View Full Version : [3.5] giving more skill points to animal companions

2014-01-02, 10:19 PM
my DM and i are trying to come up with relatively balanced (and logical) ways to make it so that my animal companion can get more skill ranks than normal, so that it can be more of a movement utility companion (it's a mount). i mean, i want to rank spot, tumble, escape artist, climb, jump, etc... but i don't want to have to worry about only giving each skill 1 point.

things we were thinking of:
-Handle animal tricks that give it skill points
-Feats that give it skill points (like nymph-kissed)
-using my handle animal or ride ranks (although this goes back on the jump description)

do you guys have any idea of ways to come up with a way for this to be balanced and make sense? we're stumped, especially since i'm going to be taking this (http://dndtools.eu/classes/wild-plains-outrider/) class and i don't want it to be invalidated.

2014-01-03, 10:39 AM
A few ideas:
Give your companion a number of bonus skill points equal to your Int bonus for each of it's hit dice.
Give your companion a number of bonus skill points equal to half your skill points.
Give your companion at least 2 bonus skill points per HD.
Really, the companion will hardly have more HD than you, so it will never be more skilled than it's rider at any task, nor will it overpower the companion to have extra skills.

2014-01-03, 12:42 PM
Somewhere I recall there is a feat that gives you extra skill points, but that is still limited by the theoretical HD+3 (or HD+3/2) limit on skill ranks.

I believe you're thinking of "Open Minded" from Complete Adventurer. Every time you take it, it grants 5 skill points.

2014-01-03, 06:07 PM
Open Minded was my first thought too, but considering one of the skill feats (alertness) comes with the animal companion anyhow, there is precedent for skill boosting your companion already, if you r DM doesn't mind, a straight swap between that and Open Minded gives you 5 points in any skill/s you so choose. I also see nothing wrong with just making a simple feat like this... (excuse format, on my phone....)

Best of Breed (Monstrous)
Requires: Must be an Animal Companion with at least 3HD
Benefit: When an aminal takes this feat, they gain a number of additional skill points per level equal to 1/2 their master's Int modifier (rounded down, minimum of 1). This effect is not retroactive, but does come into effect before skills are taken on the level this feat is aquired.