Animal Companions, and long lives.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So, ok. Make a character. For Race, you can be anything with a 100+ year lifespan. You can be an Elf, or a Dwarf, or a Dhampir, or an Aasimar, or anything else.

Now, pick a Class. You can be a Ranger, or a Barbarian, or a Cavalier. Anything that gives an Animal Companion. And in fact, you can have any non-magical animal as your AC. I won't tell the GM if you won't!

Have you done all that? Good. Now...wait. What's that? Your Animal Companion's died of old age because that wasn't even a second to you? Well, that's concerning.

Seriously, how many millions of animals would an Elven Ranger go through during the course of his adventuring career? If Rangers and Barbarians and them are supposed to have this close bond with their beasts, how would any Dwarf or Elf not lose their minds?


Same way they deal with any non-long-lived PC companions. They get over it.

Silver Crusade

Lots of people in the real world have pets with short life spans. They still emotionally bond with them and consider them friends and/or family.


Elves and Dwarves do not live not much longer than humans REALLY. I mean not even an order of magnitude. So if a human goes like 4 or 5 dogs through his life, an elf might go through 30-50.

They might pick things like turtles if they want a longer lives companion. Good ol' War Turtles.


pauljathome wrote:
Lots of people in the real world have pets with short life spans. They still emotionally bond with them and consider them friends and/or family.

This. Yes, you feel the loss, sometimes very painfully, but the point is to make the time they're alive as happy as you can.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Beopere wrote:

Elves and Dwarves do not live not much longer than humans REALLY. I mean not even an order of magnitude. So if a human goes like 4 or 5 dogs through his life, an elf might go through 30-50.

They might pick things like turtles if they want a longer lives companion. Good ol' War Turtles.

The first pet shop owner who thought to sell tortoises to an elven community must have made a killing.....


It might actually be interesting to come up with breeds of animals that have a comparable lifetime to elves. Not unrealistic in this world. Elven Forest turtle than can live for a thousand years.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

By adopting either the philosophy of "things exist for brief periods of time and all in this world is transitory. To grasp at things that will fall apart is foolish and courts madness, so merely enjoy what is before you and allow your memories to honor what has past" or some sort of reincarnation based religion. If you can't do one or the other, I think it might be really difficult to cope with being an elven ranger. Perhaps that's why elves get the tree druid archetype.


Vamptastic wrote:
Seriously, how many millions of animals would an Elven Ranger go through during the course of his adventuring career? If Rangers and Barbarians and them are supposed to have this close bond with their beasts, how would any Dwarf or Elf not lose their minds?

As others have said, it's entirely possible for such rangers/barbarians to simply deal with the loss. My parents recently lost a dog after 8 years or so, it and it hit them hard. But they are moving on. They treasure their memories of that dog.

Still, I do find it a nifty subject for RP. Perhaps a certain ranger might appeal to a druid friend to reincarnate his animal companion, and now he has a hawk companion instead of a wolf. Would be an adjustment for both of them. ;)


I get what you're all saying, and I get it. But I think you might be looking at this with the experience of a human. For us, seven or eight years can be a really long time. But I can't imagine seven years meaning anything to an Elf, for example. Can you imagine how many dogs an Elf would go through?

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Vamptastic wrote:
I get what you're all saying, and I get it. But I think you might be looking at this with the experience of a human. For us, seven or eight years can be a really long time. But I can't imagine seven years meaning anything to an Elf, for example. Can you imagine how many dogs an Elf would go through?

Since Animal Companions are essentially a mystical reflection of "a bond with nature", and Animal COmpanions are paragons of their kind (generally) I have to imagine they get a few more turns on the globe than the average specimen of their kind. Even with that, I have to imagine there comes a point in an elf's life where he wakes up and doesn't even notice that the dog following him out the door and on to the road of adventure isn't the dog he started with, but that dog's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-as many of these as seems appropriate-great grandson.


Ssalarn wrote:
The first pet shop owner who thought to sell tortoises to an elven community must have made a killing.....

Not really. He gets little repeat business. Goldfish are a better investment.

Anyway, it is not like a human ranger wouldn't end up going through a lot of animal companions as well. The problem with an adventurer's lifestyle is that it tends to lower your life expectancy, what with all the fireballs, and swords, and large teeth. Your AC usually doesn't have the advantage of an intelligence higher than 3 when dealing with all that.


it takes about 10 min to Reincarnate the AC

So what is the big deal (besides you don t know a druid who whould cast a lvl 4? spell for you)


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The Book of Elves, from AD&D 2nd Edition, had stats for "elven" dogs. They were like dogs, but cooler and more "elven", you know.


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Kev: "I'm a human! I only live for a hundred years!"
Elf: "Oh, like a box turtle?"
Kev: "...yeah."


I personally like breeding them so you have a chain of animals all related to the very first.


Get yourself a Parrot Animal Companion. Some of them live 70+ years, which is probably about equivalent to a Human with a Dog animal companion. Alternatively, if you want a more combat-useful companion then Crocodiles can also live 70+ years, and I'm not sure if the lifespan of a T-Rex is known.

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