View Full Version : Animal Companions and Special Mounts as PC's 3.5

2008-12-15, 07:10 AM
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried playinga Animal Companion or Special Mount as a PC. That is someone is playing a Druid/Arcane Heriophant of Paladin and you take over and play their Animal Cpmpanion/Companion Familiar/Special Mount. No worrying about XP, just make sure your "friend" doesn't croak. You can even nag them to take feats to help you (Natural Bond, Leadership making you their cohort, ect).

It would help if you made a house rule to give animals realistic Int scores, especially for strainht Animal Companions - 1-5 is much more realistic for the smarter animals. It has been shown that some animals have devoloped a vocabulary of several hubdred words and even created new words for concept that their current vocabulary didn't cover.

Create the stats as normal but modify stats for animals with a book Int of 2 so that their Int stat is as below. Otherwise follow the normal rules for working out stat mods for race as per the Monster Manual (IIRC).


Int stats for book Int 1 animals are


Int 2 or less you're restricted to actions based on tricks you've been taught.

Companion Familiar and Special Mount abilities that increase your Int to a set score instead increase your Int by the set amount -2. i.e. A lev 5 Paladin's mount has a Int of "6". Instead you would add (6-2) to your Int, adding 1 when your Paladin reached 8th lev.

If the DM doesn't which to allow using Leadership to make the animal a Cohort you could always allow the bonus HD to become levs in Scout, Barbarian or mayber Ranger (creating a new Combat Style) as would seem fitting for the animal. i,e, Wolverines would take Barbarian levels. The slower advancement balanced by the higher start level, superior physical stats and the additional boosts in abilities from your "friend". No other base classes of Prestige Classes with anything less than a Wish AND the close eyeball and agreement of DM beforehand for "appropriateness"..

Stephen E

2008-12-15, 08:36 AM
There was a build on here a few months ago that used bloodlines, Beastmaster, Natural Bond, and Arcane Heirophant to make an AC on the level of a PC, then had the PC stay at home while he adventured. I'm considering it myself, actually, though without the bloodlines. If someone still has a link...

2008-12-15, 08:49 AM
It sounds like a cool idea, however

It has been shown that some animals have devoloped a vocabulary of several hubdred words and even created new words for concept that their current vocabulary didn't cover.

... citation?

2008-12-15, 08:06 PM
It sounds like a cool idea, however

... citation?

It was some of the great apes work from a several years back. I;ll see if I can find a internet reference.

Stephen E

2008-12-15, 08:12 PM
Citation -


I love Wiki. :smallwink:

Stephen E

Keld Denar
2008-12-15, 08:16 PM
I've actually seen in play a PC with levels of Arcane Heirophant who introduced himself as an ape with a giant club, and that shrimpy guy who follows him around. Basically, he ape had a great club, onto which the guy would cast Greater Mighty Wallop and Brambles + Spikes and then sit back and Haste it while Mr. Monkey would play Whack-A-Mole with anything that moves. Since its like a familiar, it has pretty high Int, and because its like an Animal Companion, its also got some pretty buffed. Could Power Attack and do pretty decent damage. Had a higher AC than a lot of fighters I've seen, and did more damage. After that, the player would usually just sit back and shoot Produce Flames or something, while the ape would beat the snot out of stuff. Pretty impressive, and still viable at about level 12 from what I saw. Probably started slow though, like any theurge type character.