Pets - are they animal companions too?
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  1. #1

    Pets - are they animal companions too?

    My PC Rogue has bought a Mastiff pup (riding dog states without the riding) and will raise it as a pet (teaching tricks - hopefully including attack! and Hold) .

    What is the status of this animal? What if I multiclass to Ranger of Druid or some such does it become a Companion or remain a Pet?

  2. #2
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    Block Saelorn


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    Animals don't usually gain levels. If you multiclass into ranger or druid, then your DM may say that it's okay for your pet to become an animal companion.

    Even if the rules don't actually say so (since you didn't specify which edition you're playing), it's well within what the rules were intended to allow. If you look at the novels, Drizzt somehow made an animal companion out of a magical figurine, so I think you're not supposed to worry about the details.

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    Block Celebrim


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    Pets are just that, pets. They have no magical or special connection to the player character, and they do not improve as a result of the character increasing levels.

    As I run them, animal companions will basically understand any instruction that their human companion gives them, and will act on those instructions to the best of their ability without lengthy training. Pets only understand what they are trained to understand, and they will otherwise act as normal animals of their intelligence.

    Generally speaking, I allow players to run animal companions as if they were an extension of the PC's will and will only rarely animate them as if they were an NPC and only for the purpose of reinforcing the character and report of the companion with the PC. Whereas, I will run a pet, henchman, retainer or other follower acquired through role-play as an NPC all the time pretty much as I see fit for whatever feels like the appropriate way to play the NPC. It may be a loyal NPC and the player may be able to reliably issue it orders, but it will still be basically under the DM's control and considered part of the DM's prevue.

    I will happily allow pets to be converted to animal companions when the rules allow the PC to have an animal companion for the purpose of campaign and character continuity. I will not of course force that on a player, but if that is the player's preference then by all means I'd go along with it.

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