Animal Companions

An animal companion's abilities are determined by the druid's level and its animal racial traits. Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics determines many of the base statistics of the animal companion. They remain creatures of the animal type for purposes of determining which spells can affect them.

Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics
Class Level HD BAB Fort Ref Will Skills Feats Natural Armor Bonus Str/Dex Bonus Bonus Tricks Special
1st 2 +1 +3 +3 +0 2 1 +0 +0 1 Link, share spells
2nd 3 +2 +3 +3 +1 3 2 +0 +0 1
3rd 3 +2 +3 +3 +1 3 2 +2 +1 2 Evasion
4th 4 +3 +4 +4 +1 4 2 +2 +1 2 Ability score increase
5th 5 +3 +4 +4 +1 5 3 +2 +1 2
6th 6 +4 +5 +5 +2 6 3 +4 +2 3 Devotion
7th 6 +4 +5 +5 +2 6 3 +4 +2 3
8th 7 +5 +5 +5 +2 7 4 +4 +2 3
9th 8 +6 +6 +6 +2 8 4 +6 +3 4 Ability score increase, Multiattack
10th 9 +6 +6 +6 +3 9 5 +6 +3 4
11th 9 +6 +6 +6 +3 9 5 +6 +3 4
12th 10 +7 +7 +7 +3 10 5 +8 +4 5
13th 11 +8 +7 +7 +3 11 6 +8 +4 5
14th 12 +9 +8 +8 +4 12 6 +8 +4 5 Ability score increase
15th 12 +9 +8 +8 +4 12 6 +10 +5 6 Improved evasion
16th 13 +9 +8 +8 +4 13 7 +10 +5 6
17th 14 +10 +9 +9 +4 14 7 +10 +5 6
18th 15 +11 +9 +9 +5 15 8 +12 +6 7
19th 15 +11 +9 +9 +5 15 8 +12 +6 7
20th 16 +12 +10 +10 +5 16 8 +12 +6 7 Ability score increase
21st 17 +13 +11 +11 +5 17 9 +13 +7 8 -
22nd 18 +14 +11 +11 +6 18 10 +13 +7 8
23rd 18 +14 +11 +11 +6 18 10 +14 +8 9 Uncanny dodge
24th 19 +15 +12 +12 +6 19 10 +14 +8 9 -
25th 20 +15 +12 +12 +6 20 11 +14 +8 9 Ability score increase
26th 21 +16 +13 +13 +7 21 11 +15 +9 10 Improved devotion
27th 21 +16 +13 +13 +7 21 11 +15 +9 10
28th 22 +17 +13 +13 +7 22 12 +15 +9 10
29th 23 +17 +14 +14 +7 23 12 +16 +10 11 -
30th 24 +17 +14 +14 +8 24 13 +16 +10 11 Improved uncanny dodge, Ability score increase

Class Level

This is the character's druid level. The druid's class levels stack with levels of any other classes that are entitled to an animal companion for the purpose of determining the companion's statistics.

HD

This is the total number of eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice the animal companion possesses, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal.

BAB

This is the animal companion's base attack bonus. An animal companion's base attack bonus is the same as that of a druid of a level equal to the animal's HD. Animal companions do not gain additional attacks using their natural weapons for a high base attack bonus.

Fort/Ref/Will

These are the animal companion's base saving throw bonuses. An animal companion has good Fortitude and Reflex saves.

Skills

This lists the animal's total skill ranks. Animal companions can assign skill ranks to any skill listed under Animal Skills. If an animal companion increases its Intelligence to 10 or higher, it gains bonus skill ranks as normal. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can purchase ranks in any skill. An animal companion cannot have more ranks in a skill than it has Hit Dice.

Feats

This is the total number of feats possessed by an animal companion. Animal companions should select their feats from those listed under Animal Feats. Animal companions can select other feats, although they are unable to utilize some feats (such as Martial Weapon Proficiency). Note that animal companions cannot select a feat with a requirement of base attack bonus +1 until they gain their second feat at 3 Hit Dice.

Natural Armor Bonus

The number noted here is an improvement to the animal companion's existing natural armor bonus.

Str/Dex Bonus

Add this modifier to the animal companion's Strength and Dexterity scores.

Bonus Tricks

The value given in this column is the total number of “bonus” tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the druid might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill for more details on how to teach an animal tricks). These bonus tricks don't require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don't count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The druid selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can't be changed.

Special

This includes a number of abilities gained by animal companions as they increase in power. Each of these bonuses is described below.

Link (Ex)

A druid can handle her animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if she doesn't have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. The druid gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

Share Spells (Ex)

The druid may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her animal companion (as a spell with a range of touch) instead of on herself. A druid may cast spells on her animal companion even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion's type (animal). Spells cast in this way must come from a class that grants an animal companion. This ability does not allow the animal to share abilities that are not spells, even if they function like spells.

Evasion (Ex)

If an animal companion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.

Ability Score Increase (Ex)

The animal companion adds +1 to one of its ability scores.

Devotion (Ex)

An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

Multiattack

An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with one of its natural weapons, albeit at a –5 penalty.

Improved Evasion (Ex)

When subjected to an attack that allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an animal companion takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.

Uncanny Dodge

An animal companion cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. It still loses its Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. An animal companion with this ability can still lose its Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent

Improved Devotion

An animal companion gains a total of +8 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Animal Skills

Animal companions can have ranks in any of the following skills: Acrobatics* (Dex), Climb* (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly* (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception* (Wis), Stealth* (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim* (Str). All of the skills marked with an (*) are class skills for animal companions. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can put ranks into any skill.

Animal Feats

Animal companions can select from the following feats: Acrobatic, Agile Maneuvers, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Bull Rush, Improved, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. GMs might expand this list to include feats from other sources.

Animal Choices

Each animal companion has different starting sizes, speed, attacks, ability scores, and special qualities. All animal attacks are made using the creature's full base attack bonus unless otherwise noted. Animal attacks add the animal's Strength modifier to the damage roll, unless it is its only attack, in which case it adds 1-1/2 its Strength modifier. Some have special abilities, such as scent. See Special Abilities for more information on these abilities. 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. Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2.

Need the code?

It can be very intimidating to begin creating your animal companion, we provide here a already created template for a companion who's effective level is equal to a level 1 druid simply click on their names and copy and paste the code in the companion tab for Druid and Ranger

Animal companion descriptors

Each animal companion has different starting sizes, speed, attacks, ability scores, and special qualities. All animal attacks are made using the creature's full base attack bonus unless otherwise noted. Animal attacks add the animal's Strength modifier to the damage roll, unless it is its only attack, in which case it adds 1-1/2 its Strength modifier. Some have special abilities, such as scent.

Regarding Animals with high intelligence score

This is an odd FAQ item that we see pop up on occasion in a variety of different places. What happens when an animal gets an increased Intelligence score? There are a lot of different ways this can happen, and a number of strange routes that a GM could take when resolving this issue. Today, we are going to attempt to untangle this particular knot and see if we can't come up with some guidelines that make sense.

There are many ways an animal can gain intelligence. It can gain hit dice and apply its ability score boost to Int. It can gain the advanced simple template. A druid could cast awaken on it. Regardless of the source, an increase in Int comes with all of the standard bonuses, such as additional skill points. Once a creature's Int reaches 3, it also gains a language. This is where things start to get tricky. "Really, now my pet monkey can talk?" Well, not really. Allow me to explain.

Gaining a language does not necessarily grant the ability to speak. Most animals do not possess the correct anatomy for speech. While a very intelligent dolphin might be taught to understand Common, there's no way for him speak it. There is also the issue of learning the language. The rules are mostly silent on this front, due to ease of play for PCs, but a GM should feel safe in assuming that it might take years to actually teach Common to an intelligent animal. All of this, of course, assumes that the animal even bothers to fill that language slot. Possessing the ability to use a language does not necessarily mean that such an ability is utilized.

Another aspect of intelligent animals is tool use. There are a number of feats that convey an understanding and the proper use of weapons and armor. Generally speaking, these feats are off-limits to animals, but when their intelligence reaches 3, the rules state that they can use any feat that they are physically capable of using. Some people take this to mean that they can equip their animal companion in chainmail and arm him with a greatsword given the correct feats. While you could interpret the rules in this way, the "capable of use" clause is very important. Most weapons require thumbs to use properly, and even then, few animals would choose to use an artificial weapon in place of the natural weapons that have served them all their life. It's what they were born with, after all, and virtually no amount of training will change that. In the end, the GM should feel free to restrict such choices if he feels that they take away from the feel of his campaign. The rules themselves are left a little vague to give the GM the latitude to make the call that's right for his campaign.

The Handle Animal skill functions similarly no matter how intelligent an animal becomes. A character must still make Handle Animal checks to train his animal and get him to perform the appropriate tasks. A GM should, however, make exceptions in the case of how such an intelligent animal might react in absence of instructions. It might not know to unlock a door to escape a burning building—as that's a fact that's learned over time and experience—but a smart animal might have a better chance of finding a way out.

The spell awaken changes much of this, however, since the spell is specifically designed to raise a creature up to sentience. GMs should feel free to loosen the above guidelines in the case of animals who have been the subject of this spell (since they become magical beasts), but should also note that awakened animals do not continue to serve as animal companions or familiars. Such creatures gain their own desires and feelings, and may seek to set out on their own to determine their own fate. They may not leave right away, but GMs should keep in mind that eventually any such creatures (or trees) may wish to leave to find their fortune.

Note that while the monster guidelines talk about a maximum Int for an animal, this only applies to the creation process. Giving an animal a higher Intelligence score does not somehow transform it into a magical beast, unless the effect says otherwise, such as in the case of awaken. Animals can grow to have an Int higher than 2 through a variety of means, but they should not, as a general rule, be created that way.

Well, that about wraps up our look at intelligent animals. We hope these guidelines and ideas help inform the issue in your game. If you have any further questions on the topic, ask them in the comments to this blog. Until next time!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Aldium Designers note: animals won't be allowed to use weapons here

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