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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Average product rating:

4.50/5 (based on 15 ratings)

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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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Very nice cover!

-Kcinlive


Just in time for my birthday, wheeeee!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Really looking forward to it. Official rabbit familiar stats? Sweet!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The cover roxxxorz my soxxxorz.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Feros wrote:
That cover is fantastic! Who is the artist?

This wonderful piece of art is by Emily Fiegenschuh.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I love the cover! Show the power of the druid using nature!

I wonder if they will be showing Merlin stroking his white rabbit, no, not a white rabbit, a white hare. :)


Shalafi2412 wrote:
I wonder if they will be showing Merlin stroking his white rabbit, no, not a white rabbit, a white hare. :)

Heh heh. I just watched that episode recently. :P

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
The cover is pretty awesome. Seems like she's calling the entire forest to take down that troll!

Babi 3, when the forest attacks!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If i didn't want it before, the stuff on common pets and companions based on race and the platypus & panda companions now makes this a super buy.


For the love of all things good and holy, please include just TWO things for good ol' Foghammer and I will shut up about this book and be content with everything else in it.

1) Pangolins.
2) Dire pangolins.

And make at least the second one animal companion material.

Do this for me, and my soul (the only thing that I have not given to Paizo yet) is yours.

Shadow Lodge

<sigh> It was going to be Christmas present for wife... Now its looking like Valentine's Day present... :/

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:

For the love of all things good and holy, please include just TWO things for good ol' Foghammer and I will shut up about this book and be content with everything else in it.

1) Pangolins.
2) Dire pangolins.

And make at least the second one animal companion material.

Do this for me, and my soul (the only thing that I have not given to Paizo yet) is yours.

usually by the time the final cover and description go out the book is complete to a point where no real new additions can be made. Get in before that happens next time I guess.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Foghammer wrote:

1) Pangolins.

2) Dire pangolins.

And make at least the second one animal companion material.

They may have armadillos and anteaters. The natural armor of the first on the stats of the second should do the trick if they do.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Patrick Renie wrote:
Feros wrote:
That cover is fantastic! Who is the artist?
This wonderful piece of art is by Emily Fiegenschuh.

Yay!


Stratagemini wrote:
usually by the time the final cover and description go out the book is complete to a point where no real new additions can be made. Get in before that happens next time I guess.

Crap. I suppose you're right. It's almost Christmas now. For some reason, February just felt so far away. I guess part of me is still back in November or October...

Can someone maybe confirm or deny the inclusion of the noble pangolin (or an adequate substitute)? Can that be my Christmas present from Paizo? :D

Silver Crusade

Kajehase wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
Feros wrote:
That cover is fantastic! Who is the artist?
This wonderful piece of art is by Emily Fiegenschuh.
Yay!

Awesome. I've been waiting for the hustband-wife team to be complete on the Pathfinder side of things. They've been supercool every GenCon I've seen them, and both have a more fanciful style that certain parts of the setting just scream to use.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Foghammer wrote:
Stratagemini wrote:
usually by the time the final cover and description go out the book is complete to a point where no real new additions can be made. Get in before that happens next time I guess.

Crap. I suppose you're right. It's almost Christmas now. For some reason, February just felt so far away. I guess part of me is still back in November or October...

Can someone maybe confirm or deny the inclusion of the noble pangolin (or an adequate substitute)? Can that be my Christmas present from Paizo? :D

Isn't that just an armadillo whose head detaches from it's body every night to feed?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Never has the product line's name been more true...

Dark Archive

Mead Gregorisson wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Can someone maybe confirm or deny the inclusion of the noble pangolin (or an adequate substitute)? Can that be my Christmas present from Paizo? :D
Isn't that just an armadillo whose head detaches from it's body every night to feed?

I'm like, 'what?' and then 'ha!' Good one.


I guess a pangolin animal companion would provide cover once the combat starts and it rolls into a ball. A dire pangolin could provide cover for the entire party! I want a giant skunk mount. Chemical warfare.


Set wrote:
Mead Gregorisson wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Can someone maybe confirm or deny the inclusion of the noble pangolin (or an adequate substitute)? Can that be my Christmas present from Paizo? :D
Isn't that just an armadillo whose head detaches from it's body every night to feed?

I'm like, 'what?' and then 'ha!' Good one.

It was pretty clever!

Spoiler:
For those wanting the joke to be spoiled: Penanggalan

Scarab Sages

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

Armadillos are in the book. just add a long snout and tongue? that would grant you a Pangolin.


Stratagemini wrote:
Armadillos are in the book.

Twice I was told that and didn't notice.

I should just stop posting.


Lilith wrote:
Shalafi2412 wrote:
I wonder if they will be showing Merlin stroking his white rabbit, no, not a white rabbit, a white hare. :)
Heh heh. I just watched that episode recently. :P

That was the first episode I remember watching and what a great one it was!


This cover makes me wish there was a spell to do this. Not a summon spell or anything. Sort of like a fast, mid-combat call animal. It could have a full-round cast time, and then for a few rounds a ton of animals native to the environment come out and attack your foes.

The Exchange

I'm curious if construct companions might be included? We...have those as a feature in my games.


That is a fantastic cover!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Cthulhudrew wrote:
That is a fantastic cover!

I agree, it's absolutely breathtaking. Great, great job, Emily! Keep it up!


Ping so i can find again

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Will we get to see a sneak peak for this before it comes out?


I am really starting to look forward to this one.


This may be the first Player Companion that I spring for. That cover is AWESOME!!

-Aaron


I wonder if they will have roadrunners?


Kevin Mack wrote:
Set wrote:

Nice picture! I'm not terribly sure what that squirrel is hoping to accomplish, but bless him for trying!

Hey dont diss the squirrels a pack of them brought down Doctor Doom once.

Not true. In fact, it wasn't even a proper Doombot. It was a cheap knockoff copy of a Doombot made by a renegade Stark Industries employee.


The Nuance and fun for non-animal companion classes makes this very hopefully engaging.

Pets! (Non-magical pets — and the wacky interactions therein.) Marginally trainable, not-so-dumb-animals: guard dogs, pickpocket baboons, attack horses, warning sparrows, jackass cats, infiltrating rats, keeping-an-eye-out-owls. Tons of character fun.

I hope the book can advance the fun and utility of that.

Grand Lodge

One of my players is hoping that with this book he can finally be the gnome barbarian with animal companion Francis.


LOL~


Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?

Paizo Employee Developer

Askanipsion wrote:
Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?

No prestige classes, but there are a host of new archetypes and feats (including some for your familiars) that should help fill out the character concept you're speaking of.


Patrick Renie wrote:
Askanipsion wrote:
Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?
No prestige classes, but there are a host of new archetypes and feats (including some for your familiars) that should help fill out the character concept you're speaking of.

Thanks for the info Patrick!

Any chance we can get a preview of the book even if it is just a feat? I really miss the previews.


Patrick Renie wrote:
Askanipsion wrote:
Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?
No prestige classes, but there are a host of new archetypes and feats (including some for your familiars) that should help fill out the character concept you're speaking of.

Patrick, you may be able to put my son's mind (and my frazzled nerves) at ease! :)

He has wanted for some time to play a "wild child" character, raised by animals (wolves, in this case) - but he didn't want to play a druid. The thought was the "Beastmaster" archetype, but it precludes him getting an animal companion until 4th level (same as a normal ranger). His words to me were that he'd love soemthing like "Falconeer", but with other animals available.

Will there be an archetype along those lines for rangers?

Paizo Employee Developer

Askanipsion wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
Askanipsion wrote:
Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?
No prestige classes, but there are a host of new archetypes and feats (including some for your familiars) that should help fill out the character concept you're speaking of.

Thanks for the info Patrick!

Any chance we can get a preview of the book even if it is just a feat? I really miss the previews.

Unfortunately I am not responsible for such decisions, but I will make sure your request gets passed along through the proper channels. :]

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Daronil wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
Askanipsion wrote:
Will there be any prestige classes in this for casters who want to specialize with their familiars?
No prestige classes, but there are a host of new archetypes and feats (including some for your familiars) that should help fill out the character concept you're speaking of.

Patrick, you may be able to put my son's mind (and my frazzled nerves) at ease! :)

He has wanted for some time to play a "wild child" character, raised by animals (wolves, in this case) - but he didn't want to play a druid. The thought was the "Beastmaster" archetype, but it precludes him getting an animal companion until 4th level (same as a normal ranger). His words to me were that he'd love soemthing like "Falconeer", but with other animals available.

Will there be an archetype along those lines for rangers?

While I would hate to spoil the fun by giving away specifics, I can say that if your son is looking for a class archetype that grants an animal companion or familiar at 1st level (including wolves!), then this is definitely a book he won't want to miss!

Silver Crusade

Patrick Has the Bear animal companion been fixed? As it is now it starts small where a wolf starts aa medium that is just wrong. I hope this has been fixed.


So, has the scariest animal companion of all finally made it to print?


Will there be a preview any time soon?


Preview
+1


I have always liked the idea that every class could get either a familiar or animal companion.


Puh-puh-puh-please???

Paizo Employee Developer

Lou Diamond wrote:

Patrick Has the Bear animal companion been fixed? As it is now it starts small where a wolf starts aa medium that is just wrong. I hope this has been fixed.

If we were going to make a change to the bear animal companion, we would implement the change into the next printing of the Core Rulebook and make it part of the official errata, so your suggestion would be better pointed toward a thread in the Pathfinder RPG subforum.

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