Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)

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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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A Dragon Quest slime like monster would be awesome.

There are some creatures I wish were improved familiar options like the Soulbound Doll, Atomie, and Leshy(all).


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
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).

I had never heard of Leshies before B3, but fell in love with them. Whoever ordered them did an awesome job :D

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
I had never heard of Leshies before B3, but fell in love with them. Whoever ordered them did an awesome job :D

Yay! But most of the thanks goes to Slavic myth. I just do a lot of the "we should do this monster, and this monster, and this monster, and they should look like this."

Silver Crusade

Mr. Schnider could you add a feat for animal comapnaions that allow them to flank? ALso add the spell heal Companion same level as the Heal Mount spell for Paladin. Add Comapnion treats. Companion treats act as potions in a biscuit or jerky form for companions that can not easily drink potions.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

+1 for large bear.


I want good oozes with at least some intelegence.


Ah man, when did this thing get moved to January? Really looking forward to this one.


Hopefully the AC option for the figther could be taken at te same time with the dragoon AND the Roughrider archetype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

One of my eldritch knights loved dearly her marmoset familiar. I hope to see Diminutive monkeys among the new familiars! ^-^


Feral wrote:
+1 for large bear.

Preach it brother!


+1 for large bear by me too.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want a Platypus. Either as a familiar, or an animal companion. We need some stats for a Cuddly Player Platypus Ally.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

4 people marked this as a favorite.

"Hey! Where's Perry?"

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
"Hey! Where's Perry?"

I'm not sure I want to admit that I get that reference. though, Paizo definitely seems to have a Make-me-want-to-buy-it-inator that they use on all their books.

Still, Platypus familiars! You could separate them by sex, one with neurotoxin and one without. Or Small-Medium Platypus Animal Companions! My Gnome could ride one.

Contributor

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
I had never heard of Leshies before B3, but fell in love with them. Whoever ordered them did an awesome job :D
Yay! But most of the thanks goes to Slavic myth. I just do a lot of the "we should do this monster, and this monster, and this monster, and they should look like this."

Can you see about getting the Giant Skunk from Bestiary 3 available as an animal companion? I was really looking forward to having a giant skunk ...

Lou Diamond wrote:
Mr. Schnider could you add a feat for animal comapnaions that allow them to flank? ALso add the spell heal Companion same level as the Heal Mount spell for Paladin. Add Comapnion treats. Companion treats act as potions in a biscuit or jerky form for companions that can not easily drink potions.

This is news to me. Since when can't animal companions flank?


Alexander Augunas wrote:
This is news to me. Since when can't animal companions flank?

And why on earth should it ever cost a Feat?


This makes me a happy kitty.

Dark Archive

Shifty wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
This is news to me. Since when can't animal companions flank?
And why on earth should it ever cost a Feat?

Animals can flank (indeed, in the real world, wolves, lions, etc. *love* to flank), but there's no trick or command that one can use to make an animal companion move to flank an opponent, as far as I know, which means that you can't even 'Push' the animal to attempt such a move.

The only way you and your animal companion will end up flanking a foe, is if *you* circle around to stand opposite the companion, since you rarely have any control over what square it chooses to attack from.

(Although you can attempt to micro-manage it's position with 'come' 'stay' 'attack' commands, since druids can give commands for trained tasks or tricks as a free action, which could allow him to make several in a round, although the animal may not be able to comply with more than one of them in a single round...)

There's a lot of stuff that animal companions can't be ordered to do via Handle Animal / Link, like fight defensively, take the total defense action, aid other, take the withdraw action, use a combat maneuver (other than a wolf's free trip, or whatever) such as a grapple or overrun or bull rush, etc. If your animal companion has been boosted to Int 3, and somehow made able to understand your language, then perhaps yes, but the standard Int 2 (or Int 0 Vermin) companion pretty much just attacks with it's standard animal attacks.

You can't even, by the rules, command a wolf *not* to trip or a constrictor *not* to constrict or a viper *not* to inject venom.

Some GMs would allow this sort of stuff as a 'Push' option, rules or no rules, or allow custom 'tricks' to be taught to get your bison to trample on command or your wolf to fight defensively, flank and Aid Other your own attacks ('harry' trick), or whatever.

A feat would be overkill, IMO, although a Feat that allows an animal to learn additional tricks (or a master to teach animals additional tricks) would sure be useful!

Silver Crusade

Depends how a DM chooses to let a player control his/her animal. All of the things you say aren't allowed, have been allowed in all of our games under multiple DMs.


Sheep dogs can certainly be trained to flank (or not) on command. I'd certainly allow this for pack hunters. Perhaps you could look at old footage of circus-trained animals to see what seems reasonable (a druid/animal companion bond being exceptional for training).


By way of example, 2nd Ed was as granular as some people are requesting PF be (Flanking 'tricks' etc) and by way of example, a Paladins Mount had 20 odd tricks they were allowed. So the more 'micro skill' you make the tricks the more rules you are going to have to change, as the current allotment of tricks is only able to cope with macro level.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Winter_Born wrote:
Depends how a DM chooses to let a player control his/her animal. All of the things you say aren't allowed, have been allowed in all of our games under multiple DMs.

GMs differ. I've had GM's who wouldn't let an Int 7 Eidolon do some of this stuff, let alone an Int 2 Animal Companion.

As someone who has played a lot of druids, I always did love the argument that druids are OP and that their animal companions are 'as good as a fighter' when, if one plays by the rules of Handle Animal and sticks to the tasks and tricks that the animal can actually be ordered to do, the animal companion is *vastly* less useful than a fighter.

Giving the animal companion a bunch of free 'tricks' and 'tasks,' letting it do any tactical thing a PC could do, and making it able to do something other than 'attack that guy!' or 'come here, boy!' might even be part of why the druid and their companion are so often labeled as crazybroken or CoDzilla.

Heck, an animal (companion or otherwise) can't even leave a fight without provoking attacks of opportunity from everyone present, as it can't be ordered to take a 5 ft. step, it can't be ordered to move around a threatened square, it can't be ordered to take the withdraw action, it can't even be ordered to fight defensively or use the total defense action.


Set wrote:


Giving the animal companion a bunch of free 'tricks' and 'tasks,' letting it do any tactical thing a PC could do, and making it able to do something other than 'attack that guy!' or 'come here, boy!' might even be part of why the druid and their companion are so often labeled as crazybroken or CoDzilla.

Ignoring rules meant to be limiting factors does tend to make things more powerful :)


Ever seen a police dog in action (our modern equivalent of combat trained)? Yeah, those things can flank. In combat tactics are not the same as out of combat strategies. Flanking and defending oneself by avoiding enemy attacks aren't done out of intelligence. Flanking is basic combat instinct for any pack animal, and staying out of the way is just basic survival instinct. Int only goes so far in an actual combat. You have to trust your observations and your gut. There's a reason animals generally have decent Wisdom. True melee combat is fast and brutal, with little to no time for most people to really think. Reflexes are instinctive. It's why you train how you fight. Your body does what it knows in a fight, and that is not always quite what you think you're telling it to. You don't need a high Int to understand having someone on both sides of the enemy is good.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MaverickWolf wrote:
Ever seen a police dog in action (our modern equivalent of combat trained)? Yeah, those things can flank. In combat tactics are not the same as out of combat strategies. Flanking and defending oneself by avoiding enemy attacks aren't done out of intelligence. Flanking is basic combat instinct for any pack animal, and staying out of the way is just basic survival instinct. Int only goes so far in an actual combat. You have to trust your observations and your gut. There's a reason animals generally have decent Wisdom. True melee combat is fast and brutal, with little to no time for most people to really think. Reflexes are instinctive. It's why you train how you fight. Your body does what it knows in a fight, and that is not always quite what you think you're telling it to. You don't need a high Int to understand having someone on both sides of the enemy is good.

This is actually a fair point. Just as you can't command a wolf not to trip or a python not to constrict, perhaps without a specific command, a wolf (or other pack animal) would instinctively flank. And having seen pack hunters take down large animals, I think they have a decent understanding of threatened squares.

As a GM, I usually allow players full, PC level control of their animal companions. Does this make them more powerful? Absolutely, but it also makes things simpler for me and the players, and no one has yet complained that those characters are too powerful. Of course, the handle animal rules are interesting, so maybe I'll try using them next time and see how it goes.


You can't even, by the rules, command a wolf *not* to trip or a constrictor *not* to constrict or a viper *not* to inject venom.

Heel Command?

I think the current list commands are really overarching concepts, things like fighting defensively (mother animal vs. anything trying to get her babies), taking five foot steps (stalking, or just cautious), etc. Can all be explained just fine. That said aid another is a case by case scenario, I'm not sure how much a wolf can help you hammer a nail for example. (maybe fetch tools?) But some things like survival or swim or even climb make sense for some animals to be able to help out. It'd be good rp too.

PC: Ewwww your wolf just killed that *insert prey* and left it by the campfire.

Druid PC: Yup, and now we have supper.

PC: It was in your wolf's mouth!

Druid PC: So?

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Stratagemini wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
"Hey! Where's Perry?"

I'm not sure I want to admit that I get that reference. though, Paizo definitely seems to have a Make-me-want-to-buy-it-inator that they use on all their books.

Still, Platypus familiars! You could separate them by sex, one with neurotoxin and one without. Or Small-Medium Platypus Animal Companions! My Gnome could ride one.

I believe, thanks to the ARG, we're going to have a platypus-based PC race in our next campaign.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
Already exists...
What about a huge-sized regular bird-type (and not one akin to a dinosaur)?

A bird thats not a dinosaur?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The most pressing question is, will there be badgers of action?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There better be a platypus familiar, dammit. My girlfriend's been waiting for one ever since Pathfinder came out. No problem finding a 3.5 one. Just no PF conversion.

Also, a badger animal companion for the gnome barbarian would be cool too.

Scarab Sages

Humpf, would have been better called "Ultimate Critters", but I'll buy it anyway =)


Bear companions that do SOMETHING better than cats?


Well there better huggers then cats;)

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

Man, I need this to come out sooner. My riding dog isn't going to last much past December.

Also, I want a character to have a pet squirrel one of these days. Bonus if it can be an attack squirrel.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

1 person marked this as a favorite.

SQUIRREL!

Spoiler:

C'mon, someone had to say it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

May I make a suggestion?

For a while now, there's been official errata found only on the forums for the feat Boon Companion. This product would be an excellent place to reprint the feat with the errata, since at this point a reprint of Seeker of Secrets seems completely out of the question.


Cheapy wrote:

May I make a suggestion?

For a while now, there's been official errata found only on the forums for the feat Boon Companion. This product would be an excellent place to reprint the feat with the errata, since at this point a reprint of Seeker of Secrets seems completely out of the question.

You mean this right here?

Benefit: The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were four levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level of equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit.

This would make it clearer. And yes, you can take the feat if you're a single-classed ranger. It's actually pretty sweet deal.

This would indeed be helpful to see in the new book. And thanks for linking to that, Cheapy.

Silver Crusade

Will there be toy dog familiars in this?
^_^
oh please oh please oh please!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Will there be toy dog familiars in this?

^_^
oh please oh please oh please!

Ok, you gain the chihuahua familiar. You get +2 to Perception checks, but you are -2 to Stealth checks--due to its constant yapping.

Why, yes, I own a chihuahua.

Liberty's Edge Production Assistant

4 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

Either that or the horse heard someone say that earth ponies are losers next to unicorns and pegasi and how he has to kick some sense into them.

The art comes from the chase card deck. We had some great images of animals in it I was itching to use somewhere.

No earth ponies' emotions were harmed in the making of this product.


Will there be more variety of small cat? Not all small cats are cheetahs or leopards.

Silver Crusade

ChristinaStiles wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Will there be toy dog familiars in this?

^_^
oh please oh please oh please!

Ok, you gain the chihuahua familiar. You get +2 to Perception checks, but you are -2 to Stealth checks--due to its constant yapping.

Why, yes, I own a chihuahua.

that's what a silence spell is for


Gorbacz wrote:
As much as I like what Paizo did to animal companion/mounts, I really wish I could build a non-Cavalier/Paladin with a mount that matters.

We're playing Carrion Crown. Through a combination of a kind GM with house rules, a fight with a pregnant manticore, a set of lucky rolls, and Leadership, my NG Inquisitor has a LN manticore with class levels. We've had to hat of disguise her into a slightly less conspicuous, way less alarming, giant eagle a few times. Our group is strange.


I'm hoping that this book will have a medium sized version of the dire rat available as a mount for ratfolk... I mean, the thing is pictured in the bestiary entry for ratfolk, but as far as I can tell the creature doesn't really exist.

I already had one player ask for it, only to find that dire rats never get larger than 'small' as animal companions.

Scarab Sages

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

I also want to be able to get an animal companion for my Fighter, or a pet for my Bard. would be nice.

Being able to have a Bear Mount with my Gunslinger would be nice too.


I would really be able to get animal companions and familairs for all the classes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:
stuff

Sheesh. Makes me wonder how all the INT 8 fighters out there accomplish such things. Handle BSF by the Wizard?

And I can't stress enough how sad it makes me seeing this fantastic and class defining feature being given to the greedy masses. *sad face*

Ruyan.


You mean like how any character with good cha score can can get a sorcerer's bloodline powers;)

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
I'm hoping that this book will have a medium sized version of the dire rat available as a mount for ratfolk...

"Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist..."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't get me started, Dragon! *winks*

Ruyan.

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