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Companions and "weapon and shield feats"?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
PFS FAQ wrote:

Can I improve my companion's Intelligence to 3 or higher and give it weapon or shield feats?

No. An Intelligence of 3 does not grant animals sentience; the ability to use weapons, shield, or tools; speak a language (although they may understand a language with a rank in Linguistics, this does does not grant literacy); or activate magic devices. Also note that raising an animal companion's Intelligence to 3 or higher does not eliminate the need to make Handle Animal checks to direct its actions; even semi-intelligent animals still act like animals unless trained not to. An animal with Intelligence of 3 or higher remains a creature of the animal type unless its type is specifically changed by another ability. An animal may learn 3 additional tricks per point of Intelligence above 2.

I am under the impression that this FAQ entry is answering a question whose contributor submitted it with the phrasing "weapon and shield feats". --Given that the answer concerns manufactured objects, my assumption is that the campaign did not seemingly intend to restrict Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus (claw)...or does it?

Either way, future updates might wish to alter the wording.

Shadow Lodge *****

you're fine with weapon focus claw and weapon finesse.

I don't think anyone else is going to read it that way. And there's no way to reword things so that someone somewhere won't misread it somehow.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The question may have been "weapon feats", but the answer clarifies "weapons, shield, or tools", so all is good.

Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse aren't "weapon feats" anyways. Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency are.


Nefreet wrote:
...the answer clarifies "weapons, shield, or tools"...
The answer does not do that one bit. Weapons, shields, and tools are not defined in the answer (it simply assumes that you know what they are, with the same going for "weapon feats").
Quote:
Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse aren't "weapon feats" anyways. Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency are.

Those examples are "weapon proficiency" feats, but "weapon feats" is not a term that is defined anywhere, and as far as I know it is not even a 'thing'. But whomever posed the question that the FAQ addressed used that particular phrasing, and the FAQ's answer, by not rewording the question to forestall the possibility, subtly introduces the concept that such entities as "weapon feats" exist. The part of your reply that I've quoted indeed runs with this, i.e.: "(These things) aren't 'weapon feats' anyways (but these proficiency feats) ARE." -- "Are"? Are what? "Weapon feats"? ...and thus the conceptual snowball grows and gathers speed downhill.

I submit that this is liable to cause confusion. Perhaps not in me, or you, or the next ten respondants, but I can envision a table GM (one of those hastily-drafted and not up-to-it types that we hope is never running our game) taking a squint at the ruling and making an on-the-fly RAW determination that Weapon Focus (Gore) is a "weapon feat" because it's a feat with the word "weapon" in its name, and the first word of the FAQ answer is "No", with nothing in the rest of it limiting the scope of the response to manufactured weapons.

I just want to head these kinds of arguments off at the pass, and this thread is something I can save a link to.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Animal companions can select from the following feats: Acrobatic, Agile Maneuvers, Armor Proficiency (light, medium, and heavy), Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. GMs might expand this list to include feats from other sources.

Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus are in the list of "always available" feats for Animal Companions. The FAQ is clarifying that PFS leadership has determined even with an intelligence of 3 or higher animal companions are not physically capable of using weapons or shields. As stated elsewhere in the CRB section on animal companions - "Animal companions should select their feats from those listed under Animal Feats. Animal companions can select other feats, although they are unable to utilize some feats (such as Martial Weapon Proficiency)."

It helps to have some background:
Most PFS FAQs are the result of players trying to stretch what is allowed. The arguments may have a logical basis but push gameplay beyond the design boundaries. At the time this FAQ first appeared, there was a rash of players arguing that their Ape animal companions (in particular) were "physically capable" of wielding lucerne hammers and that it was a legal choice once they had 3 int.

Many of the same players were also arguing that 3 Int meant they didn't need to Handle the animal and that the animal was capable of making complex choices in combat. Essentially making the apes additional fully independent player-controlled combatants.

Again, they were pointing at specific rules (namely the definition of "animal intelligence"). It isn't worth rehashing those arguments here; just wanted to give some background on what led to PFS leadership issuing that FAQ that kept the potential power of animal companions in line with design.


Long stury short players used rules to do cool stuff. PFS realized that it made druids straight better than fighters and errataed it into the ground to keep people playing fighters happy.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Slim Jim wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
...the answer clarifies "weapons, shield, or tools"...
The answer does not do that one bit.

My answer was a direct quote.

Your interpretation is obviously a little off, so maybe listen to what we're telling you?


Nefreet wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
...the answer clarifies "weapons, shield, or tools"...
The answer does not do that one bit.
My answer was a direct quote.

Whether it was a direct quote or not is immaterial. That wasn't the point I was getting at, and I didn't say it wasn't.


Kevin Willis (Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon) wrote:
Animal companions can select from the following feats: Acrobatic, Agile Maneuvers, Armor Proficiency (light, medium, and heavy), Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. GMs might expand this list to include feats from other sources.
Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus are in the list of "always available" feats for Animal Companions.

Thank you! That will suffice very nicely for the purpose I created the thread should this particular problem ever arise.

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