A companion is a loyal creature devoted to you and connected to your psyche by a magical link. A companion usually accompanies you on your adventures, serving as a guard, mount, porter, or helper. The ability to have a companion bond is a class ability, although you can also gain a companion through the cohort feat. This page contains details common to most companions.
Note that a companion can be almost as complex as a full character to run. Having a companion is not unlike having two characters and running both at the same time. Thus, a person who is new to the game, especially one who is not well-versed in all the rules, should consider a career path that does not include a companion. Having a complicated companion is a varsity level achievement, so maybe let your next character have one. Similarly, running a party with four player characters (PCs) and four companions is basically like running a game for eight. If you as the Game Master judge this to be too much for your table, consider eliminating the feat that allows companions, and when a class offers a companion as a choice, eliminate that option from the game.
A companion is not a class, and a companion cannot take levels in classes. As they advance in hit dice, they do obtain non-class advancements, specifically, feats, traits, ability score increases, and racial powers, except that racial powers are replaced with the companion powers listed below. When you first gain your companion, it has one hit die, which is functionally equivalent to a level, and it gains a hit die each time you level up after that.
Your companion's alignment is the same as yours, and it remains a loyal and faithful friend.
There are two broad categories of companions: called companions and summoned companions. Called companions are found locally, and they are used by druids (wild companions), rangers (tame companions), wizards (arcane companions), adepts (lackey companions), and those with the cohort feat (cohort companions). Summoned companions appear via dimensional magic from another plane, and they are used by paladins (divine companions), summoners (eidolon companions), and those with the undeath domain (skeleton companions). Summoned companions are restricted and affected by the same things that affect all summoned creatures:
- Summoned companions are hemmed by Magic Circle and Protection spells and similar effects.
- They are temporarily sent back to their home plane by spells if dispelled or affected by Dismissal, Banishment, Antimagic Fields, and similar effects. (Use your character level as your "caster level" to resist such effects.) You can also choose to dismiss your summoned companion as a standard action.
- They are sent home if they take too much hit point damage, or if slain for some other reason (poison, constitution damage, death effects, etc) -- but are not really dead. you can send your companion to its home plane as a standard action. When sent home, it takes 24 hours for the companion to reform on its home plane, during which time it can't be summoned again.
- Spells and other magical effects created by summoned companions disappear if the companion is sent back to its home plane.
Death and Companions Companions are slain when they have negative hit points equal to their Constitution score. When called companions die, their bodies remain; when summoned companions "die," their bodies (and magical possessions touching them) quickly fade away. If you die, your companion immediately gains the nauseated condition, as it does if you are seperated by more than 100 miles (see below). If you are not raised or restored, your companion dies 24 hours after you do.
Hit Die: d8, but do not roll for your companion. Instead, treat every "roll" as a 5 (at odd hit dice, starting from its first die) or a 4 (at even hit dice). Modify the 5 or 4 by the companion's odd (column A) Constitution modifier. Like most non-player characters, companions do not gain lionheart points.
Casting Level: Like most non-player creatures, companions have a caster level equal to one-quarter or one-half of their hit dice, and they gain no spellcasting ability. Use this caster level for cantrips the companion might learn, and for magic items that require a caster level on activation. Note that arcane, lackey, and eidolon companions gain a caster level equal to half their hit dice.
Companion "Racial" Powers
Although companions vary dramatically in physical shape, mental capabilities, and even creature type, apply the following to all companions.
- Ability Score Adjustment: Companions start play with base stats that vary depending on your class choices. After you first obtain a companion, it gains ability score increases with hit dice. See below.
- Saving Throw Bonuses: +2 on Fort and Reflex saves. The companion also gains Evasion (Ex): If a companion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
- Extra Hit Points: +5.
- Skill Bonuses: +3 to Spot and Survival. See below for proficiencies and class skills.
- Size: Companions vary in size from tiny to large. For small, medium, and large companions, use the rules on this page. For tiny companions, use these rules: Your companion gets a +2 size bonus to Armor Class, a +2 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +8 size bonus on Stealth checks. Your size affects Fly and Intimidate checks. You get a -2 size modifier to combat maneuver bonus and defense. You have a reach of zero, so to make an attack, you have to enter your target's space, which generally provokes an attack of opportunity. You use Dexterity instead of Strength for these skills: Climb, Jump, and Swim.
- Move: varies per creature specifics.
- Vision: normal, but can be improved (see below).
- Language: Cohort and kobold lackey companions understand, speak, read, and write Common and an appropriate racial language. Summoned companions understand, speak, and read one or two alignment languages, and they can write if they have hands; they can learn common through the Language skill. All other companions understand common but cannot speak, although those with intelligence scores less than 3 understand only simple commands, per the Handle Animals skill (and better communication can be gained with the Speak with Animals spell or equivalent); those with intelligence 3 or higher have a better understanding of common, and can read it. The ability to speak is not a given; see creature specifics for details, and see the Speak I and II abilities below.
- Special: Link - You have a psychic link with your companion, so that you can sense its emotions, and vice versa. Within 100 ft and line of sight, it will empathically know your wishes and follow through as best it can, requiring only free actions for you to communicate with them. If it is on its own apart from you, you can suggest actions to the game master, who will determine the companion's actions based on your prior communications with it and its own tendencies. You and your companion can locate each other within a mile. As another effect of your link to your companion, it uses your initiative check and acts when you do, even moving when you do if you are within reach of each other.
NOTE: Although your link is powerful, if your companion has an Intelligence less than three, you need to control it with the Handle Animals skill. Your link lets you handle your companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if you don't have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. Your companion gains free bonus tricks equal in number to your even (column B) Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). These bonus tricks don't require any training time, and they don't count against the normal limit of tricks known. If the companion's Int rises to 3 or higher, it no longer needs tricks, and can simply act as can any NPC.
- Weakness: If your companion is separated from you by more than a mile or for more than a day, it gains the queasy condition; 10 miles or a week, sickened. 100 miles or a month, nauseated. These conditions cannot be mitigated in any way until you are reunited with your companion.
Racial Powers gained with hit dice:
- At 3 HD: Devotion (Ex) - A companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects. It also gains immunity to all petrification (turn to stone) and polymorph effects.
- At 8 HD: Improved Evasion (Ex) - When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a companion takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
- At 13 HD: Live for You (Su) - So long as you are alive, your companion does not die until its negative hit point total reaches two times its Constitution score. When it is at negative hit points, the companion gains Fast Healing 2.
- At 18 HD: Regeneration (Su) - So long as you are alive, your companion does not die until its negative hit point total reaches three times its Constitution score. The companion's Fast Healing 2 improves to Regeneration 4, but still only functions at negative hit points.
Companion Hit Die Progression
A companion's abilities are determined by its progression as you level, the abilities it gains through your class (one every other level after you acquire it), and its non-class advancement. The following table determines many of the base statistics of the companion. It starts with one hit die when it joins your service (most often at level 1 or 6), and it adds another each time you level thereafter.
|HD||BAB||Will||Fort||Ref||Ranks*||Physical Stat||Mental Stat||Natural AC||Class Special||Non-Class Advance|
|2||+1||+1||+1||+1||2||+1||+0||+0||Yes||feat (tier 1)|
|4||+3||+2||+3||+3||4||+0||+0||+1||Yes||feat (tier 1)|
|7||+5||+3||+5||+5||7||+0||+0||+1||-||feat (tier 2)|
|9||+6||+4||+6||+6||9||+0||+1||+0||-||feat (tier 2)|
|12||+9||+6||+9||+9||12||+0||+1||+0||Yes||feat (tier 3)|
|14||+10||+7||+10||+10||14||+1||+0||+0||Yes||feat (tier 3)|
|17||+12||+8||+12||+12||17||+1||+0||+0||-||feat (tier 4)|
|19||+14||+9||+14||+14||19||+0||+0||+1||-||feat (tier 4)|
|* Rank total assumes Intelligence 9 or less. Generally speaking, ranks gained equal 2 + odd (column A) Intelligence modifier.|
HD: This is the companion's hit dice. Your companion gains a hit die each time you level up after first obtaining it. Hit dice are eight-sided (d8), but not rolled -- each time a hit die is gained, add five hit points, modified per usual by Constitution and feats like Toughness.
BAB: This is the companion's base attack bonus. Creatures do not gain additional attacks using their natural weapons for a high base attack bonus.
Fort/Ref/Will: These are the companion's base saving throw bonuses.
Ranks: This lists the companion's total skill ranks. The companion is proficient with and treats the following as class skills: Jump (Str), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Spot (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str). Companions with an Intelligence of 2 or less can only put ranks into these skills. Companions with greater Intelligence can purchase ranks in any skill, but their ability to use a skill effectively may be limited by a lack of hands or speech or for other reasons; if you are unsure, ask your game master for a ruling. A companion cannot have more ranks in a skill than it has Hit Dice, and it cannot have more ranks in a non-class skill than its hit dice -2.
Physical Stat: At levels noted in the table above, the companion adds a permanent +1 to Strength, Dexterity, or Consitution. It cannot add to the same physical stat twice in a row. If a companion adds +1 Str at 2 HD, it must add to Dex or Con at 5 HD, not Str.
Mental Stat: At levels noted in the table above, the companion adds a permanent +1 to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. It cannot add to the same mental stat twice in a row. If a companion adds +1 Int at 3 HD, it must add to Wis or Chr at 6 HD, not Int.
Natural Armor Bonus: The number noted here is an improvement to the companion's existing natural armor bonus. These bonuses stack, so that by 19 HD, the companion's original natural AC bonus (if any) has increased by +7.
Class Special: Your class (or the Cohort feat) allows you to grant your companion a special ability at even hit dice. See each class's particular rules for a companion. If a companion class special ability has a Roman numeral in the name, then it is a series that requires all the earlier specials before a later one can be taken. A few specials are available to all companions, and these are listed below:
- Vision I: Your companion gains low-light vision.
- Vision II: Your companion adds darkvision 60 ft to its low-light vision.
- Share Spells I: You may cast a spell (including cantrips and spell-like abilities) with a target of “You” on your companion (as a touch spell) instead of on yourself. You may NOT cast spells on your companion that specifically affect creatures not of its type.
- Telepathic Link (Su): You have a telepathic link with your companion to a 1 mile distance. You can communicate surface thoughts with your companion, but you cannot see through its eyes. You have the same connection to an item or place that your companion does.
- Speak I (Ex): Your companion gains +1 intelligence and can communicate with creatures of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): mammals with mammals, outsiders with outsiders, birds with birds, reptiles with reptiles, undead with undead, etc. Such communication is limited by the Intelligence of the conversing creatures. For cohort, eidolon, and kobold lackey companions, the companion can speak a racial language fluently (as suits the race of the lackey or cohort) or an alignment language (matching an aspect of the eidolon's alignment). As for all characters, speaking is a free action. This class special requires the Communicator trait.
- Speak II (Ex): If your companion has intelligence 5 or less, it can communicate with you as if with simple speech in a manner that only you can understand. If it has or gains a higher intelligence, it can also take ranks in the Speak (Common) skill, which is now a class skill, and gains 4 free ranks with this ability -- it gains these ranks when its intelligence is 6 or higher. This ability is required to activate magic items that function with a command word.
Non-Class Advance: Like you, your companion gains non-class-based advancements:
Companion Traits - At 1 HD, choose from among these. At higher hit dice, use or create traits based on those in the Trait rules.
- Strong: Choose a Str-based skill that companions treat as a class skill. Your companion gains a +1 trait bonus in that skill.
- Quick: Choose a Dex-based skill that companions treat as a class skill. Your companion gains a +1 trait bonus in that skill.
- Helpful: Your companion gains a +2 trait bonus on rolls to Aid Another.
- Sturdy: Your companion gains a +2 trait bonus to Strength, but only to calculate encumberance and load.
- Communicator: Your companion can use body language to intelligently indicate Yes/Good, No/Bad, Don't Know, and other very simple concepts, like direction.
Companion Feats - Companions with intelligence less than 3 can select from the following feats: Fleet, Improved Natural Armor, Lucky, Toughness, Weapon Focus (a natural attack), Weapon Specialization (a natural attack), Graceful, Enlightened, Muscular, and these feat trees: Aerialist, Bantam, Hardass, and Predator. Companions with greater intelligence can select any feat they are capable of using. [Exception: Eidolon companions may not choose any feat that grants proficiency with weapons or armor.] The standard prerequisites apply, and higher tier feats are available at higher hit dice, per the table above.
Race - Racial powers are detailed above.
Ability - A +1 bonus applies to an ability score of your choice.
You muster a companion from the natural world or even from across planes through a companion ritual. The ritual requires time to complete. It may include an actual search in the physical world. It could include a ceremonial magic circle, a church service, or a personal pilgrimage; these details are left for you and your game master to roleplay. The companion ritual you use has slight variations for called and summoned companions.
Use a ritual to call a companion when ...
- you call your companion for the first time. Requires: 8 hours and access to the outdoors.
- you dismiss your current companion and call for a brand new one. Requires: 8 hours, access to the outdoors, and 1% of your total current XP. You can rechoose your new companion's creature type, skill ranks, ability score modifications, non-class advances, and class specials. It is attuned to the magical items of the dismissed companion at no extra XP cost.
- you call your companion after it has been lost or stolen or been slain and you do not have the body. After the ritual, it is completely healed, all conditions removed, and it retains all attuned magical possessions it had at the time of its loss. Requires: 8 hours, access to the outdoors, and 0.5% of your total current XP.
- you bring your companion back to life after it has been slain and you have the body. After the ritual, it is completely healed and all conditions are removed. Requires 1 hour, the body, and 0.1% of your total current XP.
Use a ritual to summon a companion when ...
- you summon your companion for the first time. Requires: 8 hours and access to a place sacred to your god.
- you permanently dismiss your current companion and summon a brand new one. Requires: 8 hours, access to a sacred place, and 1% of your total current XP. You can rechoose your new companion's creature type, skill ranks, ability score modifications, non-class advances, and class specials. A summoner can also rechoose eidolon evolutions. It is attuned to the magical items of the dismissed companion at no extra XP cost.
- you summon your companion after it has been lost or stolen or slain. After the ritual, it is completely healed, all conditions removed, and it retains all attuned magical possessions it had at the time of its loss. Requires: 8 hours, access to a sacred place, and 0.5% of your total current XP.
- you summon your companion back from its native plane after temporarily dismissing it. After the ritual, it is completely healed, all conditions are removed, and it retains all attuned magical possessions it had at the time it was sent away. Requires 1 minute and 0.1% of your total current XP.