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Ultimate Wilderness Boon Companion changes


Rules Questions

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Two questions about the changes to Boon Companion that were made.

1st) It says an animal companion can take this feat themselves rather than needing the PC to take it. If you have multiple animal companions can each one take it? IE can a 5th level Pack Lord Druid or Huntmaster Ranger have five fifth level animal companions, where each companion Booned itself? This seems to be RAW but incredibly broken, I know this could happen before but the PC had to burn 5 of there own feats to do it. Now though each companion just has to burn one of its own. I feel like I must be missing something.

Origin:
"An animal companion or mount can select from the
feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a
prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on
page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook."

2nd) This is something that has always been vague to me. Are the extra levels given only at the time of the feat or can the animal companion take this feat at level 1 and get the extra level whenever the master levels up but adds an extra companion instead?

Origin:
"The abilities of your animal companion or familiar
are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a
maximum effective druid level equal to your character level."


Not sure about #1, I have follow up question with that. Can a PC and a companion both take the feat, allowing to make up for 8 levels of difference?

For #2, it applies anytime you lose a level up to 4 levels. I'm not sure if you can take it at level 1, due to it being completely useless at that point, but if you take it then multiclass away from the animal companion, it will bring the companion up.


SorrySleeping wrote:

Not sure about #1, I have follow up question with that. Can a PC and a companion both take the feat, allowing to make up for 8 levels of difference?

For #2, it applies anytime you lose a level up to 4 levels. I'm not sure if you can take it at level 1, due to it being completely useless at that point, but if you take it then multiclass away from the animal companion, it will bring the companion up.

I can answer your followup, Ultimate Wilderness didn't make a new feat they just amended the old feat. So its still has "Each time you take this feat it applies to a new companion". At the bottom


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Your animal companion can’t take this feat. The feat requires the animal companion class feature, not just “animal companion”. Even if they take it, it provides no benefit unless they have an animal companion or familiar.


QuidEst wrote:
Your animal companion can’t take this feat. The feat requires the animal companion class feature, not just “animal companion”. Even if they take it, it provides no benefit unless they have an animal companion or familiar.

Unfortunately, that's not very clear - there's a rider in the text above that says, quite plainly, that Animal Companions can take Companion feats (which it appears to be treating as a new type without applying a keyword) without meeting the prerequisites. Of course, by such a strict reading, while the Companion can take the feat it does nothing.

If they were really serious about this, and I don't think they are, I would expect the intention would be that Companion feats taken this way always apply to the Animal Companion taking the feat as if the owner had the feat themselves. But again, it's just lousy editing that seems to lead to this - I would say that Boon Companion just isn't available to Animal Companions and it should be on the General list.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The requirements text of Boon Companion, if they haven’t changed it, has a different requirement. It’s “animal companion class feature” rather than “animal companion”.


Relevant new rules text:

Ultimate Wilderness p. 217 wrote:
An animal companion or mount can select from the feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Boon Companion is listed explicitly as one of this new type of feat, so they get to ignore the prerequisite. Again, assuming they actually mean that and it didn't slip through editing, which I think is honestly the more sensible interpretation.

EDIT: Withdrawn - I didn't read closely enough, although the way it's written is kinda janky. What they are trying to get across there is that feats on that list with "Animal Companion" as a prerequisite are not limited to the list in the CRB. I think.


QuidEst wrote:
The requirements text of Boon Companion, if they haven’t changed it, has a different requirement. It’s “animal companion class feature” rather than “animal companion”.

The new ultimate wilderness book did change it. It rather explicitly states an animal companion can take this feat. Which just seems broken to me.


Chris Kenney wrote:

Relevant new rules text:

Ultimate Wilderness p. 217 wrote:
An animal companion or mount can select from the feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Boon Companion is listed explicitly as one of this new type of feat, so they get to ignore the prerequisite. Again, assuming they actually mean that and it didn't slip through editing, which I think is honestly the more sensible interpretation.

EDIT: Withdrawn - I didn't read closely enough, although the way it's written is kinda janky. What they are trying to get across there is that feats on that list with "Animal Companion" as a prerequisite are not limited to the list in the CRB. I think.

I read it as, an animal companion can take those specific feats listed. That the whole list in the book can either be taken by Master or Companion


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Sorry, but no. I can see where you can get that, but there are two problems.

1) I should have brought this up earlier, but your reading (and my first reading) ignores the rules text immediately above it. Complete section for reference:

Ultimate Wilderness p. 217 wrote:

As they grow in strength and experience, animal companions and mounts develop mutations, personality quirks, and tricks that grant them new abilities unlike those seen in typical animals of their kind. The following feats can be chosen by characters with the animal companion or by companions themselves, as indicated in each feat’s prerequisite line.

An animal companion or mount can select from the feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

The whole paragraph, along with the lack of italicization of "animal companion" makes it clear. The basic communication problem is that we're talking about two different, really confusingly named things.

animal companion: The actual creature granted by the class feature.
Animal Companion: The class feature that grants a companion. (To try to make this easier, this is usually stated as Animal Companion class feature, but not always.)

With this in mind, go back and break it down - it only refers to the "animal companion" tag, not the Animal Companion (class feature) tag.

2) Even if it operated in the more permissive fashion, it doesn't work - Boon Companion would give the +4 bonus to the (non-existent) companion of the companion if the prerequisite were somehow bypassed.


I'm just going to post the whole 2 paragraphs here

"As they grow in strength and experience, animal
companions and mounts develop mutations, personality
quirks, and tricks that grant them new abilities unlike those
seen in typical animals of their kind. The following feats
can be chosen by characters with the animal companion
or by companions themselves, as indicated in each feat’s
prerequisite line.
An animal companion or mount can select from the
feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a
prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on
page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook."

It does go onto to say "as if it appeared on the list of animal feats" which means feats that can be taken by the animal companion or mount. The rule is amending Animal Companion class feature, to the Animal Companion itself. If it weren't then why would any of that be in there? As to your second point. The companion isn't non-existent, a companion gets a feat at level 1, so its first level has to come from the master. I'm saying this rule becomes unbalanced specifically with the archetypes that allow a PC to divide there effective druid level across multiple animal companions.

IE at lvl 5 the Master has given 1 level to 5 different animal companions, who then each take this feat and each become level 5.


Statboy wrote:
IE at lvl 5 the Master has given 1 level to 5 different animal companions, who then each take this feat and each become level 5.

Again, this is just wrong. Let's say, for the sake of argument, the need for the Animal Companion class feature is bypassed. It's not, and I explained why already, but let's allow that. You still run into the issue that the feat requires the creature that takes it to have an Animal Companion themselves to act on. Since they don't, it does nothing.

Otherwise, you're seriously arguing that, because an AC has taken the Power Attack feat, the Druid the companion belongs to can Power Attack with a scimitar despite not having the feat and an 8 strength. Which is just ridiculous, but you can apply the same logic you're using to get there.


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animal companion in requirements means the animal companion class feature in requirements.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Statboy wrote:
IE at lvl 5 the Master has given 1 level to 5 different animal companions, who then each take this feat and each become level 5.

Again, this is just wrong. Let's say, for the sake of argument, the need for the Animal Companion class feature is bypassed. It's not, and I explained why already, but let's allow that. You still run into the issue that the feat requires the creature that takes it to have an Animal Companion themselves to act on. Since they don't, it does nothing.

Otherwise, you're seriously arguing that, because an AC has taken the Power Attack feat, the Druid the companion belongs to can Power Attack with a scimitar despite not having the feat and an 8 strength. Which is just ridiculous, but you can apply the same logic you're using to get there.

If the AC takes power attack the AC gets power attack. If the AC takes Boon Companion the AC gets Boon Companion, seems to be the RAW from Ultimate Wilderness. So no, your example is not using the same logic. Boon Companion never applied to the Master but to the Companion to begin with. And yes RAW from Ultimate Wilderness seems to say Animal Companions can take this feat themselves (among several others listed that are at least balanced). Its not saying it bypasses the prerequisite but that being the animal companion itself counts as the prerequisite.

TL;DR if animal companions can't take this feat, then Ultimate Wilderness didn't change the feat at all, in which case why would they waste their time putting in?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It’s a reprint so that it’s now a hardcover feat, rather than being buried away in a comparatively obscure player’s companion book. Third party publishers can reference it, Paizo can reference it more easily, hardcover-only games can use it, and PFS players can get it in the same book they reference for their animal companion’s stats.


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Statboy wrote:
Boon Companion never applied to the Master but to the Companion to begin with.

I can only assume at this point you are being deliberately obtuse. I will explain one more time for the sake of anyone else reading, and then I am done with this.

If, somehow, some way, an Animal Companion takes Boon Companion, it then applies to the Animal Companion's Animal Companion, which they would then need some way of getting for it to do anything. Period. Stop. If the Companion's Boon Companion applies to themselves, then by extension ALL FEATS taken by any Animal Companion can therefore be applied to the character who that Companion belongs to, by the same logic you are applying.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Statboy wrote:
Boon Companion never applied to the Master but to the Companion to begin with.

I can only assume at this point you are being deliberately obtuse. I will explain one more time for the sake of anyone else reading, and then I am done with this.

If, somehow, some way, an Animal Companion takes Boon Companion, it then applies to the Animal Companion's Animal Companion, which they would then need some way of getting for it to do anything. Period. Stop. If the Companion's Boon Companion applies to themselves, then by extension ALL FEATS taken by any Animal Companion can therefore be applied to the character who that Companion belongs to, by the same logic you are applying.

i just went ahead and flagged you for the personal attacks. nobody is saying that if an animal companion took boon it would apply to the animal companions animal companion. Rather, like i've stated multiple times before, it would apply to the animal companion itself

Grand Lodge

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Except it wouldn't. Because Boon Companion affects the companion of the creature that takes it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

First of all, I don't think Chris is trying to attack you, Statboy.
Second of all, I don't think Statboy is "deliberately obtuse", Chris.

Maybe I can rephrase what Chris is saying:

Before Ultimate Wilderness, the PC would take Boon Companion, and their companion would get the benefit. The feat rule text addresses the "owner" of the feat directly: "The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher".

Now Ultimate Wilderness allows an animal companion to take the feat because it automatically meets the Prereq of "animal companion". So now the animal companion is the "owner" of the feat. The feat rule text remains unchanged, now addressing the animal companion: "The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher"

I agree with Chris that, as it stands, this means that the animal companion would somehow have to get their own animal companion for the rules as written to work, which is impossible AFAIK.

I, however, also agree with Statboy that what must have been intended is that the animal companion takes the feat AND benefits from it. Why else would they explicitly include it in the list? However, instead of just waving the prereq, they should have also rephrased the rule text for that intention to be the actual written rule.

I hope this helped.


Thank you Null. I guess RAW has two conflicting statements, ROI seems to be broken. Can we get a clarification from Paizo about what ROI actually is?

Scarab Sages

They might also have just pasted it in since it said "companion" without really double checking if it made sense.


Write it up in the errata thread.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Boon Companion didn't change.

In the table it is clear. Boon Companion is listed as a General Feat, whereas all the feats that animal companions can take are grouped as Animal Companion Feats.

No errata necessary.


KingOfAnything wrote:

Boon Companion didn't change.

In the table it is clear. Boon Companion is listed as a General Feat, whereas all the feats that animal companions can take are grouped as Animal Companion Feats.

No errata necessary.

Tables have never been definitive.

New feats and abilities are constantly being added to the game, but seldom added to preexisting tables.

By your definition, nothing can never be added to the list of "animal companion feats" because this one table will never be updated to include new additions.

On the other hand, if we read each feat individually, we can see which feats have "animal companion" as a prerequisite. If the answer if yes, the feat is allowed.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Boon Companion does not have 'animal companion' as a prerequisite, meaning it cannot be chosen by the animal companion.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Boon Companion does not have 'animal companion' as a prerequisite, meaning it cannot be chosen by the animal companion.
Boon Companion wrote:
Prerequisites: Animal companion or familiar class feature.

Emphasis mine.

"Animal Companion" is the name of the required class feature.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The table just summarizes the information that was already clear from the individual feats' prerequisite lines. It is a way to confirm the correct understanding and that Boon Companion's inclusion in the section was intentional.

Every hardcover feat section includes a table that adds to the previous tables. By your definition, none of the feats in Chapter 3 can be Teamwork feats or Style feats. Making "Animal Companion Feats" a category makes it more likely to be added to, not less.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

That is the class feature, not the companion. Every other feat just says animal companion.

Text trumps table wrote:
Prerequisite: Animal companion class feature

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Boon Companion does not have 'animal companion' as a prerequisite, meaning it cannot be chosen by the animal companion.
Boon Companion wrote:
Prerequisites: Animal companion or familiar class feature.

Emphasis mine.

"Animal Companion" is the name of the required class feature.

Are you violently agreeing with TOZ and me? You come off as combative, but seem to agree that Boon Companion can not be taken by an animal companion.


There is a new table in the Ultimate Wilderness book, which does list Boon Companion under general. But its in the section on Animal Companion feats, rather than the section on general feats which is much earlier in the book. Once again, its going both ways.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

It would have been much simpler to print Boon Companion with the rest of the feats than have one general feat with the animal companion feats.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's really not going both ways.

Boon Companion is in the section because it improves Animal companions and that is a good place to put it. I'd be much more annoyed to have to look in two different sections to find ways to improve my companion.

If Boon Companion were in Chapter 3 with the other feats, they could have saved word count describing when an animal companion can take the feats.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Boon Companion does not have 'animal companion' as a prerequisite, meaning it cannot be chosen by the animal companion.
Boon Companion wrote:
Prerequisites: Animal companion or familiar class feature.

Emphasis mine.

"Animal Companion" is the name of the required class feature.

Are you violently agreeing with TOZ and myself? You come off as combative, but seem to agree that Boon Companion can not be taken by an animal companion.

I am stating the requirement is "Animal Companion" or "Familiar" as a class feature, which would allow an animal companion to qualify under the new rules.

This is in contrast to the position that the feat requisites should be read as "animal companion class feature" while the new rules read "animal companion.

In my opinion this is an attempt to pedantically distort what is otherwise put forward as a clearly worded list of options into saying something it does not.

Spoiler:
In any case, people are following the wrong argument line in regards to Boon Companion.

Animal Companions and familiars both lack character levels.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So you agree with the conclusion, you just disagree with the line of argument.

Contributor

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On page 218, Boon Companion is listed on Table 5-2 as a general feat. It was placed on a separate table from the Animal Companion feats. In addition, animal companion feats are always written in the third person ("The animal companion"), whereas Boon Companion is written in the second person ("You"). And as others pointed out, while Table 5-2 doesn't call out the Boon Companion requires the "animal companion class feature," the feat itself does, and the Companion Feats section specifically says "can select from the feats that include 'animal companion' as a prerequisite."

In Pathfinder rules lingo, comma denote when a prerequisite's name "ends," so "animal companion" and "animal companion class feature" are different prerequisites despite the latter containing the same words as the former. It's a little confusing that the feat was placed in Chapter 5 instead of Chapter 3 with the other player feats, but it's better for it to appear hear then for it to never make it into the Core Rules line at all.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
So you agree with the conclusion, you just disagree with the line of argument.

Correct


Alexander Augunas wrote:

On page 218, Boon Companion is listed on Table 5-2 as a general feat. It was placed on a separate table from the Animal Companion feats. In addition, animal companion feats are always written in the third person ("The animal companion"), whereas Boon Companion is written in the second person ("You"). And as others pointed out, while Table 5-2 doesn't call out the Boon Companion requires the "animal companion class feature," the feat itself does, and the Companion Feats section specifically says "can select from the feats that include 'animal companion' as a prerequisite."

In Pathfinder rules lingo, comma denote when a prerequisite's name "ends," so "animal companion" and "animal companion class feature" are different prerequisites despite the latter containing the same words as the former. It's a little confusing that the feat was placed in Chapter 5 instead of Chapter 3 with the other player feats, but it's better for it to appear hear then for it to never make it into the Core Rules line at all.

animal companion is the animal companion class feature. there's no way to have an animal companion without also counting as having the animal companion class feature and the class feature just means you have an animal companion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The class feature grants you an animal companion. The feats require being an animal companion. These are two different things, and Boon Companion requires the first one. (Mainly because Boon Companion modifies your animal companion, so you have to HAVE an animal companion to modify.)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The class feature grants you an animal companion. The feats require being an animal companion. These are two different things, and Boon Companion requires the first one. (Mainly because Boon Companion modifies your animal companion, so you have to HAVE an animal companion to modify.)

There's the line that started this.

"An animal companion or mount can select from the
feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a
prerequisite

This is saying that animal companions qualify for feats that require having an animal companion isn't it? And having an animal companion is synonymous with animal companion class feature, because those two names mean the same thing.

Contributor

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Chess Pwn wrote:


animal companion is the animal companion class feature. there's no way to have an animal companion without also counting as having the animal companion class feature and the class feature just means you have an animal companion.

It does not. It’s like how feats that require you to be a kitsune say, “Kitsune,” not, “must be a kitsune,” or “kitsune race.”

Animal companion = “you need to be an animal companion.”
Animal companion class feature = “you need to have the animal companion class feature.”

Contributor

“Chess Pwn” wrote:


This is saying that animal companions qualify for feats that require having an animal companion isn't it? And having an animal companion is synonymous with animal companion class feature, because those two names mean the same thing.

This is the Crux of your misunderstanding. Those two things do not mean the same thing. (See both of my prior posts.)


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The class feature grants you an animal companion. The feats require being an animal companion. These are two different things, and Boon Companion requires the first one. (Mainly because Boon Companion modifies your animal companion, so you have to HAVE an animal companion to modify.)

There's the line that started this.

"An animal companion or mount can select from the
feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a
prerequisite

This is saying that animal companions qualify for feats that require having an animal companion isn't it? And having an animal companion is synonymous with animal companion class feature, because those two names mean the same thing.

No, they qualify for feats that require being an animal companion. Normally, they would need 3+ Int to be able to take feats from off the animal companion feat list. “Animal companion class feature” is a requirement that to distinguish from “animal companion”.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
This is saying that animal companions qualify for feats that require having an animal companion isn't it?

No. It is saying that animal companions can take feats that require being an animal companion.


dang seems I had a misunderstanding, and here I was hoping that this was letting them take stuff like the pack flanking feat.
Don't have the book (yet) to have seen what exactly was being referenced.
My argument makes sense if Pack flanking was an example of something that worked with this, that the phrase animal companion was "having an animal companion" and that these feats could be taken by animal companions.

So I'm understanding now that there are feats that are basically "race" feats for animal companions then? If that's how it is then yes, that would mean that boon companion doesn't fit that.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
This is saying that animal companions qualify for feats that require having an animal companion isn't it?
No. It is saying that animal companions can take feats that require being an animal companion.

The language used in RAW does not, at this time, distinguish between the two.

Both are written using what is functionally the same language.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
So I'm understanding now that there are feats that are basically "race" feats for animal companions then? If that's how it is then yes, that would mean that boon companion doesn't fit that.

That is my understanding, yes.


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OK, I am in the camp that Boon Companion must be taken by Character. The rules are equivocal, but more easily support this. Additionally, thematically the "master" is the actual source of power for companion, all the "animal companion" feats are how this power manifests. On a soulless wargame basis, having the companion being able to take the boon companion feat will give that companion greater abilities, including more feats so is giving it something for nothing, which is pretty much anathema to how the rules work.


Daw wrote:
OK, I am in the camp that Boon Companion must be taken by Character. The rules are equivocal, but more easily support this. Additionally, thematically the "master" is the actual source of power for companion, all the "animal companion" feats are how this power manifests. On a soulless wargame basis, having the companion being able to take the boon companion feat will give that companion greater abilities, including more feats so is giving it something for nothing, which is pretty much anathema to how the rules work.

I agree with your analysis, my initial post was because if animal companions could boon themselves that becomes a game breaking mechanic. Like you said something for nothing, I would be house ruling that you can't do it. Still a quick note from the Dev's would be nice to clarify, because its not written clearly.


I disagree that it's not written clearly. The rules state that the feats must be "Animal Companion" feats. Not "Animal Companion Class Feature" feats. This is like saying a Druid or Cleric can cast Obscure Object because it has "cure" in it's name.

Does the feat require you to be an animal companion? If yes, then those rules state that it is added to the CRB list of feats an Animal Companion can take. If no, it isn't.

Boon Companion requires "Animal Companion Class Feature" not "Animal Companion" thus it doesn't work. Just as a Cleric or Druid cannot cast Obscure Object spontaneously because it's not a Cure spell, despite Cure being in the name.

And the odds of getting a Dev response are slim, especially since I don't think anyone has FAQ'd this. And even less so because it seems most people disagree on it being a Frequently Asked thing. To me, this just seems like common sense. Is a square a rectangle? Yes. But is a rectangle a square? No. You can't just cut off part of the rectangle and say the rectangle now fits. Just as you can't cut off the "Class Feature" part of the text. You are changing what is said and claiming it is different and there is ambiguity.

It's not poorly written. It seems quite clear to most people as they have told you, it doesn't work the way you think.

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