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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talya's Avatar

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    Default Cohort or Wild Cohort? (3.5)

    I'm playing a Ranger/Barbarian/Fist of the Forest in a lower-magic campaign (magic exists, it's just not common, magic items are very rare.) Thanks to the dearth of equipment, i figured taking Vow of Poverty wouldn't hurt, and I've been right so far (in a campaign without easy access to items, VOP is possibly overpowered, even.) My DM also ruled that Wild Cohort qualified as an animal companion for any feat that enhanced animal companion, so with all my vast numbers of exalted bonus feats, I was considering taking Wild Cohort/Exalted Companion and grabbing a giant eagle for a friend/flying mount(which are confirmed to exist in this world.)

    While I was looking at this option, I noticed that Giant Eagles have a level adjustment when using them as Leadership-cohorts. (A rather attractive +2 level adjustment, far better than the -6 rating they have as an animal companion.) With the additional factor that at 9 hit dice, a giant eagle cohort becomes huge sized (with all the increases to strength/con/natural armor that come with the size increase), and the ability to take class levels, it seems leadership is a much better choice, even if that leaves me scraping the bottom of the barrel for my free exalted feats. Of course, natural bond could improve the wild cohort option significantly, but that's at a cost of a precious extra feat, even if it would keep the animal companion ahead of the cohort for total hit dice until very high levels (which we'll probably never reach.)

    Is there anything i'm missing, here? And would I need to advance the giant eagle as magical beast for 5 levels to get the size increase, or do class hit dice count?
    Last edited by Talya; 2011-02-08 at 12:28 PM.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cohort or Wild Cohort? (3.5)

    I don't think you can even take Giant Eagle (which is not an animal) as an Animal Companion, though there might be something about them in BoED I don't offhand remember.

    The more common opinion seems to be that the bonus hitdice from being an Animal Companion wouldn't count for advancement.

    A giant eagle cohort would have to be advanced through RHD to gain the benefit from increased size.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talya's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cohort or Wild Cohort? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    I don't think you can even take Giant Eagle (which is not an animal) as an Animal Companion, though there might be something about them in BoED I don't offhand remember.
    Exalted Companion feat allows giant eagle as a -6 companion. With VOP, i get more exalted feats than I know what to do with, so it's pretty much free.


    The more common opinion seems to be that the bonus hitdice from being an Animal Companion wouldn't count for advancement.
    I'm working under that assumption, yes.

    A giant eagle cohort would have to be advanced through RHD to gain the benefit from increased size.
    That's one thing I didn't know, since the monster advancement section in the books doesn't specify.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cohort or Wild Cohort? (3.5)

    Definitely get Wild Cohort, but get a Dire Eagle instead from Races of Stone, it's just as good and it's only 'level -3' for an animal companion. Due to your DM's ruling you could get Natural Bond from Complete Adventurer and count your full level toward its benefits. Even better yet, take Exalted Companion and give it the Celestial Creature template, and it too can take vow of poverty.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talya's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cohort or Wild Cohort? (3.5)

    Wow, you're right. The Dire Eagle is actually better than the giant eagle.
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