This is a sheet I’ve created for the Ranger’s Animal Companion for a campaign I’ve been running. The idea is to make the Companion better defined mechanically, as well as giving it a way to level. Comments are appeciated!
The Animal Companion
HP: ____ / ____ (Base HP of 15)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
+2 +1 +1 +0 +0 -1
The animal companion can use the Hack and Slash, Defy Danger, Defend, and Aid and Interfere moves, as well as any that the Ranger and Dungeon Master agree fit the animal (for example, a creature that shoots quills could use Volley)
Each time the companion’s master gains a level, the companion gains advanced trainings. On odd levels, choose one of the two presented options.
The animal gains +3 maximum HP
Empowered: Choose another Strength
Flawless: Remove one Weakness
The animal gains +1 armor
Rend and Tear: The animal gains the Messy tag and +1 piercing
Expose Weakness: After the animal attacks, its master gains +2 piercing next time they deal physical damage to the same target.
The animal’s damage is now b[2d6]
Spirit Animal: When the animal takes physical damage, it can phase partly out of existence for a brief moment, reducing the damage taken by 1d4, but also reducing the damage of their next attack by 1d4
Arcane Infusion: The animal can now cast one level 1 wizard spell
The animal gains +1 WIS and CHA
Leader of the Pack: The animal can now call other creatures to the party’s aid. This will usually call 1-3 local animals, somewhat weaker than the animal companion themselves. Cannot be used in places where wild animals cannot reach the party.
Lone Wolf: The animal’s time away from others of its kind have caused it to grow larger and stronger. It gains the Reach and Forceful tags as well as +3 HP
The animal gains +1 DEX and CON
10 thoughts on “This is a sheet I’ve created for the Ranger’s Animal Companion for a campaign I’ve been running.”
Joseph Lopez Have emailed you what I use.
I like some of these ideas bit don’t want the companion being as strong as or stronger then a pc. I would start it off at 8 HP and 1d4 damage (as strong as a goblin leader), no attribute bonuses. Pick 2 things at lvl 1 (or is it three not have book front of me).
Who rolls for them?
Joseph Lopez I like what you’re doing but I’m not comfortable with the Animal Companion being able to die because of HP loss. That would be the same as destroying the fighter’s signature weapon.
This comes very close to creating a second character to play – a level 10+ benefit…
The animal’s master (Ranger or multiclassed Bard/Druid/fighter) would roll for them.
It’s true, the Companion dying is no Bueno, nearly as much as a party member. That’s part of the reason I gave it so much HP, but it does need to be in some danger when in combat, or else there’s no drama. If they do die, there’s lots of opportunity for RP and story, as well as ways to bring them back (Ritual, Resurrection spell) or ways to compensate like creating a new move for their master involving them becoming stronger through the loss of their companion.
Joseph Lopez I agree with what you’re saying but I feel what you’re describing should be handled by narrative not by mechanics. If a fighter has a magical sword, it can be stolen, it can be turned against them, it can be wrenched from their grasp and that’s fair play, but shattering it should only happen in a true narrative climax.
Having written the above, I have to clarify my own bias in that I don’t fully subscribe to the DW notion of play to find out what happens any more than I think the same applies to D&D. The loss of something so crucial to a character shouldn’t be based on the roll of a die.
Frankly I think this discussion is a large part of why the Ranger’s AC is so narrative-based in the first place.
I agree that narrative based is good, but the ranger in question very often used his companion to straight-up attack things – which made perfect sense in fiction, but there were no rules to govern.
In response to excellent points about an overabundance of HP and the danger of losing the companion to dice rolls, I have reduced the base HP to 8 and created the following starting move for the companion:
Your companion’s harsh life and powerful bond to you have made them extraordinarily tenacious. When the companion is reduced below 1 HP, they will just barely cling to life. They will be rendered comatose until you can gain access to healing and a few days to revive them, but will still be alive. This may not, however, work if the attack is particularly noteworthy or powerful, however.
There are rules for that. They say their animal attacks she then they look at you to find out what happens. You then make s move in accordance with your principles and agenda.
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