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The Beast Mastery class feature is available to any ranger who wishes to gain a loyal beast companion. To select this class feature, you must give up the Prime Shot class feature, and you do not select either the Archer Fighting Style or the Two-Blade Fighting Style.

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.

Beast Fighting Style

As a Beastmaster Ranger, you gain a beast companion, chosen from one of these categories: bear, boar, cat, lizard, raptor, serpent, spider, or wolf. These categories do not describe specific animals, but rather groups of similarly themed creatures in the D&D world. You decide the creature’s relevant details— its species, physical details, and so forth—making sure they are appropriate for its category and the campaign.

For example, if your character hails from a swampy region, your lizard companion might be a crocodile. The lizard companion of a ranger from a different region might be a giant monitor lizard or a drake. A beast companion’s species doesn’t affect its game statistics, which are based on its category and level. 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.

Beast Mastery also alters your Hunter’s Quarry class feature. When you use Hunter’s Quarry, your quarry can be either the enemy nearest to you that you can see or the enemy nearest to your beast companion that you can see. You or your beast companion can deal the extra damage from Hunter’s Quarry, but only one of you can deal this extra damage per round. Your beast companion is considered a creature and an ally and can be affected by powers. A cleric can heal it with healing word, a warlord can give it a melee basic attack with commander’s strike, and so forth. You and your beast companion are treated as separate creatures.

You can have only one beast companion at a time. You can dismiss your beast companion at any time, but gaining a new one isn’t a simple task. The link between a ranger and his or her beast companion is not one of master and servant but of two close friends. As part of the training you underwent that allowed you to form a close bond with a beast, you learned the Raise Beast Companion ritual, which allows you to raise your companion from the dead, even if you are otherwise unable to master and perform rituals.

Beast Mastery also alters your Hunter’s Quarry class feature. When you use Hunter’s Quarry, your quarry can be either the enemy nearest to you that you can see or the enemy nearest to your beast companion that you can see. You or your beast companion can deal the extra damage from Hunter’s Quarry, but only one of you can deal this extra damage per round.

Your beast companion is considered a creature and an ally and can be affected by powers. A cleric can heal it with healing word, a warlord can give it a melee basic attack with commander’s strike, and so forth. You and your beast companion are treated as separate creatures.

You can have only one beast companion at a time. You can dismiss your beast companion at any time, but gaining a new one isn’t a simple task. The link between a ranger and his or her beast companion is not one of master and servant but of two close friends.

As part of the training you underwent that allowed you to form a close bond with a beast, you learned the Raise Beast Companion ritual, which allows you to raise your companion from the dead, even if you are otherwise unable to master and perform rituals.

Gaining a Beast Companion

How did you acquire your beast companion? What accounts for the special bond you share? You might consider one of these possibilities, or invent a background story of your own:

  • You rescued the animal from a cruel trap or a menagerie and nursed it back to health.
  • You captured the beast when it was young and trained it rigorously as it grew.
  • You retreated into the wilderness, fasting and praying to Melora, until she found you worthy and sent you a companion.
  • You performed a secret ritual to bind your spirit with your companion’s.
  • You were raised as part of a pack of these animals, and your companion is almost like a brother or sister to you.
  • When you were nearly killed in a wilderness ambush, the animal found you and cared for you.
  • The animal attacked you in the wilderness, and you wrestled with it until it agreed to become your companion.

Gaining a New Companion

If you wish to switch to a new beast companion, you can use the retraining rules in the Player’s Handbook to select a different beast when you level up. Instead of changing a feat, a power, or a skill selection when you retrain, you can change your beast companion selection.

You keep your current beast companion until you have the opportunity to spend a few hours seeking its replacement in an environment where the new beast can be found. If your beast companion dies and you choose to replace it rather than raise it, you follow the same rules.

The DM can choose to run a short adventure that involves you finding a companion, perhaps rescuing it from captivity or overcoming a foe together. Otherwise, the DM can allow you to create the story of how you found your new companion.

Raise Beast Companion

You call out to your beast companion. Though death separates you, the ties of faith and friendship between you can cross any gulf.

Level: 1
Category: Restoration
Time: 4 hours
Duration: Instantaneous
Component Cost: 50 gp
Market Price: None
Key Skill: Nature (no check)

This ritual allows you to restore life to your slain beast companion. This ritual works only for rangers who have the Beast Mastery class feature.

The ritual functions as the Raise Dead ritual, with the following exceptions:

  • You need not have any part of your beast companion’s corpse.
  • The death penalty lasts until you have reached three milestones.
  • A paragon tier beast companion costs 500 gp to raise, and an epic tier beast companion costs 5,000 gp to raise.

Statistics

A beast companion’s category determines most of its game statistics, although all beast companions share a few characteristics.

Level: Your beast companion’s level is always equal to yours. The beast’s defenses, hit points, and attack bonus improve with level.
Ability Scores: Your beast companion’s category determines its ability scores, which go up with level. Add 1 to two of your beast companion’s ability scores at 4th, 8th, 14th, 18th, 24th, and 28th level. All of your beast companion’s ability scores improve by 1 at 11th and 21st level.
Healing Surges: Your beast companion has two healing surges. The beast’s healing surge value is equal to a quarter of its maximum hit points, as normal.
Vision: Your beast companion has low-light vision.

Categories

Choose one of the following categories for your beast companion. Once you choose a category, such as wolf, you can then describe the beast’s appearance, such as timber wolf, mastiff, or hyena.

Bear

Brown bears and similar creatures fall into this category. Bears are tougher and deadlier than other beast companions, but they are a little slower.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 14, Dexterity 12, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares
Defenses: AC 12 + level, Fortitude 14 + level, Reflex 10 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 16 + 10 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 2
Damage: 1d12
Melee Basic Attack: Claw; level + 2 vs. AC; 1d12 + Strength modifier damage.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance

Boar

Boars are tough, resilient, and ferocious companions.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares, 8 squares when charging
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 10 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Gore; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Charge: When charging, a boar gains a +2 bonus to its damage roll.
Trained Skill: Endurance

Cat

Cats include lions, tigers, cougars, and similar predators. Their natural agility and stealth allow them to excel on scouting missions.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 12, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 14, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 11 + level, Reflex 13 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Claw; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Stealth

Lizard

The lizard category includes crocodiles and drakes. These thick-skinned beasts are tough combatants.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 14, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 15 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 10 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Bite or claw; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Opportunity Attacks: A lizard gains a +2 bonus to the attack roll when making an opportunity attack.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance

Raptor

The raptor category includes eagles, falcons, hawks, and other birds of prey. They are mobile and agile but not as ferocious as other beast companions.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 12, Constitution 12, Dexterity 18, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Small
Speed: 2 squares, fly 7 squares (hover)
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 10 + level, Reflex 14 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 12 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 5
Damage: 1d6
Melee Basic Attack: Claw; level + 5 vs. AC; 1d6 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Trained Skill: Perception

Serpent

The serpent category includes massive constrictors and other hunting snakes. These beasts are common in tropical environments.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 14, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares, swim 5 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 13 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Bite; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Opportunity Attacks: A serpent gains a bonus to opportunity attack damage rolls equal to its Strength modifier.
Trained Skill: Stealth

Spider

In the Underdark and in primeval forests, goblins and many fey creatures train hunting spiders.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 12, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 12, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares, climb 6 squares (spider climb)
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 11 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Bite; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Stealth

Wolf

The wolf category includes predatory canines and doglike creatures, from mastiffs to timber wolves to jackals.

Statistics

Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 14, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 14, Charisma 6
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 13 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Bite; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Combat Advantage: When a wolf has combat advantage against a target, the wolf gains a bonus to damage rolls against the target equal to the wolf’s Wisdom modifier.
Trained Skills: Endurance, Perception

Commanding a Beast Companion

Your beast companion doesn’t usually take its own actions during combat. It acts on your turn as you direct it, using the options below. To command your beast companion, you take the action specified for a command, and the beast must be able to see or hear you. If you don’t command your beast companion, it remains where it is, as long as you are conscious and present in the encounter. If you are unconscious or aren’t present, your beast companion can act independently (see Independent Actions below).

Attack (Standard Action): Your beast companion makes a melee basic attack against an enemy of your choice.
Defend (Standard Action): Your beast companion or both of you go on total defense. If you are adjacent to each other, the bonus to defenses is +3 rather than +2.
Move (Move Action): Your beast companion or both of you take a move action. The move actions need not be the same.
Opportunity Attack (Immediate Interrupt): When a creature provokes an opportunity attack from your beast companion, you spend an immediate interrupt to command the beast to make the attack.
Other Action: For any other action, you spend the required action and your beast companion completes it. For example, picking up an object requires a minor action, so you can spend a minor action to order your beast companion to grab a bag of coins in its jaws.

If your beast companion is incapable of completing an action, your action is wasted and the beast does nothing. Your beast companion cannot use your powers, and the DM is the final judge on whether a beast is capable of completing an action.

Independent Actions

In situations where you can’t command your beast companion, it can act independently. For example, if you’re unconscious or dead or if you aren’t present in an encounter, your beast companion doesn’t necessarily sit around waiting for you to show up, unless that’s what you want it to do.

A beast companion acting independently can take a standard action, a move action, and a minor action on each of its turns, as a character can. You choose the beast’s actions, with one restriction: If your character is present in the encounter but incapable of commanding the beast, it must move as far as it can toward you each round on its turn, choosing the safest route possible. Once adjacent to you, the beast companion can act in any manner you wish.

Healing

Your beast companion can spend healing surges as any character can, and it can receive the benefits of healing abilities, such as a cleric’s healing word.

Second Wind: When you use your second wind, your beast companion can use second wind as well.
Other Healing: When you are adjacent to your beast companion, you can spend a minor action and one of your healing surges to heal the beast companion

as if it had spent a healing surge.

Death and Dying: A beast companion follows the same rules as a character for death and dying. If your beast companion dies, you can use the Raise Beast Companion ritual to restore it to life.

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