Hunter with awakened animal companion


Rules Questions


So... my level 10 hunter was exploring and we got hit with an area of wild magic. Long story short, my chameleon got hit with an awaken and is no longer my animal companion. I'm not in a position to take leadership, however, at least currently Cammie is still cooperating with us.

Question is, what exactly are the changes she is subjected to? I imagine I can no longer can use my animal focuses on her or give her the benefits of my teamwork feats. Does she also lose access to the benefits from the animal companion table (I.E. natural armor, size changes, str/dex bonus, feats, etc?).

I've no idea what her stats should look like right now.


You double posted, friend. I suggest deleting one.

And... "got hit with?" I question involuntarily awakening someone's animal companion to deprive them of the class feature. I'd want details.


Stupid double post. Went ahead and deleted the other one. As for the got hit with, we've been in an area of wild magic for the last two sessions. When casting a spell I failed a concentration check and got the 72-74 effect and now my chameleon is awakened. She is not likely to want to go back to being non-sentient.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/variant-magic-rules/wild-magic-optional-rules /


Did it get its save?


Omnius wrote:
Did it get its save?

Yes, its will save is particularly bad. It is an archtype so didn't even have devotion to help out.


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Oh dear.

Well. Your chameleon friend is now just that. A friend. They're no longer an animal, they're a magical beast, so now they're an NPC who is not part of any of your class features. And probably substantially weaker for not having your animal companion boosts.

Check your Animal Companion class feature for the rules. The main class feature writeup. Not the expanded version.

You can get a new animal companion through twenty-four hours of prayer with the animal in question in its native environment.


Druid wrote:
As you gain levels, your animal companion improves as well, usually at 4th or 7th level, in addition to the standard bonuses noted on Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics.

Your animal companion “improves”, it dose not get buffed by you.

I would say your old animal companion dose not lose the bonuses they gained.
They would also keep any Feats they took.

But you would not be able to use your animal focuses on her.

I would also rule that if someone that has an animal companion and lost the ability to have one(or was killed), the animal would keep its improved statistics after it was separated from its old master.


Yeah, She is quite a bit weaker. The main problem is for the character she has been a friend from childhood. So I'd prefer to keep her not just get a new animal companion. But the animal companion page is really not specific enough, I've no idea how I need to build her.


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Well, she's not an animal anymore. She's a magical beast. And without taking that intelligence away, she's never going to be an animal again. She just can't be your animal companion anymore. She can be a friendly NPC, but not your animal companion.

That said, if you don't get a new animal companion, you get a consolation prize; you can cast Summon Nature's Ally for a minute per level, instead of a round per level. Only one instance of Summon Nature's Ally can be under this effect at any given time.


@DrStyx Is that written anywhere? I really cannot find anything useful with actual steps on how/what exactly gets changed which is why I am asking here.

@Omnius Yeah, I am taking her back to my village to see want she wants to do. We'll see. Summon natures ally is cool I suppose... but ouch.


What exactly are you wondering what's changing? You can not use any of your hunter abilities that work only on your animal companion. The animal receives the changes to stats and so forth in the Awaken spell description.

There are debates on if it becomes a regular animal and gains Awaken, or has its Animal Companion stats and gains Awaken. You won't find an answer to that on this board that's conclusive, and will have to ask your GM how they rule it.


Shrouded Traveler wrote:

What exactly are you wondering what's changing? You can not use any of your hunter abilities that work only on your animal companion. The animal receives the changes to stats and so forth in the Awaken spell description.

There are debates on if it becomes a regular animal and gains Awaken, or has its Animal Companion stats and gains Awaken. You won't find an answer to that on this board that's conclusive, and will have to ask your GM how they rule it.

This. Pathfinder is humanocentric, none of the writers take the time to make rules about how the sorts of things that adventurers get mixed up in affect the lives of the less bipedal creatures around them.

The best, most official answer I can give: Shrug your shoulders, and pass her character sheet to the DM. Her stats are no more your concern now than the mayor's constitution score. She is no longer a class feature, she is just an NPC, and the DM will sort out her stats if they want/have to.


Leitner wrote:
@DrStyx Is that written anywhere?

The part I quoted in my last post was pulled from the Druid’s Animal Companion information.


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Dr. Styx, that doesn't mean the animal companion gets permanent improvements.

As far as I know, it's never been completely settled what happens if the connection between animal and druid/hunter/ranger/etc is severed (and the animal is alive). I believe there has been developer commentary (possibly JJ) that said that eventually they revert to their base forms (per the bestiary) but the time frame over which it happens is unclear.

Don't know if I can find the post or not, but I'm pretty sure it was asked in James "Ask me anything" thread.


Alright, well my GM and I worked something out, so we don't necessarily need the official ruling, however, I definitely wouldn't mind seeing some actual rules in case we come across a similar situation in the future. My questions really boil down to:

1. What happens to the animal companion bonuses? It doesn't logically make sense that the animal would lose a bunch of natural armor, str, dex, size adjustment, etc by becoming sentient. But it likewise doesn't make sense that having trained it in teamwork tactics it would forget/refuse how to work as a team with me. It clearly does, so logic can't necessarily be used for judgement.

2. Same question as above with the evolved animal companion feat. I have an improved bite on her, I assume that reverts back to regular attack.

3. The awaken animal companion text mentions that reptile dinosaurs, which is the closest category, tend towards barbarian levels. When or how is that supposed to occur?

4. It mentions increasing her HD by 2. She previously had 9, which would bump her to 11. I assume this is a isolated buff. Typically her HD only increases when her bab, saves, etc go up.

5. Given that she has 11 HD how many feats should she have? She had 5, for a normal player/animal companion 11HD would equal 6 feats.

Basically this entire thing seems poorly explained and fairly vague. Ask your GM is a pretty annoying answer when the rules should exist if paizo is going to create this spell.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

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Hi, Leitner...

I'm not an official "voice" capable of decisively ruling on the subject. That's still going to be up to your GM. But, I can cite a similar situation which I included in my very first AP adventure for Paizo (i.e., Kingmaker's Blood for Blood). In Part Two at encounter area R, I wanted to introduce an awakened horse that was once an elderly druid's animal companion, which the PCs could encounter along with a herd of wild horses it happened to lead. Just prior to the druid's death (of natural causes), he dismissed the stallion as his animal companion but cast awaken on it as one last parting "gift"...and I struggled with locating any rule mechanics that would help define how I should structure the stat-block.

My developer (who happened to be James Jacobs) was very decisive about it. Like you, I had imagined the animal might retain a few of the things it learned or picked up when it was the druid's animal companion. After all, surely it wouldn't simply "forget" how to do those things, right? But, James disagreed and decided to have it fully revert to an animal again (albeit, one which becomes a magical beast after the spell takes effect). He also chose to give the horse the advanced simple template in addition to the benefits of the awaken spell. As a result, it lost all of the bonus Hit Dice from being the druid's former animal companion, the resulting feats, hit points, skills, etc. Then, James rebuilt the horse as a magical beast with the advanced simple template, the bonus Hit Dice from the awaken spell, and determined its remaining feats, skills, etc. based on the creature's revised Hit Dice and Intelligence score.

Bottom line, awakening an animal companion (especially for a high level druid, ranger, or hunter) drastically reduces its master-inherited capabilities despite the increased Intelligence gained from the spell. It loses the mystical connection to its former master and the class-inherited abilities that made it so much more powerful.

Given that, you may be wondering why the awaken spell is in the game. What value does it really add? I remember in one of my discussions with James, he made the case that if awaken allowed an animal companion to gain all of the spell's bonuses on top of the power it inherited from its master's class abilities, the 5th level spell itself would be too powerful for the game. Every druid, ranger, or hunter would always seek to awaken their animal companion as soon as possible, convince it to hang around as a cohort, then acquire another animal companion to also serve alongside their newfound friend. And, they could keep on doing that, one animal companion at a time, until the spellcaster acquired an entire army of awakened animals. Basically, it becomes a power creep metagame that overreaches what a 5th level spell is supposed to do.

Instead, awaken is actually meant to be something less powerful than that. It lets a druid, ranger, hunter, etc. awaken trees and animals (aside from just their animal companion) for other purposes, many of which are beyond the actual player's control and simply give the GM more NPCs and story threads to work with. Sure, the spellcaster can certainly convince any awakened creature to join the adventuring party, but they would simply become yet another NPC under the GM's control. If treated well, they'd remain friendly. If not, they'd leave like any other mistreated cohort.

So, that's probably not the "answer" you were hoping for...but, I do think it's the most reasonable approach from a game balance standpoint. After I saw the final revisions James made to my awakened horse in Blood for Blood, I came to agree with his call on the subject. As the earlier posters commented, your animal companion is now just an NPC in the hands of your GM. How to "stat" it is basically your GM's call rather than your own. If he wants to rebuild it as James did with the awakened horse I included in Blood for Blood, I think that would make for a good guideline. And, yes, that means it'll be weaker (combat-wise) than when it was your animal companion...and, you might have a harder time in making sure it survives if it accompanies you on your adventures...just like any cohorts you might acquire with the Leadership feat. And that's really what the "limits" of the awaken spell are meant to be. It's like a better version of summon nature's ally, animal messenger, and speak with animals (or plants) all rolled into one. And, it's permanent. And, it has story ramifications which the GM gets to contend with thru the introduction of a new NPC who you may or may not get to acquire as a cohort (if you're so inclined).

My two cents,
--Neil


Neil, thanks for the information, that helps out a lot. Luckily my GM didn't decide to go that route as I must say, the spell seems a bit strange in it's current iteration. Not really relevant now, but I'd wonder why the spell is built that way. It seems like something that simply grants the animal bonus intelligence and keeps it as an animal companion would avoid all the issues of someone trying to build an animal army and break game balance.

I personally wouldn't consider a spell that cost a few thousand gold and bumped an animal companions int to 10 particularly OP. I'd certainly consider using it if I had an animal as a later game purchase if I had some money to burn.


Leitner wrote:


3. The awaken animal companion text mentions that reptile dinosaurs, which is the closest category, tend towards barbarian levels. When or how is that supposed to occur?

Same way it occurs with you, really. If she continues to have adventures, she will receive experience. When she gets enough experience, she gains a level. When she gains a level, she picks a class. Dinosaurs tend to like to take levels in barbarian, when awakened. Same as orcs. But she can take levels in any class she wishes.


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Bard! Bard! Chameleon Bard! Instead of using chameleonness to blend in, use chameleonness to look fabulous!


some one in the party could take it as a familiar :)

but awakened animals can not serve as animal companions and thus they lose all animal companion benefits as the benefits are coming from them being an animal companion to some one with the class abilities to grant them benefits

your chameleon would be this with 2 extra animal hit die

you could talk to your dm about allowing it to gain class levels as it adventures with you using these rules, so if your chameleon buddy were to gain enough levels to be on par with your CR rating they would have 8 class levels


Think you can only take animals as familiars by default. They become magical beasts when you infuse them with part of your soul, or other such so and so.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Think you can only take animals as familiars by default. They become magical beasts when you infuse them with part of your soul, or other such so and so.

improved familiar allows for more types to be taken like magical beasts, undead, construct, plant, outsider, ect.


Only if they are on the list. 'The rangers now awakened chameleon' is not on the list.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Only if they are on the list. 'The rangers now awakened chameleon' is not on the list.

that is entirely gm dependent the gm can add any creature they want to the list and if it seems fair to allow the creature to become a familiar then it can become a familiar


Gm can also allow it to be an animal companion...


Piazo Blog wrote:
but should also note that awakened animals do not continue to serve as animal companions or familiars.

Blog post on intelligent animals


toastedamphibian wrote:
Piazo Blog wrote:
but should also note that awakened animals do not continue to serve as animal companions or familiars.

Blog post on intelligent animals

weird cuz that's pretty much what a familiar is, an awakened animal with bonus abilities


I think it is because a familiars abilities, and thus it's being, is kind of an extension of yourself. Where as an awakened critter is its own thing.

Not that this makes a lick of sense, considering the sentient creatures that can also be familiars.

Regardless, it is in DM fiat territory. And at that point, why not let the player keep their animal companion?


familiars are their own beings as well and not an extension of yourself, as for not letting them be animal companions i never really understood that rule either but its a rule and most gms are more likely to enforce that part of the rule then the familiars not being allowed to be awakened


Lady-J wrote:
most gms are more likely to enforce that part of the rule then the familiars not being allowed to be awakened

If you say so.

improved familiar wrote:

When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed here are also available to you. You may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each alignment axis (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind...

familiars wrote:
Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. An animal companion cannot also function as a familiar.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
most gms are more likely to enforce that part of the rule then the familiars not being allowed to be awakened

If you say so.

improved familiar wrote:

When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed here are also available to you. You may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each alignment axis (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind...

familiars wrote:
Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. An animal companion cannot also function as a familiar.

well that last one is false as a nature shaman has their creature be an animal companion and a familiar at the same time


If you spin that the familiar and animal companion traits come from the owner of the animal more than the animal itself, Awaken would cast off the owner's imprint and allow the animal a completely new and self-aware existence. What is memory is tricky stuff. Can an awakened tree recall its life - does it even have "memories" without a mind - or is it pretty new and just gathering experiences?

In your situation, where there IS intelligence from the animal prior to being awakened, there should be some relative memory. As a GM I would resolve this with an equation allowing memory to be likened to experience. If the animal has been through a lot of adventuring I would grant it more experience and if not, not much. From there I would grant the now "NPC" appropriate levels (likely Expert or Warrior) and emulate as many of the skills and feats it had as a familiar/companion that I could based on their level.

But if you simply allow a appropriate classes to Awaken animal companions and familiars once a month with no ill effects, any high level caster would have a slew of powerful awakened friends about them.


Lady-J wrote:
well that last one is false as a nature shaman has their creature be an animal companion and a familiar at the same time

Just quoting the rules, didn't write them. If shamans have a specific exception there, alright. Don't recall having an AC as a shaman, but maybe is an archetype or something. Regardless, we are not really contributing anything useful at this point.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/monstrous-companion/

^ There you go, how to regain your animal companion -- admittedly now magical beast, but regardless... it is viable to get them back!


cool!
I would throw your awakened friend a naming party.

There are several ways to get your companion back, in a way, depending on your alignment. We'll go with the good ways.

The best way is just to get another companion of the same race/species.{see your class for the details} Mechanically the build and scores will be the same. As it's a home game there may be some tweaks. No cost, no muss, no fuss, RAW and simple, 24 hrs later...

Talk to your GM, he may allow the creature to continue as your animal companion. It's not RAW but it'll work out.

all the other ways cost money, cost a feat, require engaging in questionable spellcasting procedures... Limited Wish to reverse the wild magic(is that really a nice thing to do?), Simulacrum, Polymorph any object, Sacrifice, killing your companion and casting Bestow Curse, Clone, Raise Animal Companion, or other bad things...

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