Wild Cohort Fighter

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If I were to take the Wild Cohort feat www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/200... and go straight fighter, would I be better off sticking with a 1st level animal companion rather then trading it in for an alternate (I think lvl 7 is the first chance I would get to trade in for a 4th lvl druid animal companion)?

Or if I took a 4th level animal companion at lvl 7 would it be more powerful (considering the level-3) then if I had stuck with say a riding dog from 1st lvl?

Edit: I'll also put this question in this thread instead of making a new post.

If I want to swap from my ranged weapon to my melee weapon and I have a BAB greater then +1 can I both Draw AND sheath my weapon as a free action when combined with a move action?

Right now it says that you can draw a weapon as a free action when moving if you have a BAB greater then 1. I'm not sure if this includes sheathing a currently equipped weapon (I dont want to drop my weapon).     
Basically the universally accepted animal companions is the Fleshraker out of the Monster Manuel 3. It has crippling poison, a large number of attacks, Pounce, a free trip when pouncing, and basically everything else you'd ever want from a companion except flight. While it lacks the skill bonuses of Deinonychus it is a better fighter than them at a lower level of availability. Having played a basic non-charging fighter next to a druid with one of them, I can say that they are comparable to you in terms of power.

With regards to other companions, the tables are hit and miss. Some are worth upgrading to, some are not.



While sheathing a weapon in not described anywhere to the best of my knowledge, I've always just assumed that it was the same action to sheath it as it was to draw it. That said, by putting a Crystal of Return, Least on your melee weapon, you should be able to draw it for a free action after you sheath your ranged weapon during your move action. Since ranged weapons do not require the most extravagant range of movement, if you tied the ends of them to yourself then dropping them would simply leave them dangling and not discarded.
Sheathing a weapon is a move action, unfortunately. I forget where to find that rule, though.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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So I guess outside of the Quickdraw feat there is no way around swapping between melee and ranged during combat?
Drop weapon, draw weapon while moving, attack
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Draco's got a point.  Rarely do you go back to range if you enter melee (it happens, but not often).
So I guess outside of the Quickdraw feat there is no way around swapping between melee and ranged during combat?


Draco's suggestion works fine (you can draw as part of a move if you've got +1 base attack or better). You can also compensate a bit with gear: the Magic Item Compendium gives Crystals of Return, which (for a ridiculously low price) let you quickdraw the weapon they're attached to. (Never get the feat. These gems are amazing, and the only real cost is that you can't use another gem while using this one. Your weapon also needs to be at least masterwork, but by the time you can afford a gem you can certainly have a masterwork weapon.) You can also use Elvencraft weapons (Races of the Wild), which are longbows and shortbows that double as quarterstaves or clubs with no transition time in between (there's a magical equivalent in the MIC, but it takes time to transform between melee and range; the elvencraft bows are just both, all the time).


In regards to your other question, I'm seconding "With regards to other companions, the tables are hit and miss. Some are worth upgrading to, some are not.". You really need to see what the extra levels will get you relative to switching to the different companion. (If it helps, you can pick a starting companion - the riding dog, trained for war so it has the wolf's supertrip, is the default assumption - and then subtract its statistics from the alternate animal you're considering. Compare the result to what the animal companion table gives.)

It's written for druids, but here's a basic overview of animal companions. Wild Cohort isn't too different. Here's its basic summary on upgrading vs advancing:
To level up, or change companions?
Probably the most frequently asked question.  Do you swap out your pet every three levels, or let it gain the bonuses from leveling?  Generally speaking, it's better to swap them out.  There are exceptions, but most of the time, you gain more from a higher level base pet.  Now, if you do stick with the same pet, there are a couple advantages.  1. it will end up with higher AC - most base animals tend to stay in the 14-17AC range, regardless of level.  2. you get to select its feats.  

Most of the time, that's not enough to make up for the increased damage, number of attacks, increased size, etc.  The exceptions:  Fleshraker - it's good enough that it can last you pretty much your whole career, and if venomfire is allowed in the campaign, it's hands down the best selection all the way to 20.  Magebred Bear/Ghost Tiger - the boosts this template give you, combined with the generally poor selection at level 10 means that it's worth it to hang onto them until at least 13 and possibly until 16.  Dire Tortoise - it's base stats are so high, and it's so unusual, that if you like it, it can serve until 20 without any problem.

(Just to clarify: Those listed are not necessarily the best companions, just the ones you really, really want to upgrade rather than swap out. The fleshraker is basically a venomous deinonychus-style dinosaur that serves as a great pounce, trip, and grapple companion, so its reputation is well-earned. Magebred is illegal on animal companions, but the ghost tigers can be reverse engineered and re-templated if you want something more potent. And the Dire Tortoise is just... odd. Most notably, it has the unique ability to always get a surprise round, no matter what happens. It's still a surprisingly robust companion outside of that, although whether it's better than an upgraded fleshraker (without venomfire) is debatable.)

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

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[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
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[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
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Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

One more thing I have to consider is the size. I would love to swap out my riding dog for a dire wolf, but being large size will have its disadvantages when crawling through a dungeon.

Whats your view on this? Assuming I am using the companion as a mount aswell.