in the party.

Resources

The druid for basic information about your companion. It is very important to note that the animal you see here IS your animal companion species. If the ability isn't listed here then your animal companion doesn't have it. If for example, the bestiary lion gets a stealth bonus in tall grass while your animal companion lion does not because its not a listed ability

The feats spelled out here as animal companions count as access for those feats, so your animal companion can take say improved natural attack even if your druid can't.

Handle animal skill . Very important to point out that the DC to push a critter is 25. The DC to get an animal to do a trick it knows is 10. These are regardless of the DC's listed next to the trick, which are only the difficulty of TEACHING the critter the trick.

The monkey See Monkey do Blog - Which , among other important information, clarifies that your ape animal companion will not use a manufactured weapon for you. Please respect his or her right to choose their own natural weaponry. It also spells out that raising a critters intelligence to three does NOT mean you can stop making handle animal checks.

According to the guide to organized play, You can only have one combat animal active at any time. This makes archetypes and multiclassing options that grant you multiple companions less viable in organized play.

The PFS FAQ on critters

  • Animal companions can't activate magic items
  • Animal companions are limited to the more restrictive of either [neck+barding+Slots Gained from Extra Slot feat] or The animal archive chart
  • Snakes Cannot wear armor (and barding stitches are banned)
  • In a slight difference from the Monkey See Monkey Do Blog, animals can learn to understand a language by putting a point in linguistics rather than getting one automatically
  • Animals with a 3+ int CAN use Ioun stones
  • Your companion does gain extra tricks for having extra intelligence

Mergy's Blog on animal companions Notes that critters need to know the flank and aid trick from the animal archive to use aid another or to go out of their way to flank. One minor note about the animal not learning extra tricks is in error.

A few Random Points and less frequently asked questions

This information from this thread is compiled in the following Google Doc:
Druid's Log: Animal Companions

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think there are some magic bridles as well.

Liberty's Edge

Flutter wrote:
Animals Act on their own initiative If the animal wins initiative it will delay and await instructions. Personally I would always delay to act in synch with my animal companion, just so that your orders make sense when the animal gets to perform them.

In 13 levels with a very active animal companion, I NEVER had a GM in PFS run combat that way. I would check, just in case, and be told that they'd rather I just use my own initiative.

Shadow Lodge ****

keerawa wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Animals Act on their own initiative If the animal wins initiative it will delay and await instructions. Personally I would always delay to act in synch with my animal companion, just so that your orders make sense when the animal gets to perform them.
In 13 levels with a very active animal companion, I NEVER had a GM in PFS run combat that way.

Same here.

Dark Archive **

Having the animal companion use its master's initiative helps to maintain the flow of combat. I figure that'd be the primary reason why most GMs prefer (myself included) that the creature act with its master. Besides, they do kind of need to tell it what to do.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

keerawa wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Animals Act on their own initiative If the animal wins initiative it will delay and await instructions. Personally I would always delay to act in synch with my animal companion, just so that your orders make sense when the animal gets to perform them.
In 13 levels with a very active animal companion, I NEVER had a GM in PFS run combat that way. I would check, just in case, and be told that they'd rather I just use my own initiative.

One GM locally (Mergy, in fact), insists on this, and is fairly strict on ordering animals requiring a handle aninal roll. No real net effect that I've noticed as long as your handle animal skill is reasonable. Just takes more dice rolls and more rules minutia for the same effect.

It does impact characters that have low handle animal skills or who really abuse what an animal plausibly should be able to do.

Silver Crusade **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sometimes separate init saves the animal from flat-footedness. But, yes, they do get synched up rather quickly.

Silver Crusade **

I love this. Thank you from someone who is about to start playing a Druid.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
keerawa wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Animals Act on their own initiative If the animal wins initiative it will delay and await instructions. Personally I would always delay to act in synch with my animal companion, just so that your orders make sense when the animal gets to perform them.
In 13 levels with a very active animal companion, I NEVER had a GM in PFS run combat that way. I would check, just in case, and be told that they'd rather I just use my own initiative.

One GM locally (Mergy, in fact), insists on this, and is fairly strict on ordering animals requiring a handle aninal roll. No real net effect that I've noticed as long as your handle animal skill is reasonable. Just takes more dice rolls and more rules minutia for the same effect.

It does impact characters that have low handle animal skills or who really abuse what an animal plausibly should be able to do.

It has huge impact depending on some particular brands of min-maxing. I know it drives me crazy when a summoner or druid is playing in the style where the eidolon or AC is the "main" character and then they buy up +18 initiative on the summoner or druid and the GM has them go at the summoner or druid's initiative (P.S. the AC or eidolon has around +2 initiative).

I also always have separate rolls unless it's a mount, in which case the rules force the issue. It's bad enough that the same summoner or druid can ride their AC or eidolon and have it use the rider's initiative at essentially no cost. We really should have a rule about intelligent mounts having their own initiative or using the worse of the two initiative modifiers or something so that we have some good way to respond when someone asks to have the halfling diviner shrink down and ride on the party barbarian and have the barbarian act on the diviner's initiative (including going on the surprise round) or other such shenanigans.

Scarab Sages *****

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Youuuu forgot to menssssion that mammalssss are far more infffferior to reptilessss, but I otherwisssse approvvvve...

*

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice post.

My unanswered question: does a druid write his log on an actual log? :-D

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mike Mistele wrote:

Nice post.

My unanswered question: does a druid write his log on an actual log? :-D

The Confirmation:
I played a druid character through it and picked up rocks, sticks, a bit of moss and some other things, and they were my notes.
Scarab Sages ****

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Part II: Selecting the companion that's right for you.

The diverse fauna of golarion offers a myriad of animal companions choices , most of whom have found a ready home with members of the society. Always check the Additional resources page to make sure the decemvirate doesn't object to your choice of animal companion. Something to do with allergies...

The most important piece of advice anyone can give you is to pick the animal that fits YOU best. If you think a particular animal fits your character, looks awesome, and would make a great sidekick (or would be great to be a sidekick to) then take it. We're full casters with a very powerful and versatile shapeshifting ability. An animal companion can be an entire course unto itself but even if its just icing on the cake then you still have cake. Bears are, objectively, pretty bad compared to other options but they're still great for a class feature. PFS is not so deadly that you NEED to take the pouncing kitty/velociraptor of mangley death (unless you want to)

With that said, here are a few ups and downs of common choices.

Kitty! Awwww they're so cute. Don't you just want to belly rub them? Well, watch your arms. On pure math the kitty probably does the most damage. Pounce +rake and large size means that these adorable bundles of fluff pack a whallop. The grab ability is amazing against spellcasters, who have very limited options once they're grabbed.

I cannot stress enough how good pounce is. Melee fighters usually suffer a great deal from their need to move up and damage, but lose a lot of ability to damage from doing so, especially if they dual wield. Pounce gives you all the mobility of an animals high movement AND the ability to take advantage of the full attack.

Horses: The good news is that you can ride them and they're accepted everywhere. The bad news is that they often have trouble doing things like getting up stairs, climbing down holes, and getting their lil tushies into the teleportation tapestry we keep in the basement.
The society tends to either send us into a dungeon where no one minds the giant cat, or into a fancy party where neither the giant cat or the horse are allowed without a lot of middleground, negating one of the horses advantages.

Wolfy: A good mount for a companion. Having one big bite usually does less damage than having multiple attacks, but your fighters and rogues will thank you when the free trip attack lands the bad guys on the ground. One advantage to one attack is the 1.5 x strength damage for going through Damage Resistance. Even more things hanging out at our dig sites have damage resistance than fly, and animal companions can't carry a golf bag full of different weapons to use. One thing to remember is that a bite is Piercing, Bludgeoning, and slashing, so whether you're chomping on a skeleton or a zombie you're good to go.

Dire bat: Awww.. its an adorable giant fox with wings. While a horse is great for riding down foes on the ground, it seems every other dig site I'm at has either flying wizards, harpies, demons, or flying wizard harpy demons. If you're a little more inclined to beat on things than most druids and have learned how to use a lance at some point you can do a lot of damage on the back of one of these.

Now to get onto Sith's point...

Velociraptor/deinonychus. Whether your cute lil hatchling comes with scales or feathers, they function much like the cat. the bad news is they don't hit quite as hard or grab. The upside is that they have pounce when medium sized, which is handy because the society tends to send us into underground ruins that aren't big on feng shui. The charge rules hit large creatures acting in a group hard. They don't charge as hard but they can charge more often.

Stegosaurus/Ankylosaurus. While I find the term "meat shield" to be a warning sign that someone isn't taking their responsibilities as a caretaker seriously these two companions are excellent choices for defending your party. The anklyosaurus has a lot of natural armor, and the stegosaurus's are incredibly agile for their size. The society doesn't always remember to send along enough body guards, and the ones that they do send tend to just charge off into the middle of things with a big honking sword and leave the casters alone and vulnerable.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Spinosaurus deserves an honorable mention, IMO. It doesn't have pounce, but it has the highest Strength of any animal companion, so its chance to hit is higher. If you're a Sylvan Sorcerer who likes to pile on the buffs, its Strength can get obscene.

Liberty's Edge ****

Nice compilation, thanks for this.

Scarab Sages ****

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Part III We can build it stronger... faster....

Building or leveling your an animal companion can be tricky. Fortunately most of it is on the druid page. I highly recommend an animal companion have its own character sheet, and a bit of graph paper for scrap wouldn't hurt.

Start with the statistics listed for your animal companion to get its base stats. Remember to use the statistics for the animal companion, NOT the bestiary critter. If you're leveling, or using DM protoplasm to start at a higher level, your animal companion may advance. Adjust the stats accordingly.

One often overlooked option is Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2. This doesn't make sense for many companions, who get powerful abilities like stun or pounce for taking the standard leveling package. If you want a scout, or you have a dex based companion like a giant weasel it may be viable though.

Hit dice: Animal companions have 4.5 Hit points per hit die, round down
Since they do not have hit dice from a PC class they do not get the automatic maximum on the first d8. Its important to recalculate the hit points every level. If you just add 4.5 and round down every time you're costing yourself a hit point every other level.

Remember that you add the Constitution bonus and toughness based on the number of hit dice, not your druid level. At first level your critter will have 9+ twice their con bonus. For a companion with a good constitution this can give them more hit points than some first level fighters.

Skills:
Animal companions can have ranks in any of the following skills: Acrobatics* (Dex), Climb* (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly* (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception* (Wis), Stealth* (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim* (Str). All of the skills marked with an (*) are class skills for animal companions. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can put ranks into any skill.

Since you have so few skill points one option is to put 1 rank into a few skills like Acrobatics swim and perception to round out the animals abilities and take advantage of the +3 for being a trained skill.
Its weird to note that intimidate, escape artist, and especially survival don't get the +3 from being class skills. Acrobatics is especially handy since animals almost always have to move into melee range to attack, which often involves moving through threatened squares and jumping over the inevitable bottomless chasm.

Feats: Critters are limited to the listed feats listed and those in the animal archive unless they up their intelligence score, at which point they're in the slightly murky area of "any feat they can physically use" . For PFS the only known hard limit on that is that they can't take weapon feats. When selecting your feats make absolutely sure you meet the prerequisites of the feat at the time you take it. Note that your animal had a bab of 0 when it got its first feat, so it can't take the ever popular power attack until it has 3 hd.

Natural Armor bonus: Remember that this is additive from three sources: the amount you get from the chart, AND the amount each animal companion species comes with, AND the amount (most) companions get for advancing at 4th or 7th level. The three together can add up quickly.

Str/Dex bonus: Your animals strength and dex increase. This is in addition to the "floating" increase it gets every 4 HD.

Bonus Tricks: Tricks will be its own section, but do remember to add tricks as your companion levels up.

Link: You get a +4 to handle your animal companion and can do it faster than "normal". This is incredibly handy at lower levels as it lets you automatically succeed on tricks with even a minimal investment in handle animal.

Share spells: Note that this has changed from 3.5 . A buff spell you cast on your self is NOT automatically cast on your pet as well. That ability is now covered by the Improved share spells. What it does let you do is cast both personal spells (such as the Aspect of the ____ ) and spells that don't normally affect animals. The latter isn't normally a an issue for druids, but it lets a sylvan sorcerer use enlarge person.

Spells used this way Have to come out of your spell slots You have a special bond with your soulmate that lets you break the normal laws of magic. The wands and scrolls you dug out of the basement of the society do not.

Ability score increase: Just like a character, your animal companion can increase any stat they want including intelligence. This doesn't turn them into magical beasts or stop them from qualifying as your animal companion

I would highly recommend the intelligence boost at least once for a few reasons. First off with the more literal minded DM's you need a trick for the animal to do anything. More intelligence= three more tricks to use. With the more freeform DM's you can usually have more leeway in what actions your animal will take if it is preternaturally smart compared to others of its kind. Secondly strength and dex increase automatically via the chart, strength and con go up when the creature advances, but this is about your only chance to increase its intelligence.

Most importantly it opens an entire new world of feats your companion can take. Remember when planning your companions feat progression that unusual feats can't be taken sooner than 5th level because you need to up your intelligence score and THEN pick the feat. Even if you acquire your companion latter in its life it still developed organically with the restrictions in place.

Multi-Attack: For "one big bite" companions like the wolf or spinosaurus (thanks Sithis) this is amazing, giving you a second attack at your full 1.5X strength bad guy chomping goodness.

One really bizarre result of the changes in primary/secondary attacks from 3.5 is that creatures that already have multiple primary attacks like the cat and velociraptor also benefit from this extra attack. This ruling is, to me, a little counter intuitive and tucked away in a really obscure place so I don't usually spring it on DMs.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Flutter wrote:
One often overlooked option is Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2. This doesn't make sense for many companions, who get powerful abilities like stun or pounce for taking the standard leveling package. If you want a scout, or you have a dex based companion like a giant weasel it may be viable though.

Bwah? Where is this wonderful option located?

EDIT: wow, it's in the regular ol' Core Book, right before "Animal Choices". Can't believe I've never noticed that.


Two quick questions.
1. So does a constrictor's bite attack get 1.5 str damage since it is it's only attack? I hadn't known that about animals.

2. I've seen multiple mentions of animals starting at BAB 0, but the companion stats show them as starting at BAB 1. I'm assuming I'm missing something. What is it?

Thanks in advance.

Scarab Sages ****

Nefreet wrote:
Flutter wrote:
One often overlooked option is Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2. This doesn't make sense for many companions, who get powerful abilities like stun or pounce for taking the standard leveling package. If you want a scout, or you have a dex based companion like a giant weasel it may be viable though.
Bwah? Where is this wonderful option located?

In the druid under "Animal Choices", last sentence.

Remember though that it replaces EVERYTHING in the advancement: size changes, special abilities, stat adjustments etc. USUALLY the regular upgrade is better.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
elgabalawi wrote:

Two quick questions.

1. So does a constrictor's bite attack get 1.5 str damage since it is it's only attack? I hadn't known that about animals.

2. I've seen multiple mentions of animals starting at BAB 0, but the companion stats show them as starting at BAB 1. I'm assuming I'm missing something. What is it?

1. Indeed. And 1.5x Str on its constrict ability.

2. The chart starts off at +1 BAB, but when the critter was 1HD it had +0 BAB. Imagine building a 2nd level Cleric or Rogue from scratch. They also had +0 BAB at 1st level, so they couldn't take Power Attack until 3rd either.

Scarab Sages ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
elgabalawi wrote:

Two quick questions.

1. So does a constrictor's bite attack get 1.5 str damage since it is it's only attack? I hadn't known that about animals.

Yup. Its in the animal choices, and repeated in the universal monster rules.

It gets even better

The snake has grab and gets constrict when it advances, meaning that any time it successfully bites something, it gets an free chance to constrict it with a grapple check. If that succeeds the monster is constricted that same round. Constrict does just as much damage as the bite, so if all goes well you get 1d4 +1 1/2 str bite and 1d4 +1 1/2 str constrict.

Quote:
2. I've seen multiple mentions of animals starting at BAB 0, but the companion stats show them as starting at BAB 1. I'm assuming I'm missing something. What is it?

Animal companions, like other animals, have a 3/4 BAB but they start at 2 HD. There's essentially a "my animal companion had these stats as a puppy before we went adventuring" line at level 0 thats not shown with 1 hit die and zero BAB.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Flutter wrote:
I highly recommend an animal companion have its own character sheet, and a bit of graph paper for scrap wouldn't hurt.

+1.

I try to put just as much investment into my Animal Companions as the characters who have them. Making them a sheet gives you something to show off and can add depth to what others just consider to be little more than a "class feature".

I also recommend trying to find a unique figurine. Maybe add a dash of paint to the regular wolf so it stands out, or look on ebay for museum models. I've had good luck finding unique dinosaurs for usually less than $10 a pop.

The Exchange ****

Flutter:
Thanks for all you hard work putting this together.

Thank you very much.


Yeah, thanks for the write ups and thanks for the responses

Grand Lodge *

A few questions in reguards to Int advancement.

Vermin start with int -

At level 4 you may select +1 int and they gain the skill points and feats they couldn't have before they had an Int score.

Selecting Extra Slot: Headband I can give the Animal Companion a Headband of Vast Intelect +2

After 24h the Animal Companion has an effective 3 int

Does this allow selecting any Feats they can physically use? (including with the remaining feat to be selected.)

I can train my Companion in a total of 9 tricks + bonus tricks correct?

The headband is attuned to a skill, and I select Linguistics.

I get to select the languages it learns correct? (1 per hit die)

If I give the Animal Companion a Hand of the Mage (Neck slot, they all have access to that without a feat.) Ink, quill and parchment, can it write to communicate in those known languages?

And lastly, what are the legal sources for feats for an Animal Companion with a 3+ int?

Scarab Sages ****

Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vermin start with int -

awwwwws! And hugs the cute lil arachnids! Belly rubs are so much fun when all 8 legs twitch!

Mindless quality from ultimate magic:
: Vermin companions have no Intelligence score and possess the mindless trait. In spite of this, vermin companions may learn one trick, plus additional bonus tricks as noted on Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics. If a vermin animal companion gains an ability score increase (at 4 Hit Dice, 8 Hit Dice, and so on), the druid can apply this increase to the companion's Intelligence, changing it from — to 1, at which point the companion loses the mindless quality and is able to know up to 3 tricks per point of Intelligence, plus the additional bonus tricks, as per Handle Animal. Vermin companions have no skill points or feats as long as they have the mindless quality.

Quote:
At level 4 you may select +1 int and they gain the skill points and feats they couldn't have before they had an Int score.

Correct. They would gain 2 tricks for that first point of intelligence (since they already had one) and then three after that.

Quote:
Selecting Extra Slot: Headband I can give the Animal Companion a Headband of Vast Intelect +2

PFS uses the animal archive chart, but it uses the more restrictive of either that chart OR Neck + Armor. According to that chart most verminous companions can only use the belt and eye slot items.

The extra slot feat works a little differently in PFS. It only allows access to extra items ON the chart, rather than off the chart the way it does in a regular campaign. The answer varies a little bit depending on the specific Vermin.

For the Giant beetle, giant centipede, giant crab, giant scorpion, and giant spider they are limited to the belt and eyes slot, which means in PFS they start with zero slots and once they have an int of 1 can take extra slot to get a belt or eyes. There's no way i can think of to put the headband of intelligence on those vermin in PFS.

covers the spiders ears He's always going to be behind the other pets, you may have to accept his limitations and love him for who he is.

The Giant leech, Giant slug, Giant mantis, and Giant wasp all have body types that allow headbands, so that trick works fine with them.

Quote:
Does this allow selecting any Feats they can physically use? (including with the remaining feat to be selected.)

Yup!

Quote:
I can train my Companion in a total of 9 tricks + bonus tricks correct?

Yup

Quote:

The headband is attuned to a skill, and I select Linguistics.

I get to select the languages it learns correct? (1 per hit die)

Yes. And note that the headband works a little oddly with very ...covers the spiders ears againacademically challenged creatures. You have 1 skill point based on your natural 1 intelligence, and 1 skill point hard coded into the headband, even though you would have to raise the companions natural intelligence to 10 in order to normally get that second skill point per hit die.

Quote:
If I give the Animal Companion a Hand of the Mage (Neck slot, they all have access to that without a feat.) Ink, quill and parchment, can it write to communicate in those known languages?

No unfortunately. Animal companions cannot activate magic items (linked above) and putting the rank in linguistics only lets them understand multiple languages, not speak or write them.

Quote:
And lastly, what are the legal sources for feats for an Animal Companion with a 3+ int?

Anything they can physically perform and is a legal source. This means all the additional resources players have access to + the bestiary feats that are listed in the druid section of the players handbook.


I still can't decide if it's worth it to lose the extra human feat to get my snake up to 3 int. are there feats anyone thinks would be worth getting for the snake later (now that he has a three int) to make it worth it? Or are the extra tricks important enough to be worth it? If the tricks are worth it, any specific thoughts on those?
Thanks for any thoughts

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Depends on how heavily you want to invest in your snake. Seems like there are never enough tricks. And giving it Improved/Greater Grapple can be hilarious.

If you're a Human Ranger (since Rangers can take a Constrictor as an Animal Companion), you'll probably get enough combat-related feats via your class levels, so sacrificing your bonus Human feat might not hurt so much (of course you'd need to take Boon Companion, too, so maybe it would).

Scarab Sages ****

As a druid I find I'm usually waiting for level 5 to get any feats I want anyway.


I'd be playing a druid, and taking grapple feats certainly seems useful. So flutter, you're thinking it's worth it? At lvl 4 I'd have five tricks without the added int, you think 2 more would help significantly? In terms of the druid's feats, I was assuming conjur and augment summoning as the first two

Scarab Sages ****

Opening up the options for the improved grapple feats would be the main reason to do it. The tricks are delicious, tasty gravy but gravy none the less.


Ooh, but is it PFS legal since the snake wouldn't have imp unarmed which is technically a prerequisite?


Also, tell me more about this gravy if you don't mind. Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough (or haven't seen the full list in the animal companion or what not), but beyond the two attacks, and down (which still leaves me with 2 at lvl four - where I'll be starting with this character), I'm having a hard time imagining what would be worth getting excited about.
This had been super helpful by the way.

Sczarni *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you go with Human, and choose the +2 Int for your companion, that takes effect immediately, so your Snake's first feat can be Improved Unarmed Strike. It's feat at 2nd level (3HD) can then be Improved Grapple. It won't get Greater Grapple for a while, after +6 BAB, but that leaves time for Power Attack or whatever else you want to give it.

It could even take... Snake Style!


i guess wasting a feat on imp unarmed isn't the worst thing.
and if i could get his sense motive up to something useful, i would so take snake style!

while i have you, when the snake becomes large at 4th lvl, does he then have a reach of 10 ft?
i'm assuming no, but i can dare to dream, right?

***

a wand of shared language gets your companion to speak. It is a bard 1 spell. My nature oracle uses it to give his ax beak the ability to speak

Improved unarmed strike opens up dragon style so you can charge through difficule terrain and allies.


Hmm, dragon style. I like the sound of that. Not sure I'll be able to up my umd enough to use a wand of shared language, but it's a nice idea.

Any other tips and tricks out there?

***

SHared tongue is on the druid list at level 2.

I mentioned that it is bard 1. Since you would buy it as a level 1 spell instead of level 2 druid. It also cleic 2 & sorcerer/wizard 2.


Ah, intriguing.

Scarab Sages ****

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Part IV: Turning tricks.

Tricks are the primary way your character (and thus your player) interact with the animal companion. Selecting the right tricks and understanding how they work is paramount to making effective and fast use of them.

How to train your not a dragon

The first time you acquire a companion it starts with Intelligence X 3 tricks, plus bonus tricks. If your Animal is a mindless vermin such a derogatory word! it has 1 trick + the bonus tricks. Animals start off knowing their tricks. Bonus tricks you gain as your companion levels don't require any training time or Handle Animal checks. This means the only time you should need to train the animal is if you increase their intelligence score or are replacing it after being lost (to what had better have been unavoidable circumstances!!) or dismissed.

You can attempt to train an animal one time per scenario per rank in handle animal. The rules don't say whether this is before or after the scenario so you'll have to ask your GM. You can take 10 on the check, and the +4 bonus from the link does apply.

One way to make your life easier is to use bonus tricks or starting tricks for the DC 20-25 tricks and use handle animal for the lower DC tricks.

For a starting mount I would suggest combat training (attack attack come defend down guard and heel) and then getting it the attack twice. This should upgrade a horse's hooves to primary attacks. Flank is largely irrelevant because you tell the mount where to go.

For an independently acting animal, I highly recommend Attack, attack, come, defend, down, seek, and heel. If you have access to the animal archive (which i cannot recommend enough if you have a pet) I would replace come with the flank trick and simply use heel to keep the animal in your general area and defend to watch your immediate person.

Most tricks are pretty self explanatory but a few bear mention

Without getting the attack trick twice animals will only attack humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals.. meaning plants undead oozes constructs elementals ie, the things you're mostly likely to find in your way , can't be attacked without succeeding at a very hard move action dc 25 check to push them into it.

Fetch can be pivotal in society play, where often you need to retrive an object from the clutches of the bad guy rather than collect the bad guys liver. Even pets that can't fly are typically more mobile than most characters.

The seek trick is very useful. Not only can you send your critter. who probably has a good sniffer, into the room looking for the ubiquitous invisible antagonist but is also the only way to get your companion to "go over there"

Defend is amazing. If you can only get two tricks, get defend and down. You won't be able to tell the spider who to attack the caster in the back, but if he sees someone threatening you he'll start chewing on someone at least.

Maneuver (from the animal archive) is incredibly interesting. It lets you do everything from letting a snake grapple without having to get through DR to enabling a dirty fighting Gorillia or a raccoon who likes the steal pretty shiny holy symbols.

Bombard is a blast (sorry) for any flying creature.

Hidden trick! In addition to the tricks in the animal archive and core rule book You can train a mount to move with the aid of air walk with a DC 25 Handle Animal check as mentioned in the Air walk Spell. By the time you can cast it, air walk lasts long enough to get through most dungeons and enables your critter to ignore difficult terrain, not step on traps, and of course go after the more than ubiquitous flying harpy wizards.

Silver Crusade **

Wait, getting the attack trick twice upgrades hooves to primary attacks? Where does it say that? And does it work for the Allosaurus?

Dark Archive ***

Finlanderboy wrote:

SHared tongue is on the druid list at level 2.

I mentioned that it is bard 1. Since you would buy it as a level 1 spell instead of level 2 druid. It also cleic 2 & sorcerer/wizard 2.

No you would buy it as a level 2 spell. Remember in PFS spells in wands default to the primary classes for what level the spell is when put in a wand. Since it is a Wizard/Sorceror spell it would default to that and be a 2nd level wand.

If you wanted it on a scroll it would also be a 2nd level spell for that scroll too.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Capricornus wrote:
Wait, getting the attack trick twice upgrades hooves to primary attacks? Where does it say that? And does it work for the Allosaurus?

Having the Attack Trick twice just allows your horse to attack unnatural creatures.

In order to upgrade your horse's hooves to primary natural weapons it needs to be "Combat Trained", which is a set of 6 tricks defined under the Handle Animal skill in the CRB.

Silver Crusade **

Nefreet wrote:
Capricornus wrote:
Wait, getting the attack trick twice upgrades hooves to primary attacks? Where does it say that? And does it work for the Allosaurus?

Having the Attack Trick twice just allows your horse to attack unnatural creatures.

In order to upgrade your horse's hooves to primary natural weapons it needs to be "Combat Trained", which is a set of 6 tricks defined under the Handle Animal skill in the CRB.

Where is this said and is it a special case just for Horses?

***** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Capricornus wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Capricornus wrote:
Wait, getting the attack trick twice upgrades hooves to primary attacks? Where does it say that? And does it work for the Allosaurus?

Having the Attack Trick twice just allows your horse to attack unnatural creatures.

In order to upgrade your horse's hooves to primary natural weapons it needs to be "Combat Trained", which is a set of 6 tricks defined under the Handle Animal skill in the CRB.

Where is this said and is it a special case just for Horses?

In the Bestiary entry, Horses have a special quality called Docile, which makes their hooves secondary attacks and states that the hooves become primary attacks when it is combat trained. So yes, this is a special case for horses.

Sovereign Court *

This is a question about a summoned creature but I think it applies here. My Asmodean Wizard has recently gained the ability to summon Cerberai. They are Int 6 and understand Infernal. I was under the impression that they could be given complex commands due to their intelligence and understanding of language. Is this correct or do summons need to be "handled?"

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

RtrnofdMax wrote:
This is a question about a summoned creature but I think it applies here. My Asmodean Wizard has recently gained the ability to summon Cerberai. They are Int 6 and understand Infernal. I was under the impression that they could be given complex commands due to their intelligence and understanding of language. Is this correct or do summons need to be "handled?"

Are they type Animal or Magical Animal, or something else entirely?

If it is cerberi, then that is not going to be an animal, it is an Outsider instead, and not covered by this set of rules at all.

Scarab Sages ****

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Part V: Handle Animal and You.

The DC to handle an animal to do a trick it knows is 10, the DC to push an animal to use a trick it doesn't is 25, both are regardless of how hard the trick is to teach.

Thus, getting your animal the right trick for what you want it to do is effectively a whopping +15 bonus to your handle animal check and should be your first priority. Nothing else gives you that huge of a boost. Even maxing ranks, prioritizing charisma, and picking up helpful items won't make a DC 25 check all that reliable.

Since most of the time you only need a DC 10 you want to get your handle animal up to +9 as soon as possible. Remember a natural 1 is only a fail on saving throws and attacks rolls, not skill checks.

This is partially a reliability issue but even more importantly its a time saving one. A critter and a druid effectively give you two turns, and both characters can be very complicated and thus time consuming. One less die roll means you can have fluffy the terrible leap right into the action without stopping the combat to see if he'd rather chase his tail than bite the wizard.

Fortunately getting to a +9 is fairly easy

1 Rank
+3 for it being a trained skill*
+4 from Link (Note link comes with the pet, so you get it even if you're not a druid)
+2 from a training harness.

Animals that are injured effectively give you a -2 to the check, and unfortunately they're injured quite frequently. Pathfinders also have a rather disturbing tendency to be nauseated, sickened, poisoned, level drained, hung upside down or otherwise accrue penalties so you shouldn't rest on your laurels and assume you have "enough" handle animal as soon as you hit +9.

For druids that were raised by wolves** and have less than... outgoing personalities they may need to spend a little more time putting another rank or two into handle animal. Its not the end of the world. At the start of the day set the animal to "defend" either yourself or the party mea.. front line warriors. That way your companion will attack something at least, even if its not the most important target.

These druids especially can benefit from a few extra items to help their relationship.

Cracked Pink and Green Sphere Ioun Stone. A real gem. 200 GP for a +1 competence bonus to any one charisma based skill.. including handle animal. Its a little inefficient but you can pick up one of these for 2 prestige points after your first mission, or just wait till after 3 or so missions to be able to buy it.

Beast Scent. A lovely perfume that provides +2 circumstance bonus to wild empathy and handle animal. If you're hovering around +11 they're good to keep on hand in case you get sickened. You can also throw it on people running away to track them down later.

Circlet of Persuision A little pricey but for 4,500 you can negate having the worst charisma in the game with a +3 competence bonus.

The resonance from a Turquoise sphere ioun stone is a +2 competence bonus. A nice bonus if you bought it for the ride skill, but not worth the 6,000 GP price tag for the handle animal bonus alone. If you routinely make ride checks to have your animal dodge though its worth slotting.

Remember that a lot of these are competence bonuses and won't stack with each other. Figure out which bonus you think you'll need and budget for that.

Bridle of tricks Teaches your animal extra tricks. Somewhat ambiguous as to what (if any) animals besides horses can wear it.

Collar of obedience A +4 bonus to push or train is ok. The good thing is that its an unnamed bonus. I usually only keep this one on hand for animals I run into in the wild that want to follow me home. A resistance bonus against their worst save without having to get the back slot feat is really nice. (this will come up again in the shopping spree segment)

Training Whip Gives a +2 circumstance bonus to push a trained animal. Despite the fact that one normally cracks the whip above the creatures head, I consider the use of this item to intimidate a pointy stick offense, but it can also be used as a cat toy to fascinate an animal.

War saddle can instantly give a mount combat training (and I believe the tricks that go with it)

* (if you have a pet from a class that doesn't have handle animal, I'd highly advise being legally adopted by gnomes and getting Animal Friend Gnomes are very friendly and welcoming families, and a 16 year old human really is a child to them.

** Please don't blame the wolves for the way these druids turned out. Wolves are very loving and kind parents, but aren't always equipped to help a child fully overcome the trauma of the circumstances that lead to their (usually hasty) adoption in the first place

The Exchange ****

Flutter, this thread just keeps getting better!

I need to copy your post here and paste them into a document to pass to my wife. She has started a druid and I was trying to help her understand the rules - and this would really help!

so thanks again!

(I think someone needs to sticky this thread)

Grand Lodge *

Drat, while at first glance Bridle of Tricks and War Saddle look like good choices for my Giant Wasp, it is neither an Animal nor a Magical Beast. Anyone know of a way a Small sized race can make their Animal Companion a Magical Beast? (Unfortunately no small sized Aasimars.)

1 to 50 of 842 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild / Druids Log: Animal companions All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.