Guide To Animal Companions
How to use this Guide
This guide is meant to serve as as a guide to animal companions in Se DnD. In general this guide recommends that companions are treated most like follows or an NPC party member.
Your companion acts on their own initiative unless they are being used as a mount, in which case they act on their riders. If a party member fall unconscious, your companion will prioritize defending them.
Control and Roleplaying
Generally this guide suggests that players fully control their companion in combat. However, outside of combat it is up to the DM and player to determine who they think is best suited to be responsible for role playing the companion.
While your companion does not understand any language, it will follow simple commands and you are able to instruct it to perform simple tasks. Your Companion is completely loyal to you and will do it’s best to be helpful as possible. You must make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to have your companion complete more complex task.
Barding armor is described in the Equipment Section of the PHB. Barding for medium and small creatures costs twice as much as normal armor and weighs the same amount.
While magic items for animal companions are somewhat more rare, they are not unheard of. In general, magical armor is fairly easy to convert into barding armor, although it will require the work of an experienced blacksmith. While traditional magic weapons such as swords and bows are not something companions are equipped to handle, there are other ways to magically enhance their attacks, such as wraps, gauntlets, claw extenders etc.
Designing your own companions
While there is a list or modified and suitable animal companions here. This section provides you with guidelines to make your own unique animal companions.
- Ability Scores. Your companion should have ability scores comparable to other companions.
- Uniquness. Each companion generally has 2-3 unique abilities depending on how string the ability is in addition to 2 skill proficiencies.
- Avoid Active Abilities. Stick primarily to stat increases passive abilities. Abilities that need to be tracked bog down combat and increase your companion’s complexity.
|4||+2||Ability Score Increase|
|8||+3||Ability Score Increase|
|12||+4||Ability Score Increase|
|14||+5||Ability Score Increase|
|16||+5||Ability Score Increase|
|19||+6||Ability Score Increase|
As a Companion, you animal companion gains the following class features
Hit Dice: 1d10 per Companion level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution Modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 + Constitution Modifier
Armor: All barding armor
Weapons: Natural Weapons
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution
When an animal companion reaches tame for the 1st time, they receive their 1st class level. They earn XP or milestones the same as a PC would, and level up at the same rate. Should a companion leave the party for any reason, and be reunited with them at a later date, they will likely stop gaining levels in their absence.
At 2nd level, a natural talent has emerged from your companion. They gain an additional Natural talent at 10th level. They cannot choose the same natural talent more than once.
- Natural Armor Your Companion gains +1 AC.
- Tough. Your Companion gains an additional 1 hp for each level it has.
- Precise. Your Companion’s attacks have +2 to hit
- Ferocious. Your companion’s attacks have +2 to damage rolls
At 3rd level, through training, your companion has developed one of the following tactics. They learn an additional Tactic at 7th, 13th. and 17th level.
- Protective. When a creature your companion can see attacks a target other than them that is within 5 feet of them, they can use their reaction to impose disadvantage on the Attack roll.
- Multiattack. When your companion takes the attack action, your companion can make one additional attack as a bonus action. They do not add their ability score modifier to the damage for this attack.
- Swift. Your companion can Dash as a bonus action.
- Agile. Your companion can Disengage as a bonus action.
- Sneaky. Your Companion can Hide as a bonus action.
- Helpful. Your companion can take the help action as a bonus action.
- Fast. Your Companion’s movement speed increases by 10 feet. You may take this Tactic more than once.
- Charging. When your companion moves 20 ft before attacking a target, they have advantage on their next attack roll.
- Territorial. Other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from your companion when they enter your companion’s reach.
- Punishing. If your companion is the target of a melee attack while Dodging they can make an attack against that creature as a reaction.
Ability Score Increase
When your companion reaches 4th level, and again at, 8th, 12th, 14th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two Ability Scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Starting at 5th level, your companion can attack twice when taking the attack action.
If you fall unconscious, your companion can stabilize you. Beginning at 6th level, your companion can stabilize creatures, making a DC 10 Survival check. How your companion specifically stabilizes a creature is up to the DM. As examples, your companion may lick your wounds or attempt to move a contorted unconscious body into a more natural position.
At 11th level, chose one of the following options to improve your attacks.
- Quick. Your companion can attack 3 times when taking the attack action. At 20th level, your companion can attack 4 times when taking the attack action.
- Brutal. Your companion’s attacks deal an extra 1d6 damage and deal a critical hit on an attack roll of 19 and 20. At 20th level this damage is increased to 2d6.
At 15th level, your companion gains one of the following defensive features.
- Relentless. Your companion can keep fighting despite grievous wounds. If they drop to 0 Hit Points and don’t die outright, they can make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. If they succeed, they drop to 1 hit point instead.
- Each time they use this feature after the first, the DC increases by 5. When they finish a short or Long Rest, the DC resets to 10.
- Evasion. When your companion is subjected to an effect that allows them to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, they instead take no damage if they succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if they fail.
- Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker that your companion can see hits them with an Attack, they can use their reaction to halve the attack’s damage against them.
- Enduring. Your companion gains +1 AC. Additionally, they +1 HP per companion level.
Beginning at 18th level you have mastered your bond with your companion. As long as they can see you, your companion has advantage on saving throws against fear and being charmed.