FAQ updated for Animals Companions and magic items


Pathfinder Society

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Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

With the rules that will match Animal Archive when Additional Resources is released next week.

Please let me know if any wording is unclear so I can update it before AR is updated next week.

Link


Was repeating "Animal companions of any type may not use weapons" (end of the first and last paragraphs) intentional? Shouldn't that sentence read "manufactured weapons"?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Bearded Ben wrote:
Was repeating "Animal companions of any type may not use weapons" (end of the first and last paragraphs) intentional? Shouldn't that sentence read "manufactured weapons"?

Ahh yes. Thanks! I was going back and forth between FAQ and Additional Resources to make sure they said the same thing and typed the same sentence twice. I also added the word manufactured.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

FAQ wrote:
The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, quasit, sprite familiars, granted by the Improved Familiar feat, use the Biped (hands) section of the chart.

Does this mean that these familiars get to use a hands slot item automatically (by virtue of being Improved Familiars)? I would assume so, to keep in line with previous rulings and the fact that familiars do not gain feats like animal companions do. You might reword to something like "The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, quasit, and sprite familiars (granted by the Improved Familiar feat) are treated as if they have the Extra Item Slot (hands) feat." (Note, I have not seen Animal Archive, I don't know what the correct phrasing for the feat is, I'm just trying to suggest a different way to get the point across more clearly.)

Also, the line "If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items." from paragraph 2 is repeated in paragraph 3, and seems out of place.

3/5

FAQ wrote:
If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

This line appears at the end of both of the last two paragraphs. Intentional? Also, if my horse has Horseshoes of ____, I can ignore both these lines, correct?


Swiftbrook wrote:
FAQ wrote:
If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.
This line appears at the end of both of the last two paragraphs. Intentional? Also, if my horse has Horseshoes of ____, I can ignore both these lines, correct?

I would think this would fall under "unless another legal source says otherwise."

---
Also it might be addressed in the Animal Companion book, but can animals/familiars use ioun stones? (at minimum, I'm wondering if my faerie dragon can use ioun stones.)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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The Great Rinaldo! wrote:
FAQ wrote:
The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, quasit, sprite familiars, granted by the Improved Familiar feat, use the Biped (hands) section of the chart.

Does this mean that these familiars get to use a hands slot item automatically (by virtue of being Improved Familiars)? I would assume so, to keep in line with previous rulings and the fact that familiars do not gain feats like animal companions do. You might reword to something like "The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, quasit, and sprite familiars (granted by the Improved Familiar feat) are treated as if they have the Extra Item Slot (hands) feat." (Note, I have not seen Animal Archive, I don't know what the correct phrasing for the feat is, I'm just trying to suggest a different way to get the point across more clearly.)

Also, the line "If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items." from paragraph 2 is repeated in paragraph 3, and seems out of place.

Biped (hands) allows all available slots. So, no need to add in the extra line.

The line that is repeated was included in each paragraph so there is no confusion it applies to both.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Marthian wrote:


I would think this would fall under "unless another legal source says otherwise."

Yes it does.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Marthian wrote:


---
Also it might be addressed in the Animal Companion book, but can animals/familiars use ioun stones? (at minimum, I'm wondering if my faerie dragon can use ioun stones.)

I just spoke with the design team. An animal or familiar has to have an intelligence of 3+ to activate an ioun stone. If the animal or familiar has less than a 3 intelligence, they may not activate an ioun stone.

I have added this to the FAQ, as well as the compilation post.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/55/5

WOOOOOT!Time to beat up my druid for his lunch money.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Quite clear and sensible. Thanks for the great FAQ.

Oh, query, eidolons. They would follow which line? I know they share slots with the summoner, but aside that?


Michael Brock wrote:

With the rules that will match Animal Archive when Additional Resources is released next week.

Please let me know if any wording is unclear so I can update it before AR is updated next week.

Link

"The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except..."

This should probably say "is not legal" or "is not a legal source".

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Rubia wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

With the rules that will match Animal Archive when Additional Resources is released next week.

Please let me know if any wording is unclear so I can update it before AR is updated next week.

Link

"The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except..."

This should probably say "is not legal" or "is not a legal source".

Thanks for the advice.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Florida—Miami aka Morganwolf

On animal companions

Quote:
animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items

- Does this include that if an animal companion is a horse they cant use any of the horseshoes or horse related items in corebook & ultimate equipment?

I would hope that is not the case.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Morganwolf wrote:

On animal companions

Quote:
animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items

- Does this include that if an animal companion is a horse they cant use any of the horseshoes or horse related items in corebook & ultimate equipment?

I would hope that is not the case.

That is not the case. As is currently in place, any item specific to an animal, such as horseshoes, are still useable.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for all the quick updates Michael. It is very much appreciated.

Dark Archive

Michael Brock wrote:
Marthian wrote:


---
Also it might be addressed in the Animal Companion book, but can animals/familiars use ioun stones? (at minimum, I'm wondering if my faerie dragon can use ioun stones.)

I just spoke with the design team. An animal or familiar has to have an intelligence of 3+ to activate an ioun stone. If the animal or familiar has less than a 3 intelligence, they may not activate an ioun stone.

I have added this to the FAQ, as well as the compilation post.

What about resonant powers for ioun stones slotted in a Wayfinder? Wayfinders are slotless items, so I know some players argue that it should work...

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

I will have to think on wayfinders. It doesn't make much sense to me for an animal to have a compass it can't use for activating the items powers such as light, protection from evil, etc.... I could see a horse or ape hanging one from its neck, but it doesn't make any sense for a snake to have one, even though it is a slotless item. Let me think on it a bit more.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A quick workabout is making it usable on animals that can use amulets.

4/5

or have the wayfinder occupy the neck slot

Scarab Sages

Would all of this apply to plant companions? My assumption is that they're essentially the same. However, I'm not clear if they're a separate thing or just an expanded list of pets.


Michael Brock wrote:
Rubia wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

With the rules that will match Animal Archive when Additional Resources is released next week.

Please let me know if any wording is unclear so I can update it before AR is updated next week.

Link

"The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except..."

This should probably say "is not legal" or "is not a legal source".

Thanks for the advice.

No problem. The rules seem clear enough. Thanks!!

Shadow Lodge

So let me get this straight, an animal companion or familiar only gets access to neck and barding unless they spend feats to gain additional slots, and the selections for the feat are limited to what is printed on the table? Note that this is contrary to what the text of the feat reads, hence my confusion.

So for example, for an Avian type, I'd have to take the feat 6 times to give it all of the slots listed for it's body type?

Improved Familiars get all the slots available to their type automatically and don't have to take the feat, but normal familiars cannot get access to the feat/additional slots?

And lastly, anything under Serpentine and Verminous does not get access to any slots without feats unless they are Improved Familiars?


Bearded Ben wrote:
Was repeating "Animal companions of any type may not use weapons" (end of the first and last paragraphs) intentional? Shouldn't that sentence read "manufactured weapons"?

Nice job killing a nasty thread before it even started :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Dylos wrote:

So let me get this straight, an animal companion or familiar only gets access to neck and barding unless they spend feats to gain additional slots, and the selections for the feat are limited to what is printed on the table? Note that this is contrary to what the text of the feat reads, hence my confusion.

So for example, for an Avian type, I'd have to take the feat 6 times to give it all of the slots listed for it's body type?

Improved Familiars get all the slots available to their type automatically and don't have to take the feat, but normal familiars cannot get access to the feat/additional slots?

And lastly, anything under Serpentine and Verminous does not get access to any slots without feats unless they are Improved Familiars?

That sounds correct.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
Dylos wrote:

Improved Familiars get all the slots available to their type automatically and don't have to take the feat, but normal familiars cannot get access to the feat/additional slots?

And lastly, anything under Serpentine and Verminous does not get access to any slots without feats unless they are Improved Familiars?

That sounds correct.

I believe that only that very specific list of Improved Familiars (brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, quasit, sprite for Bipend (hands), carbuncle and voidworm protean for serpentine) get the free slots. Everything else gets only barding and neck, per the base rule on familiars.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Dylos wrote:

So let me get this straight, an animal companion or familiar only gets access to neck and barding unless they spend feats to gain additional slots, and the selections for the feat are limited to what is printed on the table? Note that this is contrary to what the text of the feat reads, hence my confusion.

So for example, for an Avian type, I'd have to take the feat 6 times to give it all of the slots listed for it's body type?

Improved Familiars get all the slots available to their type automatically and don't have to take the feat, but normal familiars cannot get access to the feat/additional slots?

And lastly, anything under Serpentine and Verminous does not get access to any slots without feats unless they are Improved Familiars?

Yes, that sounds correct. Per the text above the chart in the inside front cover, "Note that the rules in this section are merely suggestions, and ultimately it is up to the GM to decide what kinds of animals can use particular types of magic items." As the GM for PFS, this is the decision I've made.

I'm not opening the slots up carte Blanche. I had considered keeping things the way they were with just neck and barding but the VCs and VLs convinced me otherwise. I talked to the design team specifically about opening every slot for every animal without any restrictions. This is the response I received:

The magic item slots table in Animal Archive is specifically called out as a list of suggestions, and the reader is encouraged to talk to their GM to figure out what magic items they can equip to their animal companions or familiars. It was designed with home games in mind, since GMs can arbitrate these rules with their table of players on a case-by-case basis.

I would recommend not putting magic item slots into PFS, since it would indeed open the door for all sorts of crazy corner cases and cheese. It is highly likely that a slew of PFS min-maxers would be able to game the system and design overpowered animal companions, familiars, or bonded animals using the vast array of magic items in our game (most of which were designed with humanoid wearers in mind).

So, this is a compromise. The other choice is to go back to what my gut is telling me and just leave it as is with no other slots period.

Also, this is not contrary to what the text of the feat reads. The text reads, "Choose one magic item slot not normally available to creatures with your shape. You can now use magic items in that slot." In PFS, every slot besides Neck and barding is not normally available (with rare exception of horseshoes and the like). Using this feat this way allows for people to open other slots for their AC.

Sovereign Court

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Michael Brock wrote:

Yes, that sounds correct. Per the text above the chart in the inside front cover, "Note that the rules in this section are merely suggestions, and ultimately it is up to the GM to decide what kinds of animals can use particular types of magic items." As the GM for PFS, this is the decision I've made.

I'm not opening the slots up carte Blanche. I had considered keeping things the way they were with just neck and barding but the VCs and VLs convinced me otherwise. I talked to the design team specifically about opening every slot for every animal without any restrictions. This is the response I received:

The magic item slots table in Animal Archive is specifically called out as a list of suggestions, and the reader is encouraged to talk to their GM to figure out what magic items they can equip to their animal companions or familiars. It was designed with home games in mind, since GMs can arbitrate these rules with their table of players on a case-by-case basis.

I would recommend not putting magic item slots into PFS, since it would indeed open the door for all sorts of crazy corner cases and cheese. It is highly likely that a slew of PFS min-maxers would be able to game the system and design overpowered animal companions,...

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I first read this. But after reading this explanation as to why it is being implemented in this way, it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for explaining the reasoning behind it. It is much appreciated.


I do not really understand the generous slots given to an improved familiar. One of the most annoying characters I saw was a wizard with an improved familiar Azata. The wizard has gross knowledge skills, and the Azata was the party face. It also was decked out with items and used a variety of wands in combat. Literally that one player did 90% of the out of combat stuff for the party. As the DM, I did not know that all the npcs were talking to his familiar until 2/3rds of the way through, until I finally asked how a wizard was rocking so many charisma checks.

I know this is mostly a player communication problem, but I honestly was surprised at the power of an improved familiar. Especially given that normal familiar don't get feats, and therefore cannot take Extra Item Slot, whereas improved familiars get all their slots for free.

At any rate, you probably should mention that familiars cannot ever take Extra Item Slot.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Furious Kender wrote:

I do not really understand the generous slots given to an improved familiar. One of the most annoying characters I saw was a wizard with an improved familiar Azata. The wizard has gross knowledge skills, and the Azata was the party face. It also was decked out with items and used a variety of wands in combat. Literally that one player did 90% of the out of combat stuff for the party. As the DM, I did not know that all the npcs were talking to his familiar until 2/3rds of the way through, until I finally asked how a wizard was rocking so many charisma checks.

I know this is mostly a player communication problem, but I honestly was surprised at the power of an improved familiar. Especially given that normal familiar don't get feats, and therefore cannot take Extra Item Slot, whereas improved familiars get all their slots for free.

At any rate, you probably should mention that familiars cannot ever take Extra Item Slot.

I'm going to be adding the following line in Additional Resources:

Third, familiars may trade their normal feats for Extra Item Slot on a one-for-one basis.

As to the familiar doing 90% of the out of combat stuff for the party, it is up to each individual player to decide if they wish to dominate the play of the table or let others have a turn. It doesn't matter what rules I put in place, this can always be a problem and the only advice I can offer is respect the other players at the table instead of feeling like you (the player) need to be the center of attention all the time.

*EDIT: Addressed the player's familiar taking 90% of actions.


Michael Brock wrote:
Furious Kender wrote:

I do not really understand the generous slots given to an improved familiar. One of the most annoying characters I saw was a wizard with an improved familiar Azata. The wizard has gross knowledge skills, and the Azata was the party face. It also was decked out with items and used a variety of wands in combat. Literally that one player did 90% of the out of combat stuff for the party. As the DM, I did not know that all the npcs were talking to his familiar until 2/3rds of the way through, until I finally asked how a wizard was rocking so many charisma checks.

I know this is mostly a player communication problem, but I honestly was surprised at the power of an improved familiar. Especially given that normal familiar don't get feats, and therefore cannot take Extra Item Slot, whereas improved familiars get all their slots for free.

At any rate, you probably should mention that familiars cannot ever take Extra Item Slot.

I'm going to be adding the following line in Additional Resources:

Third, familiars may trade their normal feats for Extra Item Slot on a one-for-one basis.

That's a nice fix!

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—Redmond

Obligatory post about signifigant-other's character:

the cacodeamon (sp?) improved familiar is described as a floating deamonic head - he doesn't understand why it gets a neck-slot item at all, let alone barding; he'd much prefer a head/headband slot

Any feedback since the FAQ is updating?


well according to the feats description they can be changed:

PZO9429E Animal Archive wrote:
Feats that are meant for familiars can be switched out for a familiar’s default feats (as listed in the familiar’s statistics) if the familiar meets the prerequisites. Such feat replacements must be made when the PC first acquires a new familiar, and—like all new feats from supplemental sources—the new feats should be approved by the GM before being integrated into play.

May have to make a ruling on that...

EDIT: on a side note i noticed they did not put any comments or rules in the book about casting spells like fly or spider climb on animal companions and knowing how to use it. no trick DCs or anything. that is unfortunate.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

asthyril wrote:

well according to the feats description they can be changed:

PZO9429E Animal Archive wrote:
Feats that are meant for familiars can be switched out for a familiar’s default feats (as listed in the familiar’s statistics) if the familiar meets the prerequisites. Such feat replacements must be made when the PC first acquires a new familiar, and—like all new feats from supplemental sources—the new feats should be approved by the GM before being integrated into play.

May have to make a ruling on that...

EDIT: on a side note i noticed they did not put any comments or rules in the book about casting spells like fly or spider climb on animal companions and knowing how to use it. no trick DCs or anything. that is unfortunate.

I'm working with a VC to get a blog in early March that discusses animal tricks, when the animal has to be pushed (like climbing a wall when it is against its nature) and the like.

Dark Archive

Mike, I'm interested in knowing how this will effect familiars who normally get Weapon Finesse. That feat is completely redundant for familiars, because it is written into the familiar feature that they use Dexterity or Strength, whatever is higher. Is it as good as it sounds, or does a familiar who gives up Weapon Finesse lose access to this feature?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Mike, I'm interested in knowing how this will effect familiars who normally get Weapon Finesse. That feat is completely redundant for familiars, because it is written into the familiar feature that they use Dexterity or Strength, whatever is higher. Is it as good as it sounds, or does a familiar who gives up Weapon Finesse lose access to this feature?

If a familiar gives up Weapon Finesse, they lose access to this feature.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Justin Riddler wrote:

Obligatory post about signifigant-other's character:

the cacodeamon (sp?) improved familiar is described as a floating deamonic head - he doesn't understand why it gets a neck-slot item at all, let alone barding; he'd much prefer a head/headband slot

Any feedback since the FAQ is updating?

My feedback is dont carry around an evil head as a familiar ;-) Its a daemon and no one in their right mind would travel with one. They don't make good company and it reminds me of an ex girlfriend.

Barding would look like some type of old leather football helmet I suppose. Neck slot, yeah, it won't fit really well.

If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I'm not going to go in and start adding custom slots for familiars that don't fit the chart. If I do that, we get a really long FAQ. My advice is use the Extra Item slot trade feature to get the daemon a head/headband item.

Dark Archive

It's a floating head without a neck, but you could still hang an amulet off of it! :D


I would also mention that items made specifically for an animal, such as horseshoes for horses, can be worn without the need for the Extra Slot feat


i would like to point out some animals do not get the default neck and armor slots in the chart. if you haven't noticed, piscine, serpentine, and vermin do not have armor slot or neck slot. But they do get belt and eye, and i think there is a mistake in the chest(saddle) of piscine, since all the others take up the belt slot, not sure if that was intentional.

is the official PFS rule going to be that they keep them but have to spend feats on any others they might be able to get? or are those 3 companion types now nerfed and have no slots at all unless feats are spent?

Dark Archive

Asthyril, from what I understand, even if the chart does not allow neck slots, all companions in PFS have access to them. They can gain access to other slots through the Extra Slot feat.

EDIT: Animals are able to take these feats without having an intelligence of 3, right?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Just tossing out a thanks to Mike. The explanation is very welcome, and understood. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Lantern Lodge

asthyril wrote:

i would like to point out some animals do not get the default neck and armor slots in the chart. if you haven't noticed, piscine, serpentine, and vermin do not have armor slot or neck slot. But they do get belt and eye, and i think there is a mistake in the chest(saddle) of piscine, since all the others take up the belt slot, not sure if that was intentional.

is the official PFS rule going to be that they keep them but have to spend feats on any others they might be able to get? or are those 3 companion types now nerfed and have no slots at all unless feats are spent?

This is from the FAQ:

Animal companions are also limited by their individual anatomies. In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, animal companions always have access to barding and neck-slot items so long as they have the anatomy. For example, a horse and pig can always have access to barding and neck-slot items. A snake does not have access to either.

Additionally, animal companions have access to magical item slots, in addition to barding and neck, as listed on the inside front cover of the Animal Archive so long as they select the Extra Item Slot feat. The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except under the following conditions. First, an animal companion, familiar, or bonded mount, may choose one slot listed under its body type when taking the Extra Item Slot feat (this feat may be taken multiple times, each time selecting a different available magic item slot based on the creature’s anatomy). Second, access to specific magic item slots may be granted at a later date by another legal source. If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

Dark Archive

Oops, that's what I get for skimming. No snake necklaces.

4/5

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm curious why the statement that a snake animal companion can't have barding or neck-slot items (I ask because a player in my local area has a large constrictor snake with barding and as a DM I haven't had a problem with that given that he paid the costs for it). Why would you say that snakes wouldn't get custom barding or be able to wear a neck slot item (The imagery is unique to be sure but I don't see any conceptual problem with an amulet or collar around a snake's head, nor with some form of flexible barding).

Especially given that large snakes are noted in a few places as potentially being mounts (uncommonly but the potential is there).

[I haven't yet read this book so apologies in advance if it is covered directly in the book's text]

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Washington—Redmond

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Imagery ^_~


Justin Riddler wrote:
Imagery ^_~

Hence why snakes don't have neck slots in pfs.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's clearly a cloak, a shoulder slot item.

Silver Crusade

Nuku wrote:
That's clearly a cloak, a shoulder slot item.

Yup. And cartoon physics is the only thing keeping it from falling down its body.


Fromper wrote:
Yup. And cartoon physics is the only thing keeping it from falling down its body.

As opposed to magic physics?

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