PDA

View Full Version : Do Warforged Rangers Dream of Electric Animal Companions?



begooler
2011-07-03, 08:09 PM
http://danpolant.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/blade-runner-owl.jpg

Well, actually, the ranger in question is a human with the urban ranger variant who is partially based on a particular character played by Harrison Ford.
This PC (3.5) is built to be a skill monkey, who does decent damage, but that definitely sacrifices power for flavor. He gets an animal companion next level (9) and was going to get an owl. I was thinking maybe it would be fun to do a little house ruling and allow him an artificial owl.
And here we have the owl with the effigy template, from Complete Arcane:

Effigy Owl
Tiny Construct
HD 1d10 (5hp)
Init +2
Speed 10ft, fly 40ft
AC 18 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple 0/-11
Attack Talons +4 melee (1d41)
Full Attack Talons +4 melee (1d41) + slam (1d2 -1)
Space/Reach 2.5 ft/0ft
Saves Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0
Abilites Str 8, Dex 15, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1
Feats Weapon Finesse (No Int mod, means it doesn't get any more feats)
Skills Listen +8, Move Silently +16, Spot +8*
Owls have a +8 racial bonus on Listen checks and a +14 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. *They have a +8 racial bonus on Spot checks in areas of shadowy illumination.
Special Qualities DR 1/adamantine, Construct Traits

Compare to the vanilla owl:

Tiny Animal
HD 1d8 (4hp)
Init +3
Speed 10ft, fly 40ft
AC 17 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple 0/-11
Attack Talons +5 melee (1d43)
Full Attack Talons +5 melee (1d43)
Space/Reach 2.5 ft/0ft
Saves Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilites Str 4, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 4
Feats Alertness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Listen +16, Move Silently +17, Spot +8*
Owls have a +8 racial bonus on Listen checks and a +14 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. *They have a +8 racial bonus on Spot checks in areas of shadowy illumination.
Special Qualities Low light vision


Alternatively, is there something someone here has made that would be a good solution? In the end it needs to compare in power to a strong, but not cheesed, animal companion for a typical ranger of his level. (Like a riding dog or wolf... except this companion will mostly be used out of combat for help with skillmonkeying.)

hivedragon
2011-07-03, 08:13 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4Wdpwi5wCQ

Psyren
2011-07-03, 10:17 PM
Just wanted to chime in that Warforged don't dream at all.

For your robo-owl, I wouldn't call it useless. After all, being a construct means it can keep watch all night and day, and never need food/drink/air. It's also immune to poison, disease, crits, nonlethal damage, mind-affecting effects and negative energy. And its low-light vision gets upgraded to darkvision.

Flickerdart
2011-07-03, 10:22 PM
Just make it a Living Construct instead? It's not like its master is 100% robot either.

begooler
2011-07-03, 11:39 PM
Just wanted to chime in that Warforged don't dream at all.

For your robo-owl, I wouldn't call it useless. After all, being a construct means it can keep watch all night and day, and never need food/drink/air. It's also immune to poison, disease, crits, nonlethal damage, mind-affecting effects and negative energy. And its low-light vision gets upgraded to darkvision.

I didn't necessarily think it was useless because it was a construct, but because it was an owl instead of some other animal companion, and I wanted to give it a little extra something to make up for that. But the more that I think about it, a flying creature that can attempt to retrieve objects from underwater without drowning, or test a poison trap for you, or watch out all night is a bit nifty. Also, I realize now it should get to keep those racial bonuses, so it can actually use that dark-vision to make spot checks.

DiBastet
2011-07-04, 11:04 AM
Legendary Own? Dire Owl the size of a normal one? A clever dm can help you to not sacrifice power.

Zaydos
2011-07-04, 11:11 AM
First give it animal level Int so that it gets feats, construct HD are not any better (in fact are worse than) animal HD so it needs feats to keep up as it scales in level.

Even then you might want to increase its size, give it some magical or mechanical ability (perhaps it can squirt oil to cover a square and make it slippery, I don't know), give it a better natural armor than a regular owl, and/or maybe up the DR to a meaningful amount.

Duncan_Ruadrik
2011-07-04, 07:59 PM
ah.... amazing Philip **** reference, just want to say. Good book.

begooler
2011-07-04, 10:34 PM
Yeah, an intelligence score is going to be the thing that will really make this a drag as it advances with level. I'm thinking I'd make these adjustments to the animal companion table...

'Animal' Companion
{table=head] Druid Level|Bonus HD|Natural Armor Bonus|DR|STR/DEX Adj.|Special

1st-2nd|
0|
0|
1|
0|Link, Share Spells

3rd-5th|
2|
2|
1|
1|Intelligence Score

6th-8th|
4|
4|
3|
2|Evasion

9th-11th|
6|
6|
5|
3|Multiattack

12th-14th|
8|
8|
5|
4|

15th-17th|
10|
10|
7|
5|Improved Evasion

18th-20th|
12|
12|
7|
6| [/table]

The damage reduction is DR/Adamantine, and really comes from the effigy template. The bonus HD granted by the druid/ranger a cause its DR to scale up. (Though to a 'meaningful' amount, I'm not sure.)
I removed the bonus tricks, because the effigy template gives its own means of commanding the creature, which obviates tricks.
I also took out devotion, for the same reason.

I'm trying to decide if this is enough. The player can always seek out ways to add more functionality to it by paying a crafter to tinker with it (giving it spell like abilities etc) since it is a construct.


ah.... amazing Philip **** reference, just want to say. Good book.
:)

Moose Man
2011-07-05, 12:19 AM
Madam, you have taken my interest with your reference to an amazing book. I will be watching.