Animal Companions and Reach


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

What kind of reach do Animal Companions have? The Bestiary lists reaches for the regular creatures, but the general rule concerning AC stats is to ignore the creature's regular stat block in the Bestiary and use only the listed Animal Companion statistics. However, nothing is said concerning reach. The rule that would cover it is vague:

Pathfinder CRB, p. 195 wrote:
Creatures that take up more than 1 square typically have a natural reach of 10 feet or more, meaning that they can reach targets even if they aren’t in adjacent squares.

Emphasis mine. The corresponding table says the reach for a Large creature is 10 ft. or 5 ft. depending on whether the size's subtype is "(tall)" or "(long)." Even then it says that exceptions exist. Since no specific reach is listed and a size subtype isn't given in the AC stat blocks, what is RAW for AC reach? Does it vary by creature, or are they all 5 ft., or all 10 ft.?

I'm assuming that RAI, taking the regular creature's stat block and comparing base vs reach will shed light on whether that type of creature is "tall" or "long," which would then be used to determine whether the Large size AC version should have 10 ft. or 5 ft. reach. But, I can't find a rule that says it is or isn't one way or the other.


I second the question. As a mounted lancer, it is worth knowing whether advancing a medium wolf to large would grant the wolf reach to equal that of my lance.


Large bipeds have a reach of 10 feet. Large non-bipeds (quadrupeds, sharks, flying birds, etc.) have a reach of 5 feet. There might be a few exceptions.


This is actually something I brought up in the rules thread several months ago. As far as I can tell, and was told, there is no magical paragraph in the rules that makes this clear. It states in the core rulebook the usual face/reach for creatures by size, but only as general guidelines, not as hard & fast rules, unless it has been recently erataed.

Of course the companions that are listed in the bestiary have monster versions that they are based on, but clearly these aren't intended to indicate the abilities of the creature, as they separately list a different set of abilities for the companion version, often with a different size. So as far as i can tell, this is one of those frustratingly frequent points where the GM has to pull a ruling out of thin air.


Just go with the monster manual entry for the monster.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Just go with the monster manual entry for the monster.

Yeah, you should just go with that.

In 3.5 each creature entry had (long) or (tall) in it, but Paizo wanted to streamline and change the stat blocks. This resulted in the (long) or (tall) designations being dropped and the actual reach vales remaining.

The general principal is that quadrupeds are (long) and bipeds (tall). This designation does't matter at small and medium sizes because they always have five foot reach. It's only when the creature gets to large size that the designation matters.


Well, it does make sense that a large wolf, at least, would only have a five-foot reach. It is using its muzzle, not a great big paw. Of course, real-world analogies are not a substitute for clear rulings, but I'll assume that a large wolf has the same reach as a medium wolf unless I hear otherwise. Best.

Sovereign Court

Huppolitan wrote:
Well, it does make sense that a large wolf, at least, would only have a five-foot reach. It is using its muzzle, not a great big paw. Of course, real-world analogies are not a substitute for clear rulings, but I'll assume that a large wolf has the same reach as a medium wolf unless I hear otherwise. Best.

Probably the closest to a clear ruling is to look at the Dire Wolf stats, which as them set with a 5' reach.


It's easy to make a judgement call on most of them, and I know what I'd personally assign the reach of each as, but I wanted to make sure there wasn't RAW that trumped my assumptions.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Just go with the monster manual entry for the monster.

Not always possible. Take the Constrictor Snake. The Bestiary version is only a medium creature. You can look at similar long and slithery-types like the Giant Slug and Giant Moray Eel and surmise that the Constrictor has 10 ft. reach, but it's far from spelled-out.

HappyDaze wrote:
Large bipeds have a reach of 10 feet. Large non-bipeds (quadrupeds, sharks, flying birds, etc.) have a reach of 5 feet. There might be a few exceptions.

It's the "exceptions" you point out that, in my opinion, necessitate a future rules clarification. =P Take the Constrictor, above. It's certainly not a biped. And I'd definitely describe it more as "long" than "tall." Yet it's (likely) an exception. The Ankylosaurus and Brachiosaurus are both quadrupeds, and their Bestiary entries would imply 10 ft. reach since they're tail attacks. Another (probable) exception.

Hell, the standard Elasmosaurus is a 15 ft. space creature with a 20 ft. reach! Gods only know what the Animal Companion version of THAT has...

I don't think most GMs really need advice on how other people would rule it. I'm just asserting that unless I missed something, RAW really doesn't give us anything to go on, and we all have to make it up as we see fit for our campaigns.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Animal Companions and Reach All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.