[Ranger] Animal Companion Sizes (specifically the bear's) Don't "Measure Up"


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Pun originally not intended.

Joking aside, though, it is a bit awkward that a starting horse gets to be Medium or Large when they're juvenile (as taking "Full-Grown"at level 5 implies them to be), but a bear starts off the same size as a badger, bird, or snake. Are we sure that isn't a typo and bears ought to be Medium? They don't gain any statistical benefit from it, and at worst a Small creature could ride one, but it causes some rules - reality desynchronization when a juvenile bear and a juvenile bird are the same size. Not to mention that they - by extension - can all go from Small to Large means you can have a large bear... or a large badger. Badgers are vicious enough that you could reasonably mistake them for Large in terms of weight class, and while the answer "they're fictional creatures, their sizes are different" is a response one could give, it isn't satisfying.

My player (the one wanting to play a ranger) also finds it a bit awkward that a downed PC who isn't commanding their companion will just watch their companion sit there and not respond to being butchered. Now, I could houserule both the size thing and the "needs a command" thing, but the fact is that if we accept from the outset that a houserule is needed, the rules we were handed were kinda busted from the start.

My proposed solutions on the matter are to let the bear start at Medium, maybe make the Horse special in some way that isn't "you can use it as a mount from level one" (because that feels like a bad prize anyway), and maybe let animal companions take a single action when their PC is down in the name of defending themselves or their PC.


Malkyn wrote:
My proposed solutions on the matter are to let the bear start at Medium, maybe make the Horse special in some way that isn't "you can use it as a mount from level one" (because that feels like a bad prize anyway), and maybe let animal companions take a single action when their PC is down in the name of defending themselves or their PC.

They will defend themselves (with both actions):

page 416 wrote:
Minion A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. A minion acts on your turn in combat when you spend an action to issue it verbal commands (this action has the concentrate trait). If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for at least 1 minute, mindless minions don’t act, whereas intelligent ones act as they please.

I agree it would be nice to expand that to defending their master too, at least if they're down.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ooh. Good! I completely missed that when reading the rules, glad to know your npc pet doesn't just sit there and take it on the chin when not being given commands, that felt a bit gamey in a bad way.

(Like a dissociated mechanic, for those familiar with the term. Glad it's not.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ah... Would still like confirmation from the design team if possible that all animal companions are the intended size. Is only the horse medium at start explicitly because horse = mount?


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Would also be nice if you could have the option to keep your animal companion small. I enjoy having a dog companion and there are plenty of dogs that remain small when "full-grown".


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Malkyn wrote:
My proposed solutions on the matter are to let the bear start at Medium, maybe make the Horse special in some way that isn't "you can use it as a mount from level one" (because that feels like a bad prize anyway), and maybe let animal companions take a single action when their PC is down in the name of defending themselves or their PC.

They will defend themselves (with both actions):

page 416 wrote:
Minion A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. A minion acts on your turn in combat when you spend an action to issue it verbal commands (this action has the concentrate trait). If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for at least 1 minute, mindless minions don’t act, whereas intelligent ones act as they please.

I agree it would be nice to expand that to defending their master too, at least if they're down.

So if you don't spend an action to order them during one turn do they fight or do they run away? This had huge implications on actually using them.


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To be perfectly frank, the way companions work is horses**t.
It is game-y beyond belief.
Monsters still get 3 actions per round, right?
So if My Ranger with Bear Companion is Fighting 2 wild bears he and his partner are less efficient than two random bears?
Trained attack animals don't need a command to protect their master; creatures with a mystic bond should be at least as good as random creatures if not better.
Seriously, you took away a ton of options AND you're making the remaining ones worse?
How is that balanced?
/rant.


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LordVanya wrote:
It is game-y beyond belief.

I have to agree that all of P2 feels really contrived to make the game balanced. P1/3.5 definitely has some totally contrived rules as well, but the totality and comprehensiveness of Paizo's desire to balance P2 undermines the gritty feel, imo. I'm reminded of the movie, Demolition Man with Sandra Bullock, and how the movie tried to portray the future.

Paizo is trying to reconcile two contrary interests, a medieval combat and magic setting with game "balance." AD&D was not balanced.

Quote:
Trained attack animals don't need a command to protect their master

They do if you want the game to be "balanced." Remember, Rangers are getting their AC's nerfed because of Druids and the fact that Druids get an AC and can summon animals. That allows a Druid to bog down a table, so Paizo is trying to address that. One player getting the dice rolls of 2-3 is problematic.

Quote:

Seriously, you took away a ton of options AND you're making the remaining ones worse?

How is that balanced?

Well, if we're being totally honest the default Ranger AC in P1 was cannon fodder. Until Boon Companion feat came along, the 3.5 AC was essentially worthless in combat. In fact, I don't really understand what WotC was thinking when they gave a Ranger a lvl-3 companion. It's not fit for combat and it's not a skill monkey, so what is the Ranger suppose to do with it sans Boon Companion? At least in P2, the AC has been upgraded compared to the standard issue Druid AC.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Upon learning that animal companions can defend themselves, I'm fine with commanding them to act intelligently takes an action. I'm mostly just concerning regarding "is the starting bear a literal cub?" Because it would have to be in order to be the same size as most of the other starting small companions.

My apologies to the devs that this thread has since been home to people whining about your attempts to balance the game, actually prefer that method (as the only balance that really matters is that between players, and nobody enjoyed watching rangers take 2 turns or the druid taking 3+ depending on what they'd summoned).


Malkyn wrote:
Upon learning that animal companions can defend themselves, I'm fine with commanding them to act intelligently takes an action.

Let's look at the actual rule:

p. 416 wrote:
If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm.

Emphasis mine.

There's no clear rule that a minion will keep attacking something that attacks back. A GM could just as legitimately rule that your minion retreats if attacked there is a clear path of escape. Your GM could metagame and simply not have anything attack the minion and force the player to keep using an Action to get any benefit from the creature, we're already seeing that with the Paladin's Retributive Strike.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If your reason to condemn a rule is "it could be metagamed," I don't think your issue is with the rule itself so much as it is with GMs whose GMing style you don't agree with.


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Forgember wrote:
Would also be nice if you could have the option to keep your animal companion small. I enjoy having a dog companion and there are plenty of dogs that remain small when "full-grown".

It would be good to be able to have a mount sized riding dog, wolf, or goblin dog from the start. Weirdly, the price for renting them is in the equipment price, but they don't exist as a companion mount anywhere else. Goblins have the Rough Rider Ancestry feat that gives bonuses to handling goblin dogs and wolves as mounts, but wolves (and presumably the wolf statistics that would be used for goblin dogs) start as small as animal companions. The Cavalier Dedication feat explicitly says that even if a GM allows a non-horse companion, the companion doesn't get the mount "special ability", which seems bizarre considering the Rough Rider feat, the existence of riding dogs, and the past history of the game.


Let me address the actual topic.
No, it doesn't make sense for a young bear to be the same size category as a bird or a snake or whatnot.

However, since the effects of size outside of individual feats seem to be diminished, it is basically a moot point right now.

This is just one of many issues that are popping up in regards to Animal Companions. It is definitely one of those "sub-systems" that needs an overhaul.


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Malkyn wrote:
If your reason to condemn a rule is "it could be metagamed," I don't think your issue is with the rule itself so much as it is with GMs whose GMing style you don't agree with.

No, my issues is that the rule is ambiguous. A player should have a reasonably good idea whether the animal will run or stand and defend itself in any given situation. The outcome shouldn't be totally random. Right now, there is nothing in the rule which says which is more likely to happen or why.

To answer your original question. No, there's nothing wrong with the bear being typed small. You seem to be confusing the size group with actual size. All things types Small are not the same size just as all thing typed Medium are not the same size.

Scarab Sages

LordVanya wrote:


However, since the effects of size outside of individual feats seem to be diminished, it is basically a moot point right now.

Yeah, it seems size bonus is a thing of the past. And since it doesn’t say I’m assuming reach stays at 5ft and doesn’t increase to 10.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
LordVanya wrote:

Let me address the actual topic.

No, it doesn't make sense for a young bear to be the same size category as a bird or a snake or whatnot.

However, since the effects of size outside of individual feats seem to be diminished, it is basically a moot point right now.

This is just one of many issues that are popping up in regards to Animal Companions. It is definitely one of those "sub-systems" that needs an overhaul.

Thank you for actually addressing the topic. Glad I'm not the only one to recognize there's a categorization issue at play.

Can't speak to the other parts of animal companions, other than that they seem very squish when my ranger PC has their bear engage and generally get one-rounded.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Madame Endor wrote:
The Cavalier Dedication feat explicitly says that even if a GM allows a non-horse companion, the companion doesn't get the mount "special ability", which seems bizarre considering the Rough Rider feat, the existence of riding dogs, and the past history of the game.

Yeah, I know my ranger wants to ride their bear once they're large-sized, need to figure out how that works in PF2.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:


No, my issues is that the rule is ambiguous. A player should have a reasonably good idea whether the animal will run or stand and defend itself in any given situation. The outcome shouldn't be totally random. Right now, there is nothing in the rule which says which is more likely to happen or why.

Totally random and GM fiat aren't one and the same. The Confused condition is random. I again posit your issue is with what a GM might rule. The fact is that making hard rules on the matter threatens to be inflexible. In the interest of space conservation and this being a playtest book, I think they threw that line in with the expectation that GMs would adjudicate based on the situation or would create their own general guidelines and follow them. I know I'm doing the latter. My PC's bear, for instance, will default to sticking close to her and attacking anything that attacks her or the bear. If the PC drops, the bear will return to stand guard over her and attack enemies that get too close. Variations will exist depending on situation. Not exactly radical.

N N 959 wrote:


To answer your original question. No, there's nothing wrong with the bear being typed small. You seem to be confusing the size group with actual size. All things types Small are not the same size just as all thing typed Medium are not the same size.

And I'm quite certain I said what I meant, so I take it your response to the topic is that a bear, a snake, and a bird are all fine in the same size category, but a horse is not.


Malkyn wrote:
My PC's bear, for instance, will default to sticking close to her and attacking anything that attacks her or the bear.

Except that's not your call as the PC. The GM decides what your AC does, per the rules. Having a rule that results in neither GMs nor PCs having any clue how it will turn out is bad design. It leads to arguments at the table and frustration for all players. Nor, should a GM be left without any guidance on when the AC runs or stays. Don't put GMs in a position to have to make arbitrarily decisions that can screw over a PC. It's pretty simple to say the AC will attack if the AC or PC is attacked. Or, roll a die to decide. The playtest isn't complete and there's nothing wrong with pointing out that this is something that needs to be addressed.

N N 959 wrote:
And I'm quite certain I said what I meant, so I take it your response to the topic is that a bear, a snake, and a bird are all fine in the same size category, but a horse is not.

You're overlooking the obvious. A bear is Small because Paizo doesn't want PC's using it as a mount at lvl 1.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:
Except that's not your call as the PC. The GM decides what your AC does, per the rules. Having a rule that results in neither GMs nor PCs having any clue how it will turn out is bad design. It leads to arguments at the table and frustration for all players. Nor, should a GM be left without any guidance on when the AC runs or stays. Don't put GMs in a position to have to make arbitrarily decisions that can screw over a PC. It's pretty simple to say the AC will attack if the AC or PC is attacked. Or, roll a die to decide. The playtest isn't complete and there's nothing wrong with pointing out that this is something that needs to be addressed.

A bit of miscommunication here, methinks. I am the GM for my group, a player wants to really like the ranger, but has these concerns, and I agree with them, hence why I'm fielding them.

N N 959 wrote:
You're overlooking the obvious. A bear is Small because Paizo doesn't want PC's using it as a mount at lvl 1.

And I actually addressed this in my first post. Along with the bit about the ranger being one of my players.

Point being, protecting the horse's niche as "the mount" makes size categories awkward. I'd rather they gave the horse something unique as opposed to something that will be outdone by leveling up the other companions and thus render the horse obsolete. I mean, if we're talking about the rules allowing jank, a PC who wants a mount companion can take a horse early on, grab a few size upgrades, metagame command their horse into a position where it dies, and then ask for something else to ride instead. Now, a GM could adjudicate that as a non-starter during an adventure, but once they get downtime bets are off for a sufficiently determined PC, at which point a GM just has to tell them no, and that scenario feels like s!#@ for everyone involved.


Malkyn wrote:
Point being, protecting the horse's niche as "the mount" makes size categories awkward. I'd rather they gave the horse something unique as opposed to something that will be outdone by leveling up the other companions and thus render the horse obsolete.

While I don't agree about size being "awkward" I do agree that there should be some reason to keep riding a horse as opposed to a bear. I also agree that using Size as gatekeeper is a bad option if it unintentionally favors small-sized characters.


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N N 959 wrote:
Malkyn wrote:
Point being, protecting the horse's niche as "the mount" makes size categories awkward. I'd rather they gave the horse something unique as opposed to something that will be outdone by leveling up the other companions and thus render the horse obsolete.
While I don't agree about size being "awkward" I do agree that there should be some reason to keep riding a horse as opposed to a bear. I also agree that using Size as gatekeeper is a bad option if it unintentionally favors small-sized characters.

The advantage to a horse should be that it's faster, has more endurance than most other animals save wolves and the like, and has a rather rare commodity among animals in the form of attacks that deal bludgeoning damage. It shouldn't have extreme niche protection in the form of a "mount" tag. If "mount" exists it should be something that no species comes with, but that can be applied to any animal via training by an animal handler.


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Malkyn wrote:

Pun originally not intended.

... but a bear starts off the same size as a badger, bird, or snake. Are we sure that isn't a typo and bears ought to be Medium? They don't gain any statistical benefit from it, and at worst a Small creature could ride one, but it causes some rules - reality desynchronization when a juvenile bear and a juvenile bird are the same size. Not to mention that they - by extension - can all go from Small to Large means you can have a large bear... or a large badger. Badgers are vicious enough that you could reasonably mistake them for Large in terms of weight class, and while the answer "they're fictional creatures, their sizes are different" is a response one could give, it isn't satisfying.

IRL Bears actually do start off quite small.

"Bears have the smallest young in relation to the mother's body size of any higher mammal. Typically bear cubs weigh between one three-hundredth and one five-hundredth as much as their mother. On average a newborn black bear cub weighs little more than 10.5 ounces (300 g) and is 9 inches (23 cm) long"

At one year a young bear cub may weigh as little as 15 lbs, although there is a considerable range

I don't see a problem here.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, they may be small but there is no requirement for them to be little cubs. Lets not forget that the Horse, Snake and the Bear are Strength 16 as young companions, the others including a Hawk are strength 14.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

A pet peeve (yes, I went there) is that for almost 9 years, I was waiting for Pathfinder to release a bear companion that would be a large animal companion...as bears (even black bears) in real life are not poodle bears, but are very large-in fact, they are the largest carnivorous land animal in the world. In the Ultimate Wilderness book, they finally released Grizzly Bears (large bear companions)..kudos.

Nevertheless, as PF1 is winding down, I don't know why the developers, as in PF1, have again made bears small to medium companions. They should start as medium and progress to large animals. Yes, large companions have their issues, especially in dungeons, but so be it. You know the size issue as you are picking them as your companion.

Anyway, please reconsider the poor Pooh bears, they are looking at you with very sad eyes, wondering why you hate them so..sniffle, sniffle...


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You know, it hadn't even occurred to me that you could have a problem with the bear size progression. I was too busy being happy we know get large size bear pets at all compared to PF1. I also don't think it is super hard to justify low level animal companion bears being smaller than low level animal companion horses. Horses are a domesticated animal-- you can get an adult horse and expect it to listen to you, even as some random schmuck. But bears, wolves, and big cats are not domesticated. They are dangerous predators. The best way to get one not to eat you is to raise it from when it was little. (The high level Ranger/Druid is so attuned to nature that they can bypass this restriction, though.)

Now all that being said, I'm not saying the bear SHOULDN'T be large sized at 1st level if you want to ride one. It is a cool concept, and the game should enable cool concepts. There seem to both be narrative and game balance reasons to justify it being small, and I think "Rides bears" is actually one of the easier things to justify needing a few levels on. But the game as is could stand to enable some more low level concepts.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, during session, this got brought up, and one player mentioned something important: you want to ride a horse for a mount? Buy one.

And there goes the horse's niche of "mount animal companion.

But to get back to other points made here...

Snickersnax wrote:


At one year a young bear cub may weigh as little as 15 lbs, although there is a considerable range

I don't see a problem here.

Horribly inaccurate, actually. And the part that annoys me is that I think you knew better (unless you can include your source that mislead you). It's pretty clear you and I both googled "size of 1 year bear" or something similar and got close to the same page.

http://bearwithus.org/understanding-bears/facts-at-a-glance-north-american- black-bear-ursus-americanus/

Weight range at 1 year is 15 pounds to "more than 100 pounds, depending on food supply."

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear
"At the age of six weeks, they attain 900 g (2.0 lb), by 8 weeks they reach 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and by the age of 6 months they weigh 18 to 27 kg (40 to 60 lb). They reach sexual maturity at the age of three years, and attain their full growth at 5 years."

Now, consider a few things:
1) A ranger or druid raises this thing from a cub. Presumably there is no lack of food for the bloody thing. Even if you go somewhat light on something as broad as "more than 100 pounds" and settle on 90 lbs, that is still triple the weight of any of the Small races in PF1 (which technically had an upper bound of something like 37 lbs).

2) This is a black bear. The stats given in the book are supposed to be between black, grizzly, or polar (player's choice). So this problem actually gets worse if you assume anything not a black bear.

3) That's at 1 year. I can accept that, if you want to say that a ranger must raise it from a young age, that's fine. My issue is then that if you actually take a small-sized bear companion into combat, you are taking something clearly less than six months old, a literal cub that no sane person would expect to face down anything dangerous.

4) Then there's the comparison to horses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foal

Like black bears, horses take 5 years to reach full height. Some people start saddling or working them at 2 years, though this is technically understood to be too young for them and their work must be delicate for fear of not hurting them. So we're expecting a horse to be battle-hardened, carrying Medium creatures and qualifying as Large at 2 years old, then? But the bear you want to bring with you has to be under six months? Neither is ready for combat at that point, but based upon the book, that's the expected ages we're talking here.

5) Part 2 of this issue: if it takes 5 years for both animals to reach full grown size, and Full Grown is a level 5 feat for rangers regardless of animal companion, it is not congruent to say that "yeah, I guess bears are just younger animal companions than horses." There's no narrative backing there on the timeframe in which they age/grow. Now, a full grown horse can - depending on breed - be bigger than a black bear... When fully grown. But if we're allowing different horse breeds, we have to allow different bear species, and the polar bear would like to have a word with you about this Size nonsense.

6) In conclusion, when fully grown, both the black bear and your choice of horse breed so vastly outstrip human weight that they clearly fall closer to each other as Large than either of them do to Medium.

Captain Morgan wrote:


There seem to both be narrative and game balance reasons to justify it being small, and I think "Rides bears" is actually one of the easier things to justify needing a few levels on.

Actually, Size itself offers no mechanical advantage between Small and Medium. I'd be fine with a bear starting at Medium. Even at Large, they gain no advantage other than being mount-able by Medium creatures and gain a substantial disadvantage (being larger = fit less places, easier to flank). The only reason Horses can start Medium or Large whereas all others must start Small is an extremely gamey attempt to protect the horse's niche as "mount." I'd say start bears at Medium, keep horses where they are size-wise, but give them something unique that isn't "mount". High move speed, longer overland endurance for long distances, charging/jousting capabilities (Rideby Attack from PF1, anyone?), etc. I respect the iconic image of a knight on a horse, and to that end they deserve more than "is a mount."


My biggest issue with animal companion sizes is that Small animals can't be ridden and that full-grown animals have to increase in size. I'd love that be able to have a Halfling ride a Medium boar or dog for all 20 levels.


Simply having a trait called "Mount", independent of size, would be more than enough to preserve the Horse's mount-iness while making it easy to simply give each AC an appropriate size.

And as for size increase, I agree it should be optional.
If for some reason you want your horse to stay medium, then you should have the option to do so and it then gains the "Pygmy" trait.
If there is an existing animal that fits as flavor text then feel free to have yourself a 'Donkey', 'Mule', or 'Zebra'.
Point being this sort of stuff shouldn't be tied down by arbitrary mechanics.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think Animal Companion horses already get a Mount tag, which is part 2 of "why are horses special?" I'd have to double check that once I get home. Either way, it's unrealistic when Paizo specifically said they wanted to take more steps for things like this to have rules and reality align. Yeah, I know, magic, but these are supposed to be mundane real world animals, maybe a smidge smarter than natural.

I and my PC agree the bear can start at Medium, so it would be until level 9 that the ranger gets to ride the bear. As it stands, it'll be arbitrarily longer because it starts at Small.


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malkyn wrote:


Now, consider a few things:
1) A ranger or druid raises this thing from a cub. Presumably there is no lack of food for the bloody thing. Even if you go somewhat light on something as broad as "more than 100 pounds" and settle on 90 lbs, that is still triple the weight of any of the Small races in PF1 (which technically had an upper bound of something like 37 lbs).

2) This is a black bear. The stats given in the book are supposed to be between black, grizzly, or polar (player's choice). So this problem actually gets worse if you assume anything not a black bear.

3) That's at 1 year. I can accept that, if you want to say that a ranger must raise it from a young age, that's fine. My issue is then that if you actually take a small-sized bear companion into combat, you are taking something clearly less than six months old, a...

My fully grown Rottweiler was over 100 lbs. and was still the size of a child. Humanoids are lanky and tall. It's not correct to use their weight to compare to something like a bear. Bears and dogs are incredibly compact and are mostly muscle which means that they are heavy for their size.

In terms of different classifications of bear, they vary pretty wildly in size. Brown bears are actually on the larger size, but black bears aren't nearly so big and even at full grown size would fit in a 5' square.

So, if we're taking reality into account the bear's size could vary quite a bit. But if we're taking reality into account no culture successfully used bears as animal companions.

So perhaps there's the caveat when you found your animal companion that it's small for its species because otherwise it would eat you.


SuperSheep wrote:
Malkyn wrote:


Now, consider a few things:
1) A ranger or druid raises this thing from a cub. Presumably there is no lack of food for the bloody thing. Even if you go somewhat light on something as broad as "more than 100 pounds" and settle on 90 lbs, that is still triple the weight of any of the Small races in PF1 (which technically had an upper bound of something like 37 lbs).

2) This is a black bear. The stats given in the book are supposed to be between black, grizzly, or polar (player's choice). So this problem actually gets worse if you assume anything not a black bear.

3) That's at 1 year. I can accept that, if you want to say that a ranger must raise it from a young age, that's fine. My issue is then that if you actually take a small-sized bear companion into combat, you are taking something clearly less than six months old, a...

My fully grown Rottweiler was over 100 lbs. and was still the size of a child. Humanoids are lanky and tall. It's not correct to use their weight to compare to something like a bear. Bears and dogs are incredibly compact and are mostly muscle which means that they are heavy for their size.

In terms of different classifications of bear, they vary pretty wildly in size. Brown bears are actually on the larger size, but black bears aren't nearly so big and even at full grown size would fit in a 5' square.

So, if we're taking reality into account the bear's size could vary quite a bit. But if we're taking reality into account no culture successfully used bears as animal companions.

So perhaps there's the caveat when you found your animal companion that it's small for its species because otherwise it would eat you.

Yeah, that was the idea that occurred to me.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

*sigh*

Welp, was working on a big post, it got eaten. Will probably work on it some more this upcoming week. Long and short of it: your Rottweiler would have been Medium under PF1 rules. Black bears should start at Medium and hit Large end-game, other types of bears should hit Large mid-game, and none of that measures up versus the other Small animal companions, like a snake, a bird, or a badger.

Also, giants are notorious for taming all kinds of dangerous thing, the "no culture has ever brought bears to heel" falls flat when you consider the setting.

Wish I hadn't lost my post, gave much better details and defenses on all of this.


And the AC's being arbitrarily smart to avoid you getting eaten is just plain lame. It violates 'the rule of cool'.

Also, though it is not to the same as true domestication, bears IRL have been trained by circuses to perform for centuries.
Hollywood still relies on animal trainers to be able to film certain types of scenes with wild animals so that the wild animals "won't eat you".

So that argument falls a bit flat when you then consider the setting and the mystical nature of an AC.

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