PDA

View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next if Animate Dead is a spell, why isn't Animal Companion?



Bjarkmundur
2019-05-31, 12:10 PM
I've been reading up on some ranger fixes and "druids with animals" homebrew options, and it always seems so clunky.

Why is ruling an animal companion as a meaningful addition to the party so hard, and how does Animate Dead seemingly circumvent all the problems currently harrying animal companions? More importantly, why isn't "Animal Companion" a level ranger spell, which can be upcast to get a companion with a higher CR?

If anyone remembers the sentinel from 4e, why wasn't this experience used to improve Animal Companions for 5e? Namely the Combined Attack: "When you take the attack action, your animal companion can move up to its speed and make a single attack against the same target. You can do this a number of times equal to 1 + your wisdom modifier. You regain all expended uses of this feature at the end of a long rest.". 4e also introduced a passive aura to each companion, to make sure it felt impactful even when "fighting off-screen".

Segev
2019-05-31, 01:46 PM
Animal friendship is a 1st level spell. It was so in 1e-3.0, became a class feature (animal companion) in 3.5, and is back to being a spell in 5e. Find familiar followed a similar, but not identical, path.

theVoidWatches
2019-05-31, 03:15 PM
Surely you can see how Animal Friendship is in no way comparable to Find Familiar or the Animal companion feature, right?

Amechra
2019-05-31, 04:35 PM
Surely you can see how Animal Friendship is in no way comparable to Find Familiar or the Animal companion feature, right?

You could totally have a subclass that boosts Animal Friendship so that it is, though.

AdAstra
2019-06-01, 09:16 AM
I've been reading up on some ranger fixes and "druids with animals" homebrew options, and it always seems so clunky.

Why is ruling an animal companion as a meaningful addition to the party so hard, and how does Animate Dead seemingly circumvent all the problems currently harrying animal companions? More importantly, why isn't "Animal Companion" a level ranger spell, which can be upcast to get a companion with a higher CR?

If anyone remembers the sentinel from 4e, why wasn't this experience used to improve Animal Companions for 5e? Namely the Combined Attack: "When you take the attack action, your animal companion can move up to its speed and make a single attack against the same target. You can do this a number of times equal to 1 + your wisdom modifier. You regain all expended uses of this feature at the end of a long rest.". 4e also introduced a passive aura to each companion, to make sure it felt impactful even when "fighting off-screen".

I think for the ranger specifically, they wanted to avoid players being effectively two characters in one. Unfortunately they kinda forgot that memo when designing literally every other similar feature. At the very least familiars are weak and can't directly attack, but having played a paladin who used their mount as a pseudo-animal companion, I can say it is absolutely too strong, even with no scaling at all. As it turns out, warhorses are pretty glass-cannon-y, so they're almost better as an attack pet. Conjure Animals and Animate Dead are in a whole other league. CA is mostly annoying from a bookkeeping perspective, since concentration and better defined limits keep it somewhat in line, especially if the DM selects creatures. Animate Dead, however, is just kinda absurd, as evidenced by several long threads related to how to keep it somewhat reasonable.

I think what they did with the Artificer companions in 5e is probably the best balance available. Using the main character's bonus action keeps the amount of stuff being done by one player to an acceptable level.

Segev
2019-06-01, 09:28 AM
Surely you can see how Animal Friendship is in no way comparable to Find Familiar or the Animal companion feature, right?
Itís actually stronger, if you want a combat buddy. There are no limits on them taking fully independent turns. It is also what Animal Companion was before 3.5.

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-01, 04:16 PM
Oh right, I forgot about the artificer!
Maybe we're about to get a new beastmaster if the artificer pets strike a good balance :O