I’ve been trying to establish rules for this before one of my players builds out a bonded animal character for Extinction Curse. He would like his bonded animal to be able to attack enemies that attack it without having to spend an Action to command it to do so. I feel like this is sort of gaming the system based on a single sentence related to minions (as the rules for bonded animals are even less clear). The sentence is:
“If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or escape obvious harm”.
What does this sentence mean in terms of actual game mechanics?
If attacked, will a bonded animal use all of its attacks to attack back (or run away), if given no other commands? These are essentially free actions for the player if this is the case, making both minions and bonded animal much more powerful. It also significantly diminishes the value of the Mature Animal class feat of druids and rangers, since the animal could potentially be getting free actions all the time anyway (just send it up to attack unintelligent whatever, and keep it in something similar to a PF1 confusion loop — it’s not quite the same, but I think it gets the idea across).
Or do they take a single action to escape or attack (assuming defend themselves means attack)?
Or do they just not get actions at all if not commanded, except for extenuating circumstances? For example, the animal is beat up badly and will die if hit again.
If it’s not commanded in this case, it will run away from danger.
Any clarity provided is much appreciated. This has turned into a MUCH larger discussion than it should based off of one unexplained sentence. Thank you! :)