Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)

4.50/5 (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)
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From a witch’s black cat to a ranger’s mighty wolf companion or a cavalier’s noble steed, animals have always had a place in fantasy adventuring—but why should only a few classes have all the fun? With the proper training, animals can be invaluable allies for adventurers of all stripes. Whether you’re a scholarly spellcaster looking for a familiar to deliver spells or help turn the pages of your spellbook, or a brawler ready to lead your armored animal into the thick of battle, this book is a treasure trove of rules and advice aimed at helping you and your animal friends get the most out of your fantastic adventures.

Animal Archive presents a player-focused, in-depth discussion of animals and the various roles they can play in your game. Each Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • A complete list of every familiar in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, to make choosing yours quick and convenient.
  • New archetypes like the mad dog barbarian or carnivalist rogue to help classes that haven’t traditionally used animals work with their bestial allies, as well as tips on how every class can employ animals.
  • New animal companions and familiars, from innocuous squirrels and rabbits to bizarre platypuses, armored armadillos, and powerful pandas.
  • Information on which animals are closely associated with the various races and deities of the Pathfinder campaign setting.
  • Tons of new tricks and feats to customize your animals, plus archetypes for animal companions and familiars.
  • New animal equipment, spells, magic items, information about the personalities of magically intelligent animals, and more!

Written by Amanda Hamon, Philip Minchin, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Christina Stiles

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-488-7

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Favorite Player Companion to date

5/5

I bought the PDF a while back and opened it again last night just to refresh my memory. There is a lot crammed into this very compact volume and at almost every page I think, 'oh, hey, that's cool.'

Just one example is the familiar and animal companion archetypes. They're the logical next step in archetypes but the type I might not necessarily have thought of. At last we can customize what otherwise is a very generic animal ally. The Mad Dog barbarian archetype is another flavorful, of-course! option. Why wouldn't we have companions who rage alongside their masters?

Everything is flavorful, organized, options-heavy, and superbly illustrated (I especially love the cover art). This one is a keeper.


Good resource

4/5

I thought the book was a good buy. I bought the PDF version of it to save a couple of bucks. It did have a lot of good information and includes the very useful "flank" trick and "Boon Companion" feat. The one thing I wish it did have were blank copies of a familiar or companion character sheet. I know there are digital copies available, but this book seemed like it should have been a good source for this.


The Tasmanian Devil is in the details.

3/5

Overall I liked it, but there were more than a few problems.

The art was amazing. (I really want to take the poor compsognathus home)

The chart is... wow has this been missing for a long time. About time we got something like this.

The division of belt into belt and belt (saddle) was new and more than a little arbitrary.

The magic item section was the most disappointing. Its barely a page, and most of the items suffer from the usual "its not on the christmas tree so its overpriced" effect. Magical items for critters is almost new ground, i thought they could have done a lot more with this.

The collar of obedience seems useful... but by the time you can afford it most of the animals you'd want to use it on are bigger than large, and for some reason unlike every other neck slot item in the game, this one has resizing limits.

I love the idea of animal archetypes. More variety is good.

The charger seems like a good archetype... but it technically can't do anything as it gives benefits to cavaliers but cavalier mounts can't take it because it replaces an ability they don't have (share spells)

The tricks vary. Bombard is absolutely hilarious and probably the best of the lot. There's a few more that have more than a little overlap with already existing tricks, Like watch and guard or perform and entertain. Some seem to be like rogue tricks where they, by implication, limit what you could otherwise have done with another trick by their existence.

Absolutely loved the new familiars and animal companions, they really should be as diverse as the adventurers that they own. People seem to love the panda bear, and even if i never take a llamma as an animal companion i rejoice to know that somewhere there's a druid with a llama and profession (weaver)


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Animal Archive

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product: Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive
Producer: Paizo
Price: ~$12
System: Pathfinder
TL;DR-If you have pets, then get this book. 91.25%

Basics: This book adds options, abilities, and types for any character who has a familiar or a animal companion. The book starts off right away with the inner cover discussing the magic items that each type of animal can use. After the standard Player Companion line pages discussing the book's intent, the next section describes what types of animals each race typically works with. Next the book introduces new class archetypes for the rogue, cavalier, and barbarian that use animal companions. Following archetypes, the book add new animal tricks for your companion to learn and new ways to teach tricks to animals. The book then presents new familiars, equipment, and animals to buy in Golarion. The centerfold of the book is six new animals that a PC could take as a companion and the parts of the world where these creatures are found. Following the centerfold, new animal feats and archetypes are discussed for your companions and familiars. The book then presents a section on what happens after you awaken your animal. Like all player pathfinder books, the book adds several spells and magic items, before ending by adding new familiars and animal companion statistics.

Fluff or Story: This book isn't very story heavy. It primary focus is to give you new animal options. What it does have is interesting, but don't look for it to carry the book on that alone. 4/5

Crunch or Mechanics: You want animal crunch? You got animal crunch! Some of the crunch is interesting like the rogue who uses an animal to do sneak attack, but some is left out like what bonuses you get for using tools to train an animal. It's not bad, but some minor things were missing. 4.75/5

Art: This book has a surprising amount of art for primarily being a mechanics book. It's new, and looks like it belongs and is well done. 5/5

Execution: The book has a nice flow, reads quick, and isn't difficult to read. I didn't like that the book repeats some of its mechanics as the book is less than 30 pages. Also, some of the choices of where things were laid out were a bit strange as there are two item sections. 4.5/5

Summary: If you run animals in Pathfinder, you need this book. That's it. It won't really convince you to take up an animal if you're the type of player who doesn't want that complication in his life. If you want to have some fun with an animal companion/familiar, then this book will give you lots of options and makes sure the ideas you have fit into the larger world. It's worth a read for any class that gets an animal pet. 91.25%


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


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hmmmmm...interesting


Fine! There! I preordered it! Are you happy now?!?!

-Kcinlive

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kcinlive wrote:

Fine! There! I preordered it! Are you happy now?!?!

-Kcinlive

Not as happy as they'd be if you subscribed.

(Free PDFs .... freeeeee peeee deeeee efffffs ... give innnnn....)

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Llama llama duck.
Ooooooh... might have to have stats for a llama. Patrick would LOVE that (his screen saver cycles through pictures of dogs, cats, and llamas).

I assure you, there will be plenty of llamas in this book if I have any say in the matter, including rules for how they spit (a ranged touch attack) and new barding specially for llamas (barding, in this case, mostly means funny wigs).

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Where did that art come from anyway? It looks like a Golarion version of "Day of the Animals" to judge by the malevolent look on their faces.

Chase cards.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Patrick Renie wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Llama llama duck.
Ooooooh... might have to have stats for a llama. Patrick would LOVE that (his screen saver cycles through pictures of dogs, cats, and llamas).
I assure you, there will be plenty of llamas in this book if I have any say in the matter, including rules for how they spit (a ranged touch attack) and new barding specially for llamas (barding, in this case, mostly means funny wigs).

Patrick's a special one lady's and gents. But he is likely going to be the one developing this, so who am I to say he'll be wrong. :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Patrick Renie wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Llama llama duck.
Ooooooh... might have to have stats for a llama. Patrick would LOVE that (his screen saver cycles through pictures of dogs, cats, and llamas).
I assure you, there will be plenty of llamas in this book if I have any say in the matter, including rules for how they spit (a ranged touch attack) and new barding specially for llamas (barding, in this case, mostly means funny wigs).

My next door neighbor's llama had a baby. Because they are everywhere in Montana, nobody buys them anymore.. so I may be getting it for free.

I may actually get some barding made for it.


I have to wait until December for this? Gorram it! Definitely looking forward to this.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This bard totally has a llama pet/animal companion

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Can the final art be more cute? Like a basket of kittens? Or Lem throwing a basket of kittens?

Lem singing one of his famous 'make everybody vomit' songs to a basket full of kittens? How terrible!

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Or Lem getting eaten by a basket full of kittens. We should keep contestant with the art Lem has been in up to this point. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I shake my fist at you, you nasty minx!

Also: Can I have a llama too? I bet I could use it to play a prank on Alain.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Llama llama duck.
Ooooooh... might have to have stats for a llama. Patrick would LOVE that (his screen saver cycles through pictures of dogs, cats, and llamas).
I assure you, there will be plenty of llamas in this book if I have any say in the matter, including rules for how they spit (a ranged touch attack) and new barding specially for llamas (barding, in this case, mostly means funny wigs).
Patrick's a special one lady's and gents. But he is likely going to be the one developing this, so who am I to say he'll be wrong. :P

If Pathfinder Player Companion: Llama Library hadn't gotten shot down at the brainstorm session, this would be a very different book.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mead Gregorisson wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Llama llama duck.
Ooooooh... might have to have stats for a llama. Patrick would LOVE that (his screen saver cycles through pictures of dogs, cats, and llamas).
I assure you, there will be plenty of llamas in this book if I have any say in the matter, including rules for how they spit (a ranged touch attack) and new barding specially for llamas (barding, in this case, mostly means funny wigs).

My next door neighbor's llama had a baby. Because they are everywhere in Montana, nobody buys them anymore.. so I may be getting it for free.

I may actually get some barding made for it.

It's very important you make your llama feel special when you're designing barding for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

...after seeing that picture, I'm going to take away your Favorited post.


I hoping to see the Rough Collie as an optional breed for the Dog Animal Companion! ^_^


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
This sounds good. I just hope we get information, however brief, on various breeds of dogs, horses, and the like in this.

If you are looking for especially some differences to mundane breed differences you should also take a look at Phantasia Zoologica Volume 1 - Cats, Dogs, and Horses. It is a pretty good book with some variety to breeds and such by 4WFG, End and I both did reviews of it. In case you are curious about what all is in it and it fits what you are looking for.

Not to take away from this product, which I plan to get too. Just pointing out the 3pp one that covers some animals already out. So you don't have to wait till Dec. :)

Eh, no matter how nice some of the 3PP stuff may be, it is still not by the folks at Paizo and not PFS legal.

Dark Archive

Depends on the 3pp stuff, some of it. Not the product I listed granted, but some of the rest of the 3pp stuff is written by the same freelancers that write for Paizo. Now I do agree if you are just into PFS legal then 3pp doesn't help at all, but for home games.


I really hope that not all classes will have access to familars.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope that all classes can get familiars.


It doesn't make sense for all classes to get familiars. They grow because of magic.

Fighters don't have magic.

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:

It doesn't make sense for all classes to get familiars. They grow because of magic.

Fighters don't have magic.

Still, they exist in a world where a Rogue can learn to not only activate magic items, but even cast spells as spell-like abilities, with the right training, or, with the right PrC, even summon shadows.

Just because someone isn't a scientist, doesn't mean they can't learn to work a television set. Just because someone isn't a spellcaster, doesn't mean they can't form a mystical / spiritual bond to an animal.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

a familiar should be tied to a magic user. However, animal companions should be open to all. After all, a border control agent doesn't need magic to control a German Shepard.


Rouges can already get familiars.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If they grab the right Feats (Skill focus and Eldritch Heritage Arcane Bloodline) Anyone with 13+ Cha can have a familiar.


I think that part of the problem with newer products is that they can often make older features irrelevant.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:

It doesn't make sense for all classes to get familiars. They grow because of magic.

Fighters don't have magic.

Can't they just... you know grow, with out magic?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
I really hope that not all classes will have access to familars.
Quote:
I hope that all classes can get familiars.

Who'd be a game designer? :/


We can only hope that they don't only sum all the animal companions from the previous publications but also redo/fix some of those that are already there.

Seriously: A small/medium bear but a medium/large wolf?

Or a small/medium badger!?

Come to think of it. Wouldn't some generic construction rules be the better way instead of writing dozens of named animal templates?


Want a stag
And a swan

Sovereign Court

Actually, reading this has made me wonder: when will we get Golarion Swan Maidens/Swanmays?


I'd like that as well, but I fear maybe they could be not OGL, since they were in the Book of Exalted Deeds...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since Swan Maidens/Swanmays are found in folklore, ie Public Domain
WotC can't claim copyright.


DracoDruid wrote:
Come to think of it. Wouldn't some generic construction rules be the better way instead of writing dozens of named animal templates?

Oh oh oh, we can have the eidolon mess for animal companions too!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
a familiar should be tied to a magic user. However, animal companions should be open to all. After all, a border control agent doesn't need magic to control a German Shepard.

Interesting where you're trying to draw the line here.

Why do people always try to get RL mixed up with/into game mechanics?
If you want to simulate your example above grab Handle Animal and invest skill points. Done.

While everybody can go to the market and get a dog and train it the intent of an AC is something completely different. While it is (usually seen as) more combat-oriented, the relationship between AC and the human part are similar to familiar--magic user.

ACs and familiars are (were) a defining class feature, like sneak attack or spontaneous casting of healing spells. They made certain classes stand apart from others.

Too bad, that seems to have changed. Then again, I'm more than happy for you guys that this kind of diversity exists and Paizo serves all tastes.

Ruyan.


Quote:
Actually, reading this has made me wonder: when will we get Golarion Swan Maidens/Swanmays?

Don't forget the tropical variety of Swanmays (aka the BIRD MAIDEN)! ^_^


Mmm... if Paizo should introduce the swanmay (and I hope they do), it would have to be different from the Book of Exalted Deed PrC (that I think can be used in PF without need of conversion, just rule out the Vow of Purity and all the rest goes as it is... I used it with an half-elf ranger in a game).

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Dang. This is going to be released after I need it. My witch's dog mount is probably going to be killed before then.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Any chance we'll get a HUGE-SIZE ANIMAL of the FLYING AVIAN variety in this book Paizo staff? I'm sure plenty of 8th Level Druids would love to Wild Shape into something like that. ^_~


Berselius wrote:
Any chance we'll get a HUGE-SIZE ANIMAL of the FLYING AVIAN variety in this book Paizo staff? I'm sure plenty of 8th Level Druids would love to Wild Shape into something like that. ^_~

Already exists...


Quote:
Already exists...

What about a huge-sized regular bird-type (and not one akin to a dinosaur)?


A roc with the young template? I don't know if that's kosher, but I don't see why not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Any chance we'll get a HUGE-SIZE ANIMAL of the FLYING AVIAN variety in this book Paizo staff? I'm sure plenty of 8th Level Druids would love to Wild Shape into something like that. ^_~
Already exists...

Yeah, but new calculations done on the possible weight of the animal along with its greatly oversized head and beak is causing some pterosaur experts to rethink whether or not it and other large azhdarchid pterosaurs might not have been very efficient flyers and spent most of their time on the ground. Quetzalcoatlus, when standing on the ground, was as tall as a giraffe. So if you want a really weird riding animal that could fly/hop short distances, there ya go!

Sorry, my-know-it-all personality kicked in.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Tangent warning:

The rethinking of Quetzalcoatlus isn't about whether they were good flyers, but rather on how well they could be move around/forage on land. Basically they might have been the ecological analogue to modern storks. Storks can still fly well, although obviously with perhaps not the efficiency of an albatross or speed of a falcon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any chance oozes will make it in? I saw the feat and know it is not usable at the moment for PFS but would really like the idea. Can't help but think about how one cares and transports an ooze but sounds like an interesting companion.

Dark Archive

Robbgobb wrote:
Any chance oozes will make it in? I saw the feat and know it is not usable at the moment for PFS but would really like the idea. Can't help but think about how one cares and transports an ooze but sounds like an interesting companion.

I don't know, the last time I tried to ride a ooze it didn't end so well. :/


I really like this idea!!! It comes a little late tho... The 3 current bestiaries are already crawling with animal-planet animals...

I rather saw this happen earlier;

One book for the Animal Planet Critters
One book for the space madness and robots
One book for Templates
One book for GOOD creatures which aren't monsters but helpers
One book for playable races.

And last but not least, a clean-of-the-above bestiary/MONSTER manual without horses, hippo's wearing guns and terminators, half-elephants/half-elves, angels from heaven and Elves, humans and dwarves, but with true MONSTERS, that eat, kill and torture you for pleasure.

I really like the sound of this book tho, so count me in! Good work!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Robbgobb wrote:
Any chance oozes will make it in? I saw the feat and know it is not usable at the moment for PFS but would really like the idea. Can't help but think about how one cares and transports an ooze but sounds like an interesting companion.
I don't know, the last time I tried to ride a ooze it didn't end so well. :/

That sounds like an easy solution. Need to not breath and have a suit made of a material that an ooze can't dissolve. I know it is unlikely. Figuring that an ooze would require a lot of work but sounds fun. I always wanted my own Slime. Being a Metal Slime Knight would be awesome.

I guess slimes (Dragon Quest) are not oozes and kinda silly but I would still like to have one as a companion. I know that it would be limited to slams but I would accept that limitation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:

Tangent warning:

The rethinking of Quetzalcoatlus isn't about whether they were good flyers, but rather on how well they could be move around/forage on land. Basically they might have been the ecological analogue to modern storks. Storks can still fly well, although obviously with perhaps not the efficiency of an albatross or speed of a falcon.

Right. I can't remember which blog I found it on, it may have been Tet Zoo, but that doesn't ring right in my memory. They did bring up the terrestrial foraging theory as possibly their main method of procuring prey, but they also posited that they may have been relatively poor fliers when compared to other pterosaurs, and they may have been barely able to carry themselves for very far at all.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Robbgobb wrote:
I guess slimes (Dragon Quest) are not oozes and kinda silly but I would still like to have one as a companion. I know that it would be limited to slams but I would accept that limitation.

I have tried on three separate occasions to get a Dragon Quest slime-like monster into the game, so far to no result I'd call a success - though the torrble is close. I like the idea of mascot allies, which is one of the reasons I like Improved Familiars so much and am so pleased with how leshies came out in B3. While I wouldn't expect to see riding oozes any time soon, more weird thingers to be friends with? Yeah, you'll be seeing those (though only to a limited degree in this product).

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