View Full Version : [3.5e] The True Beastmaster

2009-04-19, 11:01 AM
The goal of this build is to fulfill the role of the Beastmaster, and hopefully not suck too much, unlike the prestige class. I've here outlined only the necessary steps for gaining three loyal companions to aid you during your adventures - the rest is up to you, and I'm fairly certain that someone will kindly find and provide even better way.

The Beastmaster, as such, is not about you. You are merely the mastermind behind the beasts, the elusive trickster that guides, aids and directs the pack. Now you ask, what class fits the bill? A druid, or perhaps a ranger? No.

The true key to Beastmastery lies behind one of the arcane classes. The Bard. Specifically, it's variant, the bard with nature connections. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bard) This variant is the first step: you gain an animal companion, as per the Druid. If you wish an even more naturalistic bard, combine this with the Savage Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantSavageBard) for different spell list.

The next step is simple, and, I admit, perhaps the most dubious one, due to the fact that the source is a web enhancement.. Even without this, you'll have 2 fairly reliable companions, but you lack the critical mass required for a pack. Have you guessed it yet? That's right, it's the Wild Cohort. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) This gains you a second animal companion, albeit slightly weaker than the druidic - and now bardic - version. Take this feat at 1st level, preferably. This way you will start the game with two equally powerful animal companions.

The third and final step is the reason why you're using a Bard, instead of a Druid or a Ranger. Arcane caster levels. Pick up the feat Obtain Familiar at 3rd level, and Improved Familiar later, as you reach the necessary levels. My personal favorite is to pick 2 wolves as your animal companions, and later take Worg or Winter wolf as your familiar.

The easiest way from this onward is to keep taking pure Bard. This will advance both your animal companion and your improved familiar, and so keeps your trusted companions fairly competent.

Olo Demonsbane
2009-04-19, 02:34 PM
If you gain 1 level in Beastmaster, it will increase your companion's levels by 3.

2009-04-19, 03:45 PM
Neat idea. I'd like to try a couple things with this...
I'd like to see it alongside Beast Heart Adept (Dungeonscape).
A Major Bloodline (UA) and the Natural Bond feat (CAd) would make the multiclassing hurt less (progress 3 levels of Bardic Music, Familiar and Animal companion during 10 levels of BHA advancement... more with a Beastmaster dip).
Inspire Courage feats and Items are nice for Bards in big parties. (The AC variant doesn't lose IC, does it?)
The Wolf Pack Tactics feat (RotW) would have to work its way in as well.
And Leadership goes without saying... It doesn't have to be any cheesier than an Animal Companion.

2009-04-19, 03:53 PM
Taking 1 level in Beastmaster could be worth it. It would be +4. "the beastmaster's class level +3". You would also get another animal companion.
Your old animal companions would only get +1 (the same as if you took another level in your base class), "Beastmaster class levels stack with class levels from all other classes that grant an animal companion."
As a bard you could only take a level in it as your 14th level. Because of the 8 ranks in handle animal required to enter.
I feel like there was a feat that let you take it earlier, but I can't find it.

Shades of Gray
2009-04-19, 03:57 PM
Able Learner? A factotum dip?

2009-04-19, 04:37 PM
How about:

Paladin 1/Bard 1/Wizard X or Paladin 1/Wizard 1/Bard X

Bard variant is as above.
Find any paladin variant that works and gives a paladin style mount.

1-Wild Cohort
H1-Able Learner
3-Theurgic Bond(Familiar)
6-Theurgic Bond(Animal Companion)
9-Theurgic Mount
12 or wiz5 - Improved Familiar

Gives you a familiar and animal companion equal to your caster level and a mounts equal to your character level on top of the wild cohort. That's 4 beasts that essentially scale with your level. Going focused specialized conjurer gives you respectable wizard casting, despite being delayed a spell level compared to a solo-wizard. I can't find the requirements for Beastmaster, but I'm pretty sure it could be squeezed in there too.

2009-04-19, 04:55 PM
Theurgic Bond is from Dragon?

2009-04-19, 05:12 PM
Yes it is, #325