Animal companion AC?


Rules Discussion


It doesn't seem to say so explicitly in the book, but are the rules for AC for animal companion the same as for familiars (i.e. equal to its owner's)?


They start at trained in unarmored and can get boosts to expert and I think maybe master depending on the upgrades you get for them and calculate AC as normal. 10+ prof+ stat bonus.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

They are also trained in barding so you can equipment them with the barding on page 295. Barding can give +1 or +3 ac.

EDIT - Although it should be noted that barding is rather expensive for starting characters.

Dark Archive

And for some reason heavy barding only gives a companion +2 AC because they can't have more than a +2 item bonus to AC.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can Animal Companions use Bracers of Armor, or other worn magic items? As long as the magic item doesn't provide an item bonus other than AC and speed, it should be fine, right?


WatersLethe wrote:
Can Animal Companions use Bracers of Armor, or other worn magic items? As long as the magic item doesn't provide an item bonus other than AC and speed, it should be fine, right?

Nope, that might allow for shenanigans or something. It needs to have the 'companion' trait. :-(

CRB page 604, Companion Items wrote:

You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for animal companions, familiars, and similar creatures. If it’s unclear whether a creature can benefit from such an item, the GM decides.

Investing Companion Items
Any worn companion item needs to be invested. However, your companion needs to invest it rather than you doing so. This requires you to use the Invest an Item activity alongside your companion. A companion has an investiture limit of two items (instead of the 10-item limit a player character has).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You haven't actually quoted anything that prohibits an animal companion from using non-companion magic items. All the quoted part says is that only animal companions can use companion items -- it says nothing about other magic items.

The animal companion rules on pages 214-217 do restrict what sort of item bonuses they can receive, and of course they cannot wear anything that needs to go on body parts they don't have, but in theory the two items that an animal companion can invest (per rules preceding the quote) could include non-companion items.

This is the same fallacy that misled many people to conclude from the existence of the Rejuvenate Eidolon spell that an eidolon could not benefit from a cleric's Cure Light Wounds spell.


David knott 242 wrote:
You haven't actually quoted anything that prohibits an animal companion from using non-companion magic items. All the quoted part says is that only animal companions can use companion items -- it says nothing about other magic items.

Reread the first part.

I, quoting the CRB, wrote:
You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for...."

"These items" = "items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you"

Therefore items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you have the companion trait (and therefore benefit only companions etc).

It follows immediately that items that do not have the companion trait do not benefit animals or beasts that assist you.


I'm not sure it does follow. The rule say "Here are items for companions" and then clarifies that companion trait items only work with companions, familiars and similar creatures.

It doesn't say that companions can't use non-companion items.

That might be the intent, but if it is it should be spelled out more explicitly, not something you can kind of extrapolate from the rules if you squint at them from the right angle.


Are you questioning "Therefore items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you have the companion trait" or "It follows immediately that items that do not have the companion trait do not benefit animals or beasts that assist you"?

Because the first is a simple grammatical substitution, and the latter is a direct application of contraposition, no squinting required. "All birds have feathers" logically implies "all things without feathers are not birds."


Which would be great if that's what the rules clearly said.

"These items" could just as easily be parsed to mean "The items in this section" rather than "all items that benefit an animal companion." In fact that's how most of the people I've spoken to interpreted that line.

Your 'simple substitution' isn't, because it fundamentally adds new meaning to the sentence. You're then drawing a conclusion based on the alterations you've made rather than the text as written.

Again, that conclusion may very much be intended, but that's not what I'm arguing either. Just that if it is it needs to be more clear and not something that relies on an assumption like that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
"These items" could just as easily be parsed to mean "The items in this section" rather than "all items that benefit an animal companion." In fact that's how most of the people I've spoken to interpreted that line.

I find that reading implausible, but okay.

I will agree with you that the rule ought to be more clear one way or the other. People are going to want to give their companions an aeon stone or two even if the GM doesn't think they have the body parts to wear anything else.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't really see how "you might want to acquire these items, because they benefit animal companions" becomes "animal companions can only use these items". Regular barding doesn't even have the companion trait.

Horizon Hunters

Apophenia wrote:

They are also trained in barding so you can equipment them with the barding on page 295. Barding can give +1 or +3 ac.

EDIT - Although it should be noted that barding is rather expensive for starting characters.

Light barding for a small or medium companion is 10 gp... for +1 to the AC! that's 5x what it costs to get leather (2 gp) for your ranger/druid.

And it requires a +3 strength, which not all companions have.

Heavy Barding requires a +5 Str... that's two advances on the companion's Str minimum. Level 8 for a druid and 10 for a ranger.


The only issue I see with companions & familiars using magical items is this ...

Player Characters get 10 investment points. What determines who / what gets investment points ? Do monsters ? Dragons ? familiars or companions ?

If a creature has investment points, then it follows they should be able to use magical items.


Familiars and companions have 2 investement points.

Also, on the investement paragraph, under the cpmpanions' items one, it specifically says

Quote:
Any worn companion item needs to be invested. However, your companion needs to invest it rather than you doing so. This requires you to use the Invest an Item activity alongside your companion. A companion has an investiture limit of two items (instead of the 10-item limit a player character has).

Which obviously point out the fact that a companion can only use one of those specific magic items.

Simply because it doesn't mention any other item,and it is a specific rupe for a companion investiture.

Then could obviously come the houserules.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=770


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Are you questioning "Therefore items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you have the companion trait" or "It follows immediately that items that do not have the companion trait do not benefit animals or beasts that assist you"?

Because the first is a simple grammatical substitution, and the latter is a direct application of contraposition, no squinting required. "All birds have feathers" logically implies "all things without feathers are not birds."

CRB pg 604 wrote:
You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for animal companions, familiars, and similar creatures.

(for context, "these" refers to the items that followed the description, which is the magic items made for companions in the CRB)

the contraposition of "All items with the companion trait function only for companions" is not "items without the companion trait do not function for animal companions." The contraposition would just be "Items that function for non-companions do not have the companion trait." The logical deduction just tells you if something ISN'T a companion item because it DOES function for a PC. No where do the rules say "All Items that companions can use have the companion trait," a statement which does have the contraposition you are implying. The companion trait merely restricts the item from being used by non-companions, rather than restricting the Companions to only using certain items. The only global restriction on Companions using items is their investiture of 2, item bonuses being limited to AC and Speed, their stats and proficiency and available limbs. If companions were limited to ONLY items with the companion trait, we wouldn't need separate rules about what item bonuses animal companions can get.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Right now, since we have so few companion items, I'm probably going to rule that they can wear whatever, with GM approval. Like, going into the elemental plane of fire without equipping your dog with a ring of fire resistance would just be inhumane.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ofMars wrote:
(for context, "these" refers to the items that followed the description, which is the magic items made for companions in the CRB)

That, as Squiggit pointed out, is the crux of our disagreement. I read "these items" to mean "the items just mentioned in the previous sentence," from which the rest follows.


Barding is armor and should be able to get armor runes. Companions can explicitly wear barding, thus companions can't be restricted to only items with the companion trait.

If you can't armor up your 20th level companion against auras and exploding balors, why even have one?


Aservan wrote:
Barding is armor and should be able to get armor runes.

And yet it can't. I'm not sure why that would be relevant here.

Aservan wrote:
Companions can explicitly wear barding, thus companions can't be restricted to only items with the companion trait.

They're clearly talking about magic items, not all items.


Aservan wrote:

Barding is armor and should be able to get armor runes. Companions can explicitly wear barding, thus companions can't be restricted to only items with the companion trait.

If you can't armor up your 20th level companion against auras and exploding balors, why even have one?

Barding can't be etched with runes,though, which seems silly.

(CRB pg. 295)

Between this, whether "These" refers to the following items or the previous sentence, and the lack of clarity on whether or not you can cast magic fang on a companion, we really need animals covered in an official Errata.


Barding can't get armor runes, but is allowed to be magical.

I read this as:

Dear GM,

Use armor runes but don't use armor runes. The math at high level will be all sorts of screwed up if you let followers get kacked by the first AoE used in the fight. They will need the save and AC bonus or they will be chunky salsa.

We don't want armor runes or moron rules lawyers will bugger the system six ways from Sunday. Make sure you stay in control and maybe stop playing with asshats.

Sincerely,
The Pathfinder Game Designers.


I think a lot of the questions brought up in this section of the forum is growing pains from shifting to a more gamist than simulationist design.


"You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for animal companions, familiars, and similar creatures. If it’s unclear whether a creature can benefit from such an item, the GM decides."

I take that to say that companion items are only for companions, but that does not limit them from using other items. Companion items are a subset of magic items that are only usable for companions. Much like how consumables are a subset of items that also have specific rules relating to them. That doesn't mean those rules apply to the greater group of magic items.


Mellack wrote:

"You might want to acquire items that benefit an animal or beast that assists you. These items have the companion trait, meaning they function only for animal companions, familiars, and similar creatures. If it’s unclear whether a creature can benefit from such an item, the GM decides."

I take that to say that companion items are only for companions, but that does not limit them from using other items. Companion items are a subset of magic items that are only usable for companions. Much like how consumables are a subset of items that also have specific rules relating to them. That doesn't mean those rules apply to the greater group of magic items.

that's the carousel we're currently in. I believe "these" refers to the following list, and Fuzzy thinks it refers to the previous sentence. I will personally be running games as though the companion trait only limits the items with the trait, rather than limiting companions themselves, but round and round the argument will go until the errata comes out

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Animal companion AC? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.