The beast master is a path for those who form deep, meaningful connections with a companion animal. This connection is usually formed through happenstance, not from a hunt. Saving the animal from a grizzly fate, working together for a mutual goal, sharing a dinner out in the wilds. The ranger must show compassion and kindness to the animal, and over time the bond if formed. The animal is the one who must open themselves up to the bond, and no animal can be forced into the bond.
Companion’s Bond Level: 3
At 3rd level you are able to tame a beast as a companion, forming a powerful bond between you and that beast for as long as you both will live. This bond is normally formed by the beast and you connecting on a deep level, such as saving the beast’s life, or aiding the beast on it’s own important journey. After such a task, the beast may want to journey with you, thus willing the bond. This bond changes the creature you bond with on a very fundamental level, changing what their gameplay statistics are, and possibly what sort of actions or features they possess. In this process, the companion begins to grow alongside you.
While your companion is bonded to you, you can communicate with your companion by speaking. Your companion will understand what you say and speak to them, as long as the companion could reasonably understand the content of the message (You can tell a dog that the food is poison, for instance, but it wouldn’t understand you telling them about economy).
This bond is unbreakable, even in death. So long as either you or your companion are alive, the bond remains, preventing you or the companion from forming a bond with any other creature. This depth of a bond has multiple potent effects, listed here:
- You can bring your companion back to life as long as you have a part of its body. You can perform a ritual, requiring 100gp worth of herbs, oils and wood which must burn the body of your companion over the course of 8 hours, until the fire subsides and your companion raises from the ashes.
- As long as your companion is alive, a part of you remains within them even in your death. A creature with True Sight would see a ghostly apparition of you walking beside your companion. Further, your companion can be the target of the following spells, and they will effect your character as if they were casted upon your fully intact corpse: Speak with Dead, Raise Dead, Resurrection, True Resurrection.
Your companion has it’s own level, which is always equal to your ranger level. Your companion has it’s own hit dice which it can expend to recover, and gains hit points as it levels. In addition, your companion has it’s own proficiency based on its level. Your companions proficiency applies to any saving throws or skills which it is proficient with, attack rolls with it’s attacks, and to your companion’s Armor Class.
Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature through the ranger class, your companion’s abilities also improve. Your companion can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise.
Your companion rolls it’s own initiative and will act as you command it to, or what it believes to be the best if it is unable to see or hear you. Your companion acquires the same alignment as you have, and has the same ideals and beliefs. Unless instructed otherwise, your survival is the main priority of your companion, and it will attempt to keep you alive above all else.
To determine the statistics and features that your companion has, you need to determine three things about your companion. What type of beast is it, what size is it, and what is the beasts temperament. These answers should best match the type of companion that you have, and isn’t meant to morph or change the companion (For instance, if you bond with a Panther, you shouldn’t choose the Venomous temperament).
You can see what statistics or features your companion gains based on these choices at the end of this section. Below are some examples of possible animals and the choices that would match well.
- Bear. Large Mammal, with the Guardian or Brutish temperament.
- Octopus. Small Fish, with the Slippery temperament.
- Spider. Small, Medium, or Large Insect, with the Ambusher or Venomous temperament.
- Giant Owl. Large Avian, with the Ambusher temperament.
- Bat. Small Mammal, with the Airborne temperament.
- Moose. Large Mammal, with the Charger temperament.
- Eagle. Small or Medium Avian, with the Charger temperament.
- Crocodile. Large Reptile, with the Ambusher temperament.
- Baboon. Medium Mammal, with the Brutish temperament.
- Platypus. Small Mammal, with the Venomous temperament.
- Cobra. Small Reptile, with the Venomous temperament.
- Dog. Small or Medium Mammal, with the Pack/Hive Mentality temperament.
- Otter. Small Mammal, with the Waterborne temperament.
- Dolphin. Medium Mammal or Fish, with the Waterborne or Pack Mentality temperament.
- Shark. Medium or Large Fish, with the Brutish or Charger temperament
- Armored Beetle. Small or Medium Insect, with Guardian temperament.
- Giant Ant. Medium Insect, with the Pack/Hive Mentality temperament.
- Giant Tortoise. Medium Reptile, with the Guardian temperament.
Coordinated Attack Level: 5
Beginning at 5th level, you and your animal companion form a more potent fighting team. When you use the Attack action on your turn, if your companion can see you, it can use its reactions to make a melee attack.
Companion Commands Level: 7
Starting at 7th level, your battlefield awareness and connection with your companion grows greater. You gain the ability to send your companion messages and orders as a reaction known as Commands. In order to issue a command to your companion, your companion must be able to hear you, and you must be able to see your companion.
You gain the following Commands which can be issued to your companion:
- Cover. When a creature within 5 feet of your companion takes damage from an effect or attack which only targets that creature, you can use your reaction to have the damage redirected to your companion.
- Dodge. When a creature makes an attack roll against your companion, you can use your reaction to increase the Armor Class of your companion by 5 against that attack roll.
- Distract. When a creature makes an attack roll against another creature within 5 feet of your companion, you can use your reaction to have your companion distract the target, providing advantage on the attack roll.
- Assist. When a creature makes a skill roll within 5 feet of your companion, you can use your reaction to have your companion assist the creature, providing advantage on the skill roll.
- Resist. When your companion has to make a saving throw, you can use your reaction to give your companion advantage on the saving throw.
Companion Embodiment Level: 11
At 11th level, you gain a strong connection to your companion which allows you to inherit the nature and combat styles of your companion. You gain two features based on which type and temperament your companion is.
The following shows what creature types will provide which features.
- Mammal: Vigorous
- Avian: Bypass
- Insect: Hard to Squash
- Reptile: Camouflage
- Fish: Darkvision
The following shows what temperaments will provide which features.
- Ambusher: Ambush
- Charger: Hasty
- Guardian: Healthy
- Brutish: Finishing Blow
- Slippery: Rapid Freedom
- Pack/Hive Mentality: Pack Bravery
- Venomous: Immunity
- Airborne: Flawless Landing
- Grounded: Overrun
- Waterborne: Iron Lungs
Command Mastery Level: 14
At 15th level, you have developed a mastery of commands to issue to your companion and you have learned how to evoke your companion’s primal energies with a proper call. You gain an additional reaction each round. This reaction can only be used to make a Companion Command.
The type of beast your companion is will determine the statistics, movement speed, and a few featured that your companion will possess. Remember that any reference to ‘you’ in this section refer to the companion, not to the ranger.
Vigorous. Whenever your Hit Points are reduced to 0, you can make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + the damage taken. On a successful saving throw you are reduced to 1 Hit Point instead.
Empathic. You have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks.
|Movement||10 ft., Fly 60 ft.|
Bypass. Creatures have disadvantage on Attacks of Opportunity against you.
Perceptive. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.
Free Roaming. Creatures are not able to use you as a mount in combat.
|Movement||30 ft., Climb 30 ft.|
Hard to Squash. Whenever you succeed on a Constitution saving throw you can choose to gain 1d8 + your Constitution modifier in temporary hit points..
Spider Climb. can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
|Movement||25 ft., Swim 25 ft.|
Camouflage. Creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to detect you.
Deadly Grasp. Whenever you successfully grapples another creature you deal bludgeoning damage equal to Strength modifier. In addition, whenever you attack a creature you have grappled, you have advantage on the Attack Roll.
|Movement||Swim 40 ft.|
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray..
Blood Frenzy. You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.
Water Breathing. You can only breathe underwater.
A companions size will modify the base statistics of the companion, as well as determining the size of the companions hit die.
|Size||Strength||Dexterity||Hit Die Size|
Ambush. The reach of your melee attacks is increased by 5 feet when making an attack roll with advantage. In addition, once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d8 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll.
Stealthy. You can use the Hide action as a bonus action.
Hasty. Your movement speed is increased by 10 feet.
Charge. If you move at least 15 feet straight toward a creature and then hit it with a melee weapon attack on the same turn you can use a bonus action to perform a charge against the creature. If you choose to do so, you may attempt to grapple or shove the target as a bonus action.
Healthy. Your hit points are increased by 1 per level.
Lick Wounds. While you have no more than half of your hit points left you can use a bonus action to recover any amout of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1).
Finishing Blow. After you damage a creature, if that creature has less than 5 hit points remaining, it dies.
Thrash. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to make a thrashing attack. This attack is an unarmed strike which deals damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier in bludgeoning damage.
Rapid Raise. When you are prone, standing up only uses 5 feet of movement.
Quick Escape. You can use a bonus action to end any effect that would grapple or restrain you. Then, if the condition was caused by a creature within 5 feet of you, you can attempt to grapple it as part of this bonus action.
Pack / Hive Mentality
Pack Bravery. You are immune to fear and charm while there is one of your ally within 5 feet of of you and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Pack Help. You can use the Help action as a bonus action.
Immune. You gain Resistance to Poison damage and have immunity to the Poisoned Condition.
Poisoned Strike. When you hit a creature on your turn with a melee weapon attack you can use your bonus action to turn the attack into a poisoned strike. If you do so, the target must succeed a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus) or become poisoned until the end of its next turn. While poisoned in this way the creature’s movement is reduced by 10 feet.
Airborne (Non-Avian Only)
Flawless Landing. Whenever you take fall damage, the damage is reduced by 20 points as long as you are not restrained.
Flying. You gain a flying speed of 30 feet. As well, you can use a bonus action to disorient a creature within 5 feet of you. If you choose to do so the creature must succeed a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus) or have disadvantage on all saving throws until the end of its next turn.
Grounded (Avian Only)
Overrun. When you take the dash action, you can move through the spaces of creature that are of equal size or smaller than yourself, even if they are hostile, without expending additional movement.
Grounded Speed. Your movement becomes 40 feet, and you lose any flying speed you might have. As well, you can take the Dash action as a Bonus Action.
Waterborne (Non-Fish Only)
Diver. You can hold your breath for up to 30 minutes, and you gain a swimming speed of 30 feet.
Suffocate. After you hit a creature with a melee attack roll you can use a bonus action to knock the wind from them. If you choose to do so, the target must succeed a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus) or they run out of breath and begin to suffocate if they are unable to breathe (as per the suffocation rules on page 183 of the Player’s Handbook). As well, if the target is concentrating on a spell, the saving throw to maintain concentration is made with disadvantage.