Heroic Tier Beast mastery feats and basic attacks.

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The new heroic tier beast mastery feats lets your pet act independently while you're unconscious. It also gives your beast some added benefit on a basic attack or charge. However it is not clear if the beast basic attack bonuses only applies while independent or not. From only reading the description then it says nothing about it. So one would assume your beast get to grab/immobilize..., a target with a basic attack while you're in the fight. However the table says; while independent, beast/knock/immobilize/grab target. This needs to be cleared out.
+1

Had the same thought looking over MP2 today. 
Yes, there was a discussion about this several times on the Striker forum. The text is not clear, and does not match the table. As it stands for our groups, Beast attacks need all the help they can get low level.

Might need some fixing in Epic (Minor action beast MBA be nasty...).
Acknowledged for review.

D&D Producer

To clarify, in this case, "in addition" at the beginning of the third paragraph of the Benefit entry means that all the same conditions, requirements, durations, etc. apply as from the previous paragraph. Although this is not a fundamental rule, it's usually a safe assumption that "in addition" in mechanical text is pointing you toward the previous sentence or paragraph.

Thus, your beast would gain the benefit only when acting independently and not all the time. This will appear in the FAQ next time they're posted. 

D&D Producer

Pity - the feats would have made beast basic melee attacks rather attractive at heroic, where they need the most help.
I think I'd rather see them add scaling damage bonuses to beasts, rather than this method.

For example, adding 1/2 level. The trick is the minor action attack at epic screwing things up. Hrmm.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I think I'd rather see them add scaling damage bonuses to beasts, rather than this method.

For example, adding 1/2 level. The trick is the minor action attack at epic screwing things up. Hrmm.



Adding 1/5 levels to damage works fairly well in practice - I experimented with it as a house rule prior to MP2 coming out.  The MP2 feats (if they do work all the time, rather than just while independent) have the advantage of adding more "personality" to your beasts, though, which I liked better than a straight damage add.

The goal is still to keep damage a little below that of other ranger builds to compensate for the added versatility, positional control, and HP block of the beast, right?
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