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overduegalaxy
2009-02-23, 04:33 PM
I'm currently gearing up a ranger for a fairly high-level campaign (15). Everything is going fairly smoothly, until it comes time to calculate my animal companion's stats. They are, in a word, poor. Obviously. I'm no druid. I picked up Natural Bond, which helps a bit, but he's still going to be a chew toy for any monster that catches him in a poor position.

I accept that my companion will have to sit most fights out, but there've got to be other feats that will tough him up a little more. As far as familiars, there's feats for celestial familiars, fiendish familiars, familiars who rival animal companions, draconic familiars, and so on. But as far as I can tell, my only option is Exalted Companion from BoED, which I don't like for several reasons, the least of which that this character isn't good.

Eldariel
2009-02-23, 05:16 PM
Well, the thing is, Ranger's animal companion frankly sucks. With Natural Bond, it'll be good up to level 6, but start to suck since then anyways and that's with a feat spent. Pick an AC that isn't for fighting, something that's a solid scout or mount or some such.

The two other feats for ACs: Companion Spellbond [PHBII] (share buffs at a longer range) & Coordinated Strike [RotW] (when your AC hits an opponent, you get +1 Competence to hitting that opponent). They both suck though. The only half-decent Animal Companion is the Elven Hound (available for Elven Rangers as an ACF), but even it will start to suck soon enough.


Basically, level is just too big a drawback, especially since it grows, the higher you go, so you can't ever permanently solve it. Ask your DM if you could treat it as a Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) instead; those are much better than Ranger's Companion, and they just cost a feat instead of requiring class levels! If he doesn't allow it, just pick a Wild Cohort as a feat and trade your standard companion for Distracting Attack [PHBII]. It's seriously much better.

TempusCCK
2009-02-23, 05:29 PM
Or, you know, if you're already pestering your DM about houseruling it, see if you can't get the Druid table for your Ranger animal companion, honestly, with the standard Ranger class, having a super animal companion is not at all unbalancing.

Swooper
2009-02-23, 07:31 PM
Or, you know, if you're already pestering your DM about houseruling it, see if you can't get the Druid table for your Ranger animal companion, honestly, with the standard Ranger class, having a super animal companion is not at all unbalancing.
I houserule it this way, and I know Proven_Paradox from these boards does as well. Hasn't caused any problems yet. Of course, we both prefer rather high-powered games.