View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Using Boon Companion Feat + 1 level Druid dip = insta-pet fun!

2010-02-24, 08:09 AM
In the Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets - A Guide to the Pathfinder Society book there is a feat called the Boon Companion. It allows a character that has an animal companion class feature to allow the companion to gain +4 levels to its development, up to your class level.

Basically, it was a patch for the Ranger, allowing the player to spend a feat so that the Ranger's companion could be equal in power to the Ranger levels the character has.

Still, you can use it in other ways. Take any class, say a Rogue, who'd love to have a pet as a flank buddy. At fifth level just take Druid as a class, and as your 5th level character feat take the Boon Companion feat and suddenly you've got a 5th level animal companion ready to help the rogue sneak attack all day.

This 5th level Druid dip has a lot of potential and does require some planning on your part for the animal companion.


First, because the animal companion is 5th level it gets a +1 to an attribute. Quite often there are odd numbered physical stats, particularly Con, which with just that one point you can boost up the companion's hit points by another 5 points.

However, you might want to consider putting it into Intelligence. Getting an animal to a 3 intelligence provides many benefits. The companion is no longer restricted to a specific list of skills and feats that it can select from. Further it it no longer is required to use animal tricks and handle animal checks. Lastly, you can put a point into linguistics for the companion, and then select common as a language. The companion will not be able to speak, but the character can talk to it and it will understand. A 3 intelligence isn't going to allow for a lot of deep conversations, but it's a leap above the very specific actions allowed by animal tricks.

The other major consideration is that one feat is going to come after the animal gains a 3 intelligence. This means any feat that the companion meets the normal feat prerequisites for can be taken. Looking over the list of core feats this is not an exhaustive list, but there are several that might work for the specific companion that are not on the companion feat list.

I've put together a sheet that goes over many animal companions to consider for a 5th level Druid dip. You can find the pdf here. (http://www.mediafire.com/?zjtmg5zwylj)

Not all of the companions are on there. I didn't go into sea based creatures, nor did I bother with creatures that have an upgrade at 7th level. This idea is more about simply going into a one level dip to get the pet, not about taking several levels in Druid, which if you've already taken four levels of something else, is about as suboptimal as it gets.

There might be reasons to pick a creature that upgrades at 7th level due to unique abilities, like flying with the Dire Bat or Roc, but for the most part if you are doing a 1 level dip then you might as well get the upgrade.

The Downside

The one problem with this dip is that the animal companion's abilities remain static. At 5th level you'll get a real power boost to your character, but as levels increase the animal companion's stats are going to stay the same.

Whether this is really an issue can really depend on the campaign. If you are only going to stick to the low or mid levels then this is still going to be a viable dip. If however you plan to play in the upper levels then over time the companion is going to be left behind by the types of challenges the party is going to face.

The Cavalier

You can also do this dip with the Cavalier out of the Advanced Player's Guide, there are restrictions though. The Cavalier's mount uses the same rules as the Druid animal companion, but you have to pick something that can be a viable mount. Further the RAW list of choices is very limited, unlike the Druid's list which has many more options.

Still, along with the mount you'll get a BAB point and some martial class features.


A rogue is looking for a flanking buddy. There is the small cat, which allows for trips and has a good move speed. For feats take things like Agile Maneuvers and Weapon Finesse to boost the chance of tripping, along with Nimble Moves to ensure it can keep rotating around for a flank regardless of terrain. Invest skill points into acrobatics so it can tumble through opponents.

Worth considering for any class is the constrictor snake. With a nasty bite that has a good chance of grabbing, grappling and constricting in just one round, it might just outright kill whatever it attacks, but if not then the poor opponent is grappled by a large creature and you can have at it while your pet keeps squeezing the life out of it. The big drawback with snakes and reptiles though is the 1 intelligence to start. You won't be able to get the Int to 3 and so you're still going to have to make handle animal checks.

One obnoxious option is to take the Ape. Give this guy light armor proficiency, power attack and martial or exotic weapon proficiency. Now pay out the gold to equip your pet with large size light armor and hand him a large size greatsword or spiked chain. All of a sudden you've got a large body guard, with 10 foot reach and a really nasty attack. This is a bit cheesy, but it is legal.

2010-02-24, 08:13 AM
It also helps a Druid who takes animal Domain (which gives an animal companion as a granted power at a weaker rate) instead an animal companion.
Makes you have a normal AC and a domain.