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Thread: Shaman Handbook [Oriental Adventures]

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Shaman Handbook [Oriental Adventures]

    The Shaman's animal companion is one of the best things it has going for it: the companion brings a second set of actions to the table each round, it's often a powerful melee character in its own right, and most notably, it can share every buff spell that the Shaman casts. Consider what that means with a high-caster level Divine Power, Polymorph, Giant Size or Shapechange, then feel free to giggle maniacally.
    Though the Shaman's Animal Companion was not explicitly updated to the 3.5 version of the class feature, it functioned identically to the Druid's in 3.0, and the mechanics underlying its older implementation were removed. I believe the most reasonable use of the ability in a 3.5 game is direct mimicry of the 3.5 Druid's Animal Companion mechanics, rather than porting in the 3.0 Animal Friendship mechanic which was removed due to fiddliness, unreliability and a high potential for abuse.

    LEVEL 1
    Brixashulty (RotW) Medium goat thing with a decent framework. Gore attacks include a decent bull rush with a fair chance of knocking the recipient over. The bull rush is useful for early-game AoO builds.
    Dinosaur, Swindlespitter Dinosaur (MM3) Area poison attack (blindness/Con) and good skills (including an unusually high Sleight of hand). Powerful in combat and in utility. Excellent companion choice.
    Dog, Riding Trip, Scent, slightly higher numbers than the wolf in Strength, NA and Perception. This is the baseline combat option at low levels.
    Giant Bee (per web) - A flying mount for a small character. Terrible combat ability and skills, but sturdy for its level, and with good mobility and speed. A situational - but potentially very useful - option.
    Hyena (per Sand), scent Ironically a better mount for a small rider than the riding dog, due to its higher speed. But the riding dog has better skills and AC.
    Monstrous Spider, Medium (per web) Spider webs are awesome, climb speed is awesome, tremorsense is awesome. Gets skills and feats if you keep it around.
    Plant (DR#357) Gain a generic Plant-type creature companion, with a variety of alterations which may be selected each level in place of the standard scaling mechanism. Tends to be mechanically weaker than the default companions, but gets a lot of weird special abilities to choose from (though its numbers stay low).
    Porpoise One fewer hit die than the Shark, but much better abilities for aquatic campaigns 120ft blindsight, crazy speed, higher base damage and better perception abilities.
    Serval (Sand) Low-level charging cat. Small size, pounce, scent and excellent skill bonuses; for its level, the Serval is the king of damage output.
    Squid Aquatic-only, but comes with some excellent abilities like Improved Grab (any size), Ink Cloud and Jet. More nuanced than the porpoise, but a compelling alternative.
    Tressym (LEoF, per Sand) Highly intelligent (12!) flying cat thing, good perception, great stealth, scent, poison immunity. The intelligence makes it one of the best utility options of any level.
    LEVEL 4
    Ape Large, high HD, high strength, multiple natural weapons, utility abilities like a climb speed and scent. It's a robust (if not stellar) choice that's practically built to mock the Fighter.
    Dinosaur, Fleshraker(MM3) This companion is notoriously crazy. It does pretty much everything pounce, grab (without size caps), poison, trip, rake, and does it with good speed and high HD for its level. Don't be surprised if the Fleshraker is nerfed, discouraged or banned.
    Dire Badger Mediocre combat stats. But the Dire Badger burrows through anything softer than solid rock, leaving a tunnel behind it. Excellent choice for a dungeoneer's utility companion.
    Dire Bat Large flyer with 40ft blindsense, good maneuverability and perception bonuses.
    Dire Eagle (RoS) Large flyer with higher speed, spot and HD than the Dire Bat and better feats and attacks. Loses out on blindsight, maneuverability and non-spot skills. Almost a toss-up between them. (NOTE: PHB2 includes this in its level 7 companions list, but it isn't clear if this is an error or stealth-errata. As a level 7 option, the eagle is much less attractive.)
    Leopard The baseline for DPS at this level. It's a solid step up from an advanced Serval, but medium size and middling strength are severely limiting for Improved Grab. Good enough skills to show up the Bison. Climb speed is also useful.
    Shark, Large Between its Large size, big piles of HD, blindsense and super-scent, the shark just has too many advantages over an advanced porpoise to ignore.
    LEVEL 7
    Bear, Brown A bit of a compromise between the Dire Ape's damage and the Giant Crocodile's grapple. Respectable (if not first-rate) damage output, as well as a rather high grapple modifier for its level and decent base speed. Solid choice.
    Bear, Magebred Brown (5N) Like the Brown bear, but with bonuses to Natural Armor, Strength and trick capacity. Requires an origin from Breland.
    Crocodile, Giant The first really excellent grappler. Improved Grab on a huge monster with high strength, excellent base damage and a swim speed.
    Dinosaur, Cave Ankylosaurus (Minis) Huge natural armor and a trample that still deals respectable damage at level 7. Starts as a decent option for a cautious player, but scales poorly. Notably decent hit dice and constitution for its level (useful for Polymorph purposes).
    Dire Ape If mobility weren't a limitation, the ape would dominate the level in terms of damage output. But without many teleport spells on the Shaman's list, the Ape ends up being a strong, but still second rate, combat choice. High potential for utility, though.
    Dire Wolf The first tripper with a decidedly advantageous modifier. It's not going to come close to the tiger's damage output, but it's a potentially useful choice as a tracker and battlefield controller.
    Swarm, Locust (per web) Overall, this is a weak option, but it's also a flying swarm companion. And that's pretty neat (even if it doesn't ever get skills).
    Tiger The default charger of this level. High damage output (including mobility), fairly strong improved grab and useful senses. The tiger has better damage and control than the advanced fleshraker, but still can't compete with the sheer pile of offensive abilities that the fleshraker puts out at once.
    Tiger, Magebred Ghost (5N) Like the Tiger, but faster, stronger, armoreder, dextouser and able to learn more tricks. Requires an origin from Breland.
    LEVEL 10
    Bear, Polar Weaker than the advanced Brown bear, but has a swim speed. You're probably going to want the Brown bear instead.
    Dinosaur, Allosaurus (MM2) Huge with Improved Grab, Swallow whole, trample and five attacks in a round. Variety of perception modes, high speed and above-average HD make it a solid combat companion.
    Dragonhawk (5N) Huge flyer with Blindsense, five natural attacks and excellent strength to back them up.
    Snake, Giant Constrictor Huge grappling beast ; Its Constrict, skill bonuses, scent and mobility modes make it preferable to crocodiles for pure grappling-based damage and control.
    Whale, Orca Better skills, damage, HP and perception modes than the Huge or advanced Large Sharks, despite having lower HD. This is going to be the default aquatic summon for this level.
    LEVEL 13
    Dire Bear High damage and grappling in the same build. Outclassed in both respective specializations by big cats and snakes, but a solid middle ground choice.
    Horrid Lion (ECS) A bit less powerful than the advanced tiger (especially magebred), but with extra acid damage. For pure damage per round, take it; but the tiger is still usually more useful.
    Octopus, Giant Lots of utility, and can grapple creatures of any size, but its grapple mods are fairly disappointing for this level. Even in aquatic campaigns, you'll probably want to stick with the constrictor.
    LEVEL 16
    Dire Elephant (MM2) Gargantuan, with 20 HD, 40 base strength and a bizarre climb speed. Justifiable by just the scale of the thing.
    Dire Shark Beats out the Orca as an aquatic companion by merit of its big handfuls of extra HD. And Improved Grab/Swallow Whole, which is always fun.
    Dire Tiger Enough HD to blow even the Magebred Ghost tiger out of the running for a charging companion. The new standard in DPS.
    Giant Squid Like the Giant Octopus, but with a grapple modifier that's salvageable at its level. Worryingly low HP though.
    Monstrous Centipede, Colossal (per web) - Honestly, it's a bad companion choice. But it's also a Colossal companion choice. That alone is pretty neat.
    Monstrous Scorpion, Gargantuan (per web) - The best grappling companion, and 20 HD.
    Tyrannosaurus Rex The best of the core grapple options, lackluster damage, but Swallow Whole is too awesome to pretend not to love.
    Roc (per Sandstorm) Gargantuan flyer. Good speed and feats. Considering its Snatch feat, this makes an excellent grappling option
    LEVEL 19
    Horrid Tiger (ECS) As the advanced Dire Tiger, but with fistfuls of Acid damage dice and slightly smaller saves/grapple mods.

    And because I've seen a complete list of Druid animal companions asked several times, I'm going to include that index in a spoiler:
    {table=head]Name |Level |Printed |Permitted |Notes
    Baboon |1 |MM |Eberron |
    Badger |1 |MM |PH |
    Barracuda |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Bat |1 |MM |PH |
    Brixashulty |1 |RotW |RotW |Halflings only
    Camel |1 |MM |PH |
    Caribou |1 |Frost |Frost |
    Chordebvoc |1 |RotW |RotW |Halflings only
    Chuckwalla |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Coyote |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Dinosaur, Compsognahus |1 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Rhamphorhychus |1 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Swindlespitter |1 |MM3 |MM3 |
    Dog |1 |MM |PH |
    Dog, Riding |1 |MM |PH |
    Donkey |1 |MM |PH |
    Eagle |1 |MM |PH |
    Eel |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Giant Ant, Worker |1 |MM |web |
    Giant Bee |1 |MM |web |
    Giant Fire Beetle |1 |MM |web |
    Hawk |1 |MM |PH |
    Horned Lizard |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Horse, Heavy |1 |MM |PH |
    Horse, Light |1 |MM |PH |
    Horse, Valenar Riding |1 |ECS |ECS |
    Hyena |1 |MM |Sand |
    Monstrous Centipede, Large |1 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Scorpion, Medium |1 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Spider, Medium |1 |MM |web |
    Owl |1 |MM |PH |
    Plant |1 |DR#357 |DR#357
    Pony |1 |MM |PH |
    Porpoise |1 |MM |PH |
    Rat, Dire |1 |MM |PH |
    Raven |1 |MM |PH |
    Sea Lion |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Sea Snake, Medium Viper |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Sea Snake, Small Viper |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Seal |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Serval |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Shark, Medium |1 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Medium Viper |1 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Small Viper |1 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Tiny Viper |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Snapping Turtle |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Squid |1 |MM |PH |
    Stingray |1 |Storm |Storm |
    Tressym |1 |FRCS |Sand |
    Vulture |1 |Sand |Sand |
    Wolf |1 |MM |PH |
    Ape |4 |MM |PH |
    Badger, Dire |4 |MM |PH |
    Bat, Dire |4 |MM |PH |
    Bear, Black |4 |MM |PH |
    Bison |4 |MM |PH |
    Boar |4 |MM |PH |
    Branta |4 |Frost |Frost |
    Brixashulty |4 |RotW |RotW |Non-halfling access
    Cheetah |4 |MM |PH |
    Chordevoc |4 |RotW |RotW |Non-halfling access
    Crocodile |4 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Dimetrodon |4 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Fleshraker |4 |MM3 |MM3 |
    Dinosaur, Pteranodon |4 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Eagle, Dire |4 |RoS |RoS |
    Eel, Dire |4 |Storm |Storm |
    Giant Ant, Soldier |4 |MM |web |
    Giant Bombardier Beetle |4 |MM |web |
    Hawk, Dire |7 |RotW |RotW |Raptorans only
    Jackal, Dire |4 |Sand |Sand |
    Leopard |4 |MM |PH |
    Leopard, Snow |4 |Frost |Frost |
    Lizard, Monitor |4 |MM |PH |
    Lizard, Quicksilver |4 |DotU |DotU |
    Monstrous Centipede, Huge |4 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Spider, Large |4 |MM |web |
    Peccary |4 |Sand |Sand |
    Puma |4 |Sand |Sand |
    Rat, Horrid |4 |ECS |ECS |
    Riding Bird |4 |DR#323 |DR#323 |
    Sailsnake |4 |MM4 |MM4 |
    Sea Snake, Large Viper |4 |Storm |Storm |
    Shark, Large |4 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Constrictor |4 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Large Viper |4 |MM |PH |
    Toad, Dire |4 |MM2 |MM2 |
    Watchspider |4 |W:CoS |W:CoS |
    Weasel, Dire |4 |MM |PH |
    Wolverine |4 |MM |PH |
    Ape, Dire |7 |MM |PH |
    Badger, Horrid |7 |ECS |ECS |
    Barracuda, Dire |7 |Storm |Storm |
    Bat, Horrid |7 |ECS |ECS |
    Bear, Brown |7 |MM |PH |
    Boar, Dire |7 |MM |PH |
    Crocodile, Giant |7 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Cave Ankylosaurus |7 |Minis |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Cryptoclidus |7 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Deinonychus |7 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Elasmosaurus |7 |Storm |Storm |
    Dinosaur, Protoceratops |7 |Sand |Sand |
    Giant Praying Mantis |7 |MM |web |
    Giant Stag Beetle |7 |MM |web |
    Giant Wasp |7 |MM |web |
    Hawk, Dire |7 |RotW |RotW |Non-Raptoran Access
    Lion |7 |MM |PH |
    Lizard, Footpad |7 |DotU |DotU |
    Megaloceros |7 |Frost |Frost |
    Monstrous Scorpion, Large |7 |MM |web |
    Peccary, Dire |7 |Sand |Sand |
    Rhinocerous |7 |MM |PH |
    Sea Snake, Huge Viper |7 |Storm |Storm |
    Snake, Huge Viper |7 |MM |PH |
    Swarm, Centipede |7 |MM |web |
    Swarm, Locust |7 |MM |web |
    Terror Bird |7 |FF |FF |
    Tiger |7 |MM |PH |
    Tiger, Magebred Ghost |7 |5N |5N |Requires Breland origin
    Weasel, Horrid |7 |ECS |ECS |
    Wolf, Dire |7 |MM |PH |
    Wolverine, Dire |7 |MM |PH |
    Ape, Horrid |10 |ECS |ECS |
    Bear, Magebred Brown |10 |5N |5N |Requires Breland origin
    Bear, Polar |10 |MM |PH |
    Boar, Horrid |10 |ECS |ECS |
    Dinosaur, Allosaurus |10 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Bloodstriker |10 |MM3 |MM3 |
    Dinosaur, Cave Triceratops |10 |Minis |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Cave Tyrannosaurus |10 |Minis |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Megaraptor |10 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Pachycephalosaurus |10 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dragonhawk |10 |5N |5N |Requires Aundair origin
    Eagle, Legendary |10 |MM2 |DR#351 |
    Glyptodon |10 |Frost |Frost |
    Helicoprion |10 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Hippopotamus |10 |Sand |Sand |
    Horse, Dire |10 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Horse, Horrid |10 |ECS |ECS |
    Lion, Dire |10 |MM |PH |
    Monstrous Centipede, Gargantuan |10 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Spider, Huge |10 |MM |web |
    Puma, Dire |10 |Sand |Sand |
    Sea Tiger |10 |MM3 |MM3 |
    Shark, Huge |10 |MM |PH |
    Snake, Dire |10 |MM2 |Sand |
    Snake, Giant Constrictor |10 |MM |PH |
    Tiger, Magebred |10 |5N |5N |
    Tiger, Saber-Toothed |10 |Frost |Frost |
    Tortoise, Dire |10 |Sand |Sand |
    Vulture, Dire |10 |Sand |Sand |
    Whale, Orca |10 |MM |PH |
    Wolf, Horrid |10 |ECS |ECS |
    Wolverine, Horrid |10 |ECS |ECS |
    Ape, Legendary |13 |MM2 |DR#351 |
    Bear, Dire |13 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Ankylosaurus |13 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Ichthyosaur |13 |Storm |Storm |
    Dinosaur, Parasaurolophus |13 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Diprotodon |13 |Sand |Sand |
    Elephant |13 |MM |PH |
    Elk, Dire |13 |MM2 |Sand |
    Fhorge |13 |FF |FF |
    Lion, Horrid |13 |ECS |ECS |
    Lizard, Giant Banded |13 |Sand |Sand |
    Monstrous Scorpion, Huge |13 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Spider, Gargantuan |13 |MM |web |
    Octopus, Giant |13 |MM |Storm |
    Bear, Dire Polar |16 |Frost |Frost |
    Bear, Horrid |16 |ECS |ECS |
    Dinosaur, Archelon |16 |Storm |Storm |
    Dinosaur, Quetzalcoatlus |16 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Dinosaur, Stegosaurus |16 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Triceratops |16 |MM |PH |
    Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus |16 |MM |PH |
    Elephant, Dire |16 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Elk, Horrid |16 |ECS |ECS |
    Mammoth, Woolly |16 |Frost |Frost |
    Mastodon |16 |MM3 |MM3 |
    Mastodon, Grizzly |16 |MM2 |PH2 |
    Megatherium |16 |FF |Frost |
    Monstrous Centipede, Colossal |16 |MM |web |
    Monstrous Scorpion, Gargantuan |16 |MM |web |
    Rhinoceros, Dire |16 |FF |Sand |
    Roc |16 |MM |Sand |
    Shark, Dire |16 |MM |Storm |
    Snake, Legendary |16 |MM2 |DR#351 |
    Squid, Giant |16 |MM |Storm |
    Tiger, Dire |16 |MM |PH |
    Whale, Zeuglodon |16 |Frost |Frost |
    Dinosaur, Mosasaur |19 |Storm |Storm |
    Dinosaur, Plesiosaur |19 |Storm |Storm |
    Elephant, Horrid |19 |ECS |ECS |
    Rhinoceros, Horrid |19 |ECS |ECS |
    Shark, Horrid |19 |ECS |ECS |
    Tiger, Horrid |19 |ECS |ECS |
    Dinosaur, Diplodocus |21 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Gigantosaurus |21 |DR#318 |DR#318 |
    Dinosaur, Liopleurodon |24 |DR#318 |DR#318 |[/table]
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-09-13 at 01:08 PM.