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PF2 Rules Companions

Pathfinder 2 – Reference

Rules – Companions

Source: PF2 Core Rulebook (pf2-cr)

Here is a rules review on companions, normally champion, druid or ranger animals and familiars accessed by druids, sorcerers and wizards for use in Pathfinder 2.

Overview of the Rule Reference on Companions

  • Alchemical Familiar (pf2-cr-76) – Alchemist Feat
  • Divine Ally (pf2-cr-108) – Paladin Steed Ally
  • Controlling Undead (pf2-cr-123) – Clerical Ability
  • Animal Order (pf2-cr-131) – Druidic Ability
  • Leaf Order (pf2-cr-131) – Druidic Ability
  • Animal Companion (pf2-cr-170) – Ranger Feat
  • Familiar (pf2-cr-198 – Sorcerer Feat
  • Arcane Thesis (pf2-cr-205) – Wizard Ability
  • Animal Companions and Familiars (pf2-cr-214)
  • Command an Animal (pf2-cr-249) – Skill Check
  • Commanded Animals (pf2-cr-249)
  • Bonded Animal (pf2-cr-259) – Skill Feat
  • Ride (pf2-cr-266) – Skill Feat
  • Train Animal (pf2-cr-268) – Skill Feat
  • Mount (pf2-cr-472) – Encounter Action
Alchemist
  • (1st) Alchemical Familiar (pf2-cr-76) Alchemist Feat
  • Alchemical Familiar – Uses your Intelligence modifier to determine Perception, Acrobatics and Stealth modifiers.
Champion

The champion can have a divine steed companion that uses the following rules:

  • (3rd) Steed Ally (pf2-cr-108)
  • (6th) Loyal Warhorse (pf2-112) Paladin Feat
  • (8th) Heal Mount (pf2-113) Paladin Feat
  • (10th) Imposing Destrier (pf2-113) Paladin Feat
  • (16th) Auspicious Mount (pf2-115) Paladin Feat
  • (20th) Celestial Mount (pf2-115) Paladin Feat
  • Steed Ally: You gain a young animal companion as a mount (page 214). Ordinarily, your animal companion is one that has the mount special ability, such as a horse. You can select a different animal companion (GM’s discretion), but this ability doesn’t grant it the mount special ability.
  • Loyal Warhorse: Mount becomes a mature animal companion. In addition, your mount never attacks you, even if it is magically compelled to do so.
  • Imposing Destrier: Mount becomes a nimble or savage animal. During an encounter, even if you don’t use the Command an Animal action, your mount can still use 1 action on your turn to Stride or Strike.
  • Auspicious Mount: Mount becomes a specialised animal companion.
  • Celestial Mount: It gains darkvision, its maximum Hit Points increase by 40, and it gains weakness 10 to evil damage.
    • Additionally, it grows wings appropriate to a servitor of your deity (such as metallic wings for an archon), granting it a fly Speed equal to its Speed. It gains the celestial trait and the trait appropriate to the type of servitor it has become (archon, angel, or azata, for example)
Cleric

The cleric can have a undead companion that uses the following rules:

  • (1st) Divine Font (pf2-cr-119) Harmful Font
  • (4th) Command Undead (pf2-cr-123) Cleric Feat
  • (10th) Improved Command Undead (pf2-cr-125) Cleric Feat
  • Command Undead – Using harm spells to take control of undead, for either a minute or an hour.
  • Improve Command Undead – This increases the durations from 1 minute to 24 hours.
Druid

The cleric can have a animal companion or leashy familiar that uses the following rules:

Animal Companion Path: (Animal Order Only) – Committing wanton
cruelty to animals or killing animals unnecessarily is anathema to your order. (This doesn’t prevent you from defending yourself against animals or killing them cleanly for food.)

  • (1st) Animal Companion (pf2-cr-133) Druidic Feat
  • (4th) Mature Animal Companion (pf2-cr-135) – Druid Feat
  • (8th) Incredible Companion (pf2-cr-137) – Druid Feat
  • (10th) Side by Side (pf2-cr-138) – Druid Feat
  • (14th) Specialized Companion (pf2-cr-139) – Druid Feat

Leashy Familiar Path: (Leaf Order Only) – Committing wanton cruelty to plants or killing plants unnecessarily is anathema to your order. (This doesn’t prevent you from defending yourself against plants or harvesting them when necessary for survival.)

  • (1st) Leshy Familiar (pf2-cr-133) Druid Feat
  • (2nd) Enhanced Familiar (pf2-cr-134) Druid Feat
  • (4th) Woodland Stride (pf2-cr-135) Druid Feat
  • (6th) Green Empathy (pf2-cr-136) Druid Feat
  • (10th) Plant Shape (pf2-cr-138) Druid Feat
  • (12th) Green Tongue (pf2-cr-138) Druid Feat
  • (14th) Verdant Metamorphosis (pf2-cr-139) Druid Feat
  • Animal Companion – Young animal companion.
  • Leshy Familiar – The familiar takes on the form a plant instead of an animal. This does not add or remove traits for the creature.
  • Mature Animal Companion – Animal becomes mature, and even if you don’t use the command action it can still use one action on your turn to that round to Stride or Strike.
  • Specialised Companion – You can give your companion this feature three times, granting it the effects of additional specialisations.
Ranger
  • (1st) Animal Companion (pf2-cr-170) – Ranger Feat
  • (4th) Companion’s Cry (pf2-cr-172) – Ranger Feat
  • (6th) Mature Animal Companion (pf2-cr-173) – Ranger Feat
  • (10th) Incredible Companion (pf2-cr-175) – Ranger Feat
  • (12th) Side by Side (pf2-cr-175) – Ranger Feat
  • (16th) Specialized Companion (pf2-cr-176) – Ranger Feat
  • (18th) Masterful Companion (pf2-cr-177) – Ranger Feat
  • Animal Companion – Young Animal, and when you Hunt Prey, you animal companion gains the actions benefits and your hunter’s edge benefit.
  • Companion’s Cry – Spend two actions to command a companion to give it an additional action.
  • Mature Animal Companion – Animal grows up, and if you hunt prey a target, your companion attack it without order. Without commands, your companion will use one action to either Stride or Attack your prey.
  • Incredible Companion – Choice of Nimble or savage companion.
  • Masterful Companion – Companion gains the master hunter benefit.
Sorcerer

Note: Unless gaining another class feat from a source other than Sorcerer, you have to give up a higher class feat to take this progression.

  • (1st) Familiar (pf2-cr-198) Sorcerer Feat
  • (2nd) Enhanced Familiar (pf2-cr-198) Sorcerer Feat
Wizard
  • Arcane Thesis – Improved Familiar Attunement (pf2-cr-205) Wizard Ability
  • (1st) Familiar (pf2-cr-209) – Wizard Feat
  • (2nd) Enhance Familiar (pf2-cr-210) – Wizard Feat
  • Improved Familiar Attunement – Gain Familiar feat, and additional abilities.

Animal Companion Rules

Here is an overview of rules that are interacting as part of the game play.

An animal companion is a loyal comrade who follows your orders. Your animal companion has the minion trait, and it gains 2 actions during your turn if you use the Command an Animal action to command it; this is in place of the usual effects of Command an Animal, and you don’t need to attempt a Nature check. If your companion dies, you can spend a week of downtime to replace it at no cost. You can have only one animal companion at a time.

  • Riding Animal Companions – You or an ally can ride your animal companion as long as it is at least one size larger than the rider. If it is carrying a rider, the animal companion can use only its land Speed, and it can’t move and Support you on the same turn. However, if your companion has the mount special ability, it’s especially suited for riding and ignores both of these restrictions.
  • Young Animal Companions – The following are the base statistics for a young animal companion, the first animal companion most characters get. You make adjustments to these statistics depending on the type of animal you choose. As you gain levels, you might make further adjustments as your companion becomes more powerful. Animal companions calculate their modifiers and DCs just as you do with one difference: the only item bonuses they can benefit from are to speed and AC (their maximum item bonus to AC is +3) An animal companion has the same level you do.
    • Proficiencies – Your animal companion uses your level to determine its proficiency bonuses. It’s trained in its unarmed attacks, unarmored defense, barding, all saving throws, Perception, Acrobatics, and Athletics. Animal companions can’t use abilities that require greater Intelligence, such as Coerce or Decipher Writing, even if trained in the appropriate skill, unless they have a specialization that allows it.
    • Ability Modifiers – An animal companion begins with base ability modifiers of Str +2, Dex +2, Con +1, Int –4, Wis +1, Cha +0. Each type has its own strengths and increases two of these modifiers by 1 each. These increases are already calculated into the stat blocks in Companion Types below.
    • Hit Points – Your animal companion has ancestry Hit Points from its type, plus a number of Hit Points equal to 6 plus its Constitution modifier for each level you have.
  • Mature Animal Companions – To advance a young animal companion to a mature animal companion (usually a result of one of your class feat choices),
    • increase its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom modifiers by 1.
    • Increase its unarmed attack damage from one die to two dice (for instance 1d8 to 2d8), and its proficiency rank for Perception and all saving throws to expert.
    • Increase its proficiency ranks in Intimidation, Stealth, and Survival to trained, and if it was already trained in one of those skills from its type, increase its proficiency rank in that skill to expert.
    • If your companion is Medium or smaller, it grows by one size.
  • Incredible Animal Companions
    • Nimble – To advance a mature animal companion to a nimble animal companion, increase its Dexterity modifier by 2 and its Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom modifiers by 1. It deals 2 additional damage with its unarmed attacks. Increase its proficiency ranks in Acrobatics and unarmored defense to expert. It also learns the advanced maneuver for its type. Its attacks become magical for the purpose of ignoring resistances.
    • Savage – To advance a mature animal companion to a savage animal companion, increase its Strength modifier by 2 and its Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom modifiers by 1. It deals 3 additional damage with its unarmed attacks. Increase its proficiency rank in Athletics to expert. It also learns the advanced maneuver for its type. If your companion is Medium or smaller, it grows by one size. Its attacks become magical for the purpose of ignoring resistances.
  • Specialised Animal Companion – Specialized animal companions are more intelligent and engage in more complex behaviors. The first time an animal gains a specialization, it gains the following: Its proficiency rank for unarmed attacks increases to expert. Its proficiency ranks for saving throws and Perception increase to master. Increase its Dexterity modifier by 1 and its Intelligence modifier by 2. Its unarmed attack damage increases from two dice to three dice, and it increases its additional damage with unarmed attacks from 2 to 4 or from 3 to 6. Each specialization grants additional benefits. Most animal companions can have only one specialization.
    • Ambusher – In your companion’s natural environment, it can use a Sneak action even if it’s currently observed. Its proficiency rank in Stealth increases to expert (or master if it was already an expert from its type), and its Dexterity modifier increases by 1. Its proficiency rank for unarmored defense increases to expert, or master if it’s nimble.
    • Auspice mounts gain the following benefits (paladin): Your companion is marked by your deity’s religious symbol as a sacred creature of your deity. Its proficiency rank in Religion increases to expert, it can speak the language associated with your deity’s servitors (Celestial for champions who follow the tenets of good), and its Intelligence modifier increases by 2 and its Wisdom modifier by 1.
    • Bully – Your companion terrorizes foes with dominance displays and pushes them around the battlefield. Its proficiency ranks for Athletics and Intimidation increase to expert (or master if it was already expert from its type), its Strength modifier increases by 1, and its Charisma modifier increases by 3.
    • Daredevil – Your companion joins the fray with graceful leaps and dives. It gains the deny advantage ability, so it isn’t flat-footed to hidden, undetected, or flanking creatures unless such a creature’s level is greater than yours. Its proficiency rank in Acrobatics increases to master, and its Dexterity modifier increases by 1. Its proficiency rank in unarmored defense increases to expert, or master if it’s nimble.
    • Racer – Your companion races. It gains a +10-foot status bonus to its Speed, swim Speed, or fly Speed (your choice). Its proficiency in Fortitude saves increases to legendary, and its Constitution modifier increases by 1.
    • Tracker – Your companion is an incredible tracker. It can move at full Speed while following tracks. Its proficiency rank in Survival increases to expert (or master if it was already an expert from its type), and its Wisdom modifier increases by 1.
    • Wrecker – Your companion smashes things. Its unarmed attacks ignore half an object’s Hardness. Its Athletics proficiency increases to master, and its Strength modifier increases by 1.
  • Controlling Undead – Controlled undead gain the minion trait. Minions can use 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. A minion acts on your turn in combat when you spend an action to issue it verbal commands (this action has the auditory and concentrate traits). If given no commands, undead minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for at least 1 minute, mindless undead minions don’t act, and intelligent ones act as they please. You can’t have more than four undead minions at a time

Familiar Rules

Familiars are mystically bonded creatures tied to your magic. Most familiars were originally animals, though the ritual of becoming a familiar makes them something more. You can choose a Tiny animal you want as your familiar, such as a bat, cat, raven, or snake. Some familiars are different, usually described in the ability that granted you a familiar; for example, a druid’s leshy familiar is a Tiny plant instead of an animal, formed from a minor nature spirit.

Familiars have the minion trait (page 634), so during an encounter, they gain 2 actions in a round if you spend an action to command them. If your familiar dies, you can spend a week of downtime to replace it at no cost. You can have only one familiar at a time.

  • Modifiers and AC – Your familiar’s save modifiers and AC are equal to yours before applying circumstance or status bonuses or penalties. Its Perception, Acrobatics, and Stealth modifiers are equal to your level plus your spellcasting ability modifier (Charisma if you don’t have one, unless otherwise specified). If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier. It doesn’t have or use its own ability modifiers and can never benefit from item bonuses.
  • Hit Points – Your familiar has 5 Hit Points for each of your levels.
  • Size – Your familiar is Tiny.
  • Senses – Your familiar has low-light vision and can gain additional senses from familiar abilities. It can communicate empathically with you as long as it’s within 1 mile of you, sharing emotions. It doesn’t understand or speak languages normally, but it can gain speech from a familiar ability.
  • Movement – Your familiar has either a Speed of 25 feet or a swim Speed of 25 feet (choose one upon gaining the familiar). It can gain other movement types from familiar abilities.
  • Familiar And Master Abilities – Each day, you channel your magic into two abilities, which can be either familiar or master abilities. If your familiar is an animal that naturally has one of these abilities (for instance, an owl has a fly Speed), you must select that ability. Your familiar can’t be an animal that naturally has more familiar abilities than your daily maximum familiar abilities.

Familiar Abilities:

  • Amphibious – It gains a swim Speed of 25 feet (or Speed of 25 feet if it already has a swim Speed).
  • Burrower – It gains a burrow Speed of 5 feet, allowing it to dig Tiny holes.
  • Climber – It gains a climb Speed of 25 feet.
  • Damage Avoidance – Choose one type of save. It takes no damage when it succeeds at that type of save; this doesn’t prevent effects other than damage.
  • Darkvision – It gains darkvision.
  • Fast Movement – Increase one of the familiar’s Speeds from 25 feet to 40 feet.
  • Flier – It gains a fly Speed of 25 feet.
  • Kinspeech – It can understand and speak with animals of the same species. To select this, your familiar must be an animal, it must have the speech ability, and you must be at least 6th level.
  • Lab Assistant – It can use your Quick Alchemy action. You must have Quick Alchemy, and your familiar must be in your space. This has the same cost and requirement as if you used it. It must have the manual dexterity ability to select this.
  • Manual Dexterity – It can use up to two of its limbs as if they were hands to use manipulate actions.
  • Scent – It gains scent (imprecise, 30 feet).
  • Speech – It understands and speaks a language you know.

Master Abilities:

  • Cantrip Connection – You can prepare an additional cantrip, or if you have a repertoire, instead designate a cantrip to add to your repertoire every time you select this ability; you can retrain it but can’t otherwise change it. You must be able to prepare cantrips or add them to your repertoire to select this.
  • Extra Reagents – Your familiar grows extra infused reagents on or in its body. You gain an additional batch of infused reagents. You must have the infused reagents ability to select this ability.
  • Familiar Focus: Once per day, your familiar can use 2 actions with the concentrate trait to regain 1 Focus Point, up to your usual maximum You must have a focus pool to select this.
  • Lifelink: If your familiar would be reduced to 0 HP by damage, as a reaction with the concentrate trait, you can take the damage. If you do, you take all the damage and your familiar takes none. However, if special effects when a hit damages your familiar (such as snake venom) still apply to your familiar.
  • Spell Battery: You gain one additional spell slot at least 3 levels lower than your highest-level spell slot; you must be able to cast 4th-level spells using spell slots to select this master ability.
  • Spell Delivery: If your familiar is in your space, you can cast a spell with a range of touch, transfer its power to your familiar, and command the familiar to deliver the spell. If you do, the familiar uses its 2 actions for the round to move to a target of your choice and touch that target. If it doesn’t reach the target to touch it this turn, the spell has no effect.

Specific Companions

  • Badger (pf2-cr-215)
  • Bear (pf2-cr-215)
  • Bird (pf2-cr-215)
  • Cat (pf2-cr-215)
  • Dromaeosaur (pf2-cr-216)
  • Horse (pf2-cr-216)
  • Snake (pf2-cr-216)
  • Wolf (pf2-cr-216)
Horse
  • Mount: An animal companion with this special ability supports its rider.

Traits of Companions

  • Celestial: Creatures that hail from or have a strong connection to the good-aligned planes are called celestials. Celestials can survive the basic environmental effects of planes in the Outer Sphere.
    • Angel: This family of celestials is native to the plane of Nirvana. Most angels are neutral good, have darkvision, and have a weakness to evil damage.
    • Archon: Members of this family of celestials are the protectors of Heaven and are lawful good. They have darkvision and a weakness to evil damage.
    • Azata: This family of celestials is native to Elysium. They are typically chaotic good and have darkvision and a weakness to evil and cold iron.
  • Minion: Minions are creatures that directly serve another creature. A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. Your minion acts on your turn in combat, once per turn, when you spend an action to issue it commands.
    • For an animal companion, you Command an Animal;
    • for a minion that’s a spell or magic item effect, like a summoned minion, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain an Activation;
    • if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action with the auditory and concentrate traits.
    • If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for long enough, typically 1 minute, mindless minions usually don’t act, animals follow their instincts, and sapient minions act how they please.
  • Mount: An animal companion with this special ability supports its rider, this allows it to support and stride in the same turn, which other companions cannot, even if they can be ridden.

Spells of Companions

  • (Ritual 6) Awaken Animal (pf2-cr-409)
  • (Ritual 2) Create Undead (pf2-cr-411)
  • (Ritual 5) Planar Ally (pf2-cr-413)
  • (Ritual 6) Planar Binding (pf2-cr-414)
  • (Ritual 6) Primal Call (pf2-cr-415)

House Rules

While all of the above is actually from the rule books and can be taken as Rules as Written, here are the changes I have been using in my games and why I have implemented them.

  • Personality – Animal Companions and Familiars have a personality, so based on their previous behaviours and orders are likely to do actions based on how they have been treated previously or been asked to do. So if you don’t assign them actions, they might try and get your attention or help you in some way without being asked.
    • What this means for the rules is that you don’t have to assign them actions every round for them to act. If the minion would normally not get an action until being told, then it will continue the last task specified, but not change targets, using the other action remaining seeking your approval for its action. The default action is to follow the master. From an exploration mode or downtime perspective, the companion will be where you lock it up or by your side if possible doing the follow the expert.
    • If you would normally have it do an action without direction then it will take both actions without seeking approval and potentially move onto different activities based on your interactions once it completes the set task. The default action is to support the master. From an exploration mode or downtime perspective, the companion will be doing a service, duty, or trying to look out for your best interests. This is usually a mature or advanced animal doing the follow the expert, hustle, investigate, scout or search as appropriate.
    • A familiar will always take both actions, either following the master or using perception to spot things if no other direction has been given. During exploration activities it will attempt to search or scout as appropriate.
    • Undead usually wait for commands, and summoned creatures with their time limits will also wait for commands due to lack of imagination, intelligence or familiarity with the master controlling them.
    • If you want your companion to only act when you tell it to, you will have to take the consequences of it not acting unless you have told it to do so.
  • Rules as Written have the following issues which this addresses:
    • Forgetting to tell you companion or familiar to act, has it staying where you last gave it an order up to 1 minute from when it was last given an order (or 10 rounds) and then it will do its own thing.
    • This breaks down in Exploration Mode and Downtime Mode as nothing in those modes has interactions with your animal companion by the rules. So this is where rule as intended jump in and say they are by your side or continuing a given task such as seeking, guarding or being ridden. Another quirk of the rules is that riding a horse would require encounter mode actions, and overland movement in exploration mode would have the horse stopping or doings its own thing.
    • Familiars have some downtime rules, but that is related to research and crafting tasks.
    • The assumption form the rules as written is that your animal companion is not doing anything unless told, so technically it should not even eat or sleep at the ridiculous levels of can only follow orders. On top of this all the rules relating to Companions and familiars are encounter focused, there are not rules for them acting outside of an encounter (besides mentioned above).

Concluding Thoughts

This is a work in progress and I expect it to gain more references as I look deeper in to the Game Mastery Guide and Advanced Player’s Guide.

Content Updates

  • 2020-11-27 – Updated references with Errata entry.
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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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