Explain Boon Companion


Rules Questions


Can someone explain how boon companion works?

I am a level 5 Packmaster with a level 1 constrictor and a level 4 Tiger. If I applied Boon Companion to my constrictor, does he become a level 5 constrictor?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Maybe. Ask your GM. The complication in the answer is from your class providing two AC from one class.

Specifically it is designed for single class builds (like Ranger) and for multi class builds (Druid 4 Fighter 4 where you get the boost to your AC above 4.)

Grand Lodge

Yes.


No, boon companion is limited to maximum druid level equal to character level. You have 5 character levels so your max druid level is 5. So with the 5 levels of AC you already have this feat would not change anything for your AC.


James Risner wrote:

Maybe. Ask your GM. The complication in the answer is from your class providing two AC from one class.

Specifically it is designed for single class builds (like Ranger) and for multi class builds (Druid 4 Fighter 4 where you get the boost to your AC above 4.)

Uh, it specifically has rules for multiple companions.

To the original question, yes, you can take boon companion multiple times and get +4 to each with the limit that no companion can go above your character level.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Calth wrote:
Uh, it specifically has rules for multiple companions.

I figured it didn't which is why he asked.

Guess this is a good advertisement for including the text of the abilities in threads so posters can be better informed than I am when replying from memory.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ask your GM is still the correct answer as some of us treat the level of the 'pool' of companions as the AC level for classes like the Packmaster. That is... you still have an animal companion level of 5 (in this example). It is just that you can split that amongst multiple animals. Taking Boon Companion would raise your AC level to 9, but that isn't possible in this case because the character is only 5th level.


"The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit.-"

"As though your class were 4 levels higher" and "maximum effective Druid level equal to your character level" is what you are considering for the specific animal companion. Yes, with multiple animals you are using a pool of druid levels for your companions but don't let the wording confuse you... the maximum character level part is to prevent you from having any animal companion with an effective Druid level exceeding your character level. For example; you are level 6 and have 2 companions at level 3... Boon Companion can apply to one of them, treating it "As though your class were 4 levels higher"... by itself that would mean one animal at 7 and the other at 3... "maximum effective Druid level equal to your character level" is the limit in which you are applying to said animal, limiting it to 6 and the other at 3. This would increase automatically at your next level from the feat (4 levels Higher, max equal to character level, allowing you to apply your new level to the other one giving you one at 7 and the other at 4.

People may confuse this feat to only apply to multiclass characters because they think "Max effective druid level equal to character level... my max druid level IS my character level" or something of that nature... No. It's the max effective druid level of the animal companion... not to exceed your character level.

If you are a level 8 Druid with 2 companions at level 4, you can take this feat twice (once for each animal) and have 2 animal companions at effective druid level 8!

This loses steam beyond that however as a level 20 Druid with 2 at 10 with this feat twice allows 2 animals at Druid level 14. Still usable IMO, especially if you're going for a pack theme.

Silver Crusade

Ask your GM is STILL the correct answer.

Rightly or wrongly, there are GMs out there who feel that 2 full powered animal companions are just too much (too much power or too much table time) and will disallow it.

For example, PFS has disallowed it. And there are home games which basically play by PFS rules.

Its a sufficiently powerful and, to many, annoying edge case that you can pretty much expect some GMs to decide to house rule against it.


pauljathome wrote:

Ask your GM is STILL the correct answer.

Rightly or wrongly, there are GMs out there who feel that 2 full powered animal companions are just too much (too much power or too much table time) and will disallow it.

For example, PFS has disallowed it. And there are home games which basically play by PFS rules.

Its a sufficiently powerful and, to many, annoying edge case that you can pretty much expect some GMs to decide to house rule against it.

He asked to have the feat explained in the Rules Questions... I provided a correct answer.

Whether or not a GM has an issue with it is another matter and would probably belong on the Advice board.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pauljathome wrote:

Ask your GM is STILL the correct answer.

Rightly or wrongly, there are GMs out there who feel that 2 full powered animal companions are just too much (too much power or too much table time) and will disallow it.

Not just two.

A 5th level Human Packmaster could have four full powered animal companions (and a 5th at 1st level) if Boon Companion can be applied separately to each.


CBDunkerson wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

Ask your GM is STILL the correct answer.

Rightly or wrongly, there are GMs out there who feel that 2 full powered animal companions are just too much (too much power or too much table time) and will disallow it.

Not just two.

A 5th level Human Packmaster could have four full powered animal companions (and a 5th at 1st level) if Boon Companion can be applied separately to each.

Actually that is incorrect. At first level the pack master druid only has one animal companion so cannot take the feat twice He can take the feat again at third level so that two of his three companions are at full level, and again at 5th so that three of his five companions are at full level. Once he get to higher levels the animal companions will not be able to keep up and will soon become useless. A 20th level druid with a bunch of 5th level animal companions is not going to be overpowering. It may slow down the game to a crawl and annoy the other player, but it will actually decrease his power considerably. Not only will his animal companions be worthless he just spent all his feats on them and is a lot weaker for not having those feats. You could probably get away with having a second animal companion, and maybe even a third if you really want to push it. At early levels you will get quite a boost, but you pay for it at higher level.


Cherry picking low levels with heavily frontloaded features is rather disingenuous. That same packmaster would have 4 level 7 companions at 13, all of which together are worse than a behind progression multi-summon summon monster. And the more companions you have the worse it gets. I mean, level 5 is literally the peak of power for the scenario you are describing, it gets progressively, and massively, worse every level from then on.

In general, the multi-companion archetypes are junk, as animal companions fall behind in utility with level as is, and all these archetypes do is exacerbate the issue as every level not going to the main companion is eventually wasted.


Which is why I wouldn't use it that way. I love having a powerful animal companion but if I were a packmaster I would stick with 2... maybe 3 if I discovered a way to use teamwork feats to better effect. Still, I agree that its a frontload character that would be quite powerful in early levels but most likely useless further down the road. If I want a pack Ill summon some, have my companion be much stronger as the only one, and wildshape into one myself... heck, at higher levels I might awaken my companion (stays very loyal unless I awaken something else) and acquire another companion... giving me an intelligent NPC companion, my companion, myself and summons... lets throw in a Live Oak and Changestaff spell and you got yourself your own army.


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Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

People may confuse this feat to only apply to multiclass characters because they think "Max effective druid level equal to character level... my max druid level IS my character level" or something of that nature... No. It's the max effective druid level of the animal companion... not to exceed your character level.

If you are a level 8 Druid with 2 companions at level 4, you can take this feat twice (once for each animal) and have 2 animal companions at effective druid level 8!

This loses steam beyond that however as a level 20 Druid with 2 at 10 with this feat twice allows 2 animals at Druid level 14. Still usable IMO, especially if you're going for a pack theme.

I don't believe it works this way.

Packmaster wrote:
A packmaster can have more than one animal companion, but she must divide her effective druid level between her companions to determine the abilities of each one.
Boon Companion wrote:
The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level.

This is an order of operations question. Your argument is that you have an Effective Druid Level, which a Packmaster splits between multiple ACs. Afterwards, the Packmaster applies the increased levels from Boon Companion to raise the effective level of the ACs.

The wording from Boon Companion however is that your level (i.e., the PC's level, not the AC's level) is being effectively increased for the purpose of calculating the power of ACs. Animal Companions don't have Effective Druid Levels. You do and your AC's powers are calculated based off of that.

Boon Companion explicitly doesn't let your EDL exceed your class levels. If you apply Boon Companion after splitting ACs, your EDL will exceed your class level. Your claim is that a 6th level Pack Lord can have a level 6 AC and a level 2 AC, since neither exceeds 6. But the math is commutative. Your EDL cannot exceed your Character Level. Your EDL is divided up between your ACs (meaning you determine your EDL prior to dividing). So the EDL should be the same before and after applying Boon Companion. If you calculate one EDL prior to splitting, then assign Boon Companion to raise one AC's level, you now have another EDL with a different value than what your EDL was already determined to be, which is contradictory. Your EDL must be the same before and after assigning levels to your ACs.

Boon Companion applies before splitting, not after.

Boon Companion is intended for pets from classes that give reduced advancement to be able to catch up. It's also for multiclass Druids to have a way to keep their AC on par. It's not for making multiple overpowered ACs.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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fretgod99 wrote:

Boon Companion applies before splitting, not after.

Boon Companion is intended for pets from classes that give reduced advancement to be able to catch up. It's also for multiclass Druids to have a way to keep their AC on par. It's not for making multiple overpowered ACs.

+1


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fretgod99 wrote:
Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

People may confuse this feat to only apply to multiclass characters because they think "Max effective druid level equal to character level... my max druid level IS my character level" or something of that nature... No. It's the max effective druid level of the animal companion... not to exceed your character level.

If you are a level 8 Druid with 2 companions at level 4, you can take this feat twice (once for each animal) and have 2 animal companions at effective druid level 8!

This loses steam beyond that however as a level 20 Druid with 2 at 10 with this feat twice allows 2 animals at Druid level 14. Still usable IMO, especially if you're going for a pack theme.

I don't believe it works this way.

This is an order of operations question. Your argument is that you have an Effective Druid Level, which a Packmaster splits between multiple ACs. Afterwards, the Packmaster applies the increased levels from Boon Companion to raise the effective level of the ACs.

The wording from Boon Companion however is that your level (i.e., the PC's level, not the AC's level) is being effectively increased for the purpose of calculating the power of ACs. Animal Companions don't have Effective Druid Levels. You do and your AC's powers are calculated based off of that.

Boon Companion explicitly doesn't let your EDL exceed your class levels. If you apply Boon Companion after splitting ACs, your EDL will exceed your class level. Your claim is that a 6th level Pack Lord can have a level 6 AC and a level 2 AC, since neither exceeds 6. But the math is commutative. Your EDL cannot...

Except it's not talking about your level... it says your animal companion or familiar.

Boon Companion wrote:
The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level.

You are still thinking of calculating the effects based on your effective druid level but the feat says it is calculating your companion as 4 higher. Your AC DOES have an effective druid level. Yes, you have one from class levels that determine how much you have to allot to your animals but they have a level based on the class chart for animal companions that determines their abilities. A single animal companion EDL is what your EDL is, but when there are multiple their EDL are divided and cannot exceed your EDL. For example...

A 6 level packmaster could have 2 companions at effective druid level 3. If you take the feat for one of these animals then its abilities are calculated as 4 higher, however, it's effective druid level cannot exceed your character level. This means that said animal's effective druid level would be 6 even though +4 would make it 7 it cannot exceed your character level and the other would remain 3.

So... lets say there is now packmaster 6/ fighter 2. His EDL is 6. He has 2 animals, one EDL 4 and the other EDL 2. If he applied Boon Companion to EDL 4 animal, it would be calculated as 4 higher, to EDL 8, with a maximum EDL not to exceed Character level... Character level is 8 (6+2)... so now the character has one animal EDL 8 and one EDL 2.

Stop confusing the EDL as your EDL, its referring to your animal's EDL which was already determined by you and your class.

In case this is still confusing lets say Druid 4/ Fighter 3 (lvl 7). EDL of yourself is 4 and single animal (EDL 4). You take Boon Companion and animal is calculated as 4 higher, which would be 8, but maximum EDL cannot exceed your Character level, making the animal's EDL 7... By your logic, using your EDL, the number would still be 4 and this feat could never help anyone. For progression purposes, lets say this same character is now Druid 4/ Fighter 5. The animal's EDL would now be 8... 4 from class levels, 4 from Boon Companion, EDL does not exceed character level (9).

Finally, if it was only meant for multiclassing characters or the wording of Packmaster makes you think it couldn't apply, the wording in the feat specifically points out how it is applied in the case of multiple animal companions.

Boon Companion
Benefit: The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit. If you lose or dismiss an animal companion or familiar that has received this benefit, you may apply this feat to the replacement creature.

Special: You may select this feat more than once. The effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a different animal companion or familiar.

I know this was longwinded but I cannot stress enough that this is how the feat functions. I understand many of you feel that having multiple, full power animals at low levels is too OP and therefore must be a mistake but it's not. Consider how much a character loses in order to attain these animals in regards to class abilities and the feats they would have to burn to achieve this. Then consider how useless these animals (and to an extent the character) will be at higher levels. A lvl 20 character with 4 companions at EDL 9? 5 from class and +4 to each from taking the feat 4 times... Even a lvl 20 with 2 at EDL 14 would be difficult.


Thelastace1 wrote:

Can someone explain how boon companion works?

I am a level 5 Packmaster with a level 1 constrictor and a level 4 Tiger. If I applied Boon Companion to my constrictor, does he become a level 5 constrictor?

Yes it does

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Tyrant Lizard King wrote:
Thelastace1 wrote:

Can someone explain how boon companion works?

I am a level 5 Packmaster with a level 1 constrictor and a level 4 Tiger. If I applied Boon Companion to my constrictor, does he become a level 5 constrictor?

Yes it does

Well then welcome to table variance. So Ask Your GM how it works for your game, as we have a strong difference of opinion of the rules as written.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Allow me to do some alternate bolding;

Boon Companion wrote:
The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit. If you lose or dismiss an animal companion or familiar that has received this benefit, you may apply this feat to the replacement creature.

As though your CLASS were 4 levels higher. Presumably referring to the class granting the animal companion or familiar.

In this case the class is Pactmaster. 4 levels higher would be 5 + 4 = 9th level Packmaster. However, that is subject to a maximum effective druid level equal to the character level... which is 5. No effect.

Thus, a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the RAW is that Boon Companion does nothing for 'pack companions'... it only works for multi-classing and companions that start at a level penalty. Which is also a perfectly reasonable view of what the RAI likely was.

The alternate interpretation is not completely implausible, but also not the certainty some wish it to be.


In case you missed this...

Boon Companion
Benefit: The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit. If you lose or dismiss an animal companion or familiar that has received this benefit, you may apply this feat to the replacement creature.

Special: You may select this feat more than once. The effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a different animal companion or familiar.

How would this feat only apply to multiclass characters or level penalty animals with that? The abilities of your animal/familiar are calculated... as if 4 higher... maximum = to character level

RAW is pretty clear... if a GM doesn't like it he can disallow it, but to the OP, it indeed will empower your animal by +4 to a maximum EDL equal to your character level.


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Animal Companions don't have Effective Druid Levels because they are not Druids. Boon Companion does not say your animal companion is treated as four levels higher, it says "the abilities of your animal companion are calculated as though your class were four levels higher". It then explicitly mentions that the EDL cannot exceed your Character Level. So directly after the feat mentions "your class level" is treated as four levels higher, it then mentions that EDL (which only you have, not your AC - the AC's powers are based off of your EDL) is capped by Character Level. I don't understand how that means ACs all of a sudden get Effective Druid Levels when the previously had none.

Boon Companion raises the PC's EDL. So that Druid 4/Fighter 3 you mentioned would have an EDL of 7, because that's what the feat says it does (calculate the abilities of your AC as if your class were four levels higher). Literally all it does is say if your Actual Druid Level (or equivalent) is less than your Character Level, you can act like your Druid Level is higher, for purposes of calculating your AC's abilities. But you can't exceed your Total Character Level. An 8th level Pack Lord can't have two effectively 8th level ACs because that character's ACs have the abilities of what is effectively a 16th level Druid. Boon Companion caps EDL at CL. So single class Druids (and any similar variants) gain no benefit from Boon Companion because their EDL already equals Character Level.


You're skipping over the part that says EDL is capped at CL, not your pet's abilities. Those are two different things.

Also, characters can have multiple non-stacking pets. For instance Wizard 4/Druid 4. Boon Companion can be taken for each, but in neither case can the powers of either exceed the powers of the pet of a single class member of each respective class. The familiar is treated like a familiar of an 8th level Wizard, and likewise for the Druid.

So yeah, I agree that RAW is pretty clear. I think it pretty unambiguously disallows what you are arguing for.


fretgod99 wrote:

You're skipping over the part that says EDL is capped at CL, not your pet's abilities. Those are two different things.

Also, characters can have multiple non-stacking pets. For instance Wizard 4/Druid 4. Boon Companion can be taken for each, but in neither case can the powers of either exceed the powers of the pet of a single class member of each respective class. The familiar is treated like a familiar of an 8th level Wizard, and likewise for the Druid.

So yeah, I agree that RAW is pretty clear. I think it pretty unambiguously disallows what you are arguing for.

fretgod99 in the on money here. There are also feats now that give familiars and animal Companions. at EDL or CASTER level at -X character level. It is often -3, in the example Fretgood99 has here, if the character has any those feats. That character can take boon companion again for those creatures.

The way packlord is written does not allow the feat to work. with out going multi class or take the one of the feats above.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Tyrant Lizard King wrote:


In case you missed this...

RAW is pretty clear...

No one missed that.

Both sides think RAW is pretty clear. FAQ Nd Ask your GM is all that can be done at this point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only way that multi-companion archetypes are worth a damn is if Boon companion alplies. The only reason to specify that it must be taken separately for separate companions is if it could boost two separate comlanions.


Some options are subpar. This isn't a new thing. And again, nobody is saying this can't apply to multiple companions if taken multiple times. You just can't exceed your character level with your EDL by taking Boon Companion multiple times (or even once, actually).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's incredibly disingenuous. The pack companion classes are the only ones that *have* multiple companions.

Boon Companions applies soecifically to a single companion, which means it must look at that companion and not your character as a whole. Pack classes allocate an effective druid level to each companion. Ergo, for each companion, your effective druid level does not match your character level. Ergo, Boon Companion applies.


Revan wrote:

That's incredibly disingenuous. The pack companion classes are the only ones that *have* multiple companions.

Boon Companions applies soecifically to a single companion, which means it must look at that companion and not your character as a whole. Pack classes allocate an effective druid level to each companion. Ergo, for each companion, your effective druid level does not match your character level. Ergo, Boon Companion applies.

It's not disingenuous in the slightest. I posted an example earlier of a perfectly valid core character that has multiple pets.

Paladins can also have pets. Paladin/Druids can have multiple pets that wouldn't stack if the Druid AC is not on the Paladin list. The multiple pet character is not limited to Pack Lords and the like.

Boon Companion applies specifically to the character. It's benefit is specifically that your level is treated as up to 4 levels higher when determining the powers of one particular pet.

Pets do not have Effective Druid Levels. Characters have Effective Druid Levels that are then assigned to different pets, if you have a class ability that allows it.

Notice that the language of the ability does not mention assigning ACs with "Effective Druid Levels".

Pack Lord wrote:

The pack lord may have more than one animal companion, but she must divide up her effective druid level between her companions to determine the abilities of each companion.

Each time a pack lord's druid level increases, she must decide how to allocate the increase among her animal companions (including the option of adding a new 1st-level companion). Once a druid level is allocated to a particular companion, it cannot be redistributed while that companion is in the pack lord's service (she must release the companion or wait until the companion dies to allocate its levels to another companion, which she can do the next time she prepares spells).

That's because ACs don't have EDL. Characters do. It's the Druid's EDL. And that EDL doesn't change, even though the levels are attributed to different pets. For instance,

Ranger wrote:
This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (which is part of the Nature Bond class feature), except that the ranger's effective druid level is equal to his ranger level – 3.

It is the Ranger, not the Ranger's companion that has an Effective Druid Level. Just like a Pack Lord Druid has an Effective Druid Level. It just so happens that said Pack Lord's EDL is the same as the character's Character Level if they are single-classed.

When splitting levels between multiple companions, your EDL never changes. It is always the same. You just assign level to your pets based on your determination. And at no point do your pets have their own Effective Druid Levels.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Just because you could interpret a rule to make a horrible option semi-ok doesn't mean it was made for that option. In face the original boon companion only helped multi class Druids and not Rangers. Plus I'd bet it was originally written before the pack AC classes.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The latest version of Boon Companion was written in Animal Archive in 2013.

The Pack Lord druid archetype was written in Ultimate Magic in 2011.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Seeker of Secrets came out in 2010, the update to boon didn't fix for pack and was only fixed for Rangers.

They didn't design the Feat with pack in mind or it might have more clearly specified how it works.

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