Shaman Spirit Companion
(from here, thanks to GelatinousOctahedron)
Where are the rules about conjurations?: PHB2 p.120 has the SC companion rules. PHB2 p.219 and 220 have updated conjuration rules and they slightly expand on the rules in PHB1 p.59.
What does the spirit keyword mean?: From PHB2 p.220: 'You can use a spirit power only if your spirit companion is present in the encounter. If a spirit power includes "spirit" in its range, you determine line of sight and line of effect from your spirit companion’s space, which is the power’s origin square.'
Does my SC occupy a square? Who can move through it?: Yes it does occupy a square, unlike most conjurations. Your allies can move through it, but can not end their turn in the same square. You enemies can not move through it. See PHB2 p 120.
Does my SC provoke OA?: No. The PHB2 FAQ says it does not provoke OA. The reasoning is that only creatures provoke OA and your SC is not a creature.
When does my SC get to make an OA?: Technically your SC never makes an OA. He has an attack that functions as an opportunity action. He gets to make that attack only when an enemy moves away from it without shifting. Note that "Forced movement does not provoke opportunity attacks or other opportunity actions" according to PHB p.285. The updated rules say teleportation also does not provoke. Ranged powers also do not provoke attacks from SCs.
How fast does my SC move? Can it Shift? What happens when I am slowed? What happens if I am immobilized? What about difficult terrain?: It moves up to your move speed when you take a move action. It can not shift, but for the most part that does not matter since it does not provoke OA. If you are slowed, you movement drops to 2 and therefore your SC can only move 2. Immobilization does not cause you to loose your move actions and technically does not reduce your speed, so you should be able to move it, but ask your DM. PHB2 p.220 says conjurations are not effected by difficult terrain.
Can my SC be pushed, pulled, slid, slowed, stunned, dazed, blinded, deafened, petrified, or take ongoing damage?: No. It can only be damaged and only you can move it according to the rules in PHB2. If it takes 10 + 1/2 your level in damage then it is dismissed and you take damage equal to 5 +1/2 your level
Is my spirit an ally?: No. Conjurations are not allies, but some powers and feats may let it do things normally only allies can do like flank or provide cover.
If I have combat advantage against an enemy does the +2 bonus apply to attacks I make through my spirit companion?: Yes. For instance if the shaman is flanking an enemy he gets a +2 bonus to all attacks against that enemy. That includes attacks from conjurations since the rules provide for no exception to this. See PHB p.279 and 285 for the relevant rules: "You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll when you have combat advantage against a target".
If I am being flanked or if someone has combat advantage against me for another reason does the bonus also apply to the companion?: No. The bonus applies to attack rolls against that particular target. It does not lower your defenses and the spirit companion is a different target.
How many SCs can I have active at a time?: One, unless you have a specific power or ability that lets you summon a second one.
Can I dismiss my SC and then bring it back the same round in some other location?: Yes. Normally that requires 1 minor action unless you have one of the feats mentioned below that let you summon it as a free action. The march 2010 Errata makes it so that you can dismiss and then recall the SC as one action. Dragon 387 (published 2 months after the errata) makes it sound like it still takes a minor action to dismiss it.
So what's the deal with the feats Sudden Call (PP) and Nimble Spirit (PHB2)?: They used to be pretty much the same, but they issued errata to make sudden call work only 1/encounter, so you should retrain it to nimble spirit in paragon. See page 267 of the PHBs for a full explanation of free actions. And you can only summon your SC during your turn with or without these feats.
When can I summon my SC?: Only during your turn. Either it takes a minor action which has to be on your turn or it if you have a feats like sudden call or nimble spirit, those say your turn. You can also ready an action to summon it on a trigger, but that will be the only action you can do since readying an action only grants you one action.
Can my SC fly?: No, but it can float and does not need to be supported by a solid surface. But no rules say it can fly and customer service has been pretty consistent in saying it can't. However, Dragon 387 article on shamans states: "This means when it moves, it ignores difficult terrain and can move vertically and horizontally."
How far away can my SC go and still be sustained?: The rules on close burst powers and range are a bit of a mess and need an official FAQ. People have been arguing about the range of close burst sustainable/movable zones & conjurations since consecrated ground was published in PHB. PHB2 p.220 states you can move a conjuration as far as you want to during your turn, but conjurations end unless at least 1 square is within range.
Per PHB p.270 there is never a range specified for close powers. They have area of effect, not range. In fact the word "Range" never appears in that section, while it occurs in the sections for melee powers, ranged powers, and area powers. Page 273 however says that the "Range is the distance from you to a target (or to the attack's origin square)." The origin square for close burst powers is the creature using the power, so the range = 0. There is a customer service answer quoted in the thread to this FAQ for instance that as long as you have line of sight there is no range limit.
Now if you go back to PHB p.56 it says "Following a power’s action type on the same line is the power’s attack type and its range." That makes it look like the range is the number on the line following the attack type. A lot of people think that is the common sense answer since the power is close burst 20 that the range is 20 and treat the square the spirit companion is summoned in as the target referred to on page 273. To top it off Dragon issue 387 says "If you end your turn with the spirit companion more than 20 squares away from you, it goes away." Of course that article also contradicts other earlier errata and says you need a minor action to dismiss the SC.
So that's why people disagree about this and why we need an official FAQ: page 56 makes it look like close burst 20 is a range, page 270 makes it look like close powers do not have a "range". Ask your DM, but in my experience this does not come up too often in real game play. No matter how far away you think the SC can go, you need to have line of effect to it at the end of your turn or it goes away (see PHB2 p.220).
Do I need line of sight or line of effect when using spirit powers?: Normally with conjurations you need line of sight to use a power, but with SCs it is different and you use your SC to determine line of sight. You determine also line of effect from your SC. See PHB2 p.220.
Can my SC be damaged by area/close attacks or zones?: No. According PHB2 p.120 it can only be damaged by ranged or melee attacks. And you only have to worry about damage from one attack at a time.
Can my SC flank?: Not normally. Some powers like stalker's strike let it flank, which implies that it normally can't flank.
Can the spirit companion be flanked?: No. This is a bit of complicated reasoning, but to be flanked the target needs to be a creature as defined by the PHB p.57. Your SC is not a creature and therefore can not be flanked.
If I use healing spirit on two allies who are both next to my bear spirit companion, do both get the additional hp from my spirit boon or does only one get it?: Ask your DM. WOTC has not answered the question with a FAQ, but customer service says yes pretty consistently.
What if I have the feat Vigorous Spirit (PP) and heal 1 ally and a second ally adjacent to my SC? Do both get the extra healing from my wisdom modifier?: No. That feat says "the target regains additional hitpoints". The only target of healing spirit is "you or one ally in burst", the second character adjacent to your SC who gets the extra d6s of healing is not a target.
Can my spirit companion make skill checks? Can it be stealthy or notice things with perception?: Ask your DM, but the rules are pretty silent on this from what I can tell. My first RAW answer is no since it does not have any ability scores and is not a creature. It uses your ability scores for determining the outcome of attacks, but it does not mention on PHB p.59 or PHB2 p.220 that it uses your scores for skill checks. But for things like stealth and passive perception checks you can argue that RAI it is reasonable for it to make some checks using your skills since you can get line of site from it.
Does it have to be a bear or can I make mine a giant otter?: Make it whatever animal you want.