Beastmaster Ranger Beast Companion Confusion

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Trying to figure out if a beast companion gets a separate attack from the ranger, or do they set up flanks. MP1, page 39 states:

Using your actions in combat, you control yourbeast companion by issuing it commands (see “Commandinga Beast Companion,” page 41. Page 42 also states:

A beast companion acting independently can takea standard action, a move action, and a minor actionon each of its turns, as a character can.

Can the companion only attack with the Ranger if a specific power says so? Does the ranger sacrifice his move, minor, action to allow the companion to do the same?


Too much contradiction.  Looking for professional assistance.

When a ranger takes a move action, his companion can move as well (the same is also true of shamans).


If you want your beast to attack then you must either give it your standard action or use a power that makes your beast attack.  I seem to recall that my wife's ranger has a power that lets her and her panther shift into flanking positions and then they both attack it but it's been about a month since we played that game so I may not be remembering correctly.


Other than "rule of cool", the beast companion seems to be most useful for two things: flanking and quarrying (because you can quarry the nearest visible enemy to either you or your fuzzy buddy).



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Trying to figure out if a beast companion gets a separate attack from the ranger, or do they set up flanks. MP1, page 39 states:

Using your actions in combat, you control yourbeast companion by issuing it commands (see “Commandinga Beast Companion,” page 41. Page 42 also states:

A beast companion acting independently can takea standard action, a move action, and a minor actionon each of its turns, as a character can.

Can the companion only attack with the Ranger if a specific power says so? Does the ranger sacrifice his move, minor, action to allow the companion to do the same?


Too much contradiction.  Looking for professional assistance.



There is no contradiction, you skimmed and put things out of context for yourself. You should have read "Commanding a Beast Companion" before reading "Beast Companion Independant Actions." Do this, and your questions will answer themselves.

When you take a Minor Action, either you or the Beast performs the action. When you take a Move Action, both you and the Beast move (the movement does not need to be the same type or distance), when you take a Standard Action, either you or the Beast performs the action (Some Beastmaster powers allow you and the Beast to both attack as part of the same action). If an enemy would provoke an Opportunity Attack from the Beast, you may have it make an Melee Basic Attack as an Immediate Interrupt (meaning once per round, as opposed to once per creature's turn), this does not affect your own ability to make Opportunity Attacks. The Beast can flank with you and your allies, and benefits from Combat Advantage when an enemy grants it. You can command the Beast, as a Standard Action, to make a Melee Basic Attack or Charge if you are not in position to use another power yourself.

When you are not present or unconscious, the Beast may act independantly, with a full suite of actions.

All of this is to prevent characters that summon or have companions from effectively controlling multiple characters and thereby multiplying their effectiveness.



Thanks for the clarity. It will help to diffuse the "grey areas" in the text. Any contradiction wasn't on my part, Malak, I just have 2 rules-lawyers saying different things, and am tired of sitting on the fence. Thanks for your input as well.
Thanks for the clarity. It will help to diffuse the "grey areas" in the text. Any contradiction wasn't on my part, Malak, I just have 2 rules-lawyers saying different things, and am tired of sitting on the fence. Thanks for your input as well.

Setting the fence on fire tends to get people off of it.  8o)

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Is it possible for other classes, like fighter, or rogue to get animal companions, btw?
Is it possible for other classes, like fighter, or rogue to get animal companions, btw?

"Beast Companion" is explicitly reserved to Rangers. And only primary Rangers who take "Beast Mastery" as their Fighting Style option, and hybrid Rangers who take it as a Hybrid Talent (and suffer -1 to their beast's attack rolls and defenses).

There are various other options for "pets". A primary, hybrid, or multiclass Shaman has a Spirit Companion. A primary, hybrid, or multiclass of any Arcane class can spend a feat to have a Familiar. Primary, hybrid, or multiclass Wizards, Druids, and a few others have access to powers (mostly dailies) that Summon creatures.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Is it possible for other classes, like fighter, or rogue to get animal companions, btw?



In addition to to the options that Warr, suggested, Adventures Vault has prices for mounts which function very similar to an animal companion. 

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Fine. So, acording to the official rules, how one defines the diference amongst  "beast companion" and "mount". For example, a horse is considered only mont? But how about a horse that have a special conetion with it´s master, and respond to it´s comands? And a wyvern for example, is it considered a a "beast companion"? or is it a mount? If beast companions are exclusively for Ranger, the fighter is limited (acording to the rules) not to use such things as having a wyvern mount, or a griffon maybe? Acording to Adventurer´s Vault it seems the only diference is that you pay for this types of animals. Thanks in advance

Beast companions aren't normal animals. A ranger's beast companion is a class feature, which gives them a unique animal (chosen from a specific list) with a unique set of stats (different from other normal animals of it's kind) which follows a specific set of rules.
 Mounts are just mounts. Even if you train your horse to bring you the newspaper in the morning, it will never become a beast companion. Anyone with the gold can buy and ride any regular mount, even a wyvern or griffon, that is listed in the Adventurer's Vault. Only a beastmaster ranger can have a beast companion, and cannot use it as a mount because beast companions are all medium-sized and thus too small to ride. (A beastmaster ranger can take a paragon path that will allow them to take a gryphon as a beast companion and ride it.)


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I suggested a mount as alternative to give the flavor of animal companion without having class features that give you one. For instance you could have a rage drake that fights by your side and helps you set up flanks. If you want the animal to be more like an actual animal companion you could work with the DM and have it increase in power and capabilities as the bond between the PC and animal increases over time. This could maybe be balanced out by having some of your treasure parcels take the form of power increases for the animal. 

Also in the DMG 2 there are rules that let you convert a creature from the monster manual into an companion NPC. The companion NPC functions like an extra party member in terms of actions and encounter budgets. If you group has 4 or less players this is not a bad option. Of course you will need to talk to the DM and get their approval. 

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Fine. So, acording to the official rules, how one defines the diference amongst  "beast companion" and "mount". For example, a horse is considered only mont? But how about a horse that have a special conetion with it´s master, and respond to it´s comands? And a wyvern for example, is it considered a a "beast companion"? or is it a mount? If beast companions are exclusively for Ranger, the fighter is limited (acording to the rules) not to use such things as having a wyvern mount, or a griffon maybe? Acording to Adventurer´s Vault it seems the only diference is that you pay for this types of animals. Thanks in advance



Basically you have 4 possible types of creatures that might be accompanying a party:

1) Beast Companion: As a class feature this creature is totally 100% under the control of the ranger. The DM might rule on what sorts of things the BC can do based on its understanding and nature, but it is effectively an extension of the player character and will simply act however the player desires.

2) Mount: A mount is presumably trained to act as a form of transport for a PC. The mount is only nominally under the control of the PC. When mounted it will move and attack as directed by the PC but otherwise will generally simply behave like an NPC under the control of the DM. Most mounts will simply act to defend themselves and remove themselves from danger. It is even possible the DM may rule that a mount which IS being ridden might 'get out of control' (this would be situational and there are no specific rules).

3) Companion Character: A companion character is an animal or NPC which the DM may allow to become associated and allied with the party. It could serve as a mount if appropriate. It will act under the direction of the DM (or optionally one of the players). Like a mount the players don't absolutely control the companion and it might for instance flee, act in its own interest ahead of the party's interest, etc. Generally companions are loyal but they might not be.

4) Others: This is miscellaneous category. A character might buy a wardog or even hire some bodyguards, etc. 4e doesn't really encourage this and has no explicit rules for it, but this type of thing could still come up. Such creatures/NPCs would probably act in a way similar to a mount. They might be able to be commanded to take certain actions and they might act on their own in appropriate ways, but there are no specific rules for how this might work.

What comes out of this is that a Beast Companion is the most reliable type of 'extra' you can have. It will always be 100% reliable. Mounts and similar things can be useful adjuncts to a character but they are unlikely to work well as independent combatants under the control of the players. At the very best a player might have say a trained wardog that they could command to attack or something like that. Companion characters are full NPCs and don't require commands but again may or may not be entirely reliable or loyal.
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Thanks a lot four you answers, and for the time to write it.  It´s very insightful. Laughing

Basically you have 4 possible types of creatures that might be accompanying a party:

5. Familiar. Familiars come with a feat available only to Arcane characters (including multiclass). In general they cannot attack, but provide a certain degree of utility and/or augmentation for the character they are associated with.

6. Spirit Companions. These are a class feature of Shamans. Many Shaman powers can, or even must, be used based on the Spirit Companion's location rather than the Shaman's. A full Shaman has, and a hybrid may have, an at-will opportunity-action attack power that can be used through the Spirit Companion. Some Spirit Companions also offer other benefits; for example, if you're a ranged Ranger and there's an Eagle Shaman in the party, you can tag as your Quarry the enemy that is closest to the Spirit Companion rather than to yourself.

7. Summoned creatures. These won't normally accompany the party between encounters, because they automatically unsummon after five minutes - and most Summon powers are dailies. Most summoned creatures cannot attack on their own - they consume one of their casters' actions. A big but limited exception to this is a Druid summon.

8. Druids in beastform. These are actually a full character (I'm assuming we aren't talking about a Companion Character here) whose player chooses to play them as being in beastform most of the time. Note that Druids in beastform can still talk.

Oh, and by the way, it isn't true that a Beastmaster Ranger can't use his beast companion as a mount. However, mounts in general must be at least one size category larger than the rider. Since beast companions are Medium, that means the Ranger must be Small.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose

Oh, and by the way, it isn't true that a Beastmaster Ranger can't use his beast companion as a mount. However, mounts in general must be at least one size category larger than the rider. Since beast companions are Medium, that means the Ranger must be Small.

I wondered when someone would mention that.

If you dig far enough back into the forum's history, you'll find a thread I started back when I was running a weekly game as a demo for the FLGS.  My wife was playing a character inspired by Tolsimir Wolfblood so she wanted to be able to ride her companion wolf.  I ended up just making the wolf large but otherwise leaving it unchanged.  It actually worked pretty well and the benefits seemed to be completely offset by the disadvantages (for one thing, large creatures are harder to navigate indoors).

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I realize this is a bit of threadcromancy but I found this searching for another thread, and I wanted to point out two things:

In addition to being one size level larger, mounts must also be at least Large, so sadly, Small Rangers can't ride Medium Mounts.

But there's an app a feat for that... Beast Rider, lets a Ranger ride a Medium sized Beast Companion.
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
I just created this account to ask the very question about Ranger Beastmasters. Thanks for the great info, it answered some confusion I had about using an animal companion. I still had one question though; I understand that you can use your Standard Action for either yourself or your companion, but what if the two of you are split in comba? 

  Here is the scenario that came to mind: a ranger and his wolf are split from the party, tracking some goblins. The ranger spots a goblin straggler about 3 boxes away and using a standard action orders his wolf to attack. While the wolf is engaged with the goblin, a second goblin, who had been hiding leaps to engage the ranger. The surprise attack misses and normal melee starts. What happens now? The ranger only has one standard action. The wolf is already engaged and so his he now, but with a different target. Does only one of the two attack? Is this considered "not present" so that the wolf can get his own full range of actions?


Sometimes rules don't become fully realized and understood until you use them in a game session    
  

  
For the maximum ammount of furry friends, try a Hybrid Beastmaster Ranger/Sentinal Druid, MC shaman with Fey Beast Tamer theme.

You get:
Beast Companion
Fey Animal Companion
Animal Companion
Spirit Companion
Druid summoning spells

Good times
  Here is the scenario that came to mind: a ranger and his wolf are split from the party, tracking some goblins. The ranger spots a goblin straggler about 3 boxes away and using a standard action orders his wolf to attack. While the wolf is engaged with the goblin, a second goblin, who had been hiding leaps to engage the ranger. The surprise attack misses and normal melee starts. What happens now? The ranger only has one standard action. The wolf is already engaged and so his he now, but with a different target. Does only one of the two attack? Is this considered "not present" so that the wolf can get his own full range of actions?
 



The ranger used his only action during the surprise round. There is nothing further he or his wolf can do. 

Normal combat begins once the surprise round concludes. From there, the ranger can use an attack power that explicitly allows him and his wolf to attack, or otherwise use that standard action so just he or the wolf can attack (but not both). One or the other may also use a minor action and both may move using the same move action.

There is no "split" or "not present" combat going on (and nothing even defining those terms in the rule books), and no other reason for the wolf to act instinctually. That kicks in when the ranger is unable to command it, and even then, the creature must make a bee-line to his or her side instead of first attacking. At that point, the ranger is either unconcious and unable to do anything--such as attack--or he isn't, and the normal rules for commanding a companion apply.

Having two opponents (or even more) makes no difference. The only way for both to attack using a standard action is via an attack power such as the level 1 Encounter power, "Synchronized Strike."

That's it.

The way to think of the creature is exactly as is stated in the book (emphasis mine):

"You and your beast companion work so well together that the creature is almost an extension of you. Using your actions in combat, you control your beast companion by issuing it commands."
i was reading this comment above-


"I realize this is a bit of threadcromancy but I found this searching for another thread, and I wanted to point out two things:

In addition to being one size level larger, mounts must also be at least Large, so sadly, Small Rangers can't ride Medium Mounts.

But there's an app a feat for that... Beast Rider, lets a Ranger ride a Medium sized Beast Companion."




Im a halfling ranger with a panther as a pet.  I ride my panther when the situation calls for it, and the only rules i can find about that is this.

Mount Requirements
To be a mount, a creature must meet two requirements.
    • Size: The creature’s size category must be larger than its rider’s. For instance, a mount for a Medium creature must be Large or larger.
    • Willing: The creature must be a willing mount. The mount is considered an ally to its rider and the rider’s allies.

No where does it say it has to be large,  just larger then you are,  Since only a few charecters can be small its something that dosnt come up offten.
Mount rules were errata'd two years ago. This is a three year old thread.
yea but i wasnt playing 3 years ago and the last post was just a few months ago
yea but i wasnt playing 3 years ago and the last post was just a few months ago

The post you are quoting is from three years ago. Literally. Says it on the left. The post you are quoting as being incorrect was correct when it was posted.

So if you are small and your companion is medium, you no longer need the Beast Rider feat. That is true now.