What does my animal companion do?


Pathfinder Society

Dark Archive

Ok, starting a new game using an animal companion.

I understand that my wolf knows only one trick at the start of the adventure, and that I can roll handle animal after the adventure to teach it a new trick.

The question is: Let's say the bonus trick is "attack", then what does the animal do outside of combat?

If I push it to do a trick it doesn't know, say "heel", for how long will it do so? Until I give it a new command?
If I push it do perform "down" - do I need to push it again to stand up?

I simply don't understand how the animal is supposed to behave while not attacking, if attack is the only trick it knows.

If it doesn't know "heel" - how comes it with me in the first place? Will it stick with me, but wander around?

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

Your adorable little bundle of fluff starts off knowing all of his or her *looks* tricks . Unless you've found an exceptionally smart one, that will be 7 tricks, 2 X 3 = 6 +1 bonus = 7.

If you don't have the animal archive (and you probably should) I'd reccommend Attack Attack come defend down guard and heel

If you do, I'd swap out either come or heel for flank. Keeping wolfy out of valuable real estate for fighters charge lanes and incomming arrows makes for a happier party.

Welcome to the union

Grand Lodge 2/5

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Your wolf has an int of 2 so it will know 7 tricks when you first start (3 each for its 2 int plus 1 more for being a first level animal companion). He only gets full tricks when he is first built.

If your first (your starting) companion ever dies or you replace him with a second animal, then the following pets don't start with all of their tricks known. A new animal starts only with whatever bonus tricks he gets based off of his animal companion level (and bonus tricks from any other source such as being a higher level hunter). At this point you are limited by teaching him a number of tricks equal to the number of skill ranks you've put into Handle Animal.

A nice set of default tricks you'll probably want to start off with are
Attack x2 (mandatory)
Flank
Heel (almost mandatory)
Guard
Defend
Track

That pretty much negates all of your questions. Though let's pretend you have a mindless vermin companion that really doesn't have an int score so it only knows its one starting trick. Outside of combat it will do whatever it would naturally do, follow you around. It doesn't go on a mindless killing rampage attacking anything in sight simply because it's only ever been taught "attack".

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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That's the Barbarian's job.

Dark Archive

Thanks a lot. I googled for this and turned up a lot of threads pointing out that in a PFS animal companion start only wuith the bonus trick known.

Glad that this isn't the case :)

Grand Lodge 4/5

That's the rule for if you have to replace your animal companion later. If your companion dies and you don't raise it, or if you find that you just want a different companion, the new one only comes in with bonus tricks and you have to teach it the others yourself.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

If you do wind up with an animal companion with only one trick, I would start with guard, and teach it come as soon as you can. Then work on the rest.

Guard will mean that it attacks anyone who attack the target of guard. Assign it to guard a frontliner, and it will get into combat pretty darn quick.

Silver Crusade 3/5

I feel bad now. I misinformed a player about this on Friday. I based my understanding on what was written in the guide. :(

I will need to try to get this corrected information to him.

Grand Lodge 2/5

The Fox wrote:

I feel bad now. I misinformed a player about this on Friday. I based my understanding on what was written in the guide. :(

I will need to try to get this corrected information to him.

Where "in the guide" did you pull this information from?

As far as I know the only thing the guide says about training an animal is to have the GM initial it. Everything is answered in this FAQ

Quote:

How can I teach tricks to an animal using Handle Animal?

You can teach any animal a trick so long as you follow the rules for Handle Animal on pages 97–98 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. A GM must observe your Handle Animal check, and must initial what tricks the animal gained in the "Conditions Gained" section of the scenario's Chronicle sheet. The first time a character with levels in druid, ranger, or any other class that grants an animal companion gains an animal companion, the animal enters play knowing its maximum number of tricks as dictated by the animal companion's Intelligence and the character's effective druid level. If the character replaces the animal companion for any reason, the new animal starts with no tricks known, save for bonus tricks granted based on the PC's effective druid level. Once per scenario, you may attempt to train the animal companion a number of times equal to the number of ranks you have in the Handle Animal skill. Each success allows you to teach the animal a single trick; a failed attempt counts against the total number of training attempts allowed per scenario, and you may not attempt to teach the same trick until the next scenario. Alternatively, you may train one animal for a single purpose as long as you have enough ranks in Handle Animal to train the animal in each trick learned as part of that purpose. You may take 10 on Handle Animal checks to teach an animal companion tricks.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

I taught mine to flank, very useful. as well as the attack package.

The Exchange 5/5

My "little" bundle of joy knows 17 tricks:

Tricks (12 from int, 4 from animal companion, 1 from hunter. Skirmisher tricks 5/day)
Attack (2), Defend, Guard, Flank, Heel, Watch, Down, Aid, Detect, Exclusive, Menace, Fetch, Rattling Strike, Tangling Attack, Catfall, Cunning Pantomime

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Michigan—Mt. Pleasant

FLite wrote:

If you do wind up with an animal companion with only one trick, I would start with guard, and teach it come as soon as you can. Then work on the rest.

Guard will mean that it attacks anyone who attack the target of guard. Assign it to guard a frontliner, and it will get into combat pretty darn quick.

FLite, you're confusing Guard with Defend. Defend is protecting a person, Guard is protecting an area.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

yup. I got them backwards.

Thanks for the catch.

Dark Archive

On a related note, why do I need "come" - can't I simply use "heel" for the same effect?

Grand Lodge 2/5

Glord Funkelhand wrote:
On a related note, why do I need "come" - can't I simply use "heel" for the same effect?

You don't - yes, you can.

1/5

If you're a ranger, just tell your pet to go sit in a corner unless you pick up Boon Companion from the Animal Archive. An animal companion 3 levels lower than you is basically just a speed bump. ;)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

claudekennilol wrote:
Glord Funkelhand wrote:
On a related note, why do I need "come" - can't I simply use "heel" for the same effect?
You don't - yes, you can.

Well, as long as you have stay.

Otherwise it may be hard to get it to stay in a pen.

Owner A walks into the pen, calls come. Pet comes into the pen and generally starts checking it out. Owner walks out and closes the gate.

Owner B walks into the pen, calls heal. Pet comes into the pen and generally starts checking it out. Owner walks out and closes the gate, only to find the pet sitting next to him...


Heel is to keep the critter by your side. Come is to get it to your side. There is a difference (that is why the rules list them separately). It really only matters if your pet has to cross a danger, threat, hostile creature etc.. Heel works if you move with the critter, come works if you do not. For example, crossing a narrow beam with heel is difficult (push), but you can cross first then command 'come.'

Again, mostly moot.

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