EDIT: How about this? I still have to make a table with example minions for characters above first level, in which I intend to put stronger animals, vermins, magical beasts, templated creatures (celestial, fiendish, axiomatic, anarchic, draconic and even skeletal), elementals and maybe even some outsiders and oozes, but the mechanic is mostly done.
A shrine warrior may begin play with the service of a loyal minion to help her with her cause. A Medium character may select any of the following: badger, cat, dire rat, dog, donkey, hawk, lizard, monkey, owl, pony, rat, raven, or weasel. A Small character may not select the badger, but otherwise has access to the same list, with the added options of bat and toad. A minion is a magical beast that resembles an animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.
The shrine warrior gains a minion by performing a ritual requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of meditation or prayer. The minion is an unusual creature, presented to the shrine warrior by her deity or whatever power she holds dear, and appears right next to the character at the end of the ritual.
Should the shrine warriorís minion die, she may not pray for another one for thirty days or until she gains a shrine warrior level, whichever comes first. During this thirty-day period, the shrine warrior takes a Ė1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls. A slain minion can be returned from the dead just as a character can, however, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs. If is brought back to life, the shrine warriors stop suffering from the aforementioned penalty.
A more experienced shrine warrior may select other, stronger animals. See below for details.
The minion is superior to a normal creature of its kind and has special powers, as described below. A shrine warriorís minion is treated as a magical beast, not an animal, for the purpose of all effects that depend on its type (though it retains an animalís HD, base attack bonus, saves, skill points, and feats).
|Table: The Minion|
|Master Class Level || Bonus HD || Natural Armor Adj.|| Str Adj.|| Int|| Special|
|1st-4th || +0 || +2 || +0 || 6 || Empathic link, evasion, share spells, share saving throws |
|5th-8th || +2 || +4 || +1 || 7 || Speak with master|
|9th-12th || +4 || +6 || +2 || 8 || Speak with animals of its kind|
|13th-16th || +6 || +8 || +3 || 9 || Improved evasion|
|17th-20th || +8 || +10 || +4 || 10 || Spell resistance|
: Use the base statistics for a creature of the minionís kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described above.
Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the minionís base attack and base save bonuses. A minionís base attack bonus is equal to that of a cleric of a level equal to the minionís HD. A minion's good saves are determined by the base creature (treat it as a character whose level equals the animalís HD). The minion gains additional skill points or feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monsterís Hit Dice.
Natural Armor Adj.:
The number on the table is an improvement to the minionís existing natural armor bonus.
Add this figure to the minionís Strength score.
The minionís Intelligence score.
Empathic Link (Su):
The shrine warrior has an empathic link with her minion out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The shrine warrior cannot see through the minionís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Note that even intelligent minions see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.
Because of this empathic link, the shrine warrior has the same connection to an item or place that her minion does, just as with a master and his familiar (see Familiars).
If a minion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
At the shrine warriorís option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts on herself also affect her minion. The minion must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the minion if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the minion again even if it returns to the shrine warrior before the duration expires. Additionally, the shrine warrior may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on her minion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A shrine warrior and her minion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the minionís type (magical beast).
Share Saving Throws:
For each of its saving throws, the minion uses its own base save bonus or the shrine warriorís, whichever is higher. The minion applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesnít share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have.
Speak with Master (Ex):
If the master is 5th level or higher, a minion and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.
Speak with Animals of Its Kind (Ex):
If the master is 7th level or higher, a minion can communicate with animals of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks and owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures.
Improved Evasion (Ex):
When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.
Spell Resistance (Ex):
A minionís spell resistance equals its masterís shrine warrior level + 5. To affect the mount with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the minionís spell resistance.
The creatures available as minions are defined by size category and Challenge Rating. A shrine warrior may only choose a minion one or two size categories smaller to one larger than himself, including his own size category.
A minion one or two size categories smaller than his master should have a Challenge Rating no more than 1 less than the master's shrine warrior level. A minion of the same size category as his master should have a Challenge Rating no more than 2 less than the master's shrine warrior level. A minion one size category larger than his master should have a Challenge Rating no more than 3 less than the master's shrine warrior level. If the minion can fly, increase the Challenge Rating difference by 1.
A creature's Challenge Rating can never be 0 or lower. If at lower levels the minion's maximum allowed Challenge Rating would be lower than 1, that doesn't mean a minion can't be chosen. Instead, the value will be a fraction. If the result would be 0, the allowed Challenge Rating will be 1/2 instead. If it would be -1, it will be 1/3, -2 will be 1/4 and -3 will be 1/5.
If the minionís original type is animal or vermin, change it to magical beast (the creature loses its animal or vermin traits and gains magical beast traits); otherwise, its type is untouched. Minions that are not magical beasts do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).
If the shrine warrior choses a minion only available at a level other than 1st, it gains special abilities at a different rate than what is shown in Table: The Minion.
See the table below to see when a shrine warriorís minion gains special abilities. If the minionís natural Intelligence or natural armor is higher than the value given in the table, use the minionís natural Intelligence or natural armor.
|Table: Minion's Special Abilities|
|Shrine Warrior Level by Minion Availability || Bonus HD || Natural Armor Adj.|| Str Adj.|| Int|
|Level to Level +3 || +0 || +2 || +0 || 6 |
|Level+4 to Level+7 || +2 || +4 || +1 || 7 |
|Level+8 to Level+11 || +4 || +6 || +2 || 8 |
|Level+12 to Level+15 || +6 || +8 || +3 || 9 |
|Level+16 or higher || +8 || +10 || +4 || 10 |
The expressions in the left-hand column of the table refer to the current level of the shrine warrior in relation to the level at which a particular kind of mount becomes available. For instance, the lion becomes available as a minion when a Medium-sized shrine warrior reaches 6th level, so the information on the ďLevel to Level + 3Ē line applies to such a minion when the shrine warrior is 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th level. When he reaches 10th level, the information on the next line down applies.
Another example: A 10th-level goblin shrine warrior has a wolf minion. For Small shrine warriors, the wolf becomes available at 4th level, so, for the purpose of the table above, the shrine warrior is at level + 6. Checking the appropriate line on the table, you find that a 10th-level Small shrine warriorís wolf minion has the following attributes: +2 HD, +4 natural armor, +1 Strength adjustment, and Int 7.
The shrine warrior's minion has other special abilities described in Table: The Minion. Those are always gained at the pace described in that table. If the minion normally has spell resistance, it does not lose its spell resistance prior to the shrine warriorís reaching the level at which all minions gain spell resistance, and the minion continues using its natural spell resistance from that level on if that value is higher.
MINIONS AS MOUNTS
Minions larger than the shrine warrior might be able to serve as mounts. The DM have the final decision on what is or is not a suitable mount. At its most basic level, a mount should be able and willing to carry its rider in a typical fashion. (A camel is able and willing. A tiger might be capable but may not be willing. A giant might be willing but not truly able.) Also, a flying mount can carry no more than a light load aloft.