Beastmastery
Table of Contents
Spheres_of_Might.jpg
Spheres of Might
$19.99
The Beastmastery sphere focuses on all forms of animal handling.

Unlike most other spheres which rest squarely on the related core rules, talents and abilities granted by the Beastmastery sphere override certain skill functions (particularly Handle Animal and Ride). No additional checks are required outside of those listed in the associated ability. Some abilities call out joint actions. These actions require both the user and his animal ally to pay the requisite action cost.

Animal Allies: Some talents and abilities reference animal allies; your animal companions, familiars, tame creatures, and any creature actively serving as your mount with an Intelligence score of 2 or less are considered your animal allies. Animal allies always act on your initiative.

Special: Animal companions, Conjuration sphere companions, drake companions, eidolons, and familiars cannot gain this sphere or talents from this sphere.

When you first take the Beastmastery sphere, choose one of the following packages: Handle Animal or Ride. Talents possessing a tag or tags matching one of the Beastmastery packages cannot be taken unless you possess one of the tagged packages.

Beastmastery Packages

Handle Animal

You gain 5 ranks in the Handle Animal skill, plus 5 ranks per talent spent in the Beastmastery sphere (maximum equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in Handle Animal you may immediately retrain them. You do not get to retrain skill ranks when only gaining Beastmastery sphere talents as temporary talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature or the brawler’s martial flexibility ability. Talents with the (handle animal) tag grant new ways to tame and train your animal allies. Talents with the (handle animal) tag substitute your ranks in Handle Animal for your base attack bonus when determining the saving throw DC of those talents (10 + 1/2 your ranks in Handle Animal + your practitioner modifier) unless otherwise stated.

You also gain the following ability:

Tame

You may attempt to train an animal to readily obey your commands in and out of combat. This requires 8 hours and a creature of the animal type that has an attitude toward you of indifferent or better. This time may be divided as per the magic item crafting rules. You may only train one creature at a time with this ability. At the end of this period, make a Handle Animal check with a DC of 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice. If successful, the creature is now considered tame.

You may not tame a creature with more Hit Dice than you have ranks in Handle Animal. You may have multiple tame creatures under your control, but their total Hit Dice cannot exceed your ranks in Handle Animal. If you attempt to tame a creature that would exceed your Hit Dice cap, you must choose which other creatures to release. Animal companions and familiars, such as from class features, the Animal Companion talent, or the Pet talent, never count against this Hit Dice cap.

You may not use this ability on a creature with the swarm subtype. A creature with a template adds the challenge rating adjustment of the template to its HD (minimum increase +0) for determining if you may tame it and for how many creatures you can have tame. Variant creatures with increased challenge ratings (such as a pyrohydra compared to a normal hydra, if using the Broad Skills talent), treats the challenge rating increase of the variant as if it were a template for this purpose. A creature whose permanent Intelligence score is raised above 2 is no longer a valid target for this ability and is automatically released. This effect ends if you go two full days without spending at least 1 hour training your tame creatures.

This is treated as an extraordinary mind-affecting compulsion effect for the purposes of opposed control checks, such as another compulsion effect affecting your tame creature. Use your ranks in Handle Animal in place of your caster level for the opposed check.

Ride

You gain 5 ranks in the Ride skill, plus 5 ranks per talent spent in the Beastmastery sphere (maximum equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in Ride you may immediately retrain them. You do not get to retrain skill ranks when only gaining Beastmastery sphere talents as temporary talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature or the brawler’s martial flexibility ability. When using the handle or push functions of the Handle Animal skill on a creature you are mounted on, you may substitute your Ride skill modifier for your Handle Animal skill modifier.

Talents with the (ride) tag grant new ways to interact with your mount. Talents with the (ride) tag substitute your ranks in Ride for your base attack bonus when determining the saving throw DC of those talents (10 + 1/2 your ranks in Ride + your practitioner modifier) unless otherwise stated.

Additionally, you gain the following ability:

Defensive Rider

When your mount is targeted by an attack or subject to a Reflex save, you may spend an attack of opportunity to make a Ride check and use the result in place of your mount’s AC or Reflex save result, if higher. Associated Feat: Mounted Combat.


Beastmastery Talents

Accomplice

While within the threatened area of an animal ally, when you or the animal ally performs a combat maneuver, the other may make an aid another check to boost the combat maneuver check as an immediate action.

Animal Companion

You gain an animal companion as the druid class feature. Your effective druid level for this companion is the highest between your base attack bonus, Handle Animal ranks, or Ride ranks - 3 (minimum 1). Your companion always counts as an animal ally. If you possess the Broad Skills talent, you may instead choose a plant or vermin companion.

Should you release your companion or your companion dies, you may gain a new companion after 1 week. If you are in the environment where the new companion typically lives, you may instead gain that new companion in 24 hours.

In addition, your companion is always considered combat trained and gains Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. If the companion is suitable to serve as a mount, you do not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding this companion. This talent counts as possessing the mount class feature.

Abilities that grant talents temporarily can not be used to gain this talent, such as taking the Extra Combat Talent feat with martial flexibility or gaining it from an armiger’s customized weapon.

You may take this talent a second time. If you do, your effective druid level when determining the effects of this talent becomes equal to the highest between your base attack bonus, ranks in Handle Animal, or ranks in Ride.

Associated Feats: Animal Ally, Boon Companion (if taken twice).

Special: If you already possess a companion, or gain one at a later time from another source, you gain the benefits of this talent as if taken twice. Your effective druid level from this talent stacks with those from other sources, to a maximum of your character level.

Wiki Note: Effects that increase effective BAB ranks in a sphere do not accelerate the strength of animal companions or similar partners, just as increasing your caster level does not accelerate the hit dice of Conjuration sphere companions. Only effects that actually raise your effective level, such as the Spherebound mythic quality or the Beastmastery Conscript sphere specialization, can further raise your effective druid level for this ability (and any other similar abilities).

Armored Charge [High. HB]

While mounted, you and your mount suffer no penalties for squeezing (down to half your mount’s space). You also don’t take the usual armor check penalty on Ride checks. In addition, while mounted, you and your mount gain a +1 bonus to CMD against bull rush, overrun, and trip combat maneuvers. At 10 ranks in Ride, this bonus increases to +2.

Armored Mount

Any creature you are mounted on gains a competence bonus to armor class and combat maneuver defense equal to 1/2 your ranks in Ride (rounded down, minimum +1). In addition, your mount gains a pool of temporary hit points that regenerate at a rate of 1 per minute up to a maximum amount equal to your ranks in Ride; your mount starts at 1 temporary hit point when you mount and these hit points disappear immediately if you begin your turn not mounted on that creature.

Coordinated Attack

When you use the attack action to attack, one of your animal allies may also attack your target with a single natural weapon it possesses as a joint swift action. If both you and the animal ally successfully deal damage with these attacks, the animal ally may immediately move 5 ft. as a free action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Defensive Teamwork

While within the threatened area of an animal ally, when you or the animal ally is targeted by an attack, the other may make an aid another check to boost AC as an immediate action.

Double Team

When one of your animal allies succeeds on a combat maneuver, the target provokes an attack of opportunity from you.

Extra Beastmastery Package

Choose a Beastmastery package you do not possess. You gain that package.

Faithful Friend

Whenever you use the aid another action to assist an animal ally or an animal ally uses the aid another action to assist you, the aid another bonus increases by +1 + 1 per 5 ranks in Handle Animal or Ride you possess.

Focusing Connection

As a move action, you make physical contact with one animal ally within your natural reach, regaining your martial focus and granting that animal ally a +2 bonus on all saving throws for 1 round. For every 10 ranks you possess in Handle Animal or Ride, the bonus to saving throws increases by +1.

Lookout

When within close range (25 ft. + 5 ft. per 2 ranks in the higher of Handle Animal and Ride) of any animal allies, when making a Perception check, you and the animal allies may share the result of the check of the creature with the highest result.

Pack Attack [BTH]

Whenever one or more of your animal allies within close range (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 ranks in Handle Animal) flanks an enemy with you or another one of your animal allies, increase the bonus on attack rolls granted while flanking by +2. The bonus on attack rolls increases by +1 for each animal ally which threatens that enemy, to a maximum of +1 per 4 ranks in Handle Animal. Associated Feat: Outflank.

Pet

You gain a familiar as the wizard class feature with an effective arcane spellcaster level equal to the highest between your base attack bonus or your ranks in Handle Animal. A familiar chosen with this talent must have the animal type and retains the animal type rather than becoming a magical beast, and does not gain an Intelligence bonus or the deliver touch spells, scry on familiar, share spells, speak with animals of its kind, or spell resistance special abilities. This familiar always counts as an animal ally.

If you possess the Broad Skills talent, you may instead choose any familiar ordinarily available from the wizard class feature (such as familiar options with the construct, plant, or vermin type).

If this familiar is dismissed, lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later at no cost.

Abilities that grant talents temporarily can not be used to gain this talent, such as taking the Extra Combat Talent feat with martial flexibility or gaining it from an armiger’s customized weapon.

Associated Feat: Familiar Bond.

Special: If you already possess a familiar, or gain one at a later time from another source, you may choose to have your effective arcane caster level from this talent stack with those from other sources, to a maximum of your character level. If you do, you may choose to have your familiar gain all the normal benefits of being a familiar, as the wizard’s arcane bond option (including type, Intelligence bonus, and special abilities), but doing so incurs the normal replacement cost should your familiar die. If the ability which grants you a familiar loses any of the normal benefits of being a familiar, your familiar does not gain that ability.

Rapid Handle

You may reduce the time required to handle or push an animal ally by 1 step (usually move to swift for handle and full-round to standard for push).

Steady Handler

When making a Handle Animal skill check to handle or push a tame creature or a Ride skill check while mounted on an animal ally, you may expend your martial focus as a free action to take 15 on the check, even if rushed or threatened.

Two As One (stance) [Youxia HB]

While in this stance, you may occupy the same square(s) as your animal allies at no penalty. Whenever you occupy the same square as an animal ally during this stance, you may expend an attack of opportunity to change the target of an attack targeting that animal ally to you as a free action that can be taken even outside your normal turn. Additionally, animal allies who occupy the same square as you in this manner may substitute your base attack bonus for their own, up to their number of Hit Dice, as long as the stance lasts.


Handle Animal Talents

Animal Empathy (handle animal)

You can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person, using your Handle Animal skill in place of Diplomacy. If you possess the wild empathy class feature, you may add your Handle Animal ranks to your levels in the class that grants the class feature (with a maximum equal to your Hit Dice) to determine the result.

The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use this ability, you and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that you must be within 30 ft. of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

Bee Keeper (handle animal)

You may tame creatures with the swarm subtype that are otherwise of a creature type that you can affect. When taming a creature in this way, they count as twice their Hit Dice against the total amount you may have tame at once. This increase does not stack with the increase for creatures not of the animal type from the Broad Skills talent. Additionally, you are immune to swarm damage from swarms that have a friendly or better disposition towards you.

Bolster Beast (handle animal)

You may increase the power of a tame creature through intense training. You may grant a tame creature 1 bonus Hit Die for every hour you spend training it with a Handle Animal check with a DC of 10 + the creature’s new Hit Dice total. These additional Hit Dice count against your Hit Dice cap for the trainer ability as normal and cannot cause the creature’s Hit Dice to exceed your ranks in Handle Animal. These additional Hit Dice are multiplied as normal for companions that have their Hit Dice doubled for the purposes of determining how many creatures you may have tame. If a creature is released from the tame condition, these bonus Hit Dice are lost immediately.

Creatures do not gain size increases for these additional Hit Dice. Additional feats and skill points from these Hit Dice are assigned by the GM unless you possess the Purposeful Training talent, in which case they may be assigned within the limits of the retraining granted by that talent. This ability can never be applied to an animal companion or familiar.

Broad Skills (handle animal)

You may tame creatures of animal intelligence (Intelligence scores of 1 or 2) of any type, though you take a -4 penalty on the check on creatures not of the animal type. Only permanent Intelligence counts for determining if a creature can be affected; ability drain, damage, or other penalties or effects that reduce Intelligence to not allow a creature to be affected. You may also tame mindless creatures of the ooze, plant, or vermin type, bypassing any immunity to mind-affecting effects granted by the their type. Mindless creatures serving you as a mount count as animal allies. Creatures not of the animal type count as twice their Hit Dice against the total amount you may have tame at once. This increase does not stack with the increase for creatures with the swarm subtype from the Beekeeper talent.

If you possess the Animal Empathy talent, it is likewise expanded with the same penalty.

Greater Trainer (handle animal)

Increase the total Hit Dice of creatures you may have tame at once by an additional 1 per rank of Handle Animal you possess. You may select this talent up to 3 times.

Hands-On Handler (handle animal) [BTH]

Whenever you take an action that is similar to a Handle Animal trick, the next time you handle or push your animal allies to perform that trick before the end of your next turn, reduce the time required to handle or push those animal allies by 1 step. This reduction stacks with the Rapid Handle talent.

Whenever you handle or push an animal ally to perform a trick, that animal ally gains a +1 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks made to perform that trick for a number of rounds equal to your practitioner modifier (minimum 1). For every 10 ranks in Handle Animal you possess, the circumstance bonus on rolls granted by this talent increases by +1.

The action reduction and bonuses granted by Hands-On Handler do not stack with itself; if two handlers would grant an animal ally a bonus using this talent, only the highest bonus applies.

Example: You attack an enemy. Until the end of your next turn, if you would handle or push your tamed wolf to use the attack trick or another similar trick (such as bombard, demolish, feint, flank, etc.), the time required to handle or push your tamed wolf is reduced by 1 step.

GMs should determine if an action taken by a character is reasonably similar to tricks available through Handle Animal. Distracting a target with bubbles created by an Illusion effect is not similar enough to the attack trick.

Mass Handle (handle animal)

You may increase the action required to handle or push an animal ally by one step to affect 1 additional animal ally creature plus 1 additional animal ally for every 2 ranks in Handle Animal you possess. You may expend martial focus instead of increasing the action required.

When handling or pushing multiple animal allies with this talent, determine the action required based on the longest action required. When handling or pushing multiple animal allies, each animal ally can be commanded to perform a different trick (such as a wolf being told to guard and an eagle being told to attack).

Purposeful Training (handle animal)

When you tame a creature, you may automatically grant them one general purpose from the Handle Animal skill. For every 4 ranks in Handle Animal you possess, you can teach tamed creatures 1 additional trick using the Handle Animal skill. In addition, any trick learned from a general purpose does not count against the maximum number of tricks a tamed creature can learn. If you possess the Broad Skills talent, you do not increase the Handle Animal DC to teach a trick or grant a general purpose to a creature that does not possess the animal type.

You may retrain feats, skill ranks, and other options possessed by an animal ally. You may retrain one feat, general purpose, trick, or a number of skill ranks equal to your ranks in Handle Animal with 4 hours of training. The new feats and skills must be appropriate for the animal ally. Animal allies treat the Extra Combat Talent feat as an appropriate feat when retraining this way, even if it is not a practitioner, although some spheres are more appropriate for certain creatures than others. The GM is the final arbiter of what feats and skills are suitable for an animal ally. With 8 hours of training, you may instead retrain a number of feats equal to half your ranks in Handle Animal (minimum 2 feats).

Note: You may retrain anything your animal ally possesses that could be retrained normally, and the examples presented in the Purposeful Training talent is not exhaustive. For example, a practitioner with this talent could retrain combat talents chosen by an animal companion with the martial beast archetype (Champions of the Spheres).


Ride Talents

Acrobatic Mount (ride)

While mounted, you may substitute a Ride skill check in place of an Acrobatics skill check for you and your mount when moving through a threatened square.

Bronco Buster (ride)

As a standard action, you may attempt to mount a creature of the animal type within your reach that is of a size suitable to serve you as a mount. Make a Ride skill check against the creature’s CMD. If successful, you move into the creature’s space and it acts as your mount. The creature may make a Will save each round to break free of your control. If successful, it may attempt to throw you once per round as a move action, making a combat maneuver check against a DC of 10 + your Ride skill modifier to force you to dismount in an adjacent square of your choice. If it fails the Will save, it must act as a willing mount for that turn. A new Will save must be made each round until you are thrown or choose to dismount.

Additionally, you may use your ranks in Ride in place of your ranks in Handle Animal when making checks to train or rear a creature suitable to serve as your mount.

If you possess the (handle animal) package and the Broad Skills talent, you may use this talent on any creature to which your trainer ability applies, though creatures not of the animal type gain a +2 bonus on their Will save.

Frenzy Rider (ride) [Conq. HB]

You can spur and encourage your mount to fight more ferociously. While mounted, as a free action at the start of each turn, you can choose to take a -1 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to grant your mount a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls with natural weapons. This penalty and the bonus granted to your mount end at the start of your next turn. For every 4 ranks of Ride you possess, the penalty you take and the bonus granted to your mount increase by 1.

Associated Feat: Saddle Shrieker.

Guided Maneuvers (ride)

While mounted, your mount may use your combat maneuver bonus (including feats and other bonuses to particular maneuvers but retaining their own size modifiers) in place of its own when performing bull rush, drag, overrun, reposition, or trip combat maneuvers.

Knock Down (ride) [Conq. HB]

While mounted, whenever you or your mount succeed on a bull rush, drag, or reposition combat maneuver, you may make a free trip attempt against the target, using your or your mount’s original combat maneuver check as your trip combat maneuver check. Even if you fail this check by 10 or more, you do not fall prone. If the target was mounted, they fall off their mount in a space adjacent to their mount directly away from you. When a target falls prone this way, you may expend martial focus to deal 1d6 points of falling damage, plus an additional 1d6 for every 3 ranks of Ride you possess.

Leaping Rider (ride) [BTH]

You can fluidly mount and dismount, transitioning from mounted to unmounted combat with ease.

You gain the following abilities:

  • Leaping Charge: You may use the leaping dismount ability granted by this talent during a mounted charge attack. If you move at least 10 feet towards the target of your charge attack using leaping dismount, the bonus on attack rolls made at the end of a charge and the penalty to your AC after performing a charge attack both increase by +1 + 1 per 5 ranks of Ride you possess. You are still considered mounted for this charge attack for the purposes of lance damage, mounted combat feats, and other abilities or effects. You may use leaping dismount to move into any unoccupied space within reach of the target of your charge, even if it would not be the closest square for a charge.
  • Leaping Dismount: Whenever you dismount your mount (normally a move action, or as a free action with a successful fast dismount), instead of dismounting into a square adjacent to your mount, you may spend an immediate action to jump, moving in any direction up to 10 feet + 5 feet for every 5 ranks in Ride you possess (without needing to attempt an Acrobatics check to jump). Leaping dismount’s movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
  • Skilled Mount and Dismount: You can attempt Ride checks to fast mount or fast dismount your mount even if your mount is more than one size category larger than you. You may take 10 on Ride checks to fast mount or fast dismount, even if rushed or threatened.

Note: The leaping charge ability granted by this talent allows you to perform a charge attack against a target further than your mount’s movement provided you move into an empty space within reach of your target with leaping dismount.

Meat Shield (ride)

While mounted on a creature of your size or larger, you may take cover behind your mount as a move action. You may expend martial focus to reduce this to an immediate action. Your mount provides total cover from one direction. When using a mount in this way, you must choose one edge of your space. That edge is treated as a solid wall for attacks targeting you only. You gain total cover for attacks that pass through this edge. Your mount may still be targeted as usual. Should this ability be used in reaction to being targeted by an attack roll, the attacking creature may choose a new target. You may end this effect by using the same action required to mount a willing mount (normally a move action, a free action with a DC20 Ride check).

Run Down (ride)

When you use the attack action to attack, your mount may attempt an overrun combat maneuver against the target as a joint swift action, moving up to half its speed if successful. This maneuver does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Skirmish Rider (ride)

While mounted and moving with your mount, you and your mount may each make an attack action at any point during the movement and then complete the movement. This requires using your standard action as normal and cannot be used if you do not have a standard action available. You and your mount do not provoke attacks of opportunity from one creature of your choice that you make an attack or combat maneuver roll against as part of this attack action.

Additionally, you may make an attack action at any point when you make a joint withdraw action while mounted. If you possess the Athletics sphere, you cannot regain focus on the same withdraw action as you use this option.

Vaulting Flank (ride)

When using the attack action to attack, your mount may also attack your target with a single natural weapon it possesses as a joint swift action. If both you and the mount successfully deal damage with these attacks, you may command your mount to buck you into a vaulting dismount over your foe and into a flanking position with your mount against that creature. You must succeed on a Ride check (DC 15 + 5 per size category larger than your mount the creature is), or you instead fall prone adjacent to your mount. Your mount will continue to attack that creature as long as they remain conscious, or until you remount and give them a new command.

Wild Rider (ride)

Any creature serving as your mount counts as tame and an animal ally and as having been combat trained per the Handle Animal skill. This does not allow you to handle or push a creature of greater than animal Intelligence (Intelligence 3 or higher), but does allow them to benefit from some talents, such as Lookout or Pack Attack, though not from any that grant additional tricks, purposes, or Hit Dice. The creature no longer counts as tame or an animal ally once you dismount. Additionally, you may add half your base attack bonus (minimum +1) as a competence bonus on all checks to stay mounted and never fall off your mount when you become unconscious unless you choose to at the time you fall unconscious. You never take a penalty on ride checks for lacking a saddle, bit, or bridle.


Legendary Talents

Beast Tamer (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Handle Animal 5 ranks, Beastmastery sphere ((handle animal) package).

You may expend martial focus as a standard action to force a creature to which you can tame within close range (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 ranks in Handle Animal) to succeed at a Will save or have its attitude improved to helpful and serve you as a tame creature for 1 minute per rank in Handle Animal you possess. Creatures that do not have the animal type gain a +2 bonus on their Will save against this effect. A creature that successfully saves against this talent is immune to the same practitioner’s attempts for 24 hours. When the duration of the tame effect ends, the creature returns to its previous disposition, modified by any other effects that would have altered it while tamed. Attempting to make the creature perform an obviously suicidal action ends the tame.

Call Beast

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere.

As a swift action, you may call all of your animal allies to your side. They must be within 1 mile per rank in Handle Animal and come at their best speed, avoiding apparent hazards and danger to the best of their ability. This movement takes place using the creature’s normal actions on its turn. At 10 ranks in Handle Animal, the animal allies need only be on the same plane.

Carry Companion [Conq. HB]

Prerequisite: Beastmastery sphere.

You can touch an animal ally as a standard action, instantly transforming the creature into a small figurine of stone, small enough to fit in your palm. The animal ally must be a willing subject for this talent to take effect. Any items the creature is wearing (such as a harness or saddle) or carrying (such as equipment stowed in saddlebags) are transformed and miniaturized along with the creature.

While miniaturized, the animal ally is under an effect similar to a flesh to stone spell. The animal ally is mindless and inert, and does not appear to be alive when viewed with spells like deathwatch or the Divine Life Divination sphere talent. You may return the animal ally to its normal form at any time by placing the figurine on the ground, touching it, and speaking a command word. Otherwise, the animal ally remains in miniature form unless the effect is broken, such as by dispel magic or other similar effects. If the figurine is broken or damaged, the creature, when returned to its original form, has similar damage or deformities unless repaired. This is a supernatural ability.

Distant Tamer (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Beast Tamer.

The range of your Beast Tamer talent increases to medium.

Enduring Control (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Beast Tamer.

The duration of your Beast Tamer talent increases to 1 hour per rank in Handle Animal you possess.

Improved Animal Companion [BTH]

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, animal companion, mount, or other similar ability, additional requirements (see details).

Benefit: When selecting your animal companion or mount, you can choose from special creatures to serve as your improved companion, such as creatures from the Beast Speaker feat (Heroes of Golarion), Monstrous Mount feat (Inner Sea Combat), or other similar source. An improved companion chosen using this talent advances the same way as detailed in the ability that grants you access to your animal companion or mount (such as a druid’s animal companion, cavalier’s mount, paladin’s divine bond, or the Beastmastery sphere Animal Companion talent).

You can also dismiss an improved companion, as dictated by your class feature. Subject to GM discretion, other special creatures can be made available with this feat. If a chosen improved companion has prerequisites, as described in its entry, you must meet any additional prerequisites to select that improved companion. For example, to select a behir available through the Beast Speaker feat, you must have 7 ranks in either Diplomacy or Intimidate and 7 ranks in Knowledge (arcana).

An improved companion chosen with this talent gains additional abilities and bonuses listed in the mastery entry in its stat block when your effective druid level is equal to or higher than that companion’s indicated mastery level. If you dismiss an improved companion and gain a new creature of a different type, your effective druid levels may not be a sufficient level to gain that creature’s mastery benefits.

Associated Feats: Beast Speaker, Beast Speaker Mastery, Monstrous Mount, Monstrous Mount Mastery.

Improved Pet [BTH]

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere; Beastmastery sphere (Pet) or ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see details).

Benefit: You may grant your familiar all the normal benefits of being a familiar, as the wizard’s arcane bond option (including type, Intelligence bonus, and special abilities), but doing so incurs the normal replacement cost should your familiar die. In addition, when choosing a familiar, you may choose from the creatures available through the Improved Familiar feat (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook). Your effective arcane spellcaster level must be sufficiently high enough to choose a familiar with this talent. You may choose a familiar up to one step away on each alignment axis (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

An improved familiar is otherwise treated as a regular familiar and always counts as an animal ally, with two exceptions: if the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change to magical beast, and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

Associated Feat: Improved Familiar.

Lions And Wardrobes [Jester's HB]

Prerequisites: Disguise 1 rank, Beastmastery sphere ((handle animal) package).

You may use Handle Animal to teach an animal a unique trick:

Civilized (DC 20): The companion can commingle with humanoid society, and is able to behave autonomously and appropriately in complex social situations, such as bowing to a monarch when appropriate, attending a dinner party, or generally behaving like a polite person in any given scenario. This is not intelligence, it is simply learned mannerisms that conveniently allow an animal to react to both simple and complex social situations, and react appropriately to questions and conversations as though it understood languages the handler possessed at the time they taught the animal this trick.

In addition, when attempting a Disguise check to alter an animal’s appearance, the Disguise check takes no penalties due to different gender, race, age, or size category. Disguising an animal in this way may be as simple as putting a hat on a bear to applying full makeup and costumery to a salamander. An animal disguised this way does not automatically draw attention to itself, though it may draw suspicion if it does not behave appropriately to a situation. You may substitute your Handle Animal bonus in place of your Disguise bonus when attempting this check.

Example: A bear disguised as a human noble and taught the Civilized trick could attend a nobleman’s dinner party, not draw suspicion to itself while disguised as a noble, and even engage in basic social etiquette.

Mass Tame (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Beast Tamer.

When using your Beast Tamer talent, you may increase the time required by one step (normally standard to full-round) to affect multiple creatures at once. All creatures must be within range. Your Hit Dice limits still apply to the total number you may affect at once with this ability.

Mindless Mastery (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Broad Skills.

You may tame mindless creatures of any type, bypassing any immunity to mind-affecting effects granted by the their type.

Monster Breaker (ride)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Broad Skills, Bronco Buster, Ride 7 ranks.

You may use your Bronco Buster talent on any creature suitable to serve as your mount. A creature with Intelligence greater than 2 may make its Will save to resist this ability as a free action at the start of its turn. On a failed save, you may only direct such a creature to move; you cannot make it attack or use any other abilities.

Perfect Rider (ride) [BTH]

Prerequisites: Athletics sphere, Beastmastery sphere ((ride) package), Mounted Athlete.

While mounted, you may share any effect that allows you to move or alters how you move (such as a talent, feat, class feature, or other effect) with your mount, provided your mount could benefit from the effect normally. If a movement effect requires you to attempt a check (such as a skill check or ability check), you attempt that check for both you and your mount.

If an effect you share with your mount affects another creature, that creature is only affected once.

Whenever you use an ability that would allow you to move, you may allow your mount to move using that ability as a joint action. Use your mount’s movement speed and movement modes when determining any variables, distances, or limitations for that movement (an effect that says “half your movement speed” would use your mount’s movement rather than your own, and an effect which requires you to burrow or fly could not be used by your mount unless it could burrow or fly). Both you and your mount must spend the required action to take advantage of the movement effect as a joint action, if an action is required to benefit from that effect. Both you and your mount are treated as having used that effect for any usage limitations, benefits, or penalties associated with the movement granted by that ability.

Note and Example: This legendary talent allows a mounted character to share any and all of their abilities which enhance, rely, or grant additional movement with their mount, subject to GM discretion. This includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  • Class features (monk’s fast movement)
  • Feats (Fleet, Nimble Moves)
  • Sphere abilities (such as Brute sphere shove)
  • Combat sphere talents (Fencing sphere Footwork talent, Scoundrel sphere Cut And Run talent, or Scout sphere Unimpeded Positioning talent)
  • Magic sphere talents (Destruction sphere Energy Leap talent)

GMs should review the implications of this talent and characters having full and unabridged synergy between non-mounted and mounted movement options.

This legendary talent does not include teleportation effects as a “movement effect” unless the rider possesses the Dimensional Athlete Champion feat or another effect that allows them to treat teleportation effects as a movement mode with the Athletics sphere.

Permanent Control (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Beast Tamer, Enduring Control, Handle Animal 5 ranks.

The duration of your Beast Tamer talent increases to permanent.

Wild Speaker (handle animal)

Prerequisites: Beastmastery sphere, Handle Animal 5 ranks.

You may speak with animals. You can ask questions of and receive answers from animals, but this ability doesn’t make them any more friendly than normal. Wary and cunning animals are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones make inane comments. If an animal is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.


Sphere-Specific Variant Rule: Adjusted Companion Base Attack Bonus

Reasoning: Animal companions begin to struggle at high levels of play due to having 3/4 base attack bonus compared to a Conjuration sphere or Leadership sphere companion's full base attack bonus. GMs may find it appropriate to adjust the scaling of animal companions by implementing this variant rule.

Rule: An animal companion's base attack bonus is equal to its Hit Dice.

Sphere-Specific Variant Rule: Beastmastery and Taming Intelligent Creatures

As a variant-rule to the Beastmastery sphere Mindless Mastery legendary talent, GMs may allow characters to “tame” other intelligent creatures to aid and assist them as companions.

This optional variant rule should be treated the same as a legendary talent. It is powerful and potentially world altering and should be handled with care and allowed with supervision.

Rule: Characters with the Beastmastery sphere Mindless Mastery (handle animal) legendary talent may tame creatures of any type and of any intelligence. GMs have ultimate control over what creatures are appropriate to be tamed.

Intelligent creatures tamed this way are recruited similarly to a Leadership sphere cohort, attempting a Handle Animal check against a base DC of 10 + the Hit Dice of the creature you are looking to tame. This check is not modified by Settlement Size Modifiers or Miscellaneous Modifiers but can be modified by circumstantial elements by GM discretion.

Context and Reasoning: A primary pillar of balance for the Beastmastery sphere is that it is not the Leadership feat or the Leadership sphere. The Beastmastery sphere is limited to taming and handling creatures with “animal intelligence” (2 Intelligence or less). This is because a creature with 3 Intelligence or greater is considered sapient, rather than just sentient. A sapient creature is one capable of complex thoughts, expressions, and actions. Put simply, intelligent creatures are intelligent.

As of this handbook, the only way to recruit another fully-intelligent creature as a companion is through the Leadership sphere Advanced Cohorts (cohort) legendary talent, which is the same talent used to recruit “people”, or otherwise recapture the original strength of the Leadership feat. While this is a valid option for those looking to recruit outsiders and other adventurers, or realistically anything you come across, it often comes as a disconnect that the Beastmastery sphere cannot gain magical creatures as companions, such as a talented beastmaster coming across a noble unicorn but being unable to recruit or convince them to join them any better than another character.

This sphere-specific variant rule functions primarily as an adjustment to the Mindless Mastery legendary talent as the “capstone” of being a tamer, allowing a Beastmastery practitioner to “tame” any creature. This only functions as the handle animal package’s tame ability for counting the tamed creature’s Hit Dice against the total number of Hit Dice a character may control and differs in nearly every other aspect.

When allowing intelligent creatures to be tamed through Beastmastery, GM’s should be aware of and consider the following:

  • What Is Tameable: Only “reasonably creature-like” creatures should be tameable. This variant rule is not meant to replace Leadership sphere and should not be used to tame humanoid, monstrous humanoid, humanoid-like outsiders and other highly intelligent and autonomous creatures. The main purpose is to allow someone to befriend a unicorn, or raise an owlbear or dragon hatchling, not recruit a retinue of robots. Intelligent creatures fall into three categories of “tameability”:
    • 1. “Magical Creatures”: Griffon, unicorns, behirs and other magical beasts are generally appropriate to be tamed with this variant rule.
    • 2. “Unusual Creatures”: Things like feral aberrations, wyverns, hatchling dragons, sentient oozes, plants, and vermin are usually appropriate, but depend on the circumstances and rely more heavily on GM permission.
    • 3. “Inappropriate Creatures”: Adult dragons, outsiders, golems, humanoids (humans, trolls, etc.) and other creatures that have either incredibly powerful abilities or have human-like capacity should almost never be appropriate, although exceptions can be made by a GM, such as a powerful paladin recruiting a dragon to their cause. Other players are not appropriate, as are townsfolk and other “people”. Ultimately, the GM has final say over what can be recruited as an animal ally.
  • Willing and Non-Hostile: A tamed intelligent creature is not compelled to assist and does so out of their free will and their relationship with the character. Creatures have their own motivations, goals, needs, and morality and can never be forced to do something self-destructive or against their nature. This extends to the Beast Tamer legendary talent. An intelligent creature can never be forcibly conscripted unless it would be willing to in the first place. Likewise, the creature should not be hostile to the character or have competing goals. Attempting to tame an actively hostile mimic or a rampaging bulette should not be possible. Likewise, attempting to tame the evil dragon serving as the “BBEG” of the story should not be possible. A creature must be willing to help and follow the character.
  • “Tamed”: A tamed intelligent creature is treated as an animal ally when appropriate but is interacted with and treated as a companion in the ordinary sense of the word. When spending at least 1 hour with your tamed creatures, a character does not need to re-tame them or interact with them the same way they would a tamed wolf or hydra. Spending time with a tamed intelligent creature can be as simple as checking up on them, sharing a meal, and interacting with them as if they were a normal NPC. If something would assert competing non-magical influence over the creature, such as trying to convince them to join them, it is the creature’s choice as a function of roleplay, motivations, and desires. Magical compulsion effects, however, are treated as a competing effect and allow a tamed intelligent creature to resist as appropriate.
  • Unequal Partnerships: Not every Beastmastery practitioner will be looking to form a compassionate, fair bond with others. In establishing this variant rule, it is important to not treat the tame ability as a form of servitude or slavery. However, some characters, particularly evil ones, may want to roleplay these interactions as the “overlord” or “master” of a so-called lesser creature. It is not the goal of this variant rule to make gameplay uncomfortable for others, or inappropriate, so it is important for players and their GM to discuss how they want this ability to be treated. Some may prefer the equal companionship aspect whereas others may want to treat it as servitude. These choices are all respective and contingent on the previous considerations listed with this variant rule. Where one character may want to form a bond with a wise, ancient owlbear of the woods, another may be playing an antipaladin and want to tempt a noble unicorn to fall to darkness. Both of these choices are perfectly valid, but it should be a goal to not execute this variant rule in a way that it makes others uncomfortable.

Sphere-Specific Variant Rule: Improved Familiars and Familiar Archetypes

Reasoning: As Pathfinder developed, familiar archetypes became a fun and interesting way to customize your familiars and how you interact with them and what benefits you gain from them. Improved Familiars have always lost their ability to speak with other creatures of their kind because most improved familiar options can already talk or understand languages.

GMs may find it appropriate to remove this change and allow improved familiars with familiar archetypes. This will often be an upgrade over a normal improved familiar but will not offer any unusual increases in power that would not be otherwise available.

Rule: The Improved Familiar feat and Improved Pet legendary talent do not remove a familiar's ability to speak with other creatures of their kind. Improved familiars may take familiar archetypes that would remove the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind.

Sphere-Specific Variant Rule: Multiple Animal Companions and Alternatives

Reasoning: Through various means, characters may gain separate class features which independently grant animal companions or mounts, granting them in such a way that the character receives multiple, full-progression animal companions. Multiple animal companions can happen when an animal companion class feature is granted with restrictions, such as a lion shaman druid's restriction to lion animal companions also gaining access to the mount class feature. Restricting the druid to rideable creatures only would grant to separate companions as the effective druid levels for both companions could not combine.

While as written this works, GMs should review whether they want a character to have control of multiple companions and consider how that may affect the flow of combat and gameplay. Players, on the other hand, should consider whether they actually want multiple companions, or if they do not want the extra resources and stat blocks to manage.

Rule: By GM permission, three potential solutions to the issue of multiple animal companions:

  • 1: Improved Bond: By forgoing one of the additional companions, the character chooses one teamwork feat he qualifies for. Both the character and his companion gain this teamwork feat; the companion may use and benefit from this teamwork feat even if it would not normally meet the prerequisites. This teamwork feat can be rechosen after 8 hours of rest.
  • 2: Refund: "Refund" the character's class feature granting the extra companion by granting them one or two bonus Beastmastery sphere talents when they would gain the second companion. For example, a sacred huntsmaster inqiusitor choosing the chivalry domain could gain a bonus Beastmastery sphere talent or other thematically appropriate talent as a substitute to the extra horse they would otherwise have.
  • 3: Retraining or Different Choices: Either through retraining or GM permission, the character may reselect one of their companion-granting abilities, retraining it to a different and more appropriate option.

This website uses cookies. See the Legal & OGL page for important information. Any material NOT covered by the Open Game License Version 1.0a is covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.