Purposefully killing your own animal companion

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If you have an animal companion (or spirit, or familiar, or beast, or thrall, or summon, or any other form of companion) are there any rules (for any even if not for all) that would prevent you from purposefully killing your companion?

I know in some previous editions, killing your familiar was actually bad, or killing your animal companion might mean you would never get another one, etc.

And by this I mean literally using your standard action to kill your companion (my current example is shoving him off a cliff to certain death, in order to give myself an advantageous position for my next move. It doesn't save any of my allies, it doesn't directly harm any of my enemies, it just gives me better positioning.)

And yes I know this might be against RAI, but I ONLY want RAW knowledge; the person killing his companion and I have already talked, and for roleplay reasons, it is acceptable; we just want to clarify if there are any actual rules against it.
There are no general rules that prevent you from attacking your own companion.

For example, if a PC's animal companion is in melee with an enemy, and the PC centers a party-unfriendly burst 1 attack on the enemy, he would have to make an attack against his animal companion.

Keep in mind, though, that some types of companions may be immune or resistant against certain types of attacks. For example, a shaman's spirit companion is immune to all close and area attacks. This applies for both enemy attacks and friendly fire.
You can eat your animal companion without negative effects (other than whatever your class requires you to go through to get another).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Thanks, that's what I figured, but thought I'd check; now if you could be so kind as to answer my question down in 'forced movement and occupied squares' that would be awesome for clearing up the rest of this mess.
my current example is shoving him off a cliff to certain death, in order to give myself an advantageous position for my next move. It doesn't save any of my allies, it doesn't directly harm any of my enemies, it just gives me better positioning.

Typically most companions can move as a minor action or move as part of your own movement, and familiars are expendable and Tiny anyway so you can move into their square easily (unless you're a Small creature).  So generally speaking, killing your ally animal companion is completely unnecessary for the most part.

And yes I know this might be against RAI, but I ONLY want RAW knowledge; the person killing his companion and I have already talked, and for roleplay reasons, it is acceptable; we just want to clarify if there are any actual rules against it.

RAW doesn't prevent you from intentionally harming allies (animal companions are also allies, RAW), but if it disrupts gameplay it's certainly discouraged.

In short, it works, but it shouldn't be abused.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
If you have an animal companion (or spirit, or familiar, or beast, or thrall, or summon, or any other form of companion) are there any rules (for any even if not for all) that would prevent you from purposefully killing your companion?

I know in some previous editions, killing your familiar was actually bad, or killing your animal companion might mean you would never get another one, etc.

And by this I mean literally using your standard action to kill your companion (my current example is shoving him off a cliff to certain death, in order to give myself an advantageous position for my next move. It doesn't save any of my allies, it doesn't directly harm any of my enemies, it just gives me better positioning.)

And yes I know this might be against RAI, but I ONLY want RAW knowledge; the person killing his companion and I have already talked, and for roleplay reasons, it is acceptable; we just want to clarify if there are any actual rules against it.



How is it advantageous to shove your AC off a cliff?  Sorry, this part just has me curious.  As chaosfang points out, AC can all move when you take a move action.  Thus if for whatever reason you need to be in the sq that your AC is occupying at the edge of a cliff, then when you move your AC could instead move away and thus you can take his sq.  No need for senseless violence.  Even if there are no other sq for the AC to move to, seems like there would be better options.  I mean because at the very least if you kill your AC and you rely on him for using certain attacks then that's screwed.  Unless you have time after the battle to cast the ritual to bring him back.  But that also costs some dough, which could suck.  And of course that's only if you have time after to cast the ritual, if you don't you may have to continue on without your AC for awhile depending.

That being said, as others have mentioned no there's no penalties exactly about killing your AC.  Except for the ones I just mentioned.  But yeah, certain companions of the various types are immune to your powers or certain types of attacks like the shaman's spirit companion. 
The OP seemed to be asking if there were 'negative side effects' to it, as previous editions tended to have ... losing XP for the loss of a familiar, being 'spurned by nature' and having to go a year and a day before you can get a new animal companion, that kind of bullcrap.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The OP seemed to be asking if there were 'negative side effects' to it, as previous editions tended to have ... losing XP for the loss of a familiar, being 'spurned by nature' and having to go a year and a day before you can get a new animal companion, that kind of bullcrap.

actually, I do believe that at least some of the animal companions (particularly the non-Feywild Beast Tamer ones) do have implications on losing their companions.  You could replace them, certainly... but it isn't exactly instantaneous, just likely done off-screen or during roleplaying situations.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
In this case there was an item that kills all enemies on the board; but only if you get it to the far side of the board (some 30 squares away, with a party of generally move 6 characters).  There is a terrain hazard that throws you across the board, and, unless you hit something (in which case you knock that something off the cliff instead), off a cliff to your death.  The sentinel moved his animal companion adjacent to the side of the cliff, picked up the death item, hopped on the terrain hazard, launched himself across the board, shoved his animal companion to its doom and jogged in to kill all the enemies in one turn.
Regardless of the actual rules, that seems out of character for what a druid would do.  There's no way that he would sacrifice a trusted and loved companion, just to get in a 1 round insta-gib.  Throwing his pet off the cliff was gaming the system, and imo bad roleplay.
I would apply RP penalties.

Such as nature getting back at him. By having his food infested with beetles.

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Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

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Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

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Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I kind of want to make or play in a game now where everyone is forced to have an animal companion then be forced to kill it, like through starving, or freezing winters (I thought it smelled bad...on the outside)

Though the Fey-master theme doesn't work since animals can seemingly port off to the feywild when near death/death 
Regardless of the actual rules, that seems out of character for what a druid would do.  There's no way that he would sacrifice a trusted and loved companion, just to get in a 1 round insta-gib.  Throwing his pet off the cliff was gaming the system, and imo bad roleplay.



Class =/= personality.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I kind of want to make or play in a game now where everyone is forced to have an animal companion then be forced to kill it, like through starving, or freezing winters (I thought it smelled bad...on the outside)

Though the Fey-master theme doesn't work since animals can seemingly port off to the feywild when near death/death 

Animal Master then?  They're not Beastmaster-esque animal companions, but the animals from that theme are still companions...

As for the given scenario, the first question in my mind is: how the heck did the Sentinel's companion get to go 30 squares before the rest of the party could?


In any case, the animal companion dies, and will need to be resurrected or replaced.  The DM might rule that the newly reincarnated creature might be at least emotionally hurt because of the endeavor (unless the companion really is that much of a team player), or the new replacement being wary because of the deceased companion's scent, but in any case it's a matter of plot impact rather than RAW.


Sticking too much to RAW without considering the plot-based repercussions may be subject to a completely different, yet seemingly relevant, discussion. 
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
A sentinel druid's animal companion isn't even a "real" animal anyway, but merely an artificial construct of primal magic, just the slightest bit more substantial than a shaman's spirit companion. A beastmaster ranger's beast companion is more real because it actually dies and has to be raised just like any other creature (though a bit less costly). Fey beast companion is sort of more real than the animal companion, because instead of completely disipating, the fey beast companion just returns to its home plane waiting to be re-summoned (mechanically similar, but different in flavor).

Of course a druid voluntarily sacrificing his animal companion should suffer no more mechanical repercussions than a divine class who abandons their faith (which is none). They might find themselves facing some upset representatives of the faith or ideals they have offended, creating some interesting plot possibilities.
Given the fluff and crunch of a sentinel's animal companion I think there's nothing wrong with the animal companion sacrificing itself voluntarily.  The druid can get it back with a healing surge and a minor action.  I can't believe the animal companion is going to care much about dying if it comes back that easily.
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