Advice For an Animal Companions for Hunter or Sacred Huntsmaster (Not Sure what one)


Advice


Ok I am planning A character how ever outside of being one of the two classes with some sort of animal I am unsure

I am unsure of class , unsure of combat style Melee With AoOs
Or Range

And i unsure of my animal

The game is going to start around level 4 or 5 and last till level 10

I guess what I am asking between a Hunter or huntsmaster and between melee and range what preforms better at the levels I mention

I kinda want to play a half Elf for flavor reasons
But will go Human if the feat will matter that much

And of course I need animal advice


There's nothing wrong with the roc you mentioned in your concept, or if you'd like a small cat (i.e. cheetah or leopard) they get their advancement at 4th level which could be useful given that level range.

Since you start with 0 BAB at 1st level the extra feat of a human just isn't as useful to you as it might be, and you don't seem to have a feat-heavy plan like going for a combat maneuver.

A hunter gets outflank as a bonus feat before your starting level which is handy. An inquisitor gets a generally better spell list for melee. Conceptually would you prefer nature spells or more civilised/social spells?

Silver Crusade

@OP: Here's an obligatory Axe Beak plug. This approach can be absurdly effective. Axe beak comes online Large, thus you can ride it as your mount, at 4th or 5th level. Terrific in a dungeon, so long as there's enough space.

Some few GM's don't think an Axe Beak animal companion should have reach. It's a reasonable RAW argument, if a bit on the reductio ad absurdum scale. That seems to be a distinct minority opinion, though.

You can change your animal companion, so consider switching to Roc at 7th level, when it also becomes Large. Roc is less combat effective than is the Axe Beak, but Flight makes up for that.


@ Magda Luckbender

I am a bit confused

I followed the links and I notice you talked about "Pole Arm Pets"

care to explain?

Its it template or Archetype i add to the pet ?


avr wrote:

There's nothing wrong with the roc you mentioned in your concept, or if you'd like a small cat (i.e. cheetah or leopard) they get their advancement at 4th level which could be useful given that level range.

Since you start with 0 BAB at 1st level the extra feat of a human just isn't as useful to you as it might be, and you don't seem to have a feat-heavy plan like going for a combat maneuver.

A hunter gets outflank as a bonus feat before your starting level which is handy. An inquisitor gets a generally better spell list for melee. Conceptually would you prefer nature spells or more civilised/social spells?

@ AVR Well I guess I'd say Nature spells as I never dealt with it before

I am thinking highly of going with the Axe Beak that @luckbender mention

could you advise me on Pet tricks and feats up to 11th level?


Axe beak w/ hunter, OK. The idea with an axe beak is that it has natural reach, you have a polearm, you ride the axe beak & you strike at reach together.

You'll want the mounted combat feat at least, and both you and the axe beak will want combat reflexes. Feats for the latter might go (levels by the hunter class not its HD, & assuming you raise it's Int 1 point with the first 4 HD increase):

1: combat reflexes
2: dirty fighting
6: improved trip
8: vigilant charger
10: greater trip

You get an awful lot of tricks. You'll want attack (twice), come, maneuver and stay for a start. Upending strike and deft stand from the skirmisher trick list. And...then you have up to 4-6 more depending on level. Whatever sounds good to you I guess.


@ AVR could you give me some Advice on my feats for my actual character

thinking of going half elf and gaining Fauchard prof with alt race feature


@ AVRA also Avr

if it goes by my level
for feats for the Axe Beak i though it be like
feats at level
1
3
5
7
9
O.O

this is not how it works

also what levels would my tricks be learned?


You'll start out with 6 tricks for an int 3 animal companion, gain 3 bonus tricks when you increase their int to 3 at 4th level, and an additional trick at 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th level. So starting at 4th level, you'd have 11 tricks. I'd just grab the combat general purpose leaving you with 5 tricks. I like vengeance strike, deft stand, and quick climb from the skirmisher list.
For your feats, you'll want pack flanking as your free teamwork feat till 8th level when you can swap it out for improved outflank. Pack flanking requires combat expertise so it's pricey, but worth it for auto-flanking with your mount.


any Traits that would be good for my Hunter?


Dirty fighter


To be clear, animal companions gain HD (and so feats) at a rate which is not the same as the rate at which your character gains levels & feats. Look at the table.

For your own feats: this a a build which rides the animal companion so there's mounted combat feats to consider. As a mounted half-elf hunter with a polearm you might get

Half-elf: EWP (fauchard)
L1: combat reflexes
Hunter 2: outflank
L3: mounted combat
Hunter 3: improved spell sharing
L5: power attack
Hunter 6: tandem trip or paired opportunists
L7: trick riding
L9: lunge
Hunter 9: blades above and below
L11: improved critical


i"m actually really digging the idea of this character

what would be some good items for my Axe- Beak?
I assume i'll want some Armor for Her

Silver Crusade

Combat reflexes gives you occasional iterative attacks during the GM's turn. Suggest Paired Opportunist come online early: 4th or 5th. That +4 to hit is both common and enormous. Tripping is great early on but fails around levels 8+. Tandem Trip is also great.


Male birds usually have prettier plumage. Dunno if that matters...

Yeah, armor. Masterwork studded leather barding or mithril chain shirt have no ACP and so work well. Avian item slots (which an axe beak uses) read: 'Armor, belt, chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, ring, wrist' and you'll presumably want a belt of giant strength and an amulet of mighty fists at some point. A stone of alliance is useful too. Don't over-equip your animal companion though, your half-elf is still the character you use most reliably.


@ Magda Luckbender
Both Feats are tempting. My group games normally don't go past level 10
(we some time do high level games like the one i'm in but not so often)

I was considering Broken-wing Gambit as as well

@ AVR Well true (About male birds)

if i had gold be level for a 5th character
how do you think i should do my items?

Also My one friend thinks i should do the Terror Bird variant (cause it sounds cool) but idk if i can if so how it would work


There's no official terror bird variant as an animal companion that I know of. The difference as a monster is that it has a couple of talon attacks and better stats because of the extra HD. The evolved companion feat could add a couple of claw attacks, but it'd require Cha 13 and obviously a spare feat.

5th level = 10 500 gp. Assuming that you get a +1 fauchard (2 314 gp) and a +1 agile breastplate (1 550 gp) that leaves you about 6 600 gp; one big item (4-5K) and some minor stuff. The big item could be a belt or headband or amulet of mighty fists or even the stone of alliance. Don't forget to get some sort of missile weapon for yourself and some light armor for the bird.

I think you'll want the armored rider trait BTW.


If you want to do an AoO build based on Outflank, you'll likely be able to put Keen on your weapon before you have the BAB for Improved Critical.


Could I get some Advice on my spells

going with Improved spell sharing so I like to get something out of that


You have four 1st level spells and two or three 2nd level spells known depending on your starting level.

Your best combat buff at this level is just bull's strength. It does +2 attack, damage & CMB/CMD. Chameleon stride is worth a look for the sheer amusement value of having a giant bird and its rider being able to hide in plain sight, but barkskin (or especially ironskin if allowed) is a slightly better defensive buff. If you're starting at 5th level consider protection from energy as your last 2nd level spell. Versatile weapon may be worth a look if DR is often a problem in your games.

Some good 1st level spells to have are heightened awareness, cure light wounds, speak with animals, longstrider, monkey fish and obscuring mist. Frostbite is a buff for your companion only, resist energy is worth a look if you don't have room for protection from energy. Cheetah's sprint is seldom useful but glorious when it is.


@AVR do you think that the transmuter trait that allows one to 1x day extend one of the +4 stat buff spells would be good for me?


How often would it matter whether the duration was 2 minutes or 5? It'd be good then, but I think that wouldn't be often. YMMV.


avr wrote:
How often would it matter whether the duration was 2 minutes or 5? It'd be good then, but I think that wouldn't be often. YMMV.

I see. I was afraid of that lol

well can you recommend a 2nd trait?


If there's nothing that you especially want otherwise then one of the +2 initiative traits is seldom wasted. If there's another person in the party who'd take it kin bond could be useful and fun.


Nosta1300 wrote:

Could I get some Advice on my spells

going with Improved spell sharing so I like to get something out of that

If you happen to be planning an evil character, you could worship Baphomet which would add Monsterous Physique 1 to your spell list via ranger giving it to you as a 2nd level spell. I also recommend Air Step and Ashen Path for avoiding environmental effects that would limit your AoO strategy.


Monkey fish

Carry companion.

2 spells that you'll find are great for you and your pet/ your pet and the party's pets.

Silver Crusade

@OP: Best buff spells for you and your mount are Bulls Strength and Enlarge Person. Divine favor is also good. Share Spells explicitly allows Enlarge Person to work on non-persons, which means you can enlarge your companion.

I noticed an error above. Bulls Strength actually gives +2 to hit and +3 to damage on e.g. Axe Beak, because it only has a Primary Natural Attack. For this reason a hypothetical Terror Bird variant of axe beak is actually LESS EFFECTIVE, because it's claw attacks hinder the effectiveness of its bite. Since you mostly care about AoOs it's claw attacks just get in the way.


Sacred Huntsmaster might edge ahead, simply because Divine Favor is a luck bonus and Bull's Strength is an enhancement bonus, meaning it doesn't stack with the Bull Animal Focus both classes get. On the other hand, Magic Fang as I understand it (not just the Greater version) allows your animal companion's natural attacks to count as magic so DR/magic doesn't work against those.

Hunter on the other hand gets Outflank at level 2, meaning with Combat Expertise and Pack Flanking you and your animal companion are ALWAYS flanking at +4 if you and it are next to each other and threatening an opponent. Which is super awesome.

This is both for you and Magda, but I just wrote a review of the Totem-Bonded Hunter. Limited animal companion list, but one of your animal foci at level 8 becomes "as enlarge person." So hello HUGE lion/tiger, wolf, rhino, and other megafauna! I DEFINITELY want to try it out in a more mid-level game...

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