Cohort Rules

- Cohort? Companion? Nah, I think he is one bad ass cat!

Wild Cohort [General]

You have a special bond with a wild animal, and it is willing to travel and adventure with you.
Benefit: You gain an animal cohort. The animal cohort is generally friendly to you and is willing to follow you and adventure with you. If given proper training, the animal cohort will willingly serve as your mount, guardian, and companion. (See the description of the Handle Animal skill on page 74 of the Player’s Handbook for more details on training animals.)
You can use the Handle Animal skill on your animal cohort as a move action rather than as a standard action, and you gain a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks made to direct or influence your animal cohort.
Provided the DM gives her approval, at 1st level you can choose from a badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. Like a druid, you can choose more powerful animals as you increase in level. These alternative animal cohorts work like the alternative animal companions available to a druid, but they are available as cohorts later than they are available as animal companions. When selecting an alternative animal cohort, use the list of alternative animal companions on page 36 of the Player’s Handbook, but treat yourself as a druid three levels lower than your character level. For example, once you reach 7th level, you can choose an animal cohort off the list of animal companions available to a 4th-level druid.

Special: Druids and rangers who take the wild cohort feat gain an animal cohort in addition to their animal companion. Although the two abilities are similar, they follow different sets of rules and must be tracked separately.
You can only ever have one wild cohort at any given time.
Like a druid’s animal companion, your wild cohort improves as you gain experience. Although the animal cohort improves significantly compared to others of its kind, its abilities do not rival those of a druid’s animal companion.
Level Bonus
HD Natural
Armor Adj. Str/Dex
Bonus Bonus
Tricks Special
1st-2nd +0 +0 +0 0
3rd-5th +1 +1 +0 1 Evasion
6th-8th +3 +3 +1 2
9th-11th +5 +5 +2 3
12th-14th +7 +7 +3 4 Devotion
15th-17th +9 +9 +4 5
18th-20th +11 +11 +5 6 Improved evasion

Animal Companion Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the companion’s kind, as given in the Monster Manual, but make the following changes.

Class Level: The character’s class levels and racial Hit Dice.

Bonus HD: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Remember that extra Hit Dice improve the animal cohort’s base attack and base save bonuses. An animal cohort’s base attack bonus is the same as that of a cleric or rogue of a level equal to the animal’s HD. An animal cohort has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). An animal cohort gains additional skill points and feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice (see the Monster Manual). The number listed is the current total of extra HD over and above the base creature’s total. For example, a creature that normally has 1 HD but that is a wild cohort for a 6th-level character gains an additional 3 HD for a total of 4 HD.

Natural Armor: The number noted here is an improvement to the animal cohort’s existing natural armor bonus. For example, a creature that normally has a natural armor bonus of +2 but that is a wild cohort for a 6th-level character gains an additional +3 bonus for a total natural armor bonus of +5.

Str/Dex Bonus: Add this value to the base creature’s Strength and Dexterity scores. For example, a creature that normally has a Strength score of 10 but that is a wild cohort for a 15th-level character gains an additional +4 for a total Strength score of 14.

Bonus Tricks: The value given in this column is the total number of “bonus” tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the character might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill, Player’s Handbook page 74). These bonus tricks don’t require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don’t count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The character selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can’t be changed. For example, a wild cohort that belongs to an 11th-level character has a total of 3 bonus tricks.

Evasion (Ex): If an animal cohort 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.

Devotion (Ex): An animal cohort’s devotion to its master is so complete that it gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an animal cohort takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.
Animals, especially those used as guards or mounts, are capable of learning a wide variety of tricks and combat techniques. This section of Wild Life explores feats and tricks that riders, handlers, and animals themselves can use to make them more effective both in and out of combat. Many of the feats allow riders with special abilities, like barbarians or spellcasters, to take better advantage of those abilities while mounted on a properly trained mount.

New Feats
The following feats allow characters to work better with their mount, pet, animal companion, or animal cohort.

Coordinated Strike [General]
You and your wild cohort are adept at coordinating your attacks to distract foes and catch them off guard.
Prerequisites: Wild Cohort, Handle Animal 5 ranks or Ride 5 ranks.
Benefit: During any round in which you and your wild cohort both make a melee attack against the same target, you each gain a +1 bonus on your attack rolls against that target.

Mounted Spellcasting [General]
You are adept at casting spells while mounted.
Prerequisites: Mounted Combat, Concentration 5 ranks, ability to cast 1st-level arcane or divine spells.
Benefit: When casting spells while mounted, you do not have to make Concentration checks because of your mount’s movement.
Normal: Without this feat, you must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + the level of the spell you’re casting) or lose the spell.

Mounted Fury [General]
Your fearsome rage spurs your mount to greater heights.
Prerequisites: Mounted Combat, Ride 5 ranks, rage class ability.
Benefit: As long as you are riding a war-trained mount, your mount gains the same benefits and penalties that you do while you rage. This includes improved rage abilities like greater rage, tireless rage, and mighty rage. The mount’s rage ends any time you are no longer mounted or when your rage ends. You must be mounted when you initiate your rage ability for the mount to be affected.

Steady Rider [General]
You never loose your concentration while riding, and you ride confidently even in combat situations.
Prerequisites: Mounted Combat, Ride 8 ranks
Benefit: You can always take 10 on Ride checks, including Ride checks made to negate a hit against your mount with the Mounted Combat feat.

New Tricks
Handle Animal allows characters to teach animals specific skills and habits that help in combat or adventuring situations. Adventurers and animal trainers have developed a number of specialized tricks and training techniques.

Teach an Animal a Trick: You can teach an animal a specific trick with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check against the indicated DC. The following tricks expand the list of tricks found on pages 74 and 75 of the Player’s Handbook.

Ambush (DC 15): The animal hides using the Hide skill to the best of its ability. It then stays in one place and attacks the first creature to come near it, unless it has been previously trained to recognize the creature as a friend.

Bull Rush (DC 15): The animal attempts to bull rush a designated creature.

Flush Out (DC 20): The animal moves into an area and, if it encounters any creatures, it makes noise and feints attacks toward the creature in an attempt to drive it to you. If the animal makes the creature move, there is a 50% chance that the quarry moves directly toward you. Otherwise, the quarry veers to your left or right (equal chance for each).

Overrun (DC 15): The animal attempts to overrun a designated creature. If the animal has the trample special ability, it uses that ability against the creature if the creature is small enough to be affected.

Pin (DC 15): The animal attempts to grapple and pin a designated creature.

Stalk (DC 20): The animal follows a designated creature using the Hide and Move Silently skills to the best of its ability. It stays with the target until you call it off (normally accomplished with a whistle). If attacked by the designated creature, the animal attacks. If attacked by a different creature or severely wounded, the animal attempts to return to you.

Train an Animal for a Purpose: Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can simply train it for a general purpose. Essentially, a purpose is a preselected package of tricks. If the package includes more than three tricks, the animal must have a 2 Intelligence to learn them all. The general purpose described below expands the list of general purposes found on page 75 of the Player’s Handbook.

Adventuring Pack Animal (DC 20): An animal trained as an adventuring pack animal doesn’t panic in combat, but it stays away from fighting to the best of its ability. It stays within sight of its handler unless caused to flee by extraordinary means (such as a magical fright effect). Once the battle is over, the animal attempts to regroup with its handler. An animal trained as an adventuring pack animal knows the come, heel, stay, and work tricks. Training an animal as an adventuring pack animal takes four weeks.

Animal Item Slots
Although it’s easy to imagine an animal benefiting from magic equipment beyond a simple saddle and a suit of barding, fitting a mount’s physiology to the list of item slots available to characters is not an easy task. Try the following variant list of item slots for quadruped animals (and other monsters when appropriate).
• One skull cap or helm
• One pair of lenses or goggles
• One collar
• One saddle blanket or vest
• One saddle or jacket
• One belt or strap worn in front of or over the haunches
• One pectoral or harness worn over the chest or shoulders
• One pair foreleg bracers
• One pair of foreleg shoes or mitts — hoofed creatures wear shoes and creatures with paws wear mitts
• Two rings — creatures with toes wear rings on the toes and creatures with hooves wear “rings” just above fore hooves
• One pair of hind leg shoes or mitts — hoofed creatures wear shoes and creatures with paws wear mitts

Cohort Rules

Forgotten Realms: Cauldron Ebonblade