Boon Companion + Class Features


Rules Questions


I am in a discussion with some friends about Boon Companion. We disagree and have found conflicting posts about the answer to this disagreement.

D20PFSRD said wrote:


Boon Companion

Your bond with your animal companion or familiar is unusually close.

Prerequisite: Animal companion class feature or familiar class feature.

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 dismiss or lose an animal companion or familiar that has received this benefit, you can apply this feat to the replacement creature.

Special: You can 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.

The way I understand it is that if a character has several Class Features that grant animal companion(s) or familiar(s) then the feat applies to only one of those Class Features. Such as a Wizard/Ranger multiclass character, the feat would apply to either the ranger animal companion or the wizard familiar, but not both. If a character has a class feature which grants multiple animals as followers, such as with a Beastmaster Ranger, Packlord Druid, or Packmaster Hunter. Then the feat boosts the total number of HD that the group of animals can have by +4, up to a maximum of the Character Level.

The way that the person I am talking to understands it, Boon Companion applies to only one of the animal companions when there are multiple animal companions. Such as with a Beastmaster Ranger, Packlord Druid, or Packmaster Hunter. He believes that the feat applies to just one of those animals that are part of the group of animals that fall under the umbrella of the class archetype's feature.

I have looked through several forum posts and am seeing conflicting views about this.

Thanks ahead of time.


They are correct, it only applies to a specific companion/familiar.

Quote:
Special: You can 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.

It does not apply to a class feature that grants them, but to the animal itself.


could you give examples of this in action then?


Your friend is correct (although since the multiple companion archetypes are banned in PFS, this must be for a home game so feel free to interpret it differently if you want). But the way the rules are written, the boon does not apply to the class feature itself, but a specific animal companion/familiar/bonded mount (I think, just going off memory) that you gain as a result of the class feature. So in practice, a 2nd level Pack Lord Druid could have two 1st level ACs. If it then levels to level 7 in Fighter (so Druid 2/Fighter 5), and then takes Boon Companion, one of the ACs will HAVE to remain at level 1 and the other can be raised to level 5.

Silver Crusade

Certainly. I am a level 4 Brawler and lvl 1 Hunter with a small cat companion.

When I took boon companion at lvl 5, kitty went from lvl 1 to 5 on the animal companion chart, gaining HD, BAB, and going up a size. I do not gain any benefits granted by higher levels in Hunter since I do not have those levels.

Likewise, if I was a Shaman 4 / Hunter 1 and I applied the boon to my cat, it would be no different. My familiar gains no benefit. If I instead apply the feat to my familiar, it would get the benefit of being a lvl 5 familiar, but no more since my total level is 5.

Hope that helps!


if it were per individual animal that falls under the umbrella of a single class feature then it could play out as follows:

Beastmaster Ranger
level 1,2, and 3. no animal companions.
level 4: gain AC feature. 1 animal companion of 1 HD.
level 5: buy BC feat. 1 AC is 1+4=5 HD, 2nd AC is 1 HD.
level 6: 3 ACs, 1x 5HD, 2x 1HD.
level 7: buy 2nd BC feat. 4 animal companions; 2 x 5HD, 2 x 1 HD.
level 8: 5 ACs; 2 x 5HD, 3 x 1HD.
level 9: buy 3rd BC feat. 3x 5HD, 3 x 1HD.
level 10: 7 ACs; 3x 5HD, 4x 1HD.
level 11: Buy 4th BC feat. 8 ACs. 4 x 5HD, 4 x 1HD.
level 12: Beastmaster Feature 'Strong Bond'. 12 ACs; 4 x 5HD , 8 x 1 HD.
level 13: buy 5th BC feat. 13 ACs; 5 x 5HD, 8 x 1HD.
level 14: 14 ACs. 5 x 5HD, 9 x 1HD.
level 15: buy 6th BC Feat. 15 ACs. 6 x 5HD, 9 x 1HD.
level 16: 16 ACs. 6 x 5HD, 10 x 1HD.
level 17: Buy 7th BC Feat. 17 ACs. 7 x 5HD, 10 x 1HD.
level 18: 18 ACs. 7 x 5 HD, 11 x 1 HD.
level 19: buy 8th BC Feat. 19 ACs. 8 x 5HD, 11 x 1HD.
level 20: 20 ACs. 8 x 5 HD, 12 x 1HD.

level 20: 20 Animal companions, 5x8=40HD + 12x1= 12 = 52 total HD worth of animal companions. which violate the beastmaster rules.

OR

level 5: buy BC. total HD of animal companions = 5HD.
level 20 Ranger Beastmaster: only able to purchase 1 BC feat. total HD of ACs is 20HD. which does not violate Beastmaster rules. Level 20 Beastmaster Ranger has 20HD distributed amongst several animal companions.


Boon Companion can't make a beastmaster's Effective Druid Level greater than the character's class levels. (I think)


Quote:
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.

It increases the level of that companion to a cap of your character level, not your class feature.


so my first example is possible?

"level 20: 20 Animal companions, 5x8=40HD + 12x1= 12 = 52 total HD worth of animal companions."


Greenwood_Cedar wrote:

so my first example is possible?

"level 20: 20 Animal companions, 5x8=40HD + 12x1= 12 = 52 total HD worth of animal companions."

Correct, nothing in Beastmaster limits you to only having 20 HD of Animal Companions.


except the feat says that the EDL caps at the Character level.

also: the Extraordinary Ability that grants Beastmasters their ability to have a pack of animals is called "Animal Companion" which is in singular form.

so those 4HD are applied to the pack(Animal Companion(Ex)) or lone animal(Animal Companion(Ex))


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Greenwood_Cedar wrote:

except the feat says that the EDL caps at the Character level.

also: the Extraordinary Ability that grants Beastmasters their ability to have a pack of animals is called "Animal Companion" which is in singular form.

so those 4HD are applied to the pack(Animal Companion(Ex)) or lone animal(Animal Companion(Ex))

As I said before

Quote:
It increases the level of that companion to a cap of your character level, not your class feature.

Those 4HD are applied to that companion only, and only care if that companion would have more HD than your character level, not if total sum of HD by your animal companions is greater than your character level.

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