Cleric of Erastil with Chivalry Inquisition and Animal Domain


Rules Questions

Sovereign Court

I've searched the message boards for answers, but I haven't been able to find out an answer to this question. In the end, it'll probably need an FAQ, but I figured I'd ask anyways.

If a Cleric of Erastil takes both the Animal domain and the Chivalry inquisition, what happens with the mount/animal companion?

Chivalry Inquisition wrote:

Source Magical Marketplace pg. 10 (Amazon)

Deities: Erastil, Iomedae, Sarenrae, Torag.

Granted Powers: You embrace the spirit of chivalry, guarding your honor and training a noble mount.

Mount (Ex): This ability acts as the cavalier ability of the same name.

Faithful Steed (Su): At 8th level, when you use your judgment ability, your mount gains the benefit of one of your selected judgments. At 16th level, your mount gains the benefits of two of your selected judgments.

Animal Domain wrote:

Granted Powers: You can speak with and befriend animals with ease. In addition, you treat Knowledge (nature) as a class skill.

Speak with Animals (Sp): You can speak with animals, as per the spell, for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your cleric level.

Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, you gain the service of an animal companion. Your effective druid level for this animal companion is equal to your cleric level – 3. (Druids who take this ability through their nature bond class feature use their druid level – 3 to determine the abilities of their animal companions).

Domain Spells: 1st—calm animals, 2nd—hold animal, 3rd—dominate animal, 4th—summon nature's ally IV (animals only), 5th—beast shape III (animals only), 6th—antilife shell, 7th—animal shapes, 8th—summon nature's ally VIII (animals only), 9th—shapechange.

So, by reading this RAW, it would appear that I would get a Mount (like a Cavalier), using my Cleric level as my effective Druid level, AND I would gain an animal companion, using my Cleric level - 3 as my effective Druid level. Unless I choose the same animal for my companion and mount, in which case I would have an animal companion equal to twice my Cleric level - 3 as my effective Druid level.

What would happen in such a situation?

1) I would gain either one super animal companion, or two different animal companions;
2) Since it's the same source, it doesn't stack, therefore I would use one or the other;
3) Something else?

I know in PFS, there was a ruling made a while back (due to the Aasimar and Elf favored class bonus being applied to a revelation, and some revelations granted you a companion) that the max level of a companion cannot exceed your character level + 1. But I haven't seen any FAQ indicating that this is a general rule, or even if this rule is even valid in PFS anymore.

Note that this isn't for PFS, and I could just ask my potential GM, but I wanted to get an understanding of it beforehand.

Sczarni

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You would get two Animal Companions.

A Mount equal to your level, and an Animal Companion at your level–3.

Scarab Sages

Nefreet wrote:

You would get two Animal Companions.

A Mount equal to your level, and an Animal Companion at your level–3.

Agree. That is the RAW answer.

For PFS, I *believe* you'd still get both, but you'd have to declare which you were using at the start of each session (and the other would get sidelined). Could be wrong here.

Regarding game balance, your GM would be wise to limit the total number of animal companions (and other creature allies). It's an action economy thing. Game slows down and CR mechanic doesn't work as well (since animal companions are class features and do not count for CR purposes).

As an aside, the Mount from the Chivalry inquisition doesn't have the Shared Spells ability because the Chivalry Inquisition uses the Cavalier's Mount class feature. Something to keep in mind since you'll have two animal companions.

Sovereign Court

Nefreet wrote:

You would get two Animal Companions.

A Mount equal to your level, and an Animal Companion at your level–3.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:

Agree. That is the RAW answer.

For PFS, I *believe* you'd still get both, but you'd have to declare which you were using at the start of each session (and the other would get sidelined). Could be wrong here.

Regarding game balance, your GM would be wise to limit the total number of animal companions (and other creature allies). It's an action economy thing. Game slows down and CR mechanic doesn't work as well (since animal companions are class features and do not count for CR purposes).

As an aside, the Mount from the Chivalry inquisition doesn't have the Shared Spells ability because the Chivalry Inquisition uses the Cavalier's Mount class feature. Something to keep in mind since you'll have two animal companions.

Hmm. You'd get 2 different animals, even if I were to select the same type of creature? For instance, if I took a Pony as a mount (due to being a Gnome), and then a Pony as an animal companion, they wouldn't stack and thus give me 2 Ponies?

I admit, I was hoping that they'd stack. Not for any super-mount shenanigans, but so that I wouldn't have to take Boon Companion on my mount due to multiclassing into Dragoon fighter, as I'm tight on feats.

If one would allow them to stack, but not allow your effective Druid level to exceed your character level, it should be balanced and probably ok as a house rule?

I'm aware that the mount wouldn't get Share Spells. Another reason I was hoping they'd stack.

Scarab Sages

Arassuil wrote:

I admit, I was hoping that they'd stack. Not for any super-mount shenanigans, but so that I wouldn't have to take Boon Companion on my mount due to multiclassing into Dragoon fighter, as I'm tight on feats.

I'd ask the GM, if that's the goal. If I were the GM, I'd limit the mount to no greater level than your total character level, but if you want to waste two domains on a single mount, I hardly see the balance problem. That would be a houseruling, of course.

I will note that the Dragoon Class strikes me as being focused on having "Disposable" mounts, since it is focused both on mounted and dismounted combat.


Arassuil wrote:
Hmm. You'd get 2 different animals, even if I were to select the same type of creature? For instance, if I took a Pony as a mount (due to being a Gnome), and then a Pony as an animal companion, they wouldn't stack and thus give me 2 Ponies?

Because of the way the Animal domain is worded, specifically calling out a druid's animal companions (plural), I would say the domain companion is not intended to stack with anything else.

Arassuil wrote:

I admit, I was hoping that they'd stack. Not for any super-mount shenanigans, but so that I wouldn't have to take Boon Companion on my mount due to multiclassing into Dragoon fighter, as I'm tight on feats.

If one would allow them to stack, but not allow your effective Druid level to exceed your character level, it should be balanced and probably ok as a house rule?

Even if I allowed them to stack at my table, I wouldn't let the level exceed the class that grants the ability without something like a magic item or feat coming into play to allow it. You wouldn't get to double your cleric level whether the abilities stacked or not.

Arassuil wrote:
I'm aware that the mount wouldn't get Share Spells. Another reason I was hoping they'd stack.

What was that about no super-mount shenanigans? ;)

Murdock Mudeater wrote:

For PFS, I *believe* you'd still get both, but you'd have to declare which you were using at the start of each session (and the other would get sidelined). Could be wrong here.

Regarding game balance, your GM would be wise to limit the total number of animal companions (and other creature allies). It's an action economy thing. Game slows down and CR mechanic doesn't work as well (since animal companions are class features and do not count for CR purposes).

I don't personally see a big issue either way: doubled-up druid companion or mount.

The secondary companion from the Animal domain is at a reduced level, which requires a feat to bring to your full level. Using the vanilla class, it also replaces your original companion. So you'd need an archetype or something else (Leadership feat, multiclass with ranger, etc) to get the second one, which would also most likely be reduced in level.

I'm not as familiar with paladin and cavalier mounts as a companion creature, but my understanding is that they are primarily for mobility and/or mount-specific options, like lances. The mount otherwise doesn't do a whole lot as a separate creature. If that's not correct, then I'd be glad to know it.

Either way, the domain gives you a less-then-full companion, much like the Leadership feat. I don't see an issue with a druid or ranger taking it and having both a cohort and animal companion on the field. I don't see how a mount and animal companion are terribly different from that.

Sovereign Court

Murdock Mudeater wrote:

I'd ask the GM, if that's the goal. If I were the GM, I'd limit the mount to no greater level than your total character level, but if you want to waste two domains on a single mount, I hardly see the balance problem. That would be a houseruling, of course.

I will note that the Dragoon Class strikes me as being focused on having "Disposable" mounts, since it is focused both on mounted and dismounted combat.

Obviously, I'd be asking the GM. Just wanted to see if that wasn't an unreasonable house rule. And I agree, capping it at your character level would be more than fair (from a player and GM perspective, if I was the GM).

In terms of Dragoon, I'm looking at a 1 level dip for Cleric due to getting armor/weapon proficiencies, Mounted Combat, and Skill Focus (Ride). But that's now really off-topic.

Feauce wrote:
What was that about no super-mount shenanigans? ;)

Heh. No shenanigans intended with that statement. Just in case there was a useful personal spell I wanted to use on the mount, like Beast Shape III from the Animal Domain. No way I'd be casting that on myself, but casting it on my mount so it can fly, or swim, etc.; would make for good utility.

Scarab Sages

Feauce wrote:


I don't personally see a big issue either way: doubled-up druid companion or mount.

The secondary companion from the Animal domain is at a reduced level, which requires a feat to bring to your full level. Using the vanilla...

Too long, site cut you off. I'll still try to address your points.

For starters, the Paladin/Cavalier "mount" is misleadingly named. It is a full animal companion in all respects, they do not have to ride it and it can function as a combat pet just as much as the Druid's can. The restriction is just that the "Mount" has limited in creature selection options. The pony is weaker, but none of the others represent weakened animal companions. They have lack of choice, but they aren't bad choices.

Personally not a fan of the Leadership feat. I don't feel it aids game balance. But if the GM is allowing Leadership, then multiple mounts is not really an additional issue. I will note that the Leadership feat can be used to obtain mounts.

Regarding multiple animal companions (and other class feature creatures), the issues are twofold. First issue is an action economy thing, where just having more actions per turn means a stronger player (and a slower game). Second issue is regarding CR, since the companions can certainly be as or more effective than player characters, but aren't calculated into the CR when determining the diffuclty of an encounter or the experience gained. And the issues are more pronounced when more players in the party have companions.


Arassuil wrote:
Just in case there was a useful personal spell I wanted to use on the mount, like Beast Shape III from the Animal Domain. No way I'd be casting that on myself, but casting it on my mount so it can fly, or swim, etc.; would make for good utility.

That's what Craft Wondrous Item is for. :) Enchanted horseshoes with Beast Shape [insert level here] as a command word. You could even have some fun with repeatedly shifting your mount between forms, kinda like when the genie from Aladdin was cycling through options for what to turn the monkey into.

Scarab Sages

Arassuil wrote:

In terms of Dragoon, I'm looking at a 1 level dip for Cleric due to getting armor/weapon proficiencies, Mounted Combat, and Skill Focus (Ride). But that's now really off-topic.

Have you looked into the Theologian archetype for the Cleric? Ultimate Magic.

Gives only a single Domain, but treats that domain as 2 levels higher for domain related abilities (like the level of your companion). It would be up to the GM to houserule a swap an inquisition for the domain, but it would most certainly work with the animal domain.

So, for the Animal Domain, you'd get a Companion at 4th, as normal, but at 4th, your cleric level would be considered 6th for the purposes of this ability making it 6-3 instead of 4-3 for the companion's level. So at actual 4th level cleric, your companion would be 3rd level.

Sczarni

Hmm. Since it counts as the Cavalier class feature I imagine you could then take Monstrous Mount/Mastery and select a Griffon ^_^

Sovereign Court

Murdock Mudeater wrote:

Have you looked into the Theologian archetype for the Cleric? Ultimate Magic.

Gives only a single Domain, but treats that domain as 2 levels higher for domain related abilities (like the level of your companion). It would be up to the GM to houserule a swap an inquisition for the domain, but it would most certainly work with the animal domain.

So, for the Animal Domain, you'd get a Companion at 4th, as normal, but at 4th, your cleric level would be considered 6th for the purposes of this ability making it 6-3 instead of 4-3 for the companion's level. So at actual 4th level cleric, your companion would be 3rd level.

Actually, I didn't. Only get one domain, and if I take an Inquisition, then I don't get any domain spells. So that leaves only taking the Animal domain. Something to think about. Thanks for that suggestion.

Hopefully, the rules team will get around to clarifying this in some way (perhaps when an errata comes out for the ACG dealing with the Sacred Huntmaster Inquisitor archetype? Since they get an animal companion, and still have access to a domain, potentially leading to the same issue).

Nefreet wrote:
Hmm. Since it counts as the Cavalier class feature I imagine you could then take Monstrous Mount/Mastery and select a Griffon ^_^

Ha! If I wasn't so tight on feats, I'd totally do that!

Feauce wrote:

I completely understand the action economy issues. I just think that the focus is a little off.

An arcane caster focused on summoned monsters can easily break that nearly every combat. If they stick to using less than their maximum level spell slots for summons, that gets multiples at a time. Add the right mix of archetype, school, feats, etc, and it can get quite absurd. That doesn't even count the summoner itself with a permanent pet in addition to spell-granted minions.

I suppose my main source of disagreement is that encounter design from the GM side needs to take these sorts of things into account, even when running a published module. Instead of limiting what the characters' classes, feats, spells, and such allow them to do (within some sensible range, obviously), taking their abilities into account without relying on CR to do it all is the better way to go, I think.

For the following examples, I'm assuming appropriate levels, gear, etc. I would be just fine pitting a three character party against a 5-or-more-headed hydra, even without companion creatures. If another three character party (plus cohorts and other companions) was approaching the same encounter, I might add other creatures to it, to give a bit more bite to the scene.

I would much rather do that than tell the human barbarian/druid that they can't have a pair of dire ferret aniamal companions, plus a panther cohort.

For myself, I try to limit that sort of thing as a player so the GM doesn't have to do so much work. Most of the time, there's enough time to read up on the encounters for the session of an adventure path, but not much time to balance encounters due to the party. That's what happens when someone gets old like we are and have so much other responsibilities. ^_^

... Isn't it funny how this thread has turned from a Rules Question, and now is looking more like an Advice topic? ;-)


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Personally not a fan of the Leadership feat. I don't feel it aids game balance. But if the GM is allowing Leadership, then multiple mounts is not really an additional issue. I will note that the Leadership feat can be used to obtain mounts.

My group has been playing through Kingmaker which, due to the kingdom management mechanics, makes Leadership an attractive feat choice almost to the point of it being a requirement. I realize there's plenty of NPCs to pick from to fill roles, but the assumed loyalty attached to a cohort (assuming reasonable treatment) is not easily disregarded.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Regarding multiple animal companions (and other class feature creatures), the issues are twofold. First issue is an action economy thing, where just having more actions per turn means a stronger player (and a slower game). Second issue is regarding CR, since the companions can certainly be as or more effective than player characters, but aren't calculated into the CR when determining the diffuclty of an encounter or the experience gained. And the issues are more pronounced when more players in the party have companions.

I completely understand the action economy issues. I just think that the focus is a little off.

An arcane caster focused on summoned monsters can easily break that nearly every combat. If they stick to using less than their maximum level spell slots for summons, that gets multiples at a time. Add the right mix of archetype, school, feats, etc, and it can get quite absurd. That doesn't even count the summoner itself with a permanent pet in addition to spell-granted minions.

I suppose my main source of disagreement is that encounter design from the GM side needs to take these sorts of things into account, even when running a published module. Instead of limiting what the characters' classes, feats, spells, and such allow them to do (within some sensible range, obviously), taking their abilities into account without relying on CR to do it all is the better way to go, I think.

For the following examples, I'm assuming appropriate levels, gear, etc. I would be just fine pitting a three character party against a 5-or-more-headed hydra, even without companion creatures. If another three character party (plus cohorts and other companions) was approaching the same encounter, I might add other creatures to it, to give a bit more bite to the scene.

I would much rather do that than tell the human barbarian/druid that they can't have a pair of dire ferret aniamal companions, plus a panther cohort.


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The divine hunter arche for hunter has rules for dealing with this situation, I advise using this rule for similiar situations.

Scarab Sages

Feauce wrote:

I completely understand the action economy issues. I just think that the focus is a little off.

An arcane caster focused on summoned monsters can easily break that nearly every combat. If they stick to using less than their maximum level spell slots for summons, that gets multiples at a time. Add the right mix of archetype, school, feats, etc, and it can get quite absurd. That doesn't even count the summoner itself with a permanent pet in addition to spell-granted minions.

I suppose my main source of disagreement is that encounter design from the GM side needs to take these sorts of things into account, even when running a published module. Instead of limiting what the characters' classes, feats, spells, and such allow them to do (within some sensible range, obviously), taking their abilities into account without relying on CR to do...

If the GM is designing encounters for the party, then it can be balanced out easily, which I agree with you on. Then again, I don't really think the CR is very useful in the first place if customizing encounters for the that specific party.

CR is mainly used when determining experience, loot, and difficulty of a generic encounter which isn't designed for a specific party, but is instead balanced for a generic party of a specific level.

Regarding summons specifically, they can be shut down if the GM keeps summoning in mind when designing generic encounters. Lots of options to limit, impair, or otherwise shut down attempts at summoning (and spellcasting in general). That said, pregenerated material often doesn't keep it in mind and this gives the appearance that summons are broken. And many GMs never attempt to use counterspelling.

Regarding the summoner class, the Eidolon can't be out when they use their Summon Monster (sp) class feature. So it is limited, though certainly not very limited.

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